One Book, Two Readers – Teens Review “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo”

Teens: did you know that you can earn community service credit for writing a book review and submitting it to us? Today, we’ll hear from two teens who did just that, and get their different takes on the same book. Find out more about how to earn community service hours from home at cheshirelibrary.org/teens/.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Reviewed by Anja J.

Hands down. All time. Favorite book. I honestly don’t even know where to start with this book. I had heard about it all over social media and a few people had recommended it to me. After reading, it was so clear that this book deserved, and lived up to, all the hype. The story starts by introducing an aspiring magazine writer named Monique, who is offered a once in a lifetime opportunity to chronicle the scandalous life story of the infamous Hollywood star, Evelyn Hugo. Evelyn makes a deal with Monique that she, and only she, will be the one to interview her and write about her. Evelyn starts with the very beginning of her career, including clawing her way out of her small life in Hell’s Kitchen. The rest of the story entails the insider details, good and bad, of how she climbed her way to the top and her journey there. This (obviously) included one of the things that she was most well known for, her seven husbands.

Taylor Jenkins Reid had truly outdone herself when she crafted Evelyn’s character. My love-hate (although mostly love) relationship with her had me dying to read just one more chapter. Evelyn’s determination, ambition, internal conflicts, and just overall complex personality made her such an intricate character where we never really knew what her next move would be. It was simply fascinating to read about her, her actions, her choices, and her unfiltered thoughts. Through this story, Reid depicts the life of Hollywood fame and the prices one pays to live such a luxurious, yet fraudulent, life. Although the the public and newspapers says one thing, reality is a completely different thing.

The plot quite literally sent me on adrenaline highs of rollercoasters. The story had me thinking one thing, and then a different thing the next chapter. Then it had taken a gigantic turn that I never saw coming. The twists that kept on coming just kept on getting better every time, especially toward the end, where it is revealed why Evelyn was so persistent on only having Monique write her biography. The way their lives crossed paths was totally unexpected. I highly recommend this book to everyone (high school and up), it is written beautifully and eloquently and nearly had me in tears multiple times.

5 stars.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Reviewed by Ella K.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid that you have likely heard of if you are a watcher of BookTok. The book has attracted a lot of attention recently and that attention is well deserved. I read this book because I heard from one of my friends who likes to read that it was worth it to look into. Despite not knowing anything about the book or its plot line, I loved this book and was hooked immediately.

The book follows Monique Grant, a journalist who is not very famous, but was hired to work for a relatively famous publisher. She is told by that publisher that Evelyn Hugo wants her for an interview about a charity gala that she is throwing to raise money, and that she would only do the interview if it was Monique who was sent over, no one else. When Monique goes to talk to Evelyn, she reveals that it is not just an interview. Evelyn wanted Monique to write her exclusive biography. Evelyn had been a very private person up to this point, so the opportunity for an exclusive tell-all would work wonders for Monique’s career. Like the title suggests, Evelyn has had seven husbands, but she has not revealed the causes for her divorces.

This book is filled with intrigue and suspense. The story telling is impeccable and despite the sheer amount of information that Evelyn has to convey, the author does well at making the story clear and not confusing. Add that to a surprising twist near the end of the book and you have a book well worth reading for teen readers who love any genre. There are some mature themes in this book and I would advise younger readers to wait to read this book.

5 stars

What’s Happening at Cheshire Library in September

Story-times, movie matinees, book clubs, and more are on the calendar in September, take a look:

Open Art Studio

Fridays from 1-3pm

Bring your works in progress and supplies to this weekly drop-in art program. This is an opportunity to create in a collaborative environment with other artists. No formal instruction will be provided, but informal critiquing for those who want it is encouraged. Table covers will be provided. There is a sink in the room for basic cleanup (please do not bring turpentine).

Movie Matinees are Back!

  • Tuesday September 1, 1:00pm: The Lady Vanishes (1938)
  • Tuesday September 20, 1:00pm: Murder on the Orient Express (2017)

We’re bringing our Movie Matinees back, and this month there’s trouble on a train! This is a drop-in program, no registration required, come by for a movie on the big screen!

