Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library


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The Shut-In by James Patterson

Twenty-something Trisha suffers from a disease that causes her to be allergic to the sun. This means she never really levels her Philadelphia studio apartment. Everything she needs she can be ordered online. She even works from home. And she has a way to explore the outside world through Amelia, a drone she sends on flights through her neighborhood.

When Amelia spots a woman murdering a homeless person near an abandoned part of the city, Trisha immediately reports what she saw to the police. Since Amelia had crashed, there is no actual recorded footage of the murder, and the police have a hard time buying her story. Trisha isn’t going to give up and determines to capture the woman terrorizing the city with a new and improved drone, but might end up putting her own life at risk.

Although I’ve read many Patterson novels (and some of his nonfiction too), this is the first of his Bookshots I have read, and I must say that I was thoroughly entertained. Highly recommend for a quick read that captures your attention until the very end. Please note that this book has only been made available as an eBook or eAudiobook by the publisher.

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The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

In Ware’s (The Woman in Cabin 10, A Dark Dark Wood) latest, Isabel receives a text from her school friend Kate, who she hasn’t seen in a number of years. She takes her newborn baby with her as she travels back by train to Saltan in the English countryside where the school she attended after her mother died resides.

At school, she formed a close friendship with two other girls besides Kate – Fatima and Thea. The foursome would spend weekends at Kate’s house, where her father, Ambrose, a struggling artist, allowed them to behave as they wished. They also played a dangerous game where the goal was to get someone to believe some lie that they told.

Kate has called back all the girls to Saltan because she needs them. A bone of a man was found buried in the marsh. The girls helped to cover up a crime on that fateful night. How far will their lies go to protect one another?

I think most readers will enjoy the fast paced story, but this wasn’t my favorite by Ware. I felt it dragged on and could have been wrapped up sooner.


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Wish Upon

Clare’s dad, Jonathon (Ryan Phillippe), finds a box with Chinese writing on it. He thinks Clare (Joey King) will like it and gives it to her on her birthday. Clare and her two friends are always getting bullied at school, especially by the most popular girl, Darcie. Frustrated one night, Clara is holding the box and wishes that Darcie would rot. The next day, she finds out that Darcie is in the hospital actually rotting. Clare thinks it is a coincidence and keeps making wishes. But every time she makes a wish, someone she knows dies. Now Clare has to find out how to break the curse before it is too late.

I actually really liked this movie. It had a good concept and it kept me wondering what was going to happen next. And if you are a Stranger Things fan, Barb is in it! Rated PG-13


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Happy Death Day

A sorority girl wakes up in the college dorm of a nerdy kid and can’t remember what happened the night before. She goes about her day (and she isn’t a very nice person, by the way). Although it happens to be her birthday, this is not a day she wishes to celebrate, as this is also the birthday of her mother, who died a few years earlier. At the end of the day, she is murdered, but she doesn’t know by who.

The next day, she wakes up in the same dorm room, and it’s the same day, and again she gets killed by the end. She keeps having the same nightmare of a day (Groundhog Day style) but is determined to find out who her killer is, and she learns a little bit about herself along the way.

You’ll find Happy Death Day to be not overly gory but still contains an intriguing premise for a horror flick. I also enjoyed the elements of mystery and humor. Rated PG-13


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Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda

Paul has planned the “best day ever” for his wife, Mia. Their children are with a sitter for the weekend, and Paul is taking Mia up to their Ohio lake house before the tourist season is in full effect. In fact, he even has a special surprise in his glove box for Mia, which he’ll present at exactly the right moment. Sounds like an idyllic weekend for a typical, suburban couple, right?

The reader is about to learn otherwise. Told from Paul’s perspective, we begin to learn about his growing resentment of Mia, his infidelity and how his abusiveness has a long history. For Paul, the driving force keeping them together is money. Mia comes from a rich New York family and in the event of her untimely death, Paula would benefit greatly.

Mia, however, isn’t the naive woman Paul believes her to be, and she has plans of her own for their “best day ever.”

I enjoyed this fast-paced read. The author didn’t go for the shock value with an implausible ending, so I appreciated the realistic ending, and if you are okay with an unlikable protagonist, this book would appeal to most.


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The Mountain Between Us

Ben (Idris Elba) and Alex (Kate Winslet) are both stranded at the airport and are in desperate need to get back to their respective lives. Alex decides to charter a plane and invites Ben along. Once in the air, we find out that Ben is a doctor and Alex is a journalist. As they are flying, the pilot has a heart attack. They next thing they know, they have crashed into a snow covered mountain. As the days go by and rescue hasn’t happened, they decide to embark across the mountain. They have to depend on each other to survive. Will these two strangers make it or are their fates already decided?

I think I would have liked it better if I hadn’t read the book first. There were differences between the two that irritated me.  Of course, it was still enjoyable because Idris Elba is in it. Rated PG-13


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The Good Widow by Liz Fenton

Jacks has just received devastating news. Her husband, James, has died while in Hawaii. Except he is supposed to be on a business trip in Kansas. And he wasn’t alone. Jacks doesn’t know what to do with this information. She thought for the most part their eight year marriage was good. As the weeks past and she grieves, Jacks gets a visitor. His name is Nick and he claims to be the fiance of Dylan, the woman who was with James.  He wants to go to Hawaii and retrace their steps to see if he can get closure and he wants Jacks to go with him.

Jacks decides to go. As they start to retrace their steps, Jacks is shocked about all the activity they did. Jacks starts to really think about their marriage and isn’t sure if she ever knew James. Nick is having a hard time too. Jacks and Nick start to grow closer and after they leave Hawaii they start a relationship. Jacks really starts to fall for him and couldn’t be happier. But were the deaths in Hawaii really an accident or is something more sinister going on?

I really liked this book. It held my interest and kept me wanting to find out the truth. It had a good twist and I am excited to read more by these authors.