Welcome back book-lovers and happy Spring! I guess they weren’t kidding when they said April showers bring May flowers because it has been rainy and muggy for days here in New York! However, I’m hoping that means the “May flowers” part will also be true. For now, I’ll just have to wear my flowery shirts to hold me over until the real flowers begin to bloom. Of course, a book (or three) is always a great way to pass the time while we wait, so let’s jump into our picks for the week.
by Catherine Bybee
Changing the Rules is the first novel of the new Richter series that follows Claire Kelly, who works for MacBain Security and Solutions. She is extremely smart and incredibly skilled, however her Achilles’ heel has everything to do with Cooper Lockman, a former coworker who is also much more than just a coworker. Actually, when things didn’t work out between them, he left for Europe for six years, but now he’s back and they have to go undercover together. Their job is to figure out who is behind a prostitution ring targeting teenage girls at a California high school. As time goes on and they come closer to finding out who it is, they grow closer while their mission grows riskier.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bybee brings us another fantastic novel (to be followed by the rest of the series) that is the perfect combination of thriller and romance. If you have read Bybee’s books before, you might actually recognize Claire from Say it Again, the fifth book of the First Wives series. You can read Say it Again for background knowledge of Changing the Rules (and also just for some extra fun), but it’s not necessary as Changing the Rules is already great on its own. If you’re a fan of Lara Croft then this is definitely the book for you. I mean, seriously, a butt-kicking female spy lead character? Say less.
By Stefano Mancuso
The Anthropocene: our current epoch, defined by humankind’s effects on the environment. It seems humans have had the only say on what happens to the planet we share with so many other beings, but what would those other beings have to say about it if they could? Well, that is just what The Nation of Plants is all about. It is a playful manifesto in which plants give advice to humans on how humans should treat the planet. The planet does belong to all of us, so us humans should probably heed the advice of the plants. After all, the plants have been around for much longer than we have, and if they aren’t around then it is only so much time before we aren’t either.
As I said in the synopsis, this is a really fun play on a very serious topic. Over the past year I have really dived deep into studying environmentalism and sustainability, and so I have tried to become more mindful of my choices. Is this product cruelty free? Can I recycle the packaging? Is there a more eco-friendly alternative? How much water am I using? How much am I wasting? Where is my water coming from anyway? I’m not saying you all have to make drastic changes to your routines, but I do believe we should all try a little harder to take care of our planet. So, what better place to start than by reading this cheeky book with all of its great lessons.
by Alyssa Sheinmel
The Castle School (For Troubled Girls) is about Moira Dreyfuss, whose parents have sent her to an all-girls boarding school after her best friend Nathan died. This boarding school is deep in the woods in Maine, feeling like it is completely isolated from the rest of civilization. From night one Moira notices strange things happening in and around the school, like music coming from the woods, and she comes to realize that her boarding school has a brother school, a Castle School for boys. There’s something very off about the schools, the way they operate, and the doctors who operate them, but while trying to learn more about the schools and what they could be hiding, Moira also must come to terms both with her grief and why her parents sent her away in the first place.
New York Times bestselling author Alyssa Sheinmel has done it again with another addicting YA novel. It is also important to note that she is definitely one of my favorite YA authors, in case her being a New York Times bestseller was not enough. Which is the harder list to get on, anyway? I’ve been a fan of hers since The Haunting of Sunshine Girl and her newest book definitely lived up to the expectations I had for it. The Castle School offers a really cool and unique dynamic where there’s the supernatural mystery part of the book pulling you in, but also the question of why Moira was sent to this school. There are so many questions that you find yourself asking as you flip through the pages, so you will certainly find yourself flipping and reading faster and faster until you finally get some of your answers. What are the schools hiding and why is Moira there? You’ll just need to read the book to find out.
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