4 1/2 stars
A change for historical fiction author Paula McLain. She goes deep and dark with this thriller to tell the story of a damaged police detective who goes home again to Mendocino to heal and instead gets pulled into the disappearance of a young girl and possibly others in 1993. Anna knows her stuff as she usually deals with runaways in San Francisco but coming back home forces her to deal with her past and her future. While the subject matter of child kidnapping and abuse is difficult to read, the author handles it in a way that is heartfelt and compassionate. Paula McLain is a welcome addition to the growing market of thrillers with deeper characters with flaws and important social issues. 4 1/2 stars
A couple unable to have children become foster parents to a cluster of irresistible misfits. Agnes arrives unable to do little more than grunt and understand that she is allowed to eat at a table. She is supposed to be there only a few days but manages to make herself a part of this family forever. As a small undernourished six year old Agnes has only known unkindness but once she lands on the Moscatelli's doorstep their lives will all be changed forever. Parents Dahlia and Lou teach by example so that the kids know that even at the darkest point of the kids lives they will always have someone on their side. This is a timeless story of love and compassion that is beautifully told and leaves you begging for more about the Moscatellis. Beware, this book is a heartbreaker that will have you finishing the last page with a deep sigh and sniffle ,and wondering what the next chapter will be like for all of them. This book will appeal to anyone who wants deep characters who
have had a hard life without losing themselves or their humanity. Fans of Willy Vlautin and Andrew Graff's RIVER OF STARS will find much here. 4 1/2 stars
A new look at the classic Sleeping Beauty tale. In the kingdom there is a truce that balances the Fae and humans from the evil Vila. Wealthy humans buy beauty, grace and good health from The Graces who have been blessed with Fae blood. There is one Grace who has not been blessed but still serves the Briar with her mild curse and tainted blood. Alyce, nicknamed Malice is shunned by all except Princess Aurora who befriends her and seeks her help in breaking the curse that will end her life unless she finds true love. Alyce is starting to understand that she may be more powerful but that might not save her from being used for evil. This is a well thought out retelling and the start of a promising new series. Aurora is not your average Disney princess and Alyce is not your average bad fairy sorceress.
This will be a great crossover from young adult to adult fantasy readers. 4 stars
Sisters are special. They protect each other and share secrets. They can also take over. Rose and Fern had a rocky childhood living with a chaotic single mom with an addiction and an unpredictable home life. Rose always took care of Fern who was a little different than other kids (on the spectrum). Now that they are adults Rose is still taking care of Fern, maybe a little too much. But then Fern meets someone who cuts into Rose's hold on her life. Twists and turns lead us back and forth between the sisters and their past until we question who is telling the real story. I loved the way the author chose to highlight the positive aspects of Fern's sensory difficulties and the ways the library staff embraced those differences and spotlighted all of her skills. A dark tale with a silver lining this is a thriller with heart. Fans of ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE and ELLIE AND THE HARPMAKER as well as the usual lineup of great thrillers will enjoy this book. 4 stars
Having always been interested in larger than life Nellie Bly I knew that there had to be many more women journalists who were pioneers in a world dominated by men. So, how do you get out of writing snippets in the society pages and do some real journalism when you can't even vote, sit on a jury and are not taken seriously? You work for free, work under an assumed male name or become a "girl reporter". These brave women put themselves in dangerous situations that even their male counterparts would not have done to expose scandals , dangerous situations and deplorable social conditions. They searched out women like themselves and became advocates for women's rights.
Some, like Nellie Bly, would achieve fame but most had their best efforts go unnoticed by the public.
Not only is this an in depth look at the "girl stunt reporters" but it is also an interesting look at the high jinx between the two biggest publishers - Heart and Pulitzer in their endless feud and quest for being crowned king of the publishing world. Kim Todd shares her research at the end of the book which tied up loose ends and I found very interesting. For any reader who enjoys learning more about the unsung female heroes.
