Adding to Your TBR – April 2018

  1. TBR April 2018

Adding to Your TBR – April 2018

TBR – To Be Read tower/list 

Just a couple of days late… I did it! Almost. With travelling for 42 hours through four countries, surprise visitors and a grand-slam crash of my laptop’s motherboard it is impressive this post got posted at all. Have a good month and happy reading!

 

The Forgotten Ones by Steena Holmes

Expected: 1 April 2018

The abstract promises dark, sinister secrets and the early reviewers on Goodreads describe The Forgotten Ones as compelling and heartbreaking.

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The Forgotten Ones by Steena Holmes

 

Elle is a survivor. She’s managed to piece together a solid life from a childhood of broken memories and fairy tales her mom told her to explain away bad dreams. But weekly visits to her mother still fill Elle with a paralyzing fear she can’t explain. It’s just another of so many unanswered questions she grew up with in a family estranged by silence and secrets.

Elle’s world turns upside down when she receives a deathbed request from her grandfather, a man she was told had died years ago. Racked by grief, regrets, and a haunted conscience, he has a tale of his own to tell Elle: about her mother, an imaginary friend, and two strangers who came to the house one night and never left.

As Elle’s past unfolds, so does the truth—if she can believe it. She must face the reasons for her inexplicable dread. As dark as they are, Elle must listen…before her grandfather’s death buries the family’s secrets forever. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Baker’s Secret by Stephen P. Kiernan

Expected: 3 April 2018

Every month while compiling this list there is always at least one book that stands out as a HAVE to read-ASAP. This month The Bakers Secret is The One.

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TBR April 2018

 

On June 5, 1944, as dawn rises over a small town on the Normandy coast of France, Emmanuelle is making the bread that has sustained her fellow villagers in the dark days since the Germans invaded her country.

Only twenty-two, Emma learned to bake at the side of a master, Ezra Kuchen, the village baker since before she was born. Apprenticed to Ezra at thirteen, Emma watched with shame and anger as her kind mentor was forced to wear the six-pointed yellow star on his clothing. She was likewise powerless to help when they pulled Ezra from his shop at gunpoint, the first of many villagers stolen away and never seen again.

In the years that her sleepy coastal village has suffered under the enemy, Emma has silently, stealthily fought back. Each day, she receives an extra ration of flour to bake a dozen baguettes for the occupying troops. And each day, she mixes that precious flour with ground straw to create enough dough for two extra loaves—contraband bread she shares with the hungry villagers. Under the cold, watchful eyes of armed soldiers, she builds a clandestine network of barter and trade that she and the villagers use to thwart their occupiers.

But her gift to the village is more than these few crusty loaves. Emma gives the people a taste of hope—the faith that one day the Allies will arrive to save them. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Other People’s Houses by Abbi Waxman

Expected: 3 April 2018

This book has been on and off this list since I started compiling it three weeks ago. I am really not sure about it. Early reviewers have lavished high praise and something about it makes me think of Big Little Lies, so hoping it is as good as promised.

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TBR April 2018

 

The author of The Garden of Small Beginnings returns with a hilarious and poignant new novel about four families, their neighborhood carpool, and the affair that changes everything.

As the longtime local carpool mom, Frances Bloom is sometimes an unwilling witness to her neighbors’ private lives. She knows her cousin is hiding her desire for another baby from her spouse, Bill Horton’s wife is mysteriously missing, and now this… 

After the shock of seeing Anne Porter in all her extramarital glory, Frances vows to stay in her own lane. But that’s a notion easier said than done when Anne’s husband throws her out a couple of days later. The repercussions of the affair reverberate through the four carpool families–and Frances finds herself navigating a moral minefield that could make or break a marriage.Abstract from Goodreads

 

Queens of Fennbirn by Kendare Blake

Expected: 3 April 2018

Prequel to the brilliant Three Dark Crowns, these two-in-one novellas explore Fennbirn’s secrets and promises insight into the queens and their complicated journey to the beginning of the story.

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TBR April 2018

 

Uncover the sisters’ origins, dive deep into the catastrophic reign of the Oracle Queen, and reveal layers of Fennbirn’s past, hidden until now.

The Young Queens: Get a glimpse of triplet queens Mirabella, Arsinoe, and Katharine during a short period of time when they protected and loved one another. From birth until their claiming ceremonies, this is the story of the three sisters’ lives…before they were at stake.

The Oracle Queen: Everyone knows the legend of Elsabet, the Oracle Queen. The one who went mad. The one who orchestrated a senseless, horrific slaying of three entire houses. But what really happened? Discover the true story behind the queen who could foresee the future…just not her own downfall. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Before I Let You Go by Kelly Rimmer

Expected: 3 April 2018

With exceptional early reviews on Goodreads this book stands out and begs to be read.

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TBR April 2018

 

The 2:00 a.m. call is the first time Lexie Vidler has heard her sister’s voice in years. Annie is a drug addict, a thief, a liar—and in trouble, again. Lexie has always bailed Annie out, given her money, a place to sleep, sent her to every kind of rehab. But this time, she’s not just strung out—she’s pregnant and in premature labor. If she goes to the hospital, she’ll lose custody of her baby—maybe even go to prison. But the alternative is unthinkable.

As weeks unfold, Lexie finds herself caring for her fragile newborn niece while her carefully ordered life is collapsing around her. She’s in danger of losing her job, and her fiancé only has so much patience for Annie’s drama. In court-ordered rehab, Annie attempts to halt her downward spiral by confronting long-buried secrets from the sisters’ childhood, ghosts that Lexie doesn’t want to face. But will the journey heal Annie, or lead her down a darker path?

Both candid and compassionate, Before I Let You Go explores a hotly divisive topic and asks how far the ties of family love can be stretched before they finally break.  – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Relative Strangers by Paula Garner

Expected: 10 April 2018

Families, secrets, twists… lots of drama. Looking forward to discovering the answers.

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TBR April 2018

 

Why is there a gap in Jules’s baby album? A wry and poignant coming-of-age novel about finding the truth in lies, salvaging hope in heartbreak, and making peace with missing pieces.

Eighteen-year-old Jules has always wished for a close-knit family. She never knew her father, and her ex-addict mother has always seemed more interested in artistic endeavors than in bonding with her only daughter. Jules’s life and future look as flat and unchanging as her small Illinois town. Then a simple quest to find a baby picture for the senior yearbook leads to an earth-shattering discovery: for most of the first two years of her life, Jules lived in foster care. Reeling from feelings of betrayal and with only the flimsiest of clues, Jules sets out to learn the truth about her past. What she finds is a wonderful family who loved her as their own and hoped to adopt her — including a now-adult foster brother who is overjoyed to see his sister again. But as her feelings for him spiral into a devastating, catastrophic crush — and the divide between Jules and her mother widens — Jules finds herself on the brink of losing everything. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert

Expected: 10 April 2018

Huge praise from the early reviewers must mean something! Plus, just look at the cover. Stunning!

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TBR April 2018

 

Danny Cheng has always known his parents have secrets. But when he discovers a taped-up box in his father’s closet filled with old letters and a file on a powerful Silicon Valley family, he realizes there’s much more to his family’s past than he ever imagined.

Danny has been an artist for as long as he can remember and it seems his path is set, with a scholarship to RISD and his family’s blessing to pursue the career he’s always dreamed of. Still, contemplating a future without his best friend, Harry Wong, by his side makes Danny feel a panic he can barely put into words. Harry and Danny’s lives are deeply intertwined and as they approach the one-year anniversary of a tragedy that shook their friend group to its core, Danny can’t stop asking himself if Harry is truly in love with his girlfriend, Regina Chan.

When Danny digs deeper into his parents’ past, he uncovers a secret that disturbs the foundations of his family history and the carefully constructed facade his parents have maintained begins to crumble. With everything he loves in danger of being stripped away, Danny must face the ghosts of the past in order to build a future that belongs to him. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Before I Let You In by Jenny Blackhurst

Expected: 10 April 2018

Very promising! I can’t wait to listen to this one on Audible.

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TBR April 2018

 

Karen, Eleanor, and Bea have been best friends since childhood. They know everything about each other’s lives, or at least they think they do. Now in their thirties, though their lives are beginning to diverge: Eleanor is a young wife and mother who is struggling to cope with her many responsibilities; Bea is happy being single—or so she lets people think; and Karen is a psychiatrist who, despite the secrets in her past, considers herself the anchor of the group.

But when she takes on a new patient with issues she just can’t quite put her finger on, she begins to realize she may have put her dearest friends in danger. Because her patient knows more about these three women than anyone outside their circle possible could. Or should…-  Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Garden of Blue Roses by Michael Barsa

Expected: 17 April 2018

This one appeals in a slightly weird Gothic way. A very bland cover and a title that reminds me of the dusty forgotten books in the corner of my parents bookcase. But something about the abstract caught my attention. Have your read it?

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TBR April 2018

 

A car lies at the bottom of an icy ravine. Slumped over the steering wheel, dead, is the most critically acclaimed horror writer of his time. Was it an accident? His son Milo doesn’t care. For the first time in his life, he’s free. No more nightmarish readings, spooky animal rites, or moonlit visions of his father in the woods with a notebook and vampire make-up.

Or so he thinks.

Milo settles into a quiet routine—constructing model Greek warships and at last building a relationship with his sister Klara, who’s home after a failed marriage and brief career as an English teacher. Then Klara hires a gardener to breathe new life into their overgrown estate. There’s something odd about him—something eerily reminiscent of their father’s most violent villain. Or is Milo imagining things? He’s not sure. That all changes the day the gardener discovers something startling in the woods. Suddenly Milo is fighting for his life, forced to confront the power of fictional identity as he uncovers the shocking truth about his own dysfunctional family—and the supposed accident that claimed his parents’ lives. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Girl I Used to Be by Mary Torjussen

Expected: 24 April 2018

Another psychological thriller to add to my definitely, maybe list.

