Codes for Reviews

First Initial (Overall Rating):
E = Exceptional
VG = Very Good
G = Good
F = Fair
NR = Not Recommended

Second Initital (Reading Level):
A = Average Reading Level
E = Easy
M = Mature

“The views expressed are of individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of their respective institutions.”

For more information about YAR, please email Dora Ho at

Thursday, December 11, 2014

This One Summer
Graphic Novel
E/A Tamaki, Jillian and Tamaki, Mariko. This One Summer. First Second, 2014. 319p. 978-1-59643-774-6. 17.99.

Rose and Wendy meet every summer at Awago Beach, the summer vacation spot for both of their families. In past years, they would swim and hang out and eat popsicles and basically just be kids. But this year, everything is starting to change. Author and illustrator team Jillian and Mariko Tamaki beautifully capture the awkwardness and anxiety of the start of adolescence. Rose’s crush on the older teen who works at the convenience store is subtle and brilliantly observed. Also, the boredom of long summer days and Rose’s powerlessness as her parents’ marriage becomes strained are exquisitely rendered.  Haunting, funny and true, this graphic novel should be strongly recommended to all teens. Philip Levie, LAPL, Panorama City Branch Library 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014



G/A  Kostigen, Thomas.  Extreme Weather.  National Geographic, 2014.  112p.  978-1-4263-1811-5.  12.99.  "Be prepared" for adverse weather conditions seems to be the underlying message that's given to readers of this title.  Mudslides, sandstorms, whiteouts and floods are a few of the mother nature conditions described.  Tips on how to recognize what might be forthcoming, advice on how to react and helpful interpretable gadgets to own are attractively presented in highlighted spaces along page borders.  Includes both a straightforward Table of Contents and a detailed index.    E.M. Roublow (ret.)



G/A  Helms, Antje.  Does This Happen To Everyone?  Little Gestalten, 2014.  160p.  978-3-89955-521-9.  24.95.  Questions related to youth's developing bodies, first love, sex and pregnancy are addressed with partial to full page responses.  Color photographs of middle school kids are generously spread throughout the book.  "Creative" images (i.e. flowers representing facial pimples and underarm hair; seeds seen as a mustache; a cucumber wearing a condom; etc.) are also included.  While some levity probably allows for comfortable discussions of these subjects, it might also instigate inappropriate giggles.  Yet the relaxed "personality" of this book could provide a good platform for parent -- pre-teen interaction.  You'll not find an index but there is a generous list of web links.    E.M. Roublow (ret.)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Cheesie Mack is sort of freak out.

Middle School Fiction G/A Cotler, Steve. Cheesie Mack is sort of freak out. New York: Random House, 2014. ISBN: 978-0-385-36988-6 244p. $18.99. Cheesie Mack a.k.a Ronald Mack, ages 11. Cheesie and his best friend Georgie decided to pull a prank on their friends Oddny and Lana. It is going to be their “Massive Halloween Prank.” They decided that it will be about UFO and asked Cheesie’s grandpa to help them to get the supplies. However, the plan backfired and Oddny and Lana were really upset with Cheesie. Everyone in the middle school knew about their prank now and they were all mad at the boys. They tried to apologize and even did magic tricks to impress the girls again. Now that June a.k.a“Goon”, Cheesie’s big sister and rival, thinks it is time the two boys need to learn their lesson and pull the same prank on Cheesie and Georgie while they were at Diana’s Halloween party. They saw the light and object in the sky that night and truly believe that there was an UFO. Cheesie even recorded it to show their science teacher, Mr. Amato. Until they saw Goon holding a model of a flying saucer, they knew now that everything was a hoax; the joke was on them now. The boys learned their lesson about pranks and everyone became friends again. A great fun story for Halloween. This is Cheesie Mack’s fifth adventure! Dora Ho, Young Adult Librarian - Los Angeles Public Library

Monday, November 24, 2014

How It Went Down

High School Fiction

VG/M  Magoon, Kekla.  How It Went Down.  Henry Holt, 2014.  336p.  978-0-8050-9869-3.  17.99.

