Something To Look Forward To | Week of September 13th, 2021

Posted September 13, 2021 by Bonnie in Something To Look Forward To / 0 Comments

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Week of September 13th, 2021

When Sorrows Come (October Daye #15) by Seanan McGuire [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 14th 2021 by DAW

Dare to Know by James Kennedy [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 14th 2021 by Quirk Books

Slewfoot: A Tale of Bewitchery by Brom [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 14th 2021 by Tor Nightfire

The Wisdom of Crowds (The Age of Madness #3) by Joe Abercrombie [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 14th 2021 by Orbit

From the Neck Up by Aliya Whiteley [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 14th 2021 by Titan Books

Empire of the Vampire (Empire of the Vampire #1) by Jay Kristoff [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 14th 2021 by St. Martin’s Press

Winterlight (Green Rider #7) by Kristen Britain [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 14th 2021 by Daw Books

The City of Doctor Moreau by J.S. Barnes [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 14th 2021 by Titan Books

The Actual Star by Monica Byrne [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 14th 2021 by Harper Voyager

The Missing Hours by Julia Dahl [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 14th 2021 by Minotaur Books

My Sweet Girl by Amanda Jayatissa [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 14th 2021 by Berkley Publishing

Nice Girls by Catherine Dang [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 14th 2021 by William Morrow

Her Perfect Life by Hank Phillippi Ryan [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 14th 2021 by Forge Books

An Observant Wife by Naomi Ragen [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 14th 2021 by St. Martin’s Press

The Dressmakers of Auschwitz: The True Story of the Women Who Sewed to Survive by Lucy Adlington [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 14th 2021 by Harper Paperbacks

A Most Clever Girl: A Novel of an American Spy by Stephanie Marie Thornton [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 14th 2021 by Berkley Books

Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 14th 2021 by Doubleday

Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law by Mary Roach [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 14th 2021 by W. W. Norton Company

You Got Anything Stronger?: Stories by Gabrielle Union [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 14th 2021 by HarperCollins Publishers

The Spectacular by Zoe Whittall [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 14th 2021 by Ballantine Books

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 14th 2021 by Berkley Books

With You Forever (Bergman Brothers #4) by Chloe Liese [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 14th 2021 by Chloe Liese

A Lot Like Adiós by Alexis Daria [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 14th 2021 by William Morrow Paperbacks

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Can’t Wait Wednesday | Locklands (The Founders Trilogy #3) by Robert Jackson Bennett

Posted September 8, 2021 by Bonnie in Waiting on Wednesday / 0 Comments

Can’t Wait Wednesday | Locklands (The Founders Trilogy #3) by Robert Jackson BennettLocklands by Robert Jackson Bennett
Series: The Founders Trilogy #3
Published by Del Rey Books on June 21st 2022
Pages: 496
Genres: Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Audible
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Also by this author: American Elsewhere, Foundryside

A god wages war—using all of humanity as its pawns—in the unforgettable conclusion to the Founders trilogy.

Sancia, Clef, and Berenice have gone up against plenty of long odds in the past. But the war they’re fighting now is one even they can’t win.

This time, they’re not facing robber-baron elites, or even an immortal hierophant, but an entity whose intelligence is spread over half the globe—a ghost in the machine that uses the magic of scriving to possess and control not just objects, but human minds.

To fight it, they’ve used scriving technology to transform themselves and their allies into an army—a society—that’s like nothing humanity has seen before. With its strength at their backs, they’ve freed a handful of their enemy’s hosts from servitude, even brought down some of its fearsome, reality-altering dreadnaughts. Yet despite their efforts, their enemy marches on—implacable. Unstoppable.

Now, as their opponent closes in on its true prize—an ancient doorway, long buried, that leads to the chambers at the center of creation itself—Sancia and her friends glimpse a chance at reaching it first, and with it, a last desperate opportunity to stop this unbeatable foe. But to do so, they’ll have to unlock the centuries-old mystery of scriving’s origins, embark on a desperate mission into the heart of their enemy’s power, and pull off the most daring heist they’ve ever attempted.

And as if that weren’t enough, their adversary might just have a spy in their ranks—and a last trick up its sleeve.

