Dragon Age: Inquisition by Bio-Ware

“Magic, sword fights, politics, hard choices, hilarious/thoughtful/moving banter, and romance. This is a 2014 game and remains my favorite.” – Kelly K., Circulation

Mages, once confined to towers with their magic constantly supervised and often brutally punished by the Chantry’s Templar Order, have rebelled. A civil war is brewing. Peace minded mages and clergy meet to discuss terms… but are massacred by an explosion so powerful that it tears a hole in the sky. As the blast’s sole survivor, only you and your team can bring the world back from the brink of destruction. Gorgeous openworld game, choice-based action and consequences, lots of humor, and 8 different romance-able characters to woo. (PS4, XBOX 360, XBOX ONE)

The Witch King by H.E. Edgmon

“First, I laughed until I cried. Then, I cried until I cried more. This one was life-changing for me personally. Imagine if She-Ra & the Princesses of Power was rated R and told from Catra’s POV? (Except I love Wyatt far, far more.)” – Kelly K., Circulation

In Asalin, fae rule and witches serve… or worse. Wyatt’s betrothal to Emyr was meant to change all that, but instead he fled to the human world. Despite transgender Wyatt’s newfound identity and troubling past, Emyr tracks him down and claims they must marry to avert civil war back home. Jaded, Wyatt strikes a deal with the enemy, hoping to escape Asalin forever. But as the witches face worsening conditions, he must decide what’s more important – his own freedom or his people’s.

The Silence Between Us by Alison Gervais

“I loved learning more about written American Sign Language and the Deaf community. A great realistic teen read with romance and disability representation!” – Kira, Adult & Teen Services

Deaf teen Maya moves across the country and must attend a hearing school for the first time. As if that wasn’t hard enough, she also has to adjust to the hearing culture, which she finds frustrating—and also surprising when some classmates, including Beau Watson, take time to learn ASL. As Maya looks past graduation and focuses on her future dreams, nothing, not even an unexpected romance, will not derail her pursuits. But when people in her life—Deaf and hearing alike—ask her to question parts of her Deaf identity, Maya stands proudly, never giving in to the idea that her Deafness is a disadvantage.

Paris is Always a Good Idea by Jenn McKinlay

“Half romance, half relationship fiction, Paris is Always a Good Idea made me smile. Chelsea’s journey took her to some memorable locations. The romantic twists were great to read. This was an excellent romance.” – Sharon, Kids Room 

Seven years after her mother’s death, Chelsea Martin doesn’t respond very well to the news her father is remarrying. When her father suggests she doesn’t remember how to laugh, Chelsea seeks to find the person she was before she learned her mother was ill. This takes her on an adventure through Europe and the three loves of her summer abroad.

Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kay Mejia and Anna-Marie McLemore

“My first five-star read of 2021! It was sweet, it was funny, it was diverse, and the cast of characters pops. It’s one of those books that I finished and was so happy that it exists.” – Erin, Kids Room

Former best friends Lita and Chicky team up to help Lita win the Miss Meteor pageant–a feat that no girl who looks like either of them has ever done. For Lita, winning the pageant means not fading into stardust (yes, really). For Chicky, it’s a way to save her family’s struggling restaurant. Together, along with the boys they may have feelings for, and Chicky’s opinionated older sisters, they’re determined to prove they can win it all.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End by Naughty Dog

“I’m a married woman in my 30s, and my husband and I (like Nate and Elena) often wonder whether life is merely a series of bills to be paid. Uncharted 4 resonated with me on so many levels. The globe-trotting is thrilling, the scenery is gorgeous, the puzzles and secret passages are atmospheric. There are car chases, cliff-scaling, (non-gore-y) gunfights, consistently funny quips and banter, bro-time with the guys, and romance. It’s Indiana Jones + Tomb Raider + Jason Bourne + Pirates of the Caribbean (the 1st one, of course!) all rolled into one. But more than that, it’s a cinematic story about being yourself while accepting new phases of your life.” – Kelly, Circulation

Nathan Drake is an ex-treasure-hunter who’s been out of the game for years. Though his marriage to journalist Elena is a happy one, the tedium of staying in one place is wearing him down. He eagerly throws himself back into an adventure to help someone from his past… even if that means lying to his wife and putting himself and (fan-favorite) Victor “Sully” Sullivan back into bad guys’ cross-hairs.

Your Name = Kimi no na wa by Makoto Shinkai

“Glorious animation, emotional voice acting (I watched the original Japanese version), a perfect soundtrack, and a surprisingly-edge-of-your-seat teen romance collide in Your Name. At a certain moment, I began crying… and basically cried all the way through to the credits. Empathetic tears, nervous tears, sad tears, happy tears. A beautiful roller coaster of a film experience!” – Kelly, Circulation

Mitsuha and Taki are strangers. She lives in a rural town and he’s in faraway Tokyo. Yet they begin regularly waking up in each other’s bodies. Navigating their swapped daily lives, friendships, families, and jobs… they grow to know one another intimately. Is this Fate? The tug of the Universe itself? Will they ever meet one another as their true selves?

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

“This is a book about learning who you are and learning to love who you are and not needing outside validation. You don’t need love to be happy, but it is a nice bonus if you have it. I loved this book because there aren’t enough books out there with this underlying message. Love is not the “end-all-be-all” but this book gives you hope that love is out there and you don’t have to be perfect to get it.” – Gina, Circulation

Felix Love, ironically, has never been in love, but he wants to know what it’s like. He believes that he doesn’t deserve love because he’s “one marginalization too many.” He’s black, queer, and transgender. When an anonymous student publicly outs him by posting old pictures and his name from before he transitioned, Felix wants to find out who did it and get revenge. His revenge plot unexpectedly throws him into a love triangle and everything about his life is suddenly more complicated.

Well Met by Jen Deluca

“The perfect light-romantic read for nerdy Renaissance Faire fans. Simon is your everyday English teacher hero who is very much the guy next door, and Emily is a lovely relatable heroine.” – Joy, Adult & Teen Services

Emily is just in town to take care of her older sister who’s a single mom recovering from a car accident when she gets wrangled into volunteering for the local Renaissance Faire with her 14-year-old niece. Local English teacher Simon is the grumpy leader of the troupe, who dresses up as a pirate to Emily’s tavern wench character. Hilarious in-character flirty dialogue ensues.

Legally Blonde, Strictly Ballroom, Baby Boom

“I was looking for something light and funny during these stressful times. All three of these movies, which are available to stream on Hoopla, fit the bill. They made me smile and laugh and provided a nice escape from the events of the outside world.” – Nancy, Adult & Teen Services

A California sorority girl and fashionista heads to Harvard Law (Legally Blonde), an Australian wallflower shines at a ballroom dance competition (Strictly Ballroom), and a high profile New York businesswoman moves to Vermont after inheriting a baby and losing her edge in the New York business world (Baby Boom).