The Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles Book Review

Book Description (via Goodreads): Meet Rochelle Evans: pretty, popular–and never been kissed. Meet Noah Flynn: badass, volatile–and a total player. And also Elle’s best friend’s older brother…

When Elle decides to run a kissing booth for the school’s Spring Carnival, she locks lips with Noah and her life is turned upside down. Her head says to keep away, but her heart wants to draw closer–this romance seems far from fairy tale and headed for heartbreak.
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The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson Book Review

Book Description (via Goodreads): Author Erik Larson imbues the incredible events surrounding the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair with such drama that readers may find themselves checking the book’s categorization to be sure that ‘The Devil in the White City’ is not, in fact, a highly imaginative novel. Larson tells the stories of two men: Daniel H. Burnham, the architect responsible for the fair’s construction, and H.H. Holmes, a serial killer masquerading as a charming doctor.

Burnham’s challenge was immense. In a short period of time, he was forced to overcome the death of his partner and numerous other obstacles to construct the famous “White City” around which the fair was built. His efforts to complete the project, and the fair’s incredible success, are skillfully related along with entertaining appearances by such notables as Buffalo Bill Cody, Susan B. Anthony, and Thomas Edison.

The activities of the sinister Dr. Holmes, who is believed to be responsible for scores of murders around the time of the fair, are equally remarkable. He devised and erected the World’s Fair Hotel, complete with crematorium and gas chamber, near the fairgrounds and used the event as well as his own charismatic personality to lure victims.

Combining the stories of an architect and a killer in one book, mostly in alternating chapters, seems like an odd choice but it works. The magical appeal and horrifying dark side of 19th-century Chicago are both revealed through Larson’s skillful writing. – John Moe
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Breathe Deep & Swim by Jenna Marcus Book Review

Book Description (via Goodreads): All 14-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Thomas wants is normalcy. But a global pandemic prevents him from having anything close to a typical teenager’s life. When Wolfgang discovers his father dead in bed from the coronavirus, his world is thrust into even more turmoil and chaos. Wolfgang and his 16-year-old brother, Van Gogh, know that they must do everything they can to stay together and avoid foster care. In a cross-country road trip, they hit the road in their father’s Pontiac to find their only hope: the mother who abandoned them a decade ago. As they journey for answers to their mother’s whereabouts, they uncover devastating mysteries about her that they never could have imagined. Just as they near their destination, tragedy strikes once more. Wolfgang is drowning in fear and pain, but he must pull it together or lose his family for good. Can this broken adolescent find the strength and courage to Breathe Deep & Swim?
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