If you love comics and graphic novels about friendship, discovery, and the joy of being weird, you won’t want to miss out on Wallace the Brave by Will Henry.
This comic series, now in its fourth collected volume, centers on the bold and imaginative Wallace in his picturesque hometown of Snug Harbor, where he lives with fisherman father, plant-loving mother, and feral little brother Sterling. Wallace is outdoorsy and adventurous, making his own fun with the help of best friend Spud, brainy Rose, and aggressive Amelia. This is a utopic read filled with hope, light, and appreciation for the small comforts of life — alongside quirky humor and pride in being different.
A wholesome heir to Calvin & Hobbes and as healing to read as the Tea Dragon Society, Wallace the Brave is recommended for all ages who need a gentle, humorous read.
I picked up Never Coming Home by Kate Williams because I’m a sucker for a YA murder mystery, but squealed internally when I realized that it’s a modern retelling of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None – easily one of the most chilling and addictive mysteries published (made into a miniseries in 2015!). Even better, it also has bits of The Breakfast Club mixed in, which gives a one-two punch of cult classic storylines.
Unknown Island is a new, highly exclusive hospitality experience (read: fancy resort) that’s been building hype for months through a slick and tempting ad campaign. Now, the island has finally invited it’s First Ten guests: ten influencers from various platforms and niche interest areas, all under 21 and up-and-coming. But it’s not until they arrive that they realize there’s something else they all hold in common…they all hold a deadly secret. That in itself might just be unsettling, until the first of them dies. And then it soon becomes clear that whoever’s invited them has no intention of letting them leave alive.
I appreciated a lot of things about this book including the quick-paced storyline, the multiple POV narration, and the true diversity represented. As a fan of the original it was fun to find the echoes of the original material sprinkled throughout the text; while it skillfully follows the same path as the original, the characters and their backgrounds aren’t exact copies of Christie’s originals, so it’s not immediately obvious who’s the dastardly criminal mastermind. Each of the characters gets their own voice and has a distinct identity — which is not to say it doesn’t get confusing at times to remember who’s who — but what’s really effective about the narrative style is that flipping quickly between different perspectives mirrors the horror of paranoia kicking in as the body count keeps climbing and you’re not sure who to believe. Moreover, while I wouldn’t say this adaptation is necessarily better than Christie’s original, it’s definitely more relevant to modern senses of what’s terrifying, as it shines a spotlight on how not anonymous social media is and what can really happen to kids who live mostly online. True to the original, however, it doesn’t shy away from a nuanced and unresolved examination of what it means to be a good or bad person, or what it really means to have justice be done.
If you’re a mystery lover, distrustful of social media, devour slasher films and psychological thrillers, or are generally haunted by Lord of the Flies‘ death-in-paradise vibes, DO NOT miss out on this genius, terrifying thrill ride.
It’s been a while since I have found a new cozy mystery series to read. After talking to some other book lovers, I decided to start Hannah Dennison’s newest series: the Island Sisters Mystery series (I’ll admit that the cover is what pulled me in first – lucky for me, the plot was thoroughly engaging too).
Death at High Tide is the first book in the Island Sisters Mystery series. Evie Mead is devastated. Her husband Robert has suddenly died of a heart attack. During a meeting with his accountant after his death, Evie and her sister Margot learn that Evie may own the rights to an old hotel on Tregarrick Rock, one of the Scilly Islands. At a loss of what to do, Evie wants to leave all the arrangements in the hands of her accountant. Margot has other plans. Having left her glamorous career and fancy life behind in Los Angeles to come help Evie, Margot is determined to help Evie relax. She suggests a weekend getaway to Tregarrick Rock so the two can scope out the hotel and the area.
Once at the Scilly Islands, Evie and Margot realize that the area is not what they thought it would be. When they eventually arrive at the hotel, the two are fascinated by the history. Famous detective novelists used to visit the hotel in its prime, but now the hotel is definitely more of a fixer upper than either of them expected. When Evie starts asking questions, the answers she receives are off. The cranky hotel owner say that he has never met Robert, as do many other island inhabitants. Evie finds evidence to contradict them though, specifically framed photos of Robert with various people she meets over the weekend. She can’t be sure what they are all hiding and why.
When a two murders happen at the hotel in quick succession, Evie and Margot are desperate to escape Tregarrick Rock and forget this place and its weird inhabitants ever existed. Their escape is thwarted by the local police when both are named suspects. With all eyes on them, the sisters start searching for answers and find multiple secrets hidden for years, including their own.
Island Sisters Mystery series
- Death at High Tide (2020)
- Danger at the Cove (2021)
Every month Reese Witherspoon releases a new pick for the Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine book club. June is an exception! She has announced TWO books for June and we are so excited to tell you about them.
If you want to make sure that you don’t miss any celebrity book club picks, join our Best Sellers Club and have those automatically put on hold for you.
The Guest List by Lucy Foley is her fiction pick for the month. This book is available in the following formats: OverDrive eAudiobook and OverDrive eBook.
Below is a description of this book provided by the publisher:
On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed. But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast. And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?
Reese Witherspoon’s second book club pick for June is I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown. This book is also available as an OverDrive eBook.
The following is a description provided by the publisher:
The author’s first encounter with a racialized America came at age seven, when her parents told her they named her Austin to deceive future employers into thinking she was a white man. She grew up in majority-white schools, organizations, and churches, and has spent her life navigating America’s racial divide as a writer, a speaker, and an expert helping organizations practice genuine inclusion. While so many institutions claim to value diversity in their mission statements, many fall short of matching actions to words. Brown highlights how white middle-class evangelicalism has participated in the rise of racial hostility, and encourages the reader to confront apathy and recognize God’s ongoing work in the world.
Growing up, I always wished that I had an identical twin sister. I blame The Parent Trap movie for that wish. Having someone who looked exactly like me who would be there to trick our friends and family into thinking they were the other person sounded like so much fun. I met a set of identical twins in middle school, realized just how confusing that would actually be, abandoned that desire, and stuck with my normal, not identical, siblings. A lot easier that way. I had forgotten about my twin sister desire until I picked up The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand and got a glimpse into what it is like to have an identical twin as an adult.
The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand tells the complicated stories of Tabitha and Harper Frost. One twin lives on Nantucket, while the other lives on Martha’s Vineyard: a distance of only two and a half hours away by ferry. Yet that two and a half hour separation is widened by years of disagreements, arguments, and resentment that continuously builds because the two never talk to each other. While the two may look exactly like each other, that doesn’t mean they are alike AT ALL. Their personalities, life decisions, and clothing choices only prove to illustrate this point.
Harper and Tabitha have spent their entire lives trying to separate themselves from the other twin and from their other parent. You see, when Tabitha and Harper were young, their parents divorced and each parent took one of the twins to live with them year round with vacations thrown in so the other twin got to see the parent that they didn’t live with. This awkward situation left the twins with some major resentment towards each other and weird interactions with the other parent.
A major family crisis forces the two women together after many years apart. This forced reconciliation sounds like a recipe for disaster, but add in the twin’s mother and Tabitha’s teenage daughter and things are bound to get interesting. Each twin’s personal life keeps forcibly making itself known to the other twin which results in confusion amongst others as they try to figure out which is which. Tabitha and Harper may not want to have to band together through this family crisis, but they sure know how to appear like they like each other. These false appearances can only last so long though and the twins are soon forced to turn to each other for real.
This book is also available in the following formats: