Saturday, November 21, 2015

Nine of Stefani's Favorite Book Quotes from the Past Year

I've read a lot of books in the past year (about 150 or so), and as I read, I find beautiful quotes or passages that really speak to me or that I relate to, and I thought I'd share some of my favorite quotes from the books that I've read in the past year with you. All of the book titles are linked to our online catalog, so if the quote catches your fancy, you can place a hold on the book! 

“When you were born, you cried while the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries while you rejoice.” Mosquitoland by David Arnold

“I will be STRONGER than my sadness” My Heart & Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

“No, Lila had been running toward something. Something better. And even if she hadn’t reached it yet. She would.”


“I’m not going to die,” she said. “Not till I’ve seen it.” “Seen what?” Her smile widened. “Everything.” A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
"Because there's not denying it now. I'm in the world. And, too, the world is in me." Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

“Don’t feel bad for one moment about doing something that brings you joy.” A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

“I fall a little bit in love with everyone.” Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
“Quick, make a wish. Take a (second or third or fourth) chance. Remake the world.”  I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
“So now live for real, Craig. Live. Live. Live. Live.Live.” It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

What are some of your favorite book quotes?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Book Review: Daughters Unto Devils

Daughters Unto Devils

Author: Amy Lukavics

Published: September 2015

Pages: 231

Amanda Verner’s life changed last winter. From her fit of insanity—presumably a result of cabin fever—and her new, sickly baby sister who cries endlessly, Amanda has sought to forget the long, harsh winter in the arms of the post boy. Soon she finds herself jilted and pregnant, and on her way to a new homestead in the prairie, where her family, ignorant of her condition, has decided to try to stick out the upcoming winter that promises to be worse than the one before. Amanda thinks this may be her chance at a fresh start—that is until they arrive at the cabin, which is covered in blood, and Amanda’s visions from last winter begin to return. Amanda fears she may find out soon enough what lurks in the prairie fields.

I was, pardon my pun, dying to read this book. As soon as it came in the run on the new shipment, I snatched it up and checked it out for myself. I really, really wanted to love it. Which is why it was a bummer to find out that it was…alright, I guess?

Here’s the thing: Amy Lukavics is a very good storyteller. The eerie atmosphere of this book hovers over it like a blanket, and honestly, the almost glacial pace of the first 150 pages only lends itself to that feeling. I was willing to be led along slowly, and I love a good build up. The problem for me was the character development. Basically, there wasn’t any. Despite the ample opportunity we have to get to know these characters, we really kind of don’t.

That said, there was some stuff I really loved about this book. I love a good spooky story, and the last quarter of this book ramps it up to eleven out of nowhere. It’s been touted as Little House on the Prairie meets Stephen King, and that’s a pretty apt description. If you've ever seen the movie The Others, it's a little bit like that--a long, slow wind-up, and then the climactic ending hits you like a slingshot. I’ll warn you, though, the imagery in this book gets downright gruesome, so I wouldn’t advise it if you’ve got a sensitive stomach.

I can’t say much about the ending for fear of spoiling it, but I’ll say this: If you’re looking for a happy ending, you should look elsewhere.

Check it out and let me know what you think!


Want to read Daughters Unto Devils? Find it in the CMRLS catalog and put a hold on it!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Our Teens Review Books: The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey

Title: The Girl at Midnight

Author: Melissa Grey

Published: August 28, 2015

357 pages, hardcover

This is a debut novel. When it comes to debut novels, things may go a little weary, or somewhat lackluster within the beginning. Other times, a debut novel could introduce the author with high quality in his/her writing, and reveal to the audience what they're capable of. 

Melissa Grey shows us the world of Avicen, a fantasy world within the human realms of New York City. Avicen is mystical, magical and special, but hidden within the shadows...- or preferably, shadow dust. Two worlds held together, but the power of magic conceals everything. To the bird-like creatures of Avicens to fiery human hybrid dragons called Drakhari(s), these main species been at war with each other for centuries. How did the war start? Who knows, the reason's been long gone, yet both party continues to battle without hesitation, blind by ignorance and unquestioned hatred. The war will increase by bloodshed, hatred and fury, and will corrupt all civillians. Unless there's an ultimate resolution: Obtain the firebird.

The world is quite whimsical in its own way without being out of touch. Descriptive, but too descriptive if I might say, and the flowery paragraphs can become overbearing. I enjoyed the Avicen world, but I felt the human world should've been touched, too. Besides the worlds, the Avicen bird/human hybrids are interesting. They're not abnormal creatures, in fact, they respond and act like every other human being, so, suppose it's a good thing? I would like to say the same for Drakhari(s), but unfortunately, the dragon creatures weren't mentioned nor developed as I hoped for. 

