Staff Favorites

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

Where We Belong
Lynn Austin
Reviewed by Andrea

The following book review was submitted by patron Janice Visser

Where We Belong by Lynn Austin brings the reader on a worldwide tour for much adventure with the sisters Rebecca and Flora based on Scottish sisters, Agnes and Margaret Smith born in 1843. The sisters live out their faith as they wrestle with questions that most women have regarding marriage, children or adoption, finances and finding out God's purposes for their lives. The sisters have a favorite saying "God knows when the end of our days will be. We have nothing to fear." Austin wove that motto into their worldwide adventures and causes the reader to think about how we spend our time on earth now and how to face the present and future. The book constantly had flashbacks to the past to explore the background of the sisters and 4 other main characters: Edmund Merriday, Kate Rafferty, Soren Petersen, and Professor Timothy Dyk. This novel wove in some important historical events such as the discovery by Constantin von Tischendorf of the Sinaiticus text, the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and the discovery of the "hidden Gospels." As always, Austin does a beautiful job of describing her characters and making the reader yearn to find out more what happens to all of the characters and the relationship they have with one another. I highly recommend this book!