Water Knife
Paolo Bacigalupi
November 23, 2015
Reviewed by: Nancy

Water has become by far the most precious commodity in the American southwest. Everyone is fighting over water--states, local governments, citizens. We’re talking militias and gangs here, as well as courtroom battles. In this dangerous world, Angel Velasquez is a “water knife,” a ruthless enforcer of water rights. Lucy Monroe is a prize-winning journalist determined to report on the grim reality no matter the risk. Maria Villarosa is an orphaned teenager desperately looking for escape to a better place. Each has a role to play in this gritty, apocalyptic thriller.

Honor Girl
Maggie Thrash
November 21, 2015
Reviewed by: Kristin

In this bittersweet graphic memoir, fifteen-year-old Maggie experiences first love while at summer camp when she develops feelings for an older, female counselor. Maggie struggles with her own feelings and concerns about what others will think. She also moves through phases of having a crush to realizing her feelings might be reciprocated. As her friends become aware of the situation their treatment of her changes (though most are supportive).

Ready Player One
Ernest Cline
November 18, 2015
Reviewed by: Lindsay

I have to say, after reading this book, I definitely think I leveled up (pun intended) my knowledge of everything 80's. Whether it is video games, music, movies, or television shows, if you feel any nostalgia for this time period this book will speak to you. Even if the 80's wasn’t your jam, this novel offers plenty of excitement with a solid SF/action adventure story, complete with evil corporations, a decaying planet, and an all-encompassing virtual reality…and did I mention the audio book is narrated by Wil Wheaton?

Without You, There is No Us
Suki Kim
November 16, 2015
Reviewed by: Chrissie

In the insightful book Without You There is No Us, Suki Kim chronicles her teaching experience in North Korea. She attempts to find out what the young men she teaches really know about North Korea’s relationship to the rest of the world without attracting attention from her handlers. This is a personal experience for Kim; her own family was separated during the Korean War. Kim’s account is insightful and packs an emotional punch.

Goodbye Stranger
Rebecca Stead
November 13, 2015
Reviewed by: Kris

Bridge is an accident survivor and this story takes place after her physical recovery from being hit by a car. She has taken to wearing cat ears all of the time which her new friends, Emily and Tabitha, find odd but they go with it. She also has a new friend, Sherm. It's fun to watch their relationship blossom from platonic to possibly something more. Stead weaves a second story with an unnamed character who is struggling with something that she did. As I read her story, I felt her pain. I was especially moved when this girl asked herself, “Who’s the real you?

Old Man's War
John Scalzi
November 11, 2015
Reviewed by: Steve

Old Man's War is classic soap opera pulp from beginning to end, with enough new ideas to fill a dozen driving sci-fi books. This is despite the fact that the book is basically a riff on Heinlein's Starship Troopers: future army recruits charged with battling an alien menace across the universe. In this case, the soldiers are elderly citizens of earth transferred into newly-manufactured bodies. Since protagonist John Perry has lived an entire life before being "reborn" as a powerful warrior, his life experience informs his decisions in thoughtful ways.

Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski
November 9, 2015
Reviewed by: Robin

If you are an avid reader like me, you like nothing better than being swept away by a book. Falling into a great story and not coming up for air until the last page is done, is a bibliophile's dream. This book did that for me recently. On Marin's island, there are 14 years of day, followed by 14 years of night. Sunset is coming, the tides are getting ready to strand the islanders and they are working frantically to get off the island. But three kids don't make it and it is dark and what was that noise???

Bubble Trouble
Tom Percival
November 7, 2015
Reviewed by: Desi

Bubble Trouble is the tale of a great friendship that took a wrong turn. Ruben and Felix were the best of friends that had everything in common. They lived next door to each other, were the same age, same height, and liked the same things. Their love of blowing bubbles united them until a competition separated them. As their contest got bigger and more intense, their friendship wore thin. Ruben and Felix ultimately come to realize that their friendship enhanced their love of bubbles and all they really needed was each other.

Oh! You Pretty Things
Shanna Mahin
November 4, 2015
Reviewed by: Nancy

When you work among Hollywood stars, you are held to a certain standard of youth and hipness. This is true even if you are a down-on-her-luck barista like Jess Dunne. Her boss may think she’s not cool enough for a barista anymore, but things start to look up when Jess begins working as a personal assistant for one celebrity and then another. The work is both exhausting and exhilarating as a line starts to blur: is Jess an employee or a friend? Shanna Mahin’s debut novel provides an authentic-feeling adventure behind the scenes of Hollywood.

Sunny Side Up
Jennifer and Matthew Holm
November 2, 2015
Reviewed by: Kristin

The team that brought us Babymouse and Squish has created a lovely coming of age graphic novel. Sunny is staying with her grandfather in Florida for the summer. She slowly figures out how to enjoy herself in a retirement living environment, but this clearly isn’t her first choice for summer fun. Through flashbacks we learn what happened to land Sunny in Florida and why she thinks it’s all her fault. A great read for fans of Telgemeir’s graphic novels.