The Girl Before by JP Delaney
Every thriller claims to be a Gone Girl read-alike, but this one actually is. One Folgate Street, London is architect Edward Monkford’s masterpiece. Living in such a wonder requires a few sacrifices – ones Jane is prepared to make. Moving in after a personal tragedy, Jane soon becomes intrigued by the untimely death of Emma, the house’s previous tenant. Interest turns to obsession until Jane may suffer the same fate as the girl before.
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
A young adult fantasy novel about the conflicts between those with Red blood and those with Silver. The Reds are the common people, while the Silver are the magical ruling class. But it turns out that Mare Barrow, the protagonist, has power as well. Problems and romance ensue. An entertaining, well-written, and fast-paced read. It’s fairly lightweight – not heavy literature by any sense – but just so much fun. Full of adventure with plenty of twists and turns.
Recommended for readers of The Selection by Kiera Cass, the Game of Thrones series, and there’s a touch of the Hunger Games in there too.
Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers, art by Shawn Harris
Lady Liberty is covered with a copper sheath that is as thick as 2 pennies. She was first assembled in France, disassembled and shipped, and then reassembled in the United States. She stands 150 feet tall, wears a size 879 shoe, and weighs 450,000 lbs. The spikes on her crown represent Earth’s seven seas, seven continents, and the rays of the sun. But have you noticed her right foot? With playful and informative text and brightly colored illustrations, Dave Eggers and Shawn Harris bring us an insightful story about the Statue of Liberty and the symbolism behind the Statue of Liberty’s right foot.
Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf
This book is one of my recent favorites! A short, somewhat simplistic, yet beautifully written novel about aging, second chances, and companionship. In this story septuagenarian widow, Addie, reaches out to her neighbor, a widower, to ward off loneliness at night. It is a wonderful book; touching, beautiful, sad – full of grace and truth.
This book was edited posthumously by Haruf’s wife. I am sad that we won’t have any more books from Kent Haruf, but this, his last, is a true treasure. Read if for yourself, your parents, or grandparents, it is both thought provoking and important. It is a story that will linger.
New Boy by Tracy Chevalier
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if Shakespeare’s Othello took place in a sixth grade classroom in the 1970s? This book explains just that. The characters from the famous play are aged down and given all new backstories as they work their way through a day of school. Featuring Othello as Osei the son of a Ghanaian diplomat, Desdemona as Dee the classic “good girl” with a crush on the new boy, and Iago as Ian the good-for-nothing bully with a king-like hold on the playground. Osei faces racial discrimination from his white classmates and teachers, Dee discovers a forbidden love, and Ian finally learns what it means to stand up for something, even if it’s pure evil. This novel shows that children have the ability to hate, love, and act the same way adults do. They can be cunning and wicked or loving and naive. Though fast-paced, this book takes in a diverse range of characters and produces a story that no one would ever believe unless it was told by Shakespeare himself.