Reviews and Recommendations for
Young Adult & Adult Readers
One more book list to help you with your holiday shopping! This edition of Book Gathering includes some of our favorite books from our YA and Adults sections that make great gifts. And of course, we have so many more favorites! Stop by and we will help you find the perfect gifts for all the readers on your list.

Staff Reviews
And The Ocean Was Our Sky
By Patrick Ness, Rovina Cai (Illus.)

Patrick Ness can never go wrong. Every thing he writes is gold, and once again he shines. He takes the story of Moby Dick and turns it upside down, literally. We follow a pod of whales in the ocean as they search for the legendary Toby Wick. There are differing views as to who this Toby Wick could be, a man, or a myth? Or, something else all together? This is an exciting adventure filled with beautiful illustrations by Rovina Cai. — Julie (RBB Staff)
By Courtney Summers

This cleverly constructed and fast-paced thriller is perfect for anybody (teen or adult) who loves a good mystery or a true crime podcast. Alternating between the script of a "true" crime podcast and Sadie's first person narration, this book is almost impossible to put down and technically kind of brilliant . — Angela (RBB Staff)
What If It's Us
By Becky Albertalli, Adam Silvera

When Ben and Arthur meet at a NYC post office one day in July, it feels like fate. So, when a literal flash mob tears them apart before they are able to exchange names or phone numbers, Arthur sets out to find the cute boy in the coffee shop t-shirt. But Arthur is going back home to Georgia in a few weeks, so it might not even be worth it. But what if it is? Told in alternating chapters, dream team Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera tell the story of two boys, fighting against all odds to find each other again. Full of nerdy musical references and charming (and awkward) firsts, this lived up to all of my expectations! A must read for YA fans .   — Kelsie (RBB Staff)
The Disasters
By M. K. England

Nax Hall has always wanted to be a pilot, but when he's kicked out of the elite Ellis Station Academy nearly as soon as he gets there, he knows it's never going to happen. Then, on the way back to a boring life in Nowhere, Earth, Nax suddenly becomes one of the only surviving witnesses to an attack on the space station, along with three other departing students. Forced to flee, Nax and his new co-conspirators must figure out how to warn everyone before the attackers destroy the universe—while avoiding romantic entanglements and the space police. Basically  Firefly smashed together with  The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue in the best way. — Lily (RBB Staff)
My Plain Jane
by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows

I loved this! Even better, and funnier than My Lady Jane , so if you liked My Lady Jane you will LOVE this! Totally irreverent, and hysterical. If you know Jane Eyre well, and Ghostbusters (yes, Ghostbusters ) you will get a lot of the asides. I'm giggling to myself just thinking of this book. I think I'll go read it again!   — Julie (RBB Staff)
Blood Water Paint
By Joy McCullough

Artemisia Gentileschi was one of the greatest painters of her generation, but she also lived in 17th-century Italy, where women had no power and little recourse when wronged. When one of her father's friends assaults her, Artemisia must decide whether to keep the secret or force him to face justice, no matter the cost she'll have to pay. Written in gorgeous verse, this book is heartbreaking, brilliant, and still tragically relevant. Read this book even if you don't care about art history. Read this book even if you don't usually like verse novels or historical fiction. Just read this book. It will haunt you. — Lily (RBB Staff)
The Library Book (Adult)
By Susan Orlean

This is an absolutely stunning fully researched, so well told, such beautiful and precise language. Susan Orlean describes the 1986 fire that partially destroyed the Los Angeles Central Library from many and varied points of view, including that of the librarians, the arson suspect, and the patrons. She also writes about the history of the library and the directors who brought it into fullness of being. One gets the inside view, with great appreciation for what libraries stand for and the services they offer. Readers also will learn about fires in general and the history of book burning. This simple, red-covered book offers a swirl of fascinating detail within. You won't want to put it down! And...the audio book, read by the author, is superb. — Susan (RBB Staff)
Once Upon a River   (Adult)
By Diane Setterfield

Once Upon a River  is a fairy tale—a story told at the pub on a winter's night, filled with the profound cruelty and the warm kindness innate to humanity, plus a touch of magic. It starts with a river—the Thames—and an old inn that stands on its banks, where one midwinter evening a strange man stumbles in with a dead four year-old girl in his arms. Hours later, the girl is bizarrely, impossibly alive. But who is she? Three families with lost girls are sure she must be theirs, and the girl herself does not speak. With the little girl's arrival, these three families and their neighbors become part of one greater story, as tributaries become part of a river. Let this book take you on its winding, watery path—you won't be disappointed with where it leads . — Lily (RBB Staff)
More Books We Love
Young Adult
Mary's Monster
By Lita Judge
Wild Blue Wonder
By Carlie Sorosiak
For Every One
By  Jason Reynolds
Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me and You!
By Lin Manuel Miranda, Johnny Sun (Illus.)
Virgil Wander
By Leif Enger
There Will Be No Miracles Here
By Casey Gerald
Other Happenings
Be an angel this holiday season and give  new book purchased from Red Balloon  to a St. Paul student in need. Red Balloon proudly matches books donated and pays forward all gift wrapping tips during this annual book drive. Keep the holidays merry for all: donate a book!