Contemporary Romances, Sci-Fi, & More
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Articles / May 23, 2020

The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone RECOMMENDED: The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone by Felicity McLean is $1.99! Elyse reviewed this one and gave it a B+: The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone is one of the more unique thrillers I’ve read in a long time and it sucked me in completely. ‘We lost all three girls that summer. Let them slip away like the words of some half-remembered song and when one came back, she wasn’t the one we were trying to recall to begin with.’ So begins Tikka Molloy’s recount of the summer of 1992 – the summer the Van Apfel sisters, Hannah, the beautiful Cordelia and Ruth – disappear. Eleven and one-sixth years old, Tikka is the precocious narrator of this fabulously endearing coming-of-age story, set in an eerie Australian river valley suburb with an unexplained stench. The Van Apfel girls vanish from the valley during the school’s ‘Showstopper’ concert, held at the outdoor amphitheatre by the river. While the search for the sisters unites the small community on Sydney’s urban fringe, the mystery of their disappearance remains unsolved forever. Brilliantly observed, sharp, lively, funny and entirely endearing, this novel is part mystery, part coming-of-age story – and quintessentially Australian….

Whatcha Reading? May 2020 Edition, Part Two
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Articles / May 23, 2020

It’s time for Whatcha Reading! This is where we try to make sense of our reading lately. Clearly there’s one standout that a majority of SBTB has been staying up late to finish. Aarya: I just finished He’s Come Undone, ( A | BN | K | AB ) an anthology about starchy, buttoned-up heroes with contributions from Emma Barry, Olivia Dade, Adriana Herrera, Ruby Lang, and Cat Sebastian. They’re all authors I’ve enjoyed before and it’s a rock-solid collection. My favorite story is by Olivia Dade because it features murder dioramas (I’m a sucker for macabre humor!), but all the novellas are excellent. A | BN | K | AB I’m in the middle of Farrah Rochon’s The Boyfriend Project (out June 9). I’m loving the female friendships that anchor the book (the heroine Samiah and her friends meet in a viral encounter when they realize their asshole date is three-timing them). I also like how work-oriented the story is; Rochon doesn’t scrimp on details about the tech startup/app development. However, I’m concerned about the deception storyline; the hero Daniel is undercover for work reasons when he meets Samiah. It’s not my favorite plot device, but I have faith…