Articles tagged "review"

Maximum Shelf: SAINT X (11/6/19)

Today’s Maximum Shelf pick is Alexis Schaitkin’s debut, SAINT X–a haunting portrait of grief, obsession, and the bond between two sisters.

Claire is only seven years old when her college-age sister, Alison, disappears on the last night of their family vacation at a resort on the Caribbean island of Saint X. Several days later, Alison’s body is found in a remote spot on a nearby cay, and two local men—employees at the resort—are arrested. But the evidence is slim, the timeline against it, and the men are soon released. The story turns into national tabloid news, a lurid mystery that will go unsolved. For Claire and her parents, there is only the return home to broken lives.

Years later, Claire is living and working in New York City when a brief but fateful encounter brings her together with Clive Richardson, one of the men originally suspected of murdering her sister. It is a moment that sets Claire on an obsessive pursuit of the truth—not only to find out what happened the night of Alison’s death but also to answer the elusive question: Who exactly was her sister? At seven, Claire had been barely old enough to know her: a beautiful, changeable, provocative girl of eighteen at a turbulent moment of identity formation.

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Adult Books for Teens

These titles may look like they’re for adults, but they’re also perfect for teen readers!

HERE WE ARE by Aarti Namdev Shahani
HERE WE ARE is a heart-wrenching memoir about an immigrant family’s American Dream, the justice system that took it away, and the daughter who fought to get it back, from NPR correspondent Aarti Namdev Shahani.

“Shahani’s sudden push into adulthood as she sought justice for her family will resonate with YAs.” —Booklist, YA Interest

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Maximum Shelf: THE YELLOW BIRD SINGS (10/17/19)

Today’s Maximum Shelf pick is Jennifer Rosner’s breathtaking WWII mother/daughter story, THE YELLOW BIRD SINGS.

As Nazi soldiers round up the Jews in their town, Róza and her 5-year-old daughter, Shira, flee, seeking shelter in a neighbor’s barn. Hidden in the hayloft day and night, Shira struggles to stay still and quiet, as music pulses through her and the farmyard outside beckons. To soothe her daughter and pass the time, Róza tells her a story about a girl in an enchanted garden:

The girl is forbidden from making a sound, so the yellow bird sings. He sings whatever the girl composes in her head: high-pitched trills of piccolo; low-throated growls of contrabassoon. Music helps the flowers bloom.

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Adult Books for Teens

These titles may have been published for adults, but Booklist says they’re perfect for teens—and we agree!

DOMINICANA by Angie Cruz
In the vein of ANOTHER BROOKLYN and AMERICANAH, DOMINICANA is a novel about a Dominican teenager’s arranged marriage and immigration to New York City, set in the 1960s and inspired by the author’s mother.

“YAs will be struck by the ways Ana’s coming-of-age is complicated by family needs and immigration realities.” —Booklist, YA Interest

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Forthcoming #FridayReads: AMERICAN DIRT

Jeanine Cummins’ AMERICAN DIRT has been making major waves in the publishing world for months now, and y’all, seriously, this is THE book of Winter 2020.

In the opening scene, a mother and her 8-year-old son are hiding in the bathroom as their entire family is gunned down by the local cartel during a BBQ birthday party. And so begins their new life, with the pair on the run–an epically fraught and terrifying journey across and out of Mexico and toward American dirt.

The author started writing this story in 2013, before immigration was quite the hot button topic it is today, and it is especially necessary now, giving a face to migrants and showing what it’s like to make that journey. There will also be an author’s note at the end of the finished book explaining Jeanine’s personal connections to the novel.

So much love for AMERICAN DIRT!

“AMERICAN DIRT will punch you in the gut one minute and fill you with hope the next. The stirring descriptions, complex characters and heart-pounding race to stay alive combine for a gripping plot, while the themes of injustice and human determination take it to a much higher level than an average thriller novel. This is an important story being told at a vital point in time. On one hand it’s a single woman’s plight, but on the other, it’s the human condition. Powerful!”–Shelf Awareness

Read an excerpt here, or email me at amanda.rountree@macmillan.com to request the full e-galley on NetGalley.

Adult Books for Teens

These titles may have been published for adults, but Booklist has deemed them to be perfect for teens—and we agree!

GODS WITH A LITTLE G by Tupelo Hassman
From the acclaimed author of GIRLCHILD, this gritty, irreverent novel sees a young misfit grow into hope.

