Author: Lucy Foley Publisher: William Morrow Pages: 313 On Sale: July 2020 Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction, Adult, Suspense Stars: 5/5
From the Publisher:
It’s the wedding of the year. But someone won’t survive it.
On a remote island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate the wedding of Jules Keegan and Will Slater. Will is a rising television star, handsome and charming. Jules is a smart, ambitious magazine publisher. Though the sea is a little choppy and the cell service spotty, their wedding is everything you’d expect of a young power couple: designer dress, four-tiered cake, boutique whiskey, vintage champagne. Every detail has been curated to perfection. All that’s left to orchestrate is the happiness.
But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. It’s not long after the cake is cut and the champagne popped that resentments and petty jealousies come out. Worse yet, the latest barometer reading shows the weather has shifted from FAIR to CHANGEABLE, and dark clouds are looming overhead.
Everyone on the island has a secret. Everyone has a motive. And someone won’t leave this wedding alive…
I could not put this book down, I started it on my lunch break and read all the way home and didn’t eat until it was finished. I was floored by how little I predicted and how many surprises there were at the end. I was expected one, and they just kept coming. Some of the “stags” or groomsmen blurred together a bit, but the rest of the characters were unique and easy to keep track of. Each chapter is from a different person’s perspective, and it was nice to have their names at the beginning of each one to keep them straight. This book started out on more of a gentle pace, but then it’s a riot right till the end.
1 – Set In A School 19 – Book With A Deckled Edge 23 – An Ending That Surprises You 25 – A Book With Multiple Character POV 29 – Featuring The Environment 32 – A Selfish Character 34 – A Book You’d Rate 5 Stars 41 – An Endorsement By A Famous Author On The Cover
Author: Ana Lal Din Publisher: White Tigress Press Pages: 360 On Sale: March 15, 2021 Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Mythology Stars: 4/5
From the Publisher:
She is bound to serve. He is meant to kill. Survival is their prison. Choice is their weapon.
As the sacred slave of a goddess, Roma is of a lower caste that serves patrons to sustain the balance between gods and men. What she wants is her freedom, but deserters are hunted and hanged, and Roma only knows how to survive in her village where women are vessels without a voice. When her younger brother is condemned to the same wretched fate as hers, Roma must choose between silence and rebellion.
Leviathan is the bastard son of an immortal tyrant. Raised in a military city where everyone knows of his blood relation to the persecuted clans, Leviathan is considered casteless. Lowest of the low. Graduating as one of the deadliest soldiers, he executes in his father’s name, displaying his worth. When he faces judgement from his mother’s people-the clans-Leviathan must confront his demons and forge his own path, if he ever hopes to reclaim his soul.
But in the struggle to protect the people they love and rebuild their identities, Roma’s and Leviathan’s destinies interlock as the tyrant hunts an ancient treasure that will doom humankind should it come into his possession-a living treasure to which Roma and Leviathan are the ultimate key.
Set in a colonised Indo-Persian world and inspired by Pre-Islamic Arabian mythology, The Descent of the Drowned is a tale about power, identity, and redemption, and what it takes to hold on to one’s humanity in the face of devastation.
I really enjoyed this book, and it was a really refreshing change to other YA Fantasy stories. I loved the Indo-Persian setting and I felt her world-building was really well done. I enjoyed most of the characters, but some of Leviathan’s boys blurred together a bit for me. Overall the book wasn’t predictable, but I did feel that some parts were rushed or jumped too quickly from one to another. Not that I was expecting chapters of Lord Of The Rings style travelling, but it felt like they occasionally teleported from one spot to another with no time passing. I’m still really looking forward to her next book and finding out what happens next.
7 – An Author With Only 1 Published Book 12 – Title Starting With The Letter D 17 – A Character On The Run 26 – An Author Of Colour 32 – A Selfish Character 40 – Found Via #Bookstagram 47 – A Character With A Disability 51 – Published in 2021
Author: Mahogany L. Browne, Elizabeth Acevedo, Olivia Gatwood Publisher: Roaring Brooke Press Pages: 56 On Sale: March 10, 2020 Genre: Children’s, Poetry, Social Movement, Social Justice, Non Fiction Stars: 4/5
From the Publisher:
Woke: A Young Poet’s Guide to Justice is a collection of poems to inspire kids to stay woke and become a new generation of activists.
Historically poets have been on the forefront of social movements. Woke is a collection of poems by women that reflects the joy and passion in the fight for social justice, tackling topics from discrimination to empathy, and acceptance to speaking out.
With Theodore Taylor’s bright, emotional art, and writing from Mahogany L. Browne, Elizabeth Acevedo and Olivia Gatwood, kids will be inspired to create their own art and poems to express how they see justice and injustice.