What really happened when 16yo Tariq Johnson was shot and killed by a Caucasian man on the street? Was Tariq holding a gun or a Snickers bar for his little sister? Much like real events, the Trayvon Martin shooting and the Ferguson, MO shooting, we may never know the answer. Told from multiple perspectives (witnesses of the shooting, the local store owner, family and friends of Tariq and more), the reader gets an idea of what happened that day, what led up to the shooting and the community response to it, but just like reality, doesn’t get all the answers. Not only was this book a great read with short chapters, but it’s a definite conversation starter. Loren Spector, LAPL, Memorial Branch Library

Monday, November 3, 2014



V/A  Tougias, Michael & Casey Sherman.  Finest Hours.  Holt, 2014.  161p.  978-0-8050-9764-1.  17.99.
  In a novel-like format, coast guardsmen tell of their heroic rescue of surviving crew members aboard the Fort Mercer and Pendleton oil tankers.  Both vessels -- in the same time period -- literally split in half during a 1952 horrendous New England storm.  Great for book report assignments.  Can also be offered to readers who thrive on adventure and excitement.    E.M. Roublow (ret.)



G/M  Lewis, J. Patrick & George Ella Lyon.  Voices From the March on Washington.  Chronicle, 2014.  114p.  978-1-62091-785-5.  15.95.
  August 28, 1963's March... surely amazed the six prominent African-American gentlemen who spearheaded its concept as well as the organizers who carried out the plans for this momentous occasion.  Through poetry, we "hear" imaginatively created voices in a multicolored crowd speak to the importance of desegregation and non-discrimination.  Literature and/or history instruction can link this title to studies about the 20th century Civil Rights era.  Mature discussions can also address its relevance to social issues in our current 21st century.    E.M. Roublow (ret.)

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Young Adult Fiction

G/A  Westerfeld, Scott.  Afterworlds.  Simon Pulse, 2014.  608p. 978-1-48142-234-5.  19.99.

Darcy Patel just graduated from high school and instead of going to college, she’s taking a year off to move to New York City to finish her debut YA novel and work on the sequel. In alternating chapters, we, the reader, get to read her novel, titled Afterworlds, giving us essentially two novels in one book. As Darcy navigates NYC and changes and grows as an individual, her novel’s main character, Lizzie, experiences a change in life as well, when she is the sole survivor of a terrorist attack and becomes a living escort for newly deceased souls to the afterlife. While both “novels” are interesting, the chapters seem to alternate just when you want more of the current story. Switching back and forth takes the reader out of each story too abruptly. Setting the formatting aside, the two novels were fun reads, one realistic (and really geared towards book lovers) and the other a new twist on the paranormal. Loren Spector, LAPL, Memorial Branch Library

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Truth About Alice

High School Fiction

G/M  Mathieu, Jennifer.  The Truth About Alice.  Roaring Brook, 2014.  199p.  978-1-59643-909-2. 16.99.

In a very small town in Texas, where everyone knows each other, there is a rumor going around that high school junior, Alice Franklin slept with 2 boys at a high school party. Normally, around here rumors disappear after a while, but this one seems to keep growing and getting more vicious as it does. This novel about bullying and friendship is told from multiple perspectives, all high school juniors connected to Alice in some way, including her former best friend, the popular girl, the odd genius boy and the football player’s best friend. Even though it is sometimes hard to read, because the bullying gets that bad, the story rings true and it’s not bogged down with too many extra “issues” beyond the bullying. It’s definitely more appropriate for older teens given the subject matter. Patrons who like realistic fiction with heavy drama a la Living Dead Girl will enjoy this novel. Loren Spector, LAPL, Memorial Branch Library

Thursday, September 25, 2014

I'll Give You the Sun

High School Fiction

E/A  Nelson, Jandy.  I'll Give You the Sun.  Dial, 2014.  384p.  978-0803734968.  17.99.

Artistic twins Jude and Noah have always been close, but lately they seem to be drifting apart. In this original novel, the story unfolds from both of their perspectives, but in Noah's chapters the twins are 13 and in Jude's they are 16. Eventually the reader learns what changed between them during that time period and if they can find their way back to each other. This is realistic fiction at it's best. It's an honest portrayal of growing up, relationships, family and forgiveness. I'll be recommending this one to teens and adults, since I think everyone will fall in love with the characters and story like I did. Loren Spector, LAPL, Memorial Branch Library

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Andre the Giant: Life and Legend

YA/Adult Graphic Novel

G/A  Brown, Box.  Andre the Giant: Life and Legend.  First Second, 2014.  240p.  978-1-59643-851-4.  17.99.

