Posts By: Bonnie

Bonnie

Lover of tea. Crazed Bibliophile. Daydreamer.
I have a ridiculous love for the written word. I read anything and everything: Adult fiction, YA, Middle Grade, even the occasional Non-Fiction.

When I'm not reading I'm caring for my step-children, drinking obscene amounts of tea and contemplating what life will be like in the impending apocalypse.

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Friday Favorites | Fictional Friendships

March 22, 2019 Bonnie Friday Favorites 2 Comments

Friendships seem like they’d be a staple item in books but that’s not always the case. A great friendship makes for a great read and these were the first five of my favorites that popped into my head.

First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson #1) by Darynda Jones | Charley and Cookie
The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1) by Rick Riordan | Percy and Grover
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell | Jennifer and Beth
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth E. Wein | Maddie and Queenie
The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater | Blue and the boys

What are some of your favorite fictional friendships?

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Life’s Too Short – Polaris Rising, Sherwood, Old Baggage

March 21, 2019 Bonnie 2019, Adult, Book Reviews, Life's Too Short, YA 10 Comments

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

Life’s Too Short – Polaris Rising, Sherwood, Old BaggagePolaris Rising by Jessie Mihalik
Series: Consortium Rebellion #1
Published by Harper Voyager on February 5, 2019
Pages: 431
Genres: Sci-fi
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Audible
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A space princess on the run and a notorious outlaw soldier become unlikely allies in this imaginative, sexy space opera adventure—the first in an exciting science fiction trilogy.

In the far distant future, the universe is officially ruled by the Royal Consortium, but the High Councillors, the heads of the three High Houses, wield the true power. As the fifth of six children, Ada von Hasenberg has no authority; her only value to her High House is as a pawn in a political marriage. When her father arranges for her to wed a noble from House Rockhurst, a man she neither wants nor loves, Ada seizes control of her own destiny. The spirited princess flees before the betrothal ceremony and disappears among the stars.

Ada eluded her father’s forces for two years, but now her luck has run out. To ensure she cannot escape again, the fiery princess is thrown into a prison cell with Marcus Loch. Known as the Devil of Fornax Zero, Loch is rumored to have killed his entire chain of command during the Fornax Rebellion, and the Consortium wants his head.

When the ship returning them to Earth is attacked by a battle cruiser from rival House Rockhurst, Ada realizes that if her jilted fiancé captures her, she’ll become a political prisoner and a liability to her House. Her only hope is to strike a deal with the dangerous fugitive: a fortune if he helps her escape.

But when you make a deal with an irresistibly attractive Devil, you may lose more than you bargained for . . .

DNF @ 33%

My hopes were high when I first saw this title for two reasons. 1. I’m always looking for my next Fortune’s Pawn (because that book was hands down amazing) and this one sounded like it had the potential to come close and 2. the amazing blurb on the front cover from my favorite duo: Ilona Andrews.

Image result for whaaaat gif

Runaway space princess, badass and dangerous male lead, and of course, space. This really did have all the elements of a story I would normally love but there was something off about it for me, although, I attributed it to the impending book slump I felt creeping up on me. I got to about 1/3 read before I realized that it still wasn’t doing it for me and that despite having everything I should loveit felt too mechanical as if the story was following a tried and true formula that so many books before it have used and its heart just wasn’t in it.

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.

Life’s Too Short – Polaris Rising, Sherwood, Old BaggageSherwood by Meagan Spooner
Published by HarperTeen on March 19, 2019
Pages: 480
Genres: Fairy-Tales/Retellings
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
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Also by this author: Hunted, Unearthed

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Robin of Locksley is dead.

Maid Marian doesn’t know how she’ll go on, but the people of Locksley town, persecuted by the Sheriff of Nottingham, need a protector. And the dreadful Guy of Gisborne, the Sheriff’s right hand, wishes to step into Robin’s shoes as Lord of Locksley and Marian’s fiancé.

Who is there to stop them?

Marian never meant to tread in Robin’s footsteps—never intended to stand as a beacon of hope to those awaiting his triumphant return. But with a sweep of his green cloak and the flash of her sword, Marian makes the choice to become her own hero: Robin Hood.

DNF @ 20%

I’m a huuuuuge Robin Hood fan so I was thrilled to find out about this gender-bent version where Maid Marian takes up where Robin left off following his death. A badass Maid Marian, what could possibly go wrong? Oh wait, I spoke too soon.

Plotwise, practically nothing seems to transpire in the 20% I managed to read (and considering this book is a hefty 480 pages, that’s damn near 100 pages. Something should have happened.) And the highly anticipated badass Maid Marian? Instead of badass, she was just perfect at everything and we were constantly reminded how much better she was than even Robin. There’s confidence but then there’s just being a pompous ass and that’s exactly where Maid Marian ended up on the spectrum.

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

Life’s Too Short – Polaris Rising, Sherwood, Old BaggageOld Baggage by Lissa Evans
Published by Harper Perennial on April 16, 2019
Pages: 320
Genres: Historical Fiction
Format: ARC
Source: Library Thing
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Goodreads

Also by this author: Crooked Heart: A Novel

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The author of the acclaimed Crooked Heart returns with a comic, charming, and surprisingly timely portrait of a once pioneering suffragette trying to find her new passion in post-WWI era London.

1928. Riffling through a cupboard, Matilda Simpkin comes across a small wooden club—an old possession that she hasn’t seen for more than a decade. Immediately, memories come flooding back to Mattie—memories of a thrilling past, which only further serve to remind her of her chafingly uneventful present. During the Women's Suffrage Campaign, she was a militant who was jailed five times and never missed an opportunity to return to the fray. Now in middle age, the closest she gets to the excitement of her old life is the occasional lecture on the legacy of the militant movement.

After running into an old suffragette comrade who has committed herself to the wave of Fascism, Mattie realizes there is a new cause she needs to fight for and turns her focus to a new generation of women. Thus the Amazons are formed, a group created to give girls a place to not only exercise their bodies but their minds, and ignite in young women a much-needed interest in the world around them. But when a new girl joins the group, sending Mattie’s past crashing into her present, every principle Mattie has ever stood for is threatened.

Old Baggage is a funny and bittersweet portrait of a woman who has never given up the fight and the young women who are just discovering it.

 

DNF @ 10%

The story of an elderly suffragette who now leaves a comfortable life decides to leave that comfort behind and get out there and continue to make a difference. Maybe I didn’t give it long enough but such a powerful subject matter needed to be more engaging. The writing was well done and the historical research was evident but it was unfortunately a bit dry.

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Waiting on Wednesday – Wanderers by Chuck Wendig

March 20, 2019 Bonnie Waiting on Wednesday 4 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday – Wanderers by Chuck WendigWanderers by Chuck Wendig
Published by Del Rey Books on July 2, 2019
Pages: 800
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic
Format: Hardcover
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Audible
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A decadent rock star. A deeply religious radio host. A disgraced scientist. And a teenage girl who may be the world's last hope. In the tradition of The Stand and Station Eleven comes a gripping saga that weaves an epic tapestry of humanity into an astonishing tale of survival.

Shana wakes up one morning to discover her little sister in the grip of a strange malady. She appears to be sleepwalking. She cannot talk and cannot be woken up. And she is heading with inexorable determination to a destination that only she knows. But Shana and are sister are not alone. Soon they are joined by a flock of sleepwalkers from across America, on the same mysterious journey. And like Shana, there are other “shepherds” who follow the flock to protect their friends and family on the long dark road ahead.

For on their journey, they will discover an America convulsed with terror and violence, where this apocalyptic epidemic proves less dangerous than the fear of it. As the rest of society collapses all around them–and an ultraviolent militia threatens to exterminate them–the fate of the sleepwalkers depends on unraveling the mystery behind the epidemic. The terrifying secret will either tear the nation apart–or bring the survivors together to remake a shattered world.

About Chuck Wendig

Chuck Wendig is a novelist, a screenwriter, and a freelance penmonkey.
He has contributed over two million words to the roleplaying game industry, and was the developer of the popular Hunter: The Vigil game line (White Wolf Game Studios / CCP).

He, along with writing partner Lance Weiler, is a fellow of the Sundance Film Festival Screenwriter's Lab (2010). Their short film, Pandemic, will show at the Sundance Film Festival 2011, and their feature film HiM is in development with producer Ted Hope.

Chuck's novel Double Dead will be out in November, 2011.

He's written too much. He should probably stop. Give him a wide berth, as he might be drunk and untrustworthy. He currently lives in the wilds of Pennsyltucky with a wonderful wife and two very stupid dogs. He is represented by Stacia Decker of the Donald Maass Literary Agency.

You can find him at his website, terribleminds.com.

It’s been far too long since I’ve read an epic end of the world story. And this one definitely sounds epic.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

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Top Ten Tuesday – Spring TBR

March 18, 2019 Bonnie Top Ten Tuesday 16 Comments

I’m so grateful to have survived this winter (it was a rough one) and my first in a new city that actually experiences winter. With a new season, it’s time to review the TBR again and make lists that I won’t likely accomplish. lol Except I’m doing something a little different this time and not picking a single review book as a “goal”. They’re already the goal after all. I always try to focus on review books because, yes, they’re important and I love being given the opportunity to read them early, however, I’m trying to go easier on myself these days and am trying not to give myself such a hard time when I don’t get to all of them in time. I’ve also read about half a dozen 3-star books in the last few weeks so I’m really just looking to pick up more books that I’m excited to and not just because I full obligated to. Here are a few that I hope give me some bookish joy.

Unholy Ghosts (Downside Ghosts #1) by Stacia Kane
The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black
Vicious (Villains #1) by V.E. Schwab
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl

Phoenix Unbound (Fallen Empire #1) by Grace Draven
Dating You / Hating You by Christina Lauren
Blue World by Robert R. McCammon
Six Stories (Six Stories #1) by Matt Wesolowski
The Anomaly (The Anomaly Files #1) by Michael Rutger

What are on your Spring TBRs?

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Something To Look Forward To – Week of March 18th, 2019

March 18, 2019 Bonnie Something To Look Forward To 4 Comments

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 March 18th, 2019

Sherwood by Meagan Spooner [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by HarperTeen

Never-Contented Things by Sarah Porter [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Tor Teen

Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Simon Pulse

The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Imprint

Winter War Awakening (Blood Rose Rebellion #3) by Rosalyn Eves [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Knopf Books For Young Readers

From Breath and Ruin (Elements of Five #1) by Carrie Ann Ryan [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Carrie Ann Ryan

Internment by Samira Ahmed [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Night Music by Jenn Marie Thorne [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Dial Books

Small Town Hearts by Lillie Vale [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Swoon Reads

The Universal Laws of Marco by Carmen Rodrigues [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Simon Pulse

A People’s History of Heaven by Mathangi Subramanian [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Algonquin Books

The Portal (Tangled In Time #1) by Kathryn Lasky [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by HarperCollins

Far Away by Lisa Graff [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Philomel Books

The Perfect Assassin (The Chronicles of Ghadid #1) by K.A. Doore [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Tor Books

The Deepest Blue (The Queens of Renthia #4) by Sarah Beth Durst [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Harper Voyager

The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Saga Press

The Municipalists by Seth Fried [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Penguin Books

Inspection by Josh Malerman [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Del Rey Books

The Chaos Function by Jack Skillingstead [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by John Joseph Adams/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Permafrost by Alastair Reynolds [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Tor.com

