Book Review: Unwind

“Killing” Kids is Only Okay Between the Ages of 13-18

Unwind by Neal Shusterman
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Rating: 5/5

Summary: Unwind is a tale of post-war dystopian America, where the dusts of the Heartland war have finally settled and abortion has been outlawed. To replace it, parents can retroactively “abort” a child between the ages of 13-18, by unwinding them. This process allows the child to technically go on living, but in a “divided state” and so they’re basically dead if you want to get the gist. There are three main characters: Connor, Risa and Lev. They are each to be unwound, but for separate reasons. Connor is a disrespectful and disobedient teen, Risa is a state ward that can no longer be funded, and Lev is a religious tithe from his family.

Connor is kind of a loose cannon at the beginning of this book; however, his character does mature quite a bit through the story and he becomes a legend and head of the rebellion against unwinding. Risa is the voice of reason in this piece for the most part. She is the calm, intelligent one; she brings Connor back from the brink of many fights and teaches him how to analyze a situation and determine the best course of action before charging in headfirst. Lev is just Lev, he is so hard to describe because of the deep and mind altering things that happen to him. If anything, Lev is a symbol of anarchy. I don’t want to give anything away, but Lev goes from this innocent and naïve little kid to the disturbed and angsty preteen everyone loves to stereotype.

I love this book for many reasons. One is the political statement I believe it makes. Another is the characters and what they go through. It’s amazing to see how bad their situation is and how they find the determination to not only survive, but try to help others (maybe not intentionally at first). Also, Risa and Connor have this super cute relationship thing that develops and it’s just so cute; so points for that!

I would recommend this book to anyone who can think critically. Seriously, everyone should read this book, it’s that amazing. I can’t wait to finish Unwholly and the rest of the series.

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New ebooks in the library!

The library just recently added a new ebook collection, Proquest’s Academic Complete.  This resource has over 138,000 titles from quality publishers, including university presses, and over a 1,000 new titles are added each year.  Academic Complete is relevant to any discipline, covering all academic subject areas.  You can browse by subject area, or search across the collection.  Currently records for the titles are being loaded into the library catalog, but Academic Complete titles will come up in searches in the library’s OneSearch database.  You can also search or browse the collection through the following links (note: there is also a link on the library homepage under the Ebooks heading).

Academic Complete search

Academic Complete subject browse

The quality of publishers and overall number of available titles from Academic Complete is very good.  Plus, each title in Academic Complete can be accessed by an unlimited number of people at the same time (which is great for assigned readings) and can be downloaded for offline reading.  Offline reading is available on your laptop or for Android/iOS devices.  You need special software for offline viewing, but you are directed to download it as part of the book downloading process and the software is free.

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Book Review: Throne of Glass

If They Piss Me Off, They’ll Find Themselves at the End of My Knives

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

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Rating: 5/5

Summary: Celaena Sardothien has been a slave in the Salt Mines of Endovier for over a year, yet she’s still sane and extremely deadly. Celaena is the notorious Adarlan’s Assassin and this title has been feared for many years. The reason she’s freed is so that she can compete in a competition to be the King’s Champion and she’s the Prince’s pick. If she wins the competition, she’ll serve the King for six years before being free at last. The only thing Celaena wants is to do is be free so she can forget her haunting past and all that she’s done. However, when other competitors begin mysteriously dying in the dead of the night, someone has to figure out what’s happening to them.

First of all let me say that this is pretty much my favorite series ever and it’s taken over my life, just a little bit. I didn’t think I’d come to love the characters as much as I did. This is also the second time I’ve read the series and I still love it so much, I need the fifth one now! First of all, the writing is so beautiful, I swear it’s like there’s a movie playing in my head the way I absorb the words. Maas creates a distinct, flawed yet fantastic world, complete with an awesome map inside the front cover.


