Book Scoop March 23- March 30, 2018

March 30, 2018
Book News, InToriLex
Book Industry News, Links & New Book Releases




Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi 
Emergency Contact, Mary H.K. Choi, InToriLex
For Penny Lee high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.

Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him.

When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.
Nightflyers & Other Stories by George R.R. Martin
Nightflyers & Other Stories, George R.R. Martin, InToriLex
Nightflyers & Other Stories
On a voyage toward the boundaries of the known universe, nine misfit academics seek out first contact with a shadowy alien race.

But another enigma is the Nightflyer itself, a cybernetic wonder with an elusive captain no one has ever seen in the flesh. Soon, however, the crew discovers that their greatest mystery – and most dangerous threat – is an unexpected force wielding a thirst for blood and terror….

Also included are five additional classic George R. R. Martin tales of science fiction that explore the breadth of technology and the dark corners of the human mind.
The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton, Bryan Stevenson (Introduction), Lara Love Hardin
The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row, Anthony Ray Hinton, Bryan Stevenson (Introduction), Lara Love Hardin, InToriLex
The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row
In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Stunned, confused, and only twenty-nine years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence and ultimately set him free.

But with no money and a different system of justice for a poor black man in the South, Hinton was sentenced to death by electrocution. He spent his first three years on Death Row at Holman State Prison in agonizing silence—full of despair and anger toward all those who had sent an innocent man to his death. But as Hinton realized and accepted his fate, he resolved not only to survive, but find a way to live on Death Row. For the next twenty-seven years he was a beacon—transforming not only his own spirit, but those of his fellow inmates, fifty-four of whom were executed mere feet from his cell. With the help of civil rights attorney and bestselling author of Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson, Hinton won his release in 2015.

With a foreword by Stevenson, The Sun Does Shine is an extraordinary testament to the power of hope sustained through the darkest times. Destined to be a classic memoir of wrongful imprisonment and freedom won, Hinton’s memoir tells his dramatic thirty-year journey and shows how you can take away a man’s freedom, but you can’t take away his imagination, humor, or joy.
 Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser
Not That I Could Tell, Jessica Strawser, InToriLex
Not That I Could Tell
When a group of neighborhood women gathers, wine in hand, around a fire pit where their backyards meet one Saturday night, most of them are just ecstatic to have discovered that their baby monitors reach that far. It’s a rare kid-free night, and they’re giddy with it. They drink too much, and the conversation turns personal.

By Monday morning, one of them is gone.

Everyone knows something about everyone else in the quirky small Ohio town of Yellow Springs, but no one can make sense of the disappearance. Kristin was a sociable twin mom, college administrator, and doctor’s wife who didn’t seem all that bothered by her impending divorce—and the investigation turns up more questions than answers, with her husband, Paul, at the center. For her closest neighbor, Clara, the incident triggers memories she thought she’d put behind her—and when she’s unable to extract herself from the widening circle of scrutiny, her own suspicions quickly grow. But the neighborhood’s newest addition, Izzy, is determined not to jump to any conclusions—especially since she’s dealing with a crisis of her own.

As the police investigation goes from a media circus to a cold case, the neighbors are forced to reexamine what’s going on behind their own closed doors—and to ask how well anyone really knows anyone else. 
Did I miss anything in the book world? Let me know in the comments below

Review: Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot

Heart Berries,Terese Marie Mailhot, Book Review, InToriLex
Published By: Counterpoint Press on February 6, 2018
Format Read: Hardcover Edition (160 pages)
Genre: Non-fiction/ Memoir/ Own Voices
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Purchased
Heart Berries
Heart Berries is a powerful, poetic memoir of a woman's coming of age on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in the Pacific Northwest. Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder and bipolar II disorder; Terese Marie Mailhot is given a notebook and begins to write her way out of trauma. The triumphant result is Heart Berries, a memorial for Mailhot's mother, a social worker and activist who had a thing for prisoners; a story of reconciliation with her father―an abusive drunk and a brilliant artist―who was murdered under mysterious circumstances; and an elegy on how difficult it is to love someone while dragging the long shadows of shame.

Mailhot trusts the reader to understand that memory isn't exact, but melded to imagination, pain, and what we can bring ourselves to accept. Her unique and at times unsettling voice graphically illustrates her mental state. As she writes, she discovers her own true voice, seizes control of her story, and, in so doing, reestablishes her connection to her family, to her people, and to her place in the world.


