Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn

complicitAre you looking for a good psychological thriller? Then look no further. COMPLICIT, by Stephanie Kuehn, tells the story of Jamie Henry and his sister, Cate, whose mother was violently murdered. After witnessing his mother’s murder, Jamie is left with emotional scars that affect him physically, causing him to have blackouts and to temporarily lose the use of his hands when he is under stress. Jamie and Cate were lucky enough to get adopted by a loving couple who are super rich, but then Cate starts acting out and doing bad things. Eventually she sets fire to a neighbor’s barn and is sent to juvenile detention. This fast-paced, gripping story picks up right when Cate is released from the detention center and starts contacting Jamie, threatening to come for him. What follows is an interesting psychological cat-and-mouse type game where the reader discovers things from their past through various interactions, and learn that things are not always as they seem. You will want to add this title to your “to read” list.

- Michelle Frost

The Grisha Trilogy Review

Shadow and Bone

Leigh Bardugo has constructed an entrancing work of art in her beautifully-written novels Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising, which combine to make the Grisha Trilogy.

Siege and StormThe novels burst with magic. Grisha, people who study the small science, can manipulate air and water, stop hearts, heal, and wield other stunning powers. They are involved in a struggle between good and evil, literally darkness versus light as the protagonist tries to help everyone in Ravka, her home country, escape the grasp of the antagonist. The trilogy contains captivating adventure as the protagonist, Alina, attempts to distinguish what is right and what is wrong as she struggles to create a better world for the Ravkan people.

Ruin and RisingMost importantly, Bardugo incorporates heart-wrenching romance in which Alina must figure out whether or not her most valued relationship was spawned by true love or by manipulation. Bardugo weaves intense relationships into the fibers of the story in such a way that the chemistry between the main characters can be clearly felt by the enraptured reader.

This trilogy is going to reach the heights of popularity of books like Divergent and The Hunger Games, to which it has been compared, so start reading because this trilogy is about to blast off.

–Corajean Medina, Southport Teen Advisory Board

Fight Club, by Chuck Palahniuk

Fight ClubMy summer of 2014 was defined by an audacious split-personality, explosive soap, journeys through support groups, and a hatred for the system. Many people are familiar with the 1999 film adaptation of Fight Club, starring the recognizable Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, and Helena Bonham Carter, and the firestorm surrounding it and that marvelous tune by The Pixies. Few, however, are familiar with the craftfully written novel by Chuck Palahniuk, which embodies the disillusion of what it means to truly “live” in our modern society. The story follows the life of a middle aged man merely known to readers as “The Narrator”, and his growing problems with insomnia, IKEA furniture, and his quickly degrading life. As more and more interesting characters enter his life, notably the confidently chaotic Tyler Durden, his life makes a self-destructive change. The duo quickly form a fight club in the basement of their favorite bar to inspire other men to change their lives in the same way, yet the Narrator is unaware that one of the “best decisions” of his life may have been fueled by something much more sinister.

Fight Club is also available as an audiobook on CD

–Erica Irish, Southport Branch Teen Advisory Board

The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien

The Things They Carried

The Things They Carried is not only a novel, but could be considered a collection of short stories. Tim O’Brien makes each chapter unique by using powerful diction and tone. He keeps the reader interested by making each chapter a different account from the Vietnam War. These war stories vary from serious and sentimental to quite comical. This book is very powerful and exciting and recommended for anyone interested in the Vietnam War and what being a soldier is truly like.

The Things They Carried is also available as a downloadable e-book and an audiobook on CD

–Haley Kibby, Southport Branch Teen Advisory Board