Published: August 18th, 2022 Publisher: Harper Collins UK Genre: Suspense, Psychological Fiction, Domestic Fiction, Coming-of-Age Story Format: Hardcover, Kindle, Audiobook
Welcome to my review of this dark and disturbing debut. Thank you to Harper Collins UK for the gifted copy.
This was the Squadpod Book Club August pick. Tune into our Twitter account at 7.30pm on August 30th for a live chat with the author.
LILY IS A GOOD DAUGHTER
Every evening she pours Mama a glass of perfectly spoilt orange juice. She arranges the teddy bears on Mama’s quilt, she puts on her matching pink clothes. Anything to help put out the fire of Mama’s rage.
MAMA IS A GOOD LIAR
But Mama is becoming unpredictable, dangerous. And as she starts to unravel, so do the memories that Lily has kept locked away for so long. She only wanted to be good, to help piece Mama back together. But as home truths creep out of the shadows, Lily must recast everything: what if her house isn’t a home – but a prison? What if Mama isn’t a protector – but a monster . . .
Gripping and devastating, from a voice that cuts as sharp as a knife, this is an unforgettable story about a family gone bad.
“Her power falls over the small space. Everyone is thrown into confusion, no one knows whether to look at her or not, to stop talking or continue. They are all in her thrall.”
Eighteen-year-old Lily does everything to please her mother; she carries out her every whim, makes her spoiled juice every night and even dyes her hair and paints her face to look more like the good Chinese daughter she wants. But it is never enough. Mama still finds fault with what she does and leaves Lily feeling bereft. All she wants is to feel loved. As long-hidden truths begin to emerge and Lily slowly unlocks the mysteries surrounding Mama, she thinks she’s finally found the way to be the perfect daughter and win Mama’s approval. But as things become clearer, Lily wonders if Mama is not actually her protector, but a monster….
Wow! What a crazy ride! Disturbing, dark and twisted, Bad Fruit is a hard-hitting portrayal of a dysfunctional family that also explores themes of identity and self-discovery. Author Ella King has crafted a multi-layered story filled with richly drawn and nuanced characters that explores difficult topics and asks hard questions. King had me hooked, but there were also times I had to put the book down and breathe before picking it up again.
At the heart of this book is the mother/daughter relationship. King strips bare the complexities of both this relationship and toxic families with such realism that it could be hard to read.. My heart ached for Lily. Subservient to her mother and forced to act as a go-between for her mother and her siblings, her life is pretty bleak. She tries to escape by locking herself away in her attic bedroom or riding her bike, but she can never escape what’s inside her head. Her pain and desperation for love and acceptance bled from every page and I wanted to reach into the book and hug her.
Then there is Mama. Cruel, callous, cold, scathing and vengeful, she holds her whole family hostage with her emotions. The author captured the essence of a toxic person so vividly in her that I would shiver every time she came onto the page and felt every bit of Lily’s apprehension and fear.
Harrowing, unflinching and deeply human, Bad Fruit is a powerful debut from an author to watch.
MEET THE AUTHOR:
Ella King is a British-Singaporean novelist living in Greenwich, UK. She read Philosophy and Theology at Oxford University, is a graduate of Faber Academy’s novel-writing program, and is an award-winning writer, coming 3rd in the Aurora Prize for Short Fiction 2019 and winning the Blue Pencil Pitch Prize 2019. She’s worked as a corporate lawyer in London and for anti-human trafficking and domestic violence charities. Bad Fruit is her debut novel.
Welcome to my list of most anticipated books being released in August.
As always, the month is full of exciting new books and it was a struggle to narrow down my list to the ones you see here.
So, here are the thirty books out next month that I’m most looking forward to:
Small Angels by Lauren Owen
Published: August 2nd Publisher: Tinder Press Genre: Ghost Story, Gothic Fiction, Horror Fiction, Lesbian Literature
SYNOPSIS: When Chloe turns the key to Small Angels, the church nestled at the edge of Mockbeggar Woods where she is to be married, she is braced for cobwebs and dust.What she doesn’t expect are the villagers’ concerned faces, her fiancé’s remoteness, or the nagging voice in her head that whispers to her of fears she didn’t even know she had.
