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We Deserve Monuments by Jas Hammonds

Poignant, moving, and utterly captivating from the first page to the last, We Deserve Monuments is in a league of its own. Both a riveting exploration of the South’s intrinsic and rampant racism and a love story that revels in the beauty of queer Black girls, Jas Hammonds’ debut should be required reading. A beautifully rendered love story both to the family we’re born into and the family we choose, I know I will be neither the first nor the last to say that this book, and all those who see themselves reflected in its pages, deserves monuments.

We Deserve Monuments by Jas Hammonds, (List Price: $18.99, Roaring Brook Press, 9781250816559, November 2022)

Reviewed by Mary Louise Callaghan, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Ship Wrecked by Olivia Dade

Super passionate slow burn romance with plenty of heart and humor! Maria is the last person Peter wants to see after she’s just left their hotel room without saying goodbye, post-hookup. Fate has other plans when she appears later that day at his final callback for a popular fantasy series, and they both book the roles. They spend the next six years filming together in a remote (and lonely) location but don’t dare blur the lines of their relationship…until the series ends! These two have AMAZING chemistry as well as great friendship and a deep understanding of one another. Loved!

Ship Wrecked by Olivia Dade, (List Price: $16.99, Avon, 9780063215870, November 2022)

Reviewed by Julia Lewis, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

We Are the Light by Matthew Quick

We Are The Light is the book we all need to be reading in 2022. In one headline after another we’ve been reading about mass shootings in our malls, our schools, our small towns, our communities… but what happens to those communities in the weeks, months, years after these tragedies occur- changing so many lives forever? Matthew Quick takes on this subject and explores the question through the eyes of Lucas Goodgame, a Christmas-time movie house shooting survivor who lost his wife, friends and neighbors in a scene that is all too familiar to us now- but shouldn’t be. Worst of all, his Jungian therapist Karl, a tremendous support to him, isn’t seeing patients or responding to Lucas’ frequent calls, letters or visits to his house. So frequent in fact, that the police have had to step in and create some boundaries for him. His wife’s best friend is trying to run the local diner and keep him sane; the shooter’s younger brother, a student Lucas had been helping in his role as the high school guidance counselor, has set up camp in Lucas’ back yard and his dead wife is visiting him every night shedding feathers from her giant wings by the handful. We Are The Light is a book to read slowly, with big inhales, taking in every feeling of every character no matter how painful. It is a book everyone everywhere should be reading – because as we have been reminded all year, what happens in Quick’s book, in the little town of Majestic, PA, can happen anywhere.

We Are the Light by Matthew Quick, (List Price: $27.99, Avid Reader Press, 9781668005422, November 2022)

Reviewed by Jamie Anderson, Downtown Books in Manteo, North Carolina

Tread of Angels by Rebecca Roanhorse

Rebecca Roanhorse is a fantastic world-builder and her skills are razor-sharp in her newest fantasy set in an Old West mining town where angels had battled demons in an ancient war. Main character Celeste attempts to clear her sister from a murder charge but is impeded and manipulated by the Divines — the ruling class who are descendants of angels and dispense justice while wearing white robes and masks. As she searches for clues to free her sister, she stumbles into a bigger mystery that threatens her life and the future of the Fallen, who are the descendants of the demons and are the laborers and miners in the town. A gritty but good read!

Tread of Angels by Rebecca Roanhorse, (List Price: $22.99, Saga Press, 9781982166182, November 2022)

Reviewed by Mary Patterson, The Little Bookshop in Midlothian, Virginia

Now Is Not the Time to Panic by Kevin Wilson

Now is Not The Time to Panic covers that wry space between childhood and adulthood – how we want to be seen and how others see us. Frankie and Zeke ask the questions about the nature of art both to the maker and the viewer, what does obsession really look like, and how do things spin out of control so smoothly. All against an early 90s world that may as well be a thousand years ago. The questions of consequences, family and what lies in front of us through a 90s era time warp. The writing is amazing. Sentences that stop you in your tracks. I loved everything about the novel!

Now Is Not the Time to Panic by Kevin Wilson, (List Price: $27.99, Ecco, 9780062913500, November 2022)

Reviewed by Susan Williams, M. Judson Booksellers in Greenville, South Carolina

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