Books, Read + Review

Read + Review: Unpresidented by Martha Brockenbrough

Unpresidented: A Biography of Donald Trump

Click here to place a hold on this book!

This book is a biography about Donald Trump, the 45th (and current) President of the United States. The novel started by following the life Friedrich Trump, who was the first member of his family to immigrate to the United States, as he attempted to make a name for himself in New York City. He eventually became very involved with restaurant business and had a son, Fred Trump, who fell in love with real estate, and eventually passed on this love to Donald. The rest of the novel details stories from Trump’s early life in military school and college and the first deals he made as a real estate mogul. Along the way, he gained a lot of popularity and a pedigree as one of the figureheads of business in New York City. He also became very involved in politics for the latter part of his life, which ultimately led to his decision to run for the election in 2016. After being elected on November 8, 2016, the rest is history.

I enjoyed that the novel was very thorough in terms of information on not only Donald Trump, but also his family members and other significant members of his campaign. I could tell that there was a lot of outside research that was compiled to make Trump’s life story complete. The one thing I didn’t like, however, was that there were some parts of the book that were relatively uninteresting and difficult to follow at times. When Brockenbrough wrote about various deals and lawsuits filed against him, there were a lot of monetary figures and financial terms that I had relatively little knowledge of. This novel requires a lot of knowledge and concentration to fully understand.

The most memorable aspect of this book is all the blasphemy that Trump told to reporters, stated online. The author decided to include dozens of quotes and Twitter posts from before and after his presidency to showcase his extremely aggressive nature and reluctance to accept basic facts. I already knew before reading this book that a lot of what he said was crazy, but the novel will truly show you an even crazier side to him that most have never seen before.

4-stars

Reviewed by Griffin G., Gayton Library

Books, Read + Review, Teen Reviews

Read + Review: Undying By Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

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Click here to place a hold on this book!

In this sequel to the popular novel “Unearthed”, our main characters, Mia and Jules are trying to escape the alien spaceship they were trapped on during the final pages of the “Unearthed”. After making an extremely narrow escape off the ship, Mia and Jules warn their hometown about the approaching threat that threatens the safety of the earth itself. But, to no avail. With absolutely no help, our main characters are forced to take matters into their own hands and handle the threat themselves. In this captivating novel, Mia and Jules travel across the entirety of Europe to stop the possible alien invasion. The story takes place from the mountains of Spain, all the way to streets located in Prague.

One thing I absolutely loved about this book was its humor at times. The situations would get very tense, and the author would just toss in a joke to defuse the situation. The darkish humor makes the book all the more enjoyable. The characters are also around the same age range as most people reading the book. The author knew this and made the characters relatable to their relative age range. I also like that the book switches between certain characters’ perspectives throughout the book to make sure the reader has a good idea of what’s happening from multiple perspectives.

Surprisingly, the most memorable moment in the book is in the first few pages of the book. Most authors never even get the idea to give a little note to the reader at the beginning of the book. I personally have never seen any author do that before. That’s the reason it’s most memorable for me. I will also always remember the love the author has for the reader. The author expresses that a lot, and that is another way I will always remember this book.

4-stars-1

Reviewed by Minh L., Glen Allen Library

Books, Read + Review, Teen Reviews

Read + Review: Never Evers by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison

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Click here to place a hold on this book!

Mouse’s world seems to collapse when she is required to leave her ballet school, and her self-esteem seemingly deteriorates every second of her life. Without any alternative activities or interests to instill any inspiration in her, Mouse’s motivation is at an all-time low. However, her mother urges her to join her new school’s field trip to assist her with coming out of her shell. Unfortunately, she doesn’t really have a choice in the matter. Up in the mountains that are topped with snow, Mouse faces an exciting series of events with her two companions, Connie and Kiera, and a furry hamster that Connie managed to sneak in. Additionally, a romance begins to blossom between Mouse and Jack, the lead singer of a band without a name. Never Evers is a novel brimming with twists and turns happening both on and off the slopes.

The endearing moments between Mouse and Jack caused me to do everything within my power to suppress my squealing and giddiness due to their romance. What I found frustrating was the amount of time it took for the two realize how compatible they were together. Throughout the course of the novel, Mouse and Jack continued to be distracted by other love interests, but it frankly made their relationship more engrossing and interesting to read. Since the beginning, Mouse battles with her esteem and self-efficacy after hearing some not-so-nice words from Lauren, a girl who ceased to even interact with Mouse after finding out she was not accepted into ballet school. I could see myself in Mouse during moments when she felt down, which overwhelmed me with emotion. All-in-all, this novel emphasizes the significance of being yourself, which I personally believe is immensely important.