Something in the woods is beginning to stir, to creep closer to the sleeping houses. Something that should have been banished long ago.
Whatever it is, it’s getting stronger, and pretending it’s not there won’t keep the wedding, or the village – or Chloe - safe.
SYNOPSIS: The truth of what happened that night lies with a secret witness.
Quarter to Midnight is the first thrilling novel in a brand new series by Sunday Times bestselling author Karen Rose, set in New Orleans.
Rocky Hebert walks into his death at quarter to midnight one New Orleans night.
His son Gabe cannot accept the official verdict of suicide and enlists the help of the Burke Broussard Private Investigation Agency to discover the real cause of death.
PI Molly Sutton knows what it’s like to lose a father in tragic circumstances and will go to any lengths to crack the investigation, as she tries to fight off her growing feelings for Gabe.
They soon realise Rocky was working on an investigation of his own; one that threatened to expose the deep corruption going all the way to the top of the police department. And that the key to the puzzle lies with a young witness to a murder that happened years earlier: Xavier Morrow.
Just what did Rocky know? And who might have shut him up?
As they get closer and closer to the truth, they realise that the killer is not going to stop at Rocky. And that Xavier is in very real danger. Someone will go to any lengths to protect what he witnessed that night coming out…
Published: August 4th Publisher: HQ Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Literary Fiction, Satire, LGBTQ Literature
SYNOPSIS: Bridesmaids meets Black Mirror in the most twisted and entertaining thriller of 2022.
Robin and Ellie have been best friends since childhood. They’ve been through everything together, from Robin coming out to the death of Ellie’s dad. But when Ellie asks Robin to be her maid of honour, Robin is reluctant.
It’s not that Robin isn’t happy for Ellie, she just hates everything about weddings and marriage – plus the guy Ellie’s engaged to. There’s also the matter of the crazy (not to mention dangerous) wedding rituals that couples are resorting to in the hope of securing a lifetime of happiness.
Despite her misgivings, Robin finally says yes. But as the wedding day approaches, she gets the feeling that everyone in the bridal party is out to get her. And it seems Ellie is willing to do anything for the perfect day. After all, marriage is about sacrifice…
Published: August 4th Publisher: Harvill Secker Genre: Literary Fiction
SYNOPSIS: Three nuns play the lottery to save their failing convent, resulting in a story of friendship, community, faith and love.
The 1990s are proving tough for the convent. The order of the Sisters of Saint Philomena is down to its three last nuns. The place that Sisters Margaret, Bridget and Cecilia call home is in dire need of repairs and, with no savings and no new recruits, they are facing the prospect of having to sell up and leave behind their friends and neighbours in the parish community that they love.
That is, until ninety-year-old Cecilia decides to play the newly launched National Lottery and a series of small miracles begins to unfold.
Small Miracles takes the reader on a joyful and uplifting journey as these three unforgettable nuns learn more about life, love and friendship than they could ever have imagined.
This is the perfect feel-good read for fans of AJ Pearce, Rachel Joyce, Katie Fforde and Joanna Cannon, as well as Sister Act, Rev and The Vicar of Dibley. It’s a story about love in its many guises and how it can heal us.
Daughter of Darkness by Katharine & Elizabeth Corr
Published: August 4th Publisher: Hot Key Books Genre: Fantasy Fiction, Horror Fiction, Myths and Legends, Greek Mythology, YA Fiction
SYNOPSIS: Enter the Underworld in an epic new fantasy, where the Gods of ancient Greece rule everything but fate.
Deina is trapped. As one of the Soul Severers serving the god Hades on earth, her future is tied to the task of shepherding the dying on from the mortal world – unless she can earn or steal enough to buy her way out.
