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.
Maya Aziz is the daughter of two Indian Muslim American immigrants. She’s a typical American teenager - pines over the football player, hangs out with her kick-ass best friend every day after school, and has big dreams for her future. When a terrorist attack happens in a city nearby her small Midwestern town, and the suspected terrorist shares her last name, her life changes drastically overnight. There's a skinhead bully at school, and her parents become even more protective than they were before. The tough waters that Maya must navigate as a Muslim teenager and daughter of immigrants are only made bearable by her good friends and fabulous aunt.
I consider myself pretty open-minded, but Love, Hate and Other Filters even revealed some innate prejudices in myself. This is a great book to expose teens to those who have different backgrounds and cultures than them.
What starts as a catty back and forth between two women fighting over a man turns into a very serious warning. Nellie is a young, beautiful woman infatuated with her fiance. Vanessa is an ex-wife desperate to keep her replacement from marrying her husband. What you think you know about these women will be challenged many times over the course of the book, with twists and turns the whole way through. This one is for fans of Behind Her Eyes and A Simple Favor. A gripping story of friendship, marriage, manipulation, and obsession.
Franklin's Flying Bookshop is one of my new favorite picture books. Author Jen Campbell creates a charming story about a dragon, Franklin, who wants to share all the wonderful stories he has read with the world. He's unsure how to pursue this endeavor, as everyone seems to run away from him (being a dragon and all). The answer comes, however, when he meets Luna, who is unafraid of dragons because she read about them in a book. Luna and Franklin build a bookshop between Franklin's wings and set out to read all their favorite stories to anyone who will listen.
I loved this story about acceptance and the love of reading, and it doesn't hurt that the illustrations are gorgeous, complete with rose gold detailing on the front and back covers.
When a billionaire goes missing, Aza Holmes is dragged into an investigative mess by her friend Daisy, who insists Aza uses her long forgotten friendship with the billionaire-in-question's son to find out where he could have gone and win the hefty reward that's up for grabs. As Aza spends more time with Davis and begins to develop feelings for her old friend, her OCD kicks into overdrive and she doubts her ability to ever form a new relationship.
If you're a fan of John Green's older work, I think you'll like his newest. It's a bit different than his others, but still contains wit, adventure, and a bit of romance. What I really admired about this book was the realistic portrayal of mental illness. OCD is often seen as someone washing their hands 15 times or flicking a light switch on and off 37 times before they can go to bed at night, but Aza's illness is both less and more intense than that - no obsessive light-switching, but it definitely affects her day to day life in a way that only the reader gets a glimpse of.
If you're looking for a book that will make you think, this one is for you. Good Morning, Midnight is a post-apocalyptic story in which you know nothing about the actual apocalypse. Auggie is an 80-something scientist who refused to leave the Arctic Circle when evacuations came, and a few days later he stumbles upon a young girl who was left behind. At the same time, Sully is an astronaut whose ship is returning from a two-year mission to Mars, and she and her crewmates have to grapple with the reality that they have no communication with Earth...and what that may mean.
While parts of this book were a bit predictable for me, the description of the Arctic landscape and the loneliness of outer space is palpable. A great book club pick.
Maggie Stiefvater's books are always a bit on the weird side - in a good way. All The Crooked Saints is no different. The Soria family lives in the Colorado desert, in a town mostly made up of shacks. Pilgrims from all over the world come to see the Sorias because they are saints and can perform miracles. Cousins Beatriz, Daniel, and Joaquin couldn't be more different or more close. Daniel is the Saint, Beatriz doesn't feel emotion, and Joaquin has a hidden personality that only comes out at night. All The Crooked Saints is a strange, magical book that will confuse your mind and warm your soul.
A gripping tale of small-town corruption, Bonfire will keep you turning pages late into the night.
Abby Williams has spent the last decade trying to outrun her past, but when she's sent back to her hometown to investigate a case for her budding legal career, she realizes that she hasn't gotten over the traumas of high school at all. A mysterious sickness sent her running as a teenager, but it's also what drags her back into small town secrets and politics. As she obsesses over the possible water contamination by the most generous company in town - the very same one that employs over half of the residents - she finds herself entangled in a web of bribery and exploitation that she never could have anticipated.
I'm always pumped to read anything to do with Vikings or Norse mythology. While this book certainly has those elements, it's unlike anything I've ever read before.
Hanne and her siblings live in Norway and have inherited the "Nytte", a trait passed down from ancient Norse vikings that gives them a supernatural ability. Her oldest brother can control the weather, her next brother has amazing brute strength, and she is a Berserker - whenever she or a family member is in danger, she becomes a killing machine. When this ability creates disaster for her family, they pack up and move to America where they've heard there is land to farm and money to be made. When they arrive, however, they realize that they haven't been successful in escaping their past. They hire a local cowboy guide and take off across the American West in an attempt to find their long lost uncle, the only one who can help Hanne control her Nytte. A wild ride from start to finish!