A few books have begun to arrive this year! I was pleased to receive two new books for feature/review.
The Foreign Girls by Sergio Olguin, translated from the Spanish, ARC copy
Genre: thriller, crime fiction
Expected publication: March 23rd, 2021 by Bitter Lemon Press
A young journalist from Buenos Aires, Veronica Rosenthal, takes a vacation in the north of Argentina, traveling to smaller towns through more scenic areas. She meets two tourists, girls from Scandinavia and the other from Italy. Veronica befriends them, they stay for a few days at Veronica's cousin's house in the hills and they decide to travel together in the area. But the foreign girls, innocent of the locals and the region, become targets in a game in which they come out for the worst.
The journalist is determined to stay in northern Argentina to find the truth about what happened to the girls, even if it might involve people she and her family know.
Veronica is a complex character, but a determined one who isn't afraid of danger or taking risks to achieve her goals. The relationship between herself, the locals, and the foreign girls take the novel to a level that explain the lengths she will go to resolve the issue of her newfound friends.
The plot, the setting, and character development made this an intriguing mystery novel.
My rating: 4/5 stars
Days of Distraction by Alexandra Chang, review copy
Setting: Silicon Valley, New York
Genre: contemporary fiction, Asian American fiction, multicultural
Published March 31, 2020 by HarperCollins
When the narrator's longtime boyfriend, J, decides to move to upstate New York for grad school, she leaves her job as staff writer at a publication in Silicon Valley to follow him.
But in the process, she finds herself facing misgivings about her role in an interracial relationship. Captivated by the stories of her ancestors and other Asian Americans in history, she must confront a question at the core of her identity: What does it mean to exist in a society that does not notice or understand you? (publisher)
Two other books recently finished:
Three O'Clock in the Morning by Gianrico Carofiglio, ARC copy
Genre: family drama, coming-of-age novel, international fiction
Publication March 16, 2021 by HarperVia
A coming-of-age, literary novel about a young Italian teen, an epilectic, who discovers more about himself and his estranged father while both are on a trip to a clinic in Marseilles. They explore the city together and get to know each other while waiting for his treatment at the clinic. Heartfelt story told in the teen's words. Very moving at times. Excellent writing.
My rating: 5/5
The Quiet Girl by S.F. Kosa, personal copy
Setting: Provincetown, Boston
Genre: mystery, psychological thriller
Publication: August 11, 2020, Sourcebooks
Alex is happily married to his new wife, Mina, a romance writer. At least until they have an argument and she disappears, leaving her engagement and wedding rings on her desk.
Alex reaches out to Mina's parents and to her best friend, but they have no clue as to what happened to her. Only when he is given a copy of Mina's newest manuscript, as yet unpublished, does he begin to put the pieces together and try to find his wife. The manuscript is not a romance but a novel based on her horrific life story.
Secrets, family dynamics, psychological disorders, amnesia, are all important themes in this thriller. There are surprises and suspense at the ending, as the writer skillfully leads the reader toward the final revelations.
My rating: 4/5 stars
Reading for Book Club:
The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington by Brad Meltzer
Setting: 1776, Washington
Genre: historical fiction based on true events
In 1776, an elite group of soldiers were handpicked to serve as George Washington’s bodyguards. Washington trusted them; relied on them. But unbeknownst to Washington, some of them were part of a treasonous plan.