Tuesday, June 10, 2014

We Were Liars , by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars , by E. Lockhart
Available in house
Synopsis from Goodreads
A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

My Review:

This book was very twisty and turny with an unreliable narrator and is very hard to review because I don't want to give anything away and I'm afraid many people will, by tags and such, which is a shame. I'm so glad I read it right away.

I can't stop thinking about this story, it is written at times like poetry, as a diary and as just rambling but beauty throughout. It is so unique and hard to describe and I would highly recommend reading it soon before the spoilers are out there.

There were times I thought I had it figured out then the author would change my mind only to be partly right later on.

I read this book in 2 days and it has been a long time since a book has grabbed me that fast in a long time. Once I started all I wanted to do was keep reading. And when I was done I just wanted to start it over again.

I would recommend this to adult and young adult alike this book defies classification it just needs to be read.

If they make a movie of this one Edward Hermann must play granddad. I pictured him all the way through.

If you like a book that keeps you guessing, give this one a try. And Please Don’t Spoil it for others!

I don’t want to say anymore for fear of giving something away but I loved this book!


5 Stars

Friday, May 30, 2014

Dakota by Gwen Florio narrated by, Caroline Shaffer


Available in House and on Library2Go in audio this review is of the audiobook.

Dakota by Gwen Florio narrated by, Caroline Shaffer 

I should start off by saying that I am a North Dakotan, I live here,  my family lives here, my parents were raised here, so my perspective on this may be different than others.

This was a good mystery and it kept me guessing right up to the reveal. Lola is a reporter who decided to go after a story even though her Montana newspaper and Sheriff boyfriend Charlie tell her not to. She finds herself in the North Dakota Oil patch where the men outnumber the women by a huge percentage and finds herself hip deep in all sorts of trouble. She’s on the hunt for a killer of a young girl and maybe even more girls,  when she puts it together that many women from the Blackfoot Reservation in Magpie, Montana are going to the patch to work and that work ends up being  dancing or prostitution but they are ending up dead, not rich like they were hoping. She takes it upon herself to find the answers and it puts her in danger.

I liked the character of Lola she’s scrappy and fearless, of course that fearlessness gets her in trouble as she dives feet first into a story that is much bigger than she ever expected. I liked this book well enough that I plan to read Florio’s first book Montana and I look forward to reading  more of Lola’s adventure’s especially after the ending of this one I am curious how she will deal with that going forward.

The author also does a good job of respecting the Native Americans while honoring their culture. Also the descriptions of the man camps and the bars near them were pretty spot on.

I wish the narrator, Caroline Shaffer, hadn’t used the movie Fargo to learn a North Dakota accent. The character of Charlotte sounds just like the lady cop on the movie/tv show Fargo, and that annoyed me to no end. Her Native American accents were a little better and the main character was good because she wasn’t from North Dakota. Also The Bakken is pronounced Bahkken (like Bah humbug). It wasn’t that the narrator was bad I liked her narration except when she was doing her Fargo impressions. So I would listen to this new to me narrator again as long as the book wasn’t set in my home state!

This story looks at the gritty underbelly of the Bakken Oil Patch in North Dakota it involves prostitution and human trafficking and it may seem like fiction but unfortunately it is a true consequence of the major influx of people coming to ND to work, the crime rate in ND has gone up considerably and there are a lot of murders and crime on the west end of our state.

One thing that bothered me was, Thor saying this is Dakota, I have never heard anyone from North Dakota call it just Dakota because we need to make the distinction that we are North Dakota Not South Dakota.

