Jan 11, 2022

In the second book of The Hunger Games series Katniss is dealing with the aftermath of surviving The Hunger Games. She is very glad to be back home but nothing feels quite right. People in district 12 are being beaten, she is supposed to get married soon, a rebellion is starting, and her relationship with Peeta is almost invisible. Katniss and Peeta need to truly convince the citizens of Panem that they are madly in love. Katniss is dealing with all of this when the Quarter Quell challenge is announced. She is going to have to go back into the arena and fight for her life once again in The

Jan 11, 2022

Tobey Maguire reprises his role as Spider-Man in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3, made in 2007. In the third installment of the franchise, Peter must go through the motions of vengeance and remorse while dealing with 2 of his most grueling foes yet, Venom (Topher Grace) and Sandman (Thomas Haden Church).

This movie is a conflicting place. It continues the trend of Spider-Man having to save MJ (Kirsten Dunst) from the villain(s). In some parts, it felt too packed with a run time of 2 hours and 19 minutes. I feel like if they stuck to one villain, it could have turned out better. The movie is still

Jan 3, 2022

In this gripping novel, Katniss Everdeen is a 16-year-old girl living in a hopeless world. Her father has passed away. Her family barely has enough food to survive. Then it gets even worse. Katniss’ sister Prim gets selected to be a part of The Hunger Games. Katniss takes her sister's place and has to fight for her life in a game of death. Katniss is competing in the Games when her fellow contender Peeta, also from District 12, expresses his fondness of her. How will Katniss balance the need to live for her family and the way she feels for Peeta?

The Hunger Games would have been more

Dec 29, 2021

Divergent is a heartwarming and heart wrenching fictional novel by Veronica Roth. This book is about a girl named Beatris (she goes by Tris).  Since she is sixteen she has to choose between the 5 factions, Candor the honest, Amity the peaceful, Abnegation the selfless, Dauntless the brave, and Erudite the smart. Tris finds out that she is divergent. She chooses Dauntless and trains to get a good ranking. One night the Erudite and the Dauntless attack the Abnegation; now she has to decide to fight for her faction or for the right side. I love the way the author brings balance between love

Dec 28, 2021

A good thriller isn't written so much as it's carefully constructed. Out of all the other literary genres - with the exception of romance - a thriller is a constant high-wire act, with the author having to carefully balance the drama on the page against what the reader expects. Not only does a good thriller keeps the reader guessing, but it also keeps the reader WANTING, hanging on every page, until the promise of the book is fulfilled, with the thing in these sorts of books that's always under threat is either saved or brought back to the light.

Thrillers used to be the domain of crime and

Dec 20, 2021

Tom Holland plays Peter Parker in John Watts’ Spider-Man: Homecoming. After fighting with the Avengers and acquiring a new high-tech suit from Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Peter must return back to normal life. Living with his aunt May (Marisa Tomei), Peter must keep his identity a secret while trying to prove himself to be more than a friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man by facing his most threatening villain yet, the Vulture (Michael Keaton).

This movie was a satisfying watch. We get to see the almost father-son dynamic between Peter and Tony with Peter messing up and Tony having to save

Dec 16, 2021

Tobey Maguire plays Peter Parker (Spider-Man) in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2, made in 2004. In the second installment of this franchise, Peter is torn on whether he should continue the mantle of Spider-Man, or put down the mask and pursue his love for Mary Jane (Kristen Dunst).His conflicts with his idol-turned villain, Dr. Otto Octavios (Alfred Molina), leaves him lost and makes him realize the struggle of living a double life. He must defeat Doc Oc before his identity as the hope-giving Spider-Man disappears from him forever.

This film was stunning. Sam Raimi created a wonderful balance

Dec 16, 2021

Pray for Silence, the sequel to Sworn to Silence, again follows Chief of Police Kate Burkholder in the mixed Amish and “English” town of Painters Mill, Ohio. On a chilly night in October, a family of seven was found murdered on their farm. With little clue to work with, Kate is desperate to catch the murder, even if she has to put herself in danger.

