The Game of Love & Death REVIEW

gameloveGuest review from Mollie at the Lawrence Branch.

The Game of Love & Death by Martha Brockenbrough.

Available in Print, eBook & eAudio.

Love and Death come together once again to play the Game, a game played for centuries. Love has never won, ever. The date: Friday, February 13, 1920. Love choses his character, an infant boy. Death, her player is a baby girl. “Wearing a pair of soft leather gloves, Love’s opponent, known as Death, reached for the child, who woke and blinked sleepily at the unfamiliar face overhead.” Will he win this time? Death, and her history of successes, won’t make it easy for Love, especially when both can transform themselves to distract their opponent’s players!

Fast forward 17 years . . . to 1937.

The players in this round of the Game are seventeen-year-olds Flora and Henry. Flora, an African American singer/pilot, strives to be a strong woman. Henry, an orphaned white boy, living in the shadow of his well-to-do adopted brother tries to prove his worth. He and Flora meet and it is love at first sight for Henry. Can these two star-crossed lovers win the game for Love?

Short chapters keep the reader engaged; however, I chose to listen to the eAudiobook. I felt the narrator performed well. Songs were performed at the end, as a bonus section.

I recommend this book for teens that like historical fiction, love stories, or a modern-day Romeo-and-Juliet story.


Big Library Read 2016

This Is Where It EndsThis year the Big Library Read is showcasing a New York Times Bestseller that will appeal to teens and adults alike. This Is Where It Ends by debut author Marieke Nijkamp is told from FOUR different perspectives, blog entries and tweets, and covers a time span of 54 minutes.  Imagine going to a school assembly and then getting up to leave, only to discover that you are locked in the auditorium with a fellow student who has decided to kill everyone who has ever wronged him or her. Not your typical feel-good happy ending book, but an important book and topic, nonetheless. If you read it, let us know what you think by dropping a comment below.


Available at your Indy Public Library in eBook and Print.

Want to read something similar? Check these titles out!


Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Five months ago, Valerie Leftman’s boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria. Shot trying to stop him, Valerie inadvertently saved the life of a classmate, but was implicated in the shootings because of the list she helped create. A list of people and things she and Nick hated. The list he used to pick his targets.

Now, after a summer of seclusion, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to school to complete her senior year. Haunted by the memory of the boyfriend she still loves and navigating rocky relationships with her family, former friends and the girl whose life she saved, Val must come to grips with the tragedy that took place and her role in it, in order to make amends and move on with her life.

Available in Print and eBook.

shooterShooter by Walter Dean Myers

Written in the form of interviews, reports, and journal entries, the story of three troubled teenagers ends in a tragic school shooting.

Available in Print.


My Heart and Other Black Holes REVIEW

my-heart-and-other-black-holesAvailable in Print, eBook & eAudio.

Warning: this is book is sad. It deals with sad things and unhappy people. That being said, it is a marvelously well written book that will give you all the feels and make you tear up a time or two.

Warga takes on the complicated subject of depression which is never something easy to write about or portray in a character. I, myself, have not dealt with mental illness but I have many family and friends close to me that have had their battles with depression over the years. I think Warga did an excellent job of conveying the feelings, both emotional and physical, of depression.

While her story ends on a promising note, I know that is not the case for most. But I believe Warga’s intentions are to make readers see that there are always options. There is always someone out there to support you no matter what you are going through.
I recommend this story purely because it is well written and a beautiful story. I also recommend this story for anyone that has struggled or known someone who is struggling with their own personal illness. There is always an answer and there is always someone who will support you.

Happy reading!
Warren Branch


The Leaving REVIEW

the-leaving-coverAvailable in Print & eBook.

Six kindergartners disappear. Eleven years later, five return. What happened in the meantime? Where is the sixth child? How do the families pick up the pieces and start over?

That’s where The Leaving starts. With questions and accusations and no answers. This book hooked me from the start. I love mystery and intrigue and this story has it in spades. The story is told in alternating viewpoints from two of the survivors and one of the siblings of the original six children. Each character has a unique voice and the author even uses visual text images to put the reader in the mindset of the characters.

Besides the intriguing premise, the story was fast paced and kept me engaged. It kept me guessing almost all the way through. I started to pick up the pieces and figure out the story line about two thirds of the way in but there was still some questions I hadn’t figured out till the very end.

This book is probably one of my favorites of 2016 so far. I highly recommend it to anyone! But if you love mystery and suspense, then this is a must read for you.

Happy reading!
Warren Branch