Andi escaped the corporate world and found her dream job of managing an indie bookstore. She's born and raised in RVA and reads just about anything, with particular favorites being chick lit, mysteries, YA, and most any contemporary fiction. When she's not reading she can be found playing pinball and relaxing with her husband, her cats, and a nice cold beer in her speakeasy home.
I have come across some truly great Wattpad books this year but this one might be my new favorite. It touches on body positivity, neurodivergence, and the strong love between family. Artist Lori is not thrilled to be a new student at image-conscious Bay Water High. She struggles with her mom's constant diet/makeover obsessions and misses being appreciated for art and not appearance. She's also under the stress of being the main caregiver to her younger brother, who has autism and attends a special school nearby. Her rage reaches a breaking point, and she finds a new, secret way of expressing herself that ends up being even more controversial than being overweight at a school full of pretty people. I felt so many feelings for this book and Lori's journey and I want anyone who feels overlooked to read it and know they are beautiful - inside and out.
Everyone in the Brennan family of New York is struggling. Sunday has returned home after causing a drunk driving accident and finds her brother, father, and former fiancé desperately trying to save the family pub. A man from her past is back as well, and trying to bring the Brennans down in any way he can. Lange weaves a sad, sweet, and brave tale as the family tries to keep themselves and the business together and to move beyond their troubled past.
Teenage misfit Jade is obsessed with horror movies - and she plans to use her encyclopedic knowledge to ensure her survival as her quiet town of Proofrock is terrorized by something unseen. This follow up to The Only Good Indians blew me away - I am a sucker for a classic horror series and Jones did an amazing job ratcheting up the tension until the grisly climax. This is a must read for fans of Stephen King or Grady Hendrix.
I love every word that Hendrix puts on a page and this might be my new favorite. It's a love letter to the slasher movie genre that exploded in the 80s-90s and while it doesn't call out any specific franchise by name, you know what inspired him. Lynette is a member of a top-secret support group that is full of Final Girls - the few women that survived brutal killers that spawned still-active horror movie franchises. No one understands how hard it is to be the ones left behind and when group members start dying off, it becomes clear that someone has found them out. This kept me turning the pages madly until the resolution and the reader can visualize how it might play out on screen. I will be putting this in the hand of every horror fan I see.
I have been dying to get my hands on this book since I first heard it announced. I was not disappointed! Six superstar YA writers team up for six tales of romance during a blackout in NYC. Nic Stone's story provides a center that the others authors complete and each tale overlaps just enough with the others that you will want to end up at the blackout party they're all working to get to. This book covers several diverse couples finding and losing love during the hottest day in the city and these stories put you right there with them all. I loved every single story!
As much as I loved Blacktop Wasteland, I think I like this new book even more - Cosby just keeps getting better! This is the story of two fathers who have nothing in common - except the murder of their estranged sons. Neither father had ever really gotten used to the couple's gay interracial relationship and now that the young men have been brutally killed, they are dealing with regrets and feelings unspoken. The police are doing nothing to catch the murderers, so Ike and Buddy Lee take matters into their own hands. I forced myself to read this really slowly because I knew I’d be so sad when it was over. This is a strong contender for my book of the year.
I was first drawn to this by the beautiful cover (even on an advanced copy) and then I was enchanted by West's writing immediately. Revival Season tells the story of 15 year old Miriam, the child of an evangelical healer. After witnessing a shocking confrontation after a healing session during their annual summer revival tour, Miriam begins to doubt not only her father but her God. While she's struggling with her faith, she discovers that perhaps she might be able to heal as well. That is unheard of for a young girl and she's desperate to keep her father from finding out. Will Miriam be forced to choose between helping others and staying in her father's good graces? Does she even want to be in his good graces? This gorgeous book brings up questions of faith, family, and self and I can't get enough of it.
I am a big fan of all of Stevens' books and since it's been a few years since her last one, I was THRILLED to see this coming out. Dark Roads tells the story of Beth, who arrives in a tiny town along Cold Creek Highway, made infamous because of many mysterious disappearances of young women over the years. Beth steps into her sister's world in her search for the truth and almost immediately discovers danger everywhere. Everyone is a suspect and the conclusion of this one had me frantically tearing through the pages to find out what really happened. Chilling, grisly, and heartbreaking, this will delight fans of twisteries all over!
Tucker spins a beautiful tale of addiction, love, friendship, and survival in this stunning debut set in rural North Carolina. Irene spends her days slinging drinks at the local watering hole. There, she befriends magnetic Luce and the two start down a dark path of drugs and crime, all the while wishing for escape. Things change when Luce meets a young soldier who wants to help her get clean. Irene is torn between the need to keep her friend close and the desire for Luce to have the best life possible. it's a story of doing what you think is best and living with the consequences. This book broke my heart in the most beautiful way.
