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  • Writer's pictureThe Bossy Bookworm

Three Books I'm Reading Now, 3/29/21 Edition

The Books I'm Reading Now

I'm reading three books that are about to be published: Cory Anderson's debut, a dark young adult novel about young brothers desperately trying to stay together and stay alive in rural Idaho; Wendy Heard's fast-paced California-set thriller about an infatuation between two young women, dangerous risks, and a web of lies that may get them both killed; and Jennifer McMahon's dive into a family's haunting history that has mysterious, powerful present-day repercussions.

Which books are you reading and enjoying these days, bookworms?


01 What Beauty There Is by Cory Anderson

In the young adult novel What Beauty There Is, Jack and his brother are painfully poor and living alone in rural Idaho. It's winter, it's cold, and it's tough enough to simply survive.

But if Jack can't find the drug money his father stole before heading to prison, things will get worse: his younger brother will be sent into foster care. There's no real choice to make--Jack would never allow his brother to go. So now he just needs to do some dangerous digging into matters that seem to generally end with jail time...or death.

Meanwhile, nearby, Ava's been kept quiet and controlled by her father her whole life--and he's after the same money Jack so desperately needs. Ava must decide whether she'll stick by her cruel father or if she's willing to help the brothers save themselves.

Cory Anderson's debut is a story about darkness, desperation, loyalty, and cobbling together something close to hope.

I'm mesmerized by this gorgeous cover art.

I received a prepublication edition of this book (its publication date is April 6) courtesy of Roaring Brook Press and NetGalley.


02 She's Too Pretty to Burn by Wendy Heard

Heard's young adult thriller follows the twists and turns at the intersection of three volatile young people--bored photographer Veronica; her best friend, mischievous performance art rebel Nico; and their new friend, Mick, who hasn't quite found her place in the world outside of being a competitive swimmer.

Mick, whose mother is emotionally unavailable (and hardly physically present), has a lot to figure out and responsibilities weighing her down, meanwhile Veronica is pushing Mick past her comfort level into vulnerability. The girls fall hard for each other--but they've built their early relationship on lies that could destroy their connection.

With Nico's troublemaking and incessant challenges to the status quo serving as a catalyst for fast-paced changes, the girls will have to figure out if they can trust each other as everything begins to spiral out of control, threatening both their lives.

I received a prepublication edition of this book (to be published March 30) courtesy of Henry Holt & Company and NetGalley.


03 The Drowning Kind by Jennifer McMahon

The Drowning Kind is the newest story by McMahon, the author of The Winter People and many other books.

When Jax, a social worker, gets a series of frantic missed calls from her sister Lexie, she assumes Lexie is having another manic episode. She'll have plenty of time to try to cope with her estranged sister's mess later.

But disaster strikes, and Jax finds herself trying to unravel the twisted, complicated history of her family and its land--a history Lexie was researching and had become haunted by.

McMahon's modern-day ghost story delves back into the family's goings-on in 1929, when Jax and Lexie's ancestor Ethel Monroe, desperate to have a baby, may have made a dark bargain--with terrible repercussions echoing for generations to come.

I received a prepublication edition of this book (its publication date is April 6) courtesy of Gallery Books and NetGalley.


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