Down The TBR Hole [#2]

Hello lovelies! Thank you for giving me such a positive response when I decided to join in with the ‘Down the TBR Hole’ meme 😀 Let’s dive straight into round two, shall we?

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‘Down The TBR Hole’ is a meme created by Lia @ Lost in a Story, though she now blogs @ Sunflowers and Wonder!

Here are the rules:-

  1. Go to your Goodreads want-to-read shelf.
  2. Order on ascending date added.
  3. Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. 
  4. Read the synopses of the books
  5. Decide: keep it or should it go?
  6. Keep track of where you left off so you can pick up there next time!

Rasputin: The Untold Story by Joseph T. Fuhrmann

rasputin

A century after his death, Grigory Rasputin remains fascinating: the Russian peasant with hypnotic eyes who befriended Tsar Nicholas II and helped destroy the Russian Empire, but the truth about his strange life has never fully been told. Written by the world’s leading authority on Rasputin, this new biography draws on previously closed Soviet archives to offer new information on Rasputin’s relationship with Empress Alexandra, sensational revelations about his sexual conquests, a re-examination of his murder, and more.

– Based on long-closed Soviet archives and the author’s decades of research, encompassing sources ranging from baptismal records and forgotten police reports to notes written by Rasputin and personal letters
– Reveals new information on Rasputin’s family history and strange early life, religious beliefs, and multitudinous sexual adventures as well as his relationship with Empress Alexandra, ability to heal the haemophiliac tsarevich, and more
– Includes many previously unpublished photos, including contemporary studio photographs of Rasputin and samples of his handwriting
– Written by historian Joesph T. Fuhrmann, a Rasputin expert whose 1990 biography Rasputin: A Life was widely praised as the best on the subject
– Synthesizing archival sources with published documents, memoirs, and other studies of Rasputin into a single, comprehensive work, Rasputin: The Untold Story will correct a century’s worth of misconception and error about the life and death of the famous Siberian mystic and healer and the decline and fall of Imperial Russia.

I think I added this one due to my love of all things Russian and particularly, my childhood love of Anastasia. However, I tend to struggle with non-fiction. Unless someone was to buy this for me, I’m unlikely to ever get to it.

Verdict: Remove


Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

ready player one

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

I’ve owned this book for FAR too long. I’m determined to read it. I think I’ll make it one of my must-reads for 2020.

Verdict: Keep

[Related post: 12 Books I MUST Read in 2019!]


Matched by Ally Condie

matched

In the Society, officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.

Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s hardly any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one…until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow—between perfection and passion.

Matched is a story for right now and storytelling with the resonance of a classic.

I’m hoping this is a judgement-free zone! I added this one in my very early Goodreads days, back when I was behind on years’ worth of books. Books like this were all the rage back then and I wanted to see what I was missing. I think the time has definitely passed.

Verdict: Remove


A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

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An unflinching, darkly funny, and deeply moving story of a boy, his seriously ill mother, and an unexpected monstrous visitor.

At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting – he’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. The monster in his backyard is different. It’s ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth.

From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd – whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself – Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined.

Patrick Ness is one of my auto-buy authors so of course, I already own a copy of this. But to this day, I have not had the courage to pick it up. Having lost my own mum to cancer when I was young, I know that this one is going to be very close to the bone for me. I’d like to read it one day but I need to make sure I’m in a mentally strong place.

Verdict: Keep


The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon

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Joe Kavalier, a young Jewish artist who has also been trained in the art of Houdini-esque escape, has just smuggled himself out of Nazi-invaded Prague and landed in New York City. His Brooklyn cousin Sammy Clay is looking for a partner to create heroes, stories, and art for the latest novelty to hit America – the comic book. Drawing on their own fears and dreams, Kavalier and Clay create the Escapist, the Monitor, and Luna Moth, inspired by the beautiful Rosa Saks, who will become linked by powerful ties to both men. With exhilarating style and grace, Michael Chabon tells an unforgettable story about American romance and possibility.

I think I found this on a Pinterest list waaay back in the day. I’ve never really heard much about it since. But it sounds like it could be interesting.

Verdict: Keep


The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi

water knife

In the American Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, and California skirmish for dwindling shares of the Colorado River. Into the fray steps Angel Velasquez, leg-breaker, assassin, and spy. A Las Vegas water knife, Angel “cuts” water for his boss, Catherine Case, ensuring that her luxurious developments can bloom in the desert, so the rich can stay wet while the poor get dust. When rumors of a game-changing water source surface in drought-ravaged Phoenix, it seems California is making a play to monopolize the life-giving flow of the river, and Angel is sent to investigate. There, he encounters Lucy Monroe, a drought-hardened journalist, and Maria Villarosa, a young refugee who survives by her wits in a city that despises everything she represents. For Angel, Lucy, and Maria, time is running out and their only hope for survival rests in each other’s hands. But when water is more valuable than gold, alliances shift like sand, and the only thing for certain is that someone will have to bleed if anyone hopes to drink.

I think this came from the same Pinterest list as the previous book. This cli-fi sounds to me a lot like Neal and Jarrod Shusterman’s Dry. So I feel like I’ve kind of been there, done that? And I don’t know if I’d like the gangster slant in this one.

Verdict: Remove


The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

buried giant

The extraordinary new novel from the author of Never Let Me Go and the Booker Prize winning The Remains of the Day. The Romans have long since departed, and Britain is steadily declining into ruin. But at least the wars that once ravaged the country have ceased. The Buried Giant begins as a couple, Axl and Beatrice, set off across a troubled land of mist and rain in the hope of finding a son they have not seen for years. They expect to face many hazards – some strange and other-worldly – but they cannot yet foresee how their journey will reveal to them dark and forgotten corners of their love for one another. Sometimes savage, often intensely moving, Kazuo Ishiguro’s first novel in a decade is about lost memories, love, revenge and war.

I’ve never read anything by Ishiguro but I like the sound of this one. Plus I already own it so I have no excuse not to read it.

Verdict: Keep


Last Night in Montreal by Emily St. John Mandel

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Lilia has been leaving people behind her entire life. Haunted by her inability to remember her early childhood, and by a mysterious shadow that seems to dog her wherever she goes, Lilia moves restlessly from city to city, abandoning lovers and friends along the way. But then she meets Eli, and he’s not ready to let her go, not without a fight.

Gorgeously written, charged with tension and foreboding, Emily St. John Mandel’s Last Night in Montreal is the story of a life spent at the centre of a criminal investigation. It is a novel about identity, love and amnesia, the depths and limits of family bonds and – ultimately – about the nature of obsession.

Station Eleven is one of my all-time favourites so I definitely want to read more from this author.

Verdict: Keep


The Lola Quartet by Emily St. John Mandel

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The Lola Quartet: Jack, Daniel, Sasha and Gavin, four talented musicians at the end of their high school careers. On the dream-like night of their last concert, Gavin’s girlfriend Anna disappears. Ten years later Gavin sees a photograph of a little girl who looks uncannily like him and who shares Anna’s surname, and suddenly he finds himself catapulted back to a secretive past he didn’t realise he’d left behind.

But that photo has set off a cascade of dangerous consequences and, as one by one the members of the Lola Quartet are reunited, a terrifying story emerges: of innocent mistakes, of secrecy and of a life lived on the run.

Filled with love, music and thwarted dreams, Emily St. John Mandel’s The Lola Quartet is a thrilling novel about how the errors of the past can threaten the future.

As above. Plus I find these book covers really striking, so I want to see them all lined up on my shelves!

Verdict: Keep


The Singer’s Gun by Emily St. John Mandel

singer's gun

After shaking off an increasingly dangerous venture with his cousin, Anton Waker has spent years constructing an honest life for himself. But then a routine security check brings his past crashing back towards him. His marriage and career in ruins, Anton finds himself in Italy with one last job from his cousin. But there is someone on his tail and they are getting closer . . .

The Singer’s Gun follows Anton, Alex Broden – a detective on the trail of a people trafficker, and Elena, caught up in the investigation against her will. Taut and thrilling, it is a novel about identity and loyalty, and the things we are willing to sacrifice for love.

Yeah, I feel like a broken record now. They’re all staying.

Verdict: Keep


Landline by Rainbow Rowell

landline

 

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble; it has been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems beside the point now.

Maybe that was always beside the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts…

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

Wow, that’s a long synopsis. This is another one that I own and want to read at some point. I didn’t actually realise that it was set near Christmas so maybe I’ll read it before the year is over.

Verdict: Keep


Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

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It’s 1999 and the internet is still a novelty. At a newspaper office, two colleagues, Beth and Jennifer, e-mail back and forth, discussing their lives in hilarious details, from love troubles to family dramas. And Lincoln, a shy IT guy responsible for monitoring e-mails, spends his hours reading every exchange.

At first their e-mails offer a welcome diversion, but the more he reads, the more he finds himself falling for one of them. By the time Lincoln realises just how head-over-heels he is, it’s too late to introduce himself.

After a series of close encounters, Lincoln eventually decides he must follow his heart… and find out if there is such a thing as love before first sight.

Yeah, so you’ll notice that I had a habit back in the day of adding every book an author had written. I don’t own this one and it sounds like a straight-up romance which is not really a genre I read. Maybe if I like Landline, I’ll add it back but for now…

Verdict: Remove


Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

carry on

Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here — it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On is a love letter to love stories and the power of words – to every ‘chosen one’ who ever had more on their mind than saving the world.

*waits for the gasps of horror*

No, I’ve never read Carry On. Honestly? I’m apprehensive; I’m not sure how I’m going to feel about this Harry Potter spoof. But I’d like to read it just to see what the hype is all about. And I do like the nod to Supernatural in the book titles (whether it was intended or not).

Verdict: Keep


The House on Carnaval Street by Deborah Rodriguez

carnaval street

When her family faces kidnap threats after the publication of her first book, Deborah Rodriguez is forced to flee Kabul, leaving behind her friends, her possessions, the beauty school she helped found and her two beloved businesses: a beauty salon and a coffee shop.

But life proves no easier ‘back home’. After a year living on top of a mountain in the Napa Valley and teetering on the edge of sanity, Deborah makes a decision. One way or another she’s going to get the old Deb back.

So, at the age of forty-nine, she packs her life and her cat Polly into her Mini Cooper and heads south to a pretty seaside town in Mexico. Home is now an unassuming little house on Carnaval Street.

There she struggles to learn Spanish, works out with strippers and spends her Sunday nights watching clowns. And maybe – just maybe – the magic of Mexico will finally give her what she’s always dreamed of: a life on her own terms . . .

I added this one after enjoying The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul but I managed to miss the fact that it was a memoir (I thought maybe it was fiction but based on truth? I don’t know.) Anyway, I don’t tend to read memoirs unless they’re by someone I’m super interested in.

Verdict: Remove


Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

dark places

Libby Day was just seven years old when her evidence put her fifteen-year-old brother behind bars.

Since then, she has been drifting. But when she is contacted by a group who are convinced of Ben’s innocence, Libby starts to ask questions she never dared to before. Was the voice she heard her brother’s? Ben was a misfit in their small town, but was he capable of murder? Are there secrets to uncover at the family farm or is Libby deluding herself because she wants her brother back?

