Read + Review: Mister Impossible by Maggie Stiefvater

Mister Impossible (Dreamer Trilogy, #2) by Maggie Stiefvater

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Mister Impossible by Maggie Stiefvater serves as the second book in the Dreamer trilogy. It picks up from Call Down the Hawk with Dreamers Ronan Lynch and Hennessy. Dreamers are people who are known for their ability to make their dreams into reality. It starts off with them following Bryde, their mentor, and fellow Dreamer, who is on the run from Moderators, an organization bent on killing Dreamers. Ronan and Hennessy are on their own mission of restoring the ley lines, supernatural energy that keeps Dreamers and their fellow dreams alive. While in Boston, Massachusetts, Declan Lynch and Jordan Hennessy scramble to find an alternative to keeping Lynch’s dreamt brother, Matthew, alive and able to live life fully as a dream. Powerful decisions are to be made as the Dreamers rush to keep the force that fuels them and their dreams alive.

The plot is mainly set in Virginia with Ronan and Hennessy helping Bryde fix the ley lines and help make Dreamers more powerful. The book switches from Virginia to Boston, Massachusetts where Declan, Jordan, and Matthew discover an alternate way to keep dreams alive without depending on their Dreamer. I thought the book was gripping as it added more to the supernatural world of Dreamers and further delved into their powers. I also felt like all the characters seemed on the edge of becoming morally grey characters because there were parts in the book where I was fully agreeing with their motives, and then realized to myself, “Wait, they’re literally committing ecoterrorism to further their goals.” I did think the author did a good job of making me fall into that trap.

I will say the prose in the book is a little difficult to understand at times. I did have to reread a few paragraphs here and there because the writing felt a little too advanced for me to understand. I did enjoy seeing all the characters interact with each other. Declan Lynch definitely became a character I began to sympathize with and understand after seeing him represented from the biased POV of Ronan. I wished we got more POVs from the other characters, like Adam Parrish, just to see the story from different perspectives. Overall, the book was a very gripping novel that left me waiting for the next plot twist.

Reviewed by Tasnia, Libbie Mill Library


Read + Review: It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne

Amazon.com: It Only Happens in the Movies (9780358172062): Bourne, Holly:  Books
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It Only Happens in the Movies is a story that surrounds a 17-year-old British girl, Audrey. While coping with her parent’s divorce and a breakup with Milo, she’s been abstaining from her friends, love & romance. But everything changes after she meets her coworker, Harry, at her new job at Flicker. With her media studies project for school, she dissects the stereotypes in typical romance movies and wonders why love is never like that in real life. But despite her beliefs, she inevitably falls for Harry and becomes part of his feminist zombie flick, where she finds herself again. Unlike the usual “happily ever after endings,” the finish gives an unexpected twist as Audrey finds what’s best for her.

I liked the overall message of the book but not the way it was delivered. At the beginning of each chapter, the author includes bits and pieces of Audrey’s media studies project, which intrudes the flow of the book. I wish she added it elsewhere where it wouldn’t stagnate the flow. Additionally, the story goes a lot in depth about relationships and being true to oneself. The book hooks you from the beginning to the end due to its colloquial language and tone, making it a quick and easy read. I also loved the author’s word choice for Audrey’s character development, which helps readers understand her feelings throughout the book. There is also a balance of emotions since the book is not sad-themed or happy either. I also like the cover and its popcorn theme!

One memorable thing about the book is how it stood apart from traditional romcoms. I loved how Audrey was so relatable, and that ending was king! It is the reason I am rating 4 stars for this book.

Review by Sruthi, Twin Hickory Area Library


Read & Review: Rules for being a girl by Candance Bushnell


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It’s Marin’s senior year, and she’s got it in the bag to Brown University. She’s a great student and is co-editor with her best friend of the school paper. Her grandmother, who is very important to her, is why Marin wants to get into Brown University – to make her proud. However, her English teacher Mr. Beckett or “Bex,” as students call him, makes a move on her which causes her to think about a lot – was what happened her fault? Is she overthinking it? She also realizes that there are tons of rules for girls that stem from society and are incorporated in the school’s dress code and ends up writing about it in the school newspaper and starts a feminist book club. Although she went through a lot, in the end, things begin to look up for her.