Content Warning:
Self Harm, Sexual Abuse, Eating Disorder and Mental Illness


The concise and powerful language used to describe the author's life in this book is amazing. The prose read more like poetry and was full of emotion and honest. Mailhot had a very troubling and abusive childhood that she slowly confronts in adulthood. The book describes her experience being hospitalized for her mental illness and how she navigates her relationships with the people in her life. Mailhot's parents were both caught up in their own trauma's and addictions while raising her. She goes through a journey to learn how to grapple with the anger and love she feels for them both.
"She transcended resilience and actualized what Indians weren't taught to know: We are unmovable."
Mailhot connects her experiences in her Native American community with her approaches to understanding the world around her. She recognizes her erratic behavior as harmful but accepts it as a important part of her being. In this book the author is unapologetic ally herself and I could not stop reading. The descriptions of emotional pain and loneliness resonated with me and will resonate with most readers. The trauma and disturbing events in this book were intimate glimpses into the author's life that helped create a full picture. She identified as an outsider in a society that is hostile to her identity and existence and confronts that.  I'm excited to read more of what Mailhot writes because this was phenomenal.
 "You were a bystander to my joy. You had a black eye, and we covered it with excuses."
 Recommended for Readers Who
-enjoy powerful stories about women
-want to learn more about Native American experiences
-appreciate lyrical, poetic and memorable prose


Terese Marie Mailhot is from Seabird Island, BC. She graduated from the Institute of American Indian Arts MFA program. Her work has been featured in The Rumpus, Yellow Medicine Review, Carve, The Offing, Feminist Wire, and The Toast. She is a columnist for Indian Country Today.

Review: Who Fears Death (Who Fears Death #1) by Nnedi Okorafor

March 27, 2018
Who Fears Death, Nnedi Okorafor, Book Review, InToriLex
Published By: DAW on June 1, 2010
Format Read:  Paperback Edition (420 pages)
Genre: Fantasy/ African/ Sci-fi
Series: Book One of Who Fears Death
Source: Purchased
Who Fears Death
In a far future, post-nuclear-holocaust Africa, genocide plagues one region. The aggressors, the Nuru, have decided to follow the Great Book and exterminate the Okeke. But when the only surviving member of a slain Okeke village is brutally raped, she manages to escape, wandering farther into the desert. She gives birth to a baby girl with hair and skin the color of sand and instinctively knows that her daughter is different. She names her daughter Onyesonwu, which means "Who Fears Death?" in an ancient African tongue.

Reared under the tutelage of a mysterious and traditional shaman, Onyesonwu discovers her magical destiny – to end the genocide of her people. The journey to fulfill her destiny will force her to grapple with nature, tradition, history, true love, the spiritual mysteries of her culture – and eventually death itself.


 Content Warning:
Rape, Female Circumcision


Onyesonwu is a fierce young women who sets out to face who she is and discover her destiny in the process. The Nuru seek to oppress Okeke people, the violence and pain that they inflict on the Okeke was disturbing to read about. Onyesonwu's mother uses the pain she felt when she was raped to move forward and heroically rebuilds a life for herself when she survives. The well written descriptions of magic and African Spirituality made me want to learn more. The book  describes female circumcision which is a practice that makes sex painful for most who receive it. There are initiatives to stop this practice in many countries but unfortunately it still persists today.
 "We cried and sobbed and wept and bled tears. But when we were finished, all we could do was continue living."
While the book follows the lives of young people they deal with the complex issues of rape, sex, death and violence. The characters were well developed and the many different cultures that Onyesonwu encountered were interesting and engaging. She faces many barriers because despite her magical abilities most women are not allowed to study magic in her village. Onyesonwu persists however and fearlessly pursues justice for Okeke people and her family. 

I was engaged with the book the whole way through and connected with parts of this book emotionally. This book had everything I expected and more. Besides a complex magic system, there was surprise twists, action and humor. I can't wait to read more books by this author.

Recomended for Readers Who
-enjoy Diverse Fantasy
-want to learn more about African cultures
-want to read about powerful female characters


 Nnedi Okorafor is a Nigerian American author of African-based science fiction, fantasy and magical realism for both children and adults and a professor at the University at Buffalo, New York. Her works include Who Fears Death, the Binti novella trilogy, the Book of Phoenix, the Akata books and Lagoon. She is the winner of Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards and her debut novel Zahrah the Windseeker won the prestigious Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature. She lives with her daughter Anyaugo and family in Illinois. Learn more about Nnedi at Nnedi.com.

