Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten

suicide

Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten

This engaging thriller is being marketed as  Gone Girl meets Thirteen Reasons Why.  I suppose it is a thriller like Gone Girl and does, at least potentially, have a suicide like Thirteen Reasons.  But in my mind, it wasn’t nearly as good as either of those titles.  Not to say it didn’t catch my interest and keep me turning pages, at least for the first half.   June’s former BFF Delia has burned herself to death in a shed behind her house.  At least that’s what the authorities are saying.  But June doesn’t buy that explanation and goes on a hunt to find out who murdered Delia.  Along the way, her boyfriend and Delia’s boyfriend also get involved and there are rumors of conspiracy, illicit sex and betrayal.

While I really enjoyed the first part of the book, the last half sort of dragged by.  And I personally found the end disappointing, but maybe that was just me as a reader.  I would recommend this with caution to readers who like mysteries.

Review by Ms. Provence

 

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins


url-1The Girl on the Train
written by Paula Hawkins is a psychological thriller that takes us throughout the life of Rachel Watson post divorce. Rachel was a drunk and was always described as having an overactive imagination. She finds herself to have a fascination with this young, active couple. Megan, the woman in the relationship was perfect in Rachel’s eyes. Young, attractive, happy. She watched them idly from the train she rode every morning, and she watched as their bond grew and flourished. She envied their new found love until one day, she catches Megan kissing another man. Rage consumed her, she didn’t understand how she could allow her perfect relationship to slip through her fingers. She drowned her rage in alcohol and the next morning she finds herself bruised, and bloodied with no recollection of what happened the night before. She turned on the news and noticed that the headline of the day was that Megan was missing. Rachel finds her world flipped upside down. She is questioned by police, and all fingers point to her being the one who did it. She is fed memories of her actions from her ex-husband Tom but none of it adds up. Did Rachel have something to do with Megan’s disappearance? Or is there a secondary source contributing to this thriller?

Review by Sydney

 

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One by Ernest ClineImage result for ready player one

In Ready Player One, Cline creates the unlikely pair of futuristic virtual reality technology and eighties culture – with captivating success. Most of the novel takes place in the online Oasis, but despite the absence of “real” danger, still manages to create a suspense that had me unable to put it down. When impoverished, eighteen-year-old Wade Watts becomes the first person in the worldwide challenge to find a hidden Easter Egg in the Oasis — a challenge that the winner of will inherit the fortune of its late creator — he now needs to figure out the rest of the riddles that lead to the egg while competing with other gamers and evading greedy, even dangerous, corporations. Ready Player One explores the creative ways that VR technology can change video games and society as a whole, with plenty of eighties pop culture references. Despite the fact that I am neither a videogamer nor an 80’s enthusiast, I still found the novel engrossing to the very end.

Review by Abigail

Nil by Lynne Matson

Image result for nil by lynne matsonNil by Lynne Matson

One minute you are in a Target parking lot and the next you are naked in a rock field on what appears to be an island..  That’s what happens to Charlie.  Apparently she isn’t the only teen that has been abducted by some mysterious force.  Nil is the name they’ve given this place and the force. Each person has exactly one year from the date of their arrival to make it through the gate that opens for them sporadically and without warning.  After that you die. With the, to be expected, tensions and attractions between characters as well as the dangers and unexpected events the story makes for a very good read.

Reviewed by Ms. Brenner

Pretend you love me by Julie Anne Peters

emptyPretend you love me by Julie Anne Peters

Mike is a small town girl who is the star softball player, works at the hardware store, and is reviving her deceased dad’s plumbing business. Her best friend is the only boy on the cheerleading squad who is also out and proud. Mike very quietly has the hots for the big city girl, Xanadu, who just moved to town. Xanadu has her own secrets and, while she doesn’t seem to like Mike in “that” way, they become close friends fast. It’s also senior year and time for Mike to decide what happens next in her life. She seems to think that staying right where she is will be just fine. But her family, community, and friends would like to see her go farther. Her coaches and neighbors all recognize how hard she works, but Mike’s not willing to be a charity case or anybody’s poster child.

Sounds a bit cheesy but it’s not.

Review by Ms. Rosenkrantz

Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde

Image result for lost in a good book by jasper ffordeLost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde

Thursday Next, a literary detective in the Special Operations division, has become famous for her work trapping a villain in the pages of Jane Eyre. Set in an alternate universe centered in England, Thursday and he husband Landon start noticing bizarre coincidences that put their lives in danger. Thursday’s father, a renegade time traveler being hunted by the ChronoGuard, keeps finding her in the past and future to warn her about a mysterious substance that will destroy the world if she doesn’t stop it. At the same time Thursday keeps meeting Miss Havisham from Great Expectations to be trained as a book jumper. As the plot threads begin to merge and the characters keep meeting, the book becomes even more engaging. The second in the Thursday Next series, Lost in a Good Book continues Jasper Fforde’s wildly inventive and humorous universe created in The Eyre Affair. While having read the works of literature mentioned is not necessary, familiarity with their plots gives the reader a deeper understanding of this book. Fforde even brings in a character from his Nursery Crime series. This book is great fun and well worth the reader’s time.

Lost in a Good Book sub index

Review by Ms. Goldstein-Erickson

Girl at War by Sara Novic

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Girl at War by Sara Novic

Traversing time periods to tell the story, Girl At War, explores the reality of war for a young girl in Yugoslavia and how it changed the course of her life. Ana was ten years old when civil war broke out and her life slowly descended from carefree and happy into the depths of despair. Even though she survives the horrific situation she loses much and does her best to bury her experiences deep inside. Now living in the US, participating in a project to tell her story sends her back home, and back to the friends and family she left behind. Anyone who has lived through a war may recognize themselves in the characters and events of this story. The youthfulness of Ana makes it bearable to read such a devastating story with a sense of hope.823879.jpg

Follow up by reading Safe Area Gorazde, an historical graphic novel by Joe Sacco

Review by Sarah Rosenrkantz