Pretty Girls Dancing by Kylie Brant

 

Pretty Girls Dancing

Pretty Girls Dancing by Kylie Brant

 

Pretty Girls Dancing is a mystery thriller with the emphasis on mystery and told in the third-person from the viewpoint of the multiple characters.

Anguish and disbelief revived their inner war, threatening to tear her apart.

While its a decent read, the pacing is slow and I would have liked to see more of the thriller aspect.

Panic still pounded through her veins, but her thoughts were scattered.

The characters are rather undeveloped and I don’t know them well enough to have a vested in their individual stories. Actually, I feel as though the book is more a superficial overview of a story with so much potential.

Her pulse went to ice.

There are some surprises, but for the most part, the plot is quite predictable and I suspect the book may prove to be forgettable.

A hot ball of dread twisted in his belly.

A very compelling cover and abstract promised a dark, twisted thriller but didn’t quite deliver.3 Star

 

 

 

Title: Pretty Girls Dancing

Author: Kylie Brant

Publication Date: 1 January 2018

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Source: Review copy

 

 

Purchase this book 

Amazon.com

Amazon(UK)

Audible(Audio)

Book Depository

Loot.co.za(SA)
 

Add to your shelf:

Goodreads

Years ago, in the town of Saxon Falls, young Kelsey Willard disappeared and was presumed dead. The tragedy left her family with a fractured life—a mother out to numb the pain, a father losing a battle with his own private demons, and a sister desperate for closure. But now another teenage girl has gone missing. It’s ripping open old wounds for the Willards, dragging them back into a painful past, and leaving them unprepared for where it will take them next.

Bureau of Criminal Investigation agent Mark Foster has stumbled on uncanny parallels in the lives of the two missing girls that could unlock clues to a serial killer’s identity. That means breaking down the walls of the Willards’ long-guarded secrets and getting to a truth that is darker than he bargained for. Now, to rescue one missing girl, he must first solve the riddles that disappeared with another: Kelsey Willard herself. Dead or alive, she is his last hope— 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.

If I Die Before I Wake by Emily Koch

If I Die Before I Wake

If  Die Before I Wake by Emily Koch

 

If I Die Before I Wake was the first 2018 release I picked up and I really hope that this is not indicative of the rest of the year… Although highly anticipated, I included a couple of misgivings on the possible duplication of plot and cover of another January 2018 book in my  Adding to TBR January 2018 post. I can’t comment on this yet as I haven’t read the other book but as it turns out this story was disappointing enough all on its own.

As I drifted into awareness I heard voices, mid-conversation.

In a nutshell, the book is extremely slow and pretty boring. Narrated in the first person by the victim whose unusual unreliable point of view could have heightened the suspense but in reality, just didn’t work. I think the addition of a second narrator may have made a difference to the pacing and increased suspense.

The damp sheets started to cool and my skin itched.

Spoiler Alert!

 

Spoiler

Not only is the narrator in a coma, he slips in and out of sleep for the majority of the story and he relies only on his patchy memory and the murky overheard conversations of his hospital visitors.

[collapse]

They came in later that day, or maybe the day after, I can’t be sure.

I felt the narrator’s personality patronising and unlikable and his never-ending circular path of introspection doesn’t add anything positive to the story. I just wished he would shut up! To top it off the ending is a damp fizzle.

The last thing I remembered before I lost consciousness…

But, and here is the thing, I finished it. So there’s that. Which is why I’ve given it a second star.

2 Star

In the middle of the night, I woke up as I often did, disoriented and sweating. Where am I?

 

 

 

Title: If I Die Before I Wake

Author: Emily Koch

Publication Date: 11 January 2018

Publisher: Harvill Secker

Source: Review copy

 

 

Purchase this book 

Amazon.com

Amazon(UK)

Audible(Audio)

Book Depository

Loot.co.za(SA)
 

Add to your shelf:

Goodreads

How Do You Solve Your Own Murder?

Everyone believes Alex is in a coma, unlikely to ever wake up. As his family debate withdrawing life support, and his friends talk about how his girlfriend Bea needs to move on, he can only listen.

But Alex soon begins to suspect that the accident that put him here wasn’t really an accident. Even worse, the perpetrator is still out there and Alex is not the only one in danger.

