Adding to Your TBR – September 2018

TBR September 2018

Adding to Your TBR – September 2018

TBR – To Be Read tower/list 

September’s list is full of exciting reads and I am very grateful for the Kindle app which allows me to read on my trusty Android device while travelling without the burden of heavy bags. There are more historical fiction stories than usual, just a sprinkling of thrillers and fantasy and a couple of contemporaries. Which one are you looking forward to?

 

The Storyteller’s Secret by Sejal Badani 

Expected: 1 September 2018

From the early reviews on Goodreads, it’s obvious The Storyteller’s Secret has a large following of emotionally slain but ultimately happy fans. #historicalfiction

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TBR September 2018

 

An epic story of the unrelenting force of love, the power of healing, and the invincible desire to dream.

Nothing prepares Jaya, a New York journalist, for the heartbreak of her third miscarriage and the slow unravelling of her marriage in its wake. Desperate to assuage her deep anguish, she decides to go to India to uncover answers to her family’s past.

Intoxicated by the sights, smells, and sounds she experiences, Jaya becomes an eager student of the culture. But it is Ravi—her grandmother’s former servant and trusted confidant—who reveals the resilience, struggles, secret love, and tragic fall of Jaya’s pioneering grandmother during the British occupation. Through her courageous grandmother’s arrestingly romantic and heart-wrenching story, Jaya discovers the legacy bequeathed to her and a strength that, until now, she never knew was possible. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Two Dark Reigns (Three Dark Crowns #3) by Kendare Blake

Expected: 4 September 2018

I usually try to avoid sequels in these book recommendation posts but this series is so good and I am beyond excited to read this book. If you are interested in the series pop over to my review of the first book Three Dark Crowns which has the relevant links to get your hands on it. #YAFantasy

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TBR September 2018

 

 

 

Queen X (no spoilers @ Crushingcinders!) sits on the throne, Queen Y and Queen Z are in hiding, and an unexpected renegade is about to wage a war of her own. The crown has been won, but these queens are far from done.- Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna

Expected: 4 September 2018

A Spark of White Fire is the first of a new sci-fi/fantasy series (The Celestial Trilogy) and was inspired by a Hindu mythology poem called Mahabharata. Early reviewers on Goodreads describe it as ‘fast-paced’, ‘twisty’ and ‘addictive’. Sounds amazing! #YAFantasy

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TBR September 2018

 

In a universe of capricious gods, dark moons, and kingdoms built on the backs of spaceships, a cursed queen sends her infant daughter away, a jealous uncle steals the throne of Kali from his nephew, and an exiled prince vows to take his crown back. 

Raised alone and far away from her home on Kali, Esmae longs to return to her family. When the King of Wychstar offers to gift the unbeatable, sentient warship Titania to a warrior that can win his competition, she sees her way home: she’ll enter the competition, reveal her true identity to the world, and help her famous brother win back the crown of Kali. 

It’s a great plan. Until it falls apart.  – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

In Her Bones by Kate Moretti 

Expected: 4 September 2018

Kate Moretti’s new sinister sounding thriller follows the daughter of a serial killer obsessed with her mother’s victims. #thriller

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TBR September 2018

 

Fifteen years ago, Lilith Wade was arrested for the brutal murder of six women. After a death row conviction, media frenzy, and the release of an unauthorized biography, her thirty-year-old daughter Edie Beckett is just trying to survive out of the spotlight. She’s a recovering alcoholic with a dead-end city job and an unhealthy codependent relationship with her brother.

Edie also has a disturbing secret: a growing obsession with the families of Lilith’s victims. She’s desperate to see how they’ve managed—or failed—to move on. While her escalating fixation is a problem, she’s careful to keep her distance. That is until she crosses a line and a man is found murdered.

Edie quickly becomes the prime suspect—and while she can’t remember everything that happened the night of the murder, she’d surely remember killing someone. With the detective who arrested her mother hot on her trail, Edie goes into hiding. She’s must get to the truth of what happened that night before the police—or the real killer—find her.

Unless, of course, she has more in common with her mother than she’s willing to admit… –  Abstract from Goodreads

 

Dare You to Lie by Amber Lynn Natusch

Expected: 4 September 2018

For some reason Dare You to Lie has been flying under the radar despite some excellent early reviews which describe it as full of ‘whiplash twists’ and ‘snarky characters’. #YAthriller

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TBR September 2018

 

When her FBI agent father is framed for murder, Kylene is forced to move in with her grandfather, back to the small town that turned its back on her, and the boy who betrayed her.

All Ky cares about is clearing her father’s name, but someone won’t let her forget the photo scandal that drove her away two years ago. As the threats gain momentum, Ky finds an unlikely ally in the rookie FBI agent sent to keep an eye on her.

Determined to expose the town’s hidden skeletons, Ky unwittingly thrusts herself into a much bigger plot. They thought she’d forgive and forget. They’re about to learn they messed with the wrong girl. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

When Elephants Fly by Nancy Richardson Fischer 

Expected: 4 September 2018

This gorgeous cover! I have been seeing this book for months on publishers catalogues and book blogs and I know I will read it for the cover alone. It’s had mixed reviews, but I like that it includes mental illness which is often marginalised. We need to shatter the stigma. #YAcontemporary

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TBR September 2018

 

There are some battles worth fighting even if it means losing yourself.

T. Lily Decker is a high school senior with a twelve-year plan: avoid stress, drugs, alcohol and boyfriends, and take regular psych quizzes administered by her best friend, Sawyer, to make sure she’s not developing schizophrenia. Genetics are not on Lily’s side. 

When she was seven, her mother, who had paranoid schizophrenia, tried to kill her. And a secret has revealed that Lily’s odds are even worse than she thought. Still, there’s a chance to avoid triggering the mental health condition, if Lily can live a careful life from ages eighteen to thirty when schizophrenia most commonly manifests.

But when a newspaper internship results in Lily witnessing a mother elephant try to kill her three-week-old calf, Swifty, Lily can’t abandon the story or the calf. With Swifty in danger of dying from grief, Lily must choose whether to risk everything, including her sanity and a first love, on a desperate road trip to save the calf’s life, perhaps finding her own version of freedom along the way– Abstract from Goodreads

 

Transcription by Kate Atkinson

Expected: 6 September 2018

With the promise to feed my addiction to WWII and espionage stories this one is at the top of my list. It has had rave early reviews on Goodreads with one reviewer describing it as ‘beautiful, harrowing and haunting’.  #historicalfiction

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TBR September 2018

 

Transcription is a bravura novel of extraordinary power and substance. Juliet Armstrong is recruited as a young woman by an obscure wartime department of the Secret Service. In the aftermath of war, she joins the BBC, where her life begins to unravel, and she finally has to come to terms with the consequences. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Real Name Is Hanna by Tara Lynn Masih

Expected: 11 September 2018

Exceptional early reviews on Goodreads with a rating of 4.49 (out of 5) this book has already proved it’s success before it is even published. Inspired by real events during the Holocaust this WWII story is a must-read. #YAhistoricalfiction

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TBR September 2018

 

Hanna Slivka is on the cusp of fourteen when Hitler’s army crosses the border into Soviet-occupied Ukraine. Soon, the Gestapo closes in, determined to make the shtetele she lives in “free of Jews.” Until the German occupation, Hanna spent her time exploring Kwasova with her younger siblings, admiring the drawings of the handsome Leon Stadnick, and helping her neighbour dye decorative pysanky eggs. But now she, Leon, and their families are forced to flee and hide in the forest outside their shtetele—and then in the dark caves beneath the rolling meadows, rumoured to harbour evil spirits. Underground, they battle sickness and starvation, while the hunt continues above. When Hanna’s father disappears, suddenly it’s up to Hanna to find him—and to find a way to keep the rest of her family, and friends, alive. 

Sparse, resonant, and lyrical, weaving in tales of Jewish and Ukrainian folklore, My Real Name Is Hanna celebrates the sustaining bonds of family, the beauty of a helping hand, and the tenacity of the human spirit. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty 

Expected: 18 September 2018

After binge-reading all of Liane Moriarty’s books via Audible it has been a long wait for a new one! Sha has an incredible knack of getting inside people’s heads and bringing out their insecurities. One of auto-buy author’s – If you haven’t read her books yet I suggest starting with my favourite The Three Wishes. #contemporary

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TBR September 2018

 

 

 

Could ten days at a health resort really change you forever? These nine perfect strangers are about to find out… – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

I Know You Know by Gilly Macmillan 

Expected: 18 September 2018

Of course, there is a psychological thriller on my list! #mysterythriller

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TBR September 2018

 

Twenty years ago, eleven-year-olds Charlie Page and Scott Ashby were murdered in the city of Bristol, their bodies dumped near a dog racing track. A man was convicted of the brutal crime, but decades later, questions still linger.

