Best Reviewed Books of the Month – July

HOW A MONSTER IS MADE

 By RaShell Lashbrook

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

IR Verdict: A top-notch psychological thriller that explores one family’s journey through alcoholism, child abuse, and mental illness. Lashbrook’s lean style is reminiscent of classic noir crime fiction.

Read the full review here.

TORCHED: SUMMER OF ’64

By Joe Edd Morris

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

IR Verdict: Joe Edd Morris’ TORCHED: SUMMER OF ’64 is a well-crafted and heart-wrenching story that shines a light on a dark time in our nation’s history and will leave readers with much to think about.

Read the full review here.

THE ART OF LOVE (& LOATHING)

By Stephen Daniel Ruiz

Genre: Literary Fiction

IR Verdict: THE ART OF LOVE (& LOATHING) is a wry, cynical, yet surprisingly touching look at life, creativity, identity, and love through the eyes of a flawed but likeable protagonist.

Read the full review here.

RING ON DELI

By Eric Giroux

Genre: Literary Fiction

IR Verdict: RING ON DELI is a rich, incisive story that vividly illustrates the inequities in the American economy and offers a serious look at those fighting to hold on to what they have and those who join them in the fight.  Whether you call it a page-turner, a must-read, or a story you can’t put down at night, RING ON DELI lives up to every enthusiastically positive description about a novel.  

Read the full review here.

MASK

By Andrea Fink

Genre: Fantasy

IR Verdict: Andrea Fink’s MASK is a fun paranormal romance in which a Plain Jane pretends to be a princess in a world of vampires, demons, and magical elves.

Read the full review here.

ONCE YOU KNOW

By Madeleine Van Hecke

Genre: Women’s Fiction

IR Verdict: Madeleine Van Hecke’s remarkable novel ONCE YOU KNOW asks many insightful questions, continually adding new sober layers to an astonishingly complex and relevant subject.

Read the full review here.

THE SECRET OF ROSALITA FLATS

 By Tim W. Jackson

Genre: Humor

IR Verdict: Light and breezy, THE SECRET OF ROSALITA FLATS by Tim W. Jackson is perfect summer reading for anyone who loves diving into a good mystery without, in real life, having (or being able) to get their feet wet.

Read the full review here.

DEAR DURWOOD

By Jeff Bond

Genre: Action/Adventure

IR Verdict: Clint Eastwood fans will gobble up DEAR DURWOOD, an action-thriller with a modern-day Western feel and cool, collected, and highly capable, Durwood Oak Jones will effortlessly charm readers with his rough and tumble resourcefulness and plain country manners. 

Read the full review here.

CHILDREN OF THE MIRACLE

 By Daniel Weisbeck

Genre: Science Fiction

IR Verdict: CHILDREN OF THE MIRACLE by Daniel Weisbeck is a thought-provoking, heart-palpitating dystopian adventure into the possible consequences of genetically modified human beings.

Read the full review here.

VANWEST THE PAST

By Kenneth Thomas

Genre: Science Fiction

IR Verdict: Kenneth Thomas’s VANWEST: THE PAST merges imaginative technology with electric action and a subtle message about technology’s effects on the climate, rising above its use of stereotypical characters to offer an exhilarating, action-packed science fiction adventure.

Read the full review here.

POLK GULCH

By Andrew Bardin Williams

Genre: Literary Fiction

IR Verdict: Reading, at points, like an alcohol-fueled dream, POLK GULCH by Andrew Bardin Williams is a colorful, meandering look at what it means to make a beautiful life with someone, only to have that song end.

Read the full review here.

DAISY HAS AUTISM

By Aaron J. Wright

Genre: Memoir

IR Verdict: Marvelously crafted, informative, insightful, enraging, heartwarming, and at times even humorous, DAISY HAS AUTISM by Aaron J. Wright is a book that shouldn’t be missed, especially by those who have raised, or are raising, children on the autism spectrum.

Read the full review here.

STREET OF STORYTELLERS

By Doug Wilhelm

Genre: Young Adult

IR Verdict: Nuanced perspectives and historical context surrounding Pakistani culture add depth to the coming-of-age story at the heart of STREET OF STORYTELLERS. Author Doug Wilhelm particularly excels at immersing readers in the vibrant and chaotic streets of Old Peshawar through rich, sensory details.

Read the full review here.

DOES LIGHTNING STRIKE TWICE?

By Regina Price

Genre: Literary Fiction

IR Verdict: Breezily self-depreciating and dripping with irony, the humorous chick lit novel DOES LIGHTNING STRIKE TWICE? by Regina Price is a wonderful take-me-away antidote to modern-day stress.

Read the full review here.

KISSING DAISY PARKER

By Michael Milton

Genre: Young Adult

IR Verdict: Michael Milton’s KISSING DAISY PARKER is smart, sad, and silly. This charming, poignant coming-of-age story depicts awkward shames and triumphant joys of adolescence in all of their hormone-fueled glory.

Read the full review here.

FOREVER: A Medical Thriller

By Geoffrey M Cooper

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

IR Verdict: Geoffrey M. Cooper’s FOREVER: A Medical Thriller is a tight, edge-of-the-seat whodunit recommended for fans of meticulously researched science-based thrillers.

Read the full review here.

KALIKO ON THE SHOALS

By Emma Renault

Genre: Literary Fiction

IR Verdict: Quality wordcraft, poetic imagery and incredible insight into the LGBT experience make KALIKO ON THE SHOALS a worthwhile read.

Read the full review here.

THE LUCK OF MADONNA 13

By E. T. Ellison

Genre: Science Fiction

IR Verdict: A coming-of-age adventure set in the distant future, E. T. Ellison’s THE LUCK OF MADONNA 13 opens a journey of discovery into an inventive, multi-faceted realm, with strong characters, a rapid pace, and memorable inventiveness.

Read the full review here.

GATES

By Jay Green

Genre: Poetry

IR Verdict: GATES is Jay Green’s vibrant and eclectic debut poetry collection, but there’s no trace of rookie status here. This is an accomplished body of work that marches along with passion and rhythm, startles and delights with its rich collection of distinctive and powerful pieces, and marks Green out as a talent and a voice well worth following.

Read the full review here.
 

THE DEADLY CROCUS

By E. T. Ellison

Genre: Science Fiction

IR Verdict: A whimsical fantasy with surprisingly dark undercurrents, E.T. Ellison’s THE DEADLY CROCUS throws its orange-haired heroine into a whirlwind of lively adventure, bizarre situations, and nonstop action

Read the full review here.

THE EQ INTERVENTION

By Adam L. Saenz

Genres: Parenting, Psycology

IR Verdict: THE EQ INTERVENTION by Dr. Adam L. Saenz offers a clear, rational explanation of the concept of emotional intelligence, aimed primarily at teachers but useful for anyone, along with simple but useful tools for measurement, understanding, and emotional self-regulation, told in an engaging and accessible style.

Read the full review here.

REMEMBERING SHANGHAI

By Isabel Sun Chao and Claire Chao

Genre: Memoir

IR Verdict: REMEMBERING SHANGHAI: A Memoir of Socialites, Scholars and Scoundrels is the fascinating tale of a long gone way of life, as well as an emotional and historical journey. 

Read the full review here.

THE BENEVOLENT LORDS OF SOMETIMES ISLAND

By Scott Semegran

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

IR Verdict: THE BENEVOLENT LORDS OF SOMETIMES ISLAND is a fantastic coming-of-age thriller that puts a positive spin on troubled adolescence.

Read the full review here.