As he goes over a series of clues from his past, Alex must use his remaining senses to solve the mystery of who tried to kill him, and try to protect those he loves, before they decide to let him go. — 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.

Here, There, Everywhere by Julia Durango & Tyler Terrones

Here, There, Everywhere

Here, There, Everywhere by Julia Durango & Tyler Terrones


I’d been watching the ceiling fan spin all morning, listening to the clickity-clack of its off-kilter rotation.

Here, There, Everywhere is a sweet, feel-good wholesome read. It is also a slow and predictable read. A solid and safe read which I think will enhance its appeal to a wide audience. But it is also written without risk and includes a sprinkle of moral ‘preaching’.

As we continued down the hall, I could hear the piano. My heart skipped a beat and I felt a quick rush of adrenaline.

The characters are one-dimensional, stereotypical and forgettable, which is unfortunate as the story, having no plot, is very character driven.

It had been exactly forty-seven days since Mom had uprooted me and my little brother, Grub from our lifelong home in Chicago…

The themes, (which include adjusting and adapting to a new town, absent parent, following your dreams, first love, autism spectrum disorder, dementia, dealing with death) are touched on so briefly that they hardly make an impact.

Interesting fact about Grub: he only ate foods which were white or yellow.2 Star

 

 

Title: Here, There, Everywhere 

Author: Julia Durango & Tyler Terrones Here, There, Everywhere

Publication Date: 19 December 2017

Publisher: HarperTeen

Source: Review copy

 

Purchase this book 

Amazon.com

Amazon(UK)

Book Depository

Loot.co.za(SA)
 

Add to your shelf:

Goodreads

Zeus would rather be anywhere than here—Buffalo Falls—the tiny town his family moved to at the end of the school year. Having left all his friends back in Chicago and with nothing to look forward to except helping out at his mother’s café and biking around town with his weird little brother, Zeus is pretty sure this is destined to be the worst summer of his life.

But then he meets Rose—funny, beautiful, smart, and an incredible musician. 

Zeus can hardly believe that someone like her exists, let alone seems interested in being with him. However, while Zeus is counting down the minutes until he can see her next, Rose is counting down the days until she finds out whether she will be able to leave their small town to pursue her dreams. As the afternoons spent going on local adventures pass into nights discussing their deepest hopes, Zeus knows that he doesn’t have long to convince Rose that what they have is more than a summer fling…if only he’s brave enough to seize the chance. — 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 TBR January 2018

TBR January 2018

What to read this January

Hopefully, someone has spoilt you with a gift voucher over the festive season so you can preorder one (or all) of these titles. It’s going to be a busy month in the book world and I forsee toppling TBR’s (To Be Read piles) and extended bookshelves. There is something for everyone so dive right in!

 

Pretty Girls Dancing by Kylie Brant

Expected: 1 January 2018

We’re kicking off with a thriller and this one sounds mysterious. I love how the title and cover are at odds with each other.

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

TBR January 2018

 

Years ago, in the town of Saxon Falls, young Kelsey Willard disappeared and was presumed dead. The tragedy left her family with a fractured life—a mother out to numb the pain, a father losing a battle with his own private demons, and a sister desperate for closure. But now another teenage girl has gone missing. It’s ripping open old wounds for the Willards, dragging them back into a painful past, and leaving them unprepared for where it will take them next.

Bureau of Criminal Investigation agent Mark Foster has stumbled on uncanny parallels in the lives of the two missing girls that could unlock clues to a serial killer’s identity. That means breaking down the walls of the Willards’ long-guarded secrets and getting to a truth that is darker than he bargained for. Now, to rescue one missing girl, he must first solve the riddles that disappeared with another: Kelsey Willard herself. Dead or alive, she is his last hope.  – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

Expected: 2 January 2018

With excellent early reviews and ratings it’s lucky we don’t have to wait too long for this thriller.

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

TBR January 2018

 

What did she see?
It’s been ten long months since Anna Fox last left her home. Ten months during which she has haunted the rooms of her old New York house like a ghost, lost in her memories, too terrified to step outside.

