WWW Wednesday 9/11

Welcome back to Another WWW Wednesday!

As always our wonderful host is Sam over at Taking on a World of Words

This is pretty simple, all you have to do is answer the following three questions:

What did you just finish reading?

What are you currently reading?

What do you plan on reading next?


What did you just finish reading?

After the Flood by Kassandra Montag

Click the pic for my review 😘

After the Flood takes place in the future after the Hundred Year Flood leaves most of the Earth covered in water. The story follows Myra as she tries to find her eldest daughter by navigating the new seas while still protecting her youngest.

What are you currently reading?

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

I’m not going to give you a synopsis because I feel like everyone knows about this book 😂

I just got to Page 142 and I wish I could have kept reading! I feel like something new happens in every chapter and I am never bored with what is happening. I am LOVING this book.

What do I plan on reading next?

This is such a hard question for me because I am a mood reader and like to plan BIG TBR lists. Which, if you read my September tbr post you understand 😂

But, I would like to read…

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.

Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unravelling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.

It was everything.

She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.

What are you currently reading? Let me know or post the link to your WWW Wednesday below!

Happy Wednesday and happy reading!

XO, Shannon

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Happy Pub Day! (9/10/19)

I have been looking forward to today for MONTHS. Months I tell you! There are so many new anticipated releases that came out TODAY. This is not a drill. Do not listen to the screams of your debit card telling you to put it down. Hold on to that baby for dear life because I’m going to tell you about THREE new releases that you absolutely need to have on your shelf.

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

Synopsis (thanks to Goodreads)

In this brilliant sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, acclaimed author Margaret Atwood answers the questions that have tantalized readers for decades.

When the van door slammed on Offred’s future at the end of The Handmaid’s Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead for her—freedom, prison or death. 

With The Testaments, the wait is over. 

Margaret Atwood’s sequel picks up the story fifteen years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead. 

“Dear Readers: Everything you’ve ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we’ve been living in.” —Margaret Atwood


When I found out that Atwood wrote a sequel I literally fan girl screamed. I am so freaking excited for this book.

According to Amazon The Testaments should be on my doorstep by 11 pm today!! (It is probably already on my porch and I have no idea because I am at work 😦 )

If you are as excited as I am, pick up your own copy here!

Frankly in love by david yoon

Synopsis – Brought to you by Goodreads

High school senior Frank Li is a Limbo–his term for Korean-American kids who find themselves caught between their parents’ traditional expectations and their own Southern California upbringing. His parents have one rule when it comes to romance–“Date Korean”–which proves complicated when Frank falls for Brit Means, who is smart, beautiful–and white. Fellow Limbo Joy Song is in a similar predicament, and so they make a pact: they’ll pretend to date each other in order to gain their freedom. Frank thinks it’s the perfect plan, but in the end, Frank and Joy’s fake-dating maneuver leaves him wondering if he ever really understood love–or himself–at all.


The reason I am MOST excited for this release is….David Yoon is Nicola Yoon’s husband. YES the Nicola Yoon who gave us A Sun is Also A Star. David has some big shoes to fill and I am more than confident that he will bring us teen romance goodness in this novel!

FRANKLY IN LOVE is one of the biggest YA books of the Fall so do not miss out on this offer that I am offering you today!

You can get your copy TODAY from BOTM YA (@yasofthemonth) for just $9.99 with code GROW.

Click here to get your copy!! (with code GROW)

I cannot wait to get my hands on this book from YA Book of the Month.

CAPTURING THE DEVIL BY KERRI MANISCALCO

Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell have landed in America, a bold, brash land unlike the genteel streets of London they knew. But like London, the city of Chicago hides its dark secrets well. When the two attend the spectacular World’s Fair, they find the once-in-a-lifetime event tainted with reports of missing people and unsolved murders.

Determined to help, Audrey Rose and Thomas begin their investigations, only to find themselves facing a serial killer unlike any they’ve heard of before. Identifying him is one thing, but capturing him—and getting dangerously lost in the infamous Murder Hotel he constructed as a terrifying torture device—is another.

Will Audrey Rose and Thomas see their last mystery to the end—together and in love—or will their fortunes finally run out when their most depraved adversary makes one final, devastating kill?


Guys…It is the FINAL book in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series and I just cannot believe it is gong to be over 😭😭

I love Audrey and Thomas and I cannot wait to read the final installment to their story.

Order your copy today!

Do you plan on reading any of these new releases? Or are you looking forward to something out releasing today? Talk to me in the comments ❤

XOXO, Shannon

After the Flood by Kassandra Montag | Book Review

Book 17 of 2019

“From the water we came and to the water we will return, our lungs always hungering for air, but our hearts beating like waves.”

Synopsis:

A little more than a century from now, our world has been utterly transformed. After years of slowly overtaking the continent, rising floodwaters have obliterated America’s great coastal cities and then its heartland, leaving nothing but an archipelago of mountaintop colonies surrounded by a deep expanse of open water.

Stubbornly independent Myra and her precocious seven-year-old daughter, Pearl, fish from their small boat, the Bird, visiting dry land only to trade for supplies and information in the few remaining outposts of civilization. For seven years, Myra has grieved the loss of her oldest daughter, Row, who was stolen by her father after a monstrous deluge overtook their home in Nebraska. Then, in a violent confrontation with a stranger, Myra suddenly discovers that Row was last seen in a far-off encampment near the Artic Circle. Throwing aside her usual caution, Myra and Pearl embark on a perilous voyage into the icy northern seas, hoping against hope that Row will still be there.

On their journey, Myra and Pearl join forces with a larger ship and Myra finds herself bonding with her fellow seekers who hope to build a safe haven together in this dangerous new world. But secrets, lust, and betrayals threaten their dream, and after their fortunes take a shocking—and bloody—turn, Myra can no longer ignore the question of whether saving Row is worth endangering Pearl and her fellow travelers.

A compulsively readable novel of dark despair and soaring hope, After the Flood is a magnificent, action packed, and sometimes frightening odyssey laced with wonder—an affecting and wholly original saga both redemptive and astonishing.

rating breakdown:

Storyline: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Writing: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Characters: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Emotion: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Overall: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Review:

I changed my mind on my rating again…

When I swiped to the last page of Kassandra Montag’s book After the Flood, my initial thought was, “Man that is just a 4 star read for me.” My main reasoning was I found it hard to connect to Myra as a character. But, that shouldn’t stop me from rating a book what it truly deserves.

I found it difficult to relate to Myra because of her overwhelming need to get her daughter back. I am a 24 year old childless adult. There is NO WAY I CAN RELATE TO THAT FEELING. But, then I thought about it a little bit more….

I am the eldest of 5 children. I have one younger brother (22) and 3 younger sisters (19, 15, and 13). While they are all older than Pearl who is 7, Row would have been 12 in the book. So then I thought about Abby (the 13 year old), possibly alone near the Arctic Circle, about to board a breeding ship for the rest of her life, and needing me to save her. Well, that completely changed how I looked at Myra’s character.

Myra is a strong, independent mother of two, trying to do the best she can to raise her daughter in extreme circumstances while trying to rescue the other. Talk about a power character. While the story does show us some of Myra’s stress and inability to let her guard down I cannot even imagine being in her shoes.

Now I want to talk about Pearl really quick. Keep in mind that she is 7 years old and has basically spent her entire life aboard a ship and on water.

She is a badass child. And I mean, considering how much of a bad ass Myra is it is only fitting that Pearl be the same. Without giving too much away…

CAN YOU IMAGINE A 7 YEAR OLD CHILD WITH VIPERS?!?! (and other less threatening snakes)

You can’t. It’s not normal

Unless you’ve read After the Flood

Because for Pearl, snakes are her life. To me that is both amazing and terrifying at the same time. She is a 7 year old bad ass. You will NOT find me holding unknown quantities of snakes even in post-apocalyptic water filled life as we know it.

Then there is Daniel and Abran. Myra’s two…”love” interests if you will 😂

I just want to say that I am #teamDaniel and a day 1 Daniel fan. He is tough and sweet and gentle and caring. Man. I need me a Daniel.

Abran seemed to be all of those wonderful things at first but, he is really just a whiny alcoholic and…..

**SPOILER ALERT**

…I’m glad he’s dead.


I am a BIG fan of dystopian, apocalyptic, and post-apocalyptic storylines.

But, I tend to find they are all kind of the same.

Not, After the Flood.

It is as refreshing as writing about the human race on its last limb as it can get.

I haven’t read a dystopian novel that is set mainly at sea ever. Actually, I don’t think I read many novels set at sea period.

It took awhile for me to get use to some of the lingo, but that did not take away from the story for me at all.

I loved when they stopped at trading posts and we got to see what kind of life people have built on what land is left.

I found myself getting nervous and anxious right along with Pearl when I storm would crash over the boat. I kept thinking, “What will they do if they sink?”

The suspense of trying to get to the Valley, staying afloat, and the possibility of being overthrown by raiders really drove the plot onward.

I felt things for the characters like they were real people. I mourned the loss of a finger, crew-mates, and a daughter we never met.

After the Flood is a great tale of human perseverance and hope and possibly one of my favorite books of the year.


Thank you to NetGalley and William Morrow books for this electronic advanced reading copy in exchange for my honest review.

Get your very own copy here!

Book Review | Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell

Book 15 of 2019

synopsis:

A would-be mage with no magic of his own has to defeat powerful enemies with only cunning and deception in the first book of an exciting adventure fantasy series from Sebastien de Castell.

Kellen is moments away from facing his first duel and proving his worth as a spellcaster. There’s just one problem: his magic is fading.

Facing exile unless he can pass the mage trials, Kellen is willing to risk everything – even his own life – in search of a way to restore his magic. But when the enigmatic Ferius Parfax arrives in town, she challenges him to take a different path.

One of the elusive Argosi, Ferius is a traveller who lives by her wits and the cards she carries. Daring, unpredictable, and wielding magic Kellen has never seen before, she may be his only hope.

The first novel in a compelling six-book series, bursting with tricks, humor, and a whole new way to look at magic.

Rating Breakdown:

Storyline: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Characters: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Writing: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Emotion: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Overall: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Alright, I kinda changed my mind about my rating after I sat and thought about it some more. When I finished the book I automatically gave it 5 stars on Goodreads. But….after letting it marinate in my mind I took half of a star away.

For a book to get 5 stars from me I have to really feel a connection to the story, the universe it is set in, or a character. And that just didn’t happen for me.

I really enjoyed the story and the characters, even the side characters. But, I just didn’t find myself thinking about the book once it was over.

But, even though I didn’t find myself wandering back to this magical universe in my spare time, I still throughly enjoyed this book and will be picking up the others in the series. (yes, that noise you hear is my bank account sobbing)


I really did not know how this book was going to end. In that aspect I was always on my toes picking up every detail to try to see where the story might take me.

I was expecting tons of magic and I was not disappointed. I also loved how Castell weaved trickery and “unconventional magic” into the storyline as well.

I WISH I COULD TALK ABOUT THE PARTS I DIDN’T SEE COMING…but then I would ruin it for you. But OMG. There were SEVERAL points toward the end of the book that I did not see coming at all. I devoured the last half of this book because crazy things just kept happening!

I enjoy when I am shocked by a change in events or a major reveal and boy did this book mark off those boxes.


Ferius might have been my favorite character. She was always showing up at the right time to save Kellen’s ass. She never gave Kellen the answer straight up and made him figure it out which I loved.

I found Kellen to be very smart and cunning. He was always trying to persevere even without magic.

His sister fit the role of annoying little sister so perfectly. But, she was also very helpful when Kellen needed her.

I was not expecting romance in this book at all. And I hate when I book just randomly throws in a romance that doesn’t fit and seems out of place. This wasn’t the case with Spellslinger. I enjoyed the tiny bit of romance that Kellen builds in the beginning of the book and it was nice to see it come to fruition at the end. It wasn’t my favorite, but I am happy it was a part of the story.


Castell’s writing made the magical world come to life and I felt like I was watching things unfold before my eyes. He captured his characters’ personalities so well! I even found myself laughing out loud at some of Kellen’s thoughts and that never happens!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and it was a great way for me to finish August! (yes, I am only now getting to my review, let me be)


Get a copy for yourself here!

XO, Shannon

September TBR

It’s September 6th…and I’m already behind 😅

All my sisters are back in school (I’m the eldest of 5) and Autumn is in the air (yes it is, don’t argue with me)

I have a pretty hefty tbr for this month and I really don’t even want to talk about it…but I will.

Advanced Readers Copies

After the Flood by Kassandra Montag

A little more than a century from now, our world has been utterly transformed. After years of slowly overtaking the continent, rising floodwaters have obliterated America’s great coastal cities and then its heartland, leaving nothing but an archipelago of mountaintop colonies surrounded by a deep expanse of open water.

Stubbornly independent Myra and her precocious seven-year-old daughter, Pearl, fish from their small boat, the Bird, visiting dry land only to trade for supplies and information in the few remaining outposts of civilization. For seven years, Myra has grieved the loss of her oldest daughter, Row, who was stolen by her father after a monstrous deluge overtook their home in Nebraska. Then, in a violent confrontation with a stranger, Myra suddenly discovers that Row was last seen in a far-off encampment near the Artic Circle. Throwing aside her usual caution, Myra and Pearl embark on a perilous voyage into the icy northern seas, hoping against hope that Row will still be there.

On their journey, Myra and Pearl join forces with a larger ship and Myra finds herself bonding with her fellow seekers who hope to build a safe haven together in this dangerous new world. But secrets, lust, and betrayals threaten their dream, and after their fortunes take a shocking—and bloody—turn, Myra can no longer ignore the question of whether saving Row is worth endangering Pearl and her fellow travelers.

A compulsively readable novel of dark despair and soaring hope, After the Flood is a magnificent, action packed, and sometimes frightening odyssey laced with wonder—an affecting and wholly original saga both redemptive and astonishing.

Thank you NetGalley and William Morrow for the ARC!

Out now! Get it here!

To the Lions by Holly Watt

Casey Benedict, star reporter at the Post, has infiltrated the lives and exposed the lies of countless politicians and power players. Using her network of contacts, and her ability to slip into whatever identity suits the situation, Casey is always on the search for the next big story, no matter how much danger this might place her in, or what the cost might be, emotionally. 

Tipped off by an overheard conversation at an exclusive London nightclub, she begins to investigate the apparent suicide of a wealthy young British man whose death has left his fiancée and family devastated. The young man’s death, however, is only the tipping point of a much more sinister and dangerous scandal involving the world’s most powerful leaders and magnates–men who are gathering in northern Africa for an extreme and secret hunt. With fellow reporter Miranda and combat veteran Ed by her side, Casey’s determined hunt for the truth will take her from the glitz of St. Tropez to the deserts of Libya and on to the very darkest corners of the human mind.

