Misleading Book Covers #2

Misleading covers

Misleading Book Covers #2

 

Another fun round of misleading book covers. At least 90% of what I choose to read is based on the cover of the book and sometimes I wonder just what the author/publisher was thinking…

 

Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen

Misleading Book Covers

 

What I thought it was going to be about

I was pretty sure this was going to be a thriller or at least a murder mystery. I was looking forward to a bunch of hapless, naïve fools (maybe from a knitting club?) charging off to their death… like the supposed ending of the poor Dodo.

 

What it’s actually about

A rather more sedate YA contemporary about a girl too afraid to take chances and the boy who inspired changes in her life.

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Book Depository   Worderly   Loot.co.za(SA)

 

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Misleading Book Covers

 

What I thought it was going to be about

I was hoping for a retelling of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with exploding candy, but I guess I should have realised from the title that was one of the big lies.

 

What it’s actually about

It’s a suburban ‘behind the scenes’ story with explosive secrets *suddenly realising why the lollipop is exploding*, and evil undertakings.

PS: to those who have watched the miniseries without reading the book – go back and read it, it’s really worth it!

 

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Audible(Audio)  Book Depository   Worderly   Loot.co.za(SA)

 

Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher

Misleading Book Covers

 

What I thought it was going to be about

A massacre where a murder of crows descends on the pile of blood-splattered corpses… or maybe a red cloud at night as in a shepherd’s delight…?

 

What it’s actually about

A sad, but with unexpected humour, the story is about a lonely, insecure girl who corresponds via letters with a stranger on death row. He just happens to be an older man (yes I thought it was creepy too).

My review

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Audible(Audio)  Book Depository    Worderly   Loot.co.za

 

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Misleading Book Covers

 

What I thought it was going to be about

Drowned girls under the ice on a frozen lake – maybe a mass suicide? Or very cold and somewhat creepy mermaids…

 

What it’s actually about

A YA contemporary about two girls with anorexia competing with each other to be the thinnest.

It’s relatable, emotional, horrifying and I loved it.

 

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Audible(Audio)   Book Depository   Worderly    Loot.co.za(SA)

 

Dying to Know You by Aidan Chambers

Misleading Book Covers

 

 

What I thought it was going to be about

This cover really threw me totally off! I was expecting a friendship/romance, possibly a fatal one like Romeo and Juliet, and surely somehow the goldfish were involved? Maybe they are poisonous…

 

What it’s actually about

A YA contemporary featuring a dyslexic boy who persuades an author to write his love letters.

I really liked the way dyslexia was handled positively with sensitivity and respect.

My review

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Book Depository   Worderly    Loot.co.za(SA)

 

Little Monsters by Kara Thomas

Misleading Book Covers

 

What I thought it was going to be about

Really badly behaved children whose babysitter tried out staring them before wiping them out one by one… *suddenly realising that murder is on my mind – should I be worried?*

What it’s actually about

Toxic high school friendships, jealousy, disappearances and a whole bunch of lies.

 

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Audible(Audio)   Book Depository   Worderly   Loot.co.za(SA)

 

 

How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr

Misleading Book Covers

 

 

What I thought it was going to be about

A lonely girl left behind by the winter girls and is about to throw herself into the water to join them.

 

What it’s actually about

Complex family relationships and adoption.

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Book Depository   Worderly    Loot.co.za(SA)

 

 

Midnight at the Electric

Misleading Book Covers

 

 

What I thought it was going to be about

I was so wrong about this one! I was expecting a carnival or night circus, possibly magical or haunted…

What it’s actually about

This was a really odd book that combined sci-fi and historical fiction and seriously lacked the carnival atmosphere.

My Review

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Book Depository   Worderly   Loot.co.za(SA)

 

 

Zebra Forest by Adina Rishe Gewirtz

Misleading Book Covers

 

 

What I thought it was going to be about

A cottage on the edge of a dark scary wood where predators are stumped by the characters camouflaging ability – you know like zebras stripes… Perhaps a Hansel and Gretel retelling?

 

What it’s actually about

This children’s book stars adventure, escaped fugitives and family secrets.

 

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Audible(Audio)   Book Depository   Worderly   Loot.co.za(SA)

 

The Secret History of Us by Jessi Kirby

Misleading Book Covers

 

What I thought it was going to be about

Again with the drowning. A girl who drowned her friend and is just having a relaxing moment with their memories while waiting to make sure the body stays down.

