MCPL logo

Marathon County Public Library

Skip Navigation

Staff Reviews: fiction

Check out these reviews written by the staff of the Marathon County Public Library! (For reviews in all genres, visit our main Staff Reviews webpage.) Staff book reviews are also published at Goodreads.com; follow us for the latest updates.


Cover: 'The Girl with the Silver Eyes'

"The Girl with the Silver Eyes" by Willo Davis Roberts

★★★★★ Ten-year-old Katie Welker knows that she’s different in more ways than just having those unusual silver eyes which freak other people out. She can move things just by thinking about them and read the minds of cats, but what else might she be capable of.  After she discovers that her mother took a drug while she was pregnant that was later removed from...

Audience: children, tweens | Genre: fiction, fantasy

Cover: 'Hate List'

"Hate List" by Jennifer Brown

★★★★ In this harrowing and eye opening novel, we are taken inside the lives of students affected by a school shooting. The main character, Valerie, is not only recovering from a gunshot wound, but dealing with the constant struggle of being the shooter's girlfriend. Shunned even by her own family afterwards, Valerie has a lot of healing, both physically and...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction, tragedy

Cover: 'Lizzy Bennet's Diary'

"Lizzy Bennet's Diary" by

★★★★★ Inspired by Jane Austen’s classic novel, “Pride and Prejudice”, we can easily believe that Elizabeth Bennet just might have written this diary.  It is a fun re-imagining of Lizzy Bennet’s world through her eyes with realistic journal entries and cute drawings and captions filling each page. But it’s the realistic invitations, notes, and letters glued...

Audience: children, tweens | Genre: fiction, classics

Cover: 'The Silkworm'

"The Silkworm" by Robert Galbraith

★★★★★ Writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, "Harry Potter" authoress J.K. Rowling brings us this second book about private detective Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin Ellacott. As their search for missing author Owen Quine turns into a sadistic murder, perhaps as retaliation against Quine's libelous unpublished book, Strike and Robin also grow...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'The Art of Secrets'

"The Art of Secrets" by James Klise

★★★★ Left homeless after a fire of unknown origin destroys their apartment, Saba Khan and her family’s lives are changed forever. Fellow students at Highsmith School decide to collect items for an auction to be held at school with the proceeds to be donated to Saba’s family. But when a rare and valuable painting worth hundreds of thousands of dollars gets...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'The Time Traveler's Wife'

"The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger

★★★★★ This is the extraordinary love story of Clare, an artist, and Henry, a librarian and time traveler. Henry has known Clare since she was a little girl but doesn't know it until he meets her in real time where she knows who he is and is already in love with him. Discover the complexities of time travel through their love affair of the ages. You will not be...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'Will Grayson, Will Grayson'

"Will Grayson, Will Grayson" by John Green

★★★★ This is a hilarious story of how two different teenage boys with the exact same name come to meet one another and change each other's lives. I listened to this book twice on audio book and both times found myself laughing out loud on my commute! Both Will Grayson's lives are at a turning point in love, relationships, and life when their paths cross. The...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'The Medici Boy'

"The Medici Boy" by John L'Heureux

★★★★ Set in fifteenth century Florence, this novel is written as a confession and memoir by Luca Mattei, a devoted assistant to the great artist Donatello. Luca writes about living in the infamously sinful city of Florence and about the intimate details of life in Donatello's workshop. A collision of politics, art, and forbidden passions, this is a tale full of...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'Little Green Peas'

"Little Green Peas" by Keith Baker

★★★★ The peas from the alphabet sensation LMNO Peas have returned for a new adventure exploring color. From green gardens to purple mountains to the red colors of fall, the peas see color everywhere. This book is recommended for toddlers and preschoolers who will gain color knowledge and letter knowledge from the vibrant, fun illustrations.  

Audience: children | Genre: fiction, easy reader

Cover: 'The Boleyn Reckoning'

"The Boleyn Reckoning" by Laura Andersen

★★★★★ In the thrilling conclusion of this trilogy about the Boleyn King who never was, Minuette finds herself caught between the king’s increasingly obsessive love and her loyalty to her secret husband Dominic. As the backdrop to this love triangle, Catholic and Protestant factions vie for power, causing families, friendships, and political loyalties to fracture...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, historical fiction

Cover: 'Allegiant'

"Allegiant" by Veronica Roth

★★★★★ The intriguing conclusion to the Divergent series, this book will be hard to put down. Tris and Four continue to search for answers and a way to put the pieces of their broken lives back together. What began with a choice that changed their lives forever continues to be a journey of choices and tough lessons in love, courage, truth, and sacrifice.  

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction, dystopian, science fiction

Cover: 'The Ocean at the End of the Lane'

"The Ocean at the End of the Lane" by Neil Gaiman

★★★★★ A haunting tale of evils both real and supernatural, this story follows our narrator as he remembers the events that changed his world as a 7-year-old child. When a lodger commits suicide in the family car, evil powers are unleashed that quickly threaten his life and those of the people he loves. In order to survive, he must become brave enough to face this...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, horror, fantasy

Cover: 'A Dog Called Homeless'

"A Dog Called Homeless" by Sarah Lean

★★★★★ A year after her mother’s death, Cally sees her mother at the cemetery but no one will believe her. Worse yet, no one wants her to talk about her mother. She continues to see her mother often along with a friendly wolfhound and an elderly homeless man. She volunteers to not talk for a day at school to help raise money for a children’s hospice home and...

