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Reader Reviews – Summer 2019

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5-star Reviews


The Tie that Binds by Kent Haruf
“I have loved every book by Kent Haruf and this one did not disappoint! Easy read and hard to put down- great for summer.”

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michelle Richardson
Historical fiction
“I never knew about the “blue people” of Kentucky, very interesting and entertaining novel!”

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
“An outstanding book. The story will stay with you well after you’ve finished reading it.”

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
Historical fiction
“This book was great. Definitely emotional throughout this read. Hated to see it end.”

Summer of 69 by Elin Hilderbrand
“Great summer read for Boston readers and beyond! I love reading this author in the summer, as most of her books are easy reads and based on the local island of Nantucket. This book takes her usual frivolous ‘beach read’ style to a deeper level as she delves into historical fiction in a both relatable and complex fashion. Highly recommend.”

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
Historical fiction
“I couldn’t put this book down”

A Dangerous Collaboration by Deanna Raybourn
“For fans of this series it’s a smash hit like the three before this one. It’s also a clever mystery for someone who hasn’t read the other Veronica Speedwell mysteries. This series has me looking up all this author has to offer and I haven’t been disappointed yet!”

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
“I could not put this book down! It was a mystery, romance, coming of age and detective book all in one.”

The Sherwood Ring by Elizabeth Marie Pope
Historical fiction
“Makes you look at the American Revolution in a whole new light!”

Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner
Historical fiction
“Covering the 1950s through the present, this is the story of two sisters and how the eras they live in affect their lives. Societal norms toward race and sexual identity are addressed through the lens of their experiences. You will root for both of them as they overcome adversity and help each other out.”

Circe by Madeline Miller
Historical Fiction
“This novel depicts the life of Circe, the witch from the odyssey. Excellent writing and a new perspective on a classic. Miller has done extensive research and while the novel is easy to read it still stays true to the greek mythology and details. I had trouble putting this one down!”

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman
“Somewhat of a light read but still wonderful. The main character is a bookworm who works in a bookstore and lives for pub trivia, book clubs and reading. When she unexpectedly gains a whole slew of relatives and a love interest her anxiety gets the best of her and she must decide to stay alone in her shell or let these new people in even if it means adding some disorder and chaos to her life. This novel is also peppered with literary references and jokes that would make any bookworm happy!”

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
“This book was about rock and roll in the seventies. It reminded me a lot about the movie Almost Famous. I had a hard time putting it down.”


The Mincing Mockingjay Guide to Troubled Birds by Matt Adrian
Humor, Birds
“Hilarious! For those who love birds…and for those who do not.”

The Carrying by Ada Limón
A really beautiful collection of free verse poetry!

The Latte Factor: Why you don’t need to be rich to live rich by David Bach
Personal finance
“Quick, easy & interesting guide to attaining financial stability.”

Everything’s Trash, But it’s Okay by Phoebe Robinson
“Audiobook version highly recommended! Phoebe is hilarious even when she’s covering important and tough subjects.”

Young Adult

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera
Romance, LGBT
“This is one of my top audiobooks of 2019. The performers of this had me laughing, shrieking, and purposefully taking the congested route so I could get stuck in traffic and spend more time with Arthur and Ben. The story is an adorable, summery romp based in New York City, and is such a love letter to the city, and especially to Broadway. Two boys meet in passing, and then conspire aganist the universe to find each other again. Is it flawless? Nope. But it was so damned funny and dorky, that I willingly overlook the flaws and the sometimes immaturity of the characters (they are high school kids…I can remember being that overly dramatic). If you enjoyed Simon vs. The Homospaiens Agenda, you will loooove this one. I am so sad it’s over.”

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Science fiction

Someone give these two a standing ovation. This was an awesome read.”

A Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

4-star Reviews


The Summer Country by Lauren Willig
Historical fiction
“Great novel about 1800s Barbados and the sugar cane industry. Lauren Willig is one of my favorite historical mystery mixed with romance authors and this one does not disappoint. The book is well researched and I found myself learning a few things about the culture and strife of slaves on these cane plantations. I do knock this down to four stars because it does slow down a bit at some parts that seemed unnecessary. However by the end there were enough twists and turns that I couldn’t complain too much! If you’re a fan of Beatriz William’s or Karen White you will love this!”

Searching For Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok
“This novel reminded me of Celeste Ng’s “Everything I never told you.” There’s a sister that seems perfect and goes missing when she visits her grandmother. The younger sister goes and searches for her only to find out some new things about her sister. It has family drama, a little mystery and well developed characters. It’s not a thriller necessarily but it does keep you in suspense.”