Thank you NetGalley and Dutton Books for the ARC!

Out now! Get yours here!

Un-Plugged-In by David Greis

The truth is that sometimes, Bryan can be a clingy college boyfriend. In one universe, he follows his girlfriend Jamie’s every move on Instagram, but in another, it’s the ’90s, and he lives in a world with only voicemail and no read receipts.

Meanwhile, when present-day Jamie studies abroad in Rome, everything must be perfectly documented to maintain her flawless online persona. But the real adventure might be in store for her ’90s self—where her eyes aren’t always glued to her phone.

So which world—the more analog or more digital—will make it easier for Bryan and Jamie’s relationship to survive?

A thought experiment turned dual novella, Un-Plugged-In poses the question: who might you have been if you were born into a different generation?

Told side-by-side, the two stories explore relationships, travel, and even a campus scandal through the lens of the technologies that have come to dominate our lives over the past two decades.

Thank you NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for the ARC!

Will be released September 24, 2019!

His hideous heart edited by Dahlia Adler

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.

Available September 10! Get a copy here!

Buddy Reads

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.

Out now! Get yours here!

Or you can sign up for Book of the Month YA! Use my affiliate code to save!

https://book-of-the-month.ixmz.net/X9XjG

The Shining by Stephen King

Jack Torrance’s new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he’ll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote…and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five-year-old

Get yours here!

Stalking Jack the ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The story’s shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this #1 New York Times bestselling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget. 

Final Installment to the Stalking Jack the Ripper series is released September 10

Get your copy of Stalking Jack the Ripper here!

Get your copy of Capturing the Devil here!

Joyland by Stephen king

Set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, Joyland tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a carny and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever. 

Get your copy here!

The Rest…

The Whisper man by Alex North

After the sudden death of his wife, Tom Kennedy believes a fresh start will help him and his young son Jake heal. A new beginning, a new house, a new town. Featherbank.

But the town has a dark past. Twenty years ago, a serial killer abducted and murdered five residents. Until Frank Carter was finally caught, he was nicknamed “The Whisper Man,” for he would lure his victims out by whispering at their windows at night.

Just as Tom and Jake settle into their new home, a young boy vanishes. His disappearance bears an unnerving resemblance to Frank Carter’s crimes, reigniting old rumors that he preyed with an accomplice. Now, detectives Amanda Beck and Pete Willis must find the boy before it is too late, even if that means Pete has to revisit his great foe in prison: The Whisper Man.

And then Jake begins acting strangely. He hears a whispering at his window…

Get your copy here!

The silent Patient by alex michaelides

Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him…. 

Get your copy here!

Hunting prince dracula by kerri maniscalco

In this New York Times bestselling sequel to Kerri Maniscalco’s haunting #1 debut Stalking Jack the Ripper, bizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer…or has the depraved prince been brought back to life?

Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine…and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.

Get your copy here!

Escaping from houdini by kerri maniscalco

Audrey Rose Wadsworth and her partner-in-crime-investigation, Thomas Cresswell, are en route to New York to help solve another blood-soaked mystery. Embarking on a week-long voyage across the Atlantic on the opulent RMS Etruria, they’re delighted to discover a traveling troupe of circus performers, fortune tellers, and a certain charismatic young escape artist entertaining the first-class passengers nightly.

But then, privileged young women begin to go missing without explanation, and a series of brutal slayings shocks the entire ship. The disturbing influence of the Moonlight Carnival pervades the decks as the murders grow ever more freakish, with nowhere to escape except the unforgiving sea.

It’s up to Audrey Rose and Thomas to piece together the gruesome investigation as even more passengers die before reaching their destination. But with clues to the next victim pointing to someone she loves, can Audrey Rose unravel the mystery before the killer’s horrifying finale?

Get your copy here!

Unnatural creatures by neil gaiman

The sixteen stories gathered by Gaiman, winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards, range from the whimsical to the terrifying. Magical creatures from the werewolf, to the sunbird, to beings never before classified will thrill, delight, and quite possibly unnerve you in tales by E. Nesbit, Diana Wynne Jones, Gahan Wilson, and other literary luminaries.

Get your copy here!

stolen things by r. h. herron

“Mama? Help me.”

Laurie Ahmadi has worked as a 911 police dispatcher in her quiet Northern California town for nearly two decades. She considers the department her family; her husband, Omid, is its first Arab American chief, and their teenaged daughter, Jojo, has grown up with the force. So when Laurie catches a 911 call and, to her horror, it’s Jojo, the whole department springs into action.

Jojo, drugged, disoriented, and in pain, doesn’t remember how she ended up at the home of Kevin Leeds, a pro football player famous for his on-the-field activism and his work with the CapB—“Citizens Against Police Brutality”—movement. She doesn’t know what happened to Kevin’s friend and trainer, whose beaten corpse is also discovered in the house. And she has no idea where her best friend Harper, who was with her earlier in the evening, could be.

