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

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, Sister Janita has gone missing. Years later, her body was discovered, buried in the basement of the church. Who killed her?

I highly recommend Isadore's Secret for anyone interested in true crime. This case also so happens to have taken place in Isadore, Michigan, a small town a few hours away from Gaylord. Reading this book was a quick and thrilling read. I loved how thorough Link was in her writing, filled with court transcripts and pictures of the victim and the fellow nuns that lived with said missing nun the day she disappeared. Mardi Link also gives a spooky aspect to her book. This book is a great option to start the fall season. That is if you want to start Halloween early!

Consent: A Memoir Cover Image
By Vanessa Springora, Natasha Lehrer (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780063047884
Availability: May be available in-store. Is in stock in our warehouse for ordering.
Published: HarperVia - February 16th, 2021

Vanessa Springora was the teenage muse for one of France’s most renowned writers. 

Thirty years later, she shattered the world by breaking her silence.

Consent is a hard-hitting book that discusses how someone's childhood innocence was stolen from her due to the relationship with a fifty-year-old that was normalized thanks to one man's popularity. Springora recalls events and emotions from her childhood that challenged her perception of love and how other adults at the time did not bat an eye.

While being a difficult read, Vanessa Springora had done a brilliant job of regaining her story, and I am glad I had picked up this book.

The Invisible Man Cover Image
By H. G. Wells, W. Warren Wagar (Introduction by), Scott Westerfeld (Afterword by)
ISBN: 9780451531674
Availability: May be available in-store. Is in stock in our warehouse for ordering.
Published: Signet - October 5th, 2010

Imagine you could render yourself invisible. What would you do? Would you use this power for good or evil?

We meet Griffin, a genius scientist that discovered how to make himself invisible. How brilliant! Griffin, a self-proclaimed introvert and outcast, can now have peace. In college, he was theoretically invisible to others. What harm is there in embracing your “invisibility”? 

Throughout The Invisible Man, we see Griffin spiraling into madness due to his superpower, which is now a curse.

The Invisible Man is a fun science fiction classic that would be great for teens. I enjoyed witnessing the character development of Griffin and the consequences of his experiment. If anyone needs a classic for school, consider this book!

When I Found You: A Silver Springs Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780778331889
Availability: May be available in-store. Is in stock in our warehouse for ordering.
Published: Mira Books - June 29th, 2021

Natasha Gray is determined to rise from the ashes. From bankruptcy, divorce, and losing her clinic, Natasha is restarting her life where she came from, Silver Springs. But starting fresh can’t always happen when your past creeps up on you. Mack Amos was the man that broke her heart two times, and now she is afraid it’ll happen for the third time. How can Natasha start her new chapter in her life when there is so much weighing her down?

When I Found You is a part of the Silver Springs series, but you can read this book as a stand-alone if you would like. If you want a book that keeps you on your toes with constant twists, this is the book for you.

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom Cover Image
ISBN: 9781878424310
Availability: May be available in-store. Is in stock in our warehouse for ordering.
Published: Amber-Allen Publishing - November 7th, 1997

The four agreements are pacts to make with yourself to release yourself from suffering and have more joy in life. They are broken down to be impeccable with your word, don't take anything personally, don't make assumptions, and always do your best. Ruiz breaks down each agreement and invites the reader to understand the next steps they should take in their mental health journey.

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom was recommended to me by numerous people, and now I see why it has so much hype. I will be rereading this book in the future and annotating it to review it further.

The Hummingbirds' Gift: Wonder, Beauty, and Renewal on Wings Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982176082
Availability: Backordered
Published: Atria Books - May 4th, 2021

The Hummingbirds' Gift shows how beautiful the lives of hummingbirds are. From being called warriors of the sky to nature's most delicate animal, Sy Montgomery reveals how these fragile birds can be the most resilient creatures known to man. 

Brenda Sherburn spends her life rescuing and rehabilitating hummingbirds. Some may think that raising injured or abandoned birds are easy, but Brenda Sherburn says otherwise. The reader follows Sherburn along through the journey of two baby hummingbirds. In the end, you may feel a close connection with the quarter-sized creatures like I did.

If you are a bird watcher or interested in the lives of hummingbirds, I highly recommend this book. The Hummingbirds' Gift was an informative and quick read. This book is on my reread list, and that doesn't happen often for me!

The Face on the Milk Carton (The Face on the Milk Carton Series) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385742382
Availability: May be available in-store. Is in stock in our warehouse for ordering.
Published: Ember - May 22nd, 2012

Janie Johnson's life is good; the only worries in her life are getting her driver's license, boys, and her newfound milk allergy. But when Janie makes the dire mistake of taking her friend's milk carton at lunch, Janie's world is flipped upside down. Janie saw herself on the back of the milk carton when she was three years old. She recognizes the polka dot dress the little girl is wearing and the red pigtails. That is her.

What should Janie do next? Are her parents even her relatives? That can't be. Her parents are involved with the school and loved by so many. Or is there a deep secret that is lying beneath all of the smiles? 

The Face on the Milk Carton is the first book in the Janie Johnson series. This series is a classic; it is a quick read, and you can start a fun series.

Frankenstein Cover Image
By Mary Shelley, Maurice Hindle (Editor), Maurice Hindle (Introduction by), Maurice Hindle (Notes by)
ISBN: 9780141439471
Availability: May be available in-store. Is in stock in our warehouse for ordering.
Published: Penguin Classics - May 6th, 2003

Victor Frankenstein is fascinated with creating life and playing god. With his success in creating his creature, Victor realizes what a horrible mistake he has made. This story shows the dangers of pride and more lessons that come along in life.  

I must say, this year has been a pretty good year for me with classics!

Frankenstein is widely known. I believe everyone should try Shelley’s book, in the original text, at least once in their life. This book did take a bit longer than usual for me to go through with the writing, but this was a very enjoyable read.

This book made me feel many emotions - frustration, pity, sorrow, and much more for Victor and the creature.

A Court of Thorns and Roses Cover Image
ISBN: 9781635575569
Availability: May be available in-store. Is in stock in our warehouse for ordering.
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - June 2nd, 2020

Feyre is the provider and protector of her family. But once she killed a faerie, Feyre is taken to a magical kingdom to stay with her captor for the rest of her life. During her stay, Feyre is determined to leave but is intrigued by the mysterious curse the kingdom has bestowed upon them. Everyone has jeweled masks on their faces that they cannot remove. The question is, why? 

I listened to the audiobook and I was hooked! I finished this book in one day. The next thing I knew, I immediately had to start the second book, A Court of Mist and Fury

A Court of Thorns and Roses Series is a great series to start if you love fantasy with some romance. I highly recommend this for your next read!

Strawberry Shortcake Murder: A Hannah Swensen Mystery Cover Image
ISBN: 9780758272980
Availability: May be available in-store. Is in stock in our warehouse for ordering.
Published: Kensington - October 1st, 2011

When Lake Eden is chosen to host the annual Dessert Bake-Off, Hannah is ecstatic to be one of the head judges. She will taste delicious desserts to grade and cook on TV for a free promo of her bakery, The Cookie Jar. But when one of the judges mysteriously can’t participate, the next judge, Coach Boyd, is found dead in his garage, facedown in Hannah’s strawberry shortcake she featured on TV.

Hannah must keep her good reputation after her name is attached to Coach Boyd’s death. The amateur sleuth is back at it again. Can Hannah solve this case?

I tried the molasses crackles from this book- they were addictive!