 

What it’s actually about

A girl with amnesia following a car accident.

 

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Audible(Audio)  Book Depository   Worderly    Loot.co.za(SA)

 

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.

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)   Book Depository    Worderly 

 

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.

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)   Book Depository    Worderly 

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.

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)   Book Depository   Worderly

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.

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)   Book Depository    Worderly   Loot.co.za(SA) 

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!

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)   Book Depository   Worderly   Loot.co.za(SA) 

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!

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)   Book Depository   Worderly   

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…

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)    Book Depository    Worderly

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.

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)   Book Depository   Worderly

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.

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)   Book Depository   Worderly 

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.

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)   Audible(Audio)   Book Depository   Worderly 

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

Flash Reviews Vol 2 – The One With All The Secrets

Flash Reviews Secrets

The One With All The Secrets

 

Each of these books has a secret central to the story, some unpredictable and some you’ll know at the start of the story. It’s a mix of contemporary, thriller and historical fiction and includes one of my favourite 5-star reads.

No spoilers here, you’ll have to read them to find out what the secret is!

 

Gray Wolf Island by Tracey Neithercott

Although pacing was patchy and there were some parts in the build-up that I thought was over-explained, the storyline is solid with a slightly dark, sinister edge and a couple of unexpected twists.

The characters, an eclectic group of friends, are so believable. Their character development throughout the story, as their individuality is revealed and accepted, was so natural it was streamless. I’m not sure how to put into words that I found their presence comforting, and it’s this feeling that makes the book so captivating.4 star tiny flash reviews

My full review

Published: 27 November 2017   Read:  10 November 2017

Goodreads    Amazon.com    Amazon(UK)    Book Depository   Loot.co.za(SA) 

Flash Reviews Secrets

 

Right before Sadie died, she begged her sister, Ruby, to do the one thing she could never do herself: Find the treasure on Gray Wolf Island.

With just a mysterious treasure map as a guide, Ruby reluctantly allows some friends to join her on the hunt, each of whom is touched by magic: a boy allegedly born to a virgin, a girl who never sleeps, a boy who can foresee his own death, and a boy with deep ties to the island. Each of them is also keeping a secret—something they’ll have to reveal in order to reach the treasure.

As the secrets come to light, Ruby will have to decide: Can she make peace with her friends’ troubled pasts and continue to trust them? Can she forgive herself for doing the unspeakable? Deep in the wilderness of Gray Wolf Island, Ruby’s choices will determine if they make it out with the treasure—or merely with their lives.  — Abstract from Goodreads.com

 

Suffer Love by Ashley Herring Blake

Suffer Love follows a scripted storyline of forbidden love, a secret big enough to kill any hope of a future.

My first impression was that this was going to be good but it was just a bit bland, the story lacking the depth and substance to bump it up to great. But, an unpredictable twist near the end makes it worth the read.

Published: 23 May 2016    Read: 27 April 2016

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)   Book Depository  Loot.co.za(SA) 

Flash Reviews Secrets

 

“Just let it go.” That’s what everyone keeps telling Hadley St. Clair after she learns that her father cheated on her mother. But Hadley doesn’t want to let it go. She wants to be angry and she wants everyone in her life—her dad most of all—to leave her alone.

Sam Bennett and his family have had their share of drama too. Still reeling from a move to a new town and his parents’ recent divorce, Sam is hoping that he can coast through senior year and then move on to hassle-free, parent-free life in college. He isn’t looking for a relationship…that is, until he sees Hadley for the first time.

Hadley and Sam’s connection is undeniable, but Sam has a secret that could ruin everything. Should he follow his heart or tell the truth? – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

Unnatural Deeds by Cyn Balog

Unnatural Deeds totally blew me over with its mind-blowing twists. The characters revealed themselves slowly and just when you think you know them, everything swivels again.5 star tint flash

Published: 21 November 2016     Read: 14 March 2017

Goodreads    Amazon.com    Amazon(UK)    Audible(Audio)   Book Depository   Loot.co.za(SA) 

Flash Reviews Secrets

 

Secrets. Obsession. Murder. Victoria is about to discover just how dangerous it can be to lose yourself.

Victoria Zell doesn’t fit in, but she’s okay with that. All she needs is the company of her equally oddball boyfriend, Andrew. She doesn’t care what anyone else thinks…until magnetic, charming, mysterious Z comes into her life, and she starts lying to everyone she knows in an effort to unravel his secrets.

And then something terrible happens. Someone is dead and it’s time for Victoria to come clean. Interspersed with news clippings and police interviews, Victoria tells her story to Andrew, revealing her dark, horrible secrets…secrets that have finally come back to haunt her.  — Abstract from Goodreads.com

 

 

Echoes in the Glass by Cheri Lasota

This was not a book I would have picked up myself and to be honest I am not sure I would have persevered through the print edition as the story had some slow moments. However, I received the audio version as a gift and I found myself entranced by the characters, the ghosts and the mystery that linked the story from the past to the present.

Published: 1 December 2013     Read: 25 April 2017

Goodreads    Amazon.com    Amazon(UK)    Audible(Audio)   Book Depository   Loot.co.za(SA) 

Flash Reviews Secrets

 

Finnian bears the scar of an unspeakable crime. Tiria hides the pain of a terrible betrayal. When all their secrets are laid bare, will the truth rip them apart or forever silence the echoes of the past?

Seventeen-year-old Finnian Bell has been on the run for years, but he finally has a chance to rebuild his life while restoring an abandoned lighthouse on the Oregon Coast.

Tiria Vaughn, the lightkeeper’s daughter, is still reeling from the pain of an event that has shattered her innocence. Fear and bitterness have turned her heart from Finnian, but he is determined not to let her go.

The lighthouse harbors dark secrets of its own…

When Finnian and Tiria uncover the story of two teens hidden in the tower back in 1934, they discover a shocking connection that bridges time and death. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

The Husband’s Secret is packed full of heartbreaking events, characters so real they could be your neighbours, secrets, lies and unpredictable twists.4 star tiny flash reviews

Published: 30 July 2013      Read: 8 March 2018

Goodreads    Amazon.com    Amazon(UK)    Audible(Audio)   Book Depository   Amazon(UK) 

Flash Reviews Secrets

 

Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive. . . .

Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Miss E. by Brian Herberger

This story held great potential, with a time period seldom covered in YA. Unfortunately, the story was dry, and the message punted came across as preachy. In addition, the narrator had an extremely mature viewpoint which didn’t match her age.

Published: 9 May 2016     Read: 16 February 2017

Goodreads    Amazon.com    Amazon(UK)     Book Depository   Amazon(UK) 

Flash Reviews Secrets

 

Being the new kid in town is a way of life for Bets, but moving to California in 1967 is different. Her father leaves for the war in Vietnam, her history teacher gives an assignment that has the whole school searching for clues, and the town’s most mysterious resident shares a secret with Bets that has been hidden away for decades. When a peaceful protest spins out of control, Bets is forced to reconsider how she feels about the war her father is fighting and her own role in events taking place much closer to home.- Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

 

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

One of Us is Lying has a brilliantly thought-out, well-planned storyline. Every one of the protagonists is under suspicion and my theories followed wherever Ms. McManus led. At one point or another, I thought they were all guilty.

The twists are very clever and the final outcome unpredictable, but I don’t think the story has enough depth. It lacks the intense, dark, formidable atmosphere I was hoping for and which would have taken the book to the next level.4 star tiny flash reviews

My Full Review

Published: 30 May 2017    Read: 25 August 2017

Goodreads    Amazon.com    Amazon(UK)    Book Depository   Loot.co.za(SA) 

Flash Reviews Secrets

 

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.” – 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.

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)   Audible(Audio)   Book Depository   Loot.co.za(SA) 

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?

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)   Audible(Audio)   Book Depository    Loot.co.za(SA)

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.

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)   Audible(Audio)   Book Depository  Loot.co.za(SA) 

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.

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)    Book Depository  

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.

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)   Book Depository  

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.

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)   Book Depository   Loot.co.za(SA) 

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.

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)   Book Depository  

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.

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)   Audible(Audio)   Book Depository  

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.

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)   Audible(Audio)   Book Depository   

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.

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)   Book Depository  

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.

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)   Audible(Audio)   Book Depository  

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.

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)    Book Depository  

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

Joanne MacGregor – Author Guest Post & Giveaway

Joanne MacGregor

Joanne MacGregor, one of South Africa’s favourite authors, meets us today to describe what her qualifications and experience as a clinical psychologist brings to her writing.