Andre the Giant was one of the pioneers of professional wrestling. This graphic biography covers his life from boyhood (having to ride in the back of trucks because he couldn't fit in the cab) to his wrestling career, film debut (in Princess Bride) and death. Andre suffered from acromegaly, which caused him to age prematurely and continue to grow his whole life. Even through the pain (and heavy drinking) he continued to wrestle past his life expectancy. Unless your teen patrons are interested in the history of professional wrestling, this book will have more appeal to an adult audience, who is already familiar with Andre the Giant. Some of the content is questionable for teens as well, including bad language, violence and racism. Otherwise, the artwork is great and it's an interesting read about a man who was literally larger than life. Loren Spector, LAPL, Memorial Branch Library

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Stay Where You Are and Then Leave

Juvenile/Middle School Fiction

G/A  Boyne, John.  Stay Where You Are and Then Leave.  Henry Holt, 2014.  245p.  978-1-62779-031-4.  16.99

World War I started on Alfie's 5th birthday and the following day his Dad decides to volunteer, much to the dismay of his family. When the letters stop coming and 4 years have passed, Alfie is told that his father is on a secret mission, but Alfie thinks his father has died. While Alfie spends his days secretly shining shoes at the train station he discovers that his father is actually in England, only a few hours from home, in a hospital suffering from shell shock. Alfie decides to rescue him. Some of the English terms and content make it hard to imagine this book in the hands of a child, but a middle school student with an historical fiction assignment would enjoy it. Loren Spector, LAPL, Memorial Branch Library

Monday, September 1, 2014



G/A  Cooper, Michael L.  Fighting Fire!  Holt, 2014.  128p.  978-0-8050-9714-6.  19.99.  Through ten horrific episodes of fires -- including New York's 9/11; Chicago's Great Fire of 1871; and San Francisco's 1906 fire, "ignited" in the aftermath of an earthquake -- we learn some history of firefighting.  Bucket brigades, simple hose carts and volunteer fire companies are a few of the early forerunners of today's safety codes, continuously updated equipment and professional firefighters.  Approximately 30 pages are devoted to a gallery of fire engines, a list of fire museums, internet sites, a glossary, an extensive bibliography, supplemental titles, source notes and an index.  This title could be handed to a student who expresses admiration for and/or shows an interest in preparing for fire service.   E.M. Roublow (ret.)

Friday, August 8, 2014


G/A  Matson, Lynne.  Nil.  Henry Holt, 2014.  376p.  978-0-8050-9771-9.  17.99.

There's a flash of heat and when Charley wakes up she's naked and alone in a strange place. After 12 days, she finally runs into some other teens and finds out that she is on the island of Nil. No one knows how or why they are there, but they do know that they only have 365 to escape through a "gate" before they perish. "Gates" come once a day and only one living thing can go through each one. Charley develops a relationship with Thad, whose days on Nil are numbered. Told in alternating viewpoints from Charley and Thad, you get to know the characters better, although their voices are pretty similar. Even though there are several holes in the story and a lot of questions left unanswered, this science fiction debut is an adventurous story. Fans of television shows like Lost or Survivor will definitely enjoy this novel. Loren Spector, LAPL, Memorial Branch Library

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Pure Grit: How American WW2 Nurses Survived Battle and Prison Camp in the Pacific

YA Non-Fiction

VG/A  Farrell, Mary Cronk.  Pure Grit: How American WW2 Nurses Survived Battle and Prison Camp in the Pacific.  Abrams, 2014.  160p.  978-1-4197-1028-5.  24.95.

In December 1941, the Japanese attacked the Philippines where thousands of United States Army and Navy soldiers were stationed, along with over 100 Army nurses. The nurses were not prepared for a war zone. By 1942, the nurses were all considered POWs and were forced into internment camps in Manila. With limited food and many sick people, the nurses persevered and worked hard until they were finally liberated in February 1945. Unfortunately, they were not recognized by the military as the heroes that they were when they first returned to the United States. This book chronicles the experiences of these heroic nurses. It includes archival photos, a glossary, timeline, list of nurses, bibliography and index. The only problem with the book is in the editing, there were several chapter headings with the wrong year listed, which made the reading a little confusing at times. Otherwise it was a fascinating read and look at a little recognized piece of World War 2 history. Loren Spector, LAPL, Memorial

