Five Small Press/Indie Titles You Won’t Want To Miss

The Girl Who Played Chess with an AngelThe Girl Who Played Chess With an Angel by Tessa Apa

From my review: “As she wrestles with her father’s sudden death and her mother’s bitterness, Florence begins to see life beyond her own needs. In her tenuous friendship with Max, she finds the courage to ask an even bigger question: is God real? Both Max and her mother are quick to provide their own answers to this deep question, but that’s not enough… Filled with yearning and honesty, Florence’s journey is as captivating as she is. Apa dares to dive deep, to genuinely question, and to allow her characters that which makes them so human: permission to doubt. She brings an authenticity to her debut novel that few authors are able to show in stories of spiritual journeys. This is a very worthy read.”

Secrets of the RealmSecrets of the Realm by Bev Stout

From my review: “Annie wants nothing of the frills and restrictions of female life, especially now that she’s had a taste of the sea. But if her identity is discovered, will she have any choice over her future? Though it begins a little roughly, the story quickly rights itself, launching into a great adventure at sea, peppered with memorable characters, moments of suspense and heartache. Readers will enjoy losing themselves in the rich tapestry of history. Secrets of the Realm is also available as an audiobook.”

Clifton Chase and the Arrow of LightClifton Chase and the Arrow of Light by Jaimie M. Engle

From my review: “Inspired by true historical events, this middle grade adventure novel weaves history together with mythical creatures and memorable characters to create a highly entertaining story. Though this is Engle’s debut novel, she handles story like a pro, barely giving the reader a moment to catch breath before leaping off into new twists and turns. Readers who enjoy middle grade adventure stories will not be disappointed in this charming tale.”

Edna in the Desert by Maddy LedermanEdna in the Desert by Maddy Lederman

From my review: “Lederman creates a memorable cast of characters, each unique and fascinating. As a parent, it’s frightening to witness Edna’s cool confidence and mastery at manipulation. One wants to slap them all the way to parenting classes. Edna’s grandmother is probably the most complex and interesting character of the cast. The narrative is peppered with truly insightful moments, though frequent ricochets from one character’s deep point-of-view to another’s sometimes interrupt the flow of the story. The deepening of Edna’s character and values and the closeness she develops with her grandparents make this a sweet, moving story.”

TriskTrisk by Kenny X

From my review: “Sports fans be warned: Trisk is packed with high-energy, over-the-top action. Non-sports fans: the sharp wit of the author and the high stakes of the game make this debut novel a hard one to put down. While a few passages delve into the techniques and strategy of the game for which the book is titled, much of the story centers around the underdog team and its star member, his struggle to remain honorable and valiant in the face of an amoral country drowning in a sports obsession. The story is told with a sort of wry, intelligent voice, though sometimes it drifts into metaphors which obscure what’s actually happening and become confusing. For the most part, the writing is as entertaining as the story itself.”

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About Kasey Giard

I'm a mama, reader, and writer. Passionate about peppermint (it's not just for Christmas, okay?!), fly fishing, and movie night.

2 Responses to Five Small Press/Indie Titles You Won’t Want To Miss

  1. AshleeW says:

    These look great! I always love to see reviews of the lesser-known books that are still just as wonderful as the big-press ones! Thanks so much – definitely going to check out one or two of these very soon 🙂

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