Book Review – Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman

May 27, 2016 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2016 1 Comment

I received this book free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – Girls on Fire by Robin WassermanGirls on Fire by Robin Wasserman
Published by Harper on May 17th 2016
Pages: 368
Genres: Contemporary, Coming-of-Age
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
Goodreads

two-half-stars

On Halloween, 1991, a popular high school basketball star ventures into the woods near Battle Creek, Pennsylvania, and disappears. Three days later, he’s found with a bullet in his head and a gun in his hand—a discovery that sends tremors through this conservative community, already unnerved by growing rumors of Satanic worship in the region.

In the wake of this incident, bright but lonely Hannah Dexter is befriended by Lacey Champlain, a dark-eyed, Cobain-worshiping bad influence in lip gloss and Doc Martens. The charismatic, seductive Lacey forges a fast, intimate bond with the impressionable Dex, making her over in her own image and unleashing a fierce defiance that neither girl expected. But as Lacey gradually lures Dex away from her safe life into a feverish spiral of obsession, rebellion, and ever greater risk, an unwelcome figure appears on the horizon—and Lacey’s secret history collides with Dex’s worst nightmare.

Like The Virgin Suicides or the novels of Elena Ferrante, Girls on Fire stalks the treacherous territory between girlhood and adulthood. By turns a shocking story of love and violence and an addictive portrait of the intoxication of female friendship, set against the unsettled backdrop of a town gripped by moral panic, it is an unflinching and unforgettable snapshot of girlhood: girls lost and found, girls strong and weak, girls who burn bright and brighter—and some who flicker away.

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‘Origin stories are irrelevant. Nothing matters less than how you were born. What matters is how you die, and how you live. We live for each other, so anything that got us to that point must have been right.’

Girls on Fire left me incredibly conflicted and I sat on my review for several weeks hoping that time would help elucidate my feelings. (It did not. Yet here I am.) Girls on Fire consists of the types of teenagers of a Megan Abbott novel; Dare Me is the one that immediately comes to mind. These teenagers are not the teenagers of a Sarah Dessen novel. They are crude and vulgar, whose actions go well beyond shocking and insulting. I was constantly bouncing back and forth between being impressed by their brazenness and appalled by their impudence. It was a bit exhausting.

‘I loved it. Loved it like Shakespearean sonnets and Hallmark cards and all that shit, like I wanted to buy it flowers and light it candles and fuck it gently with a chainsaw.’

Girls on Fire is set in the early 90s when Nirvana was at the top and Real World was everyone’s obsession. A small town in Pennsylvania is horrified after the supposed suicide of the town jock, Craig Ellison. No one thinks he could have done it but the evidence clearly proves otherwise. While the story begins with Craig’s death, and is constantly affected by it, the girls are center stage. Hannah Dexter is diffident and Lacey Champlain is fearless, so when Lacey takes “Dex” under her wing, their relationship becomes increasingly virulent the more time the duo spend together. Nikki Drummond is the requisite “mean girl” of the school and Lacey and Dex’s whole relationship is based off their shared hatred of her.

The writing was opulent and whenever the story lost me slightly in its meanderings, the writing always kept me enticed. The story though, there was something excessive and tiresome about the way these young women were written. Something superfluous about their actions and their demeanor in general. The relationship between Lacey and Dex was intense and so very exorbitant. It wasn’t that the writing didn’t properly portray their relationship with one another, but rather it was written with such detail that you became a part of them and a part of their relationship. The whole thing was distasteful and depleting and something that you definitely did not want to be a part of.

It’s a coming of age tale, about the metamorphose that, especially in individuals so young, can undergo because of the lives they’re forced to lead and the people they choose to surround themselves with. Bit by bit, each girls story unfolds and I once again found myself torn between how exactly I should be feeling. Despite my wavering opinion and low rating, this was certainly an audacious story to tell and is likely a very accurate portrayal (if a bit extreme) of female relationships and all the dark niches that are rarely exposed.

‘What matters isn’t how we found each other, Dex, or why. It’s that we did, and what happened next. Smash the right two particles together in the right way and you get a bomb. That’s us, Dex. Accidental fusion.’

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Audiobook Review – Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters by Mallory Ortberg

May 26, 2016 Bonnie Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Read in 2016 0 Comments

Audiobook Review – Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters by Mallory OrtbergTexts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters by Mallory Ortberg
Narrator: Zach Villa, Amy Landon
Published by Tantor Audio on January 21st 2015
Length: 2 hrs and 22 mins
Genres: Books-About-Books, Funny-ha-ha
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
Goodreads

four-stars

Mallory Ortberg, co-creator of the cult-favorite website The Toast, presents this whimsical collection of hysterical text conversations from your favorite literary characters.

Everyone knows that if Scarlett O'Hara had an unlimited text-and-data plan, she'd constantly try to tempt Ashley away from Melanie with suggestive messages. If Mr. Rochester could text Jane Eyre, his ardent missives would obviously be in all-caps. And Daisy Buchanan would not only text while driving, she'd text you to pick her up after she totaled her car.

Based on the popular Web feature, Texts from Jane Eyre is a witty, irreverent mash-up that brings the characters from your favorite books into the 21st century.

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Texts From Jane Eyre: the re-imagined conversations between literary characters if they all carried a smartphone. Sounds hilarious, but I admittedly didn’t have much interest in this initially because I feared far too much of this would go right over my head considering I’m quite ignorant of the vast majority of “classics”. I listened to a 60 second clip of this audiobook though and I was already cracking up so I decided to give this one a shot regardless. Texts From Jane Eyre goes beyond just Jane Eyre, portraying the likes of Odysseys and Circe, Edgar Allan Poe, Peter Pan, Harry Potter, and even the broody Achilles who contemplates the possibility of going home and being a farmer.

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As I mentioned, the majority of these stories did in fact go right over my head because like hell I’m attempting to read Atlas Shrugged. Or Moby Dick for that matter. I haven’t given up hope that I may actually conquer Gone with the Wind though. Despite my occasional confusion, the combined narration of Amy Landon and Zach Villa still managed to make this a vastly entertaining couple of hours (the audiobook is a mere 2h 22m long). The various different accents they implemented made this feel at times like a full cast narration. I downloaded the eBook as well in order to capture screen shots and I must say that while the passages were funny, having this read to you was an altogether different (and better) experience. A brief visit to sparknotes.com to get the gist of the classics did prove to be helpful if you wish to take the time to become quickly acquainted with the lesser known characters. As for the ones I did know that required no introduction, such as Sherlock, they were so hilariously and accurately depicted that I found myself rewinding and re-listening because I was often laughing too hard to hear the whole passage.

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Face cocaine. lol Other favorites were Ron telling Hermione about the magic “credit cards” he signed up for (Harry Potter), Peeta’s frosting emergency (Hunger Games), and the hilarious harassment via texting from Mrs. Danvers (Rebecca).

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Suffice it to say, I thoroughly enjoyed this one and highly recommend the audio edition (listen to a clip below!). Mallory Ortberg successfully added a modern flair and humor to literature’s most treasured characters, bringing them to life once again and reminding us what made them memorable in the first place.

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Waiting on Wednesday – Pasadena by Sherri L. Smith

May 25, 2016 Bonnie Waiting on Wednesday 3 Comments

Waiting on WednesdayWaiting on Wednesday – Pasadena by Sherri L. SmithPasadena by Sherri L. Smith
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on September 13th 2016
Pages: 240
Genres: Mystery
Format: Hardcover
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
Goodreads

Award-winning author Sherri L. Smith returns with a riveting, noir-style thriller, perfect for fans of E. Lockhart

Bad things happen everywhere. Even in the land of sun and roses.

When Jude’s best friend is found dead in a swimming pool, her family calls it an accident. Her friends call it suicide. But Jude calls it what it is: murder. And someone has to pay.

Now everyone is a suspect—family and friends alike. And Jude is digging up the past like bones from a shallow grave. Anything to get closer to the truth. But that’s the thing about secrets. Once they start turning up, nothing is sacred. And Jude’s got a few skeletons of her own.

