Staff Picks

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Cadence Sinclair Easton comes from an incredibly privileged East Coast family, in which every member is blonde, beautiful, and wealthy. The Sinclairs own a private island, where all convene every summer. Cady, along with the other family “Liars,” have spent carefree, idyllic summers on the island…until the summer Cady turns fifteen. Summer 15 is filled with fun and first love, until the horrible night Cady is found alone on the beach.

The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley

This gritty and excellently written fantasy novel follows three siblings of the recently slain emperor of Annur. His daughter and two sons, scattered across the world, do what they must to stay alive and unmask the assassins. This is fantasy at its best, with great character development, plot, and world building. After the twist at the end of this book, I can't wait for the next one!

 

SF/F STAVELEY, B.  

Maleficent by Elizabeth Runick

And her name was Maleficent…   This is actually the thinly-veiled story of Sleeping Beauty told from Maleficent’s point of view.  Beginning with her idyllic childhood in the Moors, this story continues with her crush on Stefan and how he becomes king by betraying her, and then the curse she puts on his child, Aurora.

I Have a Bad Feeling About This by Jess Strand

Henry Lambert planned  a summer vacation filled with lazy days and plenty of video games. Sadly, his father doesn’t agree and makes his own plans for Henry. He thinks that two weeks at the Strongwoods Survival Camp is just what Henry needs to change him from a nerdy geek to a manly man. The only saving grace is that Henry’s best friend, Randy, has also signed on for two weeks in the bowels of wilderness hell with him.

Goodbye, Rebel Blue by Shelley Coriell

Rebecca Blue does not fit in at Del Ray high school.  Raised by her professional photographer mother, Rebecca (aka Rebel), she grew up on the road chasing the perfect photographic happenings throughout Central and South America.  When her mother is tragically killed, however, Rebel moves in with her aunt, uncle, and Cousin Pen… all of whom seem impossibly straight-laced and perfect.  The one constant in Rebel’s life is now detention, where one afternoon she connects with perky, passionate, civic-minded Kennedy Green.  For their detention assignments, the two

The Dinner by Herman Koch

It is summer in Amsterdam and trendy diners, pretentious managers, and snobby patrons create background noise for an incredibly tense dinner among two brothers and their wives.  Each couple has a fifteen year old son and together the two cousins have committed an unspeakable crime, caught on camera and broadcast on national television, with only their parents so far identifying the boys.

Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey

The outside is toxic and deadly; for generations, humankind has been confined to a massive underground silo.  Everyone must serve a purpose and is tightly regulated to make sure nothing goes to waste.  Step outside of the law, and you are sentenced to death by “cleaning”— sent outside with a suit designed to keep you alive only long enough to clean the exterior landscape cameras.  Why all those sentenced actually go through with the cleaning is a mystery to those in the Silo….  Juliette, a young woman from the mechanical division, is handpicked t

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein

Mr. Lemoncello, the world famous game maker, has designed a fabulous,high-tech new library for his home town.  He’s also having a lock-in with the twelve children in town who win his essay contest, “Why I’m excited about the new Public Library.” Kyle Keely, average guy, loves Mr. Lemoncello’s games, and really wants to win; but his brief essay, “Because there might be balloons,” seems like a loser.

All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner

If you've read Jennifer Weiner's books before and are expecting hilarious, witty, easy-breezy reading, then this book will be a surprise. Although still trademarked with her sly wit, reading a novel about an upper class woman spiraling into drug addiction is not for the faint of heart. In many other authors’  hands, this kind of subject matter easily could become preachy or heavy handed, but it truly is neither.

Tesla's Attic by Neal Shusterman

Nick’s family moves to Colorado Springs and into a deceased aunt’s home.  The attic is full of clutter and Nick decides to have a garage sale to make space for a bedroom.  The items turn out to have strange powers which attract a sinister group of scientists who have suspect reasons for wanting them.  It is up to Nick and his friends to keep the stuff out of the wrong hands so they can figure out exactly what power this pile of junk holds.

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