It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 3/23/20

Happy Monday, Everyone!

I hope everyone is safe and enjoying this much-needed relaxation.

This week I’m going to try to read a book a coworker gave me, two arcs that publishers sent me, and an arc my friends picked up for me at a convention.

What are you reading this week?

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The Regrets- Amy Bonnaffons

46207678Reality and dream collide in Amy Bonnaffons’s dazzling, darkly playful debut novel about a love affair between the living and the dead.

For weeks, Rachel has been noticing the same golden-haired young man sitting at her Brooklyn bus stop, staring off with a melancholy air. When, one day, she finally musters the courage to introduce herself, the chemistry between them is undeniable: Thomas is wise, witty, handsome, mysterious, clearly a kindred spirit. There’s just one tiny problem: He’s dead.

Stuck in a surreal limbo governed by bureaucracy, Thomas is unable to “cross over” to the afterlife until he completes a 90-day stint on earth, during which time he is forbidden to get involved with a member of the living — lest he incur “regrets.” When Thomas and Rachel break this rule, they unleash a cascade of bizarre, troubling consequences.

Set in the hallucinatory borderland between life and death, The Regrets is a gloriously strange and breathtakingly sexy exploration of love, the cataclysmic power of fantasies, and the painful, exhilarating work of waking up to reality, told with uncommon grace and humor by a visionary artist at the height of her imaginative power.

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B*Witch- Paige McKenzie

48717624A lone witch has powers. A coven has a multitude more.

New girl and secret witch Iris just wants to get through her first day of school without a panic attack. The last thing she expects is to be taken in by a coven of three witches-soft-spoken Greta, thoughtful and musical Ridley, and fiery and spirited Binx. They may be the first witches Iris has met IRL, but their coven is not alone in their small northwestern town.

The Triad is the other coven at their school. When the Triad’s not using spells to punish their exes or break up happy couples for fun, they practice dark magic. The two covens have a rivalry stretching all the way back to junior high.

When tragedy strikes and one of their own is murdered, the rival covens must band together to find out who is responsible before it’s too late. Someone’s anti-witch ideology has turned deadly . . . and one of them is next.

With an inclusive cast of teen witches who leap off the page with style, attitude, and charm, B*Witch is a singable read perfect for fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Mean Girls alike.

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Catherine House- Elisabeth Thomas

51934838. sx318 sy475 A seductive, gothic-infused tale of literary suspense—the debut of a spectacular new voice —about a dangerously curious young undergraduate whose rebelliousness leads her to discover a shocking secret involving an exclusive circle of students . . . and the dark truth beneath her school’s promise of prestige.

You are in the house and the house is in the woods.
You are in the house and the house is in you . . .

Catherine House is a school of higher learning like no other. Hidden deep in the woods of rural Pennsylvania, this crucible of reformist liberal arts study with its experimental curriculum, wildly selective admissions policy, and formidable endowment, has produced some of the world’s best minds: prize-winning authors, artists, inventors, Supreme Court justices, presidents. For those lucky few selected, tuition, room, and board are free. But acceptance comes with a price. Students are required to give the House three years—summers included—completely removed from the outside world. Family, friends, television, music, even their clothing must be left behind. In return, the school promises its graduates a future of sublime power and prestige, and that they can become anything or anyone they desire.

Among this year’s incoming class is Ines, who expects to trade blurry nights of parties, pills, cruel friends, and dangerous men for rigorous intellectual discipline—only to discover an environment of sanctioned revelry. The school’s enigmatic director, Viktória, encourages the students to explore, to expand their minds, to find themselves and their place within the formidable black iron gates of Catherine.

For Ines, Catherine is the closest thing to a home she’s ever had, and her serious, timid roommate, Baby, soon becomes an unlikely friend. Yet the House’s strange protocols make this refuge, with its worn velvet and weathered leather, feel increasingly like a gilded prison. And when Baby’s obsessive desire for acceptance ends in tragedy, Ines begins to suspect that the school—in all its shabby splendor, hallowed history, advanced theories, and controlled decadence—might be hiding a dangerous agenda that is connected to a secretive, tightly knit group of students selected to study its most promising and mysterious curriculum.

Combining the haunting sophistication and dusky, atmospheric style of Sarah Waters with the unsettling isolation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, Catherine House is a devious, deliciously steamy, and suspenseful page-turner with shocking twists and sharp edges that is sure to leave readers breathless.