Willy Vlautin creates a window into a world not many of us know. His characters never fall wholly into the sinner or saint category but you always root for them. They are ordinary people who find themselves in a bind and we always want someone to help them. Lynette is a prime example. She is 30 years old and far from perfect but so close to realizing the dream that has consumed her for the past three years. Working herself to death at three jobs (not all of them doing something that her mom would approve of ) she is ready to buy the house that she, her mom and her developmentally disabled brother Kenny have been renting. Just when she is so close, her mother pulls out and uses the saved money to buy a car leaving Lynette in the lurch scrambling to come up with the rest of the downpayment. What she does in the next few days she may not be proud of but she is desperate. Battling with depression and other demons she has fought so long to control she goes back to collect what is owed her. Flashbacks explain why she makes some of the choices she does. This is a lyrical, bittersweet look at working class people who are doing well enough to not qualify for help but still not well enough to grab the American Dream. If you are new to Willy Vlautin, this will make you a fan for life and if you are already a fan you will be looking for someone to pass the book to the minute you finish it. 5 heartbreaking stars
Pip Williams takes us back to a converted garden shed where a group of hardworking lexigraphers collected words from all over to compile the first Oxford Dictionary.
It is under tables in the Scriptorium where Esme collects her own words at the feet of her father and fell in love with the power of words.
Esme is watched over by a lovable housekeeper, Lizzie and a family friend Aunt Ditte but it is still an unusual upbringing. Years pass and finally Esme's dream of assisting the team is realized. It is also when Esme finds importance in the words that are omitted, mainly spoken by women, and compiles a dictionary of her own. This is a wonderful mashup of real events and the imagined life of what it was like to be an ambitious woman in a man's world. An amateur lexicographer's dream story but also a coming of age love story about relationships between all kinds of mothers and their charges. 4 stars
What would you do to protect your child? Her life goes off the rails when her baby is kidnapped and to get him back she must commit a crime. This is just the start of her fall down the rabbit hole and taking care of her husband's law partner is just the beginning. Bree has some help in a P.I and an attorney who also have a stake in the game. The clock is ticking, they are dealing with a madwoman and it is a situation that would turn any mother's blood cold. This taunt thriller is just another example of Joshilyn Jackson's mastery of the genre. Seemingly average women forced to take matters into their own hands to protect their family. 4 wild ride stars
A family hidden in a Harlem brownstone for generations can afford to keep living there despite gentrification due to the pieces of caul they sell for a tidy profit. It is said that babies born with a caul are special and pieces of the magic caul can heal the sick, help women get pregnant and more. The family matriarch rules with an iron fist keeping what happens behind their door a secret. Hallow is the youngest with the caul and is the first to rebel against her sheltered life. She begins to question whether or not she is really part of the family and her role as others actively try to bring down the Melacons for their unorthodox trade. Themes of family dynamics, the gentrification of New York, the morality of organ selling and adoption are all at play here in this debut told without judgement. Just like the decay that sets into the brownstone and the family itself - secrets always come up to the surface. This will appeal to a wide audience such as fans of Jacqueline Woodson, James McBride as well as THE CITY WE BECAME and WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING. I also listened to the audiobook which is perfectly narrated. 4 stars
Maybe it was the fact that Joe hasn't changed much from his former evil self. Maybe it was that his newest conquest was a librarian or that the librarian has a teenage daughter. The book gave me a constant sense of the heebie jeebies and I am still looking over my shoulder in public. Anyone who has followed the hit show or her first book knows that the former bookseller from New York with an obsession problem knows what they are in for with this latest installment. It amazes me that his victim's creep radar doesn't register like their friend's radars always do. Fun, satisfying scare yourself silly book even if you know you would never fall for it (we hope).
3 1/2 stars unless you love the show and then it will be a 5 for you.
I love to read good books and share the new books that are available and those that are coming soon
Thriller / Mystery
Fantasy / Sci-Fi
All Adult Genres
Young Adult Genre
Kids Books Genre