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Book Review: Warren the 13th and the Whispering Woods – Tania del Rio and Will Staehle

Series: Warren the 13th #2 (See my review of book one here!)
Publisher: Quirk Books
Pages: 224
Find it on: Amazon. Goodreads.
Source: Quirk Books kindly sent me a copy of this book to review.

Synopsis:

This sequel to Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye begins soon after the first book’s conclusion.Twelve-year-old Warren has learned that his beloved hotel can walk, and now it’s ferrying guests around the countryside, transporting tourists to strange and foreign destinations. But when an unexpected detour brings everyone into the dark and sinister Malwoods, Warren finds himself separated from his hotel and his friends and racing after them on foot through a forest teeming with witches, snakes, talking trees, and mind-boggling riddles. Once again, you can expect stunning illustrations and gorgeous design from Will Staehle on every page along with plenty of nonstop action and adventure!

Review:

I recently read Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye in one sitting on Halloween. I loved it so much I dived straight into the second book in the series, Warren the 13th and the Whispering Woods. In this instalment Warren and his friends are back, this time in their moving hotel. All the favourite characters are back, including my new favourite Sketchy the monster. Like the previous book it is absolutely beautifully illustrated, and the overall design is stunning. I loved the red theme than ran through the All-Seeing Eye, and now the green for The Whispering Woods.

Whilst this story has plenty of action and excitement, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I enjoyed the previous book. It is a fun and charming read, but didn’t hook me in the same way. That being said I still think it’s a fabulous story, and a wonderful series for children and adults. This book has a much more witch centred theme than the All-Seeing Eye, and I loved the illustrations of the nasty witches and the evil Witch-Queen.

With Warren wandering around in the woods this book is very reminiscent of old fairy stories, and this was something that I really loved about the book. The book has lots of themes that I think appeal to little ones and not so little ones, like friendship, loyalty and bravery. If you’re looking for a fun read this winter, the Warren the 13th books are the gorgeous books you need to snuggle up with at bedtime.


Blog Tour: The Red Beach Hut – Lynn Michell

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Release Date: 4th October 2017
Publisher: Inspired Quill
Pages: 260
Find it on: Amazon. Goodreads. Inspired Quill Bookshop
Source: I was kindly sent a copy of this book to review.

Synopsis:

“Their eyes met and locked. Pulling his hand from his pocket, Neville waved. Once.”
Eight year old Neville is the first to notice that the red beach hut is occupied again.
Abbott, panicked by what he believes is a homophobic cyber attack, is on the run. The hut is his refuge and shelter.

Inevitably man and boy collide. Their fleeting friendship is poignant, honest and healing. But Abbot’s past threatens to tear him away, as others watch and self-interpret what they see.

An evocative portrayal of two outsiders who find companionship on a lonely beach, Lynn Michell’s novel is about the labels we give people who are different, and the harm that ensues.

Review:

 

I took this book on holiday with me because I thought it sounded like such a fascinating read. I unfortunately didn’t get to it until the very last day, and the dreaded wait in the airport. I settled in to start The Red Beach Hut and before I knew it the two hour wait had gone by. I was completely sucked in by this beautifully written book, so much so that I wish I could get the chance to read it for the first time again.

I loved everything about The Red Beach Hut. I could picture the quiet slightly run down seaside town, the kind of place I probably visited with my parents as a child. The images Michell conjours up are so vivid, and so typical of British life. I also thought the characters were fantastic. Child protagonist Neville is perfect, equal parts trusting and questioning. There’s also a host of secondary characters that I thought were really fascinating: Neville’s mum doing whatever she can to make ends meet, as well as the nosy neighbours Bill and Ida who make it their business to get involved with everything that is happening around the little seaside town. These characters felt very realistic, perfectly capturing the essence of real people.

The writing in The Red Beach Hut is enthralling, and I found myself completely absorbed in Michell’s words. The plot is a really fascinating one to think about: a lonely boy makes friends with a man living in a red beach hut, and how that looks from the outside perspective. It gives the reader a lot to think about, and is incredibly relevant with today’s media. I enjoyed The Red Beach Hut immensely, and can’t recommend it highly enough.

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Book Review: The Loneliest Girl in the Universe – Lauren James

32601841Release Date: 7th September 2017
Publisher: Walker Books
Pages: 290
Source: I was lucky to pick up an early copy at YALC!
Find it on: Amazon. Goodreads.

Synopsis:

Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met, never even spoken to – someone who is light years away?

Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew-member of a spaceship travelling to a new planet, on a mission to establish a second home for humanity amongst the stars. Alone in space, she is the loneliest girl in the universe until she hears about a new ship which has launched from Earth – with a single passenger on board. A boy called J.

Their only communication with each other is via email – and due to the distance between them, their messages take months to transmit across space. And yet Romy finds herself falling in love.

But what does Romy really know about J? And what do the mysterious messages which have started arriving from Earth really mean?

Sometimes, there’s something worse than being alone . . .

Review:

This is easily one of my favourite books of 2017. (I know I’ve said that a lot this year, 2017 has been a fabulous year for books after all). But honestly, I can’t reccommend this book highly enough. I’d heard some of the buzz about it on social media, and so when it was announced that people attending this years Young Adult Literature Convention would be able to buy early copies, I jumped at the chance.

This was my first outing into a book by Lauren James, but I’m now eager to read all her other books too. This book is superbly written, enveloping you completely in the claustrophobic confines of space.

I just adored the premise of this book – Romy Silver has never been to Earth, she was born in space, but now she’s completely alone living in a space ship in search of a new Earth for future generations. I loved Romy, the girl who has dealt with so much in her young life, yet never actually set foot on the earth, had a sleepover or been around anyone her own age.

Romy is smart, stubborn and a fantastic protagonist. She might be the youngest Commander of a spaceship, but she also just kind of wants to obsess over her favourite TV series and write fan fiction. She’s relatable in so many ways, she’s a bit awkward and suffers from anxiety – I absolutely adored her.

The plot of this book is tense, and more than a little creepy and on several occasions I definitely felt the urge to gasp out loud. James drew me in hook line and sinker, and I loved every second of it.

I must admit I had sort of expected to read this over a few days, the short chapters being great to read over my lunch break at work. However after getting home from YALC I decided to read the first few chapters and by then I was completely sucked in and finished the book in one sitting.

If you’re looking for a tense, superbly written mystery, The Loneliest Girl in the Universe is definitely the book to pick up this month.

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Feature: Liebster Award

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The lovely Katie at KatieJudgesBooks nominated me to do the Liebster Award Tag. I’ve never done this before so thank you so much Katie!

The rules

1. Acknowledge the blog who nominated you and display the award.
2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger gives you.
3. Nominate 11 blogs.
4. Notify those blogs of the nomination.
5. Give them 11 questions to answer.

Katie’s Questions

1) Why and how did you start blogging?

I started blogging after attending my first ever WorldCon in London. I met lots of lovely publishers and they gave me proof copies of some of my favourite authors and suggested I try reviewing them, especially if I wanted to work in the publishing industry. I figured I would give it a go and I got hooked. After taking a year or two out of doing it, I’m back to blogging as much as possible.

2) Does it ever feel like work and how do you juggle all the other responsibilities?
I think if you have a lot on it really can be difficult. When I was studying I definitely found it difficult to juggle blogging, working and studying. If you’re passionate about it though you should stick with it!

3) Do you ever connect with authors/chat with them?
Sometimes, I’ve started to try and participate in the Twitter Chats hosted online, these are really fun and there’s usually plenty of authors taking part.

4) Do you like writing reviews and what do you do when you have to write a bad review?
I always find it difficult to write a bad review. I think you have to be really careful and make sure that your review is constructive, no matter if you loved or hated the book. Writing reviews that just slate a book are no use to anybody. I love writing reviews for books I absolutely adored, although they quickly become a two page rant on how awesome it was.

5) Do you do tags and all these things or do you just post reviews?
I try to do book hauls and discussion type posts every now and then, as well as guest post and author reviews. I haven’t really done any tags, but I definitely want to do more.

6) Do you schedule your posts in advance or just go with it and try to post as regularly as possible?
I schedule posts if I have an agreed date i.e a blog tour or a particular date a review needs to go up, otherwise I just try and post a few times every week.

7) Do all your friends read or are you friends with people who do not read?
Actually most of my friends aren’t big readers, I have one or two who are crazy bookworms which is great, but it’s nice to have friends with other interests too.

8) What do you feel like when watching the movie/series not following the book?
I used to get quite upset about this., I was always the sort of person that would be like “but that’s not in the book!” but then I did a module at university on books and adaptation, and my lecturer talked a lot about how the two mediums are completely different things, there are plenty of reasons that things from books get changed – it might not translate, it doesn’t go with the flow of the film, budget reasons etc. She suggested that if you take them as two completely separate things, you’ll enjoy it a lot more in the long run.