She begins to realise that everyone in her family had something to hide that day… especially Ben. Now, twenty-four years later, the truth is going to be even harder to find.

Who did massacre the Day family?

I recently unhauled the physical copy of this from my shelves so it can definitely come off my digital shelf too! I just feel like this author is really over-hyped and I’m no longer interested in reading her books. (Sorry if that offends anyone!)

Verdict: Remove


The Rest Of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

the rest of us just live here

Not everyone has to be the chosen one

What if you’re not an indie kid, fighting zombies, or whatever this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Sometimes you just have to discover how even an ordinary life can be extraordinary.

From the bestselling and award-winning author of A Monster Calls and More Than This comes a bold, funny and insightful about many different types of remarkable.

Ah, another Patrick Ness. I must read this one of these days.

Verdict: Keep


The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness

crane wife

One night, George Duncan – decent man, a good man – is woken by a noise in his garden. Impossibly, a great white crane has tumbled to earth, shot through its wing by an arrow. Unexpectedly moved, George helps the bird, and from the moment he watches it fly off, his life is transformed.

The next day, a kind but enigmatic woman walks into George’s shop. Suddenly a new world opens up for George, and one night she starts to tell him the most extraordinary story.

Wise, romantic, magical and funny, The Crane Wife is a hymn to the creative imagination and a celebration of the disruptive and redemptive power of love.

This is probably the Patrick Ness book that I’ve heard the least about but oh my word, it sounds wonderful.

Verdict: Keep


The New World, The Wide Wide Sea, and Snowscape by Patrick Ness

The New World: In this dramatic prequel to the award-winning Chaos Walking Trilogy, author Patrick Ness gives us a short story of Viola’s journey to the New World.

The Wide, Wide Sea: The Wide, Wide Sea is set in the past, at a time before the Spackle War, and we get a first look at the fishing village on the sea where some very important things happen at the end of Monsters of Men.

Snowscape: Snowscape is set after the end of Monsters of Men, so that’s when you should read it. That’s all I’ll say, I don’t want to give anything away. 😉 – Patrick Ness

I’m taking these three short stories together because I can’t be bothered to repeat myself 3 times lol. These stories all relate to the Chaos Walking trilogy which I loved but they’re only available as e-books and that’s not a format I enjoy reading. Plus it’s been years since I actually read the trilogy so these wouldn’t resonate as much with me nowadays.

Verdict: Remove


Magic For Beginners by Kelly Link

magic for beginners

The nine stories in Link’s second collection are the spitting image of those in her acclaimed debut, Stranger Things Happen: effervescent blends of quirky humor and pathos that transform stock themes of genre fiction into the stuff of delicate lyrical fantasy. In “Stone Animals,” a house’s haunting takes the unusual form of hordes of rabbits that camp out nightly on the front lawn. This proves just one of several benign but inexplicable phenomena that begin to pull apart the family newly moved into the house as surely as a more sinister supernatural influence might. The title story beautifully captures the unpredictable potential of teenage lives through its account of a group of adolescent schoolfriends whose experiences subtly parallel events in a surreal TV fantasy series. Zombies serve as the focus for a young man’s anxieties about his future in “Some Zombie Contingency Plans” and offer suggestive counterpoint to the lives of two convenience store clerks who serve them in “The Hortlak.” Not only does Link find fresh perspectives from which to explore familiar premises, she also forges ingenious connections between disparate images and narrative approaches to suggest a convincing alternate logic that shapes the worlds of her highly original fantasies.

I feel like this synopsis is trying very hard? But I still quite like sound of this book and I’ve been enjoying short story collections more and more recently.

Verdict: Keep


Monstrous Affections: An Anthology of Beastly Tales edited by Kelly Link

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Fifteen top voices in speculative fiction explore the intersection of fear and love in a haunting, at times hilarious, darkly imaginative volume.

Predatory kraken that sing with – and for – their kin; band members and betrayed friends who happen to be demonic; harpies as likely to attract as to repel. Welcome to a world where humans live side-by-side with monsters, from vampires both nostalgic and bumbling, to an eight-legged alien who makes tea. Here you’ll find mercurial forms that burrow into warm fat, spectral boy toys, a Maori force of nature, a landform that claims lives, and an architect of hell on earth. Through these, and a few monsters that defy categorization, some of today’s top young-adult authors explore ambition and sacrifice, loneliness and rage, love requited and avenged, and the boundless potential for connection, even across extreme borders.

With Monstrous Stories by M. T. Anderson, Paolo Bacigalupi, Nathan Ballingrud, Holly Black, Sarah Rees Brennan, Cassandra Clare, Nalo Hopkinson, Dylan Horrocks
Nik Houser, Alice Sola Kim, Kathleen Jennings, Joshua Lewis, Kelly Link, Patrick Ness and G. Carl Purcell.

I obviously added this based on the Kelly Link connection but it sounds pretty awesome and there are some authors whose contributions I’d like to read.

Verdict: Keep



Books removed in this post: 9

Books removed in total: 17

Total books analysed: 42

Do you participate in ‘Down The TBR Hole’? What do you think of my decisions? Let me know your thoughts in the comments! xsignature (2)

November 2019 Anticipated Releases!

It’s finally November! Not that I’ve been wishing the year away but this is the month that some of my most anticipated books of the year are finally being released!! I am very excited 😀

For some reason, a lot of the books I was planning to feature this month have been pushed back and now won’t release until December, so this is going to be a shorter post than usual. But some of the entries more than make up for it, in my opinion.

Let’s dive in and see what delights November has in store for us, shall we?

[As always, all covers and synopses are taken from Goodreads, and I have used UK release dates.]

November


By Any Means Necessary by Candice Montgomery

Release date: November 1st

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On the day Torrey officially becomes a college freshman, he gets a call that might force him to drop out before he’s even made it through orientation: the bee farm his beloved uncle Miles left him after his tragic death is being foreclosed on.

Torrey would love nothing more than to leave behind the family and neighbourhood that’s bleeding him dry. But he still feels compelled to care for the project of his uncle’s heart. As the farm heads for auction, Torrey precariously balances choosing a major and texting Gabriel—the first boy he ever kissed—with the fight to stop his uncle’s legacy from being demolished. But as notice letters pile up and lawyers appear at his dorm, dividing himself between family and future becomes impossible unless he sacrifices a part of himself.

Why I’m interested: The early reviews I’ve seen for this one have been incredibly positive. I’ve developed a real love of contemporaries in recent months and this one just sounds wonderful. LGBT and bees? Sign me up.


Beyond the Black Door by A. M. Strickland

Release date: November 1st

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Everyone has a soul. Some are beautiful gardens, others are frightening dungeons. Soulwalkers―like Kamai and her mother―can journey into other people’s souls while they sleep.

But no matter where Kamai visits, she sees the black door. It follows her into every soul, and her mother has told her to never, ever open it.

When Kamai touches the door, it is warm and beating, like it has a pulse. When she puts her ear to it, she hears her own name whispered from the other side. And when tragedy strikes, Kamai does the unthinkable: she opens the door.

A.M. Strickland’s imaginative dark fantasy features court intrigue and romance, a main character coming to terms with her asexuality, and twists and turns as a seductive mystery unfolds that endangers not just Kamai’s own soul, but the entire kingdom…

Why I’m interested: The premise of this one sounds so cool! Journeying into people’s souls? Whoa. Sounds great.


Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters by Emily Robertson

Release date: November 1st

lifestyles of gods and monsters

Sixteen-year-old Ariadne’s whole life is curated and shared with the world. Her royal family’s entertainment empire is beloved by the tabloids, all over social media, and the hottest thing on television. The biggest moneymaker? The Labyrinth Contest, a TV extravaganza in which Ariadne leads fourteen teens into a maze to kill a monster. To win means endless glory; to lose means death. In ten seasons, no one has ever won.

When the gorgeous, mysterious Theseus arrives at the competition and asks Ariadne to help him to victory, she doesn’t expect to fall for him. He might be acting interested in her just to boost ratings. Their chemistry is undeniable, though, and she can help him survive. If he wins, the contest would end for good. But if she helps him, she doesn’t just endanger her family’s empire―the monster would have to die. And for Ariadne, his life might be the only one worth saving.

Ariadne’s every move is watched by the public and predestined by the gods, so how can she find a way to forge her own destiny and save the people she loves?

Why I’m interested: This sounds like it will be the most hilarious combination of Greek mythology and trash tv. I’m here for it.


The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Release date: November 5th

starless sea

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues–a bee, a key, and a sword–that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library, hidden far below the surface of the earth.

What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians–it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also those who are intent on its destruction.

Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly-soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose–in both the mysterious book and in his own life.

Why I’m interested: This is it people! My most anticipated release of the year, possibly ever! I cannot wait to immerse myself in more of Erin Morgenstern’s gorgeous writing and I have no doubt that I will adore this.


Winterwood by Shea Earnshaw

Release date: November 5th

winterwood

Be careful of the dark, dark wood . . .

Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Haunted, even.

Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection with the woods. And it’s this special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman—the same boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago—and in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive, and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’d been missing.

But Nora can feel an uneasy shift in the woods at Oliver’s presence. And it’s not too long after that Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest, and what led him there in the first place. What Nora doesn’t know, though, is that Oliver has secrets of his own—secrets he’ll do anything to keep buried, because as it turns out, he wasn’t the only one to have gone missing on that fateful night all those weeks ago.

Why I’m interested: This is another one I’m very excited about! I loved this author’s debut, The Wicked Deep, so I’m looking forward to reading more from her.


The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White

Release date: November 5th

guinevere deception

Princess Guinevere has come to Camelot to wed a stranger: the charismatic King Arthur. With magic clawing at the kingdom’s borders, the great wizard Merlin conjured a solution–send in Guinevere to be Arthur’s wife . . . and his protector from those who want to see the young king’s idyllic city fail. The catch? Guinevere’s real name–and her true identity–is a secret. She is a changeling, a girl who has given up everything to protect Camelot.

To keep Arthur safe, Guinevere must navigate a court in which the old–including Arthur’s own family–demand things continue as they have been, and the new–those drawn by the dream of Camelot–fight for a better way to live. And always, in the green hearts of forests and the black depths of lakes, magic lies in wait to reclaim the land. Arthur’s knights believe they are strong enough to face any threat, but Guinevere knows it will take more than swords to keep Camelot free.

Deadly jousts, duplicitous knights, and forbidden romances are nothing compared to the greatest threat of all: the girl with the long black hair, riding on horseback through the dark woods toward Arthur. Because when your whole existence is a lie, how can you trust even yourself?

Why I’m interested: Having recently enjoyed The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, I’m interested to read another feminist retelling from this author. Hopefully she’ll do just as good a job with this one.


The Toll by Neal Shusterman

Release date: November 7th

the toll

It’s been three years since Rowan and Citra disappeared; since Scythe Goddard came into power; since the Thunderhead closed itself off to everyone but Grayson Tolliver.

In this pulse-pounding conclusion to New York Times bestselling author Neal Shusterman’s Arc of a Scythe trilogy, constitutions are tested and old friends are brought back from the dead.

