Monday, October 14, 2013

Reading Games: Update

We had another busy week in the library and more reviews came pouring into my inbox.  While the students still hold the lead, at 17, the faculty and staff are catching up at 10 reviews.  You can find new book reviews on our Twitter and Facebook feeds.  In addition, below are some book reviews for titles we do not have in the library.  If you would like to read one of these titles, please email us and we will happily add it to our collection.

Hourglass by Myra McEntire reviewed by Racquel, Class of 2015
Hourglass by Myra McEntire is a thrilling time travel romance written from the perspective of 17 year old, Emerson Cole. She goes on a journey and comes to terms with a special ability that she had previously thought was just her own brand of crazy. Through her own time line and others, she copes and battles with who she truly is. I loved the book and its characters. I especially appreciate the backstories we were given that helped round out the characters. 

Pearl by Tabitha King reviewed by Chris, Bookstore Staff.
The NYT magazine featured an article about Stephen King and his family this summer. It’s intriguing to think about a family with four writers- is it nature or nurture? I decided to give his wife Tabitha King a try. Her book Pearl takes place in a small town in Maine. The story revolves around the arrival of Pearl, an African American woman trying to fit into a closed community.  It wasn’t a great book but if you were stuck in a cabin it would entertain you during your stay.

Timepiece by Myra McEntire reviewed by Racquel, Class of 2015
As the second book in the Hourglass trilogy by Myra McEntire, Timepiece did not disappoint. The author took the story from Emerson's friend's Pov Kaleb. He is a human empath with time related abilities who tries to deal with his own feelings about his life and block out those from people around him. It was a thrilling and interesting second novel and I truly can't wait to read the third.

The Sweetest Swing in Baseball by Rebecca Gilman reviewed by Sara, Class of 2014
 The Sweetest Swing in Baseball is a play written by Rebecca Gilman. Dana, an artist, copes with depression that drives away her friends, her boyfriend, and her coworkers. After her boyfriend leaves, she attempts to commit suicide, but fails and winds up in a mental ward in the hospital. In the ward, she meets an alcoholic named Michael and a man named Gary who attempted to kill Kevin Bridges, a famous TV reporter. Dana enjoys the company of Michael and Gary as well as the safety of the institution, but her insurance only allows her to stay for 10 days. With her two new friends, Dana pretends to have the personality of Darryl Strawberry, a famous baseball player. A hilarious, well-written, and thought-provoking play, The Sweetest Swing in Baseball never has a dull moment.

Endless Knight by Kresley Cole's reviewed by Racquel, Class of 2015
Kresley Cole's Endless Knight is an average post-apocalyptic fantasy novel. Imagine The Hunger Games with supercharged players in a post-apocalyptic zombie novel. Cole had an interesting idea that didn't quite carry through in here writing through the first person narrative of 16 year old eve, a blond rich cheerleader turned warrior princess. It was a mediocre book with a brilliant plot.

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick reviewed by Racquel, Class of 2015
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick is a YA romance novel from the view of Samantha Reed. Her mom is a republican senator running for office. Next-door, a large family lives, leading a life Sam's mother finds inadequate. When Sam begins dating the boy next door, Sam struggles with keeping him a secret and maintaining the life she held before. It was an adorable story with an interesting plot. 

The Girls by Lori Lansens reviewed by Marianne, Faculty
When 29 year old conjoined twins, Rose and Ruby, are informed by their doctor that they will most likely not live beyond their current age due to an aneurism in Rose’s brain, Rose decides to write her autobiography and convinces Ruby to add a few chapters from her own viewpoint.  The novel is a quick read, and although the story ends with the girls’ physical decline, the emotional triumphs experienced by each girl as she seeks a life of individuality keeps the story from being maudlin.  It’s an interesting study of siblings.


Tuesday, October 01, 2013

The Reading Games

Two weeks ago we began a reading competition at The Governor's Academy to kick off the school year and inspire the community to keep reading.  The competition will run until Thanksgiving Break and prizes will be awarded to the top 3 students and the top 3 faculty/staff members who read and submit the most book reviews.  After only 2 weeks of running the competition, we already have received 18 book reviews and more are flooding my inbox daily!  Most of the submitted book reviews will be posted on our Librarything account but, for those readers who have reviewed books we do not have in the library, I will be posting their reviews here.  If you would like the library to purchase any of these reviewed titles, please send us an email and we can add these titles to our collection!

