Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Debut Fiction to Check Out

The Summer We Came to Life by Deborah Cloyed - Debut author, Deborah Cloyed, writes an unforgettable story about friendship, loss and love. Samantha Wheland struggles with her life after losing childhood friend Mina to cancer. With a little help from friends and family, and a glimpse into a world far removed from the one in which she belongs, she must learn to trust her heart - and follow it. 

Vaclav & Lena by Haley Tanner - Haley Tanner introduces us into the lives of two Russian immigrant children trying to make their way in the confusing new world of modern-day Brooklyn. Vaclav and Lena seem destined for each other. They meet as children in an ESL class in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. Vaclav is precocious and verbal. Lena, struggling with English, takes comfort in the safety of his adoration, his noisy, loving home, and the care of Rasia, his big-hearted mother. Vaclav imagines their story unfolding like a fairy tale, or the perfect illusion from his treasured Magician’s Almanac, but among the many truths to be discovered in Haley Tanner’s wondrous debut is that happily ever after is never a foregone conclusion. One day, Lena does not show up for school. She has disappeared from Vaclav and his family’s lives as if by a cruel magic trick. For the next seven years, Vaclav says goodnight to Lena without fail, wondering if she is doing the same somewhere. On the eve of Lena’s seventeenth birthday he finds out.   

The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai - In this delightful, funny, and moving first novel a librarian and a boy obsessed with reading take to the road. Lucy Hull, a young children's librarian in Hannibal, Missouri, finds herself both a kidnapper and kidnapped when her favorite patron, ten- year-old Ian Drake, runs away from home. The precocious Ian is addicted to reading, but needs Lucy's help to smuggle books past his overbearing mother, who has enrolled Ian in weekly antigay classes with celebrity Pastor Bob. Lucy stumbles into a moral dilemma when she finds Ian camped out in the library after hours with a knapsack of provisions and an escape plan. Desperate to save him from Pastor Bob and the Drakes, Lucy allows herself to be hijacked by Ian. The odd pair embarks on a crazy road trip from Missouri to Vermont, with ferrets, an inconvenient boyfriend, and upsetting family history thrown in their path. But is it just Ian who is running away? Who is the man who seems to be on their tail? And should Lucy be trying to save a boy from his own parents?

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