For his whole life, filmmaker Cody Swift has been haunted by the deaths of his childhood best friends. The loose ends of the police investigation consume him so much that he decides to return to Bristol in search of answers. Hoping to uncover new evidence, and to encourage those who may be keeping long-buried secrets to speak up, Cody starts a podcast to record his findings. But there are many people who don’t want the case—along with old wounds—reopened so many years after the tragedy, especially Charlie’s mother, Jess, who decides to take matters into her own hands.

When a long-dead body is found in the same location the boys were left decades before, the disturbing discovery launches another murder investigation. Now Detective John Fletcher, the investigator on the original case, must reopen his dusty files and decide if the two murders are linked. With his career at risk, the clock is ticking and lives are in jeopardy…- Abstract from Goodreads

 

Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton 

Expected: 18 September 2018

I love the sound of eerie forests, sacrifice and dark deals. It’s had mixed early reviews on Goodreads but those who like it describe it as ‘compelling’ ‘atmospheric’ and ‘twisted’ so I am persuaded!

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TBR September 2018

 

Long ago, a village made a bargain with the devil: to ensure their prosperity, when the Slaughter Moon rises, the village must sacrifice a young man into the depths of the Devil’s Forest.

Only this year, the Slaughter Moon has risen early.

Bound by duty, secrets, and the love they share for one another, Mairwen, a spirited witch; Rhun, the expected saint; and Arthur, a restless outcast, will each have a role to play as the devil demands a body to fill the bargain. But the devil these friends find is not the one they expect, and the lies they uncover will turn their town—and their hearts—inside out. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White 

Expected: 25 September 2018

A dark, twisted retelling from a master storyteller, Kiersten White author of the formidable historical fiction And I Darken. #YAretelling

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TBR September 2018

 

Elizabeth Lavenza hasn’t had a proper meal in weeks. Her thin arms are covered with bruises from her “caregiver,” and she is on the verge of being thrown into the streets . . . until she is brought to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, solitary boy who has everything–except a friend.

Victor is her escape from misery. Elizabeth does everything she can to make herself indispensable–and it works. She is taken in by the Frankenstein family and rewarded with a warm bed, delicious food, and dresses of the finest silk. Soon she and Victor are inseparable.

But her new life comes at a price. As the years pass, Elizabeth’s survival depends on managing Victor’s dangerous temper and entertaining his every whim, no matter how depraved. Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost . . . as the world she knows is consumed by darkness– Abstract from Goodreads

 

The War Outside by Monica Hesse 

Expected: 25 September 2018

The third WWII book on this list – it’s going to be a good month for me! This one deals with a huge and terrifying concept – that of imprisoning civilian citizens during a war just because they were born in the country of the enemy. #YAhistoricalfiction

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TBR September 2018

 

It’s 1944, and World War II is raging across Europe and the Pacific. The war seemed far away from Margot in Iowa and Haruko in Colorado–until they were uprooted to dusty Texas, all because of the places their parents once called home: Germany and Japan.

Haruko and Margot meet at the high school in Crystal City, a “family internment camp” for those accused of colluding with the enemy. The teens discover that they are polar opposites in so many ways, except for one that seems to override all the others: the camp is changing them, day by day and piece by piece. Haruko finds herself consumed by fear for her soldier brother and distrust of her father, who she knows is keeping something from her. And Margot is doing everything she can to keep her family whole as her mother’s health deteriorates and her rational, patriotic father becomes a man who distrusts America and fraternizes with Nazis.

With everything around them falling apart, Margot and Haruko find solace in their growing, secret friendship. But in a prison the government has deemed full of spies, can they trust anyone–even each other? – Abstract from Goodreads

 

For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig

Expected: 25 September 2018

Admission: I haven’t read any of Heidi Heilig’s books… They have been so popular I that I feel guilty they still languish under my TBR. Note to self: search online for immortality spell #YAfantasy

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TBR September 2018

 

A young woman with a dangerous power she barely understands. A smuggler with secrets of his own. A country torn between a merciless colonial army, a terrifying tyrant, and a feared rebel leader. 

Jetta’s family is famed as the most talented troupe of shadow players in the land. With Jetta behind the scrim, their puppets seem to move without string or stick—a trade secret, they say. In truth, Jetta can see the souls of the recently departed and bind them to the puppets with her blood. But the old ways are forbidden ever since the colonial army conquered their country, so Jetta must never show, never tell. Her skill and fame are her family’s way to earn a spot aboard the royal ship to Aquitan, where shadow plays are the latest rage, and where rumour has it the Mad King has a spring that cures his ills. Because seeing spirits is not the only thing that plagues Jetta. But as rebellion seethes and as Jetta meets a young smuggler, she will face truths and decisions that she never imagined—and safety will never seem so far away. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Adding to Your TBR – August 2018

TBR August 2018

Adding to Your TBR – August 2018

TBR – To Be Read tower/list 

TBR August 2018. August is here and I have escaped the South African winter to my other home in tropical Indonesia. I am struck yet again how lucky I am to have the chance to travel and am itching to get out with my camera. New inspiration everywhere.

 

Girl at the Grave by Teri Bailey Black

Expected: 7 August 2018

With the creepy cover and the promise of the title I wonder if this a murder mystery with ghosts?

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TBR August 2018

 

Valentine has spent years trying to outrun her mother’s legacy. But small towns have long memories, and when a new string of murders occurs, all signs point to the daughter of a murderer. 

Only one person believes Valentine is innocent—Rowan Blackshaw, the son of the man her mother killed all those years ago. Valentine vows to find the real killer, but when she finally uncovers the horrifying truth, she must choose to face her own dark secrets, even if it means losing Rowan in the end. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

Goodbye, Paris by Anstey Harris

Expected: 7 August 2018

Described on Goodreads as ‘Jojo Moyes meets Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Finewhich combined with excellent good early reviews promises an emotional book that will be difficult to put down.

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TBR August 2018

 

Grace once had the beginnings of a promising musical career, but she hasn’t been able to play her cello publicly since a traumatic event at music college years ago. Since then, she’s built a quiet life for herself in her small English village, repairing instruments and nurturing her long-distance affair with David, the man who has helped her rebuild her life even as she puts her dreams of a family on hold until his children are old enough for him to leave his loveless marriage.

But when David saves the life of a woman in the Paris Metro, his resulting fame shines a light onto the real state of the relationship(s) in his life. Shattered, Grace hits rock bottom and abandons everything that has been important to her, including her dream of entering and winning the world’s most important violin-making competition. Her closest friends–a charming elderly violinist with a secret love affair of his own, and her store clerk, a gifted but angst-ridden teenage girl–step in to help, but will their friendship be enough to help her pick up the pieces?

Filled with lovable, quirky characters, this poignant novel explores the realities of relationships and heartbreak and shows that when it comes to love, there’s more than one way to find happiness– Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

A Long Time Coming by Aaron Elkins

Expected: 7 August 2018

A art themed historical fiction mystery… This story sounds like it has a little of everything. Mixed early reviews so I am not sure about this one. Let me know what you think.

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TBR August 2018

 

Art curator Val Caruso is not a happy camper. His promotion has just been nixed, his divorce has become final, and he’s dug himself into a nice little rut for his fortieth birthday. The uplift? A trip to Milan to help Holocaust survivor Sol Bezzecca recover a pair of cherished sketches by Renoir. They’d once been given to Sol’s family by the then-unknown artist, looted by the Italian Fascist militia, and now after decades in hiding have turned up for auction. It’s Val’s job to get them back.

Unfortunately, his Italian adventure takes a dangerous turn when he becomes trapped in an intricate web that reaches back to World War II—and is still very sticky with art thieves, forgers, and somebody who wants Val out of the picture permanently. When the lost Renoirs are stolen yet again, Val is more determined than ever to hunt them down. The reward for reuniting an old man with his rightful past? Priceless.

But doing it is going to be murder. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson

Expected: 7 August 2018

A new YA fantasy series always brings bookworms out of hiding. And this one is worth owning for the cover alone.

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TBR August 2018

When the patriarch of the Ballenger empire dies, his son, Jase, becomes its new leader. Even nearby kingdoms bow to the strength of this outlaw family, who have always governed by their own rules. But a new era looms on the horizon, set in motion by a young queen, which makes her the target of the dynasty’s resentment and anger.

