Book Review


Teen Book Talk features book, movie, and local event reviews written by local teen writers. This week, we’re sharing a review of One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus.

Teen reviewers select which books and movies they’d like to review, and also which local events to attend and review. All opinions are those of the reviewers. **Teens use a scale of 1-5 stars, with one star being poor and five stars being excellent, for their reviews**

Lipi B., teen reviewer

Book: One of Us Is Lying
Author: Karen M. MacManus
Book Format: Book, Audiobook
Year of Publication: 2017
This book will appeal to those who enjoy murder mysteries and crime fiction with teen protagonists. You may enjoy this book if you liked the books Pretty Little Liars and Bone Gap.
Age Range: 14 and up
Rating: 4.5 stars

It’s Monday afternoon, and five students walk into detention. Among them are: Bronwyn, the Yale-bound and academically motivated rule follower, Addy, a ready made homecoming princess, Nate, a criminal on probation for drug dealing, Cooper, a star baseball pitcher, and Simon, the collectively disliked creator of the high school’s popular gossip app. However, Simon dies before the end of detention. After further examination, an accidental death is ruled out, leaving the four students that were in the room with him as suspects for his murder. What’s even more intriguing is the fact that the day before he died, Simon had secrets about each of the four students in the room queued up to post for everyone to see. So, which one of them was willing to kill to protect their secret? Or were they the perfect scapegoats for someone else? One of Us Is Lying is a story about deception, finding hidden truths, and above all, how far one can go to preserve their secret.

One of Us Is Lying is likely one of the most exciting books I’ve read in awhile. The book does not hesitate to jump straight into the action, with the story starting off with the murder that is the central focus for the rest of the story. Though this story is a murder mystery, Karen M. MacManus truly gives the characters their own voices and unique perspectives, providing the reader a real connection and attachment to each student. The character development in One of Us Is Lying is something of a marvel, as the case progresses, the characters become their own independent figures with different interests, romances, and lives. Even though each perspective change is labeled at the start of the chapters, I found the characters easily identifiable and distinctive. The pacing of this story is just right, fast enough to prevent boredom but not so fast that the events become confusing.

One of Us Is Lying succeeds where many other books tend to fail-providing an equal amount of personal information and case information. Many other stories tend to get carried away with the character’s personal lives and sideline the case until the very end. However, One of Us Is Lying manages to equally distribute both parts throughout the story. This book does have some thematic elements in it, but nothing too serious; I would urge only ages 14 and up to read it. I devoured this book in one sitting, and thought about it for days afterwards. It is my belief that no book can be
perfect, but this book was near perfect. I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys murder and/or mysteries, and it is my hope that you will find it as exciting and intriguing as I did.

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Here are the last of the Blind Date with a Book reviews for this year. The winners of our prize drawing have been notified. Over 90 wrapped books were checked out, but only 16 reviews were submitted. We had three Nothing Bundt Cake gift cards to give away. Your chances were way better than the odds in the lottery; so next year, don’t forget to fill out a review!

Even if you weren’t lucky enough to win one of our gift certificates, we hope you all had fun choosing a wrapped up book and reading it. If the book you chose didn’t tickle your fancy, try one of these books enjoyed by other Dublin residents, or come by and ask a librarian for a suggestion!

 

Here’s JonMichelle’s review:

 

Finding Casey, by Jo-Ann Mapson

I give this book: 4 stars

What did you like/not like about it?
I enjoyed how much the setting was like another character.

Three adjectives that describe this book are:
heart-tugging
emotional
satistying

 

 

Monica shared this review:


Countdown City, by Ben H. Winters
(book 2 in the Last Policeman series)

I give this book: 4 stars

What did you like/not like about it?
I liked how descriptive and detailed the writer is. He wasn’t too wordy but got to the point. I was able to picture the scenes very easily, and the people. Can’t wait the read the other books by this author.

Three adjectives that describe this book are:
intriguing
touching
original

 

 

 

Dublin readers found all types of books when they went on a Blind Date with a Book this year. Here are a few of them.

This Wednesday, March 7, is the last day to turn in your Rate-the-Date book review to be eligible for our prize drawing. So don’t dally any longer!

Alyssa’s review is for…
mrsthumb

 

The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb,
by Melanie Benjamin

What did you like/not like about the book?
I liked that it was from the perspective of a little person, which is rare even today.

Three adjectives that describe the book are:
Thoughtful
Pensive
Determined

 

 

 

Xiaoyu sent in a Rate-the-Date for…

spinoza

 

The Spinoza Problem, by Irvin D. Yalom

What did you like/not like about the book?
Psychiatrist wrote about philosopher in novel format, combining the two fields that have always interested me. Better yet, the writing is very good. I want to read other novels by the author.

Three adjectives that describe the book are:
Inspirational
Enlightening
Thought-provoking

 

 

 

Amy picked up this mystery novel…

died-macpherson

 


Died in the Wool
, by Rett MacPherson

What did you like/not like about the book?
I enjoyed the historical information and the sense of community established with all the longtime residents. It was a quick and enjoyable mystery.

