Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton
Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton
Novelist: From the author of the acclaimed bestseller Sister comes a gripping, thrilling story of a mother who will do anything to protect her child.....
Here's what the Booklist reveiw had to say:
/* Starred Review */ When her children’s school catches on fire, Grace runs headlong into the inferno, determined to rescue her 17-year-old daughter, Jenny. But both end up unconscious and in critical condition in the hospital. It’s there that the two find themselves unfettered from their bodies and able to travel the hospital hallways, where they learn that the fire was set deliberately and that Jenny was the target. Grace discovers a newfound appreciation for her sister-in-law, Sarah, a smart and determined detective whom Grace had previously thought to be cold and judgmental. As the gutsy Sarah homes in on the arsonist and provides Grace’s devastated husband with emotional support, Grace rues the fact that they were never really friends. Grace must also comfort her daughter, who can barely stand to look at her severely burned face and whose chances of survival are only 50/50. Lupton takes her readers on a totally harrowing ride as she melds a suspenseful procedural with an emotionally fraught family drama. Within a taut and sinuous narrative, heartbreak over a broken family vies with fear that the arsonist will return to complete the job of killing Jenny. Masterful pacing and a highly charged atmosphere combine to make this an exceptionally gripping read.
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If you like this book by Rosamund Lupton, NoveList recommends the following:
Started early, took my dog by Kate Atkinson
Tracy Waterhouse, a retired police detective leading a quiet life, makes a snap decision to relieve habitual offender Kelly Cross of a young child he's been dragging around town. Tracy soon learns her parental inexperience is actually the least of her problems, as much larger ones loom for her and her young charge. Meanwhile, detective Jackson Brodie embarks on a different sort of rescue--that of an abused dog. NoveList
Losing you by Nicci French
Preparing to leave for a vacation, Nina Landry awaits the return of her fifteen-year-old daughter, Charlie, who had spent the night at a friend's house, but Nina begins to worry when Charlie does not come home and no one takes the disappearance seriously. NoveList
The lovely bones by Alice Sebold
Looking down from heaven, 14-year-old Susie Salmon recounts her rape and murder and watches her family as they cope with their grief and "the lovely bones" growing around her absence. NoveList
Judge a book by its cover (December 2010)
Even though we're told we never should, I love judging books by their covers, and here's one that caught my immediate attention! When I first saw that antique "English" carriage, all I could think of was Rosemary's Baby. When I read what it was about -- changelings and the dark underworld called "Gentry" I was reminded of the film Labyrinth. Either way, I definitely want to read this!!
The Replacement (2010)
by Brenna Yovanoff
Mackie Doyle is not one of us. Though he lives in the small town of Gentry, he comes from a world of tunnels and black murky water, a world of living dead girls ruled by a little tattooed princess. He is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now, because of fatal allergies to iron, blood, and consecrated ground, Mackie is fighting to survive in the human world.
Mackie would give anything to live among us, to practice on his bass or spend time with his crush, Tate. But when Tate's baby sister goes missing, Mackie is drawn irrevocably into the underworld of Gentry, known as Mayhem. He must face the dark creatures of the Slag Heaps and find his rightful place, in our world, or theirs
Numbers (2010) New!
by Rachel Ward
Whenever Jem meets someone new, no matter who, as soon as she looks into their eyes, a number pops into her head. That number is a date: the date they will die.
Burdened with such an awful awareness, Jem avoids relationships. Until she meets Spider, another outsider, and takes a chance. But while they’re waiting to ride the Eye Ferris wheel, Jem notices that all the other tourists in line flash the same number. Today’s number. Today’s date.
What pushed this book from good to great for me, is the dark and gritty subtext going on here between the lines. Jem's and Spider's world is not a kind one -- their story represents all those underprivileged, disenfranchised kids who fall through the cracks to end up working dead-end jobs, addicted to drugs, serving time, or dead. It's not a pretty picture, and while Ward is writing from a clearly British perspective, I feel it's not all that different in Canada either -- born into poverty, drugs, and violence and most likely that's where you stay. The cycle is a vicious one and very hard to break.
But this rip-roaring page-turner is more than just a social critique of the English class system, it's a story of a young girl with a very unusual problem -- once she makes eye contact with you she knows the exact date of your death. That's a great hook and as soon as I heard about this book I just knew I had to read it. It doesn't disappoint. Jem is wonderful -- prickly, antisocial and with a huge chip on her shoulder, but lovable nonetheless. She's been "through the shit" and has every right to be weary and leery. It's only until she meets Spider that all that begins to change for her. And oh how I love the gangly ADHD Spider, who jitters and jives to the music in his head, never able to quite shut up or sit still.
