Posted by emather on 01/09/15

 
 
 
 
 
We are liars. We are beautiful and privileged. We are cracked and broken.
 
 
 
We Were Liars by e. lockhart is narrated by Cadence, the oldest Sinclair grandchild, and the latest in a line of old-money wealth. Each summer, the Sinclairs vacation on their own private island, Beechwood, off the coast of Massachusetts. Cady, her cousins Johnny and Mirren, and friend (and sometimes more) Gat – the four “Liars” – have been attached at the hip since their eighth summer on the island. During the fifteenth summer, though, Cadence suffers a calamity she cannot remember. Even more mysterious is that her family refuses to tell her about it. She spends the next several years in a fog of debilitating migraines, pills, and partial amnesia. As she returns to Beechwood for her seventeenth summer, she attempts to piece together the mystery of what happened and why her relatives are behaving so peculiarly.
 
Cady is an incredibly unreliable narrator, and the both emotional and mental toll her injuries have taken are evident in the novel’s jumbled, nonlinear plot and beautiful impressionistic language. Cadence and the Liars take a long hard look at the Sinclair’s wealth, privilege, and concealed racism. With allusions as varied as King LearWuthering Heights, and classic fairy tales, it’s a familiar story of family squabbles amid decadent wealth, and star-crossed love. (Cady and Gat share some of the steamiest hand holding scenes this side of Eleanor & Park.) The mystery and emotions boil over in a twist thatmight have you hurling the book across the room before rushing to pick it up and race to finish.
 
 
 
(We Were Liars is an option in our poll for Favorite YA Book of 2014. Go vote for your pick!)
 




Posted by Trixie on 12/23/14

 
If you haven't heard, we have a 3D printer and scanner in the Hub! So far, we've had a couple of programs teaching teens how to 3D model their own designs and use this technology.
 
Besides printing out cool trinkets and rapid prototyping, 3D printing has many practical uses too. Imagine printing out a missing piece to your favorite board game or replicating a lost button on a well-worn sweater. You can even use a 3D printer for household repairs! Recently, a pair of brackets for blinds in my apartment broke. Instead of going out and buying new brackets, I decided to model a pair using TinkerCAD. See the different design iterations below.
 
 
If you are interested in learning more about the library's 3D printers, join us at one of these upcoming programs or stop by the Hub to chat.




Posted by emather on 11/18/14

Fight the slipperiness, press the valves firmly,
play the love, the hate,
the misery, the hope,
the freedom that I wanted, never wanted, can’t have;
that doesn’t exist.
 
 
In The Sound of Letting Go, seventeen-year-old Daisy, an exceptional trumpet player, often feels like a “third parent” for her autistic younger brother, Steven. She and her parents feel trapped by their responsibilities towards Steven, and the burden has put definite strains on her parents’ marriage. The family is growing more fearful of Steven’s increasingly violent outbursts. These have become worse since he “has morphed from challenging autistic boy/ to dangerous, nonverbal near-man." After her parents decide to move Steven to a residential facility, Daisy is upset. The usually-responsible Daisy tries to work through her complex and conflicting emotions by rebelling. Some of these are mild, like wearing edgier outfits involving more black and an increase in eyeliner. Some are more out-of-character, like getting steamy in parked cars with the local “bad boy,” and ditching band class.
 
Author Stasia Ward Kehoe wrote the novel in verse from Daisy’s first-person point of view. The poetic style serves the tone and character well, instead of becoming another cliché or gimmick. The irregular asymmetrical rhythm of the writing reflects both Daisy’s love of jazz and her conflicted emotions. It’s through music that she best expresses and understands the world, where her muddled emotions find more solid ground. (It’s also nice to find a character so involved in school band, something that’s so common in real life but rarely seen in YA books.) The novel doesn’t offer any grand statements or easy answers. Still, like all good jazz, the strands of melody converge and build a complex harmony.