The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan
I have to give a shoutout to my mom, Donna, who gifted this book to me and introduced me to Jenny Colgan. The Bookshop on the Corner was the most delightful reading experience I have had in a very long time! This is a book about books for the lovers, dreamers and creatives. I fell in love with the story from the first couple of pages and it was exactly what I needed.
Nina is a librarian who is suddenly finding herself without work and as libraries are continuing to close, her instinct is to save all of the book orphans from being displaced. This sparks an idea in her to open a mobile bookshop...in a van. She ventures to the countryside of the Scotland Highlands and finds not only the perfect vehicle, but the perfect place to start over and take this new journey. However, as you can imagine, nothing comes easy in this beautiful but remote part of the world.
This book is equal parts magic, romance and adventure. Colgan’s descriptions of this gorgeous, wild place are absolutely enchanting and will have you desperately wanting to visit Scotland! I adored Nina’s literary matchmaking, as her sole mission in life is to find the perfect book for each person. I so hope you will pick this up and escape to the magical world of The Bookshop on the Corner. After reading, I promptly bought two more of her books and I can’t wait to read more from Jenny Colgan.
No Exit by Taylor Adams
This was one of the most hyped thrillers recently and that always makes me nervous, but Taylor Adams delivered and then some with No Exit! It grabbed my attention with the premise of characters being trapped in a snowstorm in one of my favorite places, the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. I know how hostile that environment can be, and add in a snowstorm it becomes even more vicious. Strangers at rest areas have always been a particular fear of mine and I actually wrote a short story about a woman who met a serial killer at a rest stop while I was in grad school...the similarities struck me right away. I also always love books that take place in a short amount of time, only one night in this case. I’m not sure I’ve ever read a thriller that made me feel so consistently on edge and desperate to find out what happens next.
Our protagonist, Darby Thorne, is a college student who just learned that her mother was diagnosed with fatal cancer. She drops everything and attempts to drive home to Utah, only to be stopped by the impassable mountain roads, and stranded at a rest area with no cell phone reception and four strangers. While she is wandering about the parking lot looking for reception to call her dying mom, she stumbles upon a van where she discovers a child locked in the back in an animal crate. What follows is a night of terror, as Darby tries to figure out which strangers she can trust and which stranger is a monster. Darby knows every move she makes is going to determine whether or not she survives the night.
This book was intense to the point I had to keep putting it down to catch my breath. My heart raced the entire time and I felt like I was in the room right along with Darby with all of the adrenaline pumping through me. It was shocking and rather gruesome, and I know some of those scenes are always going to stick with me. I highly recommend this to all thriller lovers.
My name is Kylie Sebert. I'm a native of Spirit Lake and currently living in the literary hub of Portland, Maine! I have Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, with an emphasis in fiction, and now hope to begin a novel writing career. You can find me on Instagram and Facebook as @notsotwentysomething. As with most writers, one of my passions is discovering and reading great books. I hope my reviews will spark an excitement for literature in people around the Great Lakes area!