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TBR April 2018

 

The morning after real estate agent Gemma Brogan has dinner with a prospective client, she’s furious at herself for drinking so much. But there will be more to regret than a nasty hangover.

She starts receiving mementos from that night: A photo of a hallway kiss. A video of her complaining about her husband. And worse…much worse. The problem is she doesn’t remember any of it.

As the blackmailing and menace ramp up, Gemma fears for her already shaky marriage. The paranoia, the feeling that her life is spiraling out of control, will take her back to another night–years ago–that changed everything. And Gemma will realize just how far the shadows from her past can reach… – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Expected: 24 April 2018

A YA Fantasy from debut author is always exciting. I found the book trailer and was instantly skeptical – it could easily have been a scene straight out of Twilight. What do you think?

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TBR April 2018

 

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.  – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

Expected: 24 April 2018

A companion to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (recently adapted to movie as Love, Simon) this full length novel follows Leah, Simon’s best friend. I loved Simon vs HSA and am expecting great things from Leah on the Offbeat.

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TBR April 2018

 

Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended. – Abstract from Goodreads

Adding to Your TBR – March 2018

TBR March 2018Adding to Your TBR – March 2018

TBR – To Be Read tower/list 

 

What’s on your TBR March 2018? Another month, another list. I’m going to need insomnia or immortality… anyone with a potion?

 

By a Charm and a Curse by Jaime Questell

Expected: 6 March 2018

I am hoping that this book is more like The Night Circus which I loved and less like Carnival which I didn’t.

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TBR March 2018

 

Le Grand’s Carnival Fantastic isn’t like other travelling circuses. It’s bound by a charm, held together by a centuries-old curse, that protects its members from ever growing older or getting hurt. Emmaline King is drawn to the circus like a moth to a flame…and unwittingly recruited into its folds by a mysterious teen boy whose kiss is as cold as ice.

Forced to travel through Texas as the new Girl in the Box, Emmaline is completely trapped. Breaking the curse seems like her only chance at freedom, but with no curse, there’s no charm, either—dooming everyone who calls the Carnival Fantastic home. Including the boy she’s afraid she’s falling for. 

Everything—including his life—could end with just one kiss. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer

I loved Letters to the Lost so this is a must-read.

Expected: 6 March 2018

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TBR March 2018

 

Rev Fletcher is battling the demons of his past. But with loving adoptive parents by his side, he’s managed to keep them at bay…until he gets a letter from his abusive father and the trauma of his childhood comes hurtling back.

Emma Blue spends her time perfecting the computer game she built from scratch, rather than facing her parents’ crumbling marriage. She can solve any problem with the right code, but when an online troll’s harassment escalates, she’s truly afraid.

When Rev and Emma meet, they both long to lift the burden of their secrets and bond instantly over their shared turmoil. But when their situations turn dangerous, their trust in each other will be tested in ways they never expected. This must-read story will once again have readers falling for Brigid Kemmerer’s emotional storytelling. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea

Expected: 6 March 2018

An exceptionally topical subject and great early reviews suggest this thoughtful book is going to be brilliant.

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TBR March 2018

 

In his final days, beloved and ailing patriarch Miguel Angel De La Cruz, known affectionately as Big Angel, has summoned his entire clan for one last legendary birthday party. But as the party approaches, his mother, nearly one hundred, dies herself, leading to a farewell doubleheader. 

Across one bittersweet weekend in their San Diego neighborhood, the revelers mingle among the palm trees and cacti, celebrating the lives of Big Angel and his mother, and recounting the many tales that have passed into family lore, the acts both ordinary and heroic that brought them to a fraught and sublime country and allowed them to flourish in the land they have come to call home. The story of the De La Cruzes is the American story. This indelible portrait of a complex family reminds us of what it means to be the first generation and to live two lives across one border. Teeming with brilliance and humor, authentic at every turn, The House of Broken Angels is Luis Alberto Urrea at his best, and it cements his reputation as a storyteller of the first rank. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

Expected: 13 March 2018

Another thriller with the victim in a coma… I featured two in my Jan18 TBR post. After the disaster of If I Die Before I Wake, I am slightly reluctant. But… Sometimes I Lie has had fantastic early reviews on Goodreads.

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TBR March 2018

 

My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me: 
1. I’m in a coma. 
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore. 
3. Sometimes I lie. 

Amber wakes up in a hospital. She can’t move. She can’t speak. She can’t open her eyes. She can hear everyone around her, but they have no idea. Amber doesn’t remember what happened, but she has a suspicion her husband had something to do with it. Alternating between her paralyzed present, the week before her accident, and a series of childhood diaries from twenty years ago, this brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something really a lie if you believe it’s the truth? – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian

Expected: 13 March 2018

Mixed reviews on Goodreads, but there’s something intriguing about the book. Holding thumbs its a good read.

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TBR March 2018

 

Cassandra Bowden is no stranger to hungover mornings. She’s a binge drinker, her job with the airline making it easy to find adventure, and the occasional blackouts seem to be inevitable. She lives with them, and the accompanying self-loathing.

