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My Dark Vanessa

My Dark Vanessa
Author: Kate Elizabeth Russell
Publisher: HarperCollins
Total Pages: 399
Release: 2020-03-10
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 0062941526

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INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “[An] exceedingly complex, inventive, resourceful examination of harm and power.” —The New York Times Book Review, Editors’ Choice “A lightning rod . . . brilliantly crafted.”—The Washington Post A most anticipated book by The New York Times • USA Today • Entertainment Weekly • Marie Claire • Elle • Harper's Bazaar • Bustle • Newsweek • New York Post • Esquire • Real Simple • The Sunday Times • The Guardian Exploring the psychological dynamics of the relationship between a precocious yet naïve teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher, a brilliant, all-consuming read that marks the explosive debut of an extraordinary new writer. 2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher. 2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenager—and who professed to worship only her—may be far different from what she has always believed? Alternating between Vanessa’s present and her past, My Dark Vanessa juxtaposes memory and trauma with the breathless excitement of a teenage girl discovering the power her own body can wield. Thought-provoking and impossible to put down, this is a masterful portrayal of troubled adolescence and its repercussions that raises vital questions about agency, consent, complicity, and victimhood. Written with the haunting intimacy of The Girls and the creeping intensity of Room, My Dark Vanessa is an era-defining novel that brilliantly captures and reflects the shifting cultural mores transforming our relationships and society itself.


Excavation

Excavation
Author: Wendy C. Ortiz
Publisher:
Total Pages: 0
Release: 2014
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
ISBN: 9781892061706

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Literary Nonfiction. Memoir. Wendy C. Ortiz was an only child and a bookish, insecure girl living with alcoholic parents in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Her relationship with a charming and deeply flawed private school teacher fifteen years her senior appeared to give her the kind of power teenagers wish for, regardless of consequences. Her teacher—now a registered sex offender—continually encouraged her passion for writing while making her promise she was not leaving any written record about their dangerous sexual relationship. This conflicted relationship with her teacher may have been just five years long, but would imprint itself on her and her later relationships, queer and straight, for the rest of her life. In EXCAVATION: A MEMOIR, the black and white of the standard victim/perpetrator stereotype gives way to unsettling grays. The present- day narrator reflects on the girl she once was, as well as the teacher and parent she has become. It's a beautifully written and powerful story of a woman reclaiming her whole heart.


The Color of Ice

The Color of Ice
Author: Barbara Linn Probst
Publisher: She Writes Press
Total Pages: 243
Release: 2022-10-18
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 1647422604

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“Exquisite” (Lisa Barr, New York Times best-selling author of Woman on Fire) and “utterly engrossing” (Katherine Gray, cohost of the Netflix series Blown Away), The Color of Ice will wrap you in its spell, all the way to its unforgettable ending. Set among the glaciers and thermal lagoons of Iceland, and framed by the magical art of glassblowing, The Color of Ice is the breathtaking story of a woman's awakening to passion, beauty, and the redemptive power of unconditional love. The stunning new novel by the author of award-winning novels Queen of the Owls and The Sound Between the Notes . . . Cathryn McAllister, a freelance photographer, travels to Iceland for a photo shoot with an enigmatic artist who wants to capture the country’s iconic blue icebergs in glass. Her plan is to head out, when the job is done, on a carefully curated “best of Iceland” solo vacation. Widowed young, Cathryn has raised two children while achieving professional success. If the price of that efficiency has been the dimming of her fire—well, she hasn’t let herself think about it. Until now. Bit by bit, Cathryn abandons her itinerary to remain with Mack, the glassblower, who awakens a hunger for all the things she’s told herself she doesn’t need anymore. Passion. Vulnerability. Risk. Cathryn finds herself torn between the life—and self—she’s come to know and the new world Mack offers. Commitments await her back in America. But if she walks away, she’ll lose this chance to feel deeply again. Just when her path seems clear, she’s faced with a shocking discovery—and a devastating choice that shows her what love really is.


The Girl Who Smiled Beads

The Girl Who Smiled Beads
Author: Clemantine Wamariya
Publisher: Crown
Total Pages: 304
Release: 2018-04-24
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
ISBN: 0451495349

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “The plot provided by the universe was filled with starvation, war and rape. I would not—could not—live in that tale.” Clemantine Wamariya was six years old when her mother and father began to speak in whispers, when neighbors began to disappear, and when she heard the loud, ugly sounds her brother said were thunder. In 1994, she and her fifteen-year-old sister, Claire, fled the Rwandan massacre and spent the next six years migrating through seven African countries, searching for safety—perpetually hungry, imprisoned and abused, enduring and escaping refugee camps, finding unexpected kindness, witnessing inhuman cruelty. They did not know whether their parents were dead or alive. When Clemantine was twelve, she and her sister were granted refugee status in the United States; there, in Chicago, their lives diverged. Though their bond remained unbreakable, Claire, who had for so long protected and provided for Clemantine, was a single mother struggling to make ends meet, while Clemantine was taken in by a family who raised her as their own. She seemed to live the American dream: attending private school, taking up cheerleading, and, ultimately, graduating from Yale. Yet the years of being treated as less than human, of going hungry and seeing death, could not be erased. She felt at the same time six years old and one hundred years old. In The Girl Who Smiled Beads, Clemantine provokes us to look beyond the label of “victim” and recognize the power of the imagination to transcend even the most profound injuries and aftershocks. Devastating yet beautiful, and bracingly original, it is a powerful testament to her commitment to constructing a life on her own terms.


