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  • Winter Haven Public Library

Check Me Out - May 2024

THE STORM WE MADE

By Vanessa Chan “The Storm We Made” immerses readers in the harrowing landscape of World War II-era Malaya (now Malaysia). Against a backdrop of betrayal and courage, the novel resonates with the enduring power of familial bonds. Prepare to be swept away by a tale that echoes with history, both on a grand and personal scale, prompting reflection on the indomitable human spirit in the face of adversity. This book addresses all of the complexities of war - nothing is easy or neat. Such a powerful debut novel.


THE TURTLE HOUSE

By Amanda Churchill “The Turtle House” unfolds as a poignant tapestry of interconnected lives woven across generations and continents. Lia’s journey in 1990’s Texas intertwines with her grand- mother Mineko’s in pre-war Japan. The rich narrative explores themes of hidden histories and the enduring legacy of trauma. This debut novel is perfect for fans of historical fiction and dual timelines.


YOU KNOW WHAT YOU DID

By K.T. Nguyen “You Know What You Did” intricately weaves a tale of suspense, ensnaring readers in its enigmatic web until the very last page. This debut thriller follows the journey of a first-generation Vietnamese American artist as she confronts the shadows of her past. By delving into the intricate layers of the refugee experience, the narrative unfolds with a nuanced exploration of legacy and the complicated tapestry of family ties. It is a rollercoaster ride of dizzying twists that chal- lenge perceptions of loyalty and love, leaving you to weigh the depths of human secrets.


VICTIM

By Andrew Boryga “Victim” is a thought-provoking and fiercely intelligent debut novel. This blistering satire follows Javi, a cunning hustler who sees through the superficial diversity initiatives of the modern world and exploits them for his own gain. With its sharp critique of per- formative allyship and its exploration of the complexities of identity and victimhood, this novel will leave you reevaluating your own attitudes toward identity, privilege, and the meaning of social justice. This book is rare because it is both fun to read and will spark more profound conversations.


WELCOME TO THE HYUNAM-DONG BOOKSHOP

By Hwang Bo-reum May is the perfect time to try out new things - and debut novels offer new voices to experience. And what a debut it is! Welcome to the Hyunam-Dong Bookshop! This novel is a tender ode to the transformative magic of literature and community. The story follows Yeongju’s journey from corporate confines to the sanctuary of a bookshop. It resonates with themes of self-discovery and belonging. Amidst the shelves of stories, friendships blossom, and she finds solace in the embrace of kindred spirits. With its focus on finding acceptance and the simple pleasures in life, it felt like the perfect read to jumpstart the summer months.


THE OTHER VALLEY

By Scott Alexander Howard “The Other Valley” is a debut novel that beckons you into a realm where time bends and boundaries blur. The book invites you to ponder the connections that shape our lives. The story follows the story of Ollie, a shy and intelligent sixteen-year-old who aspires to join the Conseil, the governing body of her isolated town. This surreal place borders its own past and future. This book is like nothing I have read before. Using the lens of speculative fiction, it explores themes of power and destiny and how our choices turn into consequences.


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