About Robert Jackson Bennett

Robert Jackson Bennett is the author of American Elsewhere, The Troupe, The Company Man, Mr. Shivers, as well as The Divine Cities trilogy and The Founders Trilogy. The second installment of The Founders Trilogy, SHOREFALL, will be in stores April of 2020.

His work has received the Edgar Award, the Shirley Jackson Award, and the Phillip K. Dick Citation of Excellence, and he has been shortlisted for the World Fantasy, British Fantasy, and Locus Awards.

He lives in Austin with his family.

Eeeeee! I’m still in the middle of the second one (I’m pacing myself) so I haven’t actually read the summary just in case of spoilers. So excited to see how Bennett’s wraps this trilogy up though!

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

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Something To Look Forward To | Week of September 6th, 2021

Posted September 6, 2021 by Bonnie in Something To Look Forward To / 0 Comments

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Week of September 6th, 2021

No Gods, No Monsters (The Convergence Saga #1) by Cadwell Turnbull [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 7th 2021 by Blackstone Publishing

Among Thieves by M.J. Kuhn [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 7th 2021 by Gallery / Saga Press

The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Córdova [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 7th 2021 by Atria Books

The Haunting of Leigh Harker by Darcy Coates [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 7th 2021 by Poisoned Pen Press

The Peculiarities by David Liss [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 7th 2021 by Tachyon Publications

The Summoning by J.P. Smith [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 7th 2021 by Poisoned Pen Press

Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 7th 2021 by Park Row

The House of Ashes by Stuart Neville [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 7th 2021 by Soho Crime

The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 7th 2021 by Atria Books

High Stakes by Iris Johansen [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 7th 2021 by Grand Central Publishing

Slonim Woods 9: A Memoir by Daniel Barban Levin [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 7th 2021 by Crown Publishing Group (NY)

Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 7th 2021 by Flatiron Books

The Good Death (Somershill Manor Mystery #5) by S.D. Sykes [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 7th 2021 by Pegasus Crime

Miss Kopp Investigates (Kopp Sisters #7) by Amy Stewart [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 7th 2021 by Mariner Books

The Magician by Colm Tóibín [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 7th 2021 by Scribner

Matrix by Lauren Groff [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 7th 2021 by Riverhead

The Collector’s Daughter: A Novel of the Discovery of Tutankhamun’s Tomb by Gill Paul [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 7th 2021 by William Morrow Paperbacks

The Mad Women’s Ball by Victoria Mas [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 7th 2021 by The Overlook Press

L.A. Weather by María Amparo Escandón [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 7th 2021 by Flatiron Books

Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 7th 2021 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Portrait of a Scotsman (A League of Extraordinary Women #3) by Evie Dunmore [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 7th 2021 by Jove

The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 7th 2021 by Atria Books

The Shaadi Set-Up by Lillie Vale [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 7th 2021 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Mom Jeans and Other Mistakes by Alexa Martin [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 7th 2021 by Berkley Books

Witch Please (Fix-It Witches #1) by Ann Aguirre [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 7th 2021 by Sourcebooks Casablanca

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Early Review | The Ex Hex (Ex Hex #1) by Erin Sterling

Posted September 2, 2021 by Bonnie in 2021, Book Reviews, Early Review / 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 Ex Hex (Ex Hex #1) by Erin SterlingThe Ex Hex by Erin Sterling, Rachel Hawkins
Series: Ex Hex #1
Published by Avon on September 28, 2021
Pages: 320
Genres: Fantasy, Witches
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Audible
Goodreads

Also by this author: Hex Hall, Demonglass, Spell Bound

four-stars

New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins, writing as Erin Sterling, casts a spell with a spine-tingling romance full of wishes, witches, and hexes gone wrong.

Nine years ago, Vivienne Jones nursed her broken heart like any young witch would: vodka, weepy music, bubble baths…and a curse on the horrible boyfriend. Sure, Vivi knows she shouldn’t use her magic this way, but with only an “orchard hayride” scented candle on hand, she isn’t worried it will cause him anything more than a bad hair day or two.

That is until Rhys Penhallow, descendent of the town’s ancestors, breaker of hearts, and annoyingly just as gorgeous as he always was, returns to Graves Glen, Georgia. What should be a quick trip to recharge the town’s ley lines and make an appearance at the annual fall festival turns disastrously wrong. With one calamity after another striking Rhys, Vivi realizes her silly little Ex Hex may not have been so harmless after all.

Suddenly, Graves Glen is under attack from murderous wind-up toys, a pissed off ghost, and a talking cat with some interesting things to say. Vivi and Rhys have to ignore their off the charts chemistry to work together to save the town and find a way to break the break-up curse before it’s too late.

“Never mix vodka and witchcraft.”

Valuable advice, but advice that Vivi fails to heed. Nine years ago, after falling hard for Rhys Penhallow only to find out too late of his betrothal, Vivi shouts frivolous curses into the night not realizing there was actual magic behind them. When Rhys returns to town for the first time since that fateful night his luck is exceptionally bad and he has no idea why until he finds out the truth behind his misfortune. Vivi, feeling most apologetic for her role in this debacle, decides to set aside past grievances to find out how to reverse the curse especially when they discover the curse is going to destroy the very town itself. It doesn’t help matters when she realizes Rhys Penhallow is just as distracting as he was when she fell in love with him nine years ago.

The Hex Hall series and the spin-off novel School Spirits are some of my favorite YA books so discovering that Erin Sterling (a.k.a. Rachel Hawkins) was writing a witchy adult novel had me thrilledI found this story to be extremely delightful overall (and well worth the read) but there were some aspects that I wish had been better. There’s plastic skulls that come to life, a talking cat that won’t stop asking for treats, and even a ghost that haunts a library. The magical bits were absolutely, well, magical, but considering this has been pitched as “Hocus Pocus but they fuck” (hahaha…) I wanted, and rather anticipated, this book to be straight imbued with magic. The romance was far from lacking in chemistry but I expected more tension between the two since Vivi had been pining over Rhys for the entire nine years but they acted almost as if their issues never happened.

I adored the family aspects of this though (it felt very much like Practical Magic) and the light humor was on point. Apparently this is the first in an anticipated series and I am here for it. Bottom Line: this was an incredibly cute, delightfully whimsical, and overall perfect read for the Halloween season (or when you need a little magic with your romance.)

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Can’t Wait Wednesday | 30 Things I Love About Myself by Radhika Sanghani

Posted September 1, 2021 by Bonnie in Waiting on Wednesday / 3 Comments

Can’t Wait Wednesday | 30 Things I Love About Myself by Radhika Sanghani30 Things I Love about Myself by Radhika Sanghani
Published by Berkley Books on January 4th 2022
Pages: 352
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: Paperback
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Audible
Goodreads

When a British Indian woman's life hits rock bottom, she decides to change her stars by falling in love...with herself--a hilarious, heartfelt story from outrageously funny novelist Radhika Sanghani.

Nina didn't plan to spend her thirtieth birthday in jail, yet here she is in her pajamas, locked in a holding cell. There's no Wi-Fi, no wine, no carbs--and no one to celebrate with.

Unfortunately, it gives Nina plenty of time to reflect on how screwed up her life is. She's just broken up with her fiancé, and now has to move back into her childhood home to live with her depressed older brother and their uptight, traditional Indian mother. Her career as a freelance journalist isn't going in the direction she wants, and all her friends are too busy being successful to hang out with her.

Just as Nina falls into despair, a book lands in her cell: How to Fix Your Shitty Life by Loving Yourself. It must be destiny. With literally nothing left to lose, Nina makes a life-changing decision to embark on a self-love journey. By her next birthday, she's going to find thirty things she loves about herself.

About Radhika Sanghani

I have just written my debut novel VIRGIN, which will be coming out in August in America, with Penguin, and September here in the UK with Harlequin.

