Staff Favorites

Holly Black
Reviewed by Mallory
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Jude was seven years old when her parents’ killer took her away from the human world along with her twin sister, Taryn, and her older half-fey sister, Vivi to live in the High Court of Faerie. Now, as a seventeen-year-old, Jude is trying to secure her place in the Court, despite her fey classmates despising her and telling her she does not belong. In order to gain any kind of power as a mortal, she has two options: marry a fey or become a knight, and her chances of either appear slim. What lengths will Jude go to in order to prove herself worthy of the High Court, and at what cost?

While the novel was captivating and easily held my attention, it did take me a little while to read as I don’t always gravitate towards books narrated by the main character. I think it does work well for this novel because Jude is an outsider, not only in the sense that she feels out of place in both the faerie and the mortal world, but also because she is often at odds with everyone around her, even the people she cares about and seeks to protect. Through her perspective, we see the world of the fey for what it really is: beautiful, deceiving, and dangerous. I hope that as the books go on, we get to see more of the other interesting characters’ perspectives and the motivations behind their actions.

If you’re a fan of dark fantasy, check out The Cruel Prince and its sequel, The Wicked King. Both are available at Acorn and through SWAN interlibrary loan.

Nine Perfect Strangers
Liane Moriarty
Reviewed by Michelle

From the author of Big Little Lies, comes a new mystery drama. Nine strangers decide to escape the troubles of their every day lives and attend a 10 day health retreat. Little do they know, their lives are all about to collide and become intertwined in a very unexpected way. Moriarty gives us a complex and interesting cast of characters to follow throughout the novel. There is the “washed up” romance writer trying to get over her heartbreak and come to terms with the fact that her career is no longer what it used to be, the young married couple whose lottery win has taken a toll on their marriage, the middle aged man who just lost his beloved dog, and of course the beautiful resort director herself, whose ambition may bring them all to the edge. Although, the story moves a little slow at first, once it picks up the reader is in for a wild ride. Each chapter ends in a way that leaves the reader ready for the next, compulsively wanting to know what happens next. If you like locked room mysteries and character development, this book is highly recommended.

Brian May
Reviewed by Mallory

If you’re like me and rushed to the movie theater to see Bohemian Rhapsody, the new biopic revolving around Queen’s rise to fame, you will want to read this book. The first book about Queen written by one of the actual members, Queen in 3D contains many never-before seen photos of the band captured by Brian May himself as well as a personal account of the band’s history starting from when they released their first album to the recent tours of Brian May and Roger Taylor.

As the title suggests, the majority of the pictures in the book can be viewed in 3D using stereoscopic glasses. The book also discusses photography and the technological techniques that make 3D pictures possible. I like that Brian May found a way to combine his interest in music and photography in one book, all the while sharing his experiences and insight. The passion Brian May writes with is contagious, whether he is talking about a new camera he bought on tour, cultural aspects of performing in new places, or gifts from fans that he’s held onto all this time.

I enjoyed getting to know the members of Queen better through Brian’s photographs and stories. I also really liked that unlike other 3D books, the pictures are not too blurry to enjoy without using the stereoscopic glasses if you do not want to. It can be tedious to readjust the lens and refocus your eyes every time you want to look at a photo. Another detail that makes this book special is that Brian captions all of the pictures, so every photo has an explanation or a quote accompanying it. Queen in 3D has something for everybody to enjoy. If you’re a rock and roll fan or you like photography, you should read this book and learn something new!

Reviewed by Mallory

An avid fan of romance novels and all things old fashioned, Lara Jean Covey writes a love letter to every boy she’s ever had a crush on and keeps them hidden in a hat box. Her worst nightmares come true when the letters go missing and mysteriously find their way into the hands of their recipients – one of them her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh.

Desperate to keep her feelings for Josh at bay, Lara Jean agrees to pretend to date Peter Kavinsky, one of her middle-school crushes who is in an on-again, off-again relationship with her old best friend, Genevieve. Will they be able to convince everyone, even family and friends, that they’re a real couple?

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is more than just an entertaining young adult romance novel. Korean-American author Jenny Han does an excellent job of highlighting diverse family situations and portraying characters responding to change in realistic ways. For example, Lara Jean’s mom passed away when she was young and with her older sister moving away to college, she feels the pressure to live up to the expectations of her family and take on new responsibilities.

Even though the main protagonist is in high school, teenagers and adults can enjoy Lara Jean’s quirky personality and the fun cast of multi-generational characters surrounding her. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is available at Acorn and through SWAN interlibrary loan. Read the other books in the series, P.S. I Love You and Forever and Always, Lara Jean, to find out what happens next!