Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library


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Before I Fall

Sam and her three friends are the most popular girls at school.  After leaving a party, the girls get in a car wreck. When Sam wakes up she thinks maybe it was all a dream but soon realizes that she is reliving the same day all over again. Not sure what is happening she doesn’t change anything and needs up in the car accident again. Sam wakes up again and it is the same day again. Determined to change her future, Sam starts to slowly change. After a week, Sam might finally have figured it out.

For the most part I enjoyed this movie. I did not like the ending. But other than that it was a pretty good movie. It is based on the book by Lauren Oliver, which I did not read. Starring, Zoey Deutch, Jennifer Beals, and Halston Sage. Rated PG-13

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The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick

Irene Glasson is on the run. After finding her boss’s body she flees to Hollywood. There she starts a new life as a reporter hoping the murderer never finds her.  She gets a tip about a famous actor and heads to the famous Burning Cove Hotel to meet her source. What she finds is her source dead.

Oliver Ward owns the Burning Cove hotel and values privacy, for himself and his famous clientele. Once a famous magician, Oliver stopped after a trick went wrong. He has never told anyone what really happened and wants to keep it that way. He allows Irene on the premises even though she is a reporter. He is intrigued by her and is going to keep a close eye on her.

Together they team up, not really trusting each other. But when there is a second victim, they are determined to find out who the murderer is before it is too late. And on top of that murderer, Irene’s past has caught up with her. Will she be able to stay in Hollywood and start a new life or will her life end before it really begins?

This a departure from Amanda Quick’s usual time period. It is set in the 1930’s instead of the normal 1800’s. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like the change, but I should have known better. Anything Amanda Quick writes I am going to love. She always has great characters and stories.


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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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Manhattan Night

Porter Wren (Adrien Brody) is a newspaper man. He is stilling riding the high of finding a missing girl. With newspaper a dying art, he needs to stay relevant. He meets Caroline Crawley (Yvonne Strahovski), a wealthy, beautiful widow, who wants Wren to investigate her husband’s death. Wren becomes intrigued, not with just the case but also Caroline. He is soon sucked into the bizarre mystery that not only affects Caroline but soon is affecting Wren’s home life. Will he be able to solve this crime before he meets the same fate?

This was actually a pretty good mystery. You never really knew what was going to happen but when you do it was a little shocking.  Also starring, Campbell Scott and Jennifer Beals. Rated R


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Celine by Peter Heller

Celine, a successful artist living in Brooklyn Heights, also has a side job. She works as a private investigator who specializes in reuniting families. When she is approached by Gabriela, whose father went missing 20 years ago, Celine is immediately intrigued by the case. Gabriela’s father was a famous photographer for National Geographic whose career took him to places all over the world. When he went missing, he was working on the border of Wyoming and Montana, and was assumed to have been the victim of a bear attack. Celine and her partner Pete head off to Yellowstone National Park, following a very cold trail. It soon becomes apparent that they’re being followed, and as they get closer to finding answers, more questions arise, along with the level of danger they’re facing.

Celine is one of the best P.I. characters to come along for awhile. She’s smart and elegant, and something of a mystery herself. At 68, she takes no nonsense from anyone, and she’s definitely a bit dangerous if you underestimate her. Peter Heller just keeps getting better. I don’t know if he intends to write more about Celine, but I sure hope he does! If you’re looking for something a bit different for your book club, give this one a try.


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Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

On the surface, the small village of Beckford is just a sleepy little town beside a river. But the river has always held some secrets, and has long been the source of a strange fascination for Nel Abbott. Nel is a single mom who grew up in the village, and she’s been working on a book about the river and its sordid past – the drowning of witches, the Drowning Pool, the suicides. When Nel herself is found in the river,  her estranged sister Jules returns to the village to care for Lena, Nel’s teenage daughter, whose best friend was also recently found in the river.  Jules finds herself caught between her duty to Lena and her memories of the past, as the mysteries of the two women’s deaths are unraveled.

In Beckford, Ms. Hawkins has created a creepily atmospheric little village where virtually everyone could have “done it”.  Although uneven in spots, there’s enough intrigue in the story to keep you reading. You might need a character chart though. There are a lot of people in the story – all of them unreliable, and it gets tricky at times to keep track. Definitely well worth reading if you enjoy the psychological genre.


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Murder on the Orient Express

Daisy Armstrong was kidnapped and murdered in 1930. Of the two kidnappers only one was brought to justice. Five years later, Hercule Poirot (Albert Finney) finds himself on the train, Orient Express. He is headed back to England for a case and was able to secure last minute passage on the train. While on the train a fellow passage, Ratchett (Richard Widmark), asks Poirot to be his bodyguard. Poirot declines and the next day Ratchett is found dead in his cabin. Now it is up to Poirot to solve the murder before the train arrives and the murderer gets away.

I am a big fan of Agatha Christie and this is a great movie to go along with the book. It is fun trying to guess who did it and even more fun when you find out. This one is being remade with Johnny Depp, Kenneth Branagh, Daisy Ridley, Michelle Pfeiffer, Josh Gad, and Penelope Cruz. It will be out this November.

Also starring, Sean Connery, Vanessa Redgrave, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Anthony Perkins, and Michael York. Rated PG