But when Jojo begins to dive into Harper’s social media to look for clues to her whereabouts, Jojo uncovers a shocking secret that turns everything she knew about Harper—and the police department—on its head. With everything they thought they could rely on in question, Laurie and Jojo begin to realize that they can’t trust anyone to find Harper except themselves . . . and time is running out.

Get your copy here!

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own. 

Get your copy here!

So, do you think I’m crazy? Because I sure think I am!

See anything that appeals to you? Let me know! Also, if you can let me know how you guys juggle more than one buddy reads at once that would be greatly appreciated!

XO, Shannon

August Wrap Up!

August has been my best reading month so far this year!

I was in such a reading slump up until August. I was finishing an average of one book a month and was so sad that I couldn’t shake the fog that I was in.

But, I joined back into the community this month and man has it helped. The online book community is so loving and helpful that before I knew it I was back to reading a new book every couple of days and reviewing my books again.

I received my first ever print Advanced Readers Copy (ARC) and now my ARC tbr is longer than I would care to admit (both print and eARCs).

In the month of August I finished 8 books and 1 short story out of a collection.

I read 2,540 pages (which is more than what I posted on my bookstagram because I read until a fell asleep last night).

5 Physical Books (6 if you count the short story)

3 ebooks

I had several 5 star reads and my lowest rating was 2.5 stars.

If I currently have a review up for the book, I will link it to the title so you can check it out 🙂

Let’s get started in order that I completed them…

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

A wonderful thriller and suspense novel with an ending that came out of nowhere!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

368 pages

Buy it here

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

A re-read for me this month a my book that I “studied” to pass my Divination O.W.L.s which was to read a book set in the future.

Another reason I wanted to re-read the Handmaid’s Tale is because the sequel The Testaments goes on sale September 10th!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

311 Pages

Buy it here

Return of the Star Child (The Divine Inheritance 1) by Catriona Murphy

Ms. Murphy’s self-published debut novel had me hooked even though I found myself saying “wtf” way too many times.

⭐️⭐️💫

311 Pages

Buy it here

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Mayan folklore meets a fantasy adventure with a *dash* of romance. With the help of Gods of Jade and Shadow, I was able to study and pass my Ancient Runes O.W.L.s which was to read a re-telling. GOJAS is a loose retelling of Cinderella.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

352 Pages

Buy it here

The Bear by Andrew Krivak

A brilliant story about nature, loss, grief, and what it means to be alive.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

224 pages

Available February 12, 2020

Thank you again NetGalley and Bellevue Literary Press for this eARC

The Sun is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

Another re-read for me this month! A Sun is Also a Star is a refreshing romance that takes place in 24 hours between a Korean-American boy and a Jamaican illegal immigrant right before she gets deported.

With the help of A Sun is Also a Star, I was able to sit on my Astronomy O.W.L.s which is to read a book with “Star” in the title.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

348 Pages

Buy it here

Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

A beautiful non-fiction piece that reads as a fiction story. We read about the lives of Three Women and their sexual desires.

Finally, I was able to begin testing for my N.E.W.T.s after catching up with my O.W.L.s early on in the month. I used Three Women to study to get an A (acceptable) in Divination. (read a book with a white cover)

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

304 pages

Buy it here

“She Rode a Horse of Fire” from His Hideous Heart, edited by Dahlia Adler

WHAT A WONDERFUL COLLECTION OF SHORT STORIES. I mean honestly. His Hideous Heart is a collection of Edgar Allen Poe retellings which were collected by Dahlia Adler and edited into this beautiful work of art. If you are unfamiliar with the original tales, Adler has included them in the back of the collection!

I read the first short story from the collection, “She Rode a Horse of Fire” written by Kendare Blake and inspired by Poe’s “Metzengerstein”. It was sooo good. I will be bingeing the rest of this collection in the next week so be on the look out for a full review.

I used this short story to help me study to get an E (exceeds expectations) in Divination (short story or collection).

Thank you again Storygramtours and Flatiron Books for this wonderful Advanced Readers Copy!

Available September 10, 2019

Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell

I was pleasantly surprised by this novel and will be picking up the rest of the series or borrowing it from the library! Review to come!

I got this book from the Forbidden Section in the library at Hogwarts and used it to replace the last requirement to achieve and O (outstanding) in my Divination N.E.W.T.s.

I can now say that I am eligible to become a Seer! Woo!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

432 Pages

Buy it here


Now that is what I call a successful month!

See any books that you’ve read or that you are adding to your TBR? Let me know!

XOXO, Shannon

*Product links are affiliate links with Amazon. I always choose the lowest priced item to bring to you! If you purchase through my link I receive a small commission and use it to bring more content to YOU!

*All opinions are my own*

*I received ARCs in exchange for my honest review

Book Review: Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this read when I picked up the book.

