Tag Archives: mysteries

Mirrors – psychological mysteries

Title:  Mirrors

Author:  John O’Brien

Summary: A father’s mental struggle as he switches between two realities: one where his family is alive, and one where his family has died in a house fire.

Gut reaction:  Loved it!

Why: The beginning was somewhat difficult to get through. Although once you get past the first scene with the family everything starts to make since in a sort of creepy yet awesome way. It was the type of play that required multiple read-throughs to find all the hidden connections O’Brien made between his two realities. I found the play left me with many questions but I was well satisfied with the twists, turns, and answers it did give me.

Who would like this book: You would like this play if you enjoy psychological mysteries.

Note: This play is not available through The Seattle Public Library. If you are interested, you can request it from another library system for a $5 fee or purchase your own copy.

-Catalina, Teen Blogger

Gone Girl – mystery with a sinister twist

gone-girl-book-cover-medTitle: Gone Girl

Author: Gillian Flynn

Summary: Amy Dunne also known as Amazing Amy is missing and the evidence points to her impassive husband, as the story unfolds you find that the marriage was on the rocks but who could have done this and why?

Six Word Review: Amy is missing, media targets Nick.

Rating: 8/10 stars

I liked that this book was a psychological thriller something I haven’t read in a while, and it was unpredictable but I personally didn’t like the characters. Their flaws and secrets made them unpleasant so I wasn’t as emotionally invested.

I loved how the author wrote the book it was very detailed and the beginning was intricately written in a way that tied to the outcome of the story. I also liked the combination of the two perspectives which allowed the reader to sympathize with one side or the other.

My gut reaction to this plot line was shock, when you reach about the middle passage of the book the whole situation changes and your view scope suddenly opens up. It’s like reading a book under a microscope the whole time making little progress, then suddenly you pull it out and can make sense of the whole text. It’s very dark, it’s very clever, and I can understand why there’s so much hype attributed to this specific book.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves mysteries with a sinister twist.

-Teen Blogger

Some Book Series You May Love (From The COL TAG!)

A Matter of Magic:
By Patricia Wrede

MagicA Matter of Magic is about a young orphan girl living on her own, making do with stealing and odd jobs for others. One day Kim meets a man who asks her to search for something on a traveling magician’s cart. While she does believes this is a fake magician, Kim joins the caravan and her journey begins. The book is two stories in one, meaning books 1 & 2 are together to make an awesome story. I recommend A Matter of Magic to people who want romance that isn’t the whole story, but is there. It’s funny and a good mystery.

Demon Trappers series:
By Jana G. Oliver

demon

 

The Demon Trappers series is about Riley Blackthorne, daughter of famous demon trapper Paul Blackthorne. All Riley wants is to follow in her dad’s footsteps, even if he doesn’t want her to. This series is truly wonderful. It’s full of action scenes as well as comedy and romantic ones. Throughout the books you get to follow Riley in her struggles as a teenager going through school and trying to prove that a woman can be a demon trapper too. It’s a  MUST read!

 

Wake

 

Wake, Fade, Gone:
By Lisa McMann

A trilogy about Janie, a 17-year-old girl who gets sucked into other people’s dreams whenever they’re sleeping and she’s nearby. This story is another must-read. A well-written book that will grab the attention of any reader.

Columbia Teen Advisory Group (TAG)

COL

Jellicoe Road – Unusual mystery. Believable characters. Fast-paced.

JellicoeTitle:  Jellicoe Road

Author:  Melina Marchetta

Summary: Taylor Markham, who was originally abandoned by her mother on Jellicoe Road when she was 11, is now a 17-year-old trying to piece together her past all while juggling being the leader of her boarding school dorm, competing with other schools in their “territory wars,” and (maybe) falling in love. All of this is made more complicated when her guardian, Hannah, disappears, leaving Taylor with only Hannah’s manuscript written about 5 kids in the 1980’s.

Six Word Review: Unusual mystery. Believable characters. Fast-paced.

I give this book 8/10 stars. This was a very compelling read.  Marcheta writes with unusual style—somewhat similar to Ransom Riggs’ in that both of these authors write in a sort of surreal, perhaps fairy-tale-esque tone, even when the book itself is realistic fiction.  This is especially true of the excerpts from Hannah’s manuscript.  Overall, readers can connect to the characters, even if they’re not always likable, and the plot is engaging.

I started reading it because my best friend gave me this book as a gift in maybe 6th grade, and while I read it, I just remember being really confused.  I always meant to re-read it, and after a few years, I picked it up again when I needed something to read on an hours-long plane trip.  I kept reading because I was intrigued by the characters and struck by the unusual voice of the story.

