A Very Late May Book Haul!

A Very Late May Book Haul!

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Once again I’m majorly late with hauls but here are all the books I picked up in May!

Copy of book cover (15)Perfectly Preventable Deaths – Deirdre Sullivan
Everyone in Ballyfran has a secret, and that is what binds them together…

Fifteen-year-old twins Madeline and Catlin move to a new life in Ballyfran, a strange isolated town, a place where, for the last sixty years, teenage girls have gone missing in the surrounding mountains.

As distance grows between the twins – as Catlin falls in love, and Madeline begins to understand her own nascent witchcraft – Madeline discovers that Ballyfrann is a place full of predators. Not only foxes, owls and crows, but also supernatural beings who for many generations have congregated here to escape persecution. When Catlin falls into the gravest danger of all, Madeline must ask herself who she really is, and who she wants to be – or rather, who she might have to become to save her sister.

Nexus – Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings
Copy of book cover (17)Her ship is gone, her crew is captured and notorious mercenary Androma Racella is no longer the powerful Bloody Baroness, but a fugitive ruthlessly hunted across the Mirabel Galaxy. The bloodthirsty Queen Nor now rules most of the galaxy through a mind-control toxin and she’ll stop at nothing to destroy her most hated adversary.

Andi will risk anything, even her precious freedom, to find a cure. Stranded with her unlikely ally, Dex, on the unforgiving ice planet of Solera, their plan to infiltrate a black-market city proves dangerously irresistible.

Back in Arcardius, Nor’s actions have opened Mirabel to invasion. As Andi’s crew fights to regain their freedom, Andi and Dex discover a threat far greater than anything they’ve faced before.

Only by saving their mortal enemy can the crew of the Marauder make one last desperate strike to save the galaxy—unaware that a shattering, centuries-old secret may demand the most wrenching sacrifice of all.

Copy of book cover (16)Broken Throne – Victoria Aveyard
Return once more to the deadly and dazzling world of Red Queen in Broken Throne, a beautifully designed, must-have companion to the chart-topping series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Victoria Aveyard.

The perfect addition to the #1 New York Times bestselling Red Queen series, this gorgeously designed package features three brand-new novellas, two previously published novellas, Steel Scars and Queen Song, and never-before-seen maps, flags, bonus scenes, journal entries, and much more exclusive content.

Fans will be delighted to catch up with beloved characters after the drama of War Storm and be excited to hear from brand-new voices as well. This stunning collection is not to be missed!

Wastelands – John Joseph Adams
Copy of book cover (18)The brilliant new post-apocalyptic collection by master anthologist John Joseph Adams, for the first time including new stories by the edgiest modern writers.

New short fiction by many of the edgiest modern authors, offering tales of life after the apocalyptic event or events that end society as we know it today. In addition to a selection of newly reprinted works, WASTELANDS 3 will feature original, never-before-published stories by a group of writers hand-picked by master editor John Joseph Adams. Original stories by Veronica Roth, Hugh Howet, Elizabeth Bear, Seanan McGuire, Tananarive Due, Wendy N. Wagner and many more. Reprints will include works by Carmen Maria Machado, Charlie Jane Anders, Paolo Bacigalupi, Ken Liu and Cat Valente amongst others.

The Plague Stones – James Brogden
Copy of book cover (19)From the critically acclaimed author of Hekla’s Children comes a dark and haunting tale of our world and the next. 

Fleeing from a traumatic break-in, Londoners Paul and Tricia Feenan sell up to escape to the isolated Holiwell village where Tricia has inherited a property. Scattered throughout the settlement are centuries-old stones used during the Great Plague as boundary markers. No plague-sufferer was permitted to pass them and enter the village. The plague diminished, and the village survived unscathed, but since then each year the village trustees have insisted on an ancient ceremony to renew the village boundaries, until a misguided act by the Feenans’ son then reminds the village that there is a reason traditions have been rigidly stuck to, and that all acts of betrayal, even those committed centuries ago, have consequences…

Fear the Stars – Christopher Husberg
Copy of book cover (20)Many forces converge on the great city of Triah, bent on its destruction. By sea, Empress Cova of Roden sails with her armada, determined to bring the rival nation under her yoke. From land, Winter, the Chaos Queen, brings her tiellan army, set on revenge. And their advance brings a yet more terrible army still: awoken by the Chaos Queen’s powers, daemons mass on the border between worlds, waiting for a way in.

Caught between the encroaching foes, as mall group holds the key to saving the Sfaera from destruction: Knot, the former assassin, Cinzia, the exiled priestess; and Astrid, the vampire-child. But the only way to do so is to step into the Void beyond worlds–from which no one can return unchanged.

