Ingram Blog

Top Buzz-Worthy Fiction Reviews from #TheLibraryLife Experts

Ingram’s Collection Development librarians regularly visit with publishers to find out about forthcoming titles, publishing trends, and what titles the publishers are most excited about each season. Check out their reviews for these forthcoming potential break-out novels:

The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox 

After rumors of a scandal drive them from their Boston home, the Montrose family moves to Willow Hall. At first, the quiet country estate seems like a welcome respite for the family, but strange things start happening. The two younger daughters, Lydia and Emeline, are most impacted by the unusual episodes at Willow Hall. Despite the odd events, there is some good at Willow Hall. Lydia meets her father’s business partner, John Barrett, and a romance blossoms between them. After tragedy strikes the Montrose family, Lydia must finally embrace the truth about her own nature and what the strange events at Willow Hall really mean. In a family steeped in secrets, Lydia learns that the biggest secret of all is her own. Readers who enjoy historic stories with a gothic feel will appreciate Fox’s atmospheric debut novel. Recommended. 

-Becky Walton, MLS, Collection Development Librarian II

Meet the Sky by McCall Hoyle 

In this YA novel, Sophie, a high schooler living on the barrier islands of North Carolina, finds herself injured and riding out a hurricane in a house with ex-beau Finn. There is flirt-fighting, of course, but there are also get-to-know-you moments where each comes to understand the other better. Meet the Sky is the perfect read for horse lovers, beachcombers, English literature buffs (each chapter starts with an Alfred, Lord Tennyson quote), and fans of romance.

-Becky Walton, MLS, Collection Development Librarian II

Tell Her No Lies by Kelly Irvin 

After she was abandoned to homelessness and foster care by her mother, Nina Fischer has learned to keep herself at a distance from everyone in her life. Even after her wealthy uncle, a well-respected judge and Christian pillar of the community, adopted her and her sister, Nina’s life in San Antonio hasn’t been easy. Uncle Geoffrey doesn’t approve of Nina’s choice to become a photographer, and their disagreements lead to friction in the home. When Nina discovers that Geoffrey has been shot while they were home alone, police quickly suspect her of murder. As she tries to clear her name and cope with her loss, she learns that her uncle wasn’t the man he claimed to be. Nina must sort through his shocking deceit while she grapples with the reappearance of her long-lost mother and competing affection from two men who may be using her for their own careers. Well-established as a writer of Amish romances, Kelly Irvin’s romantic suspense novels promote faith after betrayal and encourage readers to learn to love and trust again. 

-Ann Cox, MLS, Collection Development Librarian

The Color of Lies by CJ Lyons

The Color of Lies tells the story of Ella, an 18-year-old with synesthesia. She lives with her grandmother, her parents having died in a fire when she was three years old. Her life changes when a young man, a student in the journalism department of the local college, tells her the fire wasn’t an accident—it was murder. As Ella struggles to come to grips with this news and the lies her family told to protect her, she finds herself in the crosshairs. Lyons’s standalone young adult novel is a murder mystery with a light touch of romance. Lyons incorporates two elements that I haven’t seen often in YA: synesthesia and a family that escaped Sarajevo during the Bosnian War. The synesthesia element was particularly intriguing, especially the various ways in can manifest and how it colors Ella’s world and her reactions to it. While not focused on in detail, Ella’s maternal family escaped from Sarajevo in the early 90s, and that background and culture flavors Ella’s life and the current dangers. Recommended for libraries, particularly for those looking for clean reads or additional titles for mystery readers. 

-Rachel Montgomery, MLS, Collection Development Librarian II