Genre: Futuristic Realistic Fiction
# of Pages: 487
RAC Book: Yes
Beatrice lives in Chicago in the future where the entire population lives in one of five factions. Each faction focuses on a different virtue: truth, bravery, selflessness, peacefulness, and intelligence. She was born and raised in the Abnegation faction, which focuses on selflessness. At the age of 16 each person is tested to see which faction they are best suited for, but each person is given the free choice to choose where he or she would like to spend adulthood. If Beatrice should choose to leave her faction, however, she will rarely if ever see her family again. When she is tested she finds that she does not fit easily into any faction and therefore has mixed results. She can truly choose any faction she wants. The choice she makes surprises everyone and she worries she has made a mistake. Can she survive initiation in order to feel she is a true member of her faction? Can she trust the society she lives in to create a city she feels is righteous and fair?
There are many futuristic society stories out right now, but this one is a bit different and will appeal to readers who like this style of writing. Beatrice makes some difficult decisions that will affect her future, a topic many young adults can relate to. Meanwhile, there are some unexpected realizations about growing up and seeing the flaws in adults, especially those with power. As Beatrice struggles through initiation she makes new friends and enemies as she lives in a competitive environment. In the end, the story is about society and how people treat each other, which is something young adults must ponder as they reach adulthood. The story has excitement and action and will leave readers wanting more.
Genre: Mystery/Historical Fiction
# of Pages: 384
RAC Book: Yes
Flavia de Luce lives in England in the 1950s. Her mother died when she was a baby and her father is a recluse in their country manor. She has two older sisters, Daphne and Ophelia, who enjoy tormenting her. Flavia loves to work in her own chemistry lab and is always asking questions, to the annoyance of her sisters.
One evening she is awakened when she hears someone arguing with her father in his study, but the gardener catches her listening at the door and sends her to bed. In the morning, Flavia finds a dying man in their garden and calls the police. Unfortunately, they arrest her father for the murder and Flavia is not completely sure of his innocence since this is the man who was arguing with her father the night before. Nevertheless, Flavia decides to go after the truth and begins investigating herself. Can she piece together the facts to find out what happened to the mysterious stranger from the garden? Can she clear her father’s name?
This story is a fun mystery story with very colorful and interesting characters. The tone of the book and style of the mystery is reminiscent of Blue Balliett’s Chasing Vermeer. There are many details of the story that the reader needs to remember in order to crack the case, which is reminiscent of The Westing Game. Finally, the main character is captivating, clever, and a strong female character, reminiscent of Down the Rabbit Hole. The story has all of the ingredients to be a lasting mystery for this age level for many years to come.
Age Level: 12 and up
# of Pages: 297
Marigold and Christian are living happily ever after in this sequel to Once Upon a Marigold until one day when they have their first fight. Little do they know that it is foreshadowing trouble ahead as Marigold’s mother, whom they thought was dead, is actually regaining her memory in a town far away. She has had amnesia for a year since her accidental fall into the river, but now she remembers who she is and is determined to reclaim her throne. King Swithbert has been enjoying having his kingdom back under his own control and has no plans to relinquish that control, unless it is to Marigold and Christian. When Olympia returns and sees what has happened to her kingdom she immediately makes plans to change it back to when everyone was unhappy and afraid of her. She is only too happy to get rid of anyone who stands in her way, even her own husband and daughter.
For fans of the first book, this is a must read. The returning characters are fun and great new ones are introduced. The story itself moves very quickly too as the different characters make their plans for gaining control of the kingdom. It’s not quite as captivating as the first one, but a fun read nonetheless. Fantasy and fairy tale lovers will enjoy it.