Book Review: You’re Welcome, Universe

You're Welecome UniverseYou’re Welecome Universe By Whitney Gardner

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Fiction, Disability
Pages: 297 pages
Published: March 7th 2017
Publisher: Knopf
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

PlotWhen Julia finds a slur about her best friend scrawled across the back of the Kingston School for the Deaf, she covers it up with a beautiful (albeit illegal) graffiti mural.

Her supposed best friend snitches, the principal expels her, and her two mothers set Julia up with a one-way ticket to a “mainstream” school in the suburbs, where she’s treated like an outcast as the only deaf student. The last thing she has left is her art, and not even Banksy himself could convince her to give that up.

Out in the ’burbs, Julia paints anywhere she can, eager to claim some turf of her own. But Julia soon learns that she might not be the only vandal in town. Someone is adding to her tags, making them better, showing off—and showing Julia up in the process. She expected her art might get painted over by cops. But she never imagined getting dragged into a full-blown graffiti war.

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Book Review: The Wicked Deep

The Wicked DeepThe Wicked Deep By Shea Ernshaw

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Pages: 308 pages
Publication Date: March 6th 2018
Publisher: Simon Pulse
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Plot: Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.
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Book Review: Still Me

Still MeStill Me By  Jojo Moyes

Genre: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 390 pages
Published: January 30th 2018
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Plot: Louisa Clark arrives in New York ready to start a new life, confident that she can embrace this new adventure and keep her relationship with Ambulance Sam alive across several thousand miles. She steps into the world of the superrich, working for Leonard Gopnik and his much younger second wife, Agnes. Lou is determined to get the most out of the experience and throws herself into her new job and New York life.

As she begins to mix in New York high society, Lou meets Joshua Ryan, a man who brings with him a whisper of her past. Before long, Lou finds herself torn between Fifth Avenue where she works and the treasure-filled vintage clothing store where she actually feels at home. And when matters come to a head, she has to ask herself: Who is Louisa Clark? And how do you reconcile a heart that lives in two places?

Funny, romantic, and poignant, Still Me follows Lou as she navigates how to stay true to herself, while pushing to live boldly in her brave new world. Continue reading “Book Review: Still Me”

Book Review: Mean Girls

Mean GirlsMean Girls By Micol Ostow

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction
Pages: 304 pages
Published: September 12th 2017
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
My Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

Plot: You know the story–or do you? Cady Heron grew up homeschooled in Africa with scientist parents as her teachers, monkeys as her classmates and the African plains as her playground. But when her family moves to the suburbs of Illinois, she finds herself a stranger in a strange land: high school.With no prior research to guide her, Cady’s forced to figure out North Shore High all on her own. Suddenly she finds herself sucked into Girl World as a new member of the social elite dubbed “The Plastics.” Cady discovers that unlike the wild, Girl World doesn’t have any rules–especially when you maybe, possibly, okay definitely, have a giant crush on their ruthless leader’s ex-boyfriend. Turns out, life in high school might be even more brutal than a showdown on the Savannah.Based on the screenplay by Tina Fey, this retelling of the cult classic film includes tons of extra, never-before-seen bonus content.
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Book Review: Bring Her Home

Bring Her HomeBring Her Home By David Bell

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction, Suspense
Pages: 434 pages
Published: July 11th 2017
Publisher: Berkley Books
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Plot: Just a year and a half after the tragic death of his wife, Bill Price’s fifteen-year-old daughter, Summer, and her best friend, Haley, disappear. Days later, the girls are found in a city park. Haley is dead at the scene, while Summer is left beaten beyond recognition and clinging to life.

As Bill holds vigil over Summer’s bandaged body, the only sound the unconscious girl can make is one cryptic and chilling word: No. And the more time Bill spends with Summer, the more he wonders what happened to her. Or if the injured girl in the hospital bed is really his daughter at all.

When troubling new questions about Summer’s life surface, Bill is not prepared for the aftershocks. He’ll soon discover that both the living and the dead have secrets. And that searching for the truth will tear open old wounds that pierce straight to the heart of his family…
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Book Review: Bird Box

Bird BoxBird Box By Josh  Malerman

Genre: Horror, Fiction, Thriller, Mystery, Post Apocalyptic
Pages: 262 pages
Published: March 1st 2014
Publisher: Ecco
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Plot: Something is out there . . .

Something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.

Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remain, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now, that the boy and girl are four, it is time to go. But the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat—blindfolded—with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. And something is following them. But is it man, animal, or monster?

Engulfed in darkness, surrounded by sounds both familiar and frightening, Malorie embarks on a harrowing odyssey—a trip that takes her into an unseen world and back into the past, to the companions who once saved her. Under the guidance of the stalwart Tom, a motely group of strangers banded together against the unseen terror, creating order from the chaos. But when supplies ran low, they were forced to venture outside—and confront the ultimate question: in a world gone mad, who can really be trusted?

Interweaving past and present, Josh Malerman’s breathtaking debut is a horrific and gripping snapshot of a world unraveled that will have you racing to the final page.
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Book Review: Unraveling Oliver

Unraveling OliverUnraveling Oliver By Liz Nugent

Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Mystery, Suspense
Pages: 272 pages
Published: August 22nd 2017
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Plot: I expected more of a reaction the first time I hit her.

Oliver Ryan, handsome, charismatic, and successful, has long been married to his devoted wife, Alice. Together they write and illustrate award-winning children’s books; their life together one of enviable privilege and ease—until, one evening after a delightful dinner, Oliver delivers a blow to Alice that renders her unconscious, and subsequently beats her into a coma.

In the aftermath of such an unthinkable event, as Alice hovers between life and death, the couple’s friends, neighbors, and acquaintances try to understand what could have driven Oliver to commit such a horrific act. As his story unfolds, layers are peeled away to reveal a life of shame, envy, deception, and masterful manipulation.

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Book Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens AgendaSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda By Becky Albertalli

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Lgbt, Romance
Pages: 303 pages
Release Date: April 7th 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bay

Plot: Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met. Continue reading “Book Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda”

Book Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn HugoThe Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo By Taylor Jenkins Reid

Genre: Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 391 pages
Release Date: June 13th 2017
Publisher: Atria Books

Plot: Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.
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Book Review: Defending Jacob

Defending JacobDefending Jacob By William Landay

Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Pages: 448 pages
Published: September 3rd 2013
Publisher: Bantam

Plot: Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney for two decades. He is respected. Admired in the courtroom. Happy at home with the loves of his life: his wife, Laurie, and their teenage son, Jacob.

Then Andy’s quiet suburb is stunned by a shocking crime: a young boy stabbed to death in a leafy park. And an even greater shock: The accused is Andy’s own son—shy, awkward, mysterious Jacob.

Andy believes in Jacob’s innocence. Any parent would. But the pressure mounts. Damning evidence. Doubt. A faltering marriage. The neighbors’ contempt. A murder trial that threatens to obliterate Andy’s family.

It is the ultimate test for any parent: How far would you go to protect your child? It is a test of devotion. A test of how well a parent can know a child. For Andy Barber, a man with an iron will and a dark secret, it is a test of guilt and innocence in the deepest sense.

How far would you go?
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