Radicalized by Cory Doctorow [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Tor Books

Soulkeeper (The Keepers #1) by David Dalglish [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Orbit

Zero Bomb by M.T. Hill [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Titan Books

The Magnificent Nine (Firefly #2) by James Lovegrove [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Titan Books (UK)

The Witch’s Kind by Louisa Morgan [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Redhook

Moon Rising (Luna #3) by Ian McDonald [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Tor Books

The Good Detective by John McMahon [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Save Me from Dangerous Men by S.A. Lelchuk [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Flatiron Books

The Fifth Doctrine (The Guardian #3) by Karen Robards [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Mira Books

The Elephant of Surprise (Hap and Leonard #13) by Joe R. Lansdale [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Mulholland Books

Run Away by Harlan Coben [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Grand Central Publishing

Celtic Empire (Dirk Pitt #25) by Clive Cussler & Dirk Cussler [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Mike Hammer – Murder, My Love by Max Allan Collins [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Titan Books

A Stranger Here Below (Gideon Stoltz #1) by Charles Fergus [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Skyhorse

The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Berkley

The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Graydon House

In the Blink of an Eye by Jesse Blackadder [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by St. Martin’s Press

Oksana, Behave! by Maria Kuznetsova [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Spiegel & Grau

Bombay Brides by Esther David [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by HarperCollins

Little Boy by Lawrence Ferlinghetti [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Doubleday Books

Can’t Escape Love (Reluctant Royals #3.5) by Alyssa Cole [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Avon Impulse

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Gallery/Scout Press

Memories of the Future by Siri Hustvedt [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Simon Schuster

Lot: Stories by Bryan Washington [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Riverhead Books

The Parade by Dave Eggers [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Knopf Publishing Group

The Moth Presents Occasional Magic: True Stories about Defying the Impossible by Catherine Burns [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Crown Archetype

First: Sandra Day O’Connor by Evan Thomas [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Random House

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Friday Favorites | Reading Music

March 15, 2019 Bonnie Friday Favorites 6 Comments

It’s not often that I don’t have background music playing while I’m reading. Sometimes random noises can really throw off my concentration, so providing my own white noise helps to really eliminate any distractions. I tend to stick with instrumental (primarily piano) but I’ll occasionally mix it up when I’m feeling like something new. When it’s especially noisy, I’ll pair some instrumental music with www.rainymood.com. Nothing sets my soul more at ease than some calming music and the sound of raindrops on the window.

Artists/Bands

I’m a big fan of the Spotify feature where you can listen to Artist Radio. Sometimes when I find a new artist that I really enjoy, I’ll listen to the artist radio which plays similar music so I can find even more artists to fall in love with. These are some of the artists I listen to regularly that I’m constantly returning to:

Ludovico Einaudi
Bombazine Black
Balmorhea
This Will Destroy You
Explosions in the Sky

Soundtracks

Atonement
Jane Eyre
Pride and Prejudice
Me Before You
Far From the Madding Crowd

Spotify Playlists

Spotify has the most amazing playlists and some of these pre-made listens are perfect as is.

Melancholy Instrumental
Calm Vibes
Indie Folk for Focus
Calm Before the Storm
Mellow Beats

What do you love listening to while you read?

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Book Review | “Daisy Jones & The Six”: the Rise and Fall of Fame

March 14, 2019 Bonnie 2019, Adult, Book Reviews 4 Comments

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

Book Review | “Daisy Jones & The Six”: the Rise and Fall of FameDaisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Published by Ballantine Books on March 5, 2019
Pages: 368
Genres: Historical Fiction
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Audible
Goodreads

Also by this author: Forever, Interrupted


three-stars




Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now.

Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.

Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.

Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.

The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.

Daisy: Just how honest do we have to get here? I know I told you I’d tell you everything but how much “everything” do you really want to know?