Book Scoop March 17- March 23, 2018

March 23, 2018
InToriLex, Book Scoop, Weekly Feature
Book Industry News, Links & New Book Releases




The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan
The Astonishing Color of After, Emily X.R. Pan, InToriLex
The Astonishing Color of After
Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing: When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird.

Leigh, who is half Asian and half white, travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time. There, she is determined to find her mother, the bird. In her search, she winds up chasing after ghosts, uncovering family secrets, and forging a new relationship with her grandparents. And as she grieves, she must try to reconcile the fact that on the same day she kissed her best friend and longtime secret crush, Axel, her mother was taking her own life.

Alternating between real and magic, past and present, friendship and romance, hope and despair, The Astonishing Color of After is a novel about finding oneself through family history, art, grief, and love.
Bizarre Romance, Audrey Niffenegger, Eddie Campbell, InToriLexBizarre Romance by Audrey Niffenegger & Eddie Campbell (Illustrations)
Internationally bestselling author of The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger, and graphic artist Eddie Campbell, of such seminal works as From Hell by Alan Moore, collaborate on a wonderfully bizarre collection that celebrates and satirizes love of all kinds. With 16 different stories told through illustrated prose or comic panels, the couple explores the idiosyncratic nature of relationships in a variety of genres from fractured fairy tales to historical fiction to paper dolls. With Niffenegger’s sharp, imaginative prose and Campbell’s diverse comic styles, Bizarre Romance is the debut collection by two of the most important storytellers of our time.
Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles  Tyler Johnson Was Here, Jay Coles, InToriLex

When Marvin Johnson's twin, Tyler, goes to a party, Marvin decides to tag along to keep an eye on his brother. But what starts as harmless fun turns into a shooting, followed by a police raid.

The next day, Tyler has gone missing, and it's up to Marvin to find him. But when Tyler is found dead, a video leaked online tells an even more chilling story: Tyler has been shot and killed by a police officer. Terrified as his mother unravels and mourning a brother who is now a hashtag, Marvin must learn what justice and freedom really mean.
Every Note Played by Lisa Genova
Every Note Played, Lisa Genova, InToriLex
From neuroscientist and New York Times bestselling author of Still Alice comes a powerful exploration of regret, forgiveness, freedom, and what it means to be alive.

An accomplished concert pianist, Richard received standing ovations from audiences all over the world in awe of his rare combination of emotional resonance and flawless technique. Every finger of his hands was a finely calibrated instrument, dancing across the keys and striking each note with exacting precision. That was eight months ago.

Richard now has ALS, and his entire right arm is paralyzed. His fingers are impotent, still, devoid of possibility. The loss of his hand feels like a death, a loss of true love, a divorce—his divorce.

He knows his left arm will go next.

Three years ago, Karina removed their framed wedding picture from the living room wall and hung a mirror there instead. But she still hasn’t moved on. Karina is paralyzed by excuses and fear, stuck in an unfulfilling life as a piano teacher, afraid to pursue the path she abandoned as a young woman, blaming Richard and their failed marriage for all of it.

When Richard becomes increasingly paralyzed and is no longer able to live on his own, Karina becomes his reluctant caretaker. As Richard’s muscles, voice, and breath fade, both he and Karina try to reconcile their past before it’s too late.

Poignant and powerful, Every Note Played is a masterful exploration of redemption and what it means to find peace inside of forgiveness.
Did I miss anything in the book world? Let me know in the comments below

Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

March 20, 2018
The Hate U Give,  Angie Thomas, Book Review, InToriLexPublished By: Balzer + Bray on February 28, 2017
Format Read: Hardcover Edition (447 pages)
Genre: Young Adult/ Contemporary/ Race
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Purchased

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil's name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.



This book reminded me of a story being told by my family around the kitchen table. It was memorable, important and reached the perfect tone for teen readers. Starr is a courageous young girl learning to navigate the poor neighborhood she's from and the private high school she attends. After she witnesses the death of her childhood friend Khalil, she has to face the trauma of what happens and how her community deals with it.  Starr struggles to figure out what it means to be black and live in a world where that means far more then it should.
"The truth casts a shadow over the kitchen--people like us in situations like this become hashtags, but they rarely get justice. I think we all wait for that one time though, that one time when it ends right."
Starr balances two worlds learning how to act around her two sets of friends, while trying to stay true to her self. Growing up in a community with little resources your morality reflects the limited choices that you are allowed to make. Police keep marginalized communities in a state of fear. No one should have to guess whether or not they will survive an encounter with the police. This book realistically portrays the unjust responses that have followed police officers killing young black men. It's a relevant story for our time that encourages teens to stand up against the injustice that they see around them.
"...they either spend most of their life in prison, another billion dollar industry or they have a hard time getting a real job and probably start selling drugs again. That's the hate they're giving us, baby, a system designed against us."
Starr learns how to stand up for herself and confront the issues around her, while we are introduced to the memorable characters that make up her family. Starr's parents provide the best life for their kids but find ways to continue to help the community they are from. The character development was great everyone was described vividly, and stood out as distinct personalities. I was engaged with every pages while reading and I know most people will be too.

