Books


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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Upcoming teen releases in 2019 that I’m looking forward to reading!

(listed in no particular order. All links go to http://www.goodreads.com as it is too early for them to be listed in the library’s catalog.)

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

You Asked for Perfect by Laura Silverman

The Girl King by Mimi Yu

Sleepless v.2 by Sarah Vaughn

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Sherwood by Meagan Spooner

Internment by Samira Ahmed

 

waking-cropped

How does one cope with senseless violence? Join us for a documentary about how one community worked together to overcome tragedy, stand up to hate, and create a safe town for all, after worshipers at a Sikh temple were killed by a white supremacist. A guided discussion afterwards will help people reflect on the film and current events.

Waking in Oak Creek Film Screening and Discussion
Thursday, November 15th

6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Virginia Bennett Room

Waking in Oak Creek” depicts the year following a tragic hate crime at a Sikh temple in suburban Wisconsin, as thousands gather for vigils and community events to honor the victims and seek connection. Together, a community rocked by hate is awakened and transformed by the Sikh spirit of relentless optimism.

The documentary is 35 minutes long and will be followed by a discussion led by a representative from Jakara Movement, a grassroots community-building organization. This event is in honor of United Against Hate week, visit their website for more events happening in communities around the Bay Area.

 

Can’t make the event, but want to know more about strengthening community, teaching tolerance, and respecting diversity? Then check out the following book lists:

 

Children’s book list for United Against Hate: Children’s books about being kind, accepting, and inclusive towards everyone
come with me

Sample book:

Come with me, by Holly M. McGhee,
illustrated by Pascale Lemaitre

Frightened by news of angry people around the world, a young girl gets her parents’ help in learning to be compassionate and brave a little at a time

 

 

Adult book list for United Against Hate: Books about the aftermath of tragedy, the power of forgiveness, and the importance of building community
chughbook

Sample book:

The Person You Mean to Be: how good people fight bias, by Dolly Chugh

An award-winning social psychologist reveals her research findings in unconscious bias and offers tools for respectfully and effectively talking about politics, being a better colleague to people who don’t look like you and influencing change. 50,000 first printing.

 

 

Adult books on Kindness and Gratitude

Sample book:

Triumph of the Heart: forgiveness in an unforgiving world, by Megan Feldman Bettencourt

When Megan Feldman Bettencourt found herself embittered after a breakup and a string of professional setbacks, she met an extraordinary man named Azim. Azim had forgiven the man who killed his beloved only son, and even reached out to the killer’s family. He truly seemed to be at peace.

 

 

Immigrant Stories: Adult and Teen fiction and nonfiction about immigrants and refugees

 

Sample book:

The Newcomers: finding refuge, friendship, and hope in an American Classroom, by Helen Thorpe

Follows the lives of twenty-two immigrant teenagers from nations devastated by drought or famine or war, over the course of their first school year in America.

 

 

Diverse Memoirs: See a new perspective with these biographies by people of color from the past few years

 

Sample book:

Heavy: an American memoir, by Kiese Laymon

An essayist and novelist explores what the weight of a lifetime of secrets, lies and deception does to a black body, a black family and a nation teetering on the brink of moral collapse.

Were you unable take a trip this summer? Then why not travel by book! As our summer reading program nears its end (pick up your prizes by August 11th, y’all), here are some books to remind you that Reading Takes You Everywhere:

travelogue titles

For non-fiction readers, try one of these travelogues. From the icy Antarctica to the world’s densest jungle, vicariously travel to fascinating and sometimes dangerous locales from the safety of your favorite reading chair!

For those who prefer fiction, here are some mysteries set outside the U.S.  Since there are so many mysteries set in modern and historical England, we’ve purposely excluded British mysteries to help you mix it up a bit. Did we miss your favorite international mystery series? Let us know in the comments.

Want fiction set in a specific place? Then search our catalog for the destination name and “fiction,” such as Paris fiction, Italy fiction, or India fiction. Try it the next time you are planning a trip abroad to familiarize yourself with a place.

Want to stay on more familiar grounds? Then try some road trip fiction. Lots of drama flows when folks are stuck together in a car. Or sometimes an individual’s road trip can be a catalyst for a larger emotional journey.

Lastly, try some books in translation. Originally published in a different language, these books often take place in a different country and provide a unique and worldly perspective. (As an added bonus, you may also use these books to fill some 2018 Reading Challenge categories, like “Book set somewhere you’ve never been, but would like to visit” or “Book translated from a different language.”)

So, where are you traveling to next?

 

 

This Saturday, the Dublin Library and the California Writers Club, Tri-Valley Branch, are co-sponsoring our first local author showcase! The public is invited to this free event, which will be held in the Dublin Library’s Community Room on Saturday, June 9th from 1-3 pm. 15 local authors will be here to mingle and talk about their book(s) with our community members. This event is appropriate for all age levels, as the authors write on a variety of topics, cover many different genres and audience ranges (from children – adults).

Many of the authors will be selling copies of their book(s) during the showcase, should anyone wish to purchase a copy of a particular title. Payment will be made directly to the individual authors (not the library). The California Writers Club will also have a table for anyone interested in learning more about the group. We hope that you will join us and come meet some of our local authors!

 

The following authors will be at the showcase this Saturday:

Christine Volker

John Bluck

Eloise Hamann

Steve Minniear

Mary Anderson Parks

Moyra Rasheed

B. Lynn Goodwin

Sheryl Bize-Boutte

Ophelia Sexton

Yvonne Carder

Shannon Brown

Jordan Bernal

Constance Handstedt

Maya Poghosyan

Judy Lussie

 

Try on a new perspective! Do you tend to read books written by people surprisingly similar to yourself? Well now’s as good a time as any to expand your circle. One of the challenges we set out for you during our 2018 Reading Challenge was to read a “Memoir by an author of a different race or ethnicity than you.” If you haven’t yet marked this challenge off your list, we’ve got you covered.

Here are a few diverse memoirs to try:

What recent memoirs would you recommend? Here are a few that made our list…

The best we could do: an illustrated memoir, by Thi Bui
In this powerful graphic novel, author/artist Bui describes her experiences as a young Vietnamese immigrant, highlighting her family’s move from their war-torn home to the United States. 

Born a crime: stories from a South African childhood, by Trevor Noah
The host of The Daily Show With Trevor Noah traces his wild coming of age during the twilight of apartheid in South Africa and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed. (Especially good as an audiobook, narrated by Trevor Noah!)

In the country we love: my family divided, by Diane Guerrero with Michelle Burford
Guerrero, an actress from Orange is the New Black, was just fourteen years old on the day her parents and brother were arrested and deported to Colombia. Born in the U.S., Guerrero was able to remain in the country and continue her education, depending on the kindness of family friends who took her in.

Give a diverse memoir a try and tell us what you think. Find our list here. Be aware that there may be more than one format for each title, so if you prefer eBook or audiobook, search again for the title to see the library’s full holdings. Did your favorite memoir not make our list? Let us know in the comments.

If you don’t know about our 2018 Reading Challenge: Read Outside the Box, then download our challenge list and get started now. The year’s not yet half over, so there’s still plenty of time to try and finish the challenge!

 

 

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

 

 

 

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