Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sweet Reckoning

Sweet Reckoning by Wendy Higgins


This is the third and final book in the Sweet Evil trilogy.  Where Book 2 was simply a bridge book, the final book brings all the suspense and excitement, and hot bodies to a very satisfying conclusion. 


Anna Whitt, half angel / half demon, is still working with her father, Belial, demon and duke of Substance Abuse, to rid the world of demons.  Anna was promised through a prophecy that if the dukes and their children, the nephilim, would fight to free the world of demons, they would not be thrust into the abyss.  How to get the demon world to work with her is the trick.


Anna has been working with the aid of several Nephilim and a (very)few of the dukes since Book 1.  The time has come to make a stand.  Anna has not seen Kaiden since he went back to work for his father, Pharzuph, the Duke of Lust.  Their love and partnership rekindled, they must now pull the fighters together for one last stand- at the meeting of all demons and nephilim.


The affair between Anna and Kaiden is still smoking hot.  Kaiden is still fighting the order from his father to deflower Anna.  Getting around that order is both cheesy and intriguing.  The action is non-stop, with surprises along the way.  The battle ends almost as it starts, but along the way, we see growth in each of the supporting cast, along with some new neph.


While this has always been good vs evil with Biblical mythology, the absolute religious tendencies of the author have been held in the distance.  In this last book, they are certainly forefront.  Still, we knew that when the series started.   The story stands on its own merit.


While the first two books were pretty chaste, with Kaiden pulling the abstinence stops, this one forges ahead.  Be ready.

All the Truth That's In Me

All The Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry

Judith lives in the small rural town of Roswell Station with her mother and her older brother.  The time is not clear, but certainly everyone uses a horse and wagon, with farming the major occupation.  Judith loves her brother and her mother, and the neighbor boy, Lucas, whom she has loved forever.  People, however, avoid Judith.  Four years ago, she and her best friend Lottie disappear, and Judith returned with her tongue cut out.  Lottie was found floating face down in the river.

To please her mother, Judith avoids talking at all, and in reality becomes a servant in the house.  Townspeople think she might have been sexually abused (she wrote in a city fathers’ meeting that she was not) and/or gone slightly mad.  Lucas announces his engagement to the prettiest and most popular girl in town.  Then the town is attacked.  Judith knows how to save the town, but doing so will bring dire consequences, some very unintended. 

Each character is well defined, with a personality that will surprise you.  We are not simple people, we humans.  Neither are even the minor characters. 

A good reader will think they know the secrets and see the ending.  They will be wrong this time.

Yes, there are sexual situations, some real, many imagined.  And there is love, real love, in many forms.

(The) Book of Life

The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness.  

Book 3 of the Souls Trilogy, this does not stand alone.  However, for fans of the series, it is a great ending.

 In Book 2, (Shadow of  Night) Diana and Matthew returned to present time, pregnant with twins, to find the magical alchemical manuscript Ashmole 782,  The Book of Life, to witches, vampires, and daemons. The new family spurs them to pursue creating a legal marriage out their illegal union of witch and vampire.  To do this, they must create a new family branch, and pull all creatures closer in understanding their possibilities and origins.

Matthew’s blood disease becomes center stage when his son Benjamin Fuchs returns to create havoc, trying to destroy the family. It is this vampire that generates the central problem, suspense, and violence.  And gives us an amazing ending.

I disliked dragging an entire genetics class into Matthew’s research.  It did not make sense for the need for secrecy; it did help the reader to understand genetic background.  Overall, the writing was not as solid as the first two- perhaps she was rushed into the third?  It’s just that we all wanted a satisfying ending and soon that we forgive Harkness.

I did like the change in Diana, even in Book 2, when she became pregnant, and in this book as a mother.  Always a strong character, she shows a bit of  “tiger mom” aspects.

A word to teen readers:  the first in the series is wonderful and accessible for teens.  This book, perhaps, is for older teens.

Another Little Piece

Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn.  

After a particularly horrific scene at a party, Annaliese disappears for a year.  When she reappears at home, she is a very different girl.  She knows in fact, that she is really a different girl in Annaliese’s body.  And she knows she can’t stay in this body.

The mystery quickly becomes multi-faceted, with “another little piece” given to us slowly (agonizingly so.)  Flashbacks become really annoying, even if you know the story is supposed to be revealed gradually.  Anna wants to learn about her family and the boy at the party, (and the boy next door who “sees” death) but alternately remembers a razor and a mentor who seems a cross between demon and overlord.

With a slow start, the story overtakes your imagination and your knowledge of mythology, becoming a thriller you can’t put down. Unpleasant, yes- vivid to the point of disturbing violence, this is not for the squeamish.  Finding a motive for Anna’s choices is difficult and a weak plotline. We understand that Anna is confused at the beginning, but she is not towards the end.  However, Quinn ties it all together, letting our hearts slow down a bit.

Some sexual situations and body parts; lots of violence and cussing.
For grades 10 up who are fans of mystery horror

Better Nate Than Ever

Better Nate Than Ever  by Tim Federle

13-year-old Nate's love of musical theater invites teasing and torment by his peers and his older brother, but he is certain that he belongs on the Broadway stage.  Right now, he'd be thrilled just to see a Broadway stage. When his folks go out of town leaving Nate and his brother mostly-unsupervised, Nate grabs the opportunity for escape, and heads out on a Greyhound bus bound for NYC and a Broadway audition for "E.T: the Musical."

Of course, nothing goes according to plan.  Aided by a long-lost auntie, his BFF Libby back home, and a few surprising allies, Nate does arrive safely (if somewhat crumpled by the journey) and auditions for the part of Elliot.  

Nate's voice throughout the story is hilarious.  He doesn't know much, and he doesn't know how much he doesn't know, but he's got a goal and he's got guts, and he's got a sense of humor (which helps a lot if you don't know much).  

