True Detective: Season 1

Reviewed by Stephanie Ramirez (Library Staff)

As so many have during the past two years, I rediscovered a show I missed upon its release. I had heard the rave reviews of True Detective’s first season but never got around to watching it. I’m so glad we gave it another chance. The absolutely superb acting by the two leads–Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey–is the best of their respective careers. McConaughey’s performance in particular of road weary existential angst driven Louisiana state detective Rustin Cohle is haunting and award worthy. You follow the story anxiously as the looped timelines and storylines unwind themselves along the way. Storytelling at its best!


Clementine’s Letter by Sara Pennypacker

Reviewed by Stephanie Ramirez (Library Staff)

The third installment in the popular Clementine series for kids, Clementine’s Letter is a funny and touching addition to the series. Clementine panics when she hears her teacher might leave for a research trip. When the principal asks the kids to write letters on behalf of their teacher, Clementine can’t help herself to tell how downright horrible he is…..or is he? While a bit wordy and in need of some editing scissors, Clementine’s Letter is a fun read for kids.

Available through the Bridges Library System

Eternals (2021)

Reviewed by Stephanie Ramirez (Library Staff)

Marvel’s first big flop “Eternals” doesn’t necessarily deserve the bashing it is taking from critics and audiences alike. The casting is star-studded: Angelina Jolie, Gemma Chan, Salma Hayak, Richard Madden are just a few big names on the ticket. The visuals are stunning and battles, as always in Marvel-world, are a highlight. However, all the bells and whistles cannot distract from a mediocre plot, an enemy that is potentially world-ending but who we’ve never heard about before in the MCU and the over-arching factor of just where the heck were these heroes in all the previous battles/movies. As always with Marvel, there is potential for sequel(s) and I admit I’m intrigued by where they left things. Still, for an audience to care about any subsequent movies, a major plot rehaul is in order.

Located in DVDs (DVD ETERNALS)

If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power by Halsey

Reviewed by Stephanie Ramirez (Library Staff)

Although not my usual genre of music, I thoroughly enjoyed pop rock staple Halsey’s new effort. Their voice is soaring, their lyrics haunting and the production from geniuses Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross is a standout. Though songs like “Darling” are plaintive and haunting, the standout is synth-pop anthem “I am not a woman, I’m a god.” Though this is my first listen to their work, it won’t be my last.

Located in Adult CDs (CD POP/ROCK HALSEY)

Yearbook by Seth Rogan

Reviewed by Stephanie Ramirez (Library Staff)

What an unexpected delight this was. Actor Seth Rogan tackles the memoir but rather than a chronological retelling, tells tales of his two lives–one growing up in Canada and the other, when he reaches the pinnacle of Hollywood. Rogan’s writing is refreshing and conversational, fun and light. Though he doesn’t shy away from speaking his mind, it is not presented in an in-your-face manner. A funny read!

Located in Adult Nonfiction (792.092 ROG)

Demon Slayer, Part 1

Reviewed by Stephanie Ramirez (Library Staff)

This anime TV show follows the journey of Tanjiro, a kind boy who comes home one day to find his family slaughtered by demons. Even worse, the lone survivor, his sister Nezuko, has become a demon herself. Determined to avenge his family and save his sister, Tanjiro sets out on a journey to become a demon slayer. His path is dangerous and filled with nightmarish demons to conquer, both inwardly and outwardly. Tanjiro overcomes hardships with grace, training and grit. While not for a young audience, this anime is flawless, the story compelling and the artwork gorgeous. Very bingeable, highly recommend!

Located in Blu-Ray (BLU-RAY DEMON PART 1)

Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

Reviewed by Stephanie Ramirez (Library Staff)

A beautiful, haunting story, Firekeeper’s Daughter is a story you won’t be able to put down. The story follows Daunis, a Native American teenager bound for college when tragedy strikes her family and community. Given the chance to help, Daunis takes the weight of the world on her shoulders when she agrees to help the FBI with an investigation into drug deaths in her community. Touching on topics like racism, homophobia and poverty, Boulley pulls no punches in her writing. The notable weak spot is, unfortunately, the ending, as the frenetic pace of events strains credulity. Still, heart wrenching and harrowing, Daunis’ journey will live with you long after you read the last page.

Located in Teen Fiction (TEEN BOULLEY)

Batman: The Long Halloween Part One

Reviewed by Stephanie Ramirez (Library Staff)

Even though I’m a pretty hard-core Batman fan, I have yet to see much of his animated fare. I came into “The Long Halloween” being aware of the book but not having read it and what a wonderful blank slate I was to watch it! A serial killer is attacking Gotham City on all major holidays, starting with Halloween. Batman is thoroughly stumped and seemingly one step behind the killer. He decides to go through his whole rogue’s gallery of villians to find the culprit. But what if it was someone else entirely, hiding in plain sight? The building tension, the animation and voice work also are standouts, in particular David Dastmalchian as Calendar Man. I’m anxiously awaiting the next one!

Located in Blu-Ray (BLU-RAY BATMAN)

Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade

Reviewed by Stephanie Ramirez (Library Staff)

Being a self-confessed nerd, I was eagerly awaiting the release of Spoiler Alert, a romance with a different twist–the main character writes fanfic and attends Cons to support her fandoms. I was disapointed in the execution however. April is a geologist by day, prolific fan fic writer by night. Her most famous ‘ship is from the megahit show Gods of the Gates (a clear Game of Thrones knockoff) staring her favorite actor, Marcus Caster-Rupp. Both characters have inner struggles in their own lives before they come together in a chance Twitter exchange that leads to love. While the writing itself was fine, the story was all over the place and attempted to tie too many threads together–Marcus’ dyslexia, April’s new job and not being herself, both of their relationships with their respective parents, etc. However, the biggest con (pun intended) for me was the main crux of the story being about April’s obsesity. We live in an era where a “movie star” would not date a severely overweight person so I get the inclincation to expand on that topic. But Wade to me, uses it too much as a “teachable moment.” April’s weight is her only story arc, affecting her relationship with Marcus, her parents and her coworkers. While I applaud the use of a character like April in a story, the author didn’t do enough to fully flesh out her character and we are left with a pale imitation of someone who is preachy.

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC DADE)

Frog on a Log? by Kes Gray & Jim Field

Reviewed by Stephanie Ramirez (Library Staff)

In the mood for some new rhyming books for kids? Can’t take one more moment of Dr. Seuss or Mo Willems? This delightfully fun book will enchant young readers. Once Frog figures out that his designated rhyming place to sit is on a log, he will stop at nothing to prove that no, it’s actually DOG that sits on a log. But where does Frog sit then?? Find out the mystery to this silly book with a sneaky frog at the center of it all.

Located in Children’s Picture Books (E GRAY)