Fiction & Literature Book Reviews

BLACK DOVE, WHITE RAVEN by Elizabeth Wein
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 31, 2015

"Unforgettable. (Historical fiction. 12 & up)"
Wein returns to Ethiopia, the setting of her Arthurian adventures, for a high-flying novel about the 1935 Italian invasion. Read full book review >
WHISKERS OF THE LION by P.L. Gaus
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 31, 2015

"Out of the peaceful world of buggies and prayer caps, Gaus conjures a nail-biter that doesn't give up its secrets any quicker than the Amish."
The murder of Ruth Zook (The Names of Our Tears, 2013) continues to take its toll on the Amish community of Holmes County, Ohio.Read full book review >

THE WORLD BEFORE US by Aislinn Hunter
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 31, 2015

"Not an easy read but a compelling exploration of how memory shapes and is shaped by individuals and society."
Hunter's haunting—if sometimes elusive—second novel (Stay, 2005) wavers between practical life in the present and the unplumbed memories of a British archivist and her long-dead research subjects.Read full book review >
PRETTY UGLY by Kirker Butler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 31, 2015

"Butler's excellent observational skills and hilarious prose make this a simultaneously funny and awful satire of thwarted ambition."
Aging beauty queen Miranda forces her preteen daughter to compete in pageants while her pill-popping husband, Ray, a nurse, conducts an affair with the teenage granddaughter of a hospice patient in this first novel from TV writer and producer Butler (Family Guy, etc.). Read full book review >
GIRL UNDERWATER by Claire Kells
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 31, 2015

"With its subzero temperatures that will make you reach for a blanket and a wounded but never weakened heroine, Kells' assured debut is a winner."
A plane crash in the Rockies leaves more than physical scars on an up-and-coming competitive college swimmer. Read full book review >

INSPECTOR OF THE DEAD by David Morrell
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 24, 2015

"A propulsive, richly imagined yarn that never loses steam or insults the reader's intelligence."
God save the queen—or failing that, send in the opium sot. Read full book review >
A REUNION OF GHOSTS by Judith Claire Mitchell
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 24, 2015

"For the Alters, life has been a seemingly endless series of tragedies; for us, the tragedy is that this stunning novel inevitably comes to an end."
Three middle-aged sisters collaborating on a memoir that's meant to double as their collective suicide note may not sound like a hilarious premise for a novel, but Mitchell's masterful family saga is as funny as it is aching. Read full book review >
THE SHADOW OF THE CRESCENT MOON by Fatima Bhutto
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 24, 2015

"Bhutto (Songs of Blood and Sword, 2011, etc.) has crafted a timely, earnest portrait of a family torn apart by the machinations of other people's war games and desperately trying to survive."
Set in the small Pakistani border town of Mir Ali, this novel rotates among the points of view of three brothers, telling stories of past and present violence and building to a fever pitch of terror. Read full book review >
NIGHT NIGHT, SLEEP TIGHT by Hallie Ephron
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 24, 2015

"A page-turner with juicy Hollywood insider details."
A 1963 celebrity murder has a violent aftermath as its secrets bubble to the surface decades later. Read full book review >
THE LOST BOYS SYMPHONY by Mark Andrew Ferguson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 24, 2015

"An auspicious debut that blends a number of disparate-seeming tones into something surprisingly coherent—and moving."
Ferguson's playful debut novel mixes a coming-of-age story with time travel. Read full book review >
NOTES FROM A DEAD HOUSE by Fyodor Dostoevsky
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 24, 2015

"A classic made current and a welcome addition to the library of Russian literature in translation."
One of literature's definitive prison memoirs is given new immediacy in this sturdy translation by the team of Pevear and Volokhonsky (Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace, 2007, etc.).Read full book review >
THE TIGHTROPE WALKERS by David Almond
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 24, 2015

"The award-winning Almond poetically plumbs the depths of his 1950s and '60s childhood to explore themes of violence, war, God, creativity, beauty, death, art, the soul, our animal selves, whether we ever grow up or can really know each other…in short, life. (Fiction. 14 & up)"
Dominic Hall is "a caulker's son, a tank cleaner's grandson" in the river town of Tyneside in northern England…but the boy dreams of writing. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Frank Bruni
March 31, 2015

Over the last few decades, Americans have turned college admissions into a terrifying and occasionally devastating process, preceded by test prep, tutors, all sorts of stratagems, all kinds of rankings, and a conviction among too many young people that their futures will be determined and their worth established by which schools say yes and which say no. In Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni explains why, giving students and their parents a new perspective on this brutal, deeply flawed competition and a path out of the anxiety that it provokes. “Written in a lively style but carrying a wallop, this is a book that family and educators cannot afford to overlook as they try to navigate the treacherous waters of college admissions,” our reviewer writes. View video >