Bookmiser

Planning Perfect by Haley Neil

This sweet romcom about a girl on the asexual spectrum who tries to plan her mom’s location wedding in Vermont without spiraling out will be just what you’re looking for as a wonderful summer read. Felicity has had a rough time of it. After the incident last year, she’s trying to get back on track with a prime position at her favorite school club. But when her mom gets engaged, she throws all her energy into planning the perfect wedding. And maybe she can connect more with a friend from the summer that she may or may not have a crush on!

Planning Perfect by Haley Neil, (List Price: $19.99, Bloomsbury YA, 9781547607495, February 2023)

Reviewed by Jennifer Jones, Bookmiser in Marietta, Georgia

Begin Again by Emma Lord

A January 2023 Read This Next! Title

Emma Lord brings the feels in her new novel, Begin Again. Andie didn’t get into her first choice college with her boyfriend, but she has a plan. She works really hard and ends up getting in as a transfer student after her first semester at community college. The problem is that she planned her transfer as a surprise for her boyfriend….who did the same thing, transferring to the school Andie WAS at.

Begin Again by Emma Lord (List Price: $18.99, Wednesday Books, 9781250783363, January 2023)

Reviewed by Jennifer Jones, Bookmiser in Marietta, Georgia

Beatrice Likes the Dark by April Genevieve Tucholke

What a beautiful unfolding of sisterly love! Beatrice Likes the Dark reinforces the wisdom so difficult to impart on young hearts: It is what makes us uniquely different, that also makes us uniquely lovable. The book is sitting on my Grandma shelf–ready to share with my own darlings.

Beatrice Likes the Dark by April Genevieve Tucholke (List Price: $18.95, Algonquin Young Readers, 9781643751573, September 2022)

Reviewed by Annell Gerson, Bookmiser in Marietta, Georgia

Nine Liars by Maureen Johnson

Stevie’s back to solve a new mystery, this time at a country manor in England! Johnson delves right back into Stevie’s world as she navigates her way through a 27-year-old murder and a current disappearance. Stevie’s at loose ends as she’s almost halfway through her senior year. She doesn’t know what she wants to do after high school, and she misses her boyfriend. But when David invites Stevie and her friends to spend a week in England, they immediately develop a plan to get the headmaster to let them go as an educational experience. Once they get there, the mystery finds Stevie, and she’s off.

Nine Liars by Maureen Johnson (List Price: $19.99, Katherine Tegen Books, 9780063032651, December 2022)

Reviewed by Jennifer Jones, Bookmiser in Marietta, Georgia

Heartbreak Boys by Simon James Green

This crazy, madcap YA novel is just the thing you’re looking for! Nate and Jack used to be the best of friends. But after Jack came out, they drifted apart. Now they’re at prom and they’ve just discovered that their boyfriends are cheating on them…with each other. So they decide to team up and make the most fabulous, jealousy-inducing social media account of the summer to make their exes jealous. But that turns out to be a little tougher than they thought.

Heartbreak Boys by Simon James Green (List Price: $18.99, Clarion Books, 9780358617259, December 2022)

Reviewed by Jennifer Jones, Bookmiser in Marietta, Georgia

How to Excavate a Heart by Jake Maia Arlow

This is the book I, a Jewish lesbian nerd with bushy hair and a love of corgis, needed as a teen. How to Excavate a Heart has all of the tropes us hopeless romantics love- a meet-cute, enemies-to-lovers, and kissing in the snow. It also has really great advice that teenage me would’ve benefited from: your partner should add to your life, but they shouldn’t be your whole life. There’s so much beauty in the world, and part of that can be your kind of mean, hot Jewish girlfriend, but she doesn’t need to be all of it! Besides the invaluable lessons in the book, the love story is compelling and well-paced, and sweet. Shani and May are learning about themselves and love and how to deal with parents and fish fossils together, which is what love is really about. Fill yourself with holiday cheer and read this book!