When she awakes in a Dubai hotel room, she tries to piece the previous night back together, already counting the minutes until she has to catch her crew shuttle to the airport. She quietly slides out of bed, careful not to aggravate her already pounding head, and looks at the man she spent the night with. She sees his dark hair. His utter stillness. And blood, a slick, still wet pool on the crisp white sheets. Afraid to call the police–she’s a single woman alone in a hotel room far from home–Cassie begins to lie. She lies as she joins the other flight attendants and pilots in the van. She lies on the way to Paris as she works the first class cabin. She lies to the FBI agents in New York who meet her at the gate. Soon it’s too late to come clean-or face the truth about what really happened back in Dubai.

Could she have killed him? If not, who did? – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

What a beautiful title. I would have read this book just based on that, but it sounds very good and has excellent early reviews on Goodreads.

Expected: 20 March 2018

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TBR March 2018

 

Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing: When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird.

Leigh, who is half Asian and half white, travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time. There, she is determined to find her mother, the bird. In her search, she winds up chasing after ghosts, uncovering family secrets, and forging a new relationship with her grandparents. And as she grieves, she must try to reconcile the fact that on the same day she kissed her best friend and longtime secret crush, Axel, her mother was taking her own life.

Alternating between real and magic, past and present, friendship and romance, hope and despair, The Astonishing Color of After is a novel about finding oneself through family history, art, grief, and love. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles

Expected: 20 March 2018

A difficult subject with a vital message outstanding early reviews suggest a book not to be missed!

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TBR March 2018

 

When Marvin Johnson’s twin, Tyler, goes to a party, Marvin decides to tag along to keep an eye on his brother. But what starts as harmless fun turns into a shooting, followed by a police raid.

The next day, Tyler has gone missing, and it’s up to Marvin to find him. But when Tyler is found dead, a video leaked online tells an even more chilling story: Tyler has been shot and killed by a police officer. Terrified as his mother unravels and mourning a brother who is now a hashtag, Marvin must learn what justice and freedom really mean. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

 

The Eight Mountains by Paolo Cognetti

Expected: 20 March 2018

Despite a terribly drab cover, this sounds like an intense read.

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TBR March 2018

 

Pietro is a lonely boy living in Milan. With his parents becoming more distant each day, the only thing the family shares is their love for the Dolomites, the mountains that hug the northeastern border of Italy.

While on vacation at the foot of the mountains, Pietro meets Bruno, an adventurous, spirited local boy. Together they spend many summers exploring the mountain’s meadows and peaks and discover the similarities and differences in their lives, their backgrounds, and their futures. The two boys come to find the true meaning of friendship and camaraderie, even as their divergent paths in life— Bruno’s in the mountains, Pietro’s in cosmopolitan cities across the world—test the strength and meaning of their connection– Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

 

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

Expected: 20 March 2018

A dark, Gothic, historical fiction thriller to knock your socks off!

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TBR March 2018

 

Vermont, 1950. There’s a place for the girls whom no one wants–the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It’s called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it’s located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming–until one of them mysteriously disappears. . . .

Vermont, 2014. As much as she’s tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister’s death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister’s boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can’t shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.

When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past–and a voice that won’t be silenced. . . . – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter

Expected: 27 March 2018

I love Ally Carter’s books which are always packed with adventure, fun, mystery and friends with the addition of espionage or action-packed heists.

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TBR March 2018

 

Maddie thought she and Logan would be friends forever. But when your dad is a Secret Service agent and your best friend is the president’s son, sometimes life has other plans. Before she knows it, Maddie’s dad is dragging her to a cabin in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness. No phone. No Internet. And not a single word from Logan.

Maddie tells herself it’s okay. After all, she’s the most popular girl for twenty miles in any direction. (She’s also the only girl for twenty miles in any direction.) She has wood to cut and weapons to bedazzle. Her life is full. Until Logan shows up six years later . . . And Maddie wants to kill him.

But before that can happen, an assailant appears out of nowhere, knocking Maddie off a cliff and dragging Logan to some unknown fate. Maddie knows she could turn back- and get help. But the weather is turning and the terrain will only get more treacherous, the animals more deadly. Maddie still really wants to kill Logan. But she has to save him first. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser

Expected: 27 March 2017

This book reminds me of Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, an author who I have grown to love for her ability to bring characters alive and gives voice to their insecurities.

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TBR March 2018

 

When a group of neighborhood women gathers, wine in hand, around a fire pit where their backyards meet one Saturday night, most of them are just ecstatic to have discovered that their baby monitors reach that far. It’s a rare kid-free night, and they’re giddy with it. They drink too much, and the conversation turns personal.

By Monday morning, one of them is gone.

Everyone knows something about everyone else in the quirky small Ohio town of Yellow Springs, but no one can make sense of the disappearance. Kristin was a sociable twin mom, college administrator, and doctor’s wife who didn’t seem all that bothered by her impending divorce—and the investigation turns up more questions than answers, with her husband, Paul, at the center. For her closest neighbor, Clara, the incident triggers memories she thought she’d put behind her—and when she’s unable to extract herself from the widening circle of scrutiny, her own suspicions quickly grow. But the neighborhood’s newest addition, Izzy, is determined not to jump to any conclusions—especially since she’s dealing with a crisis of her own.

