Reviews of the Week: with Jim Shepard, Kristan Higgins, Brian Freeman, and More!

Every weekday, we feature a different review on Booklist Online that highlights starred reviews, high-demand titles, and/or titles especially relevant to our current issue’s spotlight. We’ve collected the reviews from January 23 through 27 so that you can revisit the week’s best books.

The World to Come - jim shephardMonday, January 23

 The World to Come, by Jim Shepard

Throughout this masterful, profoundly involving collection, Shepard elucidates with stirring precision the emotions of characters ambushed by terrifying powers beyond their control, whether a blizzard or an earthquake, the death of a child, or forbidden love.




the unexpected life of oliver cromwell pitts - aviTuesday, January 24

 The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts, by Avi

In using Oliver as his first-person narrator, Avi does a superb job of suggesting the style and syntax of eighteenth-century speech, while telling an ingeniously plotted Dickensian story filled with suspense, surprises, and ultimately satisfaction. Please, sir, may we have some more?



the night bird - brian freemanWednesday, January 25

The Night Bird, by Brian Freeman

In his latest stand-alone thriller, Freeman once again shows a slick knack for creating enough tension without relying too heavily on gore—just the right amount of nastiness that will not scare away more-genteel thriller readers.




on second thought - kristan higginsThursday, January 26

On Second Thought, by Kristan Higgins

Higgins’ complex, witty characters will seem like close friends, and readers will savor each and every page as they find that love comes in many different flavors and forms. Demand will be high for the latest from this women’s-fiction star.



mighty, mighty construction site - sherri duskey rinker and tom lichtenheldFriday, January 27

Mighty, Mighty Construction Site, by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld

Lichtenheld’s colorful wax-oil pastels burst with the trucks’ activity and make creative use of inset illustration panels. The rhyming text makes the plot as zippy as the trucks, all of which sport endearingly expressive headlights and grilles.



About the Author:

Charlotte Chadwick is currently an intern for Booklist. A senior at Lake Forest College, she is studying creative writing and print and digital publishing. When she isn't writing short stories, there's nothing she enjoys more than drinking coffee and dodging questions about her post-grad plans.

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