It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 4/13/20

Happy Monday!

I hope everyone is safe and healthy.

This week I’m going to read two arcs that I’ve received from the publisher and a new release.

What are you reading?

sword divider

Shakespeare for Squirrels- Christopher Moore

52216445. sx318 sy475 Shakespeare meets Dashiell Hammett in this wildly entertaining murder mystery from New York Times bestselling author Christopher Moore—an uproarious, hardboiled take on the Bard’s most performed play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, featuring Pocket, the hero of Fool and The Serpent of Venice, along with his sidekick, Drool, and pet monkey, Jeff.

Set adrift by his pirate crew, Pocket of Dog Snogging—last seen in The Serpent of Venice—washes up on the sun-bleached shores of Greece, where he hopes to dazzle the Duke with his comedic brilliance and become his trusted fool.

But the island is in turmoil. Egeus, the Duke’s minister, is furious that his daughter Hermia is determined to marry Demetrius, instead of Lysander, the man he has chosen for her. The Duke decrees that if, by the time of the wedding, Hermia still refuses to marry Lysander, she shall be executed . . . or consigned to a nunnery. Pocket, being Pocket, cannot help but point out that this decree is complete bollocks, and that the Duke is an egregious weasel for having even suggested it. Irritated by the fool’s impudence, the Duke orders his death. With the Duke’s guards in pursuit, Pocket makes a daring escape.

He soon stumbles into the wooded realm of the fairy king Oberon, who, as luck would have it, IS short a fool. His jester Robin Goodfellow—the mischievous sprite better known as Puck—was found dead. Murdered. Oberon makes Pocket an offer he can’t refuse: he will make Pocket his fool and have his death sentence lifted if Pocket finds out who killed Robin Goodfellow. But as anyone who is even vaguely aware of the Bard’s most performed play ever will know, nearly every character has a motive for wanting the mischievous sprite dead.

With too many suspects and too little time, Pocket must work his own kind of magic to find the truth, save his neck, and ensure that all ends well.

A rollicking tale of love, magic, madness, and murder, Shakespeare for Squirrels is a Midsummer Night’s noir—a wicked and brilliantly funny good time conjured by the singular imagination of Christopher Moore.

IMG_2250

sword divider

Last Girls- Demetra Brodsky

52381097. sx318 sy475

 

No one knows how the world will end.

On a secret compound in the Washington wilderness, Honey Juniper and her sisters are training to hunt, homestead, and protect their own.

Prepare for every situation.

But when danger strikes from within, putting her sisters at risk, training becomes real life, and only one thing is certain:

Nowhere is safe.

 

 

IMG_2250

sword divider

A Werewolf in Riverdale- Caleb Roehrig

44575180. sy475 Who is the Riverdale Ripper? And why is Jughead waking up covered in blood?

Based on the original Archie Comics characters!
Everyone knows the characters from Riverdale: popular Archie Andrews, girl-next-door Betty Cooper, angsty Jughead Jones, and the sophisticated Veronica Lodge. But this is not the Riverdale you know and love. Something twisted has awoken in the town with pep. Inspired by the iconic Archie Horror comics, this reimagined universe takes the grittiness of the TV show and adds a paranormal twist.

Someone is killing the citizens of Riverdale. And after a bloody full moon, Jughead realizes he is the killer! Jughead is a werewolf. Can he keep this secret from his friends — including werewolf-hunting Betty Cooper? Jughead has to get his dark side under control — before it is controlling him.

The Archie Horror series contains all-new, original stories that fans of horror AND fans of Riverdale will eat up!

IMG_2250

*First Line Friday 2/28/20* Meet Me At Midnight- Jessica Pennington

51251149. sx318 sy475 They have a love-hate relationship with summer.

Sidney and Asher should have clicked. Two-star swimmers forced to spend their summers on a lake together sounds like the perfect match. But it’s the same every year—in between cookouts and boat rides and family-imposed bonfires, Sidney and Asher spend the dog days of summer finding the ultimate ways to prank each other. And now, after their senior year, they’re determined to make it the most epic summer yet.

But their plans are thrown in sudden jeopardy when their feud causes their families to be kicked out of their beloved lake houses. Once in their new accommodations, Sidney expects the prank war to continue as usual. But then she gets a note—Meet me at midnight. And Asher has a proposition for her: join forces for one last summer of epic pranks, against a shared enemy—the woman who kicked them out.

Their truce should make things simpler, but six years of tormenting one another isn’t so easy to ignore. Kind of like the undeniable attraction growing between them.

