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Monday, June 13, 2016

Love It, Like It, or Leave It!

Posted by Jill and Katherine

Staff Reviews of this Week's New Releases

Before the Feast by Saša Stanišić (release date: June 13)

Goodreads Description:

Someone has opened the doors to the Village Archive, but what drives the sleepless out of their houses is not that which was stolen, but that which has escaped. Old stories, myths, and fairy tales are wandering about the streets with the people. They
come together in a novel about a long night, a mosaic of village life, in which the long-established and newcomers, the dead and the living, craftsmen, pensioners, and noble robbers in football shirts bump into each other. They all want to bring something to a close, in this night before the feast.

Katherine's Review:

(5 out of 5 stars)  A wonderful novel told in stories, both past and present, about the people living in Fürstenfelde - a small village with a tremendous amount of history. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this unusual book and was really surprised by the creativity and craft of the author. I'll definitely keep an eye out for future books written by Saša Stanišić and will get "The Soldier Repairs the Gramophone" on my TBR list.

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman (release date: June 14)

Goodreads Description:

Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, a shadowy organization that collects important works of fiction from all of the different realities. Most recently, she and her enigmatic assistant Kai have been sent to an alternative London. Their mission: Retrieve a particularly dangerous book. The problem: By the time they arrive, it's already been stolen.

London's underground factions are prepared to fight to the death to find the tome before Irene and Kai do, a problem compounded by the fact that this world is chaos-infested—the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic to run rampant. To make matters worse, Kai is hiding something—secrets that could be just as volatile as the chaos-filled world itself.

Now Irene is caught in a puzzling web of deadly danger, conflicting clues, and sinister secret societies. And failure is not an option—because it isn’t just Irene’s reputation at stake, it’s the nature of reality itself...

Katherine's review:

(3 out of 5 stars)  This was a light, fun read. I don't feel as attached to the characters as I would like, but perhaps in future book that connection will grow. I love the concept of the invisible library and am intrigued enough by the mystery of what is really going on there that I think I'll have to read the next book.

The Girls by Emma Cline  (release date: June 14)

Goodreads Description: 

Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader.

Jill's review: 

(3.5 out of 5 stars) The Girls was more about the teenage angst of the main character than about the experiences she had in her time with the cult. I was expecting more of the story to deal with these fascinating relationships within the circle but found it to be more of a coming of age story. This is her debut novel, and while the story may not have interested me, her writing style is vivid and interesting.

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