The best new books this month chosen by us and other
independent booksellers across the country.

This Month's #1 Indie Next List Pick...

She Would Be King

By Wayétu Moore

(Graywolf Press, 9781555978174, $26)

"It's hard to describe a novel as wholly original as She Would Be King. A retelling of the birth of Liberia through interconnected stories, the novel combines history, magic, and myth in one engrossing story. Moore's novel takes you from West Africa to the plantations of Virginia, from Jamaica to Liberia, weaving together the stories of three characters who yearn for power and true freedom. Guided by the ancient wind, all of Moore's characters challenge and transcend the many faces of oppression, and the story's profound culmination will leave you in awe. She Would Be King is the kind of novel that lingers with you for days. A must-read!"
--Morgan McComb, Raven Book Store, Lawrence, KS

This Month's #1 Indie Next List Pick Author Interview

photo: Yoni Levy

Indie booksellers have chosen Wayétu Moore's debut novel, She Would Be King, to be released by Graywolf Press on September 11, as their number-one pick for the September Indie Next List.

Exploring African history through the lens of magical realism, She Would Be King reimagines the formation of Liberia through three characters whose remarkable skills forge a bond between them: Gbessa, exiled from the West African village of Lai, has cheated death multiple times; June Dey, raised on a plantation in Virginia, is unusually strong; and Norman Aragon, the child of a white British colonizer and a Maroon slave from Jamaica, can disappear at will. When the three meet in the settlement of Monrovia, their gifts help them repair the tumultuous relationship between the African American settlers and the indigenous tribes as a new country forms around them.

Moore, whose memoir is also forthcoming from Graywolf, is the founder of One Moore Book, a nonprofit organization that encourages reading among children of countries with low literacy rates by publishing culturally relevant books and creating spaces for reading in those communities. In 2015, she established One Moore Bookstore, which is entirely run by native Liberians, in Monrovia. Currently a Margaret Mead Fellow at Columbia University Teachers College and an Africana Studies lecturer at City University of New York's John Jay College, Moore lives in Brooklyn, New York. 

Here, Moore speaks about her debut novel's magical retelling of Liberia's beginnings.

Congratulations on indie booksellers naming your debut the number-one pick on the September Indie Next List! How does it feel?

It's really exciting. It's all been pretty surreal. Initially there was anxiety and now I'm just in a state of shock and awe. I've been writing this book for a long time. It was my thesis, actually, at grad school in 2009. I finished the first draft that year and put it away for a few years and then picked it back up; it didn't sell until December 2015 and it wasn't coming out until three years after. They don't prepare you for the experience of what happens when you give your book away. It just becomes something completely different. So it's definitely been exciting and I'm still for sure adjusting to the emotions.

How did you come up with the idea for the story?

I guess it's more or less from my background. My family moved to America when I was five. We moved around quite a bit. We lived in Connecticut and Memphis and we settled in Texas when I was eight years old, so that's where I spent my formative years. But Liberia, my heritage, was also always a huge part of me. Every summer we would spend with family in Texas, in Memphis, and in Minnesota, and then, of course, every time I went home I would get this drastic culture shock because outside of my home it was very suburban, very rural, and very white. So I think that that absence of not really finding my culture anywhere outside of my home was really loud and profound.

When I began to write and decided that I wanted to be an artist, Liberia was naturally the first place that I went to, and then magical realism, that genre, is also something I was raised with. When my mom and my grandmother told me stories growing up, it was never without someone disappearing or shapeshifting or doing some other supernatural thing, so the marriage of those two things was actually pretty organic when I began to write.

Did some of the structures and tropes you used come from traditional African folktales?

The first story on the page before the book starts, of the woman beating her cat, is a three-sentence thing: there's this old woman who beat her cat to death and it jumped on her roof right after its death, and the house fell down and she was inside. That one is definitely from folklore, and I state that in the beginning of the book, but other parts of it were original. I feel like they were obviously influenced by the stories I heard just in the cadence, but the story itself is original.

Does the spirit of the wind, which is heard throughout the book and embodies ancient wisdom, come from folklore as well, or was it more of a literary device you created?

I would say that it's a device that I was using. Usually in the stories that I was told as a child, the narrator would say something like, "My grandmother told me that in this village, this and this and this happened," and it was always told as a truth or something that actually happened being passed down from griots.