IMG_2250

 

“Here’s the problem with knowing someone since you were ten and vacationing with them since you were thirteen: they know way too much. They’ve seen things. The neurotic things you only did once. The embarrassing things you wish you could forget.” 

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 2/10/20

 

This week I’m going to read two books that I picked up at ALA Midwinter and two books that I recently purchased from Barnes and Noble.

What are you reading this week?

sword 2

We Unleash the Merciless Storm- Tehlor Kay Mejia

40522133In this nail-biting sequel to Tehlor Kay Mejia’s critically acclaimed fantasy novel We Set the Dark on Fire, La Voz operative Carmen is forced to choose between the girl she loves and the success of the rebellion she’s devoted her life to.

Being a part of the resistance group La Voz is an act of devotion and desperation. On the other side of Medio’s border wall, the oppressed class fights for freedom and liberty, sacrificing what little they have to become defenders of the cause.

Carmen Santos is one of La Voz’s best soldiers, taken in when she was an orphaned child and trained to be a cunning spy. She spent years undercover at the Medio School for Girls, but now, with her identity exposed and the island on the brink of civil war, Carmen returns to the only real home she’s ever known: La Voz’s headquarters.

There she must reckon with her beloved leader, who is under the influence of an aggressive new recruit, and with the devastating news that her true love might be the target of an assassination plot. Will Carmen break with her community and save the girl who stole her heart—or fully embrace the ruthless rebel she was always meant to be?

IMG_2250

sword 2

The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy- Elizabeth Kendall

47875636Elizabeth Kendall’s 1981 memoir, detailing her six-year relationship with serial killer Ted Bundy, long out of print, now reissued with startling new material from the author and her daughter. Elizabeth Kendall’s memoir, The Phantom Prince, was originally published in 1981. Molly Kendall, her daughter, considered Bundy a father figure between the ages of three and ten.

Ted Bundy is one of the most notorious serial killers in American history and one of the most publicized to this day. However, very rarely do we hear from the women he left behind—the ones forgotten as mere footnotes in this tragedy. This updated and expanded reissue of Elizabeth Kendall’s 1981 book The Phantom Prince chronicles her intense, six-year relationship with Ted Bundy and its eventual unraveling. Featuring a new introduction and a new afterword by the author, never-before-seen photos, and a new chapter from the author’s daughter, Molly, this gripping account presents a remarkable examination of obsession, intrigue, and the darkness that love can mask.

IMG_2250

sword 2

Harleen- Stjepan Šejić

47357622Dr. Harleen Quinzel has a theory: mental illness is a survival mechanism. As she seeks to help the broken souls of Gotham City piece together their sanity she will become the one thing she fears the most: one of them. A bold new retelling of the tragic origin of Harley Quinn told through the eyes of the only person who knows her better than anyone: Harleen.

A young psychiatrist with a potential cure for the madness that haunts Gotham City, Dr. Harleen Quinzel must prove her revolutionary theory to a skeptical establishment by delving into the disturbed minds of Arkham Asylum’s deadliest inmates. But the more time she spends with her criminally insane subjects, the closer she is drawn to one patient in particular–and the further she falls away from reality. The birth of legendary antihero Harley Quinn and the shocking origins of her twisted romance with the Joker are revealed in Harleen, a stunning new tale of love and obsession written and illustrated by renowned comics storyteller Stjepan Šejic (Aquaman: Underworld, Sunstone).

IMG_2250

sword 2

Shades of Magic Volume One: The Steel Prince- V.E. Schwab

43404416. sy475 Written by #1 New York Times bestselling author V.E. Schwab and torn from the universe of the Shades of Magic sequence, this all-original comic book prequel to A Darker Shade of Magic is perfect for fans of bloody, swashbuckling adventure and gritty fantasy!

Delve into the thrilling, epic tale of the young and arrogant prince Maxim Maresh, long before he became the king of Red London and adoptive father to Kell, the lead of A Darker Shade of Magic!

The youthful Maresh is sent to a violent and unmanageable port city on the Blood Coast of Verose, on strict orders from his father, King Nokil Maresh, to cut his military teeth in this lawless landscape.

There, he encounters an unruly band of soldiers, a lawless landscape, and the intoxicatingly deadly presence of the newly returned pirate queen, Arisa…

Collects Shades of Magic: The Steel Prince #1-4.

IMG_2250

 

 

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 2/3/20

Happy Super Monday!

It’s that great Monday after the Super Bowl and I’m sitting at work wondering why this Monday isn’t a holiday? I think it should be.

This week I’m going to read two arcs that I picked up at ALA in Philadelphia and a book that I won from Flatiron Books.