Then the tyrant ruler Orpheus offers both fortune and freedom to whoever can retrieve his dead wife, Eurydice, from the Underworld. Deina jumps at the chance. But to win, she must enter an uneasy alliance with a group of fellow Severers she neither likes nor trusts.
So begins their perilous journey into the realm of Hades. . . The prize of freedom is before her – but what will it take to reach it?
From the authors of A THRONE OF SWANS and A CROWN OF TALONS comes a stunning new YA duology set in a world inspired by the mythology of ancient Greece.
Perfect for fans of Alexandra Bracken’s LORE and Jessie Burton’s MEDUSA.
Published: August 4th Publisher: Harper Collins UK Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Psychological Thriller, Gothic Fiction
A remote village.
A deadly secret.
An outsider who knows the truth…
Maggie Mackay has been haunted her entire life. No matter what she does, she can’t shake the sense that something is wrong with her. And maybe something is…
When she was five years old, without proof, Maggie announced that someone in the remote village of Blairmore in the Outer Hebrides had murdered a local man, sparking a media storm.
Now, Maggie is determined to discover what really happened and what the villagers are hiding. But everyone has secrets, and some are deadly. As she gets closer to the horrifying truth, Maggie’s own life is in danger…
From the critically-acclaimed author of Mirrorland comes a darkly disturbing new thriller that will chill you to the bone.
SYNOPSIS: Three women. An isolated town. A decades-old mystery.
They hate me down there, in Boldville. I can read it in their eyes, smell it on their noxious breaths. That dreaded little town hates everything about me: not just my personality and form, the clothes I wear, but the way I think. The things that I know.
1933. Cornelia Stover is headstrong and business-minded – not the kind of woman the men of Boldville, New Mexico, expect her to be. Then she stumbles upon a secret hidden out in the hills . . .
1970. Decades later, Joanna Riley, a former cop, packs up her car in the middle of the night and drives west, fleeing an abusive marriage and a life she can no longer bear. Eventually, she runs out of gas and finds herself in Boldville, a sleepy desert town in the foothills of the Gila Mountains.
Joanna was looking for somewhere to retreat, to hide, but something is off about this place. In a commune on the outskirts a young man has been found dead and Joanna knows a cover up when she sees it. Soon, she and Glitter, a young, disaffected hippie, find themselves caught up in a dark mystery that goes to the very heart of Boldville, where for too long people have kept their eyes shut and turned their heads away. A mystery that leads them all the way back to the unexplained disappearance of Glitter’s grandmother Cornelia forty years before . . .
A captivating, atmospheric new novel from the lauded author of The Long, Long Afternoon, This Wild Wild Country simmers with secrets, lies and terrible betrayal, unravelling the lives of three women at the mercy of their times.
Published: August 4th Publisher: Picador Genre: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction
SYNOPSIS: A sweeping, breathtakingly ambitious novel about power, wealth and truth, told by four unique, interlocking voices and set against the backdrop of turbulent 1920s New York.
The legendary Wall Street tycoon whose immense wealth gives him the power to do almost anything. The second-generation Italian immigrant tasked with recording his life story. The reclusive, aristocratic wife. And the writer who observes them from afar.
In a city devoted to making money and making stories like no other, where wealth means power, who gets to tell the truth? And to rise to the top of a glittering, destructive world, what – and who – do you have to sacrifice?
Published: August 11th Publisher: Canongate Genre: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Adventure Fiction, Coming-of-Age Story
SYNOPSIS: 1628. Embarking on a journey in search of her father, a young girl called Mayken boards the Batavia, the most impressive sea vessel of the age. During the long voyage, this curious and resourceful child must find her place in the ship’s busy world, and she soon uncovers shadowy secrets above and below deck. As tensions spiral, the fate of the ship and all on board becomes increasingly uncertain.
1989. Gil, a boy mourning the death of his mother, is placed in the care of his irritable and reclusive grandfather. Their home is a shack on a tiny fishing island off the Australian coast, notable only for its reefs and wrecked boats. This is no place for a child struggling with a dark past and Gil’s actions soon get him noticed by the wrong people.
