This Might Hurt by Stephanie Wrobel
Natalie Collins hasn’t heard from her sister in more than half a year. The last time they spoke, Kit was slogging from mundane workdays to obligatory happy hours to crying in the shower about their dead mother. She told Natalie she was sure there was something more out there. And then she found Wisewood.
On a private island off the coast of Maine, Wisewood’s guests commit to six-month stays. During this time, they’re prohibited from contact with the rest of the world—no Internet, no phones, no exceptions. But the rules are for a good reason: to keep guests focused on achieving true fearlessness so they can become their Maximized Selves. Natalie thinks it’s a bad idea, but Kit has had enough of her sister’s cynicism and voluntarily disappears off the grid.
Six months later Natalie receives a menacing e-mail from a Wisewood account threatening to reveal the secret she’s been keeping from Kit. Panicked, Natalie hurries north to come clean to her sister and bring her home. But she’s about to learn that Wisewood won’t let either of them go without a fight.
The First Kennedys: The Humble Roots of an American Dynasty by Neal Thompson
Their Irish ancestry was a hallmark of the Kennedys’ initial political profile, as JFK leveraged his working-class roots to connect with blue-collar voters. Today, we remember this iconic American family as the vanguard of wealth, power, and style rather than as the descendants of poor immigrants. Here at last, we meet the first American Kennedys, Patrick and Bridget, who arrived as many thousands of others did following the Great Famine—penniless and hungry. Less than a decade after their marriage in Boston, Patrick’s sudden death left Bridget to raise their children single-handedly. Her rise from housemaid to shop owner in the face of rampant poverty and discrimination kept her family intact, allowing her only son P.J. to become a successful saloon owner and businessman. P.J. went on to become the first American Kennedy elected to public office—the first of many.
Extasia by Claire Legrand
My name is unimportant. All you must know is that today I become one of the four saints of Haven. The elders will mark me and place the red hood on my head. They will give me my true name, and with my sisters I will stand against the evil power that lives beneath the black mountain—an evil that has already killed nine of our village’s men.
I will tell no one of the white-eyed beasts that follow me. Or the faceless gray women tall as houses. Or the girls I saw kissing in the elm grove.
Today I become a saint of Haven. I will rid my family of her mother’s shame at last and save my people from destruction. I am not afraid. Are you?
The Swimmers by Julie Otsuka
The swimmers are unknown to one another except through their private routines (slow lane, medium lane, fast lane) and the solace each takes in their morning or afternoon laps. But when a crack appears at the bottom of the pool, they are cast out into an unforgiving world without comfort or relief.
One of these swimmers is Alice, who is slowly losing her memory. For Alice, the pool was a final stand against the darkness of her encroaching dementia. Without the fellowship of other swimmers and the routine of her daily laps she is plunged into dislocation and chaos, swept into memories of her childhood and the Japanese American incarceration camp in which she spent the war. Alice’s estranged daughter, reentering her mother’s life too late, witnesses her stark and devastating decline.
Beneath the Stairs by Jennifer Fawcett
Few in sleepy Sumner’s Mills have stumbled across the Octagon House hidden deep in the woods. Even fewer are brave enough to trespass. A man had killed his wife and two young daughters there, a shocking, gruesome crime that the sleepy upstate New York town tried to bury. One summer night, an emboldened fourteen-year-old Clare and her best friend, Abby, ventured into the Octagon House. Clare came out, but a piece of Abby never did.
Twenty years later, an adult Clare receives word that Abby has attempted suicide at the Octagon House and now lies in a coma. With little to lose and still grieving after a personal tragedy, Clare returns to her roots to uncover the darkness responsible for Abby’s accident.
Delilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake
Delilah Green swore she would never go back to Bright Falls—nothing is there for her but memories of a lonely childhood where she was little more than a burden to her cold and distant stepfamily. Her life is in New York, with her photography career finally gaining steam and her bed never empty. Sure, it’s a different woman every night, but that’s just fine with her.
When Delilah’s estranged stepsister, Astrid, pressures her into photographing her wedding with a guilt trip and a five-figure check, Delilah finds herself back in the godforsaken town that she used to call home. She plans to breeze in and out, but then she sees Claire Sutherland, one of Astrid’s stuck-up besties, and decides that maybe there’s some fun (and a little retribution) to be had in Bright Falls, after all.
Having raised her eleven-year-old daughter mostly on her own while dealing with her unreliable ex and running a bookstore, Claire Sutherland depends upon a life without surprises. And Delilah Green is an unwelcome surprise…at first.