With a foreword by best-selling author Jason Reynolds.
I picked this book up on a whim and it was lovely and powerful. It is a collection of poetry by 3 authors aimed towards both children and adults and it focuses on important and moving topics like race and equality and kindness. Very touching and I think it would be easy for anyone of any age to follow and understand.
Would fit The 52 Book Club’s 2021 prompts: 1 – Set in a School 24 – A Book You Think They Should Read In Schools 26 – An Author Of Colour 36 – A Nameless Narrator 37 – An Educational Read 38 – Recommended on Bookbub 40 – Found via #Bookstagram
Author: Nathan W. Pyle Publisher: Morrow Gift Pages: 144 On Sale: June 16, 2020 Genre: Humor, Comic, Graphic Novel, Fiction, Stars: 4/5
From the Publisher:
The sequel to the #1 New York Times bestselling phenomenon Strange Planet, featuring more hilarious and poignant adventures from the fascinating inhabitants of Nathan W. Pyle’s colorful world.
In this eagerly awaited sequel, Nathan takes us back to his charming and instantly recognizable planet colored in bright pinks, blues, greens, and purples, providing more escapades, jokes, and p h r a s e s.
Nathan mixes his most popular Instagram comics with more than thirty original works created exclusively for this second volume to explore four major topics: traditions, nature, emotions, and knowledge. He inducts new and longtime fans into a strangely familiar world and its culture, from “cohesion” (marriage) to “mild poison” (alcohol) to the full lyrics to “The Small Eight-Legged Creature” (sung to the tune of The Itsy-Bitsy Spider).
Bright, colorful, and whimsical—yet charmingly familiar—Stranger Planet is out-of-this-world fun
I didn’t laugh out loud as much as I did in the first volume, but it was still very enjoyable. I love the creativity and simplicity throughout and how easy it is to follow and relate to. I think because I had already seen most of these comics online they weren’t as fresh and new to me, or I could have been a bit more amazed. Still highly recommended.
Author: Thomas King Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Pages: 286 On Sale: August 25, 2020 Genre: Fiction, Cultural, Travel, Humor, Contemporary Stars: 2.5/5
From the Publisher:
Meet Bird and Mimi in this brilliant new novel from one of Canada’s foremost authors. Inspired by a handful of old postcards sent by Uncle Leroy nearly a hundred years earlier, Bird and Mimi attempt to trace Mimi’s long-lost uncle and the family medicine bundle he took with him to Europe.
By turns witty, sly and poignant, this is the unforgettable tale of one couple’s holiday trip to Europe, where their wanderings through its famous capitals reveal a complicated history, both personal and political.
This was more of a 2.5 as it started as a 3 then went downhill a bit for me. I’m not sure why I didn’t love it, there was nothing wrong with it, I just couldn’t connect with it or really understand it. I know it’s probably accurate for many people, but him having named, physical embodiment of his depression and anxiety etc was hard for me to understand and relate to. There were bits of humor in this book but it wasn’t enough to carry the story or bring me in any closer. I also found the flashbacks and memories of other cities to be a little confusing, and at times they were hard to keep track of.
Would fit The 52 Book Club’s 2021 prompts: 14 – Written By An Author Over 65 When Published 19 – Book With A Deckled Edge 26 – An Author Of Colour 29 – Featuring The Environment 33 – Featuring Adoption 47 – A Character With A Disability
Author: Suzanne Collins Publisher: Scholastic Press Pages: 517 On Sale: May 19, 2020 Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Fiction, Fantasy, Science Fiction Stars: 5/5
From the Publisher:
Ambition will fuel him. Competition will drive him. But power has its price.
It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to out-charm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.
The odds are against him. He’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined—every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute . . . and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.
I am so in love with this book I am hesitant to start something else. I loved The Hunger Games, but found this to be almost better. Between the characters and the world building it was really well done, and even though the ending was a bit rushed and very “wait, what’s happening” it explains a lot about him and their future. I thought it was fascinating that she was able to turn the character from someone we disliked to someone we really liked to someone becoming the person we disliked. I am really impressed.
Midsummer Eve 1670. Two unexpected visitors arrive at a shabby warehouse on the south side of the River Thames. The first is a wealthy man hoping to find the lover he deserted twenty-one years before. James Avery has everything to offer, including the favour of the newly restored King Charles II, and he believes that the warehouse’s poor owner Alinor has the one thing his money cannot buy—his son and heir.
The second visitor is a beautiful widow from Venice in deepest mourning. She claims Alinor as her mother-in-law and has come to tell Alinor that her son Rob has drowned in the dark tides of the Venice lagoon.
