Reviews

Staff Review
Photo of Kaylin Salmen

Bodies Writing Contest Winner

By Kaylin Salmen
5
Rated by Jack V.
May 14, 2021

Johnson County Library is pleased to announce that Kaylin Salmen has won our open writing contest on the theme of Bodies with her piece "Self-worth." 

Kaylin is a college senior at Kansas State University studying food science. She enjoys being outside, playing dungeons and dragons with friends, and art.

Self-worth

She remarks on the scars on my body
As if they were dents left in discarded
College apartment furniture,

But these marks
can be interpreted like runes
on cuneiform tablets.

Staff Review
We Were the Lucky Ones cover. Man and woman sit on bench with their backs facing us.

We Were the Lucky Ones

By Georgia Hunter
5
Rated by Kari E.
Apr 30, 2021

What a book. What a story. What a family. The Kurcs are a Polish family who will not let the cruelty and dehumanizing Nazi and Soviet rule crush their spirit.  

We see babies born, weddings, and a family desperately wishing they were all together again. They feel lucky just to be with one another.  We follow the lives of the Kurc families’ five children through the war.  

Staff Review
Banned Book Club by Kim Hyun Sook

Banned Book Club

By Kim Hyun Sook
4
Rated by Josh N.
Apr 28, 2021

About halfway through reading this biographical graphic novel, it struck me just how little I knew about the history of the Republic of Korea. I'm not a fan of not knowing things. This led me on a dive into at least a surface reading on South Korea’s political and cultural history, fascinating and sometimes turbulent.

Staff Review
Covers of the Shadow and Bone Trilogy-The first has a stag, the second, a sea dragon, and the third a phoenix.

Shadow and Bone Trilogy

By Leigh Bardugo
5
Rated by Tiffany R
Apr 26, 2021

Shadow and Bone, a TV adaptation of Leigh Bardugo's bestselling fantasy trilogy of the same name, launches on Netflix, April 23rd. Some are calling the show the next Game of Thrones. A huge GoT fan, I knew I had to read the books before the TV series hit the airwaves because let's face it, the books are always better than the show. 

Staff Review
Lovecraft County

Lovecraft Country

By Matt Ruff
4
Rated by Karyn H
Apr 22, 2021

I’m what we librarians call a gentle horror reader.  I’m fascinated by the supernatural but can’t handle graphic violence or gore.  I normally indulge in juvenile scary stories or classics like Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.  I heard a lot of buzz around Matt Ruff’s horror novel, Lovecraft County, after the release of the critically acclaimed HBO drama series adaptation, created by Misha Green.  The premise of resilient and intelligent African American characters grapp

Staff Review Apr 20, 2021

Baked beans, bog mutants and interdimensional travel are the ingredients in this hilarious middle grade debut novel by John Cusik. 

I listened to the audio version of the book, which I highly recommend.  The narrator, Gary Furlong, does a remarkable job of giving life to the full cast of strange and quirky characters with the added bonus of doing so with a British RP accent. 

Teen Review
The Boy in the Black Suit book cover

The Boy in the Black Suit

By Jason Reynolds
5
Rated by Kristen Re.
Apr 8, 2021

Matt Miller, a senior in high school, is dealing with the recent death of his mom to cancer.  Mr. Ray, Matt’s neighbor, offers him a job at the funeral home.  He is hesitant to take it but can’t pass up the good paycheck. So, Matt becomes the boy in the black suit because he starts wearing it every day.  In a way it brings Matt comfort to watch the funerals.  “I liked watching other people deal with the loss of someone, not because I enjoyed seeing them in pain, but because, somehow, it made me feel better knowing that my pain isn’t only mine.”

Teen Review
Influence by Sara Shepard

Influence

By Sara Shepard & Lilia Buckingham
4
Rated by Heather Mi.
Apr 1, 2021

It’s perfect, but is it real? Influence follows the lives of four teen influencers who live what seem like perfect lives: Delilah Rollins, a newbie who shot to fame after posting a viral video, Jasmine Walters-Diaz, a former child star who’s tired of hiding her real self, Fiona Jacobs, an aspiring actress who harbors a dark secret from her past, and Scarlet Leigh, the quintessential mean girl of the group. In the whirlwind of events and auditions and shoots, the tension escalates and one of the girls ends up dead.