At the same time, Kazi, a legendary former street thief, is sent by the queen to investigate transgressions against the new settlements. When Kazi arrives in the forbidding land of the Ballengers, she learns that there is more to Jase than she thought. As unexpected events spiral out of their control, bringing them intimately together, they continue to play a cat and mouse game of false moves and motives in order to fulfil their own secret missions. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne

Expected: 9 August 2018

A psychological thriller from the author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. If that wasn’t enough the Goodreads description of sacrificing souls will seal the decision. This is a must-read.

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TBR August 2018

 

A psychological drama of cat and mouse, A Ladder to the Skyshows how easy it is to achieve the world if you are prepared to sacrifice your soul.

If you look hard enough, you can find stories pretty much anywhere. They don’t even have to be your own. Or so would-be writer Maurice Swift decides very early on in his career.

A chance encounter in a Berlin hotel with celebrated novelist Erich Ackermann gives him an opportunity to ingratiate himself with someone more powerful than him. For Erich is lonely, and he has a story to tell. Whether or not he should do so is another matter entirely.

Once Maurice has made his name, he sets off in pursuit of other people’s stories. He doesn’t care where he finds them – or to whom they belong – as long as they help him rise to the top.

Stories will make him famous but they will also make him beg, borrow and steal. They may even make him do worse. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

See All the Stars by Kit Frick

Expected: 14 August 2018

The Goodreads description ”Part love story, part thriller, We Were Liars meets Goodbye Days in this suspenseful, lyrical debut’ promises another emotional and captivating read. I love the cover too!

Update: I loved this book. My favourite 2018 read. See my 5-star review

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TBR August 2018

 

It’s hard to find the truth beneath the lies you tell yourself.

THEN They were four—Bex, Jenni, Ellory, Ret. Electric, headstrong young women; Ellory’s whole solar system.

NOW Ellory is alone, her once inseparable group of friends torn apart by secrets, deception, and a shocking incident that changed their lives forever.

THEN Lazy summer days. A party. A beautiful boy. Ellory met Matthias and fell into the beginning of a spectacular, bright love.

NOW Ellory returns to Pine Brook to navigate senior year after a two-month suspension and summer away—no boyfriend, no friends. No going back. Tormented by some and sought out by others, troubled by a mysterious note-writer who won’t let Ellory forget, and consumed by guilt over her not entirely innocent role in everything and everyone she’s lost, Ellory finds that even in the present, the past is everywhere.

The path forward isn’t a straight line. And moving on will mean sorting the truth from the lies—the lies Ellory has been telling herself. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

A Touch of Gold by Annie Sullivan

Expected: 14 August 2018

I love retellings and twisted stories set in familiar worlds. I haven’t read any Midas retellings and am very excited for this one. The great early reviews are very persuasive.

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TBR August 2018

King Midas once had the ability to turn all he touched into gold. But after his gift—or curse—almost killed his daughter, Midas relinquished The Touch forever. Ten years later, Princess Kora still bears the consequences of her father’s wish: her skin shines golden, rumors follow her everywhere she goes, and she harbors secret powers that are getting harder to hide.

Kora spends her days locked in the palace, concealed behind gloves and veils, trying to ignore the stares and gossip of courtiers. It isn’t until a charming young duke arrives that Kora realizes there may be someone out there who doesn’t fear her or her curse. But their courtship is disrupted when a thief steals precious items from the kingdom, leaving the treasury depleted and King Midas vulnerable. Thanks to her unique ability to sense gold, Kora is the only one who can track the thief down. As she sails off on her quest, Kora learns that not everything is what it seems—not thieves, not pirates, and not even curses. She quickly discovers that gold—and the power it brings—is more dangerous than she’d ever believed.

Midas learned his lesson at a price. What will Kora’s journey cost? – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Waiting Room by Emily Bleeker

Expected: 21 August 2018

A thriller full of secrets and mind-games.

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TBR August 2018

 

Ever since her husband’s death collided with the birth of her daughter, postpartum depression has taken hold of Veronica Shelton. She can’t sleep, can’t work, and can’t bear to touch her beautiful baby girl. Her emotional state is whispering lies in Veronica’s ear: You’re a bad mother. Your baby would be better off without you. But not everything can be reasoned away by Veronica’s despair. Can it?

After all, the break-in at her house happened. The disturbing sketches she found in her studio are real. So is the fear for her daughter’s safety—especially when Veronica comes home to a cold, silent nursery and a missing baby.

As she turns from victim into primary suspect, Veronica realizes that only she can find her daughter. Authorities aren’t helping. They’re only watching. Veronica’s concerned mother has suddenly vanished from her life. And a new friend seems to be keeping secrets from her too. Now, reality is waiting for Veronica in a dark place—because someone’s mind games have only just begun. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Not Her Daughter by Rea Frey

Expected: 21 August 2018

Amazing early reviews and a timeless storyline promise great things.

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TBR August 2018

 

Emma Grace Townsend. Five years old. Grey eyes. Brown hair. Missing since June.

Emma Townsend is lonely. Living with her cruel mother and clueless father, Emma retreats into her own world of quiet and solitude.

Sarah Walker. Successful Entrepreneur. Broken-hearted. Abandoned by her mother. Kidnapper.
Sarah has never seen a girl so precious as the grey-eyed child in a crowded airport terminal–and when a second-chance encounter with Emma presents itself, Sarah takes her, far away from home. But if it’s to rescue a little girl from her damaging mother, is kidnapping wrong?

Amy Townsend. Unhappy wife. Unfit mother. Unsure she wants her daughter back.
Amy’s life is a string of disappointments, but her biggest issue is her inability to connect with her daughter. And now she’s gone without a trace.

As Sarah and Emma avoid the nationwide hunt, they form an unshakeable bond. But her real mother is at home, waiting for her to return–and the longer the search for Emma continues, Amy is forced to question if she really wants her back. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Mirage by Somaiya Daud

Expected: 28 August 2028

The first in a series of the same name, Mirage has had extraordinarily good early reviews of Goodreads. For both fantasy and sci-fi fans, this promises to be popular.

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TBR August 2018

 

In a star system dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated moon.

But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place.

As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty—and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection…because one wrong move could lead to her death. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Second Life of Ava Rivers by Faith Gardner

Expected: 28 August 2018

I love the sound of this dark story.

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TBR August 2018

 

Ava’s disappearance was the crack in the Rivers family glacier. I wish I could explain to you how we were before, but I can’t because the before is so filmy and shadowed with the after.

The after is all Vera remembers. When her twin sister, Ava, disappeared one Halloween night, her childhood became a blur of theories, tips, and leads, but never any answers. The case made headlines, shocked Vera’s Northern California community, and turned her family into tragic celebrities. 

Now, at eighteen, Vera is counting down the days until she starts her new life at college in Portland, Oregon, far away from the dark cloud she and family have lived under for twelve years. But all that changes when a girl shows up at the local hospital. 

Her name is Ava Rivers and she wants to go home.

Ava’s return begins to mend the fractures in the Rivers family. Vera and Ava’s estranged older brother returns. Vera reconnects with Max, the sweet, artistic boy from her childhood. Their parents smile again. But the questions remain: Where was Ava all these years? And who is she now? – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Resistance by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Expected: 28 August 2018

A Second World War resistance story from a very popular YA author.

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TBR August 2018

 

Chaya Lindner is a teenager living in Nazi-occupied Poland. Simply being Jewish places her in danger of being killed or sent to the camps. After her little sister is taken away, her younger brother disappears, and her parents all but give up hope, Chaya is determined to make a difference. Using forged papers and her fair features, Chaya becomes a courier and travels between the Jewish ghettos of Poland, smuggling food, papers, and even people. 

Soon Chaya joins a resistance cell that runs raids on the Nazis’ supplies. But after a mission goes terribly wrong, Chaya’s network shatters. She is alone and unsure of where to go, until Esther, a member of her cell, finds her and delivers a message that chills Chaya to her core, and sends her on a journey toward an even larger uprising in the works — in the Warsaw Ghetto.

Though the Jewish resistance never had much of a chance against the Nazis, they were determined to save as many lives as possible, and to live – or die – with honor. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Trust Me by Hank Phillippi Ryan

Expected: 28 August 2018

I love psychological thrillers and can’t wait for this one!

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TBR August 2018

 

An accused killer insists she’s innocent of a heinous murder.

A grieving journalist surfaces from the wreckage of her shattered life.

