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Extended Review: How To Tell Toledo From The Night Sky By Lydia Netzer

BY Cyndy Aleo, JULY 03, 2014 | PERMALINK

The cover of How to Tell Toledo From the Night SkyWhen Lydia Netzer's first book, Shine, Shine, Shine, was released, it was amazing, and quirky ... and it was at the forefront of a small recent trend of quirky, socially impaired characters.

I wasn't sure how well it would be received. It was smart — so smart it involved complicated equations as love notes — and super-quirky, and I wasn't sure of its mass market appeal in an industry that sometimes seems dominated with "more of the same." 

Seeing how well that book did was great, but Netzer's sophomore effort (if we don't count June's novella "Everybody's Baby"), How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky, is astounding. Netzer manages to take a blend of magical realism, the quirk factor of her previous novel, and her own unique voice to create a novel that stands out from the crowd being created by authors like Matthew Quick and Graeme Simsion.


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Cover Breakdown: Rooms by Lauren Oliver

BY DJ DeSmyter, JUNE 25, 2014 | PERMALINK

In our Cover Breakdowns feature, I've been taking closer looks at recently revealed covers that have caught my eye. Today, I examine the cover for Lauren Oliver's upcoming adult novel, Rooms, due out on September 23. As a major Lauren Oliver fan, I'm super excited to read Rooms and I'm rather in love with the cover. Take a look:

Isn't it pretty?

Wealthy Richard Walker has just died, leaving behind his country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His estranged family — bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton and unforgiving daughter Minna — have arrived for their inheritance.

But the Walkers are not alone. Prim Alice and the cynical Sandra, long dead former residents bound to the house, linger within its claustrophobic walls. Jostling for space, memory and supremacy, they observe the family, trading barbs and reminiscences about their past lives. Though their voices cannot be heard, Alice and Sandra speak through the house itself—in the hiss of the radiator, a creak in the stairs, the dimming of a light bulb.


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Five Books Karen White Can't Do Without

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, JUNE 09, 2014 | PERMALINK

Karen White's June release, A Long Time Gone — about a woman who returns home only to become tangled up in a murder-mystery, earned a rare Gold rating from RT reviewer Debbie Haupt, a rating that typically indicates that a book has earned a spot on that reviewers keeper shelf. So we decided to ask the author which books she keeps coming back to. Below are five of the books Karen White just can't do without.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

I still have stiff thumbs from holding this book open while I pushed my two children on swings at the park. All day. To the point that they were asking to go home because it was getting dark and they were hungry. It transported me to a different place and time, to a different world where I knew these characters like family, and felt their hurts as if they were my own. Beautiful writing, mesmerizing characters, a blazing romance, and a page-turning plot makes this book #1 on my keeper shelf.

Lord of the Far Island by Victoria Holt


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Exclusive Excerpt: Anna Godbersen's The Blonde

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, MAY 12, 2014 | PERMALINK

Do you guys remember when that mega-addictive YA series The Luxe hit shelves, back in 2007? We were instantly obsessed with the books and their author, Anna Godbersen. So when we heard she was writing her adult debut, starring Marilyn Monroe as a blackmailed spy, well, we had to know more! So today we’ve got for you an exclusive excerpt from The Blonde, so we can all savor the awesomeness until tomorrow when the book comes out!

Chicago, March 1959

The cover of The Blonde

It had taken three Seconal just to stitch together a few hours sleep last night, and Marilyn asked for a second Bloody Mary when she realized that the descent into Midway wasn't going to be smooth. The plane was small, and she could hear every thrum of the engine and the wind through its walls, and that was before they hit the weather over Lake Michigan. For the first time in some years her fear of flying rose beyond a hazily pleasant fatalism, and she put her palm against the little oval window and let her eyes scan the blue surface below to the place where it met land. She wanted to make it there. If she had a father, somewhere in the world, then there was a reason to land safely after all.


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Same Book, Different Reaction: Eleanor Moran Talks Rebecca

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, APRIL 22, 2014 | PERMALINK

We love re-reading our favorite books as much as the next bookworm. But there's no denying that a book can lose its charm over time and when we return to it years later, our interpretations of the text can be skewed thanks to our life experiences. Don't even talk to us about watching Reality Bites once you're past your angsty twenties. Eleanor Moran, author of The Last Time I Saw You, knows this sad phenomenon to be true. Today, she talks about one of her favorite classics, Rebecca, and how her initial impressions of the book have shifted over the years. Take it away, Eleanor!

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again ...

The cover of The Last TIme I Saw You

I cannot think of a single opening line that is more memorable and evocative than those first few words from Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca. I was fourteen when I first read it — longing for first love, and far too spotty and geeky to find it (a typical writer in waiting, really). Also, perhaps most crucially, I’d grown up with a very distant father whom I adored, though I only saw him intermittently. To me, the imperious and unknowable Maxim de Winter seemed like the perfect romantic hero.


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