Season’s Readings

Posted on Wednesday, December 6, 2023 by Dana


When the nights are long and cold, there are few things better than cozying up with a good book, and with the holiday season upon us, I have some festive (or not) recommendations to while away the dark winter days.

If you want that adventure vibe, give Winter, White and Wicked by Shannon Dittemore a try. Orphaned Sylvi has chipped out a niche for herself on Layce, an island cursed by eternal winter. She takes comfort in the solitude of the roads and the favor of Winter, a spirit who has protected her since she was a child. When her best friend, Lenore, runs off with the rebels, Sylvi must make a haul too late in the season for a smuggler she wouldn’t normally work with. To save her friend, Sylvi will have to choose: safety, anonymity, and the favor of Winter or the future of the island that she calls home.

Continue reading “Season’s Readings”

More 5 Star Reads ★★★★★

Posted on Wednesday, November 22, 2023 by Megan

Teen Reader Reviews

Looking for a great read? Then look no further! Here’s another round of 5-star reads from local teens! Pick one (or all of them) up at your library!

Fire Keeper's Daughter book cover

Firekeeper’s Daughter” by Angeline Boulley 

Reader: Kate

5/5 Stars ★★★★★

Why did you like or dislike this book? It was very educational and I loved learning about Ojibwe culture and traditions. I loved the community aspect and how everyone took care of each other, especially the women and elders. However, I was expecting a mystery book, and I was a little disappointed in that aspect and felt like there were many unanswered questions. But, if you go into it looking for a story about a girl’s relationship with her heritage, community, and grief, it will exceed your expectations. Overall, an incredible and heartwarming book. Continue reading “More 5 Star Reads ★★★★★”

Is It Worth the Hype? Volume One

Posted on Wednesday, November 8, 2023 by Dana

When everyone is reading, talking and BookToking about the same book you might find yourself asking. Is it worth the hype? Every book has its readers, but it can be lonely when a popular book doesn’t hit you the same way it does for everyone else. Don’t worry we’re here for you! You can share your hot takes and ALL your feels with us by filling out our Teen Book Reviews form. Who knows we may feature your review in an upcoming blog.

Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros

What It’s About:  Violet Sorrengail was supposed to enter the Scribe Quadrant, but the commanding general (her mother) has ordered Violet to join the hundreds of candidates striving to become dragon riders. But when your body is weak, if the training doesn’t kill you, the dragons will. And the other candidates would kill her just for being her mother’s daughter. Yet, with every day that passes, the war outside grows more deadly, the kingdom’s protective wards are failing, and the death toll continues to rise.

Worth the Hype:  Ugh, no. The promise of a military academy is poorly executed. Yarros just methodically checked off a list of tropes in a very predictable manner: Love Triangle, Enemies to Lovers (for five minutes and then it’s Instalove), Spicy, Dark-haired and Tattooed Bad Boy, Overly Powered Heroine, Probably Corrupt Organization, Big Secret, etc. It’s tedious and rather than being a fantasy novel with a romantic subplot, this is a young adult romance with jarring modern language that happens to have dragons.

Be Aware:  This has teen characters, but is definitely an adult book with adult themes.  The second book, Iron Flame, came out November 7th.

Continue reading “Is It Worth the Hype? Volume One”

Book Review: M Is for Monster

Posted on Wednesday, November 1, 2023 by Nigel Church

“Will you catch me?”

“I’ll try.”


What’s the story?

M Is for Monster” is one of the innumerable adaptations of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I wonder how Mary Shelley would feel about her book being taken apart and put back together so many times? That question aside, this adaptation earns its place. Full disclosure reader, I have never read the original Frankenstein in its entirety, but I’d also say the gist of the story permeates our pop culture just as much as Star Wars or The Wizard of Oz. In this version Maura is brought back to life by her sister Frances, except she doesn’t feel like Maura, she doesn’t feel like anyone. Frances promises to take Maura apart and try again if it doesn’t work out, but Maura knows she wants to keep being even if she doesn’t know entirely what that means. Maura discovers that she can still communicate with the ghost of her former self through reflections, but that also cements the knowledge that she is something different and from then on she thinks of herself as M. From there the story centers around how long M can/will pretend that she is Maura and this is also where we really go off the track from the original storyline. In spite of what the title would have you believe M is not a monster, the townsfolk are not afraid of her (quite the opposite), and she does not commit monstrous acts. Continue reading “Book Review: M Is for Monster”

The Selector’s Selections: October 2023

Posted on Wednesday, October 25, 2023 by Brianna

I really can’t even begin to tell you how relieved I am that fall is here! This is my favorite time of year to curl up with a blanket and a book, and my geriatric pug agrees wholeheartedly. Her preference is for me to spend as much time as possible on the couch snuggling her, and who am I to argue? If you need some books to accompany your own pet snuggles this month, check out these new titles! This will be my last blog for a little while, so enjoy and I’ll see you again next year with some winter releases!

