Teen Book Review Blog

Review by William

September 22, 2020

Lost Horizon by James Hilton

4 stars of 5

Lost Horizon by James Hilton

“Lost Horizon” by James Hilton is a great book, filled with lots of mystery and adventure. It deals with themes such as happiness, moderation, and societal responsibilities while also immersing the reader in a mystical and mysterious world.

The novel follows Hugh Conway and a group of three other strangers when their plane crashes in the Himalayas and they stumble upon a heaven-like place called Shangri-La. The people of Shangri-La enjoy peace and harmony, live in fertile land, have enough wealth to live comfortably, and are able to live for centuries. Conway and the others must decide whether they want to stay in the paradise that is Shangri-La, or return back to civilization where there is war and the stress of everyday life.

Tags: Lost Horizon James Hilton fantasy fiction utopia plane crash Shangri-La

Read more: William's Review of "Lost Horizon" by James Hilton

Review by Katie

September 1, 2020

Beloved Toni Morrison

5 stars of 5

Beloved by Toni Morrison

"Beloved" by Toni Morrison is a historical fiction novel that follows the life of Sethe, a woman born into slavery who escaped to Cincinnati, Ohio. Its use of paranormal elements creates a debate on its place in the horror genre, but the novel’s haunting qualities are undeniable. The book begins in 1873, opening with the description of the haunted house that Sethe and her daughter Denver reside in. The ghost attached to the house is Sethe’s baby daughter’s spirit, who died nameless. The feelings that the residents of this house have toward the ghost are polarizing; Sethe believes it drove her two sons to run away and Paul D, an escaped slave from the same plantation as Sethe, is similarly horrified by it. However, Denver and Sethe are somewhat comforted by it. The novel explores intergenerational trauma and the indelible devastation of slavery that lives with Sethe, even in her freedom. Soon, a mysterious young woman named Beloved enters Sethe’s life in unknown circumstances. As her character becomes understood, the already incredible prose begins to feel revolutionary as it reveals a terrifying insight in an utterly unique way.

Tags: Beloved Toni Morrison Historical Fiction Horror Slavery Ghost

Read more: Katie's Review of "Beloved" by Toni Morrison

Review by Paige

July 9, 2020

Where the Crawdads Sing cover

4 and a half stars of 5

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

“Where the Crawdads Sing,” written by Delia Owens is a multi-award winning novel and New York Times Bestseller. The coming-of-age story follows Kya or the “Marsh Girl,” an intelligent and self-sufficient protagonist who is forced to survive almost entirely by herself in the marshlands of North Carolina. Abandoned by her mother, her siblings, and later her father, Kya takes interest in nature and learns to love and appreciate her surroundings. The novel takes a turn after the death of the widely beloved, Chase Andrews, resulting in growing suspicions in the fictional town of Barkley Cove. Following a dual narrative, the reader is taken on a journey through Kya’s character growth as a young girl, along with the effects of Chase Andrews’ death several years later. Overall, this coming-of-age novel entwined with a murder mystery tells a compelling story of resilience, survival, and hope.

Tags: Where the Crawdads Sing Coming of Age Marsh Girl Mystery North Carolina Nature

Read more: Paige's Review of "Where the Crawdads Sing" by Delia Owens

Review by Jude

June 11, 2020

4 stars of 5

Armada by Ernest Cline

The book “Armada” by Ernest Cline is a sci-fi book set in 2018. He is about to graduate from high school, when he sees a UFO flying above his hometown. But this is no ordinary UFO; it is a ship from his favorite video game, Armada. He believes he is just a crazy teenager, until it turns out it’s a lot more real than he thinks. But something still seems off. The bad guys are acting exactly like they do in the videogame, and everything seems a little too easy. 

Tags: ScienceFiction Armada Ernest Cline Alien Invasion

Read more: Jude's Review of "Armada" by Ernest Cline

Signs of life!

As the snow begins to melt, we see positive signs of brighter days ahead.  Infection rates in town continue to drop and the COVID Committee of the Board of Trustees continues to monitor virus progress in the community.  We have been meeting regularly to evaluate whether conditions are right for re-opening.  As always, the safety of our patrons and staff is of prime importance. 

We are happy to announce that we will once again open to computer use by appointment on Monday, 3/1.  As before, we ask that you make an appointment for a 45 minute slot at least the day before and we will not take advance appointments beyond 1 week.  Social distancing requirements only allow us to make 2 computers available. 

We look forward to safer conditions as vaccinations proceed and will continue to update you as our re-opening plans progress.

377 ELKWOOD AVENUE
NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ 07974
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