The Night Ship is an enthralling tale of human brutality, providence and friendship, and of two children, hundreds of years apart, whose fates are inextricably bound together.
SYNOPSIS: Behind closed doors is a secret someone is willing to kill for.
I walk into the bright, open living room of my new apartment, and I know this is the fresh start I’ve been dreaming about. As I double lock my pretty red door each night, I feel like I can finally be happy. I can finally be safe.
But when I’m woken one night by the sound of my neighbours arguing through the wall. I swear I hear one of them saying my name. Why would they be talking about me?
Michaela and Kirsty seem so nice, always stopping to chat when we pass in the hallway, and inviting me round for a glass of wine after work.
I know I’m being paranoid, but then my favourite hair clip goes missing and I start to feel like someone’s watching me.
Nobody was meant to know where I am. And I was careful. I did everything right. But I can’t help but fear my past has caught up with me and this time, I might not escape…
If you love gripping psychological thrillers like Gone Girl and Mark Edwards’s Here to Stay, you’ll be blown away by The Houseshare. Addictive, tense and with an ending you won’t see coming, you’ll be up all night turning pages.
Published: August 18th Publisher: Pan Macmillan Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Gothic Fiction
SYNOPSIS: Daisy Darker is an all-consuming tale of psychological suspense with a spectacular twist from the internationally bestselling author Alice Feeney
Daisy Darker’s family were as dark as dark can be, when one of them died all of them lied and pretended not to see . . .
Daisy Darker is arriving at her grandmother’s house for her eightieth birthday. It is Halloween, and Seaglass – the crumbling Cornish house perched upon its own tiny private island – is at one with the granite rocks it sits on. The Darker family haven’t all been in the same place for over a decade, and when the tide comes in they’ll be cut off from the rest of the world for eight hours. When the tide goes back out, nothing will ever be the same again, because one of them is a killer . . .
SYNOPSIS: Someone’s trying to frame me for murder. But I can’t prove my innocence. Because then I’d have to confess about… my other husband.
*Pre-order the brand new novel from Sunday Times bestselling author Dorothy Koomson.
Cleo Forsum is a bestselling novelist turned scriptwriter whose TV series, ‘The Baking Detective’ is a huge success. Writing is all she’s ever wanted to do, and baking and murder stories have proved a winning combination.
But now she has decided to walk away from it all – including divorcing her husband, Wallace – before her past secrets catch up with her.
As Cleo drafts the final ever episodes of the series, people she knows start getting hurt. And it’s soon clear that someone is trying to frame her for murder.
She thinks she knows why, but Cleo can’t tell the police or prove her innocence. Because then she’d have to confess about her other husband . . .
A series of terrifying murders. A set of complex lies. And a woman with no way to clear her name.
My Other Husband is the latest gripping thriller from the Queen of The Big Reveal.
Published: August 18th Publisher: HQ Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Dark Comedy, Magical Realism, Supernatural Fiction, Coming-of-Age Fiction
SYNOPSIS: The change is coming…
Nessa: The Seeker Jo: The Protector Harriett: The Punisher
With newfound powers the time has come to take matters into their own hands…
After Nessa is widowed and her daughters leave for college, she’s left alone in her house near the ocean. In the quiet hours, she hears voices belonging to the dead – who will only speak to her.
On the cusp of fifty Harriett’s marriage and career imploded, and she hasn’t left her house in months. But her life is far from over – in fact, she’s undergone a stunning metamorphosis.
Jo spent thirty years at war with her body. The rage that arrived with menopause felt like the last straw – until she discovers she’s able to channel it.
Guided by voices only Nessa can hear, the trio discover the abandoned body of a teenage girl. The police have written off the victim. But the women have not. Their own investigations lead them to more bodies and a world of wealth where the rules don’t apply – and the realisation that laws are designed to protect villains, not the vulnerable.