As the police investigation goes from a media circus to a cold case, the neighbors are forced to reexamine what’s going on behind their own closed doors—and to ask how well anyone really knows anyone else. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

Expected: 27 March 2018

This book has exactly the type of messed-up, gritty, vulnerable characters that I adore.

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TBR March 2018

 

For Penny Lee high school was a total non-event. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.

Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him. 

When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other. – Abstract from Goodreads

Flash Reviews Vol 1 – The Romantic One

Romantic One

The Romantic One

Flash reviews will I hope be a regular feature at Crushingcinders and in time for Valentine’s Day here is Vol 1 – The Romantic One.

Writing book reviews is actually a lot harder than I anticipated when I started blogging. Writing isn’t my strong point and neither is sharing my opinion publicly. Then the tentacles of depression, which tend to sneak up on me without warning, snuff out any form of creativity resulting in irregular posting.

These flash snippets of my book thoughts are short, sharp-ish and to the point. They are not published as stand-alone reviews on my blog but usually shared on Goodreads, Social Media and online book outlets.

Any ARC (advanced review copy) reviews were shared with the publisher.

 

A Taxonomy of Love by Rachael Allen

A heartwarming story with complex, layered and very realistic characters and a rich storyline.
I really liked the way the author handled time, fast forwarding at just the right places throughout the book so the story spans several years and the reader is kept on their to

es.4 star tiny flash reviews

Published: 9 January 2018    Read: 17 December 2017

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Romantic One

 

The moment Spencer meets Hope the summer before seventh grade, it’s . . . something at first sight. He knows she’s special, possibly even magical. The pair become fast friends, climbing trees and planning world travels. After years of being outshone by his older brother and teased because of his Tourette syndrome, Spencer finally feels like he belongs. But as Hope and Spencer get older and life gets messier, the clear label of “friend” gets messier, too.

Through sibling feuds and family tragedies, new relationships and broken hearts, the two grow together and apart, and Spencer, an aspiring scientist, tries to map it all out using his trusty system of taxonomy. He wants to identify and classify their relationship, but in the end, he finds that life doesn’t always fit into easy-to-manage boxes, and it’s this messy complexity that makes life so rich and beautiful – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse

Published: 7 March 2017   Read: 13 December 2016

This is a fast-paced, emotional read stuffed full of angst, longing, regret, nostalgia, all packed into the last seven days of Sophia’s expat life in Japan. Full of feels and a slither of insight into Tokyo through expat eyes. 4 star tiny flash reviews

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Romantic One

 

Sophia has seven days left in Tokyo before she moves back to the States. Seven days to say goodbye to the electric city, her wild best friend, and the boy she’s harbored a semi-secret crush on for years. Seven perfect days…until Jamie Foster-Collins moves back to Japan and ruins everything.

Jamie and Sophia have a history of heartbreak, and the last thing Sophia wants is for him to steal her leaving thunder with his stupid arriving thunder. Yet as the week counts down, the relationships she thought were stable begin to explode around her. And Jamie is the one who helps her pick up the pieces. Sophia is forced to admit she may have misjudged Jamie, but can their seven short days of Tokyo adventures end in anything but good-bye? – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

Once and for All by Sarah Dessen

A feel-good story sprinkled with humour. This was just what I needed to get me out of a reading slump. I have liked all of Sarah Dessen’s books but this is my favourite. Complex, fun characters, an unusual setting, interlinking relationships and wit = a great book! 5 star tint flash

Published: 6 June 2017   Read: 20 May 2017

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Romantic One

 

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that’s why she’s cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm’s length. But Ambrose isn’t about to be discouraged, now that he’s met the one girl he really wants. 

Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

The Trouble with Flirting by Rochelle Morgan

A lighthearted, feel-good romance. Perfect for the Summer holidays. 4 star tiny flash reviews

Although part of The Trouble Series each book is a stand-alone.

Published: 1 October 2014   Read: 17 September 2014

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Romantic One

 

Labelled a nerd for most of high school, Livi sees her first year of university as a chance to redefine herself. She can finally enter the popular crowd and maybe even land herself a super hot boyfriend. But Livi’s about to discover that the price of popularity may be more than she’s willing to pay, and that what—and who—she wants most has always been right in front of her. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

By Your Side by Kasie West

As always Kasie West has delivered a sweet, heartfelt YA contemporary romance. Although I do think the characters didn’t appreciate their weekend venue as much as I would have!

Published: 31 January 2017  Read: 9 May 2017

Goodr4 star tiny flash reviewseads   Amazon.com    Amazon(UK)  Book Depository   Loot.co.za(SA) 

Romantic One When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.  – Abstract from Goodreads  – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The French Girl by Lexie Elliott

French Girl

The French Girl by Lexie Elliott

 

“Kate, do you remember that summer?”

I loved The French Girl. Bulging with tension and suspense, I couldn’t put it down and spent the hours away from the book barely functioning as mind swirled around with the possibilities – who did it?