The most memorable event in the book is a conundrum that occurred in the beginning. Jack and one of his friends, Max, are invited to Lauren’s room, but when searching for it, they end up in Mouse, Connie, and Kiera’s room. The issue is that it was the middle of the night, and the ruckus they create cause an authority figure to come to settle the situation. I burst out laughing when Jack hid in the girls’ closet and encountered a certain “furry” friend, who was undoubtedly Connie’s hamster, Mr. Jambon.

4-stars-1

Reviewed by Jessica C., Glen Allen Library

Books, Read + Review, Teen Reviews

Read + Review: The Crossroads by Alexandra Diaz

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The Crossroads, sequel to The Only Road, continues the story of Jamie Rivera, a refugee from Guatemala. In the previous book, he entered the United States due to gang violence in his home country. After both he and his cousin, Ángela come to live with their brother, Tomás, Jamie is extremely reluctant to start school. This entrance into his new school is made even worse by the fact that he can barely speak English. Throughout all the bullying, embarrassing moments, and the fact that everything around him is strange, Jamie never truly feels like he fits in. He wants nothing but to go home to Guatemala, but violence back in his home country prevents him and his cousin from returning. It almost seems as if he’ll never belong in the United States, but has no choice but to stay. Through the unknown, will Jamie finally make friends and truly learn to belong?

I honestly liked this book. It was just amazing with a unique story, one that I had never heard before. I had never read a story about two Guatemalan refugees before, and was intrigued by the synopsis. I liked how real all of the characters seemed; they just seemed so believable. I could completely understand how strange and afraid Jamie felt when entering a new school, even more so since he couldn’t speak English that well. Also, the scattered details throughout the book, like Jamie’s artwork and even descriptions of Vida, their dog, made the whole read quite endearing. However, I didn’t really understand some of the details and references in the book, since I hadn’t read The Only Road.

One of the most memorable parts of the book was how Vida, the dog, was described. Vida was described using all of the most tantalizing details possible. Sometimes, I even felt like she was in the room with me while I was reading. In the previous book, Vida was rescued by Ángela and came with them to the United States; which is similar to Jamie and Ángela being “rescued” from the gangs in Guatemala and being taken to the U.S.A. Throughout the book, she was a true companion to everyone, and the way she could sense when people were upset was just so endearing. The attention and accuracy of all these canine details make me wonder if the author had a dog similar to Vida.

0-five-stars2

Reviewed by Sanika R., Grade 8, Twin Hickory Area Library

Books

It’s Written in the Stars @ HCPL

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An astronomical literary event is here! Get ready for Teen Read Week!

Originating from the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), this Teen Read Week is from October 7th-13th, and its theme is “Written in the stars”, all to encourage any reading in fantasy, science fiction, and anything else otherworldly-in order to expand your imagination and thinking with out-of-the-box ideas!

If you’re whirling out of orbit and can’t think of any titles, we can get you started with some suggestions:

35181314Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston

This is a fast paced science fiction tale about Ana, a space pirate, and the lengths she will go to fix her sentient android, D09. Also available as an ebook.

27919232Autonomous by Andy Marino

William wins one of the new driver-less cars and takes some of his friends on a cross country trip that turns out to be more action packed than they anticipated.

35140574The Diminished by Kaitlyn Sage   Patterson

Bo is a singleborn and destined to rule. Vi was born a twin, but her twin died in infancy, marking her as one of the diminished. Bo and Vi’s lives intersect after a shocking revelation. Also available as an ebook.

Henrico County Public Library offers a slurry of fun programs to accentuate Teen Read Week-for learning and entertainment! Games, science, escapes, and more:

October 8th-10th “Teen Read Week” at Tuckahoe Library, 5pm-7pm

October 9th “Escape the Upside Down: A Stranger Things Escape Room” at Varina Area Library, 7pm

October 10th “Teen STEM Club” at North Park Library, 7:30pm

October 11th “Night Sky Astronomy” at Varina Area Library, 6:45pm

October 13th ” Hocus Pocus Film Screening” at Twin Hickory Library, 2pm

Register on our website, or give us a call!