First Line: It took seven years to get the letter right.
Summary: Scarlett is a young woman who lives on an island with her sister and cruel father. She is engaged to be married to a man she has never met but has high hopes of him taking her away from her father and the life she has known. But she has dreams of visiting Caraval, the mysterious carnival/game that is filled with magic and wonder. Her grandmother raised her on stories of Grand Master Legend and his amazing magical world. When she suddenly receives an invitation for her, her sister and her fiancé, she is thrust into a game she does not know how to win. Her father forbids her to leave but when her sister goes missing she has to believe that she has left for Caraval and it is up to Scarlett and the arrogant seaman, Julian to find Tella and bring her back before her father discovers them missing.
Highlights: The world of Caraval is beautiful. The descriptions of the island and its inhabitants are as detailed as a painting. I wanted to live in this world apart from the terrors and trials that Scarlett had to endure. I love how strong and passionate Scarlett was about finding her sister. It is great to see relationships like that with strong female characters. And the twist at the end was fulfilling for the whole story.
Lowlights: Some pieces of the story were a little predictable. I was able to guess things before they happened but other pieces I thought I had figured out and was not even close.
FYI: I listened to this on audio while taking the long drive to Colorado and really enjoyed it. It made the dreariness of I-70 fly by.
If you are a parent, you may be familiar with summer reading programs for kids. You know, you come into the library, sign your child(ren) up, and then spend the summer convincing them to spend time with books to log all their minutes reading or being read to, and hope that the weather in the last couple weeks before school starts is nice enough to use your free passes to the water park. It’s fun. No, really, it is! But admittedly, it can be a little bit exhausting.
Even if you don’t have children, you may think that summer reading programs are only for kids. And our summer reading program for kids is super awesome, but it’s not the only summer reading program we have.
We have a summer reading program for you! Yes, every single person who loves to read and is 18 or older can enroll in our adult summer reading program. Registration for the adult summer reading program opens at 9 a.m., Tuesday, May 30. You can register and track your books online or you can come in to the library and pick up a paper log. All books must be logged by 5 p.m. July 23.
Oh, and let’s talk about the prizes! We love to give away prizes! Each week, anyone who has read at least 4 books will be entered in a drawing for a library tote loaded with books and swag. Tuesday, July 25, we’ll draw three names to win grand prizes — a Kindle Fire HD and $50 Amazon gift card — from all participants who have logged at least four books . All prize winners will be drawn at random.
The theme for all our summer reading programs is the same this year: Build a Better World. So help us build a better world this summer by participating in our adult summer reading program. And tell us in the comments below how reading helps build a better world for you!
It’s nearly summer and that (hopefully) means more reading time, right? What kinds of books do you like to read in summer? Are you a person who loves those easy “beach reads”? Or is summer your opportunity to get your teeth into something meaty while lounging in the backyard or by the pool? Share some of your favorite summertime reads in the comments!
Meanwhile, here are some brand-new books to look forward to, that will be out in the latter half of this month. Click on any of the titles to be taken to the catalog where you can see if the book is on the shelf or you can put it on hold.
May 16: A Million Junes by Emily Henry
Reading the summary of this book on Goodreads, I see the link to Romeo & Juliet, but I also see some Hatfields and McCoys here. The setting is Five Fingers, Michigan, and the century-old feud between the Angerts and the O’Donnells is as strong as ever. Jack “June” O’Donnell, 18, like the O’Donnells before her has nothing to do with any of the Angert family — until Saul Angert, son of June’s mortal enemy, returns to town after three years away. Suddenly, June finds she doesn’t hate Saul. The chain reaction sparked by Saul’s arrival threatens to reveal truths that have been hidden about the families’ feud for 100 years.
May 16: Secrets in Summer by Nancy Thayer
Are you looking for a good beach read for your Memorial Day weekend? This book from the author dubbed the queen of beach reads might be a great choice. Darcy Cotterill lives on Nantucket and is surprised when she finds out that her ex-husband is living next door with his wife and step-daughter for the summer. In addition, she’s trying to navigate the ups and downs of her own romantic relationship with a local carpenter.
May 18: Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession by Alison Weir
Perfect for fans of Philippa Gregory, this novel tells the story of the second of Henry’s six wives. Anne is young and at the English court fresh from France. You know how she died. Now read how she lived.
May 23: Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices #2) by Cassandra Clare
Shadowhunter Emma Carstairs is fighting her feelings for her parabatai, Julian, and begins dating his brother Mark. Mark has just returned from spending five years trapped in Faerie and no one is sure whether he will ever be able to be a shadowhunter again. Emma, Julian and Mark are caught between the unsettled Faerie courts and the Clave.
May 23: The Long Drop by Denise Mina
Do you have a hard time finding books that aren’t part of a series? I do. Here’s a standalone psychological thriller about a “trial-of-the-century” in 1950’s Glasgow. A string of murders has occurred and Peter Manuel is found guilty of the crimes, but how did he end up there?
May 30: House of Furies by Madeleine Roux
First in a new Gothic horror series by Roux. Finding herself happily out of the harsh school she’s been attending, 17-year-old Louisa finds employment as a maid at Coldthistle House, a boarding house. While she’s happy for the change, she quickly realizes that something isn’t quite right. This boarding house is a house of judgment, not rest, as Mr. Morningside and his staff are expected to execute their own justice. Louisa begins to fear for one kind young resident, but how can she know who to trust?
