Staff Favorites

Lynn Austin
Donna D.'s picture
Reviewed by Donna D.

The following book review was submitted by patron Janice Visser.

Legacy of Mercy by Lynn Austin is the sequel to Waves of Mercy written in 2016. Waves of Mercy was excellent but I felt like I was left hanging at the end, wondering what would happen to the characters. Austin does a wonderful job of pulling together the details of the characters to answer my questions.
Legacy of Mercy is a beautiful story of forgiveness, love, and courage. Each character had to wrestle with these themes: What is most important in life? Is it social status? Does happiness come from great wealth or a simple lifestyle? What does love look like? What are our motives? How can one have the courage to do the right thing? What is the best way to handle a difficult person in our lives?
Austin describes each character in such a vivid way. I felt like I was sitting right next to Anna, Geesje, Derk, William, the Dominie and Cornelia and the others and watching their stories intersect and unfold. I loved the entire story; I couldn’t put it down, because I wanted to find out what decisions each character would make and how each one would react to various troubling situations that came up. My grandparents and other relatives are from Holland, Michigan and I currently live in a suburb of Chicago, so it was a real treat to read about both locations. I understood the characteristics of the Dutch characters. I highly recommend this story to anyone who wants to get lost in a book that has thought provoking characters and themes woven throughout it.

Mary Kubica
Donna D.'s picture
Reviewed by Donna D.

Mary Kubica, a native of Illinois, keeps readers guessing until the very last page of her psychological thriller The Good Girl. When Mia Dennett, an inner-city art teacher, goes missing from her Chicago home, speculation abounds that her disappearance is related to her father's prominence as a judge. One night, after she is stood up by her boyfriend, Mia decides to leave the bar with Colin in the hopes of forgetting about her unreliable date. Little does she know that Colin is plotting to exploit her for financial gain. Only, right before he is supposed to deliver her to his employers he has a change of heart and sequesters her away in a secluded cabin.
As the novel progresses, the puzzle of Mia's kidnapping is revealed piece by piece, revealing an ending so shocking readers won't see it coming. A fantastic read for anyone who enjoyed Paula Hawkins's The Girl on the Train and Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl. The Good Girl is available at Acorn and through SWAN interlibrary loan.

Patron Review: Less Than Perfect: Broken Men and Women of the Bible and What We Can Learn from Them
Ann Spangler
Donna D.'s picture
Reviewed by Donna D.

The following book review was submitted by patron Janice Visser.

In Ann Spangler’s book, Less Than Perfect Broken Men and Women of the Bible and What we Can Learn from Them, she sheds light on Biblical characters with two unique ways. First, she tells the story from the Bible of the character and weaves in extra details to compel the reader to think about the character in a new, thought-provoking way. Secondly, after each character she has a section called “the times.” She has factual information such as the Hebrew or Greek words to explain the passage better. Then, she has 3 or 4 questions for personal reflection or for a small group study. I found myself wanting to keep learning about the next character.

Both my 13-year-old daughter and I enjoy Spangler’s style of writing. It captures your interest and gives you new insights into God’s character as well as the Biblical characters. I can relate to many of the characters and I love pausing to think about God more deeply too. I highly recommend this book.

Scythe (Arc of a Scythe)
Neal Shusterman
Reviewed by Michelle

In the future everyone is immortal and an omnipresence that started out as your everyday computer cloud, now known as the Thunderhead oversees all and has created a perfect world, where no one wants for anything. The only thing the Thunderhead does not control is the Scythedom. In order to control population, scythes (socially sanctioned killers), select people for gleaning. There are very few ways a person can die in this futuristic society, except if you are gleaned by a scythe, then you are permanently dead. Scythes undergo rigorous training and must adhere to a moral code. Scythe Farady selects 2 teenagers as apprentices and they are set in a mortal competition together. Rowan and Citra must set aside their feelings for each other and fight for their lives. To make things worse, corruption seems to be running amuck in the Scythedome. And things are changing in a big way. 

Neal Shusterman captivates his audience with a plot that moves forward at a fast pace, with a lot of twists and turns to keep the reader interested. At times you'll be rooting for one character, and then by the next chapter you're championing another. The story, the characters, and the settings are all enough to keep the reader wanting more. It is highly recommended that you not only read this book, but as soon as you're done you check out its sequel Thunderhead