Gut Reaction:  Really good book, but when reading it, it can feel really confusing due to the number of characters and the sections of Hannah’s novel placed unannounced throughout the text.

What you hated: there were a few plot holes that caught my attention, ranging from small *SPOILER ALERT* (character using cell-phones after readers were told there was no service) to large (the author refers to one character killing another even when the author didn’t make that clear in the first place).

If the main character were stuck on a deserted island, they would: Taylor would probably get angry first and then figure out practical solutions: finding shelter, food and water, all while plotting how to get off of the island.

This book reminded me both of Ransom Riggs’ Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, in addition to Jonathan Safran Foer’s work because they have similar, if a little odd, styles.

Who would like this book: mystery book lovers, people who like books within books.

Websites of Interest:
Melina Marcheta’s blog
MM’s Website
Publisher’s site

–Emma, Greenwood, Teen Blogger

GWD

 

 

Red Madness: How a Medical Mystery Changed What We Eat

Red

Title: Red Madness: How a Medical Mystery Changed What We Eat

Author: Gail Jarrow

Summary:  In the early 1900s, an epidemic spread across the southern states. Victims showed physical symptoms – like rashes and digestive problems, as well as mental illnesses.  Many went crazy and committed suicide.  It was a medical mystery with many suspects, and only one brilliant doctor would figure it out.

Six Word Review:  Mystery illness in the South solved!

I give this book 9/10 stars.  It’s a great non-fiction book about solving a real puzzle, but it had too many pictures of the sick patients. Yuck!

Gut Reaction:  Ewww… but what is causing it??

​I loved how deduction was used to finally solve the mystery.  The disease was very tricky–it mostly affected women (but not always); it was mostly in the South (but not always); sometimes it would make people go crazy (but not always); it affected the children in orphanages, but not their caretakers.  Looking at the clues to figure it out was really fun.  Lots of different theories were tested, but only one was right!

This book reminds me of An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic in 1793 by Jim Murphy, which won many awards and received high reviews by top journals.

Confession:  I couldn’t wait to find out what caused the disease!  I skipped ahead to the end and then went back to read the rest of the book!

–Guest Blogger Amy L., Magnolia Librarian

MAG

NBA Legend KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR READS @ Central Library; FEB. 19th!

Stealing the GameAuthor and former basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will read from his second book in the Streetball Crew series, Stealing the Game, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19 at The Seattle Public Library, Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Level 1, Microsoft Auditorium.

Library events and programs are free and open to the public. Tickets and reservations are not required. Parking is available in the Central Library garage for $6 after 5 p.m. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

Stealing the Game is a fast-paced story for tweens (ages 8-12) about teamwork, friendship and dark secrets.  The book tackles issues like building self-esteem, celebrating one’s individuality and what it means to feel special.  “Stealing the Game” also features teenagers who act like teenagers by debating zombies and falling in love while watching classic French movies.

Abdul-Jabbar is a retired basketball player named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history.  After his retirement, he wrote nine New York Times bestsellers on topics as varied as World War II, the Harlem Renaissance, and the impact of African-American inventors.  The first book in his Streetball Crew series is Sasquatch in the Paint.

Supporting this event:  The Seattle Public Library Foundation, media sponsor Seattle Times and presented in partnership with Elliott Bay Book Co.  Books will be available for purchase and signing.

February Book Horoscopes!

starbookFebruary is weird because it is the second month of the year, the first month of a new semester, and the second-to-last month of winter; the month that despite it’s only having 28 days somehow seems to drag on and on in cold ambiguity.

Luckily, we’ve selected a bunch of fantastic books to engage your consciousness so that before you know it, spring will be just over the horizon!  Remember to help yourselves to any of the books on this list, which as always come from a variety of genres and reading levels.

AriesYoung Warriors

Young Warriors by Tamora Pierce and Josepha Sherman

This book is an anthology compiled by two great authors. It is a collection of fantastical tales of young people showing strength. If you feel yourself in need of some inspiration to get you through the last part of winter, this book will give you the relief your adventurous heart is yearning for.

Rosie ProjectTaurus

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simison

This is hilarious and heartfelt romantic comedy is sure to please you as we approach Valentine’s Day. Don, the main character, likes his life to be orderly and doesn’t like taking risks. He suffers from an unfortunate lack of social skills, but he finds love in Rosie, a wildly different woman who pushes him out of his comfort zone, as he helps her search for her missing father.

GeminiCurious Incident

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

This book is an inspiring story about Christopher John Francis Boone, a fifteen-year-old boy on the autistic spectrum who has a very particular view of the world around him. Then one day his neighbor’s dog Wellington is killed, and Christopher takes on the role of a detective to figure out what happened.