Anna’s lifeline to the real world is her window, where she sits day after day, watching her neighbours. When the Russells move in, Anna is instantly drawn to them. A picture-perfect family of three, they are an echo of the life that was once hers.

But one evening, a frenzied scream rips across the silence, and Anna witnesses something no one was supposed to see. Now she must do everything she can to uncover the truth about what really happened. But even if she does, will anyone believe her? And can she even trust herself? – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Expected: 2 January 2018

A sister relationship, a Russian Roulette chance of a dreaded disease and a stunning cover – this book has ‘pick me’ all over it.

Goodreads   Amazon.com    Amazon(UK)    Book Depository  

TBR January 2018

 

Eighteen-year-old twins Adina and Tovah have little in common besides their ambitious nature. Viola prodigy Adina yearns to become a soloist—and to convince her music teacher he wants her the way she wants him. Overachiever Tovah awaits her acceptance to Johns Hopkins, the first step on her path toward med school and a career as a surgeon. 

But one thing could wreck their carefully planned futures: a genetic test for Huntington’s, a rare degenerative disease that slowly steals control of the body and mind. It’s turned their Israeli mother into a near stranger and fractured the sisters’ own bond in ways they’ll never admit. While Tovah finds comfort in their Jewish religion, Adina rebels against its rules.

When the results come in, one twin tests negative for Huntington’s. The other tests positive.

These opposite outcomes push them farther apart as they wrestle with guilt, betrayal, and the unexpected thrill of first love. How can they repair their relationship, and is it even worth saving? – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black 

Expected: 2 January 2018

Holly Black is back! (See my review of her creepy children’s book Doll Bones) This time with an edgy YA Fae fantasy which I am so excited to read. I love Faerie fantasy stories and it’s been a long time since I read a good one. If you’d like rec’s check out my reviews of my favourites in this genre. The Faerie Guardian and Wicked Lovely, both the first book of a series that will keep you spell-bound in a beautiful, dark and dangerous story world. – my favourite kind of escape!

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

TBR January 2018

 

Of course, I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

Just Between Us by Rebecca Drake

Expected: 9 January 2018

Nosy neighbours and dangerous secrets – an explosive combination!

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon(UK)   Book Depository   

TBR January 2018

 

Four suburban mothers and friends conspire to cover up a deadly crime in this heart-stopping novel of suspense in the tradition of Lisa Scottoline and Lisa Unger.

Alison, Julie, Sarah, Heather. Four friends living the suburban ideal. Their jobs are steady, their kids are healthy. They’re as beautiful as their houses. But each of them has a dirty little secret, and hidden behind the veneer of their perfect lives is a crime and a mystery that will consume them all. 

Everything starts to unravel when Alison spots a nasty bruise on Heather’s wrist. She shares her suspicions with Julie and Sarah, compelling all three to investigate what looks like an increasingly violent marriage. As mysterious injuries and erratic behavior mount, Heather can no longer deny the abuse, but she refuses to leave her husband. Desperate to save her, Alison and the others dread the phone call telling them that she’s been killed. But when that call finally comes, it’s not Heather who’s dead. In a moment they’ll come to regret, the women must decide what lengths they’ll go to in order to help a friend.

Just Between Us is a thrilling glimpse into the underbelly of suburbia, where not all neighbors can be trusted, and even the closest friends keep dangerous secrets. You never really know what goes on in another person’s mind, or in their marriage. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

Expected: 9 January 2018

As soon as I heard this book is about prophecies foretold by a travelling psychic I thought of Cersei Lannister and I knew I had to read it – even though it also reminds me of Adam Silvera’s They Both Die in the End which I didn’t like.

Goodreads   Amazon.com    Amazon(UK)    Book Depository  

TBR January 2018If you were told the date of your death, how would it shape your present?

It’s 1969 in New York City’s Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a travelling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children—four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness—sneak out to hear their fortunes.

Their prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in ’80s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11, hoping to control fate; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

Asleep From Day by Margarita Montimore

Expected: 10 January 2018

I love the sound of this story and the title is so intriguing.

Goodreads   Amazon.com    Amazon(UK)      

TBR January 2018

 

Astrid can’t remember the best day of her life: yesterday.

