Room

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Emma Donoghue

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it’s where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it’s not enough…not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son’s bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.

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A Madness So Discreet

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Mindy McGinnis

Grace Mae knows madness.

She keeps it locked away, along with her voice, trapped deep inside a brilliant mind that cannot forget horrific family secrets. Those secrets, along with the bulge in her belly, land her in a Boston insane asylum.

When her voice returns in a burst of violence, Grace is banished to the dark cellars, where her mind is discovered by a visiting doctor who dabbles in the new study of criminal psychology. With her keen eyes and sharp memory, Grace will make the perfect assistant at crime scenes. Escaping from Boston to the safety of an ethical Ohio asylum, Grace finds friendship and hope, hints of a life she should have had. But gruesome nights bring Grace and the doctor into the circle of a killer who stalks young women. Grace, continuing to operate under the cloak of madness, must hunt a murderer while she confronts the demons in her own past.

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The Girl on the Train

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Paula Hawkins

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

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The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly

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Stephanie Oakes

The Kevinian cult has taken everything from seventeen-year-old Minnow: twelve years of her life, her family, her ability to trust.

And when she rebelled, they took away her hands, too.

Now their Prophet has been murdered and their camp set aflame, and it’s clear that Minnow knows something—but she’s not talking. As she languishes in juvenile detention, she struggles to un-learn everything she has been taught to believe, adjusting to a life behind bars and recounting the events that led up to her incarceration. But when an FBI detective approaches her about making a deal, Minnow sees she can have the freedom she always dreamed of—if she’s willing to part with the terrible secrets of her past.

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly is a hard-hitting and hopeful story about the dangers of blind faith—and the power of having faith in oneself.

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Liars Inc.

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Paula Stokes

Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell forged permission slips and cover stories to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money and liven up a boring senior year. With the help of his friends Preston and Parvati, Max starts Liars, Inc. Suddenly everybody needs something and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?

When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about hooking him up. Until Preston never comes home. Then the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead the cops to Preston’s body. Terrifying clues that point to Max as the murderer. Can Max find the real killer before he goes to prison for a crime he didn’t commit?

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The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

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By Michelle Hodkin

Mara Dyer believes life can’t get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed.
There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.
She’s wrong.

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The Garden of Burning Sand

The Garden of Burning Sand

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By Corban Addison

Zoe Fleming is an American attorney working with an NGO devoted to combatting child sexual assault in Lusaka, Zambia. When an adolescent girl is raped in the dark of night and delivered by strangers to the hospital, Zoe’s organization is called in to help.

Working alongside Zambian police officer Joseph Kabuta, Zoe learns that the girl’s assailant was not a street kid or a pedophile but the son of a powerful industrialist with deep ties to the Zambian government. As the prosecution against him grinds forward, hampered by systemic corruption and bureaucratic inertia, Zoe and Joseph’s search for the truth takes them from Lusaka’s roughest neighbourhoods to the wild waters of Victoria Falls, to the AIDS-ridden streets of Johannesburg and the splendour of Cape Town.
As the rape trial builds to a climax and sends shockwaves through Zambian society, Zoe must radically reshape her assumptions about love, loyalty, family—and, especially, the meaning of justice.

 

Lydia’s Opinion:

3.5 Stars

This novel was very good as it informed us about the dire needs of the African people. It was not a typical novel as it was sad and a rather depressing at times but I did think that if you are looking for an informative, deep, emotional read this would be an ideal novel. It was not boring but could be rather slow at times; you were always discovering different pieces of the mystery in each chapter. There where many different relationships between the characters in the novel. It really opened my eyes to what was going on in different parts of the world. So overall I thought this book was very good for this type of read.

 

Eliana’s Opinion:

3.5 Stars

I have to admit I was a little sceptical when I first picked up this book. It’s so removed from my usual dystopian teen romance I honestly wasn’t sure what to think. It’s strong and mature themes like prostitution, AIDS, politics, corruption and rape are not something you’ll usually find cluttering my shelf space at home.

However delving into this novel I realised that while the author treated these themes carefully, reading this book I was never at any point submerged in feelings of despair. Jarring, while some of the passages were, the author made me want to throw the book against the wall and demand justice, not cry tears of pity or disheartenment. This, I think had a lot to do with the protagonist Zoe Fleming, who while having experienced the harsh reality of life in Zambia seemed to have a rather positive outlook on life. And yes for those who are wondering there was a very light touch of romance.

There was a good balance in between wrapping up the case, moving forward with the plot and character growth. Fairly action packed without becoming overwhelming the novel was an interesting insight into the world of Africa.