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review 2018-10-22 18:14
Evil Librarian / Michelle Knudsen
Evil Librarian - Michelle Knudsen

#EvilLibrarian He’s young. He’s hot. He’s also evil. He’s . . . the librarian.

When Cynthia Rothschild’s best friend, Annie, falls head over heels for the new high-school librarian, Cyn can totally see why. He’s really young and super cute and thinks Annie would make an excellent library monitor. But after meeting Mr. Gabriel, Cyn realizes something isn’t quite right. Maybe it’s the creepy look in the librarian’s eyes, or the weird feeling Cyn gets whenever she’s around him. Before long Cyn realizes that Mr. Gabriel is, in fact . . . a demon. Now, in addition to saving the school musical from technical disaster and trying not to make a fool of herself with her own hopeless crush, Cyn has to save her best friend from the clutches of the evil librarian, who also seems to be slowly sucking the life force out of the entire student body! From best-selling author Michelle Knudsen, here is the perfect novel for teens who like their horror served up with a bit of romance, plenty of humor, and some pretty hot guys (of both the good and evil variety).

 

I read this to fill the Cryptozoologist square of my 2018 Halloween Bingo card.

Demons qualify as a paranormal species for my Cryptozoologist square and this book was a charming little jaunt into the demonic scene! I’m always looking for books concerning libraries and librarians and this one delivered a cute story with interesting problems for our heroine, Cyn, to solve. Like how to kiss that cute guy, Ryan, in her high school musical and how to rescue her best friend from the demonic clutches of Mr. Gabriel, the new school librarian.

Cyn and Annie are typical high school girls, at least until Mr. Gabriel comes to their high school and starts to show overt interest in Annie. How can it be only Cyn who realizes that something is dreadfully wrong with the whole scenario? Neither girl has ever had a boyfriend, but thankfully this only worries them peripherally. Cyn is focused on her future in musical theatre and Annie just wants to escape her house full of small children that everyone expects her to take care of while she’s not in school. Annie has the more serious problem of the two girls, being taken for granted by the adults in her life, and is therefore more open to the seduction of the older Mr. Gabriel.

Lucky Cyn gets thrown together with her classmate, Ryan, and she must struggle to maintain her focus—on the school play, rescuing Annie, saving the school, all while enjoying her new proximity to the guy she’s been crushing on. I appreciated that Cyn was written to enjoy the relationship while not basing her entire self-worth on it and that her friendship with Annie continued to be just as important to her as it had always been.

The dialog is sharp and often cute, the situation reminds me of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the book is a whole lot of fun. Apparently there will be a sequel and I will definitely be interested in reading it.

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review 2018-10-22 03:29
On Borrowed Time by Jenn McKinlay
On Borrowed Time - Jenn McKinlay

In this entry in the series, Lindsey is setting up for one of the Crafternoon meetings that these books always begin with, only to discover her brother, Jack, hiding in their meeting room. At Jack's request, she doesn't tell anyone about him, lets him stay in the room, and makes up an excuse to have the Crafternoon meeting somewhere else. She's both shocked and worried when she goes to check on Jack and discovers that 1) he's gone and 2) there is now a dead man in the meeting room.

Lindsey is sure Jack didn't kill the man but knows it looks bad, so she reports the body to the police but doesn't mention Jack. She soon learns that Jack is involved in something very dangerous. If she wants to rescue her brother, she has to somehow figure out what's going on and who she can trust.

Jack apparently lives an overly exciting, globetrotting, and sometimes action-filled life. There were things in this book that made me think of James Bond - a coffee cartel, a dangerous and beautiful woman, and a boat chase. With all that action and Lindsey's worry over Jack, the murder at the beginning of the book was almost forgotten. Yes, I know it was part of the whole storyline involving Jack, but it didn't feel as much like the book's focus as the series' previous murders did. I was a bit disappointed by that.

In general, I found this book to be extremely frustrating. While I get that Lindsey was worried about her brother, her behavior made no sense. In the book just before this one, Emma Plewicki, the new police chief, demonstrated that she could keep secrets and wait for just the right moment to pounce. She's always been level-headed, careful, and trustworthy. I could sort of understand Lindsey stupidly leaving out her brother's sudden appearance in her initial report to the police, but her continued refusal to talk to Emma when things with Jack took a turn for the worse was just bone-headed. In a small town like that, there were ways she could have communicated with Emma that wouldn't have alerted Jack's kidnappers. But that would have required Lindsey to step aside and allow Emma and others to assume control of the efforts to save Jack, which McKinlay couldn't allow.

A lot of the things that were wrong with this book were due to McKinlay bending over backwards to make things more difficult for her characters. In addition to Lindsey's repeated refusal to involve the police, there was also the issue of the love triangle. I suspect even McKinlay didn't have much interest in Robbie as a potential love interest for Lindsey, because this was his second book and he still didn't have much going for him beyond being a good-looking charmer. And I couldn't help but wonder if Lindsey's primary appeal, for him, was that she kept resisting him.

Robbie and Sully's constant arguments about who should get to spend time with Lindsey and what rules they should be operating by grated on my nerves. There were a few nice scenes with Sully, including one where he finally talked about the event in his past that made him freak out when he thought Lindsey might still have feelings for her ex-fiance (I still think this was sloppily done), but they were always ruined by his arguments with Robbie. They were like two dogs fighting over a bone.

This is my least favorite book in the series so far, and if it weren't for how popular this series is with a few of my coworkers, I'd probably be quitting at this point. But I do like having books I can actually discuss with the people around me, so I'll be giving the next book a go. Here's hoping that at least the mystery portion of the next book is better.

Extras:

  • The Briar Creek Library guide to Crafternoons
  • Readers guide for The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  • Craft: Recycling candles (creating new candles from the remnants of old ones)
  • Recipes for Beth's Spinach Dip, Violet and Charlene's Meatballs, and Nancy's Fruit Cake Cookies. I don't plan on trying any of these, but the dip sounded easy and the meatballs were tempting.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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text 2018-10-11 18:06
TBR Thursday
Made to Kill: A Novel (L.A. Trilogy) - Adam Christopher
Evil Librarian - Michelle Knudsen
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore: A Novel - Matthew J. Sullivan
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader - C.S. Lewis,Pauline Baynes

 

I'm currently working on The Mysteries of Udolpho, which pretty much demands that you take things slow and gentle.  I feel like I've been reading forever, and the girl isn't even an orphan yet.  And she must be an orphan for this to be gothic!  It's one of my Halloween Bingo choices, so I've got to persevere.

 

I've got two more Halloween Bingo books waiting.  I've read a few pages into Made to Kill, but I'm making myself wait to start Evil Librarian

 

And I've got two books from my planned reading list for the year, Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  I've heard very mixed reviews on the former, but the latter should be a reliably good read.

 

Also on my schedule is a performance of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, which I'm attending on Sunday.  Our city's Shakespeare Company is doing a season centred on Hamlet, which this play kicks off.  Next up will be Hammered Hamlet, followed by Hamlet, a Ghost Story.  The fourth play is The Hamlet Frequency, but I've got my fingers crossed that I will be in France at that point.

 

I still need to get my Science Fiction & Fantasy books organized--maybe I can squeeze that task in as well.

 

Have a great weekend!

 

 

 

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text 2018-10-10 19:57
Look who I met in Hamburg ...

The librarian of the Unseen University!

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review 2018-09-17 22:28
Killer Librarian / Mary Lou Kirwin
Killer Librarian (Thorndike Press Large Print Mystery Series) - Mary Lou Kirwin

Champion of the mystery section at a small-town Minnesota library, Karen Nash is about to embark on a dream trip to London, a literary tour inspired by every murderous intrigue, wily suspect, and ingenious crime found in the pages of the British mysteries that she devours. But she's clueless why the love of her mid-life, Dave, would dump her hours before takeoff, until she spies him at the airport with a young honey on his arm! She decides the best revenge (for now) is to get on that plane anyway . . . and entertain schemes for Dave's untimely demise while crossing the pond.
After touching ground in the hallowed homeland of Christie, Sayers, and Peters, she checks into a cozy B & B run by charming bibliophile Caldwell Perkins. Soon she's spilling tears in her pint at the corner pub, sharing her heartbreak saga with a stranger. That night, a B & B guest drops out of circulation permanently. And when Dave and his cutie turn up in London, Karen realizes they are an assassin's target. With the meticulous attention to detail that makes her a killer librarian, Karen sleuths her way through her own real-life mystery in which library science meets the art of murder.

 

I read this book for the Cozy Mystery square of my 2018 Halloween Bingo card.

I’m not usually a tremendous fan of the cozy mystery genre—I tend to like things a bit darker and more threatening--but I was charmed by this librarian-reluctantly-turned-sleuth tale that also incorporated a gentle romance.

Karen Nash is a successful librarian who has always dreamed of visiting England, the land of all of her favourite authors. She has carefully planned her upcoming vacation, trying to indulge her passion for literature while not boring her plumber boyfriend Dave. But the course of true love never did run smooth and Dave dumps Karen just days before they are to embark on this adventure. What’s a girl to do? Karen buys her own plane ticket and goes anyway, finding at the airport that Dave has replaced her with a younger woman. Understandably angry, Karen conceals herself as best she can on the flight, then follows the couple upon landing in London.

Who hasn’t been dumped and fantasized about taking revenge on the former object of our affection? Karen books into her B&B and is pleased to find that the owner loves books as much as she does. When she goes looking for some juice in the middle of her first night, she stumbles over the body of a fellow customer, complicating her situation.

The remainder of the book deals with meeting the other denizens of the B&B, being touristy in London, causing trouble for the disloyal Dave, pursuing the new man in her life, plus solving the murder mystery. A very full schedule. Karen is a woman after my own heart, a planner, a reader, and a very competent woman.

Perfect if you want a warm, fuzzy reading experience with a very gentle mystery attached to it. Truly, the story is much more about Karen and how she sorts out her life after it’s been shaken up. Very enjoyable.

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