Celaena is a very interesting main character. She has such a rich backstory and Maas slowly reveals things throughout the whole series. I feel like I know her so well, but at the same time there’s still things about her I’m learning. Like stay far away from her bad side and don’t murder her friends/family, you will not like the end. I loved her sass and swagger, I’m not even lying when I call it that. Celaena is so full of personality that she jumps off the page. She will fight for what she thinks is right and she’s not afraid to speak her mind. The rest of the characters are just as unique from the bookish yet handsome Prince Dorian to the extremely loyal though quiet Captain of the Guard, Chaol. Chaol is more of an introductory character in this book, though he goes on to have a huge role in Crown of Midnight.

The plot is very well thought out, there are many twists and turns, as well as foreshadowing! The foreshadowing in itself is particularly amazing. Maas manages to hint at events to come and events that have already come, which makes the series even more fun to reread trying to find all those hidden gems. There might be a couple slow moments in the book, but it’s never boring. Something is always happening from weird ghost sightings, murders, the competition, Celaena being a badass, to the flirtatious encounters with Dorian that make your heart melt. And this is only the first book in the series!

This book is awesome and I can’t express how much I love it. I’d like to recommend this to everyone, because yes it is that fantastic. Fans of fantasy, action/adventure and mystery will enjoy it as well as fans of His Fair Assassin Trilogy, Vampire Academy, and Graceling.

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The Community can use the Library too!

community borrower card

You can still use the Olson Library, even if you’re not currently a student or otherwise affiliated with NMU. Just come by and fill out a Community Borrower Card form. It’s free for alumni, high school students, and educators, and $25 a year to the general public. The card gives you access to our huge print and media collection! Click here for more details.

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Get a Library Card with Peter White Public Library!

Two librarians will be coming over to sign up students for a Peter White Public Library card from 2-4 p.m. at the table across from the Public Services Desk.  They will have computers to look up students addresses in the NMU directory. Students will need to bring an ID, and if their address in the NMU Directory isn’t local, a piece of mail with their local address. Only the city of Marquette and certain townships can get a free library card.  The PWPL personnel need to confirm a student lives in one of these areas before issuing a card. Once you have been issued a card, you will have access to thousands of print books, ebooks, dvds, music and more!

Image result for peter white public library

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Presentation by NMU faculty member, Marty Reinhardt

Marty Reinhardt, faculty member for the Center for Native American Studies, will be giving a talk titled, “Anishinaabe Treaty Rights: Food and Education” on Wednesday, September 28 at 2:00pm.   The talk will be given on the main floor of the library, near the exhibit, Native American Treaties, on loan from Central Michigan University’s Clarke Historical Library until October 7.

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Native American Treaties Exhibit

Native Rights - Shared Treaties Exhibit

Native Rights – Shared Treaties Exhibit

On loan from Central Michigan University’s Clarke Historical Library is a Native American Treaties Exhibit.  Come review the six pull-up exhibit panels on what a treaty is and how treaties have been applied to land, education, and hunting and fishing.  The exhibit is available from September 22 – October 7.

To compliment the exhibit, on Wednesday, September 28, at 2:00 pm on the main floor of the library,  NMU faculty member, Marty Reinhardt, will be giving a talk “Anishinaabe Treaty Rights: Food and Education”.

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Book Review: #16 Things I Thought Were True

The Unexpected Journey of a Lifetime

#16 Things I Thought Were True by Janet Gurtler

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Rating: 4.0/5

Summary: Morgan is a high schooler who had an embarrassing video go viral. Since then she’s been an outcast and she hides her loneliness in her growing followers on twitter. When Morgan’s mother is diagnosed with heart disease, her world flips upside down. Before a major surgery, her mother confesses to Morgan that her father lives in Canada. With two coworkers, Morgan heads to Canada to find the father who abandoned her at birth.

I enjoyed this book a lot. I just started reading Janet Gurtler, but I have enjoyed every book of hers that I’ve read. They manage to be cute, but still realistic and thought provoking. Each character has real life issues, some that aren’t always talked about in novels.

I liked the internet tie in to this book since social media has exploded with my generation. I’m not on twitter so I enjoyed reading Morgan’s sassy tweets. I thought the way Gurtler crafted Morgan’s struggles and dependence on social media for acceptance would resonate with many others in the same situation. While the internet is a great way to meet people, it doesn’t replace having an “IRL” friend. I think that’s one of the lessons that Morgan really takes to heart on her journey.

