Beatrice Giovanni and her best friends, Spencer and Gabe, have been the targets of bullies all throughout high school. Starting their senior year, Bea decides that enough is enough and decides to find a way to reverse the bullying trend. Armed with newly discovered confidence thanks to her new boyfriend Jesse and fresh with the promise of a new start at her dream school MIT, Bea devises a plan that she feels is foolproof. Known not so affectionately throughout campus as “Math Girl”, Bea calculates the ultimate formula, one that will cultivate popularity for her and her friends.
Every once in a while, you are fortunate enough to come across a book – or a book series – that is so captivating, you do not want it to end. Alexandra Bracken’s Passenger series has done this to me.
Wayfarer, just like its predecessor, is jammed packed full of action, excitement, romance, and has enough twists and turns to keep you guessing until the very end. It picks up where Passenger left off (and is one of those sequels that if you have not read the first book, you will be completely and hopelessly lost). Nicholas and Etta have been split up and both are trying to reach the other through the bonds of time and space. I knew how I wanted the book to end, but the more I read, the more my heart clenched wondering if it was even going to be possible. Somehow, in the end, working her brilliant magic, Bracken is able to bring the story, and series, to a close in the most satisfying way.
In His Scandalous Kiss by Sophie Barnes, a masquerade ball is the perfect place to find a soulmate…at least it is for Lady Mary.
Lady Mary has already decided that she doesn’t want to lose her independence by getting married when her parents leave her with her aunt for that very reason–to find a husband. However, when she sees a beautiful painting and decides to base her dress for a ball off of that painting, she doesn’t expect the repercussions. Her dazzling appearance has men flocking to her side in hopes of winning her hand in marriage; one of which she feels a spark with.
Richard Heartly didn’t even want to go to the masquerade ball, but when he sees a beautiful woman in a simple, yet stunning gown, and feels an instant spark as they dance, he is happy he did.
The moment of one’s birth should be a special time remembered with an element of fanfare that celebrates the arrival of a new life with all its possibilities. But not every child arrives with a swell of baby showers, hand knit blankets and birth announcements. Some arrive quite humbly in the starkest of circumstances and begin their lives as overcomers. In her book, Born Survivors, Wendy Holden shares the stories of three young women who gave birth to their babies in the direst of times.
By 1944, World War II was nearing its end by all accounts. But the end was still a year away, plenty of time for more human suffering.
At dusk, not quite night but no longer day, Nan (Nancy) Lewis takes the curve on River Road too fast. She is blurry eyed, distracted, distraught, and she had maybe too much wine at the college faculty Christmas party. Her thoughts are on what she did not get, what she felt she was owed. Rounding the corner, a deer jumped seemingly from nowhere directly in front of her car. Nan hit her brakes too late. She hears a sickening thud as her car hits the animal then slides into the ditch.
“It was a deer,” she tells herself repeatedly. She searches but cannot find the wounded animal.
When Kate Pearson graduated college and was all set to move in with her French boyfriend in Paris, it came as a hard shock when he decided that was the time to break things off with her. In the next months, she fell apart, spending most days on her sofa or bed, going days without showers, and generally being miserable. With the help of her sister and friend Chloe, she finally gets it together enough to land a job at one of New York City’s most prestigious private schools as an admissions officer.
Kate is, at first, quite overwhelmed by a job she’s sure she has no business doing. But meeting these families who would–and do–do anything to get their kids into the perfect school gives her a focus and keeps her busy. Soon Kate is highly invested in her job and slowly but surely getting her life back on track.
Samantha Whipple is a twenty-year-old first year student at Old College, Oxford. She enters school as something of a celebrity being the final descendant of the famed Bronte family line. Her first year at Oxford proves troubling since she doesn’t work well with others, tends towards her famous father’s reclusiveness, and is charged with solving a family mystery involving her father and his ancestors.
The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell is, in a sense, a late bloomer’s coming of age tale. Samantha Whipple has an attitude that is flippant, fun, annoying, and back to fun. Her cynical nature is difficult to take at times, but it becomes apparent that this is her protection.
Some books speak to me. I can relate with every character and I get sucked into the world the author creates. However, for many reasons, I was not enthralled with RoseBlood by A. G. Howard. In fact, I felt like it was a chore to even finish the book.
The novel is a modern day retelling of the Phantom of the Opera. Rune, a siren of sorts, has no idea why music moves her like it does. She feels like melodies, especially operas, need to be “purged” from her body within hours of being heard. After her father’s death and her mother’s decision to remarry, Rune is sent to a school for opera and theater in France. The school inhabits an old opera house, where it is rumored the original phantom of the opera resides. Except it’s
Gloria Burgess’s seemingly perfect world comes to an abrupt end when her husband of nine years dies of leukemia. Alone in London, she struggles to cope with her grief whilst trying to successfully raise her young son. She battles the temptation to sink into the same self-absorbed world that drove her own father to suicide.
In Necessary Madness, author Jenn Crowell (who also wrote Etched on Me) takes a look at the mental stability of Gloria after the death of her husband, Bill. Crowell explores the long argued nature vs. nurture–Gloria both blames her parents for her current state of being and hopes that she is not a mimicry of either parent. Whilst dealing with the grief of losing her husband, she wonders if she will be doomed to repeat the damage caused by her own father.