Copy of book cover (2)The Red Abbey Chronicles – Maria Turtschannoff
Maresi came to the Red Abbey when she was thirteen, in the Hunger Winter. Before then, she had only heard rumours of its existence in secret folk tales. In a world where girls aren’t allowed to learn or do as they please, an island inhabited solely by women sounded like a fantasy. But now Maresi is here, and she knows it is real. She is safe.

Then one day Jai tangled fair hair, clothes stiff with dirt, scars on her back arrives on a ship. She has fled to the island to escape terrible danger and unimaginable cruelty. And the men who hurt her will stop at nothing to find her.

Now the women and girls of the Red Abbey must use all their powers and ancient knowledge to combat the forces that wish to destroy them. And Maresi, haunted by her own nightmares, must confront her very deepest, darkest fears.

A story of friendship and survival, magic and wonder, beauty and terror, Maresi will grip you and hold you spellbound.

The Collective – Lindsey Whitlock
Copy of book cover (21)Stuck in the traditional community of Badfish Creek, Elwyn longs for change. When his uncle offers him the chance to leave his rural roots behind, he jumps at the opportunity, eager to move to Liberty to gain an education and become part of a flourishing world. Finally, life seems to be opening up to him. 

But it is not long before he understands that all that glitters is not gold: there are things going on in Liberty that Elwyn cannot ignore. Things that profoundly threaten the world he has rejected and things that he has to fight against. 

The Collective is a richly realised debut novel about tradition, change, the meaning of home and the struggle to be true to yourself.

The Deathless – Peter Newman
Copy of book cover (23)From one of fantasy’s biggest recent breakthrough authors comes an exciting, brand new series.

The demons…

In the endless forests of the Wild, humanity scratches a living by the side of the great Godroads, paths of crystal that provide safe passage and hold back the infernal tide. Creatures lurk within the trees, watching, and plucking those who stray too far from safety.

The Deathless…

In crystal castles held aloft on magical currents, seven timeless royal families reign, protecting humanity from the spread of the Wild and its demons. Born and reborn into flawless bodies, the Deathless are as immortal as the precious stones from which they take their names. For generations a fragile balance has held.

And the damned…

House Sapphire, one of the ancient Deathless families, is riven by suspicion and madness. Whole villages are disappearing as the hunting expeditions holding the Wild at bay begin to fail.

Then, when assassins strike, House Sapphire shatters.

Nothing lasts forever.

Soul of the Sword – Julie Kagawa
Copy of book cover (22)One thousand years ago, a wish was made to the Harbinger of Change and a sword of rage and lightning was forged. Kamigoroshi. The Godslayer. It had one task: to seal away the powerful demon Hakaimono.

Now he has broken free.

Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has one task: to take her piece of the ancient and powerful scroll to the Steel Feather temple in order to prevent the summoning of the Harbinger of Change, the great Kami Dragon who will grant one wish to whomever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. But she has a new enemy now. The demon Hakaimono, who for centuries was trapped in a cursed sword, has escaped and possessed the boy she thought would protect her, Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan.

Hakaimono has done the unthinkable and joined forces with the Master of Demons in order to break the curse of the sword and set himself free. To overthrow the empire and cover the land in darkness, they need one thing: the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. As the paths of Yumeko and the possessed Tatsumi cross once again, the entire empire will be thrown into chaos. 

The Girl in Red – Christina Henry
Copy of book cover (24)It’s not safe for anyone alone in the woods. There are predators that come out at night: critters and coyotes, snakes and wolves. But the woman in the red jacket has no choice. Not since the Crisis came, decimated the population, and sent those who survived fleeing into quarantine camps that serve as breeding grounds for death, destruction, and disease. She is just a woman trying not to get killed in a world that doesn’t look anything like the one she grew up in, the one that was perfectly sane and normal and boring until three months ago.

There are worse threats in the woods than the things that stalk their prey at night. Sometimes, there are men. Men with dark desires, weak wills, and evil intents. Men in uniform with classified information, deadly secrets, and unforgiving orders. And sometimes, just sometimes, there’s something worse than all of the horrible people and vicious beasts combined. 

Red doesn’t like to think of herself as a killer, but she isn’t about to let herself get eaten up just because she is a woman alone in the woods….

Copy of book cover (12)Limited Wish – Mark Lawrence
One choice. Two possible timelines. And a world hanging in the balance.

It’s the summer of 1986 and reluctant prodigy Nick Hayes is a student at Cambridge University, working with world-renowned mathematician Professor Halligan. He just wants to be a regular student, but regular isn’t really an option for a boy-genius cancer survivor who’s already dabbled in time travel.