Recommended for: 
-readers who enjoy learning more about inner city life
-readers who want to think about more deeply about race
-readers who enjoy character driven stories about present day issues


Angie Thomas was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, Mississippi as indicated by her accent. She is a former teen rapper whose greatest accomplishment was an article about her in Right-On Magazine with a picture included. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Belhaven University and an unofficial degree in Hip Hop. She can also still rap if needed. She is an inaugural winner of the Walter Dean Meyers Grant 2015, awarded by We Need Diverse Books. Her debut novel, The Hate U Give, was acquired by Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins in a 13-house auction and will be published in spring 2017. Film rights have been optioned by Fox 2000 with George Tillman attached to direct and Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg set to star.

Book Scoop March 9- March 17, 2018

March 17, 2018
Book Scoop, Weekly Feature, InToriLex, Book News
Book Industry News, Links & New Book Releases
Happy St. Patrick's Day



Apocalypse Child: A Life in End Times by Flor Edwards
Apocalypse Child: A Life in End Times, Flor Edwards, InToriLex
Apocalypse Child: A Life in End Times
For the first thirteen years of her life, Flor Edwards grew up in the confines of a religious sect know as the Children of God, an outgrowth of 1960s counterculture founded in California in 1968. The group's nomadic existence was based on the belief that, as God's chosen people, they would be saved in the impending apocalypse that would envelop the rest of the world in 1993. Flor and Tamar would be 12 years old. The group's charismatic leader, Father David, kept the family on the move, from Los Angeles to Bangkok to Chicago, where the group would eventually disband, leaving the Edwards sisters to make sense of the foreign world of mainstream society around them on their own. Apocalypse Child is a cathatic journey through Flor's memories of growing up within a group with unconventional views on education, religion, and sex. Whimsically referring to herself as a real life Kimmy Schmidt, Edward's clear-eyed memoir is a story of survival in a childhood lived on the fringes.
Secrets We Kept: Three Women of Trinidad by Krystal A. Sital 
Secrets We Kept: Three Women of Trinidad, Krystal A. Sital, InToriLex
Secrets We Kept: Three Women of Trinidad
There, in a lush landscape of fire-petaled immortelle trees and vast plantations of coffee and cocoa, where the three hills along the southern coast act as guardians against hurricanes, Krystal A. Sital grew up idolizing her grandfather, a wealthy Hindu landowner. Years later, to escape crime and economic stagnation on the island, the family resettled in New Jersey, where Krystal’s mother works as a nanny, and the warmth of Trinidad seems a pretty yet distant memory. But when her grandfather lapses into a coma after a fall at home, the women he has terrorized for decades begin to speak, and a brutal past comes to light.

In the lyrical patois of her mother and grandmother, Krystal learns the long-held secrets of their family’s past, and what it took for her foremothers to survive and find strength in themselves. The relief of sharing their stories draws the three women closer, the music of their voices and care for one another easing the pain of memory.

Violence, a rigid ethnic and racial caste system, and a tolerance of domestic abuse—the harsh legacies of plantation slavery—permeate the history of Trinidad. On the island’s plantations, in its growing cities, and in the family’s new home in America, Secrets We Kept tells a story of ambition and cruelty, endurance and love, and most of all, the bonds among women and between generations that help them find peace with the past.
Obsidio, The Illuminar Files #3, amie Kaufman, Jay KristoffObsidio (The Illuminae Files #3) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff 
Obsidio (The Illuminae Files, #3)
Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they'll find seven months after the invasion?

Meanwhile, Kady's cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza's ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha's past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict.

With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken.
Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney
Sometimes I Lie
My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:
1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.

Amber wakes up in a hospital. She can’t move. She can’t speak. She can’t open her eyes. She can hear everyone around her, but they have no idea. Amber doesn’t remember what happened, but she has a suspicion her husband had something to do with it. Alternating between her paralyzed present, the week before her accident, and a series of childhood diaries from twenty years ago, this brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something really a lie if you believe it's the truth?
Did I miss anything in the book world? Let me know in the comments below
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