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From hidden gems to page-turners, don't miss these recommended reads from our awesome staff!
Recommended by Keera Lydon: I love a good romance novel, and LOVE MATCH certainly did not disappoint. It features a confident and sassy heroine, a stoic yet sensitive heartthrob (who just so happens to be a prince), and more than a few steamy scenes, all set on an exotic island. In other words, exactly the kind of escapist romance novel I like to read after a long day. If you’ve ever dreamed about traveling to a tropical paradise and having a prince sweep you off your feet, LOVE MATCH is the book for you.
Recommended by Tori Ladd: It’s a blizzard of terror and folklore, relationships and tragedy, fear and beauty. Rosie Cranie-Higgs is a master of duplicity, blending absolutely chilling plot with whimsical prose you will want to read over and over again. The characters in Whiteland are written with such attention to detail, it felt like I knew Kira, Romy, and Callum by the end of the book! Despite the otherworldly circumstances they found themselves in, I could still relate to them and their struggles—especially those concerning sisterly animosity (though no one in my family has been possessed by an evil spirit). Getting lost in the whirlwind of Whiteland is an absolute pleasure. You get the thrills of a horror novel alongside a budding romance and an enthralling coming of age story. It’s in this way that Cranie-Higgs transcends genre and leaves her readers coming back for seconds.
Recommended by Rebecca Fischer: When I read this book, I visualized it as a black-and-white movie. It’s historical suspense with a hint of film noir and true crime, held delicately together by a fantastical element. The story is so unique and flows easily, making it a quick but enjoyable read. I will say there were certain scenes that still made me cover my eyes - but then I peeked through my fingers and kept reading. I read it in a day. It’s not often that I get to read an entire book in a day as an adult, but this book did it for me. If you like spooky stories (but not too scary!), it’s the perfect book to curl up and read on Halloween.
Recommended by Jamie Rich: The best part of a mystery is when it all comes together, snaps into focus, and you see all the clues suddenly pointing toward the answer. Bury the Lead absolutely nails this. For me the majority of mysteries are either way too obvious or leave you feeling cheated because the clues were so misleading, but Mischa Thrace weaves in clues and reveals throughout the book that lead inevitably to the solution. The moment I figured it out was chilling, especially because I loved the main characters, best friends Kennedy and Ravi. I got so attached to them, which made the stakes way higher as the danger ratcheted up. Their friendship gave the book so much heart, which I honestly wasn’t expecting to find in a mystery. Bury the Lead handles complex issues like suicide and bullying with kindness and honesty, and I found myself suddenly tearing up more than once. The ending especially was a roller coaster of emotions for me. This is one of those books you should read twice…You’ll know what I mean by the end.
Recommended by Tori Ladd: If you’re looking for a new fantasy novel to obsess over, CRY OF THE FIREBIRD is the book for you! I’ve never read anything quite like it; it’s as if the author, Amy Kuivalainen, melded the greatest fantasy hits through the lens of Russian and Finnish folklore to create a brand new adventure. You won’t be able to put this one down.
CRY OF THE FIREBIRD keeps you on the edge of your reading chair with unpredictable twists that will keep you guessing until the very last page. Following our hero, Anya, through her journey of discovering herself, her power, and the key to saving her world is a rollercoaster you’ll want to ride again and again.
Recommended by Lana King: This is one of my new favorites! The classic forbidden romance meets outer space and aliens in all the right ways. Even with the twist beginning (yes, it’s at the beginning for a change), I loved the story and how it unfolds. I was reminded of the TV show Firefly by Taren’s growing ragtag family. Becca Fox did an amazing job unfurling the worlds of this unique solar system—the alien species, foods, customs, environments, etc. I’m super excited to find out what happens next to Taren and the gang!
Recommended by Chelsea Cambeis: I’ve never been to France, but after reading THE BASTARD IS DEAD, I feel like I have. D’Arcy Kavanagh and his wife spend six weeks in Europe each year cycling the areas featured in his novel, and it pays off in a big way. In addition to the rich sense of place, D’Arcy’s history as a journalist adds authenticity to our main character, Paul Burke, who is unassuming and a tad unconventional as far as murder mystery heroes go, which makes him all the more charming.
If you’re a murder mystery fan, but you’re looking for a shake-up in the formula, a murder in the midst of the Tour de France—an annual multiple stage biking race primarily held in France—could be just the story you need to get your hands on next. THE BASTARD IS DEAD is a fun ride, full of culture, and a fresh take on the mystery genre that doesn’t disappoint. I highly recommend!
Recommended by Rebecca Fischer: Historical suspense romance is a bit of a mouthful, but it fits this book perfectly. I was hooked the entire time and can never resist the pull of star-crossed lovers. But what I loved most about ALONG CAME A SOLDIER is that it isn’t just a run-of-the-mill romance between Charity and Jethro. In fact, the character I found myself the most invested in was the “battle-scarred redcoat lurking in the Greenoak Woods.” He alone is worth the read. And Grace the bonesetter was a close second. Really, all of the characters in this story are unique and fun. I laughed, I cried, I squirmed in my seat - this book got all kinds of reactions from me. If you like historical romance with an edge, this is the book I recommend for you.
Recommended by Chelsea Cambeis: An honest, emotional YA novel with depth, A LIFE, REDEFINED is one that will stick with you, guaranteed.
Seventeen-year-old Rowan Slone comes from a dysfunctional and damaging household in Appalachia, the uncomfortable realities of which Hewitt Meyer does not shy away from. From loss and crippling guilt to self-harm and domestic violence, A LIFE, REDEFINED demonstrates the toll these can take on a young person in an incredibly realistic narrative you won’t be able to put down, told from the perspective of a character you’ll want to protect and root for.
This book hits on many painful points others don’t venture close to, and in doing so, it will capture you in a heartbeat and hold on from the first page to the last.