Why I’m interested: Why is the blurb so short?! I have the fear. But I’m beyond excited to see how this trilogy ends after that cliff-hanger at the end of book two. And I’m thrilled to already have a copy of this one thanks to Walker Books! I should be reading it as this post publishes!


The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling by Wai Chim

Release date: November 14th

surprising power of a good dumpling.jpg

Anna Chiu has her hands pretty full looking after her brother and sister and helping out at her dad’s restaurant, all while her mum stays in bed. Dad’s new delivery boy, Rory, is a welcome distraction and even though she knows that things aren’t right at home, she’s starting to feel like she could just be a normal teen.

But when Mum finally gets out of bed, things go from bad to worse. And as Mum’s condition worsens, Anna and her family question everything they understand about themselves and each other.

A nourishing tale about the crevices of culture, mental wellness and family, and the surprising power of a good dumpling.

Why I’m interested: This one flew under my radar initially but I’ve since seen a couple of fantastic reviews for it. I love that mental health seems to be a big theme and I’d really like to see how it’s handled. Plus foodie fiction!


Now Entering Addamsville by Francesca Zappia

Release date: November 14th

now entering addamsville

Zora Novak has been framed.

When someone burns down the home of the school janitor and he dies in the blaze, everyone in Addamsville, Indiana, points a finger at Zora. Never mind that Zora has been on the straight and narrow since her father was thrown in jail. With everyone looking for evidence against her, her only choice is to uncover the identity of the real killer. There’s one big problem—Zora has no leads. No one does. Addamsville has a history of tragedy, and thirty years ago a similar string of fires left several townspeople dead. The arsonist was never caught.

Now, Zora must team up with her cousin Artemis—an annoying self-proclaimed Addamsville historian—to clear her name. But with a popular ghost-hunting television show riling up the townspeople, almost no support from her family and friends, and rumors spinning out of control, things aren’t looking good. Zora will have to read between the lines of Addamsville’s ghost stories before she becomes one herself.

Why I’m interested: Eliza and Her Monsters is still on my wishlist but I can’t help adding this one right alongside it. It gives me great spooky mystery vibes. And I’m a little bit in love with the cover.



Are you excited about any of these books? Is there anything I haven’t featured that you’re looking forward to? Let me know in the comments! xsignature (2)

Down The TBR Hole [#1]

Hello lovelies! I’ve really been wanting to tidy up my Goodreads shelves recently so I’m finally diving into this meme! I’ve seen so many people doing ‘Down the TBR Hole’ and it always intrigues me, so hopefully you won’t mind me joining in with it 😀

I’m going to format these posts in the same way as I do my anticipated releases for the month because I really like that setup!

down the tbr hole.png

‘Down The TBR Hole’ is a meme created by Lia @ Lost in a Story, though she now blogs @ Sunflowers and Wonder!

Here are the rules:-

  1. Go to your Goodreads want-to-read shelf.
  2. Order on ascending date added.
  3. Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. 
  4. Read the synopses of the books
  5. Decide: keep it or should it go?
  6. Keep track of where you left off so you can pick up there next time!

The Little Prince by Antoine de Sainte-Exupéry

little prince

Moral allegory and spiritual autobiography, The Little Prince is the most translated book in the French language. With a timeless charm it tells the story of a little boy who leaves the safety of his own tiny planet to travel the universe, learning the vagaries of adult behaviour through a series of extraordinary encounters. His personal odyssey culminates in a voyage to Earth and further adventures.

This is one of those classics that I feel like I should have read as a child. Sadly, that time is long-since past but I’d still like to read this book at some point and see what it’s all about.

Verdict: Keep


The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

bell jar

The Bell Jar chronicles the crack-up of Esther Greenwood: brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under—maybe for the last time. Sylvia Plath masterfully draws the reader into Esther’s breakdown with such intensity that Esther’s insanity becomes completely real and even rational, as probable and accessible an experience as going to the movies. Such deep penetration into the dark and harrowing corners of the psyche is an extraordinary accomplishment and has made The Bell Jar a haunting American classic.

This is another one of those classics that I absolutely want to read at some point – particularly as this is a mental-health related title. I feel like I’m the only person in the world that hasn’t read The Bell Jar and that’s something I want to remedy.

Verdict: Keep


Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman

smoke and mirrors

The distinctive storytelling genius of Neil Gaiman has been acclaimed by writers as diverse as Norman Mailer and Stephen King. Now in this new collection of stories–several of which have never before appeared in print and more than half that have never been collected–that will dazzle the senses and haunt the imagination.

Miraculous inventions and unforgettable characters inhabit these pages: an elderly widow who finds the Holy Grail in a second-hand store…a frightened little boy who bargains for his life with a troll living under a bridge by the railroad tracks…a stray cat who battles nightly against a recurring evil that threatens his unsuspecting adoptive family. In these stories, Gaiman displays the power, wit, insight and outrageous originality that has made him one of the most unique literary artists of our day.

I fully intend to read everything Neil Gaiman has written. It’s just a case of when. I’m taking part in a Gaiman readathon in November so maybe I’ll pick this one up if I’m in the mood for some short stories.

Verdict: Keep


Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire

wicked

When Dorothy triumphed over the Wicked Witch of the West in L. Frank Baum’s classic tale we heard only her side of the story. But what about her arch-nemesis, the mysterious Witch? Where did she come from? How did she become so wicked? And what is the true nature of evil?

Gregory Maguire creates a fantasy world so rich and vivid that we will never look at Oz the same way again. Wicked is about a land where animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens, Munchkinlanders seek the comfort of middle-class stability, and the Tin Man becomes a victim of domestic violence. And then there is the little green-skinned girl named Elphaba, who will grow up to become the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, a smart, prickly, and misunderstood creature who challenges all our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil.

An astonishingly rich re-creation of the land of Oz, this book retells the story of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, who wasn’t so wicked after all. Taking readers past the yellow brick road and into a phantasmagoric world rich with imagination and allegory, Gregory Maguire just might change the reputation of one of the most sinister characters in literature.

I pretty much know the story of this one thanks to the fabulous musical soundtrack. And I’ve heard that the book itself isn’t actually that great. I think I’d rather just go see the show.

Verdict: Remove


The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks

wasp factory.jpg

Frank, no ordinary sixteen-year-old, lives with his father outside a remote Scottish village. Their life is, to say the least, unconventional. Frank’s mother abandoned them years ago: his elder brother Eric is confined to a psychiatric hospital; and his father measures out his eccentricities on an imperial scale. Frank has turned to strange acts of violence to vent his frustrations. In the bizarre daily rituals there is some solace. But when news comes of Eric’s escape from the hospital Frank has to prepare the ground for his brother’s inevitable return – an event that explodes the mysteries of the past and changes Frank utterly.

The Wasp Factory is a work of horrifying compulsion: horrifying, because it enters a mind whose realities are not our own, whose values of life and death are alien to our society; compulsive, because the humour and compassion of that mind reach out to us all. A novel of extraordinary originality, imagination and comic ferocity.

I don’t know why I ever added this. Maybe the mention of a psychiatric hospital? But honestly, it sounds kind of horrific. Add to that all the negative reviews and I don’t fancy it.

Verdict: Remove


Let The Right One In by John Adjvide Lindqvist

let the right one in

It is autumn 1981 when the inconceivable comes to Blackeberg, a suburb in Sweden. The body of a teenage boy is found, emptied of blood, the murder rumored to be part of a ritual killing. Twelve-year-old Oskar is personally hoping that revenge has come at long last—revenge for the bullying he endures at school, day after day.

But the murder is not the most important thing on his mind. A new girl has moved in next door—a girl who has never seen a Rubik’s Cube before, but who can solve it at once. There is something wrong with her, though, something odd. And she only comes out at night….

I’ve heard mixed things about this author but since this is a classic of the genre, I think I’ll let it stay (for now).

Verdict: Keep


The Magician’s Lie by Greer Macallister

magicians lie

Water for Elephants meets The Night Circus in The Magician’s Lie, a debut novel in which the country’s most notorious female illusionist stands accused of her husband’s murder –and she has only one night to convince a small-town policeman of her innocence.

The Amazing Arden is the most famous female illusionist of her day, renowned for her notorious trick of sawing a man in half on stage. One night in Waterloo, Iowa, with young policeman Virgil Holt watching from the audience, she swaps her trademark saw for a fire ax. Is it a new version of the illusion, or an all-too-real murder? When Arden’s husband is found lifeless beneath the stage later that night, the answer seems clear.

But when Virgil happens upon the fleeing magician and takes her into custody, she has a very different story to tell. Even handcuffed and alone, Arden is far from powerless—and what she reveals is as unbelievable as it is spellbinding. Over the course of one eerie night, Virgil must decide whether to turn Arden in or set her free… and it will take all he has to see through the smoke and mirrors.

I don’t remember adding this one but I can tell from the first line of the synopsis why I did. Water for Elephants meets The Night Circus? Sounds made for me. This one can stay.

Verdict: Keep


I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak

i am the messenger

Ed Kennedy is an underage cabdriver without much of a future. He’s pathetic at playing cards, hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey, and utterly devoted to his coffee-drinking dog, the Doorman. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery.

That’s when the first ace arrives in the mail.

That’s when Ed becomes the messenger.

Chosen to care, he makes his way through town helping and hurting (when necessary) until only one question remains: Who’s behind Ed’s mission?

The Book Thief is one of my all-time favourite books and I’ve always been intrigued by Zusak’s other books. Plus I own a copy of this one. I just need to get to it at some point.

Verdict: Keep


Collected Folk Tales by Alan Garner

collected folk tales

The definitive collection of traditional British folk tales, selected and retold by the renowned Alan Garner.

Following on from the fiftieth anniversary of Alan Garner’s seminal fantasy classic, THE WEIRDSTONE OF BRISINGAMEN, here are collected all of Alan’s folk tales, told with his unique storytelling skill and inimitably clear voice. Essential reading for young and old alike.

Among the stories collected here are:
• Kate Crackernuts
• Gold-Tree and Silver-Tree
• Yallery Brown

I don’t think I’d ever pick up a full collection like this and read it cover to cover. It’s probably more of a reference book that you would dip in and out of at times.

Verdict: Remove


Mental Health Matters: A Reader by Tom Heller

mental health matters

Mental Health Matters is an innovative, interdisciplinary collection of texts which challenge traditional understandings of mental health, emphasising the perspectives of mental health service-users. Combining classic writings about mental health practices and problems from psychiatry, sociology and psychology with specially commissioned new articles, it considers theories and debates in mental health and distress; the social and historical dimensions of mental health; involving users in mental health services and practically improving those services.

This is a book that I acquired during my psychology degree. I still own it and would use it for references at times but it’s not really the kind of book that needs a place on my TBR.

Verdict: Remove


Prudence by Gail Carriger

prudence.jpg

When Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama (Rue to her friends) is given an unexpected dirigible, she does what any sensible female would under similar circumstances – names it the Spotted Custard and floats to India in pursuit of the perfect cup of tea. But India has more than just tea on offer. Rue stumbles upon a plot involving local dissidents, a kidnapped brigadier’s wife, and some awfully familiar Scottish werewolves. Faced with a dire crisis and an embarrassing lack of bloomers, what else is a young lady of good breeding to do but turn metanatural and find out everyone’s secrets, even thousand-year-old fuzzy ones?

