Waiting on Wednesday #4

The plots that tend to get stuck in my head usually are of the thriller genre. My on-again-off-again work in progress is tentatively titled Captive, and is about a young girl who has spent the majority of her life imprisoned by her abductor and who must make some very difficult choices in order to save herself. While I was sitting at lunch the other day, an idea struck me for a different story about two friends, self-destruction, a disappearance, and guilt. Won’t reveal too much about that one just yet… BUT I can say that once I saw the synopsis for After the Woods, I knew I would have to read it for the inspiration to tell the story I want to tell. That’s why it earns this week’s Waiting on Wednesday.

After the Woods
By Kim Savage
Publication Date: February 23, 2016

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Synopsis (via Goodreads)

“Would you risk your life to save your best friend?

Julia did. When a paroled predator attacked Liv in the woods, Julia fought back and got caught. Liv ran, leaving Julia in the woods for a terrifying 48 hours that she remembers only in flashbacks. One year later, Liv seems bent on self-destruction, starving herself, doing drugs, and hooking up with a violent new boyfriend. A dead girl turns up in those same woods, and Julia’s memories resurface alongside clues unearthed by an ambitious reporter that link the girl to Julia’s abductor. As the devastating truth becomes clear, Julia realizes that after the woods was just the beginning.”

Why I’m Waiting

Well, if you read the opening of this post, then you know I’m looking for inspiration for my own story. This book sounds right up the alley of what I like to write. I want mystery. I want suspense. I want to see the power of friendship facing the evils of the world.
From the reviews I’ve read (which seemed to consistently be 5 star reviews), it’s looking like Julia will shape up to be a fantastic heroine, strong and self-sacrificing. I’m looking forward to all of the twists, turns, and complications she will encounter.
This is the author’s debut novel, and if it’s as good as I think it will be, then I think Kim Savage will definitely be one to watch in the future. Her next thriller (title TBD) will be available in 2017, so we will have a bit of a wait to see what’s next from her.

Add After the Woods to your To Be Read Shelf on Goodreads
Pre-order via Amazon
Pre-order via Barnes & Noble

Waiting on Wednesday #3

February is such a good month! Know why? Well, yes, it is the month of my birthday, but know why else February is so great? The day after my birthday is the release of Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan! There was no debate here, this book definitely tops my Waiting on Wednesday list.

Reign of Shadows

By Sophie Jordan

Publication Date: February 9th

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Synopsis (via Goodreads)

“Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead.

But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.

With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.

With lush writing and a star–crossed romance, Reign of Shadows is Sophie Jordan at her best.”

Why I’m Waiting

Do you SEE that cover? I have no shame in judging a book by its cover – and this one is going to be good!
Also, by now you know my undying love for dark retellings of classic fairytales. This one here is playing off of Rapunzel, which you don’t see very often. There are all sorts of Cinderella or Alice in Wonderland retellings, but Rapunzel, not so much. I’m excited to dig in and see what fairytale elements have been included.
Another reason I’m waiting for this release is that, if you’ve read any of my recent reviews, you’ll know that most of the books I’ve read lately haven’t had a romantic plot. I’m getting in the mood for a book that will pull at my heartstrings.
I’ve already pre-ordered this one for the library’s collection, so I’ll be anxiously awaiting its arrival. If you happen to get ahold of it first, leave me a comment to let me know what you think of it!

Add Reign of Shadows to your To Be Read Shelf on Goodreads
Pre-order via Amazon
Pre-order via Barnes & Noble

Off the Shelf: A Review of Sweet Madness by Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Curie

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“The house I was working in was filled with crazy people, and everyone in Fall River knew it…including me.”


Funny that I just said in my review of Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin that I’d always considered myself not such a fan of alternate history/historical fiction, and here I am reading yet another young adult historical fiction novel so soon.

I don’t know what drew me to Sweet Madness. I’ve always thought the Lizzie Borden murders were an interesting mystery, and sure, I’d watch a documentary or two about it if it was on… But I wouldn’t say that I’d go out of my way to learn more about Lizzie and her family. So, picking this book out of the many new arrivals at the library to start reading at lunch made me surprise myself. This somewhat long description from Goodreads did peak my interest though and is worth the read:

“Seventeen-year-old Bridget Sullivan is alone in Fall River, a city that sees Irish immigrants as nothing more than a drunken drain on society. To make matters worse, she’s taken employment with the city’s most peculiar and gossip-laden family—the Bordens. But Bridget can’t afford to be picky—the pay surpasses any other job Bridget could ever secure and she desperately needs the money to buy her little sister, Cara, passage to the states. It doesn’t hurt that the job location is also close to her beau, Liam. As she enters the disturbing inner workings of the Borden household, Bridget clings to these advantages. However, what seemed like a straightforward situation soon turns into one that is untenable. Of course Bridget has heard the gossip around town about the Bordens, but what she encounters is far more unsettling. The erratic, paranoid behavior of Mr. Borden, the fearful silence of his wife, and worse still…the nightly whisperings Bridget hears that seem to come from the walls themselves. The unexpected bright spot of the position is that Lizzie Borden is so friendly. At first, Bridget is surprised at how Lizzie seems to look out for her, how she takes a strong interest in Bridget’s life. Over time, a friendship grows between them. But when Mr. Borden’s behavior goes from paranoid to cruel, and the eerie occurrences in the house seem to be building momentum, Bridget makes the tough decision that she must leave the house—even if it means leaving behind Lizzie, her closest friend, alone with the madness. Something she swore she would not do. But when Bridget makes a horrifying discovery in the home, all that she thought she knew about the Bordens is called into question…including if Lizzie is dangerous. And the choice she must make about Lizzie’s character could mean Bridget’s life or death. SWEET MADNESS is a retelling of the infamous Borden murders from the point of view of Lizzie’s Irish maid, Bridget Sullivan.”

Have you ever had someone take an unnatural interest in your life to the point it made you uncomfortable? The skin still prickles on the back of my neck when I think of my personal experience with that, and I had that same feeling for the main character Bridget as Lizzie’s true colors started to show. Normally, I don’t like historical fiction because playing around with actual people as characters seems almost intrusive. No one actually knows what happened at the Borden home when Andrew Borden and his wife were murdered, but it’s clear that the authors have done a fair amount of research to set the scene and make their theory of how it all went down plausible.

Continue reading “Off the Shelf: A Review of Sweet Madness by Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Curie”

Off the Shelf – A Review of The Sleeper & the Spindle

My first book of 2015 was This is Not a Test  by Courtney Summers, and I vividly remember finishing the book and immediately tossing it across the room in frustration. Just in case I forgot, Timehop decided to remind me.

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I can’t say what in particular made me dislike the book, but I do know that I was disappointed that my new year of new reads kicked off with a dud. I was determined not to let that happen again this year.

At the start of January, I began reading Da Vinci’s Tiger by L. M. Elliott, December’s book from OwlCrate. I made it through the first 60-80 pages, and I’ve had to temporarily set the book aside. The story is somewhat slow and just hasn’t captured me yet, so I began to worry that I would have a repeat of last year. I’m sure Da Vinci’s Tiger is probably wonderful, and I just haven’t given it enough of a shot yet, but I’m not taking any chances. So, I returned it to the nightstand, and I went in search of a guaranteed good read.

I normally stick to reading and reviewing mostly Young Adult books, but occasionally, I may choose one of certain relevance or that Young Adult readers may enjoy – such as this time. It may just be personal bias, but I believe Neil Gaiman transcends most all age groups and genres. So, while The Sleeper and the Spindle may look like an ordinary picture book, just one look inside can tell you that it is much, much more.

sleeper“Learning how to be strong, to feel her own emotions and not another’s, had been hard; but once you learned the trick of it, you did not forget.”

Continue reading “Off the Shelf – A Review of The Sleeper & the Spindle”

Waiting on Wednesday #2

A new year is just around the corner, which means all sorts of new releases! I, for one, can’t wait. I fully expect this winter to be an outrageously snowy one, so I’m planning on plenty of days spent inside with the heat turned up high, a giant mug of coffee, and something good to read.

At work, I keep a document on my computer that is a calendar for the entire year. When a book description strikes my fancy, I enter the book’s release date on the calendar. For January, my first notable release date happens to be for the 12th. What book is it?

Bookishly Ever After

By Isabel Bandeira

Publication Date: January 12, 2016

bookish

Synopsis (via Goodreads)
In a perfect world, sixteen-year-old Phoebe Martins’ life would be a book. Preferably a YA novel with magic and a hot paranormal love interest. Unfortunately, her life probably wouldn’t even qualify for a quiet contemporary. But when Phoebe finds out that Dev, the hottest guy in the clarinet section, might actually have a crush on her, she turns to her favorite books for advice. Phoebe overhauls her personality to become as awesome as her favorite heroines and win Dev’s heart. But if her plan fails, can she go back to her happy world of fictional boys after falling for the real thing?

Why I’m Waiting

Hold up…what? A book about a girl who loves books? I’m a girl who loves books!  This book seems like it might be the perfect fit for me, as well as any other girl who has ever had a crush on the fictional boys in books. I’m dying to know what characters Phoebe turns to for advice (Elizabeth Bennet, perhaps?). Ratings from those who have received ARCs are altogether positive, but nobody seems to be revealing additional snippets or details from the book yet, which makes me all the more excited to get my hands on it come January 12th. Goodreads has this marked as Ever After #1, which is a good indicator that this is the start to a new series. Also, I feel I just have to mention this… if you’re browsing Goodreads, you might see the author, Isabel Bandeira’s, profile picture. Is she or is she not dressed like Belle from Beauty and the Beast?! No wonder she wrote a book about a girl who loves books.

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Add Bookishly Ever After to your to-be-read shelf on Goodreads

Pre-order via Amazon

Pre-order via Barnes & Noble