A traumatic car accident erases Astrid’s memories of September 9th, the day she spent with an oddly charming stranger named Theo. Ever since, she’s haunted by surreal dreams and an urgent sense that she’s forgotten something important. One night, she gets a mysterious call from Oliver, who knows more about her than he should and claims he can help her remember. She accepts his help, even as she questions his motives and fights a strange attraction to him.

In order to find Theo and piece together that lost day in September, Astrid must navigate a maze of eccentric Boston nightlife, from the seedy corners of Chinatown to a drug-fueled Alice-in-Wonderland-themed party to a club where everyone dresses like the dead. In between headaches and nightmares, she struggles to differentiate between memory, fantasy, and reality, and starts to wonder if Theo really exists. Eventually, she’ll need to choose between continuing her search for him or following her growing feelings for Oliver. Astrid might go to extreme lengths to find what she’s lost . . . or might lose even more in her pursuit to remember (like her sanity).  – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

If I Die Before I Wake by Emily Koch

Expected: 11 January 2018

Another gripping thriller. Told via the POV of the victim – who happens to be in a coma…

But… See my thoughts under ‘If You Knew Her’ below. 

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

TBR January 2018

 

How Do You Solve Your Own Murder?

Everyone believes Alex is in a coma, unlikely to ever wake up. As his family debate withdrawing life support, and his friends talk about how his girlfriend Bea needs to move on, he can only listen.

But Alex soon begins to suspect that the accident that put him here wasn’t really an accident. Even worse, the perpetrator is still out there and Alex is not the only one in danger.

As he goes over a series of clues from his past, Alex must use his remaining senses to solve the mystery of who tried to kill him, and try to protect those he loves, before they decide to let him go. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

White Chrysanthemum by Mary Lynn Bracht

Expected: 18 January 2018

In Korea, under Japanese occupation in 1943, two sisters are separated by war. This is their story and I just know it is going to be heartbreaking.

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

TBR January 2018‘Look for your sister after each dive. Never forget. If you see her, you are safe.’

Hana and her little sister Emi are part of an island community of haenyo, women who make their living from diving deep into the sea off the southernmost tip of Korea.

One day Hana sees a Japanese soldier heading for where Emi is guarding the day’s catch on the beach. Her mother has told her again and again never to be caught alone with one. Terrified for her sister, Hana swims as hard as she can for the shore.

So begins the story of two sisters suddenly and violently separated by war. Switch-backing between Hana in 1943 and Emi as an old woman today, White Chrysanthemum takes us into a dark and devastating corner of history. But pulling us back into the light are two women whose love for one another is strong enough to triumph over the evils of war.  –  Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

If You Knew Her by Emily Elgar

Expected: 23 January 2018

A psychological thriller from a debut author. It sounds very good and has been highly rated in early reviews on Goodreads.

But.. another thriller published in the same month featuring a victim in a coma? (See ‘If I Die Before I Wake’ above) Plus there is some type of copy-cat thing going on with the covers – books have very similar blue covers, large yellow capitalised font for the title and white for the author. Is it strange it this bothers me?

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

TBR January 2018

 

A woman in a coma.

The man who could save her life—if only he could speak.

When young, beautiful Cassie Jensen arrives unconscious to the intensive care ward at St. Catherine’s hospital after being struck in a hit-and-run while out walking her dog, chief nurse Alice Marlowe thinks she looks familiar. She starts digging deeper into Cassie’s relationships, only to discover something about her patient that she’d been keeping secret from everyone, including her devoted husband and family. Soon Alice finds herself obsessed with her patient’s past and future, even willing to put her own career on the line in her single-minded search for answers. 

Frank, a patient on the same ward who has locked-in syndrome, can hear and see everything around him but cannot speak. Soon he comes to understand that Cassie’s life is still in danger. While the police continue to look for clues, only Frank holds the truth, but he’s unable to communicate it. 

As the novel flashes between points of view, the reader will get closer and closer to the truth of who Cassie Jensen was, and why she was out on the road that fateful night . . . – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Need to Know by Karen Cleveland 

Expected: 23 January 2018

It’s been a while since I read a CIA thriller and I am missing Homeland, a favourite TV series, so I am really looking forward to Need to Know.

