Beautiful Broken Girls
From Savage, the author of After the Woods (2016) comes a haunting novel about two teenage sisters, Mira and Francesca Cillo, who drown themselves in a quarry lake, and the boy who loved one of them. Before she died, Mira allowed Ben Lattanzi to touch seven parts of her body, in seven different locations. Seven days after her death, Ben receives a letter from Mira challenging him to find the seven cryptic notes hidden in the places where they secretly touched. He becomes enamored with the notion of reconnecting with Mira, whom he briefly dated but long adored. As Ben uncovers each note, he starts to unravel why the sisters chose to end their lives, their secrets, and just how complicated their bonds with the outside world were.
Latham’s (Scarlett Undercover, 2015) powerful second novel links the present and the past in a story that explores racial prejudice. When 17-year-old Rowan Chase discovers a skeleton on her family's Tulsa property, she has no idea that investigating the brutal century-old murder will lead to a summer of painful discoveries. Although the police have little interest in the case, Rowan and her friend James feel compelled to investigate the mystery. They uncover how the death relates to a brutal race riot that occurred in 1921 when whites burned Greenwood, a thriving African-American community. Will Tillman, 17, was at the center of the racial firestorm and his struggle to do the right thing provides clues to the identity of the skeleton.
Optimists Die First
In Nielsen’s (We Are All Made of Molecules, 2015) heartfelt novel, the accidental death of Petula de Wilde’s younger sister Maxine has left her family fractured and struggling to deal with their grief. Petula, who blames herself for her sister’s death, has shut herself off from the rest of the world. Her anxieties land her in an art therapy class at school with a group of fellow misfits. Then a new student, Jacob joins the class. He's a confident and enthusiastic filmmaker with a prosthetic arm and a tragic past. When Jacob teams up with Petula on a hilarious project, he's determined to help her come out of her shell. But as the two grow closer, it becomes clear that a hidden truth behind why Jacob is in the group could derail their romance. That is unless Petula is willing to take a big risk.
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