Evvie Drake Starts Over

This is a love story with some baggage. Both Evvie and Dean have some serious issues to work through. Evvie’s husband died the day she planned to leave him. Dean is a star baseball pitcher who has famously lost the ability to pitch. So when Dean selects Evvie’s rental apartment, sparks fly. But are either of them ready for a real relationship?  A well earned romance written by NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast host, Linda Holmes.

The Girl in Red

Intense, violent, dystopian thriller about — Little Red Riding Hood? Actually, Red is a survivor of a shocking new pandemic and she’s avoiding being picked up for quarantine by the police by cutting through the woods to yes, her grandma’s cabin. But there are others out looking to exploit the crisis for their own ends…does Red even stand a chance? and what happened to the rest of her family?

Really engrossing and in the end, touching, this is a book to devour. (I read it in one sitting!)

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

The prestigious Ellingham Academy only accepts the best. You don’t just have to be bright; you have be exceptional. The school was created by Albert Ellingham in his remote Vermont mansion. He strongly believed that learning should be a game and developed a school that reflected his beliefs. Tragedy struck in the early days of the school when Albert Ellingham’s wife and daughter were kidnapped and later found dead. The kidnapper left taunting clues and seemed to be playing a twisted game of their own. The Ellingham became one of the great mysteries of the 20th century.

Fast forward to present day and Stevie Bell is going to Ellingham Academy. Her main motivation for even applying to the academy is to solve this cold case, but Stevie gets more than she bargained for. Death has come back to Ellingham Academy and Stevie has another mystery to solve.

The mysteries of “Truly Devious” are told in alternating chapters. The story switches between flashbacks to the Ellingham kidnapping and present day. Both stories are gripping and fresh. I was concerned they might be disjointed switching back and forth, but Maureen Johnson weaves them together flawlessly.

“Truly Devious” is fantastic YA mystery, especially you enjoy true crime. It hits all the right notes from a diverse cast of characters to an engrossing story. Highly recommended.


The True History of Lyndie B Hawkins

Terrific Middle Grade debut about a young girl growing up in 1970’s Tennessee who wonders if everyone tells lies all the time. “I just never realized, even when i was bobbing like a cork in an ocean of falsehoods.” Lyndie is living with some hard realities: her dad went to Vietnam and never fully recovered. When he loses his job, then they lose their home. Her Grandma believes in keeping up appearances even if reality is really scary. But eventually, Lyndie learns that redemption is worth fighting for, even if it means telling some hard truths. Lyndie’s first person voice is what carries this novel and endears her to you. By the end, you are wishing there was some way to hang out longer with Lyndie and her friends.

Cheshire Crossing by Andy Weir & Sarah Andersen

What an absolute treat! This unlikely pair of Andy Weir (The Martian) and Sarah Andersen – better known for her often viral Sarah Scribbles comics – creates a fun and beautiful romp through all of your favorite childhood books.

Wendy Darling, Alice Liddell, and Dorothy Gale have all experienced madcap adventures in fantastical lands throughout their childhoods. But who would believe such ridiculous stories? Certainly not their parents, who have shipped them from asylum to asylum until the three find themselves as roommates in a very special boarding school.

This graphic novel is riddled with references to cherished classics and mixed with Weir’s trademark humor. The unexpectedly lovely illustrations by Andersen pull everything together and really show how extensively talented she is. It’s delightfully bawdy and great for both teens and adults – with an opening letter by Weir which is not to be skipped!

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

When Jessica Farris sneaks into a psychological study about morality all she’s looking for is some quick and easy extra income. What she finds instead expands and diverts her life in ways she never would have expected, but is the study everything it seems to be? And can the seemingly calm Dr. Shields really be trusted?

This is Hendricks and Pekkanen’s second shared work. If you missed their first dual effort, The Wife Between Us (2018), be sure to check it out as well. Their combined styles seemingly effortlessly create two distinct characters and voices within one cohesive storyline. These phenomenal writers manage to slowly coax the truth out of their plotlines in a way that keeps the tension building and your expectations twisting from beginning to end.

I enjoyed the audiobook, which is wonderfully narrated and also available with your library card on Libby.

Big Sky by Kate Atkinson

Jackson Brodie is back and it seems his biggest challenges these days are maintaining a good parent-child relationship with his moody, teenage son and tending to his beloved, aging Labrador. Settling in to a new home in a quiet seaside village with occasional income from lightweight detecting work–trailing spouses suspected of cheating–Brodie is easily distracted from this if his highly sensitive “child-in-danger” alarm starts jangling. Atkinson’s characters here are a dodgy bunch of fellows who are living the affluent life with big houses, big cars, attractive wives, leisurely golf games and, oh yes, a sideline business that is highly illegal not to mention despicable. When one of the wives hires Jackson to see if her husband is having her followed, and one of the other wives ends up dead from an attack with a golf club, the game is afoot as some other detective once said. A fun read filled with wit and a satisfyingly twisty plot that moves along at a nice clip.

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Neil Gaiman wrote the scary parts and Terry Pratchett wrote the funny bits but the scary parts are funny and the funny bits are a little scary. Armageddon has arrived and it’s up to Crowley, a demon who has a particular fondness for the world, and Aziraphale, an angel who wants everyone to be nice, to thwart the 11-year-old Antichrist whose job it is to help humanity destroy itself. However, there have been a few mix-ups in the last eleven years, starting with a minor confusion in the birthing ward. A delight.

Fear of Missing Out by Kate McGovern

Astrid’s almost in her final year of high school, but that’s something she’s not focusing on at all. Astrid has a brain tumor.  A few years ago the tumor showed up and with treatment it went away, but now it’s back with a vengeance. Astrid’s mom, really wants her to sign up for a new experimental treatment, but Astrid isn’t sure that’s the best option for her.  Astrid knows deep down she’s not going to make it this time. Astrid starts exploring her treatment options and she learns about cryopreservation. The chance of waking up some time in the future when there’s a cure available for her tumor is appealing.  In order to learn more and seize control of her life Astrid, her boyfriend Mohit and her best friend Chloe go on a life changing road trip to the cryopreservation research center. Fear of Missing Out is great realistic fiction that looks closely at death and decisions surrounding it. 

Contagion by Erin Bowman

“Contagion” is a very fast-paced, horror sci-fi novel with…wait for it…space zombies! Interested?

After receiving a distress signal from a distant mining colony, a team is quickly assembled to investigate why the mining colony sent the distress signal and why it went silent shortly after. Upon arriving, the rescue team quickly realizes something went very wrong and can’t find anyone still alive except for a teen boy who is clearly hiding something. His answers to the rescue team’s questions don’t quite add up. They continue to dig into the mystery of what happened to the miners and things only get worse for the crew of the Odyssey. It’s a race against time as the rescuers fight to save themselves.

Highly recommended for anyone in the mood for a sci-fi, horror read with a lot of action and thriller elements.