Tom Hazard isn't immortal....he just ages really, really slowly. He's been around since the 1590s, but looks like he hasn't yet had his mid-life crisis. And he's not the only one. An entire society of people who seem to defy the laws of aging has formed - a support group of sorts - that ensures they stay safe and hidden from scientists who may wish to perform any number of experiments on their extremely unique bodies. How To Stop Time explores Tom's time on earth, the history he has experienced first hand, the people he has brushed up against, and his struggle to remain optimistic year after year after year...after year. Although the subject matter seems somewhat heavy, Matt Haig infuses just enough humor and wit to make this an unexpectedly fun read.
This book is what we all need - kickass black girls in fancy dresses killing zombies. Jane McKeene attends Miss Preston's School of Combat in Baltimore, just one of many schools that were refurbished after The War Between The States to educate young black and Native American citizens in the art of zombie killing. Jane is one of the best in her class, and when she graduates will become an Attendant for a wealthy white lady, to protect her from any threats, living or dead. However, when Jane notices families going missing in her area, she becomes entangled in a conspiracy from which she cannot escape. This is a gripping book about family, race, and the best weapon with which to kill the undead.
Picture your ideal honeymoon...you're probably on a beach right? Perhaps a margarita in hand? Well, that's not exactly what Natalie and Doug Larson are up to the day after their wedding. Instead, they set off on a multi-day canoe trip in the deep wilderness of the Adirondacks. In and of itself, it would be a challenging trip, but things start to go wrong soon after they set off. The water levels are low, so they are forced to carry their canoe more than expected, and when they hit a particularly rough set of rapids, their GPS goes tumbling into the water. What's supposed to be a time of post-nuptial bliss turns into a fight to survive - and there's something even more dangerous in the Adirondacks than lack of food and water. This was a page-turner, and one that will make you think twice about trekking into the wilderness unprepared (and convince you to stick with the traditional margarita-consuming beach vacation!).
The Meade Creamery has been a staple in Sand Lake for decades, ever since it was founded during the war by Molly Meade, in an attempt to keep her mind off the fact that her beau was off in the trenches. It has employed only girls every summer since, and it's a coveted job. Amelia has been working there since 8th grade, and this year she's promoted to Head Girl. She just knows that this is going to be the best summer ever, until she shows up to the stand early the week before opening day, and finds Molly's body inside. Though she's thought to have no living family, a great-nephew shows up and takes over the operation. Amelia is determined not to let the presence of a boy disturb her perfectly planned summer, but things soon go awry, and it results in a funny, heartwarming summer romp. This book is perfect for budding entrepreneurs, and those just looking for a fun read.
In the future, rising sea levels and increased global temperature have made the coast essentially uninhabitable and has increased class tensions. The government enacted a new program that will send 500 citizens that live below the cliffline (read:poor) to Pacifica, an island paradise with blue skies and even bluer waters. A place without industrial waste and pollution, where food and clear water is plentiful. It sounds like a dream come true, but Marin is a pirate who spent her childhood on the ocean, and knows that there's no such island. Where is the government really sending these people, and why?
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.