Friday, January 29, 2016

Book Review: The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry

Author:  Emily Henry
Genre: Young adult, fantasy, sci-fi, contemporary (ALL the genres!)
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: January 26, 2016
400 pages, hardcover

Lovely, beautifully written, unique, fantastic, wonderful. Okay, real review, Stefani.
In THE LOVE THAT SPLIT THE WORLD, Natalie starts seeing her world but not quite. She sees a preschool where a garden store usually is, an extra wing on the local church, a red door instead of a green one, a field full of grazing buffalo where her town used to be. And then, after a visit from the apparition she’s seen off and on her whole life (named Grandmother) when she’s told she has 3 months to save “him”, Natalie sees a mysterious and beautiful boy named Beau in the middle of her high school football stadium. And now all of the stories that Grandmother told her in the middle of the night start to make sense. But who is she supposed to save? And how?
I really don’t have the proper words to talk about this book. The writing is splendid, saccharine and soulful and aching and lovely. This book is full of life, stories, love, and sadness, and it is absolutely beautiful. I was immediately pulled into the story through Grandmother’s myths and legends (tales of gods and humans, bravery and love) and was kept completely mesmerized until the last word.
I want to go down to the filed, to stand with this boy between the sky and the grass until every part of me touches every part of the world. – ARC page 32
There were a few times in the middle when the story felt a bit drawn out, but I didn’t really lose interest. Mostly I wanted the story to focus a bit more on what was happening to Natalie (as the sci-fi/fantasy aspects were super intriguing) rather than the romance, though the book is calledThe LOVE That Split the World so I should’ve known. Plus, Matt got on my NERVES. But I swear, if I die without ever having a friendship like Natalie and Megan, I’m going to be super disappointed. Seriously – best friendship in a book EVER.
Also, this:
And when you see those good things–and I promise you, there are so many good things–they’re going to be so much brighter for you than they are for other people, just like the abyss always seems deeper and bigger when you stare at it. If you stick it out, it’s all going to feel worth it in the end. Every moment you live, every darkness you face, they’ll all feel worth it when you’re staring light in the face. – ARC page 205
The bottom line: A lovely, unique, spellbinding story of love, humanity, bravery, and passion. Emily Henry’s writing is GORGEOUS and full of a wonderful new voice that I can’t wait to get more of. The middle part dragged just a bit, but not too much. Also, BEST FRIENDSHIP EVER.
-- Stefani
Does this sound like your kind of book? Find it on the CMRLS catalog and check it out!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Graphic Novel Review: Username: Evie by Joe Sugg

Author: Joe Sugg / Matt Whyman

Illustrator:  Amrit Birdi

Publisher: Running Press

Publication Date: September 22, 2015

192 pages, paperback

I feel like I should’ve known better, but I think that Joe Sugg is super funny (check out his YouTube channel ThatcherJoe) so I wanted to check it out and I wanted to like it so much. Plus the art on the cover looked pretty cool, but it was A LIE. I was more disappointed than I should have been – again, I should have known better.
Why this is bad:
- The story is ridiculously fast-paced. There is zero time to actually get to know and therefore care about any of the characters. It rushed through everything that happened and led to a very confusing and muddled plotline.
- The characters are flat in more ways than one.
          - The artwork has no movement whatsoever and all of the characters are 2D because of it.
          - But their personalities are also super flat and boring. There’s no explanation for why Mallory – Evie’s cousin – hates her so much; the science isn’t explained – although the idea of a virtual world that is influenced by a person’s thoughts/actions is pretty cool; I just didn’t care about anyone.
- The art. Geez. It’s just bad. Sometimes the characters aren’t proportional; sometimes Evie and Mallory look like the same person which is confusing. The art is flat and emotionless and bland, despite the vibrant colors.
- The writing. I’ll say that the idea is pretty cool, but the writing is not. The characters – mostly Evie – feel the need to constantly explain what they are doing or why something won’t work or that they are currently running. Okay, not the last one, but that’s what it felt like. Instead of showing the reader what was happening through the art or through dialogue, we are flat out told in long explanatory thought boxes. It was exhausting and unnecessary and annoying.

