The books Southern indie booksellers are recommending to readers everywhere!
I loved Cinderella is Dead! I love that Kalynn took a fairy tale we all know and turned it on its head, for the better. The whole time I am reading it I’m thinking this is a feminist fairy tale. I’m thinking this is the LGBTQ fairy tale I wish I could have read when growing up and I am so happy young people today will be able to read this story. We need more stories like this.
Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron, (List Price: 10.99, Bloomsbury YA, 9781547606641, June 2021)
Reviewed by Rayna Nielsen, Blue Cypress Books in New Orleans, Louisiana
This poignant story paints those subtle shifts from childhood to adulthood for Rose as she spends time at a lake house with her parents, who are going through a rough patch, and her younger friend Windy, who suddenly seems immature. It’s a quiet story, full of melancholy and growing pains, but still so lovely and achingly honest.
This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki, (List Price: $18.99, First Second, 9781596437746, May 2014)
Reviewed by Julie Jarema, Avid Bookshop in Athens, Georgia
After the death of her father, Kit discovers a grandmother she never knew she had. Invited to visit her grandmother in Rosemont, Kit’s father’s hometown, Kit quickly finds herself entangled in a mystery that her family has had a long involvement in. Eerie and engrossing, Starlings is a rosey-tinged gothic where monsters lurk and secrets can’t stay buried.
Starlings by Amanda Linsmeier, (List Price: 18.99, Delacorte Press, 9780593572337, June 2023)
Reviewed by Charlie Williams, Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi
The night after Ada’s failed attempt to lose her virginity to her boyfriend, she catches him cheating on her. But their family is soon off for a 9day stay in Hawaii at a yearly medical conference, so she hopes that will take her mind off things. But she’s in a fight with her older sister and then her stepdad drops the bomb that he’s staying home from this trip and Ada just feels worse. This was a sweet story, full of high drama and I am here for it. I loved how flawed and real the characters were and this compulsively readable story kept me entertained from the start.
With You All the Way by Cynthia Hand (List Price: $17.99, HarperTeen, 9780062693198, 3/30/2021)
Reviewed by Jennifer Jones, Bookmiser, Inc. in Roswell, Georgia
A Winter 2021 Read This Next! Title
Outlawed by Anna North
Bloomsbury Publishing, January
Anna North has taken the traditional Western and flipped it on its head with a feminist twist for a very refreshing and timely novel about self worth. Taking place in an alternate past, Ada marries at 17, but after a year of trying, can’t conceive a child. She is kicked out by her husband’s family and accused of witchcraft by the town she grew up in, forcing her to flee. She ends up with an atypical group of outlaws by way of a convent and begins to learn to survive on the outside of traditional society. Intimate and exciting, this is a very fun book!
– Carl Kranz, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, VA