The Woman in the Dark

The Woman in the Dark
Author: Vanessa Savage
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Total Pages: 385
Release: 2019-03-12
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 153873009X

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In the vein of The Couple Next Door, a debut psychological thriller about a woman who moves with her family to the gothic seaside house where her husband grew up -- and where 15 years ago another family was brutally slaughtered. For Sarah and Patrick, family life has always been easy, until her mother's death sends Sarah spiraling into depression. When she overdoses on sleeping pills, Sarah insists it was an accident, but neither Patrick nor their teenage children believe her. Determined to give their family a fresh start, Patrick convinces her to move back to the idyllic beachside home where he grew up. But there's a catch: The once-beautiful old house is now known as the Murder House. It has been standing empty for fifteen years, ever since another family was brutally slaughtered within its walls. Nostalgic for his childhood, Patrick is adamant that this can be their "dream home" again. Sarah tries to bring it back to its original warmth, but as locals hint that the house is haunted, the children begin having nightmares, strange writing appears on the walls, and creepy "gifts" suddenly arrive on the doorstep at odd hours. With the news that the murderer has been paroled, Sarah can't shake the feeling that something just isn't right. Not with the house, not with the town, not even with her own loving husband--whose stories about his perfect childhood suddenly aren't adding up. Can Sarah uncover the secrets of the Murder House before another family is destroyed? With an irresistible, fog-drenched atmosphere that hides its knife-sharp twists, Vanessa Savage's THE WOMAN IN THE DARK is the perfect new read for fans of I Let You Go and The Couple Next Door, a chilling psychological thriller about a dark family dysfunction and the secrets that haunt us.


The Illuminated

The Illuminated
Author: Anindita Ghose
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Total Pages: 277
Release: 2023-01-19
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 1803289759

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'One of the best books for 2023' Cosmopolitan Against a rising tide of fundamentalism in India, a mother and daughter lose the most important man in their lives. Shashi, fifty-something and suddenly widowed, tries to contact her only daughter, Tara, to break the news, but cannot reach her. As Shashi confronts her loss, she finds, amidst grief, unexpected new freedoms. Meanwhile, Tara, a spoiled but brilliant university student, has retreated to Dharamsala to deal with the fall out from an ill-advised relationship. Her self-imposed solitude makes contact near impossible, so by the time she learns of her loss, the funeral is already over. Without the man that bound them, Shashi and Tara struggle to reconcile. But his absence also makes them a target for an emerging religious group determined to put women in their place, and Shashi and Tara individually prepare to defend their independence. If mother and daughter are to come together, they must find a way to understand both their new world, and each other. But can you ever emerge from an eclipse unscathed? 'Lyrical throughout yet so deceptively easygoing... an extraordinary novel' André Aciman 'Powerful, evocative and accomplished – it's hard to believe The Illuminated is a debut' Alice Ryan 'Gives voice to a new generation' BBC Radio 4


For Butter or Worse

For Butter or Worse
Author: Erin La Rosa
Publisher: HQN Books
Total Pages: 386
Release: 2022-07-26
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 0369717813

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A FEMINIST BOOK CLUB CHOICE AWARD WINNER! “With great tension, simmering heat, and clever banter, FOR BUTTER OR WORSE is a mouthwateringly delicious enemies-to-lovers romance.”—Helen Hoang, USA Today bestselling author of The Heart Principle "[A] sparkling romance...witty and lighthearted, with plenty of tender moments to keep readers invested, this work gets the enemies-to-lovers trope right."—Publishers Weekly They go together like water and oil… All chef Nina Lyon wants is to make a name for herself in the culinary world and inspire young women everywhere to do the same. For too long, she’s been held back and underestimated by the male-dominated sphere of professional kitchens, and she's had enough. Now, as co-host of the competitive reality TV series The Next Cooking Champ!, she finally has a real shot at being top tier in the foodie scene. Too bad her co-host happens to be Hollywood’s smarmiest jerk. Restaurateur Leo O’Donnell never means to get under Nina’s skin. It just seems to happen, especially when the cameras are rolling. It's part of the anxiety and stress he has come to know all too well in this line of work. So nothing prepares him for the fallout after he takes one joke a smidge too far and Nina up and quits—on live TV. To make matters worse, the two are caught in what looks like a compromising situation by the paparazzi…and fans of the show go absolutely nuts. Turns out, a “secret romance” between Nina and Leo may just be what their careers need most. Now all they have to do is play along, without killing each other...and without catching feelings. Easy as artisanal shepherd's pie. Right?