In a homage to the great noir stories of Los Angeles, award-winning author Sherri L. Smith’s Pasadena is a tale of love, damage and salvation set against the backdrop of California’s City of Roses.

About Sherri L. Smith

Sherri L. Smith is the award-winning author of YA novels LUCY THE GIANT, SPARROW, HOT SOUR SALTY SWEET, FLYGIRL and ORLEANS. In October 2015, she makes her middle grade debut with THE TOYMAKER’S APPRENTICE from G.P. Putnam and Sons for Penguin Random House.

Sherri has worked in film, animation, comic books and construction. Her books have been listed as Amelia Bloomer, American Library Association Best Books for Young People, and Junior Library Guild Selections. FLYGIRL was the 2009 California Book Awards Gold Medalist.

She loves her family, travel, chocolate chip cookies, reading, and and a really good cup of tea.

While the comparison to We Were Liars is definitely off-putting (I was a black sheep with that one), I adored Orleans by this author enough to still be excited for this one.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine

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Something To Look Forward To – Week of May 23rd, 2016

May 23, 2016 Bonnie Something To Look Forward To 0 Comments

Something To Look Foward to
Here’s what’s releasing this week: a blend of YA, Adult and the occasional Middle Grade. Something for everyone to look forward to! All book purchase links go to their respective Amazon page.
Help support this blog and use the purchase links to get your copy!

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Week of May 23rd, 2016

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Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 24th 2016 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

The Last Star (The 5th Wave #3) by Rick Yancey [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 24th 2016 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Incriminated (Emancipated #2) by M. G. Reyes [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 24th 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books

26 Kisses by Anna Michels [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 24th 2016 by Simon Pulse

The Hunt (The Cage #2) by Megan Shepherd [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 24th 2016 by Balzer + Bray

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Please Don’t Tell by Laura Tims [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 24th 2016 by HarperTeen

The Safest Lies by Megan Miranda [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 24th 2016 by Crown Books for Young Readers

Exile for Dreamers (Stranje House #2) by Kathleen Baldwin [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 24th 2016 by Tor Teen

Return to the Isle of the Lost (Descendants #2) by Melissa de la Cruz [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 24th 2016 by Disney-Hyperion

The Lost Compass (The Fog Diver #2) by Joel N. Ross [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 24th 2016 by HarperCollins

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The City of Mirrors: A Novel (The Passage #3) by Justin Cronin [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 24th 2016 by Ballantine Books

A Blade of Black Steel (The Crimson Empire #2) by Alex Marshall [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 24th 2016 by Orbit

The Sorcerer’s Daughter (The Defenders of Shannara #3) by Terry Brooks [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 24th 2016 by Del Rey

Seven Days Dead (The Storm Murders Trilogy #2) by John Farrow [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 24th 2016 by Minotaur Books

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Deep Dark (Tracers #10) by Laura Griffin [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 24th 2016 by Pocket Books

Haunted Destiny (Krewe of Hunters #18) by Heather Graham [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 24th 2016 by Mira

The Wolf of Sarajevo by Matthew Palmer [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 24th 2016 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons

A Game for All the Family by Sophie Hannah [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 24th 2016 by William Morrow

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Smoke: A Novel by Dan Vyleta [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 24th 2016 by Doubleday

The 100 Year Miracle: A Novel by Ashley Ream [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 24th 2016 by Flatiron Books

Marlene: A Novel by C.W. Gortner [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 24th 2016 by William Morrow

Flight Patterns by Karen White [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 24th 2016 by NAL

People Who Knew Me by Kim Hooper [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 24th 2016 by St. Martin’s Press

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Dear Fang, With Love: A novel by Rufi Thorpe [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 24th 2016 by Knopf

Happy Family by Tracy Barone [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 24th 2016 by Lee Boudreaux Books

The Children by Ann Leary [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 24th 2016 by St. Martin’s Press

Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 24th 2016 by Knopf

This Too Shall Pass: A Novel by Milena Busquets [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 24th 2016 by Hogarth

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Stacking the Shelves (139)

May 22, 2016 Bonnie Sunday Book Haul 2 Comments

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Hello, everyone! It’s been a while, I know. I went on vacation last week and brought back a whole bunch of books. Realized it had just been a few… months… since I did my last Stacking the Shelves so here I am. But vacation! I had a fantastic time visiting my mom and my brother in Montana. I flew out on Saturday morning 5/7 and was supposed to get there by noon but had a 9 hour layover because I missed my connection. Salt Lake City airport is pretty lame, in case you were wondering. We stayed pretty busy though going to zoos, and nature centers, and shopping, and visiting a neat little candy shop in Red Lodge. I posted a whole bunch of pictures on my instagram if you’re interested. 🙂

Alllllll the candy. Red Lodge, Montana. #jungleadventure #vacationtime

A photo posted by @missbonnie13 on

But on to the books. I’d been keeping a running list of all the new books I got over the weeks so there are a few (I’m being modest-there’s a shit ton.)

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eBook Purchases

The Cider House Rules by John Irving
The Stand by Stephen King
Through the Smoke by Brenda Novak
Harvest Home: A Novel by Thomas Tryon
Smut: A Standalone Romantic Comedy by Karina Halle
Misery by Stephen King
Spoon River Anthology: 100th Anniversary Edition by Edgar Lee Masters
Coldheart Canyon by Clive Barker
The Marauders by Tom Cooper
The New Hunger (Warm Bodies #1.5) by Isaac Marion

Physical Purchases/Gifted

Apathy and Other Small Victories by Paul Neilan
The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys (Thanks, Wendy!)
The Everything Box
 by Richard Kadrey (signed!)

These came gifted from my mommy in recent weeks and the rest I picked up while visiting her on my trip:

The Thief of Always by Clive Barker
Galveston by Nic Pizzolatto
The Plague by Albert Camus
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
I Feel Bad about My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman by Nora Ephron
I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections by Nora Ephron
The Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter #2) by Thomas Harris
Song of Susannah (The Dark Tower #6) by Stephen King
The Dark Tower (The Dark Tower #7) by Stephen King
The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon #2) by Dan Brown

(not pictured — got left in some forgotten stack at my mom’s house)
Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table by Ruth Reichl
Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates by David Cordingly

ARCs For Review

The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart by Lauren DeStefano
The Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth J. Church
The Girls by Emma Cline
Dodgers by Bill Beverly
The Last One by Alexandra Oliva
The Sunlight Pilgrims: A Novel by Jenni Fagan
Good as Gone by Amy Gentry
The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin

eARCs/Audios

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The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis
Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
The Perdition Score (Sandman Slim #8) by Richard Kadrey
Highway to Hell (Zombie Apocalypse #2)
 by Max Brallier
(audio) Deceptive Cadence (The Virtuosic Spy #1) by Kathryn Guare

Phew! Much thanks to all the publishers. Truly, you spoil me.

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Waiting on Wednesday – The Creeping Shadow (Lockwood & Co. #4) by Jonathan Stroud

May 18, 2016 Bonnie Waiting on Wednesday 2 Comments

Waiting on WednesdayWaiting on Wednesday – The Creeping Shadow (Lockwood & Co. #4) by Jonathan StroudThe Creeping Shadow by Jonathan Stroud
Series: Lockwood & Co. #4
Published by Disney Hyperion on September 13th 2016
Pages: 464
Genres: Ghosties, Horror
Format: Hardcover
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
Goodreads

After leaving Lockwood & Co. at the end of The Hollow Boy, Lucy is a freelance operative, hiring herself out to agencies that value her ever-improving skills. One day she is pleasantly surprised by a visit from Lockwood, who tells her he needs a good Listener for a tough assignment. Penelope Fittes, the leader of the giant Fittes Agency wants them--and only them--to locate and remove the Source for the legendary Brixton Cannibal. They succeed in their very dangerous task, but tensions remain high between Lucy and the other agents. Even the skull in the jar talks to her like a jilted lover. What will it take to reunite the team? Black marketeers, an informant ghost, a Spirit Cape that transports the wearer, and mysteries involving Steve Rotwell and Penelope Fittes just may do the trick. But, in a shocking cliffhanger ending, the team learns that someone has been manipulating them all along. . . .

