• Sweetwater County Library

Check out bonus borrows on Hoopla

By Jen Holden

Hoopla has added over a 1000 bonus borrows to their collection for a limited time allowing you to borrow without using any of your limited monthly borrows.

I was really excited to see what they were and have found several that I enjoyed. There are many kids books and movies that are really short that I never checked out before because I didn’t want to use one of my borrows for something so short, like Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin, which is only 6 minutes long.

My son, who is 7, liked Splat the Cat and the Quick Chicks by Rob Scotton, which is an easy reader. I asked if he liked it enough to recommend that others read it too; and he said “Yeah, it was good.” For one who doesn’t like to read that is a high complement.

He also watched a bonus movie titled Spy School, which is rated PG. “I didn’t really finish it, it was kinds dumb.” So no he would not recommend this movie.

I am a fan of mysteries and found a series that I really enjoyed. I am a sucker for audiobooks with characters with English accents and I have to say it really makes for more interesting story. Death Below Stairs by Jennifer Ashley, is based in London during Victorian times. Kat Holloway is a sought-after cook and takes a position in a Mayfair mansion, and with her friend/love interest Daniel; she soon finds herself immersed in a murder and plots that reach all the way to the throne. Jennifer Ashley does a great job describing the workings of the household and the well run kitchen Kat is in charge of.

The second book in the series is called Scandal Above Stairs and is also a bonus borrow, so I listened to this one as well. I wondered what Kat would do after the ending of Death Below Stairs and was happy to read that she was still in Mayfair mansion. Antiquities have been disappearing from lots of wealthy collections and it seems some have been coming from the British Museum as well. Kat calls upon Daniel who has already set up work in a pawn shop to help solve these crimes.

The third book titled Death in Kew Gardens is not a bonus borrow, but I borrowed it anyway because I really enjoyed the first two. I really wanted to know how Kat and Daniel faired and all the other wonderful characters. Lady Cynthia’s next-door neighbor is murdered and was an expert in the language and customs of China, but his dealing where not what they seemed. Kat and crew do everything they can to find the killer.

In the bonus Teen genre I found Mask of Shadows by Lindsey Miller. This a captivating story about a genderfluid teen named Sallot Leon who gets the chance to leave thieving behind and auditions for Opal a member of the Left Hand, the Queens personal assassins. This book is kind of has a Hunger Games vibe during the auditions it is a competition to the death, survivor gets the Opal position. Sal has extra studies to learn more literary skills and is intrigued by the stunning scribe Elise, who soon becomes a love interest. I found myself lying in bed not wanting to sleep so I could finish the book. Miller’s story has complex characters and I learned more about the LGBTQ+ community.

The second book is Stars of Ruin and is also a bonus borrow, so yay I listened to this one too. As Opal, Sal is tracking and hunting the lords who were responsible for the almost wipeout of their home lands. There is talk of missing children and more dark magic that has Sal reuniting with old friends and their journey to the north unraveling the secrets of the past. Lindsey adds more scenes that elaborated on Sal’s about being genderfluid and how that relates to Sal’s relationships as they meet more accepting LGBTQ+ members. This book is a bit darker than the first as Sal learns more about what motivates the lords.

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