Their unlikely alliance leads to a dangerous cat and mouse game that will leave you breathless.

Who can you trust when you can’t trust yourself? – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

The Fall of Gondolin (Middle-Earth Universe) by J.R.R. Tolkien & Christopher Tolkien (Illustrated by Alan Lee)

Expected: 30 August 2018

The chance to read a new J.R.R Tolkien book feels almost as exciting as if George R.R. Martin actually brought out the rest of The Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) books. A chance to return to Middle-Earth is even better. Thanks to Christopher Tolkien who gathered his father’s notes and drafts together into this book.

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TBR August 2018

 

In the Tale of The Fall of Gondolin are two of the greatest powers in the world. There is Morgoth of the uttermost evil, unseen in this story but ruling over a vast military power from his fortress of Angband. Deeply opposed to Morgoth is Ulmo, second in might only to Manwë, chief of the Valar.

Central to this enmity of the gods is the city of Gondolin, beautiful but undiscoverable. It was built and peopled by Noldorin Elves who, when they dwelt in Valinor, the land of the gods, rebelled against their rule and fled to Middle-earth. Turgon King of Gondolin is hated and feared above all his enemies by Morgoth, who seeks in vain to discover the marvellously hidden city, while the gods in Valinor in a heated debate largely refuse to intervene in support of Ulmo’s desires and designs.

Into this world comes Tuor, cousin of Túrin, the instrument of Ulmo’s designs. Guided unseen by him Tuor sets out from the land of his birth on the fearful journey to Gondolin, and in one of the most arresting moments in the history of Middle-Earth, the sea-god himself appears to him, rising out of the ocean in the midst of a storm. In Gondolin he becomes great; he is wedded to Idril, Turgon’s daughter, and their son is Eärendel, whose birth and profound importance in days to come is foreseen by Ulmo. – Abstract from Goodreads

Adding to Your TBR – July 2018

TBR July 2018

Adding to Your TBR – July 2018

TBR – To Be Read tower/list 

Here is your July reading list. I hope you find a book (or two) you love. Happy holiday reading!

 

Snap by Belinda Bauer

Expected: 1 July 2018

Snap has gathered a number of incredibly high early ratings on Goodreads.

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TBR July 2018

 

Snap decisions can be dangerous . . . 

On a stifling summer’s day, eleven-year-old Jack and his two sisters sit in their broken-down car, waiting for their mother to come back and rescue them. Jack’s in charge, she said. I won’t be long.

But she doesn’t come back. She never comes back. And life as the children know it is changed for ever.

Three years later, Jack, now fourteen, is still in charge – of his sisters, of supporting them all, of making sure nobody knows they’re alone in the house, and – quite suddenly – of finding out the truth about what happened to his mother. . . – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

The Banker’s Wife by Cristina Alger

Expected: 3 July 2018

The abstract sounds a little generic so I am not sure about this one. The early reviews on Goodreads are very good which is usually a very good indication of a great read – so long as there is more than a handful of 5-star ratings you can be sure it’s not just the author and their family punting it.

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TBR July 2018

 

On an early morning in November, a couple boards a private plane bound for Geneva, flying into a storm. Soon after, it simply drops off the radar, and its wreckage is later uncovered in the Alps. Among the disappeared is Matthew Lerner, a banking insider at Swiss United, a powerful offshore bank. His young widow, Annabel, is left grappling with the secrets he left behind, including an encrypted laptop and a shady client list. As she begins a desperate search for answers, she determines that Matthew’s death was no accident and that she is now in the crosshairs of his powerful enemies. 

Meanwhile, ambitious society journalist Marina Tourneau has finally landed at the top. Now that she’s engaged to Grant Ellis, she will stop writing about powerful families and finally be a part of one. Her entry into the upper echelons of New York’s social scene is more appealing than any article could ever be, but, after the death of her mentor, she agrees to dig into one more story. While looking into Swiss United, Marina uncovers information that implicates some of the most powerful men in the financial world, including some who are too close to home. The story could also be the answer to Annabel’s heartbreaking search—if Marina chooses to publish it. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Kiss of the Royal by Lindsey Duga

Expected: 3 July 2018

I love this cover. It’s pretty in a dark, and slightly menacing way, and will look gorgeous on my shelf. #coverlove Now I am seeing a heart-shaped sweet (candy)… perhaps it’s a bittersweet story – or maybe I am just hungry!

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TBR July 2018

 

In the war against the Forces of Darkness, the Royals are losing. Princess Ivy is determined to end this centuries-long conflict once and for all, so her new battle partner must succeed where the others failed. Prince Zach’s unparalleled skill with a sword, enhanced by Ivy’s magic Kiss, should make them an unstoppable pair—but try convincing Zach of that.

Prince Zach has spent his life preparing for battle, but he would rather be branded a heretic than use his lips as nothing more than a way to transfer magic. A kiss is a symbol of love, and love is the most powerful weapon they have—but try convincing Ivy of that.

With the fate of their world on the line, the battlefield has become a testing ground, and only one of them can be right. Falling for each other wasn’t part of the plan—but try convincing their hearts of that. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Floored by Sara Barnard, Holly Bourne, Tanya Byrne, Non Pratt, Melinda Salisbury, Lisa Williamson, Eleanor Wood

Expected: 3 July 2018

I am very excited about this book, although I am nervous about seven PVO’s (Point of Views). Although, each one is written by a different author so the voices should be unique enough to tell apart.

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TBR July 2018

 

When they got in the lift, they were strangers (though didn’t that guy used to be on TV?): Sasha, who is desperately trying to deliver a parcel; Hugo, who knows he’s the best-looking guy in the lift and is eyeing up Velvet, who knows what that look means when you hear her name and it doesn’t match the way she looks, or the way she talks; Dawson, who was on TV, but isn’t as good-looking as he was a few years ago and is desperately hoping no one recognizes him; Kaitlyn, who’s losing her sight but won’t admit it, and who used to have a poster of Dawson on her bedroom wall, and Joe, who shouldn’t be here at all, but who wants to be here the most.

And one more person, who will bring them together again on the same day every year.  – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

Caged by Ellison Cooper

Expected: 10 July 2018

A dark, evil psychological thriller. Yes please!

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tbr July 2018

 

FBI neuroscientist Sayer Altair hunts for evil in the deepest recesses of the human mind. Still reeling from the death of her fiance, she wants nothing more than to focus on her research into the brains of serial killers. But when the Washington D.C. police stumble upon a gruesome murder scene involving a girl who’d been slowly starved to death while held captive in a cage, Sayer is called in to lead the investigation. When the victim is identified as the daughter of a high profile senator, Sayer is thrust into the spotlight.

As public pressure mounts, she discovers that another girl has been taken and is teetering on the brink of death. With evidence unraveling around her, Sayer races to save the second victim but soon realizes that they are hunting a killer with a dangerous obsession…a killer who is closer than she thought. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott

Expected: 17 July 2018

Described on Goodreads as ‘A life-changing secret destroys an unlikely friendship in this “magnetic” psychological thriller’ so I am definitely looking out for this one.

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TBR July 2018

 

Kit Owens harbored only modest ambitions for herself when the mysterious Diane Fleming appeared in her high school chemistry class. But Diane’s academic brilliance lit a fire in Kit, and the two developed an unlikely friendship. Until Diane shared a secret that changed everything between them.

More than a decade later, Kit thinks she’s put Diane behind her forever and she’s begun to fulfil the scientific dreams Diane awakened in her. But the past comes roaring back when she discovers that Diane is her competition for a position both women covet, taking part in groundbreaking new research led by their idol. Soon enough, the two former friends find themselves locked in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse that threatens to destroy them both. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter

Expected: 21 July 2018

I have listened to one of Karin Slaughter’s audiobooks The Good Daughter via Audible last year and loved it! It got a rare 5-star rating for me and I have been wanting to pick up another of her books.

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TBR July 2018

 

What if the person you thought you knew best turns out to be someone you never knew at all . . . ?

Andrea Cooper knows everything about her mother, Laura. She knows she’s spent her whole life in the small beachside town of Belle Isle; she knows she’s never wanted anything more than to live a quiet life as a pillar of the community; she knows she’s never kept a secret in her life. Because we all know our mothers, don’t we?

But all that changes when a trip to the mall explodes into violence and Andrea suddenly sees a completely different side to Laura. Because it turns out that before Laura was Laura, she was someone completely different. For nearly thirty years she’s been hiding from her previous identity, lying low in the hope that no one would ever find her. But now she’s been exposed, and nothing will ever be the same again.