About Jonathan Stroud

Jonathan Anthony Stroud is an author of fantasy books, mainly for children and youths.

Jonathan grew up in St Albans where he enjoyed reading books, drawing pictures, and writing stories. Between the ages seven and nine he was often ill, so he spent most of his days in the hospital or in his bed at home. To escape boredom he would occupy himself with books and stories. After he completed his studies of English literature at the University of York, he worked in London as an editor for the Walker Books store. He worked with different types of books there and this soon led to the writing of his own books. During the 1990s, he started publishing his own works and quickly gained success.

Jonathan is the author of the bestselling Bartimaeus Trilogy as well as Lockwood & Co. from Disney-Hyperion.

It’s rare that I’m able to keep up with series releases these days but these books are so damn good that I’m willing to drop everything when a new one comes out. The summary kills me though. ANOTHER cliffhanger?! Stroud, come on man. You’re killing me.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine

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Top Ten Tuesday – Picked at Random

May 17, 2016 Bonnie Top Ten Tuesday 4 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

The vast majority of books I read these days I only pick up based on recommendations. Even review books, by the time I get around to them at least someone has read it. But once, there was a time, before Goodreads and blogging, where I picked up books just because (and sometimes even without reading the summary!) Fortunately my spontaneous decision making paid off for these.

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Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate) by Amy Thomas [Review]
There are vast quantities of books about Paris and I’ve read a few of them. This one is less about actual Paris and more about the delicious foods to be found there. Being such a huge fan of foodie fiction, this one was quite a delight.

The Beautiful Indifference: Stories by Sarah Hall [Review]
This was one of those rare, randomly picked review copies. I had not only never heard of this author but commonly avoid short story collections more than anything. Something made me pick this one up anyways (I blame it on the interesting cover) but I fell completely in love with this authors writing.

Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield [Review]
The funny thing about this one was I still decided to read it even though the vast majority of my blogger friends didn’t care for this one in the least. It’s always fun being the black sheep, but loving it when everyone didn’t.

Christmas at Tiffany’s: A Novel (At Tiffany’s #1) by Karen Swan [Review]
Every year, I convince myself that this is going to be the year that I read a bunch of holiday romances. I don’t know why, but I keep thinking it’ll totally be my thing. (It’s not.) But this one was damn adorable and I’m glad I took the chance on it.

Craving Perfect by Liz Fichera [Review]
When I usually pick a book at random, it’s from the library. I don’t like taking chances with review books that nobody has read and I haven’t heard a single thing about. This one hilarious and a ton of fun to read. To this day I still laugh in thinking about this one because magic treadmills.

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Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind
I picked this up at random in a bookstore when I was in high school (way before my Goodreads/blogging days). It wasn’t a genre I typically read in those days but it is one of my all-time favorites to this day.

A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle #1) by Libba Bray
This is another all-time favorite, pre-Goodreads/blogging days that has stuck with me. I did a re-read in recent years despite my nervousness that it wouldn’t hold up to my memories; it did.

The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton
I vividly remember reading this on a plane trip to visit my grandpa in Kentucky when I couldn’t have been older than 13. It was my first Crichton and is the book I blame for my ongoing fascination with books about plagues and pandemics.

Forever and the Night (Vampire #1) by Linda Lael Miller
This was my first ever paranormal romance book (picked up in the same bookstore that I found Perfume in, ha). The cheese is strong (I recently re-read bits of the first one) but it’s a classic (1993!) and I’ll always have fond memories of this series.

Triangles by Ellen Hopkins [Review]
This was my first verse novel and first book by Ellen Hopkins. I hadn’t even grasped the immense popularity of Hopkins (or even realized she lived like 30 minutes away from me). I’ve gone on to read many more by her and am always anxiously awaiting her next book.