Art Journaling with Megan Jeffery

Thursday, September 8, 2022, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Learn how you can get started in documenting your life with art journaling in this engaging workshop led by illustrator and avid journaler Megan Jeffery.  Participants will create their own journaling cards using a variety of supplies. Space is limited, registration is required.

Adult Loft Knitters

Wednesday, September 14, 2022, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Come socialize, learn, and share your techniques with other knitters.  Experience the relaxing and calming effect of knitting. All levels of adult knitters are welcome. Please bring your own yarn and knitting needles (crocheters are also welcome!). This group meets monthly, please register in advance.

The Humane Gardener: Nancy Lawson (Online)

Thursday, September 15, 2022, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Join author Nancy Lawson as our special guest speaker in an online presentation related to her book The Humane Gardener: Nurturing a Backyard Habitat for Wildlife, which explains the importance of coexisting with the local wildlife. Registration required to receive a Zoom link one hour before the start of the program.

Music Together: Babies (0-12 months)

Mondays: September 19, 26, October 3, 17, 24 from 9:30 – 10:15am

Music Together an internationally recognized early childhood music program. This developmentally appropriate early childhood music program strongly encourages adult involvement and emphasizes actual music experiences rather than concepts about music. In order to maintain a safe environment, we request no older siblings, please. Registration: Cheshire residents may register beginning on September 5, non-residents may register beginning on September 12.

Ancient Tunnel Mystery Explained

Monday, September 19, 2022, 6:30 – 8:00pm

A solution for ancient World famous mystery solved. Learn why and  how in Jerusalem a 3000 year old Tunnel dug by two opposing teams met inside solid rock. Anomalies in tunnel explained.  Hint: they used rope or string, paint, and copper.  Registration required.

Preschool Storytime (Ages 3-5)

Tuesdays: September 20, 27, October 4, 11, 18, 25 from 10:00 – 10:45am

A storytime for preschoolers to learn through talking, singing, reading, writing,and playing! For Children ages 3-5 and their caregivers. Registration :  Cheshire residents may register beginning on September 6th, Non-residents may register starting on September 13th.

Wiggle Worms Storytime (12-26 months)

Wednesdays: September 21, 28, October 5, 12, 19, 29 from 10:00 – 10:45am

Join us for reading, singing, movement, and play. This program is based on the Every Child Ready to Read initiative. For children 12-26 months old and their caregivers. Registration :  Cheshire residents may register beginning on September 7th, Non-residents may register starting on September 14th.

Caregiver Support Group

Wednesday, September 21, 2022, 12:00 – 1:00pm

A support group for caregivers to share tips, strategies, challenges, and successes. Caregivers of all types are welcome, including spouses and adult children caring for relatives, caregivers to children, and professional caregivers. Registration required.

Tales & Tunes for Twos (22-36 months)

Thursdays: September 22, 29, October 6, 13, 20, 27 from 10:00 – 10:45am

Talk, sing, read, write, and play during this short storytime with hands-on activities to build children’s early literacy skills! For children 22-36 months old and their caregivers. Registration : Cheshire residents may register beginning on September 8th, Non-residents may register starting on September 15th.

Teen Volunteer Orientation (Grades 6-12)

Tuesday, September 27, 2022, 3:30 – 4:15pm

Interested in volunteering for the library? Need community service hours? Attend this informal session to learn what teen volunteers at the library do and how to sign up. Snacks will be provided. For teens in grades 6-12. Registration required.

Sisters in Crime-CT Panel: Creating Authentic Characters

Wednesday, September 28, 2022, 6:00 – 7:00pm

Be sure to attend this exciting panel of accomplished crime fiction authors who will share the process of creating characters in their novels. Registration is required.

OCTOBER BOOK CLUBS

Murder by the Book Mystery Book Club: The Lost Apothecary

  • Thursday, September 15, 2022, 1:00 – 2:15pm (ONLINE) Register

Many Stories Book Club: Detransition, Baby

  • Thursday, September 15, 2022, 7:00 – 8:00pm Register

Art League Book Club: Nefertiti

  • Friday, September 16, 2022, 11:00am – 12:30pm More info

Books Over Coffee: The Overstory

  • Wednesday, September 28, 2022, 12:00pm – 1:30pm Register

Teen Book Reviews: Warcross & Call Down the Hawk

Teens: did you know that you can earn community service credit for writing a book review and submitting it to us? Today, we’ll hear from two teens who did just that. Find out more about how to earn community service hours from home at cheshirelibrary.org/teens/.

