Adding to Your TBR August 2017

Adding to your tbr

Adding to Your TBR August 2017

Adding books to your TBR (To Be Read list) is serious business #bookwormproblems I have more books on mine than I care to admit but fortunately, that doesn’t stop me adding more every month. So I am sharing my most anticipated books of August 2017 new releases to help you compile a threatening fabulous list too.

These are the books I am most looking forward to… (In order of release so you can get your pre-orders in before you forget!)

 

Have you read any of these? What’s on your TBR for August?

 

The Secret History of Us by Jessi Kirby 

Expected: 1 August 2017

A YA thriller with an unreliable narrator.

Adding to Your TBR

 

When Olivia awakes in a hospital bed following a car accident that almost took her life, she can’t remember the details about how she got there. She figures the fog is just a symptom of being in a week-long coma, but as time goes on, she realizes she’s lost more than just the last several days of her life—she’s lost her memory of the last four years. Gone is any recollection of starting or graduating high school; the prom; or her steady boyfriend Matt. Trying to figure out who she is feels impossible when everyone keeps telling her who she was. 

As Liv tries to block out what her family and friends say about who she used to be, the one person she hasn’t heard enough from is Walker, the guy who saved her the night her car was knocked off that bridge into the bay below. Walker is the hardened boy who’s been keeping his distance—and the only person Olivia inexplicably feels herself with. With her feelings growing for Walker, tensions rising with Matt, and secrets she can’t help but feel are being kept from her, Olivia must find her place in a life she doesn’t remember living. – Abstract from Goodreads

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Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber

Expected: 1 August 2017

A psychological thriller full of secrets and promising unpredictable twists.

Adding to Your TBR

 

Josie Buhrman has spent the last ten years trying to escape her family’s reputation and with good reason. After her father’s murder thirteen years prior, her mother ran away to join a cult and her twin sister Lanie, once Josie’s closest friend and confidant, betrayed her in an unimaginable way. Now, Josie has finally put down roots in New York, settling into domestic life with her partner Caleb, and that’s where she intends to stay.

The only problem is that she has lied to Caleb about every detail of her past—starting with her last name. -Goodreads

 

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Just Friends by Tiffany Pitcock

Expected: 1 August 2017

Well, I had to put at least on contemporary in! I know this sounds like thousands of books just like it but I know it’s going to be just the thing to turn a bad day around.

Adding to Your TBR

 

Jenny meets Chance for the very first time when she is assigned as his partner in their Junior Oral Communications class. But after they rescue a doomed assignment with one clever lie, the whole school is suddenly convinced that Little-Miss-Really-Likes-Having-A’s and the most scandalous heartbreaker in school have been best friends forever. It’s amazing how quickly a lie can grow―especially when you really, really want it to be the truth.

With Jenny, Chance can live the normal life he’s always kind of wanted. And with Chance, Jenny can have the exciting teen experiences that TV shows and movies have always promised. Through it all, they hold on to the fact that they are “just friends.” But that might be the biggest lie of all. – Abstract from Goodreads

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The Bakersville Dozen by Kristina McBride

Expected: 8 August 2017

I love scavenger hunts and with the chance to read a thriller with a scavenger hunt makes The Bakersville Dozen my most anticipated August read.

Adding to Your TBR

 

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 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… – Abstract from Goodreads

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Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

Expected: 8 August 2017

I loved Brandy Colbert’s ballet thriller Pointe (link to my 5-star review) so much that she became one of my ‘auto-buy’ authors so the inclusion of Little & Lion is a given.

Adding to Your TBR

 

When Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she isn’t sure if she’ll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (along with her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support.

But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new…the same girl her brother is in love with. When Lionel’s disorder spirals out of control, Suzette is forced to confront her past mistakes and find a way to help her brother before he hurts himself–or worse. – Abstract from Goodreads

Goodreads     Amazon.com     Amazon.co.uk    Book Depository 

 

 

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker 

Expected: 8 August 2017

Disappearing sisters, lies, dysfunctional family… this sounds like a winner!

Adding to Your TBR

 

One night three years ago, the Tanner sisters disappeared: fifteen-year-old Cass and seventeen-year-old Emma. Three years later, Cass returns, without her sister Emma. Her story is one of kidnapping and betrayal, of a mysterious island where the two were held. But to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter, something doesn’t add up. Looking deep within this dysfunctional family Dr. Winter uncovers a life where boundaries were violated and a narcissistic parent held sway. And where one sister’s return might just be the beginning of the crime. – Abstract from Goodreads

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The Diplomat’s Daughter by Karin Tanabe

Expected: 10 August 2017

After reading the brilliant Nora & Kettle by Lauren Nicolle Taylor, which highlighted the appalling conditions Japanese American citizens were subjected to after Pearl Harbour, I have been more aware of the US/Japanese aspect of WWII. I am strangely drawn to the Second World War but for the most part, my interest has centered on Europe. Having had the privilege of living in Indonesia I have seen relics of their Japanese Occupation and I am looking forward to immersing myself and learning more about the Asian Pacific aspect.

