Prince George has tried his entire life to be like his father, but in his magic, he will always be like his mother. Animal magic, the ability to understand and talk to animals, has never been officially outlawed by his father, but those with animal magic are rarely left to live in peace, and before her death, George’s mother made it clear that his magic was best left a secret—even from his father. When the king of a rival kingdom offers his daughter, Princess Beatrice, in marriage, George can’t refuse. Princess Beatrice is unlike any woman George has ever met. She is inseparable from her odd
Ignite Me is the third book in Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me series, and it’s by far my favorite in the series so far. This book begins when Juliette wakes up after being shot. She is told by Warner that the war is over and Omega Point and all of its people are gone. Juliette then finds Kenji, who leads her to the handful of others that survived, including Adam. Juliette, Warner, Adam, Kenji, and the rest of their group plan to kill the Supreme Commander and take over Sector 45.
This book had a ton of character growth, some for the better and some not. For example, Juliette finally accepted who
Unravel Me is the second book in the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi. This book contains a lot of relationship drama between Juliette and Adam, as well as growing chemistry between Juliette and Warner. After Juliette is summoned by Warner's father to save her captive friends, Warner is brought to Omega Point as a hostage. Warner's character development in this book is profound as his relationship with Juliette quickly develops. I love that their relationship grows naturally as they learn to understand one another. Adam, on the other hand, slowly becomes whiny. While I can understand his
Before is the final book of Anna Todd’s After series. This book gives some insight into a few of the characters’ lives before After takes place and provides a retelling of the beginning and end of Tessa and Hardin’s relationship through Hardin’s point of view.
This book wasn’t as entertaining as the others in the series, and Todd’s writing seemed to have regressed into what it was in After, after her writing seemingly improved in the other books. Despite that, it was interesting to peek into Hardin’s mind while the events of After were taking place; getting to fully understand his
After Ever Happy is the final book in the After series written by Anna Todd. This book follows Tessa and Hardin as they adjust to living in different states to get space from one another and experience personal growth. This book had a different vibe than the rest of the series; it had more of a somber tone than the others, which I didn’t love. Second, in this book, Tessa and Hardin finally get themselves together, and their decisions become more logical. However, their rational decisions made this book less captivating than its predecessors because it was the illogical drama that made the
After We Fell, the third installment of Anna Todd’s After series, might just be the best book in the series. Tessa and Hardin learn to live separately and travel to England for Hardin’s mom’s wedding. Throughout all of this, Hardin and Tessa actually seem to learn how to communicate for the most part, and a lot of drama arises surrounding both Hardin and Tessa’s parents. Along with all of this, secrets and lies continue to unfold as all of Hardin and Tessa’s friends’ intentions come into question. Despite all of the negativity revealed throughout the book, Hardin and Tessa’s relationship
Sadie is a dual-narrative book following Sadie Hunter, a 19-year-old girl on the hunt to find the man who killed her sister, and West McCray, the radio personality tracing her footsteps for a true-crime podcast.
Sadie’s 13-year-old sister, Mattie, went missing and was later found dead. The police have no suspects, but Sadie has one, and she’s determined to find him.
West’s chapters, alternating with Sadie’s, take place later; Sadie is missing, her car found hundreds of miles from home with her belongings still inside. West’s goal is to find Sadie and uncover what really happened to
The Last Girlfriend on Earth: And Other Love Stories by Simon Rich is a collection of eclectic and often surreal short stories centering around love and romance. For the most part, I very much enjoyed this book. It was an incredibly fast read, but I thought that it ultimately matched the book’s funny and slapdash style. Typically I wouldn’t consider a book’s being “slapdash” to be a good thing, but with The Last Girlfriend on Earth I didn’t really have a problem with it. In fact, I think the book’s thrown together nature adds to its predominantly light and breezy feeling. The Last
I just loved Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf.
Set in a small town in Colorado during a current time period, this book kept me think about the situation that Addie Moore, a lonely widow, and Louis Waters, a widower have found themselves in. Being old and living alone can be very lonely.
What would I do if in my later years I became widowed and tried to have a relationship with a man my age? Would my children try to direct my life? Role reversal between parent and children is a real problem when the parents don’t need to be parented.
But it's not all sad. It is also very happy when
Johnson County Library and The Writers Place are pleased to announce that Sarah Donohue has won the open category of our writing contest on the theme of TIME with "Grounded".
Donohue has been writing a weekly column in the Estes Park News in Estes Park, CO for 12 years. In 2017, she published "Slices of Life, Estes Park; Best of The Thunker Columns," a collection of favorite columns from the first 10 years. She currently lives in Lenexa and does seasonal work in Estes Park, supervising the hiking program for YMCA of the Rockies.
