The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

The Nightingale

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, narrated by Polly Stone

The Nightingale is a story that I will remember. Not just remember, embrace. More than a story, this book clings to me. Its heart and soul speak out as though it was made for preserving. A keepsake.

… grief, like regret, settles into our DNA and remains forever part of us.

I am drawn to WWII books, in particular, those set in occupied France. I don’t know why – they are almost always sad and I tend to question what I would have done in the same situation… I know I courage would have failed me and that doesn’t lead to happy thoughts. But it is why I found myself drawn to Vianne whose courage didn’t come easy.

If I have learned anything in this long life of mine, it is this: In love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are.

Although the Goodreads abstract below suggests the sisters were always close this isn’t how I interpreted their relationship which had been negatively influenced by the loss of their mother, subsequent absent father, and very different personalities. Their tenuous bond fluctuated over the course of the war and brought additional tension and emotion to the story.

“Men tell stories. Women get on with it. For us it was a shadow war. There were no parades for us when it was over, no medals or mentions in history books. We did what we had to during the war, and when it was over, we picked up the pieces and started our lives over.”

While the novel is written in the third person, the intermittent glimpse to the future (1995) is narrated by one of the sisters (it is not clear for the majority of the book which sister this is) in the first person. This glimpse forward with its unmistakable hindsight adds an element of mystery to the story which I loved.

He held her gaze and suddenly she couldn’t breathe. “I am a soldier now it seems”.

The book ended with me in tears – as almost all great books do. My last notes are monosyllables: brilliant, sad, love, forgiveness, courage, courage, courage…5 Star

 

 

Title: The NightingaleThe Nightingale

Author: Kristin Hannah 

Narrator: Polly Stone

Publication Date: 3 February 2015

Publisher: Macmillan Audio

Source: Review copy

 

 

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Despite their differences, sisters Vianne and Isabelle have always been close. Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Vianne is content with life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. But when the Second World War strikes, Antoine is sent off to fight and Vianne finds herself isolated so Isabelle is sent by their father to help her.

As the war progresses, the sisters’ relationship and strength are tested. With life changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Vianne and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.  — Abstract from Goodreads.com

 

Life in a Fishbowl by Len Vlahos

Life in a FishbowlLife in a Fishbowl by Len Vlahos

Their house was being transformed into a cruel kind of fishbowl, and all they could do was pucker and swim.

Life in a Fishbowl… Where to start? I didn’t like this book. The plot concept had potential but ultimately lacked execution and the matter-of-fact, detached writing style was off-putting.

That’s when it would be game over. But the tumor didn’t know that. It only knew it had to keep eating, that Jared’s memories tasted wonderful, that they were things to be savored.

 

Why didn’t I like it you ask?…

Too many third-party PVO’s (point-of-views) to keep track of and – wait for it – one of those voices is the brain tumour, a glioblastoma to be precise, killing Jackie’s father.

Deirdre was crying. More than anything, the glioblastoma wanted to stop her from crying.

But even this aspect could have worked better if the tumour voice was a more realistic, perhaps more scientific. Instead, it’s personified – with feelings. And decision-making skills. Maybe a bit of sarcastic wit could have made a difference…? But all the tumour character did was give the story a dry, warped, fantasy twist. Which was awful and meaningless, taking up space in the book which would have been better suited to developing the flimsy human characters.

In that moment, the tumor knew, the bond formed between father and daughter was unbreakable. It paused to savor that feeling, letting the unbridled happiness envelop it.

Theses human characters were the typical paper-doll kind, you know the ones, so superficial they can hardly stand up. Many of them play such a small, arbitrary role in the story it’s hard to know why they are there.

 

Title: Life in a Fishbowl

Author: Len Vlahos 

Publication Date: 3 January 2017Life in a Fishbowl

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Source: Review copy

 

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Fifteen-year-old Jackie Stone is a prisoner in her own house. Everything she says and does 24/7 is being taped and broadcast to every television in America. Why? Because her dad is dying of a brain tumor and he has auctioned his life on eBay to the highest bidder: a ruthless TV reality show executive at ATN.