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Something To Look Forward To – Week of May 16th, 2016

May 16, 2016 Bonnie Something To Look Forward To 0 Comments

Something To Look Foward to
Here’s what’s releasing this week: a blend of YA, Adult and the occasional Middle Grade. Something for everyone to look forward to! All book purchase links go to their respective Amazon page.
Help support this blog and use the purchase links to get your copy!

_________________________________________________

Week of May 16th, 2016

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Circle of Jinn (Becoming Jinn #2) by Lori Goldstein [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by Feiwel and Friends

Places No One Knows by Brenna Yovanoff [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by Delacorte Press

Love Charms and Other Catastrophes (Grimbaud #2) by Kimberly Karalius [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by Swoon Reads

The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by Harlequin Teen

Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories by Stephanie Perkins [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by St. Martin’s Griffin

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Breakfast with Neruda by Laura Moe [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 16th 2016 by Merit Press

It Wasn’t Always Like This by Joy Preble [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by Soho Teen

Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz & Kat Helgeson [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by Chronicle Books

Roses and Rot by Kat Howard [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by Saga Press

100 Days of Cake by Shari Goldhagen [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers

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Silence Is Goldfish by Annabel Pitcher [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You by Lily Anderson [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by St. Martin’s Griffin

Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by HarperTeen

Draw the Line by Laurent Linn [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

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Spark by Holly Schindler [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by HarperTeen

The Search for the Homestead Treasure: A Mystery by Ann Treacy [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 19th 2016 by Univ Of Minnesota Press

What Elephants Know by Eric Dinerstein [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by Disney-Hyperion

Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

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The Fireman by Joe Hill [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by William Morrow

Divine Descendant (Nikki Glass #4) by Jenna Black [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 16th 2016 by Pocket Star

Lost and Gone Forever (Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad #5) by Alex Grecian [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Warlock Holmes – A Study in Brimstone by G.S. Denning [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by Titan Books

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Shadows in Summerland by Adrian Van Young [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by ChiZine Publications

The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by Redhook

The Summon Stone by Ian Irvine [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by Orbit

Runtime by S.B. Divya [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by Tor.com

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In the Clearing (Tracy Crosswhite #3) by Robert Dugoni [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by Thomas & Mercer

Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by MIRA

Beyond the Ice Limit (Gideon Crew #4) by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by Grand Central Publishing

Fractured State (Fractured State Series #1) by Steven Konkoly [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by Thomas & Mercer

Blood Flag (Paul Madriani #14) by Steve Martini [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by William Morrow

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Girls on Fire: A Novel by Robin Wasserman [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by Harper

Nitro Mountain: A novel by Lee Clay Johnson [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by Alfred A. Knopf

The Sky Over Lima by Juan Gómez Bárcena [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

The After Party by Anton DiSclafani [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by Riverhead Books

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A Country Road, A Tree: A Novel by Jo Baker [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by Knopf

At the Edge of Summer by Jessica Brockmole [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by Ballantine Books

The Fat Artist and Other Stories by Benjamin Hale [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by Simon & Schuster

The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by St. Martin’s Press

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Waiting on Wednesday – The Graveyard Apartment: A Novel by Mariko Koike

May 11, 2016 Bonnie Waiting on Wednesday 2 Comments

Waiting on WednesdayWaiting on Wednesday – The Graveyard Apartment: A Novel by Mariko KoikeThe Graveyard Apartment: A Novel by Mariko Koike
Published by Thomas Dunne Books on October 11th 2016
Pages: 336
Genres: Horror
Format: Hardcover
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A terrifying tale of a young family who moves into an apartment building next to a graveyard, and the horrors that are unleashed upon them.

One of the most popular writers working in Japan today, Mariko Koike is a recognized master of detective fiction and horror writing. Known in particular for her hybrid works that blend these styles with elements of romance, The Graveyard Apartment is arguably Koike’s masterpiece. Originally published in Japan in 1986, Koike’s novel is the suspenseful tale of a young family that believes it has found the perfect home to grow into, only to realize that the apartment’s idyllic setting harbors the specter of evil and that the longer they stay, the more trapped they become.

