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
Lovers of history, poetry, and myth will find themselves in awe of R.M. Romero’s young adult debut. The story of Ilana Lopez, a Jewish Latina from Miami sent to stay with her aunt in Prague, is inspired by the author’s very real time spent restoring Jewish cemeteries in Eastern Europe, and rings true because of this even through its layers of story magic. The Ghosts of Rose Hill is by turns glittering, dark, enchanting and haunting.
The Ghosts of Rose Hill by R. M. Romero, (List Price: $18.99, Peachtree Teen, 9781682633380, May 2022)
Reviewed by Cristina Russell, Books & Books in Coral Gables, Florida
Move over, Plastics, there’s a new girl squad in town. SQUAD is a high school tale about transformational friendship, belonging, and what we’ll do to fit in. It will absolutely sink its claws into you from the very first page. (Puns ALL intended.)
Squad by Maggie Tokuda-Hall, (List Price: 14.99, Greenwillow Books, 9780062943149, October 2021)
Reviewed by Abby Rice, Foggy Pine Books in Boone, North Carolina
Oh my gosh, this was so much fun! If you’re a fan of Phantom of the Opera, you HAVE to read this modern spin on the classic tale. With references to everything from Ghost Adventures to Silence of the Lambs, this is an awesome read for fans of Phantom. Stephanie (this version’s Christine) is no wilting wallflower – she takes control of her own destiny, and Erik’s tragic tale is spun into an even more heartbreaking story. I could barely put this down to go to bed! Themes of romance that transcends time and space, the shattering of a soul, and love of family spread their fingers throughout this book, and it is beautiful. I loved it!
Phantom Heart by Kelly Creagh, (List Price: 19.99, Viking Books for Young Readers, 9780593116043, August 2021)
Reviewed by Kate Wilder, Story on the Square in McDonough, Georgia
Inspired by Argentinian myth, this coming-of-age tale is packed with magic, friendship, and adventure as Manu tries to find her place in a world where she has always felt unwanted only to stumble into a new one altogether. Intriguing from the very start, Garber writes a story comprised of lovable characters, relevant social commentary, and just enough mystery to always keep you guessing.
Lobizona by Romina Garber (List Price: $18.99, Wednesday Books, 9781250239129, 8/4/2020)
Reviewed by Asia Harden, Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi