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For many 30-somethings I know, the golden age of Craigslist provided a plethora of entertainment in addition to actual useful services. Need a couch? Concert tickets? New roommate? And hey, for a good chuckle, here's Missed Connections. Kelly Mahon took the entertainment value to a new level by placing prank ads on the site, and then chronicling her correspondence with the curious folks who answered her crazy queries. A quick and highly entertaining read, though I must admit I am especially disappointed that the title event never actually happened. ~ Reviewed by Ashley Castle
Megan Miranda's latest thriller is set in the bucolic New England beach town of Littleport, Maine, but despite it's staid exterior, the town is rife with scandals, rumors, and dark pasts. There are plenty of twists and turns as the book jumps back and forth in chronology, though the voice of the narrator, Avery, is consistent throughout. It's difficult to know who to trust, Avery herself included, as the commonly accepted narrative of her best friend's suicide begins to unravel and some of those nasty secrets rear their ugly heads. ~ Reviewed by Ashley Castle
Set in a small village on the English coast, this is a great contemporary Gothic-style tale that will keep you guessing. Ever since Seraphine was a little girl, rumors and whispers have flown around the village about the mysterious origins of her and her twin brother. The story has a sinister undertone as Seraphine starts to probe for answers about her true parentage. Anonymous threats, illicit affairs, and tales of sprites and changelings make this a real page-turner - great for curling up by the fire on a cold day! ~ Reviewed by Ashley Castle
Full of ethereal beauty and Victorian art, The Clockmaker's daughter drew me in quickly and was a difficult book for me to put down. The central mystery is multi-layered, spanning different centuries as well as a shockingly interconnected cast of characters. The storytelling is so evocative I felt that I could close my eyes and envision the certain fall of the light that permeates the story. In turns a romance (or several), a work of historical fiction illuminating some of the most pressing social issues of Victorian England, and a truly enthralling mystery, this is a book that will stay with me for quite some time. Morton is masterful at painting with her words. ~ Reviewed by Ashley Castle
This compact collection of amusing essays is perfectly purse-sized, and the short vignettes are ideal reading for the subway. Ellis's frank, casual tone makes her stories easily accessible even for those not fluent in Southern. Fans of Jenny Lawson should appreciate this slightly more grown-up take on topics as varied as how to be the perfect dinner party guest and searching for Twitter porn. ~ Reviewed by Ashley Castle