I'm a women's writer for The Daily Telegraph in London where I write on women's issues. I read constantly and love reviewing contemporary novels.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

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Something To Look Forward To | Week of August 30th, 2021

Posted August 30, 2021 by Bonnie in Something To Look Forward To / 0 Comments

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Week of August 30th, 2021

Revelator by Daryl Gregory [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 31st 2021 by Knopf Publishing Group

The Devil You Know (Mercenary Librarians #2) by Kit Rocha [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 31st 2021 by Tor Books

My Heart Is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 31st 2021 by Gallery / Saga Press

A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 31st 2021 by Riverhead Books

These Toxic Things by Rachel Howzell Hall [Purchase]
Expected publication: September 1st 2021 by Thomas & Mercer

The Last Guests by J.P. Pomare [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 31st 2021 by Mulholland Books

The Fragile Edge (Jimmy Vega Mystery #6) by Suzanne Chazin [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 31st 2021 by Kensington Publishing Corporation

The Sisters of Auschwitz by Roxane van Iperen [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 31st 2021 by Harper Paperbacks

The Royals Next Door by Karina Halle [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 31st 2021 by Berkley

The Heart Principle (The Kiss Quotient #3) by Helen Hoang [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 31st 2021 by Berkley

The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 31st 2021 by Berkley Books

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Short & Sweet | Summer 2021 Mystery Trio

Posted August 26, 2021 by Bonnie in Book Reviews, Short & Sweet Reviews / 2 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.

Short & Sweet | Summer 2021 Mystery TrioThe Other Me by Sarah Zachrich Jeng
Published by Berkley Books on August 10th 2021
Pages: 352
Genres: Mystery
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Audible
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two-half-stars

Two lives. The one you wanted. The one that wanted you.

Her birthday should be like any other night.

One minute Kelly’s a free-spirited artist in Chicago going to her best friend’s art show. The next, she opens a door and mysteriously emerges in her Michigan hometown. Suddenly her life is unrecognizable: She's got twelve years of the wrong memories in her head and she's married to Eric, a man she barely knew in high school.

Racing to get back to her old life, Kelly's search leads only to more questions. In this life, she loves Eric and wants to trust him, but everything she discovers about him—including a connection to a mysterious tech startup—tells her she shouldn't. And strange things keep happening. The tattoos she had when she was an artist briefly reappear on her skin, she remembers fights with Eric that he says never happened, and her relationships with loved ones both new and familiar seem to change without warning.

But the closer Kelly gets to putting the pieces together, the more her reality seems to shift. And if she can't figure out what happened on her birthday, the next change could cost her everything...

“This life, I didn’t choose. It was chosen for me. But would it be so bad if I had to stay here?”

Is readbait a thing? Well, comparing this as Russian Doll meets Black Mirror is major readbait for me.

Kelly is attending her best friend’s art show in Chicago when she opens the bathroom door and steps into another life. Her hair is long, her tattoos have disappeared, and she’s married to a guy she barely remembers from high school. Kelly possesses all of the memories from her Chicago life but they’re now overlayed with memories of a life, a good life, but a life she doesn’t remember actually living. Desperate to get back to her old life but having no clue how to make that happen, she’s confronted with the possibility that she might be stuck in this life, but would that be the worst thing?

“[…]I remembered, eventually, everything that had happened to me in both lives. How they’re both still there, uneasily coexisting in my head.”

Jeng handled the various similarities and differences between the timelines well and the scenes where Kelly’s world began to “glitch” (her tattoos would reappear on her arm only to disappear again) really heightened the intensity of the story. I do feel though it would have been even more intense (and engaging) if Kelly had been glitching out of one life and the other, but alas, she did not. What really failed for me was the backstory behind why this was happening and who was responsible. If I was glitched out of one life and put into another that I didn’t choose, I doubt my nutshell response would be “it’s okay, they meant well.”

Best Nuh Uh GIFs | Gfycat


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.

Short & Sweet | Summer 2021 Mystery TrioThe Quiet Boy by Ben H. Winters
Published by Mulholland Books on May 18th 2021
Pages: 448
Genres: Mystery, Sci-fi
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Audible
Goodreads

Also by this author: Countdown City, World of Trouble, Golden State

three-stars

From the bestselling author of Underground Airlines and Golden State,

a sweeping legal thriller about a sixteen-year-old who suffers from a neurological condition that has frozen him in time, and the team of lawyers, doctors, and detectives who are desperate to wake him up.

Wesley Keener lies in bed: not dead, not alive, not in a coma or vegetative state, but simply frozen at an unchanging 16 years old, the forward course of his existence having simply stopped midway through sophomore year. His condition is the result of something called Syndrome J, an extraordinarily rare neurological event, at least according to the brilliant young neurologist Anna Pileggi.

When Wes was first hospitalized, his parents Beth and David Keener hired acclaimed PI Jay Shenk to help find answers about the illness that befell their beloved son. Now, years later, when David is accused of murdering the brilliant young doctor who served as expert witness in the hospital case, Shenk and his son Ruben discover that this standard malpractice suit is part of something more sinister than anyone imagined. An alternate explanation, brought forth by a mysterious older man, suggests an inter-dimensional entity wrecking havoc on the community. The child is not a prisoner, this stranger insists, he is a prison.

Told from alternating perspectives, The Quiet Boy explores the tensions between justice and compassion, in heart-pounding prose. With clever plotting, and a knack for character, Winters expertly weaves a group of misfits together in a race to save themselves, and an innocent life.

In 2008, a boy named Wesley Keener suffered a traumatic head injury at school. Following his brain surgery, he begins pacing the small confines of his hospital room without reprieve. He doesn’t stop to eat or sleep. And as time unfolds, the careful observations of the boy reveal that his hair doesn’t ever seem to get any longer and he never seems to get any older. Personal injury attorney Jay Shenk rushes to the hospital after getting word about this case, intending on trying to pick up a medical malpractice case that seems like a slam dunk but he ends up with something far more on his hands.

This is my fifth book by Winters and I’m pretty sure if it was my first it would’ve been a DNF. The Quiet Boy is a very slow-to-build story and at first glance, it’s a bit deceiving. It comes across as nothing more than a courtroom legal thriller but it’s definitely more than meets the eye and deserves a little patience. It’s a dense yet captivating story that will keep you guessing till the very ambiguous ending where you’ll have to just keep on guessing. I appreciated the subtle hint at answers, the suggestion that nothing is ever just black and white, that nothing has just a single interpretation, that it’s all based on your own perception… but I wanted (or needed) less ambiguity and more transparency.


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.

Short & Sweet | Summer 2021 Mystery TrioJust One Look by Lindsay Cameron
Published by Ballantine Books on July 27th 2021
Pages: 304
Genres: Mystery
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Audible
Goodreads


two-half-stars

A young woman's escalating obsession with a seemingly perfect man leads her down a dangerous path in this novel of suspense brimming with envy, desire, and deception.

Cassie Woodson is adrift. After suffering an epic tumble down the corporate ladder, Cassie finds the only way she can pay her bills is to take a thankless temp job reviewing correspondence for a large-scale fraud suit. The daily drudgery amplifies all that her life is lacking--love, friends, stability--and leaves her with too much time on her hands, which she spends fixating on the mistakes that brought her to this point.

While sorting through a relentless deluge of emails, something catches her eye: the tender (and totally private) exchanges between a partner at the firm, Forest Watts, and his enchanting wife, Annabelle. Cassie knows she shouldn't read them. But it's just one look. And once that door opens, she finds she can't look away.

Every day, twenty floors below Forest's corner office, Cassie dissects their emails from her dingy workstation. A few clicks of her mouse and she can see every adoring word they write to each other. By peeking into their apparently perfect life, Cassie finds renewed purpose and happiness, reveling in their penchant for vintage wines, morning juice presses, and lavish dinner parties thrown in their stately Westchester home. There are no secrets from her. Or so she thinks.

Her admiration quickly escalates into all-out mimicry, because she wants this life more than anything. Maybe if she plays make-believe long enough, it will become real for her. But when Cassie orchestrates a "chance" meeting with Forest in the real world and sees something that throws the state of his marriage into question, the fantasy she's been carefully cultivating shatters. Suddenly, she doesn't simply admire Annabelle--she wants to take her place. And she's armed with the tools to make that happen.

“Eyes aren’t the windows to the soul. Emails are.”