I really enjoyed Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series and I would love to try this spin-off series about her daughter at some point.

Verdict: Keep


Imprudence by Gail Carriger

imprudence

Rue and the crew of the Spotted Custard return from India with revelations that shake the foundations of England’s scientific community. Queen Victoria is not amused, the vampires are tetchy, and something is wrong with the local werewolf pack. To top it all off, Rue’s best friend Primrose keeps getting engaged to the most unacceptable military types.

Rue has family problems as well. Her vampire father is angry, her werewolf father is crazy, and her obstreperous mother is both. Worst of all, Rue’s beginning to suspect what they really are… is frightened.

I’m making it a rule to only keep first books in series on my TBR shelf, as a placeholder for the series as a whole. If the time comes, I can add this back.

Verdict: Remove


Bellman and Black by Diane Setterfield

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A haunting Victorian ghost story of love, loss and the mystery of death from the bestselling author of THE THIRTEENTH TALE.

A childish act of cruelty with terrible consequences.

A father desperate to save his daughter.

A curious bargain with a stranger in black.

And Bellman & Black is born.

I read The Thirteenth Tale many many years ago and remember enjoying it. This one is languishing on my backlist but since I own it, I plan to get to it. One day.

Verdict: Keep


The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd

mermaid chair.jpg

Inside the abbey of a Benedictine monastery on tiny Egret Island, just off the coast of South Carolina, resides a beautiful and mysterious chair ornately carved with mermaids and dedicated to a saint who, legend claims, was a mermaid before her conversion.

Jessie Sullivan’s conventional life has been “molded to the smallest space possible.” So when she is called home to cope with her mother’s startling and enigmatic act of violence, Jessie finds herself relieved to be apart from her husband, Hugh. Jessie loves Hugh, but on Egret Island-amid the gorgeous marshlands and tidal creeks-she becomes drawn to Brother Thomas, a monk who is mere months from taking his final vows.

What transpires will unlock the roots of her mother’s tormented past, but most of all, as Jessie grapples with the tension of desire and the struggle to deny it, she will find a freedom that feels overwhelmingly right.

What inspires the yearning for a soul mate? Few writers have explored, as Kidd does, the lush, unknown region of the feminine soul where the thin line between the spiritual and the erotic exists.

The Mermaid Chair is a vividly imagined novel about the passions of the spirit and the ecstasies of the body; one that illuminates a woman’s self-awakening with the brilliance and power that only a writer of Kidd’s ability could conjure.

Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees is another of my all-time favourites. I also really enjoyed The Invention of Wings. I’m a completionist so I obviously want to read this one.

Verdict: Keep


The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

divine comedy.jpg

The Divine Comedy describes Dante’s descent into Hell with Virgil as a guide; his ascent of Mount Purgatory and encounter with his dead love, Beatrice; and finally, his arrival in Heaven. Examining questions of faith, desire and enlightenment, the poem is a brilliantly nuanced and moving allegory of human redemption.

I’m one of those people that loves epic poetry (Paradise Lost is a favourite). I’d love to get to this one day but I don’t currently own it and it’s a case of out of sight, out of mind. If I ever acquire a copy, I’ll add it back.

Verdict: Remove


The Gates by John Connolly

the gates.jpg

Young Samuel Johnson and his dachshund, Boswell, are trying to show initiative by trick-or-treating a full three days before Halloween which is how they come to witness strange goings-on at 666 Crowley Road. The Abernathys don’t mean any harm by their flirtation with the underworld, but when they unknowingly call forth Satan himself, they create a gap in the universe. A gap in which a pair of enormous gates is visible. The gates to Hell. And there are some pretty terrifying beings just itching to get out…

Can one small boy defeat evil? Can he harness the power of science, faith, and love to save the world as we know it?

Bursting with imagination, The Gates is about the pull between good and evil, physics and fantasy. It is about a quirky and eccentric boy who is impossible not to love, and the unlikely cast of characters who give him the strength to stand up to a demonic power.

John Connolly manages to re-create the magical and scary world of childhood that we’ve all left behind but so love to visit. And for those of you who thought you knew everything you could about particle physics and the universe, think again. This novel makes anything seem possible.

I added this because I love The Book of Lost Things but I had forgotten about it. It sounds great though so I’m letting it stay. Anyone else get Good Omens vibes?

Verdict: Keep


The Book of Flying by Keith Miller

book of flying.jpg

In Keith Miller’s debut novel, our hero is Pico, a poet and librarian who is forbidden to pursue the girl of his dreams – for she has wings, and Pico does not. When he discovers an ancient letter in his library telling of the mythical Morning Town where the flightless may gain their wings, he sets off on a quest. It’s a magical journey and coming-of-age story in which he meets a robber queen, a lonely minotaur, a cannibal, an immortal beauty, and a dream seller. Each has a story, and a lesson, for Pico – about learning to love, to persevere, and, of course, to fly. A gorgeously poetic tale of fantasy for adults, The Book of Flying is a beautiful modern fable and daring new take on the quest narrative.

Another one that I can’t remember adding – I think it came up as a Goodreads recommendation? I’m honestly not sure what to do with it. It sounds decent so I’ll let it stay for now but I may remove it if anyone convinces me otherwise!

Verdict: Keep


Nocturnes by John Connolly

nocturnes

From #1 internationally bestselling author John Connolly comes Nocturnes, a dark, daring, utterly haunting shot story anthology of lost lovers and missing children, predatory demons, and vengeful ghosts.

Connolly’s collection of supernatural novellas and stories echoes the work of some of the masters of the genre while never losing his own distinctive voice. In “The New Daughter,” a father comes to suspect that a burial mound on his land hides something very ancient, and very much alive; in “The Underbury Witches,” two London detectives find themselves battling a particularly female evil in a town culled of its menfolk. And finally, private detective Charlie Parker returns in the long novella “The Reflecting Eye,” in which the photograph of an unknown girl turns up in the mailbox of an abandoned house once occupied by an infamous killer. This discovery forces Parker to confront the possibility that the house is not as empty as it appears, and that something has been waiting in the darkness for its chance to kill again.

I love John Connolly’s writing and definitely want to read this one. I actually own a copy of the second part, Night Music, and I’ve been holding back on it until I get my hands on a copy of this one.

Verdict: Keep


The Wanderer in Unknown Realms by John Connolly

wanderer in unknown realms.jpg

Soter is a man who has been haunted by World War I. But when he’s sent to investigate the disappearance of Lionel Maudling, the owner of a grand country house whose heir may be accused for his death, he encounters a home that will lead him to nightmares he could have never imagined.

Maudling’s estate houses countless books of every sort—histories, dramas, scientific treatises. But none seems to offer Soter any hint to Maudling’s whereabouts, until he’s led to an arcane London bookseller where the reclusive scholar made his last purchase. What Soter finds at the end of a twisted maze of clues is a book like no other, with a legacy that will put everything he knows in danger…

An inventive horror novella from internationally bestselling author John Connolly, this is a story of madness, of obsession, and of books’ power to change the world.

Apparently, I just added everything John Connolly has ever written. But that second volume of short stories I mentioned? This novella is apparently featured in it. So I can remove this as a separate entry.

Verdict: Remove


The Caxton Private Lending Library and Book Depository by John Connolly

caxton private lending library

Mr. Berger has spent thirty-four years keeping his life as empty as possible. His job title as a closed accounts registrar doesn’t spark much interest, and his cautious flirtation with a woman at his company was cut short upon her engagement to another man. This doesn’t bother him, however, as he much prefers the company of books to that of people. When a series of fortuitous events leads to an early retirement in the English countryside, Mr. Berger is content to spend the remainder of his years nestled comfortably between the pages of a book. But fate has other plans.

His serene life turns strange when he witnesses a tragedy chillingly reminiscent of Anna Karenina as a woman flings herself before a train. When he rushes to the scene, she has vanished, leaving no body on the tracks. Berger’s investigation into this event leads him to Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository, where the line between fiction and reality becomes blurred beyond comprehension.

Another one that can be found in a short story collection. Plus what on earth is that cover? Goodbye.

Verdict: Remove



Books removed: 8

New TBR shelf count: 369

Do you participate in ‘Down The TBR Hole’? What do you think of my decisions? Want to try and change my mind on any of them? 😀signature (2)

Happy release day to ‘Across The Ice’!

Happy October everyone! And a very happy book birthday to Dana Fraedrich and her latest release, Across the Ice!

Some of you may remember me reviewing Dana’s debut Out of the Shadows a couple of years ago. I also had the pleasure of interviewing Dana and later reviewed her standalone set in the Broken Gears universe, Raven’s Cry. So you could say I have been a champion of Dana’s writing from the beginning.

I was therefore delighted recently when Dana contacted me and asked me to be a member of her ARC team for her latest release, the conclusion to the Broken Gears trilogy! I’ll have a review coming your way soon but if you’re interested in reading the book for yourself, it’s available from today!

Look how good they look together:-

 

I don’t want to share the full blurb for this final book as it has spoilers for the previous instalments, but this bit is safe to show you:-

Across the Ice is the thrilling conclusion to Lenore’s storyline in the captivating Broken Gears YA steampunk fantasy series. For fans of Gail Carriger, Namoi Novik, and Garth Nix. If you like smart heroines, forgotten magic, and rich Victorian settings, then you’ll love Dana Fraedrich’s intriguing adventure.

So yes, if you enjoy steampunk books, you should definitely consider supporting this lovely author! And look out for my full series review soon!

Happy book birthday, Dana!


Dana Fraedrich Author Pic.jpg

Dana Fraedrich is an independent author, dog lover, and self-professed geek. Even from a young age, she enjoyed writing down the stories that she imagined in her mind. Born and raised in Virginia, she earned her BFA from Roanoke College and is now carving out her own happily ever after in Nashville, TN with her husband and two dogs. Dana is always writing; more books are on the way!

October 2019 Anticipated Releases! [Bumper Edition!]

My bank balance is going to be hurting this month. Seriously, does anyone know why September and October are such big months for book releases?! I’d love to know the answer because I find myself in the same predicament every year, wanting to buy ALL the books. Answers on a postcard please.

So as you can see from the title of this post, you’re getting a bumper edition of my anticipated releases this month because, when compiling my list, I just couldn’t narrow it down! Seriously, I could have done a post on October 1st releases alone.

Let me know in the comments if you’re excited about any of these! 😀

[As always, all covers and synopses are taken from Goodreads, and I have used UK release dates. Some of these books are already released in the US.]

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Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby

Release date: October 1st

thirteen doorways wolves behind them all

From the author of Printz Medal winner Bone Gap comes the unforgettable story of two young women—one living, one dead—dealing with loss, desire, and the fragility of the American dream during WWII.

When Frankie’s mother died and her father left her and her siblings at an orphanage in Chicago, it was supposed to be only temporary—just long enough for him to get back on his feet and be able to provide for them once again. That’s why Frankie’s not prepared for the day that he arrives for his weekend visit with a new woman on his arm and out-of-state train tickets in his pocket.

Now Frankie and her sister, Toni, are abandoned alongside so many other orphans—two young, unwanted women doing everything they can to survive.