When he crosses paths with a mysterious yet curiously familiar girl, Nick discovers that creases have appeared in the fabric of time, and that he is at the centre of the disruption. Only Nick can resolve this time paradox before the damage becomes catastrophic for both him and the future of the world. Time is running out—literally.

Wrapped up with him in this potentially apocalyptic scenario are his ex-girlfriend, Mia, and fellow student Helen. Facing the world-ending chaos of a split in time, Nick must act fast and make the choice of a lifetime—or lifetimes.

Game on.

What Lies Around Us – Andrew Crofts
Copy of book cover (1)It is possible that since this book’s publication you will have heard that I have died in ‘suspicious circumstances’. Obviously I hope that will not be the case, but I believe it is worth taking the risk in order to get this story out there.

Why would one of Silicon Valley’s most powerful billionaires offer a British ghostwriter a million dollars to write the autobiography of Hollywood’s biggest star?

Only once he is living and working among the world’s richest and most beautiful people does the ghost realise that there is way more than a publishing deal at stake.

The ghostwriter must face the dark underbelly of the tech industry. He must face corruption and manipulation, come to blows with people who will do anything to remain at the top of their game and uncover the dark truth behind what it really means to be an influencer . . .

What Lies Around Us takes the reader into a world of myth-makers and power-brokers and reveals who is really running the world. Who is telling the stories and controlling the way we all think with a mixture of old media, social media and fake media?

So those are all the books I picked up in May! What books have you been buying recently?

May Wrap Up!

May Wrap Up!

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I definitely feel like I’ve got my reading mojo back recently and in May I managed to read 15 books. Some of them are just little novellas rather than full books but I had a really interesting reading month overall, so lets dive in!

Copy of book cover (3)1. Exit Strategy – Martha Wells
I’ve steadily been working my way through The Murderbot Diaries on audio because they’re fun and interesting reads. This is the fourth instalment in the series and while I enjoyed it, I felt it was getting a bit repetitive. The narrator does a really brilliant job of bringing Murderbot to life and the whole series make for really quick reads. I’m caught up on the series now and looking forward to the next instalment which is due for release in 2020. (3/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (4)2. Sea Witch – Sara Henning
Sea Witch is a dark retelling which focuses on the Ursula character in The Little Mermaid. This was another audio book read for me and I fell in love with the characters. It was a fast paced read and the narrator was fabulous. I thought the book came to a really interesting conclusion and I assumed it was a standalone but there is a second instalment coming out which I’m really intrigued to read because I’m not sure where the author can go next. Full review is here if you want to know more! (4/5 stars)

book cover (45)3. Aurora Rising – Ami Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
I LOVED this book. The story of a bunch of misfits tasked with saving the galaxy was everything I needed and I’m crediting this book with pulling me out of my reading slump. I adored everything about this book from the characters to the fun, action packed plot. I’m already desperate for more and I’m absolutely going to reread this one soon. My full review for this is here if you want to know more! (5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (5)4. Joker – Brian Azzello
This is a graphic novel I’ve had on my shelf for quite a while so I decided to pick it up one afternoon. I read it in one sitting and I did enjoy it, but it felt kind of forgettable? I only remember the very basics of the story. It felt very much like a crime story that happened to have Batman and Joker in it rather than a superhero tale. I wasn’t all that keen on the art style either, so overall it felt very average. (2.5/5 stars)

wicked saints5. Wicked Saints – Emily A. Duncan
This was another book that I really really enjoyed. The magic system in this book really intrigued me and I really fell in love with the story. It could have done with a bit more character development and I’m hoping this is something that is addressed in the next book in the series. Full review for Wicked Saints is here! (4.5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (6)6. As Far As the Stars – Virginia Macgregor
This book was so cute! The story of two characters with family members on a plane that has crashed, it’s a sweet and fascinating story as they attempt to deal with what has happened to the plane and explore their feeling for each other. It’s the perfect summer road trip novel and there are lots of really beautiful moments in the story. I took part in the blog tour for this so you can see my stop here if you want to know more. (4/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (7)7. Locked In – Mark Lawrence
I recently discovered some Mark Lawrence short stories that I hadn’t read so I quickly snapped up the opportunity to read them (they’ve available on his website). This one was my favourite, a quick and dark little story that kept me hooked the whole way through. A perfect read if you’ve got some time to kill and easily read in one sitting. (4/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (8)8. Quick – Mark Lawrence
This was another of the short stories. This one felt a bit shorter so I didn’t feel like I got the chance to get to know the character as much, but it was still a fun little story featuring a young man with strange powers – again this would be perfect if you were waiting for something and had a bit of time to kill – a fun and light read! (3/5 stars)