Gone is her mom’s attention and cooking and parent-teacher conferences. Gone is her sister’s trust ever since she’s been dazzled by the cameras and new-found infamy. Gone is her privacy. Gone is the whole family’s dignity as ATN twists their words and makes a public mockery of their lives on Life and Death. But most of all, Jackie fears that one day very soon her father will just be . . . gone. Armed only with her ingenuity and the power of the internet, Jackie is determined to end the show and reclaim all of their lives, even in death.  — Abstract from Goodreads.com

 

The fact that I received this copy of this book from the publisher does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Disclaimer: The quotes appear in my advanced review copy and may not appear in the final version.

Series – Why I Delay Reading Them

Series

 

Confession… I often forget what a book was about – even if it’s one I really liked. #bookwormproblems I’m sure you’ll agree that my excuses explanations are valid:

  • I read a lot.
  • Half my attention is on what to read next.
  • I sometimes read more than one book at a time.
  • I alternate during the day between reading one book and listening to another on Audible.
  • Authors and Publishers deliberately confuse readers by changing the covers.

And one of the biggest #bookwormproblem of all is that authors don’t write fast enough. (Yes, I know the other big #bookwormproblem is they write too fast and how am I going to ever get through my TBR) but when it comes to series I have often forgotten the essence of the story by the time the sequel comes out…

My solution: avoid series until all books have been published so I can binge read. This brings its own problems… Avoiding spoilers, missing out on the hype excitement and struggling to find anyone interested enough to talk about book 1 after they’ve read the whole series.

The following series are ones I intend to read. One day. Maybe. Once all books are published.

My most anticipated series

Which ones can you recommend? Do you read the first book in a series as soon as it’s published or do you delay like I do?


Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

Book 1: Wintersong

SeriesAll her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns. – abstract from Goodreads

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Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge

Book 1: Bright Smoke, Cold Fire

SeriesWhen the mysterious fog of the Ruining crept over the world, the living died and the dead rose. Only the walled city of Viyara was left untouched. The heirs of the city’s most powerful—and warring—families, Mahyanai Romeo and Juliet Catresou share a love deeper than duty, honor, even life itself.

But the magic laid on Juliet at birth compels her to punish the enemies of her clan—and Romeo has just killed her cousin Tybalt. Which means he must die.- abstract from Goodreads

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Poison’s Kiss by Breeana Shields

Book 1: Poison’s Kiss

SeriesMarinda has kissed dozens of boys. They all die afterward. It’s a miserable life, but being a visha kanya, a poison maiden, is what she was created to do. Marinda serves the Raja by dispatching his enemies with only her lips as a weapon.

Until now, the men she was ordered to kiss have been strangers, enemies of the kingdom. Then she receives orders to kiss Deven, a boy she knows too well to be convinced he needs to die. She begins to question who she s really working for. And that is a thread that, once pulled, will unravel more than she can afford to lose. – abstract from Goodreads

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Monsters of Verity by Victoria Schwab

Book 1: This Savage Song

SeriesKate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music.

When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives. – abstract from Goodreads

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The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye

Book 1: The Crown’s Game

SeriesVika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.- abstract from Goodreads

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The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

Book 1: The Girl from Everywhere  

SeriesNix has spent her entire life aboard her father’s ship, sailing across the centuries, across the world, across myth and imagination.