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

TBR January 2018

 

In pursuit of a Russian sleeper cell on American soil, a CIA analyst uncovers a dangerous secret that will test her loyalty to the agency—and to her family.

What do you do when everything you trust might be a lie?

Vivian Miller is a dedicated CIA counterintelligence analyst assigned to uncover the leaders of Russian sleeper cells in the United States. On track for a much-needed promotion, she’s developed a system for identifying Russian agents, seemingly normal people living in plain sight.

After accessing the computer of a potential Russian operative, Vivian stumbles on a secret dossier of deep-cover agents within America’s borders. A few clicks later, everything that matters to her—her job, her husband, even her four children—are threatened.

Vivian has vowed to defend her country against all enemies, foreign and domestic. But now she’s facing impossible choices. Torn between loyalty and betrayal, allegiance and treason, love and suspicion, who can she trust? – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Reign of the Fallen (Reign of the Fallen #1) by Sarah Glenn Marsh

Expected: 23 January 2018

This one is on the outer reaches of my prefered genres so it’s an unusual pick for me, but it does sound dark and it’s been highly recommended by fellow book bloggers…

Goodreads    Amazon.com     Amazon(UK)     Book Depository    

TBR January 2018

 

Odessa is one of Karthia’s master necromancers, catering to the kingdom’s ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it’s Odessa’s job to raise them by retrieving their souls from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised–the Dead must remain shrouded, or risk transforming into zombie-like monsters known as Shades. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, the grotesque transformation will begin.

A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears among Odessa’s necromancer community. Soon a crushing loss of one of their own reveals a disturbing conspiracy: someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead–and training them to attack. Odessa is faced with a terrifying question: What if her necromancer’s magic is the weapon that brings Karthia to its knees? – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

The Dangerous Art of Blending In by Angelo Surmelis

Expected: 30 January 2018

I love the sound of this YA book with a dysfunctional family and a character who finds love in his best friend.

Goodreads    Amazon.com     Amazon.co.uk     Book Depository  

TBR January 2018

 

Seventeen-year-old Evan Panos doesn’t know where he fits in. His strict Greek mother refuses to see him as anything but a disappointment. His quiet, workaholic father is a staunch believer in avoiding any kind of conflict. And his best friend Henry has somehow become distractingly attractive over the summer.

Tired, isolated, scared—Evan’s only escape is drawing in an abandoned church that feels as lonely as he is. And, yes, he kissed one guy over the summer. But it’s his best friend Henry who’s now proving to be irresistible. It’s Henry who suddenly seems interested in being more than friends. And it’s Henry who makes him believe that he’s more than his mother’s harsh words and terrifying abuse. But as things with Henry heat up, and his mother’s abuse escalates, Evan has to decide how to find his voice in a world where he has survived so long by avoiding attention at all costs. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

Say You’ll Remember Me by Katie McGarry

Expected: 30 January 2018

One of my favourite YA contemporary authors, Katie McGarry is famous for her edgy, gritty realistic characters (like Noah and Echo in Pushing the Limits) and her richly layered stories.

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

TBR January 2018

 

When Drix was convicted of a crime–one he didn’t commit–he thought his life was over. But the opportunity came with the new Second Chance Program, the governor’s newest pet project to get delinquents off the streets, rehabilitated and back into society. Drix knows this is his chance to get his life back on track, even if it means being paraded in front of reporters for a while.

Elle knows she lives a life of privilege. As the governor’s daughter, she can open doors with her name alone. But the expectations and pressure to be someone she isn’t may be too much to handle. She wants to follow her own path, whatever that means.

When Drix and Elle meet, their connection is immediate, but so are their problems. Drix is not the type of boy Elle’s parents have in mind for her, and Elle is not the kind of girl who can understand Drix’s messy life.

But sometimes love can breach all barriers.

Fighting against a society that can’t imagine them together, Drix and Elle must push themselves–Drix to confront the truth of the robbery, and Elle to assert her independence–and each other to finally get what they deserve. – Abstract from Goodreads

Adding to Your TBR December 2017

What to read this December

 

TBR December 2017

Adding to Your TBR December 2017. This month has an array of amazing books to choose from. Preorder now so you can read as soon as they release.

