Hey, hey book lovers! Welcome back to Three to Read, and welcome to the first post of 2022! With a new year comes new goals and new opportunities. But in unprecedented times like this, it can seem like our hopes and dreams are pointless. This week’s 3TR features characters who shine, even during the darkest of times. However, these aren’t your typical stories of inspiration. These are dark tales full of lies, scandals, and plagues. Sometimes life isn’t just about getting to our goals—it’s also about the journey it takes to get there. We hope this week’s picks inspire you to live life to its fullest despite the obstacles in your way.
by Rachel Hawkins
Don’t let the book’s beautiful cover fool you. Just because this story takes place on an island, doesn’t mean this story is a breeze. Six friends are about to have the vacation of their lives: long summer nights, unlimited drinks, and an escape from the lives—and lies—they left behind on the mainland. But while this group may be running from something, they may also be unexpectedly running towards danger.
What began as a new start quickly turns dark as the remaining friends find themselves isolated from the outside world. Six vacation-goers turn into four when one friend goes missing and another ends up dead. But as the group tries to uncover what went wrong, they realize that the island has its own secrets of shipwrecks, cannibalism, and murder. Welcome to Meroe Island.
Coming off the back of her last hit thriller, The Wife Upstairs, Hawkins is continuing to shock her readers with another suspenseful story. This book is already being recommended to fans of Lucy Foley and Ruth Ware. So if you’re ready to start the new year with a spooky island paradise, this is certainly the pick for you. And ICYM: this is a January Book of the Month pick!
Coffee Shop Read
by Dana Schwartz
The new year is the best time to set new goals, but sometimes it takes a lifetime to achieve these dreams. For Lady Hazel Sinnett, becoming a surgeon in 19th century Scotland was never going to be an easy task. She’s of marrying age; she’s a Lady; and she is not expected to become anything. But there couldn’t be a more perfect time to join the medical field than when a deadly fever is ravaging Scotland. However, in order for Hazel to achieve her dreams, she’s going to need some help.
Enter Jack Currer, a resurrection man whose livelihood revolves around corpses. Hazel and Jack strike a deal: if Jack can steal corpses for Hazel, she can study medicine in secret and pay him the pretty penny that he desperately needs. But plans change when Hazel’s estate becomes a hospital for victims of the Roman Fever who show signs of infection from surgeries that they don’t remember. Hazel begins to wonder if the fever is the only thing she needs to be afraid of because it appears that there may be something more sinister afoot in Edinburgh.
As unsettling as this story may be, there couldn’t be a more perfect time to read a novel about achieving your dreams despite what is going on in the world. This is Schwartz’s fourth novel, and seeing as we’ve just read the ARC, we just know this book is going to be a hit once it hits shelves on January 18. There’s a bit of romance, a bit of action, and a bit of thrill. But besides this, Anatomy’s ending makes us beg for more. You’re going to have to read this one to find out what happens!
by Marieke Nijkamp
No one wants a fresh start more than the delinquent teenagers at The Hope Juvenile Treatment Center. In a world that barely recognizes their existence, will doing anything positive even matter? When the staff fails to show up to work at the center, the group of teens rallies together to break free from the building they were once forced to call home. However, they soon find out that perhaps they were being protected from what lies in the outside world.
Now stuck in the institution that once held them captive, these teens must ration the supplies they have left to survive on their own for the first time in their lives. However, nothing lasts forever. The group is going to have to decide who to trust when things get dark because they know that no one will help them once they leave Hope’s gates. But just because no one is on their side, doesn’t mean this group won’t leave their mark on the world.
Nijkamp’s new novel about troubled teens gives us Lord of the Flies and Hunger Games vibes. Sometimes, all you need is a too-close-to-call-apocalypse to realize what matters in life. It really is true that you will have to reach your breaking point before you rise up again. If you are looking for that instant kick to get you going this new year, Nijkamp’s new novel will certainly inspire you to live as if your life depends on it. After all, you only have one shot at this whole “living” thing.
If you need to catch up with last year’s Three to Read picks, click here. And be sure to stay tuned for all of the recommendations we have in store for our readers this year!
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