As long as her father has a map for it, he can sail to any time, any place, real or imagined: nineteenth-century China, the land from One Thousand and One Nights, a mythic version of Africa. Along the way they have found crewmates and friends, and even a disarming thief who could come to mean much more to Nix. But the end to it all looms closer every day. – abstract from Goodreads

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Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Book 1: Passenger

SeriesIn one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them—whether she wants to or not. – abstract from Goodreads

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Lux by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Book 1: Obsidian

SeriesStarting over sucks. When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring… until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth. Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something… unexpected happens. – abstract from Goodreads

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The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Book 1: The Wrath and the Dawn

SeriesIn a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. – abstract from Goodreads

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The Chronicles of Alice by Christina Henry

Book 1: Alice

&nbspSeriesIn a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls which echo the screams of the poor souls inside. In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blond, hangs in tangles down her back. She doesn’t remember why she’s in such a terrible place. Just a tea party long ago, and long ears, and blood…

Then, one night, a fire at the hospital gives the woman a chance to escape, tumbling out of the hole that imprisoned her, leaving her free to uncover the truth about what happened to her all those years ago. Only something else has escaped with her. Something dark. Something powerful. – abstract from Goodreads

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Top Ten Tuesday

 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish.

Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index by Julie Israel

Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index

Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index is a thoughtful story with likable characters and a hopeful message. The suspense added a thread of bittersweet brilliance throughout the story.

Once there was a girl who made a wish in anger. She didn’t mean it, but that didn’t matter because at that very moment a star was falling and heard her and listened.

There were many elements that reminded me of one of my favourite books I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Ropes are snapping. My cool dangles by a thread.

Juniper and her sister Cammie’s story is revealed slowly, like a secret. This, combined with brilliant, unpredictable twists keeps the reader in suspense and adds tension to the story which I loved.

It’s hard to keep close a person everyone is telling you is gone.

YA authors are writing more and more about dealing with the loss of a parent, sibling or friend. These books are very necessary particularly because not only do we all handle grief in a different way, we are all going to be dealing with grief in our lives at some point.

A sister.
A lined card.
A lover in a letter.
A blank night, a blackout: the hours I can’t remember.

4 Star

 

 

 

Title: Juniper Lemon’s Happiness IndexJuniper Lemon’s Happiness Index

Author: Julie Israel

Publication Date: 1 June 2017

Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books

Source: Review copy

 

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It’s been sixty-five days since the accident that killed Juniper’s sister, and ripped Juniper’s world apart.

Then she finds the love letter: written by Camilla on the day of the accident, addressed mysteriously to “You,” but never sent. Desperate to learn You’s identity and deliver the message, Juniper starts to investigate.

Until she loses something. A card from her Happiness Index: a ritual started by sunny Camie for logging positives each day. It’s what’s been holding Juniper together since her death – but a lost card only widens the hole she left behind. And this particular card contains Juniper’s own dark secret: a memory she can’t let anyone else find out.

The search for You and her card take Juniper to even less expected places, and as she connects with those whose secrets she upturns in the effort, she may just find the means to make peace with her own.  — Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a free advanced copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Disclaimer: The quotes appear in my advanced review copy and may not appear in the final version.

Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson

 Midnight at the Electric

Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson

“I think all my life my heart has been broken… and I didn’t even notice. And I don’t even know by what.”

Midnight at the Electric was added to my TBR (to-be-read list) simply for its haunting title, gorgeous cover and the possibility of magic these allude to. But the magic escaped me and I am now left with a burning question…

We are a house full of secrets. The main secret is we are afraid.

Actually, I had a lot of questions at first as story threads are not very clear (at least to me) and I spent a few hours scrolling back and forth to try and work out what I had missed and how the characters across time intertwine. I worked much it out in the end – who belongs to who and who ended up where. These answers lead to further questions… what happened to everyone? One of the family lines is rather flimsy having neither a history nor a present and I wonder why are they in the story?

…I am strange to myself and getting stranger all the time.

But, back to the question I’m still trying to answer.

Spoiler Alert!

Midnight at the Electric - The Title

The title has little to do with the story… Why give the book the title ‘Midnight at the Electric’ when the Electric hardly features in the story? Actually, it is in barely more than a chapter and that is mostly the build up to the midnight event. A couple of paragraphs about it in the beginning of the book and bam! it is never mentioned again. Not the Electric nor its consequences… What am I missing?

[collapse]

“Apparently, people need closure,” she said. “It’s some kind of thing.