book cover (43)9. The Princess and the Fangirl – Ashley Poston
I love love loved Geekarella so I was super excited to read The Princess and the Fangirl and it was everything I wanted and more. The story is a retelling of The Princess and the pauper and features two adorable romances, one is also female/female and they were just the cutest! I really enjoyed reading this and it was so fun to see characters from Geekarella pop up. Kind of hoping Ashley Poston continues with this and does more of these geeky retellings because I’m obsessed. (4.25/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (9)10. A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder – Holly Jackson
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked this up. There was lots of buzz around this at YALC last year and I was interested to give it a go. It ended up being quite an intense, twisty thriller and every theory I came up with ended up being shot down. There were plenty of twists that I absolutely did not see coming. (4/5 stars)

book cover (88)11. The Selection – Kiera Cass
I finally got around to reading the first book in The Selection series and I totally get what everyone was telling me. It wasn’t exactly a ground breaking read but it was fast paced and I couldn’t seem to put the book down. It was an addictive story and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next. (3.5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (12)12. Limited Wish – Mark Lawrence
This was probably my favourite book of the month and I’m pretty obsessed with this series. The second instalment of the Impossible Times trilogy was just as brilliant as book one and I raced through this book because I was just so desperate to know what was going to happen to Nick and the gang. Full review for this one can be found over here. (5/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (11)13. My Secret Lies With You – Faye Bird
This was a strange little thriller about a young girl who makes friends with a group of people on holiday. Someone they met last year has gone missing and the group attempt to unravel that secrets around her disappearance. This was another one that I finished very quickly, it’s an exciting readable tale that I think thriller fans will really enjoy. (4/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (13)14. Green Arrow: Midas Touch – Dan Jurgens
This was just not for me. I really like Green Arrow and picked up a copy of this New 52 graphic novel but I didn’t get on with it at all. I thought the story was quite slow, it was all action with very little plot. I didn’t feel like I got to know any of the characters and I didn’t really care for the art style. (2/5 stars)

Copy of book cover (10)15. Evidence of the Affair – Taylor Jenkins Reid
I saw a few booktubers talking about this novella written by the author of Daisy Jones and the Six. The story follows a woman who discovers her husband is having an affair and so tells the lovers husband all about it. The two strike up a friendship as they attempt to deal with their partners lies and secrets. It’s all told through letters and it was a really fascinating read. I’m definitely looking forward to reading more from this author because this is the second time I’ve read something from her that wasn’t my kind of thing and loved it. (4/5 stars)

So those are all the books I read in May! I definitely found some new favourites and I’m hoping I can read just as many in June. Definitely let me know what you’ve been reading recently and if you’ve read any of these I’d loved to know what you thought!

 

Book Review: Two Can Keep A Secret – Karen M. McManus

Book Review: Two Can Keep A Secret – Karen M. McManus

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Release Date:
January 10th 2019
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 336
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I bought a copy of this in Sainsbury’s
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery’s never been there, but she’s heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.

The town is picture-perfect, but it’s hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone’s declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.

Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she’s in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous–and most people aren’t good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it’s safest to keep your secrets to yourself.

Review

book cover - 2019-03-17T113630.477I really enjoyed Karen M McManus’s debut novel – One of Us Is Lying, so I was excited to give her new book a shot. The story follows twins Ezra and Ellery who are sent to live with their grandmother whilst their mother is in rehab. The small little town is famous for the murder/disappearance of two Homecoming Queens – one of which is the twin’s aunt. Whilst getting acquainted with the town strange things start happening and the mysterious killer claims to have returned – but will Ellery be able to uncover the truth about her aunt’s disappearance?

Two Can Keep A Secret is the sort of book you take on a plane ride or pick up on a quiet afternoon to while away a few hours. You start off reading a few pages and it immediately sucks you in – hours later you’re still sitting there, desperate to know how it’s going to end. That was definitely my experience of reading this book. It’s a twisty, turny read and definitely lots of fun.

I really liked the setting in this story, the creepy little town filled with secrets really gave me Riverdale kind of vibes and I loved that the twins take jobs in an odd, creepy theme park. The characters are interesting ones too although at times I did feel like they could be more fleshed out. The story gives us alternating points of view between Ellery and Malcolm, a local boy who ends up involved in the mystery. Both characters give interesting perspectives and I liked seeing things from different points of view, particularly as the intensity heightening and the mystery was revealed.

The story is a multi-layered one and there are quite a lot of themes and ideas within the novel, covering topics like family, friendship, understanding yourself and lots more in between. It’s an engaging story that’s executed well. I enjoyed the overall story and definitely felt surprised at some of the shock twists. One or two of the twists were a little predictable but even though I knew what was coming, I still enjoyed the way it was revealed and tied into the rest of the story.