The police want answers and Laura’s innocence is on the line, but she won’t speak to anyone, including her own daughter. Andrea is on a desperate journey following the breadcrumb trail of her mother’s past. And if she can’t uncover the secrets hidden there, there may be no future for either one of them. . . . – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Silent Hearts by Gwen Florio

Expected: 24 July 2018

Another story that has been compared to A Thousand Splendid Suns! This honour is a dubious one though because it is bound to be far more critically analysed by eager readers. Hope it can stand up for itself.

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TBR July 2018

 

For fans of A Thousand Splendid Suns comes a stirring novel set in Afghanistan about two women—an American aid worker and her local interpreter—who form an unexpected friendship despite their utterly different life experiences and the ever-increasing violence that surrounds them in Kabul.

In 2001, Kabul is suddenly a place of possibility as people fling off years of repressive Taliban rule. This hopeful chaos brings together American aid worker Liv Stoellner and Farida Basra, an educated Pakistani woman still adjusting to her arranged marriage to Gul, the son of an Afghan strongman whose family spent years of exile in Pakistan before returning to Kabul.

Both Liv and her husband take positions at an NGO that helps Afghan women recover from the Taliban years. They see the move as a reboot—Martin for his moribund academic career, Liv for their marriage. But for Farida and Gul, the move to Kabul is fraught, severing all ties with Farida’s family and her former world, and forcing Gul to confront a chapter in his life he’d desperately tried to erase.

The two women, brought together by Farida’s work as an interpreter, form a nascent friendship based on their growing mutual love for Afghanistan, though Liv remains unaware that Farida is reporting information about the Americans’ activities to Gul’s family, who have ties to the black market.

As the bond between Farida and Liv deepens, war-scarred Kabul acts in different ways upon them, as well as their husbands. Silent Hearts is an absorbing, complex portrayal of two very different but equally resilient women caught in the conflict of a war that will test them in ways they never imagined. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Last Thing I Told You by Emily Arsenault

Expected: 24 July 2018

Another psychological thriller… I might be developing a new favourite genre!

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TBR July 2018

 

I hear myself whispering. Not again. Not again.

Why did I ever come back here? Surely because of you. Because I thought of something I’d always meant to tell you. Because you were the only one I ever really wanted to tell it to…

Therapist Dr. Mark Fabian is dead—bludgeoned in his office.

But that doesn’t stop former patient Nadine Raines from talking to him—in her head. Why did she come back to her hometown after so many years away? Everyone here thinks she’s crazy. And she has to admit—they might have good reason to think so. She committed a shockingly violent act when she was sixteen, and has never really been able to explain that dark impulse—even to Fabian. Now that Fabian’s dead, why is she still trying?

Meanwhile, as Detective Henry Peacher investigates Fabian’s death, he discovers that shortly before he died, Fabian pulled the files of two former patients. One was of Nadine Raines, one of Henry’s former high school classmates. Henry still remembers the disturbing attack on a teacher that marked Nadine as a deeply troubled teen.

More shockingly, the other file was of Johnny Streeter, who is now serving a life sentence for a mass shooting five years ago. The shooting devastated the town and everyone—including Henry, who is uncomfortable with the “hero” status the tragedy afforded him—is ready to move on. But the appearance of his file brings up new questions. Maybe there is a decades-old connection between Nadine and Streeter. And maybe that somehow explains what Nadine is doing in Fabian’s office nearly twenty years after being his patient. Or how Fabian ended up dead two days after her return. Or why Nadine has fled town once again.

But as Nadine and Henry head toward a confrontation, both will discover that the secrets of people’s hearts are rarely simple, and—even in the hidden depths of a psychologist’s files—rarely as they appear. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Sons and Soldiers: The Untold Story of the Jews Who Escaped the Nazis and Returned with the U.S. Army to Fight Hitler by Bruce Henderson

Expected: 25 July 2018

I’m taking another dive into the Second World War. I am drawn to these stories, despite the inevitable heartbreak.

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TBR July 2018

 

In 1942, the U.S. Army unleashed one of its greatest secret weapons in the battle to defeat Adolf Hitler: training nearly 2,000 German-born Jews in special interrogation techniques and making use of their mastery of the German language, history, and customs. Known as the Ritchie Boys, they were sent in small, elite teams to join every major combat unit in Europe, where they interrogated German POWs and gathered crucial intelligence that saved American lives and helped win the war.

Though they knew what the Nazis would do to them if they were captured, the Ritchie Boys eagerly joined the fight to defeat Hitler. As they did, many of them did not know the fates of their own families left behind in occupied Europe. Taking part in every major campaign in Europe, they collected key tactical intelligence on enemy strength, troop and armored movements, and defensive positions. A postwar Army report found that more than sixty percent of the credible intelligence gathered in Europe came from the Ritchie Boys.

Bruce Henderson draws on personal interviews with many surviving veterans and extensive archival research to bring this never-before-told chapter of the Second World War to light. Sons and Soldiers traces their stories from childhood and their escapes from Nazi Germany, through their feats and sacrifices during the war, to their desperate attempts to find their missing loved ones in war-torn Europe. Sons and Soldiers is an epic story of heroism, courage, and patriotism that will not soon be forgotten.

 

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

Expected: 26 July 2018

A little touch of murder mystery with a side of thriller.

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TBR July 2018

 

We can’t choose the strangers we meet.

As the guests arrive at beautiful, remote Mitchell’s Inn, they’re all looking forward to a relaxing weekend deep in the forest, miles from anywhere. They watch their fellow guests with interest, from a polite distance.

Usually, we can avoid the people who make us nervous, make us afraid.

With a violent storm raging, the group finds itself completely cut off from the outside world. Nobody can get in – or out. And then the first body is found . . . and the horrifying truth comes to light. There’s a killer among them – and nowhere to run.

Until we find ourselves in a situation we can’t escape. Trapped. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras

Expected: 31 July 2018

Another stunning cover and this time matched with a mesmerising title! I know this will be a tough read emotionally but one that shouldn’t be missed.

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TBR July 2018

 

In the vein of Isabel Allende and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a mesmerizing debut set against the backdrop of the devastating violence of 1990’s Colombia about a sheltered young girl and a teenage maid who strike an unlikely friendship that threatens to undo them both

The Santiago family lives in a gated community in Bogotá, safe from the political upheaval terrorizing the country. Seven-year-old Chula and her older sister Cassandra enjoy carefree lives thanks to this protective bubble, but the threat of kidnappings, car bombs and assassinations hover just outside the neighbourhood walls, where the godlike drug lord Pablo Escobar continues to elude authorities and capture the attention of the nation.

When their mother hires Petrona, a live-in-maid from the city’s guerrilla-occupied slum, Chula makes it her mission to understand Petrona’s mysterious ways. But Petrona’s unusual behavior belies more than shyness. She is a young woman crumbling under the burden of providing for her family as the riptide of first love pulls her in the opposite direction. As both girls’ families scramble to maintain stability amidst the rapidly escalating conflict, Petrona and Chula find themselves entangled in a web of secrecy that will force them both to choose between sacrifice and betrayal. 

Inspired by the author’s own life, and told through the alternating perspectives of the willful Chula and the achingly hopeful Petrona, Fruit of the Drunken Tree contrasts two very different, but inextricable coming-of-age stories. In lush prose, Rojas Contreras sheds light on the impossible choices women are often forced to make in the face of violence and the unexpected connections that can blossom out of desperation. Abstract from Goodreads

 

Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

Expected: 31 July 2018

I haven’t found a good fantasy novel since The Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, so ready to be wowed. This one has had rave early reviews – holding thumbs.

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TBR July 2018

 

Everyone knows what happens in the end.
A mermaid, a prince, a true love’s kiss.
But before that young siren’s tale, there were three friends.
One feared, one royal, and one already dead

Ever since her best friend, Anna, drowned, Evie has been an outcast in her small fishing town. A freak. A curse. A witch. 

A girl with an uncanny resemblance to Anna appears offshore and, though the girl denies it, Evie is convinced that her best friend actually survived. That her own magic wasn’t so powerless after all. And, as the two girls catch the eyes—and hearts—of two charming princes, Evie believes that she might finally have a chance at her own happily ever after.

But her new friend has secrets of her own. She can’t stay in Havnestad, or on two legs, unless Evie finds a way to help her. Now Evie will do anything to save her friend’s humanity, along with her prince’s heart—harnessing the power of her magic, her ocean, and her love until she discovers, too late, the truth of her bargain. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas

Expected: 31 July 2018

Yes I know, this post is full of murder stories. This story has a dark, creepy tinge that for some reason really appeals…

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TBR June 2018

 

There are no more cheerleaders in the town of Sunnybrook.