Daisy Jones & The Six was one of the biggest rock bands of the 70s but following the end of their first tour, the band broke up without ever revealing why. In this documentary-style novel, Taylor Jenkins Reid brings to life a fictional band while revealing their rapid rise to fame and an even faster descent.

Does anyone remember VH1’s Behind the Music? Back in the day when the internet wasn’t nearly as impressive and your favorite bands definitely weren’t on social media, music fans had Behind the Music. These documentaries featured interviews with the band, friends/family, managers, and anyone else that had an interesting story to tell about the band. Daisy Jones & The Six reads exactly like an episode set in the 70s replete with band drama and rampant drug abuse. The story effectively strips away the veneer that gets built up around celebrities, exposing their vulnerability and weaknesses, and revealing them as being no different than anyone else. The songs they write were the soundtrack to their drama-filled lives, forcing them to experience it all again and again with each new performance. The entire novel is essentially one massive interview, with each individual giving their perspective on what occurred which didn’t always coincide with someone else’s account but considering all the drug use and the many decades that have passed, I suppose that’s understandable.

While I found the style of the story to be a nice change of pace, unfortunately, the style managed to undermine the story as a whole. The emphasis on the importance of their song-writing and the feelings that the verses cultivated was something I wanted to be able to feel through reading about it, but it didn’t translate well on page. There was a definite lack of connection and I simply never found a reason to be invested in the lives of these individuals. Their story was an unending loop of song-writing, performing, drama, and partying yet you know it’s all building up to something big and my curiosity had me flying through this novel. I realized when the big reveal came that a greater investment in the characters was vital to feeling anything other than letdown when it actually came. Still an interesting novel for anyone looking for a glimpse into the craziness of music in the 70s.

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Waiting on Wednesday – The Saturday Night Ghost Club: A Novel by Craig Davidson

March 13, 2019 Bonnie Adult, Waiting on Wednesday 5 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday – The Saturday Night Ghost Club: A Novel by Craig DavidsonThe Saturday Night Ghost Club: A Novel by Craig Davidson
Published by Penguin Books on July 9, 2019
Pages: 240
Genres: Horror
Format: Paperback
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Audible
Goodreads

A short, irresistible, and bittersweet coming-of-age story in the vein of Stranger Things and Stand by Me about a group of misfit kids who spend an unforgettable summer investigating local ghost stories and urban legends

Growing up in 1980s Niagara Falls - a seedy but magical, slightly haunted place - Jake Baker spends most of his time with his uncle Calvin, a kind but eccentric enthusiast of occult artifacts and conspiracy theories. The summer Jake turns twelve, he befriends a pair of siblings new to town, and so Calvin decides to initiate them all into the "Saturday Night Ghost Club." But as the summer goes on, what begins as a seemingly light-hearted project may ultimately uncover more than any of its members had imagined. With the alternating warmth and sadness of the best coming-of-age stories, The Saturday Night Ghost Club is a note-perfect novel that poignantly examines the haunting mutability of memory and storytelling, as well as the experiences that form the people we become, and establishes Craig Davidson as a remarkable literary talent.

About Craig Davidson

Craig Davidson is a Canadian author of short stories and novels, who has published work under both his own name and the pen names Patrick Lestewka and Nick Cutter

Born in Toronto, Ontario, he was raised in Calgary and St. Catharines.

His first short story collection, Rust and Bone, was published in September 2005 by Penguin Books Canada, and was a finalist for the 2006 Danuta Gleed Literary Award. Stories in Rust and Bone have also been adapted into a play by Australian playwright Caleb Lewis and a film by French director Jacques Audiard.

Davidson also released a novel in 2007 named The Fighter. During the course of his research of the novel, Davidson went on a 16-week steroid cycle. To promote the release of the novel, Davidson participated in a fully sanctioned boxing match against Toronto poet Michael Knox at Florida Jack's Boxing Gym; for the novel's subsequent release in the United States, he organized a similar promotional boxing match against Jonathan Ames. Davidson lost both matches.