Gone hiking. Back about 2:00.
As one who did not grow up with the internet, I was interested to see what Turkle's opinion is on where we began and where we currently are concerning the internet and how it has changed us.
Turkle’s writing is wonderfully readable and she has done a great job of translating facts and statistics into tangible, real-life scenarios we can all relate to in one way or another. One of the more interesting points Turkle makes in Alone Together, is that the average person might think with the explosion of an ever increasingly sophisticated technology, coupled with sites like Facebook and Twitter
The Fairy Tale Girl and Martha’s Vineyard, Isle of Dreams must be read together. The two books were originally meant to be one book, but Susan Branch’s life is so packed with living and inspiration that one book quickly became two very powerful volumes overflowing with growth, play, wisdom and a hefty dose of girl power. Though the books are heavy they are equally adorable, easy to tuck into and get lost for hours in. Susan Branch quickly becomes a sister within just a few pages and makes the reader feel like they are as much a part of her life as she is.
The Fairytale Girl is a more than
It's been three years since her husband was killed in a freak accident and Taylor Cabot is making plans to start living again. She’s made a moving-on list and is marking items off. She's moved home, is getting active with the help of an activity tracker, and has replaced the donuts with healthier choices. She's even started spending time with a handsome plastic surgeon from the hospital where she works as an ER nurse. When her old friend, Seth Donovan, turns up at the hospital to train the crisis team, old feelings begin to resurface.
While in San Diego to train crisis volunteers
The House on Fortune Street by Margot Livesey is a beautifully written novel that explores the lives of four interconnected characters, each with a very different perspective on taking control of their fate versus succumbing to what luck (or misfortune) has to throw at them.
Sean wants to finish his dissertation on Keats but abandons it to write a commercially commissioned book on euthanasia with his old friend Valentine. His life is disrupted even more when an anonymous letter hints that his girlfriend, Abigail, might be having an affair with Valentine.
Cameron wants to repair the
Reading Brianna Karp’s memoir of losing her job, home, and family reminded me in many ways of Cheryl Strayed’s Wild. Except instead of embarking on a months-long solo hike, as Strayed did, Karp faces the challenges of living in a trailer in a Walmart parking lot. With no water or electricity. Frustration at Brianna’s “unwise” choices (surrounding her involvement with a fellow homeless gent) is always followed by a heart-wrenching family story that would have left me a gelatinous blob.
Most compelling are Karp’s explorations of her own potential racism, degree of homelessness, family history
Audiobooks are my preferred method of distraction during my daily commute, and while The Bone Clocks didn't grab me immediately, eventually its clever interlinking story arcs lured my mind away from the surrounding river of taillights and exhaust.* Like Mitchell's Cloud Atlas, this novel hops through various time periods, each time switching to a different main character and point of view. The result is a multifaceted story told across many generations and narratives, but all connected to independent and resilient Holly Sykes.
Her story begins in 1984, when she leaves home in a fit of
The Heart Goes Last takes place somewhere in the near future, after a catastrophic economic crash. Most people are unemployed. Many are homeless. Young married couple Stan and Charmaine are reduced to living in their car, barely surviving on the money Charmaine makes at her waitressing job. Things are desperately bleak and seem unlikely to improve at any point in the future, which is why Stan and Charmaine sign up without much hesitation for a new social experiment: The Positron Project offers the guarantee of a job and a place to live; the catch, however, is that all residents must spend
Matthew Dane was a police officer until his daughter was kidnapped and missing for years. He then left the force and started a private detective service so he could continue the search for his daughter. Once his daughter was found, he was able to help her adjust to life outside of captivity and then help other families in the same situation.
Shannon Bliss went missing at the age of 16. Now, almost 12 years later, Matthew finds a woman waiting for him outside his hotel room claiming to be Shannon Bliss. She is seeking his assistance in reuniting with her family and bringing down the
Starring Rachel McAdams and Domhnall Gleeson, About Time is a sentimental movie about a unique family with a special gift. At twenty-one, Tim learns from his father that all the men in the family can travel in time, back to any moment in their own life. Tim becomes determined to make the most of his talent and use it to find true love. It doesn't work out great at first but a chance meeting with Mary starts a journey of a lifetime. About Time is charming, clever, intelligent and very funny. In the end, Tim learns to appreciate life and cherishing the people around him. It's a great date movie
Quality time. Words of affirmation. Physical touch. Receiving gifts. Acts of service. These are the five ways that people give and receive love according to relationship counselor Dr. Gary Chapman. This book guides you in how to “fill the love tank,” as Chapman words it, of your partner by learning how to assess the way your partner wants to receive love. By knowing which love language your partner speaks (i.e. which way they want to receive love), you can improve even the healthiest of relationships.
