Timekeeper by Tara Sim (Timekeeper #1) / ★★☆☆☆
Summary: 17 year old Danny Hart is the youngest clock mechanic in Victorian London, in a world in which clocks are living entities and control the passage of time. When he falls for the spirit of a clock he’s been assigned to, the mystery of his father – trapped in a town in which time has stopped – begins to unravel.
There comes a moment when time seems to slip faster, running long then short, shadows shrinking as the sun climbs. It’s the moment, he decided, when you’re no longer a child. When the concept of time and the need for more of it come together and make you powerless. Make you yearn for the longer days, the lazy days, before you knew what time passing actually meant.
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee / ★★★★☆
Summary: Monty, a hopelessly roguish and vivacious young gentleman, leaves on his Grand Tour of Europe with his best friend, Percy, who he just so happens to be hopelessly in love with. When one of his reckless decisions leads to more trouble than he expects, he, Percy, and his sister Felicity find themselves pursued on a manhunt across Europe that could get them all killed.
Percy looks sideways at me. “Oh no what?”
I swallow. “I’d first like it to be noted that I am most certainly not a smuggler.”
“Monty…” he says, my name sopping with dread.
“And,” I continue overtop him, “I’d like you to both remember just how much you adore me and how dull and gloomy your lives would be without me in them.”
“What did you do?”
Beneath Wandering Stars by Ashlee Cowles / ★★★☆☆
Summary: When Gabi’s brother gets terribly injured in war, she discovers that his dying wish is that she would make a pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago through Spain with his best friend, Seth. The problem is, she and Seth do not get along.
I don’t know much, but I know this thing, this mystery, must be behind the desire that stirred millions of pilgrims across the centuries. Why else would people walk hundreds of miles to a place they’ve never seen? What is it that our restless hearts are searching for?
Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia / ★★★ 1/2
Summary: Eliza is LadyConstellation, the author of an incredibly popular webcomic, Monstrous Sea, but in her real life she is a strange, shy, completely anonymous teenager, and she likes it that way. Then the biggest Monstrous Sea fanfiction writer, Wallace, transfers to her school.
I didn’t make Monstrous Sea to be a phenomenon – I made it because it was the story I wanted. I make it now because there’s something inside of me, crushed around my heart, that says I must do it. This is what I was put on Earth to create, for me and for my fans. This story. This is mine, and it is my duty to bring it into the world.
A List of Cages by Robin Roe / ★★★★☆
Summary: Adam, a cheerful high school senior always on the move because of his ADHD, and Julian, a kindhearted freshman with social and learning disabilities, were foster brothers after Julian’s parents died until Julian’s uncle took him away. Five years later, the two of them are reunited and both are delighted, but slowly Adam begins to realize there are things Julian isn’t saying.
It’s strange how many ways there are to miss someone. You miss the things they did and who they were, but you also miss who you were to them. The way everything you said and did was beautiful or entertaining or important. How much you mattered.
Proxy by Alex London (Proxy #1) / ★★☆☆☆
Summary: As a proxy, Syd must pay for someone else’s crimes, so when his patron, Knox, crashes a car and kills someone, Syd is sentenced to pay a terrible price. Faced with no other choice but to attempt to beat the system, Syd flees – but not without Knox’s help.
He was not unredeemable and he was not a terrorist and he was not just a body they could discard and replace to teach some patron a lesson.
Silence by Shūsaku Endō / ★★★★☆
Summary: Seventeenth century Portuguese priest Sebastian Rodrigues sets sail for Japan, where Christians are being brutally prosecuted, in the hopes of spreading his mission and finding his old teacher, who is rumored to have renounced his faith in the face of torture. When Rodrigues finds himself faced with the realities of prosecution himself, the decisions he must make are worse than he could have imagined.
Christ did not die for the good and beautiful. It is easy enough to die for the good and beautiful; the hard thing is to die for the miserable and corrupt.
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara / ★★★★★
Summary: Former college roommates Jude, Willem, JB, and Malcolm traverse life in the decades after college. Friendships shift, careers are made, lives change as the future unfolds, but the past haunts Jude, who suffered unspeakable childhood traumas, and who holds them together more than anything, for better or for worse.
They all hold their positions, and it reminds him of a set, in which every scene can be redone, every mistake can be corrected, every sorrow reshot. And in that moment, they are on one edge of the frame, and Jude is on the other, but they are all smiling at one another, and the world seems to hold nothing but sweetness.
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent / ★★★★★
Summary: Charged with the brutal murder of two men, Agnes is sent to await her execution at an isolated farm in Northern Iceland, home to a family she does not know and with only a young reverend sent to listen to her.
They will not be able to see my words for themselves. They will see the whore, the madwoman, the murderess, the female dripping blood in to the grass and laughing with her mouth choked with dirt. They will say “Agnes” and see the spider, the witch caught in the webbing of her own fateful weaving. They might see the lamb circled by ravens, bleating for a lost mother. But they will not see me. I will not be there.
The Bells by Richard Harvell / ★★★★1/2
Summary: A child of misfortune, Moses Froben is born with an extraordinary sense of hearing and a remarkable gift of singing, so remarkable that he finds himself on the path to becoming one of Europe’s most celebrated opera singers- but at an atrocious cost.
This was a singer, remember, who practiced with an open window, so any man or woman passing on the street would have the chance to hear an angel sing.