His 2013 novel Cataract City was named as a longlisted nominee for the 2013 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

I’ve been wanting to read this crazy bad! So glad it’s finally being released in the US. 

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

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Something To Look Forward To – Week of March 11th, 2019

March 11, 2019 Bonnie Something To Look Forward To 0 Comments

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 March 11th, 2019

When the Sky Fell on Splendor by Emily Henry [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Razorbill

Bloodleaf (Bloodleaf Trilogy #1) by Crystal Smith [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by HMH Books for Young Readers

Beware the Night by Jessika Fleck [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Swoon Reads

The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Delacorte Press

Other Words for Smoke by Sarah Maria Griffin [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Greenwillow Books

The Tesla Legacy by K.K. Pérez [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Tor Teen

Ruse (Want #2) by Cindy Pon [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Simon Pulse

The Near Witch by V.E. Schwab [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Titan Books

Heroine by Mindy McGinnis [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Katherine Tegen Books

Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Viking Books

Izzy + Tristan by Shannon Dunlap [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Poppy Books

Meet Me in Outer Space by Melinda Grace [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Swoon Reads

Squad by Mariah MacCarthy [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Angel Thieves by Kathi Appelt [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books

Cold Day in the Sun by Sara Biren [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Amulet Books

Little Apocalypse by Katherine Sparrow [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by HarperCollins

The True Queen (Sorcerer Royal #2) by Zen Cho [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Ace Books

The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Grove Press

The Rosewater Insurrection by Tade Thompson [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Orbit

Titanshade by Dan Stout [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Daw Books

Ruin’s Wake by Patrick Edwards [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Titan Books

New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color by Nisi Shawl [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Solaris

The Dazzle of Day by Molly Gloss [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Saga Press

Mercy River (Van Shaw #4) by Glen Erik Hamilton [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by William Morrow

The Last Act: A Novel by Brad Parks [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Dutton Books

All the Walls of Belfast by Sarah Carlson [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Turner

A Lethal Legacy (New York Confidential #4) by Heather Graham [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Mira Books

The First Lady by James Patterson & Brendan DuBois [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Grand Central Publishing

The Liar’s Child by Carla Buckley [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Ballantine Books

All the Wrong Places by Joy Fielding [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Ballantine Books

The Woman in the Dark by Vanessa Savage [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Grand Central Publishing

Fall Back Down When I Die by Joe Wilkins [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Little, Brown and Company

A Beautiful Corpse (Harper McClain #2) by Christi Daugherty [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Minotaur Books

Wolf Pack (Joe Pickett #19) by C.J. Box [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons

House on Fire by Bonnie Kistler [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Atria

Toxic Game (GhostWalkers #15) by Christine Feehan [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Berkley Books

Crashing Heat (Nikki Heat #10) by Richard Castle [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Kingswell

The Trial of Lizzie Borden by Cara Robertson [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Simon Schuster

A Dangerous Collaboration (Veronica Speedwell #4) by Deanna Raybourn [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Berkley Books

Murder in Belgravia (A Mayfair 100 Murder Mystery #1) by Lynn Brittney [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 13th 2019 by Crooked Lane Books

American Princess: A Novel of First Daughter Alice Roosevelt by Stephanie Thornton [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Berkley Books

This Scot of Mine (The Rogue Files #4) by Sophie Jordan [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Avon

The DNA of You and Me: A Novel by Andrea Rothman [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by William Morrow

Why Mommy Swears by Gill Sims [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by HarperCollins

Crashing the A-List by Summer Heacock [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Mira Books

My Very 90s Romance by Jenny Colgan [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by William Morrow Paperbacks

Me for You by Lolly Winston [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Touchstone

Tomorrow There Will Be Sun by Dana Reinhardt [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Pamela Dorman Books

Tiny Americans by Devin Murphy [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Harper Perennial