Cassie Woodson had a promising legal career until a breakup with her boyfriend led to some workplace violence that went viral. The incident got her fired and blacklisted and the only job she could get was a temp job reviewing documents where she sat in a windowless room with scheduled bathroom breaks. Her sudden and disastrous fall from grace has transformed her into an angry individual with a drinking problem but when she stumbles upon some personal correspondence between a husband and wife in her work documents, she develops a mild obsession with the couple. The mild obsession only grows and Cassie is no longer satisfied with simply reading about their lives: she wants it for herself.

As can be determined based on my review, this wasn’t a home run for me. I give this book enormous credit for pulling me out of the reading rut I found myself in when I decided to pick this up though. The beginning of this is entertaining as shit and Cassie and all her crazy actually reminded me a lot of good ol’ Joe from You. It was basically like watching a train wreck because you know nothing is going to end well so you might as well grab the popcorn.

The ending quite literally fell apart for me, thus my low rating. Oddly enough, still entertaining and I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for what’s next from this debut author.

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Can’t Wait Wednesday | Gilded by Marissa Meyer

Posted August 25, 2021 by Bonnie in Waiting on Wednesday / 2 Comments

Can’t Wait Wednesday | Gilded by Marissa MeyerGilded by Marissa Meyer
Published by Feiwel & Friends on November 2nd 2021
Pages: 512
Genres: Fairy-Tales/Retellings
Format: Hardcover
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Audible
Goodreads

Also by this author: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress

Marissa Meyer, #1 New York Times-bestselling author, returns to the fairytale world with this haunting retelling of Rumpelstiltskin.

Long ago cursed by the god of lies, a poor miller's daughter has developed a talent for spinning stories that are fantastical and spellbinding and entirely untrue.
Or so everyone believes.

When one of Serilda's outlandish tales draws the attention of the sinister Erlking and his undead hunters, she finds herself swept away into a grim world where ghouls and phantoms prowl the earth and hollow-eyed ravens track her every move. The king orders Serilda to complete the impossible task of spinning straw into gold, or be killed for telling falsehoods. In her desperation, Serilda unwittingly summons a mysterious boy to her aid. He agrees to help her… for a price. Love isn't meant to be part of the bargain.

Soon Serilda realizes that there is more than one secret hidden in the castle walls, including an ancient curse that must be broken if she hopes to end the tyranny of the king and his wild hunt forever.

About Marissa Meyer

Marissa Meyer is the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Lunar Chronicles, Heartless, The Renegades Trilogy, and Instant Karma, as well as the graphic novel duology Wires and Nerve. She holds a BA in Creative Writing from Pacific Lutheran University and a MA in Publishing from Pace University. In addition to writing, Marissa hosts The Happy Writer podcast. She lives near Tacoma, Washington, with her husband and twin daughters.

I definitely don’t read nearly as much YA as I used to, but Meyer is one author that I keep coming back for. I love me some fairy tale retellings and I’m thrilled for a Rumpelstiltskin one!

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

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Something To Look Forward To | Week of August 23rd, 2021

Posted August 23, 2021 by Bonnie in Something To Look Forward To / 0 Comments

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Week of August 23rd, 2021

The Pariah (The Covenant of Steel #1) by Anthony Ryan [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 24th 2021 by Orbit

Feral Creatures (Hollow Kingdom #2) by Kira Jane Buxton [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 24th 2021 by Grand Central Publishing

The Second Rebel (The First Sister Trilogy #2) by Linden A. Lewis [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 24th 2021 by Skybound Books

When the Goddess Wakes (The Ring-Sworn Trilogy #3) by Howard Andrew Jones [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 24th 2021 by St. Martin’s Press

The Madness of Crowds (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #17) by Louise Penny [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 24th 2021 by Minotaur Books

Lightning Strike (Cork O’Connor #0) by William Kent Krueger [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 24th 2021 by Atria Books

The Guide by Peter Heller [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 24th 2021 by Knopf Publishing Group

Midnight Atlanta (Darktown #3) by Thomas Mullen [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 24th 2021 by Little, Brown UK

Where I Left Her by Amber Garza [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 24th 2021 by Mira Books

The Women of Troy by Pat Barker [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 24th 2021 by Doubleday

The Paris Connection by Lorraine Brown [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 24th 2021 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons

The Highland Fling by Meghan Quinn [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 24th 2021 by Montlake

Bombshell (Hell’s Belles #1) by Sarah MacLean [Purchase]
Expected publication: August 24th 2021 by Avon

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Audiobook Review | ‘Good Neighbors’ is a Suburban Nightmare

Posted August 19, 2021 by Bonnie in 2021, Audiobooks, Book Reviews / 2 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.

Audiobook Review | ‘Good Neighbors’ is a Suburban NightmareGood Neighbors by Sarah Langan
Narrator: Nicole Lewis
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio on February 2, 2021
Length: 10 hrs and 11 mins
Genres: Thriller
Format: Audiobook
Source: Netgalley
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Audible
Goodreads


two-stars

Celeste Ng’s enthralling dissection of suburbia meets Shirley Jackson’s creeping dread in this propulsive literary noir, when a sudden tragedy exposes the depths of deception and damage in a Long Island suburbpitting neighbor against neighbor and putting one family in terrible danger.

Welcome to Maple Street, a picture-perfect slice of suburban Long Island, its residents bound by their children, their work, and their illusion of safety in a rapidly changing world.

Arlo Wilde, a gruff has-been rock star who’s got nothing to show for his fame but track marks, is always two steps behind the other dads. His wife, beautiful ex-pageant queen Gertie, feels socially ostracized and adrift. Spunky preteen Julie curses like a sailor and her kid brother Larry is called “Robot Boy” by the kids on the block.
Their next-door neighbor and Maple Street’s Queen Bee, Rhea Schroedera lonely community college professor repressing her own dark pastwelcomes Gertie and family into the fold. Then, during one spritzer-fueled summer evening, the new best friends share too much, too soon.

As tensions mount, a sinkhole opens in a nearby park, and Rhea’s daughter Shelly falls inside. The search for Shelly brings a shocking accusation against the Wildes that spins out of control. Suddenly, it is one mom’s word against the other’s in a court of public opinion that can end only in blood.

A riveting and ruthless portrayal of American suburbia, Good Neighbors excavates the perils and betrayals of motherhood and friendships and the dangerous clash between social hierarchy, childhood trauma, and fear.

“We had a problem on the block and the cops wouldn’t solve it. So we solved our own problem.”

The residents of Maple Street only look perfect on the outside, of course. There’s also the giant sinkhole that opened up in the neighborhood park that kind of mars things. When the Wilde’s moved into the neighborhood, they knew they didn’t belong (Gertie an ex-beauty queen with breast implants, her husband Arlo an ex-rocker with tattoos covering his track marks) but they had hoped to find their own place amongst the impeccable families.  Rhea Schroeder, the undisputed Queen of Maple Street, decides to look past her differences and befriend Gertie. One night, dark secrets are shared and Rhea misinterprets Gertie’s reaction and decides to turn on her instead, telling the neighborhood everything that Gertie didn’t want getting out. When Rhea’s daughter Shelley falls into the sinkhole, she blames Gertie and her family for her death and sets in motion irreparable devastation.

The story is set in a world much like our own in the year 2028 where it’s clear the current climate has deteriorated rapidly. The sinkhole spews oil, somehow causes the residents to have patchy phone connections, and it continues to expand at a seemingly alarming rate. On top of the timely climate narrative, there’s also the inclusion of newspaper and academic articles from 15-years into the future that reference “the Maple Street Murders” which give the story a true-crime feel. Personally, I think the climax would’ve been much more shocking without the articles providing the bleak foreshadowing of what’s to come.

The whole thing is a very unsettling type of dark. It’s a plausible story about the power of a lie and their abilities to destroy regardless of authenticity. It also shows how terrifyingly quick things can escalate and get out of hand. Sarah Langan is known for writing horror and she certainly transitioned well into suburban horror, but everything was severe and over the top to the point where the heavy-handedness became oppressive. Some of her phrasing and the way she chose to describe things was needless too, much like this line:

“The man’s expression was animalistic and ugly. A sweaty sex face on the verge of completion.”

Good Neighbors is a laborious and unnerving study on the perfection of suburban America: just because everything looks perfect doesn’t mean it is.

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