2018 is drawing to a close, and it's a time to look back at the year that was. Our book reviewer Carole Barrowman has read countless books this, but she's narrowed it down to her top 5 of 2018! Did your favorite make the list?
For more information on Carole, visit BarrowmanBooks.com. And see below for her picks and reviews:
1. “A Jar of Hearts” by Jennifer Hillier - You’ll never eat a Red Hot cinnamon candy again after reading this chilling thriller. Georgina Shaw “could have done a lot of things” the night her best friend, Angela, went missing, but she did nothing. Years later, Angela’s body is discovered in a grave behind Georgina’s house and what really happened that night unravels across the rest of the novel in a mesmerizing series of heart-thumping reveals. I’ve recommended this book to friends and family more than any other this year.
2. “November Road” by Lou Berney - Set against the backdrop of Kennedy’s assassination and an America looking seriously at itself for the first time, Frank Guidry is a Goodfella, a fixer, married to the mob, and “too old to learn new tricks” because the “old ones still work just fine.” Until they don’t. Charlotte wants out of her desolate marriage and her dead-end life. This is a love story and a story about America coming of age.
3. “Children of Blood and Bone” by Tomi Adeyemi - The world building on this outstanding debut fantasy novel is mind-blowing, but at its heart it’s a family story told from a variety of points of view about the son and daughter of a despotic king and the children of two of the countries citizen’s as they find themselves on a quest for power and magic. The author draws on her Nigerian heritage and its myths and stories to tell this epic tale. This big bold brutal book was unlike anything else I read this year and it still resonates with me.
4. “The Cabin at The End of the World” by Paul Tremblay - From the opening chapter where a young girl is told that “everything that’s about to happen is not your fault” until the final pages where the book becomes something quite unexpected, this novel was so suspenseful and so engaging that you’ll need recovery time or a drink at the end of the book.
5. "Tangerine" by Christine Mangan - This was one of my favorite debut novels this year about the friendship between two women in the fifties and how one of them knows more than she’s revealing and the other isn’t sure she wants to know. Set in Morocco, Mangan writes with compassion and energy and a keen eye for the subtle, the small details that drive a good suspense novel.