And as the embers of the Great Depression are kindled into the fires of World War II, and the shadows of injustice, poverty, and death walk the streets in broad daylight, it will be up to Frankie to find something worth holding on to in the ruins of this shattered America—every minute of every day spent wondering if the life she’s able to carve out will be enough.

I will admit I do not know the answer. But I will be watching, waiting to find out.

That’s what ghosts do.

Why I’m interested: Ok, first of all. Why did nobody tell me that the author of one of my absolute favourites was bringing out a new book?! I literally JUST found out about this. And while I’m lowkey gutted that it doesn’t match the vibrancy of the Bone Gap cover, I cannot wait to get my grabby little hands on this.


Resurrection Girls by Ava Morgyn

Release date: October 1st

resurrection girls.jpg

Olivia Foster hasn’t felt alive since her little brother drowned in the backyard pool three years ago. Then Kara Hallas moves in across the street with her mother and grandmother, and Olivia is immediately drawn to these three generations of women. Kara is particularly intoxicating, so much so that Olivia not only comes to accept Kara’s morbid habit of writing to men on death row, she helps her do it. They sign their letters as the Resurrection Girls.

But as Kara’s friendship pulls Olivia out of the dark fog she’s been living in, Olivia realizes that a different kind of darkness taints the otherwise lively Hallas women—an impulse that is strange, magical, and possibly deadly.

Why I’m interested: Now this cover is a bit more like it! My eyeballs are blessed. The synopsis also sounds so unique and interesting!


His Hideous Heart edited by Dahlia Adler

Release date: October 1st

his hideous heart.jpg

Thirteen of YA’s most celebrated names reimagine Edgar Allan Poe’s most surprising, unsettling, and popular tales for a new generation.

Edgar Allan Poe may be a hundred and fifty years beyond this world, but the themes of his beloved works have much in common with modern young adult fiction. Whether the stories are familiar to readers or discovered for the first time, readers will revel in Edgar Allan Poe’s classic tales, and how they’ve been brought to life in 13 unique and unforgettable ways.

Why I’m interested: I love a bit of Edgar Allen Poe and I also love a short story anthology so this ticks both of those boxes!


We Speak In Storms by Natalie Lund

Release date: October 1st

we speak in storms

It’s been more than 50 years since a tornado tore through a drive-in movie theater in tiny Mercer, Illinois, leaving dozens of teens — a whole generation of Mercerites — dead in its wake. So when another tornado touches down in the exact same spot on the anniversary of this small-town tragedy, the town is shaken. For Brenna Ortiz, Joshua Calloway, and Callie Keller, the apprehension is more than just a feeling. Though they seem to share nothing more than a struggle to belong, the teens’ paths continue to intersect, bringing them together when they least expect it, and perhaps, when they need it most. Both the living and the dead have secrets and unresolved problems, but they may be able to find peace and move forward–if only they work together.

Why I’m interested: Initial reviews I’ve seen for this one have been mostly positive. It also speaks to my recent craving for contemporaries.


The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring

Release date: October 1st

the tenth girl.jpg

Simmering in Patagonian myth, The Tenth Girl is a gothic psychological thriller with a haunting twist.

At the very southern tip of South America looms an isolated finishing school. Legend has it that the land will curse those who settle there. But for Mavi—a bold Buenos Aires native fleeing the military regime that took her mother—it offers an escape to a new life as a young teacher to Argentina’s elite girls.

Mavi tries to embrace the strangeness of the imposing house—despite warnings not to roam at night, threats from an enigmatic young man, and rumors of mysterious Others. But one of Mavi’s ten students is missing, and when students and teachers alike begin to behave as if possessed, the forces haunting this unholy cliff will no longer be ignored.

One of these spirits holds a secret that could unravel Mavi’s existence. In order to survive she must solve a cosmic mystery—and then fight for her life.

Why I’m interested: Patagonian myth?! I am totally here for that. Not to mention, this book hits my buzzwords with its mention of the gothic and an isolated, potentially haunted school.


Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky

Release date: October 1st

imaginary friend

The story focuses on Kate Reese, a single mother fleeing an abusive relationship by starting over in a new town, with her young son Christopher. Her world begins to unravel after Christopher vanishes into the Mission Street Woods — where 50 years earlier an eerily similar disappearance occurred. When her son emerges six days later unharmed but not unchanged, he brings with him a secret: a voice only he can hear and a warning of the tragedy to come to the real world if he fails to protect it. Soon Kate and Christopher find themselves in the fight of their lives, caught in the middle of a war playing out between good and evil, with their small town as the battle ground.

Why I’m interested: I adored The Perks of Being a Wallflower and while this does sound quite different, I’m interested to see what this author has written after so many years.


We Are Lost and Found by Helene Dunbar

Release date: October 1st

we are lost and found

A poignant, heartbreaking, and uplifting story in the tradition of The Perks of Being a Wallflower about three friends coming of age in the early 1980s as they struggle to forge their own paths in the face of fear of the unknown.

Michael is content to live in the shadow of his best friends, James, an enigmatic teen performance artist who everyone wants and no one can have and Becky, who calls things as she sees them, while doing all she can to protect those she loves. His brother, Connor, has already been kicked out of the house for being gay and laying low seems to be his only chance to avoid the same fate.

To pass the time before graduation, Michael hangs out at The Echo where he can dance and forget about his father’s angry words, the pressures of school, and the looming threat of AIDS, a disease that everyone is talking about, but no one understands.

Then he meets Gabriel, a boy who actually sees him. A boy who, unlike seemingly everyone else in New York City, is interested in him and not James. And Michael has to decide what he’s willing to risk to be himself.

Why I’m interested: A second reference to Perks in this blog post? We’re doing well. I seem to have developed a real niche love of soft gay books set during the AIDs crisis. I feel like this one will break me in the best way.


Daughters of Nri by Reni K Amayo

Release date: October 1st

daughters of nri

A gruesome war results in the old gods’ departure from earth. The only remnants of their existence lie in two girls. Twins, separated at birth. Goddesses who grow up believing that they are human. Daughters Of Nri explores their epic journey of self-discovery as they embark on a path back to one another.

Strong-willed Naala grows up seeking adventure in her quiet and small village. While the more reserved Sinai resides in the cold and political palace of Nri. Though miles apart, both girls share an indestructible bond: they share the same blood, the same face, and possess the same unspoken magic, thought to have vanished with the lost gods.

The twin girls were separated at birth, a price paid to ensure their survival from Eze Ochichiri, the man who rules the Kingdom of Nri. Both girls are tested in ways that awaken a mystical, formidable power deep within themselves. Eventually, their paths both lead back to the mighty Eze.

But can they defeat the man who brought the gods themselves to their knees?

Why I’m interested: This sounds absolutely epic! I love all things gods and goddesses.


Scars Like Wings by Erin Stewart

Release date: October 3rd

scars like wings

Ava Lee has lost everything there is to lose: Her parents. Her best friend. Her home. Even her face. She doesn’t need a mirror to know what she looks like–she can see her reflection in the eyes of everyone around her.

A year after the fire that destroyed her world, her aunt and uncle have decided she should go back to high school. Be “normal” again. Whatever that is. Ava knows better. There is no normal for someone like her. And forget making friends–no one wants to be seen with the Burned Girl, now or ever.

But when Ava meets a fellow survivor named Piper, she begins to feel like maybe she doesn’t have to face the nightmare alone. Sarcastic and blunt, Piper isn’t afraid to push Ava out of her comfort zone. Piper introduces Ava to Asad, a boy who loves theater just as much as she does, and slowly, Ava tries to create a life again. Yet Piper is fighting her own battle, and soon Ava must decide if she’s going to fade back into her scars . . . or let the people by her side help her fly.

Why I’m interested: This sounds like a heavy read but the synopsis gives me Faceless vibes and I really enjoyed that one.


Into The Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo

Release date: October 8th

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Magic rules the city of Creije Capital and Tavia Syn knows just how many tricks she needs up her sleeve to survive. Selling dark magic on the streets for her kingpin, she keeps clear of other crooks, counting the days until her debt is paid and she can flee her criminal life.

But then, one day, with her freedom in sight, Tavia uncovers a sinister plot that threatens to destroy the realm she calls home. Desperate to put an end to her kingpin’s plan, Tavia forms an unlikely alliance with three crooks even more deadly than her:

Wesley, the kingpin’s prodigy and most renewed criminal in the realm

Karam, an underground fighter with a penchant for killing first and forgetting to ask questions

And Saxony, a Crafter in hiding who will stop at nothing to avenge her family

With the reluctant saviours assembled, they embark on a quest to put an end to the dark magic before it’s too late. But even if they can take down the kingpin and save the realm, the one thing they can’t do is trust each other.

Why I’m interested: I really enjoyed Christo’s debut To Kill A Kingdom so I’m looking forward to reading more from her.


Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Release date: October 8th

ninth house

Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.

Why I’m interested: It’s Leigh Bardugo. I don’t need to know anything else.


The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh

Release date: October 8th

the beautiful

In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

Why I’m interested: I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t curious what 2019 has to offer on the vampire front. The fact that it’s set in New Orleans is already a positive.


Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker & Wendy Xu

Release date: October 15th

mooncakes

Nova Huang knows more about magic than your average teen witch. She works at her grandmothers’ bookshop, where she helps them loan out spell books and investigate any supernatural occurrences in their New England town.

One fateful night, she follows reports of a white wolf into the woods, and she comes across the unexpected: her childhood crush, Tam Lang, battling a horse demon in the woods. As a werewolf, Tam has been wandering from place to place for years, unable to call any town home.

Pursued by dark forces eager to claim the magic of wolves and out of options, Tam turns to Nova for help. Their latent feelings are rekindled against the backdrop of witchcraft, untested magic, occult rituals, and family ties both new and old in this enchanting tale of self-discovery.

Why I’m interested: This just looks like the most adorable graphic novel ever! Plus the date it comes out is a significant one for me so if that’s not a sign I need to buy this, then I don’t know what is.


The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman

Release date: October 17th

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In Berlin, at the time when the world changed, Hanni Kohn knows she must send her twelve-year-old daughter away to save her from the Nazi regime. She finds her way to a renowned rabbi, but it’s his daughter, Ettie, who offers hope of salvation when she creates a mystical Jewish creature, a rare and unusual golem, who is sworn to protect Lea. Once Ava is brought to life, she and Lea and Ettie become eternally entwined, their paths fated to cross, their fortunes linked.

Lea and Ava travel from Paris, where Lea meets her soulmate, to a convent in western France known for its silver roses; from a school in a mountaintop village where three thousand Jews were saved. Meanwhile, Ettie is in hiding, waiting to become the fighter she’s destined to be.

What does it mean to lose your mother? How much can one person sacrifice for love? In a world where evil can be found at every turn, we meet remarkable characters that take us on a stunning journey of loss and resistance, the fantastical and the mortal, in a place where all roads lead past the Angel of Death and love is never ending.

Why I’m interested: I just read my first Alice Hoffman book (The Museum of Extraordinary Things) and I loved it. And I’m a sucker for a WWII story.