Characters? They carry high potential being intriguing, well developed characters. There's quirks in each character that makes them stand out, and then the dialogue what shines in the character's development. The main character, Echo, is a snarky, feisty girl who take first, then ask questions later. I find Echo funny and I do appreciate her get-it-done attitude. Other characters? Well, as I previously stated, they have these 'quirks' that makes them stand out, but I feel like they're relying on that one trait as their core personality. Like, (spoiler?) there's feisty girl, nerd, jock... But they don't have anything else besides that, and it becomes somewhat dull. 

Not much action, but rather scenarios of hide and seek. 

Reading the book is entertaining to a degree, but what stopped me from completing is the cliches. There's many cliches within the story, and I don't have a deliberate issue with cliches, it's just the execution is predictable and in your face, which I cannot bring myself to continue reading. It's like I already knew what's going to happen, and then it happens. I knew who's going to become 'The Chosen One' since the very beginning, knew who's going to be rejected, what's the result ETC. There were plot holes that confused me, and then I wished certain areas were further explained instead of simply appearing within the story. 

As of general, I didn't take this story very seriously. On another note, this is the author's first novel, so I not going the rips the story to shreds because it isn't a bad novel, but it's not top notch, either. If I had to rate it, I'll give it a 3.0/3.5 in rating. I say, read it for entertainment or if you have a knack for modern fantasy and description, like, flowery description. 

-- Amber
Want to check out The Girl at Midnight? Find it on the CMRLS catalog and put it on hold!

Music Monday: Brand New

It’s Music Monday! What does that mean? The Central Mississippi Regional Library System has a ridiculous amount of FREE to you resources available for patrons. One of those is Freegal, a free and legal service that now allows patrons to download five songs each week for FREE (notice the emphasis on free). Every Monday we’ll be picking five songs that we love that are available on Freegal for you to download.

In case you've missed my last blog posts, streaming is definitely a thing now with Freegal! Patrons that sign-in with their library card and pin number can stream up to three hours a day! In a world that typically costs money for streaming, this is incredibly advantageous! And in case you already didn't know, you can download Freegal's app and listen from your mobile anytime and anywhere you want. How cool is that?

So, I've noticed that I've spent a great deal talking about hip-hop and R&B, so for the next few posts that I get the chance to do I'm going to branch out a bit. And today, I'm going to take you back to your angsty, existential teenage days with one of my forever favorites: Brand New. I was first introduced to Brand New (and Manchester Orchestra) in 2007 when I snuck into WC Dons and fangirled all over their front man Jesse Lacey, and from there I've had a relationship with their music ever since. They'll take you all over the place within the context of just one simple song, and with all of their discography (painfully) considered, I made myself narrow down my favorites to these five:

1. Jesus Christ on The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me 
Jesus Christ, I'm not scared to die | I'm a little bit scared of what comes after | Do I get the gold chariot? | Do I float through the ceiling? | Do I divide and fall apart? 
2. Mixtape on Your Favorite Weapon
This is the first song on your mixtape | And it's short just like your temper | But somewhat golden like the afternoons we used to spend before you got too cool
3. Seventy Times 7 on Your Favorite Weapon
I've seen more spine in jellyfish | I've seen more guts in 11-year-old kids
4. Tautou on Deja Entendu
I'm sinking like a stone in the sea 
5. The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows on Deja Entendu 
So keep the blood in your head | And keep your feet on the ground

So, yeah. Brand New is definitely something else. I hope you enjoy these songs if you check them out. Thanks for reading and listening! 
That's all for today.


Monday, November 2, 2015

Music Monday: Imogen Heap

It’s Music Monday! What does that mean? The Central Mississippi Regional Library System has a ridiculous amount of FREE to you resources available for patrons. One of those is Freegal, a free and legal service that now allows patrons to download five songs each week for FREE (notice the emphasis on free). Every Monday we’ll be picking five songs that we love that are available on Freegal for you to download. Don’t forget, as of October, you also get three hours of streaming music every day for free, too!

I’ve been in love with Imogen Heap for years, before I even realized who she was. Many of you might have heard her voice even if you don’t recognize the name, because along with her solo albums, she’s part of the duo Frou Frou and the originator of the “Mmm Whatcha Say” meme.

…Yep. Before it got yanked and remixed into various songs and SNL skits, the infamous line came from Imogen’s song “Hide and Seek” on her album Speak For Yourself.

Here are some of my favorites from Imogen (no. 3 is from Frou Frou but it still counts!):

1. The Walk on Speak For Yourself
It's not meant to be like this, not what I planned at all / I don't want to feel like this, so that makes it all your fault
2. The Moment I Said It on Speak For Yourself
It's not even light out, but you've somewhere to be--no hesitation
3.  Let Go on The Garden State Soundtrack
Drink up baby doll / are you in or out?
4. Hide and Seek on Speak For Yourself
Hide and seek / Trains and sewing machines

Honestly, pretty much everything Imogen Heap does is awesome. If any of these catch your eye, head on over Freegal and download them, or check out some of her other music! All you need is your library card and pin number.

Have fun!