Originally written in 1992, the book still remains relevant today. The success of this
This 2014 Academy Award Winning movie for Best Original Screenplay written and directed by Spike Jonze is your typical boy meets girl, boy falls in love, girl is an advanced computer operating system....wait, what? Actually, Her is anything but a typical love story. It is instead a very interesting exploration of the increasing role that technology plays in our everyday lives and where that might take human relationships in the future. Joaquin Phoenix has the starring role as Theodore Twombly, a man recently separated from his wife, who installs a new advanced operating system (voice played by
Camryn and Andrew both have secrets. And when they unexpectedly meet on a Greyhound bus they prove that fate can’t be ignored. Andrew has decided to take a bus to Wyoming rather than catch a flight to see his father. Camryn has hopped on the bus with no particular destination in mind. From the moment Andrew steps on the bus, he is drawn to Camryn, and their first contact is intense. She thinks he is pompous, he thinks she is beautiful. Both Camryn and Andrew have their own issues but their bond soon develops from travel companions to friends to exactly what each other was missing and needs
Asterios Polyp is a self-assured, domineering, wind-bag of a paper architect. A paper architect being one “whose reputation rests on his designs, rather than on the buildings constructed from them. In fact, none of his designs had ever been built.”
When we meet Asterios, his Manhattan apartment, where he wallows in self-pity while riding out a mid-life crisis, has just burned to the ground. So he takes the last of his money, hops on a bus, and “give[s] up on the one thing [he] thought defined him.” And it “prove[s] to be a lot less difficult than [he] could have imagined.”
When I picked up this book, I thought the title was reflective of a "good" house as opposed to a "bad" house, but actually the lead character and narrator of the novel is named Hildy Good. Hildy is a successful real estate agent in Wendover, Massachusetts, a town along Boston's north shore, where she "makes it her business to know everybody's business." She is the mother of two grown daughters and is an ex-wife to a husband who revealed to her he was gay after 20-plus years of marriage. This darkly comic story revolves around the fact that she is also a not-so recovering alcoholic, adept at
Whenever I’m asked for a “gentle read” my go-to author is Maeve Binchy. Her novels are standalone, not a series; so the order in which they are read doesn’t matter. There is no sex, language or violence in Binchy’s books. They are about the dramas of daily life: relationships with parents, children or spouses; your place in a community; identity and what you want to do with your life.
The characters in Binchy’s stories are very likeable. They are real people with flaws, who make mistakes and are easy to root for. The problems and issues they grapple with are believable, with a twist. Binchy
A modern-day fairy tale with some teen drama and angst thrown in! A 15-year-old girl brings a storybook character to life as she struggles with her own real-life issues. My 12-year-old daughter and I both really enjoyed this book! It would make a great mother/daughter read. The audiobook provides three different voices which added to my enjoyment of the story. Another fun fact is that it is co-written with Jodi Picoult’s daughter.
Can’t decide between team Edward and Team Jacob? Try Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan. The town of New Whitby was founded by vampires. While there’s not a lot of mingling between vampires and humans, they have mostly co-existed peacefully. But when Mel’s best friend Cathy seems to be falling for the courtly, old-fashioned vampire who just enrolled at their high school, Mel knows she has to intervene. As it says on the cover “Friends don’t let friends date vampires”.
Then there’s the troubling mystery of what happened to the father of Anna, another close friend of Mel
What would you do if you were given the option to know when you would meet your soul mate? Would you want to find out? Oona (Emma Caulfield) desperately wants to know the answer to when and who. In her world you can find out by having a timer embedded in your wrist. There’s a catch, your soul mate also has to have a timer for the countdown to begin. Oona’s timer is blank. She dates people who are timer-free and when things start to get serious, she takes them to get timers. Unfortunately this results in the termination of the relationship, as the newly embedded individual is not her match
In this dystopian/alternate world novel, The Pledge by Kimberly Derting, the country of Lundania is on the brink of war. The Queen, whose magical powers pass down through generations, is growing old and does not have a female heir. In Lundania, and the surrounding countries, a Queen must be on the throne in order to be recognized as a country. Lundania, and its class system, is slowly falling apart. Language is the tool used to determine what class a person is in, and if one tries to go outside their class the immediate punishment is death. Seventeen year old Charlaina (Charlie) has the
The setting is San Francisco, current day. A wayward teen never adopted has maxed out on state help and is forced out into the world. As the story unfolds the back story of Victoria’s life is revealed, including the many mistakes she has made. She has a gift with flowers and shares that gift with others. The reader watches her develop and grow and yet continue to make mistakes. A frustrating read, though engaging. Victoria is not particularly likeable yet I found myself rooting for her. Appropriate for teens and up.