9) Your favourite book at any point of life?
Oh goodness. I have so many books that I love. My favourite book is still probably The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. I read it when I was younger and adored it, and I’ve read it countless times since. I also hold a special place for George R. R. Martin’s books, particularly Fevre Dream and the A Song of Ice and Fire books. I also pretty much adore anything by Joe Abercrombie, Mark Lawrence, Leigh Bardugo and Sarah J. Maas.

10) Do you stick to one genre or do you read diverse books?
I do try and read diversely but I don’t think I’m very good at that. I love fantasy and science fiction books, so I tend to gravitate towards them, whether they’re adult or young adult doesn’t really bother me. I am also a big fan of historical fiction, crime thrillers and literary fiction, but I tend not to read them as often as I do fantasy books.

11) Did you like the books you had to read in school or not?
It’s funny because my English teacher at school estimated that I would probably fail at Higher (GCSE) level. I loved books, but not particularly the ones we studied in school. I loved Macbeth, but was never a fan books like To Kill A Mockingbird and Lord of the Flies. Now as a grown up I love both of those books, and I got an A in English, so what did he know!

My 11 questions are:

1. What is your favourite thing about being a blogger?
2. Is there anything in particular that got you into blogging?
3. Do you attend author events? If so which authors have you met?
4. You’re stranded on a desert island with only three books. What do you take?
5. How do you keep track of your review books, do you have a schedule or just pick them up as you see them?
6. Who are your favourite book bloggers to read reviews from?
7. You’re having a dinner party, which authors do you invite?
8. What’s the best book (or books) you’ve read so far in 2017?
9. Do you take part in the Goodreads Challenge? How many books have you set yourself and are you on track?
10. What’s one book everyone seems to love but you just didn’t like?
11. What’s your favourite book to screen adaptation?

So I’d like to nominate these lovely bloggers, (I totally apologise if you’ve done this tag already!)

Grace @ City of Novels
Faye @ A Day Dreamers Thoughts
Abby @ Anne Bonny Reviews
Jo @ Over the Rainbow
Tiffani @ The Book Venom
Drew @ The Tattooed Book Geek
The Maniacal Book Unicorn
Vanessa @ Postcards for Ariel
Nicola @ Fantastic Book Dragon
Chloe @ Chloe’s Cosy Corner
Rae @ A New Look On Books


Blog Tour: Done Dirt Cheap – Sarah Nicole Lemon

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Synopsis:

Tourmaline Harris’s life hit pause at fifteen, when her mom went to prison because of Tourmaline’s unintentionally damning testimony. But at eighteen, her home life is stable, and she has a strong relationship with her father, the president of a local biker club known as the Wardens.

Virginia Campbell’s life hit fast-forward at fifteen, when her mom “sold” her into the services of a local lawyer: a man for whom the law is merely a suggestion. When Hazard sets his sights on dismantling the Wardens, he sends in Virginia, who has every intention of selling out the club—and Tourmaline. But the two girls are stronger than the circumstances that brought them together, and their resilience defines the friendship at the heart of this powerful debut novel.

I absolutely loved this book, the two main characters, Tourmaline and Virginia are fantastic, and you can check out my review of Done Dirt Cheap tomorrow. In the mean time check out these fab character profiles!

 

Done Dirt Cheap was published March 7th by Amulet Books.


Interview: Meg Howrey, Author of The Wanderers

For those that haven’t read The Wanderers, can you tell us a little about it?

A three-member crew of astronauts is being trained and tested for the first human mission to Mars by spending seventeen months inside a series of simulators. The story is told from the point of view of each crew member, and also from the people they will be leaving behind, and an observer tasked with evaluating the astronauts. It’s a story about inner space, ambition, the problem of deciding what is “real” and what “real” even means. It’s a space book about humans. To quote one of the characters: “It’s Chekhov in Space!”

What inspired you to write The Wanderers?

I read a newspaper article about a project called Mars500. This was a study done by the European and Russian space agencies. Six volunteers spent 520 days in a specially constructed module, with the idea of trying to understand some of the psychological stresses a crew might experience in a real Mars mission. I couldn’t get the story out of my head, and even though I’d never written anything remotely to do with space science, I had to try.

What was the research process like, given the novel deals with space exploration?

People did not see me for long periods of time, because I was buried under books and papers. I went to lectures, I did a space science course (Space Camp!) and booked sessions in a sensory deprivation tank. (Very relaxing, actually.) It was wonderful, but it took time, about four years to write the book.

The cover for the book is absolutely stunning! Did you have any input on the cover, and what was your reaction when you saw it?