Monday, August 4, 2014



V/M  O'Reilly, Bill.  Last Days of Jesus.  Henry Holt, 2014.  298p  978-0-8050-9877-8.  19.99.  Jesus' life, from birth through crucifixion, unfolds among many black and white drawings in this youth edition of the author's KILLING JESUS…  There are also fifteen pages of color illustrations that show a scale replica model of ancient Jerusalem's Temple Complex -- complete with clay figures.  This prose version  of biblical scriptures is a very comfortable read for both young teens and adults.  Additionally, there are approximately thirty-five pages of mini--chapters that cover information relative to:  the Jewish calendar; Dead Sea Scrolls; Roman Religion, Twenty-First-Century Jerusalem sites, etc.  Families can easily enjoy the significance of this era of history together.  (An independent audio version -- read by Edward Herrmann -- is superb.)    E.M. Roublow (ret.)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Teen Spirit

G/A  Block, Francesca.  Teen Spirit.  HarperTeen, 2014.  234p.  978-0-06-200809-1.  17.99. 

Right before Julie’s grandmother, Miriam, passed away she told her she had something to tell her, but never got to finish the sentence. Everything changes after her death. Julie’s mom loses her job and the house, forcing them to move and for Julie to start her senior year at a new school. When Julie and her new friend, Clark, try using a ouija board to contact her grandmother they bring back another ghost. The remainder of the book is spent finding clues to help Julie contact her grandmother’s ghost and sending the other ghost back to where he belongs. Along the way, Julie discovers love and herself. You don’t have to be a fan of the paranormal to enjoy this book, although a little suspension of disbelief will help. Loren Spector, LAPL, Memorial Branch Library

Buried Beneath Us

Middle School Non-Fiction

F/A  Aveni, Anthony.  Buried Beneath Us: Discovering the Ancient Cities of the Americas.  Roaring Brook Press, 2013.  90p.  978-1-59643-567-4.  18.99.

What makes a city? That is what author, Anthony Aveni, attempts to explain in this middle school book. He discusses four different ancient cities in the Americas with four different cultures that archeologists and anthropologists have been studying for years. Discussion includes daily life, religion, how the cities grew and then were eventually destroyed and what we can learn from them. The topic is interesting, but the author often jumps from city to city, making it hard for the reader to remember which city/culture he is referring to. The answers to the questions he poses are not easily found in the text. Better organization of the information would have made the book more reader-friendly. Loren Spector, LAPL, Memorial Branch Library

Sunday, May 4, 2014



G/A  Jarrow, Gail.  Red Madness.  Calkins Creek, 2014.  978-1-59078-732-8.  16.95.
Red skin rashes, sore mouths, diarrhea and mental deterioration were annual springtime symptoms of "pellagra" during the early 1900's.  This rampant disease was most obvious in the American South and usually lead to death.  Approximately 50 years of experiments plus trial and error hypotheses revealed that pellagra occurred in vitamin deficient diets -- particularly niacin.  As a handsome, non-technical health history, the book includes patient episodes, a timeline, both the author's notes and chapter notes, a bibliography, detailed index and credits for the multiple black and white pictures.    E.M. Roublow

Monday, April 21, 2014

The F*** It List

High School Fiction

G/M  Halpern, Julie.  The F*** It List.  Feiwel, 2013.  247p.  978-1-250-02565-4.  16.99.

It’s Alex’s senior year of high school and after a rough summer where her father died and her best friend slept with her boyfriend, she’s ready to forgive and forget. But on the first day of school, she finds out that Becca (the best friend) has been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Becca convinces Alex to help her fulfill her bucket list, since she won’t be able to complete everything on it herself. The whole year turns into doing crazy things off the bucket list, falling in love with a boy and dealing with a sick best friend all while coping with the major loss in her own family. Not a lot happens in this novel, but the major messages of learning to grieve, coping with the unexpected and first love make it a decent realistic fiction option. The multiple pop culture references, bad language and graphic sexuality make this book for older teens only. Loren Spector, LAPL, Memorial Branch Library

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout
High School Fiction

G/A. Armentrout, Jennifer L. White Hot Kiss. HarlequinTEEN, 2014. 382p. 978-0-373-21110-4. $9.99.