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More Than Maybe- Erin Hahn

51178403. sx318 sy475 Growing up under his punk rocker dad’s spotlight, eighteen-year-old Luke Greenly knows fame and wants nothing to do with it. His real love isn’t in front of a crowd, it’s on the page. Hiding his gift and secretly hoarding songs in his bedroom at night, he prefers the anonymous comfort of the locally popular podcast he co-hosts with his outgoing and meddling, far-too-jealousy-inspiringly-happy-with-his-long-term-boyfriend twin brother, Cullen. But that’s not Luke’s only secret. He also has a major un-requited crush on music blogger, Vada Carsewell.

Vada’s got a five year plan: secure a job at the Loud Lizard to learn from local legend (and her mom’s boyfriend) Phil Josephs (check), take over Phil’s music blog (double check), get accepted into Berkeley’s prestigious music journalism program (check, check, check), manage Ann Arbor’s summer concert series and secure a Rolling Stone internship. Luke Greenly is most definitely NOT on the list. So what if his self-deprecating charm and out-of-this-world music knowledge makes her dizzy? Or his brother just released a bootleg recording of Luke singing about some mystery girl on their podcast and she really, really wishes it was her?

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*First Line Friday 3/13/13* The Best Week That Never Happened- Dallas Woodburn

48902976What if, when you died, you got to relive The Best Week of Your Life—but you died too soon, and The Best Week of Your Life hadn’t happened yet?

After her parents’ bitter divorce, family vacations to the Big Island in Hawaii ceased. But across the miles, eighteen-year-old Tegan Rossi remains connected to local Kai Kapule, her best friend from childhood. Now, Tegan finds herself alone and confused about how she got to the Big Island. With no wallet, no cell phone, purse, or plane ticket, Tegan struggles to piece together what happened. She must have come to surprise-visit Kai. Right? As the teens grow even closer, Tegan pushes aside her worries and gets swept away in the vacation of her dreams.

But each morning, Tegan startles awake from nightmares that become more difficult to ignore. Something is eerily amiss. Why is there a strange gap in her memory? Why can’t she reach her parents or friends from home? And what’s with the mysterious hourglass tattoo over her heart?

Kai promises to help Tegan figure out what is going on. But the answers they find only lead to more questions. As the week unfolds, Tegan will experience the magic of first love, the hope of second chances, and the bittersweet joy and grief of being human.

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“When I open my eyes and sit up, everything is dark. My brain is cottony, and my eyes won’t focus. I can’t rememebr where I am or how I got here. I’m not afraid. I mostly feel…. empty.”

 

*ARC Review* The Best Week that Never Happened- Dallas Woodburn

48902976What if, when you died, you got to relive The Best Week of Your Life—but you died too soon, and The Best Week of Your Life hadn’t happened yet?

After her parents’ bitter divorce, family vacations to the Big Island in Hawaii ceased. But across the miles, eighteen-year-old Tegan Rossi remains connected to local Kai Kapule, her best friend from childhood. Now, Tegan finds herself alone and confused about how she got to the Big Island. With no wallet, no cell phone, purse, or plane ticket, Tegan struggles to piece together what happened. She must have come to surprise-visit Kai. Right? As the teens grow even closer, Tegan pushes aside her worries and gets swept away in the vacation of her dreams.

But each morning, Tegan startles awake from nightmares that become more difficult to ignore. Something is eerily amiss. Why is there a strange gap in her memory? Why can’t she reach her parents or friends from home? And what’s with the mysterious hourglass tattoo over her heart?

Kai promises to help Tegan figure out what is going on. But the answers they find only lead to more questions. As the week unfolds, Tegan will experience the magic of first love, the hope of second chances, and the bittersweet joy and grief of being human.

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My Review:

“I am not certain of anything. Life is a mystery, just as death is a mystery. The best answers come from listening to the murmurs of your heart. Your heart is wise. Your heart is strong. Let yourself love, dear one. Let yourself, love, hugely and bravely. That is all any of us can do.”

This is a book that made me think about my own life while I was reading it and way after I was done reading it. Have I lived my best week yet? Or is it still to come? We never know when our time is up but that doesn’t mean that we should stop trying to live our best lives.

From the start, you know that something about this book is going to make you emotionally break. I felt the weight of that the entire time while reading. You know that the devastating truth was going to fall but not really sure when. I was sitting on pins and needles with my heart in my throat.

