Benjie's Favorites

All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys' Soccer Team By Christina Soontornvat Cover Image
ISBN: 9781536209457
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Candlewick - October 13th, 2020

Meticulously researched and written by a Thai-American author, this heart-racing narrative expertly weaves the story of the Thai boys' soccer team with the story of their rescuers, and the mostly-volunteer effort that sprang up to support them. Readers will learn not only about caving, the boys, and the engineering, heart, and ingenuity behind the rescue, but about the region's culture and religion. I was fascinated by the bravery of the boys and by the sheer scope of the rescue effort. This is one compelling true story of perseverance and courage.

The Authenticity Project: A Novel By Clare Pooley Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984878632
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - December 29th, 2020

This is one of those books that feels like a hug. If you've ever wondered about the lives of the strangers you pass by in your daily life, this book shows how reaching out to connect with others can be life-changing. It was heartwarming without ever being cheesy, and I loved each of the characters equally. I was sad when this one ended.

The Guest List: A Novel By Lucy Foley Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062868930
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow - June 2nd, 2020

A remote island off the coast of Ireland is the perfect location for Julia's wedding to her handsome, rising TV star boyfriend Will. As the wedding party begins to arrive, a storm is brewing out at sea, and with the secrets held by the members of the wedding party almost outnumbering the guests, it's only a matter of time before someone ends up dead. This is a fast-paced "locked-room" mystery with lots of deliciously creepy surprises.

The Henna Artist By Alka Joshi Cover Image
ISBN: 9780778309451
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mira Books - March 3rd, 2020

In 1950s Jaipur, Lakshmi has made a life for herself as a henna artist. It hasn't been easy for her, but she has almost achieved what she has been working toward for years: enough security and wealth to own her own home and to care for her parents who she had to leave behind years ago. Then a little sister Lakshmi did not know existed shows up on her doorstep, and Lakshmi is not prepared for the changes her sister brings to her life.

I Killed Zoe Spanos By Kit Frick Cover Image
ISBN: 9781534449701
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - June 30th, 2020

When the body of a missing girl is found, Anna Cicconi--who bears a striking resemblance to the dead girl--confesses to the murder. But did she do it? In alternating chapters, readers hear from Anna in the months leading up to the discovery of the body and from Martina, the local teen podcaster, who thinks Anna's confession may not be the truth. Inspired by Daphne duMaurier's Rebecca with a dose of "Serial" thrown in the mix, this YA thriller kept me up reading well into the night.

The Inheritance Games By Jennifer Lynn Barnes Cover Image
ISBN: 9781368052405
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - September 1st, 2020

Since her mother's death, Avery has been focused on surviving high school and scoring a scholarship somewhere, hopefully somewhere that allows her to move out of her sister's apartment and away from her sister's abusive boyfriend. Then Avery discovers a billionaire she has never met has left her his fortune and his massive mansion, Hawthorne House. The only catch? She must live in Hawthorne House for one year or forfeit it all. Of course, Tobias Hawthorne's four grandsons -- all handsome, brilliant, and dangerous in their own ways -- also live there, and they're not all thrilled that a stranger has inherited the bulk of grandad's fortune. A fan of puzzles, Tobias Hawthorne has left behind several hidden riddles and puzzles in his sprawling mansion with its hidden passageways and secrets -- riddles and puzzles that Avery and Tobias's grandsons are eager to solve in hopes of solving the biggest mystery of all -- why Avery?

The Lost and Found Bookshop: A Novel By Susan Wiggs Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062914095
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow - July 7th, 2020

After losing her mother in a tragic accident, Natalie must move home to care for her beloved grandfather and take care of the family bookshop. When Natalie discovers her mother had been hiding the bookshop's financial troubles from her, it seems like the only option is to sell, but grandpa owns the building, and he refuses. In her quest to turn the bookshop around, Natalie hires a handyman to make needed repairs to the building. His presence, and that of his young daughter, leads Natalie to some important discoveries about the bookshop, herself, her past and maybe her future. I loved the bookshop setting and reading this book felt like a warm, comforting hug.

Loveboat, Taipei By Abigail Hing Wen Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062957276
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperTeen - January 7th, 2020

Ever Wong is at a crossroads. Should she follow her parents' wishes and study medicine at Northwestern? Or follow her dreams and study dance at NYU whre she was just accepted? Before Ever can come clean to her parents about NYU, they reveal their surprise high school graduation gift: a summer spent in Taipei at a language and cultural immersion camp for the Asian American children of immigrants. Ever's summer at Chien Ten, nicknamed "Loveboat" by the campers, is full of surprises, for her and for her parents. This book is full of fun, romance, rebellion, heartache, and ultimately, is about finding your place in the world.

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin By Roseanne A. Brown Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062891495
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Balzer + Bray - June 2nd, 2020

Drawing from West African folklore, Brown has created a rich fantasy world that is compelling on its own. Add to that world two characters who fate throws together and who happen to be intent on killing each other despite their growing feelings and you have a story that cannot be put down. This debut novel from Brown is full of magic, betrayal, and surprising twists and turns.

The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires: A Novel By Grady Hendrix Cover Image
ISBN: 9781683691433
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Quirk Books - April 7th, 2020

I don't usually read horror, but when I found out this one featured a book club in a small Southern 1990s town battling a vampire, I was sold! This was definitely a page-turner, and I loved every campy, thrilling, and scary minute!

Undercover Bromance (Bromance Book Club #2) By Lyssa Kay Adams Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984806116
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Berkley - March 10th, 2020

I read and loved all three of the Bromance Book Club books this year, but this one was my favorite. How can you not love a series based on a group of men who get together to read romance novels in order to become better boyfriends and husbands? As in the other books, my favorite scenes featured the book club group. I loved the romance between Braden Mack, Nashville night club owner and former playboy, and Liv Papandreas, a sous chef in a hot restaurant, but I also really appreciated the focus on the takedown of Liv's celebrity chef boss who also happens to be a serial sexual harasser.

Staff Pick Badge
When No One Is Watching: A Thriller By Alyssa Cole Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062982650
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - September 1st, 2020

"Rear Window" meets "Get Out" in this suspenseful thriller that has lots to say about race, class, and gentrification. Sydney, a long-time resident of her Brooklyn neighborhood, joins forces with new resident Theo to research local history for the upcoming neighborhood festival. With so many residents leaving for the suburbs, the neighborhood is not the same one Sydney grew up in. But as Sydney and Theo dive deeper into their research, they begin to suspect that the disappearances of some of Sydney's neighbors are not at all what they seemed, and soon they are caught up in a dizzying turn of events that will terrify you.