Layla is half demon and half gargoyle.  She feels as though she doesn't fit in anywhere. Her human friends don't know that she's really not human.  She can't shape shift like the other gargoyles or Wardens. And she constantly has to deal with her demon half that craves the stealing of souls.  She's lived in relative safety all her life with an adopted Warden family, but now that she's seventeen, the number of demons coming topside has skyrocketed and too many have been hunting Layla. She meets Roth, a high level demon who claims he's there to protect her.  Layla doesn't believe him; demons are the enemy after all.  Yet he's saved her life more than once.  Roth challenges her perception of demons in general and gets her to take a closer look at them, at herself, and even at him.  Roth is nothing like Zayne, the Warden she's been in love with forever, but who only looks at her as just a younger sister.  While Roth may be a vain and sarcastic demon, he's not evil.  There's more to him than what she initially assumed, and as her distrust of him lessens, her feelings and attraction to Roth grows.  With the demon threat against her life growing, Layla decides that she can't just stay at home.  She and Roth strike a bargain to work together discover the demon who's after her and maybe together they can stop what is sure to be the coming apocalypse if they fail. 

Monday, March 31, 2014



G/A  Brockenbrough, Martha.  Finding Bigfoot.  Feiwel, 2013.  978-1-250-04090-9.  14.99.  An absolute, unequivocal truth about the existence of an Asiatic yeti/abominable snowman  or  a  North American sasquatch/bigfoot has not yet been scientifically proven.  Fascination and interest in these "creatures," however, are supported by documented sightings, noises, and trackings.  And there's an ongoing Animal Planet documentary program with which this folio size book is affiliated.  Color tone pages form a backdrop for the text plus photos and illustrations, recipes, jokes, a question/answer section plus lists of movie titles and websites.  Welcome to an inviting source of information for everyone -- for those who believe, for those who doubt and for those who are simply curious.  
E.M. Roublow

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Cute Girl Network

New Adult Graphic Novel

G/M  Means, Greg.  The Cute Girl Network.  First Second, 2013. 179p.  978-1-59643-751-7.  17.99.

When Jane falls off her skateboard in the street, the cute, goofy, soup cart salesman, Jack, helps her to her feet. After just a few dates with Jack, Jane is smitten. He’s forgetful and weird, but he’s sweet and he likes her too. But when Jane’s friends find out she is dating Jack, they introduce her to the “Network,” a group of women who help each other by sharing details about their ex-boyfriends to prevent future agony. Everyone has something mean to say about Jack, but it’s up to Jane to make up her own mind about him. This cute graphic novel would appeal to the new adult genre of 20-somethings, more than teens, due to the subject matter, but since there aren’t too many realistic, romantic graphic novels with strong female characters, it’s a good addition to any collection. Loren Spector, LAPL, Memorial

Monday, March 3, 2014



G/A  Henderson, Elisabeth.  100 Questions You'd Never Ask Your Parents.  Roaring Brook, 2013.  978-1-59643-875-0.  12.99.
"What" or "how" is the lead-off word of most questions addressing bullying, drinking and driving, drugs, huffing, self-injury and sex.  Answers range from one to five paragraphs.  Topics can also be approached via the glossary and/or a detailed index.  Useful, hopefully, as a bridge to further information about any of these interests.  As a 5"X7" paperbound item, it will be less likely to get lost if placed in a small rack or trough when purchased for a library.  E.M. Roublow



G/A  Grimes, Nikki.  Words with Wings.  WordSong, 2013.  84p.  978-1-59078-985-8.  15.95.
Daydreaming is Gabby's (short for Gabriel) favorite pastime, especially when it soothes her angst about her parents' separation.  Noticing that Gabby is trying extremely hard not to be distracted from school work, her intuitive teacher allows a daily 15 minute period for all students to daydream and document their dreams as a writing exercise.  Story is presented in verse format -- making it a good candidate for classes studying poetry.  E.M. Roublow


V/A Frost, Helen.  Salt.  Farrar, 2013.  138p.  978-0-374-36387-1.  17.99.
A near battle in 1812 causes misunderstandings and threatens friendships.  Each twelve year old -- Anikwa, a native American, and James, son of a trading post proprietor -- alternate telling their family's side of the story as soldiers arrive to claim land in Indiana Territory.  This historical novel's format is verse.  Intermittent poems about salt -- which literally preserves food -- acts, in this story, as a symbolic ingredient that preserves the relationship of two families.  E.M. Roublow

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

K-Pop Now! The Korean music Revolution

Adult/YA Average Reading Level

VG/A Russell, Mark James. K-Pop Now! The Korean music Revolution. Rutland, VT: Tuttle, 2014.

Russell has put together a fantastic volume of information regarding the K-Pop history and industry. This is relevant to the current K-Pop craze phenomena and interest to those who are reading it for the first time or have a deep concern about their favorite groups. It will also make a great complementary addition to any classroom curriculum on the topic of Korean Culture. The layout of the book is divided into chapters that span the coverage of the land, the history, definition of K-Pop and most importantly the groups that make up K-Pop.