Fake by Erica Katz
Emma Caan is a fake. She’s a forger, an artist who specializes in nineteenth-century paintings. But she isn’t a criminal; her copies are commissioned by museums and ultra-wealthy collectors protecting their investments. Emma’s more than mastered a Gauguin brushstroke and a van Gogh wheat field, but her work is sometimes a painful reminder of the artistic dreams she once chased for herself, when she was younger and before her family and her world fell apart.
When oligarch art collector Leonard Sobetsky unexpectedly appears with an invitation, Emma sees a way out—a new job, a new path for herself, and access to the kind of money she needs to support her unstable and recently widowed mother. But every invitation incurs an obligation . . . and Emma isn’t prepared for what’s to come.
The Harbor by Katrine Engberg
When fifteen-year-old Oscar Dreyer-Hoff disappears, the police assume he’s simply a runaway—a typically overlooked middle child doing what teenagers do all around the world. But his frantic family is certain that something terrible has happened. After all, what runaway would leave behind a note that reads:
He looked around and saw the knife that had stabbed Basil Hallward. He had cleaned it many times, till there was no stain left upon it. It was bright and glistened. As it had killed the painter, so it would kill the painter’s work, and all that that meant. It would kill the past, and when that was dead, he would be free.
The Midnight Ride by Ben Mezrich
THE CARD SHARK: Hailey Gordon is looking to make some fast cash to help pay her tuition when she’s caught counting cards at the Encore casino in Boston. She grabs her winnings and makes her escape. With guards closing in, she dives into an unlocked room to hide . . . only to find a dead body.
THE EX-CON: Recently released from prison, Nick Patterson hasn’t felt hope in a long time, but the job he “inherited” in prison promises to change that. He enters hotel room 633 to find that the person he was supposed to meet has been murdered. Next to the corpse stands a terrified young woman—Hailey Gordon.
THE PROFESSOR: American history professor Adrian Jensen learns of the death of his professional nemesis, Charles Walker, the night after he received Walker’s latest research. Skeptical at first, Adrian nearly deletes the file. But when one small, new detail catches his eye, he makes it his mission to uncover what could be one of the biggest secrets of the Revolutionary War.
The Paradox Hotel by Rob Hart
For someone with January Cole’s background, running security at a fancy hotel shouldn’t be much of a challenge.
Except the Paradox is no ordinary hotel. Here, the ultra-wealthy guests are costumed for a dozen different time periods, all anxiously waiting to catch their “flights” to the past. And proximity to the timeport makes for an interesting stay. The clocks run backward on occasion—and, rumor has it, ghosts stroll the halls.
Now, January’s job is about to get a whole lot harder. Because the U.S. government is getting ready to privatize time-travel technology—and a handful of trillionaires have just arrived to put down their bids. And there’s a murderer on the loose.
Think of Me by Frances Liardet
1942, Alexandria, Egypt. Covered in dust, Yvette and James hold hands for the first time as bombs explode above them. As the war rages on, they will find their way back to each other time and again, their love a beacon for their survival. After the war, their happiness takes root in England and blossoms, until a tragic event drives a wedge between them. The way back to one another is uncharted territory that both must be brave enough to face.
1974. Ten years after his wife’s death and with his son now at university, James craves change. He moves to the beautiful English village of Upton not thirty minutes from the city where he brought his bride Yvette, nearly twenty-five years ago. There he discovers a scarf that lights the dark edges of his memory. Could it be Yvette’s? As James makes a new home for himself and gently presses into the feelings the scarf evokes, he begins to unlock new revelations about his past that change everything he believes. Revelations that just might give James a new reason to live and the possibility of new love at last, after ten years alone.
Tripping Arcadia by Kit Mayquist
Med school dropout Lena is desperate for a job, any job, to help her parents, who are approaching bankruptcy after her father was injured and laid off nearly simultaneously. So when she is offered a position, against all odds, working for one of Boston’s most elite families, the illustrious and secretive Verdeaus, she knows she must accept it—no matter how bizarre the interview or how vague the job description.
By day, she is assistant to the family doctor and his charge, Jonathan, the sickly, poetic, drunken heir to the family empire, who is as difficult as his illness is mysterious. By night, Lena discovers the more sinister side of the family, as she works overtime at their lavish parties, helping to hide their self-destructive tendencies . . . and trying not to fall for Jonathan’s alluring sister, Audrey. But when she stumbles upon the knowledge that the Verdeau patriarch is the one responsible for the ruin of her own family, Lena vows to get revenge—a poison-filled quest that leads her further into this hedonistic world than she ever bargained for, forcing her to decide how much—and who—she’s willing to sacrifice for payback.