Friday, March 27, 2020

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple


What would you do if your mother suddenly went missing? For 8th grade Bee, this question becomes a reality when her eccentric and erratic mother, Bernadette Fox vanishes without a trace - and right before their family trip to Antarctica! Told through a compilation of emails, official documents, and secret correspondence, Bee investigates her mother's disappearance and learns about her past as a genius architect along the way.

Readers will have so much fun with this book! Bernadette is quirky, determined, and true to herself. While Bernadette is definitely a flawed character and that can lead to some long-winded and frustrating sections of the book, the ending more than makes up for it. I would recommend both the book and the movie but definitely read the book first!

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

Read-alikes: Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter; The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin; The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion; Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng; Life After Life by Kate Atkinson; Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn; Big Little Lies by Lianne Moriarty; The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt; Commonwealth by Ann Patchett; Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple.

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 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.