My Favorite Books of the Summer

It’s been a crazy summer but I’ve managed to get a lot of reading in. Here are my top 5 reads through the end of July 2019.

lock-every-door-book

LOCK EVERY DOOR

by Riley Sager

No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen's new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan's most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.

As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly, disturbingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story—until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.

Searching for the truth about Ingrid's disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew's dark past and into the secrets kept within its walls. Her discovery that Ingrid is not the first apartment sitter to go missing at the Bartholomew pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building's hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent.

Rose’s Review:


THE GRACE YEAR

by Kim Liggett

the-grace-year

No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden.

Girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.

Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life—a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for their chance to grab one of the girls in order to make their fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other.

With sharp prose and gritty realism, The Grace Year examines the complex and sometimes twisted relationships between girls, the women they eventually become, and the difficult decisions they make in-between. 

Rose’s Review:

What a book. It is the kind of book that hooks you in from page one and doesn’t let you go. I had the hardest time putting it down to do normal human being things. It made me cry, scream and stuck with me long after I finished it.


LOVE, HEATHER

by Laurie Petrou

love-heather

What you see isn't always what you get.

Stevie never meant for things to go this far. When she and Dee--defiant, bold, indestructible Dee--started all this, there was a purpose to their acts of vengeance: to put the bullies of Woepine High School back in their place. And three months ago, Stevie believed they deserved it. Once her best friend turned on her, the rest of the school followed. Stevie was alone and unprotected with a target on her back. Online, it was worse.

It was Dee's idea to get them all back with a few clever pranks, signing each act Love, Heather--an homage to her favorite 80's revenge flick. Despite herself, Stevie can't help getting caught up in the payback, reveling in every minute of suffering. And for a while, it works: it seems the meek have inherited the school.

But when anonymous students begin joining in, punishing perceived slights with increasingly violent ferocity, the line between villain and vigilante begins to blur. As friends turn on each other and the administration scrambles to regain control, it becomes clear: whatever Dee and Stevie started has gained a mind--and teeth--of its own. And when it finally swallows them whole, one will reemerge changed, with a plan for one final, terrifying act of revenge.

Rose’s Review:

Wow. This book hits you in all the hard places. It will pull you back to high school and the cliques, the bullying and the doubts that come with being a teenager. I think this book is for everyone and a good reminder of the power of words and social media. Petrou does a great job writing about a hard topic and bringing real-life issues to light.


HEARTWOOD BOX

by Ann Aguirre

A dark, romantic YA suspense novel with an SF edge and plenty of drama, layering the secrets we keep and how appearances can deceive, from the New York Times bestselling author.

In this tiny, terrifying town, the lost are never found. When Araceli Flores Harper is sent to live with her great-aunt Ottilie in her ramshackle Victorian home, the plan is simple. She'll buckle down and get ready for college. Life won't be exciting, but she'll cope, right?

Wrong. From the start, things are very, very wrong. Her great-aunt still leaves food for the husband who went missing twenty years ago, and local businesses are plastered with MISSING posters. There are unexplained lights in the woods and a mysterious lab just beyond the city limits that the locals don't talk about. Ever. When she starts receiving mysterious letters that seem to be coming from the past, she suspects someone of pranking her or trying to drive her out of her mind. To solve these riddles and bring the lost home again, Araceli must delve into a truly diabolical conspiracy, but some secrets fight to stay buried…

heartwood-box-book

Rose’s Review:

HEARTWOOD BOX is a definite favorite of 2019. It was not what I expected it to be and in the best way. Aguirre writes characters you can't help but root for and you fall into the creepy little town where everything happens so easily. If you love mysteries that will blow your mind, forbidden love and teenagers who take charge - this book is for you.


THE MISSING SEASON

by Gillian French

the-missing-season

Whenever another kid goes missing in October, the kids in the old factory town of Pender know what is really behind it: a monster out in the marshes that they call the Mumbler.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
That's what Clara's new crew tells her when she moves to town. Bree and Sage, who take her under their wing. Spirited Trace, who has taken the lead on this year's Halloween prank war. And magnetic Kincaid, whose devil-may-care attitude and air of mystery are impossible for Clara to resist.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Clara doesn't actually believe in the Mumbler--not like Kinkaid does. But as Halloween gets closer and tensions build in the town, it's hard to shake the feeling that there really is something dark and dangerous in Pender. Lurking in the shadows. Waiting to bring the stories to life.

Rose’s Review:

I waited for what felt like forever for this book + it DID NOT disappoint, THE MISSING SEASON by Gillian French is basically the book of my dreams. It has a small town with creepy lore, teenage love and angst and missing kids. I was lucky enough to connect with Gillian and interview her for my podcast so check out that episode.