Morgan’s journey in this book isn’t only her traveling to Canada, though that is an essential part of it. Her journey begins with a strained relationship with her mother who has lied to her about her father, Amy- a hyperactive chatterbox who becomes her best friend, Adam- her moody though sometimes nice supervisor at the amusement park, and the father she’s never known who has some unanswered questions to account for. Her journey ends with a several confessions and a painful reality. My favorite quote was, “Real life doesn’t always need to be posted online.”

I would definitely recommend this book! I think people who have had things shared on the internet that they didn’t want being seen would be able to relate well to Morgan, though she’s kind of whiny at some points so beware. Give this one a try and after it try The Truth About Us!!


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Science Direct – A World of Scholarly Content, One Click Away

As you probably know the library subscribes to many journals, most of them electronically. One of our largest collections of online journals is from the publisher Elsevier.  Their online platform for scholarly content is called Science Direct.


Science Direct contain over 3,400 journals, across many different disciplines.  The library subscribes to about 1,800  of these journals, and another 600 titles are available through Elsevier’s open access program, where some journals provide part of their content for free.  You can search across these titles (see above image) or browse by subject (below).  In the following image the arrow shows you where to restrict the titles to those available at NMU.


All the journals have homepages in which you can browse specific issues.  Articles are available as PDFs and once viewing an article, Science Direct suggests similar articles on the same topic.


If you are looking for articles on specific topics it might be said that you are better off using OneSearch, the library’s main database. Science Direct titles are located in OneSearch, along with the library’s other electronic titles (and our print books and videos too).  However, the breadth of coverage, focus on scholarly journals, and the nice user interface makes Science Direct a very useful source for students needing to complete library research assignments.

Check it out today, and if you need any help, please contact the library’s Public Services Desk.

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Book Review: An Ember in the Ashes

A Slave, A Soldier and an Empire: How They’ll Change the Whole Game

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Rating: 5/5

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Summary (from Goodreads): Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear. It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy. There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

The world in this book is amazing. The culture and structure of it is so refreshing and I loved it. I loved the how the society was slowly introduced, it wasn’t poured down my throat, but I had a good understanding that constantly built through the book. This book was set in a desert and so the characters were constantly surrounded by sand which I loved it was vastly different from the green and lush terrains I’m used to with the other books I’ve read.

I liked Laia the moment I met her. Something about her resounded with me and I was cheering for her since moment one. In the beginning, Laia is a terrified and frantically loyal girl. She will do anything to save her brother, Darin, even if it means enslaving herself to a vile maniac at a school that is a death sentence for Scholars. Laia believes she is not brave, but her willingness to do whatever it takes to rescue Darin says otherwise. As Laia survives, she starts to believe in herself more and she blossoms into her own strength.

Elias was so awesome!! I loved his rebellious streak, but at the same time I was like “Don’t get yourself killed Veturius!” He had amazing leadership skills and was such a nice guy despite the conditioning at Blackcliff. Occasionally I did want to hit him upside the head for being dumb, especially when he made comments about how Helene was a girl and thought differently. I still loved him and the attraction between Elias and Laia was so tantalizing! I want more, so much more of the two of them. I think they bring out the best in each other and should definitely be together!

The plot does start off kind of slow, but I was hooked from the beginning. Sabaa’s writing is flawless and she drags you so subtly into her world, you don’t realize you’re hooked until it’s too late and oh my god where did the book go? The Trials are amazing and mysterious as well as downright insane. I was shrieking and yelling pretty much the whole time one would go down. The last sixty pages I was trying very hard to contain my excitement but I definitely flailed my arms around a lot and was super giddy. It would’ve been embarrassing if anyone else had been in the section of library I was occupying.

Overall, I have found a new amazing author and I cannot wait for the sequel. I’m betting it’s going to be just as awesome if not better than An Ember in the Ashes. Especially if she does crazy stuff at the end like she did with this one. Let me just say HOLY MOTH BALLS THAT ENDING!!!

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