All tagged Jennifer Shaw Wolf

List-O-Rama: 2013 Mysterious Reads

I used to adore mysteries and crime fiction, but at some point the genres went in two extreme directions: incredibly gory or incredibly campy.

But hope is on the horizon! I've seen a number of intriguing-looking new or upcoming releases that look like they walk a nice line of mysterious and atmospheric without being too extreme. Fingers crossed!

Ratlines by Stuart Neville | Soho Crime, Jan. 2013

The folks at Soho Press were the best "book talkers" at ALA and got me incredibly excited for a number of their titles, including Stuart Neville's thriller, Ratlines, which promises to name names regarding the Irish government officials who granted asylum to Nazis following World War II. 

Amazon Goodreads

What We Saw at Night by Jacqueline Mitchard | Soho Teen, Jan. 2013

What We Saw at Night is another Soho title, this time from the new teen imprint. This one is about a group of teens who are allergic to sunlight and witness what they think is a murder. It's the first of a series that involves Parkour and sleuthing and secrets. I'm nervous, though, because reviews have mentioned a cliffhanger, which annoy me in mysteries. 

Amazon / Goodreads

Mystery is supposed to be the next paranormal, right?

Well, our latest Book Matchmaker victim participant, Victoria, wants a bit of both, plus some quality contemporary reads— only YA need apply, please. And add in a dash of romance for good measure!

Victoria’s Book Matchmaker Responses

YA or Adult: YA

Genres: Contemporary, Dystopia, Romance, Paranormal, Mystery/Thriller

POV or Narrative Style: First Person, Third Person, Multiple POV, Epistolary, Male POV, Main Character or Narrator, Female POV, Main Character or Narrator

Likes: Patrick Ness, Courtney Summers, Sarah Dessen, JK Rowling… probably my favourite authors EVER!

Dislikes: Instant love

Smut Factor: 2 

Fluff Factor: 2 

Swoon Factor: 4

Gross Out Factor: 3

We had a ton of fun with this matchmaker, since all of us love YA. 

The Results

Stolen: A Letter to My Captor by Lucy Christopher

This is a genre-bending psychological novel that’s very challenging. It’s YA, but mature, and told in second person, in the form of a letter from a kidnapped girl to her captor. It takes place in the Australian outback and the landscape adds to the atmosphere of the novel.

{Buy at Amazon | Add on Goodreads}


I wonder how long until I’m allowed to be happy again.

That is the essence of Jennifer Wolf Shaw’s unique debut novel, Breaking Beautiful: Is there a point at which we can no longer heal?

Allie is the only survivor of a car accident that killed her boyfriend, town football star and golden boy, Trip. She has no memory of the accident, but is left with scar on her head and memories of the side of her relationship with Trip that no one else saw—or chose to ignore, in some cases. See, while Trip wore #33, he was no Tim Riggins. Allie suffered from Trip’s physical and mental abuse to the point where she has lost herself.

With Trip around, I was isolated from the rest of the school, but I was isolated with him for company. Now I’m just alone. 

Following Trip’s death, Allie slowly rekindles a friendship with her childhood friend, Blake. As their friendship slowly moves toward being something more, the mystery surrounding Trip’s death grows as well. While the town memorializes Trip and vilifies Allie for trying to move on with her life, local police begin to investigate, and Allie begins to question what really happened the night her boyfriend died.

Breaking Beautiful fills a niche that’s largely missing in YA—it’s a dark, mature, contemporary mystery.