If you’re looking for a fast paced and engaging read, Two Can Keep a Secret should definitely be on your list. If you’ve read One of Us Is Lying, I’d absolutely recommend picking this up because this will definitely be a new favourite in the YA-thriller world.
4 stars

Waiting on Wednesday: Here There Are Monsters – Amelinda Berube

Waiting on Wednesday: Here There Are Monsters – Amelinda Berube

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Synopsis

The Blair Witch Project meets Imaginary Girls in this story of codependent sisterhood, the struggle to claim one’s own space, and the power of secrets

Sixteen-year-old Skye is done playing the knight in shining armor for her insufferable younger sister, Deirdre. Moving across the country seems like the perfect chance to start over.

In their isolated new neighborhood, Skye manages to fit in, but Deirdre withdraws from everyone, becoming fixated on the swampy woods behind their house and building monstrous sculptures out of sticks and bones.

Then Deirdre disappears.

And when something awful comes scratching at Skye’s window in the middle of the night, claiming she’s the only one who can save Deirdre, Skye knows she will stop at nothing to bring her sister home.

Thoughts

Copy of book coverThis waiting on Wednesday I thought I would talk about Here There Are Monsters, which really caught my eye recently and I’m so excited to pick it up! The cover really caught my eye and when I saw the comparison to The Blair Witch project I was pretty much sold. It sounds like a really fascinating story about sisterhood and I love a good horror novel. I haven’t read anything by this author but she also has another book called The Death Beneath the Ice that also sounds really intriguing, so I might pick that up to get a feel for her writing. I’ve seen some kind of mixed reviews for Here There Are Monsters already, some saying they were kind of disappointed with it but I’m excited to give the book a go and find out for myself if it’s worth the wait. Here There Are Monsters is publishing August 1st 2019 from Sourcebooks Fire.

Interview: Adrienne Young Author of Sky in the Deep

Interview: Adrienne Young Author of Sky in the Deep

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Release Date:
April 1st 2019
Publisher: Titan Books
Pages: 352
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.

Synopsis

grhwoigwPart Wonder Woman, part Vikings—and all heart.

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

Interview

1. For those who haven’t read Sky in the Deep yet can you sum it up in three words?

Stark. Brutal. Emotional.

2. What inspired you to write a book about Vikings?

The original inspiration for SKY IN THE DEEP was the sibling story, but after I started writing it, it began to take on this very Nordic vibe. I really loved the direction it was going but hadn’t really planned on it. It was like a kind of surprise even to me.

3. What was the writing process like for the book, and how did it compare to writing The Girl the Sea Gave Back?

I wrote SKY IN THE DEEP in a feverish sprint, so inspired by the characters that I literally worked around the clock until I had a draft of it. It was a really fast, easy story for me to tell which is not how it always goes and TGTSGB is a great example of that. I really struggled with SEA for a lot of reasons and had to push through a lot of challenges that I didn’t meet with SKY. It was really difficult at times but I feel like I definitely came out the other side as a stronger writer. 

4. How much research did you do whilst writing the book?

I did a ton of research to build this world, and that’s actually one of my very favorite parts of the creative process. I get lost in that stage and often find myself struggling to decide what to use because I find it so interesting. I had an entire notebook full of notes for SKY and could have gone even further with it because I was just really enraptured by the culture and history I was studying. 

5. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

To hang in there! I felt very alone when I was younger and also very misunderstood. If I could send a message to myself at sixteen, I would tell myself to hold on, that my time is coming.

6. What’s your favourite under-appreciated novel?

I absolutely loved BLOOD WATER PAINT by Joy McCullough. It’s a historical-inspired novel in verse and I was taken completely by surprise at how much I was impacted by it and I am constantly recommending it to people. 
 
7. What are you working on next?

I’m currently working on a new YA fantasy called FABLE that is coming out in the US fall 2020! It’s a very different world from SKY IN THE DEEP but there is a lot in that story that I think SKY readers will love. 
 
8. And lastly could you recommend a great book you’ve read recently?

I recently read FINALE, the conclusion to Stephanie Garber’s CARAVAL series and it was amazing!

About Adrienne:

 

16640489YA fantasy author, SKY IN THE DEEP, THE GIRL THE SEA GAVE BACK (9/3/19) & the upcoming FABLE duology from Wednesday Books. Agent: Barbara Poelle, IGLA

Adrienne Young is a born and bred Texan turned California girl. She is a foodie with a deep love of history and travel and a shameless addiction to coffee. When she’s not writing, you can find her on her yoga mat, scouring antique fairs for old books, sipping wine over long dinners, or disappearing into her favorite art museums. She lives with her documentary filmmaker husband and their four little wildlings beneath the West Coast sun.

April Book Haul!

April Book Haul!