Kai and Tegan are our star-crossed lovers who find their way back to each other after a tragic accident strikes. Their relationship seems perfect and they fit easily together. The week they spent together was the sweetest thing that I’ve ever read. But I was waiting for my heart to drop when one or both of them find out the truth. When it happens, it wrecks you. Even though I knew it was going to happen and I waited for it. The emotion that drips through these pages will make you weep.

The Best Week that Never Happened was heartbreaking and mesmerizing. Words escaped me when I finished because I was so enthralled by the beauty of this book. Nothing has ever made me feel this way after reading. Prepare yourselves for a book that will make you appreciate everything that you have in your life and you’ll fall in love all over again.

stacy

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 3/9/20

It’s Monday again.

The weekend went by way too fast! Plus daylight savings time stole an hour from us.

This week I’m going to try to read a book that I picked up at ALA in Philly, a graphic novel that I borrowed from the library, a classic horror novel, and a reread of a favorite.

What are you reading this week?

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The Other Mrs.- Mary Kubica

44422774Propulsive and addictive, The Other Mrs. is the twisty new psychological thriller from Mary Kubica, the New York Times bestselling author of The Good Girl

She tried to run, but she can’t escape the other Mrs.

Sadie and Will Foust have only just moved their family from bustling Chicago to small-town Maine when their neighbor Morgan Baines is found dead in her home. The murder rocks their tiny coastal island, but no one is more shaken than Sadie.

But it’s not just Morgan’s death that has Sadie on edge. And as the eyes of suspicion turn toward the new family in town, Sadie is drawn deeper into the mystery of what really happened that dark and deadly night. But Sadie must be careful, for the more she discovers about Mrs. Baines, the more she begins to realize just how much she has to lose if the truth ever comes to light.

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Sabrina the Teenage Witch- Kelly Thompson

44799225Kelly Thompson (Uncanny X-Men) and artist Veronica Fish (Spider-Woman, Archie) team-up to tell the story of Sabrina Spellman.

Sabrina is a teen witch who’s struggling with balancing the double life of high school and her burgeoning powers. Newly relocated to Greendale with her aunts Hilda and Zelda (also witches), Sabrina is trying to make the best of being the new girl in town which so far includes two intriguing love interests, an instant rivalry, a couple of misfits that could turn into BFFs, and trying to save the high school (and maybe the world) from crazy supernatural events. NBD!

 

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The Invisible Man- H.G. Wells

815109Spine-tingling and entertaining, The Invisible Man is a science fiction classic–and a penetrating, unflinching look into the heart of human nature. To its author, H. G. Wells, the novel was as compelling as “a good gripping dream.” But to generations of readers, the terrible and evil experiment of the demented scientist, Griffin, has conveyed a chilling nightmare of believable horror. An atmosphere of ever-increasing suspense begins with the arrival of a mysterious stranger at an English village inn and builds relentlessly to the stark terror of a victim pursued by a maniacal invisible man. The result is a masterwork: a dazzling display of the brilliant imagination, psychological insight, and literary craftsmanship that made H. G. Wells one of the most influential writers of his time.

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Stolen Time- Danielle Rollins

40139208“Endearing, exciting, and very clever, Danielle Rollins’ Stolen Time is the kind of time-travel story I’m always on the lookout for. I know I can’t really speak for him, but I feel like Doc Brown would be onboard with this one.”—Kendare Blake, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Three Dark Crowns series

“The hauntingly evocative prose seduced me, the compellingly nuanced characters captivated me, and the twisting storyline ensnared my thoughts in an infinite spiral that refused to release me until the final word.”—Romina Russell, New York Times bestselling author of the Zodiac series

Seattle, 1913

Dorothy spent her life learning the art of the con. But after meeting a stranger and stowing away on his peculiar aircraft, she wakes up in a chilling version of the world she left behind—and for the first time in her life, realizes she’s in way over her head.

New Seattle, 2077

If there was ever a girl who was trouble, it was one who snuck on board Ash’s time machine wearing a wedding gown—and the last thing he needs is trouble if he wants to prevent his terrifying visions of the future from coming true.

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

Wow, it’s Monday again and I almost forgot to post what I plan on reading this week.

What are you reading this week?

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Flowers in the Attic- V.C. Andrews

43448. sx318 sy475 Such wonderful children. Such a beautiful mother. Such a lovely house. Such endless terror!

