The list of titles that librarians across the country love the most that are being published in February, just came out. This is a good one and really, there is only one that I would not have put on there. Checked these out and see what you think.
Most popular is Ruta Sepetys' Salt to the Sea. Sepetys writes historical fiction and as with a lot of historical fiction, it can be describing traumatic events. She, herself, it an interesting story - a Lithuanian American born in Detroit, founder of a firm that represents musicians and an author. This story is about the sinking of the M.V. Wilhelm Gustloff, a passenger liner designed to hold less than 1500 passengers that contained over 10,000 evacuees escaping Stalin in 1945. When a Russian submarine torpedoed it, 9,343 passengers died. This is told from the point of view of four young people who had been thrown together. Reviewers call it 'intensely satisfying'; 'well researched'; 'amazing'; and impossible to put down.
Now for the rest in no particular order:
Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase. The only author that I can compare Chase to is Kate Morton. They both write moody, kind of Gothic fiction. In this story, the 4 Alton children spend their summers playing at Black Rabbit Hall. Then a tragedy occurs and everything changes. 30 years later, Lorna decides her wedding should be there when she discovers a message left by one of the children carved into a tree. The tale goes back and forth between the two time periods and the secret unfolds. Reviewers seems to love this book.
A Girls' Guide To Moving On by Debbie Macomber. Macomber is a popular author who writes contemporary romances and inspirational stories about women in difficult situations. If I was comparing her to anyone, it would be Richard Paul Evans. They are kind of sweet stories. This one is about a mother, Leanne, and her daughter-in-law who both leave cheating spouses to start over.
Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson. Johnson is a debut author who writes quirky, moving fiction. I can not say to whom she compares. This story is quite original and the reviewers just love it. I have put it on my list to check out when it arrives. Hired to assist a famed reclusive writer trying to recapture her lost fortunes by completing a new manuscript, Alice Whitley becomes obsessed with identifying the paternity of her employer's precocious young son. Frank, the son, favors clothing from 1930, does not get along with other kids and knows more than he should. One reviewer says it was "Deeply felt, but never sentimental....Peopled with deeply flawed, fully realized characters I cared about." I can't wait.
Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon. Once again, I don't know who to compare this author to....maybe a little of Caleb Car mixed with some Phillip Kerr. She writes atmospheric historical mysteries although this one is more historical than mystery because we know the ending. It is the story of the last flight of the Hindenburg. Lawhon uses the real names of crew and passengers. It follows the airship for the 3 days of travel. Because we don't know today how the tragedy occurred, Lawhon follows 4 of the crew members and builds a tale around their interaction and the unraveling of secrets. Reviewers LOVED this book. I am surprised it didn't make it to the top of the list.
13 Ways of Looking At a Fat Girl by Mona Awad. Another debut author that is funny in a very sad way. This tale is about how destructive a negative body image can be. It follows Lizzie/Elizabeth/Liz from a teenager to a married adult. As an overweight teen, she hates herself and after loosing weight with a self punishing drive, she still hates herself. Said to be a funny as it is heartbreaking, it is the story of a young woman whose life is destroyed by a negative body image.
Fighting Dirty by Lori Foster. Foster writes steamy romances and this one is the fourth in the Ultimate series. The series follows MMA fighters. This one follows Armie and Merissa's story. Armie is the bad boy and best friend of Merissa's brother and Merissa is the good girl. Can Merissa convince Armie that she won't give up? What do you think?
Find Her by Lisa Gardner. Gardner writes intricately plotted suspense kind of like Chelsea Cain and in particular this title is almost like Cain's Kick series. This title is the 8th in the D.D. Warren series and is darker that the previous ones. It follows Flora Dane who was kidnapped while on spring break 7 years ago and survived 472 days before breaking free. Now, she has become a vigilante of sorts until.....she is captured again and this time, it doesn't look like she will escape. Now it is up to D.D. Warren to find her.\
The Opposite of Everyone by Joshilyn Jackson. Jackson writes moving Southern fiction with characters who come from tough backgrounds. This title is no different. Paula Vauss was born in Alabama but spent the first decade of her life travelling with her mother, Kai, an itinerant storyteller. Then, because of a mistold story, Kai lands in jail and Paula in foster care. Now, Paula is a tough divorce attorney in Atlanta. Every month she sends money to her mother who she has not seen in 15 years. Then, her last check is returned and Paula discovers she is not an only child but an older sister. Now, Paula feels like she has to find out what has happened. She sets off on a discovery of her past.
Said to be a beautiful novel by a master of language.
Lastly, The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer. Hamer is another debut author. This title was published in Great Britain last February and was a finalist for the Costa Book Award for First Novel. It will be published in this county on March 5 (guess that is early enough to make the Feb list). It is not your standard run of the mill suspense story although from the title you would never know that.
Carmel is 8 years old and she has always been different (sensitive and distracted). Her mother, Beth, is newly single and when she takes Carmel to a local festival, Carmel disappears. Beth never gives up on the hope of finding her. The story is told alternating between Beth and Carmel. It seems that a gentleman approached her and told her he was her grandfather and that her mother had had an accident. In reality, she begins a very strange period with a man who believes she is a savior. Although there is a good amount of suspense and people are saying they had difficulty putting it down, there is also a great deal about the relationship between a mother and daughter.
Hope there is something above that appeals to you. Next week we will go into the popular offerings in February. Oh - and Happy New Year!!