Posted in book review

The Forbidden Orchid by Sharon Biggs Waller

Elodie. a young British girl living in a small town the late 1800s, always follows the rules. She has to because that’s what young Victorian women do. Respectable females stay at home and Elodie definitely is respectable. Besides she must take care of her many sisters and her mother while her father travels the world hunting rare plants. Their life isn’t luxurious or exciting but they get by.


Elodie, with a natural talent for botany, longs to join her father on his adventures to exotic countries. Unfortunately, she knows that is just not going to happen. Females don’t do that type of thing; besides, her family would fall apart without her. But when her father disappears and their fortunes reverse, Elodie gets her wish in ways she could not have expected. She sees no way forward for her family unless she can find her father and get him to return to China to recover a rare orchid.

The Forbidden Orchid explores the lifestyle of the naturalists of the Victorian era, complete with a sea journey to the exotic world of China. Elodie’s adventures lead her through many unexpected twists and turns. No spoilers but, rest assured, there is suspense, evil villains and, of course, romance. The author also pulls in some serious themes covering addiction, feminism, honor and loyalty. Elodie is a strong, likable, impulsive heroine whose personality combines maturity with naivety and her fellow characters have many dimensions. The end result makes for a compelling action-packed historical fiction adventure and a thoroughly enjoyable read with plenty of historical detail.


Interested? Learn more in this interview with Sharon Biggs Waller here:


Genre: Historical Fiction
Submitted by: Ms. Bing

Posted in book review

Two WWII Historical Novels You Will Absolutely Love

Set in Nazi-occupied France and and Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, these two novels, while quite different, both highlight courage–not the bravery that soldiers show on the battlefield but the slow-burning quiet courage that only appears when you see humanity at its worst.

The Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse

booksIt’s 1943 in Amsterdam. Hanneke and her parents are trying to live quietly and unnoticed during the Nazi occupation, although Hanneke secretly has started finding black market goods to help put food on the table. When a neighbor asks her to help find a Jewish girl who has seemingly vanished into thin air, Hanneke reluctantly accepts the job. But, as the search progresses, Hanneke starts to realize that hiding–from the Nazis and from her own secrets–is not an option. She soon finds herself pulled into a network of student resistance activities as she attempts to solve the mystery and save the missing girl. Along the way, Hanneke learns lessons about love, courage and friendship.

The Girl in the Blue Coat combines suspense with historical fiction. Hanneke’s story is compelling, the pacing is fast while still allowing room for introspection, and the outcome is not quite what you’ll expect. It’s a good YA read that adults also will enjoy.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

books-1Sisters Viann and Isabelle have a complicated relationship, loving yet marred by the rejection of their father and the loss of their mother when they were children. Viann is the older steadfast one, living a quiet life in the French countryside with her young daughter while her husband is fighting. Isabelle is the outspoken, impulsive one, quick to fight back against the Nazis. When their father, rejecting Isabelle yet again, sends her to live with Viann during the occupation, their complicated relationship comes to a breaking point and Isabelle goes away to become a resistance fighter. As the story unfolds, we learn that courage comes in many forms, whether it’s a quiet resistance born of necessity or an active resistance born of nature.

This amazing historical novel has it all–hardship and heartbreak, suspense, families, love, loyalty, betrayal. You will not be able to put it down.

Kristin Hannah on The Nightingale


Submitted by Ms. Bing

Genre: Historical Fiction





Posted in book review

Incantation by Alice Hoffman

Incantation by Alice Hoffman

What if you discovered that your family had been living a lie for years and that lie could cost them their lives? What would you do? This is the problem that Estrella de Madrigal faces in Alice Hoffman’s Incantation.

Estrella lives during the Spanish Inquisition when Jews were being persecuted by the community. The flames of hatred are spreading and Estrella is torn between the bliss of ignorance and the weight of truth as her world turns upside down. Betrayal, love and shocking truths come to light in this intense historical novel.

Rating: 4 stars!

Genre: Historical Fiction

Find Incantation in the BEHS Library

Review by Molly N.

Posted in book review

The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas

The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas is a roller coaster of feels. The characters suck you in with intense fight scenes, battles of magic and a war against tyranny.

Join Iolanthe and Prince Titus in an awe-inspiring journey of suspense, anger, and grief. The journey begins with a ruined elixir and a bolt of lightning. (Warning – contains romance…)

Rating: 4 stars!

Genre: Fantasy/Magic



Watch the trailer, you’ll love it!

Get the book from the BEHS Library.


Posted by: Cathy D.



Posted in book review

Matched by Ally Condie

Cassia’s life is all planned out, and it’s looking pretty good. The Society has matched her with Xander, who not only is her friend, but is good-looking, smart and fun, so, whew — thank you Society! And, nFlora-1ow that school is ending it looks like she’s headed for a good job too, thanks to her mad sorting skills. Her family is great, she has good friends, life is good.

So, why does Cassia have this uneasy feeling that The Society does not have her best interests at heart? Why does her grandfather have to die and what is he trying to tell her? And, most importantly, why does she keep thinking about Ky when she should be thinking about Xander?

Despite the unfortunate character names, Matched is a fun, fast read that will leave you waiting to read the next two books in the trilogy. Pick it up in the BEHS Library today!

Bottom Line: You’ve heard it before… if you liked Hunger Games, you’ll like this … This time it’s true — check it out!


Find Matched by Ally Condie in the BEHS Library.

Watch the Trailer!

Submitted by: Ms. Bing

Posted in book review

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

The Beautiful Creatures movie comes out in February – grab the book now!

Ethan Ware lives a normal life in a normal small southern town — until Lena Duchannes appears. Lena literally is the girl of Ethan’s dreams. Not that that’s a good thing. For months now, Ethan has been having nightmares about saving an unknown girl. When she suddenly appears as the new girl at school, he knows his life is about to change. And we all know that change can be very scary.

Set in the lowcountry and written by local writers, Beautiful Creatures is a spooky, gothic thriller full of twists and turns. The upcoming movie will feature an amazing cast: Alden Ehrenreich, Alice Englert, Jeremy Irons, Viola Davis, Emmy Rossum, Emma Thompson.

Bottom line: Read it now, then read the sequel: Beautiful Darkness.

Submited by: Ms. Bing, BEHS Librarian

Find this book in the BEHS Library!

Posted in book review

The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade

Alona Dare has it all — beauty, fashion sense, popularity, the ability to get whatever she wants. High school life is good. Until she dies.

Will doesn’t have anything — no father, very few friends, a mom who thinks he’s a bit crazy, a shrink who doesn’t help, and a school principal out to get him. Plus, he sees dead people. And are they annoying. Yabber, yabber all the time — help me this, show me that, fix this, pleeease. It’s enough to drive someone crazy. Hence the mom and the shrink…

But Will didn’t realize how good he had it before Alona showed up among the dead. And Alona didn’t realize how bad she had it before she died. With a lot of arguing, a bit of flirting (that’s right, dead people can flirt), a bit of fun and a few scares here and there, Alona and Will try to figure out how they can help each other deal with life and with death.

Bottom line: A light-hearted enjoyable read. Grab it for a weekend, then read the next one: Queen of the Dead.

Submitted by: Ms. Bing, BEHS Librarian

Find this book in the BEHS Library.