Taking a spring break holiday this March? Whether you are headed to the beach or just need a mental vacation, here are some new book releases -- from thrilling debuts to allegory to travel writing -- that can take you away from the everyday.
'Panic' by Lauren Oliver - March 4
Lauren Oliver returns with another young adult
thriller that adults can also enjoy. Panic
is the name of a game that teenagers (seniors in high school) began playing because there was nothing else to do in summer in the small town. The novel follows two characters involved in the game, a girl who never thought she would play but suddenly has a reason to want to win, and a boy with a secret that he thinks will propel him to victory. Along the way, they form alliances and confront the possibility of love. The movie rights to this novel have already been sold.
'Boy, Snow, Bird' by Helen Oyeyemi - March 6
Helen Oyeyemi recasts the Snow White
story in Boy, Snow, Bird
. This tale takes place in 1950s Massachusetts, where Boy has gone to escape the ugly life she left behind in New York. She marries a widower and becomes stepmother to his daughter, Snow Whitman. When Boy has a dark skinned daughter of her own, she realizes the Whitmans are light skinned African Americans who have been passing as white. Suddenly appearances become important, and the evil stepmother in her comes out.
'The Heaven of Animals' by David James Poissant - March 11
Simon & Schuster
This debut collection of short stories moves between realism and allegory and Poissant's writing has been compared to authors such as Raymond Carver. Poissant's stories have been published in a variety of magazines and received several awards. They look at family relationships in love and turmoil.
'Made to Break' by D. Foy - March 18
Two Dollar Radio
If you want to try out some debut fiction this month, Made to Break by D. Foy might be just what you are looking for. This is a novel of five longtime friends taking a New Year's Eve trip to a cabin at Lake Tahoe. A car crash leaves one of them seriously injured and all of them are trapped at the cabin by a storm, forcing them to take stock of where they have been and what they have done. This book is straight to paperback but is receiving some pre-publication buzz.
'Every Day is for the Thief' by Teju Cole - March 25
Teju Cole's debut novel, Open City, was the winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award. He returns in Every Day is for the Thief with a novel about Nigeria that was taken from his blog. This novel was first released in Nigeria in 2007, but has been updated for its first release outside of Africa. It is the story of a man who returns home to Nigeria from New York City for a visit, and sees different facets of life all around him. Original photographs by the author are interwoven into the novel, which has been called a combination of fiction, memory and travel writing.
'Falling Out of Time' by David Grossman - March 25
David Grossman's son died in the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah War
, so the examination of grief in his latest novel is close to his heart. Falling Out of Time
has been called "a fable" because it is not as much about realism as an exploration of how several characters -- the Walking Man, the Net Mender, the Midwife, and the Elderly Math Teacher -- each deals with the death of a child. Their lives are intertwined in this small but powerful tale.