Community Book Reviews for AUGUST

Check out our monthly book reviews, brought to you by Bookmarks! Each month will feature a theme and 3-5 reviews of different books all available at your local bookstore. Happy reading!

Welcome to our community book reviews post! This month features 4 novels that you can find at Bookmarks. Get to know our local reviewers, all of whom answered the questions:What book have you read more than once? What do you like about it?!

Books were donated by Bookmarks.

Bad Things Happen Here by Rebecca Barrow

Reviewed by: Kelly Cornuet (Pictured above!)

Bad Things Happen Here by Rebecca Barrow is part coming-of-age and part murder mystery and suspense- mixed with a modern LBGTQ romance in one young adult novel! When Luca�s sister is murdered shortly after her best friend, readers follow as she tries to uncover the curse that is over her town that claimed their lives and the lives of other young women in the community. It turns out the curse isn’t as fantastical as first presented and the murderer may even be someone right under their noses. Filled with a few plot twists and turns, lots of deception, as well as new romantic relationships, this book piqued and held my interest throughout. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys small town murder mysteries and suspense, coming of age novels, and a little bit of young adult relationship spice to fill in the gaps in-between.�

I have read the Harry Potter series more times than I can even count! I love immersing myself in the magical and fantastical world through the characters that JK Rowling develops!

Sometime in Summer by Katrina Leno

Reviewed by: Tory Gentry (Pictured above!)

Sometime in Summer tells the story of Anna Lucia Bell as she navigates her fourteenth year of life. Anna is reeling from a string of bad luck-she is not speaking to her best friend, her parents are divorcing, her mom is closing their bookstore which is Anna�s safe haven, AND she just learned she is spending the summer across the country with her mom in a small, seaside town. Anna spends the summer learning about herself, her parents, and how important a summer can be.

Read this book if you�

  • Enjoy a coming-of-age story. Anna is dealing with some quintessential teenage problems- from starting her period to navigating her parents� divorce to figuring out how to communicate her emotions with friends.
  • Believe in luck. The summer away has surprises in store for Anna, with many of these surprises having a magical feel.
  • Like young adult novels. Leno writes to the young adult audience, with the sweet spot for this book likely being middle school to early high school readers. Anna�s story will resonate with this age group, encouraging readers to reflect on their own lives.

I have read Jodi Picoult’s The Pact more than once. Picoult tells the story from multiple perspectives; her writing fully encapsulates each character’s emotions, allowing the reader to examine the situation from all sides.

This Vicious Grace by Emily Thiede

Reviewed by: Julia Goldman (Pictured above!)

In this unique dark fantasy where the magic is one-of-a-kind and the setting vividly descriptive, Alessa is the god’s chosen Finestra, the one who will save them all from Divorando when demons will begin attacking their scenic island. She�s in need of a Fonte, someone with a magical gift she�s able to connect with in order to enhance their power and protect their people in battle. Three weddings have proceeded. Three funerals have followed. 

Alessa�s magic is killing every suitor she comes in contact with. When the islanders begin to turn on her, she hires Dante, a cynical outcast, to protect her. Will the Fontes� and Finestra�s bonds forged through love, friendship, bravery, and grief be able to conquer all and defeat the demons? With high-stakes danger, a hint of humor, a slow-burn romance, and one sinful secret, the characters in this book learn to find safety in connection and community- a lesson, at this moment in time, we all too easily forget.

I admit a book I�ve read more than once is Brooklyn by Colm T�ib�n, simply because the screen adaptation is a favorite of mine. I merely enjoy comparing the two and reveling in their differences in this charming and universal coming-of-age story.��

Kings of B�more by R. Eric Thomas

Reviewed by: Emily Poe-Crawford (Pictured above!)

In�Kings of B�more,�R. Eric Thomas�s YA debut, best friends Harrison and Linus have settled into a summer routine: when they aren�t working a shift together at the local tour company, they�re visiting the library, wandering through the cemetery, or hanging out in one of their homes. That is, until Linus�s father announces that he and Linus are moving to Charleston- and soon. Suddenly, Harrison and Linus are left unsteady, unsure of both their own futures and the fate of their friendship.

A family movie night viewing of Ferris Bueller�s Day Off inspires Harrison to orchestrate his own �Ferris Day� for Linus, to send him off in style and cement their bond through lasting memories, but nothing seems to go according to plan. Still, it is a true delight to follow these two as they navigate all the unexpected obstacles, finding contentment and connection in the unplanned moments along the way.

Kings of B�more�is a summertime romp, a celebration of Black boy joy, a queer awakening, and an ode to the city of Baltimore. Its diverse, lovable cast of characters, with all their tender vulnerability and big teenage feelings, will leave a smile on your face long after the last page.

Though I don�t often read books more than once, I did recently revisit A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers. Its comforting message about finding friendship and purpose amidst feelings of dissatisfaction and malaise was exactly what I needed at the time.


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