The Night Parade by Ronald Malfi

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

First the birds disappeared.
Then the insects took over.
Then the madness began . . .

There is a new plague threatening to wipe out the human race…they call it “Wanderer’s Folly”.  It’s a disease of hallucinations, day dreams and nightmares.

Father and daughter, David and Ellie Arlen are on the run right from the start of the book.  Which is followed  by flashbacks revealing the events that lead to David running. The story continues like this, back and forth. David thinks he is protecting Ellie but she is a special girl, deep, insightful and she knows that he is lying to her.  She knows that her father is lying to her about her mother and exactly what they are running from.  Ellie is special….Ellie may be able to save the human race.

This book had me hooked from the beginning, it was eerie and full of surprises.  I have previously read his book “Little Girls”, which was fantastic as well!  The Night Parade could be a thriller or a horror novel, it was both and more!  I cannot wait to dig into some more books by Ronald Malfi, his writing is easy to follow as well as the story lines.  Check him out and all the books including this one that he has written!

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This was a fantastically sad and amazing story!  Elsa’s a seven year old girl whose best and only friend is her seventy-seven year old grandmother.  Now, her grandmother is not your normal stereotypical grandmother……she’s a tad crazy “standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-men-who-want-to-talk-about-Jesus-crazy” but Elsa loves her for it all.

When her grandmother gets sick and passes away, she leaves behind a series of letters, sending Elsa on a journey that bring to life the world of her grandmother’s fairy tales.  Before her grandmother passed away, they would take refuge in her grandmother wardrobe and fall into the stories in the “Land of Almost Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas” where everyone is different and nobody needs to be normal.

Now, Elsa is on a mission to deliver several letters from her grandmother apologizing to the people she has wronged and the great adventure begins.  Her grandmother’s letters lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and totally ordinary old crones, but also to the truth about fairy tales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.

I loved this book!  It will tear you apart and pick you back up again. Beautifully written.

 

 

 

 

A Drop of Night by Stefan Bachmann

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This book turned out to be something quite unexpected and in a good way!  Main character Anouk has been selected out of hundreds of people to go to France and help at an excavation site of an underground palace buried hundreds of feet below Paris.  The palace was built to hide an aristocratic family during the French Revolution.  Anouk and a handful of other teenagers will be the first to set foot inside the underground palace in over two centuries.  But….that wasn’t the case.

Once they all arrive at this bizarre place, they find themselves embroiled in a very sinister game that is extremely dangerous.  Why in the world where they brought here?  There is something evil in the depths of the palace that has been dwelling there for centuries and it’s been waiting JUST FOR THEM.

 

I read this book extremely fast because around every corner, you had no idea what was going to happen next!  I was so surprised at what these people found inside the palace…..it will give you the chills!

The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II by Denise Kiernan

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

“The Girls of Atomic City,” tells the story of Oak Ridge, TN, during the Manhattan Project in a way that is unique and gives insight until now hidden.  The author takes an intimate and personal approach to telling this amazing story in Oak Ridge (where 60% of the approximately $2 billion “Project” was spent) using the eyes (and memories) of some of the working ladies who actually did the real work of separating uranium (without knowing it), checking the leaks in pipes (not knowing where the pipes went), keeping the statistical data, doing the hard work of a janitor, a chemist (who got closest to the “product”) and secretaries who saw documents they could never discuss. This approach results in a more realistic telling of the day to day activities in Oak Ridge and the government sites of X-10, Y-12, K-25 and S-50.

The stories of these nine ladies Helen, Colleen, Celia, Toni, Jane, Kattie, Virginia, Dot and Rosemary, each unique, yet each holding much in common, is bound together by the authors wonderfully talented skill as a writer. She paints a composite picture of Oak Ridge and the Manhattan Project that will become a classic in the literature of this extraordinary historical accomplishment that has led to so many technological advances of the Nuclear Age.

This amazing world changing experiment was begun using many women from various backgrounds as workers. The interviews and detailed memories of the lives the author touched while researching this book have produced more than a mere book, she has created lasting relationships with the last of the living who actually experienced something many cannot imagine. They were personally involved in what has been labeled the most significant military industrial scientific breakthrough in the history of the world.

Remember, these nine represent literally thousands of other women who worked just as diligently, just as courageously, to help win that war.  Reading “The Girls of Atomic City” is a delightful and spellbinding tale that were it not true would be fiction of the highest order, but it is real…these women lived it.

The book is a must read…seriously!

The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

So let’s raise our glasses to the accident season, To the river beneath us where we sink our souls, To the bruises and secrets, to the ghosts in the ceiling, One more drink for the watery road.”

The accident season has been part of seventeen-year-old Cara’s life for as long as she can remember. Towards the end of October, foreshadowed by the deaths of many relatives before them, Cara’s family becomes inexplicably accident-prone. They banish knives to locked drawers, cover sharp table edges with padding, switch off electrical items – but injuries follow wherever they go, and the accident season becomes an ever-growing obsession and fear.

But why are they so cursed? And how can they break free?

A blend of mystery, suspense and magical realism, The Accident Season blurred the lines between reality and fantasy. With an unreliable narrator and engaging prose, it has become confusing (in a good way) to know where the fantasy ends and the reality begins and that’s how I like it.

 

Annabel Lee (Coffey & Hill #1) by Mike Nappa

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

On a farm fourteen miles east of Peachtree, Alabama, a secret is hidden–a secret named Annabel Lee. Her uncle’s last words before he hid her away: “Don’t open that door for anybody, you got it? Not even me.”

I will completely admit that the title first drew me to this book. I’ve always appreciated Edgar Allen Poe and with a reference like the title, I knew I was in for a good read.  While there are many elements that relate this book to the stories of Poe, this novel is not a fan fiction or anything like that. This story is full of mystery, suspense and many -many- twists in the story that will leave you wanting more.

The story is told from three points of view, with only Annabel’s being in first person. Annabel lives on a farm in Peachtree, Alabama. She is months away from her twelfth birthday, and has been home schooled by her uncle. When she is left in the bunker with the guard dog, she does not understand why. We experience this through her eyes.

Trudi Coffey has a degree in English lit but now works as a private investigator. Her part of the narrative is told in third person, and it is in her sections that we get to know Samuel Lee, her ex-husband (a descriptor that she generally follows up mentally with “the pig.”) and former business partner.

The third perspective is that of an Iraq veteran known as The Mute. Also told in third person, it is primarily in his sections that we learn more about Leonard Truckson’s past.

Each of the characters that are developed in the story are ones I wanted to know more about. Whether a good guy or bad guy, they are written so well I found myself wondering about them more and more. Even the dog that Truck leaves with Annabel Lee makes me wonder about his training and where he came from in the first place.

This was a GREAT book!  Highly recommend!

The Rosemary Spell by Virginia Zimmerman

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This book has such an amazing and creative concept, and a mystery all rolled into one! In The Rosemary Spell, solving a mystery becomes crucial, but is it too late and too dangerous?

Books and words have always been important to Rosemary and her best friend Adam, so when they discover an extremely old book in a locked cabinet in her father’s old study, they are excited beyond words. Is it perhaps a secret, magical, ancient book? Did it once belong to Shakespeare or perhaps to Constance Brooke, an elderly poet suffering from Alzheimer’s disease who used to live in their house? When they begin to write in the book at school and strange Shakespearean verse magically appears and their friend Shelby suddenly disappears, solving the mystery becomes crucial. But is it too late and too dangerous to rescue Shelby? Can they retain their memories of her so she doesn’t permanently vanish?

This fun, exciting tween mystery will appeal to readers and book lovers of all ages. Highly recommend!