A cold fear is twisting my insides…

The characters individual traits and the relevant events of the past are revealed gradually. An unreliable narrator whose memories are vague, insecurities corrosive and emotions in turmoil. Put together these burn into palpable tension.

Looking back the most striking thing about her is that she knew I didn’t like her and she didn’t care.

Although other reviews describe it as slow, and its not a fast-paced, gripping the edge of the seat thriller, I was captivated throughout.

… his face is starkly bleak; one could photograph him and name it A Study in Grief.

The French Girl is my first 5-star read of 2018 and just what I needed to catapult me out of a six-week reading slump.

We’re now in a macabre version of pass the parcel; when the music stops nobody wants to be holding this prize.

5 star

 

Title: The French GirlFrench Girl

Author: Lexie Elliott

Publication Date: 20 February 2018

Publisher: Berkley Books 

Source: Review copy

 

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Add to your shelf:

Goodreads

They were six university students from Oxford–friends and sometimes more than friends–spending an idyllic week together in a French farmhouse. It was supposed to be the perfect summer getaway–until they met Severine, the girl next door. 

For Kate Channing, Severine was an unwelcome presence, her inscrutable beauty undermining the close-knit group’s loyalties amid the already simmering tensions. And after a huge altercation on the last night of the holiday, Kate knew nothing would ever be the same. There are some things you can’t forgive, and there are some people you can’t forget, like Severine, who was never seen again. 

Now, a decade later, the case is reopened when Severine’s body is found in the well behind the farmhouse. Questioned along with her friends, Kate stands to lose everything she’s worked so hard to achieve as suspicion mounts around her. Desperate to resolve her own shifting memories and fearful she will be forever bound to the woman whose presence still haunts her, Kate finds herself buried under layers of deception with no one to set her free. – Abstract from Goodreads

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

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

Adding to Your TBR February 2018

TBR February 2018TBR – To Be Read pile/list of books you want to read 

What to read this February 2018

Adding to Your TBR February 2018. It’s time for us to look ahead at what to add to our TBR or in my case my Goodreads To-Read list that I lose sleep over. Despite challenging myself to read 150 books this year I will need an immortality spell to complete my TBR. It’s not too late for you to join the anguish Goodreads Challenge – you don’t have to be a crazy as I am about the quantity although I will share a secret – audio books count towards your total. While-away otherwise wasted time spent in traffic or doing chores engrossed in an audiobook. Raid your local library or join Audible like I did. You won’t regret it!

 

Twist of Faith by Ellen J. Green

Expected: 1 February 2018

A mystery thriller full of family secrets. Early reviews on Goodreads rave about unexpected twists.

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TBR February 2018

 

When family secrets are unearthed, a woman’s past can become a dangerous place to hide…

After the death of her adoptive mother, Ava Saunders comes upon a peculiar photograph, sealed and hidden away in a crawl space. The photo shows a shuttered, ramshackle house on top of a steep hill. On the back, a puzzling inscription: Destiny calls us.

Ava is certain that it’s a clue to her elusive past. Twenty-three years ago, she’d been found wrapped in a yellow blanket in the narthex of the Holy Saviour Catholic Church—and rescued—or so she’d been told. Her mother claimed there was no more to the story, so the questions of her abandonment were left unanswered. For Ava, now is the time to find the roots of her mother’s lies. It begins with the house itself—once the scene of a brutal double murder.

When Ava enlists the help of the two people closest to her, a police detective and her best friend, she fears that investigating her past could be a fatal mistake. Someone is following them there. And what’s been buried in Ava’s nightmares isn’t just a crime. It’s a holy conspiracy. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Glass Forest by Cynthia Swanson

Expected: 6 February 2018

The Glass Forest is a dark suspense thriller set in the 60’s. Early reviewers warn of a slow start but that it is well worth sticking to the end.

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TBR February 2018

 

In the autumn of 1960, Angie Glass is living an idyllic life in her Wisconsin hometown. At twenty-one, she’s married to charming, handsome Paul, and has just given birth to a baby boy. But one phone call changes her life forever.

When Paul’s niece, Ruby, reports that her father, Henry, has committed suicide, and that her mother, Silja, is missing, Angie and Paul drop everything and fly to the small upstate town of Stonekill, New York to be by Ruby’s side.

Angie thinks they’re coming to the rescue of Paul’s grief-stricken young niece, but Ruby is a composed and enigmatic seventeen-year-old who resists Angie’s attempts to nurture her. As Angie learns more about the complicated Glass family, staying in Henry and Silja’s eerie and ultra-modern house on the edge of the woods, she begins to question the very fabric of her own marriage.

Through Silja’s flashbacks, Angie’s discovery of astonishing truths, and Ruby’s strategic dissection of her parents’ state of affairs, a story of love, secrets, and ultimate betrayal is revealed – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

Expected: 6 February 2018

From the author of the beautiful story of The Nightingale which I loved so much Kristin Hannah is now on my list of auto-buy authors.

