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Summer Reading 2019: June Prize Books

Special Feature

Summer Reading 2019: June Prize Books

Summer is here! At Bookreporter.com, this means it's time for us to share some great summer book picks with our Summer Reading Contests and Feature. We are hosting a series of 24-hour contests for these titles on select days through August 23rd, so you will have to check the site each day to see the featured prize book and enter to win. We also are sending a special newsletter to announce the day's title, which you can sign up for here.

See the prize books being awarded in May, July and August.

Before and Again by Barbara Delinsky - Fiction


Mackenzie Cooper took her eyes off the road for just a moment, but the resulting collision was enough to rob her not only of her beloved daughter but ultimately of her marriage, family and friends. Now she lives in Vermont under the name Maggie Reid. She’s thankful for the new friends she’s made, though she can’t risk telling them too much. But she isn’t the only one in this peaceful town with secrets. When a friend’s teenage son is thrust into the national spotlight, accused of hacking a powerful man’s Twitter account, Maggie is torn between pulling away and protecting herself --- or stepping into the glare to be at their side. As the stunning truth behind their case is slowly revealed, Maggie’s own carefully constructed story begins to unravel as well.

The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain - Fiction


When Carly Sears, a young woman widowed by the Vietnam War, receives the news that her unborn baby girl has a heart defect, she is devastated. It is 1970, and she is told that nothing can be done to help her child. But her brother-in-law, a physicist with a mysterious past, tells her that perhaps there is a way to save her baby. What he suggests is something that will shatter every preconceived notion that Carly has. Something that will require a kind of strength and courage she never knew existed. Something that will mean an unimaginable leap of faith on Carly's part. And all for the love of her unborn child.

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes - Fiction/Humor


Recently widowed Eveleth “Evvie” Drake rarely leaves her house nearly a year after her husband’s death. Everyone in town, even her best friend, Andy, thinks grief keeps her locked inside, and Evvie doesn’t correct them. Meanwhile, Dean Tenney, former Major League pitcher and Andy’s childhood best friend, is wrestling with what miserable athletes living out their worst nightmares call the “yips”: he can’t throw straight anymore, and, even worse, he can’t figure out why. When he moves into an apartment at the back of Evvie’s house, the two make a deal: Dean won’t ask about Evvie’s late husband, and Evvie won’t ask about Dean’s baseball career. What starts as an unexpected friendship soon turns into something more.

The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See - Historical Fiction

Mi-ja and Young-sook, two girls living on the Korean island of Jeju, are best friends who come from very different backgrounds. When they are old enough, they begin working in the sea with their village’s all-female diving collective, led by Young-sook’s mother. As the girls take up their positions as baby divers, they know they are beginning a life of excitement and responsibility but also danger. Little do they know that after surviving hundreds of dives and developing the closest of bonds, forces outside their control will push their friendship to the breaking point.

The Islanders by Meg Mitchell Moore - Fiction

Over the 12 short weeks of summer, three strangers --- former literary star Anthony Puckett, whoopie pie café owner Joy Sousa, and working mother Lu Trusdale --- will meet and grow close, share secrets and bury lies on Block Island. As the promise of June turns into the chilly nights of August, the truth will come out, forcing each of them to decide what they value most, and what they are willing to give up to keep it.

Kick-Ass Kinda Girl: A Memoir of Life, Love, and Caregiving by Kathi Koll - Memoir


Straight from a Hollywood movie script, Kathi and Don Koll built a life of adventure traveling to far off lands at the behest of royalty and heads of state, surviving a carjacking, and cracking jokes with the president. Their joie de vivre made everything feel possible until Don woke up "locked in" after his catastrophic stroke. With unflinching honesty and humor, Kathi shares the realities of a life in uncharted territory as a full-time caregiver. Her ability to share sorrows while laughing at herself helped her find a "New Normal" where she and Don could live each day to its fullest.

Last Woman Standing by Amy Gentry - Psychological Thriller

Dana Diaz is an aspiring stand-up comedian. When she meets a tough computer programmer named Amanda Dorn, the two bond over their struggles in boys’ club professions. Dana confides that she’s recently been harassed and assaulted while in L.A., and Amanda comes up with a plan: they should go after each other’s assailants. But Dana finds that revenge, however sweet, draws her into a more complicated series of betrayals. Soon her distrust turns to paranoia, encompassing strangers, friends --- and even herself. At what cost will she get her vengeance? Who will end up getting hurt? And when it’s all over, will there be anyone left to trust?

Lifelines by Heidi Diehl - Fiction


It’s 1971 when Louise leaves Oregon for Düsseldorf, a city grappling with its nation’s horrific recent history, to study art. Soon she’s embroiled in a scene dramatically different from the one at home, thanks in large part to Dieter, a mercurial musician. Their romance ignites quickly, but life gets in the way: an unplanned pregnancy, hasty marriage, the tense balance of their creative ambitions, and --- finally, fatally --- a family secret that shatters Dieter and drives Louise home. But in 2008, she’s headed to Dieter’s mother’s funeral. As she flies into the heart of her past, she reckons with the choices she made, and the ones she didn’t, just as her family --- current and former --- must consider how Louise’s life has shaped their own, for better and for worse.