First, there was the car accident—two girls gone after hitting a tree on a rainy night. Not long after, the murders happened. Those two girls were killed by the man next door. The police shot him, so no one will ever know why he did it. Monica’s sister was the last cheerleader to die. After her suicide, Sunnybrook High disbanded the cheer squad. No one wanted to be reminded of the girls they lost.

That was five years ago. Now the faculty and students at Sunnybrook High want to remember the lost cheerleaders. But for Monica, it’s not that easy. She just wants to forget. Only, Monica’s world is starting to unravel. There are the letters in her stepdad’s desk, an unearthed, years-old cell phone, a strange new friend at school. . . . Whatever happened five years ago isn’t over. Some people in town know more than they’re saying. And somehow Monica is at the centre of it all.

There are no more cheerleaders in Sunnybrook, but that doesn’t mean anyone else is safe. – Abstract from Goodreads

Adding to Your TBR – June 2018

TBR June 2018

Adding to Your TBR – June 2018

TBR – To Be Read tower/list 

June is stuffed full of great releases and this is a list of the twelve I am the most excited for. Of course, my TBR is murmuring (ha! I wish) in the corner – it knows I can’t keep up. Goodreads is in on the plan to take me down and helpfully points out that although I have read forty-four books so far, I am eight books behind schedule if I am to achieve the total I faithfully declared I would read in the Reading Challenge. Fortunately, no one knows I have already reduced the total in a vain attempt to see the completed stamp at the end of the year…

 

The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen

Expected: 5 June 2018

This fantasy is a retelling of the opera Turandot written by Giacomo Puccini, which is it’s self a retelling. The original story was written by Nizami Ganjavi and published in 1197 as part of a collection called The Seven Beauties. With this rich background, there is much pressure on the début author but the early reviewers have high praise with the pre-publication average rating on Goodreads an amazing 4.43 out of 5 stars.

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TBR June 2018

 

As a slave in the Kipchak Khanate, Jinghua has lost everything: her home, her family, her freedom … until she finds herself an unlikely conspirator in the escape of Prince Khalaf and his irascible father as they flee from their enemies across the vast Mongol Empire. On the run, with adversaries on all sides and an endless journey ahead, Jinghua hatches a scheme to use the Kipchaks’ exile to return home, a plan that becomes increasingly fraught as her feelings for Khalaf evolve into a hopeless love.

Jinghua’s already dicey prospects take a downward turn when Khalaf seeks to restore his kingdom by forging a marriage alliance with Turandokht, the daughter of the Great Khan. As beautiful as she is cunning, Turandokht requires all potential suitors to solve three impossible riddles to win her hand—and if they fail, they die.

Jinghua has kept her own counsel well, but with Khalaf’s kingdom—and his very life—on the line, she must reconcile the hard truth of her past with her love for a boy who has no idea what she’s capable of … even if it means losing him to the girl who’d sooner take his life than his heart. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Save the Date by Morgan Matson

Expected: 5 June 2018

I was lucky enough to read an ARC (Advanced Review Copy) of Save the Date and loved it! It’s a delicious, fun-filled, crazy, chaotic whirlwind of a book. Hard to put down.

TBR June 2018

 

Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait—for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster—all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.

The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster.

There’s the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.

There are the relatives who aren’t speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo.

Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner’s nephew is unexpectedly, distractingly…cute.

Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno

Expected: 5 June 2018

So, this is magical realism? What makes it different to fantasy. Ever so slightly confused but rave reviews indicate it’s well worth reading to find out.

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TBR June 2018

 

A magic passed down through generations. An island where strange things happen. A summer that will become legend.

Georgina Fernweh waits impatiently for the tingle of magic in her fingers—magic that has touched every woman in her family. But with her eighteenth birthday looming, Georgina fears her gift will never come.

Over the course of her last summer on the island—a summer of storms, falling in love, and the mystery behind one rare three-hundred-year-old bird—Georgina will learn the truth about magic, in all its many forms. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

Little Do We Know by Tamara Ireland Stone

Expected: 5 June 2018

Friendships and secrets. What’s not to love? I have just read her first book, Every Last Word and was blown away by richly layered characters and the unpredictable twist.

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TBR June 2018

 

Next-door neighbors and ex-best friends Hannah and Emory haven’t spoken in months. Not since the fight—the one where they said things they couldn’t take back.

Now, Emory is fine-tuning her UCLA performing arts application and trying to make the most of the months she has left with her boyfriend, Luke, before they head off to separate colleges. Meanwhile, Hannah’s strong faith is shaken when her family’s financial problems come to light, and she finds herself turning to unexpected places—and people—for answers to the difficult questions she’s suddenly facing.

No matter how much Hannah and Emory desperately want to bridge the thirty-six steps between their bedroom windows, they can’t. Not anymore.

Until their paths cross unexpectedly when, one night, Hannah finds Luke doubled over in his car outside her house. In the aftermath of the accident, all three struggle to understand what happened in their own ways. But when a devastating secret about Hannah and Emory’s argument ultimately comes to light, they must all re-examine the things they hold true. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Sweet Black Waves by Kristina Pérez

Expected: 5 June 2018

This is the first book in an epic fantasy series of the same name. I am slightly put off by the cheesy title and the cliché cover but hoping I am proved wrong.

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TBR June 2018

 

Not you without me, not me without you.

Two proud kingdoms stand on opposite shores, with only a bloody history between them. 

As best friend and lady-in-waiting to the princess, Branwen is guided by two principles: devotion to her homeland and hatred for the raiders who killed her parents. When she unknowingly saves the life of her enemy, he awakens her ancient healing magic and opens her heart. Branwen begins to dream of peace, but the princess she serves is not so easily convinced. Fighting for what’s right, even as her powers grow beyond her control, will set Branwen against both her best friend and the only man she’s ever loved. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews

Expected: 7 June 2018

A Thousand Perfect Notes is my most anticipated read this month. Although I am absolutely sure this emotional book will destroy me I can’t wait to read it. C.G. Drews (aka Cait @Paperfury) is an extremely popular book blogger (slightly obsessed with cake and stabbing) who writes fun blog posts, laugh-out-loud Twitter feeds and is an amazing photographer as seen in her Instagram posts. She is also very supportive of fellow bloggers, generous enough to share her knowledge in tutorial posts, always replies to comments and takes the time to return the favour. So to Cait, now a published author and whose second book is due in 2019, keep writing with the aim of totally overloading our TBRs! PS Cait’s second book is called The Boy Who Steals Houses – have you ever seen such a brilliant title? I love it!

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TBR June 2018

 

An emotionally charged story of music, abuse and, ultimately, hope.

Beck hates his life. He hates his violent mother. He hates his home. Most of all, he hates the piano that his mother forces him to play hour after hour, day after day. He will never play as she did before illness ended her career and left her bitter and broken. But Beck is too scared to stand up to his mother, and tell her his true passion, which is composing his own music – because the least suggestion of rebellion on his part ends in violence.

When Beck meets August, a girl full of life, energy and laughter, love begins to awaken within him and he glimpses a way to escape his painful existence. But dare he reach for it? – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

The Myth of Perpetual Summer by Susan Crandall

Expected: 19 June 2018

A highly anticipated historical fiction set in the Southern United States in the 1960s. The description includes a dysfunctional family and dark secrets so obviously, I am in!

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TBR June 2018

 

Tallulah James’s parents’ volatile relationship, erratic behavior, and hands-off approach to child rearing set tongues to wagging in their staid Mississippi town, complicating her already uncertain life. She takes the responsibility of shielding her family’s reputation and raising her younger twin siblings onto her youthful shoulders.

If not for the emotional constants of her older brother, Griff, and her old guard Southern grandmother, she would be lost. When betrayal and death arrive hand in hand, she takes to the road, headed to what turns out to be the not-so-promised land of Southern California. The dysfunction of her childhood still echoes throughout her scattered family, sending her brother on a disastrous path and drawing her home again. There she uncovers the secrets and lies that set her family on the road to destruction.  – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li

Expected: 19 June 2018

Spanning generations, this story promises to take us behind the scenes of The Beijing Duck House to meet the staff and discover their secrets…

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TBR June 2018

 

The Beijing Duck House in Rockville, Maryland, is not only a beloved go-to setting for hunger pangs and celebrations; it is its own world, inhabited by waiters and kitchen staff who have been fighting, loving, and aging within its walls for decades. When disaster strikes, this working family’s controlled chaos is set loose, forcing each character to confront the conflicts that fast-paced restaurant life has kept at bay. 

