It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 10/7/19

This week I’m going to be reading a few highly anticipated arcs, an arc I won on Instagram, and I’ll let you know what I read last weekend that wasn’t on my list.

What are you reading?

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I started a book on Saturday afternoon and finished it on Sunday. It was the perfect fall read to set the mood for Halloween.

Winterwood- Shea Ernshaw

43822698Deluxe edition with special embellishments on first printing only.

From New York Times bestselling author of The Wicked Deep comes a haunting romance perfect for fans of Practical Magicwhere dark fairy tales and enchanted folklore collide after a boy, believed to be missing, emerges from the magical woods—and falls in love with the witch determined to unravel his secrets.

Be careful of the dark, dark wood…

Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Haunted, even.

Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection with the woods. And it’s this special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman—the same boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago—and in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’d been missing.

But Nora can feel an uneasy shift in the woods at Oliver’s presence. And it’s not too long after that Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest, and what led him there in the first place. What Nora doesn’t know, though, is that Oliver has secrets of his own—secrets he’ll do anything to keep buried because as it turns out, he wasn’t the only one to have gone missing on that fateful night all those weeks ago.

For as long as there have been fairy tales, we have been warned to fear what lies within the dark, dark woods and in Winterwood, New York Times bestselling author Shea Ernshaw, shows us why.

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The Starless Sea- Erin Morgenstern

43575115. sy475 From the New York Times bestselling author of The Night Circus, a timeless love story set in a secret underground world–a place of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a starless sea.

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues–a bee, a key, and a sword–that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library, hidden far below the surface of the earth.

What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians–it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also those who are intent on its destruction.

Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly-soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose–in both the mysterious book and in his own life.

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The Madness Blooms- Mackenzie Lee

45043431Love is a fever.

Holland, 1637. Lena Schoon is an orphan, sold to the owner of a flower shop, along with her older brother, Bas. When Lena and Bas’s master dies, Bas inherits the flower shop at the height of Tulip Mania, a time when single tulip bulbs were being sold for prices equivalent to that of Amsterdam’s finest houses.

Along with the shop come debts that threaten to uproot the siblings, leaving them without a home or a trade. In desperation, Lena hatches a plan to dress as a man and attempt to sell a fake Semper Augustus bulb, the rarest and most valuable tulip of the time, to the one merchant in town with the money to pay for it.

But when Lena meets the merchant’s daughter Elsje, she is smitten. And her plan to save her shop and her home is suddenly challenged, both by her heart putting down its roots, and also by questions about her own identity that emerge the longer she lives as a man…

Mackenzi Lee’s The Madness Blooms is perfect for the teen and adult fans of Jessie Burton (The Miniaturist)Tracy Chevalier (Girl with a Pearl Earring), Sarah Waters (Tipping the Velvet), and Ruta Sepetys (Salt to the Sea).

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Resurrection Girls- Ava Morgyn

44174348Olivia Foster hasn’t felt alive since her little brother drowned in the backyard pool three years ago. Then Kara Hallas moves in across the street with her mother and grandmother, and Olivia is immediately drawn to these three generations of women. Kara is particularly intoxicating, so much so that Olivia not only comes to accept Kara’s morbid habit of writing to men on death row, she helps her do it. They sign their letters as the Resurrection Girls.

But as Kara’s friendship pulls Olivia out of the dark fog she’s been living in, Olivia realizes that a different kind of darkness taints the otherwise lively Hallas women—an impulse that is strange, magical, and possibly deadly.

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 8/5/19

This week is a very exciting week for books and I can’t wait to start all of these.

What are you reading this week?

Ziggy, Stardust and Me- James Brandon

36472241. sy475 The year is 1973. The Watergate hearings are in full swing. The Vietnam War is still raging. And homosexuality is still officially considered a mental illness. In the midst of these trying times is sixteen-year-old Jonathan Collins, a bullied, anxious, asthmatic kid, who aside from an alcoholic father and his sympathetic neighbor and friend Starla, is completely alone. To cope, Jonathan escapes to the safe haven of his imagination, where his hero David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and dead relatives, including his mother, guide him through the rough terrain of his life. In his alternate reality, Jonathan can be anything: a superhero, an astronaut, Ziggy Stardust, himself, or completely “normal” and not a boy who likes other boys. When he completes his treatments, he will be normal—at least he hopes. But before that can happen, Web stumbles into his life. Web is everything Jonathan wishes he could be: fearless, fearsome and, most importantly, not ashamed of being gay.