So it’s up to these three women to avenge the innocent, and punish the guilty…
Published: August 18th Publisher: Pan Macmillan Genre: Magical Realism, Fantasy Fiction, Contemporary Literature, Dystopian Fiction, Medical Fiction
SYNOPSIS: Reminiscent of the works of Margaret Atwood, Deborah Harkness, and Octavia E. Butler, The Women Could Fly is a feminist speculative novel that speaks to our times. A piercing dystopian tale about the unbreakable bond between a young woman and her absent mother, set in a world in which magic is real and single women are closely monitored in case they are shown to be witches . . .
Josephine Thomas has heard every conceivable theory about her mother’s disappearance. That she was kidnapped. Murdered. That she took on a new identity to start a new family. That she was a witch. This is the most worrying charge, because in a world where witches are real, peculiar behaviour raises suspicions and a woman – especially a Black woman – can find herself on trial for witchcraft.
But fourteen years have passed since her mother’s disappearance, and now Jo is finally ready to let go of the past. Yet her future is in doubt. The State mandates that all women marry by the age of thirty – or enrol in a registry that allows them to be monitored, effectively forfeiting their autonomy. At twenty-eight, Jo is ambivalent about marriage. With her ability to control her life on the line, she feels as if she has her never understood her mother more. When she’s offered the opportunity to honour one last request from her mother’s will, Jo leaves her regular life to feel connected to her one last time.
In this powerful and timely novel, Megan Giddings explores the limits women face – and the powers they have to transgress and transcend them.
Published: August 18th Publisher: Picador Genre: Historical Fiction, Adventure Fiction
SYNOPSIS: The hugely anticipated novel from the internationally bestselling author of The Pull of the Stars and Room
Three men vow to leave the world behind them and start anew . . .
In seventh-century Ireland, a scholar and priest called Artt has a dream telling him to leave the sinful world behind. Taking two monks – young Trian and old Cormac – he travels down the river Shannon in search of an isolated spot on which to found a monastery. Drifting out into the Atlantic, the three men find an impossibly steep, bare island inhabited by tens of thousands of birds, and claim it for God. Their extraordinary landing spot is now known as Skellig Michael. But in such a place, far from all other humanity, what will survival mean?
Haunting, moving and vividly told, Haven displays Emma Donoghue’s trademark world-building and psychological intensity – but this tale is like nothing she has ever written before . . .
Published: August 18th Publisher: Harper Voyager: Genre: Fantasy Fiction, Contemporary Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Romantic Fantasy, Fairy Tale, Horror Fiction
SYNOPSIS: A gorgeous new fantasy horror – a book about stories and fairytales with family and love at its dark heart…
Perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman (Stardust, Coraline), Susanna Clarke (Piranesi) and Let the Right One In.
Hidden across England and Scotland live six old Book Eater families.
The last of their lines, they exist on the fringes of society and subsist on a diet of stories and legends.
Children are rare and their numbers have dwindled, so when Devon Fairweather’s second child is born a dreaded Mind Eater – a perversion of her own kind, who consumes not stories but the minds and souls of humans – she flees before he can be turned into a weapon for the family… or worse.
Living among humans and finding prey for her son, Devon seeks a cure for his hunger. But time is running out – for her family want her back, and with every soul her son consumes he loses a little more of himself…
This is a story of escape, a savage mother’s devotion and a queer love that will electrify readers looking for something beguiling, thrilling, strange and new.
Published: August 18th Publisher: Michael Joseph Genre: Fairy Tale, Mythology, Literary Fiction
SYNOPSIS: When Scottie Bains realises that she may never become a mother, she makes the heart-breaking decision to flee to the remote North Atlantic archipelago of St Hia.
Lashed by storms and far from the mainland, the islands are dangerous. Many have been lost to the ferocious tides known as the Hollow Sea – and local folklore warns that St Hia was once the home of a witch. Her name was Thordis, and when she was unable to provide her husband with a child, she was driven to a terrible act…
The islanders warn newcomers against examining the past, but Scottie can’t look away from the mystery of what happened to Thordis.
