Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman

Girl Out of Water

Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman

 

Girl Out of Water, a story of a summer away from home. For Anise, this not only means being away from her friends but also surfing, her passion.

… not only have I been torn away from home this summer…

Anise is a very difficult character to like. She is very competitive, and for the most part self-indulgent. But these are not nearly as bad as her constant whining which drove me mad!

I’m waiting for something better.

The secondary characters, despite being diverse, were superficial i.e. not sufficiently explored and this lets the book down. As a very character driven story, these paper-doll characters needed more dimension for the reader to relate to them.

This summer took away my surfboard.

2 Star

 

 

Title: Girl Out of Water

Author: Laura SilvermanGirl Out of Water

Publication Date: 2 May 2017

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Source: Review copy

 

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Anise Sawyer plans to spend every minute of summer with her friends: surfing, chowing down on fish tacos drizzled with wasabi balsamic vinegar, and throwing bonfires that blaze until dawn. But when a serious car wreck leaves her aunt, a single mother of three, with two broken legs, it forces Anise to say goodbye for the first time to Santa Cruz, the waves, her friends, and even a kindling romance, and fly with her dad to Nebraska for the entire summer. Living in Nebraska isn’t easy. Anise spends her days caring for her three younger cousins in the childhood home of her runaway mom, a wild figure who’s been flickering in and out of her life since birth, appearing for weeks at a time and then disappearing again for months, or even years, without a word. 

Complicating matters is Lincoln, a one-armed, charismatic skater who pushes Anise to trade her surfboard for a skateboard. As Anise draws closer to Lincoln and takes on the full burden and joy of her cousins, she loses touch with her friends back home – leading her to one terrifying question: will she turn out just like her mom and spend her life leaving behind the ones she loves  — 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.

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

Letters to the Lost

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

 

Letters to the Lost is a raw, gritty, haunting story of love and loss.

I was so worried you were him.

Told in alternate POVs,  Juliet and Declan begin an unlikely correspondence which leads to a fervent period of self-discovery.

There is agony in that picture.

Juliet and Declan are bold, fierce, complex characters and their story bursts from the page, sweeping the reader up and into their world.

One day isn’t your whole life.

The only thing that didn’t work for me is the up and down of Declan’s relationship with his mom and step-dad.  I think its eventual outcome just doesn’t have sufficient depth to be plausible.

Every moment is meaningful.

Thanks to Jonathan Ball Publishers, South Africa for the review copy.4 Star

 

 

Title: Letters to the Lost

Author: Brigid KemmererLetters to the Lost

Publication Date: 4 April 2017

Publisher: Bloomsbury 

Source: Review copy

 

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Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother’s death, she leaves letters at her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can’t resist writing back. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they’re not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.   — 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.

180 Seconds by Jessica Park

180 Seconds

180 Seconds by Jessica Park

We are engaged in a form of intimacy that scares the hell out of me. 

Is it possible to fall in love in 180 seconds if you stare into each other’s eyes? I don’t believe in insta-love, but this story caught my eye and I started cautiously only to be swept into a beautiful character-driven, contemporary story that blew any misconceptions away. It’s been a long time since I was this emotional over a book.

Sometimes, the unexpected happens…

This is a couple it would be hard not to route for. They both have issues and it’s messy. But it’s also electrifying and I couldn’t put the book down.

It’s as if there is a weight on my chest that I want to shove off, and have never been this terrified before. 

P.S. He may have only become her adoptive father when she was sixteen, pulling her out of the foster care system, but Simon is my new favourite bookish father.

He, like me, is fighting something. 

Although the characters are in university, the book reads more like YA (young adult)

I want to run. I want to stay. I want to do both.
Together we battle.4 Star

 

 

Title: 180 Seconds180 Seconds

Author: Jessica Park 

Publication Date: 25 April 2017

Publisher: Skyscape

Source: Review copy

 

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After a life spent bouncing from one foster home to the next, Allison is determined to keep others at arm’s length. Adopted at sixteen, she knows better than to believe in the permanence of anything. But as she begins her third year in college, she finds it increasingly difficult to disappear into the white noise pouring from her earbuds.

One unsuspecting afternoon, Allison is roped into a social experiment just off campus. Suddenly, she finds herself in front of a crowd, forced to interact with a complete stranger for 180 seconds. Neither she, nor Esben Baylor, the dreamy social media star seated opposite her, is prepared for the outcome.

When time is called, the intensity of the experience overwhelms Allison and Esben in a way that unnerves and electrifies them both. With a push from her oldest friend, Allison embarks on a journey to find out if what she and Esben shared is the real thing—and if she can finally trust in herself, in others, and in love. — 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.

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.

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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

 

 

Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber

Expected: 1 August 2017

A psychological thriller full of secrets and promising unpredictable twists.

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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

   

 

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.

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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

    

 

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.

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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 

 

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.

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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

 

 

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker 

Expected: 8 August 2017

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

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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

 

 

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 centred 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.

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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

 

 

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.

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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

 

 

 

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…

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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

 

 

 

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 storyline is intriguing and the early ratings on Goodreads are excellent.

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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

 

 

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

 

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