Like Vanessa

Like Vanessa
Author: Tami Charles
Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing
Total Pages: 292
Release: 2019-03-05
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
ISBN: 1580898998

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Middle graders will laugh and cry with thirteen-year-old Vanessa Martin as she tries to be like Vanessa Williams, the first black Miss America. In this semi-autobiographical debut novel set in 1983, Vanessa Martin's real-life reality of living with family in public housing in Newark, New Jersey is a far cry from the glamorous Miss America stage. She struggles with a mother she barely remembers, a grandfather dealing with addiction and her own battle with self-confidence. But when a new teacher at school coordinates a beauty pageant and convinces Vanessa to enter, Vanessa's view of her own world begins to change. Vanessa discovers that her own self-worth is more than the scores of her talent performance and her interview answers, and that she doesn't need a crown to be comfortable in her own skin and see her own true beauty. "It's such an honor to be the focal point of this wonderful book! Without a doubt, it will be inspiring to a new generation of young, talented girls well on their way to promising careers." --Vanessa Williams, Multi-Platinum Recording Artist, New York Times Best-Selling Author, Fashion Designer and star of Television, Film and the Broadway Stage "Like Vanessa has it all and then some! Gritty, poetic, emotionally true, Tami Charles wrings out every hope, every stumble and every triumph of a girl on an uneasy road to possessing her self, her strength and her own beauty. An unforgettable debut." --Rita Williams-Garcia, author of One Crazy Summer and P.S. Be Eleven ♦ "This debut is a treasure: a gift to every middle school girl who ever felt unpretty, unloved, and trapped by her circumstances."— Kirkus Reviews STARRED REVIEW ♦ "Charles evades the clichés and imbues Vanessa with an inner life that's so real and personal it's hard to deny the charm, heartbreak, and triumph of her story. . . . Superb."— Booklist STARRED REVIEW ♦ "Like Vanessa is an emotionally potent, engaging young adult story with a heroine whom it is impossible not to root for. The life lessons that Nessy learns are relevant and worthwhile for everyone."— Foreword Reviews STARRED REVIEW


Putney

Putney
Author: Sofka Zinovieff
Publisher: HarperCollins
Total Pages: 359
Release: 2018-08-21
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 0062847597

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In the spirit of Zoë Heller’s Notes on a Scandal and Tom Perrotta’s Mrs. Fletcher, an explosive and thought-provoking novel about the far-reaching repercussions of an illicit relationship between a young girl and a man twenty years her senior. A rising star in the London arts scene of the early 1970s, gifted composer Ralph Boyd is approached by renowned novelist Edmund Greenslay to score a stage adaptation of his most famous work. Welcomed into Greenslay’s sprawling bohemian house in Putney, an artistic and prosperous district in southwest London, the musical wunderkind is introduced to Edmund’s activist wife Ellie, his aloof son Theo, and his nine-year old daughter Daphne, who quickly becomes Ralph’s muse. Ralph showers Daphne with tokens of his affection—clandestine gifts and secret notes. In a home that is exciting but often lonely, Daphne finds Ralph to be a dazzling companion, and while he worships her, he doesn't touch her. Their bond remains strong even after Ralph becomes a husband and father. But in the summer of 1976, when Ralph accompanies thirteen-year-old Daphne alone to meet her parents in Greece, their relationship intensifies irrevocably. One person knows of their passionate trysts: Daphne’s best friend Jane, whose awe of the intoxicating Greenslay family ensures her silence. Forty years later Daphne is back in London. After years lost to decadence and drug abuse, she is struggling to create a normal, stable life for herself and her adolescent daughter. When circumstances bring her back in touch with her long-lost friend, Jane, their reunion inevitably turns to Ralph, now a world-famous musician also living in the city. Daphne’s recollections of her childhood and her growing anxiety over her own daughter eventually lead to an explosive realization that propels her to confront Ralph and their years together. Told from three diverse viewpoints—victim, perpetrator, and witness—Putney is a subtle and powerful novel about consent, agency, and what we tell ourselves to justify what we do, and what others do to us.


My Broken Mariko

My Broken Mariko
Author: Waka Hirako
Publisher: Yen Press LLC
Total Pages: 196
Release: 2020-11-10
Genre: Comics & Graphic Novels
ISBN: 1975318595

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Tomoyo Shiino has stood by her friend Mariko through years of abuse, abandonment, and depression. However horrific her circumstances, their friendship has been the one reassuring constant in Mariko's life-and Tomoyo's too. That is, until Tomoyo is utterly blindsided by news of Mariko's death. In life, Tomoyo felt powerless to help her best friend out of the darkness that ultimately drove her over the edge. Now, Tomoyo is determined to liberate Mariko's ashes for one final journey together... to set free her dear, broken Mariko.