What are you reading this week?

sword 1

The Honey-Don’t List- Christina Lauren

46779178. sy475 Carey Douglas has worked for home remodeling and design gurus Melissa and Rusty Tripp for nearly a decade. A country girl at heart, Carey started in their first store at sixteen, and—more than anyone would suspect—has helped them build an empire. With a new show and a book about to launch, the Tripps are on the verge of superstardom. There’s only one problem: America’s favorite couple can’t stand each other.

James McCann, MIT graduate, and engineering genius, was originally hired as a structural engineer, but the job isn’t all he thought it’d be. The last straw? Both he and Carey must go on a book tour with the Tripps and keep the wheels from falling off the proverbial bus.

Unfortunately, neither of them is in any position to quit. Carey needs health insurance, and James has been promised the role of a lifetime if he can just keep the couple on track for a few more weeks. While road-tripping with the Tripps up the West Coast, Carey and James vow to work together to keep their bosses’ secrets hidden, and their own jobs secure. But if they stop playing along—and start playing for keeps—they may have the chance to build something beautiful together…

From the “hilariously zany and heartfelt” (Booklist) Christina Lauren comes a romantic comedy that proves if it’s broke, you might as well fix it.

From the New York Times, bestselling author behind the “joyful, warm, touching” (Jasmine Guillory, New York Times bestselling author) The Unhoneymooners comes a delightfully charming love story about what happens when two assistants tasked with keeping a rocky relationship from explosion start to feel sparks of their own. 

IMG_2250

sword 1

Anna K.: A Love Story- Jenny Lee

42119168. sy475 Every happy teenage girl is the same, while every unhappy teenage girl is miserable in her own special way.

Meet Anna K. At seventeen, she is at the top of Manhattan and Greenwich society (even if she prefers the company of her horses and Newfoundland dogs); she has the perfect (if perfectly boring) boyfriend, Alexander W.; and she has always made her Korean-American father proud (even if he can be a little controlling). Meanwhile, Anna’s brother, Steven, and his girlfriend, Lolly, are trying to weather a sexting scandal; Lolly’s little sister, Kimmie, is struggling to recalibrate to normal life after an injury derails her ice dancing career; and Steven’s best friend, Dustin, is madly (and one-sidedly) in love with Kimmie.

As her friends struggle with the pitfalls of ordinary teenage life, Anna always seems to be able to sail gracefully above it all. That is…until the night she meets Alexia “Count” Vronsky at Grand Central. A notorious playboy who has bounced around boarding schools and who lives for his own pleasure, Alexia is everything Anna is not. But he has never been in love until he meets Anna, and maybe she hasn’t, either. As Alexia and Anna are pulled irresistibly together, she has to decide how much of her life she is willing to let go for the chance to be with him. And when a shocking revelation threatens to shatter their relationship, she is forced to question if she has ever known herself at all.

Dazzlingly opulent and emotionally riveting, Anna K.: A Love Story is a brilliant reimagining of Leo Tolstoy’s timeless love story, Anna Karenina―but above all, it is a novel about the dizzying, glorious, heart-stopping experience of first love and first heartbreak.

IMG_2250

sword 1

Diana: Princess of the Amazons- Shannon Hale & Dean Hale

45143759From New York Times, bestselling authors Shannon Hale and Dean Hale comes a heartfelt story about making mistakes, learning the hard way, and growing up to become a hero.

Eleven-year-old Diana leads an idyllic life on the island of Themyscira. Cut off from the rest of the world, she’s beginning to feel more and more isolated. Though she has a loving mother and many “aunties,” she is an only child. THE only child on the island, in fact.

After an escapade goes wrong, Diana gets in trouble for not living up to the Amazonian standard. She just can’t seem to measure up no matter what she does. Every other person on the island is an adult proficient in their trade and mighty in body, while she is gangly, sometimes clumsy, and not particularly good at anything. She’s not Wonder Woman … yet. What Diana needs is a friend; someone her own age whom she can talk to. But when she decides to take matters into her own hands, she may just make a monster instead of a friend.

IMG_2250

 

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 1/20/20

Happy Monday!

This week is going to be a short reading week because I’ll be on the road. All three of us are heading to my hometown of Philadelphia for ALA Midwinter.

Are you attending ALA this year?

sword 1

I’ll be reading a book that Macmillan sent me this week.

What are you reading?

sword 1

Squad- Mariah MacCarthy

32048835. sy475 This darkly comic debut novel by an award-winning playwright is like Mean Girls meets Heathers with a splash of Bring it On.