The Dragonfly Sea by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Knopf Publishing Group

If, Then by Kate Hope Day [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Random House

Too Much Is Not Enough by Andrew Rannells [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Crown Archetype

The Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books: Christopher Columbus, His Son, and the Quest to Build the World’s Greatest Library by Edward Wilson-Lee [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Scribner

See You in the Piazza: New Places to Discover in Italy by Frances Mayes [Purchase]
Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Crown Publishing Group (NY)

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Life’s Too Short – Courting Darkness, The Cassandra, The Wolf and the Watchman

February 28, 2019 Bonnie 2019, Book Reviews, Life's Too Short 5 Comments

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

Life’s Too Short – Courting Darkness, The Cassandra, The Wolf and the WatchmanCourting Darkness by Robin LaFevers
Series: Courting Darkness Duology #1
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on February 5, 2019
Pages: 512
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
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Also by this author: Grave Mercy, Dark Triumph, Mortal Heart


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Death wasn’t the end, it was only the beginning…

Sybella has always been the darkest of Death’s daughters, trained at the convent of Saint Mortain to serve as his justice. But she has a new mission now. In a desperate bid to keep her two youngest sisters safe from the family that nearly destroyed them all, she agrees to accompany the duchess to France, where they quickly find themselves surrounded by enemies. Their one ray of hope is Sybella’s fellow novitiates, disguised and hidden deep in the French court years ago by the convent—provided Sybella can find them.

Genevieve has been undercover for so many years, she struggles to remember who she is or what she’s supposed to be fighting for. Her only solace is a hidden prisoner who appears all but forgotten by his guards. When tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to take matters into her own hands—even if it means ignoring the long awaited orders from the convent.

As Sybella and Gen’s paths draw ever closer, the fate of everything they hold sacred rests on a knife’s edge. Will they find each other in time, or will their worlds collide, destroying everything they care about?

DNF @ 10%

Courting Darkness returns the focus to Sybella (originally from Dark Triumph) and her new mission in life. I adored the original trilogy and while it has been said that it’s not necessary to read them to appreciate the new duology, I found a definite lack of world-building and establishment of character in this installment. Whether or not it’s necessary, I would highly recommend reading them for the background knowledge alone since it does not appear to be given in Courting Darkness. And while it must be said that there isn’t anything necessarily wrong with this story (despite my obvious DNF) I realized shortly into this that while I was originally excited for more stories set in this world, I felt that the original trio’s stories had been told and nothing more was needed.

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

Life’s Too Short – Courting Darkness, The Cassandra, The Wolf and the WatchmanThe Cassandra by Sharma Shields
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on February 12, 2019
Pages: 304
Genres: Historical Fiction, Fairy-Tales/Retellings
Format: ARC
Source: Library Thing
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The Cassandra follows a woman who goes to work in a top secret research facility during WWII, only to be tormented by visions of what the mission will mean for humankind.

Mildred Groves is an unusual young woman. Gifted and cursed with the ability to see the future, Mildred runs away from home to take a secretary position at the Hanford Research Center in the early 1940s. Hanford, a massive construction camp on the banks of the Columbia River in remote South Central Washington, exists to test and manufacture a mysterious product that will aid the war effort. Only the top generals and scientists know that this product is processed plutonium, for use in the first atomic bombs.

Mildred is delighted, at first, to be part of something larger than herself after a lifetime spent as an outsider. But her new life takes a dark turn when she starts to have prophetic dreams about what will become of humankind if the project is successful. As the men she works for come closer to achieving their goals, her visions intensify to a nightmarish pitch, and she eventually risks everything to question those in power, putting her own physical and mental health in jeopardy. Inspired by the classic Greek myth, this 20th century reimagining of Cassandra's story is based on a real WWII compound that the author researched meticulously. A timely novel about patriarchy and militancy, The Cassandra uses both legend and history to look deep into man's capacity for destruction, and the resolve and compassion it takes to challenge the powerful.