What I love about this book is that it forces us to contemplate our own mortality (terrain most teens eat up and are comfortable with) but grown-ups often run away from. If each of us started our lives knowing exactly when we were going to die, would it change how we live? Would any of us want to know? I'm fairly certain I wouldn't. I know it's going to happen "someday" but it's freeing to not know exactly when. Knowing would somehow suck the life out of the time that's left, rather than make it more precious. I think. And you gotta respect a book that makes you think.
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake: A Novel
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake: A Novel by Aimee Bender
The wondrous Aimee Bender conjures the lush and moving story of a girl whose magical gift is really a devastating curse. On the eve of her ninth birthday, unassuming Rose Edelstein, a girl at the periphery of schoolyard games and her distracted parents' attention, bites into her mother's homemade lemon-chocolate cake and discovers she has a magical gift: she can taste her mother's emotions in the cake. She discovers this gift to her horror, for her mother - her cheerful, good-with-crafts, can-do mother - tastes of despair and desperation. Suddenly, and for the rest of her life, food becomes a peril and a threat to Rose. Synopsis from Global Books in Print.
Stephen King picks his top read of 2009
The Little Stranger (2009)
by Sarah Waters
Plot Summary: When Dr. Faraday, a Warwickshire physician, pays a visit to the Ayres family at their Hundreds Hall estate, he unknowingly enters a wickedly haunted house. His life soon becomes entwined with a family plagued by a terrifying past.
As part of his semi-regular Entertainment Weekly column (Pop of King), the master of the macabre himself - Stephen King - picks his top read for this past year.
About The Little Stranger, King writes:"This is a terrifying, engrossing ghost story set in the English countryside not long after World War II, but it's so much more. The ghost haunting Hundreds Hall may or may not be real, but the malevolence Waters evokes is unquestionable, and the first evil manifestation — involving an unpleasant little girl and a normally good-natured dog — is an authentic shocker. Although told in straightforward prose, this is a deeply textured and thoughtful piece of work. Several sleepless nights are guaranteed."
Coming Soon! New Joe Hill
Horns: A Novel (2010) Coming Soon!
by Joe Hill
Joe Hill (son of macabre master Stephen King) returns with his second novel, Horns.
Summary: Ignatius Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things. He woke up the next morning with a thunderous hangover, a raging headache . . . and a pair of horns growing from his temples.
At first Ig thought the horns were a hallucination, the product of a mind damaged by rage and grief. He had spent the last year in a lonely, private purgatory, following the death of his beloved, Merrin Williams, who was raped and murdered under inexplicable circumstances. A mental breakdown would have been the most natural thing in the world. But there was nothing natural about the horns, which were all too real (harpercollins.com)
See previous blog post Joe Hill is Playing Head Games.
Check out these other titles from author Joe Hill!
20th Century Ghosts (short stories)
Heart-shaped Box: a Novel
Welcome to Lovecraft: Locke and Key 1 (graphic novel)
Head Games: Locke and Key 2 (graphic novel)
This post appears courtesy of RPL's horror blog
New John Saul promises chilling ghost story with gothic flair
House of Reckoning (2009)
From Jacket Notes:
...fourteen-year-old Sarah Crane is forced to grow up quickly.... Left in the cold care of a loveless foster family and alienated at school, Sarah finds a kindred spirit in classmate Nick Dunnigan, a former mental patient still plagued by voices and visions. And in eccentric art instructor Bettina Phillips, Sarah finds a mentor eager to nurture her talent for painting.
But within the walls of Bettina’s ancestral home, the mansion called Shutters, Sarah finds something altogether different and disturbing. Monstrous images from the house’s dark history seem to flow unbidden from Sarah’s paintbrush–images echoed by Nick’s chilling hallucinations. Trapped for ages in the shadowy rooms of Shutters, the violence and fury of long-dead generations have finally found a gateway from the grave into the world of the living. And Sarah and Nick have found a power they never had: to take control, and take revenge.
New Stephen King Book "On Order"
Under the Dome COMING SOON!
Release Date: November 10th, 2009
Stephen King's latest novel, Under the Dome, hits stores on November 10th. Rest assured that Regina Public Library will be getting many copies to meet the anticipated demand. The book is currently showing in the catalogue as "on order" so please feel free to place a hold now. There will also be copies available in our Popular Picks collection for short term loans, so don't get discouraged if you are far down the holds list.
Like The Stand, IT, and King's other famous epic door-stoppers, Under the Dome weighs in at a whopping 1088 pages! Word is, fans won't be disappointed. Check out this early review published in Library Journal .
This post appears courtesy of RPL's horror blog.