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I’m managing to squeeze my April book haul in on the last day of May – hopefully I’ll catch up on reviews and other posts at the beginning of June! April was another great haul month and I have sixteen new books to rave about!

Books From Publishers:

1. The Kingdom – Jess Rothenbergbook cover - 2019-04-03T110403.651
Welcome to the Kingdom… where ‘Happily Ever After’ isn’t just a promise, but a rule. 

Glimmering like a jewel behind its gateway, The Kingdom(TM) is an immersive fantasy theme park where guests soar on virtual dragons, castles loom like giants, and bioengineered species–formerly extinct–roam free.

Ana is one of seven Fantasists, beautiful “princesses” engineered to make dreams come true. When she meets park employee Owen, Ana begins to experience emotions beyond her programming including, for the first time… love.

But the fairytale becomes a nightmare when Ana is accused of murdering Owen, igniting the trial of the century. Through courtroom testimony, interviews, and Ana’s memories of Owen, emerges a tale of love, lies, and cruelty–and what it truly means to be human.

2. My Secret Lies With You – Faye Bird44127681
Three close friends… Two unforgettable summers… One girl’s deepest secret…

Alys appeared last summer, and then she vanished without a trace.

Ifan fell in love with her. Hannah hated her. And Marko regrets what they did.

This summer Cait is new in town, and a girl has been reported missing. Cait needs to uncover the truth. What happened last summer? And who is Alys?

3. The Princess and the Fangirl – Ashley Postonbook cover (43)
The Prince and the Pauper gets a modern makeover in this adorable, witty, and heartwarming young adult novel set in the Geekerella universe by national bestselling author Ashley Poston.

Imogen Lovelace is an ordinary fangirl on an impossible mission: save her favorite character, Princess Amara, from being killed off from her favorite franchise, Starfield. The problem is, Jessica Stone—the actress who plays Princess Amara—wants nothing more than to leave the intense scrutiny of the fandom behind. If this year’s ExcelsiCon isn’t her last, she’ll consider her career derailed.

When a case of mistaken identity throws look-a-likes Imogen and Jess together, they quickly become enemies. But when the script for the Starfield sequel leaks, and all signs point to Jess, she and Imogen must trade places to find the person responsible. That’s easier said than done when the girls step into each other’s shoes and discover new romantic possibilities, as well as the other side of intense fandom. As these “princesses” race to find the script-leaker, they must rescue themselves from their own expectations, and redefine what it means to live happily ever after. 

4. Beauty Sleep – Kathryn Evans42243323
Laura was dying. There was no cure for her illness. So her family decided to grasp a desperate last hope – Laura was frozen until she could be cured.

But what happens when you wake up one day and the world has moved on forty years? Your best friend is middle-aged, your parents presumed dead. Could you find a new place to belong? Could you build a new life – while solving the mystery of what happened to the old one?

Dark secrets lurk in the future of the girl from the past… 

5. A Dress For the Wicked – Autumn Krause40220881
Nothing much happens in the sleepy town of Shy in Avon-upon-Kynt. And for eighteen years, Emmaline Watkins has feared that her future held just that: nothing.

But when the head of the most admired fashion house in the country opens her prestigious design competition to girls from outside the stylish capital city, Emmy’s dreams seem closer than they ever have before.

As the first “country girl” to compete, Emmy knows she’ll encounter extra hurdles on her way to the top. But as she navigates the twisted world of high fashion she starts to wonder: will she be able to tailor herself to fit into this dark, corrupted race? And at what cost?

6. The Furies – Katie Lowebook cover - 2019-03-11T211035.250
In 1998, a sixteen-year-old girl is found dead on school property, dressed in white and posed on a swing, with no known cause of death. The novel opens with this image, as related to us by the narrator, Violet, looking back on the night it happened from the present day, before returning to relate the series of events leading up to the girl’s murder.

After an accident involving her Dad and sister, Violet joins Elm Hollow Academy, a private girls school in a quiet coastal town, which has an unpleasant history as the site of famous 17th century witch trials. Violet quickly finds herself invited to become the fourth member of an advanced study group, alongside Robin, Grace, and Alex – led by their charismatic art teacher, Annabel.

While Annabel claims her classes aren’t related to ancient rites and rituals – warning the girls off the topic, describing it as little more than mythology – the girls start to believe that magic is real, and that they can harness it. But when the body of a former member of the society – Robin’s best friend, with whom Violet shares an uncanny resemblance – is found dead on campus nine months after she disappeared, Violet begins to wonder whether she can trust her friends, teachers, or even herself.