DNF @ 21%

In Greek mythology, Cassandra was cursed to speak prophecies that no one would ever believe. Sharma Shields’ Cassandra is a woman who also possesses the ability to prophesize and when she goes to work for the research facility that created the atomic bomb during WWII, her protestations fall on deaf ears when she tries to warn everyone of what’s to come. The plot of this one sounded fascinating and I was anxiously awaiting my opportunity to read it but unfortunately, I found Cassandra’s character to be insufferable and the rest of the characters were completely depthless. Whether or not they were developed further on in the story is a moot point since I obviously did not finish this story, however, character development is not a better late than never sort of thing and should have been done in the very beginning. The bit of story I did read left a lot to be desired plot-wise as well. Cassandra’s story lacked fluidity and felt rather like she was simply checking off boxes on a list of what she knows she does in life. Considering she’s got the gift of prophecy it’s thoroughly possible that this could have been the reason, except, Cassandra never felt like an active participant in her own life and seemed much more likely that it was the author checking off boxes instead. It was at about the point I hit this quote that I decided this just wasn’t for me:

“I admired his stridency. I wanted to bake it, to eat it like a large meat loaf so that it would enter my bloodstream and become my own.”

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

Life’s Too Short – Courting Darkness, The Cassandra, The Wolf and the WatchmanThe Wolf and the Watchman by Niklas Natt och Dag
Published by Atria Books on March 5, 2019
Pages: 384
Genres: Historical Fiction
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
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In this breathtakingly bold, intricately constructed novel set in 18th century Stockholm, a dying man searches among the city’s teeming streets, dark corners, and intriguing inhabitants to unmask a ruthless murderer—perfect for fans of Perfume and The Alienist.

It is 1793. Four years after the storming of the Bastille in France and more than a year after the death of King Gustav III of Sweden, paranoia and whispered conspiracies are Stockholm’s daily bread. A promise of violence crackles in the air as ordinary citizens feel increasingly vulnerable to the whims of those in power.

When Mickel Cardell, a crippled ex-solider and former night watchman, finds a mutilated body floating in the city’s malodorous lake, he feels compelled to give the unidentifiable man a proper burial. For Cecil Winge, a brilliant lawyer turned consulting detective to the Stockholm police, a body with no arms, legs, or eyes is a formidable puzzle and one last chance to set things right before he loses his battle to consumption. Together, Winge and Cardell scour Stockholm to discover the body’s identity, encountering the sordid underbelly of the city’s elite. Meanwhile, Kristofer Blix—the handsome son of a farmer—leaves rural life for the alluring charms of the capital and ambitions of becoming a doctor. His letters to his sister chronicle his wild good times and terrible misfortunes, which lead him down a treacherous path.

In another corner of the city, a young woman—Anna-Stina—is consigned to the workhouse after she upsets her parish priest. Her unlikely escape plan takes on new urgency when a sadistic guard marks her as his next victim.

Over the course of the novel, these extraordinary characters cross paths and collide in shocking and unforgettable ways. Niklas Natt och Dag paints a deliciously dark portrait of late 18th century Stockholm, and the frightful yet fascinating reality lurking behind the powdered and painted veneer of the era.

DNF @ 20%

The Wolf and the Watchmen is a story set in 1793 involving the brutal murder of a man and the duo on the hunt for the perpetrator. This is quite a violent and graphic story but it paints a vivid portrait of 18th century Sweden. Did anyone watch the show Taboo with Tom Hardy? It reminded me a lot of that except Taboo has a facet of the supernatural and this story did not. While I don’t normally need supernatural additives in my historical fiction for them to suceed, it did make me realize that I felt like there was something missing to this story that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. This story is admittedly very well-written and I can see why it was awarded best debut novel by The Swedish Academy of Crime Writers, unfortunately, the bleakness of the story was absolute and I couldn’t find the motivation to finish.

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