The characters are unique and interesting but it’s a strange story – so many loose ends… I think I also need closure.

I don’t think you can leave a person you love without leaving your skeleton behind.
crushingcinders.com

 

 

Title: Midnight at the Electric  

Author: Jodi Lynn AndersonMidnight at the Electric

Publication Date: 13 June 2017 

Publisher: HarperTeen

Source: Review copy

 

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Kansas, 2065 Adri has been handpicked to live on Mars. But weeks before Launch, she discovers the journal of a girl who lived in her house over a hundred years ago, and is immediately drawn into the mystery surrounding her fate. While Adri knows she must focus on the mission ahead, she becomes captivated by a life that’s been lost in time…and how it might be inextricably tied to her own.

Oklahoma, 1934 Amidst the fear and uncertainty of the Dust Bowl, Catherine longs for the immortality promised by a professor at a traveling show called The Electric. But as her family’s situation becomes more dire — and the suffocating dust threatens her sister’s life — Catherine must find the courage to sacrifice everything she loves in order to save the one person she loves most.

England, 1919 In the recovery following World War One, Lenore tries to come to terms with her grief for her brother, a fallen British soldier and plans to sail to America in pursuit of a childhood friend. But even if she makes it that far, will her friend be the person she remembers, and the one who can bring her back to herself?
— Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a free advanced copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Disclaimer: The quotes appear in my advanced review copy and may not appear in the final version.

Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau

Dividing Eden

 

Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau

Dividing Eden has all the necessary political intrigue murder and espionage to make it work, but it lacks pace and world building.

Freedom was a myth

The positive

The twists were unexpected and left me confused – which twin was I rooting for? I started off rooting for one, only to change my alliance a few times during the story.

The world was safer when people believed justice was the same for the powerless and those in power.

The negative

Agonisingly slow (including the repetitive setting-the-scene) through much of the first half and far more political than I expected. This led me to compare it to Grave Mercy, a beautiful book with intense world building that Dividing Eden didn’t live up to.

Freedom was a mirage. It taunted and promised a great deal as it hung just out of reach.

The many unanswered questions and the ending left plenty of room for the sequel/s. I just hope that they are published fairly soon as I am not so sure I am going to be eager to pick up the next book unless this one is still fresh in my mind.

3 Star

 

 

Title: Dividing Eden

Dividing Eden
Series: Dividing Eden #1
Author:  Joelle Charbonneau
Publication Date: 6 June 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Review copy

 

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Twins Carys and Andreus were never destined to rule Eden. With their older brother next in line to inherit the throne, the future of the kingdom was secure.

But appearances—and rivals—can be deceiving. When Eden’s king and crown prince are killed by assassins, Eden desperately needs a monarch, but the line of succession is no longer clear. With a ruling council scheming to gain power, Carys and Andreus are faced with only one option—to take part in a Trial of Succession that will determine which one of them is worthy of ruling the kingdom.

As sister and brother, Carys and Andreus have always kept each other safe—from their secrets, from the court, and from the monsters lurking in the mountains beyond the kingdom’s wall. But the Trial of Succession will test the bonds of trust and family.  — Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a free advanced copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Disclaimer: The quotes appear in my advanced review copy and may not appear in the final version.

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June & July 2017 Books For Your TBR

June & July 2017 Books For Your TBR For Your TBR (‘To Be Read’ Pile/List/Stack)

I am so excited for the following June & July 2017 releases. You’re going to need to add them to your TBR too!

In order of release date…

 

Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Expected publication: 13 June 2017
Science Fiction / Historical Fiction / YA

June & July 2017 Books For Your TBRThis book made my TBR on its stunning cover alone, but I am also intrigued to see how the story works over three time periods.

Kansas, 2065 Adri has been handpicked to live on Mars. But weeks before Launch, she discovers the journal of a girl who lived in her house over a hundred years ago and is immediately drawn into the mystery surrounding her fate. While Adri knows she must focus on the mission ahead, she becomes captivated by a life that’s been lost in time…and how it might be inextricably tied to her own. 