Warcross by Marie Lu. Reviewed by Ella K.

Warcross is a book perfect for teens and young adults who enjoy science fiction and future societies. The story is set in a world where a young fourteen-year-old boy, Hideo Tanaka invents a pair of highly sophisticated virtual reality glasses called the NeuroLink. The glasses work by tricking the brain into thinking what it is seeing is real. In order to market the product, Tanaka also creates a video game that can be played within the virtual reality construct. This game, called Warcross, involves two teams battling to steal the other’s gem, called an Artifact, while avoiding a series of obstacles and the other team.

Emika Chen, a struggling hacker makes money in the only way that she can with her criminal record, as a bounty hunter. After failing to get a $5000 bounty that would have saved her from eviction, Emika turns to that fake reality to escape her problems. In the process, she accidentally hacks her way into the Warcross international tournament and makes the news worldwide. After this display of talent in hacking into one of the world’s most secure systems, Emika is invited by Hideo Tanaka himself to visit his headquarters in Japan. He offers her a ten million dollar reward to discover the identity of a hacker, nicknamed Zero, who he believes is a threat to the entire NeuroLink system. Emika has to use her hacking abilities, wit, and deception skills in order to remain undercover and thwart Zero.

The creation of this science fiction world is a shift away from the dystopian works that most know Marie Lu for, specifically her work in the Legend series. In this story, Lu showcases her writing and world building abilities by creating a world that many video game players dream of. The book’s plot is enticing outside of the new society that the reader gets to experience. While the betrayals and spy work that the reader gets to experience is captivating, the addition of a romance seems cliche in the midst of the situation that Emika finds herself in. It is well written, but Emika has been a powerful and independent person for most of her life. Her troubled childhood ensured it. Her interest in a powerful man takes away from that aspect of her character in a way. Overall, this hardly takes away from the book, and some readers, particularly those interested in romance, will enjoy the addition.

4 stars.

Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater. Reviewed by Mia V.

Call Down The Hawk, the first book in the Dreamer Trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater, is a spin-off from the Raven Cycle series, following Ronan Lynch. The original Raven gang has all been split apart due to college, with Adam studying at Harvard, Gansey and Blue taking a gap year to travel and Ronan going off on his own. In the second book of the Raven Cycle, we find out that Ronan can pull objects and creatures (such as his pet raven, Chainsaw) out of his dreams. This power is incredibly rare and powerful, which makes Ronan vulnerable to being killed by those who don’t approve of his power or captured in order to make use of this power.

In Call Down The Hawk, however, Ronan’s power seems to be acting strange. Ronan feels as if he is dying if he is not near the ley lines, or the Barn at all times. Ronan also finds he is being hunted again, as threats loom from all different directions. Ronan meets other people with similar dreaming issues as himself, such as Jordan Henessey, who battles her own fears and nightmares which manifest themselves in real life due to her powers. As Ronan runs from those who want him dead, he also tries to help Hennessey deal with her own issues with her power. Call Down The Hawk takes a break from the search for Glendower and instead dives deeper into Ronan’s power and his own personal struggles both with himself and with his family.

I would definitely recommend this book. I would especially recommend it to someone who has read the Raven Cycle and has loved Ronan. Ronan was one of my favorite characters in the Raven Cycle, so I was very excited when Maggie Steifvater’s new Dreamer Trilogy was released and was set to focus more on Ronan. Although I was expecting the book to take a different direction, I still found the plot interesting and exciting.

4 stars.

What’s Happening at Cheshire Library in August

Two more weeks to complete your Summer Adventure challenges and receive entries into our BIG PRIZE RAFFLE! How’s your summer adventure going?