Owner Jimmy Han hopes to leave his late father’s homespun establishment for a fancier one. Jimmy’s older brother, Johnny, and Johnny’s daughter, Annie, ache to return to a time before a father’s absence and a teenager’s silence pushed them apart. Nan and Ah-Jack, longtime Duck House employees, are tempted to turn their thirty-year friendship into something else, even as Nan’s son, Pat, struggles to stay out of trouble. And when Pat and Annie, caught in a mix of youthful lust and boredom, find themselves in a dangerous game that implicates them in the Duck House tragedy, their families must decide how much they are willing to sacrifice to help their children.  – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Date by Louise Jensen

Expected: 21 June 2018

So, at last, a thriller on the list this month. Just one caught my eye though but the early reviews promise it’s a good one.

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TBR June 2018

 

Something bad has happened to Alison Taylor. 

Her Saturday night started normally. Recently separated from her husband, Ali has been persuaded by her friends to go on a date with a new man. She is ready, she is nervous, she is excited. She is about to take a step into her new future. 

By Sunday morning, Ali’s life is unrecognisable. She wakes, and she knows that something is wrong. She is home, she is alone, she is hurt and she has no memory of what happened to her. 

Worse still, when she looks in the mirror, Ali doesn’t recognise the face staring back at her. She can’t recognise her friends and family. And she can’t recognise the person who is trying to destroy her… – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Wild Blue Wonder by Carlie Sorosiak

Expected: 26 June 2018

It was the first two lines of the abstract below that prompted me to add this book despite not liking most of Carlie Sorosiak’s first book If Birds Fly Back. But there was also a part of the book that I loved – if you want to know more the link above is to my review on Goodreads.

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TBR June 2018

 

There are two monsters in this story. One of them is me.

Ask anyone in Winship, Maine, and they’ll tell you the summer camp Quinn’s family owns is a magical place. Paper wishes hang from the ceiling. Blueberries grow in the dead of winter. According to local legend, a sea monster even lurks off the coast. Mostly, there’s just a feeling that something extraordinary could happen there.

Like Quinn falling in love with her best friend, Dylan.

After the accident, the magic drained from Quinn’s life. Now Dylan is gone, the camp is a lonely place, and Quinn knows it’s her fault.

But the new boy in town, Alexander, doesn’t see her as the monster she believes herself to be. As Quinn lets herself open up again, she begins to understand the truth about love, loss, and monsters—real and imagined. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Your Destination Is on the Left by Lauren Spieller

Expected: 26 June 2018

I love this cover! And it’s about art and artists. I have the impression it might be as good as I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson which will be brilliant! High hopes indeed.

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TBR June 2018

 

Dessa Rhodes is a modern day nomad. Her family travels in an RV, their lives defined by state lines, exit signs, and the small communal caravan they call home. Among them is Cyrus, her best friend and long-time crush, whom she knows she can never be with. When your families are perpetually linked, it’s too dangerous to take a risk on romance. 

Instead, Dessa looks to the future. She wants to be a real artist and going to art school is her ticket to success and a new life. There’s just one problem: she hasn’t been accepted…anywhere. Suddenly her future is wide open, and it looks like she’s going to be stuck travelling forever.

Then an unexpected opportunity presents itself: an internship working with a local artist in Santa Fe. Dessa struggles to prove to her boss—and herself—that she belongs there, but just as she finally hits her stride, her family suffers an unexpected blow. Faced with losing everything that she has worked for, Dessa has a difficult decision to make. Will she say goodbye to her nomadic lifestyle and the boy she loves? Or will she choose to never stop moving? – Abstract from Goodreads

 

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings compiled by Ellen Oh & Elsie Chapman

Expected: 26 June 2018

These short stories featuring East and South Asia folklore and mythology sound amazing. Short stories are what I turn to when life gets too crazy and it’s difficult to concentrate on a novel.

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TBR June 2018

 

Star-crossed lovers, meddling immortals, feigned identities, battles of wits, and dire warnings: these are the stuff of fairy tale, myth, and folklore that have drawn us in for centuries. 

Fifteen bestselling and acclaimed authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting, heartbreaking, romantic, and passionate. 

A mountain loses her heart. Two sisters transform into birds to escape captivity. A young man learns the true meaning of sacrifice. A young woman takes up her mother’s mantle and leads the dead to their final resting place.

From fantasy to science fiction to contemporary, from romance to tales of revenge, these stories will beguile readers from start to finish.  – Abstract from Goodreads

Adding to TBR – May 2018

TBR May 2018

Adding to Your TBR – May 2018

TBR – To Be Read tower/list 

It’s May, and while the Northern Hemisphere starts to warm up, down south we are swinging through Autumn surrounded by nature’s brilliant yellows and reds, shorter days and longer sleeves.

Whether you are sunbathing or curled up with hot chocolate I hope you find a few books on my list you love…

 

The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar

Expected: 1 May 2018

Described on Goodreads as ‘the book that is to Syria what The Kite Runner was to Afghanistan’. Oh, the pressure the author must be feeling! But if the early reviewers are on to something, I’m going to have a must-read situation.

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TBR May 2018

 

It is the summer of 2011, and Nour has just lost her father to cancer. Her mother, a cartographer who creates unusual, hand-painted maps, decides to move Nour and her sisters from New York City back to Syria to be closer to their family. But the country Nour’s mother once knew is changing, and it isn’t long before protests and shelling threaten their quiet Homs neighborhood. When a shell destroys Nour’s house and almost takes her life, she and her family are forced to choose: stay and risk more violence or flee as refugees across seven countries of the Middle East and North Africa in search of safety. As their journey becomes more and more challenging, Nour’s idea of home becomes a dream she struggles to remember and a hope she cannot live without.

More than eight hundred years earlier, Rawiya, sixteen and a widow’s daughter, knows she must do something to help her impoverished mother. Restless and longing to see the world, she leaves home to seek her fortune. Disguising herself as a boy named Rami, she becomes an apprentice to al-Idrisi, who has been commissioned by King Roger II of Sicily to create a map of the world. In his employ, Rawiya embarks on an epic journey across the Middle East and the north of Africa where she encounters ferocious mythical beasts, epic battles, and real historical figures.

A deep immersion into the richly varied cultures of the Middle East and North Africa, The Map of Salt and Stars follows the journeys of Nour and Rawiya as they travel along identical paths across the region eight hundred years apart, braving the unknown beside their companions as they are pulled by the promise of reaching home at last. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy

Expected: 1 May 2018

This tense psychological thriller has already been optioned for a movie adaption by TriStar Pictures. You know you’ve got to read the book before the movie, right?

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TBR May 2018

 

They call themselves the May Mothers—a collection of new moms who gave birth in the same month. Twice a week, with strollers in tow, they get together in Prospect Park, seeking refuge from the isolation of new motherhood; sharing the fears, joys, and anxieties of their new child-centered lives.

When the group’s members agree to meet for drinks at a hip local bar, they have in mind a casual evening of fun, a brief break from their daily routine. But on this sultry Fourth of July night during the hottest summer in Brooklyn’s history, something goes terrifyingly wrong: one of the babies is abducted from his crib. Winnie, a single mom, was reluctant to leave six-week-old Midas with a babysitter, but the May Mothers insisted that everything would be fine. Now Midas is missing, the police are asking disturbing questions, and Winnie’s very private life has become fodder for a ravenous media.

Though none of the other members in the group are close to the reserved Winnie, three of them will go to increasingly risky lengths to help her find her son. And as the police bungle the investigation and the media begin to scrutinize the mothers in the days that follow, damaging secrets are exposed, marriages are tested, and friendships are formed and fractured. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green

Expected: 1 May 2018

The first book in a new fantasy series of the same name, The Smoke Thieves promises dark magic and intrigue. I didn’t particularly like the author’s previous book Half Bad and didn’t read the sequels, but I do like historical, political intrigue, fantasy stories and if it is anything like Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers then it’s going to be good.

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TBR May 2018

 

A shrewd princess whose father is plotting against her. A brave soldier turned traitor. A loyal servant on a quest to avenge his family. A streetwise demon smoke hunter in desperate need of money. A charming thief with no clue about his true identity.