7. The Fandom Rising – Anna Day42768840
The heart-pounding sequel to THE FANDOM!

‘I cannot recommend The Fandom highly enough.’ LOUISE O’NEILL

Nate’s time is running out. Violet and Katie re-enter The Gallows Dance to rescue him, but when a rogue fanfiction writer emerges online – determined to put the dys back into dystopia – Alice is the only one with the power to save the story …

8. King of Fools – Amanda Foodybook cover (44)
Indulge your vices in the City of Sin, where a sinister street war is brewing and fame is the deadliest killer of them all…

On the quest to find her missing mother, prim and proper Enne Salta became reluctant allies with Levi Glaisyer, the city’s most famous con man. Saving his life in the Shadow Game forced Enne to assume the identity of Seance, a mysterious underworld figure. Now, with the Chancellor of the Republic dead and bounties on both their heads, she and Levi must play a dangerous game of crime and politics…with the very fate of New Reynes at stake.

Thirsting for his freedom and the chance to build an empire, Levi enters an unlikely partnership with Vianca Augustine’s estranged son. Meanwhile, Enne remains trapped by the mafia donna’s binding oath, playing the roles of both darling lady and cunning street lord, unsure which side of herself reflects the truth.

As Enne and Levi walk a path of unimaginable wealth and opportunity, new relationships and deadly secrets could quickly lead them into ruin. And when unforeseen players enter the game, they must each make an impossible choice: To sacrifice everything they’ve earned in order to survive…

Or die as legends.

9. As Far As the Stars – Virginia MacGregor35657726
How do you change what’s already written in the stars? 

Christopher is the sort of guy that no one notices, yet when Air catches sight of him making intricate paper birds in the airport, she can’t look away.
 
But their worlds are about to collide in ways they never expected. Someone they love is on Flight 0217 from London Heathrow. And it’s missing.
 
Convinced that her brother was on a different flight, Air drives them hundreds of miles across the country, on a trip that will change their lives forever.
 
But how do you tell the person you’re falling for that you might just be the reason their life has fallen apart?

Books I Bought:

10. Truly Devious – Maureen Johnson29589074
Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place” he said, “where learning is a game.”

Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym, Truly Devious. It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history. 

True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder.

11. The Quiet At the End of the World – Lauren James32716442
How far would you go to save those you love?

Lowrie and Shen are the youngest people on the planet after a virus caused global infertility. Closeted in a pocket of London and doted upon by a small, ageing community, the pair spend their days mudlarking for artefacts from history and looking for treasure in their once-opulent mansion.

Their idyllic life is torn apart when a secret is uncovered that threatens not only their family but humanity’s entire existence. Lowrie and Shen face an impossible choice: in the quiet at the end of the world, they must decide who to save and who to sacrifice . . .

12. Daisy Jones and the Six – Taylor Jenkins Reid40554141
Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now.

Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.

Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.

Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.

The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.

13. Red Country – Joe Abercrombie19042297
They burned her home.
They stole her brother and sister.
But vengeance is following.

Shy South hoped to bury her bloody past and ride away smiling, but she’ll have to sharpen up some bad old ways to get her family back, and she’s not a woman to flinch from what needs doing. She sets off in pursuit with only a pair of oxen and her cowardly old step father Lamb for company. But it turns out Lamb’s buried a bloody past of his own. And out in the lawless Far Country the past never stays buried.

Their journey will take them across the barren plains to a frontier town gripped by gold fever, through feud, duel and massacre, high into the unmapped mountains to a reckoning with the Ghosts. Even worse, it will force them into an alliance with Nicomo Cosca, infamous soldier of fortune, and his feckless lawyer Temple, two men no one should ever have to trust . . . 

14. Hunted – Megan Spooner24485589
Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them. 

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance. 

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

15. Release – Patrick Ness31194576
Inspired by Mrs Dalloway and Judy Blume’s Forever, Release is one day in the life of Adam Thorn, 17. It’s a big day. Things go wrong. It’s intense, and all the while, weirdness approaches…

Adam Thorn is having what will turn out to be the most unsettling, difficult day of his life, with relationships fracturing, a harrowing incident at work, and a showdown between this gay teen and his preacher father that changes everything. It’s a day of confrontation, running, sex, love, heartbreak, and maybe, just maybe, hope. He won’t come out of it unchanged. And all the while, lurking at the edges of the story, something extraordinary and unsettling is on a collision course.

16. Wicked Saints – Emily A. Duncanwicked saints
A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings. 

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy..

So those are all the books I picked up in April! If you’ve read any of these I’d love to know your thoughts, and definitely let me know which books you’ve picked up recently!

April Wrap Up!

April Wrap Up!

BOOK REVIEW - 2019-05-30T150932.001.png
I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus these last two weeks but I’m back and today I thought I would share my April wrap up. I seem to have managed to get out of the slump and managed to complete 12 books in April!

