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?

sword divider

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.

IMG_2250

sword divider

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.

IMG_2250

sword divider

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.

IMG_2250

sword divider

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?

IMG_2250

*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.

IMG_2250

“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.

IMG_2250

sword divider

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? 3/2/20

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

What are you reading this week?

sword divider

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….

IMG_2250

sword divider

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.

IMG_2250

sword divider

Camp Spirit- Axelle Lenoir

51317103

 

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.

IMG_2250

sword divider

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.

IMG_2250

*Book Review* Light as a Feather- Zoe Aarsen

40974247. sy475

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.

IMG_2250

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

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 11/25/19

Happy Thanksgiving week!!!

This week will be a small reading week due to the holiday.

I’ll be reading a Riverdale book since I’ve been obsessed with that show lately and a book from an author who I’ve never read from before.

What are you reading?

sword divider

Riverdale: Get Out of Town- Micol Ostow

46155200. sy475 When Archie, Betty, Veronica and Jughead take a road trip, they discover that their small-town problems seem to follow them wherever they go.

Archie’s on trial for murder, and the evidence is stacked against him. Betty, Veronica, and Jughead all know that Archie is being framed by Hiram Lodge, but how can they prove it?

The gang comes up with a last-ditch plan to prove Archie’s innocence: They have to go back to the scene of the crime. They have to go back to Shadow Lake.

Threats are around every corner deep in the woods at the Lodge family cabin. Will the teens find the evidence they need to clear Archie’s name? And more importantly, will they make it back to Riverdale alive?

IMG_2250

sword divider

Call Down the Hawk- Maggie Stiefvater

31373184The dreamers walk among us . . . and so do the dreamed. Those who dream cannot stop dreaming – they can only try to control it. Those who are dreamed cannot have their own lives – they will sleep forever if their dreamers die.

And then there are those who are drawn to the dreamers. To use them. To trap them. To kill them before their dreams destroy us all.

Ronan Lynch is a dreamer. He can pull both curiosities and catastrophes out of his dreams and into his compromised reality.

Jordan Hennessy is a thief. The closer she comes to the dream object she is after, the more inextricably she becomes tied to it.

Carmen Farooq-Lane is a hunter. Her brother was a dreamer . . . and a killer. She has seen what dreaming can do to a person. And she has seen the damage that dreamers can do. But that is nothing compared to the destruction that is about to be unleashed. . . .

IMG_2250

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 11/4/19

I didn’t read as much as I wanted to last week. So this week I’m reading something that I started on Friday and some arcs that I received in the mail.

What are you reading this week?

sword 2

The Institute- Stephen King

48284797. sy475 From #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephen King, the most riveting and unforgettable story of kids confronting evil since It—publishing just as the second part of It, the movie, lands in theaters.

In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis’s parents and load him into a black SUV. The operation takes less than two minutes. Luke will wake up at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents—telekinesis and telepathy—who got to this place the same way Luke did: Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and ten-year-old Avery Dixon. They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half, “like the roach motel,” Kalisha says. “You check in, but you don’t check out.”

In this most sinister of institutions, the director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extranormal gifts. There are no scruples here. If you go along, you get tokens for the vending machines. If you don’t, punishment is brutal. As each new victim disappears to Back Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help. But no one has ever escaped from the Institute.

As psychically terrifying as Firestarter, and with the spectacular kid power of It, The Institute is Stephen King’s gut-wrenchingly dramatic story of good vs. evil in a world where the good guys don’t always win.

IMG_2250

sword 2

Jane Anonymous- Laurie Faria Stolarz

37650881. sy475 Bestselling author Laurie Faria Stolarz returns with Jane Anonymous, a gripping tale of a seventeen-year-old girl’s kidnapping and her struggle to fit back into her life after she escapes.

Then, “Jane” was just your typical 17-year-old in a typical New England suburb getting ready to start her senior year. She had a part-time job she enjoyed, an awesome best friend, overbearing but loving parents, and a crush on a boy who was taking her to see her favorite band. She never would’ve imagined that in her town where nothing ever happens, a series of small coincidences would lead to a devastating turn of events that would forever change her life.

Now, it’s been three months since “Jane” escaped captivity and returned home. Three months of being that girl who was kidnapped, the girl who was held by a “monster.” Three months of writing down everything she remembered from those seven months locked up in that stark white room. But, what if everything you thought you knew―everything you thought you experienced―turned out to be a lie?

IMG_2250

 

sword 2Find Me Their Bones- Sara Wolf

41085224No one can save her.

In order to protect Prince Lucien d’Malvane’s heart, Zera had to betray him. Now, he hates the sight of her. Trapped in Cavanos as a prisoner of the king, she awaits the inevitable moment her witch severs their magical connection and finally ends her life.

But fate isn’t ready to give her up just yet.

With freedom coming from the most unlikely of sources, Zera is given a second chance at life as a Heartless. But it comes with a terrible price. As the king mobilizes his army to march against the witches, Zera must tame an elusive and deadly valkerax trapped in the tunnels underneath the city if she wants to regain her humanity.

Winning over a bloodthirsty valkerax? Hard. Winning back her friends before war breaks out? A little harder.

But a Heartless winning back Prince Lucien’s heart?

The hardest thing she’s ever done.

IMG_2250