The bottom line: I was NOT a fan of this graphic novel. From flat art and characters to unnecessary explanations, Username: Evie is just not a good book.

-- Stefani

Want to see if you feel the same way? Find Username: Evie in the CMRLS Catalog and place a hold on it!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Book Review: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Author: Susan Dennard
Genre: Young adult, fantasy
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: January 5, 2016
416 pages, hardcover

Curse the hype monster, man. I went into this one with some – unfairly – HIGH expectations because it seems like everyone and their mother loved Truthwitch. And in the end, I did like it and I enjoyed several things about it. But I also had some issues.
What I loved:
- The magic – The idea of different “witcheries” was SO cool. People can have different powers – air, water, essentially a lie detector (this is what Safi is – a Truthwitch), or the ability to see people’s “Threads” (their emotions) – which were all really fascinating. I think I was most intrigued by Iseult’s “Threadwitchery”. I also liked the idea of Threadfamilies. You become connected to someone by saving them, etc.
- Aeduan – The “villain”. I don’t know if you’re really meant to love him as much as I did, but I just loved I always go for the misunderstood villain. All of my favorite scenes had Aeduan in them. He just kicked up the pace a bit. And my heartbeat. Looking forward to learning more about him in the next one.
- The dialogue – snarky, witty, intelligent, and just fun. Especially the dialogue between Safi/Iseult and Safi/Merick – so. much. sarcasm.
What I didn’t like:
- Four POVs – A little farther down I talk about Safi and Iseult, which really explains this issue, but I’ll just say that there were times when I struggled to figure out whose POV it was.
- “The Big Reveal” – I guessed this WAY early on in the book. The narrative surrounding the reveal was way too easy to figure out and not at all subtle. At least for me.
- Some of the middle section – I feel like the middle section dragged a bit. It’s possibly because I already figured out the reveal and I was just bored while everyone in the story got there. But the last 1/4 of the book really made up for it.
What I was iffy on:
- Safi & Iseult: Okay, I really LOVED both of them. I liked Safi’s sarcasm and Iseult’s spunk. I loved their friendship and their passion. But sometimes, they seemed like the same character. Their voices aren’t as distinct in the beginning as I’d like, especially when there were scenes of them together. Made for difficult reading.
- The world: This book starts off rather confusing because you are thrust right into the middle of the world and the middle of some action and you (at least I) felt like you’re scrabbling to gain purchase in the world. The first 1/4 of the book or so is like this. But, on the other hand, the world is absolutely fascinating, and I felt like I was standing in the middle of it gazing around with my mouth open because the world was so vast and just cool. So…confusing AND intriguing.
The bottom line: In the end I still really liked Truthwitch, and I definitely want to read the next one, especially because the world should be more settled by then. There won’t need to be so much time spent on establishing the world. I would still recommend this one to fantasy lovers, but would caution people – it takes a little while to get into the book and understand the world.
-- Stefani
Want to see what you think of Truthwitch? Find it on the CMRLS catalog and place a hold on it!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Music Monday: Pink Floyd

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.


HAPPY NEW YEAR! I thought we’d take it back a bit today, and I’d share some of my favorite Pink Floyd songs – the kind of music I was raised on. :) I’ve always loved Pink Floyd; they’re perfect for studying, reading, or just relaxing. Or, in the case of Another Brick in the Wall, getting you super pumped! Here are five of my favorite Pink Floyd songs, all of which you can find on Freegal.


Have a Cigar
Wish You Were Here


Comfortably Numb
Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2
Hey You

If any of these catch your eye, head on over Freegal and download them, or check out some of their other music! All you need is your library card and pin number.
Plus, don’t forget that you can stream any of the music that’s on Freegal for 3 hours every. single. day!