3 ½ Stars


I received a copy of this book from the publisher & Librarything however I did end up checking out the audiobook from my library.





review crossposted to MissSusie's Reading & Observations

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Unfit by Lara Cleveland Torgesen


Unfit by Lara Cleveland Torgesen

Synopsis from Goodreads: Chrissy Rollings has a mountain of troubles to overcome, one that would crush most other girls her age.
She was born in a small North Carolina town in 1952, into a poor but happy and loving family that always managed to scrape by each month... until the night her father died in a car crash, plunging the family into poverty. Chrissy’s mother is forced to take low-paying jobs to supplement her meager welfare checks, leaving Chrissy to raise her five siblings. But even these sacrifices are not enough.
North Carolina was among the states to practice eugenics — forcing sterilization procedures on thousands of people deemed “unfit” to reproduce. When Chrissy’s mother was faced with the choice of having 14-year-old Chrissy sterilized or losing her welfare check, she makes the only choice she feels she can and signs the consent form. That act of survival sets into motion a series of events that shape the course of Chrissy’s life forever.

My Review:
Wow this is something I never knew about and it breaks my heart, this book was fascinating it felt like a true story but was a fictionalized amalgamation of different people, and it worked well, I really came to care about Chrissy.

 I never knew anything about the eugenics program before and was horrified that this happened in our country and how long North Carolina held on to this antiquated practice. If you don’t know what I am talking about eugenics is- forcing sterilization procedures on thousands of people deemed “unfit” to reproduce. And who decided this? People with fancy degrees who thought they knew better than anyone else. Kids who were sent to juvenile hall were sterilized, and girls like Chrissy whose mother was on welfare were threatened if she didn’t have the surgery they would lose their benefits, Chrissy’s mother worked a job but it wasn’t enough to raise all of her children. And yes before you think it Chrissy’s parents were married and had children then her father was killed in a car accident that is when they ended up on welfare.

That Chrissy was ever able to love & marry and have a happy life was a credit to her strength even when she felt she had Unfit tattooed across her forehead most of her life. How awful would that be to be told at the age of 14 that you are unfit?? Especially when Chrissy’s mother dies too and she loses all her brothers and sisters and feels the guilt of being mean to her mother after the surgery and what really bothered me they didn’t sterilize her mother and how could Chrissy not feel anger towards her mother who had signed the papers before Chrissy was even told what would happen to her.

This book grabbed me right away and was hard to put down, it is a fascinating read and well written. My only qualm was I so wanted Chrissy to find her siblings, I wanted them all to be okay and had been raised by loving happy parents but with a book like this the reality is she probably never could find them especially the little ones, but I wanted a happy ending for Chrissy, I wanted to hug her and tell her everything would be okay, so the author did a great job at making me care about the characters in this book. This book is a must read , about an embarrassing and heartbreaking time in North Carolina history.


5 Stars

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Girl Who Came Home: A Novel of the Titanic by Hazel Gaynor


The Girl Who Came Home: A Novel of the Titanic by Hazel Gaynor
Synopsis from Goodreads:
A voyage across the ocean becomes the odyssey of a lifetime for a young Irish woman. . . 
Ireland, 1912 . . .
Fourteen members of a small village set sail on RMS Titanic, hoping to find a better life in America. For seventeen-year-old Maggie Murphy, the journey is bittersweet. Though her future lies in an unknown new place, her heart remains in Ireland with Séamus, the sweetheart she left behind. When disaster strikes, Maggie is one of the few passengers in steerage to survive. Waking up alone in a New York hospital, she vows never to speak of the terror and panic of that fateful night again.

Chicago, 1982 . . .

Adrift after the death of her father, Grace Butler struggles to decide what comes next. When her great-grandmother Maggie shares the painful secret about Titanic that she's harbored for almost a lifetime, the revelation gives Grace new direction—and leads both her and Maggie to unexpected reunions with those they thought lost long ago.

Inspired by true events, The Girl Who Came Home poignantly blends fact and fiction to explore the Titanic tragedy's impact and its lasting repercussions on survivors and their descendants.

My Review:

I thoroughly enjoyed this book; the author did a great job of mixing the Titanic story with the present day story.

I found it fascinating to read about this group of 14 people from one little town of Ballysheen Ireland it was a fictional town (but there was a real town Addergoole that had 14 people on the Titanic and lost 11 people) which made me want to do even more research on them. Also I loved the pictures of the real cables and telegrams from the titanic and the Carpathia interspersed in the book.

