Fiction & Literature Book Reviews

ONLY THE STRONG by Jabari Asim
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 12, 2015

"You will rarely find a historical novel that's as panoramic yet also as lean, mean, and moving as this."
An epic saga of 1970s African-American life in a Midwestern city is neatly, deftly, and evocatively compressed into three tales with overlapping characters—and destinies. Read full book review >
THE MAKING OF ZOMBIE WARS by Aleksandar Hemon
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 12, 2015

"Fun, though, for Hemon fans who want to see him work in a different mode."
One of America's finest authors of somber novels about alienation brings a newbie's enthusiasm to a comic novel—about alienation, of course. Read full book review >

ALMOST CRIMSON by Dasha Kelly
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 12, 2015

"A multilayered exploration of the intricate nature of family ties in defining who we are—and how, ultimately, we can choose who we want to become."
Twenty-eight-year-old accounts manager Cece Weathers has spent her life taking care of her sick mother after her father, a traumatized Vietnam vet, abandoned them before she was born. Read full book review >
GIRL AT WAR by Sara Novic
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 12, 2015

"Elegiac, and understandably if unrelievedly so, with a matter-of-factness about death and uprootedness. A promising start."
Understated, self-assured roman à clef of a young girl's coming of age in war-torn Croatia. Read full book review >
THE BOOK OF ARON by Jim Shepard
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 12, 2015

"Ordinary people reveal dimensions that are extraordinarily cruel or kind."
An understated and devastating novel of the Warsaw ghetto during the Nazi occupation, as seen through the eyes of a street-wise boy. Read full book review >

THE ANCHORESS by Robyn Cadwallader
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 12, 2015

"Sympathetic, fully realized characters and good use of period details make this a winning work of historical fiction."
Quiet, assured debut novel set in medieval England, concerning a young woman's entry into the religious life—one as tumultuous as anything on the outside. Read full book review >
THE BLACK SNOW by Paul Lynch
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 12, 2015

"Lynch evokes so many shades of guilt, pride, innocence, righteousness, and punishment that the book might help found a religion or maybe restore one's faith in a deity that could make a fine writer with one hand even if he unmade the Kanes with the other."
Life turns brutally cruel for a farming family of three in 1940s Ireland in this sad, haunting novel from a writer with a gift for language and character. Read full book review >
FELL OF DARK by Patrick Downes
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 12, 2015

"A stunning debut novel that offers sophisticated readers a glimpse into the psychological disintegrations of two distinct characters. (Fiction. 14 & up)"
Teenagers Erik and Thorn are descending into madness on converging paths, heading toward a ruinous first encounter with each other. Read full book review >
OUR TOWN by Kevin McEnroe
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 12, 2015

"The novel often evokes the twilight graces of a classic pop ballad, each lyric evoked with care in a cocktail lounge by a soft, sultry voice etched with pain."
If Ernest Hemingway had chosen to write about late-20th-century Hollywood while wearing Tennessee Williams' sunglasses, the result might read very much like this. Read full book review >
A GOOD KILLING by Allison Leotta
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 12, 2015

"While readers may grow exasperated with Jody's stubborn and nonsensical refusal to come clean with her sister about her teenage contact with the victim, Leotta's growing skills turn dull Anna into a character who's not only worth reading about, but also one to look forward to in future works."
Dark secrets, a small town, and one supercharged trial provide the backdrops for Leotta's latest legal thriller. Read full book review >
ONE RAINY DAY IN MAY by Mark Z. Danielewski
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 12, 2015

"And as for all the loose ends? No worries—there are 26 volumes to come in which to tie them up."
Fabulist and avant-gardist Danielewski (House of Leaves, 2000, etc.) embarks upon a long-promised 27-volume fantasia with this sprawling, continent-hopping potpourri.Read full book review >
GIRL IN THE MOONLIGHT by Charles Dubow
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 12, 2015

"A story of the most interesting people you will ever know, told with style and verve."
In Dubow's second novel (Indiscretion, 2013)—pleasingly reminiscent of Maugham and Fitzgerald—our hero narrates a lifetime spent adoring one impossibly beautiful, out-of-reach woman. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Mona Eltahawy
April 28, 2015

In her debut book, Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution, Egyptian-American journalist and commentator Mona Eltahawy mounts an angry indictment of the treatment of women throughout the Arab world. Born in Egypt, she spent her childhood in London, moving with her family to Saudi Arabia when she was 15. Her shock was immediate and visceral: “It felt as though we’d moved to another planet whose inhabitants fervently wished women did not exist,” she recalls. Women could not travel, work or even go to a doctor’s appointment without male approval. We talk to Eltahawy this week on Kirkus TV about her arresting new book. View video >