Audience: children, tweens | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'Insurgent'

"Insurgent" by Veronica Roth

★★★★★ The second book in Veronica Roth's Divergent series continues to follow 16-year-old Tris Prior as she struggles to make sense of her world as it crumbles around her. Tris has finally embraced her divergence but must now figure out what to do about the danger it places on those closest to her. She must make peace with herself as she battles guilt, grief, and...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction, dystopian

Cover: 'The Registry'

"The Registry" by Shannon Stoker

★★★★★ Looking for a new dystopian trilogy? Look no further! This is a book that will be hard to put down and will leave you wishing you had the next book. In this new America, girls are raised to be brides and sold to the highest bidder, and boys are raised to be soldiers ready to fight. Follow eighteen year old Mia as she goes on a journey to be a free woman and...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction, dystopian

Cover: 'Save The Date'

"Save The Date" by Mary Kay Andrews

★★★★★ Escape into the world of Cara, a newcomer to the Savannah florist scene. We meet Cara at a critical juncture in her life where business is booming yet she has several challenges threatening to bring her down. Although Cara isn't interested in love, she is in the business of helping those who are in love. She keeps running into a guest at most of her...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'Nantucket Red'

"Nantucket Red" by Leila Howland

★★★★ A sequel to Nantucket Blue, Nantucket Red finds protagonist Cricket Thompson newly graduated from high school. Cricket is accepted to Brown University with a coveted spot on the lacrosse team, and heads back to Nantucket in order to earn money for the Ivy League life. Soon after arriving, one night on the island causes Cricket's future to be thrown up in...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'The Rosie Project'

"The Rosie Project" by Graeme Simsion

★★★★★ This quick and entertaining read follows geneticist Don Tillman, as he devises a plan to find the perfect wife while bypassing the social awkwardness of actual dating. Just when Don has it all figured out, he meets Rosie. Although Rosie meets none of Don's wife criteria, she quickly becomes his friend as they work together to find her biological father. A...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'This Song Will Save Your Life'

"This Song Will Save Your Life" by Leila Sales

★★★★ Elise has always struggled to make friends, so much so that she had even once turned to suicide as an answer to her loneliness. After her failed attempt at suicide, she continued to be a loser at school.  Just as Elise is resigned that her life will never get better and be what she knows it could, she haphazardly discovers an underground dance club....

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction, music

Cover: 'The Painter'

"The Painter" by Peter Heller

★★★★★ Peter Heller brings us a beautifully written novel about a famous New Mexico artist names Jim Stegner whose life seems to spiral around in destructive chaos. Jim has a history of violence and loss, but is trying to move forward as he finds a new home that offers him peace and quiet, a place to paint, and great fishing. However, Jim's peaceful existence is...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'Say What You Will'

"Say What You Will" by Cammie McGovern

★★★★ Meet Amy and Mathew, two teens with different types of disabilities who somehow find one another and become best friends. When Amy leaves for college, they both need to realize their limitations or abilities, and learn to adapt to life without one another. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of recently popular teen fiction. This book...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'The Monkey Wrench Gang'

"The Monkey Wrench Gang" by Edward Abbey

★★★★★ While not a new release, this 1975 classic is well worth a revisit. Ex-Green Beret George Hayduke returns from war to find that his beloved southwestern desert is being threatened by rampant industrial development. Joined by an unlikely group of allies, Hayduke sets out to save the natural landscape that he loves as he rages against men and their machine-...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, nature

Cover: 'The One'

"The One" by Kiera Cass

★★ "The One" is the third and final book of The Selection Trilogy.  The central character, America, and three other young ladies are still vying for Prince Maxon's heart. The country of Illea is experiencing more and more unrest among rebels groups looking for equality and the dissolution of the chaste system. These rebels are threatening the selection...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'Divergent'

"Divergent" by Veronica Roth

★★★★★ The first book in Veronica Roth's wildly popular series does not disappoint! We meet 16-year-old Beatrice Prior on the eve of the most important decision of her life. She must chose one of five factions to belong to for the rest of her years. Will she choose to stay with her family or find a new one? Her decision is complicated by her test results and her...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction, ya fiction with adult appeal, dystopian

Cover: 'The Perfume Collector'

"The Perfume Collector" by Kathleen Tessaro

★★★★ This is a lovely, yet predictable novel about a woman who inherits an apartment in Paris from someone she has never met. Grace is living unhappily in England when she discovers the mysterious Eva d'Orsey left her a beautiful apartment and a generous stock portfolio. A richly-detailed work of historical fiction, Tessaro weaves together the duo plotlines of...

Audience: adults | Genre: fiction, historical fiction

Pages