Maggie was a great character she was strong willed and a survivor, this book really made you feel how terrifying it was and how lucky it was that anyone at all from 3rd class survived that awful night. I found it interesting that Maggie had never spoken to her family of her time on the Titanic and it made me wonder how many other survivors never spoke of it again. We all know the story of the titanic and I have read many books on the subject myself but when Maggie is talking to Grace and says she never talked about it because even this many years later she can still hear the screams of the people in the water and as the ship went down, how awful to live with that the rest of your life.

I also enjoyed the love story of Maggie & Seamus, if you follow my reviews you know I’m not much into romance but this love story was so sweet and the way Maggie told the story just made me want them to make it.

Maggie’s granddaughter Grace was so different than Maggie I felt she was weaker because look at what Maggie had been through, when all but herself and one other that were traveling on the titanic were lost to the sea but she went on with her life but Grace loses her father and completely falls apart and gives up everything she loves to take care of her mother but really I felt it was more about Grace herself than taking care of her mother, it was her way to hide.

All the characters on the boat were well written and I really felt the author did a great job of putting you in their shoes, even though you as a reader know what will happen it was still edge of your seat hoping your favorite characters make it to the life boats.

Make sure you read the acknowledgments and the PS to learn more about the real town and where the author got the ideas for this book I found that interesting.

I truly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to any historical fiction fans out there.

4 Stars


I received this book from the LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program for a fair and honest review.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Thank-You Miller’s Fresh Foods & New Books

Thank-You Miller’s Fresh Foods & New Books
As most of you know we are remodeling a backroom in the library into a Private Meeting Room for the public to use free of charge. We have raised the money for the remodel itself but are still looking for funds to nicely furnish the room plus pay for some unexpected problems that have come up during this process. We will be having a fundraiser at Miller’s Fresh Foods the first 2 weeks in May, when you get to the checkout you can donate to the library, and donors will have the option of writing their name in a 'book' displayed at checkout. Thank-you so much to Miller’s for supporting the library and I hope everyone is as excited as we are to see the finished room!



New books this week are:
In Adult Fiction:
I've Got You Under My Skin: A Novel by Mary Higgins Clark
Keep Quiet by Lisa Scottoline
Carnal Curiosity (Stone Barrington #29) by Stuart Woods
The Collector by Nora Roberts
NYPD Red 2 (NYPD Red #2) by James Patterson and Marshall Karp
The Chase (Fox and O'Hare #2) by, Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg
The Daring Ladies of Lowell by Kate Alcott
Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler
Missing You by Harlan Coben
Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen
Clover by Dori Sanders
In Young Adult Fiction:

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Daring Ladies of Lowell: A Novel by Kate Alcott, narrated by, Cassandra Campbell


This book is available in hardcover in-house, and Ebook & Audiobook from Library2Go

The Daring Ladies of Lowell: A Novel by Kate Alcott, narrated by, Cassandra Campbell

Synopsis from Goodreads: Determined to forge her own destiny, Alice Barrow joins the legions of spirited young women better known as the Mill Girls. From dawn until dusk, these ladies work the looms, but the thrill of independence, change in their pockets, and friendships formed along the way mostly make the backbreaking labor worthwhile. In fact, Hiram Fiske, the steely-eyed titan of industry, has banked on that. But the working conditions are becoming increasingly dangerous and after one too many accidents, Alice finds herself unexpectedly acting as an emissary to address the factory workers' mounting list of grievances.
After traveling to the Fiske family's Beacon Hill mansion, Alice enters a world she's never even dared to dream about: exquisite silk gowns, sumptuous dinners, grand sitting parlors, and uniformed maids operating with an invisible efficiency. Of course, there's also a chilliness in the air as Alice presents her case. But with her wide, intelligent eyes and rosy-hued cheeks, Alice manages to capture the attention of Hiram's eldest son, the handsome and reserved Samuel Fiske.
Their chemistry is undeniable, soon progressing from mutual respect and shy flirtation into an unforgettable romance. But when Alice's best friend, Lovey, is found strangled in a field, Alice and Samuel are torn between loyalty to "their kind" and a chance for true love.