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TBR February 2018

 

Alaska, 1974. Untamed. Unpredictable. A story of a family in crisis struggling to survive at the edge of the world, it is also a story of young and enduring love.Cora Allbright and her husband Ernt, a recently-returned Vietnam veteran scarred by the war, uproot their thirteen-year-old daughter Leni to start a new life in Alaska. Utterly unprepared for the weather and the isolation, but welcomed by the close-knit community, they fight to build a home in this harsh, beautiful wilderness.At once an epic story of human survival and love, and an intimate portrait of a family tested beyond endurance, The Great Alone offers a glimpse into a vanishing way of life in America. With her trademark combination of elegant prose and deeply drawn characters, Kristin Hannah has delivered an enormously powerful story that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the remarkable and enduring strength of women. About the highest stakes a family can face and the bonds that can tear a community apart, this is a novel as spectacular and powerful as Alaska itself. It is the finest example of Kristin Hannah’s ability to weave together the deeply personal with the universal – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Last to Let Go by Amber Smith

Expected: 6 February 2018

This sounds promising despite a rather unappealing cover (which has the same font as on her previous book’s cover The Way I Used to Be).

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TBR February 2018

 

How do you let go of something you’ve never had?

Junior year for Brooke Winters is supposed to be about change. She’s transferring schools, starting fresh, and making plans for college so she can finally leave her hometown, her family, and her past behind.

But all of her dreams are shattered one hot summer afternoon when her mother is arrested for killing Brooke’s abusive father. No one really knows what happened that day, if it was premeditated or self-defense, whether it was right or wrong. And now Brooke and her siblings are on their own.

In a year of firsts—the first year without parents, first love, first heartbreak, and her first taste of freedom—Brooke must confront the shadow of her family’s violence and dysfunction, as she struggles to embrace her identity, finds her true place in the world, and learns how to let go. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Good Neighbors by Joanne Serling

Expected: 6 February 2018

Good Neighbours sounds a lot like Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty so it has big shoes to fill.

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TBR February 2018

 

In an idyllic suburb, four young families quickly form a neighborhood clique, their friendships based on little more than the ages of their children and a shared sense of camaraderie. When one of the couples, Paige and Gene Edwards, adopt a four-year-old girl from Russia, the group’s loyalty and morality is soon called into question. Are the Edwards unkind to their new daughter? Or is she a difficult child with hidden destructive tendencies?

As the seams of the group friendship slowly unravel, neighbor Nicole Westerhof finds herself drawn further into the life of the adopted girl, forcing Nicole to re-examine the deceptive nature of her own family ties, and her complicity in the events unfolding around her– Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

The Saturday Night Supper Club (Supper Club #1) by Carla Laureano

Expected: 6 February 2018

The Saturday Night Supper Club has had excellent first reviews on Goodreads.

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TBR February 2018

 

Denver chef Rachel Bishop has accomplished everything she’s dreamed and some things she never dared hope, like winning a James Beard award and heading up her own fine-dining restaurant. But when a targeted smear campaign causes her to be pushed out of the business by her partners, she vows to do whatever it takes to get her life back … even if that means joining forces with the man who inadvertently set the disaster in motion.

Essayist Alex Kanin never imagined his pointed editorial would go viral. Ironically, his attempt to highlight the pitfalls of online criticism has the opposite effect: it revives his own flagging career by destroying that of a perfect stranger. Plagued by guilt-fueled writer’s block, Alex vows to do whatever he can to repair the damage. He just doesn’t expect his interest in the beautiful chef to turn personal.

Alex agrees to help rebuild Rachel’s tarnished image by offering his connections and his home to host an exclusive pop-up dinner party targeted to Denver’s most influential citizens: the Saturday Night Supper Club. As they work together to make the project a success, Rachel begins to realize Alex is not the unfeeling opportunist she once thought he was, and that perhaps there’s life–and love–outside the pressure-cooker of her chosen career. But can she give up her lifelong goals without losing her identity as well? – Abstract from Goodreads

 

All We Can Do Is Wait by Richard Lawson

Expected: 6 February 2018

This is the book I am looking forward to the most this month. I can’t wait to get a copy.

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TBR February 2018

 

In the hours after a bridge collapse rocks their city, a group of Boston teenagers meet in the waiting room of Massachusetts General Hospital: 

Siblings Jason and Alexa have already experienced enough grief for a lifetime, so in this moment of confusion and despair, Alexa hopes that she can look to her brother for support. But a secret Jason has been keeping from his sister threatens to tear the siblings apart…right when they need each other most. 

Scott is waiting to hear about his girlfriend, Aimee, who was on a bus with her theater group when the bridge went down. Their relationship has been rocky, but Scott knows that if he can just see Aimee one more time, if she can just make it through this ordeal and he can tell her he loves her, everything will be all right. 

And then there’s Skyler, whose sister Kate—the sister who is more like a mother, the sister who is basically Skyler’s everything—was crossing the bridge when it collapsed. As the minutes tick by without a word from the hospital staff, Skyler is left to wonder how she can possibly move through life without the one person who makes her feel strong when she’s at her weakest. 

