Mary is a St. Mary senior, and a longtime customer and prolific reader. Come meet her and pick her brain about young adult novels, true crime books, and mysteries.

Truly Devious: A Mystery Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062338068
Availability: May be available in-store. Is in stock in our warehouse for ordering.
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - December 4th, 2018

Ellingham Academy is a private school that is located in the forests of Vermont, run by the richest person on earth, Albert Ellingham.

Once the academy was opened, Albert’s wife and daughter had been kidnapped, and received a ransom letter for money. The only clue left to what happened to his family is a riddle mocking Albert, signed “Truly Devious”.

Decades later, Stevie Bell is a true crime fanatic and is set on being the person to solve the cold case of the century. But, strange things are happening at Ellingham Academy. Could it be Truly Devious?

This was such a wonderful book. I relish a good mystery, and I enjoyed how the author integrated some true crime podcasts that I love to make the book more relatable. Truly Devious was a book that always kept me on my toes and I couldn’t stop myself from taking a break!   

Isadore's Secret: Sin, Murder, and Confession in a Northern Michigan Town Cover Image
ISBN: 9780472050796
Availability: May be available in-store. Is in stock in our warehouse for ordering.
Published: UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN REGIONAL - August 28th, 2009

In the early 1920s, a nun has gone missing… Her body was found buried in the basement of the church. Who killed her?

A gripping book for anyone interested in true crime. This also so happens to have taken place in Isadore, Michigan; a small town a few hours away from Gaylord! Isadore’s Secret was the first book I have read by Mardi Jo Link and this is my favorite book that I have read for 2020! Reading this book was a quick and thrilling read. I loved how thorough the author was in her writing; it was filled with court transcripts and pictures of the victim and her fellow nuns that she lived with the day she disappeared.  

Speak Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312674397
Availability: May be available in-store. Is in stock in our warehouse for ordering.
Published: Square Fish - May 10th, 2011

Speak is a beautifully written book by Laurie Halse Anderson. This book was based on a nightmare Anderson had one night.
Melinda is an incoming freshman that everyone at school hates. Over the summer, Melinda was at a party and called the cops; she's a snitch. What people don't know, is that she was raped by a senior and didn't know what to do. We see Melinda grow as a person and discover her voice again. To speak up.
I believe that this book should be read by all, especially teens. This book shows that you need to use your voice when you think it doesn't matter of have an effect. It shows amazing character development and Melinda is very authentic as the narrator.

Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399556821
Availability: May be available in-store. Is in stock in our warehouse for ordering.
Published: Ember - June 19th, 2018

How does the Hunger Games, but in space sound?


Ten teenagers from around the world are chosen by Babel Communications to go into space and go to the planet Eden. A planet with aliens and a mysterious substance called nyxia to be mined. But there’s a catch, only eight out of the ten teenagers are allowed to Eden. They all must train and fight in return for a place in Eden and money for their family on Earth. Whatever it takes, Emmet must get to Eden. He must make his family back in Detroit proud; give his family name a different meaning. Filled with friendships and resentment, everyone must fight tooth and nail for the prize. 


I never read sci-fi before, so this book made me hesitant. On the contrary, I think this book is a great pick for anyone wanting to start this genre. I must admit, I am a sucker for a good book cover and this one did not disappoint; very ominous and it embodies the essence of nyxia. I was thrilled when I found out this book is a part of a trilogy as well!

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Gone Girl: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307588371
Availability: May be available in-store. Is in stock in our warehouse for ordering.
Published: Crown - April 22nd, 2014

It's the day of their 5th wedding anniversary, and Amy Eliott Dunn went missing. Was it the husband, Nick, who is responsible for the disappearance of his wife? With the help of Amy's diary, we learn how easy it is for her to put anyone into a nervous wreck due to her personality. 

How innocent is Amy? 


With alternating points of view between the husband and wife, you get to see their views on each other and themselves. You start to question who had done it? 

This is the first book that I've read by Gillian Flynn and I did not expect the plot to be that way, to say the least. The ending was shocking, but so fitting in a morbid way. Gone Girl was a fun read, full of surprises!  