A Nearly Normal Family written by M.T. Edvardsson, translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles - Psychological/Legal Thriller

Eighteen-year-old Stella Sandell stands accused of the brutal murder of a man almost 15 years her senior. She is an ordinary teenager from an upstanding local family. What reason could she have to know a shady businessman, let alone to kill him? Stella’s father (a pastor) and mother (a criminal defense attorney) find their moral compasses tested as they defend their daughter, while struggling to understand why she is a suspect. Told in an unusual three-part structure, A NEARLY NORMAL FAMILY asks the questions: How well do you know your own children? How far would you go to protect them?

The Night Before by Wendy Walker - Psychological Thriller

Devastated by the end of her last relationship, Laura Lochner fled her Wall Street job and New York City apartment for her sister’s home in the Connecticut suburb where they both grew up. Though still haunted by the tragedy that’s defined her entire life, Laura is determined to take one more chance on love with a man she’s met on an Internet dating site. Rosie Ferro has spent most of her life worrying about her troubled sister. Fearless but fragile, Laura has always walked an emotional tightrope. So when Laura does not return home the following morning from her blind date, Rosie fears the worst. As she begins a desperate search to find her sister, she is not just worried about what this man might have done to Laura. She’s worried about what Laura may have done to him.

She Was the Quiet One by Michele Campbell - Mystery

For Rose Enright, enrolling in a prestigious New England boarding school is the opportunity of a lifetime. But for Rose’s vulnerable twin sister Bel, Odell Academy is a place of temptation and danger. When Bel falls in with a crowd of wild rich kids who pressure her into hazing Rose, the sisters’ relationship is shattered. Rose turns to her dorm mother, Sarah Donovan, for advice. But Bel turns to Sarah’s husband Heath, a charismatic and ambitious teacher. Is Heath trying to help Bel or take advantage of her? In a world of privilege, seduction and manipulation, only one sister will live to tell the truth.

Sisters of Summer's End by Lori Foster - Fiction

When single mom Joy Lee abandoned her old life to take a job at a lakeside resort, she found something that her family’s wealth and influence could never buy: peace of mind. But when her new friend, Maris, dares her to take a chance with the drive-in’s charismatic new owner, everything changes for Joy and her young son. A difficult childhood has left Maris Kennedy with definite priorities. Her job running Summer’s End, the camp store and café, comes first. But the more she encourages Joy to open herself up to new experiences, the more Maris begins to wonder what she, too, might be missing. Soon they form a friendship that leaves them as close as sisters --- and open to love where they least expect it.

The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali - Fiction

Roya is a dreamy, idealistic teenager who finds a literary oasis in kindly Mr. Fakhri’s neighborhood book and stationery shop. When Mr. Fakhri introduces Roya to Bahman, who has a burning passion for justice and a love for Rumi’s poetry, she loses her heart at once. A few months later, on the eve of their marriage, Roya agrees to meet Bahman at the town square, but violence suddenly erupts --- a result of the coup d’etat that forever changes their country’s future. In the chaos, Bahman never shows. More than 60 years later, though, an accident of fate leads Roya back to Bahman and offers her a chance to ask him the questions that have haunted her for more than half a century: Why did he leave? Where did he go? How was he able to forget her?

The Summer of Sunshine and Margot by Susan Mallery - Fiction


An etiquette coach, Margot’s latest client is Bianca, an aging movie star. Schooling Bianca on the fine art of behaving like a proper diplomat’s wife requires intensive lessons, forcing Margot to move into the monastery turned mansion owned by the actress’s intensely private son. Like his incredible home, Alec’s stony exterior hides secret depths Margot would love to explore. But will he trust her enough to let her in? Sunshine has always been the good-time sister, abandoning jobs to chase after guys who used her, then threw her away. This time, though, she will finish college, dedicate herself to her job as a nanny, and not screw up her life again by falling for the wrong guy. Especially not the tempting single dad who also happens to be her boss.

The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams - Historical Fiction


In the summer of 1951, Miranda Schuyler arrives on elite, secretive Winthrop Island, still reeling from the loss of her father in the Second World War. When her beautiful mother marries Hugh Fisher, Miranda is catapulted into a heady new world of pedigrees and cocktails, status and swimming pools. Isobel Fisher, Miranda’s new stepsister, is eager to draw Miranda into the arcane customs of Winthrop society. Uneasy among Isobel’s privileged friends, she finds herself drawn to Joseph Vargas, who has enjoyed an intense, complex friendship with Isobel. As the summer winds to its end, Miranda is caught in a catastrophe that will shatter Winthrop’s hard-won tranquility and banish her from the island for nearly two decades.

Time After Time by Lisa Grunwald - Historical Fiction

On a clear December morning in 1937, at the famous gold clock in Grand Central Terminal, Joe Reynolds, a hardworking railroad man from Queens, meets a vibrant young woman who seems mysteriously out of place. Nora Lansing is a Manhattan socialite whose flapper clothing, pearl earrings and talk of the Roaring Twenties don’t seem to match the bleak mood of Depression-era New York. Captivated by Nora from her first electric touch, Joe despairs when he tries to walk her home and she disappears. Finding her again --- and again --- will become the focus of his love and his life.