Posts filed under ‘Book Reviews’

New Fiction Review: Hold Me Closer

Hold Me Closer cover artNew fiction review by Teen Services Librarian:

If you liked Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan and John Green, you will LOVE Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story. From the author of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, comes the complete musical outlined in Will Grayson, Will Grayson.

I actually read Hold Me Closer first, but didn’t feel like I was losing out on the story at all, so they can be read in either order. It’s a quick read, since it’s a play. It’s also as heart-warming as it is hilarious. The incomparable Tiny Cooper, who is very big, and very gay, will be a character to remember. I can’t wait for the audio version—or dare we hope?—the actual musical production. Two enthusiastic jazz hands!

Grade Recommendation: 9+

November 10, 2015 at 6:44 pm Leave a comment

Featured Book: Love in the Time of Global Warming

love  in the time jacketI am kind of ashamed to say that this is my first Francesca Lia Block novel. I never got around to reading her acclaimed debut novel, Weetzie Bat (even though I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s). Perhaps I will have to place that on my reading list, now that I have read her latest YA novel, Love in the Time of Global Warming.

First things first- I really thought, because of the title, that the story would be a play on one of my all-time favorite reads, Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Not so. Love in the Time of Global Warming is a post-apocalyptic story based loosely on the Odyssey, a story that most of us had to read while in secondary school. Block shifts away from following that story too closely- her protagonist is a girl named Pen, who is on a journey to locate her family, after an earthquake and tsunami have devastated Los Angeles (and most of the United States, we later find out). There are the usual Odyssey characters- a giant cyclops, a conniving witch, faithful companions on the long journey, even a group of lethargic lotus eaters. I won’t give away any more of the book, but I have to admit that it wasn’t exactly what I had envisioned. I enjoyed the main character, but was occasionally thrown off by the almost fanciful and romantic nature of Block’s writing style. However, I was pleasantly surprised by an interesting twist of Pen’ s romantic interest’s character, but I won’t say anymore about that. You’ve just got to read this highly entertaining (and rather short!) book about the end of the world –  Homer-style.

May 1, 2014 at 3:18 pm Leave a comment

Featured Book: Saints & Boxers

Celebrated graphic novelist, Gen Lueng Yang, has taken the story of the Boxer Rebellion in China and created two wonderful and heartbreaking novels. Boxers tells the story of a little boy who is mistreated by Western ideology and revolts by later joining the Boxer Rebellion. Saints tells a different story about a little girl who is taken in by kind Christian missionaries and later, she and her faith become targets of the Boxer Rebellion.

Completely engrossing, these two novels are beautifully illustrated and keep you on the edge of your seat until the last page.


March 27, 2014 at 2:52 pm Leave a comment

Featured Book: Ashfall Trilogy

The final book in the Ashfall Trilogy will be published April 15th. We are anticipating this final chapter in the exciting series from native Indiana author Mike Mullin. His post-apocalyptic trilogy is terrifying because it could really happen! If you enjoy science, fast-paced story lines and action, this series is for you.


March 18, 2014 at 4:49 pm Leave a comment


So…’s been a while since the last post. But I am going to make it up to y’all and share some of the BEST new YA lit that I have had the joy to indulge in reading the last few months. I suggest that you read AT LEAST one of these excellent books…if not all!

by Laini Taylor

I never thought that a book with angels and chimera would actually interest me. Thankfully, I put my feelings aside and read this wonderful book (first one in a series!) Karou is a blue-haired art student living in Prague (one of my FAVORITE cities!) who carries a sketch book of hideous creatures. The thing is, these creatures are real…and they are the only family that she has ever known. I won’t give anything else away…you’ll just have to read it yourself!

by China Mieville

This is one INCREDIBLE book. I can’t say it enough! If you can get past the quirky format that China writes in (trust me…you will), this is one book that you MUST read this year. Loosely based on the classic story, Moby-Dick (do they make you read this is school anymore?), but instead of a whale, they are tracking a giant, white mole. Sound crazy? It is..but in a good way. Even if you don’t like science fiction or fantasy, you will like this. I promise.

by John Green

Could John Green get any better? Yes. Yes he can. This HANDS DOWN is the best book I read all year, and is definitely in my top 10 fave books EVER. Heartbreaking, funny, romantic (did I say heartbreaking?), and completely WONDERFUL. Two terminally ill cancer patients meet and fall in love. Do I need to say more? This is Tom at his finest. I am buying a copy of this for my personal library…and you should too.

by Paolo Bacigalupi

Now that I can say this author’s last name correctly (total FAIL), it’s time to rave about his latest book. This futuristic story is a companion novel to his great book, Shipbreaker (read it if you haven’t already). Cities have crumbled, anarchy is rampant, and child soldiers are the norm. This book is quite violent- some may not have the stomach. I plead with you to get beyond that and indulge in this edge-of-your-couch story about a future world that seems oh so close to home.

by Roland Merullo

A wonderfully quiet story about a girl that is raised by back-woods parents that isolate themselves so much that they speak in their own hybrid dialect. The title and the cover may not seem exciting, but I have to say, I could not put this book down until the very last page! (Yep. This is a one-sit read.) It feels altogether REAL, like the character of this novel is actually alive and breathing, and that she might give an interview about her harrowing experience on Dateline. READ THIS BOOK. Period.