The spirit of the wind/Charlotte [a slave from June Dey's Virginia plantation who died]--her ubiquity pays homage to black female identity. I knew that I wanted the story to be told through an ancestor; I knew that I wanted that ancestor to be a woman and I wanted that woman to be someone who I could relate to, and also someone who Gbessa could relate to and could empathize with about what it's like to be a black woman in today's world, always negotiating your power in male-centric contexts. I felt like Charlotte was the best person to do that. The birth of the invisibility of black women: both being everywhere but nowhere at all.

Can you talk a little bit about the country of Liberia for readers who are unfamiliar with the basic details?

Liberia in history is the result of a movement of black people from America and the Caribbean; it's such an essential part of American history and African American history, but it's actually missing from historical explorations of black identity from the early 20th century through Reconstruction. Going back to Africa was something that was fought for by some and opposed by others; the movement was revived in the 21st century with activists like Marcus Garvey. [The fact that it's not often mentioned in history textbooks] is just shocking because I grew up in a household where my dad was always talking about Pan-Africanism and the value and potential of black mobilization internationally, which is what Liberia stood for at the time.

I wanted to write about a chapter of American history that I believe deserves consideration because of how profound a movement or how profound an experiment it was, that formally enslaved or free black people from America and the Caribbean could say, "You know what, we're going home." And then, of course, going there and having to navigate the massive challenges as well as the subtleties of creating a republic, which was especially challenging in a time when the imperialist powers were land-grabbing.

Whenever you read about Liberia, it's about the war or Ebola, and if they do reference the history of Liberia it's usually, "Oh yeah, these black people went back and they were so mean to the natives." But that's actually not the case, so it was important to me to make sure that there was a humanist lens to the story and the characters were real and they were complex, and good and evil were negotiated in a realistic way.

Who are some of your influences in the genre of magical realism? What do you like about this genre?

At the top of the list would be Octavia Butler, Ben Okri, Toni Morrison (obviously Beloved, but she has inklings of magical realism in her other work), Isabel Allende, Salman Rushdie is a big one, and then, of course, Gabriel García Márquez.

I was chatting with a friend the other day about the recent rise in Africa-inspired fantasy in film and literature, with Black Panther and the upcoming book by Marlon James, Black Leopard, Red Wolf (Riverhead). With African and black diaspora fantasy and magical realism, I feel like black storytellers are returning to this very culturally authentic method of storytelling, and I believe that that is one of the reasons that Black Panther was so successful.

I'm so excited about the future of this genre and paying homage to people like Octavia Butler, Ben Okri, and others who have paved the way for a storytelling style that doesn't marginalize our talents, our craft--that doesn't put us in boxes and that allows us to explore literature and the written word in ways that are culturally true. --Liz Button

More Indie Next List Great Reads

Whiskey When We're Dry

By John Larison

(Viking, 9780735220447, $26)

"A haunting and remarkable debut, John Larison's Whiskey When We're Dry stays true to the western genre while subverting many common themes of the American West, producing a wholly original narrative that will linger in your mind for days. I have never encountered a protagonist quite like Jess; she embodies the incredible strength and resolve required to survive in the West, but also the vulnerability necessary to retain humanity in the face of so much violence and brutality. Larison's prose goes down as smooth as a glass of whiskey, and I didn't want to stop reading until I'd finished every last drop."
--Tori Odea, Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC


By Christina Dalcher

(Berkley, 9780440000785, $26)

"This ambitious debut scared me so much that I started reading it in very small portions. In Dalcher's version of the future, women have lost all of their rights and are limited (via electronic handcuffs) to speaking only 100 words per day. Their entire purview has been relegated to the home and family, where even girls may not speak more than their allotted words. Women cannot work, female representation in government has dropped precipitously, and the Bible Belt has become a bible corset as men have sought to reclaim their masculinity through dominance of women in all areas. While we are consumed with the unthinkable changes in the current political environment, this book reminds us to keep our eyes open and our voices heard."
--Terry Gilman, Creating Conversations, Redondo Beach, CA

The Winter Soldier

By Daniel Mason

(Little, Brown and Company, 9780316477604, $28)

"The depth and complexity of Daniel Mason's new three-dimensional tapestry of war and its consequences make for a remarkable read. There are the basic wartime themes of love, horror, and loss--of limbs and lives, of innocence and empire. A whole world just vanishes in bombs, guns, and smoke, and the reader is left clutching at hints, but the richness of the story makes it uplifting rather than melancholy. Everything is below the surface; you sink down, discover something new at every turn, and come away refreshed. How does that happen with a war story? Don't ask--just read."
--Grace Bogart, Copperfield's Books, Petaluma, CA

