Waiting on Wednesday: ‘The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried’ by Shaun David Hutchinson

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly series hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming book releases we can’t wait to get our hands on.

This week’s Waiting on Wednesday pick is about the bonds that last beyond death (read: friendship is magic): The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried by Shaun David Hutchinson.

Described as Six Feet Under meets Pushing Daisies (yaaaassss), Hutchinson’s novel follows a teen named Dino who is accustomed to death — mostly because his parents own a funeral home.

Despite his unique living situation, things are pretty normal for Dino … until his ex-bestie July returns from the dead. You know, totally normal teen stuff.

The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried hits shelves everywhere on February 19, 2019, and we can’t wait to get our undead hands on it.

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Do Some Good: Donate a Book (or Two, or Three)

We need your help! And by we I mean our community service group Kindness Corps, which operates out of the Pride Center of NJ.

We are running a book donation drive in the month of October benefiting the organization LGBT Books to Prisoners, which is a “trans-affirming, racial justice-focused, prison abolitionist project sending books to incarcerated LGBTQ-identified people across the United States.”

They are currently looking for softcover books that are new — or like new — in the following categories (listed after the jump).

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My Year in Reading: Cassie-la’s August 2018 Wrap Up

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig (★★★½)

Part memoir, part self-help(ish) book, part something else entirely, Matt Haig’s Reasons to Stay Alive seeks to remove the stigma society places on depression, by revealing the author’s own struggles with the disease, as well as peppering the book with facts and statistics on depression and suicide. Super personal and very raw, I see this as a sort of companion to Notes on a Nervous Planet, which is structured in a very similar manner. Warning: this one is not nearly as light-hearted, but equally helpful.

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage (★★★½)

Baby Teeth stars a pint-sized sociopath with designs to kill her mother, the mother herself, and the father who is completely oblivious to his wife and daughter’s true selves. You know, totally normal family dynamic type stuff. The story is made up of alternating chapters that switch between the crazed daughter who is too smart/demonic to be believable, and her mother, who is convinced she will never be a good enough wife and mother. While a super interesting premise — mostly because the kid is not alright — the plot definitely drags at times.

Rust & Stardust by T. Greenwood (★★★★★)

Rust & Stardust is based on the 1948 kidnapping of 11-year-old Florence “Sally” Horner, a crime that would go on to inspire the Vladimir Nabokov classic Lolita. Despite being pulled straight from history, Greenwood’s novel is less a true crime story and more historical fiction, exploring the horrors that Sally was most likely forced to endure during her 21-month ordeal, and the ramifications it had on the people in her life. This heartbreaking and beautifully written novel deserves every single star (and then some).

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Creator Q&A: ‘The Mechanic’ Author Ian Evans and Illustrator Loriana Takacs

Writer and teacher Ian Evans has created something truly unique: The Mechanic, an existential poem that’s illustrated to mimic a one-shot comic book.

The illustrated verse centers around the titular mechanic, who dwells on his life while working on a vehicle. According to the author, “it is a dark, psychological character study revolving around the theme of how the routines of a mundane life come into conflict with the desire to leave a lasting impact on the world.

To learn more about this unique work, we had a virtual chat with the author himself, and the comic’s illustrator Loriana Takacs, who are in the process of funding their intriguing project through Kickstarter.

Head below the jump for the full Q&A!

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My Year in Reading: Cassie-la’s July 2018 Wrap Up

Scream All Night by Derek Milman (★★★½)

On the outside, Scream All Night looks like a horror novel, but twist: it’s actually a coming of age story. The YA debut follows emancipated teen Dario, who is forced back into the family business (which just so happens to be his father’s B-horror movie film studio). Full of an eccentric cast of characters and some tough subject matter, Milman’s novel explores what happens when the monsters are found behind the camera. [Read our creator Q&A with author Derek Milman.]

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen (★★★★★)

I loved this super fast-paced science fiction story more than I ever could have imagined. Full of complex characters and shocking twists and turns, Nyxia features a definitely evil corporation who are taking young people to another planet to mine a mysterious material know as Nyxia. What could go wrong? Since this is the first book in the series, it’s focused solely on the kid’s training before arriving on Eden, a second earth-like planet inhabited by humanoid creatures known as Adamites.

The Traitor’s Kiss by Erin Beaty (★★★½)

The Traitor’s Kiss started off super promising, but unfortunately, things got real dumb real fast, and the story completely lost me toward the end. Set during an indistinguishable time period where everyone has to be paired by a matchmaker, this book definitely should have been a standalone novel. While things start off great with the matchmaking stuff, this far superior/way more interesting section was mostly glossed over to make way for a time jump and some nonsensical plot about spies and secret princes for no reason.

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