This tale of a young married couple who harbor a dark secret is packed with dread and terror, as they and their daughter move into a brand new apartment building built next to a graveyard. As strange and terrifying occurrences begin to pile up, people in the building start to move out one by one, until the young family is left alone with someone... or something... lurking in the basement. The psychological horror builds moment after moment, scene after scene, culminating with a conclusion that will make you think twice before ever going into a basement again.

About Mariko Koike

Mariko Koike graduated from the Department of Literature at Tokyo’s Seikei University, then worked as an editor at a publishing firm before quitting to become a freelance writer. In 1978 her essay collection Chiteki akujo no susume (On Being an Intellectual Woman of the World) was a huge bestseller, and overnight she became a darling of the mass media. She subsequently turned to fiction, making her debut as a novelist in 1985. She won the Mystery Writers of Japan Award for Short Stories in 1989 for her collection Tsuma no onna tomodachi (My Wife’s Girlfriends). Though she initially established herself as a master of horror and suspense, her writing style underwent a transformation during the nineties as she began producing love stories influenced by the work of Yukio Mishima, including Mubansō (tr. A Cappella), Koi (Love; winner of the 1995 Naoki Prize), and Yokubō (Desire; winner of the 1998 Shimase Award for Love Stories), often referred to as her “love trilogy.” She was awarded the Shibata Renzaburō Award in 2006 for her novel Niji no kanata (Beyond the Rainbow), the MEXT Award for the Arts in 2012 for Ichijiku no mori (Fig Forest), and the Yoshikawa Eiji Prize for Literature in 2013 for Chinmoku no hito (The Silent One). Besides having a very deep backlist of top-notch entertainments, she is also known as a master of the short story and has published many collections, including Minazuki no haka (June Grave) and Yoru no nezame (Waking in the Night). She is married to fellow writer Yoshinaga Fujita.

This is an old one (originally published in 1986) that is only just now being translated and made available in the United States. Sounds damn creepy though and extremely good.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine

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Early Review – The Fireman: A Novel by Joe Hill

May 10, 2016 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2016 2 Comments

I received this book free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – The Fireman: A Novel by Joe HillThe Fireman: A Novel by Joe Hill
Published by William Morrow on May 17th 2016
Pages: 608
Genres: Horror
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
Goodreads

three-half-stars

From the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of NOS4A2 and Heart-Shaped Box comes a chilling novel about a worldwide pandemic of spontaneous combustion that threatens to reduce civilization to ashes and a band of improbable heroes who battle to save it, led by one powerful and enigmatic man known as the Fireman.

The fireman is coming. Stay cool.

No one knows exactly when it began or where it originated. A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, striking cities one by one: Boston, Detroit, Seattle. The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton. To everyone else it’s Dragonscale, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies—before causing them to burst into flames. Millions are infected; blazes erupt everywhere. There is no antidote. No one is safe.

Harper Grayson, a compassionate, dedicated nurse as pragmatic as Mary Poppins, treated hundreds of infected patients before her hospital burned to the ground. Now she’s discovered the telltale gold-flecked marks on her skin. When the outbreak first began, she and her husband, Jakob, had made a pact: they would take matters into their own hands if they became infected. To Jakob’s dismay, Harper wants to live—at least until the fetus she is carrying comes to term. At the hospital, she witnessed infected mothers give birth to healthy babies and believes hers will be fine too. . . if she can live long enough to deliver the child.

Convinced that his do-gooding wife has made him sick, Jakob becomes unhinged, and eventually abandons her as their placid New England community collapses in terror. The chaos gives rise to ruthless Cremation Squads—armed, self-appointed posses roaming the streets and woods to exterminate those who they believe carry the spore. But Harper isn’t as alone as she fears: a mysterious and compelling stranger she briefly met at the hospital, a man in a dirty yellow fire fighter’s jacket, carrying a hooked iron bar, straddles the abyss between insanity and death. Known as The Fireman, he strolls the ruins of New Hampshire, a madman afflicted with Dragonscale who has learned to control the fire within himself, using it as a shield to protect the hunted . . . and as a weapon to avenge the wronged.