Their lives would never intersect, until a war between kingdoms bubbles up, and the dangerous truth about demon smoke intertwines all their fates. Welcome to The Smoke Thieves, a tangled web of political intrigue, shifting alliances, and forbidden love, in a world where sometimes no amount of magic can keep you safe. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

A Lite Too Bright by Samuel Miller

Expected: 8 May 2018

The early reviewers have heaped huge praise on this road train-tripping story full of friendship, family and dark secrets.

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TBR May 2018

 

Arthur Louis Pullman the Third lives in his grandfather’s shadow. The first Arthur Louis Pullman, an iconic Salinger-esque author who wrote the American classic A World Away, died in Ohio a week after he disappeared from his family’s California home. What happened in that week—and how much his actions were influenced by his Alzheimer’s—remains a mystery.

After Arthur is stripped of a college scholarship and begins to lose his grip on reality, he’s sent away to live with his aunt and uncle. There, Arthur discovers a journal written by his grandfather, the narrator pining for something he can’t quite understand and the final sentence containing a train route and a destination.

Eager to escape his own demons, Arthur embarks on a cross-country train ride, guided only by cryptic clues left in his grandfather’s dementia-influenced writing. But as Arthur gets closer to the real story, his journey is complicated by a shaky alliance with a strange girl who’s keeping secrets of her own and by escalating run-ins with a dangerous Pullman fan base. Arthur’s not the only one chasing a legacy, and how much will he risk to find out the truth? – Abstract from Goodreads

 

We’ll Fly Away by Bryan Bliss

Expected: 8 May 2018

This is going to be a hard-hitting, difficult and emotional read. And these are usually the best kind. I hope.

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TBR May 2018

 

Uniquely told through letters from death row and third-person narrative, Bryan Bliss’s hard-hitting third novel expertly unravels the string of events that landed a teenager in jail. Luke feels like he’s been looking after Toby his entire life. He patches Toby up when Toby’s father, a drunk and a petty criminal, beats on him, he gives him a place to stay, and he diffuses the situation at school when wise-cracking Toby inevitably gets into fights. Someday, Luke and Toby will leave this small town, riding the tails of Luke’s wrestling scholarship, and never look back.

But during their senior year, they begin to drift apart. Luke is dealing with his unreliable mother and her new boyfriend. And Toby unwittingly begins to get drawn into his father’s world, and falls for an older woman. All their long-held dreams seem to be unravelling. Tense and emotional, this heartbreaking novel explores family, abuse, love, friendship, and the lengths a person will go to protect the people they love.  – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch

Expected: 8 May 2018

From the author of the very popular Love and Gelato, this promises to be just as good. And no, I haven’t read either yet but I’m keeping the optimistic idea that my TBR might just shrink overnight.

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TBR May 2018

 

Addie is visiting Ireland for her aunt’s over-the-top destination wedding, and hoping she can stop thinking about the one horrible thing she did that left her miserable and heartbroken—and threatens her future. But her brother, Ian, isn’t about to let her forget, and his constant needling leads to arguments and even a fistfight between the two once inseparable siblings. Miserable, Addie can’t wait to visit her friend in Italy and leave her brother—and her problems—behind.

So when Addie discovers an unusual guidebook, Ireland for the Heartbroken, hidden in the dusty shelves of the hotel library, she’s able to finally escape her anxious mind and Ian’s criticism.

And then their travel plans change. Suddenly Addie finds herself on a whirlwind tour of the Emerald Isle, trapped in the world’s smallest vehicle with Ian and his admittedly cute, Irish-accented friend Rowan. As the trio journeys over breathtaking green hills, past countless castles, and through a number of fairy-tale forests, Addie hopes her guidebook will heal not only her broken heart, but also her shattered relationship with her brother.

That is if they don’t get completely lost along the way. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake

Expected: 15 May 2018

Another hard-hitting emotional story… Girl Made of Stars is already making a mark with an average of 4.4/5 star rating, this is going to be GOOD.

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TBR May 2018

 

“I need Owen to explain this. Because yes, I do know that Owen would never do that, but I also know Hannah would never lie about something like that.”

Mara and Owen are about as close as twins can get. So when Mara’s friend Hannah accuses Owen of rape, Mara doesn’t know what to think. Can the brother she loves really be guilty of such a violent crime? Torn between the family she loves and her own sense of right and wrong, Mara is feeling lost, and it doesn’t help that things have been strained with her ex and best friend since childhood, Charlie.

As Mara, Hannah, and Charlie navigate this new terrain, Mara must face a trauma from her own past and decide where Charlie fits in her future. With sensitivity and openness, this timely novel confronts the difficult questions surrounding consent, victim blaming, and sexual assault. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Ensemble by Aja Gabel

Expected: 15 May 2018

The Ensemble has raving early reviews on Goodreads. I love the sound of the complex relationships between the four friends and secrets that bind them together.

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TBR May 2018

 

The addictive debut novel about four young friends navigating the cutthroat world of music and their complex relationships with each other, as ambition, passion, and love intertwine over the course of their lives.

Brit is the second violinist, a beautiful and quiet orphan; the viola is Henry, a prodigy who’s always had it easy; the cellist is Daniel, the oldest, the angry sceptic who sleeps around; and on first violin is Jana, their flinty, resilient leader. Together, they are the Van Ness String Quartet.

In The Ensemble, each character picks up the melody, from the group’s youthful rocky start through to adulthood. As they navigate devastating failures and wild success, heartbreak and marriage, triumph and loss, betrayal and enduring loyalty, they are always tied together—by career, by the intensity of their art, by the secrets they carry together, and by choosing each other over and over again. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Furyborn by Claire Legrand

Expected: 22 May 2018

The first in the Empirium series, Furyborn has had high praise by early reviewers on Goodreads. I am always hesitant to start new series, especially ones like Furyborn with a complex storyline, as I seldom remember enough about the book by the time the sequels are published. Rereading is a rare luxury that most avid reads have little spare time for so I am tempted to wait until all books are published and read them all together in a feast.

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TBR May 2018

 

When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.

A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable–until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

I Felt a Funeral, in My Brain by Will Walton

Expected: 29 May 2018

Described on Goodreads as ‘an astonishing novel about navigating death and navigating life, at a time when the only map you have is the one you can draw for yourself’, this sensitive book has huge potential and I can’t wait to read it.

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TBR May 2018

 

How do you deal with a hole in your life?
Do you grieve?
Do you drink?
Do you make out with your best friend?
Do you turn to poets and pop songs?
Do you question everything?
Do you lash out?
Do you turn the lashing inward?

If you’re Avery, you do all of these things. And you write it all down in an attempt to understand what’s happened – and is happening – to you. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West

Expected: 29 May 2018

Yes! Another Kasie West book. We are lucky she is a prolific author because each of her books is a little piece of heaven.

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TBR May 2018

 

Talking to other people isn’t Kate Bailey’s favorite activity. She’d much rather be out on the lake, soaking up the solitude and sunshine. So when her best friend, Alana, convinces Kate to join their high school’s podcast, Kate is not expecting to be chosen as the host. Now she’ll have to answer calls and give advice on the air? Impossible.

But to Kate’s surprise, she turns out to be pretty good at the hosting gig. Then the podcast gets in a call from an anonymous guy, asking for advice about his unnamed crush. Kate is pretty sure that the caller is gorgeous Diego Martinez, and even surer that the girl in question is Alana. Kate is excited for her friend … until Kate herself starts to develop feelings for Diego. Suddenly, Kate finds that while doling out wisdom to others may be easy, asking for help is tougher than it looks, and following your own advice is even harder. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

All the Little Lights by Jamie McGuire

Expected: 29 May 2018

From the author of Beautiful Disaster, which I have yet to read despite recommendations from fellow book bloggers – I really need to get my own TBR under control, this YA contemporary promises to be a book to remember.

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TBR May 2018

 

The first time Elliott Youngblood spots Catherine Calhoun, he’s just a boy with a camera, and he’s never seen a sadder and more beautiful sight. Both Elliott and Catherine feel like outcasts, yet they find an easy friendship with each other. But when Catherine needs him most, Elliott is forced to leave town.

Elliott finally returns, but he and Catherine are now different people. He’s a star high school athlete, and she spends all her free time working at her mother’s mysterious bed-and-breakfast. Catherine hasn’t forgiven Elliott for abandoning her, but he’s determined to win back her friendship…and her heart.

Just when Catherine is ready to fully trust Elliott, he becomes the prime suspect in a local tragedy. Despite the town’s growing suspicions, Catherine clings to her love for Elliott. But a devastating secret that Catherine has buried could destroy whatever chance of happiness they have left. – Abstract from Goodreads

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