Adding to Your TBR

 

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. – Abstract from Goodreads

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A Map for Wrecked Girls by Jessica Taylor

Expected: 15 August 2017

I have been on the fence with this one, it could go anyway. But I’m going to put my trust in the early ratings on Goodreads and give it a go.

Adding to Your TBR

 

Emma had always orbited Henri, her fierce, magnetic queen bee of an older sister, and the two had always been best friends. Until something happened that wrecked them. Then the unthinkable occurs—a watery nightmare off the dazzling coast. The girls wash up on shore, stranded. Their only companion is Alex, a troubled boy agonizing over his own secrets. Trapped in this gorgeous hell, Emma and Alex fall together as Emma and Henri fall catastrophically apart. 

To find their way home, the sisters must find their way back to each other. But there’s no map for this—or anything. Can they survive the unearthing of the past and the upheaval of the present?  – Abstract from Goodreads

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Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popović

Expected: 15 August 2017

Another one I am not too sure about, but again it’s had great early reviews…

Adding to Your TBR

 

All the women in Iris and Malina’s family have the unique magical ability or “gleam” to manipulate beauty. Iris sees flowers as fractals and turns her kaleidoscope visions into glasswork, while Malina interprets moods as music. But their mother has strict rules to keep their gifts a secret, even in their secluded sea-side town. Iris and Malina are not allowed to share their magic with anyone, and above all, they are forbidden from falling in love. 

But when their mother is mysteriously attacked, the sisters will have to unearth the truth behind the quiet lives their mother has built for them. They will discover a wicked curse that haunts their family line—but will they find that the very magic that bonds them together is destined to tear them apart forever? – Abstract from Goodreads

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Zero Repeat Forever by Gabrielle Prendergast

Expected: 29 August 2017

OMG just look at this cover! #coverlove I don’t read a lot of science fiction, and although I added it to my TBR just for the cover, the story line is intriguing and the early ratings in Goodreads are excellent.

Adding to Your TBR

 

He has no voice, or name, only a rank, Eighth. He doesn’t know the details of the mission, only the directives that hum in his mind.

Dart the humans. Leave them where they fall.

His job is to protect his Offside. Let her do the shooting.

Until a human kills her… – Goodreads

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The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Narratored by Christian Coulson

 

I fell in love with the irresistible Monty within the first paragraph and Percy shortly after. Witty, sensitive and adorable these two precious and extremely shippable characters will burrow into your heart before the end of chapter one.

So although I’ve got nothing on but my waistcoat—by some sorcery now buttoned back to front—and one shoe, it seems safe to assume we both kept our bits to ourselves.

It takes a little longer to reach the ‘real’ Felicity but she’s the kind of brave, smart, independent girl I’d love to be. Mackenzi Lee has promised a spin-off book The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy in 2018 where Felicity gets a turn to shine.

I’d like you to both remember just how much you adore me and how dull and gloomy your lives would be without me in them.

I listened to the Audible audio version and Christian Coulson was a brilliant narrator portraying the hilarious, oblivious, flawed and outrageous Monty through their unexpected detour off the preplanned road-trip.

We are not broken things, neither of us.

Fast-paced, adventurous, romantic and quirky The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is also the funniest book I have read in a long time.

There’s really nothing to do but pretend I’m fully clothed and in control of the situation.

The diversity of the characters feels natural and a far cry from the run-of-the-mill ‘read me’ stories who force diversity into the story like an add-on.

And we are looking at each other, just looking, and I swear there are whole lifetimes lived in those small, shared moments.5 Star

 

 

Title: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

Author: Mackenzie Lee 

Narrator: Christian CoulsonThe Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

Publication Date: 27 June 2017

Publisher: Harper Audio

Source: Purchased

 

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Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.  — Abstract from Goodreads.com

 

Girl on the Verge by Pintip Dunn

Girl on the Verge

Girl on the Verge by Pintip Dunn

 

The good news is Girl on the Verge is good, the bad news… it’s good – but just doesn’t tip the scales to great simply because it’s just a little too shallow. The shallowness of both plot and characters let the story down. The storyline, although unoriginal, has all the makings of a brilliant psychological thriller where the reader alternates between wanting to slap the gullible character and hiding under the duvet. More depth is needed and although there were occasional flashes of sinister, dark intent I wanted more. Much more.

… it makes the chill crawl up my back, one long spider leg at a time.

Of all the characters Kan stood out and I empathised with her perception of always being the odd one out. All the secondary characters were flimsy paper dolls.

I could explain how I’m from two worlds but don’t fit in either.

I visited Thailand once, but it was a fleeting stay so it was a huge bonus to glimpse a little of the Thai culture through Kan’s grandmother whose authentic Thai food made my mouth water.

“We’ve kept this secret for seventeen years…”3 Star

 

 

Title: Girl on the VergeGirl on the Verge

Author: Pintip Dunn

Publication Date: 27 June 2017

Publisher: Kensington

Source: Review copy

 

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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… — 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.

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 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.

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