The Blackwoods coverThe Blackwoods” by Brandy Colbert

 Cousins Hollis and Ardith Blackwood loved their great-grandmother dearly—and so did the rest of the country. Blossom “Bebe” Blackwood was a wildly popular Black actress, and now that she’s passed, her great-granddaughters have to navigate grieving while in the spotlight. Ardith has always loved the limelight, starring in television since childhood and dreaming of following in Blossom’s footsteps. But now that her beloved Bebe is gone, Ardith has lost her mentor and confidante, and the pressures of fame and everyone’s expectations begin to feel like too much. Hollis on the other hand, is content to live life quietly, with as much privacy as a famous Hollywood family can afford. So when personal secrets start appearing in the press, she’s left unsure of who to trust and where to turn. This is told from three different perspectives, that of Ardith and Hollis and of a young Blossom in the 1940s, struggling to make it in Hollywood. Sure to please fans of celebrity novels, this book also offers an insightful and complex look at sexism, addiction and racism. Continue reading “The Selector’s Selections: October 2023”

You Are Not Alone

Posted on Wednesday, October 4, 2023 by Nigel Church

You are not alone with a drawing of a group of people with their arms around each other

Before we get into it, I want to let you know that this is probably a more serious blog than you are used to seeing from the library. As such I want to put two mental health resources front and center before we get into it.

988 is the Missouri suicide and crisis lifeline. 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

And here is a link for the directory of certified community behavioral health clinics. Not the most exciting page to look at, but a possible starting point for those who feel they need treatment or would like an official diagnosis.

Being a teenager is rough all around, but for some of us it’s rougher than others and that’s real. You’re not imagining it. Let me repeat myself, you are not alone. They say it gets better, but for some of us, it never does. At least, not without some help and some tools. In case you haven’t guessed it, this one goes out to all my neurodivergents out there. Continue reading “You Are Not Alone”

The Selector’s Selections: September 2023

Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2023 by Brianna

Sometimes I have a theme in mind when I write these, and sometimes it’s just whatever looks amazing. This month, I think you could safely say the theme is women who kick butt.

Champion of Fate coverChampion of Fate” by Kendare Blake

When Reed was orphaned as a child, she was rescued and raised by the Order of the Aristene. The Aristene are a group of immortal women warriors who act as shepherds guiding heroes to glory. All her life, Reed has wanted nothing more than to join their ranks, and she’s finally about to face her Hero Trial. She’s tasked with guiding young Prince Hestion in his fight against a neighboring kingdom. If she succeeds, she’ll have everything she’s dreamed of in an immortal life of service to the goddess of glory. If she fails, she’ll be forced to leave the Aristene Citadel forever. As she embarks on her trial, Reed learns that there’s more to the Order and to Hestion than she imagined, and the price of success or failure increases drastically. This duology opener boasts some phenomenal worldbuilding, expertly paced fight scenes, and well-developed relationships among the women of the Aristene. Continue reading “The Selector’s Selections: September 2023”

If You’re Playing Starfield

Posted on Wednesday, September 13, 2023 by Laura W

If You're Playing Starfield

Within the past week, multiple people have asked me if I’m going to play Starfield. This isn’t surprising considering it’s one of the most highly anticipated video games of 2023. If you have any contact with gamers, you’ve likely heard at least one mention of the new action role-playing game that came out on September 6th. Created by Bethesda, the same studio that crafted the Elder Scrolls and Fallout, Starfield is an open-world game set in the boundless reaches of outer space. If you’re anything like me, playing a really good game can ignite a love for the topic in general. For instance, after playing Red Dead Redemption 2, I became suddenly obsessed with short stories set in the old West. Whether you’re curious what all the sci-fi fuss is about, you suddenly cannot get enough space exploration in your life, or you simply really love Bethesda like myself, these recommendations are for you. Continue reading “If You’re Playing Starfield”