To All the Boys I Loved Before series – Staff Review – Trisha

To all the boys I’ve loved before P.S. I still Love You Always and Forever, Laura Jean

by Jenny Han by Jenny Han by Jenny Han

(Request)(CloudLibrary) (Request)(CloudLibrary) (Request)(CloudLibrary)

I just finished the To All the Boys I’ve Loved before series by Jenny Han. The story starts off with Lara Jean having written love letters to 5 different boys who were big moments in her life but never intended to mail them out. How do these letters get out and what does it mean to have them out? As we follow along with Lara Jean and her romantic adventures we start noticing a love forming. These books were so fun and you were always rooting for the couple that didn’t make sense, but made total sense. You’ll have to read the trilogy to see if they make it the distance. The first book leaves off with a cliffhanger. Han had originally only wanted this to be a duo, I am not sure why it became a trilogy, but I am so glad it did. If you want a sweet and innocent high school romance and all the drama it brings, this is for you. There is also a Netflix series of three movies to go along with each book as well.

I would give this series:

4.5 stars.

Stalking Jack the Ripper – Staff Review – Isabella

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco (Request)(CloudLibrary)

Stalking Jack the Ripper had me hooked by the first sentence. Set in Victorian Era London, the novel centers around the crimes of Jack the Ripper, a famous real-life serial killer who (in the real world) has yet to be identified. The main character, Audrey Rose Wadsworth lives a life of privilege and frills, but much prefers heading to her uncle’s to perform autopsies. Suddenly, slain women from across London start showing up on Audrey’s autopsy table, getting her wrapped up in one of the most well-known serial murders in history. The spooky setting of the novel and the true-crime aspect kept me on my toes throughout. I was regularly surprised by all the twists and turns that Kerri Maniscalco weaved into her debut novel. Stalking Jack the Ripper was a rollercoaster ride of murder, romance, and history and I loved every second of it. 

5 stars

Six of crows – Staff Review – Isabella

Six of crows by Leigh Bardugo (Request)(CloudLibrary)

Six of Crows, set in the bustling town of Ketterdam, follows six individuals, each incredibly different yet all cohesive. The group is formed when Kaz, a gang leader, enlists each person for their respective skills (stealth, strength, sabotage, etc). While all are working toward a common goal of completing one of the hardest heists known to man, many arguments are ignited and the prospect of pulling off the feat seems poised to dwindle fast. As mentioned before, this novel follows six individuals, and rather than being solely narrated by the leader of the group, Kaz, each member of the crew gets to narrate throughout the novel. I tend to find this hard to read because I get lost amongst the different perspectives and timelines offered up in quick succession. However, this was not the case with Six of Crows. Leigh Bardugo managed to make each character’s perspective unique and personal, yet cohesive and supplementary to the other views and the novel as a whole. Six of Crows is a great novel filled with nail-biting tension and teamwork that just might beat the odds.

4 stars

With the Fire on High – Staff Review – Trisha

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo (Request)(CloudLibrary)

This YA novel had romance, intrigue and suspense. It was a charming book about a young teenage mom finding what her passions are outside of school and home. What will Emoni do once she graduates from high school? Is there time for romance too? The story had just enough romance and real life stories to make it seem relatable. For those single moms, regardless of age, this is a totally relatable story of trying to find your way in the world outside the title of MOM and where to go from there. While the story seemed to pick up pace in the end, it left me with questions on how some of the story lines ended. Kind of left it open to interpretation and left me waiting it to last longer. 

4 stars

The Book Thief – Staff Review – Isabella

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Request)(CloudLibrary)

The Book Thief is a classic that I will never get tired of reading. Narrated by Death itself, the novel takes an eye-opening point-of-view of WWII not previously delved into. Death follows many in the novel, including the main character Liesel, a lover of books and all things language who develops sticky fingers following her brother’s death. From small actions such as book thievery, to ones much more courageous and dangerous, Liesel and her foster family rebel against the oppressive Nazi regime. This is a heart-wrenching novel that never fails to make me cry, though I know the ending like the back of my hand. The beautiful writing and incredible story of The Book Thief make it an emotional and inspiring ride.

5 stars

This Golden State – Staff Review – Haley

This Golden State By Marit Weisenberg (Request)(CloudLibrary)

Can you imagine having to change your name?  Start over in a new town every few years? For seventeen years Poppy and her family have been on the run and she doesn’t know why.  A sudden move to California gives Poppy her first clue into her parent’s past.  Finally wanting to know the truth she submits a DNA test which cracks her world wide open. This coming of age novel is suspenseful, dramatic, with a hint of romance. It had me on the edge of my chair the entire time and I didn’t want to set it down until knowing the full story. This is definitely a good choice for both YA and adults.   

4 Stars

The Cruel Prince – Staff Review – Isabella

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (Request)(CloudLibrary)

The Cruel Prince is a YA fantasy novel that I didn’t know I needed. The novel follows Jude, a human girl who, along with her twin sister Taryn and half (faerie) sister Vivi, lives among immortal beings in the world of Faerie. Though Jude feels out of place in this world not built for her, she does all she can to fit in… possibly too much. The main thing I took away from this novel was the beautiful world-building. There are many YA fantasy novels with similar faerie-laden worlds full of mischief and intrigue, but the vivid imagery that Holly Black adopts in The Cruel Prince sets it apart. Everything from the food, to the clothing, to the landscape is described in great detail. While this novel was not my favorite YA fantasy book story-wise, the vivid imagery conveyed through the words of Holly Black kept me constantly engaged (would recommend for a pesky reading slump).

4 stars.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas – Staff Review – Maddie

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne (Request)(CloudLibrary)

This is the tale of a boy named Bruno. One day while exploring the grounds surrounding this new home, he comes to a fence and meets a boy sitting on the other side of the fence. A friendship forms that defies all odds.

Though a work of fiction, the story of two boys on either side of a fence is a common one that still occurs today all over the world. Boyne tells a moving story.

4 Stars

One of Us is Lying – Staff Review – Maddie

One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus (Request)(CloudLibrary)

5 teens serve an after school detention together. Bronwyn is a straight A student bound for Yale. Addy is the beauty queen dating the jock. Nate is on probation for selling drugs. Cooper is an all-star baseball pitcher. Simon is an outcast who created the highschool’s gossip app that everyone hates to love. When Simon dies suddenly in the middle of detention, all eyes turn to the only four people in the room with him. Everyone has a secret, but who is willing to kill over it?

Told from the alternating perspectives of Bronwyn, Addy, Nate and Cooper, this new YA thriller will keep readers on their toes until the very end. I enjoyed how the different perspectives added a level of curiosity for me especially as the book unfolded.

4 stars

Last night at the Telegraph Club – Staff Review – Maddie

Last night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo (Request)(CloudLibrary)

Seventeen year old Lily Hu is trying to come to terms with the feelings she is developing for her classmate Kathleen. Feelings that come to recognition at the Telegraph Club, a lesbian bar that opens her eyes to another world she didn’t know existed. But in 1954 with the Red Scare of communism at its height and the threat of deportation looming over her family’s shoulder, Lily has to decide how much she’ll risk for love. 
Last Night at the Telegraph Club is a sweet young adult novel that shares the narrative of a young woman trying to find acceptance in an unkind world. 

3 Stars.

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