Oklahoma, 1934 Amidst the fear and uncertainty of the Dust Bowl, Catherine longs for the immortality promised by a professor at a traveling show called The Electric. But as her family’s situation becomes more dire — and the suffocating dust threatens her sister’s life — Catherine must find the courage to sacrifice everything she loves in order to save the one person she loves most. 

England, 1919 In the recovery following World War One, Lenore tries to come to terms with her grief for her brother, a fallen British soldier, and plans to sail to America in pursuit of a childhood friend. But even if she makes it that far, will her friend be the person she remembers, and the one who can bring her back to herself?  – Goodreads

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The Lost Letter by Jillian Cantor

Expected publication: 13 June 2017
Historical Fiction

June & July 2017 Books For Your TBR

I love WWII stories. This one gives insight into the generation after the war with secrets to discover.

Austria, 1938.
Kristoff is a young apprentice to a master Jewish stamp engraver. When his teacher disappears during Kristallnacht, Kristoff is forced to engrave stamps for the Germans, and simultaneously works alongside Elena, his beloved teacher’s fiery daughter, and with the Austrian resistance to send underground messages and forge papers. As he falls for Elena amidst the brutal chaos of war, Kristoff must find a way to save her, and himself. 

Los Angeles, 1989. 
Katie Nelson is going through a divorce and while cleaning out her house and life in the aftermath, she comes across the stamp collection of her father, who recently went into a nursing home. When an appraiser, Benjamin, discovers an unusual World War II-era Austrian stamp placed on an old love letter as he goes through her dad’s collection, Katie and Benjamin are sent on a journey together that will uncover a story of passion and tragedy spanning decades and continents, behind the just fallen Berlin Wall.  – Goodreads

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Girl on the Verge by Pintip Dunn

Expected publication: 17 June 2017
Thriller / YA

June & July 2017 Books For Your TBR

Another beautiful cover! Girl on the Verge is a psychological thriller and I am excited to learn more about Thai culture.

In her small Kansas town, at her predominantly white school, Kanchana doesn’t look like anyone else. But at home, her Thai grandmother chides her for being too westernized. Only through the clothing Kan designs in secret can she find a way to fuse both cultures into something distinctly her own.

When her mother agrees to provide a home for a teenage girl named Shelly, Kan sees a chance to prove herself useful. Making Shelly feel comfortable is easy at first—her new friend is eager to please, embraces the family’s Thai traditions, and clearly looks up to Kan. Perhaps too much. Shelly seems to want everything Kanchana has, even the blond, blue-eyed boy she has a crush on. As Kan’s growing discomfort compels her to investigate Shelly’s past, she’s shocked to find how much it intersects with her own—and just how far Shelly will go to belong…  – Goodreads

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The Bakersville Dozen by Kristina McBride

Expected publication: 4 July 2017
Thriller / YA

June & July 2017 Books For Your TBR

Nobody should be surprised to see another thriller on my list. This one sounds like there is a scavenger hunt included. Bonus!

You have four days to locate five treasured trophies. Break the rules and you all die. Happy hunting!

Back in September, the town of Bakersville, Ohio made national news when a video went viral featuring thirteen of the high school’s elite in compromising positions. Now it’s May, and every month since the “Bakersville Dozen” made their infamous appearance on the national stage, one girl has gone missing. Officials are no closer to identifying the criminal.

Bailey “Like a Virgin” Holzman is getting really fed up with the scrutiny. She just wants to enjoy the rest of her senior year and have an epic summer before heading off to college. So when she discovers a note in her locker on the last day of school inviting her on a scavenger hunt, she thinks it’s just a sweet surprise from her boyfriend trying to cheer her up.

But following the clue leads her, instead, to the first official casualty. And another sinister envelope. The killer is close, and it could be anyone. Even the people Bailey’s always trusted most—her best friend, her perfect boyfriend, or the boy-next-door she’s always pined for.

