Monday, January 1, 2024

First Book of the Year 2024

Happy New Year! I hope the new year is finding you happy and well. If the first book of the year sets the reading tone and expectations for the year to come, I'm excited to make mine a diverse horror novel that I'm reading with friends.

The Reformatory by Tananarive Due

A gripping, page-turning novel set in Jim Crow Florida that follows Robert Stephens Jr. as he’s sent to a segregated reform school that is a chamber of terrors where he sees the horrors of racism and injustice, for the living, and the dead.

Gracetown, Florida
June 1950

Twelve-year-old Robbie Stephens, Jr., is sentenced to six months at the Gracetown School for Boys, a reformatory, for kicking the son of the largest landowner in town in defense of his older sister, Gloria. So begins Robbie’s journey further into the terrors of the Jim Crow South and the very real horror of the school they call The Reformatory.

Robbie has a talent for seeing ghosts, or haints. But what was once a comfort to him after the loss of his mother has become a window to the truth of what happens at the reformatory. Boys forced to work to remediate their so-called crimes have gone missing, but the haints Robbie sees hint at worse things. Through his friends Redbone and Blue, Robbie is learning not just the rules but how to survive. Meanwhile, Gloria is rallying every family member and connection in Florida to find a way to get Robbie out before it’s too late.

The Reformatory is a haunting work of historical fiction written as only American Book Award–winning author Tananarive Due could, by piecing together the life of the relative her family never spoke of and bringing his tragedy and those of so many others at the infamous Dozier School for Boys to the light in this riveting novel.

If you would like to join us during the month of January (or pop in later to view our thoughts), we will be discussing The Reformatory on the Horror Spotlight discord.

What will be your first book of the year? Do you pick something specific to celebrate or do you just read what you are in the middle of/next on your list?


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  1. Happy New Year! I hope your first book is a hit!

  2. Happy reading! And Happy New Year, too. :D

  3. Happy New Year. I hope you find a lot of good books this year.

  4. Happy New Year! This sounds spooky as well as enlightening (in a sad way).

    I'm not even sure what my first book of the year is going to be yet lol.

  5. Oh wow! This sounds so interesting. If I weren't on a fantasy kick right now, I'd join you. I hope you enjoy it.

    1. Ugh! I keep forgetting that I can't comment on blogspot blogs using Safari.

  6. Happy new year! I loved The Reformatory, hope you'll enjoy it too!


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