Staff Reviews by Laura Wood

Cover: 'I Am Pilgrim'

"I Am Pilgrim" by Terry Hayes

★★★★★ This book is impossible to describe, but cannot be missed. Pilgrim is a man with many names, no home, and an intense backstory. He used to a work for a government agency even more secret than the CIA, but got out to try to create some semblance of a normal life. However, the president and his top advisers soon call him in to resume his old life and track...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Fiction

Cover: 'Lie Still'

"Lie Still" by Julia Heaberlin

★★★★★ Julia Heaberlin is one of my new favorite voices in the mystery genre. I've loved all of her books so far, and "Lie Still" is no exception! Emily Page and her husband have moved from New York City to small town Texas in order for her husband to accept a job of police chief. Emily, pregnant with the couple's first child, hopes her haunted past and the...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Fiction, Mystery

Cover: 'Pretty Girls'

"Pretty Girls" by Karin Slaughter

★★★★ Twenty years ago, free-spirited and beautiful Julia Carroll disappeared. Her body was never found, and her family has not been able to put her to rest. Unable to come to terms with their grief, Julia's family is ripped apart. Her father dies searching for an answer, while her sisters, Claire and Lydia, refuse to speak to each other. In the present, the...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Fiction, Mystery

Cover: 'X'

"X" by Sue Grafton

★★★★ The 24th book in one of my favorite series finds private detective Kinsey Millhone juggling a few complex matters - a client who is not who she says she is, a secret from the past, a problem with her troublesome new neighbors, and a sociopath who considers Kinsey his next target. Using all her skills of detection, Kinsey must pull all the pieces together. I...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Fiction

Cover: 'Hope and Other Luxuries: A Mother's Life with a Daughter's Anorexia'

"Hope and Other Luxuries: A Mother's Life with a Daughter's Anorexia" by Clare B. Dunkle

★★★★ This memoir is haunting, beautiful, and hard to forget. From the outside, Clare's life seems perfect. She has a great job as children's book author and is raising her two smart and talented daughters in Germany with her loving husband. Clare's story shows us that even when you think everything is perfect, something can happen that can turn your whole world...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, Biography And Memoir

Cover: '14th Deadly Sin'

"14th Deadly Sin" by James Patterson, Maxine Paetro

★★★★ The latest book in the popular Women's Murder Club series finds LAPD Detective Lindsay Boxer trying to solve a series of crimes that hits a little too close to home. Robberies and murders are being committed by a group of men who wear masks and LAPD uniforms. As panic among the public sets in, Lindsay is left to determine whether these criminals are really...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Fiction, Mystery

Cover: 'The Girl on the Train'

"The Girl on the Train" by Paula Hawkins

★★★★★ If you are looking for a book like "Gone Girl", this debut psychological thriller is the book for you! Rachel takes the same commuter train every day, passing by the same houses and imaging the lives of the people inside. One day Rachel notices something is wrong in one of the houses and reports the incident to the police. She cannot get what she saw out of...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Fiction, Mystery

Cover: 'Dear Daughter'

"Dear Daughter" by Elizabeth Little

★★★★★ Teenage Janie Jenkins is a LA celebutante - famous for nothing but her looks, her money, and her connections. Her life is perfect...until she is arrested for her mother's murder and sentenced to prison. Ten year later, Janie is released due to a technicality, but the entire world, including Janie herself, still thinks she is guilty. In this action packed...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Fiction, Mystery

Cover: 'Shopaholic to the Stars'

"Shopaholic to the Stars" by

★★★★ The latest book in the Shopaholic series finds Becky and her family in Hollywood. Her husband Luke is there to manage the career of famous young actress, Sage Seymour, while Becky has her heart set on becoming the next big celebrity stylist. In typical Becky fashion, things become complicated and hilarious when Becky joins the team of Sage's rival, hires a...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Fiction

Cover: 'The Secret Place'

"The Secret Place" by Tana French

★★★★★ Tana French is my favorite mystery author, so I highly recommend the fifth book in her Dublin Murder Squad series! St. Kilda's, a boarding school for girls outside of Dublin, has a bulletin board called "The Secret Place" where the girls can express their deepest secrets anonymously. It is usually a place for gossip and rumors, but one day a photo shows up...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Fiction, Mystery

Cover: 'The Good Girl'

"The Good Girl" by Mary Kubica

★★★★ If you were a fan of the twists and turns of Gillian Flynn's "Gone Girl", this is the perfect book for you! Colin Thatcher is paid to abduct Mia Dennett, the free spirited daughter of a prominent Chicago judge, and hand her over to his employers. However, once Mia is in his custody, he has a change of heart and decides to hide Mia in a secluded Minnesota...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Fiction, Mystery