I loved reading this book. After reading the first book in this series, I was nervous if the sequel could live up to my expectations. There are incredible character descriptions and development and every action taken by characters seems

Dec 16, 2021

Two people wake up abducted, imprisoned, and left alone with a gun. Only one person will walk away. Detective Helen Grace faces off against a notorious anonymous serial killer, known for abducting victims in pairs and forcing them into traps similar to those seen in the Saw movies. After finishing Eeny Meeny, I was a little disappointed at the lack of character development. Even though this is a crime fiction book, I felt like Arlidge could have gone deeper into the motivations and aspirations of some of the main characters. Instead of focusing on development, it seems as if Arlidge wrote for

Dec 13, 2021

Set in the rural town of Painters Mill, Ohio, a gruesome serial killer shattered the sense of safety held by the Amish and “English” residents. Now, sixteen years later, Kate Burkholder returns to Painters Mill as Chief of Police. All is well until a new body is found. Kate must prevent more deaths, and by doing so may put those who mean the most to her in danger.

This book is full of suspense, and you definitely won’t want to put it down. I enjoyed every second spent reading this book. Even though some of the descriptions were a little graphic, I was blown away by the imagery Castillo was

Dec 9, 2021

The Hunger Games follows the main protagonist Katniss Everdeen. Katniss is a sixteen-year old girl, living in District 12 in Panem. Each year, a girl and boy are taken from each district to fight in the Hunger Games. However, one day Katniss’s sister is chosen and without much thought Katniss volunteers herself instead. The Hunger Games to Katniss is a death sentence because she must kill the rest of the competitors to be the ultimate winner and that seems unlikely.

This book was a rollercoaster of emotions. There wasn’t any point where it dragged and I couldn’t put it down. My favorite

Dec 3, 2021

The Canyon’s Edge is a kind of boring and an emotional realistic fiction novel by Dusti Bowling. This book is about a girl named Elenor. Ever since the shooting that killed her mom, she and her dad have isolated themselves from the world. After a year Elenor and her dad go to a canyon where no one goes. Elenor’s dad feels a canyon flood and pushes Elenor to safety, but he gets carried away by it, now Elenor has to find and rescue her dad.

I love the way the author tells the story as a poem, but I think the way the author presented the plot was kind of weak. I recommend this book to

Dec 2, 2021

Andrew Garfield returns as Peter Parker (Spider-Man) in Mark Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, made in 2014. In this sequel, Peter must deal with new foes Electro (Jamie Foxx) and his old friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), as Oscorp betrays them both. His relationship with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) is also in the balance for he does not want her to get hurt because of what he does.

This movie was entertaining. Mark Webb does an amazing job at making Peter and Gwen’s relationship feel natural. Electro was an amazing villain with a backstory that we could understand. This film dives more into

Nov 29, 2021

Be Not Far from Me is an adventurous and kind of boring thriller novel by Mindy McGinnis. This book is about a girl named Ashely, she and her friends go hiking in the Smokies. Her boyfriend Duke cheats on her with his ex-girlfriend. When Ashley sees this, she is shocked and runs in the opposite direction of the camp. She gets lost and eventually finds her way back. When she’s found, there are tons of reporters that want to interview her. I like the way the author describes the events happening in the book, but after a few days lost in the woods, I thought the book got a little boring until it

Nov 22, 2021

Andrew Garfield plays Peter Parker (Spider-Man) in Mark Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man, made in 2012. In this reboot, after getting bitten by a genetically modied spider, Peter Parker builds a relationship with his father’s former colleague, Dr. Curt Conners (Rhys Ifans), and helps him with a project. This would have dire consequences as Peter learns what it means to truly be Spider-Man.