Summary: Amy and her mother, Alexis, decide to make a trip to Scotland to their family estate on an island called Stormsay. When they arrive at the ancestral home and she finally meets her mother’s family she learns a secret that will take her love of reading to a whole new level. The two families that live on the island are able to jump into books and interact with the characters and story. Their mission in life is to protect the stories and keep them running smoothly. On her first day of lessons as a book jumper she enters the world of The Jungle Book but as the days pass things in the literary world start falling apart. It appears that someone is stealing ideas from stories!
Highlights: Once again the cover caught my attention. But the idea that someone could jump into a story and live along with the characters is a dream come true. What story would I jump into? The possibilities are endless. The little twists were fun and kept you wondering. The other stories were chosen well with a variety of different themes.
Lowlights: Spoilers. Several of the books that are mentioned I have not read but the plot gives away the endings to many of them. It made sense for the story and it isn’t a major problem but it was a little frustrating.
FYI: This story was originally published in German.
Isn’t it fun that new books just keep coming and coming? However, it means that my to-read list is always getting longer, no matter how fast I finish books! How do you decide what book you should read next? Do you keep a stack of books on your nightstand and read them top to bottom? Do you have a “hopeful” stack that you think you’ll pull your next book from? I am so easily distracted by the new, shiny titles, that some of my to-reads have been in the stack for years!
So, let’s add to those piles or throw something shiny and new into the mix with these books that are being released in early May.
May 2: A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J. Maas
My heart is beating so fast just thinking about getting my hands on the third installment in Maas’ Court of Thorns and Roses series. I’m dying to see what Feyre has planned in the Spring Court, and where things are going on the other side of the wall in Prythian. War is looming and one slip by Feyre could bring not only Prythian down, but could cost Feyre everything she loves.
May 2: Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
A single mother is found dead in the river, in the same place a teenage girls was found just a little earlier that summer. Are the two deaths related? A lonely 15-year-old girl is left behind in the care of an aunt she doesn’t know, a woman who vowed never to return to the place she left. And the river is disturbed and secrets are beginning to emerge.
May 9: Saints for All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan
Nora and Theresa Flynn leave their small village in Ireland and travel to America, to a new home in Boston. Decisions are made by both sisters that will have long-term repercussions, as 50 years later, when Nora is the matriarch of a large family and Theresa is in a convent in rural Vermont, a sudden death forces them to face choices they made long ago.
May 9: The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick
It’s California in the 1930s, and reporter Irene Glasson finds a beautiful actress staring up at her from the bottom of the pool in an exclusive little town where Hollywood’s elite go for privacy. The dead woman was the keeper of a secret about one of Hollywood’s leading men, a scoop that Irene was hoping to land. Now the rookie reporter is investigating murder.
May 11: New Boy (Othello) by Tracy Chevalier
This is the fifth installment in the Hogarth Shakespeare series (which also includes titles from Margaret Atwood and Anne Tyler). From Goodreads: “The tragedy of Othello is transposed to a 1970’s suburban Washington schoolyard, where kids fall in and out of love with each other before lunchtime, and practice a casual racism picked up from their parents and teachers. Peeking over the shoulders of four 11 year olds Osei, Dee, Ian, and his reluctant girlfriend Mimi, Tracy Chevalier’s powerful drama of friends torn apart by jealousy, bullying and betrayal will leave you reeling.”
First Line: Vikram had spent enough time with bitterness that he knew how to twist and numb the feeling.
Summary: Gauri is a princess of Bharata. Vikram is the prince of Ujijain. Gauri is a prisoner of Ujijain and therefore a prisoner of Vikram. She has been banished from her kingdom and her throne by her evil brother. When Vikram enters her cell and proposes to free her in if she will travel with him to the Otherworld to enter the Tournament of Wishes she agrees in hopes of escaping and returning to her homeland. As they travel they encounter magical creatures and trials that will test them as they compete for a wish from the gods.
Highlights: The writing and imagery is beautiful. The detail is so colorful and enchanting. I love the cover.
Lowlights: With all the detail and characters it was easy to get lost. At times the story seemed to be shifting and didn’t seem to have a main climax. I expected more from the tournament. It was still fun but not nearly as good as the first book.
FYI: This is the second book in a series but I feel that it can be read as a standalone as well. People are mentioned and seen from the first but they do not alter it without knowing the previous book.
First Line: I rush through the catacombs, my face shrouded beneath the brim of a cap, skimming by the empty eyes of ancient skulls.
Summary: Danica lives in Versailles; the palace built by Louis XIV, wearing gowns and waited on by servants. The twist is the story takes place in the near future. As Danica tries to escape life at the palace and an engagement to the King of Versailles-Sonoma she has to go to drastic measures to buy her freedom. Glitter, a new drug, is going to be the key. Selling it to the other inhabitants of the palace seems harmless enough until she starts seeing the consequences of her actions on her friends and family.
Highlights: The cover is beautiful. This is what drew me to the book initially but I was shocked by how much I liked this book. The story is consuming. I read this in a few days because I had to know if Danica was going to be able to escape. It felt like a mix of historical fiction and Cinder by Marissa Meyer.
Lowlights: The reviews on Goodreads are not very favorable but I think if you give this book a chance and remember it is YA you will enjoy it. The plot is a little farfetched but I think that is the appeal.