Jonathan doesn’t want to like brooding Web, who has secrets all his own. Jonathan wants nothing more than to be “fixed” once and for all. But he’s drawn to Web anyway. Web is the first person in the real world to see Jonathan completely and think he’s perfect. Web is a kind of escape Jonathan has never known. For the first time in his life, he may finally feel free enough to love and accept himself as he is.

A poignant coming-of-age tale, Ziggy, Stardust and Me heralds the arrival of a stunning and important new voice in YA.

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Tunnel of Bones- Victoria Schwab

43319657Trouble is haunting Cassidy Blake . . . even more than usual.

She (plus her ghost best friend, Jacob, of course) are in Paris, where Cass’s parents are filming their TV show about the world’s most haunted cities. Sure, it’s fun eating croissants and seeing the Eiffel Tower, but there’s true ghostly danger lurking beneath Paris, in the creepy underground Catacombs.

When Cass accidentally awakens a frighteningly strong spirit, she must rely on her still-growing skills as a ghosthunter — and turn to friends both old and new to help her unravel a mystery. But time is running out, and the spirit is only growing stronger.

And if Cass fails, the force she’s unleashed could haunt the city forever.

#1 New York Times bestselling author Victoria Schwab returns to the spooky and heart-pounding world of City of Ghosts, delivering thrilling new adventures and an unforgettable spin on friendship. (Because sometimes, even psychic ghost best friends have secrets. . .)

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Slay- Brittney Morris

43723509By day, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is an honors student, a math tutor, and one of the only Black kids at Jefferson Academy. But at home, she joins hundreds of thousands of Black gamers who duel worldwide as Nubian personas in the secret multiplayer online role-playing card game, SLAY. No one knows Kiera is the game developer, not her friends, her family, not even her boyfriend, Malcolm, who believes video games are partially responsible for the “downfall of the Black man.”

But when a teen in Kansas City is murdered over a dispute in the SLAY world, news of the game reaches mainstream media, and SLAY is labeled a racist, exclusionist, violent hub for thugs and criminals. Even worse, an anonymous troll infiltrates the game, threatening to sue Kiera for “anti-white discrimination.”

Driven to save the only world in which she can be herself, Kiera must preserve her secret identity and harness what it means to be unapologetically Black in a world intimidated by Blackness. But can she protect her game without losing herself in the process?

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You Deserve Each Other- Sarah Hogle

46862557For fans of The Hating Game, a debut lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy about two unhappily engaged people each trying to force the other to end the relationship–and falling back in love in the process.

Naomi Westfield has an Instagram-perfect life, including the perfect fiancé: Nicholas Rose holds doors open for her, remembers her restaurant orders, and comes from the kind of upstanding society family every bride dreams of being a part of. They never fight, complain, or disagree. They’re preparing for their lavish wedding that’s three months away. And they are miserably and utterly sick of each other.

Tired of contorting herself to fit the ridiculous standards demanded by Nicholas’s family, Naomi wants out of the relationship. But there’s a catch: Whoever calls off the engagement will have to foot the enormous bill for the wedding. When Naomi finds out that Nicholas, too, has been feigning contentment, the two of them go head-to-head in a battle of wills to see who can annoy the other into surrendering through pranks, sabotage, and all-out emotional warfare.

But now that they have nothing to lose, they’re finally being themselves. They’re having so much fun getting on each other’s nerves that it starts to feel like something else entirely. As Naomi discovers hidden feelings for Nicholas buried under three years of simmering resentment, she wonders if he feels the same way. Suddenly, the countdown to the wedding that may or may not come to pass feels more like a race to mutual destruction–and Naomi doesn’t want to be left alone at the finish line.

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*Review* The Chain- Adrian McKinty

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You just dropped off your child at the bus stop. A panicked stranger calls your phone. Your child has been kidnapped, and the stranger explains that their child has also been kidnapped, by a completely different stranger. The only way to get your child back is to kidnap another child within 24 hours. Your child will be released only when the next victim’s parents kidnap yet another child, and most importantly, the stranger explains, if you don’t kidnap a child, or if the next parents don’t kidnap a child, your child will be murdered. You are now part of The Chain.

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“The Egyptians lived in a god-and-demon-infested world. There are demons here too, but they are human beings.”

This is every parent’s worst nightmare. You think your child is safe and then you get that dreaded call that your child has been kidnapped. That made this book intense, terrifying, and I just couldn’t stop reading it. It was really addicting even though it was seriously f***ed up.

You think your life is going good. You have a daughter you love unconditionally, you’ve had some great news about your health, and you just got a job that will change your life. And then you get a call that makes your life crash to the ground. Your daughter has been kidnapped and if you don’t follow every direction perfectly, you’ll break the chain and your daughter will die.

