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: 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.
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!
When seventy-year-old Charlotte Perkins submits a sexy essay to the “Become a Jetsetter” contest, she dreams of reuniting her estranged children: Lee, an almost-famous actress; Cord, a handsome Manhattan venture capitalist who can’t seem to find a bride; and Regan, a harried mother who took it all wrong when Charlotte bought her a Weight Watchers gift certificate for her birthday. Charlotte yearns for the years when her children were young and she was a single mother who meant everything to them. When she wins the cruise, the family packs all their baggage—literal and figurative—and spends ten days traveling from sun-drenched Athens through glorious Rome to tapas-laden Barcelona on an over-the-top cruise ship, the Splendido Marveloso. As lovers new and old join the adventure, long-buried secrets are revealed, and the Perkins family is forced to confront the defining choices in their lives. Can four lost adults find the peace they’ve been seeking by reconciling their childhood aches and coming back to each other?
In the vein of The Nest and The Vacationers, Ward has created a delicious and intelligent novel about the courage it takes to reveal our true selves, the pleasures and perils of family, and how we navigate the seas of adulthood to cruise—we can only hope—toward joy.
I devoured this book, read it in under a day. I found the language the characters used to be a bit immature and stilted at times, but overall it was well done and fast paced. Most of it felt like a typical family drama, but there were a few surprises thrown in that I really enjoyed. The characters were all very unique and I wouldn’t say this book was predictable at all.
Author: Amanda Cox Publisher: Fleming H Revell Company Pages: 384 On Sale: September 8 2020 Genre: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Christian Stars: 4/5
From the Publisher:
When Ivy Rose returns to her hometown to oversee an estate sale, she soon discovers that her grandmother left behind more than trinkets and photo frames–she provided a path to the truth behind Ivy’s adoption. Shocked, Ivy seeks clues to her past, but a key piece to the mystery is missing.
Twenty-four years earlier, Harvey James finds an abandoned newborn who gives him a sense of human connection for the first time in his life. His desire to care for the baby runs up against the stark fact that he is homeless. When he becomes entwined with two people seeking to help him find his way, Harvey knows he must keep the baby a secret or risk losing the only person he’s ever loved.
In this dual-time story from debut novelist Amanda Cox, the truth–both the search for it and the desire to keep it from others–takes center stage as Ivy and Harvey grapple with love, loss, and letting go.
I don’t seek out Christian Fiction, but this book was so subtle that I didn’t even realize it was until I read other reviews. The characters were all very detailed and unique, and the dual-timeline was really well done as well. It varies between Harvey finding a baby in 1994 and coming to terms with being loved and wanted, and present day Ivy coming home to a funeral after leaving an abusive relationship. The book mentions a lot of hardships and struggles that some people may find triggering, but I felt they were well handled and acknowledged. The characters showed a lot of strength and realism and it was clear that Amanda Cox understands people and has done her research.
Author: Ling Zhang Publisher: Amazon Crossing Pages: 304 On Sale: October 1 2020 Genre: Historical, Fiction, Cultural, WWII Stars: 4/5
From the Publisher:
The eagerly awaited English translation of award-winning author Zhang Ling’s epic and intimate novel about the devastation of war, forgiveness, redemption, and the enduring power of love.
On the day of the historic 1945 Jewel Voice Broadcast—in which Emperor Hirohito announced Japan’s surrender to the Allied forces, bringing an end to World War II—three men, flush with jubilation, made a pact. After their deaths, each year on the anniversary of the broadcast, their souls would return to the Chinese village of their younger days. It’s where they had fought—and survived—a war that shook the world and changed their own lives in unimaginable ways. Now, seventy years later, the pledge is being fulfilled by American missionary Pastor Billy, brash gunner’s mate Ian Ferguson, and local soldier Liu Zhaohu.
All that’s missing is Ah Yan—also known as Swallow—the girl each man loved, each in his own profound way.
As they unravel their personal stories of the war, and of the woman who touched them so deeply during that unforgiving time, the story of Ah Yan’s life begins to take shape, woven into view by their memories. A woman who had suffered unspeakable atrocities, and yet found the grace and dignity to survive, she’d been the one to bring them together. And it is her spark of humanity, still burning brightly, that gives these ghosts of the past the courage to look back on everything they endured and remember the woman they lost.
I was really impressed with the way this book was written. Set in China during World War 2 it introduced us to many different characters, and it did a very good job at keeping them all separate. The book switched perspective every few chapters and invited us into someone else’s viewpoint and background and often this can get confusing or tangled, but I didn’t find that in this case. I’m using this for the “A Book That Leaves You Thinking” part of my 2020 reading challenge because it’s not a story you can move on from quickly. Each character goes through a lot of trials and it was really interesting to learn how they handled each one and the repercussions from them years later.
Author: Heidi Perks Publisher: Gallery Books Pages: 336 On Sale: June 9 2020 Genre: Mystery, Fiction, Suspense, Thriller Stars: 3/5
From the Publisher:
From the author of Her One Mistake , hailed as “chilling, captivating” by New York Times bestselling author Megan Miranda, comes a riveting new suspense novel about three ambitious women whose lives are turned upside down in the aftermath of a horrifying fire, which destroys a successful advertising agency and threatens to expose a tangled web of lies.
Laura has returned to work at Morris and Wood after her maternity leave, only to discover that the woman she brought in to cover for her isn’t planning on going anywhere. Despite her close relationship with the agency’s powerful CEO, Harry Wood, she feels sidelined—and outmaneuvered—as she struggles to balance the twin demands of work and motherhood.
Mia was only supposed to be a temporary hire at Morris and Wood, but she’s managed to make herself indispensable to everyone. Everyone, that is, except Laura. If people only knew why she was so desperate to keep her job, they might not want her to stay.
Janie gave up everything to support her husband and the successful agency he runs. But she has her own dark secret to protect…and will go to any lengths to keep it safe.
I enjoyed this book and there was nothing wrong with it, but it didn’t blow me away. It had a gentle, meandering plot and I liked that the perspective kept switching between the three women. At each chapter we are given a bit of the police report with the other staff of agency and I found it definitely helped to draw suspense and show the tension between the different parties. Overall I wasn’t able to guess most of the secrets and the ending did catch me by surprise, it just wasn’t the roller coaster that I had expected.
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