I finished reading in 2 days and I have some thoughts to share…

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Book 14 of 2019 – Source

Book description:

“It thrills us and torments us. It controls our thoughts, destroys our lives, and it’s all we live for. Yet we almost never speak of it. And as a buried force in our lives, desire remains largely unexplored – until now. Over the past eight years, journalist Lisa Taddeo has driven across the country six times to embed herself with ordinary women from different regions and backgrounds. The result, Three Women, is the deepest nonfiction portrait of desire ever written and one of the most anticipated books of the year. 

We begin in suburban Indiana with Lina, a homemaker and mother of two whose marriage, after a decade, has lost its passion. She passes her days cooking and cleaning for a man who refuses to kiss her on the mouth, protesting that “the sensation offends” him. To Lina’s horror, even her marriage counselor says her husband’s position is valid. Starved for affection, Lina battles daily panic attacks. When she reconnects with an old flame trough social media, she embarks on an affair that quickly becomes all-consuming. 

In North Dakota we meet Maggie, a seventeen-year-old high school student who finds a confidant in her handsome, married, English teacher. By Maggie’s account, supportive nightly texts and phone calls evolve into a clandestine physical relationship, with plans to skip school on her eighteenth birthday and make love all day; instead, he breaks up with her on the morning he turns thirty. A few years later, Maggie has no degree, no career, and no dreams to live for. When she learns that this man has been names North Dakota’s Teacher of the Year, she steps forward with her story – and is met with disbelief by former schoolmates and the jury that hears her case. The trial will turn their quiet community upside down. 

Finally, in an exclusive enclave of the Northeast, we meet Sloane – a gorgeous, successful, and refined restaurant owner – who is happily married to a man who likes to watch her have sec with other men and women. He picks out her partners for her alone or for a threesome, and she ensures that everyone’s needs are satisfied. For years, Sloane has been asking herself where her husband’s desire ends and hers begins. One day, they invite a new man into their bed – but he brings a secret with him that will finally force Sloane to confront the uneven power dynamics that fuel their lifestyle. 

Based on years of immersive reporting, and told with astonishing frankness and immediacy, Three Women is a groundbreaking portrait of erotic longing in today’s America, exposing the fragility, complexity, and inequality of female desire with unprecedented depth and emotional power. It is both a feat of journalism and a triumph of storytelling, brimming with nuance and empathy, that introduces us to these three unforgettable women – and one writer – whose experiences remind us that we are not alone. “

Wow, what a mouthful! However, I felt it was completely necessary to place the entire book summary here for those that have read this book and for those that have not.

Are you still with me? You are? Good.

ratings:

Storyline: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Characters: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Writing: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Emotion: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Overall: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Yupp, that’s right. ANOTHER 5 STAR READ!

Most people do not like to talk about sex and desire. You don’t openly discuss your sex partners with your family on Thanksgiving. Sex and desire are still relatively taboo subjects to talk about. That’s what makes Three Women so great in my opinion. Lisa Taddeo is not only reporting on these women’s stories but she is creating a topic for everyone else to talk about.

Now more than ever we need to talk about our bodies, our wants, our desires. Why? Because this world is trying to control what we do with them! We have to talk about what we want! By now we should all know that men cannot read our minds and that we have to ASK for what we want.

These three women, Lina, Maggie, and Sloane, broke through the taboo through Lisa Taddeo. They told their stories not just to her, but to the world.

I am a big fan of people’s individual stories. Tell me where you grew up. Who was your best friend? Tell me why you and your Aunt have a rocky relationship that started when you were 12. TELL ME.

That’s one of the biggest reasons I loved this book so much, I got to hear these women’s stories. From their mouths and through Lisa. The patriarchy did not silence them even when it seemed like their own demons were going to keep them quiet.

Ladies, if you did not like this book that is okay. But, may I suggest you think about a few things.

Think back to a time where you were completely head over heels for a man or a woman. Think about how that felt. Those feelings in your blood that boil all day long because all you do is think of that person. Now think about that person slowly pulling away – losing contact. What would you do? Let those feelings go? No, why would you? You want to feel good. That’s what we really want right? So maybe now you understand Lina a little bit better. She thought Aiden was all she was going to have in terms of connection, affection, basic human interaction. It’s no wonder she came to his beg and call. If she said no to his texts what would that mean for her feel good feeling? When you don’t get something you need you will find it in other ways, and that is what Lina did. While, I did cringe at some points during Lina’s story, I had to put myself into her shoes to understand why. To understand why she would do that to herself for some hillbilly high school crush. It didn’t matter who it was – it matter what she was getting out of it.

Now, think back to high school. For some of you it may have been awhile and for other super recent. But, think about how lost you felt and searched for others to lead you along. Those that were older, had older siblings, knew the ropes. What if you had a teacher that was guiding you not only through school but through life. That would have been nice right? Now, what if they were cute? Made your heart pound and your hands sweat. You would follow along with what they say because they are older than you, know what life may bring. Now you can feel for Maggie.

