A View Beyond the Chaos

By Lorry Traver

As I browsed the young adult section in the Metamora Branch Library, I felt as though particular titles were jumping off the shelf, pleading with me to take a closer look. I had no prior knowledge of each book’s storyline, and had not been pulled in by the beautiful artwork on the covers. Without even realizing it, I selected each book because immediately upon reading each title, it made me think of some aspect of the world we are currently living in.

Remember when the noise around us becomes too much, it’s okay to be like The Book Jumper, to leap from one story to another until you are able to find again what happiness looks like. We feel displaced in this new society because everything is so brand new, like a baby who has just learned how to walk. It is no secret that no matter where you go, you will have to wear a mask whether it’s silver, plain white, or perhaps made out of recycled materials.

I urge you to take Erica M. Chapman’s book title “Teach Me to Forget,” to heart as we walk this Covid road together. When you need to escape the world you’re in, the library is here to help. My one hope is while you walk the rows of books, you’d allow yourself to forget about the mess outside and instead focus on the search for a book that truly speaks to your heart. Take caution that you don’t select reading materials that are most apt to accelerate the feelings you are facing in this moment due to societal changes. Despite all the chaos around us, may we be reminded to keep an open mind and not allow our current circumstances to make our book selections, or other choices, for us.

Book titles used:

Book cover for "This is what happy looks like"

This is What Happy Looks Like - Jennifer E. Smith

From the author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight comes a humorous and heartwarming novel about small towns, big love, and mistaken email identity.

When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O'Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds.

Then Graham finds out that Ellie's Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media's spotlight at all costs?

Book cover for "The Book Jumper"

The Book Jumper – Mechthild Gläser

Amy Lennox doesn't know quite what to expect when she and her mother pick up and leave Germany for Scotland, heading to her mother's childhood home of Lennox House on the island of Stormsay.

Amy's grandmother, Lady Mairead, insists that Amy must read while she resides at Lennox House—but not in the usual way. It turns out that Amy is a book jumper, able to leap into a story and interact with the world inside. As thrilling as Amy's new power is, it also brings danger: someone is stealing from the books she visits, and that person may be after her life. Teaming up with fellow book jumper Will, Amy vows to get to the bottom of the thefts—at whatever cost.

Book cover for "The Silver Mask"

The Silver Mask – Holly Black, Cassandra Clare

A generation ago, Constantine Madden came close to achieving what no magician had ever achieved: the ability to bring back the dead. He didn't succeed . . . but he did find a way to keep himself alive, inside a young child named Callum Hunt. Now Call is one of the most feared and reviled students in the history of the Magisterium, thought to be responsible for a devastating death and an ever-present threat of war. As a result, Call has been imprisoned and interrogated. Everyone wants to know what Constantine was up to-and how he lives on. But Call has no idea. It is only when he's broken out of prison that the full potential of Constantine's plan is suddenly in his hands . . . and he must decide what to do with his power. In this spellbinding fourth book of Magisterium, bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare take us beyond the realm of the living and into the dangers of the dead.

Book cover for "Displayed"

Displaced – Bridget E. Baker

For fans of Tahereh Mafi's Shatter Me series and Joelle Charbonneau's Dividing Eden, Bridget E. Baker begins a saga of shocking truths, deadly intrigue, and sisterly betrayal among the descendants of Eve.

My mom should have killed me the day I was born.

Being a twin complicates the Evian line of succession, but Chancery Alamecha is fine letting Judica inherit the throne. After all, she's the stronger sister-the merciless fighter, the ruthless politician, and the groomed heir. But something unexpected happens when Chancery tries on her mother's staridium ring, forcing her into a role that she never wanted: the prophesied queen who will prevent the destruction of Earth.

Now I have to kill my sister.

Judica, enraged by this turn of events, vows to do anything to reclaim her rightful place as empress. Including challenging Chancery to a battle to the death. While Chancery is away training, she gets a taste of the human world, where she can do whatever she wants without genetic obligations. Now torn between a life she was born into and one that makes her happy, she must confront her treacherous sister-or cause the end of the world.

Book cover for "Teach Me to Forget"

Teach Me to Forget – Erica M. Chapman

Ellery wants to die. Nothing is going right. Her younger sister is dead, and her family is in a shambles. But on the day that she tries to end it all, even the gun won't work. When she tries to return it, she's intercepted by a security guard who also happens to be a boy in one of her classes, Colter Sawyer. Colter recognizes Ellery's desperation and begins working hard to earn her trust. Why does this cute boy care about my worthless life?, Ellery wonders. But as the story unfolds, it becomes clear that Colter has very good reasons for his vigilance, deep, personal reasons. And whether Ellery likes it or not, he won't let go.

Published by on August 31, 2020
Last Modified August 16, 2022