Emergency Contact is about two lost souls finding each other in a very Millennial way (and that doesn't mean it's a bad thing!). Penny meets Sam when he has a panic attack on the side of the road, and she has everything he needs to calm down in her Mary Poppins-esque bag of necessities. They exchange numbers, and carry on their relationship solely via text. It's the best of both worlds - you can share your deepest feelings and concerns with someone without all of the awkward in-person interactions. Things are great until Penny's roommate drags her downtown for a cup of coffee - at the coffee house where Sam works. This was a fun spring read that made me laugh out loud.
Charles Frazier returns with another Civil War epic, this time about a woman largely forgotten by history, and yet inextricably intertwined with an infamous character of American History - Jefferson Davis. Varina married this man - twice her age - because her father had gambled away the family's savings and she knew her marriage prospects were few and far between. She thought she would have a calm, happy life married to a farmer; maybe if he got ambitious, he would be a state senator. Her life took a path she never could have imagined, filled with highs and lows unimaginable to most. Varina is a well crafted story based in history with which lovers of Southern fiction will be enthralled.
Detroit Free Press reporter Keith Gave was the first person to make contact with members of what would infamously become known as the Red Wings' Russian Five. When the Wings drafted members of the Soviet hockey league, they did so knowing that many obstacles stood in the way of actually getting those players on the ice in Detroit. Gave's book starts with his initial meeting with the players, follows the five players throughout their entire lives, both on the ice and off, through defection from the Soviet Union, to Stanley Cup championships and unimaginable tragedy. I am not a sports fan by any stretch of the imagination, but was sucked into this story straight away. Written like one long newspaper article, due to Gave's reporting background, this was a quick read that was both humorous and uplifting.
I tend to forget how much I enjoy short story collections, and then one like The Sea Beast Takes A Lover comes along, and I'm reminded of how fun and wonderful they can be. This is a strange one - with tales ranging from a headless girl whose older brother is her fiercest protector, to poor Andy, who starts to glow and soon is on the brink of explosion, to the title story, literally about a sea monster who falls hopelessly in love with a ship and begins to slowly sink her over the course of months, leaving the crew dumbfounded and helpless. If you're looking for a book unlike anything you've ever read, give this one a try.
When half a dozen students are trapped in their high school after a bomb goes off, they anticipate being rescued from their third floor hell in minutes. However, when they find a radio and listen to the news, they learn that there will be no rescue in the near future, as authorities suspect there are many more bombs in the building, and the bomber is still inside. Not only are they scrambling to bandage their wounds and find a way out on their own, they don't know who to trust, as any one of them could be the cause of all this tragedy. A timely, quick read!
Let's be honest...we all judge books by their covers. That's the only reason I picked this one up! It has beautiful font, a slightly distressed looked, and an intricate illustration that you discover more of each time you pick up the book. But don't worry, what's contained in the pages is just as fantastic. The first half of the book contains eight short stories about 'dreadful' young ladies who really aren't that dreadful at all. However, the second half of the book is what I really fell in love with. The Unlicensed Magician is a World Fantasy Award-winning novella about a peculiar young girl who inhabits a society in which magic is strictly prohibited.
Barnhill's work pushes the boundaries of imagination and is unlike anything you've ever read. For fantasy and short story fans alike!
Pretty Little Liars meets Gossip Girl at a boarding school.
Kay's annual post-Halloween Dance skinny dip with her friends goes horribly awry when they find a girl's body in the lake. None of the girls knew her, yet her death shakes them to the core. Especially when Kay gets an ominous email from the girl they found. She is soon tangled in a dangerous web of deceit, as she is led on a dark scavenger hunt and discovers secrets that all of her friends intended to take to their graves. This was a fun little mystery that I devoured in one sitting.
“It’s not quite love, and it’s not quite community; it’s just this feeling that there are people, an abundance of people, who are in this together.”
This isn’t a story about a life cut tragically short. This is a story about a talented young writer who realized how wide open her future was, and strived to make the most of every day, no matter how many obstacles obstructed her path. Most of all, it’s a story about how loneliness isn’t something to be scared of, or avoided, but instead something to be embraced. And the writing...oh the writing! Wise beyond her years, yet without pretension. A beautifully rendered snapshot of what it’s like to be young, lost, and blindly optimistic.
This second mystery in the Ryan DeMarco series is quite different from the first. While Two Days Gone was fast-paced and plot driven, Walking the Bones is more of a character study. DeMarco's new girlfriend Jayme encourages him to take an extended vacation with her, and so they both get in an RV and go. While they're exploring parts of the country neither of them has seen before, Jayme gets news that her grandmother has died. When they arrive in Jayme's small hometown for the funeral, DeMarco goes for a run and finds a portly man standing in the middle of a field, and he says something DeMarco can't shake - this is where they found the bones. The bones of seven young girls who were all killed more than a decade ago, and they're murders were never solved. DeMarco finds himself obsessing over the cold case, and as he uncovers more about their lives, we also learn more about DeMarco's past and what makes him tick.
This one was a slow burn, but well worth the read, and a great follow up to Two Days Gone.
Hadi is a scavenger in war-torn Baghdad, and is tired of seeing the victims of war go unrecognized, simply because they're unrecognizable. He begins to collect the body parts of victims of car and suicide bombings, and stitches them together until they form a full human body in an effort to get the government to recognize that these are people whose lives were cut short by violence. Things get a bit out of hand, however, when - you guessed it - the body comes to life and wreaks havoc on the city. This is a morbidly funny look at wartime violence.
If you're a fan of fairy tales and magic, definitely pick up The Hazel Wood.
Alice's grandmother is the infamous author of a hard-to-find anthology of fairy tales that has a fierce cult following. Although she's never met her grandmother, Alice is fascinated by the woman and her disappearance into The Hazel Wood. When Alice's mother also disappears, Alice is convinced that her grandmother had something to do with it, and knows she must go into The Hazel Wood to get her mother back. Throw a rich, handsome boy into the mix, and you've got an entertaining, slightly creepy tale that's sure to keep you up at night.
Five lives collide in a coastal Oregon town in this new novel sure to please fans of The Handmaid's Tale. In the near future, The Personhood Amendment has passed and grants rights of life, liberty and property to every fetus. In vitro fertilization is seen as against God's will and outlawed, and the Every Child Needs Two act prevents anyone other than a married, heterosexual couple from adopting a child. Red Clocks follows five women and demonstrates how their lives are affected by these new laws. A 15 year old who gets pregnant, a single teacher who wants nothing more than to be a mother, a wife whose life leaves a lot to be desired, an Arctic explorer, and a recluse whose tinctures and salves work a bit too well all must adapt to the world in which they find themselves. A powerful read that doubles as a warning.