The Summer 2019 Indie Next List for Reading Groups Preview

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Here’s a preview of the Summer 2019 Indie Next List for Reading Groups flier, which ABA member stores in the IndieBound movement will be receiving in the May Box mailing.

The Reading Group list is ideal for use as a handout at author events and special reading group nights and as a takeaway at the cashwrap and in-store displays. In addition to the Top Ten favorites chosen by booksellers, this year’s guide presents 33 additional titles in eight categories — Momentous Memoir, Historical Fiction, Dazzling Debuts, Family and Coming-of-Age, Mysteries and Thrillers, Speculative Fiction, Indie Presses: Backlisted But Not Forgotten, and Young Adult — that offer the promise of great discussions for reading groups of every kind.

“Indie Presses: Backlisted But Not Forgotten” is a brand new category for this year, the result of a collaboration between the American Booksellers Association and the Independent Publishers Caucus (IPC) that allowed IPC’s independent publisher members to nominate their key backlist titles with a notable sales track in the indie channel, or the potential to capture new sales in this channel. In March, ABA member booksellers voted for their favorites on the list of 21 nominees and wrote blurbs for their top five choices; the top five vote-getting titles have been included in the guide.  

Booksellers are encouraged to nominate their future handselling favorites for upcoming lists. Nominations can be submitted using the online submission form; via e-mail to [email protected]; or by leaving comments on the book’s title page on either Edelweiss or NetGalley.

Stores that would like to receive additional copies of the Summer 2019 Indie Next List for Reading Groups should send a request to ABA Design and Production Manager Linda Ford.

The Summer 2019 Indie Next List for Reading Groups

(All titles are trade paperback unless otherwise noted.)

The Top 10

#1. An American Marriage: A Novel by Tayari Jones
(Algonquin Books, 9781616208684, $16.95)
An American Marriage is an exposition of the criminal justice system in our country in general and in Louisiana, where the incarceration rates are exceptionally high and disproportionately biased toward minorities. The marriage of Celestial and Roy is put to the test when he is falsely accused of a crime and imprisoned. Through letters, the couple tries to salvage their marriage and prove Roy’s innocence while facing obstacles both within their families and outside of them. This is an excellent book for book clubs.” —Mamie Potter, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC

#2. There There: A Novel by Tommy Orange
(Vintage, 9780525436140, $16)
“This is the kind of book that makes you gasp for air because it has gripped you in that spot between your heart and your neck and won’t let go. Orange starts the book by introducing characters who are planning to rob a powwow, and as you begin to enjoy the them—start to imagine a happy ending, where parents are found and siblings meet at the powwow, somewhere they can feel like a community—the dread of the robbery builds constantly in the background until it explodes. Orange has brought us a book that really is the cream of the crop—of all the crops.” —Alice Ahn, Water Street Bookstore, Exeter, NH

#3. The Overstory: A Novel by Richard Powers
(W.W. Norton & Company, 9780393356687, $18.95)
“I can’t stop thinking about this book! A sprawling, literary eco-epic, The Overstory is the kind of novel that changes people. It’s a riveting call to arms and a bitter indictment of our wasteful culture. More than that, it’s an incredibly human story with a huge cast of richly imagined characters that you’ll never forget. With writing that is dense but accessible, Powers is a master at intersecting science, art, and spirituality without sacrificing plot. I pity the next customer who comes into our store looking for ‘a book about trees’ because Powers has given me a lot to talk about.” —Logan Farmer, Old Firehouse Books, Fort Collins, CO

#4. A Lucky Man: Stories by Jamel Brinkley
(Graywolf Press, 9781555978433, $16)
“Everything about this book is so precise—the language, the characters, the places. It’s such a beautiful rumination on masculinity and how that intersects with growing up, being a person of color, and the many ways in which one navigates relationships, all without a word out of place. It’s an utterly killer debut, and I look forward to seeing everything that Brinkley has to offer the literary world.” —Kelsey Nolan, Skylight Books, Los Angeles, CA

