by Eloise Jarvis McGraw, fiction After his father dies, Ranofer is taken in by a half-brother who is likely stealing and stands in Ranofer’s way of becoming the goldsmith apprentice he’s always dreamed of being. If you love history, adventure and stories of overcoming hardships and obstacles and believing in yourself, this is a book for you.
by Jessica L. Randall, fiction This is a decent story with a touch of mystery about family and keeping secrets, though it’s a bit predictable and the ending felt rushed. The title didn’t quite suit the story and it’s missing some depth and nuance regarding relationships and consequences of actions. Some elements didn’t sit well with me.
by Rachael English, fiction This provoking story shows how certain experiences shape us not only in the moment, but for the rest of our lives. It’s a story of birth mothers and their children separated in mother and baby homes in Ireland and its lasting impact. Multiple characters and multiple perspectives, including some poor language choices.
by Stephanie Burgis, fiction This delightful and fun romp of a story is about a young dragon who discovers her passion for chocolate and the consequences of making impulsive choices. A fresh and age-appropriate perspective in believing in yourself and discovering what it means to be a true friend. (I craved chocolate the whole way through.)
by Mary Oliver, nonfiction An entire chapter dedicated to rhythm, to foot, and to meter, explained in a pleasurable way with examples to keep the reader grounded. Oliver’s enjoyment of poetry is evident and seeps through her words. If you appreciate the music and rhythm of language and words in general, then this is for you.
by Erin Bartels, fiction The story inside lived up to the eye-catching cover. Such a beautiful, compelling story of brokenness and finding wholeness, full of heart-tugging moments, life-altering choices, and what it truly means to love and be loved. Bartels expertly weaves between past and present, piecing together the mysteries of the story stitch by stitch.
by Lindsay A. Franklin, fiction A fascinating and fun tale of stories that, when told, can be crystallized into physical form. In this quest against tyranny, engaging characters confront what it means to be family, the dangers of suppressing an innate gift, and who you are if you lose the memory of who you used to be.
by Sarah McCoy, fiction McCoy’s prose is beautiful, full of poetry, and the story cuts deep. A bit graphic at times, it is filled with the realities of war-torn lives and learning to live. So much of this book takes place in bakeries, my mouth watered and I felt like I gained ten pounds just reading.
by J. Andersen, fiction This chilling view into a society where only perfect human specimens are allowed to live forces Kate, who has been taught that perfecting humanity is in everyone’s best interest, to confront the reality of how this is achieved. She faces unforeseen, life-altering choices in this story that could be more fully developed.
by Jane Austen and another lady, fiction Austen’s unfinished novel comes to life with the help of “another lady,” while still following Austen’s style through to the end. Though there’s nothing unpredictable in the story line, I always enjoy being immersed in the social mores of another time and place, deciphering the nuance of period communication and social standards.