Melissa Walker

Three favorites from the YA novelist's shelves.

 

Melissa Walker's novels feature young women who are seeking to define themselves in a world that wants to oversimplify them, such as Violet Greenfield, star of the Walker's popular series about the not-so-confident model. In Unbreak My Heart, Clementine Williams tries to put her traumatic Sophomore year behind her by spending the summer on her parents' sailboat. But love finds a way onboard. When we asked Walker to pick her three favorite reads, she responded, "I love so many books, but these three Young Adult novels come to mind for me as 'favorites' again and again. I think I've figured out why: I can hear these characters talking. I love a good voice."

 

Books by Melissa Walker

 


 

Gentlemen

By Michael Northrop

 

"This one's about real boys, and real darkness, the kind that lives inside all of us but is acted upon by only a few. What I love most about this story is that these are the guys I didn't know in high school, the ones who didn't talk in class or go to Prom. So getting to be a fly on the wall with them felt like being let into a very secret room."

 


 

Gingerbread

By Rachel Cohn

 

"Cyd Charisse, with her rag doll companion and her surfer boyfriend and her real-dad drama, is an instant BFF for any reader. Going on this journey with her -- during the summer she's spending in NYC with her biological father and his family, whom she hardly knows -- is like hanging out with a hugely insightful friend who's finding her way, and helping you find yours too."

 


 

Tyrell

By Coe Booth

 

"Talk about hearing a book, this one's got a voice that echoes for days. Tyrell and his story -- of girls and no-money and music and little brother love and parent problems and community love and neighborhood strife in the Bronx -- will ring in your ears long after you turn the last page."

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Paradise and Elsewhere

Canadian short story marvel Kathy Page emerges as the Alice Munro of the supernatural from these heartfelt tales of shapeshifting swimmers, mild-mannered cannibals, and personality-shifting viruses transmitted through kisses.

Pastoral

When a persuasive pastor arrives in a sleepy farm town, his sage influence has otherworldly results (talking sheep, a mayor who walks on water). But can he pull off the miracle of finding kindly local Liz Denny the love of her life?  Small wonder looms large in this charmer from Andre Alexis.

The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).