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

 

See All the Stars by Kit Frick

See All the Stars See All the Stars by Kit Frick

 

See All the Stars is a beautifully written story that I sank into like a comfortable armchair -one that bites occasionally just to keep you on your toes!

That we revolved around her was simply a fact.

The lyrical words felt like coming home and I wanted to stay surrounded by the characters long after the story was told.

Ret Johnson was the sun. Hot, bright, at the center of our universe. 

I love books that skip between the present and the past and See All the Stars does this seamlessly, trickling out the storyline slowly, strategically. Until desperate to know all the secrets, I let the story take over and gave up trying to live in the real world.

In my reality, there is only the aftermath, the nights when all I can hear are the scraps of his voice.

This is the book. My favourite 2018 read. Not without faults, I have a couple of unanswered questions and the main character was occasionally frustratingly naïve. In a way that only added to the story because in real life it’s often easier to ignore the obvious to avoid confrontation and pain.

But that day I was the moon, dark and cold without the sun’s light.

5 star

 

 

 

Title: See All the Stars See All the Stars

Author: Kit Frick

Publication Date: 14 August 2018

Publisher: McElderry Books

Source: Review copy

 

 

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Add to your shelf:

Goodreads

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

 

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 – 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

The Date by Louise Jensen 

The Date by Louise Jensen

The Date by Louise Jensen

 

This has to be a nightmare.

 

The Date by Louise Jensen is an exceptionally scary thriller, I haven’t been this spooked by a book in a long time. 

Fear beats its wings.

 

Totally unpredictable,  the horrifying twists kept coming.

 

My bones turn to dust and I sink to the floor.

 

I loved this book which kept me captivated. Until the ending, which was disappointingly weak in comparison.

4 star tiny flash reviews

 

 

Title: The Date

Author: Louise Jensen 

Publication Date: 21 June 2018

Publisher: Sphere

Source: Review copy

 

 

Purchase this book 

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Add to your shelf:

Goodreads

 

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.com

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 – 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

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