Friday, March 20, 2020

There are some days that are such a disaster that you beg for a do-over. What if you got the chance? Would you believe that it was really happening? What would you do different if you could? High-school student Elllison Sparks is given that chance for a do-over. Now she needs to do it right! Read this fun Young Adult Book by Jessica Brody, available at Rowlett Public Library as a book or eBook.

This is an extremely entertaining story with fun twists and makes for a great read for fans of time travel! You can also check out our Blind Date with a Book post on Facebook for more read-alikes.

Reviewed by Librarian, Mary Lynn Saxton.
Rating ★★★★★

Read-alikes: To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han, 100 Days by Nicole McInnes, Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, Nemesis by Anna Banks, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, Buzz Kill by Beth Fantaskey, Zeroes by Scott Westerfield, Between the Notes by Sarah Huss Roat, The Underdogs by Sara Hammel, My Name Is Not Friday by Jon Walter, Once and For All by Sarah Dessen, I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children #1) by Seanan McGuire

Every Heart a Doorway is a story of magical fantasy reminiscent of Miss Peregrine and Alice in Wonderland, with a side of whodunit. When Nancy is kicked out of the world she calls home, she is sent to Eleanor West’s School for Wayward Children. Much like Miss Peregrine, Headmistress Eleanor has been through her own door and offers insight and understanding into her “students” circumstances to help them get through a kind of PTSD. Just like Alice’s trip down the rabbit hole to Wonderland, each child’s door takes them to a magical place of either profound logic or absolute nonsense. The worlds chose the children specifically and understand them more than anyone or anything can, but it can also destroy them. Nancy’s return to reality, however, sparks tragedies across the campus and it is up to her and her new friends to use the set of skills they acquired in their worlds to solve the cases.

This is a highly relatable series with with great character development that is so easy to binge. With elements of fantasy and mystery, it easily kept my interest and had me craving more. It could seriously be a CW series. Fingers crossed!. Keep in mind that this series is told in novella style, so if you're looking for prominent plot development, look elsewhere. (SPOILER: There are 5 books in the series as of 2020, with another projected for release in 2021).

Reviewed by Children's Librarian, Lauren Osborne Reasor.
Rating: ★★★★★

Read-alikes: All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders; Uprooted by Naomi Novik; A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab; All Systems Red by Martha Wells; The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers; The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid. Reese's Book Club.
"A striking and surprising debut novel from an exhilarating new voice, Such a Fun Age is a page-turning and big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both"  (Goodreads). The story begins when the babysitter, Emira, is confronted and accused of kidnapping by a security guard in a grocery store, and things quickly spiral from there. The story shifts back and forth from the perspectives of Emira and her employer/entrepreneur and social media influencer, Alix Chamberlain. This novel explores themes such as race, privilege, the complications of transactional relationships, self-perception of motivations, and denial. 
This book is packed full of flawed and complicated characters that can invoke sympathy as well as extreme frustration, and it makes for a great read! The story really brings into perspective how as humans we are able to justify our actions and convince ourselves that we are being selfless when we are really being selfish. I read this book in three days, and I could not put it down! In many ways, this is a coming-of-age story, and my only criticism was that I was hoping for the protagonist, Emira, to have a ride-off-into-the-sunset moment and put everyone in their place when Reid writes a much more realistic ending. While it was not the ending I imagined, I would highly recommend this novel.

Reviewed by Publicity Librarian, Megan Bryant. 
Rating: ★★★★☆

Read-alikes: Dear Edward by Ann Politano; Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane; Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson; The Dutch House by Ann Patchett; American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins; The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates; Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson; The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin; A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum.