Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton

Title: Next Year in Havana
Author: Chanel Cleeton
Pub. Date 2018
Call Number: af/Clee

Love. Passion. Secrets. Revolution. Revelation.  This book has it all. 

Havana, 1958.  Elisa Perez is the sheltered 19 year old daughter of a sugar baron and a member of Cuban high society.  Her brother has been cast out of the family due to his revolutionary ideals and Eliza and her sisters are forbidden from having anything to do with him or the other revolutionists.  But the sisters have ideas of their own and Eliza begins a clandestine love affair with a passionate revolutionary.

Havana, 2017.  Freelance writer Marisol Ferrera has traveled to Cuba just as political relations are relaxing between Cuba and the U.S.  She comes to Cuba to scatter the ashes of her grandmother, Elisa, in the homeland she loved.  While in Cuba, Marisol meets her grandmother's best friend and begins to learn the truth about why her grandmother left Cuba behind. Marisol falls in love with the beauty that is Cuba at the same time she is falling in love with a man with secrets of his own.

I could not put this book down.  Cleeton does a masterful job of making the reader feel as if they were walking the streets of Cuba along with Marisol and her grandmother.  Highly recommended for readers of romance or general fiction.

Jill B.
Popular Materials Manager

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

Then She Was Gone

Title: Then She Was Gone
Author: Lisa Jewell
Published: 2017 (UK). 2018 (US)
Call Number: af/Jewell

Laurel's teenage daughter Ellie left home one day to go to the library and never came home.  Ten years later, Laurel's marriage has fallen apart, she's got almost no relationship with her other children and she can't shake the hope that Ellie will return one day.   When Laurel meets Floyd, she begins to welcome the prospect of a new life, welcoming love into her life once again.  Until she meets Floyd's daughter Poppy. Poppy is the spitting image of Ellie.  Unanswered questions once again take over Laurel's life--what happened to Ellie?  Where  did she go?  Will she come home?  
The book is split into five parts, told mostly from Laurel's and Ellie's point of view, flashes back and forth in time from the present to the past.  It is not a fast-paced story, but there are some unexpected plot twists and heartbreaking moments.   The story is a little predictable, but I really enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys family dramas/thrillers.

Jill B
Popular Materials Manager

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Saga: Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughn

Saga, Vol. 1 (Saga, #1)

Title: Saga, Vol. 1
Author: Brian K. Vaughn
Illustrator: Fiona Staples
Call Number: GN/Vaughn

Saga is an epic graphic novel series combining themes of intense love, family, war, humour, drama and fantasy. In this first of eight novels (so far), the reader is introduced to Alana, Marko and their newborn daughter, Hazel.  The couple come from different sides of the universe, and to say that their tribes don't get along would be an understatement.  They are both warriors, but rather than fighting in the never-ending galactic war, they fight for the freedom of their family. From the very first frames, the reader is pulled into the exhilarating world of Alana and Marko.  Perfect for readers of sci-fi and fantasy.

Erin S.
Popular Materials Assistant

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Persian Always Meows Twice by Eileen Watkins

The Persian Always Meows Twice (A Cat Groomer Mystery #1)
Title: The Persian Always Meows Twice
Author: Eileen Watkins
Published: 2017
Call Number: AF/Watkins

     Grooming a cat requires a soft touch and nerves of steel.  It's a good thing that Cassie McGlone, owner of Cassie's Comfy Cats has both in spades.  On a house call to one her favorite clients, the  lovable Hugo and his millionaire human George DeLeuw, Cassie calls on those nerves more than ever when she discovers George's murdered body.  Cassie is granted temporary custody of Hugo while George's death is being investigated and that's when the story gets interesting.  Someone is after Hugo and it's not because they're concerned for his well-being.  
     This is a fun and interesting read.  It's definitely a cozy mystery, perfect for a gloomy winter day....cuddly cat optional.

Michaelle S. 
Popular Materials Assistant

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

Title: Meddling Kids
Author: Edgar Cantero
Published: 2017
Call Number:  af/Cantero

If you grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons, this title is sure to ring a bell.  It is an homage to the Scooby-Doo style mystery, only the "meddling kids" are all grown up now.  The story is full of sly pop culture references and has a great storyline too.  There is horror mixed with hilarity as the group of young adults return to their childhood roots--the Blyton Summer Detective Club.  This time around, the supernatural isn't make-believe, it's real.  The novel also explores the effect that childhood trauma can have on people as they try to navigate adulthood, and how the memories of youth can become distorted.  Catnero has a unique writing style and a voice that is thoroughly enjoyable.  Jinkies! Give this book a try!

Annette B.
Popular Materials Assistant

The Art of Running in Heels by Rachel Gibson

The Art of Running in Heels (Chinooks Hockey Team, #7)
Title: The Art of Running in Heels
Author: Rachel Gibson
Published: 2017
Call Number: af/Gibson

Romance writer Rachel Gibson returns to her Chinooks Hockey series after six years and it feels as though she never left.  In this latest installment, Lexie Kowalsky, who readers might recognize from the first novel in the series, is all grown up and has a big problem on her hands.  Lexie appears on a "Bachelor" style reality series as a way to drum up publicity for her dog boutique.  She wins, but now has to marry a man she doesn't love.  Desperate to get out of the engagement, Lexie stages a runaway bride style exit from her own wedding--and runs straight into the arms of hockey player Sean Knox.  When Lexie realizes that cameras catch her interlude with Sean, she forces him to pretend that they have been a couple since before she appeared on the reality show.  The only problem with fake romances is that sometimes the feelings aren't too fake.