I saw that this was described as a cross between Blair Witch and Midsommar and could not grab it fast enough. This chilling novel is set in a remote village in Sweden and tells the story of a scrappy documentary film crew trying to find out why the entire town disappeared many years ago. The camp they set up in the town square is immediately beset with mysterious happenings that become less and less harmless. Tension mounts as they explore the mystery of where the residents of Silvertjarn went, and wonder if they will meet the same fate.
This book is a fun, glittery story of an itty bitty kitty who is absolutely sure she is really unicorn, despite what her friends say. One day a great big unicorn shows up and shares a secret with Kitty - they are both Kittycorns! The two friends are finally seen for who they really are and they play and spend happy days together. This is perfect for anyone who feels like they aren't really seen and just want to be loved for themselves - or anyone who just likes cats and unicorns.
Sealy's third novel is based on local events that happened a few years ago. It tells the story of a hit and run on a small town road from several different voices including the driver, the lawyers, and the victim's boyfriend. We're confronted with questions of mercy and guilt and whether or not justice has truly been served.
The Moulites' second novel tells the store of the Smith sisters. Happi is mourning the loss of her older sister Kezi after she's killed in police custody. Oldest sister Genny is dealing with the loss in her own way when she and Happi embark on the road trip that Kezi had planned before her death. As the sisters visit significant historical sites they try to come to terms with who Kezi really was and how she came to be presented as a martyr to the cause. They also struggle to learn why it matters if a victim was one of the good ones or not. Being human should be enough.
I have been waiting for this book since it was announced and I have to say - it is even better than I was hoping it would be. This follow up to The Hate U Give tells the story of Maverick Carter in his teenage years. Starting when he finds out he's a father and going until just before Starr's birth, Thomas takes us back to the Garden and once again shows us how to walk in someone else's shoes. Mav is trying to be the best man and father he can be. He finds a "straight" job at a local store to get away from the world of drug sales and gangs but the money isn't enough to support him and his growing family. Will he be able to get out from under the thumb of King, his friend turned leader of the King Lords and provide for his family? You won't be able to put this down until you see how it ends and even then you will wish for more stories from this universe.
It's going to be hard to describe this book without swearing - it's that good! Sydney is back in her Brooklyn neighborhood to take care of her ailing mother and regroup after a nasty breakup. She comes home to a block that's changing - not for the better. The longtime Black homeowners are being pushed out by well-to-do white people. Circumstances of her friends' moves seem more and more shady to Sydney. With the help of new neighbor Theo, she starts to look into the history of the area and nefarious secrets start to come to light. I won't go any further because I don't want to spoil anything. READ THIS BOOK.
I have yet to meet an Andrew Shaffer book I don't love. This is a perfect holiday gift for anyone who loves Grady Hendrix and Stephen King. Publisher Lussi is struggling to find the Next Big Thing in 80's horror at the brand-new job she's lucked into. (Whether that's good or bad luck, I won't say...) At the holiday gift swap, she gets a Secret Santa gift that no one owns up to giving her - for good reason. It's a creepy-looking thing that she writes off as hazing, until weird things start to happen around the office. Tragedy begins to befall her new coworkers right and left and it's left up to Lussi and her author friend Fabian to find out where the gift came from and how to stop the madness. Shaffer is a store favorite and I can't wait to get it into the stockings of our horror fans this year!
At home, Camila is a docile, obedient daughter that doesn't break the rules set by her strict father. On the futbol field, she is La Furia, a powerhouse player with the skills to take here anywhere in the world she wants to go, if she can only break free of the threads that hold her in her poor hometown. As she works to earn a spot in the ultra-competitive South American tournament, she is also falling for local boy turned futbol star Diego. Can she balance her soccer dreams with her longtime love for the boy next door? Will her parents find out that she's been playing behind their backs and allow her to try for greatness?
Goldin's latest is a timely tale of a small town's trauma and the podcaster trying to uncover long buried secrets. Rachel Krall's job as a true crime podcaster brings her to a town that's divided by an ugly rape trial. Someone leaves a note on her car begging her to help solve a long ago drowning case that seems to be unrelated to the trial. The mystery person won't give up and Rachel is pulled into the dark secrets that were covered up the first time, and might end up breaking the rape case wide open as well.
Oof, the opening scene of this book is brutal. It pulls you in and grips you until the final page. Marie and Laurent are a young couple who enjoy a good life. They both have work they enjoy and are ready to start a family to make their life even happier. One night, Marie is brutally assaulted by her boss and her perfect life is shattered. She keeps her heartbreaking secret from everyone in her life and when she discovers that she's pregnant, she is positive that the baby was sired by her rapist. PTSD and desperation drive her to an unthinkable act. This chilling book will break your heart and stay with you long after you put it down.