"I absolutely could not put this book down. “The Dreamers” is a triumph in imagination and the art of storytelling. Karen Thompson Walker slowly unfolds her disturbing plot in an entirely creepy yet thrillingly delicate way. A strange sleeping sickness begins to spread through a small southern California town—those affected do not wake up. With a running wildfire as metaphor, the sickness begins small, an ember, but with flying sparks and lack of attention it becomes an epidemic. As scientists, the government and the town’s inhabitants try to cure the mysterious contagion, the balance of community comes into question: what does it mean to share this world with others? Are we ever truly alone? With a combination of perspectives and a blending of imagination and reality, I found my experience reading this book to be absorbing, disorienting and all too fleeting, much like a dream. "
"“Who were you when you weren’t wondering who you were?” It’s stunning questions like these that pepper Mary Laura Philpott’s funny, delightful and fearless essay collection. Her intended audience is anyone who’s reached a road block or a crisis of identity however, her charming and easy writing speaks to everyone as it captures the absurdity of life itself and reaches through the pages to assure you we all wonder, how did I get here? Philpott humbly chronicles an entire life through vignettes, from her self-diagnoses as Type A+ in first grade to regrettable college boyfriends with even more regrettable tattoos to the horror of PTA fundraisers to the pride of a career forged out of passion, all the while thoughtfully answering questions about love, family and time. This is a book I will doubtless return to again and again throughout my life and still discover something new."
"This YA fantasy novel is Sofia Coppola’s “Marie Antoinette” meets “Les Miserables” meets “Harry Potter” and it’s amazing! Set during the French Revolution, Gita Trelease weaves a story so charming and compelling I could not put it down. Apparently the love, magic and revolution don’t stop here, the author has also confirmed she’s writing a sequel!"
"This is a gentle, humorous novel about a young girl coming of age at the onset of email. I was stunned by the elegant way it not only pulled me into the story but also made me question the way we communicate in our everyday lives and what we’re really saying. Elif Batuman has written a quiet but powerful story that I continuously recommend to avid readers and to non-readers. After all, everyone one of us is looking for a way to be heard."
"A debut novel that’s engrossing from the very first page, Juliet Escoria’s “Juliet The Maniac” is a semi autobiographical account of a teenage girl’s struggle with her bipolar disorder. Reminiscent of “Girl Interrupted”, “The Girls” and “The Virgin Suicides”, Escoria’s writing is haunting yet delicate as she manages to capture the terrifying heaviness and confusion of the onset of mental illness in a young person. I was shocked, heartbroken and humbled by the protagonist I got to know through the short, journal-like chapters. Juliet wasn’t like any other fictional character I’ve read, she was real."
"An incredible compilation of thought provoking ideas and opinions. Each of the essays in this collection provides a deep and delicate analysis of faith, writing, economics and happiness in a part of America that most of us on the East Coast know nothing about yet consider the “heartland” of our country. I kept thinking about O’Gieblyn’s words long after I finished the book."