I love Joanne’s books and am always anticipating the next one. To see why I love them check out my reviews of my favourites: The Law of Tall GirlsRecoilScarred and Hushed.

Thank you, Joanne, for guest posting on Crushingcinders.

 

Meet Joanne MacGregor

Joanne MacGregor

 

Writers always bring themselves — their hopes, fears, experiences — to their stories, and I am no exception. By profession, I’m a Counselling Psychologist in private practice, dealing primarily with adult victims of crime and trauma. It’s tough work and to combat creeping burnout, I started writing fiction several years ago.

I think that being a psychologist helps me have a deeper understanding of human nature and the problems that can occur. Many of my characters (like many people in real life) have problems of, for example, anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress. And I think I write more accurately about this because I know what it looks and feels like. I think (I hope!) that my writing, guided by my learning and experience, is deeper, more nuanced, more complex and realistic when it comes to psychological issues.

Because I live in a society with high rates of inter-personal violence, I’ve heard the accounts of people who’ve experienced the real thing (or have relatives who have). I no longer have the stomach for graphic violence in books — the sort of “torture porn” that puts you in an almost complicit ride-along with the evil serial killer as he mutilates and brutalizes. I won’t write those books either. Rather, I like to explore the character’s life and psyche after the event, showing the psychological and emotional consequences that victims of trauma are left to deal with. This aspect is often neglected in genre fiction — too often characters are bereaved, tortured, assaulted and experience all kinds of dramatic agonies, but are up and running, and pretty much back to normal by the next chapter. Take it from someone who listens to pain for a living: that’s not how it works in real life.

My own training and experience as a psychologist obviously also influences how I write therapy scenes in my fiction — those, too, are regularly portrayed in very inaccurate ways in fiction.

While my characters are informed by my knowledge of personality types, psychological traumas and psychopathology in general, I’m religious about keeping the specifics of my therapeutic work and my fiction-writing completely separate. My clients’ confidences are sacrosanct – they go into a locked vault in my brain and will never appear in one of my fictional characters or stories. What happens in therapy stays in therapy! I have no difficulty keeping them separate. My parallel jobs of writer and psychologist occupy very different head-spaces in me. I do them in separate physical locations, use different parts of my brain, and even do them on different days of the week.

I do get a kick out of writing characters who are psychologists, and who are not themselves unhinged, callous, or unprofessional in any of the clichéd ways so popular in fiction and Hollywood tropes. My psychologists are ethical experts, though flawed and inevitably impacted by the weight of the pain and cruelty they hear and absorb on a daily basis. It has always bothered me that psychologists in books and movies are so often portrayed as severely dysfunctional, sexually predatory and unethical. Most of us are really nice, compassionate, responsible and (mostly) sane professionals!

Joanne Macgregor  (Author, Psychologist)
http://www.joannemacgregor.com/
@JoanneMacg

 

Dark Whispers

Joanne MacGregor

 

Joanne’s latest book is an adult thriller called Dark Whispers and is on sale on Amazon for 99c (US).  This sale ends on Sunday 29 May 2018.

 

Between the anaesthesia and the awakening, are the dark whispers…

When a patient in hypnosis describes an experience of mental torture and physical mutilation at the hands of a doctor, psychologist Megan Wright decides to investigate. Determined to find out the truth and stop the abuse, but bound to silence by the ethics of confidentiality, Megan will need to confront the dark mind of a dangerously disturbed man in a deadly battle of wits and wills. – abstract from Goodreads.com

 

The Giveaway


Please note that the book Joanne MacGregor is giving away is an adult thriller and not suitable for young readers.

Giveaway 1 (open internationally)

Joanne MacGregor is giving away 2 ebook copies of her new book, Dark Whispers (an Adult Thriller).

Giveaway 2 (open to South African Residents only)

Joanne MacGregor is giving away 1 print copy of her new book Dark Whispers (an Adult Thriller) to a South African resident with a local postal address.

To Enter

To enter the giveaway answer the following question in the comments. Entries close Sunday 6 May 2018 at 24h00 South African time UTC+2

Joanne MacGregor

South African residents please let us know in the comments that you are #proudlySouthAfrican to be eligible to win the print copy.

 

The scenario in Dark Whispers is of slipping into helpless unconsciousness, knowing you’re at the mercy of a monster. That’s a scary situation! What scares you?

 

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