#5. The Immortalists: A Novel by Chloe Benjamin
(G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 9780735215092, $16)
“How would you live your life if you knew what day you’d die? This compelling novel explores this question through the interweaving lives of four siblings who, as children, are told their death dates by a fortune-teller. The Immortalists is at once a page-turning, character-driven narrative and a fascinating rumination on fate versus free will.” —Jessamyn Duckwall, Waucoma Bookstore, Hood River, OR

#6. Don’t Skip Out on Me: A Novel by Willy Vlautin
(Harper Perennial, 9780062684479, $15.99)
“Once again, Willy Vlautin bears witness to a vulnerable population that so often goes unseen and unheard in America. With his characteristically raw narrative style, Vlautin takes the reader into the mind of Horace, a young ranch hand and aspiring boxer who leaves behind an aging and struggling rancher and father figure. If you haven’t already discovered Vlautin, you’re in for a treat.” —Jeanne Costello, Maria’s Bookshop, Durango, CO

#7. The Female Persuasion: A Novel by Meg Wolitzer
(Riverhead Books, 9780399573231, $17)
“I never could have anticipated this book, and now I can’t imagine a world without it, especially at this moment in American history. The Female Persuasion follows the ambitious but shy Greer Kadetsky, her boyfriend, her best friend, and the feminist icon who launches her into the world. Through these vivid, complex, and lovable characters, Wolitzer explores both the principle and reality of feminism, as well as the desire to become our fullest selves and the twists and turns that journey can take. My heart raced while reading this book, and I never wanted it to end. It is powerful, generous, smart, and deeply kind.” —Megan Bell, Underground Books, Carrollton, GA

#8. Florida: Stories by Lauren Groff
(Riverhead Books, 9781594634529, $16)
“Groff has surpassed herself with this stunning collection of short stories. Florida, with its ‘hellmouth’ summers, ‘all humidity and pink stucco and cellulite rippling under the hems of shorts,’ is the loose thread that ties the stories together. Told with deep intelligence and a compassion for characters viewed coolly from a distance, Groff’s collection examines the themes of family, loss, and human connection in startling and often heartbreaking ways.” —Grace Harper, Mac’s Backs, Cleveland Heights, OH

#9. Tin Man: A Novel by Sarah Winman
(G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 9780735218765, $14)
“A beautiful, gentle, lulling story of friendship, love, loss, and loyalty. Winman’s keen insight and his ability to welcome the reader into the intimate, real, and at times quite painful lives of Michael, Ellis, Annie, Dora, and Mabel are a rare gift. Tin Man, which spans from 1950 to 1996, is beautifully set in the small town of Oxford, outside of London, and includes jaunts to Provence. The moment I read the final words of this short gem, I turned back to the first page and began again.” —Linda McLoughlin Figel, pages: a bookstore, Manhattan Beach, CA

#10. Welcome to Lagos: A Novel by Chibundu Onuzo
(Catapult, 9781948226219, $16.95)
Welcome to Lagos dips its toes into many pools: it kicks off in a warzone, roams the bewildering tangle of Lagos, and incorporates elements of crime fiction, cultural reportage, and even buddy-film camaraderie. The author pulls it all off with deft humor and sharp observations, bringing one of the world’s great conurbations into focus.” —Ryan Murphy, Three Lives & Co., New York, NY

Momentous Memoir

And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready by Meaghan O’Connell
(Back Bay Books, 9780316393850, $16.99)
“A fearlessly funny memoir-in-essays that begins by referencing ‘the cultural childishness of the ambitious young woman too smart for her own good’ and makes its way to, ‘What if, instead of worrying about scaring women, we told them the truth?’ As she examines the uneasy and occasionally terrifying experiences of pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood, O’Connell also interrogates the cultural pressures foisted upon young women and mothers. ‘Be careful what you wish for’ may be the aphorism underlying And Now We Have Everything, but at the heart of O’Connell’s book is a raw, daring, powerful love for her partner, for their child, for other uncertain young women on the precipice of motherhood, and for herself.” —Daley Farr, Milkweed Books, Minneapolis, MN

