Posted in book review

3 Fast and Fun Summer Reads

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus is a smart, suspenseful mystery featuring the stereotypical high school cast: The Brain, The Beauty, The Dealer, The Athlete and The Outcast. But, as we all know, stereotypes rarely hold true. And boy are they busted here. Each chapter reveals another secret from another point of view, moving seamlessly between characters as the plot unfolds. Is it murder or an accident? You won’t know until the final pages… Clever writing and a good cast of characters combined with a suspicious death and lots of secrets make this the perfect summer read.


Secrets in the Snow by Michaela MacColl is a cozy historical mystery for Jane Austen fans, featuring Jane Austen as the main character. Based in part on real people in Ms. Austen’s life, the characters are well-drawn and, of course, the conversation is witty. It’s a fun read that includes a brooding yet handsome man, a little bit of love, and a murder to solve. Best of all, it’s set in the middle of winter–the perfect choice for a hot summer day.


I could not put down The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr. What a fascinating story told from the point of view of a teenager with short-term amnesia. Yes, I know what you’re thinking — it’s gotta be a pretty short story. It’s surprisingly not. Instead it’s a complicated mystery/coming-of-age novel with a wonderful cast of characters. No dead bodies but plenty of surprising twists as Flora tries to unravel secrets from her past while simultaneously dealing with love, friendship, family and, of course, no memories. Plus, a road trip! Highly recommended!




Posted in book review

The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alendar

booksDelia and her family have moved into a new house in Pennsylvania that the locals call Hysteria Hall. Very quickly, Delia learns one of the dark secrets of the Hall and realizes that her family is in grave danger. She has to find a way to save her sister, parents, and perhaps herself.

This book was really good. It showed how people who have passed may still linger on in ways that are not visible to us. I was not expecting the twist that came a little bit into the book. It was shocking but a clever way to continue the story. If you like reading about ghosts but don’t want to be scared, I would recommend this book to you.

Submitted by: Cathy D.

Genre: Horror

4 Stars!



Find The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall in the BEHS Catalog

Posted in book review

Pieces of Me by Darlene Ryan

No teen ever thinks they’ll end up living on the streets. Maddie certainly didn’t but here she is, learning how to Pieces of Meprotect herself, figuring out where to find food and shelter when she can and, sadly, learning how not to trust people in order to survive. She has a plan to get herself off the street and back to school. It’s not easy but she is smart and persistent and she has one person she can rely on–herself.

But life isn’t always a straight path as Maddie finds out. First she meets Q, another homeless teen, then she unexpectedly finds herself caring for a six-year old boy. As Maddie become enmeshed in her new makeshift family, she realizes how lonely her solitary life was before. She is happier now, but is this what is right for her and her new friends? Should she protect them at all costs or should she protect herself?

Darlene Ryan has written a moving, interesting story that unfolds in unexpected ways. As you follow Maddie on her coming of age journey, you will find yourself changing with her, moving first in one direction then back in another. This is both a sad and happy contemporary novel that is a pleasure to read.


Bottom Line: Excellent realistic fiction, definitely worth reading!


 Find Pieces of Me in the BEHS Library


Submitted by: Ms. Bing, BEHS Librarian