The Art of Running in Heels is an enjoyable romance with the perfect balance of heat, humor, and sweetness. You don't have to read the entire series to enjoy the book, it's great as a standalone story.  It's a great escape for anyone looking for a story with a happy ending.

Mary-Megan K.
Popular Materials Assistant

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Dry by Jane Harper


Title: The Dry
Author: Jane Harper
Publication Date: 2017
Call Number: af/Harper

In this debut thriller, Federal Agent Aaron Falk returns to his hometown after a decades long absence to attend the funeral of his childhood best friend,Luke Hadler.  While there, Aaron reluctantly joins the investigation into Luke's death and discovers that the small town is hiding big secrets: did Luke really kill his entire family and then himself?  The past and present intermingle in this quick-paced thriller.

Lynn D.
Popular Materials Librarian

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Hardcore Twenty-Four by Janet Evanovich

Hardcore Twenty-Four (Stephanie Plum, #24)

Title:  Hardcore Twenty-Four: A Stephanie Plum Novel
Author: Janet Evanovich
Publication Date: 2017
Call Number: af/Evanovich

If you've read any of the Stephanie Plum novels, you know three things:  Stephanie cannot decide between Ranger and Morelli, Grandma Mazur loves a good funeral, and Stephanie goes through cars faster than Lulu goes through donuts.  The trend continues in the newest installment of the Stephanie Plum series, Hardcore Twenty-Four.  Stephanie and her partner-in-bounty hunting, Lulu, get caught up in a case that involves snakes, grave robbing and zombies.  Yes, Stephanie Plum has gone full on Walking Dead.   The book is light-hearted, with a story that moves along at a quick pace--perfect for a day of binge reading.  Pop some popcorn, sit back, relax and enjoy the antics--just watch out for Ethel.

Jill B.
Popular Materials Manager

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Sandman: Overture by Neil Gaiman

The Sandman: Overture

Title: The Sandman: Overture
By: Neil Gaiman
Published: 2015
Call Number: GN Gaiman

During this graphic novel prequel to the Sandman saga, Neil Gaiman and J.H. Williams III transform this fantasy world into a reality using insane layouts and an intense color profile.  The Sandman: Overture is as much a work of art as it is a novel.  The characters hold both depth and mystery within the backstory being developed.  The surreal narrative of a feuding family keeps you hooked and forces you to turn the page, as otherwise the mesmerizing details of the spreads are nearing hypnotic.

The family includes: Destiny, Death, Destruction, Despair, Delirium, and of course, Dream.  These characters represent the archetypal personified versions of the idea which their name represents.  Conveying these ideas through a family working together (or dueling to the death) is a clearer way to illustrate to the reader how these concepts connect.   This is a great jumping off point for anyone intrigued by graphic novels, but turned off my simplistic comics and storylines.  The characters and storylines are as involved as each individual spread and will make you want to dive into the rest of Gaiman's Sandman series.

Erin S.
Popular Materials Assistant

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Maximum Volume: the Life of Beatles Producer George Martin, the Early Years 1926-1966 by Kenneth Womack


Title: Maximum Volume: The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin, the Early Years 1926-1966.
    By: Kenneth Womack
    Published: 2017
    Call #: 782.42166 WOM

  This biography gives the reader a glimpse into the mind and the man who was behind the music of one of the greatest bands in history--The Beatles.  The life of George Martin and those of the Beatles came together in a fascinating and remarkable way to create the most exceptional music both artistically and commercially.  The early experiences of George Martin, his career and life choices alike make him THE man to produce the Beatles.  In this first book of two, the reader discovers how Martin made a name for himself as a producer while simultaneously saving Parlophone Records from ruin. The most riveting parts of the biography delve into Martin's discovery of and relationship with the Beatles.  It was Martin, with the Beatles, who created the job of “producer” that we know today; someone with artistic and technical background who could arrange music and bring musical suggestions to the group.  He was the first great music producer and his story is just as interesting as that of the Beatles themselves.  If you love the Beatles, George Martin,  pop music, or rock’n’roll or just biographies read this book!

Michaelle S.
Popular Materials Assistant

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

My (Not-So) Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

My Not So Perfect Life

Katie is an English country girl is living out her dream--to live and work in London.  Sure, she's got a crazy commute, a teeny-tiny flat that she shares with roommates, a boss that doesn't seem to know who Katie is, and zero social life--but life isn't perfect, right?  Eager to impress, Katie begins to use social media to imply that the life she's living is way more glamorous than the truth. 

When Katie loses her job due to a series of unfortunate events, she is forced to head home to the family farm to lick her wounds.  Once home, she maintains the pretense of the "perfect" life she painted for herself on social media.  When her ex-boss shows up to the family B&B and threatens to expose the truth about Katie's picture perfect life, Katie learns that real life is messy and not quite as picture perfect as we portray on social media.

A fun, feel-good read, this novel is great for fans of Meg Cabot, Helen Fielding and Jane Green.

Annette B.
Popular Materials Assistant