Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library


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My Life as a Zucchini

Following the death of his mother, nine-year-old Zucchini is befriended by a kind police officer. After being taken to a foster home, Zucchini meets other orphans his age, and although he has a hard time fitting in at first, soon the kids have formed a tight-knit little family of their own.

Based on the novel “Autobiographie d’une Courgette” by Gilles Paris, and nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, it’s easy to see why this film has become such a favorite. The art and animation are beautifully rendered, and the story, while sad, is also filled with hope, courage and humor. The American version of this film features the voice talents of Nick Offerman, Amy Sedaris, Will Forte, and Ellen Page. Rated PG-13.


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The Playboy Prince and the Nanny by Donna Alward

After a car crash killing his sister-in-law leaves his niece and nephew motherless, Diego Navarro, the playboy Prince of the Mediterranean island of Marazur, returns home to attend to his family, even though his brother and father never trust him with the family business.

While his brother is knee deep in business and dealing with the loss of his wife, Diego hires an English nanny named Rose Walters to care for the children, to whom he is immediately drawn. They share a few tender moments, but Rose knows that crossing the line with Diego would cost her not only her job, but may also hurt the children in the process. And their lives are worlds apart: he is a Prince; she is the hired help.

When Diego capitalizes on an opportunity to prove his loyalty and save the family from scandal, Rose questions his intent and makes a sacrifice to help the family she has come to love, even if it means letting go of Diego.

In some ways reminiscent of a much lighter The Sound of Music, Alward (Somebody’s Baby) has crafted a fairy tale romance that doesn’t require gratuitous sex scenes to capture heartstrings.


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All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

Nicolette Farrell has returned home to help sell the house she grew up in. While there a local woman goes missing. This brings back the memories from when Nic’s best friend, Corinne, went missing ten years ago. As she is packing up the house, memories and new clues about Corinne come up. Could her dad have had something to do with the disappearance?

This is a short review because I don’t want to give anything away! I listened to this book and the way it is written it was a little confusing to follow. The author starts in the present but then goes to day fifteen of Nicolette’s visit and then goes backwards. It is a neat concept but it is probably better to read then to listen! This was a good mystery and one I recommend.


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The Belko Experiment

It is just another day at the Belko Company, an American business located in Bogota, Columbia. As they go about their day a voice comes over the building’s intercom saying they had half an hour to kill two people. Everyone is confused and thinking it is a joke. Until the building goes into lock down and no one can leave. When the half hour is up and no one has been killed, everyone is relieved. Until the heads start exploding. Now it is a kill or be killed situation. Will anyone survive or will this experiment kill them all?

I really liked this movie. I didn’t know who was going to turn into a killer and who was going to try and keep their humanity. I definitely recommend this one. Starring, John Gallagher, Jr., Tony Goldwyn, John C. McGinley, Sean Gunn, and Michael Rooker.  Rated R


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The Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillan

Teenage Zoe is a child prodigy and a gifted pianist, as is her stepbrother Lucas. In the middle of their recital, a man storms in screaming in anger. You see, Zoe was the driver in a car accident that killed three people, and now her secret is no longer safe. The enraged man is the father of one of the people killed in the accident who has just learned of the concert and where Zoe now lives.

After serving her sentence in a juvenile detention center, Zoe and her mom, Maria, moved to Bristol to start their “second chance life.” This is where Maria met Chris, her new husband and Zoe’s stepfather, and had baby Grace. Maria never told Chris about Zoe and her past. The outburst at the concert puts into place a chain of events that begins with murder.

The story is told from the perspectives of Zoe, Tess (Zoe’s aunt and Maria’s sister), and Sam (Zoe’s solicitor from the car accident trial). Sam and Tess are having an affair, which only complicates matters when Zoe reaches out to Sam after the murder. Tensions build as the perfect family is torn apart, and both Zoe and Maria learn that they aren’t the only ones keeping dark secrets.

Another winner in the psychological suspense genre to add to your bookshelf that is not for the faint of heart, especially in regards to domestic violence.


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I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

In Bristol, England, five-year old Jacob is struck by a car and killed. The driver takes off without stopping to help. With very few witnesses or leads, DI Ray and his assistant Kate have very little to go on and the case eventually goes cold.

Jenna Gray has moved away to an isolated coastal Welsh village in hopes of a clean start. She has few material possessions and arrives by bus. She rents an old cottage from a farmer and tries to keep to herself but is befriended by the owner of the caravan park and the local vet, Patrick, who treats an abandoned dog she discovers on the side of the road. Jenna, a former sculptor, finds work by selling photographs of sand messages. Even though she harbors deep secrets, it seems as though her new life is finally coming together, that is, until the cops show up at her door.

Meanwhile, something is nagging at Kate and she can’t let the case go. Kate and Ray reopen the case, hoping for new leads or a stone left unturned to find justice for little Jacob.

My synopsis is intentionally vague because I don’t want to ruin any spoilers. The story goes back and forth in time and slowly unravels why Jenna is on the run. There is even a shocking revelation near that end that keep the pages moving. Mackintosh’s debut runs a close second to Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris and will appeal to readers of dark psychological thrillers who can stomach domestic violence stories.


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Then Came You by Jeannie Moon

The suicide of her sister leaves Mia DeAngelis with her ten-year old nephew, Ben, in her care, so she makes the move to Compass Cove, Long Island, the idyllic small town where Mia and her sister used to spend a few months every summer with their grandmother. A librarian at the local college, Mia believes it is the perfect place to raise Ben, even though he seems to have trouble fitting in. During an argument with Mia, he takes off to the football field where he meets the college’s coach, Adam Miller.

All curves and totally different from the type he usually dates, Mia is a knockout, and Adam offers to help her and Ben shop for a bike. The chemistry is undeniable from the start and with Mia, Adam sees he could have the family he never knew he wanted. When an issue with Mia’s adoption of Ben arises, Mia is torn between what is the right thing to do and what is best for Ben, and Adam’s stance could jeopardize their relationship.

Moon (Daring the Pilot) creates a strong sense of home and a convincing love story with moderate love scenes that will overcome even the most cynical of readers.