High 5 for Recent Reads

We did it!!! We made it to Friday!!! Here are a few books that I think will spice up your fall. I have either recently read or are about to read all of these books, so far I have finished Anatomy of a Misfit, Every Secret Thing, and I just recently finished The Jewel. All of them are wonderful!!! Enjoy!

Anyone else feel like there is an abnormally high number of exclamation marks in the opener?!? Sorry!!! Ooops. Three more. Dang. 


Every Secret Thing: A Novel
by Laura Lippman

Lippman has won just about every mystery writing award there is--the Edgar, the Agatha, the Anthony, the Shamus, and the Nero Wolfe--for her Tess Monaghan series. This is her first stand-alone mystery, one in which the detectives are consigned to bit parts. The fact that the police here do little save go through the motions underscores the fatalistic feeling at the core of this dark domestic tragedy. Lippman writes the kind of opening that should make readers feel they're following helplessly as a nightmare slowly unfolds. Two 10-year-old girls, bounced from a birthday party for bad behavior, discover a baby in a carriage on the sidewalk and deem it necessary to "save" her. Lippman leaves the reader knowing something terrible happened but unsure what it was until the narrative progresses to seven years later, when the two girls are released from prison and return to their homes, six blocks away from the house to which they brought untold grief. The girls have to adjust to a new prison of neighborhood suspicion. Then, as the girls make somewhat of a new life, children start disappearing, and then reappearing, until one toddler is well and truly missing. Lippman doesn't write a standard whodunit here but plays with reader expectations of what should happen next. A startling page-turner. Connie Fletcher
Copyright © American Library Association.




Anatomy of a Misfit
by Andrea Portes

From the Back Cover

Outside, Anika Dragomir is all lip gloss and blond hair—the third most popular girl in school. Inside, she's a freak. A mix of dark thoughts, diabolical plots, and, if local chatter is to be believed, vampire DNA. After all, her father is from Romania. Everyone else in Nebraska is about as American as an apple pie . . . wrapped in a flag . . . on the Fourth of July. Spider stew. That's what Anika is made of. But she keeps it under wraps to maintain her social position. One step out of line and Becky Vilhauser, first most popular girl in school, will make her life a living hell. So when former loner Logan McDonough shows up one September hotter, smarter, and more mysterious than ever, Anika knows she can't get involved. It would be insane to throw away her social safety for a nerd. So what if that nerd is now a black-leather-jacket-wearing dreamboat, and his loner status is clearly the result of his troubled home life? Who cares if the right girl could help him with all that, maybe even save him from it . . . ? Logan. Who needs him when Jared Kline, the bad boy every girl dreams of, is asking her on dates? Who? Andrea Portes's emotionally devastating debut YA novel lays bare the futility in pretending to be something we're not and the value in finally celebrating all that we are—inside.


The Fever
by Megan Abbott

Starred Review* Following her brilliant, cheerleading-as-blood-sport Dare Me (2012), Abbott returns to high school for another disturbing drama. In an isolated northeastern town known for its miserable weather, Deenie and her best friends, Lise and Gabby, find themselves at the center of a mysterious epidemic that causes girls to—do what, exactly? The symptoms are puzzling. Lise seizes in class, and Gabby collapses onstage during an orchestra recital, leaving Deenie to wonder if she’s next. Or is she a carrier? The affliction affects only girls, leaving Deenie’s caring science-teacher father and her hockey-player brother feeling worried but utterly helpless. Despite texts and videos sent from hospital beds, information seems as scarce as in the Dark Ages, and rumors and misinformation fly: Is the cause HPV vaccinations? Or the water of the town’s dead lake? Is it—a thought that lurks darkly in Deenie’s mind—­her recent loss of virginity? Once again, Abbott makes an unforgettable inquiry into the emotional lives of young people, this time balanced with parents’ own fears and failings. It’s also a powerful portrait of community, with interesting echoes of The Crucible: it’s the twenty-first century, and, in many ways, we’re still frightened villagers, terrified of the unknown. Abbott may be on her way to becoming a major writer. --Keir Graff    
 

The Jewel
by Amy Ewing

The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring. Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel's glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life. Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence . . . and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess's petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for. Debut author Amy Ewing expertly crafts an enchanting story full of riches, rivalries, and riveting twists and turns that will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very end.

Liar, Temptress, Solider, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War 
by Karen Abbott

Belle Boyd
Emma Edmonds
Rose O'Neal Greenhow
Elizabeth Van Lew

In Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy, bestselling author Karen Abbott tells the spellbinding true story of four women who risked everything—their homes, their families, and their very lives—during the Civil War. Seventeen-year-old Belle Boyd, an avowed rebel with a dangerous temper, shot a Union soldier in her home and became a courier and spy for the Confederate army, using her considerable charms to seduce men on both sides. Emma Edmonds disguised herself as a man to enlist as a Union private named Frank Thompson, witnessing the bloodiest battles of the war and infiltrating enemy lines, all the while fearing that her past would catch up with her. The beautiful widow Rose O'Neal Greenhow engaged in affairs with powerful Northern politicians, used her young daughter to send information to Southern generals, and sailed abroad to lobby for the Confederacy, a journey that cost her more than she ever imagined. Elizabeth Van Lew, a wealthy Richmond abolitionist, hid behind her proper Southern manners as she orchestrated a far-reaching espionage ring—even placing a former slave inside the Confederate White House—right under the noses of increasingly suspicious rebel detectives. Abbott's pulse-quickening narrative weaves the adventures of these four forgotten daredevils into the tumultuous landscape of a broken America, evoking a secret world that will surprise even the most avid enthusiasts of Civil War–era history. With a cast of real-life characters, including Nathaniel Hawthorne, General Stonewall Jackson, Detective Allan Pinkerton, Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, and Emperor NapolĂ©on III, Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy shines a dramatic new light on these daring—and, until now, unsung—heroines.

Bonus: I know that I have already pointed you in the direction of Five books for the Fall, but I just wanted to remind you guys to re-read the book before you go and see Mockingjay - Part 1 on November 21st. You can check out Monday's blog #MockingjayTickets!!! for some trailers and stills. 


Mockingjay
by Suzanne Collins

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she's made it out of the bloody arena alive, she's still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what's worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss's family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins's groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.







Okay, that's all for today. I'm off to enjoy my weekend with the Ninja and Treyson. It's Halloween today so Happy Halloween, don't forget if you are a local to Shreveport we are having Trick or Treating at the Norton tonight from 4:30 - 6:30. Come and enjoy! I will be dressed as Mary Poppins! As always, stay exceptionally chic & exquisitely geek! 


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