 

What Remains True by Janis Thomas

Expected: 1 December 2017

This has been on my radar for months. It promises dark secrets and fractured family with multiple POVs (point of view).

P.S. Just before publishing this post I read a review on Goodreads that mentioned that the family dog is one of the POVs. I must admit this doesn’t appeal to me. If you have read it please confirm and let me know if it’s worth overlooking this detail.

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

TBR December 2017From the outside, the Davenports look like any other family living a completely ordinary life—until that devastating day when five-year-old Jonah is killed, and the family is torn apart. As the fury of guilt engulfs them, the Davenports slowly start to unravel, one by one.

Losing her son forces Rachel to withdraw into a frayed, fuzzy reality. Her husband, Sam, tries to remain stoic, but he’s consumed by regret with the choices he’s made. Eden mourns her brother, while desperately fighting to regain a sense of normalcy. And Aunt Ruth, Rachel’s sister, works too hard to care for the family, even as her own personal issues haunt her.

Told from multiple points of view—including Jonah’s—the family struggles to cope with unthinkable loss. But as they face their own dark secrets about that terrible day, they have a choice: to be swallowed up in sadness forever, or begin the raw, arduous ascent back to living – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

The Good Samaritan by John Marrs

Expected: 1 December 2017

This thriller has been on the all of the bookish news sites recently and I can’t wait to get stuck in. So glad its available on Audible! I love being read to and thrillers are all the more exciting on audio.

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

TBR December 2017She’s a friendly voice on the phone. But can you trust her?

The people who call End of the Line need hope. They need reassurance that life is worth living. But some are unlucky enough to get through to Laura. Laura doesn’t want them to hope. She wants them to die.

Laura hasn’t had it easy: she’s survived sickness and a difficult marriage only to find herself heading for forty, unsettled and angry. She doesn’t love talking to people worse off than she is. She craves it.

But now someone’s on to her—Ryan, whose world falls apart when his pregnant wife ends her life, hand in hand with a stranger. Who was this man, and why did they choose to die together?

The sinister truth is within Ryan’s grasp, but he has no idea of the desperate lengths Laura will go to…

Because the best thing about being a Good Samaritan is that you can get away with murder. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Silver Music Box by Mina Baites & Translated by Alison Layland

Expected: 1 December 2017

As always I am drawn to books about the Second World War. This one is an epic spanning generations.

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

TBR December 2017A captivating cross-generational novel from German author Mina Baites about a Jewish family divided by World War II and an inheritance with the power to bring them back together.

1914. For Paul, with love. Jewish silversmith Johann Blumenthal engraved those words on his most exquisite creation, a singing filigree bird inside a tiny ornamented box. He crafted this treasure for his young son before leaving to fight in a terrible war to honor his beloved country—a country that would soon turn against his own family.

A half-century later, Londoner Lilian Morrison inherits the box after the death of her parents. Though the silver is tarnished and dented, this much-loved treasure is also a link to an astonishing past. With the keepsake is a letter from Lilian’s mother, telling her daughter for the first time that she was adopted. Too young to remember, Lilian was rescued from a Germany in the grips of the Holocaust. Now only she can trace what happened to a family who scattered to the reaches of the world, a family forced to choose between their heritage and their dreams for the future. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen

Expected: 5 December 2017

The Vanishing Season is a psychological thriller / serial killer mystery – just the thing to bring more cheer to the festive season! Seriously though this is on my Christmas wish list.

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Book Depository   Loot.co.za

TBR December 2017Ellery Hathaway knows a thing or two about serial killers, but not through her police training. She’s an officer in sleepy Woodbury, MA, where a bicycle theft still makes the newspapers. No one there knows she was once victim number seventeen in the grisly story of serial killer Francis Michael Coben. The only victim who lived. 

When three people disappear from her town in three years, all around her birthday—the day she was kidnapped so long ago—Ellery fears someone knows her secret. Someone very dangerous. Her superiors dismiss her concerns, but Ellery knows the vanishing season is coming and anyone could be next. She contacts the one man she knows will believe her: the FBI agent who saved her from a killer’s closet all those years ago.

