Staff Picks by Tag

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Post-traumatic: A Novel By Chantal V. Johnson Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316264334
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Back Bay Books - March 21st, 2023

(Content warning: This book deals heavily with the topic of trauma and sexual violence.)

I was so enamored by this debut by Chantal V. Johnson! The author has said herself that she wrote the book trying really hard not to resort to the popularized buzz words around trauma, and the result is a piece of literature that breathes new air into discussions surrounding issues that have long been around - like misogyny, feminine beauty standards, PTSD, eating disorders, etc. I appreciate how she shows the minute ways in which past trauma continually impacts people - in an Uber, for example, when the driver makes a wrong turn and Vivian suddenly plunges into a fear-spiral about getting abducted. This is a really important work about cultural allowances of everyday sexual violence. It's witty, it's engrossing, and it entreats the reader to examine the world around them for ways they are contributing to the brokenness.

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The One for You (The Ones Who Got Away) By Roni Loren Cover Image
ISBN: 9781492693192
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Sourcebooks Casablanca - December 31st, 2019

Set in the town bookstore (!!!), this friends-to-lovers romance is an emotional, dramatic ride. If you are inclined to agree that the phrase "baby fox coffee" is a loving term of endearment, this is the contemporary series you should read next. Read in or out of series order - spoilers don't detract from the wit and heart of this series.

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Run Me to Earth By Paul Yoon Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501154058
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: S&S/ Marysue Rucci Books - January 19th, 2021

Primarily taking place during the forgotten Laotian Civil War, a war that is known as “America’s secret war of the 1960s,” Run Me to Earth follows three orphan teenagers just trying to survive among the wreckage around them. Paul Yoon has written the perfect follow up to the gorgeous collection of stories in The Mountain, that also follows the lives of innocent civilians who are left to pick up the pieces after destruction and war. We see the three teenagers grow up and separate but they remain forever tied though their tragic memories of childhood. Yoon has proven to be masterful at creating quietly compelling characters with real human stories that stay with you once you close the book. This is a timeless work by a writer at the top of his craft. 

Review by Kalani

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The Honey Bus: A Memoir of Loss, Courage and a Girl Saved by Bees By Meredith May Cover Image
ISBN: 9780778309758
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Park Row - March 17th, 2020

It's difficult to review a memoir like this when the raw act of sharing certain childhood experiences is impactful on its own. However, I will say that this is a book full of lyrical, sensory-based memories; one that will make your heart ache for kids like Meredith and Matthew (and even the kid their mom used to be), but also soar when they succeed; a story that will fill you with gratitude for the family you choose, and for the bees that sustain and educate us along the way. 

Review by Katelynn