Issues surrounding the horrors of war have plagued young and old for millennia. Our teen fiction expert, Joan, has her eye on two new titles coming out in the New Year that she thinks are outstanding novels set among the conflicts of World War II.
Kraków, 1939. A million marching soldiers and a thousand barking dogs. This is no place to grow up. Anna Lania is just seven years old when the Germans take her father during their purge of intellectuals in Poland. She’s alone. And then Anna meets the Swallow Man. In Gavriel Savit’s debut novel, Anna and the Swallow Man, Anna is led through war-ravaged Poland during WWII by a mysterious scientist. Over the course of their travels together, they dodge bombs, tame soldiers, and even, despite their better judgment, make a friend. But in a world gone mad, Anna struggles to learn what it take to survive in the face of overwhelming pain and loss. (Hardcover. $23.99. Random House. January)
In 1942 a court decision makes women eligible for military service as the unproven American army goes up against the armed forces of Nazi Germany. Three girls, each with their own dreams and aspirations, sign up to fight. Michael Grant imagines what army life would have been like if American women had been able to fight alongside men in WWII in his new novel, Front Lines. Would there have been less racism, sexism and anti-Semitism? But war is war, and it’s not how you play the game that’s important. Or is it? (Hardcover. $23.99. HarperCollins. February)
Excerpt from the January/February issue of The Bookseller, out now.Categories: Saskatoon, Winnipeg, New Releases, Newsletter
Shade Me is a very exciting book. It is a very different take on a crime novel. Nikki's synesthesia made the book have a different perspective and it didn't have as much romance as I was expecting.
The main character, Nikki Kill, decides that she is going to solve the case of an attempted murder. Nikki breaks the law many times to try to solve it without any regard to her safety or to the crime scenes. She decides not to tell the detective of her findings because she has trust issues, and as the story unfolds, you begin to understand why.
Nikki's character is different and at times you can't help but like her. The cover of the book is also quite intriguing and I love the use of the different colours. Overall, the mystery wasn't totally unpredictable but it was still a good story and kept me guessing. I recommend this book to anyone that likes mystery with a little bit of a twist.
- Callie, a Two Thumbs Up reviewerCategories: Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Two Thumbs Up
I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Marissa Marr's books, I first started off by reading her Wicked Lovely series which unfortunately did not sit well with me. Fast forward a few years, one of her more recent novels, Made for You, has become one of my all time favourite reads. So when Seven Black Diamonds was revealed, I knew I had to give Marr another chance.
The book starts off slow and a bit confusing as the novel itself is written from the perspective of four characters. After you're used to the format, everything becomes fabulous, especially since the plot also speeds up a bit. The plot and characters of the novel are everything you'd want them to be. The fae are terrifying, as always. Their powers are malevolent, but you can't help but be intrigued with their politics. I was particularly intrigued with the Black Diamonds and the history behind the queen. Hopefully we'll get to see more action on that front in the next few novels.
Lilywhite is probably my favourite character in the novel, what with her Crime Lord father and overall demeanour. I would get excited whenever her name would appear at the beginning of the chapter. She never did anything she was "destined" to do or because she was told to by the queen. She stood tall and was the strongest that she could be, and I admire her for it. Lilywhite is the perfect Black Diamond without even knowing it. She is perfection.
Seven Black Diamonds is a novel that showed that even villains have their motives for the way the are, and that people will do everything in their power to protect the ones they love. Thrilling and magical, Seven Black Diamonds will cure any faerie or strong-willed character craving you have.
- Stephanie, a Two Thumbs Up reviewer
Seven Black Diamonds will be available March 1.Categories: Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Two Thumbs Up
The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett has become one of my favourite contemporary books from the moment I finished the first chapter. The main character, Bex, was a very interesting character who aspires to become a medical illustrator. This made her very relatable to me as we have similar interests and I overall just really liked her. Bex’s love interest, Jack, was the perfect “bad boy” and his back-story was very well done. There were a few surprises here and there that I thoroughly enjoyed and the writing itself was really easy to read. I was able to get through the book very quickly, whilst enjoying every page.
The Anatomical Shape of a Heart is one of those books that I wish I could forget about and read for the first time all over again. I would definitely recommended this book to contemporary lovers and people that want to get back into reading as it’s a quick and enjoyable read.
- Ana, a Two Thumbs Up reviewerCategories: Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Two Thumbs Up
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