What a cataclysmic, heart breaking story of seemingly small moments going terribly awry! A Good Neighborhood is in part the story of Xavier and Juniper, teens who fall in love over the literal and metaphorical fence in Juniper’s backyard. Many seemingly insignificant choices lead to larger moments and decisions that ultimately demonstrate systemic racism and lead to heartbreak.
From the beginning, the reader is told by the narrator, the neighborhood, that this story regrettably ends with a body being found in the woods. As the tale unfolds, the unfairness of several systems as well as society is highlighted, and as a reader I hoped that the teens would overcome these challenges. A Good Neighborhood is not only the story of Juniper and Xavier, but also the story of the history of racism in our country, and 2 families trying to make good lives for themselves in a “good” neighborhood.
I liked how Therese Fowler chose to tell this important story - with the neighborhood as a narrator to these events. This provided a unique perspective to the reader, as an outsider looking in, on the dynamics of the neighborhood and families involved. A Good Neighborhood is a story that will grab you, whirl you around, and leave your heart pounding with the resolution.
Thank you to #StMartinsPress for the early copy!! A Good Neighborhood is published on March 10.
American Dirt is a powerful eye opening novel that will leave you feeling hopeful, anguished, and many other feelings all at once. I found myself whipping through the pages with a need to find out if Lydia and her son survived their epic journey. I couldn’t write the review for several days because I was trying to find the words to describe the experience of reading this book - I know I still won’t do it justice. I laughed, I cried, I felt so connected to the characters, even though I haven’t experienced anything like their plight. American Dirt opened my eyes to things going on practically outside my window that I’ve heard about, but now know I didn’t fully understand. Read it. Please. Read. This. Book.
America Dirt begins with a tragedy, and then backtracks to explain how the characters arrived at that point. So many seemingly innocent and not so innocent actions got them to a point of no return. After this, Lydia fears that she and her son need to escape from the Mexico and the brutal cartel that is ruling in her city. America Dirt tells the tale of their attempt to flee Mexico for the United Stated, the people they meet along the way, and presents why Lydia feels she can’t do this legally in spite of her desire to do so. The fear she feels from Mexican authorities and when she imagines living in the United States is presented in such a way, you can feel it yourself. Will Lydia and Luca survive their treacherous journey into the United States? Will they be able to receive asylum in the States and start new lives legally?
American Dirt opened my eyes anew to current tragedies going on so close to home, and forced me to think about current issues and policies in our country and at our borders, while getting me emotionally invested in the beautiful and tragic story of Lydia and Luca.
Thank you so much to Flatiron Books for the advance reader copy!! American Dirt comes out on Tuesday, January 21!!
The Tenant takes you on a twisted ride - you think you know what is around the corner, and then Katrine Engberg surprises you yet again! Loved this thriller, and excited that it is coming to the States. I’m hoping that we will be seeing more of Engberg’s books being translated.
Our story begins with an elderly man literally stumbling upon the body of one of his young neighbors. The lead detective arrives on scene to find a crime that is already being processed by technicians. Our detective, Jeppe, had recently become estranged from his wife, and had a small break down after that. This case is his first big chance since returning to work, and so much hinges on his success in solving the mystery of murdered girl. However, many red herring clues keep throwing off the investigation team, and Jeppe isn’t always sure which way to turn. Bodies keep appearing, each killed with drastically different methods, and the police are no closer to the killer. What is motivating this killer? Will Jeppe catch him, or succumb to the pressure?
The Tenant was a nail biter of a novel that I couldn’t put down! I really liked both Jeppe and the other main character, Esther, and wanted them both to be safe and successful. The red herrings that the killer kept leaving kept me on edge as I worked to try to put the pieces of the mystery together myself while reading. The point of view switched from Esther to Jeppe and back; this worked well to propel the story forward, as a clue would be revealed to Jeppe, but Esther wouldn’t know yet and was still in danger.
I was swept up in the mystery of The Tenant and look forward to more by Engberg! Thank you to Simon & Schuster and Scout Press for the early copy of this book!!
The Tenant will be published on January 14.
Loves: books (hello, book blog), my kiddos, Golden doodles, icecream, classical music, and exploring.