For Sloane’s case, I had a hard time trying to relate to her story so I really don’t have a scenario to give you. But, that does not make her experiences less valid or her feelings less true.

We as women need to understand that we all come from different situations and mindsets. We need to fight together and not against each other.

And that my friends, is why I loved Three Women. I feel connected to these women and their stories. I feel the taboo slipping away. I feel a breakthrough.

I seriously recommend this book to every woman. But, young readers be wary, there is a lot of sexual content and descriptions.

Happy Reading!

XOXO, Shannon

WWW Wednesday

Welcome back!!

Today I am participating in WWW Wednesday hosted by Taking on a World of Words.

Basically you answer these 3 questions:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Let’s dive right in!

What are you currently reading?

I have a couple books that I am currently reading so bear with me 😂

First, I’m starting Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell. I know absolutely nothing about this book. I’m reading it for the N.E.W.T.s group read. I have until the end of the month to finish it up.

Second, I’m reading an e-ARC of the Twenty-Ninth Day: Surviving a Grizzly Attack in the Canadian Tundra by Alex Messenger. I received this e-ARC from NetGalley and is an anticipated read for me. Messenger writes about his personal encounter with a grizzly bear while out in the Canadian Tundra with a few buddies on a kayak/hiking trip. To be published November 12!

Third, I started reading some of the stories in His Hideous Heart edited by Dahlia Adler. I also received this book as an ARC. His Hideous Heart is a collection of Edgar Allen Poe retellings. To be published September 10!

What did you recently finish reading?

I recently finished a re-read of The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. My 5/5 star review from the first time reading still stands.

Last night I finished reading Three Women by Lisa Taddeo. While, I do think the book is over hyped right now, I will be giving it 5/5 stars when I post my review this week. I felt with the women in this book. Like I said in my IG teaser review, this book is a must read for all women!

What do you think you’ll read next?

This is such a hard question for me. I really haven’t committed to a solid September TBR yet even though I am participating in SEVERAL reading challenges (please pray for me).

However, I think I want to begin Stolen Things by R. H. Herron next. I received an ARC from the publisher on the date of publication 😂 so I want to read it and review it ASAP.


Please feel free to link your own WWW Wednesday post in the comments!

Remember to go check out the original post for this challenge (linked above) AND check out other posts in the community. We truly have a very supportive community and it’s important to be a part of that. Happy reading!

Xoxo, Shannon

Book Review – Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Book 11 of 2019

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Stats:

352 Pages

Publication Date: July 23, 2019

Published by Del Rey

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.03⭐️

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36510722-gods-of-jade-and-shadow

Buy it on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2HnK8UH

Rating breakdown:

Storyline: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Characters: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Writing: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Emotion: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Overall: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Synopsis: (book blurb)

The Jazz Age is in full swing, but Casiopea Tun is too busy cleaning the floors of her wealthy grandfather’s house to listen to any fast tunes. Nevertheless, she dreams of a life far from her dusty small town in southern Mexico. A life she can call her own.

Yet this new life seems as distant as the stars, until the day she finds a curious wooden box in her grandfather’s room. She opens it—and accidentally frees the spirit of the Mayan god of death, who requests her help in recovering his throne from his treacherous brother. Failure will mean Casiopea’s demise, but success could make her dreams come true.

In the company of the strangely alluring god and armed with her wits, Casiopea begins an adventure that will take her on a cross-country odyssey from the jungles of Yucatán to the bright lights of Mexico City—and deep into the darkness of the Mayan underworld.

review:

She smiled. In return, he gave her a smidgen of a smile, so tiny she felt she might have to cup it in her hands to keep it safe, or the wind might blow it away.”

Page 129

When I added Gods of Jade and Shadow to my Book of the Month Club box I was completely sold.

✔︎ Mayan Death Gods

✔︎ The Jazz Age

✔ Cinderella Vibes

B︎OY was I disappointed when I realized that two of these things are just *barely* mentioned throughout the novel.

In the beginning of the story we get MAJOR Cinderella Vibes.

Casiopea Tun lives with her mean grandfather and cousin, Martin, who make her clean the house and do all of the chores to basically earn her keep.

She lives with them because her father passed away.

Her grandfather and Martin are mean to her and do not let her go to an outing.

And then, that’s really it. 😦 I had high hopes considering on page 4 it reads, “Had Casiopea possessed her father’s pronounced romantic leanings, perhaps she might have seen herself as a Cinderella-like figure.”

SO disappointed that it wasn’t more of a retelling of Cinderella. Instead we just get a taste of what could have been a Cinderella retelling.

Next, the Jazz Age.

I was expecting swing dancing, flappers, intense jazz music and speakeasys.

But, the mention of the Jazz Age served more of background information and setting purposes than plot purposes.

While Casiopea does get a flapper-esque bob, it really isn’t from her own choosing and we only see whispers of prohibition and the magical music in the background as Casiopea continues on with her adventures without really paying them any mind at all. Again, disappointing.

However, I did give this book a 4.5 star rating and you may be wondering why since all I have talked about so far is what I disliked about the book…

WELL WAIT NO LONGER!