Eat the Apple by Matt Young
(Bloomsbury Publishing, 9781632869517, $16)
Eat the Apple is a remarkably candid, inventive, and funny memoir about the devastating consequences of war for soldiers both abroad and at home. At a time when soldiers are too often seen monolithically in our culture as ‘The Troops,’ Matt Young’s stand-up comedy riffs and diarist confessions have a necessary humanizing and personalizing effect.” —Matthew Stowe, Greenlight Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY

Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot
(Counterpoint LLC, 9781640091603, $16.95)
Heart Berries achieves that most elusive and sacred goal of literature: to make us feel less alone in the world. With a beautiful and original voice, Mailhot applies the precision of a poet to her prose. Each sentence feels necessary, each paragraph vital, as she grapples with daughterhood, motherhood, sisterhood, wifehood, and, finally, selfhood. This is a book written against forgetting, against losing one’s self to the needs and desires of others. But this isn’t self-help; this is carefully crafted literature, the disciplined work of a masterful artist.” —Tina Ontiveros, Klindt’s Booksellers, The Dalles, OR

The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches From the Border by Francisco Cantú
(Riverhead Books, 9780735217737, $17)
“In a personal search for the purpose and meaning behind the U.S.-Mexico border, Cantú reflects on his childhood rooted in the Southwest, his mother’s immigration from Mexico, his scholarly studies, and others’ stories about the border. He seeks work as a border patrol agent, thinking his language skills and cultural sensitivity will be of value, but his intense curiosity about life at the border becomes a harsh reality that haunts his dreams. A lifesaver in America’s shallow rivers of rhetoric, Cantú enlightens readers on the endless American story of sacrifice and immigration with sharp insight and subtle lyricism.” —Lisa Newman, Lemuria Bookstore, Jackson, MS

Historical Fiction

Promise: A Novel by Minrose Gwin
(William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780062471727, $15.99)
“I hated putting this book down because it meant leaving characters who were in dire straits. Gwin gives the reader little chance to breathe as an F5 tornado takes Dovey, a local laundress, and sends her flying in chapter one. From that point on, the reader is yanked into the terror of this historic 1936 storm in Tupelo, Mississippi. Yet the tornado is not the only storm to strike this community, as an emotional storm shakes apart two families, one black and one white. This story and its characters will stay with you long after the sky clears.” —Constance Holland, Out West Books, Grand Junction, CO

The Orphan of Salt Winds by Elizabeth Brooks
(Tin House Books, 9781947793224, $15.95)
“Reading The Orphan of Salt Winds, I was immediately pulled in. Elizabeth Brooks’ beautifully written novel weaves historical fiction and literary mystery into a deeply felt family drama with complex characters; the limits of empathy, family, and personal responsibility are highlighted against the backdrop of World War II-era England. Virginia is an unforgettable narrator, and the shifting between her childhood voice and her perspective in old age makes the unfolding of this novel incredibly engaging.” —Kelsey O’Rourke, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI

The Summer Wives: A Novel by Beatriz Williams
(William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780062660350, $16.99)
The Summer Wives is a sweeping story that spans several decades and details the lives of members of an island community where old money rules and the locals and summer families are not supposed to mix—but they do anyway. This is a story of secrets, power, loss, and love, with a bit of Shakespeare to round things out. I was engaged from page one and found myself reading both the print edition and listening to an audio edition in my car so I could spend every possible moment with the characters and their stories. Even the minor characters had depth beyond what I expected.” —Myrna Mibus, Content Bookstore, Northfield, MN

