GPL Blog

Book Review | Kneel by Candace Buford

From the publisher: The system is rigged. For guys like Russell Boudreaux, football is the only way out of their small town. As the team’s varsity tight end, Rus has a singular goal: to get a scholarship and play on the national stage. But when his best friend is unfairly arrested and kicked off the team, Rus faces an impossible choice: speak up or live in fear. “Please rise for the national anthem.” Desperate for change, Rus kneels during the national anthem. In one instant, he falls from local stardom and becomes a target for hatred. But he’s not alone. With the help of his best friend and an unlikely ally, Rus will fight for his dreams, and for justice.

Kneel is exactly what I expected from a book about a Black high school football player in Louisiana who kneels during the national anthem after his best friend is falsely accused of…

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Book Review | Red Rising by Pierce Brown

From the publisher: Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. But soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class. Inspired by a longing for justice and the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the proving ground for the dominant Gold caste. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies… even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

Red Rising came out in 2014, and I’ve been wanting to read it for some time. Although not…

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Book Review | Line to Kill by Anthony Horowitz

From the publisher: When Ex-Detective Inspector Daniel Hawthorne and his sidekick, author Anthony Horowitz, are invited to an exclusive literary festival on Alderney, an idyllic island off the south coast of England, they don’t expect to find themselves in the middle of murder investigation—or to be trapped with a cold-blooded killer in a remote place with a murky, haunted past. Both a brilliant satire on the world of books and writers and an immensely enjoyable locked-room mystery, A Line to Kill is a triumph—a riddle of a story full of brilliant misdirection, beautifully set-out clues, and diabolically clever denouements.

Anthony Horowitz is the author of a popular teen spy series, adult mysteries, and a number…

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Book Review | Dare to Know by James Kennedy

From the publisher: Our narrator is the most talented salesperson at Dare to Know, an enigmatic company that has developed the technology to predict anyone’s death down to the second. Divorced, estranged from his sons, and broke, he’s driven to violate the cardinal rule of the business by forecasting his own death day. The problem: his prediction says he died twenty-three minutes ago. The only person who can confirm its accuracy is Julia, the woman he loved and lost during his rise up the ranks of Dare to Know. As he travels across the country to see her, he’s forced to confront his past, the choices he’s made, and the terrifying truth about the company he works for.

What the heck did I just read? This is one trippy novel. Am I reading the thoughts of a madman, or is the world really coming to an end?…

Book Review | Love and Lavender by Josi S. Kilpack

From the publisher: Hazel Stillman is a woman of rare independence and limited opportunities. Born with a clubbed foot, she was sent away as a child and devoted herself to scholarship and education. When her uncle presents her with the prospect of a substantial inheritance if she marries, Hazel is offended. Duncan Penhale has a brilliant mind and thrives on order and process. He does not expect to marry because he likes his solitary life, shared only with his beloved cat. Hazel and Duncan believe they have found a solution to both of their problems: marry one another, receive their inheritances, and then part ways to enjoy their individual paths. But when her uncle stipulates that they must live together for one year before receiving their inheritances, Hazel and Duncan reluctantly agree. At the end of the year, will they go their separate ways or could an unlikely marriage have found unsuspecting love?

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Book Review | The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave

From the publisher: A gripping mystery about a woman who thinks she’s found the love of her life—until he disappears. With its breakneck pacing, dizzying plot twists, and evocative family drama, The Last Thing He Told Me is a riveting mystery, certain to shock you with its final, heartbreaking turn.

The Last Thing He Told Me is the beach read of the summer. I don’t expect everlasting greatness from a beach read – just an intriguing book with a plot that makes me want to keep reading. The Last Thing He Told Me is a winner from this standpoint.

Hannah Hall was raised by her grandfather after her indifferent parents abandoned her to…

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Book Review | John Eyre: A Tale of Darkness and Shadow by Mimi Matthews

From the publisher: Yorkshire, 1843. When disgraced former schoolmaster John Eyre arrives at Thornfield Hall to take up a position as tutor to two peculiar young boys, he enters a world unlike any he’s ever known. Darkness abounds, punctuated by odd bumps in the night, strange creatures on the moor, and a sinister silver mist that never seems to dissipate. And at the center of it all, John’s new employer Bertha — a widow as alluring as she is mysterious. John and Bertha contend with secrets, danger, and the eternal struggle between light and darkness. Can they help each other vanquish the demons of the past? Or are some evils simply too powerful to conquer?

John Eyre is a mash-up retelling of Jane Eyre and another classic novel (I won’t say which, as…

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Book Review | The Killing Kind by Jane Casey

From the publisher: As a barrister, Ingrid Lewis is used to dealing with tricky clients, but no one has ever come close to John Webster. After Ingrid defended Webster against a stalking charge, he then turned on her — following her, ruining her relationship, even destroying her home. Now, Ingrid believes she has finally escaped his clutches. But when one of her colleagues is run down on a busy London road, Ingrid is sure she was the intended victim. And then Webster shows up at her door. Webster claims Ingrid is in danger — and that only he can protect her.

Jane Casey writes a police procedural series about a detective named Maeve Kerrigan that I love. I was disappointed when I found out that Casey’s new book would be a standalone…

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Book Review | China Roses by Jo Bannister

From the publisher: No one ever said: “See Norbold and die.” So why would a man from DC Hazel Best’s past cross England in order to get himself beaten senseless in this uninspiring Midlands town? Everyone assumes he was looking for Hazel. She can’t think why he would; and when David Sperrin wakes up, he can’t think why he would either. Amnesia — or something to hide? Flashbacks as Sperrin’s battered brain recovers only make the case more troubling. His sharpest memory is of a girl dying in his arms. But who, and how? Struggling to make sense of the situation, Hazel turns to her close friend Gabriel Ash for help. But Ash has problems of his own: one of his own ghosts has returned to haunt him. And the stakes are so high there’s no one, not even Hazel, he can confide in…

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Book Review | The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels by India Holton

From the publisher: A prim and proper lady thief must save her aunt from a crazed pirate and his dangerously charming henchman in this fantastical historical romance.

This book is bonkers. It contains every crazy thing you can imagine in an adventure story – pirates, flying houses, assassination attempts, gothic abbeys, kidnappings, tea parties. Somewhat like The Princess Bride on steroids.

As such, The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels will not be to everyone’s taste. It is full of nonstop nonsense. The author is in love with her own cleverness, which doesn’t necessarily aid the story. People used to listen breathlessly while the latest installment of a new tale…

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