(Good Things Utah) Spring has arrived, and so have some excellent new reads: a fantasy adventure for grown-ups, a spiritual memoir about surviving trauma, and a family journey with a beloved Labrador.

Each month, Melissa Dalton Martinez picks three books to recommend and shows viewers what she suggests to read. Take a look at these 3 recommendations!

God of Neverland by Gama Ray Martinez

Her first recommendation is a fantasy follow-up to the immortal tale of the boy who never grew up. God of Neverland by Gama Ray Martinez comes to us 120 years after J. M. Barrie’s novel, The Little White Bird, which was the introduction to the iconic character, Peter Pan, with more lore, sword fights, and reimagined characters from mythology. Some of the harsh realities have no place disrupting the dreams of children.

However, when Peter Pan disappears, not only Neverland but the imagination of every child is in danger of being lost. Now, Michael must return to the fantasy land of his boyhood to face new challenges and find Peter Pan in time to save both worlds.

Peter Pan or other portal fantasy realms like Narnia or Wonderland, God of Neverland gives us the amazing gift of continuing the adventure so we can venture once more into the realms of our childhood dreams. God of Neverland releases April 12th from Harper Voyager and is the first of The Defenders of Lore series.

Beautiful Ashes by Shelly Edwards Jorgensen

An inspirational and moving memoir about rising up from the ashes, Beautiful Ashes by Shelly Edwards Jorgensen takes us through her journey in the aftermath of extreme tragedy and hardship and eventually toward spiritual rebirth.  

Beautiful Ashes: A True Story of Murder, Betrayal, and One Woman’s Search for Peace, already paints a very strong picture in the reader’s mind, which the author fulfills with strong, vivid storytelling of real-life events. At age fifteen, Shelly lost her mother when their house burned down, and soon after her father when he was convicted of the arson and murder.

In this memoir, the author shows us the painful process of growing up in those circumstances and the faith-based road she took toward recovery, alcohol abuse and sexual assault in addition to a real murder.

Ultimately, however, Shelly Edwards Jorgensen’s story uplifts through messages of faith, love, hope, and courage, which could be very beneficial to survivors of abuse and people coping with PTSD.

Even the Dog Knows by Jason F. Wright

The final recommendation is Even the Dog Knows, a literary fiction novel by Jason F. Wright about the trials and tribulations of one couple across many years and several state lines, much of it from the point of view of their loyal dog, Moses passes. Gary, stuck in his grief over the death of his daughter, breaks out of his routine by loading up the old bus with the dog and his grandson.

Together, they set off on a cross-country drive, and, with the help of Moses where they have a chance to grow and set some things right, especially with the help of a family pet. This novel put’s to mind Sharon Creech’s Walk Two Moons, but with more of a focus on the grandparents and with the added wisdom of a well-written canine perspective. 

If you’re looking for a heartwarming family drama about love and four-legged companions, you can’t go wrong with Even the Dog Knows.

Want to win one of these books for free?

Visit The Book Break website and enter to win a book for FREE! Winners will be chosen the morning of Friday, April 15th!

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