Angel Mage by Garth Nix

Release date: October 17th

angel mage

More than a century has passed since Liliath crept into the empty sarcophagus of Saint Marguerite, fleeing the Fall of Ystara. But she emerges from her magical sleep still beautiful, looking no more than nineteen, and once again renews her single-minded quest to be united with her lover, Palleniel, the archangel of Ystara.

A seemingly impossible quest, but Liliath is one of the greatest practitioners of angelic magic to have ever lived, summoning angels and forcing them to do her bidding.

Liliath knew that most of the inhabitants of Ystara died from the Ash Blood plague or were transformed into beastlings, and she herself led the survivors who fled into neighboring Sarance. Now she learns that angels shun the Ystaran’s descendants. If they are touched by angelic magic, their blood will turn to ash. They are known as Refusers, and can only live the most lowly lives.

But Liliath cares nothing for the descendants of her people, save how they can serve her. It is four young Sarancians who hold her interest: Simeon, a studious doctor-in-training; Henri, a dedicated fortune hunter; Agnez, an adventurous musketeer cadet; and Dorotea, an icon-maker and scholar of angelic magic. They are the key to her quest.

The four feel a strange kinship from the moment they meet, but do not know why, or suspect their importance. All become pawns in Liliath’s grand scheme to fulfill her destiny and be united with the love of her life. No matter the cost to everyone else. . .

Why I’m interested: I recently got added to the Gollancz blogger list (the honour!) and this is the first ARC I have been sent by them! I’ve never read any Garth Nix but I know that he’s a huge name in the SFF world so I feel very lucky to have an early copy of this.


I Hope You Get This Message by Farah Naz Rishi

Release date: October 22nd

i hope you get this message

When news stations start reporting that Earth has been contacted by a planet named Alma, the world is abuzz with rumours that the alien entity is giving mankind only a few days to live before they hit the kill switch on civilization.

For high school truant Jesse Hewitt, though, nothing has ever felt permanent. Not the guys he hooks up with. Not the jobs his underpaid mom works so hard to hold down. Life has dealt him one bad blow after another — so what does it matter if it all ends now? Cate Collins, on the other hand, is desperate to use this time to find the father she’s never met, the man she grew up hearing wild stories about, most of which she didn’t believe. And then there’s Adeem Khan. While coding and computer programming have always come easily to him, forgiveness doesn’t. He can’t seem to forgive his sister for leaving, even though it’s his last chance.

With only seven days to face their truths and right their wrongs, Jesse, Cate, and Adeem’s paths collide even as their worlds are pulled apart.

Why I’m interested: This type of illustrated book cover draws me in every single time. But this one sounds really good too. I’m hoping it will have similarities with Let’s Call It A Doomsday!


Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett

Release date: October 31st

full disclosure

Simone Garcia-Hampton is starting over at a new school, and this time things will be different. She’s making real friends, making a name for herself as student director of Rent, and making a play for Miles, the guy who makes her melt every time he walks into a room. The last thing she wants is for word to get out that she’s HIV-positive, because last time . . . well, last time things got ugly.

Keeping her viral load under control is easy, but keeping her diagnosis under wraps is not so simple. As Simone and Miles start going out for real–shy kisses escalating into much more–she feels an uneasiness that goes beyond butterflies. She knows she has to tell him that she’s positive, especially if sex is a possibility, but she’s terrified of how he’ll react! And then she finds an anonymous note in her locker: I know you have HIV. You have until Thanksgiving to stop hanging out with Miles. Or everyone else will know too.

Simone’s first instinct is to protect her secret at all costs, but as she gains a deeper understanding of the prejudice and fear in her community, she begins to wonder if the only way to rise above is to face the haters head-on…

Why I’m interested: Another contemporary tackling the subject of HIV/AIDS (I told you I have a weird love for these stories). I’m yet to read one about a woman living with HIV though so I’m quite excited to see how this author tackles the subject.


The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones

Release date: October 31st

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Seventeen-year-old Aderyn (“Ryn”) only cares about two things: her family, and her family’s graveyard. And right now, both are in dire straits. Since the death of their parents, Ryn and her siblings have been scraping together a meager existence as gravediggers in the remote village of Colbren, which sits at the foot of a harsh and deadly mountain range that was once home to the fae. The problem with being a gravedigger in Colbren, though, is that the dead don’t always stay dead.

The risen corpses are known as “bone houses,” and legend says that they’re the result of a decades-old curse. When Ellis, an apprentice mapmaker with a mysterious past, arrives in town, the bone houses attack with new ferocity. What is it that draws them near? And more importantly, how can they be stopped for good?

Together, Ellis and Ryn embark on a journey that will take them deep into the heart of the mountains, where they will have to face both the curse and the long-hidden truths about themselves.

Why I’m interested: I’ve had my eye on this one for a while after seeing positive early reviews. And it sounds like a unique twist on a zombie story!


Deeplight by Frances Hardinge

Release date: October 31st

deeplight

For centuries the gods of the Undersea ruled the islands of the Myriad through awe and terror: they were very real, and very dangerous. Sacrifices were hurled into the waters to appease them, and every boat was painted with pleading eyes to entreat their mercy. They were served, feared and adored. Then, thirty years ago, the gods rose up in madness and tore each other apart.

Now, none remain. The islands have recovered and the people have patched their battered ships and moved on.

On one of these islands live Hark and his best friend Jelt. To them, the gods are nothing but a collection of valuable scraps to be scavenged from the ocean and sold.

But now something is pulsing beneath the waves, calling to someone brave enough to retrieve it.

Why I’m interested: I’m a huge fan of Frances Hardinge’s writing and this sounds like it will be another amazing story. Underwater gods? YAASSS. And you’d better believe I’ve preordered the Waterstones special edition to match my copy of A Skinful of Shadows 😉



Wooo, that was a long one! I’m so excited for all of these books. Are you looking forward to any of them? Let me know in the comments! xsignature (2)

My favourite blog posts of September 2019!

It’s that time again 😀 This post isn’t going to be as long as usual since I’ve been too busy to blog hop (I feel like a broken record these days). Thankfully, I am changing jobs again soon so I should get some of my dedicated blogging time back!

Anyway. Here are some posts I’ve loved this month! ❤

favourite blog posts of the month


favourite reviews

Callum wrote a fantastic review of Frankisstein by Jeanette Winterson.

Anda reviewed The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo and reminded me why I loved it so much.

Jules reviewed The Kingdom and made me add it to my TBR.

Clara created some stunning aesthetics for her recent five-star reads.

Jenna reviewed Salt Slow, which I am desperate to read.

Kal wrote a brilliant review of Rules for Vanishing and added it to my ‘want-to-read’ shelf.

Marie wrote a wonderful, moving review of Darius The Great Is Not Okay and added yet another book to my never-ending wishlist.

Destiny gave a great breakdown of the stories in the Wonderland anthology, which I’m currently loving!


favourite discussions

Kelly shared some of her tips for fitting blogging into a busy schedule.

Jenn debunked some Instagram myths in this super helpful post.

Sha & Mandy asked the important question ‘who are book reviews for?’

Margaret discussed how book blogging keeps her inside her reading comfort zone.


other fun posts

Annemieke shared her book recommendations based on the Hogwarts houses.

Beth shared ten books she loved that were outside her comfort zone. I always love how Beth formats her TTT posts!

Rae & Jenny recommended ten cosy books to curl up with this Autumn.

Olivia created her own scale for the levels of Harry Potter obsession.

Rachel shared an awesome four-part series asking YA authors which books they would recommend to their teenage selves.

Cristina took on the daunting task of organising 8 years of Goodreads shelves.

Kat shared her fantasy clothing haul and it was the cutest, most original post ever!


I hope you all find something you love in these posts! And I’m so excited to see everyone’s October content!! xsignature (2)

‘The End of the World Survivors Club’ blog spot and UK giveaway!

Hello lovely people 😀 You’re lucky ducks today, you’ll be getting two posts from me in one day! Let’s pretend it was all intentional and not that I double-booked myself on two separate blog tours…

Some of you may remember me reading The End of the World Running Club last year so I was delighted when I was offered a copy of its sequel to review and a FURTHER COPY TO GIVEAWAY! Huge thanks to Anne Cater/Random Things Tours and the publisher for arranging this.

Furthermore, because I’m a generous soul, I will also be sending the winner a copy of the first book if they don’t have it! Before we get into the details of that, here’s what you can expect from this book…


synopsis

In THE END OF THE WORLD RUNNING CLUB Edgar Hill ran 550 miles after an apocalypse to try and find his family.

He had it easy.

This is his wife’s story.

Beth Hill has survived the apocalypse with a baby and toddler in tow. And what’s more she’s done it alone – without her husband’s help. He’s never been any help. But when disaster strikes and someone steals her kids, she knows what she has to do.

The new world might be very different: no government, no law, no infrastructure and a whole lot more ocean than there used to be. But one thing hasn’t changed – the lengths a mother will go to save her family…


Author information

Adrian J Walker Author picAdrian J Walker was born in the bush suburbs of Sydney, Australia in the mid ‘70s. After
his father found a camper van in a ditch, he renovated it and moved his family back to the UK, where Adrian was raised.

Ever since he can remember, Adrian has been interested in three things: words, music
and technology, and when he graduated from the University of Leeds, he found a career
in software. His novel The End of the World Running Club, a post-apocalyptic running fable about hope, love and endurance, was a Simon Mayo Radio 2 book club choice.

He lives in Aberdeen with his wife and two children.


And now for the bit I know you’re all here for… the giveaway!

giveaway blog divider

To be in with a chance of winning, you need to be a UK or ROI resident and over the age of 18 (or if you are under 18, you must have permission to share your address with myself and the publisher). You must also be following my blog.

Simply leave a comment below if you would like to be in with a chance of winning, letting me know if you would like both books or just the sequel, and confirming if you are in the UK or Ireland!

Also, you can head over to my Instagram account for a further chance at winning 😉

Good luck!!

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To read reviews and find out more about the book, check out the other stops on the blog tour! And look out for my review soon!

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September 2019 Anticipated Releases!

Well, I am mortified. I had this post all drafted up and thought I had scheduled it… turns out I hadn’t. So please forgive the lateness! But here are some September releases that  I’m excited about! We’ll just pretend we’ve not missed the first few days, shall we?

[As always, all covers and synopses are taken from Goodreads, and I have used UK release dates.]

September


Dead Voices by Katherine Arden

Release date: September 1st

dead voices

Having survived sinister scarecrows and the malevolent smiling man in Small Spaces, newly minted best friends Ollie, Coco, and Brian are ready to spend a relaxing winter break skiing together with their parents at Mount Hemlock Resort. But when a snowstorm sets in, causing the power to flicker out and the cold to creep closer and closer, the three are forced to settle for hot chocolate and board games by the fire.

Ollie, Coco, and Brian are determined to make the best of being snowed in, but odd things keep happening. Coco is convinced she has seen a ghost, and Ollie is having nightmares about frostbitten girls pleading for help. Then Mr. Voland, a mysterious ghost hunter, arrives in the midst of the storm to investigate the hauntings at Hemlock Lodge. Ollie, Coco, and Brian want to trust him, but Ollie’s watch, which once saved them from the smiling man, has a new cautionary message: BEWARE.