The panicked stranger tells you the rules. You have a short period of time to transfer a lot of money in bitcoins to an account on the dark web and then you have to complete the horrifying second part. You must kidnap another kid and relay those same terms to them. You have to pick someone that won’t go to the cops and break that chain. Any little slip will cause a chain reaction in children being murdered.

Now you must become a part of the chain to get your family back. Would you be strong enough to keep the chain intact? Or will you break that chain and cause chaos to your family and lots of others?

This book was completely insane. I didn’t know much about it until a friend mentioned it to me and I was instantly sold. It was morbid and made your skin crawl but there was something about it that I became obsessed with. The mystery was strong and it takes a bit to figure it out but once you do it is shocking.

The Chain is not for the faint of heart. This will be that book that haunts your dreams and makes you hug your children a little closer. It was unique and you won’t be able to put it down. It’s definitely an amazing read in dark sort of way but a must-read.

stacy

*Review* Pet Sematary- Stephen King

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Sometimes dead is better….

When the Creeds move into a beautiful old house in rural Maine, it all seems too good to be true: physician father, beautiful wife, charming little daughter, adorable infant son – and now an idyllic home. As a family, they’ve got it all… right down to the friendly cat. But the nearby woods hide a blood-chilling truth – more terrifying than death itself… and hideously more powerful.

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My Review:

“And the most terrifying question of all may be just how much horror the human mind can stand and still maintain a wakeful, staring, unrelenting sanity.”

I remember reading this when I was a lot younger and being scared out of my wits. To where I had to sleep with the lights on and not make eye contact as we drove by any Cemetery. As an adult, I didn’t think that this was that scary until the last thirty pages or so.

With a book like this, I’m more of a visual person. There are so many spooky elements that just need to be witnessed with actors and not words.

And I never realized that he referenced so many of his other works in this book. And let’s not forget his fond love of The Ramones!

Stephen King is the master of scaring the pants off of anyone and this one definitely delivers. There is something about the way he writes that would even bring fear to Poe himself.

Just a quick reminder, listen to your intuition, it will save your life one day!

stacy

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 4/1/19

Pet Sematary- Stephen King

832795When Louis Creed & his family move from Chicago into a beautiful old house in rural Maine, it all seems too good to be true: physician father, beautiful wife, charming little daughter, adorable infant son–and now an idyllic home. As a family, they’ve got it all…right down to the friendly cat.
The road in front of their home frequently claims the lives of neighborhood pets. Near their house, local children have created a cemetery for the dogs & cats killed by the steady stream of transports on the busy highway. Deeper in the woods lies another graveyard, an ancient Indian burial ground whose sinister properties Louis discovers when the family cat is killed.

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His Hideous Heart- Dahlia Adler

39127647Thirteen of YA’s most celebrated names reimagine Edgar Allan Poe’s most surprising, unsettling, and popular tales for a new generation.

Edgar Allan Poe may be a hundred and fifty years beyond this world, but the themes of his beloved works have much in common with modern young adult fiction. Whether the stories are familiar to readers or discovered for the first time, readers will revel in Edgar Allan Poe’s classic tales, and how they’ve been brought to life in 13 unique and unforgettable ways.

Contributors include Kendare Blake (reimagining “Metzengerstein”), Rin Chupeco (“The Murders in the Rue Morge”), Lamar Giles (“The Oval Portrait”), Tessa Gratton (“Annabel Lee”), Tiffany D. Jackson (“The Cask of Amontillado”), Stephanie Kuehn (“The Tell-Tale Heart”), Emily Lloyd-Jones (“The Purloined Letter”), Hillary Monahan (“The Masque of the Red Death”), Marieke Nijkamp (“Hop-Frog”), Caleb Roehrig (“The Pit and the Pendulum”), and Fran Wilde (“The Fall of the House of Usher”)

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Maybe This Time- Kasie West

41473823One year. Nine events. Nine chances to . . . fall in love?

Weddings. Funerals. Barbecues. New Year’s Eve parties. Name the occasion, and Sophie Evans will be there. Well, she has to be there. Sophie works for the local florist, so she can be found at every big event in her small hometown, arranging bouquets and managing family dramas.

Enter Andrew Hart. The son of the fancy new chef in town, Andrew is suddenly required to attend all the same events as Sophie. Entitled, arrogant, preppy Andrew. Sophie just wants to get her job done and finish up her sketches so she can apply to design school. But every time she turns around, there is Andrew, getting in her way and making her life more complicated. Until one day she wonders if maybe complicated isn’t so bad after all . . .

