Read This Now: The Index
What if there were an army of indie booksellers enthusiastically reading and reviewing practically every new book coming out in the next year, and what if the books they were the most excited about, the books they couldn't wait to push into their customers' hands with a breathless "You've GOT to read this!" (virtually or otherwise), the ones with all the nine- and ten-star ratings were carefully curated and collected in a handy list? Well, all we can say is...KEEP READING!
If that's what makes you pick it up, fine. Just do it.
Matthew, a 16-year-old boy living in Queens loses both his father and his grandfather. His mother uproots the now family of two to Manhattan. He starts an unlikely friendship with two tenants in his building: Lou Reed and his trans girlfriend Rachel. Lou becomes a quasi-shamanic father figure to the boy as he navigates his lonely path to becoming a man.
If you walk away from having read this book without feeling the deepest empathy for teenagers and your own teenage self, you're just a stone, man. You can't be reached.
The Perfume Burned His Eyes by Michael Imperioli ( $25.95*, Akashic Books), recommended by Fountain Books, Richmond, VA.