With Mr. Voland’s help, Ollie, Coco, and Brian reach out to the dead voices at Mount Hemlock. Maybe the ghosts need their help–or maybe not all ghosts can or should be trusted.

Dead Voices is a terrifying follow-up to Small Spaces with thrills and chills galore and the captive foreboding of a classic ghost story.

Why I’m interested: The first book in this series, Small Spaces, was one of my favourite reads of 2018. I adored it. I cannot wait to read this follow-up!


The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett

Release date: September 3rd

the lady rogue.jpg

Traveling with her treasure-hunting father has always been a dream for Theodora. She’s read every book in his library, has an impressive knowledge of the world’s most sought-after relics, and has all the ambition in the world. What she doesn’t have is her father’s permission. That honour goes to her father’s nineteen-year-old protégé—and once-upon-a-time love of Theodora’s life—Huck Gallagher, while Theodora is left to sit alone in her hotel in Istanbul.

Until Huck arrives from an expedition without her father and enlists Theodora’s help in rescuing him. Armed with her father’s travel journal, the reluctant duo learns that her father had been digging up information on a legendary and magical ring that once belonged to Vlad the Impaler—more widely known as Dracula—and that it just might be the key to finding him.

Journeying into Romania, Theodora and Huck embark on a captivating adventure through Gothic villages and dark castles in the misty Carpathian Mountains to recover the notorious ring. But they aren’t the only ones who are searching for it. A secretive and dangerous occult society with a powerful link to Vlad the Impaler himself is hunting for it, too. And they will go to any lengths—including murder—to possess it.

Why I’m interested: A gothic story inspired by Dracula? I am intrigued! I’m also interested to see how this author handles a different genre as she’s mostly known for her contemporaries.


The Girl The Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young

Release date: September 3rd

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For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse.

For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again—a home.

Why I’m interested: I have not read Sky in the Deep but I was still really excited to be offered an early copy of this one by Titan Books! I’ve only read a little of it so far but I’m really liking the world and the Norse mythology references.


Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron

Release date: September 3rd

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Arrah is a young woman from a long line of the most powerful witch doctors in the land. But she fails at magic, fails to call upon the ancestors and can’t even cast the simplest curse.

Shame and disappointment dog her.

When strange premonitions befall her family and children in the kingdom begin to disappear, Arrah undergoes the dangerous and scorned process of selling years of her life for magic. This borrowed power reveals a nightmarish betrayal and a danger beyond what she could have imagined. Now Arrah must find a way to master magic, or at least buy it, in order to save herself and everything she holds dear.

An explosive fantasy set in a world of magic and legend with a twist you will never see coming.

Why I’m interested: I love the idea of a book about witch doctors. I feel like this could be really great if done right.


Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell

Release date: September 5th

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Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends.

Every autumn, all through high school, they’ve worked together at the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world. (Not many people know that the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world is in Omaha, Nebraska, but it definitely is.) They say good-bye every Halloween, and they’re reunited every September 1.

But this Halloween is different? Josiah and Deja are finally seniors, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch. Their last shift together. Their last good-bye.

Josiah’s ready to spend the whole night feeling melancholy about it. Deja isn’t ready to let him. She’s got a plan: What if instead of moping they went out with a bang? They could see all the sights! Taste all the snacks! And Josiah could finally talk to that cute girl he’s been mooning over for three years . . .

What if their last shift was an adventure?

Why I’m interested: I’ve been getting more into graphic novels this year and I feel like I’ll really enjoy this Halloween-themed offering from Rainbow Rowell!


The Girl Who Speaks Bear by Sophie Anderson

Release date: September 5th

girl who speaks bear

Found abandoned in a bear cave as a baby, 12-year-old Yanka has always felt out of place in her small village. When she wakes up to find that her legs have become bear legs, she sets off into the forest to discover who she is, on a journey that takes her from icy rivers to smouldering mountains, with an ever-growing group of misfits alongside her… Interwoven with traditional stories of bears, princesses and dragons, Yanka’s journey is a gorgeously lyrical adventure from the best-selling author of The House With Chicken Legs.

Why I’m interested: I loved The House with Chicken Legs last year so I was delighted to see that the author had written another book. I feel like this will be another gorgeous story with Russian mythology inspiration.


Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab

Release date: September 5th

tunnel of bones

Trouble is haunting Cassidy Blake . . . even more than usual.

She (plus her ghost best friend, Jacob, of course) are in Paris, where Cass’s parents are filming their TV show about the world’s most haunted cities. Sure, it’s fun eating croissants and seeing the Eiffel Tower, but there’s true ghostly danger lurking beneath Paris, in the creepy underground Catacombs.

When Cass accidentally awakens a frighteningly strong spirit, she must rely on her still-growing skills as a ghosthunter — and turn to friends both old and new to help her unravel a mystery. But time is running out, and the spirit is only growing stronger.

And if Cass fails, the force she’s unleashed could haunt the city forever.

Why I’m interested: There are a lot of sequels and second books coming out this month! Tunnel of Bones is the follow-up to City of Ghosts and I’m excited to continue with Cassidy’s story!


The Nightjar by Deborah Hewitt

Release date: September 5th

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The Nightjar by Deborah Hewitt is a stunning contemporary fantasy debut about another London, a magical world hidden behind the bustling modern city we know.

Alice Wyndham has been plagued by visions of birds her whole life…until the mysterious Crowley reveals that Alice is an ‘aviarist’ capable of seeing nightjars, magical birds that guard human souls. When her best friend is hit by a car, only Alice can find and save her nightjar.

With Crowley’s help, Alice travels to the Rookery, a hidden, magical alternate London to hone her newfound talents. But a faction intent on annihilating magic users will stop at nothing to destroy the new aviarist. And is Crowley really working with her, or against her? Alice must risk everything to save her best friend–and uncover the strange truth about herself.

Why I’m interested: I loved Neverwhere and A Darker Shade of Magic, two books about alternate Londons. And good things come in threes, right?!


Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff

Release date: September 5th
darkdawn.jpg

The greatest games in Godsgrave’s history have ended with the most audacious murders in the history of the Itreyan Republic.

Mia Corvere, gladiatii, escaped slave and infamous assassin, is on the run. Pursued by Blades of the Red Church and soldiers of the Luminatii legion, she may never escape the City of Bridges and Bones alive. Her mentor Mercurio is now in the clutches of her enemies. Her own family wishes her dead. And her nemesis, Consul Julius Scaeva, stands but a breath from total dominance over the Republic.

But beneath the city, a dark secret awaits. Together with her lover Ashlinn, brother Jonnen and a mysterious benefactor returned from beyond the veil of death, she must undertake a perilous journey across the Republic, seeking the final answer to the riddle of her life. Truedark approaches. Night is falling on the Republic for perhaps the final time.

Can Mia survive in a world where even daylight must die?

Why I’m interested: Confession time. I haven’t read the first two books yet. But I’ve heard so many great things and I am ready to BINGE.


A Treason of Thorns by Laura E. Weymouth

Release date: September 10th

a treason of thorns

Violet Sterling has spent the last seven years in exile, longing to return to Burleigh House. One of the six great houses of England, Burleigh’s magic always kept the countryside well. And as a child, this magic kept Violet happy, draping her in flowers while she slept, fashioning secret hiding places for her, and lighting fires on the coldest nights to keep her warm.

Everything shattered, though, when her father committed high treason trying to free Burleigh from the king’s oppressive control. He was killed, and Vi was forced into hiding.

When she’s given a chance to go back, she discovers Burleigh has run wild with grief. Vines and briars are crumbling the walls. Magic that once enriched the surrounding countryside has turned dark and deadly, twisting lush blooms into thorns, poisoning livestock and destroying crops. Burleigh’s very soul is crying out in pain.

Vi would do anything to help, and soon she finds herself walking the same deadly path as her father all those years before. Vi must decide how far she’s willing to go to save her house—before her house destroys everything she’s ever known.

Why I’m interested: I love stories about houses that are almost characters in themselves and I feel like there’s potential for that here? But also, it just sounds magical and I’m sure it will be full of gorgeous writing.


The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

Release date: September 12th

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In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.

Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.

Lush and richly imagined, a tale of impossible journeys, unforgettable love, and the enduring power of stories awaits in Alix E. Harrow’s spellbinding debut–step inside and discover its magic.

Why I’m interested: If the inside is anywhere near as gorgeous as the cover, then this is going to be an amazing book. I saw so many people getting ARCs of this one and then giving it glowing reviews. Honestly, it sounds like a perfect book for me.


Bone China by Laura Purcell

Release date: September 19th

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Consumption has ravaged Louise Pinecroft’s family, leaving her and her father alone and heartbroken. But Dr Pinecroft has plans for a revolutionary experiment: convinced that sea air will prove to be the cure his wife and children needed, he arranges to house a group of prisoners suffering from the same disease in the cliffs beneath his new Cornish home. While he devotes himself to his controversial medical trials, Louise finds herself increasingly discomfited by the strange tales her new maid tells of the fairies that hunt the land, searching for those they can steal away to their realm.

Forty years later, Hester Why arrives at Morvoren House to take up a position as nurse to the now partially paralysed and almost entirely mute Miss Pinecroft. Hester has fled to Cornwall to try and escape her past, but surrounded by superstitious staff enacting bizarre rituals, she soon discovers that her new home may be just as dangerous as her last.

Why I’m interested: First of all, why is this ugly cover messing up the aesthetic of my post?! I feel like Laura Purcell has been done dirty. But the book itself sounds Gothic and amazing!


The Deathless Girls by Kiran Milwood Hargrave

Release date: September 19th

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They say the thirst of blood is like a madness – they must sate it. Even with their own kin.

On the eve of her divining, the day she’ll discover her fate, seventeen-year-old Lil and her twin sister Kizzy are captured and enslaved by the cruel Boyar Valcar, taken far away from their beloved traveller community.

Forced to work in the harsh and unwelcoming castle kitchens, Lil is comforted when she meets Mira, a fellow slave who she feels drawn to in a way she doesn’t understand. But she also learns about the Dragon, a mysterious and terrifying figure of myth and legend who takes girls as gifts.

They may not have had their divining day, but the girls will still discover their fate…

Why I’m interested: This is billed as the untold story of the brides of Dracula! I don’t need to know anything more. Plus I can’t deny it, I was drawn in by that gorgeous cover. But I enjoy this author’s middle grade books so I’m interested to read her YA debut!



Well, those are the books I’m looking forward to this month! Are you looking forward to any of these too? Or is there anything you’re anticipating that I haven’t featured? Let me know in the comments! xsignature (2)

My favourite blog posts of August 2019!

Well here you are my lovelies, the usual roundup of my favourite content from the month! Enjoy!

Also, a small disclaimer: I always try super hard to make these posts fair and to share a wide range of content but obviously I can’t share everything or my post would be never-ending! But it is never my intention to make anyone feel bad so please don’t be upset if you are not featured this time around. If I have EVER interacted with you in any way, then know that I value you. We are all valid here ❤

favourite blog posts of the month


favourite reviews

Giuli wrote a great balanced review of Gods of Jade and Shadow.

Rachel compared The Bird Tribunal to both Wuthering Heights and Rebecca, and made it sound amazing!

Kelsey wrote a wonderfully detailed review of After Alice by Gregory Maguire – just be wary of spoilers if they aren’t your thing!

