Staff Favorites

Rainbow Rowell
Donna D.'s picture
Reviewed by Donna D.

This award-winning young adult author of such titles as Eleanor and Park and Fangirl ventures into the world of adult fiction with a lighthearted love story that is sure to leave you smiling.

Set in 1999, readers are introduced to two coworkers and best friends, Beth and Jennifer. Their company has warned them that as the millennium approaches and technology advancements are being made, their emails will be monitored by a security officer. However, the two women don’t take this announcement seriously and continue writing electronically to each other about their personal lives.

Enter Lincoln O’Neill, who is responsible for reading the emails being sent from corporate accounts. When he comes across Beth’s and Jennifer’s messages, he knows they are breaking the rules, but he finds their exchanges amusing and captivating. By the time he realizes he is falling for Beth, he can’t think of a way to explain himself without revealing that he has been reading her personal emails. Will their connection surpass Lincoln’s deception? Find out by borrowing the book from Acorn or requesting it from a SWAN library today!

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.

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