Becoming Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524763138
Availability: May be available in-store. Is in stock in our warehouse for ordering.
Published: Crown - November 13th, 2018

Becoming is a book about hardship, love, courage, and the reality of being the wife of a go-getter husband, Barack Obama. I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Michelle Obama, and that is the best way to read the book, you can hear the passion and real emotions coming from Michelle’s voice. I learned a lot about the Obama family, and I realized how similar I could be to her and her family. There is the true grit displayed by Michelle and Barack Obama throughout his political campaign of being the first-ever black president, with the weight of representing the black community on their shoulders. Michelle brings light to the difficulty that is being in the spotlight of the media at all times; she shows that she isn’t better than anyone else; she is just a human being becoming the best version of herself.

The Orphan Collector: A Heroic Novel of Survival During the 1918 Influenza Pandemic Cover Image
ISBN: 9781496715869
Availability: May be available in-store. Is in stock in our warehouse for ordering.
Published: Kensington - August 4th, 2020

1918, the Spanish flu has arrived and wiped out thousands of lives in a short period. Pia Lang lives with her mother and twin infant brothers; they are treated unfairly due to their German nationality, people avoid them and blame them for their problems in the world. With their food running low at home, Pia must venture out looking for food with the little money she has, leaving her infant twin brothers all alone.


Bernice Groves is mourning the loss of her infant son, if the doctors would stop caring for the immigrants, maybe her son would’ve lived… What extent will Bernice and Pia go for their difficulties? 

This book is timely for the circumstances... The Orphan Collector is now my favorite historical fiction of all time! Well-written and it was hard for me to put it down! 

Hot Dog Girl Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525516255
Availability: May be available in-store. Is in stock in our warehouse for ordering.
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - April 30th, 2019

With summer coming to a close I thought this was the perfect summertime book to finish off my summer! A fun and light Y.A. that I flew through. 

Elouise (Lou) Parker is set on making her summer before the senior year the best one yet, but some obstacles get in the way. 

Lou is the dancing hot dog at the local amusement park yet again; she has a crush like never before on the diving pirate, Nick, who’s girlfriend is the literal princess of the park. Lou’s best friend, Seely, ends up not wanting to be involved with her scheming of winning over the pirate of Lou’s dreams, and to top it all off, the amusement park is closing! 

I enjoyed how the book has more representation involving a girl/girl relationship. I did get a bit annoyed with Lou’s personality because she is the “my way or the highway” type of gal, but I realized that the author put this in to show how much Lou changes and learns from her mistakes throughout the book. I admire how an author will use these tools to get the reader more invested in the characters and start to care for them. 

If anyone is in a reading slump and needs an easy and funny read to fix that, I recommend this contemporary! 

The Word Is Murder: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062676801
Availability: May be available in-store. Is in stock in our warehouse for ordering.
Published: Harper Perennial - May 7th, 2019

Diana Cowper walks to a funeral parlor at 11 a.m. to plan her funeral, a few hours later she is found dead in her home. 


Daniel Hawthorn, the former detective, is called in to solve the murder with Anthony, a reluctant writer who is writing a book about this murder for Hawthorn. 


I loved how Anthony Horowitz put himself in his book as a character; at times, you would think this happened with all of the detail! I loved every second of this book, and I was always guessing and thinking about all of the clues, wanting to solve it myself- lots of twists and turns throughout the book. The question is, who killed Diana Cowper?

Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982141462
Availability: May be available in-store. Is in stock in our warehouse for ordering.
Published: Simon & Schuster - July 14th, 2020

When I first saw this book, I was hesitant to read it at first because I didn’t think I’d learn anything new about Donald J. Trump, but boy was I wrong. This book brings accounts from Mary L. Trump’s childhood and being the eyewitness of unfair treatment to her father, Fred Trump Jr., and her mother. Mary L. Trump is a clinical psychologist and gives the psychological profile of Trump, where it fills in the blanks to me. It is very striking how no one in the Trump family attempts to debate the facts in the book, and I understand how they were trying to block this book from being printed. A definite recommendation to anyone interested in learning about Donald J. Trump from a psychological aspect.