With the clock ticking, she faces a terrifying choice: play the game by the killer’s rules—follow the clues, tell no one, and no cops—for a chance to save the rest of the missing girls, or risk becoming the next grisly victim. – Goodreads

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The Diplomat’s Daughter by Karin Tanabe

Expected publication: 11 July 2017
Historical Fiction

June & July 2017 Books For Your TBR

Yes, it’s another WWII story. I can’t resist! This one is from a German and Japanese POW perspective.

During the turbulent months following the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor, twenty-one-year-old Emi Kato, the daughter of a Japanese diplomat, is locked behind barbed wire in a Texas internment camp. She feels hopeless until she meets handsome young Christian Lange, whose German-born parents were wrongfully arrested for un-American activities. Together, they live as prisoners with thousands of other German and Japanese families, but discover that love can bloom in even the bleakest circumstances.

When Emi and her mother are abruptly sent back to Japan, Christian enlists in the US Army, with his sights set on the Pacific front—and, he hopes, a reunion with Emi—unaware that her first love, Leo Hartmann, the son of wealthy of Austrian parents and now a Jewish refugee in Shanghai, may still have her heart. – Goodreads

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The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham

Expected publication: 11 July 2017
Thriller

June & July 2017 Books For Your TBR

How far would you go to protect your family? This psychological thriller is going to keep me awake. Bring it on!

Agatha is pregnant and works part-time stocking shelves at a grocery store in a ritzy London suburb, counting down the days until her baby is due. As the hours of her shifts creep by in increasing discomfort, the one thing she looks forward to at work is catching a glimpse of Meghan, the effortlessly chic customer whose elegant lifestyle dazzles her. Meghan has it all: two perfect children, a handsome husband, a happy marriage, a stylish group of friends, and she writes perfectly droll confessional posts on her popular parenting blog—posts that Agatha reads with devotion each night as she waits for her absent boyfriend, the father of her baby, to maybe return her calls.

When Agatha learns that Meghan is pregnant again, and that their due dates fall within the same month, she finally musters up the courage to speak to her, thrilled that they now have the ordeal of childbearing in common. Little does Meghan know that the mundane exchange she has with a grocery store employee during a hurried afternoon shopping trip is about to change the course of her not-so-perfect life forever… – Goodreads

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This is How it Happened by Paula Stokes

Expected publication: 11 July 2017
Contemporary / YA

June & July 2017 Books For Your TBR

Amnesia, assumptions. guilt and social media collide in this book.

Somehow I’ve become a liar. A coward. Here’s how it happened.

When Genevieve Grace wakes up from a coma, she can’t remember the car crash that injured her and killed her boyfriend Dallas, a YouTube star who had just released his first album. Genevieve knows she was there, and that there was another driver, a man named Brad Freeman, who everyone assumes is guilty. But as she slowly pieces together the night of the accident, Genevieve is hit with a sickening sense of dread—that maybe she had something to do with what happened.

As the internet rages against Brad Freeman, condemning him in a brutal trial by social media, Genevieve escapes to her father’s house, where she can hide from reporters and spend the summer volunteering in beautiful Zion National Park. But she quickly realizes that she can’t run away from the accident, or the terrible aftermath of it all. – Goodreads

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The Color Project by Sierra Abrams

Expected publication: 18 July 2017
Contemporary / YA

June & July 2017 Books For Your TBR

OMG, this is another gorgeous cover! Yes, it made my TBR because of its beauty, but I am very happy that it focuses on family and friendship. If that doesn’t tempt you then maybe this will… Goodreads advocates it as ‘for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson‘.

Bernice Aurora Wescott has one thing she doesn’t want anyone to know: her name. That is, until Bee meets Levi, the local golden boy who runs a charity organization called The Color Project.

Levi is not at all shy about attempting to guess Bee’s real name; his persistence is one of the many reasons why Bee falls for him. But while Levi is everything she never knew she needed, giving up her name would feel like a stamp on forever. And that terrifies her.