Oh, thank you, isn’t it beautiful? My publishers actually tried a couple of different versions before we got to this one. I was so impressed with how hard people worked, how much they cared about getting it right. When they sent me the final version, I was stunned. It’s absolutely perfect.

What’s on your to read pile at the moment, are there any new releases you’re particularly excited about?

“The Hidden Life of Trees” by Peter Wohlleben, Rachel Cusk’s “Transit”, and a Shirley Jackson short story collection: “Let Me Tell You” are up next. I’m also really looking forward to Elif Batuman’s novel “The Idiot.” I loved her book of non-fiction essays.

What are you working on next?

I’m working on a new novel now, but can’t say much about it yet. Books are beasts and can run away or bite, so you have to approach carefully and with patience.

Finally, what’s your favourite book you’ve read recently?

Sometimes I like listening to audio books, as a way of re-reading a novel I haven’t picked up in a while. I just finished listening to Claire Danes perform Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale.” It’s a book I read many years ago, and before I started writing myself. This time, I was in awe of the enormous craft of the book’s precision and pacing, and deeply enjoying that, and also chilled and horrified by the vision, by how close it feels, how plausible. It’s a terrible book to read right now, and the perfect book to read right now.

The Wanderers by Meg Howrey is published in hardback by Scribner at £14.99.


Cover Reveal: Skin Deep – Laura Wilkinson

Synopsis:

It’s what’s inside that counts…

Art student and former model Diana has always been admired for her beauty, but what use are good looks when you want to shine for your talent? Insecure and desperate for inspiration, Diana needs a muse.

Facially disfigured four-year-old Cal lives a life largely hidden from the world. But he was born to be looked at and he needs love too. A chance encounter changes everything and Cal becomes Diana’s muse. But as Diana’s reputation develops and Cal grows up, their relationship implodes.

Both struggle to be accepted for what lies within.

Is it possible to find acceptance in a society where what’s on the outside counts for so much?

Doesn’t it sound fantastic? The book is published on the 15th of June 2017 by Accent Press! Finally, here is the cover!

What a fantastic cover! What do you think? Tweet the Accent Press team and let them know what you think, or comment below!


ARC Review: The Roanoke Girls – Amy Engel

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Release Date: 7th March 2017
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Pages:  288
Find it on: Amazon. Goodreads.

This is one dark and twisty thriller.

Synopsis:

Beautiful.
Rich.
Mysterious.
Everyone wants to be a Roanoke girl.

But you won’t when you know the truth.

Lane Roanoke is fifteen when she comes to live with her grandparents and fireball cousin at the Roanoke family’s rural estate following the suicide of her mother. Over one long, hot summer, Lane experiences the benefits of being one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls.

But what she doesn’t know is being a Roanoke girl carries a terrible legacy: either the girls run, or they die. For there is darkness at the heart of Roanoke, and when Lane discovers its insidious pull, she must make her choice…

Review:

I first heard about this book on Twitter, and it was getting a lot of buzz around it quite early on. It sounded so mysterious and the synopsis gives so little away that I was completely desperate to read it. The tag line of ‘most taboo thriller of 2017’ also definitely piqued my interest. However will all the hype I was a bit concerned it wouldn’t live up to expectation. I can safely say after about two chapters I was completely hooked and all productivity went out the window as I always dying to know what was coming next.

The story is told mostly from the point of view of Lane, and alternates between the summer she spent in Roanoke, and the current day. I sometimes found this a little jarring, not quite being sure whether we were in present day, that fatal summer or sometimes a flash back to Lane’s life before she moved to Roanoke. There are also chapters from the other Roanoke girls, telling the story of what happened to them. These were really fascinating, even if I had to flip back to the family tree in order to work out which girl was which. Despite the plot really kept me hooked, giving you little hints and ideas about what is going, and really drops some bombshells early on, grabbing you hook line and sinker.

Lane returns to Roanoke because of her cousin Allegra – all the Roanoke girls disappear, and Lane comes home to find out why her cousin has disappeared. I developed loads of ideas about what had happened to her. I did guess correctly, but it took me a while to figure that out, and my knowing that didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the ending at all. It’s fantastically written, and the dark, foreboding atmosphere continues to build and build,  making for a really tense story.

One of the most stand out things about The Roanoke Girls are the complex characters. From Lane and Allegra to Tommy and Cooper, everyone has their own dark motivations, and each character is very well thought out and introduced. They’re complex three dimensional characters and really bring the story to life.

