Some of my favorite books are have openings that make me wonder, “What happened?” The beginning teases at what set up the plot just enough so I need to know what happened. Here are few recommendations in this category.
99 Days by Katie Cotugno
Before she heads to college in the fall Molly Barlow is home for the summer – the absolute last place she wants to be. She made one of the biggest mistakes of her life in this town when she cheated on her boyfriend. Then she made an even bigger one when she told her author mother about it. Her mother wrote a bestselling novel about it and told everyone it was based on her daughter. Then Molly experienced what it was like to be a total social pariah. She is back, but how many people are willing to give her another chance?
This book plays with the ideas of love, betrayal, family and friendship. When Molly returns home she doesn’t just have to face the guy she betrayed. She has to face all of the friendships she lost as a result. Molly grows tremendously over the summer, discovers her voice and, just maybe, what she wants to do with the rest of her life.
This is a great book if you are looking for a coming of age story with a good dash of angst.
Truly Devious (Truly Devious, #1) by Maureen Johnson
Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont where learning is treated like a game. Shortly after the school’s founding a letter came to Ellingham with only a riddle about murder signed Truly Devious. Shortly thereafter, kidnapping and murder came to Ellingham. These crimes were never solved. Decades later, mystery buff Stevie Bell receives her acceptance to Ellingham Academy. Stevie is determined to figure out what happened. That becomes more difficult when Truly Devious returns to Ellingham.
This book is a fun read. It moves back and forth in time, between present day with Stevie going to school and trying to solve the mystery, and the past as we see how the mystery unfolded. I really enjoyed the quirky and fun characters in this novel. The mystery of this book hooked me from the very beginning and I can’t wait to see how it resolves.
If you like a good mystery, this is a book for you. The second book in this series The Vanishing Stair was just released this year.
The Lovely and the Lost by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Kira Bennett has little memory of her life before she was rescued from the woods and adopted into Cady Bennett’s family. Along with Cady, her son, Jude, and their friend, Free, Kira works as part of a team that trains search-and-rescue dogs. Then Cady’s father who she hasn’t seen in years, asks for help locating a missing child. Kira, Cady, Free and Jude start to help. As the search stretches on and the intensity grows, Kira’s memories struggle to surface. This brings her face-to-face with her own past as well as the buried secrets of her adoptive family.
The suspense in this book is so thick you could cut it with a knife. From the beginning to the end I wondered what is going to happen next and what happened to bring them to that point in the first place. Kira is at the center of the story, but Jude became my favorite character through his amazing comic relief. He has a quick wit that is so natural and funny it elevates the story.
If you like suspense, grab a copy of this book.