Cover: 'Year of No Sugar: A Memoir'

"Year of No Sugar: A Memoir" by Eve O. Schaub

★★★★ Based on the blog of the same name, this memoir chronicles adventures, missteps, and lesson learned the occur as Eve, her husband, and her two young daughters attempt to live without sugar from January until December. The title is a little misleading because each family member is allowed to choose one item they can have as a "cheat" throughout the year (Eva...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction

Cover: 'Gemini'

"Gemini" by Carol Cassella

★★★★★ Charlotte Reese, an intensive care doctor in Seattle, Washington, is on duty when a Jane Doe, the victim of a hit and run, is admitted to the ICU. As days pass, Jane's condition worsens and her identity remains a mystery. Charlotte is in control of Jane's fate, and, with the help of her boyfriend Eric, sets out to uncover Jane's past. This book is well...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Fiction

Cover: 'The Stranger You Know'

"The Stranger You Know" by Jane Casey

★★★★★ The most recent book in the Maeve Kerrigan detective series finds Maeve tracking a serial killer hunting young women throughout London. He leaves no clues behind, but the facts of the case have an eerie similarity to an incident her partner DCI Derwent was involved in during his teens. Maeve can't believe Derwent would be involved, but the more she begins...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Fiction, Mystery

Cover: 'We Were Liars'

"We Were Liars" by E. Lockhart

★★★★★ WE WERE LIARS is the perfect summer read for teens and adults! Cadence Sinclair lives a life unfamiliar to most of us, full of money, privilege, and summers spent on a private island with her family. Something terrible happens the summer that she is fifteen between Cadence, her two cousins, and family friend Gat, whom are collectively know as "The Liars,"...

Audience: Teens | Genre: Fiction

Cover: 'The Collector'

"The Collector" by Nora Roberts

★★★★ In Nora Roberts' latest tale of romantic suspense, Lila Emerson, a professional house sitter, witnesses a murder from the window of the luxury apartment she is staying at. She is drawn into a deadly game of intrigue, world travel, and priceless art. Ashton Archer is determined to find out why his brother died, and recruits Lila to help him solve the...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Fiction, Mystery

Cover: 'Overwhelmed'

"Overwhelmed" by Brigid Schulte

★★★★ Brigid Schulte, a Washington Post journalist and busy wife and mother of two, tries to answer a question that is on everybody's minds in today's breathless, harried, and fast-paced world: how do we find the time to do it all and not lose our minds? Brigid's journey takes her to a time researcher who insists all American women have 30 hours of leisure time a...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, Health, Mental Health

Cover: 'Red Rising'

"Red Rising" by Pierce Brown

★★★★★ Sixteen-year-old Darrow is a Helldiver, one of a thousand Reds (the lowest caste of society) who live beneath the surface of Mars, mining for an element that will terraform Mars and make it habitable to the people of Earth. After tragedy strikes, Darrow learns that everything he has ever been told is a lie. Mars has been habitable for hundreds of years and...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Fiction, Science Fiction

Cover: 'My Story'

"My Story" by Elizabeth Smart, Chris Stewart

★★★★ More than ten years after her abduction from her Salt Lake City home, Elizabeth Smart, now 26, tells the story of what she encountered during the horrific months she spent in captivity and how she survived.  Elizabeth's memoir does not dwell on the darkness she encountered, but rather focuses on how her faith and love for her family helped her survive...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Nonfiction, Biography And Memoir

Cover: 'Kind of Cruel'

"Kind of Cruel" by Sophie Hannah

★★★★ In Hannah's latest book featuring detectives Charlie Zailer and Simon Waterhouse, frazled mom Amber Hewerdine visits a hypnotherapist to cure her chronic insomnia, but doubts anything will really happen. Under hypnosis, Amber hears herself say the phrase, "Kind, Cruel, Kind of Cruel," but she has no idea what it means. Little does she know, a chain of...

Audience: Adults | Genre: Fiction, Mystery

Cover: 'The 5th Wave'

"The 5th Wave" by Rick Yancey

★★★★★ In this fast paced teen dystopian novel, aliens have invaded and Cassie, one of earth's last surviving humans, must fight the odds to rescue her little brother, Sam. Cassie has remained on the run, trusting only herself, since her parents were killed, until she meets Evan Walker. The mysterious Evan may be Cassie's only hope for survival, but is he really...

Audience: Teens | Genre: Fiction, Science Fiction, Survival