Author: JesstheLibrarian

Read + Review: Lumberjanes Unicorn Power by Mariko Tamaki


Unicorn Power

Five friends, April, Molly, Mal, Jo, and Ripley, all attend a camp for hardcore girls. One day, when out adventuring in the woods, they discover a whole field of terrible smelling unicorns who lead the girls to a tall, grand mountain. Being the type of people who always tackle any challenge, they decide that they just had to climb it. When reaching the summit they could not believe their eyes at what they found.Will the girls find their way back to their beloved camp? Read the book to find out!

I really liked this book, because I could really understand the characters, and at the beginning of the book the author made sure to give a brief, yet detailed description of every one of the main characters. What I did not like, is at some points in the book, the plot line could get a bit slow, and boring to read, but it always usually picked up again in a few short chapters. It also included short descriptions of badges at the end of the book, which was a nice, extra thing to read. Over all, I really liked the book! It is definitely a book that I would read again in the future.

What I really liked about this book was that they took things that you would think about every day one way, and then change it and make you think of it a different way. For example, instead of making unicorns the fun loving creatures that we think about, the author in the book described how terrible they smelled, and now whenever I think of unicorns, I think of their stench.


Reviewed by Alison, Grade 6, Tuckahoe Library

Read + Review: Inevitable and Only by Lisa Rosinsky

Inevitable and only

Acadia Rose Greenfield, more commonly known as Cadie, lives a seemingly normal life. Like any teenage girl, she completely falls head over heels with a boy named Farhan, and she has an obsession with Shakespeare. What’s more, her tight bond with her dad allows Cadie to feel safe and secure in her home, that is, until her world comes crashing down. When Cadie learns that she has a half-sister, resulting from her dad cheating on her mom, there isn’t much more she can do before Elizabeth moves in. Cadie’s seemingly modest life becomes one filled with ups and downs, but will she be able to save her family before they fall apart?

Overall, I was very pleased with the plotline and overall tone that was set in the story. Throughout the book, Cadie struggles to come to terms with her new life, and as a result, we are able to see the struggles that torn families face amidst adversity. Lisa Rosinsky’s writing style is one that resonates with me because it is able to convey emotions through the simplest words. For instance, “Inevitable and Only” is a statement pulled from the book that is able to strongly give the reader a sense of wonder: do we only have one chance at making our future? I’ve seen stories that focus around discovering new siblings, but the twist that the author put on this topic truly made this book mesmerizing. Cadie is someone who focuses on outward appearance, and Elizabeth’s strong resemblance to her dad allows us to enter the jealous rage of Cadie’s character. Through this, we are able to observe her coming-of-age, which makes the book even better. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to encounter complex characters and thought-provoking revelations.

I found the quirky personalities of each character very memorable. I’ve noticed that, in many recently published stories, the humor of each character sounds forced and almost choppy, per say, in comparison to the rest of the plot. However, the characters in “Inevitable and Only” meshed well with each other and complemented the overall message that was conveyed throughout the duration of the book.


Reviewed by Mitali, Grade 10, Twin Hickory Library

Read + Review: Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart


Genuine fraud


As the oxymoron in the title reveals, a strong girl portrays a real trickster to the world. Jule, a smart and rebellious teenager, and Imogen, a nice and caring best friend, have a tight relationship. Throughout the book, Lockhart writes the journey they experience as the two girls learn more about one another. Jule is expressed as one who fights back and defends herself in a harsh manner. Individually, as she travels to different cities, her sharp character is revealed through interactions as well as her reflexes in certain situations.

In contrast to other books, Genuine Fraud is written in a backward chronological order which represents its complexity. Because it was written in a backwards manner, the book was very confusing to read as I understood the characters, setting, and plot towards the end of the book. If the author did a better job in organization and plot line, the book would be much easier to follow. The characters were also poorly described as it was hard to understand what the author was writing at times. However, the dialogue and scenes were very well written as it portrayed an intense, but loving story.

What is most memorable about this book was the way it was written – backward chronological order. It was interesting to read overall and introduced a new type of fictional writing. Although confusing at first, it was a huge “ahh” moment at the end.


Reviewed by Allyson, Grade 9, Twin Hickory Library

Read + Review: A Shadow Bright and Burning



shadow bright and burning


This book, A Shadow Bright And Burning, followed the suspenseful life of a 16-year-old girl named Henrietta Howel, who is much more than she may seem. She lives in England during what can be assumed as the 1800s, but there are many differences between her world and ours. First, there are Seven Ancients, horrible beasts that terrorize Europe, and most of the continent is under constant attack, making it a ruined, impoverished landscape. The only safe places are the warded areas, which are protected by a shield held up by the sworn protectors of people, sorcerers. They wield powerful elemental magic that has kept the monsters at bay, but they are slowly losing ground, and need a miracle to help them turn the tide of the long war against the Ancients. That’s where Henrietta comes in, a young school teacher with previously hidden powers of tremendous strength, especially with fire. When her magic is exposed, she fears that horrible consequences will follow, but instead she is named the first sorceress in decades and is sent to warded London to train. However, when she encounters numerous mysterious men throughout her apprenticeship, her powers are questioned, and great courage is needed to accomplish her goals.

This book was a true page-turner, drawing me into the fantastical world set in known history. Henrietta was a wonderful heroine who faced both relatable social obstacles and enormous acts of bravery and magic. Something I wanted was more of a backstory on another female character, Gwendolyn Agrippa. Her story is sure to be an interesting one, given her role in the book, but her story is only touched upon by her father in a brief overview. Whatever happened to her could be repeated again in Henrietta, so I think it would have been more important for the characters in the book to learn more about her. Other than this, the book showed loyalty, bravery, love, and hope, four of the best ingredients in a story, making it an immediate hit with me. I am looking forward to reading the sequel (if the author writes one), and would definitely recommend this novel.

Despite all of the changes Henrietta was being forced through in order to become the miracle sorceress everyone needed, she never stopped caring about her childhood friend and maybe even more than friend, Rook. He was never as fortunate as Henrietta because of a troubled past and has had to make a living doing the hard manual work of a laborer. Because of his unfortunate history, most people would not want to be anywhere near him, but Henrietta has always stuck by him and even landed him a better job in London to keep him near her. She never questioned his friendship and supported him whenever her busy life gave her a break. This is something memorable about the book – the endless devotion a true friend (like Henrietta) can provide.


Reviewed by Isabella, Grade 6, Twin Hickory Library

Read + Review: The Other Side of Summer


other side of summer


The Other Side of Summer is about how Summer, the main character, learns how to deal with her brother’s, Floyd’s, death. Her mother is a ghost of grief, her sister’s anger has gone out of control, and her dad tries to convince the family to move to Australia. Summer feels like the sadness is never ending until she finds Floyd’s old guitar. When she plays the guitar, something magical happens, which makes her feel less alone. In this book, Summer fights her way through grief and on the way, makes a whole lot of new friends.

In my opinion, this book expresses emotion in an entertaining way. Emily Gale explores the other side pain and hope as Summer battles the sorrow in her. With her friends, family, and a kindhearted dog, Summer soon completes her journey through the other side the herself. I definitely recommend this book to any teen readers looking for an interesting book the dive into!

I think the most memorable thing about this book is how quickly her sister changes personalities once her family moves to Australia. Before, Wren, her sister, is an irritable teenager with a short-temper. After they move, Wren becomes calm and friendly. I think this shows that once you stop thinking about what ever is angering you, it is much easier to get over.


Reviewed by Nikki, Grade 6, Twin Hickory Library