The best books of the week

My Dark Vanessa
Kate Elizabeth Russell (fiction, William Morrow)
Jacob Strane, a high-school English teacher, has just been accused of sexual abuse by a former student. It isn’t the first time. The student reaches out to Vanessa Wye, a young woman with a similar experience with Strane when she was 15. When she gets the message, Vanessa has to make a choice: Stay silent — she believes their relationship was consensual — or take a painful look at her past? One of the biggest releases of the season.

The Light in Hidden Places
Sharon Cameron (young adult fiction, Scholastic Press)
While a novel, this tells the incredible true story of Stefania Podgorska, a Polish teenager who made the courageous decision to hide 13 Jews in her attic. Shortly thereafter, there’s a knock on the door from two Nazi officers requisitioning her house for the German army.

A Good Neighborhood
Therese Anne Fowler (fiction, St. Martin’s Press)
Valerie Alston-Holt has new neighbors in the close-knit neighborhood of Oak Knoll; a family that has razed the existing house and trees to build themselves a big, showy new home. Valerie’s son Xavier is biracial and headed for college. When he starts a relationship with the new girl next door, issues of money, race and entitlement present themselves.

New Waves
Kevin Nguyen (fiction, One World)
Lucas and Margo are co-workers and friends navigating the tech-bro world of the startup where they work. Fed up, they hatch a plan to get revenge by stealing the company database. But when Margo suddenly dies in a random accident, Lucas is left alone, hacking into Margo’s computer for answers about his best friend.

Black Widow
Leslie Gray Streeter (Essays, Little, Brown)
Subtitled “A Sad-Funny Journey Through Grief for People Who Normally Avoid Books with Words like ‘Journey’ in the Title,” Streeter has written a laugh-out-loud book for women who aren’t ready to navigate widowhood in the traditional way (ie., she just as soon would have worn a leopard print dress to the graveside service).

Precious You
Helen Monks Takhar (fiction, Random House)
Fortysomething Editor-in-Chief Katherine Ross is hanging on to her title by a narrow thread. When her new intern Lily arrives, Katherine dismisses her as a typical snowflake millennial. But when the two strike up an uneasy friendship, Katherine realizes she underestimates the younger woman at her own peril. A delicious generational struggle ensues.

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