Agent Reed Markham made his name and fame on the back of the Coben case, but his fortunes have since turned. His marriage is in shambles, his bosses think he’s washed up, and worst of all, he blew a major investigation. When Ellery calls him, he can’t help but wonder: sure, he rescued her, but was she ever truly saved? His greatest triumph is Ellery’s waking nightmare, and now both of them are about to be sucked into the past, back to the case that made them…with a killer who can’t let go. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Ice House by Laura Lee Smith

Expected: 5 December 2017

This is not one I would have been drawn immediately, but it promises richly layers characters and the early reviews are very good.

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Book Depository   Loot.co.za

TBR December 2017The Ice House follows the beleaguered MacKinnons as they weather the possible loss of the family business, a serious medical diagnosis, and the slings and arrows of familial discord.

Johnny MacKinnon might be on the verge of losing it all. The ice factory he married into, which he’s run for decades, is facing devastating OSHA fines following a mysterious accident and may have to close. The only hope for Johnny’s livelihood is that someone in the community saw something, but no one seems to be coming forward. He hasn’t spoken to his son Corran back in Scotland since Corran’s heroin addiction finally drove Johnny to the breaking point. And now, after a collapse on the factory floor, it appears Johnny may have a brain tumor. Johnny’s been ordered to take it easy, but in some ways, he thinks, what’s left to lose? This may be his last chance to bridge the gap with Corran–and to have any sort of relationship with the baby granddaughter he’s never met.

Witty and heartbreaking by turns, The Ice House is a vibrant portrait of multifaceted, exquisitely human characters that readers will not soon forget. It firmly establishes Laura Lee Smith as a gifted voice in American fiction. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

One Station Away by Olaf Olafsson

Expected: 5 December 2017

I have heard very little about this book, but the abstract below sounds intriguing.

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Book Depository   Loot.co.za

TBR December 2017An overlooked pianist who finally receives fraught success after decades of disappointment. An elusive dancer whose untimely death her fiancé is desperate to untangle. A mysterious patient who is comatose after a violent accident.

These are the three women who animate Olaf Olafsson’s brilliantly rendered One Station Away. Magnus, a New York neurologist—son to one, lover to another, and doctor to a third—is the thread that binds these women’s stories together as he navigates relationships defined by compromise and misunderstanding, guilt and forgiveness, and, most of all, by an obsessive attempt to communicate—to understand and to be understood, to love and to be loved  – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

Us by Curtis Wiklund

Expected: 5 December 2017

This enchanting book of sketches depicting artist Curtis Wiklund‘s love for his wife is a must-have! Curtis manages to capture bottomless emotion and intimacy in each drawing.

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Book Depository   Loot.co.za

TBR December 2017

 

This book of heartwarming sketches reveals the everyday intimate moments that make up a marriage.

Inspired by his wife, artist and wedding photographer Curtis Wiklund sketched a new drawing every day for a year. The result is this collection of adorable illustrations depicting the tender, true moments the couple shares. From winter walks to end-of-day cuddles, inside jokes to impromptu forts, this dreamy art has already captured the hearts of thousands of fans around the world. Now in book form, Us delights as a gift and a keepsake. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

 

The Truth Beneath the Lies by Amanda Searcy

Expected: 12 December 2017

There is always a place for thrillers on my TBR

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Book Depository   

TBR December 2017Fight or Flight. 

All Kayla Asher wants to do is run. Run from the government housing complex she calls home. Run from her unstable mother. Run from a desperate job at No Limit Foods. Run to a better, cleaner, safer life. Every day is one day closer to leaving. 

All Betsy Hopewell wants to do is survive. Survive the burner phone hidden under her bed. Survive her new rules. Survive a new school with new classmates. Survive being watched. Every minute grants her another moment of life. 

But when fate brings Kayla and Betsy together, only one girl will live. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

 

Here, There, Everywhere by Julia Durango & Tyler Terrones

Expected: 19 December 2017

Friends, family and first love. This YA (young adult) contemporary has had good early reviews and despite the uninspiring cover this could be a great read. Let me know what you think.

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Book Depository  

TBR December 2017Zeus would rather be anywhere than here—Buffalo Falls—the tiny town his family moved to at the end of the school year. Having left all his friends back in Chicago and with nothing to look forward to except helping out at his mother’s café and biking around town with his weird little brother, Zeus is pretty sure this is destined to be the worst summer of his life.