This was a joy to watch. Mark Webb’s different approach to the web head definitely works. It makes this movie necessary and different from the Raimi trilogy. This film dives more into the mystery of the

Nov 19, 2021

The Girl in the White Van is a suspenseful and thrilling mystery novel by April Henry. This book is about a girl who gets kidnapped by an old man who also kidnapped another girl 8 months before. The two kidnapped girls (Savannah and Jenny) hatch a plan to escape their kidnapper, they almost get killed and nearly escape. I love the way the author brings suspense and tells the story from the views of all characters instead of just one, and the way the suspense kills you right from the start. I recommend this book to anyone who wants a good thrill. That is why I rate The Girl in the White Van a 5

Nov 19, 2021

Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation is a page-turning and thrilling adventure fiction novel by Stuart Gibbs. This book is about a super-smart 12-year-old girl whose name is Charlie. She is recruited by the CIA, who are looking for Pandora, it is a formula created by Albert Einstein to create bombs faster and easier. The CIA team and Charlie go to different places to get the clues that ultimately lead them to Pandora. I love the way the author pictures the characters and the way he makes them act. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a little mystery and humor combined. That is why I rate

Nov 17, 2021

Matt Damon plays Mark Watney in Ridley Scott’s science fiction film, The Martian, made in 2015. Mark is abandoned on Mars after a big storm comes through the crew’s camp. His fellow astronauts including Melissa Lewis (Jessica Chastain) and Chris Beck (Sebastian Stan), escape Mars safely, but leave him behind after coming to the conclusion that he had died due to debris. Mark makes contact with the crew and with NASA back on Earth and communicates with them to try and get him off the barren planet. Being a botanist, he plants potatoes and lives off rations as long as he can to stall time until

Nov 16, 2021

We have plenty of patrons here at the Johnson County Library who love a good thriller. Sure, domestic and psychological thrillers still dominate the bestseller lists, but patrons are not always looking for secrets and lies set amongst deteriorating marriages and otherwise-idyllic suburban settings. We're talking old-school thrillers, where one person - or several people - are on the run from bad people with even worse intentions. Novels like these are great at keeping the pages turning and the plot humming along; with a good thriller that's fast-paced, stocked with memorable characters, and

Cover of Down Range by Taylor Moore

Down Range

By Taylor Moore
Rated by Charles H
Nov 9, 2021

The frontier has long felt like a fixture of the collective American psyche, and literature featuring western characters facing the struggles of the rural life has been around since the late 1800s. These western novels often featured tough characters with a firm sense of moral justice and skill with a gun. This archetypical character has continued into modern writing, but in recent decades has made the leap out of the western genre and into thrillers and mysteries in the form of rural law enforcement. This can be seen in Sherriff Walt Longmire (created by Craig Johnson), Game Warden Joe

Oct 21, 2021

Crooked Kingdom is #2 of the Six of Crows duology. It’s about an impossible heist completed by six unlikely friends that become family. The goal of the heist is to become incredibly rich, but the goal gets side-tracked as their story progresses.

Crooked Kingdom is so much fun. I rate it a 4 out of 5 because I wish it was longer and that my favorite character had longer chapters. The relationship dynamics are so fun. The fantasy world is well made and interesting. Especially when you get all of the perspectives that Bardugo provides. It has of the thrill a heist should have with

Oct 21, 2021

Tony Stark has announced that he is Iron man and many issues come to light and he is faced with new challenges. Since the government knows his true identity they now want his advanced technology. However, someone is trying to kill Stark but of course, he won’t let that happen and will put up a fight. So he tries to find new ways to hide his precious technology and stop his enemy Justin Hammer from killing him. Will the government get Tony’s technology or will his enemy be able to kill him? You’ll have to watch to find out.