It wasn’t that she didn’t love her children. She did. But there was a fortune at stake—a fortune that would assure their later happiness if she could keep the children a secret from her dying father.

So she and her mother hid her darlings away in an unused attic.

Just for a little while.

But the brutal days swelled into agonizing years. Now Cathy, Chris, and the twins wait in their cramped and helpless world, stirred by adult dreams, adult desires, served a meager sustenance by an angry, superstitious grandmother who knows that the Devil works in dark and devious ways. Sometimes he sends children to do his work—children who—one by one—must be destroyed….

‘Way upstairs there are four secrets hidden. Blond, beautiful, innocent struggling to stay alive….

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Everything’s Not Fine- Sarah Carlson

49186332. sy475 Seventeen-year-old Rose Hemmersbach aspires to break out of small town Sparta, Wisconsin and achieve her artistic dreams at Belwyn School for the Arts after she graduates. Painting is Rose’s escape from her annoying younger siblings and her family’s one rule: ignore the elephant in the room, because talking about it makes it real. That is, until the day Rose finds her mother dying on the kitchen floor of a heroin overdose. Kneeling beside her, Rose pleads with the universe to find a heartbeat. She does – but when her mother is taken to the hospital, the troubles are just beginning. Rose and her dad are left to pick up the pieces. Now all that matters are her siblings. Rose doesn’t have room to do her schoolwork, let alone pick up a paintbrush. Until Rose is forced to do the homecoming mural with Rafa, a new senior at Sparta High. Rose and Rafa don’t have an ounce of school spirit between them, but Rose discovers her brain still has room to paint. As Rose fights to hold everything together, and her dreams of the future start to slip from her grasp, she must face the question of what happens when – if – her mom comes home again. And if, deep down, if Rose even wants her to.

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Camp Spirit- Axelle Lenoir

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Summer camp is supposed to be about finding nirvana in a rock garden… But Elodie prefers Nirvana and Soundgarden. Can she confront rambunctious kids, confusing feelings, and supernatural horrors all at once?

Summer 1994: with just two months left before college, Elodie is forced by her mother to take a job as a camp counselor. She doesn’t know the first thing about nature, or sports, of kids for that matter, and isn’t especially interested in learning… but now she’s responsible for a foul-mouthed horde of red-headed girls who just might win her over, whether she likes it or not. Just as Elodie starts getting used to her new environment, though — and close to one of the other counselors — a dark mystery lurking around the camp begins to haunt her dreams.

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The Best Week That Never Happened- Dallas Woodburn

48902976What if, when you died, you got to relive The Best Week of Your Life—but you died too soon, and The Best Week of Your Life hadn’t happened yet?

After her parents’ bitter divorce, family vacations to the Big Island in Hawaii ceased. But across the miles, eighteen-year-old Tegan Rossi remains connected to local Kai Kapule, her best friend from childhood. Now, Tegan finds herself alone and confused about how she got to the Big Island. With no wallet, no cell phone, purse, or plane ticket, Tegan struggles to piece together what happened. She must have come to surprise-visit Kai. Right? As the teens grow even closer, Tegan pushes aside her worries and gets swept away in the vacation of her dreams.

But each morning, Tegan startles awake from nightmares that become more difficult to ignore. Something is eerily amiss. Why is there a strange gap in her memory? Why can’t she reach her parents or friends from home? And what’s with the mysterious hourglass tattoo over her heart?

Kai promises to help Tegan figure out what is going on. But the answers they find only lead to more questions. As the week unfolds, Tegan will experience the magic of first love, the hope of second chances, and the bittersweet joy and grief of being human.

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It’s Monday (On a Tuesday), What Are You Reading? 2/24/20

Happy Tuesday!

I know that I usually post this on Monday but I was feeling kind of crummy yesterday. So here is what I’m going to try to read this week.

What are you reading?

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Be Not Far From Me- Mindy McGinnis

46139175The world is not tame.

Ashley knows this truth deep in her bones, more at home with trees overhead than a roof. So when she goes hiking in the Smokies with her friends for a night of partying, the falling dark and creaking trees are second nature to her. But people are not tame either. And when Ashley catches her boyfriend with another girl, drunken rage sends her running into the night, stopped only by a nasty fall into a ravine. Morning brings the realization that she’s alone – and far off-trail. Lost in undisturbed forest and with nothing but the clothes on her back, Ashley must figure out how to survive despite the red streak of infection creeping up her leg.