I LOVED THIS BOOK!

And, I am so sad that it is over.

(Please, please Ms. Moreno-Garcia, I NEED a sequel. I need it like I need coffee in the morning and I need air to breathe.)

First off let me tell you why I loved this story so much. At first, I thought this read was going to take forever. Then, Casiopea and Hun-Kamé (The Mayan Death God *drools*) start going on an adventure, but it is like a scavenger hunt.

  1. I love adventures in storylines.
  2. I love a good scavenger hunt.

And then I was like okay this is going to be the driving point for the plot, this adventure-scavenger hunt. And it was. BUT we also get a blooming friendship and dare I say romance between Casiopea and Hun-Kamé. And that my friends is what kept me reading, kept my interest going.

Let’s take a step back for a second.

Now think about opening a crate and unleashing a MAYAN DEATH GOD and then becoming friends with him, like best buds, while also slowly, and I mean SLOWLY falling in love with him. DAMN. YES. I love it.

This slooooow burn of a friendship/romance is what really makes me want a sequel. If you read this book and agree with me that there needs to be a sequel COMMENT BELOW I need to know I am not alone here.

Moreno-Garcia’s character development was sooo good. I loved all of the characters that we are supposed to love and hated all the characters we are supposed to hate. Even the characters that we meet for one chapter are well thought out and robust.

Casiopea is a wonderful character and made my heart feel BIG things. I was sad when all she wanted was to leave and have freedom.

I was happy when she found friendship in a Mayan Death God

And my heart ACHED when the ending came around. I literally do not even want to HINT at what happened because it is so good and so sad and so wonderful. OMG PLEASE I NEED MORE!

I would absolutely re-read this book and I would without a doubt buy a sequel (please).

Such a great read and I reccomend this book to everyone!!

Convinced? Pick it up on Amazon! https://amzn.to/2HnK8UH

*All opinions are my own

*Affiliate links are present. If you make a purchase through my link I receive a small comission which goes into buying more books to bring you more great content.

Thanks for reading!

XOXO, Shannon

Book Review – The Bear by Andrew Krivak

Book 12 of 2019

The Bear by Andrew Krivak

Stats:

224 Pages

Publication Date: February 12, 2020

Published by Bellevue Literary Press

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.71⭐️

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46736437-the-bear

Rating breakdown:

Storyline: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Characters:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Writing: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Emotion:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Overall:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫(4.87)

Review:

“The last two were a girl and her father who lived along the old eastern range on the side of a mountain they called the mountain that stands alone.”

Synopsis (thanks to Goodreads):

In an Edenic future, a girl and her father live close to the land in the shadow of a lone mountain. They possess a few remnants of civilization: some books, a pane of glass, a set of flint and steel, a comb. The father teaches the girl how to fish and hunt, the secrets of the seasons and the stars. He is preparing her for an adulthood in harmony with nature, for they are the last of humankind. But when the girl finds herself alone in an unknown landscape, it is a bear that will lead her back home through a vast wilderness that offers the greatest lessons of all, if she can only learn to listen.

A cautionary tale of human fragility, of love and loss, The Bear is a stunning tribute to the beauty of nature’s dominion.


The Bear by Andrew Krivak is reminiscent of a folktale or a fairytale of a girl and her father who learn to love and live off the land.

The father tells the girl stories of the land that were passed down to him from generations before him or stories of her mother who had died after childbirth. These stories are very important. Before our modern age (and I’m talking waaaay back) stories were passed down verbally between friends and families. And now, after the fall of man and modern civilization, we fall back to the passing of stories by mouth. The bear in this tale also passes down stories to the girl by mouth, which makes me think that maybe that is the way that stories are meant to be shared. A more personal and intimate way than the mass produced way that we share stories today.

The father and the girl live simply and live day to day. The father passes down all of his knowledge to the girl so she can survive into adulthood. I freaking loved the lessons that the father taught the girl. One of my favorites was when a family a geese moved to the water supply where they fished. The father gave the girl some options of how to prevent the geese from stealing the fish, and ultimately the girl chose to shoot the goose and the gander to prevent further goslings from being born. The girl was upset that she had to kill the geese and wished there was a way that she could have explained to the geese that they couldn’t have stayed there instead of killing them and oh my god my heart!

The girl is such a wise and sweet soul in the way that she interacts with nature and the animals around her. I believe that she was one with nature and that is why she was able to make some friends later on in the tale 😉 (no spoilers!!)

I was engaged with the story the whole time and found myself wishing the girl would somehow find someone and be able to have babies and keep the human race going. But, as I kept reading I realized that is not what this book is about. The Bear is about nature and that like it or not we are disposable and nature will survive on with or without us.

This story touched a string in my heart because of my own connection with nature. This planet and what is has to offer is much bigger than we are and we sometimes forget that.

I recommend this book to all of those who love nature and animals. A very enjoyable read!

*I was given a free advanced readers copy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

*all opinions are my own