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Fiction Reviews

Two Girls Down

You know that totally-absorbed-can’t-put-it-down reading experience?  Louisa Luna’s Two Girls Down provides just that. It’s riveting, suspenseful, surprising and so addictive that I had to slow down in my eagerness to get to the next twist in order to appreciate the admirable prose. Luna’s style is straightforward but creative, and I love finding those unique turns of phrase that mark a clever and observant writer’s prose.

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ISBN: 9780385542494
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Published: Doubleday Books - January 9th, 2018

"Opening this book is like arming a bomb--the suspense is relentless and the payoff is spectacular. Lead character Alice Vega is sensational--I want to see lots more of her."--Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Jack Reacher series

"Sensational." Wall Street Journal

American Heart

My spirits are still aloft three hours after finishing Laura Moriarty's book American Heart. You may have heard about all the flak she has taken for the book and about the censored review—a review written by a Muslim woman of color—pulled after pressure from people who feared the book represented another white savior narrative because its admittedly flawed white teenage protagonist commits to seeing a woman to safety in an America—not very unlike our own—that has put all Muslims like this woman in an internment camp in Nevada.

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ISBN: 9780062694102
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Published: Harper Teen - January 30th, 2018

A powerful and thought-provoking YA debut from New York Times bestselling author Laura Moriarty.

Imagine a United States in which registries and detainment camps for Muslim-Americans are a reality.

Emily Alone

Each in the pair of novels Wish You Were Here and Emily Alone by Stuart O'Nan is perfect on its own, and together they are magic. In Wish, Emily Maxwell spends a strained week with her adult children, grandchildren, sister-in-law, and her arthritic dog, Rufus, in a summer lake cabin while it pours rain. The foundations of the intricate relationships established in this first novel are built upon in Emily Alone, a perfect novel to read this time of year with its autumnal beginning.

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ISBN: 9780143120490
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Published: Penguin Books - December 27th, 2011

A bittersweet tale of love and longing from the bestselling author of Last Night at the Lobster.

O'Nan's newest novel, City of Secrets, is now available from Viking.

Dear Reader

Lawrencian Mary O'Connell's latest book Dear Reader will satisfy adult and young adult reader alike. The story is told from a dual point of view. One narrator, misfit Catholic school student Flanner, goes alone to New York City in search of her missing English teacher Miss Sweeney, when the copy of Wuthering Heights she finds in her teacher's bag takes on a life of its own; it literally becomes Miss Sweeney's own tale of lost love, leaving clues to her whereabouts along the way.

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ISBN: 9781250077080
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Published: Flatiron Books - May 9th, 2017

"Imaginative, exhilarating, genre-bending, and one of the best YA novels of the year." --BookRiot

"An audacious tale. Like much classic literature and like growing up, reading this immersive novel is all about the experience." --The Horn Book

An IndieNext Pick

The Nakano Thrift Shop

Hiromi Kawakami’s The Nakano Thrift Shop is a charming and quirky novel  set almost entirely in a Tokyo secondhand store. It’s the first US translation from a promising and popular Japanese novelist, with more to come soon. Protagonist Hitomi works the register as the strange rhythms of life working for the eccentric Mr. Nakano unfold at an easy and enjoyable pace around her. This delightful novel, anchored by an unconventional and often funny love story, is a breezy look at everyday Tokyo life. Recommended by Danny


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ISBN: 9781609453992
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Published: Europa Editions - June 6th, 2017

From the author of Strange Weather in Tokyo comes this funny, heartwarming story about love, life, and human relationships that features a delightfully offbeat cast of characters.

A Reunion of Ghosts

A Reunion of Ghosts by Judith Claire Mitchell is one of the best novels I've read in years. A wry black comedy, it begins in 1999 and is the story of the forty-ish Alter sisters: Lady, Vee and Delph, who share an apartment on New York's Upper East Side. But it's also the story of four generations of the Alter family, beginning with their great-grandfather, a brilliant German chemist who invented chlorine gas, among other terrible things. Tragedies have occurred in each generation, leaving the Alter sisters to conclude that there is only one solution that will break the curse.

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ISBN: 9780062355898
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Published: Harper Perennial - January 26th, 2016


"The Alter sisters are mordant, wry, and crystalline in wit and vision; it is a tremendous pleasure to rocket through generations of their family histories with them." --Lauren Groff, New York Timesbestselling author of Fates and Furies, The Monsters of Templeton, and Arcadia

Black Rabbit Hall

Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase is a spellbinding novel that reviewers say is reminiscent of Daphne du Maurier. Black Rabbit Hall is a country estate on England's Cornish coast. Something happens in 1968 that unravels the perfect family who lives there. The story shifts to the present as a young woman decides she wants to hold her wedding at the Hall. Going back and forth in time, we learn how the two families are connected. Movingly written, this gothic story of family secrets, love and loss will captivate you! -- Recommended by Rochelle

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ISBN: 9780399174124
Availability: Special Order
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - February 9th, 2016

"For fans of Kate Morton and Daphne du Maurier, Black Rabbit Hall is an obvious must-read."--Bookpage

A secret history. A long-ago summer. A house with an untold story.

White Tears

White Tears by Hari Kunzru is amazing. The story starts when a popular kid, rich heir to a private-prison empire, befriends a seemingly bland audio-nerd sidekick. Together they DJ college parties and become big men on campus. After graduation they move to Brooklyn to open a recording studio specializing in making new records sound old. Then, they pull a harmless-seeming prank: they post a counterfeit blues song to the internet, calling it a newly-discovered rare recording. Immediately afterwards, all hell breaks loose (almost literally).

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ISBN: 9780451493699
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Published: Knopf Publishing Group - March 14th, 2017

White Tears is a ghost story, a terrifying murder mystery, a timely meditation on race, and a love letter to all the forgotten geniuses of American music and Delta Mississippi Blues.

A Curious Beginning

A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn is the first book in a new series featuring the intrepid Veronica Speedwell, an adventurous lepidopterist and world traveler.  The year is 1887 and in London Veronica fends off an abductor with the help of a mysterious German baron.  His friend Stoker, an ill-tempered natural historian, is asked to look after her (although Veronica does very well all by herself!).  Soon Veronica and Stoker are on the run as they look for the baron’s murderer.  Witty, smart dialogue, a clever sense of humor and a fast pace make this a very e

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ISBN: 9780451476029
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Published: Berkley Books - July 12th, 2016

In her thrilling new series, Deanna Raybourn, the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey mysteries, returns once more to Victorian England...and introduces intrepid adventuress Veronica Speedwell.

Greenglass House

Greenglass House by Kate Milford won the prestigious Edgar Award for best juvenile mystery. It was a New York Times bestseller, a National Book Award finalist and it received several starred reviews. Milo Pine and his parents own and live in Greenglass House, a huge old rambling guest house with many rooms to rent. It had been a smuggler’s inn in the past. It’s almost Christmas, a blizzard is howling and several mysterious guests have arrived, each one with a strange story and a secret.

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By Kate Milford, Jaime Zollars (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780544540286
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Published: Houghton Mifflin - November 1st, 2016

New York Times Bestseller
National Book Award Nominee
Winner of the Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery


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