Staff members at PEOPLE reveal fiction picks

Updated July 31, 2014 06:45 PM

Few topics are more intriguing than matters of the heart. Take this week’s cover story for instance: a pregnant young wife of a Marine goes missing amid rumors of a military love triangle. When youth, passion and pain collide, it’s hard to look away. This week, our staff’s fiction choices are about just that – be it doomed romance or lost loved ones, these young protagonists are on an emotional roller coaster.

Share your thoughts on their choices, and let us know what you’re reading.

Zo Ruderman, Deputy Style and Beauty Director

Her Pick:

Help for the Haunted by John Searles

I read John Searles’s first book because I had to (he was my first boss and yes, I felt obligated!). But it was so good that I read his next one. And I practically counted down the days leading up to his third, Help for the Haunted. I tore through the whole thing in a week, but it was just released in paperback, so I’m bringing it on vacation with me next week. I can’t wait to re-read the story of Sylvie, a girl whose parents (a couple who help “haunted souls” find peace) are murdered, and her search for answers. It’s part coming-of-age, part mystery and it manages to be both dark and, somehow, sweet and touching.

Gail Nussbaum, Reporter
Her Pick: All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

As I prepared to go on vacation and escape real life, the last thing I thought I’d be reading would be a World War II novel. But on the advice of my husband, I picked up this book that chronicles the parallel lives of two young people on opposite sides of the war. Doerr’s protagonists are a young, blind French girl who, along with her father, flees Paris to live in isolation with a relative, and a young German orphan-turned-soldier who, because of his talent, becomes a radio communications expert. In alternating voices, Doerr weaves a lyrical, magical tale and, while presenting both sides of the war, he makes us understand the choices people are forced to make. When their lives finally intersect, you don’t want the book to end.

Zakiya Jamal, Editorial Intern

Her Pick:

Endless by Kate Brian

I love Kate Brian’s writing, so when I heard she was coming out with a new trilogy, I had to pick it up. Endless is the last book in her spooky Shadowlands series, and it centers on a girl named Rory who finds herself in Juniper Landing, a sort of purgatory, after she and her family are murdered. Tristan, a guy Rory trusted, has disappeared, and now she’s trying to uncover the truth and save her father from a fate worse than death. I’m completely hooked and trying to read fast, just so I can know how it’ll all end.

Check back Thursdays for more roundups of staff picks, and see more book reviews each week in PEOPLE magazine, on newsstands now. Plus, check out past staff picks like debut novels and more great book finds here.