One Clear Ice-Cold January Morning At The Beginning Of The Twenty-First Century by Roland Schimmerlpfennig

The Blurb On The Back:

One clear ice-cold January morning shortly after dawn, a wolf crosses the border between Poland and Germany.  His trail leads all the way to Berlin, connecting the lives of disparate individuals whose paths intersect and diverge.

On an icy motorway eighty kilometres outside the city, a fuel tanker jack-knifes and explodes.  The lone wolf is glimpsed on the hard shoulder and photographed by Tomasz, a Polish construction worker who cannot survive in Germany without his girlfriend.  Elisabeth and Micha run away through the snow from their home village, crossing the wolf’s tracks on their way to the city.  A woman burns her mother’s diaries on a Berlin balcony.  And Elisabeth’s father, a famous sculptor, observes the vast skeleton of a whale in his studio and asks: What am I doing here?  And why?

Experiences and encounters flicker past with a raw, visual power, like frames in a black and white film.  Those who catch sight of the wolf see their own lives reflected, and find themselves searching for a different path in a cold time. 

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Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala

The Blurb On The Back:

On the surface, Niru leads a charmed life. Raised by two attentive parents in Washington, DC, he’s a top student and an athletics star at his prestigious private high school.  Bound for Harvard, his prospects are bright.  But Niru has a painful secret: he is gay – an abominable sin to his conservative Nigerian parents.  No one knows except his best friend, Meredith – the one person who seems not to judge him.

When his father accidentally finds out, the fallout is brutal and swift.  Coping with troubles of her own, however, Meredith finds that she has little left emotionally to offer him.  As the two friends struggle to reconcile their desires against the expectations and institutions that seek to define them, they find themselves speeding towards a future more violent and senseless than they can imagine.  Neither will escape unscathed.

Speak No Evil is a novel about the power of words and self-identification, about who gets to speak and who has the power to speak for other people.

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The Colour Of The Sun by David Almond

The Blurb On The Back:

One hot summer morning, Davie steps boldly out of his front door.  The world he enters is very familiar – the little Tyneside town that has always been his home – but as the day passes, it becomes ever more dramatic and strange.

A boy has been killed, and Davie thinks he might know who is responsible.  He turns away from the gossip and excitement and sets off roaming towards the sunlit summit at the top of the town, where the real and imaginary world begin to blur.

Davie sees things on the hillside that show him that amongst immorality, there can be kindness and in darkness, there is a chance for hope.  

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Seventeen by Hideo Yokoyama

The Blurb On The Back:

Five hundred and twenty people died on that mountain.

That sparkling mountain.

1985.  Kazumasa Yuuki, a seasoned reporter at the North Kanto Times, runs a daily gauntlet against the power struggles and office politics that plague its newsroom. But when an air disaster of unprecedented scale occurs on the paper’s doorstep, its staff are united by an unimaginable horror, and a once-in-a-lifetime scoop

2003.  Seventeen years later, Yuuki remembers the adrenaline-fuelled, emotionally charged seven days that changed his and his colleagues’ lives. He does so while making good on a promise he made that fateful week – one that holds the key to its last unsolved mystery, and represents Yuuki’s final, unconquered fear.

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Restless Souls by Dan Sheehan

The Blurb On The Back:

After three years embedded in the Siege of Sarajevo, war correspondent Tom returns to Dublin a haunted shell of his former self.  His childhood friends Karl and Baz know they’re laughably unqualified to help him, but are determined to see him through the darkness.  Together, they embark on a journey for an unlikely cure, to an experimental Californian clinic called Restless Souls.

But as they try to save Tom from his memories, they must confront their own – of what happened to their childhood friend Gabriel.  And in doing so, they must ask how their raucously funny teenage souls became weighed down – and why life got so damn complicated and sad.  

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The Twelve Lives Of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti

The Blurb On The Back:

After years spent living on the run, Samuel Hawley moves with his teenage daughter Loo to Olympus, Massachusetts. There, in his late wife’s hometown, Hawley finds work as a fisherman, while Loo struggles to fit in at school and grows curious about her mother’s mysterious death. Haunting them both are twelve scars Hawley carries on his body, from twelve bullets in his criminal past, a past that eventually spills over into his daughter’s present, until together they must face a reckoning yet to come. 

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My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent

The Blurb On The Back:

Sometimes strength is not the same as courage.

Sometimes leaving is not the only way to escape.

Sometimes surviving isn’t enough. 

At 14, Turtle Alveston knows the use of every gun on her wall; that chaos is coming and only the strong will survive it; that her daddy loves her more than anything else in this world. And he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her with him.

She doesn’t know why she feels so different from the other girls at school; why the line between love and pain can be so hard to see; why making a friend may be the bravest and most terrifying thing she has ever done and what her daddy will do when he finds out …

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The President’s Gardens by Muhsin Al-Ramli

The Blurb On The Back:

On the third day of Ramadan, the village wakes to find the severed heads of nine of its sons stacked in banana crates by the bus stop.

One of them belonged to one of the most wanted men in Iraq, known to his friends as Ibrahim the Fated.

How did this good and humble man earn the enmity of so many?  What did he do to deserve such a death?

The answer lies in his lifelong friendship with Abdullah Kafka and Tariq the Befuddled, who each have their own remarkable stories to tell.

It lies on the scarred, irradiated battlefields of the Gulf War and in the ashes of a revolution strangled in its cradle.

It lies in the steadfast love of his wife and the festering scorn of his daughter.

And, above all, it lies behind the locked gates of The President’s Gardens, buried alongside the countless victims of a pitiless reign of terror. 

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The Taste Of Blue Light by Lydia Ruffles

The Blurb On The Back:

What happened to you, Lux Langley, to make your nightmares turn red?

These are the things Lux knows:

She is an Artist.

She is lucky.

She is broken

These are the things she doesn’t know:

What happened after the party.

Why she ended up in hospital.

Why she is dreaming in red and screaming in the dark. 

Desperate to uncover the truth, Lux’s time is running out.  If she cannot piece together the events of that fateful night and regain control of her scorched and splintered mind, she will be taken away from everything and everyone she holds dear.

If the nightmares don’t take her first. 

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Before This Is Over by Amanda Hickie

The Blurb On The Back:

A normal family.  A quiet, leafy street.  A terrifying epidemic.

It’s been coming for a while: a lethal illness.  With sons of five and fourteen to look out for Hannah has been stockpiling supplies, despite everyone telling her that it’s unnecessary.

Then it arrives.

At first there are a few unconfirmed cases.  Then a death.  Now the whole city is quarantined.  But Hannah’s family is not yet safe behind their locked front door …

Basics soon become luxuries, and neighbours become hazards.  There are power cuts, food shortages and an ever-growing sense of claustrophobia.  How will the family cope?

How would you cope?

How far would you go to protect your children? 

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