The Roanoke Girl is dark, with some seriously messed up characters. I know the taboo aspect will put some people off, but this is a powerfully written and haunting story that makes for one hell of a read.


Blog Tour: Where the Wild Cherries Grow – Laura Madeleine

26210511Welcome to the Where the Wild Cherries Grow blog tour! Check out an exclusive extract below!

Synopsis:

I closed my eyes as I tried to pick apart every flavour, because nothing had ever tasted so good before. It was like tasting for the first time. Like discovering colour . . .

It is 1919 and the war is over, but for Emeline Vane the cold Norfolk fens only are haunted by memories of those she has lost. In a moment of grief, she recklessly boards a train and runs from it all.

Her journey leads her far away, to a tiny seaside village in the South of France. Taken in by cafe owner Maman and her twenty-year-old son, Emeline discovers a world completely new to her: of oranges, olives and wild herbs, the raw, rich tastes of the land.

But when a love affair develops, as passionate as the flavours of the village, secrets from home begin blowing in on the sea wides. Fifty years later, a young solictor on his first case finds Emeline’s diary, and begins to trace a story of betrayal, love and bittersweet secrets that will send him on a journey to discover the truth…

 

 

 

March 1919

 

For the second time that day, a scent pulled me out of sleep. At first I was confused in the darkness, but it found me again, impossible to ignore: onions, frying fish, spices that hovered at the edge of recognition. I pushed myself up on to my elbows and sniffed. I had no notion of how much time had passed, or even what day it was. All I knew was that I was ravenous.

I crawled from the blankets. Tiredness clung to me as I found the wooden shutters and pulled them open. Outside, it was dark. Carefully, I shunted open the frame, too. The noise of the sea rushed up to greet me. I had no idea it was so close. I could smell it, mingling with the scent of cooking from below.

And there were voices, many voices, talking, laughing. Light spilled from the ground floor of the Fourniers’ house, stretching across a dirt road and down on to what looked like a beach. Occasionally, a wave would catch the edge of the light.

I crept down the creaking staircase, like a child at a party. The smell grew stronger, the heat of cooking wafted up to greet me and my stomach growled. My body had definite ideas about what it wanted and that was food, and drink – and soon. I stepped into the kitchen.

Clémence stood at the stove. It dominated the space, a huge black range fuelled by wood, which added its irresistible scent to the cooking. Dozens of pots and pans and skillets hung from the walls, blackened from use. Shelves on either side held jars and tins, bunches of dried herbs, bottles of liquid. A shallow bowl sat near Clémence’s elbow, filled to the brim with glistening sea salt.

She was tending to three pans at once. In two, chunks of white fish were frying, a coating of flour turning them crisp and golden. In the third, I could see onions and herbs bubbling in oil. A heavy thud from the table made me jump and I turned to see Aaró, a mallet in his hand, crushing something on a wooden board.

‘It smells wonderful,’ I called over the sizzling. ‘What are you cooking?’
Clémence flipped the fish deftly with one hand, reaching for a tin with the other.
‘Dinner.’
I watched, fascinated, as she shook a bright red powder into the onions. Immediately a scent rose, sweet and smoky, turning everything in the pan a deep crimson. Swiftly, she added the fish, a slosh of wine from an unmarked bottle, a ladleful of broth from a pan at the back of the stove.

I’d never seen anything like it. No weights or measures or hesitancy. She cooked by instinct, moved like lightning, as if her hands knew what to do on their own. At my cooking classes, we had been taught to work slowly and prudently, in pinches and thimbles and tiny slivers.

She slurped a bit of the bubbling sauce from a wooden spoon, nodded once and pushed it to a cooler part of the stove.

‘If you want to help,’ she said over her shoulder as she glugged oil into a new pan, ‘ask Aaró.’

The young man was still using the mallet to crush something up, making noises to himself that I knew he couldn’t hear. It was garlic, I saw, two entire heads of it. The smell was intense; it made my eyes and my mouth water at the same time. We had never used garlic at my classes. The teacher had deemed it ‘too coarse’ a flavour for the palate of young ladies. She would’ve swooned at the sight of this. I smiled and Aaró looked up, with his bright grey eyes.
‘Can I help?’ I pointed to the garlic and to me, hoping that Clémence would step in and translate, but she was busy slapping another half-dozen pieces of fish into a pan. Aaró frowned, looking down at the garlic, not understanding. I tried again, pointing to me, then him, then a bowl, to no avail.

Perhaps it was my useless expression, but abruptly he glanced at his mother, clanging away at the stove, and his face lit up with realization. He beckoned me forward.

