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Tuesday, April 28, 2020

We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez

First of all, you would think this quarantine would mean that I have tons of time to read and I would be plowing through the books.  Unfortunately that is not the case.  For whatever reason, I am finding it hard to take the time to read, and from things I have seen on Twitter, I'm not the only one.  With that being said, I just finished this fantastic novel last night.

To say that I am a huge fan of Jenny Torres Sanchez would be an understatement.  I adore everything I have read of hers.  Through her kindness in helping me with another project, she sent me an advanced copy of her newest novel We Are Not From Here, which will be released May 19.  And it is stunning!  This story is gritty and grimy, but also full of resilience and hope.  It is a story about dreams.  Dreams of escaping a life that is full of danger and desperation.  Dreams of having a life free of fear and worry.  It is a novel about family, both blood and those closest to us that we consider our family. 

We Are Not From Here is the story of Pulga, Chico, and Pequena, three teens from Guatemala desperately fleeing to the United States to escape the harsh realities of home.  The death and danger they see everyday in their home town has become too much.  They are determined to follow their dreams and seek out a better life.  With a plan to catch a ride on La Bestia, a series of trains that run through Mexico to the U.S., these three teens will risk it all to find safety.  This deadly journey will have them clinging to life and gives the reader some insight in to the dangers that so many put themselves in so they may escape the perils of their everyday life. 

Jenny Torres Sanchez has given us a beautiful and heart-wrenching tale that is so incredibly relevant to today.  As a big fan of hers, she definitely did not disappoint with her latest novel.    

From Amazon:

A poignant novel of desperation, escape, and survival across the U.S.-Mexico border, inspired by current events.

Pulga has his dreams.
Chico has his grief.
Pequeña has her pride.

And these three teens have one another. But none of them have illusions about the town they've grown up in and the dangers that surround them. Even with the love of family, threats lurk around every corner. And when those threats become all too real, the trio knows they have no choice but to run: from their country, from their families, from their beloved home.

Crossing from Guatemala through Mexico, they follow the route of La Bestia, the perilous train system that might deliver them to a better life--if they are lucky enough to survive the journey. With nothing but the bags on their backs and desperation drumming through their hearts, Pulga, Chico, and Pequeña know there is no turning back, despite the unknown that awaits them. And the darkness that seems to follow wherever they go.

In this striking portrait of lives torn apart, the plight of migrants at the U.S. southern border is brought to light through poignant, vivid storytelling. An epic journey of danger, resilience, heartache, and hope.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

All Your Twisted Secrets by Diana Urban

Diana Urban's debut novel, All Your Twisted Secrets, was a really fun and exciting thriller.  If you are a fan of mysteries, this one will be right up your alley.  You will spend pages trying to piece it together, and when you figure it all out, you will probably find yourself as shocked as I was.  If you have read Kara Thomas or Karen McManus and enjoyed their novels, you will be a fan of this one.  I highly recommend you dive in to the worlds of Amber, Sasha, and the rest of this crew.  

From Amazon:

"Talk about frightening page-turners! I kept reading chapter after chapter. I had to know what happens next! And trust me―the scares just keep on coming!" ―R.L. Stine, author of Goosebumps & Fear Street

This thrilling debut, reminiscent of new fan favorites like One of Us Is Lying and the beloved classics by Agatha Christie, will leave readers guessing until the explosive ending.

"Welcome to dinner, and again, congratulations on being selected. Now you must do the selecting."

What do the queen bee, star athlete, valedictorian, stoner, loner, and music geek all have in common? They were all invited to a scholarship dinner, only to discover it's a trap. Someone has locked them into a room with a bomb, a syringe filled with poison, and a note saying they have an hour to pick someone to kill ... or else everyone dies.

Amber Prescott is determined to get her classmates and herself out of the room alive, but that might be easier said than done. No one knows how they're all connected or who would want them dead. As they retrace the events over the past year that might have triggered their captor's ultimatum, it becomes clear that everyone is hiding something. And with the clock ticking down, confusion turns into fear, and fear morphs into panic as they race to answer the biggest question: Who will they choose to die?