How to Excavate a Heart by Jake Maia Arlow (List Price: $18.99, HarperTeen, 9780063078727, November 2022)

Julia Hirschfield from Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Animal Life by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir

Olafdottir takes us to Iceland a few days before Christmas where a midwife, Domhildur, has just delivered her 1,922nd baby. She comes from a long line of midwives on her mother’s side and her father’s family work as undertakers. Her family deals with beginnings and endings, life and death, and sunlight and darkness. “I have come to the conclusion that the one who calls himself the master of all creatures is in fact the most vulnerable of all animals…the most fragile of the fragile on the planet.” These words, written by Domhildur’s great-aunt, are discovered in some manuscripts left in a closet after her death. Domhildur reads her great-aunt’s reflections on humans, life, and loves, while a storm is moving into Reykjavik. Will the prediction in these pages come to be reality? Will mankind be “the most short-lived species on earth”?

Animal Life by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir (List Price: $17, Grove Press, Black Cat, 9780802160164, December 2022)

Reviewed by Nancy Pierce, Bookmiser in Marietta, Georgia

Hemlock Hollow by Culley Holderfield

Culley Holderfield writes poetically about the magical mountain hollow where we meet Caroline Mc Alister as she mourns her father and her marriage. A college professor, Caroline has just discovered that her deceased father has bequeathed her the family cabin—the cabin which has always haunted her. While restoring the old cabin she finds a century-old journal written by Carson Quinn and the mystery it reveals about the death of his brother haunts her too. This novel has so many facets: Leprechauns and Emerson and Darwin and Socrates and religion and love and death are all found in its pages. The main character is an archaeoastronomy professor and is studying the Grand Octal! This is the most fascinating novel I have read all year and is perfect for a bookclub discussion. I can’t recommend it highly enough as a page-turner that will stay with and haunt the reader.

Hemlock Hollow by Culley Holderfield (List Price: $18.95, Regal House Publishing, 9781646032860, December 2022)

Reviewed by Nancy Pierce, Bookmiser in Marietta, Georgia

The Invincible Miss Cust by Penny Haw

Aleen Cust was born an English noblewoman in 1868 but developed a love for animals and a strong desire to be educated and become a veterinary surgeon. This ambition was unheard of in a woman, and it resulted in her mother and her siblings shunning her for life. Despite her family’s hatred of her desire to be educated and many societal obstacles , Aleen successfully trained in Scotland but was prohibited from qualifying because of her sex. She persisted in the field working with an Irish vet, Willie Byrne, with whom she developed an intense love relationship. She practiced veterinary science for 22 years before she was granted her diploma. Where would women be today if not for the brave, independent women who paved the path?

The Invincible Miss Cust by Penny Haw, (List Price: $16.99, Sourcebooks Landmark, 9781728257709, October 2022)

Reviewed by Nancy Pierce, Bookmiser in Marietta, Georgia

Sugar and Salt by Susan Wiggs

I so enjoyed reading this book. The story centers around Margie Slinas/Margo Salton and jumps from present to past to see how Margie evolved into a first rate barbecue chef named Margot. She decides to open a barbecue restaurant and names it Salt. Margot shares the building with a bakery named Sugar. She begins a relationship with one of the owners, Jerome. As their relationship progresses and Margot starts to fall in love with Jerome, she know it’s time to tell him about her past as Marjorie Salinas. While some of the parts of the book were a bit rough, it was a great story filled with love and redemption.

Sugar and Salt by Susan Wiggs, (List Price: $27.99, William Morrow, 9780062914224, July 2022)

Reviewed by Pam Crawford, Bookmiser in Marietta, Georgia

This Story Will Change by Elizabeth Crane

“I thought we were going to grow old together, take care of each other.” The author Elizabeth Crane has been married for fifteen years and one day her husband tells her he isn’t happy. We ride with her on this winding story to see every turn in their lives and how it ended with this terrible pain. Truth is in every word of this memoir. Who doesn’t plan and hope for a happy ending when beginning a marriage? Elizabeth Crane reveals the honest painful truth that can be at the end of a relationship. Never has an ending of a marriage been told with more honest and heartbreaking TRUTH. She gets a new tattoo with just the word love. and writes “I still believe in it. sometimes like Santa. but I do.” Everyone who either hopes for a marriage or been in love and lost or longs for a partner could feel much of the truth in this too painfully unforgettable wise tale.