Margaret gave a glowing review to Like A Love Story and made it jump straight into my online basket.

Keri reviewed Final Draft and confirmed that I definitely want to read this book at some point!

Gabby took a new approach to her reviews and it definitely worked well for her – I loved this review of Nevernight!

Sophie reviewed Turning Darkness Into Light and got me much more excited to read it!

Marija’s review of The Ten Thousand Doors of January was gorgeous, just like the book itself!

Emma reviewed Under A Dancing Star and confirmed that I’ll be buying this one on my next trip to the bookstore.

Kal wrote a brilliant review of House of Salt and Sorrows; I hadn’t given much attention to this book before now but she made it sound so good!

Melanie wrote a review of her usual high calibre and explained why Leigh Bardugo’s Ninth House might not be for everyone.


favourite discussions

Kelly wrote about finding the motivation to write book reviews and wow, did I need this post this month.

Krysta raised the subject of required reading and why it might not be as terrible as some people think.

Anda talked about why comments matter.

Marie shared some tips for giving your blog posts an extra spark and I think we’d all be mad not to listen to her, considering the award she just won! 😉

Wendy shared her joy at seeing fat girls on book covers and just YES.

Xandra talked about aspects of blogging that seem scary but aren’t really so bad.


other fun posts

CW recommended books to read if you enjoy Studio Ghibli movies!

Ayunda shared her travel adventures in Montreux, Switzerland and bumped this place further up my travel wishlist!

Kristin recommended books featuring artists/art forms of various kinds. I thought this was such a great list.

Cait compiled an incredible list of YA books about siblings!

Jordan collaborated with the author of We Are The Ghosts to share a super cool road map!

The Orangutan Librarian shared a list of bookish parties they’d love to attend – I’ll be expecting my invite as a plus one any day now 😉

Olivia gave us all five reasons to read classics and recommended her favourites.


I hope you all have fun exploring some of these posts and possibly finding some great new blogs to follow! xsignature (2)

August 2019 Anticipated Releases!

It’s that time again! Let’s look at some books coming out this month that have intrigued me! 😀

[All covers and synopses are taken from Goodreads. UK release dates used as accurately as I am aware.]

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We Walked the Sky by Lisa Fiedler

Release date: August 1st

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A multigenerational story about two teenagers: Victoria, who joins the circus in 1965, and her granddaughter, Callie, who leaves the circus fifty years later.

In 1965 seventeen-year-old Victoria, having just escaped an unstable home, flees to the ultimate place for dreamers and runaways–the circus. Specifically, the VanDrexel Family Circus where, among the lion tamers, roustabouts, and trapeze artists, Victoria hopes to start a better life.

Fifty years later, Victoria’s sixteen-year-old granddaughter Callie is thriving. A gifted and focused tightrope walker with dreams of being a VanDrexel high wire legend just like her grandmother, Callie can’t imagine herself anywhere but the circus. But when Callie’s mother accepts her dream job at an animal sanctuary in Florida just months after Victoria’s death, Callie is forced to leave her lifelong home behind.

Feeling unmoored and out of her element, Callie pores over memorabilia from her family’s days on the road, including a box that belonged to Victoria when she was Callie’s age. In the box, Callie finds notes that Victoria wrote to herself with tips and tricks for navigating her new world. Inspired by this piece of her grandmother’s life, Callie decides to use Victoria’s circus prowess to navigate the uncharted waters of public high school.

Across generations, Victoria and Callie embrace the challenges of starting over, letting go, and finding new families in unexpected places.

Why I’m interested: It said the word ‘circus’. That’s all I need to know. Seriously though, a multigenerational circus story sounds like my idea of the perfect read.


All the Bad Apples by Moira Fowley-Doyle

Release date: August 1st

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When Deena’s wild and mysterious sister Mandy disappears – presumed dead – her family are heartbroken. But Mandy has always been troubled. It’s just another bad thing to happen to Deena’s family. Only Deena refuses to believe it’s true.
And then the letters start arriving. Letters from Mandy, claiming that their family’s blighted history is not just bad luck or bad decisions – but a curse, handed down through the generations. Mandy has gone in search of the curse’s roots, and now Deena must find her. What they find will heal their family’s rotten past – or rip it apart forever.

Why I’m interested: While I didn’t love Spellbook of the Lost and Found, I’m willing to give Fowley-Doyle another try. This one sounds like it could have great potential. And just look at that cover!


Let’s Call It A Doomsday by Katie Henry

Release date: August 6th

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There are so many ways the world could end. There could be a fire. A catastrophic flood. A super eruption that spews lakes of lava. Ellis Kimball has made note of all possible scenarios, and she is prepared for each one. What she doesn’t expect is meeting Hannah Marks in her therapist’s waiting room. Hannah calls their meeting fate. After all, Ellis is scared about the end of the world; Hannah knows when it’s going to happen.

Despite Ellis’s anxiety — about what others think of her, about what she’s doing wrong, about the safety of her loved ones — the two girls become fast friends. As Ellis tries to help Hannah decipher the details of her doomsday premonition, she learns there are secrets Hannah isn’t telling her. But with time ticking down, the search for answers only raises more questions. When does it happen? Who will believe them? How do you prepare for the end of the world when it feels like your life is just getting started?

Katie Henry, the author of Heretics Anonymous, delivers an engrossing and thoughtful tale about how people survive — with some faith in family, friends, and maybe a few prepper forums.

Why I’m interested: I’m really hoping this book will have some great anxiety rep! I received an ARC from Harper 360 YA so I guess I’ll find out soon 😉


Ziggy, Stardust and Me by James Brandon

Release date: August 6th

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The year is 1973. The Watergate hearings are in full swing. The Vietnam War is still raging. And homosexuality is still officially considered a mental illness. In the midst of these trying times is sixteen-year-old Jonathan Collins, a bullied, anxious, asthmatic kid, who aside from an alcoholic father and his sympathetic neighbour and friend Starla, is completely alone. To cope, Jonathan escapes to the safe haven of his imagination, where his hero David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and dead relatives, including his mother, guide him through the rough terrain of his life. In his alternate reality, Jonathan can be anything: a superhero, an astronaut, Ziggy Stardust, himself, or completely “normal” and not a boy who likes other boys. When he completes his treatments, he will be normal—at least he hopes. But before that can happen, Web stumbles into his life. Web is everything Jonathan wishes he could be: fearless, fearsome and, most importantly, not ashamed of being gay.

Jonathan doesn’t want to like brooding Web, who has secrets all his own. Jonathan wants nothing more than to be “fixed” once and for all. But he’s drawn to Web anyway. Web is the first person in the real world to see Jonathan completely and think he’s perfect. Web is a kind of escape Jonathan has never known. For the first time in his life, he may finally feel free enough to love and accept himself as he is.

A poignant coming-of-age tale, Ziggy, Stardust and Me heralds the arrival of a stunning and important new voice in YA.

Why I’m interested: I have a real soft spot for queer historical fiction. Add in some David Bowie and you’ve got a book I definitely want to read!


The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

Release date: August 13th

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By day, seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady’s maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, “Dear Miss Sweetie.” When her column becomes wildly popular, she uses the power of the pen to address some of society’s ills, but she’s not prepared for the backlash that follows when her column challenges fixed ideas about race and gender.

While her opponents clamor to uncover the secret identity of Miss Sweetie, a mysterious letter sets Jo off on a search for her own past and the parents who abandoned her as a baby. But when her efforts put her in the crosshairs of Atlanta’s most notorious criminal, Jo must decide whether she, a girl used to living in the shadows, is ready to step into the light.

Why I’m interested: I’m yet to read any Stacey Lee but that’s something I want to remedy. I love the sound of this one.


Midnight Beauties by Megan Shepherd

Release date: August 13th

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Ever since she discovered her affinity for magic, seventeen-year-old Anouk has been desperate to become a witch. It’s the only way to save her friends who, like Anouk, are beasties: animals enchanted into humans. But unlike Anouk, the other beasties didn’t make it out of the battle at Montélimar in one piece.

With her friends now trapped in their animal forms, Anouk is forced into a sinister deal involving a political marriage with her sworn enemy, a wicked plot to overthrow London’s fiercest coven of witches, and a deadly trial of fire to become a witch. The price for power has always been steep in the world of the Haute. Now, it will cost Anouk everything.

Wicked and delightful, this spellbinding sequel and conclusion to Grim Lovelies is perfect for fans of The Cruel Prince and The Hazel Wood.

Why I’m interested: I waited that long to read Grim Lovelies that I figured I might as well just wait a little bit longer and then binge-read the duology back-to-back. Warped logic, I know. But these books sound completely magical.


Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories by Ellen Datlow

Release date: August 13th

echoes ghost story anthology

Everyone loves a good ghost story, especially Ellen Datlow—the most lauded editor in short works of supernatural suspense and dark fantasy. The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories is her definitive collection of ghost stories.

These twenty-nine stories, including all new works from New York Times bestselling authors Joyce Carol Oates, Alice Hoffman, Seanan McGuire, and Paul Tremblay, span from the traditional to the eclectic, from the mainstream to the literary, from pure fantasy to the bizarrely supernatural. Whether you’re reading alone under the covers with a flashlight, or around a campfire with a circle of friends, there’s something here to please—and spook—everyone.

Why I’m interested: I don’t know how I heard of this one. I feel like I must have seen a blogger talking about it (please let me know if it was you!) I love a good ghost story and there are some seriously big names in this collection. Sounds perfect for Autumn.


Snow, Glass, Apples by Neil Gaiman

Release date: August 20th

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A young princess… her skin as white as snow… her hair as black as coal… her lips as red as blood… an innocent young girl victimized by her evil stepmother.

Or is she?

Neil Gaiman’s Snow, Glass, Apples turns the traditional Snow White fairytale on its head and tells the story from the point of view of the “wicked” stepmother, who knows the truth about this less-than-innocent girl and attempts to save the kingdom from her unnatural and monstrous stepdaughter.

Why I’m interested: I believe this one was originally released back in 2008 but it’s been out of print. It’s getting a reprint this month and I am determined to get my hands on it.


The Spinner of Dreams by K.A. Reynolds

Release date: August 27th

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Annalise Meriwether—though kind, smart, and curious—is terribly lonely.

Cursed at birth by the devious Fate Spinner, Annalise has always lived a solitary life with her loving parents. She does her best to ignore the cruel townsfolk of her desolate town—but the black mark on her hand won’t be ignored.

Not when the monster living within it, which seems to have an agenda of its own, grows more unpredictable each day.

There’s only one way for Annalise to rid herself of her curse: to enter the Labyrinth of Fate and Dreams and defeat the Fate Spinner. So despite her anxiety, Annalise sets out to undo the curse that’s defined her—and to show the world, and herself, exactly who she is inside.

Why I’m interested: Anxiety rep in a fantasy story? Yes please! This one has had glowing reviews from Laini Taylor, Roshani Chokshi and Hayley Chewins so I don’t need to hear any more. Someone get this book into my hands now please.



Well, those are a few of the books coming out this month that have caught my eye! Are any of these on your radar too? Or are there any books you think should have made my list? Let me know in the comments! xsignature (2)