405541411. Daisy Jones and the Six – Taylor Jenkins Reid
Daisy Jones and the Six is definitely not the kind of book I would normally read but it completely sucked me in and totally lived up to the hype. I ended up loving it way more than I thought I would and I can’t wait to read more from Taylor Jenkins Reid. My full review for Daisy Jones can be found here. (4/5 stars)

2. Muse of Nightmares – Laini Taylorbook cover - 2019-04-02T135442.190
To coincide with the paperback release of this gorgeous book I was asked to participate in the blog tour. Muse of Nightmares is the sequel to Strange the Dreamer, a beautifully told fantasy story full of magic and adventure. I loved Muse of Nightmares just as much as I loved the first book in the series and I’m so glad I finally got around to reading it. You can check out my stop on the blog tour here. (5/5 stars)

3. Sleep – C. L. Taylorbook cover - 2019-03-24T181054.124
C. L. Taylor is fast becoming one of my favourite crime writers. Every single one of her books has had me on the edge of my seat. Sleep is a dark and twisty tale about a group of people staying at a hotel on a remote Scottish island. Everyone has secrets, but is one of them planning murder? I was completely shocked by the ending and I loved every second. Full review for this one is here! (4.5/5 stars)

4. Star Crossed – Minnie Darkebook cover - 2019-04-03T105924.120
This was such a cute and fun contemporary story! Star-Crossed revolves around star signs and really brings a fresh perspective to the contemporary genre. I completely adored the characters and was hooked on the story. This was another blog tour that I participated in so if you want to find out more you can check out my stop here. (3.5/5 stars)

5. The Devil Aspect – Craig Russellbook cover - 2019-04-19T094103.467
This book was so dark and creepy I couldn’t get enough. Craig Russell completely sucked me in with this story and I almost missed my train stop a few times because I was absorbed in the story. A mixture of historical fiction, horror and thriller – this story packs a punch and is full of excitement and quite a bit of gore. If you’re intrigued and you can find my full review here. (4.5/5 stars)

6. The Fandom Rising – Anna Day42768840
Anna Day is back with a fun and exciting sequel to The Fandom. In this instalment some of the characters return to the world of The Gallows Dance and there’s an added mystery going on in the real world. It was great to return to the characters we fell in love with in book one and I really enjoyed the story. (Review here!) (3.5/5 stars)

7. Summer Bird Blue – Akemi Dawn Bowmanbook cover - 2019-04-03T110806.863
Starfish was one of my favourite books of 2018 so I was really excited to read Summer Bird Blue. The story follows a young girl dealing with the loss of her sister in a car crash. The story is emotional and I loved the connection with music, but I didn’t mesh with the characters in the same way I did Starfish. (3/5 stars)

8. The Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes – Neil Gaiman6657541
I absolutely adore Neil Gaiman but for some reason I’ve never picked up The Sandman graphic novels. I rectified that this month by reading the first instalment – Preludes and Nocturnes. It was dark and gripping and the art work was completely stunning. I’m really looking forward to continuing the series and can’t wait to pick up volume two! (3.5/5 stars)

9. Release – Patrick Ness31194576
I picked this up while on holiday because it sounded like a really fascinating story about a day in the life of young Adam Thorn and a mysterious ghost that brings about the end of the world. It felt like I was reading two completely different stories and it left me feeling a bit disappointed. (2.5/5 stars)

10. The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkien38819529
I’m trying to reread some of my favourite books of all time so I figured this was the perfect opportunity to reread The Hobbit. No matter how many times I read it I still completely fall in love with the story. It’s such a well written tale and I already want to reread it again sometime soon. I’m definitely going to try and reread the Lord of the Rings books before the end of the year too. (5/5 stars)

11. The Lives Before Us – Juliet Conlinbook cover - 2019-04-09T224206.829
I absolutely loved The Uncommon Life of Alfred Warner in Six Days by Juliet Conlin so I was so excited to pick up her new book. This is such a beautiful and moving tale set during the Second World War. It’s full of heart and and it’s definitely a book I still think about even though I finished it ages ago. I can’t wait to see what Juliet writes next! (4/5 stars)

12. Emily Eternal – M. G. Wheatonbook cover - 2019-03-24T180649.748
I’m pretty sure I read this book in a single day. Emily Eternal is a science fiction story about an AI named Emily who is designed to help human trauma. The sun is dying and Emily discovers a secret that might save humanity, she must go on the run with her human friends and attempt to stop the end of the world. It’s jam packed with danger, excitement and adventure. It’s definitely a must read. (4/5 stars)

So those are all the books I read in April! I had an excellent reading month with lots of really brilliant books and I’m hoping that it will continue for the rest of the year!