Contemporary

Coral

“A broken shell tore into the skin of her left foot. She winced and withdrew. Blood, red and angry, drip drip dripped onto the sand, dissolving in an instant. As if it never was.

Better a bleeding sole than a tortured soul.

A soul that was nothing now. Because before preluded after.

And after. Was never as it was. Before.”*

Coral, mermaid princess of the sea, is slowly succumbing to a fatal, human-originated disease: emotions. Her sister, the Crown Princess, already has been taken by its cruel waters-and Coral fears the Red Tide is coming for her next.

Brooke, teenage girl on the west coast, is close to giving up. Depression, anxiety, and trauma have pushed her to the breaking point and she’s trying a therapy home as a last resort. But if nothing will be as it was Before, what’s the point of going on?

Merrick, famous and wealthy golden boy of San Francisco, wants to escape both his father and his social status. But when his sister attempts suicide and his mom vanishes, his life is thrown upside down and he doesn’t know what else to do except escape.

When these three lives collide there can either be healing or heartache…and sometimes both exist in the same story.

I would highly recommend Coral, written by Sara Ella and published in 2019 by Thomas Nelson for mature readers 17+. A truly breathtaking and heart wrenching novel about love, loss, and mental health, this re-written fairy tale will grip your soul as you read it. There are several mature themes throughout the book including self harm, unwanted advances, and other traumatic experiences. Coral is written with a theme of hope, memorable characters, and an intriguing storyline. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

“…after will never be the same again.”*

*all excerpts taken from Coral, written by Sara Ella and published in 2019 by Thomas Nelson

Inkheart

Inkheart, written by Cornelia Funke and published in 2003 by Dressler Verlag, is a tale of stories slipping from the pages of books they belong in and entering the real world, bringing their magic, rivalries, and dangers with them. Follow the adventures of 12-year-old Meggie, her father Mo, and the enigmatic Dustfinger as they travel the countryside in an attempt to stop the villain Capricorn from covering the world with a darkness taken from the pages of his origin book. Fairy tales, classics, mythology, and reality collide as the Silvertongues read from their books in an attempt to save their own world.

I would highly recommend this book for ages 14+. It is well written, rich with literary references, and packed with adventure at every turn of the page. There are a few minor inappropriate jokes and some usage of mature language, as well as violence to watch out for. Full of memorable characters, a unique storyline, and bookish quotes, Inkheart is a book that will keep you up until the early hours of the morning. 4 out of 5 stars.

A Thousand Perfect Notes

“Music is nothing unless it fills your soul with colour and passion and dreams.”*

Beck Keverich is a pianist who hates music. Every day he is forced to practice for hours in order to match his mother’s standards. She was once a famous pianist, popular and talented; but after her hands started to shake, she could no longer play; so she focused all her energy onto making her son the continuation of her legacy. Beck is barely balancing piano, taking care of his younger sister, and appeasing his mother’s rages without losing his own sanity; then to make matters worse, he gets paired up with a girl for a class assignment. August is bubbly, talkative, and determined to make friends with this angry boy who shows up to class with a hand-shaped bruise on his cheek and rusted piano strings barely holding together the broken pieces of his heart. Beck is a broken boy, but there’s hope just around the corner, if only he can make it there.   

“His skin will part like old paper and the world will see how his skeleton is made of dark wishes and macabre dreams.”**

I would highly recommend this book, A Thousand Perfect notes written by C.G. Drews, for mature readers ages 16+. This novel was published in 2018 and would fall under the contemporary romance genre. It is an emotional story about obsession, abuse, music, and love; and could affect sensitive readers. There is some minor mature language and a few violent abuse scenes to watch out for; but overall, A Thousand Perfect Notes is a beautifully written novel that is sure to tug at your emotions and leave you wanting more. 4 out of 5 stars.

“You are worth more than a thousand perfect notes.”***

*All excerpts taken from A Thousand Perfect Notes, written by C.G. Drews and published by Orchard Books

The Boy Who Steals Houses

DSC_0956

Featuring broken boys, waffles, stolen keys, bruised knuckles, family, lockpicks, loneliness, and caramel-The Boy Who Steals Houses, written by C.G. Drews and published in Great Britain in 2019 by The Watts Publishing Group, is a truly inspiring, deeply moving story of a lonely boy named Sammy Lou, his brother Avery, and a girl named Moxie who’s made of sharp corners and a lemonade smile. This is a story of brokenness and belonging, of bruised knuckles and pure love, of stolen houses and families who steal your heart.

If lost, please return to the De Laineys.*

I would recommend The Boy Who Steals Houses for ages 17+-there is some mature language and a few thematic elements to be wary of, including child abuse and other violence. This book is one of the most well-written books I’ve ever read, and remains among the few that have made me cry while reading. The Boy Who Steals Houses falls under the contemporary\inspirational genre and has excellent family themes, beautiful but unusual descriptions, and memorable characters. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

*Excerpt taken from The Boy Who Steals Houses, written by C.G. Drews and published in Great Britain in 2019 by The Watts Publishing Group.

A Monster Calls

The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do.
Conor was awake when it came. *

13-year-old Conor O’Malley is a hurting boy. His mother is sick, really sick. At school, he’s either invisible or a bully target. He doesn’t speak to his best friend anymore. And he’s having nightmares. Terrible nightmares. Nightmares that he will never, ever tell anyone else about.
And then there’s the monster.

I have come to get you, Conor O’Malley, the monster said…
A monster, Conor thought. A real, honest-to-goodness monster. In real, waking life. Not in a dream, but here, at his window.
Come to get him.
But Conor didn’t run. *

This monster is not like the others. It’s ancient. It’s fierce. And it will learn the truth from Conor. Even if the lost boy is determined that no one ever will learn the secret.
The monster will keep on calling.

In fact, he found he wasn’t even frightened.
All he could feel, all he had felt since the monster revealed itself, was a growing disappointment.
Because this wasn’t the monster he was expected. *

I would recommend this book for ages 16+. There are some mature thematic elements, as well as some mild language and dark themes. A Monster Calls-written by Patrick Ness, inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd, illustrated by Jim Kay, and published in America, 2006 by Hilary Mantel-is a phenomenal, deeply moving tale of loss and healing. This compelling novel would fall under the dark fantasy, inspiring, and contemporary genres. 4 out of 5 stars.

“So come and get me then,” he said. *

*All excerpts taken from A Monster Calls, written by Patrick Ness and published in America, 2006 by Hilary Mantel.