Three adjectives that describe the book are:

Clever
Heart-warming
Unexpected

 

 

Ushaben found the following memoir…

glitter-corrigan

 

Glitter and Glue, by Kelly Corrigan

What did you like/not like about the book?
“Things happen when you leave the house!” and “Be awake to the possibilities,” are two quotes that sum up the book and what I liked about it.

Three adjectives that describe the book are:
Endearing
Memorable
Uplifting

 

 

 

Thanks for your reviews everyone!  Want to see more reader reviews? Look back at our past Adult and Teen book review blog posts.

Tomorrow, February 14 is the last day to pick up a Blind Date with a Book! Don’t forget to turn in your reviews by March 7. Even if the date was a dud, you can still win a tasty treat (courtesy of Nothing Bundt Cakes). Luckily, our first two submitted blind dates were rave reviews. Come by the library to pick up these books or for help in finding your next 5-star read.

Jeanne’s review:

lively- dancing

Dancing Fish and Ammonites, by Penelope Lively
I give this book: 5+ stars

What did you like/not like about it?
I liked everything about this book. I can relate to reminiscing about the past (I am 71 – Penelope was 80 when she wrote the book). We both appreciate passions of childhood — the love of literature, gardening. There is an awareness of how times have changed in the last 50 years.  This book was pure pleasure to read. I can’t give it enough kudos.

Three adjectives that describe this book are:
sentimental, historic, attitude – reflection, age/metamorphosis

 

Tiffany’s review:
crusie-agnes

Agnes and the Hitman, by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer
I give this book: 5 stars

What did you like/not like about it?
I love the pace of the story & the dynamic between the two main characters. The writing is very engaging & the story full of humor. ♥ this book! What a romp!

Three adjectives that describe this book are:
quirky, fun, good

 

Thanks Jeanne and Tiffany for your reviews! They are now eligible for our prize drawing, and you can be to, if you turn in your Rate-the-Date review card by Wednesday, March 7, 2018.

 

 

With our busy lifestyles, sometimes it’s hard to find the time to just sit and read.  If you’ve got a stack of unread books and feel like getting out more, you can take care of both situations with Dublin’s Silent Book Club!

On the third Tuesday of the month, from 3:00 – 4:00 pm, the library hosts an adult quiet reading hour. We’ll be setting up a room with a few comfortable chairs, closing the door, and giving you space to escape into a good book. Even though we call it a book club, we’re not discussing or reading the same book. It’s just a way to schedule some reading time and be around others who appreciate and share a passion for reading.

If you’re feeling social, you can come early and join us for our Readers’ Round Table. From 2:00 – 3:00 pm on the third Tuesday of the month, we spend time talking about the books we’re reading and enjoying. Share your latest find, or find a new author to try! While these two programs happen on the same day, you do not need to attend one to come to the other. Pick what feels right for you.

At last month’s Readers’ Round Table one participant recommended the book The Widow of the South, by Robert Hicks. She admitted it was slow to start, but full of detail about life in the South during the Civil War. The characters come to life as you get into it. You learn some history and get some romance. It’s also about how the main character’s home gets taken over by the Confederacy and turned into a hospital.

This prompted another participant to recommend the PBS television series Mercy Street, a somewhat gritty but captivating show about a family-owned hotel turned into an army hospital in Union-occupied Virginia. There’s a mix of interesting characters and perspectives including the Boston widow newly arrived as a nurse, a free black man with untapped medical skills, and a Southern belle whose entitled world has been utterly shaken. Find the DVDs for both seasons at the library.

What new book or show might you discover next? Join us on October 17 to find out!

Teen Book Talk features book, movie, and local event reviews written by local teen writers. This week, we’re sharing a double review of the first two books in the Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Scarlet.

Teen reviewers select which books and movies they’d like to review, and also which local events to attend and review. All opinions are those of the reviewers. **Teens use a scale of 1-5 stars, with one star being poor and five stars being excellent, for their reviews**

Sahana N., Teen Reviewer

Book Title: Cinder

Author: Marissa Meyer

Book Format: Book

Year of Publication: 2012

Appeal: Marie Lu, Veronica Roth, and Kiera Cass fans (Middle School)

Rating: 5/5

Cinderella mostly brings the idea of a silky blue ball gown, elegantly rare glass slippers, and a sweet story about love at first sight. Cinder is Cinderella reimagined, in a power packed way you would never expect her.

Linh Cinder is the best mechanic in all of New Beijing. But, she’s different from everyone else. Cinder is a cyborg; one that can tell when someone’s lying, download information, fix practically anything, and even has the perks of not blushing or crying. In New Beijing, being a cyborg isn’t as incredible as it seems. Terrorized by her stepmother and first stepsister, Cinder’s life doesn’t look so good. Especially when her second step-sister and best friend is diagnosed with letumosis, the deadly and rapidly killing pandemic that mysteriously appeared in her country, Cinder has no option but to submit for testing for the cure under her cruel step-mother’s wishes.