Book Reviews (Note: These are books not currently part of the Govs collection.  If you would like us to add them to the collection, please send us an email.)

NYPD Red  by James Patterson Reviewed by Alvaro, Class of 2016

This books follows the NYPD:Red a police division that specializes in the rich and famous from New York. The Chameleon, our villain,  is serial killer who is hunting people in the film business has some big plans for the "bring Hollywood to NY" week when millions of big time Hollywood people are going to be in the city. Detective Zach Jordan gets assigned to the case, but since his partner was injured he has to work with his ex partner, Kyle MacDonald, a former girlfriend. As the action starts, we learn more about the Chameleon and the reasons he has to cause this kind of damage and about detectives Zach and Kyle who are the only chance the city has to stop this brutal criminal.

Rogue by Gina Damico Reviewed by Racquel, Class of 2014
A story filled with wayward grim reapers and hilarious ghosts, Rogue by Gina Damico is a thrilling and emotional novel. Lex, a teenage grim, uses her unusually strong powers to right the grim word and get rid of the grim middleman in the death process, even when it comes to making some of the hardest decisions. This morbidly funny series was amazing as a whole and the last book was simply addicting. Truth be told, i was crying, but i would recommend the book to anyone.

The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks, Reviewed by Robyn, Class of 2017
I had already watched the movie before reading this book but I didn't recognize it because the beginning in the movie is very different than the beginning of the book. I thought that the story line was interesting and easy to follow and I liked it a lot more than the movie. The meaning of the photograph was a lot deeper in the book because it saved him more than once, but in the movie since you actually watched a bomb go off next to him it was more dramatic. 

Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans, Reviewed by Racquel, Class of 2014
Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans is a sci-fi afterlife novel exploring the purgatory of Felicia Ward. In level 2 (level 1 being life) you can relive you own and other people's memories from their life. Level 2 is a stark white boring place where only past memories bring true feelings, but this isn't what the level was supposed to be like. With the help of rebels, she breaks free of her memories and learns to defeat her foes. Aside form the interesting idea and well-written flashbacks, the book was boring and riddled with plot holes. 

The Inn at Rose Harbor by Debbie Macomber, Reviewed by Diane, Staff 

 The theme of this book seems to be new beginnings.  As Jo Marie, the new innkeeper is starting her life over after the death of her husband; she can sense that her first two guests staying at her new inn are both troubled by something.  We get to know both guests pretty well, both Abby and Joshua have come back to town for a short stay.  They haven’t been back home in many years because of a troubled past.  We see how difficult it is for them to fact the past and try and move forward.  And the innkeeper, Joe Marie, is also moving forward in her life as she settles in to this new lifestyle that is bringing her many new friends that we will get to know as well.  This book is the first of The Rose Harbor series, and it is a very uplifting book.  

Summer Reading by Hilma Wolitzer, Reviewed by Diane, Staff     
When one thinks of the Hamptons, one usually thinks of ultimate living where there are no problems and life if really good.  Not so in “Summer Reading” by Hilma Wolitzer.  Here we are introduced to the three main characters.  Lissy is the hostess of her Book Club meetings; she has an enviable lifestyle, and no shortage of money, but is dealing with her own insecurities and reading disability.  Her housekeeper, Michelle, who is a working class maid, is envious of Lissy, and she is also dealing with her own personal problems.  The woman how speaks at each book club is Angela.  Angela is an older, unmarried woman.  Her life is books and not so much people, but her past is haunting her, and she unable to move on.  We find that the lives of these three, with vastly different lifestyles, are all held hostage by their own personal problems and regardless of their status in life, they can’t seem to move forward.

Until She Comes Home by Lori Roy, Reviewed by Chris, Staff

A story about a young woman with special needs who disappears in a Detroit neighborhood during the late fifties. It’s claims to be a mystery but  what I found more fascinating was how Ms. Roy used the setting of a neighborhood changing  racially as the backdrop for the story. The beginning was strong but the middle of the story got bogged down. I am glad I stuck it out – the ending was good.