Fahrenheit 451Cancer

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

The start of the new semester is a great time for you to go back and read a classic – or if this is your first time reading it, enjoy this treat! Fahrenheit 451 is the dystopian tale of everyone’s worst nightmare – a world without books. Guy Montag is a fireman, and his job is to burn them. Poetic, striking and important, his story will both entertain you and make you reflect about the value of art.

LeoFlowers for Algernon

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Charlie is a mentally disabled man who is being subjected to experimentation in a series of studies to increase his intelligence. The same treatments are being given to Algernon, a lab mouse. When Charlie’s intelligence begins to accelerate beyond what anyone had imagined was possible, everyone is thrilled – until Algernon begins to deteriorate unexpectedly. What will happen to Charlie?

WatchmenVirgo

Watchmen by Alan Moore

This brilliant graphic novel tells the story of what happens to superheroes when they begin to suffer from failures that seem to be uncomfortably akin to those of humble mortals. This book talks about humanity and questions what it truly means to be a superhero, all the while never ceasing to entertain. Continue reading

Hamlet – interesting and slightly strange

a7c25bb8144b76673d27593d8bf8081bI finished Hamlet, a classic by Shakespeare as well as an interesting and slightly strange story. This story stars Hamlet, a son to a king who recently passed away deals with his ghost. Hamlet’s father’s ghost reveals to being poisoned by his brother, and makes Hamlet promise to kill his brother. Hamlet, under immense pressure, vows to avenge his father. While also feeling betrayed by his mother, the queen who marrys the deceased kings brother, Hamlet struggles with trust. In the end Hamlet does succeed in killing his once uncle now father/king.

This play was interesting to read- challenging but intriguing.

There was great mystery within this story- the ghost of the king Hamlet, was he real? Or was Hamlet simply imagining his father?

The writing of Shakespeare is simply incredible- the wording, grammar, provides the flow of the story while keeping the plot under control even with the insane things taking place. I would not say this was my favorite piece by Shakespeare but I do recommend it.

–Sophie, Columbia, Teen Blogger

COL

 

Terrier: Most Likely to Catch a Crime Lord

TerrierTitle: Terrier
Author: Tamora Pierce

3-Sentence summary: Beka Cooper is a new trainee (Puppy) in the proto-police force known as the Provost’s Guard, or the Dogs. Almost immediately after joining up, she gets caught up in two big cases, one involving multiple murders to protect the whereabouts of a vein of extremely valuable fire opals, and the other involving a mysterious child killer known as the Shadow Snake. It’s tough going for Beka, but she has a secret: she can hear the voices of the dead.

Six word review: Pierce rocks a new writing style.

I started reading because: Tamora Pierce is covering new territory with this book, as it is not only narrated differently (first person past tense, in the form of a journal, instead of third person omniscient past tense), but it stars a non-noble heroine, and is a detective story (although it doesn’t skimp on the action). I wanted to see how she did with it.

I kept reading because: She did great. It’s a very engaging read, with an awesome heroine, an interesting plot, and diverse and fleshed out supporting characters.

I loved: The chemistry between the characters, especially Beka and her trainers Goodwin and Tunstall.

I hated: Well, I don’t really hate anything, but for someone trained to rely on her memory as much as possible and is writing the story as a memory exercise, Beka sure has trouble remembering plot points that aren’t supposed to be revealed yet.

I couldn’t get enough of: Beka and Rosto. Those two have such fun chemistry.

If the lead character was in a high school yearbook, she would be voted most likely to: Catch a crime lord.

On a deserted island, the main character would probably: Immediately start working on a way to get out. She’s a city girl at heart, and practical enough to know that she doesn’t have the right survival skills.

–Thea, 16, Douglass-Truth, Teen Volunteer

DTH

Paper Towns: A beTter mOviE tHan Book?

papertownsIf you are a fan of John Green’s novel Paper Towns then I have some good news for you; the movie adaptation of the popular book is set to be released in the US on June 5th, 2015!  As an avid John Green fan this news was already exciting, but I am especially thrilled to hear that Paper Towns in particular is being made into a movie.  Why, you ask?  Simply put, it is because I think Paper Towns will be a better movie than a book.

Now before all you book purists come hunting me down with torches for saying that, please let me explain myself.  Believe me, when a studio slaughters a book (*cough cough* Percy Jackson) I am as angry as the rest of you.  But not only do I trust both John Green and the production team on this movie, but I also trust the book; that is, I trust that it will make an incredible movie.

*Spoilers Ahead*

Continue reading