 

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The Princess and the Fangirl- Ashley Poston

39725622. sy475 The Prince and the Pauper gets a modern makeover in this adorable, witty, and heartwarming young adult novel set in the Geekerella universe by national bestselling author Ashley Poston.

Imogen Lovelace is an ordinary fangirl on an impossible mission: save her favorite character, Princess Amara, from being killed off from her favorite franchise, Starfield. The problem is, Jessica Stone—the actress who plays Princess Amara—wants nothing more than to leave the intense scrutiny of the fandom behind. If this year’s ExcelsiCon isn’t her last, she’ll consider her career derailed.

When a case of mistaken identity throws look-a-likes Imogen and Jess together, they quickly become enemies. But when the script for the Starfield sequel leaks and all signs point to Jess, she and Imogen must trade places to find the person responsible. That’s easier said than done when the girls step into each other’s shoes and discover new romantic possibilities, as well as the other side of intense fandom. As these “princesses” race to find the script-leaker, they must rescue themselves from their own expectations, and redefine what it means to live happily ever after.

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The Dilemma- B.A. Paris

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It’s Livia’s fortieth birthday and tonight she’s having a party, a party she’s been planning for a long time. The only person missing will be her daughter, Marnie.

But Livia has a secret, a secret she’s been keeping from Adam, her husband, until the party is over. Because how can she tell him that although she loves Marnie, she’s glad their daughter won’t be there to celebrate with her?

Adam is determined everything will be just right for Livia and the party is going to be perfect… until he learns something that will leave him facing an unbearable decision.

 

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Vampironica- Greg Smallwood

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When Veronica is bitten by a centuries-old vampire, her thirst for blood threatens to turn Riverdale into a haven for the undead. Will she put an end to the vampire threat or give in to her blood lust? Archie Horror’s latest series paints Riverdale red in the vampiric first collection by siblings Greg & Megan Smallwood.

 

 

 

 

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*Book Review* Light as a Feather- Zoe Aarsen

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It was supposed to be a game…

Junior year is shaping up to be the best of McKenna Brady’s life. After a transformative summer, McKenna is welcomed into the elite group of popular girls at Weeping Willow High, led by the gorgeous Olivia Richmond. For the first time in a long time, things are looking up.

But everything changes the night of Olivia’s Sweet Sixteen sleepover. Violet, the mysterious new girl in town, suggests the girls play a game during which Violet makes up elaborate, creepily specific stories about the violent ways the friends will die. Though it unsettles McKenna, it all seems harmless at the time.

Until a week later, when Olivia dies…exactly as Violet predicted.

As Violet rises to popularity and steps into the life Olivia left unfinished, McKenna becomes convinced Olivia’s death wasn’t just a coincidence, especially when a ghost haunting her bedroom keeps leaving clues that point to Violet. With the help of her cute neighbor, Trey, McKenna pledges to get to the bottom of Violet’s secrets and true intentions before it’s too late. Because it’s only a matter of time before more lives are lost.

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My Review:

“Violet had suggested that we play a game….
She hadn’t mentioned that in her game, she was always the winner. Or that playing could cost you your life.”

Heathers meets The Craft in this twisted story that takes place around a middle school horror game. Or for the younger generation, Riverdale meets The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

Light as a feather, stiff as a board is a game most kids played at slumber parties. Where we tried to outdo our friends with the most terrifying tales of death and hauntings. It never seemed to work but what happens when it does?

McKenna is now part of the popular clique and was invited to attend the birthday slumber party of the most popular girl at school. After discussing plans for the upcoming dance and guys in horror movies, things go from exciting to drab quickly. That is until the new shy girl at school mentions a scary game that she played with old friends.

One girl lays flat on her back, the other girls place their fingers beneath her and chant light as a feather, stiff as a board. After a while, the person on the floor starts to levitate with the power of concentration from the others. Before this happens, the head girl goes into gory details about how that person will die. Most of the girls go through it that night except McKenna.

After the party, things start to line up in a really disturbing way. One of the girls die and it happens exactly the way it was described at the slumber party. Now every girl who was there is on high alert and the clock is ticking for them to stop this force from ending their lives.

This book was seriously dark and creepy. The way the hypothetical deaths were described was really gory. Now I’m excited to actually see the show and read the other books in this series.

Light as a Feather was a fantastic read. YA horror is something that is looked past but we need more of this in our lives. There was something about this book that made me uneasy in my own house and I loved it.

stacy