Alinor writes to her brother Ned, newly arrived in faraway New England and trying to make a life between the worlds of the English newcomers and the American Indians as they move toward inevitable war. Alinor tells him that she knows—without doubt—that her son is alive and the widow is an imposter.
Set in the poverty and glamour of Restoration London, in the golden streets of Venice, and on the tensely contested frontier of early America, this is a novel of greed and desire: for love, for wealth, for a child, and for home
I love Philippa Gregory, but this book was a bit of a miss for me. I didn’t like the American setting and I really didn’t like Livia. I know she was supposed to be a frustrating character, but she really took away from the story for me. I have not read the first book in the Fairmile series, Tidelands, but I’m not sure it would have helped. This book did alright as a stand-alone for me, it was just missing in other aspects.
Author: Melissa Sercia Publisher: City Owl Press Pages: 301 On Sale: May 5, 2020 Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Mythology, Fiction Stars: 2/5
From the Publisher:
The voices haunt her…
Their whispers taunt her with a war she never wanted…
But Arya Frost has more to contend with than the cryptic voices disturbing her sleep.
Protected inside the haven of Sanctum after losing both her parents in the Blood War a decade ago, Arya is different from other witches. She’s the only witch without a coven.
Or so she thinks.
As her powers accelerate, so do the revelations about her true lineage.
Destined to become the Aether—a witch who can control all four elements—the Elemental covens want her magic, power she didn’t even know she had.
And when the sexy and mysterious god, Chaos shows up, Arya’s place in the world is put even more at risk.
But learning who and what she is, and how to wield her power only tips the surface of the battle raging inside her. She’ll have to find a way to awaken her magic, deal with her growing attraction to Chaos, all while being thrust into the middle of a magical feud that has been building for centuries.
The Blood War might be over, but the war between witches is just beginning
This was a pass for me. It had a lot of potential, but it just felt too superficial and rushed. It was hard for me to believe in the characters and it felt like there was a lot of jumping around and not enough building or depth. I can see this being more for fans of P.C. Cast.
Author: Brooke Carter Publisher: Orca Book Publishers Pages: 312 On Sale: April 7, 2020 Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, LGBT, Mythology, Fiction Stars: 5/5
From the Publisher:
In a land of myth and ice, seventeen-year-old Runa Unnursdottir is not the runecaster her clan has been hoping for. She spends her days daydreaming of sailing away and exploring the world instead of studying the runes and learning her spells. The villagers consider her odd, in looks and in manner. She’s nothing like her talented sister, Syr, keeper of the sacred moonstone that ensures the village’s continued survival. But when a rival clan led by an evil witch raids the village and kidnaps her sister, Runa is forced to act. With a fallen Valkyrie by her side, and the help of a gorgeous half-elf Runa is not quite sure she can trust, the apprentice must travel to the site of an ancient runecasting competition to try to win back the magical gem. But the journey will not be easy; the three unlikely companions encounter malevolent and supernatural creatures at every turn. Somehow, Runa must summon the courage and strength to face her destiny, a destiny she never wanted. Or die trying.
I would like to thank LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers program for giving me a copy of this book, because I was blown away. I loved the setting and the mythology and the entire journey. I would love to see the Valkyrie expanded on more and to learn more about the spellcasting, but the whole thing was really well done. The Icelandic setting was a refreshing change and I look forward to the next book!
Author: Jennifer Deibel Publisher: Revell Pages: 352 On Sale: February 2, 2021 Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Christian Fiction, Cultural Stars: 3/5
From the Publisher:
To fulfill her mother’s dying wish, Moira Doherty moves from Boston to the rolling green hills of 1921 Ireland to teach in a village school. She doesn’t expect to fall in love–or to uncover a scandalous family reputation her mother left behind years ago.
I enjoyed this book, it was a lovely story of a woman traveling to Ireland to teach and falling in love while uncovering her mother’s secrets. The characters seemed like a lot of fun and her trials were moving, but overall this book wasn’t a winner for me. I’ve read some Christian Fiction and I normally don’t mind it, I just found this book had an excessive amount of praying and talking to God and reciting scripture. I should have saved this book for next year as it fits 11 prompts of The 52 Book Club’s 2021 reading challenge.
#1 – Set In A School #2 – Featuring The Legal Profession #7 – An Author With Only 1 Published Book #10 – Related To The Word “Fire” #12 – Title Starting With The Letter “D” #27 – First Chapter Ends On An Odd Page Number #43 – A Character With A Pet Cat #44 – Includes A Garden #47 – A Character With A Disability #48 – A Cover With A Woman Who Is Facing Away #51 – Published In 2021