Lake Success

By Gary Shteyngart

(Random House, 9780812997415, $28)

"When Barry Cohen's marriage and hedge fund company begin to crumble, he hops a Greyhound bus to El Paso, hoping to find himself among the 'real Americans' of the Trump era. Meanwhile, the wife he left behind struggles to build a solo life among the one percent. Together, their stories are a biting portrait of a country unimproved by the best of intentions. Equal parts Sense and Sensibility, A Confederacy of Dunces, and Bonfire of the Vanities, Lake Success is a wickedly funny satire and a rollicking good story for tough times."
--David Enyeart, Common Good Books, St. Paul, MN


By Stephen Markley

(Simon & Schuster, 9781501174476, $27)

"Stephen Markley's powerful debut plumbs the depths of the cruel trick played on small-town America during the recession, war, and political and cultural hostility of the last 15 years and delivers us the gift of surprising and exquisite beauty and hope. In this story of four former classmates and one summer night in 2013, Markley gives us insightful and gorgeous prose revealing the humanity that continues to carry on in the broken center of America. I hope to read this author's keen writing for many years to come."
--Beth Albrecht, The Magic Tree Bookstore, Oak Park, IL

French Exit

By Patrick deWitt

(Ecco, 9780062846921, $25.99)

"Quirky, wry, darkly witty, strange, and absolutely laugh-out-loud hilarious, Patrick deWitt's French Exit is the perfect remedy for those seeking a respite from the plethora of WWII historical fiction and genre thrillers out there. In deWitt's depiction of dysfunctional families at their absolute oddest, Malcom Price, his doting mother, Frances, and their cat, Little Frank, abandon New York City practically penniless and scurry off to Paris, where things only get stranger. Every page turned leaves the reader wondering what in the world they will do next. What a breath of fresh air is French Exit! Keep them coming, Patrick deWitt!"
--Angie Tally, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC


By Ling Ma

(Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 9780374261597, $26)

"Candace Chen is a first-generation Chinese millennial immigrant who tries to make a life in New York City by succumbing to the role of the office drone who helps create cheap bibles. But when Shen Fever--a plague that causes its victims to perform a rote task until death--hits, only a few survive, including Candace. She soon finds herself in a cult-like band of other survivors heading to the Midwest while also trying to come to terms with her past and the unknowns of her future. With dark humor, sharp intelligence, and compassion, Ling Ma has written a well-constructed, biting satire of capitalism and a moving glimpse into the roles of memory, place, and identity in a life."
--Kelsey Westenberg, The Dial Bookshop, Chicago, IL

The Silence of the Girls

By Pat Barker

(Doubleday, 9780385544214, $27.95)

"The women in Homer's Iliad hardly ever speak; we are not privy to their thoughts, feelings, or anguish as expressed in their own words. Until now. The Silence of the Girls depicts moments of the Trojan War through the eyes of the female captives at the mercy of the men who have slaughtered their husbands, fathers, brothers, and sons, as they carve out new lives in the wake of war's devastation. The focus of Barker's novel is Briseis, through whose eyes we see, up close, the rift between Agamemnon and Achilles, the bond between Achilles and Patroclus, and the complex, beautiful support system the captured women weave together. Barker's novel is a masterpiece of resilience, determination, fury, healing, and complicated, completely human characters."
--Anna Eklund, University Book Store, Seattle, WA

One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy

By Carol Anderson

(Bloomsbury Publishing, 9781635571370, $27)

"Far from an isolated event, the 2016 election was the culmination of generations of efforts to prevent communities of color from taking part in elections and having the full weight of their votes counted. One Person, No Vote comes at a time when we need every piece of knowledge available to turn the tide of voter suppression and reclaim our democracy. Through exhaustive research deconstructing and explaining decades of policy, Carol Anderson provides a clear look at how laws were bent through the slow degradation of democracy and how circumstances can be righted once more."
--Amanda Ibarra, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC

The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers

By Maxwell King

(Abrams Press, 9781419727726, $30)

"A wonderful biography of an American icon who seemed too good to be true. And yet, believe it or not, he was an even better, more caring man than he portrayed on television. If you are a fan of Fred Rogers and want to understand what drove him to create Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, this is an essential read. Learning more about Rogers' life through the words of his family and friends in this well-researched and comprehensive biography will give you even more reason to admire the man. And when's the last time a biography made you cry tears of joy?"
--James Wilson, Octavia Books, New Orleans, LA

In Pieces: A Memoir

By Sally Field

(Grand Central Publishing, 9781538763025, $29)