I am quite impressed with the book starting out describing the land of Korea and the history of the K-Pop culture. It is important for readers to know where and how K-Pop all started. Thank you for referencing to the first generation of K-Pop groups such as H.O.T, g.o.d, FINKL, S.E.S, and Shinhwa. It is also important to explain the Hallyu trend that helps shape the K-Pop culture and correlation between K-Drama and the music industry because they do go hand-in-hand. The coverage on the big three or four (SM, JYP, YG, CUBE) entertainments is a must in any book now because they practically dominated the entire K-Pop business with their artists.

The coverage of each idol groups is very uneven. Most groups have only two-page coverage. However groups like Super Junior, Big Bag, TVXQ, Girls Generations, 2NE1, and Wonder Girls have more coverage than others. Since these groups are already popular, one would really want to know more about the other groups. However, JYJ was not mentioned at all. Not sure if there is any legal issue that they cannot be mention here or why they were not mentioned as original members of the TVXQ and later they break off from the group TVXQ and became JYJ. In addition, I fail to see the mention of B1A4, Lunafly, LedApple, U-Kiss, Boyfriend, MyName, Eric Nam and Tasty. These are also popular in the K-Pop arena, especially when U-Kiss just had a tour of concerts in the United States.

In conclusion, it is good to see such thorough coverage of the K-Pop industry in this book and it is especially refreshing to see the mentioning of future stars such as BtoB, VIXX, Boys Republic, History, Lee Li, and Roy Kim.

The only thing that I can see as an improvement is that more attractive photos of the idol groups should be selected for this book especially in the cases of MBLAQ, SHINee, Super Junior and Infinite. (Maybe this is a personal Bias -- Sorry I am a big fan of all of these groups.)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

High School Fiction

VG/A. Hodge, Rosamund. Cruel Beauty. Balzer + Bray, 2014.  346p. 978-0-06-222473-6. $17.99.

Ever since her father made a bargain with the Gentle Lord for his wife to have children, Nyx has been promised as his wife when she comes of age at seventeen.  They say that the Gentle Lord is a prince of demons, who sends his demons to attack the villagers and to drive them mad. He is an immortal with magical powers, but anyone foolhardy enough to bargain with the Gentle Lord always pays a heavy price. The Gentle Lord certainly keeps his word, but he always cheats at his bargains. 

Long ago, a curse was placed on Arcadia, and for the last nine hundred years, the island has been sundered from the rest of the world, trapped in a void where they can no longer see the real sky.  Told to be the hope of her people, Nyx is committed to doing her duty - marrying the Gentle Lord and destroying him in order to avenge her dead mother and to save her kingdom.  She knows that her failure or even her success could very well mean her death.  She resents her father for not trying to save her and her twin sister for not taking her place, but she willingly goes through with the wedding ceremony. 

The Gentle Lord has given her a bargain of her own.  Every night, she is given a chance to guess his name. If she guesses correctly, she'll be granted her freedom, but if she guesses incorrectly, she'll die.

Her husband, Ignifex, is not what she expected. Nor is Shade, his shadow.  Trapped in ruined castle with labyrinthine staircases and strange doors leading to magical and dangerous secret rooms, Nyx must work to uncover his secrets. The more she learns of her husband, the more she is drawn to him and finds herself falling in love with him.  Will Nyx keep her word to destroy the Gentle Lord or will she chose the man she loves over the fate of all others?  An intriguing tale, Cruel Beauty certainly stands out among other Beauty and the Beast retellings. 

All the Truth That's In Me

G/A  Berry, Julie.  All the Truth That’s In Me.  Viking, 2013.  274p.  978-0-670-78615-2.  17.99.

After being missing for 2 years, Judith returns to her village with her tongue cut out. No one but Judith knows what happened to her and another missing girl, but she can’t tell anyone. The truth is she can speak a little, but her mother and most of the village think she is cursed, so she doesn’t speak at all. When a battle starts with another people, Judith helps rescue her village and her neighbor that she has always loved, setting off a chain of events that will change her life forever. The cover of this book is a little deceiving, it is not a modern thriller as you would expect, but a strange mystery that could be set in the past or a distant dystopian future. The reader can decide the where and when. Mystery or historical fiction fans will like this book even though it may not be their typical read. Loren Spector, LAPL, Memorial