Riverside Reptiles

Thursday, August 4, 2022, 3:00 – 4:00pm

Want to meet live animals? Join one of our educators from Riverside Reptiles Education Center as they introduce you to exotic animals through a hands-on learning experience. Get ready! It’s sure to be one scaly ride! This program is intended for families with children.  Registration is required. Small children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Drawing for Teens: Manga

Tuesday, August 9, 2022, 3:00 – 4:30pm

Artist, Robin McCahill from Artsplace, will show you how to make your drawings spring into action! For teens in grades 5-12. Registration is required.

Paint Night

Monday, August 15, 2022, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Learn how to paint a real work of art! Follow instructor Pamela Halligan of Pam’s Picassos as she walks you through the steps of creating your own masterpiece and you will create a beautiful completed painting.  Please note this program is intended for adults. Registration is required. 

Loft Knitters

Wednesday, August 17, 2022, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Our monthly knitting group. Come socialize, learn, share your techniques with other knitters.  All levels of adult knitters’ welcome, please bring your own yarn and knitting needles. Registration is required.

Murder by the Book Mystery Book Club: The Devil in the White City

ONLINE Thursday, August 18, 2022, 1:00pm – 2:30pm

Do you like to read and talk about mysteries? Then join us for monthly book discussions, fresh perspectives, new authors and a friendly atmosphere! We are meeting virtually via Zoom for the present.  This month we will discuss The Devil in the White City : Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson. Register to receive a Zoom link on the day of the program.

One Book, Two Readers – Teens Review “They Both Die at the End”

Teens: did you know that you can earn community service credit for writing a book review and submitting it to us? Today, we’ll hear from two teens who did just that, and get their different takes on the same book. Find out more about how to earn community service hours from home at cheshirelibrary.org/teens/.

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera. Reviewed by Jessica N.

They Both Die at the End, the title itself is intriguing and Adam Silvera does a fantastic job creating a book that lives up to its engaging title. He allows us as the readers to think and reflect about our own lives and what we would do if we found out that we would be dying in the next 24 hours.

The book starts off with the two main characters, Mateo and Rufus, getting Death-Cast calls that they will be dying that day. This news changes their lives for the little amount of time they have left. They have to figure out how they are going to spend their last day, also known as their “End Day”, and leave their final mark on Earth. The novel also brings up topics of friendship and relationship. The Death-Cast company provides an app for the people that are going to die and allow them to make a new friend, a Last Friend, for the day.

Through this app and each character in the novel, each person has a significant story and the book itself is told from multiple perspectives. So not only are us the readers tasked with reflecting on how they would spend their last day on Earth, if we knew it was our last day, but, we get to see how people of different ages, ethnicities, and popularities spend their last days. This book is an emotional one that is well worth the read, and even though the readers know what is going to happen at the end (the characters both die), the ending is still very gutting and astonishing. Also, the author, Adam Silvera is expanding the story and coming out with two new further novels. The next one (the second one) is projected to come out later this 2022 year and titled The First to Die at the End, so there is something more to look forward to after reading the beautiful story of They Both Die at the End!

4 stars.

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera. Reviewed by Claire J.

Overall, this book covered many intriguing events and evoked a variety of emotions. The “ spoiler” being in the title of the book is what drew me to pick it up, still having hope throughout the book that they would both live despite the title. It is a darker book, with themes of violence such as guns, so I do not recommend it for younger readers. The positive portrayal of LGBTQ relationships is evident throughout the book, which was pleasant to read.

Silvera takes the reader on a rollercoaster of emotions as we follow the two main characters rated to die on their last adventures on Earth. Both boys were also trying to run from their own issues aside from death. From sick fathers to running from the police, they were already struggling with the real world struggles. Although the book showed rather interesting plot points, some felt a bit boring, hence why the rating is not as high as expected. The pacing of the book was also rather slow in my opinion, although this could have been due to the fact that I do not typically read books of this genre. Another criticism of the book is that some characters were underdeveloped. Although the two main characters were well rounded with great writing skills used to make them, some other characters I felt were not as developed. Even though they had smaller roles in the overall story of the book, I thought that they could have their characters elaborated on a bit more.

I still greatly enjoyed the book, however, it was a wonderful book to read in my down time! I recommend this book to middle-schoolers and older. For science fiction and fantasy readers looking out to try realistic fiction novels, this book is a great transition.

3 stars.