Book of the Month: The Girl Next Door

The Girl Next Door by Ruth Rendell

In this psychologically explosive story from “one of the most remarkable novelists of her generation” (People), the discovery of bones in a tin box sends shockwaves across a group of long-time friends.

The Girl Next Door

In the waning months of the second World War, a group of children discover an earthen tunnel in their neighborhood outside London. Throughout the summer of 1944—until one father forbids it—the subterranean space becomes their “secret garden,” where the friends play games and tell stories.

Six decades later, beneath a house on the same land, construction workers uncover a tin box containing two skeletal hands, one male and one female. As the discovery makes national news, the friends come together once again, to recall their days in the tunnel for the detective investigating the case. Is the truth buried among these aging friends and their memories?

This impromptu reunion causes long-simmering feelings to bubble to the surface. Alan, stuck in a passionless marriage, begins flirting with Daphne, a glamorous widow. Michael considers contacting his estranged father, who sent Michael to live with an aunt after his mother vanished in 1944. Lewis begins remembering details about his Uncle James, an army private who once accompanied the children into the tunnels, and who later disappeared.

In The Girl Next Door Rendell brilliantly shatters the assumptions about age, showing that the choices people make—and the emotions behind them—remain as potent in late life as they were in youth.

Scribner – October 7, 2014 – 288 pages – $14.94

Book of the Month: The Mortal Instruments

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

The Mortal Instruments is a series of six young adult fantasy novels written by Cassandra Clare, the last of which was published May 27, 2014. The Mortal Instruments is chronologically the third series of a proposed five in The Shadowhunter Chronicles.

The Mortal Instruments

City of Bones (Book 1)

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder—much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing—not even a smear of blood—to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare’s ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

Margaret K. McElderry Books – March 27, 2007 – 485 pages – $16.63

City of Ashes (Book 2)

Is love worth betraying everything? Plunge into the second adventure in the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series and “prepare to be hooked” (Entertainment Weekly).

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what’s normal when you’re a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who’s becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn’t ready to let her go—especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary’s only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil—and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings—and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City’s Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.

Margaret K. McElderry Books – March 25, 2008 – 496 pages – $17.23

City of Glass (Book 3)

Love is a mortal sin, and the secrets of the past are deadly. Plunge into the third installment in the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series and “prepare to be hooked” (Entertainment Weekly).

To save her mother’s life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters—never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

As Clary uncovers more about her family’s past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he’s willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City—whatever the cost?

Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the third installment of bestselling series the Mortal Instruments.

Margaret K. McElderry Books – March 23, 2009 – 576 pages – $17.08

City of Fallen Angels (Book 4)

Trust is dangerous, and to love is to destroy. Plunge into the fourth installment in the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series and “prepare to be hooked” (Entertainment Weekly).

The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She’s training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most importantly of all—she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering Shadowhunters, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second, bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her—his mother just found out that he’s a vampire, and now he’s homeless. When Jace begins to pull away from her without explaining why, Clary is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: she herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.

The stakes are higher than ever in the #1 New York Times bestselling fourth installment of the Mortal Instruments series.

Margaret K. McElderry Books – April 5, 2011 – 448 pages – $16.78

City of Lost Souls (Book 5)

What price is too high to pay, even for love? Plunge into fifth installment the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series and “prepare to be hooked” (Entertainment Weekly).

The New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments continues—and so do the thrills and danger for Jace, Clary, and Simon.

What price is too high to pay, even for love? When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost?

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.

Margaret K. McElderry Books – May 8, 2012 – 544 pages – $16.66

City of Heavenly Fire (Book 6)

Shadowhunters and demons square off for the final showdown in the spellbinding, seductive conclusion to the #1 New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

Darkness has descended on the Shadowhunter world. Chaos and destruction overwhelm the Nephilim as Clary, Jace, Simon, and their friends band together to fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell. Nothing in this world can defeat Sebastian—but if they journey to the realm of demons, they just might have a chance…

Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world will change. Who will survive the explosive sixth and final installment of the Mortal Instruments series?