But then he meets Rose—funny, beautiful, smart, and an incredible musician. 

Zeus can hardly believe that someone like her exists, let alone seems interested in being with him. However, while Zeus is counting down the minutes until he can see her next, Rose is counting down the days until she finds out whether she will be able to leave their small town to pursue her dreams. As the afternoons spent going on local adventures pass into nights discussing their deepest hopes, Zeus knows that he doesn’t have long to convince Rose that what they have is more than a summer fling…if only he’s brave enough to seize the chance. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Last Suppers by Mandy Mikulencak

Expected: 26 December 2017

Debut author Mandy Mikulencak takes us into the prison kitchen where the last meals for death row inmates are prepared in this haunting, mysterious historical fiction book. The Last Suppers has had excellent early reviews so don’t miss it.

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Book Depository   

TBR December 2017Set in 1950s Louisiana, Mandy Mikulencak’s beautifully written and emotionally moving novel evokes both The Help and Dead Man Walking with the story of an unforgettable woman whose quest to provide meals for death row prisoners leads her into the secrets of her own past.

Many children have grown up in the shadow of Louisiana’s Greenmount State Penitentiary. Most of them—sons and daughters of corrections officers and staff—left the place as soon as they could. Yet Ginny Polk chose to come back to work as a prison cook. She knows the harsh reality of life within those walls—the cries of men being beaten, the lines of shuffling inmates chained together. Yet she has never seen them as monsters, not even the ones sentenced to execution. That’s why, among her duties, Ginny has taken on a special responsibility: preparing their last meals.

Pot roast or red beans and rice, coconut cake with seven-minute frosting or pork neck stew . . . whatever the men ask for Ginny prepares, even meeting with their heartbroken relatives to get each recipe just right. It’s her way of honoring their humanity, showing some compassion in their final hours. The prison board frowns upon the ritual, as does Roscoe Simms, Greenmount’s Warden. Her daddy’s best friend before he was murdered, Roscoe has always watched out for Ginny, and their friendship has evolved into something deep and unexpected. But when Ginny stumbles upon information about the man executed for killing her father, it leads to a series of dark and painful revelations.

Truth, justice, mercy—none of these are as simple as Ginny once believed. And the most shocking crimes may not be the ones committed out of anger or greed, but the sacrifices we make for love.  – Abstract from Goodreads

 

Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West

Expected: 26 December 2017

Kasie West has never failed to deliver thoughtful, fun (but without unnecessary fluff) love stories. This one includes a mental health theme

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Book Depository   

TBR December 2017Seventeen-year-old Abby Turner’s summer isn’t going the way she’d planned. She has a not-so-secret but definitely unrequited crush on her best friend, Cooper. She hasn’t been able to manage her mother’s growing issues with anxiety. And now she’s been rejected from an art show because her work “has no heart.” So when she gets another opportunity to show her paintings Abby isn’t going to take any chances.

Which is where the list comes in.

Abby gives herself one month to do ten things, ranging from face a fear (#3) to learn a stranger’s story (#5) to fall in love (#8). She knows that if she can complete the list she’ll become the kind of artist she’s always dreamed of being. But as the deadline approaches, Abby realizes that getting through the list isn’t as straightforward as it seems… and that maybe—just maybe—she can’t change her art if she isn’t first willing to change herself. – Abstract from Goodreads

 

The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily by Laura Creedle

Expected: 26 December 2017

Ancient love letters, heartfelt and humorous – sounds good to me!

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

TBR December 2017When Lily Michaels-Ryan ditches her ADHD meds and lands in detention with Abelard, who has Asperger’s, she’s intrigued—Abelard seems thirty seconds behind, while she feels thirty seconds ahead. It doesn’t hurt that he’s brilliant and beautiful.

When Abelard posts a quote from The Letters of Abelard and Heloise online, their mutual affinity for ancient love letters connects them. The two fall for each other. Hard. But is it enough to bridge their differences in person?

This hilarious, heartbreaking story of human connection between two neurodivergent teens creates characters that will stay with you long after you finish reading– Abstract from Goodreads

1 3 4 5 6 7 64