There's some bullying, some very unhelpful parents, and some cussing (he's a starstruck 13-year-old boy stuck in Jankburk, PA -- he has reason to cuss), plus one near-miss kiss.  Nate questions his own value as well as his sexuality, but through it all, he's determined to get up on that stage to sing.  How can we not applaud?

Recommended for ages 12 and up.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Thank-you notes from a SITL presentation audience

Miss Manners would be so proud.

"Every since you came I think I am going to try to read as many books
I can that was on the list.  So far I have read "Somebody Up there Hates You."
It's really a good book.  your friend, Keyasiu

A few weeks ago, the Sex in the Library booktalking team journeyed to Licton Springs K-8 school in Seattle to present a program in conjuction with Banned Books week.  The classes are studying censorship and reading banned books, and wanted to talk about books with controversial content.

For the 2 best women to make someone exsited to read Aarene and Mary jo.
Its hard to make someone want to read but you did it.
Thank you.
We are happy to oblige!

I would never have thought me reading a book about Sex in a million years.
You guys taught me that we have the right to read what we want. Also that
not to be ashamed about what you read.  I really appreciate you guys coming to
suggest good books.
I plan on reading Beauty Queen[s], Doing It, and Forever.  Those books
seem either funny or every body reads them.  I cant wait to read them.
Thank you so much for to Licton Springs K-8. Please please please come again.

We love talking about stuff like that!

I want to Read all the banned books because It's fun to read!! Thank you so much!!
right now I'm reading "Doing It" It's a good book, also "breathing underwater".
I love books.  p.s. Im a book nerd.  --Styleen

Today, a stack of thank-you notes arrived.  Clearly, writing the note was an assignment, but it is just as clear that message content was not dictated.  

Middle school students are wonderfully opinionated!

After you guys told me about these Books I got really excited to just start reading.
I think the first Book I am going to read it "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time
Indian" by Sherman Alexie.

If you would like to have Sex in the Library at your next conference, convention, or staff in-service, contact us here via the comments box or find us on Facebook.

We'd love to put together a program just for you!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Edge of the Water

Edge of the Water (Edge of Nowhere series #2)  by Elizabeth George

In the preface, we find a girl who can’t/won’t speak who is abandoned by her parents, left to wander, scared of the water, dragging a suitcase along behind her.

Now skip to Providence Sound, Whidbey Island, Washington.  Jenn wants badly to leave the island and her meager existence, focusing on a soccer scholarship.  She meets Annie Taylor, grad student marine biologist, who rents a very dilapidated trailer from her father.  The two strike up a friendship, partly through the money Annie offers Jenn to assist her in tracking a famous black seal in the area, and partly because Jenn is drawn to Annie romantically.

Now skip to Becca, who has come to the island to escape her violent step-father, now out of jail.  Becca knows he is dangerous because she hears “whispers” from people’s minds.  She can’t read minds, exactly.  She has also changed her appearance, gaining a large amount of weight, changing her hair color and adding glasses.  This prompts Jenn to call her “fat broad,” both because of the weight, and because Jenn doesn’t think Becca is a good romantic fit for her friend Derric.

The characters, setting, and the seal are expertly intertwined in this mystery.  Even those cast in supporting roles are well-defined.  We care about every character in this novel, even the seal.  Teens act like teens.  Adults are not stupid.  Unusual in a teen novel for both sets of characters to be so well drawn.

While the mystery is well done, we did find the back-flips to Silla’s story annoying.  Good readers will, of course, sense the ending halfway through.

While this is the second in the series, it won’t take readers long to understand the back story.  Now when is the third?????

Great for 12 up

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I Kill the Mockingbird

I Kill the Mockingbird  by Paul Acampora

Inspired by Fat Bob the English teacher, eighth graders Lucy, Elena and Michael decide that not nearly enough people read and enjoy Fat Bob's favorite book, To Kill a Mockingbird. 

To motivate more people to read the book, the teens make the book...disappear: they mis-shelve copies in bookstores and libraries, and they create a website, a Facebook page, and a Tumblr account to give the appearance of a conspiracy to keep people from reading Mockingbird. 

Soon, bookstores and libraries all over the country are reporting that their copies of the book are missing...and readers all over the country are discovering that they actually do want to spend their summer reading about Scout, Jem, Dill, and the elusive Boo Radley.

If you've ever dreamed of a literary conspiracy, here's your book.  Fast, funny, and full of quotable one-liners that readers will love to share with friends. 

Recommended for ages 14 to adult; two sweet kisses, no cussing, no bloodshed, and no mockingbirds are harmed.

Monday, October 13, 2014


Steelheart  by Brandon Sanderson

Ten years ago, Calamity burst in the sky and ordinary human beings were transformed into Epics.  Some control the weather.  Some can stop bullets.  Some can electrically charge entire cities with a touch.  

Sounds like an ordinary teen flying-capes-and-tights superhero novel, right?  Except there's a catch:  not one of the Epics is a "good guy."  There's just something about using their powers that makes Epics selfish, cruel, and power-hungry.

Almost all humans cower before the Epics, except for a group of rag-tag renegades known as the Reckoners.  Using technology, ingenuity, and a bit of luck, they fight against the Epics.  Eighteen year old David is obsessed with joining the Reckoners.  But when he does, he discovers that fighting the Epics is a lot more complicated than he had thought.

Superhero battles with excellent action sequences interspersed with fabulous character development, plenty of humorous banter, plus a touch of doomed romance equals fabulous.

The only thing better than the book is the audiobook read by MacLeod Andrews.  This story had me making excuses to drive places so I could listen.  First in a series; volume #2 Firefight will be released in January 2015, and I will be waiting in line.

Recommended for ages 10 to adult.