Summer Reading Roundup

On the beach or in the shade.  In a hammock or in a lawn chair.  With an ereader or a crisp new paperback. 

The thing about summer reading is that there are so many options for where and how that choosing the book should be the easy part. 

In the next couple of weeks IndieReader helps sort out the multitude of selections, so all you have to do is decide on your SPF.

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Beach-y Reads

Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans by Joanne DeMaio, 2013 IR Discovery Award/Popular Fiction

In her second novel (her first was the 2012 IRDA first place winner for fiction), the author takes readers to the Connecticut shore where she introduces an intriguing cast of characters, all of whom are searching their pasts for both release and solace.  

This ultimately uplifting story of intermingling and connecting friendships, lives, and destinies makes a perfect beach read.

Says Sandra Poirier Diaz, President of Smith Publicity and IRDA judge, “Old friends and secrets always make for a juicy story. Solid read with themes of friendship, loss, and the consequences of life choices. Well done!”

Read the full IR review here.

A Week at the Beach by Virginia Jewell

Thanks to a scandalous affair, NYC girls Chrissy and Cami were banished from their usual beach vacation in the Hamptons. Needing to get away, Chrissy begged her stepfather for the keys to his family’s Outer Banks beach house.

Meanwhile, Darren needed to get out of LA, and his best friend Nick was delegated to keep an eye on him. Hoping to stay out of trouble, the boys flew off to the Outer Banks to spend a week at the family beach house. When the boys discover that the house is already occupied by two beautiful NYC girls, the fun begins.

Forbidden Romance!

Have No Shame by Melissa Foster, author of  Traces of Kara and Come Back to Me

Alison Tillman has called Forrest Town, Arkansas home for the past eighteen years. Her mother’s Blue Bonnet meetings, her father toiling night and day on the family farm, and the division of life between the whites and the blacks are all Alison knows.

The winter of 1967, just a few months before marrying her high school sweetheart, Alison finds the body of a black man floating in the river, and she begins to view her existence with new perspective. The oppression and hate of the south, the ugliness she once was able to avert her eyes from, now demands her attention. When a secretive friendship with a young black man takes an unexpected romantic turn, Alison is forced to choose between her predetermined future, and the dangerous path that her heart yearns for.

Sci-Fi

The Burning of Cherry Hill by A.K. Butler, first place 2013 IR Discovery Award Winner

The year is 2159 and Zay Scot is a fourteen-year-old boy raised on a secret island in hiding from a government he doesn’t know exists. After more than a decade of avoiding detection, his fugitive parents are brutally kidnapped and he is thrust into a dizzying world centuries more advanced than the one he left behind.

The skies over the United North American Alliance are pollution free. Meals are healthy and delivered to each home. Crime is nonexistent. Medical treatment requires only the scan of your wrist. Poverty, need, and hunger are things studied in history class. But Zay soon finds himself a fugitive, escaping the brute force of a government always a whisper away. Now he must choose between peace and freedom, and if the journey doesn’t kill him, what he finds might start a war.

Says Sandra Poirier Diaz, President of Smith Publicity and IRDA judge, “Great messages woven in about personal freedom and big government. Powerful ending.” 

Read the full IR review here.

Shift (Omnibus Edition) by Hugh Howey

If you’ve read Howey’s previous stunner, Wool, or even if you haven’t, the prequel to underground life in the Silos features new characters and new complexities.

Well-written and thought-provoking, with fully-developed, real, human characters with whom the reader can identify and sympathize, Shift begins just before the apocalypse with Congressman Donald Keene, who is asked by the leading power-broker of his time to develop a strange architectural project near Atlanta. His story, and the story of the horrific things he learns while on that project, are intertwined with the story of Troy, many years later, awakened from cryogenic sleep for his shift as leader of Silo 1, the silo that secretly runs all the others.

The story is unveiled bit by bit, revelation by chilling revelation, leading the reader along with the characters and events until even the most savage and horrifying decisions become scarily plausible, even rational.

Read the full IR review here.

Coming-of-Age

Such Great Heights (A Novel) by Chris Cole

“The easy life is sometimes the hardest life of all.” The words rang false to seventeen-year-old Charlie Middle when he first heard his cousin Maisey utter them, between sips of her gold-flaked martini. But by the end of his summer in California, they were among the truest words he had ever heard.

Such Great Heights is a retelling of The Great Gatsby, by way of The Social Network and Less Than Zero. Author, Chris Cole, puts a millennial wardrobe on the Jazz Age classic, mashing up the styles and imagery of Brett Easton Ellis, F. Scott Fitzgerald and John Green into a new and timely voice.  A novel for the Instagram generation, one for whom nostalgia is a stylish accessory and instant messages are sacred texts.

Mystery/Suspense

No Remorse by Ian Walkley, IRDA Winner for Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

Lee McCloud (Mac), an ex Delta Force operative, heads a covert mission for the CIA so he can clear his reputation for a prior rescue mission gone wrong. While Mac and his team of international partners are working on the covert mission, they discover that they are onto something even grislier than a human trafficking ring.

Says Thane Economou, Develoment, 20th Century Fox and an IRDA Judge, “From its first moments, No Remorse races out of the gates and proves to be a page-turning thrill ride. With a plot that proves to be a more intelligent version of the TAKEN films, the novel follows a military trained gun-for-hire named Mac as he crosses the world trying to find girls sold into sex slavery. The action works, the characters are relate-able, and it had me hooked through the very end.”

Read the full IR review here.

Horror

Asylum: 13 Tales of Terror by Matt Drabble

Thirteen tales from the darkly disturbed minds of the residents of Blackwater Heights, a building with a long dark history.

Martin Parcell is an ex-journalist with shattered dreams of an author’s career. Sidelined through a car crash’s injuries, he finds himself forced through governmental austerity measures having to take a custodians position at a private mental health hospital. A writer with undoubted talent, but an author without a story, Martin begins his new job deep in depression and drowning under waves of his lost dreams. On his first night of work he meets Jimmy, his elderly supervisor who has spent most of his life within the hospital walls. Jimmy is nearing retirement age and desperate to rest his weary bones. Jimmy offers Martin a way out for both of them, access to the background histories and stories of the hospital’s patients.

Memoir

Secret Storms by Julie Mannix von Zerneck and Kathy Hatfield, IRDA Winner for Memoir

A pregnant, upper class nineteen-year-old Philadelphia Main Line debutante is confined, against her will, to a state mental hospital. She spends her pregnancy surrounded by the mentally challenged and the criminally insane.

On April 19, 1964, she gives birth to a child, whom she is forced to give up for adoption. A loving middle-class couple adopts a month-old little girl from Catholic Charities. She is adored and cherished from the very beginning. It is as though she is dropped into the first chapter of a fairy tale— but we all know how fairy tales go.

Secret Storms reads like a thriller. Told from the alternating perspectives of mother and daughter, emotions run deep on both sides.

Read the full IR review here.

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