Visible Empire by Hannah Pittard
(Mariner Books, 9781328588791, $14.99)
“When a plane full of Atlanta art society’s elite crashes in France, the disaster transforms the city with astounding repercussions. Set against a backdrop of the rising civil rights movement, Visible Empire is a compelling tale of grief, race, and class. Author Hannah Pittard creates a riveting, emotional drama that will get book clubs talking and leave readers pondering the ways these same issues appear in contemporary America. Well done.” —Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, MN

Dazzling Debuts

Dear Mrs. Bird: A Novel by AJ Pearce
(Scribner, 9781501170072, $17)
“A plucky young British woman in London during the Blitz dreams of becoming a war correspondent. In her inglorious first job as a typist for a women’s advice columnist, she manages to do a lot of good while getting into lots of trouble. Dear Mrs. Bird is very entertaining, with a balance of comedy and pathos. This is a great choice for a summer read.” —Patty Mullins, Oblong Books and Music, Millerton, NY

Number One Chinese Restaurant: A Novel by Lillian Li
(Picador, 9781250229328, $17)
“Lillian Li’s debut novel is a prism of cross-generational immigrant perspectives set in the fiery, fast-paced, and zany confines of the Beijing Duck House, a Chinese restaurant. Adorned in embroidered dragons and phoenixes and draped with gold tassels, the Duck House is all the stuff of our Chinese takeout fantasies! More than that, it is the Han family’s legacy—a place where veteran waiters Nan and Ah-Jack have built their lives, and where the next generation, Annie and Pat, work out their post-pubescent awkwardness. In the midst of disaster, this colorful cast of characters illustrate a rich and heartfelt story about culture, self-examination, and how family can be defined outside of bloodlines.” —Thu Doan, Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX

Self-Portrait With Boy: A Novel by Rachel Lyon
(Scribner, 9781501169595, $17)
Self-Portrait With Boy is a beautiful novel about art, friendship, and grief set in DUMBO, Brooklyn, in the gritty 1990s. A 20-something artist has finally created her masterpiece, but the haunting photograph features her friend Kate’s son falling to his death. The book examines the question of how far an artist should go to achieve success and reflects on how people can be haunted—literally—by their work and their loss. If you enjoy stories about New York’s art scene and the complicated mess of female friendship, you’ll adore this book.” —Elissa Sweet, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT

Tangerine: A Novel by Christine Mangan
(Ecco, 9780062686695, $16.99)
“Two women who met in college but parted ways over tragedy find themselves together again in 1950s Tangiers. Neither narrator is entirely trustworthy, so as the secrets surrounding their last meeting come to light, the tension ratchets up and we realize that it’s about to happen all over again.” —Laura Cummings, White Birch Books, North Conway, NH

Family and Coming-of-Age

Everything Here Is Beautiful: A Novel by Mira T. Lee
(Penguin Books, 9780735221970, $16)
“A very strong and moving portrait of two sisters with divergent lives that explores the power of family and the shared agony when things go wrong. Everything Here Is Beautiful is filled with an emotional lushness as well as a geographical one—the book goes from bustling New York City to the Ecuadorian countryside—providing a vivid and provocative backdrop for an emotionally intense story.” —Lisa Johnson, Penguin Bookshop, Sewickley, PA

Paris by the Book: A Novel by Liam Callanan
(Dutton, 9781101986295, $16)
“Fans of Ludwig Bemelman’s Madeline series will relish visiting the magical city with Leah Eady, half of a couple brought together in Milwaukee by their shared love of French children’s books. When Robert, a novelist, vanishes, Leah takes her girls to Paris hoping to find him via an unfinished manuscript he’s left behind. Her journey leads her to an English-language bookstore, and, with nothing to lose, Leah says, ‘Mais, oui!’ and buys the floundering business. The store becomes a portal for her and the girls to delve deeper into the city, French classics, and the mystery of the missing Robert. An enchanting read from the author of The Cloud Atlas.” —Barbara Peters, The Poisoned Pen Bookstore, Scottsdale, AZ