In his riveting, achingly beautiful debut, Richard Lawson guides readers through an emotional and life-changing night as these teens are forced to face the reality of their pasts…and the prospect of very different futures. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross

The Queen’s Rising is the first in an (as yet) untitled series and the only fantasy on my list this month. I don’t usually start reading a series until the sequels have been published as I like to read them while the story is still fresh in my mind. The Queen’s Rising is unlikely to be an exception, but it has had some great early reviews on Goodreads.

Expected: 6 February 2018

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TBR February 2018

 

When her seventeenth summer solstice arrives, Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron.

Growing up in the southern Kingdom of Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her for such a life. While some are born with an innate talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she belatedly chose to study knowledge. However, despite all her preparations, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true—the solstice does not go according to plan and she is left without a patron.

Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, and with no other choices, she accepts. But there is much more to his story, and Brienna soon discovers that he has sought her out for his own vengeful gain. For there is a dangerous plot being planned to overthrow the king of Maevana—the archrival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the northern throne. And others are involved—some closer to Brienna than she realizes.

With war brewing between the two lands, Brienna must choose whose side she will remain loyal to—passion or blood. Because a queen is destined to rise and lead the battle to reclaim the crown. The ultimate decision Brienna must determine is: Who will be that queen? – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin

Not quite a romance but an appropriate title for Valentine’s Day. This medical themed story promises drama and humour. Hope it lives up to the hype.

Expected: 13 February 2018

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TBR February 2018

 

Zadie Anson and Emma Colley have been best friends since their early twenties, when they first began navigating serious romantic relationships amid the intensity of medical school. Now they’re happily married wives and mothers with successful careers–Zadie as a pediatric cardiologist and Emma as a trauma surgeon. Their lives in Charlotte, North Carolina are chaotic but fulfilling, until the return of a former colleague unearths a secret one of them has been harboring for years. 

As chief resident, Nick Xenokostas was the center of Zadie’s life–both professionally and personally–throughout a tragic chain of events in her third year of medical school that she has long since put behind her. Nick’s unexpected reappearance during a time of new professional crisis shocks both women into a deeper look at the difficult choices they made at the beginning of their careers. As it becomes evident that Emma must have known more than she revealed about circumstances that nearly derailed both their lives, Zadie starts to question everything she thought she knew about her closest friend– Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

Sunburn by Laura Lippman

Expected: 20 February 2018

Early reviewers on Goodreads describe Sunburn as having excellent characters and pitch-perfect pacing.

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TBR February 2018

 

One is playing a long game. But which one?

They meet at a local tavern in the small town of Belleville, Delaware. Polly is set on heading west. Adam says he’s also passing through.

Yet she stays and he stays—drawn to this mysterious redhead whose quiet stillness both unnerves and excites him. Over the course of a punishing summer, Polly and Adam abandon themselves to a steamy, inexorable affair. Still, each holds something back from the other—dangerous, even lethal, secrets that begin to accumulate as autumn approaches, feeding the growing doubts they conceal.

Then someone dies. Was it an accident, or part of a plan? By now, Adam and Polly are so ensnared in each other’s lives and lies that neither one knows how to get away—or even if they want to. Is their love strong enough to withstand the truth, or will it ultimately destroy them?

Something—or someone—has to give. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

The French Girl by Lexie Elliott

Expected: 20 February 2018

I am about three-quarters of the way through this book and it is amazing! Unless something disastrous happens this is going to be a favourite. Watch this space for a 5-star review.

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TBR February 2018

 

They were six university students from Oxford–friends and sometimes more than friends–spending an idyllic week together in a French farmhouse. It was supposed to be the perfect summer getaway–until they met Severine, the girl next door. 

For Kate Channing, Severine was an unwelcome presence, her inscrutable beauty undermining the close-knit group’s loyalties amid the already simmering tensions. And after a huge altercation on the last night of the holiday, Kate knew nothing would ever be the same. There are some things you can’t forgive, and there are some people you can’t forget, like Severine, who was never seen again. 

Now, a decade later, the case is reopened when Severine’s body is found in the well behind the farmhouse. Questioned along with her friends, Kate stands to lose everything she’s worked so hard to achieve as suspicion mounts around her. Desperate to resolve her own shifting memories and fearful she will be forever bound to the woman whose presence still haunts her, Kate finds herself buried under layers of deception with no one to set her free. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

I Stop Somewhere by T.E. Carter

Expected: 27 February 2018

Another YA contemporary I have been looking forward to.

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)   Book Depository  

TBR February 2018

 

Ellie Frias disappeared long before she vanished.

Tormented throughout middle school, Ellie begins her freshman year with a new look: she doesn’t need to be popular; she just needs to blend in with the wallpaper.

But when the unthinkable happens, Ellie finds herself trapped after a brutal assault. She wasn’t the first victim, and now she watches it happen again and again. She tries to hold on to her happier memories in order to get past the cold days, waiting for someone to find her.

The problem is, no one searches for a girl they never noticed in the first place.

TE Carter’s stirring and visceral debut not only discusses and dismantles rape culture, but it also reminds us what it is to be human. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

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