Margaret K. McElderry Books – May 27, 2014 – 725 pages – $13.15

In 2010, Screen Gems announced that they were going into production on a film adaptation of City of Bones, Harald Zwart was announced as the film’s director, with Lily Collins starring as Clary Fray and Jamie Campbell Bower starring as Jace Wayland. The film was released in theaters August 21, 2013.

Constantin announced that the second book in the series City of Ashes would be adapted into a film, with Harald Zwart returning as director. The film is due to start production in 2014, after some delays due to the unpopularity of the first film.

Book of the Month: The Lost Symbol

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

In this stunning follow-up to the global phenomenon The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown demonstrates once again why he is the world’s most popular thriller writer.

The Lost Symbol

The Lost Symbol is a masterstroke of storytelling that finds famed symbologist Robert Langdon in a deadly race through a real-world labyrinth of codes, secrets, and unseen truths . . . all under the watchful eye of Brown’s most terrifying villain to date. Set within the hidden chambers, tunnels, and temples of Washington, D.C., The Lost Symbol is an intelligent, lightning-paced story with surprises at every turn. This is Dan Brown’s most exciting novel yet.

Anchor – October 19, 2010 – 656 pages – $21.72

Book of the Month: If I Stay

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

The critically acclaimed, bestselling novel from Gayle Forman, author of Where She Went, Just One Day, and Just One Year.

Soon to be a major motion picture, starring Chloe Moretz!

If I Stay

In the blink of an eye everything changes.

Seventeen ­year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make.

Heartwrenchingly beautiful, this will change the way you look at life, love, and family. Now a major motion picture starring Chloe Grace Moretz, Mia’s story will stay with you for a long, long time.

Speak – April 6, 2010 – 320 pages – $11.85

Book of the Month: The Selection & The Elite & The One

The Selection & The Elite & The One by Kiera Cass

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime.

The Selection & The Elite & The One

The Selection (Book 1)

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Harper Teen – March 26, 2013 – 352 pages – $11.55

The Elite (Book 2)

Kiera Cass’s #1 New York Times bestseller The Elite is a must-read for fans of dystopian fiction, fairy tales, and reality TV. This second book in the bestselling Selection series will enchant teens who love Divergent and The Bachelor. The paperback also includes a sneak peek at The One—the thrilling third novel in the Selection series!

In America Singer’s world, a bride is chosen for the prince through an elaborate, televised competition. In The Elite, America is one of only six girls left in the running. But is it Prince Maxon—and life as the queen—that she wants? Or is it Aspen, her first love?

The Elite delivers the adventure, glamour, political intrigue, and romance that readers of The Selection expect, and continues the love triangle that captivated them.

Harper Teen – May 6, 2014 – 352 pages – $10.90

The One (Book 3)

The highly anticipated third book in Kiera Cass’s #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series, The One will captivate readers who love dystopian YA fiction and fairy tales. The One is perfect for the fans who have followed America’s whirlwind romance since it began—and a swoon-worthy read for teens who have devoured Veronica Roth’s Divergent, Ally Condie’s Matched, or Lauren Oliver’s Delirium.

The Selection changed America Singer’s life in ways she never could have imagined. Since she entered the competition to become the next princess of Illéa, America has struggled with her feelings for her first love, Aspen—and her growing attraction to Prince Maxon. Now she’s made her choice . . . and she’s prepared to fight for the future she wants.

Find out who America will choose in The One, the enchanting, beautifully romantic third book in the Selection series!

Harper Teen – May 6, 2014 – 336 pages – $10.78

Book of the Month: Mr. Mercedes

Mr. Mercedes by  Stephen King

In a mega-stakes, high-suspense race against time, three of the most unlikely and winning heroes Stephen King has ever created try to stop a lone killer from blowing up thousands.

Mr. Mercedes

In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes.

In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the “perk” and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy.

Brady Hartsfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. He loved the feel of death under the wheels of the Mercedes, and he wants that rush again. Only Bill Hodges, with a couple of highly unlikely allies, can apprehend the killer before he strikes again. And they have no time to lose, because Brady’s next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim thousands.

Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.

Scribner – June 3, 2014 – 448 pages – $18.00.