"I have watched Sally Field ever since her early days as the Flying Nun. I thought I knew Sally Field, but her memoir, In Pieces, reveals a Sally Field I didn't know. She writes bravely and eloquently about her struggles growing up and making her way in Hollywood. Field holds nothing back, and that only elevates her, in my opinion. This isn't just another celebrity memoir; it's a clear-eyed look at an industry and a life beset by challenges. Field emerges as likeable, strong, and inspiring--an altogether remarkable woman."
--Stephanie Hochschild, The Book Stall, Winnetka, IL

The Diary of a Bookseller

By Shaun Bythell

(Melville House, 9781612197241, $25.99)

"When you enter The Book Shop in Wigtown, Scotland, you enter Shaun Bythell's world. You'll recognize his colorful staff and quirky customers immediately and fall in love with them instantly. The Diary of a Bookseller was written for book buyers, booksellers, and book lovers everywhere (you must be one of them!). While books and The Book Shop occupy much of Bythell's hilarious story, it is made whole with priceless pieces on gardening, fishing with his dad, cycling, and, of course, music, food, and drink. Cheers!"
--Bill Reilly, the river's end bookstore, Oswego, NY

Lands of Lost Borders: A Journey on the Silk Road

By Kate Harris

(Dey Street Books, 9780062839343, $24.99)

"What a terrific read! Kate Harris seamlessly intertwines science, history, geology, geography, and philosophy in this tale of her 10-month bike ride on the Silk Road. At times, this book reads more like a thriller than a memoir! Harris and her pal Melissa covered 10,000 kilometers and visited 10 countries, and their endurance, exploits, and experiences will amaze you; I found myself eagerly looking up maps and pictures to track their journey. Along the way, the author explores the nature of boundaries, both real and imagined, and the meaningfulness of exploration and wildness. Is it appropriate to use the term 'badass' in a book review? If so, these gals are it!"
--Sara Reinert, The Homer Bookstore, Homer, AK

A Key to Treehouse Living

By Elliot Reed

(Tin House Books, 9781947793040, $19.95)

"Brilliant in form and content, this is a coming-of-age story that uses the format of an alphabetical index to illustrate the way that our adolescent and young adult minds try to make sense of the world: we categorize and define, put feelings and inanimate objects on equal footing, and do our best to make sense of the chaos around us the way textbooks and encyclopedias have taught. References from one entry to another mimic the links between our memories that seem to make our lives a continuum rather than a series of isolated incidents. Life doesn't occur in alphabetical order, but there's no reason your story can't be told that way. This is a book that drives you to connect the dots yourself, because, really, that's half the fun, isn't it?"
--Christian Brandt, The Book Table, Oak Park, IL

Indies Introduce -- outstanding debuts as selected by independent booksellers

Miss Kopp Just Won't Quit

By Amy Stewart

(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9781328736512, $26)

"I have enjoyed Amy Stewart's Miss Kopp adventures since the beginning, and this fourth novel is just as good as the first. With a feminist edge and true historical details, Amy Stewart has brought Constance Kopp to life in such a well-developed and interesting manner; not only are the characters exemplary, but the story is grabbing and exciting as well. I hope this is not the end of Constance and her sisters, because WWI is on the brink and I think they would be the perfect small-town heroines for the fight."
--Lauren Nopenz Fairley, Curious Iguana, Frederick, MD

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

By Heather Morris

(Harper Paperbacks, 9780062797155, $16.99; trade paper)

"I devoured The Tattooist of Auschwitz, a powerful book based on a true story, in two sittings. Lale, a Slovakian Jew at Auschwitz-Birkenau, becomes the Tatowierer--the man responsible for tattooing every prisoner who arrives at the concentration camp. Seen by some as a collaborator, Lale must make impossible choices to keep himself and his friends alive. Incredibly, Lale tattoos the woman who will become the love of his life. The power of their love in the face of unmitigated horror makes for one of the most compelling WWII books I have ever read."
--Carrie Deming, The Dog Eared Book, Palmyra, NY

The Dinner List

By Rebecca Serle

(Flatiron Books, 9781250295187, $27.99)

"Everyone has played the game of selecting five favorite people to attend their ultimate dinner party. For Sabrina, however, the game has become a reality. The Dinner List is a magical night full of wistfulness, nostalgia, love, and loss. Who among us has not wished for an opportunity to reconnect with a loved one or converse with someone admired from afar? Readers everywhere will sink their teeth into this delicious and heart-warming tale of one enchanted evening."
--Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, MN

