With so many books out there - the staff of the Pioneer Library System don't necessarily have a chance to read and write a review of all of them. Luckily we have a great collection of library card holders to assist us!
During the Summer Reading season we offered hometown library readers the opportunity to share their book reviews with us. Beginning and seasoned readers offered us a wide selection of reviews. Here are a few that may spark your interests!
If you are interested in sharing a review of what you read or listened to with us - be sure to visit our online submission form.
Although being Stephenie Meyer's first adult novel, after her epic "Twilight" series, "The Host" struck the heart chords of teens as well. Meyer created a whole new world within the one which we exist, where evil was perishable and aliens were friendly. In "The Host" Stephenie Meyer shows aliens as a gentle, kind race. Certainly, they take over planets and rob other beings of their right to live, but they detest violence. When they take over Earth, the humans at first don't notice.
There is no change in the human host except for their strangely new happy and kind demeanor, and an ominous glow in their eyes. Their bodies are still intact and their outside appearance shows no sign of this unseen intruder. However, when the humans do begin to realize they've been taken over, of course they can't stand for that! Nobody takes over our planet without fighting us for it! It is these violent, unwilling humans that begin to cause trouble for the aliens. When an unwilling human is captured and knows what is going to happen, often the human refuses to relinquish power over their mind. And so, the story begins.
"The Host" follows a famous alien called "Wanderer", who, in all of the planets they have conquered, has never found a host that she truly felt at home in. Excited to try out humans, Wanderer is put into Melanie, a wild, captured young woman, who has been in hiding from the aliens for a few years. But Melanie refuses to give her mind up to Wanderer. At first, Melanie refuses to let Wanderer into her thoughts and memories at all. Wanderer decides she can't stand the overflowing emotions of the humans and Melanie's resistance, and takes a long drive back to the Healer to decide whether she'll give up this body or not. But along the way, Melanie begins to throw her memories at Wanderer left and right, about her lover, and her brother, and how much she loved them. In turn, Wanderer actually falls in love with them as well.
So the two go on a dangerous search for them in the desert. They stumble across a giant, hidden, underground community of humans, run by Melanie's uncle. Also there are Jared, Melanie's love, and Jamie, her brother. But everyone hates her because of what she is. Had she not been Melanie, they probably would have shot her on the spot. However, in hopes of in some way getting the real Melanie back (not realizing that Melanie was really there in the first place) they keep Wanderer locked up for a long time. Both Melanie and Wanderer see the inevitability of their death; however changes begin to occur in the community, people begin to accept "Wanda". But there are still some who don't. Read "The Host" to find out if Wanderer and Melanie will be separated, or if they will both perish forever.
If Nick and Allie had buckled their seat belts on the day of the car crash that ended their lives, it would have ended this book. Instead, they find themselves hurtling toward the light at the end of the tunnel and many chapters of adventure between life and death. They never reach the light. Instead, they trip up in the dark tunnel and find themselves in Everlost, a limbo for lost children's souls. In Everlost, everyone understandably wants to be alive again, but is it possible? Or would it just be better to get where you're going? I enjoyed Everlost because it was so original. Plenty of books talk about life after death, but this is the first book I've read that talked about being between life and death and subtly pushed the importance of buckling one's seat belt.
The Wonderful Adventures of Nils, by Selma Lagerlof
Hometown Library: Norman
I really enjoyed this book. Especially the animal dialogue. I loved how the geese tormented the land, tame, animals and birds. The wild geese were very elaborate with their vocabulary and their sense of humor brought comic relief to this book. The other thing I loved about this book was how Nils Holgerson, the main character, was punished for abusing and putting down animals with actions and words. Nils was turned into an elf when he tried to capture an elf that had snuck into his house when he fell asleep. Some of the things I did not like about this book was sometimes dragging along on the storyline. It made me stop reading the book for a couple of days before I got my patience back to start again, but I am glad I finished it. Also how it kind of abruptly ends, but the story still makes sense and the author did write another book on Nils. I did not like some of the characters in the book. I especially did not like Smirre Fox and how he persuaded other innocent animals to track down the geese and Nils and kill them. Of course he never succeeded thanks to Nils and his crafty wit. My favorite character(s) have to be the geese. They are so witty and funny that I believe they actually brought the book alive to me. I could imagine myself becoming Nils and riding on the goosey-gander's feathered back and good-naturedly joking with the geese to the land stuck animals. I am glad I have proven that classics are not boring. Classics, I have found out, require more imagination than the 'pop' books today. Classic books were written for that purpose because this was an age where there were no other source of entertainment or any other way to use your imagination other than books. Long live the classics!
Tattoo, by Jennifer Barnes
Reviewer: Victoria H.
Hometown Library: Norman
Tattoo is an exciting journey of jaw dropping twists and turns. It also contains a mystery that will keep you guessing the whole way through. It is the type of book that is hard to set down, and you will find yourself wanting to read it again and again. The author gives a good illustration of what good friends do for each other in times of crisis. In which the four characters have to depend on each other for their very lives! This book is one of a kind. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did.
Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception, by Eoin Colfer
Reviewer: Lauren Y.
Hometown Library: Norman
This great book is the 4th in the Artemis Fowl Series, so it is best if you read the first three to better understand it. This is the story of Artemis Fowl, his bodyguard Butler, and his fairy friends Holly Short, Commander Root, Mulch Diggums, and Foaly. The antagonist of the book is the returning evil pixie, Opal Koboi. Opal devises a plan to not only kill each of the heroes that ruined her plan in the second book, but to expose the fairy world to the humans. Once again its up Artemis and his followers to keep the two worlds from colliding which is much harder for them because Artemis can hardly remember what Fairies are let alone how to save them. They also must try to escape the dastardly deaths that Opal has planned for them, which only some may accomplish. This is a page turner that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Some parts are a bit predictable, but this tale also has many twists and turns. You'll laugh and cry and you'll maybe even want to go looking for fairies yourself. Hope you enjoy it :^)
The book I read was A Family Apart by Joan Lowery Nixon. The main characters are Petey, Peg, Danny Mike, Megan and Frances. This book is set in New York City, NY and in St. Joseph, MO. The book is mainly about the six main characters who have to deal with the pain of not having their mother. Their mother felt forced to give them up because of they poverty they were in. Then, when they get to Missouri, they are split from each other. Most of them get parents who seen to be caring except for Mike, who the parents seem to only want for farm help. The is the first book in a series, The Orphan Train Quartet. It was a pretty good book.