This review is for the audiobook:

This was such a great book, it’s not only the story of the ladies that worked at the Lowell Mills but also a murder mystery, fabulously written by the author and fantastically narrated by Cassandra Campbell.

This was a fascinating look at the working conditions of the cotton mills of Lowell, how sick these girls got because the windows were closed and their lungs would fill up with so much cotton they would cough up balls of cotton. How awful is that? Also the machinery isn’t in the greatest condition and accidents happen more often than they should.  All of the ladies are well written and each has their own voice. Alice is the main character, but the other ladies are great too and poor Lovey, she had so much going for her but her murder and the trial that followed brought about small changes in the mill that were good for the workers, not as much change as they should have had but as one worker said it’s uphill from where we were before. Of course, the owners of the mill are pretty much bad guys not wanting to change anything that would affect their bottom line and Hiram Fisk is a huge jerk. He has two sons one that truly wants to help the ladies and one that is just pretty much a waste. (Can you guess which one is involved in the love story?) There is a chaste love story that doesn’t overwhelm the book and actually had me hoping things would work out for the two of them.

Cassandra Campbell’s narration of this one is just superb; it may be my favorite of all Cassandra’s narrations to date. Everyone had a clear voice and you always knew who was talking, her narration of Hiram was perfection!  All of her characters and accents were so perfect I absolutely loved this narration, and I have been a fan of Cassandra’s for awhile now but I think this is my favorite and I was very surprised it didn’t win an earphones award and won’t be surprised to see it as audie nominee for best female narration next year!

This book was a great story and I will read anything Kate Alcott writes I really enjoyed her book The Dressmaker too! If you like historical fictions with a good story give this one a try.


5 Stars

I found this fascinating video on youtube about the Lowell Mill Girls


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Missing You by, Harlan Coben

Missing You by, Harlan Coben
Synopsis from GoodreadsIt's a profile, like all the others on the online dating site. But as NYPD Detective Kat Donovan focuses on the accompanying picture, she feels her whole world explode, as emotions she’s ignored for decades come crashing down on her. Staring back at her is her ex-fiancé Jeff, the man who shattered her heart—and who she hasn’t seen in 18 years.

Kat feels a spark, wondering if this might be the moment when past tragedies recede and a new world opens up to her.  But when she reaches out to the man in the profile, her reawakened hope quickly darkens into suspicion and then terror as an unspeakable conspiracy comes to light, in which monsters prey upon the most vulnerable.

As the body count mounts and Kat's hope for a second chance with Jeff grows more and more elusive, she is consumed by an investigation that challenges her feelings about everyone she ever loved—her former fiancé, her mother, and even her father, whose cruel murder so long ago has never been fully explained. With lives on the line, including her own, Kat must venture deeper into the darkness than she ever has before, and discover if she has the strength to survive what she finds there.



My Review:

Harlan Coben has written another non-stop thriller that will leave you on the edge of your seat, and make you never want to stop reading!  This book grabbed me immediately and never let go till the very end. I really like the character of Kat and would read more books with her in them.

What would you do if you found your ex (the one who got away) on a dating site (well you find his picture but the name isn’t the same) and when you message him he at first doesn’t seem to remember you. As if that isn’t bad enough some kid (Brandon) shows up at your door saying that same man went away with his mother and he thinks she is in trouble. Throw in a mystery about who really killed Kat’s father and away we go on this rollercoaster ride of a story. Be ready for twists and turns and red herrings, which will keep you guessing all the way to the end.


I love Harlan Coben’s books he always writes a good solid story with a mystery that keeps you on your toes, there was one part of the story I had figured out but my theory was not what Coben ended up writing so I still wasn’t 100% right and I love that in a mystery. I liked the fact that there weren’t any cardboard cutout characters in this book each character had their own identity and back story, which made me care about them even the ones that didn’t last long. 

If you can’t already tell I loved this book, so the only thing I can say to you is, what are you waiting for get to reading!

5 Stars