This book was good. It shows what girls go through regarding sexual harassment and when many don’t believe them about it. It brought light to how the school administration doesn’t always care about sexual harassment and how it doesn’t always help the students. It talked a bit about how feminism isn’t always intersectional, and there’s a group discussion about it during a book club meeting. Marin was okay. I felt like she was naive in the beginning. I also wondered why she didn’t think Bex was weird due to his behavior towards her, but she trusted Bex, and he betrayed that trust/abused his power when he made a move on her. Chloe, Marin’s best friend, was okay. I didn’t like her after what she did, but there was a reason behind it. I liked Gray due to his awareness of many things, plus he was there for Marin through it all. I loved the book club with its meetings and discussions and wished there were more. I hated Bex, the English teacher, so much. It was obvious what he did to Marin he did to other students. I thought he was weird, and there were tons of red flags about him in the beginning. The book overall was good, and I didn’t want to put it down.

One memorable moment was when she talked to her parents about what Bex did. They never blamed her for what happened because it was Bex’s fault and attempted to chase any doubt Marin had about it being her fault.

Reviewed by Roopa, Tuckahoe library


Read & Review: The Enigma Game by Elizabeth Wein

For most people, the start of World War 2 symbolized death and destruction. However, for some, it meant the beginning of a new life, a life with adventure and hope. That was how Louisa’s journey began in England, in a world full of secrecy, code, and warfare. She embarks on a magnificent journey with her elderly accomplice, Jane, and gets entangled in all sorts of affairs in hopes of proving her value in the war effort against Germany. Along with the help of the Royal Air Force, she relays messages decoded by an intricate machine from a Nazi defector. Enter a world full of excitement, mystery, and stealth in this captivating and inspiring novel.

This was quite different from other books I’ve read because it started out slow-paced, and gradually escalated things and made them interesting. The three central characters, Jamie, Louisa, and Ellen had a great connection with each other that was beautifully played out in the first few chapters of the book, and this bond got even stronger as the novel progressed. I enjoyed how different the writing style was from each different perspective of a character, and how that fits into their individual personalities. Although some characters were blander than others, the overarching plot of the novel worked out in a way that made up for that.

One memorable thing was how, instead of progressing chapters, the book simply switched viewpoints to the first-person perspective of another main character, and cycled through characters strategically in a certain situation. I also enjoyed the metaphorical comparisons made between characters who were different from the rest of the majority of England like Louisa and Ellen.

Reviewed by, Arnav, Glen Allen Library


Read & Review: Game Changer by Neal Shusterman

Ash Bowman is just a normal high school student who lives in an average house with an average family and goes to an average school. His passion for football has led him to be the defensive tackle on his school’s football team, the Tibbetsville Tsunamis. However, as the football season starts, Ash notices that his tackles seem to change the world. Soon, he learns that he has become the center of the universe and that he can control events in the past and even shift time. Through his transformations between parallel universes, he becomes humbled and gains awareness of many societal issues when the societal opinion on segregation, his sexuality, and even his gender changes. However, his clueless and reckless utilization of his power at first leads to a possibility of a correction by the universe, which would result in a cleansing of life from Earth. With interdimensional beings and his friends, whose proximity effect allows them to retain some memories of what had happened in previous universes, he must return the universe to its original state and revert his blind mistakes.

The book created a good mix of moods, being hilarious at some points, while also being very intriguing at other points. The details that patched up the switches between the universes was excellently written and appealed to me the most. Ash’s narration made him sound like a friend, which draws in the reader further. Most of all, I thought that Neal Shusterman had a very original concept for the book, which had a huge potential. I personally feel that such a short book does not and could not possibly encapsulate so many controversial social issues that Neal Shusterman was trying to create awareness of, though the attempt was admirable. Despite this, the book is entertaining nonetheless and I strongly suggest this book!

For me, this book is memorable due to its one-of-a-kind idea of alternate universes. While this idea might seem elementary to this book as science fiction, the author did a splendid job designing details that all connect together like an intricate web. Most of all, the book provoked thought, and readers were encouraged to take away important lessons from the book.

Reviewed by Qingyuan, Twin Hickory Library