Leave No Trace

By Mindy Mejia

(Atria/Emily Bestler Books, 9781501177361, $26)

"Leave No Trace captures the brutal cold and harsh winter conditions of the Boundary Wilderness area in Minnesota, where psychiatric hospital speech therapist Maya is assigned to Lucas Blackthorne, who has been missing and presumed dead for the past 10 years. The extreme conditions for both staff and patients are eye-opening, and Maya's previous life unravels in layers as she tries to uncover truths from Lucas. Your body will instinctively curl up for warmth as Mejia deftly and elegantly describes how the wonder, beauty, majesty, and cruel nature of the Boundary Wilderness invades your soul. Highly propulsive storytelling with revealing truths parsed out until the very end, this is suspense at new and arresting heights!"
--Maureen Palacios, Once Upon a Time, Montrose, CA

Tragedy Plus Time: A Tragi-Comic Memoir

By Adam Cayton-Holland

(Touchstone Books, 9781501170164, $26)

"Cayton-Holland isn't afraid to be funny in this book about his sister's suicide, and the combination--the tragicomedy, if you will--results in a memoir like nothing I've read before: tender but witty, sensitive but cutting, curious and honest and self-aware. This book will be billed as a guide to navigating life after grief and I think that's a mistake--it's not a guide so much as it is a much-needed admission that there is no guide, that there will be no easy answers, but that it is still okay to see the humor and absurdities in life. Tragedy Plus Time feels like the book I didn't know I was waiting for."
--Sarah Malley, Newtonville Books, Newton Centre, MA

Home Fire

By Kamila Shamsie

(Riverhead Books, 9780735217690, $16)

"One finishes reading Kamila Shamsie's extraordinary Home Fire completely stunned. She has written a brilliant story about two families who share geography and become linked by fate--one that has known exile, death, and family mystery, and another that has adapted to the so-called mainstream. Family, religion, the politics of media, various forms of seduction, and present-day devices all bring themselves to bear in utterly telling form. The U.S., London, Karachi, Syria, and Istanbul all figure into this book, which is of this time and age and beyond. One of the finest writers at work in English today, Kamila Shamsie has written her most heartbreaking, beautiful, necessary book yet."
--Rick Simonson, The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA

In the Midnight Room

By Laura McBride

(Touchstone, 9781501157790, $16)

"Four women, five decades, and one Las Vegas nightclub come together in a powerful story of lust, grief, and family ties. Laura McBride spins a richly evocative tale of the glory days of Las Vegas and the women who inhabit this world. Their stories are intertwined both with and without their knowledge, and together they forge a future that none of them could foresee. Taking readers from the depths of grief and then sending them soaring with emotion, In the Midnight Room is an awe-inspiring novel that deserves to be on the bookshelf of every avid reader."
--Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, MN

In the Midst of Winter

By Isabel Allende

(Atria Books, 9781501178146, $17)

"By the end of In the Midst of Winter, I felt as though I'd had a south-of-the-border history lesson. The title, which comes from an Albert Camus quote, takes on many meanings in the story. Two NYU professors, Richard Bowmaster and his tenant, Lucía Maraz, both in their 60s, have each resigned themselves to a ho-hum existence. When a snowstorm accident brings Evelyn Ortega, a housekeeper for a wealthy family, into the picture, these three lives become entangled and anything but boring. The story takes the reader from Brooklyn to Mexico, Guatemala, Chile, and Brazil as the three characters bring their unique histories to the story. Allende's new novel is both a love story and a story of the plight of the immigrant. This is a page-turner and a wonderful book club choice."
--Mamie Potter, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC

Logical Family: A Memoir

By Armistead Maupin

(Harper Perennial, 9780062391254, $16.99)

"Armistead Maupin's new memoir, Logical Family, tells the story of his life with the same humor and grace that have made his Tales of the City series so beloved. Fans will delight in reading about the inspirations for Barbary Lane and its inhabitants, but readers who are brand new to Maupin will also fall in love. His story is that of a young boy growing up in the old South, in the Navy, in Vietnam, and in the closet--at least until he found his home in 1970s San Francisco. Even if he weren't already an LGBT icon and literary hero, this memoir would be one to champion."
--Emilie Sommer, East City Bookshop, Washington, DC

The Ninth Hour

By Alice McDermott

(Picador, 9781250192745, $17)