Could it be that St Hia’s troubled history holds the key to Scottie’s future?
Published: August 18th Publisher: Harper Collins UK Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Psychological Fiction, Hardboiled
SYNOPSIS: If you liked I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK and SHARP OBJECTS, you will love this!
What really happened to January Jacobs?
A MYSTERIOUS COLD CASE… Twenty-five years ago, January Jacob’s parents awoke to find their daughter’s bed empty, a horrifying message spray-painted onto their wall. Hours later, January’s body was found discarded in a ditch. Her murder was never solved. But the town remembers.
A DANGEROUS OBSESSION… Journalist Margot Davies is tired of reporting meaningless stories. One night, she stumbles upon a clue in the most infamous crime in her hometown’s history: the unsolved murder of six-year-old January.
A TOWN FULL OF SECRETS… As Margot digs deeper, she begins to suspect that there is something truly sinister lurking in the small community: a secret that endangers the lives of everyone involved…including Margot.
A gripping, twisty thriller for fans of cold crime cases – from the #1 CRIME JUNKIE podcast host Ashley Flowers.
SYNOPSIS: PhD candidate Phoebe Walsh has always been obsessed with true crime. She’s even analyzing the genre in her dissertation – if she can manage to finish writing it. It’s hard to find the time while she spends the summer in Florida, cleaning out her childhood home, dealing with her obnoxiously good-natured younger brother, and grappling with the complicated feelings of mourning a father she hadn’t had a relationship with for years. It doesn’t help that she’s low-key convinced that her new neighbor, Sam Dennings, is a serial killer (he may dress business casual by day, but at night he’s clearly up to something). But it’s not long before Phoebe realises that Sam might be something much scarier – a genuinely nice guy who can pierce her armor to reach her vulnerable heart.
Published: August 23rd Publisher: Sphere Genre: Romance Novel, Contemporary Romanc
SYNOPSIS: From the New York Times bestselling author of The Love Hypothesis comes a new STEMinist rom-com in which a scientist is forced to work on a project with her nemesis – with explosive results.
Like an avenging, purple-haired Jedi bringing balance to the mansplained universe, Bee Königswasser lives by a simple code: What would Marie Curie do? If NASA offered her the lead on a neuroengineering project – a literal dream come true after years scraping by on the crumbs of academia – Marie would accept without hesitation. Duh. But the mother of modern physics never had to co-lead with Levi Ward.
Sure, Levi is attractive in a tall, dark, and piercing-eyes kind of way. And sure, he caught her in his powerfully corded arms like a romance novel hero when she accidentally damseled in distress on her first day in the lab. But Levi made his feelings toward Bee very clear in grad school – archenemies work best employed in their own galaxies far, far away.
Now, her equipment is missing, the staff is ignoring her, and Bee finds her floundering career in somewhat of a pickle. Perhaps it’s her occipital cortex playing tricks on her, but Bee could swear she can see Levi softening into an ally, backing her plays, seconding her ideas … devouring her with those eyes. And the possibilities have all her neurons firing. But when it comes time to actually make a move and put her heart on the line, there’s only one question that matters: What will Bee Königswasser do?
Published: August 25th Publisher: Hogarth Genre: Mystery
SYNOPSIS: I don’t want to tell you what happened. I want to tell you how it felt.
Cassandra Williams is twelve; her little brother Wayne is seven. One day, when they’re alone together, there’s an accident, and Wayne is lost forever. Though his body is never recovered, their mother can’t stop searching. The missing boy cleaves the family with doubt: How do you grieve an absence? And how does it feel?
As C grows older, she relives and retells her story, and she sees her brother everywhere: in cafes, airplane aisles, subway cars. Here is her brother’s older face, the light in his eyes, his lanky limbs, the way he seems to recognise her, too. But it can’t be, of course. Or can it? And then one day, there’s another accident, and C meets a man both mysterious and familiar, a man who’s also searching for someone, as well as his own place in the world. His name is Wayne.
