The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil
Stephen Collins
March 31, 2015
Reviewed by: Laura

The residents of Here make every effort to live a tidy existence, obediently going to work, maintaining identical homes and hairstyles, and turning a blind eye to There: Here’s mysterious and frightening outskirts. Dave staves off his own unpleasant musings of There by sketching from his front window and listening to The Bangles on repeat. All goes well until Dave suddenly sprouts facial hair during a work presentation. As this alarming new beard rapidly increases in volume, the Here community finds their orderliness rudely unsettled. 

The Weight of Blood
Laura McHugh
March 28, 2015
Reviewed by: Nancy

Henbane!--even the name suggests toxicity.  In a small town in the Ozarks, the devil has plenty of namesakes among the landmarks, and the rough terrain hides untold secrets.  Outsiders are never welcome, and Lucy feels the resentment even though she was born here.  In fact, it was her mother who was the outsider, who disappeared mysteriously when Lucy was an infant and who still inspires tales of witchcraft sixteen years later.  Now the butchered body of Lucy’s friend Cheri has turned up, and Lucy tries to investigate that death as well as her mother’s disappearance.  But what should Lucy do when the evidence seems to implicate her own family?   

Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight
Alexander Fuller
March 25, 2015
Reviewed by: Chrissie

In Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs tonight, Alexandra Fuller writes of her childhood in Africa with hard-drinking British parents. Fuller is straightforward while describing violence, malaria and mental illness, and her writing is perfectly lyrical. If you enjoy this one, check out Leaving Before the Rains Come, Fuller's latest memoir.

To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee
March 23, 2015
Reviewed by: Robin

I recently decided to re-read To Kill a Mockingbird in light of the announcement of a new book coming from Harper Lee this summer.  I'm glad I did.  This book is as great as I remember and a must read. If you haven't picked up this classic yet, do so and enjoy!

The Iron Trial
Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
March 12, 2015
Reviewed by: Desi

Callum Hunt has been an outcast all of his life due to an injury he sustained at birth. This injury makes walking painful and bars Callum from many of the fun activities other children his age enjoy. Consequently, no one is more shocked than Callum when he gets selected to join the students at the magisterium. The magisterium helps students harness and hone their magic.  Callum has been warned against the power of magic his whole life but, life at the magisterium brings challenges and friendships that were impossible in his home town. Will he heed the warning of his father, or allow the subtle pull of magic to influence him.

I'll Give You the Sun
Jandy Nelson
March 9, 2015
Reviewed by: Kris

Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You The Sun is quite easily one of my favorite books of 2014. I enjoy nonlinear storytelling. This book had a similar feel to We Were Liars and The First Part Last. Jude and Noah are twins.  Both siblings are narrators. Noah’s voice explains the past while Jude is telling the story of the present.  They both cross paths with various characters at different points in the story.  The paths converge nicely at the end making this a satisfying read.

Andrew Pyper
March 3, 2015
Reviewed by: Tonia

Thrown by his wife's sudden departure from their marriage, David whisks his daughter away to Venice in an effort to lift both of their moods, never imagining the horrors that await.  An expert in demon mythology literature, in particular Milton's Paradise Lost, David must use his knowledge to follow clues from the tome to trace who has kidnapped his daughter in an ever maddening search not only for her, but his very soul.

We Are Pirates
Daniel Handler
February 28, 2015
Reviewed by: Laura

Phil Needle just wants to keep his struggling production company afloat, but his bored, not-yet-permitted-to-use-public-transportation teenage daughter Gwen proves to be more challenging to manage. Her attempt at petty theft quickly spirals downward into full-blown modern-day piracy, complete with stolen ship and weaponry. Awash with Handler’s trademark wit and dark humor, plus some violence here and there (they are pirates, after all), you don’t have to have prior experience with Handler’s or Lemony Snicket’s other work to appreciate the comedic depths into which he plunges the Needle family and Gwen’s rag-tag pirate crew. 

Deborah Wiles
February 24, 2015
Reviewed by: Kristin

Set in Mississippi during the summer of 1964, this unique mashup of a novel interspersed with first person accounts, song lyrics, and photographs tells the parallel stories of Sunny, a white 12 year old, and Raymond, a black boy of similar age.  During the Freedom Summer, college students and activists come to their small Mississippi town to register the African American residents to vote.  While Raymond and his friends throw themselves in to challenging the status quo, Sunny must wrestle with the concept of change in many facets of her life.  A unique novel about an important time in our history.   

You: a novel
Caroline Kepnes
February 20, 2015
Reviewed by: Nancy

This book is probably the creepiest you’ll ever read.  For a while, you might think that narrator Joe Goldberg is just a smart guy trying to get a girl’s attention.  Soon, you realize that he is a potentially deadly stalker.  You dread what will happen to those who get in the way of his obsession, yet his constant fear of discovery becomes your own.  You begin to know how Joe thinks, and to understand how this nightmare will end.