He dumped the pulverized garlic cloves into a huge pestle and mortar that stood beside him, threw in a handful of rough salt, and began to mash it all into a paste. He had strong hands, I saw, as tanned as his face and callused across the fingers. I had never known a man who could cook, but Aaró moved like his mother, swift and comfortable. It was wonderful to watch.

He waved his hand before my face to get my attention. I nodded to show I was watching. He took up a tin can with a long, thin spout and dropped a tiny amount of golden-green oil into the garlic. He worked it in, slowly and methodically, then added another few drops, before handing over the tin to me.

We worked that way, heads close, until the mortar was magically filled with a smooth, cre
amy, yellow substance. Smiling to himself, Aaró stuck his little
finger into it and tasted before indicating that I should do the same.

The flavour exploded on my tongue. It was like nothing I had ever eaten, strong and rich and sweet all at once. Forgetting myself, I reached out again, only to find my hand slapped away by Aaró. We smiled at each other, and once again I felt that strange urge to step closer, to study his face.

But Clémence called me over. She was pouring the steaming stew into two enormous serving bowls.

‘Take these if you want to help.’ She shoved several loaves of crusty bread into my arms and pointed to a tray. I was so preoccupied with hunger and cooking with Aaró that I had forgotten the sound of voices from the front of the house, didn’t even consider it until I stepped through a curtained doorway and was confronted by the sight of two-dozen strangers.

 

Where the Wild Cherries Grow is absolutely fantastic, publishing June 15th from Black Swan. Make sure to check out the other stops on the tour, and stop by later today for a review of this gorgeous book!


Blog Tour: Boundary – Andrée A. Michaud

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Synopsis:

Where deep woods cover the Maine border, blending together two countries and two languages, the summer of 1967 is a time of fear. Teenage beauties Sissy Morgan and Zaza Mulligan wander among the vacation cottages in the community of Boundary, attracting the attention of boys and men, before they’re found gruesomely murdered — felled by long-dead woodsman’s bear traps. Andrée, the little girl whose name nobody can pronounce, watches the police investigate, unaware of how profoundly these events will impact her passage into womanhood.

Reminiscent of Scandinavian thrillers by Asa Larsson, Henning Mankell, and others, Boundary was a crossover hit when first published in the French, winning both the Governor General’s Award for literature and the Arthur Ellis Prize for mystery novels. By weaving a tale of unbearable suspense and meticulously evoked atmosphere, Michaud transforms endless forests, haunted people, and primal terror into an irresistibly gripping summer read.

Guest Post:

Now read on for a guest post from Andrée about the locations within the novel!

Most of my novels take place in the country, in small communities surrounded by woods, because nature is part of my universe and always becomes a character among other characters.

It’s therefore not a surprise that I chose Boundary Pond, a place where my father used to take me when I was a little girl, to be one of the characters, if not the main character, in Boundary. The last time I went to Bondrée (as we say in my village and the nearby towns) I must have only been eight or nine, but my memories of the lake, of the mountain, and of the fog cascading down it, always remained very clear in my mind.

I admit it’s perfectly possible that I remodeled these memories, as the years went by, to embellish the landscape of Boundary in the same way we embellish a lot of memories from childhood, but what’s important, for me, is that I never forgot the place nor its atmosphere. It’s this atmosphere I tried to create in the novel, accentuated by the presence of the mountain, the lake and the deep forest. On that subject, I have to say there is always water in my books; if not a lake then a brook, a river, a shore, a canal in Venice, to reflect both the dark and the light sides of the story, the feelings of the characters, the fear you sometimes experience when standing in front of what is hiding from you, in front of depths you cannot reach.

The Bondrée I knew was, however, very different from the Boundary of the book. There were only two or three cabins around the lake, and only a few hunters during the Fall. In Summer, the place was given back to nature and looked like, I presume, the Boundary that Pete Landry knew, the trapper who is at the origin of the whole story, even if he’s dead when it starts. I somewhat reimagined the place for the purposes of the book. I stretched the lake a little, added some cottages and a camping site, a shining sun at the summit of Moose trap, the mountain, and I was ready to let Pete Landry’s traps raise from the soil, to let foxes cross Otter and Weasel Trail, and to introduce to this landscape a number of characters who are blissfully unaware that the Summer of ’67, the so-called ‘Summer of Love’, would for them be a season of fear and incomprehensible violence; a season at the end of which they would never be the same again.

It’s what you should expect when you lose a paradise.