At the palace where she undergoes medical testing, Cinder meets Kai, the soon to be emperor, whose father is suffering from the deadly disease and who is torn apart by duty and his heart. Picked up by the whirlwind of her heart, but let down by the gust of reality, Cinder must try to follow a path that has been set for her while making choices for herself, and discovering her identity. But what Cinder learns about herself and her shattering past, can either build the future back up or tear it down.

As you read the book, you’re yanked into Cinder’s bustling world, by a hand made of love, treachery, sadness, betrayal, and a whole lot of strength. Cinder shows you how being different from everyone isn’t as easy as it seems, and you get to feel her anger, her misery, her fear, her enthusiasm, and her love. I would recommend this book to almost anyone who wants to read a good Young Adult book. If you have enjoyed series like Legend, Red Queen, Selection, and Divergent, this book will be an exact fit. Cinder was thrillingly perfect and my favorite aspect of it was that there was an immersive infusion of the beloved classic Cinderella, yet at the same time, the story was much more complex, contrasting in certain areas, and breathtakingly beautiful.

 

Janice L., Teen Reviewer

Book Title: Scarlet

Author: Marissa Meyer

Book Format: Book

Year of Publication: 2013

Who will book appeal to?: Teenagers

Rating: 4 stars (1 = did not like it and 5 = it was amazing)

This novel is the second book in the Lunar Chronicles, preceding after Cinder . I actually did not read Cinder before reading Scarlet , so I can’t form a judgement on this sequel in comparison to Cinder as the continuation of the storyline in Cinder.

The pacing of the story was a bit too slow in the beginning, but events finally picked up the pace later on as the story unfolded. At some parts of the story, I thought the fight scenes weren’t described well, but the descriptions improved, especially in one of the conflicts towards the end of the novel.

Overall, I enjoyed the adventure in the plot and the humor in Cinder’s perspective in her banters with Thorne. I also liked the switch-off between the two different perspectives of Cinder and Scarlet in the chapters of the book as their lives became more intertwined with each other. Kai’s perspective was also switched off between chapters, but I did not enjoy those chapters in particular since they seemed boring to me. I believe the reason why I did not enjoy his perspective as much as the others is because I haven’t read Cinder, so I don’t know the history between Kai and Cinder. Meyer conjured a fascinating connection between them, and I admit I was surprised when I found out the story behind how they were connected. I love that there is a romance element to this novel as well, but this novel doesn’t base its entire plot around the romance. I would highly recommend this book, especially to those that like novels that are spin-offs of fairy tales and to those that enjoy adventure and romance in a novel.

Teen Book Talk features book, movie, and local event reviews written by local teen writers. This week, we’re sharing a review of an older teen book, An Ember in the Ashes.

Teen reviewers select which books and movies they’d like to review, and also which local events to attend and review. All opinions are those of the reviewers. **Teens use a scale of 1-5 stars, with one star being poor and five stars being excellent, for their reviews**

Sahana N., Teen Reviewer

Book Title: An Ember in The Ashes

Author: Sabaa Tahir

Book Format: Book

Year of Publication: 2015

Appeal: 6th – 9th Grade

Rating: 5

Laia of Serra, a slave girl, and Elias Veturius, one of the finest and chief soldiers for the Empire, could not live more different lives. But what they don’t realize is that they could also not lead more special lives, because they are both Embers in the Ashes. Laia of Serra is a 17-year-old Scholar girl, afraid of the Empire and her past. One day, Laia’s brother, Darin, is arrested for treason to the Empire. Frozen in fear, while the “masks” invade her home, Laia runs at Darin’s commands. Escaping, all she can think about is her cowardliness so she sets out to find the Resistance, in hopes that they will help free Darin. But all good things come with a price… Laia is forced to spy for the Resistance within the premises of the dangerous military academy of Blackcliff.

Elias can’t be free from his conscience. Reluctant and hesitant to kill, and unwilling to carry out the Empire’s brutal orders, Elias, isn’t sure what he wants: to follow his orders and become the exact person he hates or rebel against the Empire and be what he has been prepared and instructed to fight. When he finishes his training as a mask, a special announcement is made that pits Elias against his own heart and deepest wishes. When Elias meets Laia, with her gleaming golden eyes and silky hair as black as the night, they are both forced to make choices that could quite easily get them killed or lead them to the future they’ve both always wanted.

The way Sabaa Tahir spins Laia and Elias’s tale takes you for a whirl as you make your way through unexpected and exciting twists and turns, and you never really know what’s lurking around the corner. This book is my current favorite because a world is created that makes you laugh, wonder, and at times feel like crying. The characters are strong people who discover things about themselves and in doing so allow you to learn about yourself too. At first when I was reading the beginning of the book, I honestly thought it was going to be a book that would leave me disappointed, but I have to say that this was not the case. In fact, I was actually jumping to read the sequel. If you’ve ever enjoyed classic well-known books like Divergent, Hunger Games, Percy Jackson, Harry Potter or even some of the newest Young Adult series like Red Queen and the Selection, then this book is perfect for you. It has the greatest mix of action, a bit of fantasy, and romance. An Ember in the Ashes is an unforgettable and truly thrilling first installment in the series.

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