This Story Will Change by Elizabeth Crane, (List Price: 26, Counterpoint, 9781640094789, August 2022)

Reviewed by Nancy Pierce, Bookmiser, Inc. in Marietta, Georgia

Back to the Prairie by Melissa Gilbert

“There is no better pillow than one filled with hope and dreams.” writes Melissa Gilbert (the Little House on the Prairie Laura Ingalls Wilder) as she relates the latest years of her story of living through the COVID-19 pandemic. The reader will travel with Melissa as she transitions from dyed red hair and designer wear to granny gray hair and comfortable clothes. We meet her family and her husband Timothy Busfield as they decide on buying and living in a Catskills area ramshackle cabin/cottage (cabbage) and the struggles and work that go into their new home. We experience her pain and surgeries and her happiness with nature, her chickens, her cooking, and her new life. We all relive the lockdown fears and worries with the pandemic with the day-to-day reality of our situation and celebrate the vaccines and the freedom after our shots. Back to the Prairie will inspire all readers to evolve into our true selves and the happiness and comfort in finding who we are naturally meant to be.

Back to the Prairie by Melissa Gilbert, Timothy Busfield (foreword), (List Price: $28.00, Gallery Books, 9781982177188, May 2022)

Reviewed by Nancy Pierce, Bookmiser in Marietta, Georgia

Acts of Violet by Margarita Montimore

Subatomic super particles, string theory, parallel worlds, metaphysical, OBE—out-of-body-experience and different dimensions…. not many authors take their readers on such a tale as this paranormal story of a magician disappearing during a performance. Violet Volk disappeared a decade ago right in front of her audience and hasn’t been seen since. Her sister Sasha and Violet’s followers are still looking for answers. Is she alive? Was she really a psychic spy for the CIA? Does she exist in another dimension? Readers will not be able to put down this book as they read about the family situations and the magic that entwines this story.

Acts of Violet by Margarita Montimore, (List Price: $27.99, Flatiron Books, 9781250815064, July 2022)

Reviewed by Nancy Pierce, Bookmiser in Marietta, Georgia

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

Gabrielle Zevin has written a novel about amazing game developers who the reader will come to know over thirty years. When Sam Masur and Sadie Green meet as children, they become fast intimate friends when playing video games, and as young adults they craft the game Ichigo. Besides seeing the artistry and genius built into designing these intricate and captivating games, we live their lives as they grow and experience loneliness and love, pain and comfort, success and devastating pain and loss. This is ultimately an unforgettable tale of lives finding love and connection in this high tech age and the collaboration in building the worlds of video games.

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin, (List Price: 28, Knopf, 9780593321201, July 2022)

Reviewed by Nancy Pierce, Booksmiser in Marietta, Georgia

Happily Ever Island by Crystal Cestari

Madison is a full-on Disney nerd. When she wins a trip to a new, fully immersive Disney vacation full of cosplay and magical Disney magic, she’s beyond excited. But when her girlfriend breaks up with her, she convinces her best friend to come instead. Lanie is not a Disney fan. She’s not a hater, she just is way less familiar than Madison. But she throws caution to the wind and goes anyway. Hopefully they’ll both get their Happily Ever After. This story was fun and crazy and this Disney nerd enjoyed every minute.

Happily Ever Island by Crystal Cestari, (List Price: $18.99, Disney-Hyperion, 9781368075473, June 2022)

Reviewed by Jennifer Jones, Bookmiser in Marietta, Georgia

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