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
“Written like a music documentary of a seventies rock band, including lyrics created by the characters. Like her previous novel she takes famous figures and melts them together to create a very believable and deep character. My one issue was the documentary style, you got snippets of the main story from various characters and ,while it still sucked me in, I feel like you lost a little of the flow in this style. This was a great beach/vacation read!”

Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen
Mystery, Comedy
“If you’re looking for a fun caper, this book does the trick. All of the characters – including Yancy, the protagonist – are flawed, but you’ll be cheering on Yancy as he tries to solve a murder mystery despite many setbacks. The Florida Keys also plays a role. So, get your beach chair ready and settle in to enjoy this fun summer read.”

A Gathering of Wolves by Michael Hammonds
“Quick read. Western tropes abound but made fresh with Hammonds’ wily old timer and strong female protagonist partnership.”

All Systems Red by Martha Wells
Science Fiction
“Sci-fi novella, a bit funny, human-robot hybrid seeks redemption for past crimes.”

Fight or Flight by Samantha Young
Romance, Contemporary
“It was a deeper and more serious read than the traditional trashy romance. I liked it a lot and it really did address the flaws of the characters…Was it perfect? No, but it was a really good beach read.”

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
Historical fiction
“This novel starts in 1940 with a young Vivian Morris as she sets out to New York City to live with her aunt. Her aunt owns the Lilly Playhouse and Vivian ends up enjoying a wild summer with all the various characters that inhabit the upper two floors of the theater. All this fun does not come without consequences and after a year of adventure she finds herself lost and with many burned bridges. As the book continues there’s growth and Vivian eventually finds her way. Overall I found there to be many unexpected twists and turns that made the story interesting. I went with four stars because I found that the novel slowed down toward the middle but I still needed to find out the ending so I guess it wasn’t too bad!

An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good by Helene Tursten
Fiction, Short Stories
“Cozy mystery-adjacent stories about an elderly lady who solves her problems via murder. ”


Small Animals: Parenthood in the Age of Fear by Kim Brooks
Parenting Memoir
“A great discussion starter for a Mom’s book group.”

Walking With the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement by John Lewis
“This autobiography by John Lewis, a major figure in the civil rights movement and current Atlanta congressman, provides a meticulously detailed and insightful look into the heart of the civil rights movement. Although painfully slow at times, the book does an incredible job of peopling the movement, makes a compelling case for the practice of nonviolence, and connects distressingly easily to several contemporary political and societal issues.”

Young Adult

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah Maas
“Quick easy summer read if you are into Young Adult (like the Hunger Games or Twilight Series)”

3-star Reviews


Middlegame by Seanan McGuire
“Fun fantasy fluff. Good for a beach read.”

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms
“Cute summer read about a single mom who gets a chance for some self care after her estranged husband comes back and takes the kids for a summer. A bit predictable and had me a bit annoyed at her sanctimonious monologues but it was a nice beach read. The main character and love interest are librarians and total book nerds so that added a star for me!”

The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho
Classic, Fable
“I’m still confused on what I just read.”


Save Me The Plums: My Gourmet Memoir by Ruth Reichl
Memoir, Food
“Light read, with minimal drama. But there is a lot of talk about how the author was always ‘one of the average Americans’ that never would have changed because of a high paying job…And then she got one of the most luxurious jobs in New York City and seemed to think that having her own private bathroom in her office, and being sent to exclusive hotels around Europe was normal. I took a lot of her writing with a grain of salt (food pun, get it?)”

Things My Son Needs to Know About the World by Fredrik Backman
Essays, Families & relationships
“This book has some good lessons like how to survive IKEA and why Ron Weasley is a bad best friend, but it’s not really a must-read.”

Young Adult

Love a la Mode by Stephanie Strohm
“Very cute book to read on the beach. I was craving potatoes and itching to be in my kitchen the whole time. Extra star for the obvious passion for eating and good food.”

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
“Fantasy set in a mythical Arabian setting. A girl must disguise herself as a boy to retrieve an artifact that could save her whole country…And of course, along the way she meets a dark and mysterious assassin who may or may not be everything he says he is…”

2-star Reviews


The Friend by Sigrid Nunez
“Rambling and difficult to follow.”



1-star Reviews


Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan
New Adult, Fantasy, Horror
“The premise was great, but the execution made me want to gouge my eyes out. It literally got interesting the last 10 pages of the book.”



Liz Reed

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