Told over the course of one year and following Sophie from event to event, this delightful novel from master of romantic comedy Kasie West shows how love can blossom in unexpected places.

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King of Fools- Amanda Foody

37545571Indulge your vices in the City of Sin, where a sinister street war is brewing and fame is the deadliest killer of them all…

On the quest to find her missing mother, prim and proper Enne Salta became reluctant allies with Levi Glaisyer, the city’s most famous con man. Saving his life in the Shadow Game forced Enne to assume the identity of Seance, a mysterious underworld figure. Now, with the Chancellor of the Republic dead and bounties on both their heads, she and Levi must play a dangerous game of crime and politics…with the very fate of New Reynes at stake.

Thirsting for his freedom and the chance to build an empire, Levi enters an unlikely partnership with Vianca Augustine’s estranged son. Meanwhile, Enne remains trapped by the mafia donna’s binding oath, playing the roles of both darling lady and cunning street lord, unsure which side of herself reflects the truth.

As Enne and Levi walk a path of unimaginable wealth and opportunity, new relationships and deadly secrets could quickly lead them into ruin. And when unforeseen players enter the game, they must each make an impossible choice: To sacrifice everything they’ve earned in order to survive…

Or die as legends.

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What are you reading this week?

stacy

 

*First Line Friday- 3/29/19* His Hideous Heart- Dahlia Adler

39127647Thirteen of YA’s most celebrated names reimagine Edgar Allan Poe’s most surprising, unsettling, and popular tales for a new generation.

Edgar Allan Poe may be a hundred and fifty years beyond this world, but the themes of his beloved works have much in common with modern young adult fiction. Whether the stories are familiar to readers or discovered for the first time, readers will revel in Edgar Allan Poe’s classic tales, and how they’ve been brought to life in 13 unique and unforgettable ways.

Contributors include Kendare Blake (reimagining “Metzengerstein”), Rin Chupeco (“The Murders in the Rue Morge”), Lamar Giles (“The Oval Portrait”), Tessa Gratton (“Annabel Lee”), Tiffany D. Jackson (“The Cask of Amontillado”), Stephanie Kuehn (“The Tell-Tale Heart”), Emily Lloyd-Jones (“The Purloined Letter”), Hillary Monahan (“The Masque of the Red Death”), Marieke Nijkamp (“Hop-Frog”), Caleb Roehrig (“The Pit and the Pendulum”), and Fran Wilde (“The Fall of the House of Usher”).

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“The night that the stables burned, the air turned cold and still as in the dead of winter.”

stacy

*Review* Verity- Colleen Hoover

43225180Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.

Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of what really happened the day her daughter died.

Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.

A standalone romantic thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover, releasing December 18th.

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My Review:

“What you read will taste so bad at times, you’ll want to spit it out, but you’ll swallow these words and they will become part of you, part of your gut, and you will hurt because of them.”

Colleen Hoover steps out of her comfort zone and brings a riveting thriller to the table. An unexpected tale that you won’t be able to put down. This is the best possible way to lose sleep.

Lowen is dealing with the aftermath of losing her Mother and is struggling to gain her ground as a writer. She gets the call of a lifetime to finish a mystery series for a very famous author who is no longer able to write due to an injury she suffered after her being involved in a car accident. She’s hesitant at first but the money that is offered it too hard to pass up. That money will save her from complete ruin.

She picks up her life and moves into the Crawford residence. Lowen has years and years of notes and scrap pieces of papers to go through to help her complete this series. Thinking maybe she can find an outline or any information that will help her in any way. What she stumbles upon is something that will make her start to question everything. It’s a manuscript for an autobiography by Verity Crawford.

Lowen decides to keep it a secret to save Jeremy (Verity’s Husband) from dealing with more grief. He already lost his twin girls in two separate accidents and now is helping take care of his wife who is confined to a bed or a wheelchair. But as Lowen reads on and starts falling in love with Jeremy, she contemplates showing him this morbid manuscript.

Will Jeremy learn the truth about his wife? Or will Lowen complete the series while biting her tongue?

This book was full of crazy twists and turns that I didn’t know where to look next. There are not enough words in this language to warn you about how morbid and disturbing this book was but I loved every single page. CoHo leaves her comfy space to bring you something dark and twisted. I never knew that she could write something like this and I hope she continues with this genre. She was made for the dark and disturbing.

Verity is a novel that will shock you and turn your blood cold. Everything in this book will make you rethink everything and to trust no one. This was so intense that I couldn’t put it down. Just be ready to be mind-blown and to have your mind scattered in a million different pieces. This will definitely be the page-turner of the year.

stacy