Friday, February 7, 2014

Teen Review: Conjured

Title: Conjured
Author: Sarah Beth Durst
Number of pages: 368
Is it part of a series? No
Reading level: high school
Reviewed by:
Patrick Castro, 10th grade

Conjured, by Sarah Beth Durst, is what I would called a "mixed bag of emotions," not in a good way or a bad way. I had such high expectations for this novel, and it ended up delivering some of them but not fully dazzling me. It was a very unique book, and I think it is one everyone should try; you might not know how you will end up liking it.

Eve has a completely new life. She has no recollection of or memories of her past, and she is slowly learning to adapt to her environment. I think most readers would find this clichéd off the bat, as I did, but Sarah brings her own take on it and, a bonus, she doesn't focus mainly on the memories part. Conjured was a definite surprising read and I can't see what is next for Sarah.

This book had:
  • A protagonist suffering from amnesia
  • Witness Protection Program
  • Magic
These are the things that absolutely hooked me into the book, but when I look back it wasn't as perfectly woven together as I would have liked. It suffered from "big expectation syndrome." I'm happy to say there are some well-written scenes with Eve. I LOVED how easy with was to pick up this book and not be bogged down in heavy writing or scenes where you don't remember what happened.

Conjured is a great book if you love smooth writing integrated with magic, witness protection program stories, and/or even a protagonist undergoing that amnesia syndrome. I love how unique it was! I can definitely see myself picking up any of Sarah's books soon!

Editor's note: Here is Sarah Beth Durst's website, with some other comments…

  • Thursday, February 6, 2014

    Black History Month program tonight!

    Please join us tonight at 7:00 p.m. at the Buena Vista branch when librarian Hubert Kozak will give an illustrated talk entitled "We Are Not Afraid: Freedom Summer and the Mississippi Murders." His talk will take you back to the summer of June, 1964, when Mississippi was the focus of civil rights groups trying to expand black voting in the south. Equal parts history and true crime, Mr. Kozak's lecture will discuss the 10 weeks of "Freedom Summer," with their intoxicating idealism and devastating violence. Come early and listen to some of the famous Freedom Songs of the Civil Rights Movement.

    Many volunteers were boarded at the homes of local black
    citizens in the communities in which they worked.

    Extra credit may be received for attending this event, at your teachers' discretion. Proof of attendance will be provided at the end of the evening. This is a teen program, but all are welcome. Come experience a powerful moment in American history!

    The local Klan burned a cross as a warning in front of a Mississippi Project office.
     The volunteers, unfazed, painted on it their demand.

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014


    Meet author Leigh Bardugo! She wrote Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm, the first two books in the Grisha trilogy (the third book, Ruin and Rising, releases on June 3). She has also written two folk tales set in the same world of Ravka (think the Russia of fairy tales, with powerful magicians, vast winter wastelands, and fabled creatures) that you can read here ("The Witch of Duva") and here ("The Too-Clever Fox") for free!

    Leigh will talk, answer questions, show us some cool stuff, and maybe do a short reading from the upcoming book, and then she will sign autographs! Books will be available for purchase at the event. It's a teen event, but all are welcome, so come meet Leigh Bardugo! (Book club members who already read book one, don't forget to bring it for an autograph!)

    If you want to know more, go to her website.