"Alice McDermott's dazzling The Ninth Hour turns on the contradictions that confound our need to reconcile with mortality. The empathetic characters, at once agents and benefactors of Christian charity, grow to realize not just the grace but also the hubris of their faith. A stunning work of generational storytelling, The Ninth Hour is compulsively readable and deeply thought-provoking. McDermott is a master artisan of humanity."
--Lori Feathers, Interabang Books, Dallas, TX

Uncommon Type: Some Stories

By Tom Hanks

(Vintage, 9781101911945, $16)

"Wow! Here is a collection of stories that are at times funny, often moving, and really, really good, if not great. 'Welcome to Mars' is perhaps my favorite. It's Kirk's 19th birthday, and he joins his father to go surfing on what turns out to be a defining day in his life. And then there's 'Alan Bean Plus Four,' which is a hilarious telling of four friends' journey to the moon. Read it. You'll be pleasantly surprised by Tom Hanks' writing."
--Randy Schiller, Left Bank Books, St. Louis, MO

All the Crooked Saints

By Maggie Stiefvater

(Scholastic Press, 9780545930819, $10.99)

"Here is how I would describe All the Crooked Saints: A dusty, magical, desert fable chock full of miracles, owls, rock 'n' roll, pilgrims, giants, fighting roosters, paper flowers, radio waves, and love in all of its many forms. It's very different than Stiefvater's Raven Cycle books, but it should be--as it is, All the Crooked Saints is a fabulist love song to self-reflection, the human heart, and the fact that we are not as alone in this world as we think."
--Rebecca Speas, One More Page Books, Arlington, VA

Dear Martin

By Nic Stone

(Ember, 9781101939529, $9.99)

"Justyce helps his drunk girlfriend into the backseat of a car. A police officer sees them and accuses him of something more nefarious, which leaves Justyce sitting for three hours with handcuffs on. At the same time, there are news stories of young black men being shot by police officers. These events combine to lead Justyce to explore how issues of race intersect with his life as an African-American student in a mostly white private high school. He does this through a series of letters he writes to Martin Luther King. Told with depth and tenderness, Dear Martin is an honest and challenging exploration of race and the many ways it impacts our culture."
--Karin Schott, Devaney, Doak & Garrett Booksellers, Farmington, ME

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

By Mackenzi Lee

(Katherine Tegen Books, 9780062382818, $9.99)

"Get ready to swoon over this book. A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder meets Sorcery and Cecelia in this delicious, historical romp. Monty and Percy, best friends since forever and Monty hopes maybe something more, are headed off on their grand tour. Despite severe prohibitions on alcohol, sex, and other vices, Monty is determined to have a decadent time. But they get more than they bargained for when Monty accidentally steals an important object from the French court. Filled with highwaymen, pirates, and heart-pounding exploits of a romantic nature, this is the summer road-trip adventure you've been waiting for."
--Marika McCoola, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA


By Patrick Ness

(Harper Teen, 9780062403209, $9.99)

"In this beautifully written coming-of-age young adult novel, Adam Thorn, teenage son of a pastor, struggles to accept his sexuality. And a struggle it is, as his Christian parents, recognizing that he is different from his older brother, keep him at arm's length. They have done this for a number of years and Adam feels that his family does not love him. His acceptance and exploration of his sexuality leads him to be able to differentiate between lust and love. Ness' writing explores Adam's feelings and confusion with tenderness and empathy."
--Biddy Kehoe, Hockessin Bookshelf, Hockessin, DE

There's Someone Inside Your House

By Stephanie Perkins

(Speak, 9780142424988, $10.99)

"Finally! A young adult horror novel where the body count is as high as the tension! Stephanie Perkins brings the terror as a small town finds its population of teenagers rapidly dwindling. With a diverse cast of misfits and a heroine with secrets of her own, the plot never slows down, racing to a bloody and heart-stopping end! The next time you find a drawer or a door open that you swear you closed, chances are Perkins will have you running out of the house for fear of your life."
--Kate Towery, The Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA


By Jennifer E. Smith

(Ember, 9780399559402, $10.99)

"At its heart, Jennifer E. Smith's Windfall is about what we choose to do with luck, whether it is good or bad. Heart is something this book has plenty of--heart and hope fill every page. Windfall is one of those books that forces a happy sigh out of you once you've turned the last page, and inspires you to care--not just about its wonderful trio of characters, but about the world around you and the people on the outskirts of your mind. Winning the lottery is about luck, but Windfall reminds us that luck can only bring so much, and our choices, our reactions to that luck, are what impact our lives."
--Rachel Strolle, Anderson's Bookshop, Naperville, IL