Tag Archives: cell phone

iBoy, Book Trailer

11 Dec

If the Witness Lied, Review

13 Jul

If the Witness Lied by Caroline B. Cooney

Plot: This book relies heavily on technology throughout the book. In the first chapter, Jack discusses “that television is a force in destroying his family,” and there are many more references to the negative effect being in the media spotlight has on Jack and Tris. However, Aunt Cheryl has a much different view of television, watching programs regularly with almost a religious zeal. Her adoration of television and media ultimately leads her to arrange for Tris to become the focus of a reality show. The interaction with the television crew serves as an immediate conflict for Jack, who struggles to protect Tris from further media exposure.

In addition to television, texting is also a featured technology, with Jack and his sisters Madison and Smithy using texts as their primary means of communication. Also crucial to the plot are the cell phone photographs retrieved from Jack’s deceased father’s cell phone, which reveals to Jack and Madison some important information about Aunt Cheryl. Finally, technology is used to help bring resolution to the story, when Jack’s grandparents arrive suddenly on the scene to help the children. Nonny says to Jack, “Darling, this isn’t the eighteenth century” showing that technology makes communication easy, despite the circumstances.

Would you recommend this book? Yes and no. I have read other books by Cooney, and have enjoyed them; however, If the Witness Lied was not one of her stronger books. I felt little connection to any of the protagonists, and Aunt Cheryl came across as a caricature rather than a true villain. The plot has entirely too many holes, and Cheryl’s involvement with the children would have never happened in real life. Technology is the only means to provide any sense of plausibility in this story. The computer records, recordings, and photographic evidence are provided so that the reader will say “this must have happened this way, because there is real evidence to prove it.” Cooney’s earlier thrillers and mysteries were written when digital technologies were either undeveloped or in its infancy, and those plots worked because of the lack of technology. Perhaps Cooney forced the use of technology into her plot too much in this book.

3 stars

–Lisa

The Perfectionists, Review

28 Jan

The Perfectionists by Sara Shepard

Plot: This is a new book by the author of the Pretty Little Liars, and it is definitely set up for a series or at least a sequel. This book revolves around five girls (sound familiar?) who are not really friends, but end up thrown together for a school project and involved in some potential wrongdoing at a party.

Mackenzie, Parker, Ava, Julie and Caitlin all share a dislike for the popular Nolan Hotchkiss (well, most of the school dislikes him, really.) They jokingly plot his murder, but when he turns up dead in the exact same way they talked about, will they get pinned for it? Or is somebody out to get them?

Would you recommend this book? Yes. There are a lot of characters to keep track of and a lot of secrets not revealed to the reader right away, but after I was able to wrap my head around all of that and keep it straight, it was just as enjoyable of a read as the Pretty Little Liars series.

4 stars

–Jen

 

 

Let It Snow, Review

29 Dec

Let It Snow by Maureen Johnson, Lauren Myracle, and John Green

Plot: This is a collection of three short holiday stories that have different sets of characters, but all three stories are weaved together in the end.

In the first story by Johnson, a girl named Jubilee is having a bad Christmas Eve when she finds out some unfortunate news about her parents and needs to take a train to her grandparents, therefore causing her to miss the holiday party at her boyfriend’s house. When her train gets derailed, she meets a new group of people and begins to wonder if everything at home is as great as it seems.

In the second story by Green, a group of three friends decide during a snowstorm on Christmas Eve to try to drive to Waffle House to meet up with a friend that works there and a group that has had it’s train derailed (from the first story.) Their adventures trying to get to Waffle House are at times funny but also somewhat dangerous.

In the third story by Myracle, a girl who has been jilted by her ex whom she is trying to get back together with on Christmas Eve is totally depressed and is thwarting the efforts of her friends to cheer her up. Upset that she is called self-absorbed by many people, she promises to do one of her friends an important favor the next morning, but will she remember in time before everything gets screwed up?

Would you recommend this book? Yes. Though at times the events of the stories seem far-fetched, if you just view it as a quick set of stories of holiday cheer and try not to read too much into it, you will probably find it to be quite enjoyable.

4 stars

–Jen

Free to Fall, Book Trailer

23 May

What if there was an app that made all your decisions for you?

Start learning a language for FREE with Mango Languages!

13 Feb

mango_medium

Are you interested in learning a language, whether for fun, school, or any other reason? Lower Macungie Library now offers an easy way to learn a language with courses you can take through our website or on your mobile device. Mango Languages has tons of courses for beginners or advanced learners, and you can choose from over 40 languages such as Spanish, French, Russian, or even Pirate 🙂 There are ESL courses as well for those who are looking to brush up on their skills, or if you know a family member or friend who you know would like to do so.

Here’s what you need to know:

-It’s free. All you need is a valid library card!
-It’s easy. Go through each lesson at your own pace–no need to feel rushed!
-It’s convenient. You can access Mango from home on your computer or laptop, or on-the-go from your mobile device while on the bus, waiting in line, etc.
-It’s exactly what you need to know. Learn conversational skills, vocab, grammar, culture, and listen to the correct pronunciation.

Click here to check it out and get started.

Just for fun!

15 Sep

Kill You Last, Review

7 May

Kill You Last by Todd Strasser

 Plot: This book is about a girl named Shelby from a wealthy family who has always lived a pretty good life. Her dad does well for her family with his photography business, taking pictures of young aspiring models. But then three young girls from different towns who all got pictures taken at her father’s studio end up missing, and Shelby starts getting threatening emails from an anonymous account. As suspicions against her father start to mount, Shelby looks into trying to solve the mystery and find the missing connection between the girls.

This was a quick read that kept my attention, and I was not expecting the ending. Things seemed to go a little too easily for Shelby throughout the book though, and I noticed some discrepancies between information that was given at one point, and when it was mentioned again later it was a little different.

Would you recommend this book? Yes

3 stars

–Jen

You Have Seven Messages, Review

23 Apr

You Have Seven Messages by Stewart Lewis

Plot: A year after Luna’s mother was killed after being struck by a taxi in New York, Luna comes upon her cell phone in her old studio. She charges it up and is surprised to see it contains seven new messages. As she listens to a message each day, she finds out things about her mother’s life that she never knew and wishes she had not found out–and that there seems to have been more to her mother’s death than she realized originally. Throughout the story, Luna is also becoming friends with her next door neighbor that she has a bit of a crush on, and they can relate to each other through music.

Based on the book jacket, I had hoped there would be a bit more suspense to the story, but it seemed just a little too slowly paced and things seemed to fall into place too easily for Luna. I wish the relationships had been a bit more developed.

Would you recommend this book? Yes–it’s not a bad book, just not what I expected.

3 stars

–Jen

Scored, Book Trailer

7 Apr

Imagine if this was the way society worked today? What part would bother you the most? I think I would be most bothered by the constant surveillance cameras!