Neverworld Wake

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Neverworld Wake is the newest YA novel from best-selling author Marisha Pessl (author of Night Film). The book centers around Beatrice who has just completed her Freshman year at college and is home for the Summer in Rhode Island. Beatrice receives an invitation from her boarding school friends who she has not had any contact with since the tragic and mysterious death of her boyfriend, Jim, at their remote and elite private boarding school the year before. Beatrice is apprehensive about seeing her enigmatic friends but decides that she has to see them in order to find out if they know any more information about Jim’s death so that she can put to rest her confusion once and for all.

What starts out as an awkward drunken reunion soon turns into a nightmare when an accident leaves the group in a time loop where they are doomed to relive the exact same day over and over again until they all come to a consensus and vote for the only one of them that will be allowed to survive.

I don’t want to give away too much more about this book. Marisha Pessl is great at combining the real and the paranormal into an amazing mystery and this book is just that – a well-thought out reality-bending (time travelling!) mystery.

Sea Prayer

aa bookThis slim volume by Khaled Hosseini addresses the heart-breaking plight of the Syrian families attempting to escape the horrible conditions of their homeland. It is a letter from a father to his young son, where he laments the fact that the boy is too young to have known the beautiful country he grew up in, and describes all the wonderful aspects of his (the father’s) childhood. Dan William’s beautiful illustrations are a perfect match to the text, and after reading Sea Prayer, one can’t help but feel incredible empathy for the Syrian refugees. Hosseini is donating his profits from the book to organizations serving refugees, an honorable gesture. A must read.

I Know You Know

aa bookGilly Macmillan’s latest mystery leaves the reader guessing until the last minute as to” whodunit”.    Twenty years ago, two young boys were murdered in England, and the novel opens in present day, with a skeleton having been found very close to the original burial site of the boys. A close friend of the two, Cody Swift, decides to create a podcast dealing with their deaths, in an attempt to re-open the case and find the true murderer of the boys. The young man who went to jail for their murders, Sidney Noyce, had recently committed suicide while in jail, but several people were convinced he was innocent of the crimes. So Cody begins to interview everyone associated with the boys, except for one boy’s mom, Jess, who refuses to speak to him. She cannot relive the horror that she endured back then. But there is more than meets the eye, and Macmillan is a master at creating suspense. I was guessing up until the very end as to who the culprit was. Highly recommended for mystery lovers.

The Lido

aa bookLibby Page is a British first time novelist who has penned a story about friendship and the importance of standing up for what you believe. The Brockwell Lido is an free outdoor swimming pool in South London where Rosemary has been swimming since she was a child during WWII (she is now 86!). But it is slated to be torn down, and replaced by an expensive gym exclusively for members only. So many fixtures have vanished: the library where Rosemary used to work, the nearby market that was family-owned, and the threat of the pool closing is the last straw. When she meets a young woman, Kate, who is writing the story for the local newspaper, Rosemary befriends her, and they continue the fight to save the beloved pool. Tune in to read “the rest of the story”. I was surprised to learn that there are several lidos in London, and they exist throughout the United Kingdom and abroad. Too bad the idea hasn’t been adopted here in the U.S.