The Execution of Noa P. Singleton by Elizabeth L. Silver

The Execution of Noa P. Singleton

*is the past ever truly past?*

Noa has already been tried and convicted of murder by the time this story begins but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of drama ahead. Noa’s had a rough start in life, with a mother whose only focus was on her own happiness, a never-present father, and no sense of security. It never got much easier for her. A smart girl who graduated at the top of her high school class should have been able to make a better future -if only life hadn’t taken another tragic turn for Noa in her first college semester. Even when her father finally seeks her out, the unpleasant consequences seem to be all on Noa. Did she ever have a chance?

Noa tells her story in the first person and she is most unforgiving -to herself. It might seem as if Noa shouldn’t be likable *or* sympathetic, but how can you not want her to do what’s necessary to save herself?! The slow reveal of information from the past, and from even farther in the past, makes the present story more powerful. Once the whole picture has been painted? It is hard to forgive and forget what’s been done -to Noa. An absolute must read for readers who enjoy the exploration of characters from the deepest depths to the shiny surfaces.

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From the Kitchen of Half Truth by Maria Goodin

From the Kitchen of Half Truth

*life is hard -so be kind*

Meg May had a magical childhood, even including some of the tougher times she and her mom had living in a fourth floor flat in London. It’s the fantastical tales her Mom tells of floating in the air after eating feather-light meringues or chasing runner beans around the kitchen that were really just too fast to catch that created the feelings of being special and different and amazing! Then Meg turned eight, the other kids at school turned mean; Meg decided her best chance at being happy was to only believe facts that could be scientifically proven. No more outlandish fantasies for this girl -no way! Now Meg is twenty-one and well on her way to earning her college degree in genetics, with a very logical, practical boyfriend to boot, creating a very straightforward, stable sort of life. Except Meg’s mom is dying. Returning to her mom’s childhood home in Cambridge, Meg wants to make their time together matter-maybe even she can even get her to admit the truth behind some of the more outlandish tales? Or perhaps Meg has a lesson of her own to learn? Could it be the embellished memories make a better past than cold, hard facts?

Meg’s mom has the gift of a wildly vivid imagination and it makes everything around her that much more special -and Meg knows this even when she’s attempting to make her mom stick to verifiable facts. Each of these ladies has a strong and justifiable need for their approach (facts or fantasy) to life -and readers will never feel the need to pick a side or label them as the good one or bad the bad one. Get your tissues out (you’ll need a few) and savor every page of this book that will leave you with plenty to think about for days to come.

Far Far Away by Tom McNeal

*don’t look back, change your now*

In the town of Never Better, a mysteriously small and almost impossible to find place -in person or on a map, Jeremy Johnson Johnson can hear voices of the dead. Jeremy isn’t bothered by it -and why should he be? Jeremy copes with stranger things in his everyday world, including the fact that his Mom left town with a complete stranger and never returned without one word of explanation, ever. A father whose spirit was so crushed by his wife’s desertion he can’t cope with anything or anyone. And owning a bookstore that is stocked only with the books his grandfather wrote -just the two and no more. How lucky that Jeremy’s ghost is Jacob Grimm, one half of the well-respected Grimm Brothers who spent years gathering fairy tales for future generations! Or could it be that Jacob has an agenda of his own? When Jeremy’s classmate Ginger. leader of the popular girls and consistent instigator of mischief, decides to begin including Jeremy in the fun, it might just be impossible for him to resist -or for him to remain unchanged.

Fairy tales, dark ghost stories, changing what was into what you want it to be, and tangled relationships give this story more than its fair share of reasons to be read by all ages. The end is sweetly sad and satisfying.