BJ Knapp author of Beside the Music enjoyed Miranda Nights by Gail Ward Olmsted

Miranda Nights by Gail Ward OlmstedOMG! I loved this one. It was the sequel to Miranda Writes. In this one Miranda is the host of a night time legal talk show, and she has a guy call in who says creepy things. The guy turns into a full on stalker and she has to figure out who he is. I love that she also has some subplots going on too—her best friend’s teenage son is charged with distribution of child pornography when pictures of him being intimate with his also teenaged girlfriend are hacked and shared, and her stepmom has a health scare. Olmsted has Miranda navigate all this stuff all while she’s trying to keep her career as a talk show host going. A great read! Bring it to the beach.

BJ Knapp author of Beside the Music enjoyed Beyond That, the Sea by Laura Spence-Ash

Beyond That, the Sea by Laura Spence-Ash This is the story about two families living through WWII. One is a British family who sends their only daughter, age 11, to America to live with an American family so she can be safe. Bea lives with this American family for about 5 years. When she goes back to London after the war she finds she doesn’t really belong anywhere. During the war her father died and her mother remarried, the life she left is not at all the same. But she also doesn’t really belong in America either as she’s always that girl who was sent here to avoid the bombing in London. It’s a multi decade story about how these families live in the aftermath of war, pretty awesome.

BJ Knapp author of Beside the Music enjoyed The Lost Girls of Willowbrook by Ellen Marie Wiseman

The Lost Girls of Willowbrook by Ellen Marie Wiseman Whoa! I was kind of obsessed with this one. Sage is a teenage girl whose twin died several years earlier. Or she thought Rosemary died. Until she overheard her stepfather saying that Rosemary had gone missing from the notorious Williowbrook school. This story took place in the 70s on Staten Island and Willowbrook is where mentally handicapped and mentally challenged people were sent. It’s a real place that was shut down I think in the 90s? Anyway, so Sage takes the bus to go there to help search for Rosemary, after she’s pissed that her sister was sent away and everyone told her she’d died. On the bus her purse got stolen. She rolled up to the hospital and is easily mistaken for Rosemary and they send her back in to this horrific asylum. The place is an absolute nightmare of neglect and just horror-people are drugged up, injured and dying right and left. Nobody will believe that she is not Rosemary until she befriends a janitor who believes her and tries to help her escape. A lot of residents went missing from this place, but the administration kind of didn’t care about it, and it’s because of a serial killer. While this is all happening Geraldo Rivera did an expose on the place (true thing that happened!) and showed everyone how mistreated the residents are. Like they wouldn’t even let the families into see where the residents lived. So, the janitor helps Sage get out and then she puts all the pieces together and figures out what happened to Rosemary and figures out who the actual serial killer is. An insane story.

BJ Knapp is the author of Beside the Music, available for purchase here. Please sign up for the Backstage with BJ Knapp mailing list to get updates on events, signings, dog pictures and so much more.