August 23, 2012 at 3:12 pm Leave a comment

The Best YA Books of 2011















Come check out our last book display of the year!  We are featuring what we at GPL believe are the best YA books that were published in 2011. We even have some of our staff talking about their favorite titles!

December 7, 2011 at 3:08 pm Leave a comment

Teen Read, Teen Reviewed: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze Runner is one of those books that I would say that if you have not read it, then you have not lived. Over and over again, I found myself clinging to its story like my life depended on it. I would absolutely and I repeat MOST DEFINITELY recommend it to anyone, whether you read historical fiction or fantasy- sci-fi. I almost guarantee that anyone who reads The Maze Runner will skip their favorite activities to read this book.

Now let me explain a little bit of the plot just in case you don’t believe me…

Thomas is one of many in earth’s newest experiment. Two years ago, a group of boys were sent up into what seemed to be a gigantic maze. Now, two years later, things are gonna change. Thomas is forced into an environment that proves to be the worst place he can think of, not to mention the horrible creatures that screech during the night-time. Surviving his first day wasn’t very easy, and it only gets worse.

A girl is sent up only a day after Thomas is sent up from The Box, where all the new “Gladers” come from. She’s the first ever to arrive in The Glade, but even more terrifying is the message she brings with her…

“Everything is going to change…”

Now he will fight for his life to find not only answers about himself, but about everything his world has become…

Reading this book will completely change your view of whether a book is boring or well written. And, it will most certainly change your attitude about reading. If you love The Maze Runner, be sure to read the sequel, The Scorch Trails.  Both books are by James Dashner.

April 7, 2011 at 11:29 pm Leave a comment

Teen Read, Teen Reviewd: The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan

The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan is a book about the medieval ages mixed with some fantasy. The main character is Will, a small, quick and surprisingly strong boy who lives in the castle ward. When the wards are of age there is a choosing day, where the wards choose to be of a certain craft. The craftmasters can accept or refuse the request. If they are refused by everyone, then they are to become a farmer, something that Will dreads with all of his heart.

Will is very small, but he wants to be a knight and to go to battleschool.  He is rejected for his size by the Battlemaster, Sir Rodney. All of the craftmasters refuse him, and, in the end, he becomes a Ranger. Rangers are mysterious folk that most people tend to avoid, especially Halt, the Ranger of Redmont. Will never pictured this life, but he doesn’t know anything about ‘this life’ until he is taught.

Will and Halt have a very strong sort of ‘father-son’ relationship. Halt trains Will for a long time, and Will becomes an exceptional archer and silent-mover. When they go to the Ranger gathering—a time when all the fifty Rangers come together and the apprentices get chosen to advance into the next year of training, or to repeat the first one more thoroughly.

They find that something is wrong at the gathering and that the legendary Kalkara have been killing important people of the nation, like the leader of the cavalry and the generals. Will, Halt and Halt’s former apprentice Gilan have to hunt down these creatures, but there is no telling that they will be successful, or that they will survive this hunt.

The Ruins of Gorlan is a book that I would recommend to everyone, whether they read fantasy or not. It is suspenseful and full of imagination and is without doubt one of the best books I have ever read.

~by David

March 16, 2011 at 7:01 pm 1 comment

Teen Read, Teen Reviewed – The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

If you love mystery and adventure, this book is for you. If you love mythology and learning about history, this book is also for you. That’s two very popular genres in one book.

For you mystery and adventure people, in this book, monsters will stop at nothing to get you.  Ancient weapons can appear out of nowhere by the will of a magician (after they’ve put it in their imaginary locker). There is also a bunch other stuff that I’m not mentioning. You’ll have to read the book to learn more.

And for you people who love mythology, there are many things in this book for you. First of all, the Egyptian gods are back. These gods were mostly ignored because of the Greek gods. But let me tell you something, these gods are even better. There is a god for pretty much everything. Not just 12 major gods like the Greek gods.

Now, let me describe to you the magic of these gods. They can change into any animal that is related to what they rule over. They can enter the body of any living thing and “share” the body with them. What I mean by this is that they totally take over.

Now, onto the story. It’s a normal Christmas Eve, and the main characters’ dad decides that they are going to the British Museum, which is not a surprise for them.  Their dad is an archaeologist. But, things do not go according to the normal schedule of a museum visit. Their dad blows up the Egyptian wing of the museum.

Does this sound like an interesting book to you? If the answer is yes, go check out the book at your public library. If the answer is no, put the paper down now and walk away.

by Morgan

January 13, 2011 at 11:27 pm Leave a comment

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Goshen Public Library
601 South Fifth Street
Goshen, IN 46526