“GIRLCHILD won an Alex Award, and this novel is no less likely to inspire and reward literary-minded teens, especially aspiring writers.” —Booklist, YA Interest

THINGS YOU SAVE IN A FIRE by Katherine Center
From the New York Times bestselling author of HOW TO WALK AWAY comes a stunning new novel about courage, hope, and learning to love against all odds.

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Maximum Shelf: THE FURIES

Today’s Maximum Shelf pick is Katie Lowe’s debut novel, THE FURIES, a page-turning, harrowing story of a girl trying to fit in, whose obsessive new friends and desperation to belong leads her to places she’d never imagined…dark, dangerous, and possibly even violent.

In 1998, a sixteen-year-old girl is found dead. She’s posed on a swing on her boarding school’s property, dressed all in white, with no known cause of death. Whispers and rumors swirl, with no answers. But there are a few who know what happened; there is one girl who will never forget.

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Maximum Shelf: A GOOD NEIGHBORHOOD

Today’s Maximum Shelf pick is Therese Anne Fowler’s exploration of class, race, and heartrending star-crossed love, A GOOD NEIGHBORHOOD.

For fans of Celeste Ng and Jodi Picoult comes a stunning page-turner about two very different families living side by side in an idyllic neighborhood–and the summer that changes their lives forever.

In Oak Knoll, a verdant, tight-knit North Carolina neighborhood, professor of forestry and ecology Valerie Alston-Holt is raising her bright and talented biracial son. Xavier is headed to college in the fall, and after years of single parenting, Valerie is facing the prospect of an empty nest. All is well until the Whitmans move in next door–an apparently traditional family with new money, ambition, and a secretly troubled teenaged daughter.

Thanks to his thriving local business, Brad Whitman is something of a celebrity around town, and he’s made a small fortune on his customer service and charm, while his wife, Julia, escaped her trailer park upbringing for the security of marriage and homemaking. Their new house is more than she ever imagined for herself, and who wouldn’t want to live in Oak Knoll?

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Maximum Shelf: THE BURNING CHAMBERS

Today’s Maximum Shelf Awareness pick is Kate Mosse’s historical epic, THE BURNING CHAMBERS!

France, 1562: Nineteen-year-old Minou Joubert receives an anonymous letter at her father’s bookshop. Sealed with a distinctive family crest, it contains just five words: SHE KNOWS THAT YOU LIVE.

But before Minou can decipher the mysterious message, a chance encounter with a young Huguenot convert, Piet Reydon, changes her destiny forever. For Piet has a dangerous mission of his own, and he will need Minou’s help if he is to stay alive.

As the religious divide deepens, and old friends become enemies, Minou and Piet both find themselves trapped in Toulouse, facing new dangers as tensions ignite across the city.

All the while, the shadowy mistress of Puivert Château–obsessed with uncovering the secrets of a long-hidden document–strengthens her power and waits for the perfect time to strike…

“THE BURNING CHAMBERS is epic in every sense of the word: it is both long, weighing in at more than 600 pages, and dense, filled with dozens of characters, intersecting storylines and multiple locations. A list of family names and locations, a detailed historical map and an author’s note about the historical background of the Wars of Religion provide context for the incredible amount of information to come, but Mosse (LABYRINTH, THE TAXIDERMIST’S DAUGHTER) never falls victim to the trap of too much detail. In her capable hands, the novel moves along at a rapid pace, loyal to the historical detail of actual events without getting lost in the annals of history.”–Shelf Awareness

See the full summary, review, and interview with Kate Mosse on Shelf-Awareness.com. AND enter to win an ARC!

Download the e-galley from Edelweiss here.

Maximum Shelf: RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE

Today’s featured Maximum Shelf Awareness pick is the big-hearted rom-com of the summer, RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE by Casey McQuiston.

First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.

The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him.

As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?

“Casey McQuiston dazzles with RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE. Passion characterizes every moment of this smart, mischievous, gratifying and sensitive novel. The punch lines are deft, the sex is steamy and the romance is stirring.” —Shelf Awareness

See the full summary, review, and interview with Casey McQuiston on Shelf-Awareness.com. AND enter to win an ARC!

RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE has received three starred reviews!

Download the e-galley here.

Check out Booklist‘s interview with the author.

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