Since it has been such a long time since I’ve added a new addition to one of my favorite post series, I thought today would be the perfect moment to share an update. What chases away the Monday blues better than sharing new books with each other?! I can’t think of one thing… except maybe caffeine. That’s always important!
The Silver Blonde by Elizabeth Ross
A historical mystery set in post-World War II America against the backdrop of Hollywood’s film studios about a murder that threatens to unearth the ghosts of a young German immigrant’s past.
Hollywood, 1946. The war is over, and eighteen-year-old Clara Berg spends her days shelving reels as a vault girl at Silver Pacific Studios, with all her dreams pinned on getting a break in film editing. That and a real date with handsome yet unpredictable screenwriter Gil. But when she returns a reel of film to storage one night, Clara stumbles across the lifeless body of a woman in Vault 5. The costume, the makeup, the ash-blond hair are unmistakable–it has to be Babe Bannon, A-list star. And it looks like murder.
Suddenly Clara’s world is in free-fall, her future in movies upended–not to mention that her refugee parents are planning to return to Germany and don’t want her to set foot on the studio lot again. As the Silver Blonde murder ignites Tinseltown, rumors and accusations swirl. The studio wants a quick solve, but the facts of the case keep shifting. Nothing is what it seems–not even the victim.
Clara finds herself drawn, inevitably, to the murder investigation, and the dark side of Hollywood. But how far is she willing to go to find the truth?
I love Old Hollywood and knowing that there’s a new noir thriller book set right smack in the middle of it? Someone has heard my unspoken prayers! I’m getting some Black Dahlia vibes from this synopsis and I’m here for it.
League of Liars by Astrid Scholte
In this fantasy thriller, four teens charged with murder and the illegal use of magic band together to devise the ultimate jailbreak. Perfect for fans of Six of Crows and How to Get Away with Murder.
Ever since his mother was killed, seventeen-year-old Cayder Broduck has had one goal–to see illegal users of magic brought to justice. People who carelessly use extradimensional magic for their own self-interest, without a care to the damage it does to society or those around them, deserve the worst kind of punishment as far as Cayder is concerned. Because magic always has a price. So when Cayder lands a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to apprentice under a premier public defender, he takes it. If he can learn all the tricks of public defense, the better he’ll be able to dismantle defense arguments when he’s a prosecutor. Then he’ll finally be able to punish the guilty without mercy.
But when he meets the three criminals he’s supposed to defend, it no longer seems so black and white. They’re teenagers, like him, and their stories are . . . complicated, like his. Vardean, the prison where Cayder’s new clients are incarcerated, also happens to be at the very heart of the horrible tear in the veil between their world and another dimension–where all magic comes from.
League of Liars is a dark and twisty mystery set in a richly-drawn world where nothing is as it seems, rife with magic, villains and danger.
I love that this book follows the defendant and not the actual criminals. That adds a new twist to the heist and mystery sub-genre that is so popular right now in YA. I also love that this one adds a magical element as well which ups the ante even further.
The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams
An unforgettable and heartwarming debut about how a chance encounter with a list of library books helps forge an unlikely friendship between two very different people in a London suburb.
Widower Mukesh lives a quiet life in the London Borough of Ealing after losing his beloved wife. He shops every Wednesday, goes to Temple, and worries about his granddaughter, Priya, who hides in her room reading while he spends his evenings watching nature documentaries.
Aleisha is a bright but anxious teenager working at the local library for the summer when she discovers a crumpled-up piece of paper in the back of To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s a list of novels that she’s never heard of before. Intrigued, and a little bored with her slow job at the checkout desk, she impulsively decides to read every book on the list, one after the other. As each story gives up its magic, the books transport Aleisha from the painful realities she’s facing at home.
When Mukesh arrives at the library, desperate to forge a connection with his bookworm granddaughter, Aleisha passes along the reading list…hoping that it will be a lifeline for him too. Slowly, the shared books create a connection between two lonely souls, as fiction helps them escape their grief and everyday troubles and find joy again.
As readers, I know we all love books about books. And I really like that this one is about how books connect too very different people, especially two people who are struggling. I’m prepared to bust out the tissues for this one!
Summer Sons by Lee Mandelo
Andrew and Eddie did everything together, best friends bonded more deeply than brothers, until Eddie left Andrew behind to start his graduate program at Vanderbilt. Six months later, only days before Andrew was to join him in Nashville, Eddie dies of an apparent suicide. He leaves Andrew a horrible inheritance: a roommate he doesn’t know, friends he never asked for, and a gruesome phantom with bleeding wrists that mutters of revenge.
As Andrew searches for the truth of Eddie’s death, he uncovers the lies and secrets left behind by the person he trusted most, discovering a family history soaked in blood and death. Whirling between the backstabbing academic world where Eddie spent his days and the circle of hot boys, fast cars, and hard drugs that ruled Eddie’s nights, the walls Andrew has built against the world begin to crumble, letting in the phantom that hungers for him.
I’m sure most of you are aware that I don’t read many horror novels. I don’t really enjoy feeling tense the entire time I’m reading, it’s a bit too much for me. I also don’t watch horror films for the same reason. However, something about this book’s synopsis just grabbed me from the get go. It sounds dark but also super compelling and exciting.
The Big Reveal by Jen Larsen
A dazzling YA novel about a girl who isn’t afraid to be big and sexy and dance her heart out, and a discussion-provoking exploration of the mixed messages our society gives young women about their bodies and sexuality.
Addie is a talented dancer, a true-blue friend, fat, fierce, and driven. When she’s accepted into the prestigious dance program of her dreams, she thinks nothing can bring her down—until she realizes she doesn’t have enough money to go. Refusing to give up, Addie and her friends decide to put on a top-secret, invitation-only burlesque show to raise funds. But word soon gets out, and the slut- and body-shaming begin. Has Addie been resisting the patriarchy, or playing right into its hands?
Perfect for fans of Jennifer Mathieu and E. Lockhart, The Big Reveal asks hard-hitting feminist questions while reveling in some of life’s greatest joys: chasing your passions, falling in love, and embracing yourself exactly as you are.
If this is anything like Dumplin’ (fun fact: I only watched the film and LOVED it), then I am all in. I love that this book tackles some hard questions about female sexuality and embracing our bodies. Addie sounds like such a badass!
Root Magic by Eden Royce
A historical ghost story set in South Carolina in the 1960s—a tale of courage, friendship, and Black Girl Magic.
It’s 1963, and things are changing for Jezebel Turner. Her beloved grandmother has just passed away. The local police deputy won’t stop harassing her family. With school integration arriving in South Carolina, Jez and her twin brother, Jay, are about to begin the school year with a bunch of new kids. But the biggest change comes when Jez and Jay turn eleven—and their uncle, Doc, tells them he’s going train them in rootwork.
Jez and Jay have always been fascinated by the African American folk magic that has been the legacy of her family for generations—especially the curious potions and powders Doc and Gran would make for the people on their island. But Jez soon finds out that her family’s true power goes far beyond small charms and elixirs…and not a moment too soon. Because when evil both natural and supernatural comes to show itself in town, it’s going to take every bit of the magic she has inside her to see her through.
I absolutely love that we’re getting more and more diverse books, especially at the middle grade level when children become more aware of the wider world and their place within it. I’ve also always been really interested in learning about root and its history/mythology. What a powerful and fun combination in a children’s book!
Have you added any interesting books to your TBR lately? If so, what were they? Have you read any of the ones on my list?