The books Southern indie booksellers are recommending to readers everywhere!
A May 2022 Read This Next! Selection
When Celia Cleary “comes of age” in her magical family, she inherits a gift for prophecy–and all the problems that come with it. While The Problem with Prophecies raises questions about fate, free will, and magic, it is at its core a sweet story about family, friendship, and first crushes. Scott Reintgen writes insightfully about the liminal space between childhood and adolescence.
The Problem with Prophecies by Scott Reintgen, (List Price: $27, Atria Books, 9781665903578, May 2022)
Reviewed by Heather Jeziorowski from Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, Georgia
Holly Black has returned with a darkly enthralling new world where shadows are more than just a trick of the light, and magicians are the thing that go bump in the night. With everything from a kick-ass female lead, grand heists and blood magic, this is an urban fantasy that comes with a bite and leaves with a door slam to the face. I can’t wait to see where Black takes the rest of the series. Readers with a taste for the macabre won’t be able to put this one down. Black’s foray into adult fiction feels like a breath of fresh air for the modern fantasy reader, with a dash of dark academia and a new magic system that begs us to ask the question: what really is a human soul?
Book of Night by Holly Black, (List Price: $27.99, Tor Books, 9781250812193, May 2022)
Reviewed by Emma June Wood, Main Street Reads in Summerville, South Carolina
Once I started this book I did not want any interruptions until I finished reading. The mysticism of Appalachia comes to life on the pages of the book. Mel is in the foster system and has learned all the pitfalls of the system, but cares for no one until Sarah arrives at her foster home. Sarah is otherworldly to Mel, she is kind, timid and becomes Mel’s family. They bond and escape terrible situations together, but Sarah always wants to return home to the Wildwood where she was born and raised. Mel would do anything for Sarah so she grants that wish and begins a journey with a cast of characters she could have never even imagined. I won’t go into detail here as the discoveries are best made when you read this touching and heart-grabbing book.
Wildwood Whispers by Willa Reece, (List Price: 28, Redhook, 9780316591768, August 2021)
Reviewed by Jackie Willey, Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina
Clay McLeod Chapman has not disappointed in his second novel! Eerie in the best way, the story follows five year-old Sean in 1983 and Richard, an art teacher, in 2013. What is supposed to be a fresh start for the boy and the man thirty years apart leads to horrific events for Sean/Richard and everyone around them. Chapman’s impeccable writing brings the scenes to life. From the first page, Chapman skillfully peppers humor throughout, making you comfortable before the inevitable horrific snap of the plot. It is an intriguing look at how actions in our childhood can haunt us into adulthood–sometimes literally haunt us.
Whisper Down the Lane by Clay McLeod Chapman (List Price: $19.99, Quirk Books, 9781683692157, 4/6/2021)
Reviewed by Karyn Cumming, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia