Featured Books of the Week:
Told in three distinct and uniquely compelling sections, Asymmetry explores the imbalances that spark and sustain many of our most dramatic human relations: inequities in age, power, talent, wealth, fame, geography, and justice. The first section, “Folly,” tells the story of Alice, a young American editor, and her relationship with the famous and much older writer Ezra Blazer. A tender and exquisite account of an unexpected romance that takes place in New York during the early years of the Iraq War, “Folly” also suggests an aspiring novelist’s coming-of-age. By contrast, “Madness” is narrated by Amar, an Iraqi-American man who, on his way to visit his brother in Kurdistan, is detained by immigration officers and spends the last weekend of 2008 in a holding room in Heathrow. These two seemingly disparate stories gain resonance as their perspectives interact and overlap, with yet new implications for their relationship revealed in an unexpected coda. A stunning debut from a rising literary star, Asymmetry is an urgent, important, and truly original work that will captivate any reader while also posing arresting questions about the very nature of fiction itself.
“Lisa Halliday’s debut novel starts like a story you’ve heard, only to become a book unlike any you’ve read. The initial mystery is how its pieces fit together; the lasting one is how she pulled the whole thing off.”- Chad Harbach, author of The Art of Fielding
See the full review here.
Young Adult Fiction:
Nate was eight the first time he stabbed someone; he was eleven when he earned his red laces—a prize for spilling blood for “the cause.” And he was fourteen when he murdered his father (and the leader of The Fort, a notorious white supremacist compound) in self-defense, landing in a treatment center while the state searched for his next of kin. Now, in the custody of an uncle he never knew existed, who wants nothing to do with him, Nate just wants to disappear. Enrolled in a new school under a false name, so no one from The Fort can find him, he struggles to forge a new life, trying to learn how to navigate a world where people of different races interact without enmity. But he can’t stop awful thoughts from popping into his head, or help the way he shivers with a desire to commit violence. He wants to be different—he just doesn’t know where to start.
Then he meets Brandon, a person The Fort conditioned Nate to despise on sight. But Brandon’s also the first person to treat him like a human instead of a monster. Brandon could never understand Nate’s dark past, so Nate keeps quiet. And it works for a while. But all too soon, Nate’s worlds crash together, and he must decide between his own survival and standing for what’s right, even if it isn’t easy. Even if society will never be able to forgive him for his sins. Like a teen American History X, S.F. Henson’s Devils Within is gut-wrenching, thought-provoking, no-holds-barred look at the plague of white supremacy in contemporary American culture that may have you examining your own soul.
“A revealing and all-too-relevant examination of the psychological underpinnings of a complicated, young former neo-Nazi desperate to change his life for the better.” – Booklist
See full review here.
Arthur “Bash Man” is the school thug, paid with candy to bully and threaten other students. When genius orphan Darius Drake employs Arthur to help him discover the origin of a suspicious threat, written in blood, they uncover a mystery that involves Darius’s estranged grandfather, who was imprisoned for forging evidence in a search for a long-lost diamond necklace worth millions. The boys make the dangerous decision to search for the jewels themselves — and in the process, they discover that the car crash that killed Darius’s parents was not an accident at all. Who will be next? Where are the diamonds? And who is stalking the boys?
“Another suspenseful, unpredictable tale filled with twists and turns that will leave readers breathless.” -Scholastic
See full review here.