Jenna Watson is a cheerleader. But it’s not some Hollywood crap. Cheerleaders are not every guy’s fantasy; they are not the “popular girls” or the “mean girls” of Marsen High School. They’re too busy for that. They’re literally just some human females trying to live their lives and do a perfect toe touch. But that all changed after Raejean stopped talking to Jenna and started hanging out with Meghan Finnegan. Jenna stopped getting invited out with the rest of the squad and she couldn’t tell if it was on purpose or if it was all in her head.

At times heartbreaking, at others hilarious, Squad follows Jenna through her attempts to get revenge on Raejean and invent a new post-cheer life for herself through LARPING (live-action role-playing) and a relationship with a trans guy that feels like love—but isn’t. In the end, Jenna discovers that who she is is not defined by which squad she’s in.

IMG_2250

 

stacy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Arc Review* Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss- Kasie West

38251237 Lacey Barnes has dreamt of being in a movie for as long as she can remember. However, while her dream did include working alongside the hottest actor in Hollywood, it didn’t involve having to finish up her senior year of high school at the same time she was getting her big break. Although that is nothing compared to Donavan, the straight-laced student her father hires to tutor her, who is a full-on nightmare.

As Lacey struggles to juggle her burgeoning career, some on-set sabotage, and an off-screen romance with the unlikeliest of leading men, she quickly learns that sometimes the best stories happen when you go off script.

IMG_2250

My Review:

“You have no idea how much different it is off script. You need a real kiss. Your first real kiss. Seriously, it’s so much better. You will never want to stop.”

I’ve never started a book and finished it in under a day. We can all agree that this might be one of my top three Kasie West books. This was an all-around fantastic read. I can’t wait for everyone to fall in love with Lacey and Donovan.

Being an actress is hard. You have to be the role you have and not let anything stop you from living that moment. Lacey is the girl with that star-studded dream. She lands a dream role and co-stars beside one of the biggest names in Hollywood at the moment, Grant James.

Lacey lives offset with her helicopter dad who is all about her completing her school work and living the normal teen life with a curfew. But being a teen means throwing a couple of curveballs his way. Her dad hires her a tutor and that makes things more complicated.

The set life isn’t what Lacey expected. She’s having some trouble and now someone is trying to sabotage her screen time. Can those troubles and a new crush get in her way of stardom?

This book was amazing. You get an in-depth look at movie making, the trials they go through to get everything perfect. The characters were very lovable and you create this instant bond with them, especially with Lacey and Donovan. What stopped this from being a five-star book was the outcome of the saboteur. The reasoning was kind of boring and I was hoping for more drama.

Zombies, a cute tutor, and on-set drama make this one of my favorite contemporaries of the year. It was that instant connection we all know and crave. Kasie is the best in her genre and she doesn’t disappoint.

stacy

*Review* Any Second- Kevin Emerson

38885432   Five years after being kidnapped, Elian’s captor sends him into the mall–with a bomb strapped to his chest.

Across the mall is Maya, a girl whose crippling anxiety holds her prisoner in its own way.

Whether it’s chance or fate, Maya keeps Eli from ending them all. And now nothing is the same. Drawn together by their dark pasts, Maya and Eli know it takes only seconds for their entire worlds to change. But time will tell if meeting each other will change them for better or worse.IMG_2250

 

My Review:

“They were alive, invincible, and yet already dead. They were everything and nothing.”

Life is precious and something a lot of us take for granted but it can all be over with a blink of an eye. It only takes one second for your life to change and Maya and Eli know this first hand.

Eli walks into a crowded mall with bombs strapped to him because Gabriel (his captor) wants to send a message. Maya is at that mall and sees a boy wearing a wolf mask acting strangely. At the right moment, she walks over and puts herself in danger to save others.

When the bomb doesn’t detonate, she helps him lose track of the kidnappers brainwashing and gives him comfort as the police take over.

This story is their live’s after that day, how they cope, how they live, and the haunting memories that flood back as the anniversary draws near.

Any Second will rip your heart out and make you feel for these characters. The brutal things that they have gone through and the heartbreaking outcomes. Eli and Maya have such a strong personal connection that will make you see the best in people. They only want to help each other overcome and grow and makes you want to do the same with your life. It breaks apart what you ever thought about another and makes you see inside their minds and their hearts.

This is a heavy and riveting story that won’t be for everyone. There are some triggers in here but I think everyone needs to read this important novel. It’s something that is going to stick with you well after you completed it.

 

Click on the picture of Bella to check out the review I did with Jen at A Bella Fairy Tale

Happy Reading!!

stacy