When unexpected news of an illness in the family drains Bee’s summer of everything bright, she is pushed to the breaking point. Losing herself in The Color Project—a world of weddings, funerals, cancer patients, and hopeful families that the charity funds—is no longer enough. Bee must hold up the weight of her family, but to do that, she needs Levi. She’ll have to give up her name and let him in completely or lose the best thing that’s ever happened to her. – Goodreads

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Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips

Expected publication: 25 July 2017
Thriller

June & July 2017 Books For Your TBR

Another thriller… just roll with it! How far would you go to protect your baby? This one is going to be scary! It covers just three hours – I am fascinated to see how Gin Phillips handles a whole story set over such a short time period.

An electrifying novel about the primal and unyielding bond between a mother and her son, and the lengths she’ll go to protect him.

The zoo is nearly empty as Joan and her four-year-old son soak up the last few moments of playtime. They are happy, and the day has been close to perfect. But what Joan sees as she hustles her son toward the exit gate minutes before closing time sends her sprinting back into the zoo, her child in her arms. And for the next three hours–the entire scope of the novel–she keeps on running.

Suddenly, mother and son are as trapped as the animals. Joan’s intimate knowledge of this place that filled early motherhood with happy diversions–the hidden pathways and under-renovation exhibits, the best spots on the carousel and overstocked snack machines–is all that keeps them a step ahead of danger. – Goodreads

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Little Monsters by Kara Thomas

Expected publication: 25 July 2017
Thriller / YA

June & July 2017 Books For Your TBRAlthough I am hoping this is not too much like Mean Girls, I am looking forward to the secrets and suspense.

Kacey is the new girl in Broken Falls. When she moved in with her father, she stepped into a brand-new life. A life with a stepbrother, a stepmother, and strangest of all, an adoring younger half sister.

Kacey’s new life is eerily charming compared with the wild highs and lows of the old one she lived with her volatile mother. And everyone is so nice in Broken Falls—she’s even been welcomed into a tight new circle of friends. Bailey and Jade invite her to do everything with them.

Which is why it’s so odd when they start acting distant. And when they don’t invite her to the biggest party of the year, it doesn’t exactly feel like an accident.

But Kacey will never be able to ask, because Bailey never makes it home from that party. Suddenly, Broken Falls doesn’t seem so welcoming after all—especially once everyone starts looking to the new girl for answers.

Kacey is about to learn some very important lessons: Sometimes appearances can be deceiving. Sometimes when you’re the new girl, you shouldn’t trust anyone. – Goodreads

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I can’t wait to hear what you think! Have you got any of these on your TBR? Were you lucky enough to get  ARCs and have already read them?

Top Ten Tuesday

 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish.

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

When Dimple Met Rishi

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

When Dimple Met Rishi has been one of my most anticipated 2017 read and it’s a sweet, feel-good, happy book. Although predictable and sporting a few small hiccups, I enjoyed the story.

His lines were confident and sure, the emerging picture comical and twisted and breathtakingly mesmerizing all at the same time.

 

What I liked:

The sweet, quirky characters, the brother bond, and the setting.

The easy friendship that Dimple and Rishi fell effortlessly into, skipping most of the drama that usually goes into insta-love stories.

Getting a glimpse into Hinduism and the traditional aspects, especially as the characters are so proud of their heritage.

This wasn’t just an arranged marriage to Rishi; this was the rich fabric of history, stretched through time and space.

 

What I didn’t like:

The insta-love.

The story is not unique and very similar to Nothing But The Truth (and a few white lies) by Justina Chen Headley.

You’ve made me braver. It’s like you have this paintbrush, dipped in brilliant mauves and teals and golds…3 star

 

 

Title: When Dimple Met Rishi  When Dimple Met Rishi

Author: Sandhya Menon

Publication Date: 30 May 2017

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Source: Review copy

 

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Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways  — Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a free advanced copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Disclaimer: The quotes appear in my advanced review copy and may not appear in the final version.

