Ransom Rigg’s debut novel Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children is a stunning beginning to an exciting new series. Jacob had always been close to his grandfather and after he died Jacob discovered some very unusual old photos of his grandfather’s past friends. The photos, along with a letter that his grandfather left him, made Jacob decide he had to go to the small island off the coast of Wales and look into his grandfather’s past. Once on the island, Jacob discovers he has a gift, much like his grandfather had, of being able to see monsters. Now it is up to Jacob to figure out how to save his new group of friends from these monsters that only he can see.
This was such an exciting read. The entire story had an air of mystery surrounding it and I was unable to stop reading. I loved learning about all of the children and their special gifts. Riggs included old photographs of the children that added such a haunting atmosphere to the novel. I am already anxiously awaiting book two to see how the adventure continues.
Mike Lawson’s newest novel House Blood was such a fabulous and intense read that fans are sure to be raving about it. Emma is still recovering from her battle with cancer but has decided to help Joe out on his latest case. After a terrible earthquake in Peru destroys countless villages, Mulray Pharma, a pharmaceutical company, steps in to help build houses and provide food for people who are need. But now some of the people who are living there are dying and people who were lobbying for them in Washington D.C are being murdered. Emma takes off to find out what is going on in Peru while Joe looks into the deaths in Washington. And of course things are never easy for these two as they are trying to stay one step ahead of the killers that are now targeting them.
As always, I was amazed at the information that Lawson includes in his novels. His description of how congress can be controlled and influenced by lobbyists and their money on so many issues is amazing. The pharmaceutical information was just incredible. I had very limited knowledge of how they test new drugs and it was a little nerve racking to read about it in a murder mystery novel. Lawson creates such a realistic tale that I often found myself thinking, oh my goodness this could be happening right now. We have praised his books before and his series just keeps getting better. Lawson is one author who continues to be a staff pick.
Elin Hilderbrand’s newest novel Summerland is yet another wonderful tale of love and loss set in Nantucket. The summer is looking perfect for Zoe. Her twins, Hobson and Penny, will be seniors next year, work is going well, and everyone is excited for a summer of food and sun. But then everything suddenly changes when Penny and Hobby, along with classmates Demeter and Jake, are in a terrible car accident that leaves Hobby in a coma and Penny dead. Zoe is completely overwhelmed with the loss of her only daughter and coming to terms with a different future for her son. Now Zoe and the people on the small island of Nantucket have to overcome the grief of loosing one bright and promising child, and the sidelining of their all-star player.
Hilderbrand does such a great job of creating and developing her characters. You find yourself cheering everyone on and then feeling devastated when something doesn’t workout for one of the characters. She has the perfect balance of drama and happiness, and it was a mesmerizing tale. I love how much Hilderbrand describes food in all of her novels. Everything that her characters eat sound simply amazing and so appropriate for an island getaway. Her books are the ideal summer escape.
Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s novel The Language of Flowers is a powerful tale about one girl’s ability to help herself and others through flowers. Victoria grew up in foster care, which at the best of times was isolating and filled with deceit. At the age of eighteen, Victoria was emancipated from the system but found herself alone and lacking in job skills. The one thing that Victoria did have was a knowledge of flowers and what emotions they elicit. Victoria was able to get a job at a flower shop where she helped people convey the correct meaning of emotions with their bouquets.
This is such a wonderful story that it will leave you craving more tidbits on flowers’ meanings. Thankfully, Diffenbaugh does include Victoria’s dictionary on the meaning of the flowers. Victoria is such a strong character who is determined to succeed even when everyone else failed her. There are many things that she has to overcome and there are touching moments that will compel you to keep reading. One of my favorite aspects of this book, is the way Victoria’s story seamlessly travels between the past and present . This was such an engaging way to tell the tale. Diffenbaugh’s debut novel is a captivating story about leaning from the past and finding love in the present.
Join us on Wednesday July 11th at 7 PM for our book discussion on this book.
Cold Dish by Craig Johnson is a fabulous beginning to an excellent series. Sheriff Walt Longmire is just starting to claw his way back from the black hole of grief, which means he is able to function in society but that is about the extend of his capabilities. After the brutal raping of a young girl, Longmire discovers that the assailants are being murdered. Now he has to determine who the culprit is, in a town that is already horrified and enraged by the initial crime.
Johnson creates remarkable characters that are funny, clever, and well developed. He has such a wonderful writing style that you immediately feel an affinity for the characters. It is so easy to pick-up his books and instantly get sucked into the lives of the characters. I have also been liking his main character, Longmire. He has a dry, sarcastic humor that often leaves me chuckling. His progression from overcoming the trauma of his wife’s death to being able to go out into the world and reconnect with people has also be fascinating. Not only has Johnson created memorable characters, but his stories are gripping psychological thrillers that will leave you wondering who did it. Also, if you haven’t already, watch the TV show based on the books.