In the desperate season to come, as the world burns out of control, Harper must learn the Fireman’s secrets before her life—and that of her unborn child—goes up in smoke.

style-3 (3) review

“There’s something horribly unfair about dying in the middle of a good story, before you have a chance to see how it all comes out. Of course, I suppose everyone ALWAYS dies in the middle of a good story, in a sense. Your own story. Or the story of your grandchildren. Death is a raw deal for narrative junkies.”

In my opinion, post-apocalyptic fiction could easily be considered a sub-genre of horror so it only makes sense for Joe Hill to be tackling it. In Hill’s version of the apocalypse, the world has drastically changed after a spore begins spreading that is quite literally burning everything (and everyone) to the ground. It’s known as Draco Incendia Trychophyton, or more commonly known as Dragonscale. The infected show signs on their skin in black and gold dragon scales which could be considered beautiful were it not for the fact it causes people, and those in close proximity, to spontaneously combust. Harper Grayson is a school nurse who begins volunteering at the local hospital at least until it too burns down. She returns home to her husband, Jakob, only to discover shortly after that she’s pregnant. Harper is intent on keeping the baby, convinced she’d be able to give birth to a healthy child, but Jakob disagrees and becomes exceedingly violent. Harper is forced to find a new safe place to see this pregnancy through which ends in a chance meeting with The Fireman, a man who straddles the line between hero and villain.

“Do you spend a lot of nights keeping the fire department in hysterics with creative acts of arson?”
“Everyone needs a hobby,” he said.

This was an immense and time-consuming book, however, if you’ve read a Joe Hill book before you know that the man can’t seem to write a bad book. While this one was not nearly my favorite (that award goes to Heart Shaped Box, always) it’s always fascinating to see a well-loved author tackle a new genre and watch the world he created unfold. He also once again proves his talents for writing fantastic female characters. Merrin Williams in Horns, Victoria McQueen in NOS4A2, and now Harper Grayson in The Fireman. Where he really excelled though was with his created contagion, Dragonscale, and how it was built up and developed far more than most end of world diseases I’ve read about. Typically, stories such as these have a failure of sufficiently developing what led to the downfall of civilization and instead focuses on the world after instead. I could easily compare the time spent explaining and detailing Dragonscale (including the origins and scientific explanations) to how flawlessly Mira Grant handled Kellis Amberlee in her Newsflesh trilogy.

‘Her Dragonscale pulsed with a disagreeable warmth, in a way that made her think of someone breathing on coals.’

Camp Wyndham ends up being Harper’s “safe” place for her to continue her pregnancy but once she arrives there the pacing of the book seemed to suffer. Camp drama, strange religious aspects that are pretty standard for any end of world story, and various other plot lines were ongoing but I felt that much of it was often superfluous and ultimately never amounted to much when you consider how much time was spent exploring said plots. I applaud his effort for writing such a tome, but alas, I feel it could have been trimmed down just a bit. There was also the requisite yet under-developed bad guy that I’ve already mentioned: Jakob. To summarize, Jakob was a big bag of dicks.

“I’ve never once met a woman who had any true intellectual rigor. There’s a reason things like Facebook and airplanes and all the other great inventions of our time were made by men.”

And that’s just one example. Basically, he went a little psycho after he discovered Harper had contracted Dragonscale. They had touched one another in recent days so he became a hypochondriac, convinced that she had also infected him and sentenced him to his death. I felt that there wasn’t enough basis for him as a villain and wanted a bit more backstory to find out how his perverse mind worked, even though I doubt it would have been an enjoyable experience.

Hill created a most enticing world full of love, bravery, and adventure in The Fireman. He also set the tone for possible future installments. I’ll admit, I did groan a bit because that’s just what this world needs more of: series. But this is Joe Hill, and I can’t not be curious.

 

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