 I would recommend this to anyone who loves superhero action movies

Oct 21, 2021

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the most recent new Zelda game. It feels very unique as opposed to older Zelda games, which, while good in their own right, often followed a dull and very similar pattern. Breath of the Wild, or BOTW, changes this up, giving players the freedom to explore the world and complete tasks in any order that they see fit, or even skip tasks completely. In fact, the only required areas are the tutorial and final boss, the massive world filled with main quests, side quests, enemies to fight and collectibles to find are all optional. Of course, going straight

Oct 21, 2021

Ender’s Game follows a brilliant 6-year-old kid named Andrew “Ender” Wiggin. Set in the future, humans are fighting a war with an alien race called “buggers”. The humans win the war, but are fearful of another attack, and so they train gifted children in a satellite called the “Battle School” to become future commanders against the buggers. Ender is born as a third child in a world where only two children are allowed due to the giftedness of his siblings, Peter a sociopath and Valentine, a caring sister. He gets into a fight at school, and his promise is seen by Colonel Graff, a commander of

Oct 21, 2021

Kestrel lives in an empire that relishes in violence and war. They enslave others they conquer and show no mercy. Kestrel is the general’s daughter, and as such she is aware of the methods of her empire. As a seventeen-year-old young woman, Kestrel has a decision that could alter the rest of her life: she can join the military or get married. A strong, independent woman, Kestrel battles for another option.

Her first act of rebellion commences with her decision to befriend a slave she bought at the auction. This man is no ordinary slave, and Kestrel is quite confused at the whirlwind of

Oct 21, 2021

Percy Jackson is at Lake Montauk with his mom when they get attacked by a minotaur. After Percy defeats the monster, he passes out and wakes up at Camp Half-Blood. He learns that Camp Half-Blood is a place for children like him to keep safe and train, children who are half Greek gods. Percy finds his best friend from school Grover Underwood at camp and meets a girl named Annabeth Chase. Percy, Annabeth, and Grover have to go on a quest to the underworld to find Zeus' master bolt before the Greek gods go to war.

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief is one of the best books that I have ever

Dry by Neal Schusterman


Rated by
Oct 21, 2021

Dry by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman takes place in Southern California where a drought, Tap-Out, starts to take action. Alyssa and her brother, Garret, experience the effects of this first-hand with their parents missing, house ransacked, and water contaminated. Together, with the help of their next-door neighbor, Kelton, and a fugitive, Jacqui, they embark on a journey to find the bug-out to live out the drought.

When reading this book, I found that it related a great amount to many post-apocalyptic/dystopian books I have read. The only difference is that no fantasy was used in the creation

Oct 21, 2021

This historical fiction book written by Jennifer A. Nielsen is an engrossing and suspenseful novel with crazy plot twists and diverse characters. Chaya (the main character) is a resistance fighter against the Nazis. She teams up with a girl she despises at first and quickly learns to love her like a sister. They move from ghetto to ghetto, trying to help their people fight.

This book discusses the struggles the Jews had to face in the hands of their enemy. This book has made me realize what true courage and strength is. The most appealing aspect of this book is when Chaya reunites with a

Oct 21, 2021

Not if I Save You First is a deeply suspenseful and compelling adventure fiction novel by Ally Carter. This book is about 16-year-old Maddie, who moved from Washington D.C to Alaska, where she and her father are the only people for 20 miles in every direction. Maddie’s one and only friend, Logan came to visit her. The two friends embark on a journey to save themselves from a Russian kidnapper and assassin.

The most entertaining aspect of this book are the hilarious conversations between Maddie and Logan. I recommend this book to people who are going through hard times because I believe this

Oct 21, 2021

In a cruel society where the population is separated into two castes — Enchanteds and Outsiders — Astrid and her family are considered the lowest of the low, without citizenship or magic. As the surrogate for Princess Renya, Astrid receives physical punishment if Renya steps out of line. It is truly a miserable existence — but it is one Astrid might be able to escape. Enter the Race of Oblivion, in which the drug Oblivion is used to wipe racers’ memories. It’s not an easy race — Astrid could very well end up dead. But if she wins, she could win freedom, citizenship for her entire family, and a