The Illustrated Stephen King Trivia book and The Illustrated Stephen King Movie Trivia Book by Brian James Freeman, Hans Åke Lilja, and Kevin Quigley, illustrated by Glenn Chadbourne

Synopsis: A thoroughly research set of quiz books for the ultimate Stephen King aficionado! Review: Wow, these trivia books are crazy comprehensive! The Trivia Book covers the books, and the Movie Trivia Book focuses on the movies. As any fan knows, there can be pretty substantive differences between the movies and the books. So if you know that Andy Dufresne’s final poster was different in the novella and the movie, and you can even guess who replaced Linda Rondstadt in the movie, then these books…

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Divergent by Veronica Roth

Synopsis: In a world divided into five factions ruled by a defining character trait, a young woman risks excommunication if anyone discovers that she is Divergent–showing tendencies to more than one character trait. Review: I initially dismissed Divergent as part of the post-Hunger Games dystopian frenzy and assumed it wouldn’t grip me and enthrall me in quite the same way. I was dead wrong–I actually think Divergent is a better story than HG–at least so far. I felt way more invested in Tris’s dilemma because…

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Erebos by Ursula Poznanski

Synopsis: When a teenage boy gets a copy of a contraband video game, he soon learns that Erebos and the real world are bleeding together with deadly results. Review: Erebos was a fun, fast read with good plotting and a well-realized game world. It was pretty straightforward in its execution and I’m not sure I’m totally satisfied by the ending but it was a fun read nonetheless. Share on Facebook

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All You Never Wanted by Adele Griffin

Synopsis: When her popular older sister Alex falls into a depression, ambitious Thea sets her sights on everything that she covets from her sister’s life. Review: Told in alternating POV chapters, All You Never Wanted is a merciless look at one sister bent on destroying herself, and another sister bent on helping her achieve her goal. As the mom of two daughters it made me sad to see the animosity between them, but I also really liked the complexity of their relationship and the way…

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A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans

Synopsis: Subtitled “How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband ‘Master’.” Review: I didn’t think I wanted to read A Year of Biblical Womanhood because it seemed gimmicky and I assumed that the writer was going for snark. But I gradually became turned on to the beautiful, incisive, perceptive, and deeply Christian writings of author Rachel Held Evans and realized I had to make this my next read. I want all of my friends to read…

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The Believing Game by Eireann Corrigan

Synopsis: Greer’s been dumped in a home for disturbed kids, but amazingly she meets the boy of her dreams–and his creepy AA sponsor, a 50-year-old possibly homeless guy who has grand plans for Addison, Greer, and their friends. Review: The Believing Game is the portrait of a nascent cult. While Greer doesn’t quite buy Joshua as a spiritual leader, she’s so in love with Addison that she accepts Joshua so as not to lose her boyfriend. But Joshua has a way of getting under people’s…

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Code Name Verity by Elizabeth E. Wein

Synopsis: When her plane goes down in Nazi occupied France, a teenage Scottish spy known only as Verity has just one chance to write her confession before her captors send her off to a concentration camp. Review: Code Name Verity was the best read I have had all year. No contest. (Well, maybe The Devil in Silver.) I seriously just want everyone to feel how I feel when I think about “FLY THE PLANE MADDIE.” I am about to cry and I might just have…

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The Child’s Child by Barbara Vine

Synopsis: While working on her PhD thesis on unmarried mothers in British literature, a young woman finds disturbing parallels between a violent work of fiction from the mid-20th century and her own life living with her gay brother. Review: Everything I love about Barbara Vine is present in The Child’s Child: a haunting atmosphere, complicated characters, and a sense of urgency to the storytelling that has nothing to do with a jam-packed plot. The book opens with Grace, a PhD candidate living a peaceful life…

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As It Is On Earth by Peter M. Wheelwright

Synopsis: A lost professor muses on the mess he’s made of his life and his inability to shake himself free from the burdens of family, tradition, and history. Review: As It Is On Earth is a stunningly well-written novel. Comparisons to Walker Percy are more than apt, they’re jump-with-joy appropriate. Who writes like this? I’m just not used to seeing this level of thoughtfulness, depth, poetry, and philosophy in books anymore. Plus it’s weird and funny and bawdy and depressing and bizarre and twisted. It…

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Lost Claus by Dan Fiorella

Synopsis: A jaded private eye takes on the case of a lifetime when an unusually small client by the name of “Tweedle” walks in the door wearing a red and green outfit claiming his boss is missing. Review: Lost Claus is really, really funny. Dan Fiorella gets all the hard boiled lingo just right and it’s hilarious when juxtaposed with some snooty elves, Santa’s hot-to-trot adopted daughter, and the threat of Christmas without the big man himself. It’s a great satire and a fun story,…

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