Rosie Colored Glasses by Brianna Wolfson
(Mira Books, 9780778308508, $16.99)
“This debut novel is heartfelt and personal, and I loved seeing the story from the daughter’s point of view. Seeing how mental health affects a family through a child’s eyes is heartwrenching, but, at the same time, it was a delicate way of writing the story, especially since it is very closely related to the author’s experiences. I think this book will be a great book club choice.” —Jamie Rogers Southern, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC

Speak No Evil: A Novel by Uzodinma Iweala
(Harper Perennial, 9780061284939, $15.99)
“We wouldn’t be a D.C. bookstore if we weren’t excited about Uzodinma Iweala’s new novel, Speak No Evil. Iweala deftly delves into the Nigerian immigrant community in D.C. with his teenage protagonist, Niru, a star student athlete at a prestigious private school whose secret of being queer is discovered and met with severe consequences. A story about the bonds—and limitations—of friendship, family, and culture, Speak No Evil delivers on every count.” —Angela Maria Spring, Duende District, Washington, DC

Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
(Vintage, 9780525562962, $16.99)
“Ondaatje’s new book, Warlight, is brilliant. The reader is drawn in by a perfect first sentence hinting at the intrigue that will unfold in the novel: ‘In 1945 our parents went away and left us in the care of two men who may have been criminals.’ Teenage Nathaniel and his older sister, Rachel, are left by their parents for reasons that quickly become suspect. The novel is told in parts, beginning with Nathaniel’s teen years, then jumping ahead to his adult years and filling in the histories of the story’s most important characters. The immature voice of teenage Nathaniel is masterfully written as the foreshadowing of the man he will become. Warlight is complete in both the breadth and depth of its story and characters.” —Jennifer Geraedts, Beagle and Wolf Books & Bindery, Park Rapids, MN

Mysteries and Thrillers

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
(Sourcebooks Landmark, 9781492670124, $16.99)
“Evelyn Hardcastle will die tonight, at her own party, unless Aiden can figure out who the murderer is before it happens. How? He will spend a day inside the bodies of different guests at the estate, repeating the day over and over until he can solve the case. As he cycles through his ‘hosts,’ Aiden begins to recover memories of who he is, why he is trapped in this bizarre loop, and how to escape once and for all. A meld of golden-age mystery, surreal futurism, and period drama, The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is an engrossing puzzle of a novel. Fresh, strange, and maddeningly (yet satisfyingly) complex.” —Annie Metcalf, Magers & Quinn Booksellers, Minneapolis, MN

Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions (An Auntie Poldi Adventure #1) by Mario Giordano, John Brownjohn
(Mariner Books, 9781328588784, $14.99)
“What a delicious treat! Auntie Poldi is a lascivious, boozy woman of a certain age who readers will follow anywhere, but especially into sun-soaked Sicily. She has a thing for handsome Italian cops and afternoon gin and tonics, and manages to solve the occasional murder along the way. Mario Giordano’s gorgeous, literary prose offers all the escapist pleasure of a novel like Beautiful Ruins, with an added bonus—there’s a sequel coming!” —Amy Stewart, Eureka Books, Eureka, CA

Country Dark by Chris Offutt
(Grove Press, 9780802129338, $16)
“Following his razor-sharp and honest memoir, My Father the Pornographer, Chris Offutt demonstrates that he is on a creative roll with his first work of fiction in almost 20 years, and I’m here to tell you that it is worth the wait. Offutt mines his Kentucky roots to tell the tale of Tucker, a young Korean War vet who returns home to the hills and works as a bootlegger until the state comes for his family and he is forced to react with violence. Written in spare yet lyrical prose and filled with unforgettable characters, Country Dark is a taut backwoods noir that brings to mind James Dickey at the height of his powers.” —Cody Morrison, Square Books, Oxford, MS