Namwali Serpell’s piercing new novel captures the ongoing and uncanny experience of grief, as the past breaks over the present, like waves in the sea. The Furrows is a bold exploration of memory and mourning that twists unexpectedly into a masterful story of mistaken identity, slippery reality, black experience, and the wishful and sometimes willful longing for reunion with those we’ve lost.
SYNOPSIS: ‘Someone swore that, as a little girl, he once saw you touch a tiger. And that the tiger didn’t harm you, it let you stroke it. It was always said that you had charmed the beast.’
The breathtaking new novel from the author of Hamnet, the Sunday Times No.1 bestseller (2021) and winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2020, The Marriage Portrait is a dazzling evocation of the Italian Renaissance in all its beauty and brutality.
Winter, 1561. Lucrezia, Duchess of Ferrara, is taken on an unexpected visit to a country villa by her husband, Alfonso. As they sit down to dinner it occurs to Lucrezia that Alfonso has a sinister purpose in bringing her here. He intends to kill her.
Lucrezia is sixteen years old, and has led a sheltered life locked away inside Florence’s grandest palazzo. Here, in this remote villa, she is entirely at the mercy of her increasingly erratic husband.
What is Lucrezia to do with this sudden knowledge? What chance does she have against Alfonso, ruler of a province, and a trained soldier? How can she ensure her survival.
The Marriage Portrait is an unforgettable reimagining of the life of a young woman whose proximity to power places her in mortal danger.
The Dragon’s Promise (Six Crimson Cranes Book 2) by Elizabeth Lim
Published: August 30th Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Genre: Fantasy Fiction, Fantasy Series
SYNOPSIS: A dragon’s kingdom. A star-crossed love. And a cursed pearl with the power to mend the world, or break it . . .
Shiori’s quest continues in the soaring sequel to the New York Times bestselling young adult fantasy Six Crimson Cranes.
Princess Shiori made a deathbed promise to return the dragon’s pearl to its rightful owner, but keeping that promise is more dangerous than she ever imagined.
She must journey to the kingdom of dragons, navigate political intrigue among humans and dragons alike, fend off thieves who covet the pearl for themselves and will go to any lengths to get it, all the while cultivating the appearance of a perfect princess to dissuade those who would see her burned at the stake for the magic that runs in her blood.
The pearl itself is no ordinary cargo; it thrums with malevolent power, jumping to Shiori’s aid one minute, and betraying her the next – threatening to shatter her family and sever the thread of fate that binds her to her true love. It will take every ounce of strength Shiori can muster to defend the life and the love she’s fought so hard to win.
The Lost Girls of Willowbrook by Ellen Marie Wiseman
Published: August 30th Publisher: Kensington Books Genre: Historical Fiction, Coming-of-Age Story
SYNOPSIS: In this powerful novel of survival and resilience, New York Times bestselling author Ellen Marie Wiseman takes readers on a gripping, emotional journey as one brave young woman’s search for the truth about her sister leads her to an infamous institution called Willowbrook . . .
Sage Winters always knew her sister was a little different even though they were identical twins. They loved the same things and shared a deep understanding, but Rosemary—awake to every emotion, easily moved to joy or tears—seemed to need more protection from the world.
Six years after Rosemary’s death from pneumonia, Sage, now sixteen, still misses her deeply. Their mother perished in a car crash, and Sage’s stepfather, Alan, resents being burdened by a responsibility he never wanted. Yet despite living as near strangers in their Staten Island apartment, Sage is stunned to discover that Alan has kept a shocking secret: Rosemary didn’t die. She was committed to Willowbrook State School and has lingered there until just a few days ago, when she went missing.
Sage knows little about Willowbrook. It’s always been a place shrouded by rumor and mystery. A place local parents threaten to send misbehaving kids. With no idea what to expect, Sage secretly sets out for Willowbrook, determined to find Rosemary. What she learns, once she steps through its doors and is mistakenly believed to be her sister, will change her life in ways she never could imagined . . .