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Wait for Me by Caroline Leech

Wait for Me by Caroline Leech

Wait for me, set in Scotland during the last year before the end of WWII, is a sweet, easy-to-read story in a beautiful setting. I love books set during WWII and are automatically attracted to them so I was thrilled when I received a review copy from Jonathan Ball Publishers.

The wail of the air-raid siren in the village rose above the shrieking engine.

While I enjoyed the book, the story had some very typical cliché moments which made it predictable and although the content is not, the writing style is quite juvenile which I found frustrating.

“But they’re Germans,” she said. “The enemy! You can’t be bringing enemy soldiers onto our farm, Dad. No!”

My biggest bugbear of the book was the…

Spoiler Alert

I didn’t like the way rape was handled in the book which implies that it is something to ashamed of and to keep quiet about.

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3 star

 

 

Title: Wait for Me 

Author: Caroline Leech

Publication Date: 31 January 2017Wait for Me

Publisher: HarperTeen

Source: Review copy

 

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It’s 1945, and Lorna Anderson’s life on her father’s farm in Scotland consists of endless chores and rationing, knitting Red Cross scarves, and praying for an Allied victory. So when Paul Vogel, a German prisoner of war, is assigned as the new farmhand, Lorna is appalled. How can she possibly work alongside the enemy when her own brothers are risking their lives for their country?

But as Lorna reluctantly spends time with Paul, she feels herself changing. The more she learns about him—from his time in the war to his life back home in Germany—the more she sees the boy behind the soldier. Soon Lorna is battling her own warring heart. Loving Paul could mean losing her family and the life she’s always known. With tensions rising all around them, Lorna must decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice before the end of the war determines their fate.  Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a free review copy of this book from  Jonathan Ball Publishers does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

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Hushed by Joanne Macgregor

Hushed

Hushed by Joanne Macgregor

“Hush!” she hisses at me so loudly that the bearded dragon flinches and starts bobbing his head in agitation.

Hushed, a contemporary romantic retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid, is a feel-good, light-hearted, fun read.

“Are you saying there were sharks in that water?”

Set in South Africa’s beautiful Western Cape, the story includes a vital environmental message which packs a punch without being preachy.The few South African words scattered throughout the story adds to its authenticity and don’t worry there is a helpful glossary for those who have yet to experience our unique blend of colloquialisms.

The sky surrenders its last blush, the clouds smudge charcoal against the deepening wash of indigo…

While the characters are post-school, I think Hush reads more like YA (Young Adult).

The trick in life, I think, is to figure out what you truly want and then go all out to get it.

I had a little trouble with…

Spoiler Alert!!

I had a little trouble marrying the Romy in the beginning where she goes a bit overboard on fangirling to her rather more practical and down-to-earth character for the rest of the story.

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“No. She told me to keep my mouth shut and my eyes open.”

and I thought…

Spoiler Alert!!

I thought it rather sad that Romy had little connection with her best friend while she was in a relationship.

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…”And thank you for saving me. I enjoyed it enormously. Except for the screaming in the cemetery…”

An overall beautifully unique retelling. The perfect summer reading for those in the Northern Hemisphere. And to us down south – A #ProudlySouthAfrican celebration of one of our most talented authors and an irresistible corner of our country. Don’t miss this book.
4 Star

 

Title: Hushed 

Author: Joanne Macgregor 

Publication Date: 26 March 2017

Publisher: Joanne Macgregor 

Source: Review copy

 

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18-year-old Romy Morgan desperately longs to escape the boring future her parents have planned for her, and explore the world.

When she saves her celebrity crush, superstar Logan Rush, from drowning, Romy is offered a job as his personal assistant. She strikes a deal to reinvent herself in exchange for entering the exciting world of the movies, and love sparks between her and this prince of Hollywood. But Romy soon discovers that she has traded her voice and identity for an illusion of freedom.

When she discovers a dreadful secret with the power to destroy Logan, Romy must choose between love, revenge and finding her own, true element. — Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a review copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

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