Force of Nature: A Novel by Jane Harper
(Flatiron Books, 9781250105653, $16.99)
“A company team-building weekend in the thick Australian bush goes awry when the women’s team gets lost. When four of the five return, they each have a different story about what happened to Alice. After his character’s debut in The Dry, Aaron Falk returns to solve this mystery and resolve some personal issues, but this time, instead of a drought, we have a wet, cold wind creating the most miserable conditions imaginable for a group of lost, hungry women who are quickly becoming suspicious of each other. The complicated plot, edge-of-your-seat suspense, and vivid description of the rugged Giralang Ranges will leave you breathless.” —Nancy McFarlane, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC

Speculative Fiction

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig
(Penguin Books, 9780525522898, $16)
“How would you feel to learn that the number-one rule of your life is to never fall in love? Tom Hazard, born well over 400 years ago, ages just one year for every 15 he lives—is it a blessing or a curse? Encounters with Shakespeare, Captain Cook, and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald leave him wanting an ordinary life, but, fearing falling in love and forming close friendships he will inevitably lose, Tom comes to realize a universal truth: real companionship is essential for life to be lived. Matt Haig has written classics for children; now he has written one for adults that book clubs will savor.” —Karen Briggs, The Booknook, East Tawas, MI

Mem by Bethany C. Morrow
(Unnamed Press, 9781944700867, $15.99)
“Step into this alternate history where technology is created to remove unwanted memories and place them in vessels—that happen to look just like you! These ‘Mems’ are human snapshots, usually limited to existing inside the memory that created them. However, this story follows a Mem that is different. Although she never ages or physically changes, she retains identity, learns, grows, and develops relationships. This leads to the exploration of concepts of life, individuality, freedom, and civil rights. What makes Why is this memory different, and what did its loss cost the original owner? If you love The Twilight Zone or Black Mirror, you’ll love this story!” —Megan Irland, the river’s end bookstore, Oswego, NY

Mr. Flood’s Last Resort: A Novel by Jess Kidd
(Washington Square Press, 9781501180644, $16.99)
“Move over Ove, there is a new cranky old man in town. And what a feat of imagination is Mr. Cathal Flood! Swathed in layers of cardigans, he lives in a vast estate populated by cats and a pet fox named Larkin, where rooms of antique taxidermy and Victorian curiosities are barricaded by walls of ancient National Geographics and family mysteries abound. Into this situation comes Maud, a caretaker with secrets of her own and several saints literally watching over her. Magical and joyous, beautifully inventive, with sparkling dialogue and the perfect balance between dark humor and heartfelt sorrow, this book proclaims Jess Kidd (author of Himself) as a writer to cheer.” —Yvette Olson, Magnolia’s Bookstore, Seattle, WA

Indie Presses: Backlisted But Not Forgotten

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, Alison Anderson
(Europa Editions, 9781933372600, $15)
“This book contains two Japanophiles, one sarcastic French tween, and zero actual hedgehogs. It’s exactly the sort of warm, funny cosmopolitan novel I pore through the back gondolas of used bookstores looking for. The tension between Paloma and her wealthy parents, and the secret Renee the building concierge is hiding, are as relevant to today’s class struggles as when the book was written. Suicide is a tragedy; the silver lining is that we have literature to help us cope.” —Holly Doering, Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, WA

Euphoria by Lily King
(Grove Press, 9780802123701, $16)
Euphoria is a fascinating historical novel based on a complex woman. Science, culture, and nature collide. The beginnings of the study of anthropology were fraught with peril and make it a great jumping off point for discussion.” —Valerie Koehler, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX

Tinkers: 10th Anniversary Edition by Paul Harding, Marilynne Robinson
(Bellevue Literary Press, 9781942658603, $16.99)
“A California publisher representative read Tinkers when it was released by the tiny Bellevue Literary Press 10 years ago, and her passionate support among indies helped send it to bestseller lists and eventually to win a Pulitzer Prize. A tiny novel, it’s one we hear customers hand-selling to other readers in that you’ve-got-to-read-this voice. The protagonist’s deathbed memories of his father are a meditation on life and death, written in impeccably lovely prose. Tinkers is incomparable.” —Cheryl McKeon, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA

