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Futuristic choices, vampires, and communicating with spirits…

This week at the Gilpin Library

by Larry Grieco

Here are a couple of Young Adult series that could keep both teens and adults occupied this summer. From Ally Condie comes the futuristic trilogy that begins with Matched, and continues with the sequel, Crossed, and concludes with Reached. This is the story of young Cassia who is perfectly willing to accept the choices made for her (and for every member of the Society), “who you love, where you work, when you die.” Let the Officials decide – they know what’s best. But in Cassia’s case her “match” presents more ambiguity than certainty. Now she is going to have to make her own choice of a mate. Will it be her best friend, Xander, who she always thought would be the one, or this other guy name Ki? And does she really have a choice, or is she just the victim of a momentary glitch? The follow-up novels, Crossed and Reached, take Cassia, Ky and Xander on a dangerous journey to the Outer Provinces. Can she have freedom without having the power to choose for herself? Publishers Weekly: “Condie’s enthralling and twisty dystopian plot is well served by her intriguing characters and fine writing…Cassie’s metamorphosis is gripping and satisfying.”

The other Young Adult series, by Richelle Mead, begins with Vampire Academy, and is followed by Frostbite, Shadow Kiss, Blood Promise, Spirit Bound, and Last Sacrifice. This is an epic adventure set in a world of vampires.  Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess and a “mortal vampire,” and possesses “a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic.” There are dangerous immortal vampires around, too, called Strigoi, who would like nothing more than to make Lissa one of them. To prevent this from happening, Lissa has a guardian, a best friend actually, named Rose Hathaway, in whose veins runs a blend of human and vampire blood, and who is sworn to protect Lissa from Strigoi. The Daily Beast: “The obvious heir to the Twilight throne.” VOYA: “Unique and mesmerizing…readers will bite on this series for some time to come.”

Dean Koontz returns with the seventh “Odd Thomas” novel, Deeply Odd. In this one, Odd Thomas, “the young man with a unique ability to commune with restless spirits and help them find justice and peace,” must try to save several members of the living. There are three helpless innocents who will be “brutally executed unless Odd can intervene in time.” But first he has got to find each one. He knows who the killer will be, the same guy who took a shot at him in a small-town parking lot. The mystery here is Odd’s quest to find the potential victims before the killer does, and then to save them. USA Today: “Koontz gives his character wit, good humor, a familiarity with the dark side of humanity – and moral outrage.” The New York Times: “The nice young fry cook with the occult powers is Koontz’s most likable creation…candid, upright, amusing and sometimes withering.”

The 2013 Gilpin County Library’s Summer Reading Program for kids (this year expanded to include seventh, eighth and ninth graders) will got underway on Tuesday, June 11, and will run until the annual ice cream social on Saturday, August 10. The theme this year is Pop Open a Good Book!, and rumor has it that lots of popcorn is going to be involved. Registration began on May 28, but you can come in and sign up any time, and that holds true for the whole nine weeks of the program. We hope you will join us for another thrilling summer of reading, toys every week (if you read a book), and more fun than a barrel of popcorn!

Inspired by the Nederland Community Library, we are going to begin sending out an electronic newsletter, periodically, to everyone who supplies us with an email address. Besides the newsletter there will be occasional announcements about programs, services, and any other relevant library news items. We’ll try not to inundate you with too-frequent messages. To get on our list, please send an email to lgrieco@co.gilpin.co.us, with “Add me” in the subject line. The first newsletter should be sent out in June.

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