Visitation by Jenny Erpenbeck, Susan Bernofsky (Trans.)
(New Directions, 9780811218351, $15.99)
“A brilliantly devastating look at the 20th century, the inevitability of mortality, and the tragedy of wastefulness inherent in the march of time, told as much by the people who lived through it as the place they existed in. A short, beautiful, and heartbreaking masterpiece that could only be the vision of one of our most thoughtful and intricately humane authors.”
—Justin Souther, Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe, Asheville, NC

John Crow’s Devil by Marlon James
(Akashic Books, 9781936070107, $16.95)
“Marlon James’ debut novel is the first sign of the literary genius the Booker judges would later recognize in A Brief History of Seven Killings. The ferocious energy of James’ prose is immediately evident as he summons into being the Jamaican village of Gibbeah, a community scourged by the conflict between two rival preachers. With its rich language and biblical cadence, John Crow’s Devil is a Miltonic epic of unrelenting spiritual darkness, but, with James’ ear for dialogue and knack for earthy humor, it flashes with light on a human level. Rarely has a writer’s career been announced with a trumpet blast this pure and powerful.” —James Crossley, Madison Books, Seattle, WA

Young Adult

The Hazel Wood: A Novel by Melissa Albert
(Flatiron Books, 9781250147936, $10.99)
“If you like your fairy tales dark and spooky, you will love The Hazel Wood. It is brilliantly twisty, with a not-always-likable main character named Alice whose whole life has been one bit of bad luck followed by another. Now her mother is missing, and the disappearance may have something to do with Alice’s estranged grandmother, the author of a collection of creepy short stories with a cult following. Joined by her classmate Ellery Finch, a boy with questionable motives, Alice sets off for her grandmother’s estate, the Hazel Wood, to confront her and to find her mom. But the Hazel Wood has other plans for Alice, and only by facing her destiny can she rewrite her own fate.” —Jenny Chou, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

Furyborn (Empirium Trilogy #1) by Claire Legrand
(Sourcebooks Fire, 9781492678779, $11.99)
“This book is told in alternating points of view and a thousand years apart. Rielle and Eliana are women unknowingly connected by a looming prophecy spanning between the centuries in which they live. Conspiracies, secret identities, toe-curling romance, and (of course) awesome fighting scenes, Furyborn has it all. And the best part: of these two prophesied queens, one is doomed to end the world and one to save it. If you’re a fan of Sarah J. Maas, Kristin Cashore, or Leigh Bardugo, look no further because here is an instant YA fantasy classic that’ll keep you up into the early hours of the morning.” —Leah Atlee, Changing Hands, Tempe, AZ

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
(Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, 9781481438261, $10.99)
“A novel in verse that spans the length of time it takes for an elevator to descend, Long Way Down finds Will mourning the death of his brother and grappling with the burden of avenging his murder. Will’s grief permeates every page, from his recollections of everyday childhood memories to his encounters with other figures from his past whose lives were destroyed by gun violence. Jason Reynolds says more with a stanza than most authors can say with a chapter. Long Way Down is a book that you feel in your gut.” —Lelia Nebeker, One More Page Books, Arlington, VA

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
(Ember, 9780553496710, $12.99)
“Romeo and Juliet. Dash and Lily. Eleanor and Park. Natasha and Daniel are the next great couple! While romantic poet Daniel wholeheartedly believes in the possibility of love at first sight, science-minded Natasha is much harder to convince. But time is not on their side, as Natasha and her family are set to be deported at the end of the single day in which this story takes place. Nicola Yoon delicately incorporates familial and culture issues into this page-turning, will-they-or-won’t-they modern romance.” —Jessica Perez, University Book Store, Mill Creek, WA