The FFBC Blog Tour | Tears of Frost by Bree Barton | Book Review & Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the Fantastic Flying Book Club Tour for Tears of Frost by Bree Barton!

Please check out the other stops on this tour by clicking here

I am so beyond excited to share this book with you!

synopsis:

The electric second book in the Heart of Thorns trilogy explores the effects of power in a dark magical kingdom—and the fierce courage it takes to claim your body as your own. Mia Rose is back from the dead. Her memories are hazy, her body numb—but she won’t stop searching. Her only hope to save the boy she loves and the sister who destroyed her is to find the mother she can never forgive. Pilar is on a hunt of her own. Betrayed by her mother, and plagued by a painful secret, she’s determined to seek out the only person who can exact revenge. All goes according to plan… until she collides with Prince Quin, the boy whose sister she killed.As Mia, Pilar, and Quin forge dangerous new alliances, they are bewitched by the snow kingdom’s promise of freedom and opportunity. But with the winter solstice drawing near, they must confront the truth beneath the glimmering ice, as lines between friend, foe, and lover vanish like snowflakes on a flame.

Review:

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

As always, I will try to keep my review pretty much spoiler free and will warn you before I uh…spoil anything.

Before picking up Tears of Frost, I listened to the first novel in the trilogy, the Heart of Thorns on my commute. When I was listening to Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton, I found myself being able to predict major plot points. Which was really a let down in the plot department…BUT

In Tears of Frost, the sequel to Heart of Thorns, I couldn’t do that. In fact, there were a couple of times when I was reading Tears of Frost that shocked me and completely took me by surprise. In fact, I wasn’t able to guess any of the main plot points! Which is such a bonus for me when I am reading a complex fantasy novel such as this one.

Tears of Frost has all of the key things I look for in a fantasy novel that involves magic.

  • Queendoms
  • “Spooky” blood magic
  • Strong female characters
  • Complex world building
  • Different Countries or Kingdoms within the story

So, honestly this novel hit all of the items on my wish list and came through with amazing character development from the first novel to the second.

A lot of “smaller” characters such as Pilar and Angelyne become really, really important here. We meet some new faces such as Zai and Nelladinellakin (Nelladine or Nell).

I was most captivated by Barton’s universe and loved the snowy wonderland of Luumia, the Snow Kingdom. I can see Lummia becoming one of those litarary places that we all wish was real and make a bookish item for. Such as candles. But, I mean. I really need a Luumia candle. What do you think a Luumia candle should smell like to those of you that have read Tears of Frost already? Let me know!

I already need to learn more about the other Kingdoms! I am hoping that Bree will incorporate more of the other Kingdoms and introduce us to Pembuk, The Glass Kingdom.

I was so impressed by the way that Barton weaved Jyöltide, a winter solstice celebration, into the novel. I really wish I had more culture around Jyöl just because I found it so fascinating. I did appreciate the letters from Angelyne regarding the Seven Souls of Jyöltide, but I wanted to see more of the merriment and the people of Lummia celebrating.

I suppose a big reason why we didn’t get more merriment is because that’s when the big ending happens! (which isn’t a spoiler, there is literally a countdown to the solstice in the book)

I wish I could tell you what happens in the end, but I’m just not going to do that.

While a lot of my questions from Heart of Thorns have been answered, I have so many more questions now! I feel like the end happened all at once and I missed where some characters went, I can’t tell you who because even that is a spoiler.

Overall, I was very happy with this sequel and I love Mia Rose and Pilar so so much.

Thank you Bree for writing such wonderful characters!!

Favorite Quotes:

“I want to make music with you someday. Promise me we’ll play a duet-and I mean a real duet, on violin and piano, not the lovely song our bodies make together.” -Quin, the Prince

Giveaway

The FFBC is holding two giveaways! One for the US and one for International readers! All you have to do is enter HERE!

1stPrize: Win a TEARS OF FROST bundle: signed hardcover copies of HoT and ToF, HoT bookmark, ToF bookmark, HoT candle, ToF candle (US ONLY)

2ndPrize: Win a TEARS OF FROST goodies bundle: signed bookplate, HoT bookmark, ToF bookmark, and a customized poem in the style of the epigraph (INT)

Starts: October 30th, 2019

Ends: November 13th, 2019

About the author

Bree Barton is the author of Heart of Thorns (KT/HarperCollins 2018), the first in a series offierce feminist fantasy novels. Her books have been published in seven countries and four languages. When she’s not crafting a story, Bree teaches dance and writing to teen girls. You can find her on Instagram@SpeakBreely. She lives in Los Angeles but dreams of the northern lights.

book links:

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Bookdepository | Kobo | Google Books |

Thank you The Fantastic Flying Book Club for my review copy, but all opinions are my own 🙂

XOXO,

Shannon

Holly Banks Full of Angst by Julie Valerie | Book Review

Holly Banks Full of Angst by Julie Valerie

My 30 book of 2019!! Which was my goal for the year 😄

Goodreads

Buy a copy on Amazon

Holly Banks could not have made a worse first impression on the seemingly perfect moms in her new affluent community, the Village of Primm. Turns out wearing pink piggy pajama bottoms while dropping off her kindergartener late to the first day of school wasn’ther best look.

Not to mention Holly’s worried her husband may be having an affair, she can’t get her daughter to stop sucking her thumb, her hard-won film degree is collecting dust, and to top it all off, the power-hungry PTA president clearly has it in for her…

To make matters even worse, Holly’s natural eye for drama lands her smack-dab in the middle of a neighborhood mystery—right as her own crazy mother shows up in Primm “to help.” Through it all, Holly begins to realize her neighbors may be just as flawed as—and even wackier than—she is, leaving her to wonder: Is there such a thing as a perfect mom?

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I was very unsure when I started reading Holly Banks Full of Angst because I don’t typically read contemporary with a splash of comedy.

I was also worried that I wouldn’t connect to the story because I’m not a mom and I don’t have a kindergartner.

BUT I LOVED IT!! And Holly is so relatable even to me, a 24-year-old hot mess.

Holly Banks is delightful and hilariously relatable! Holly just wants the best for her family and herself and I can appreciate that so so much.

Besides Holly, the other characters are extremely entertaining.

Mary-Margaret can be a lot to swallow when you begin reading. But, she found her own special place in my heart.

My favorite moments (that had me belly laughing):

• Cookie fight

• the scrapbooking fiasco

• school drop off OTD (outfit of the day)

Moments that made me sad:

• dead topiaries

• Plume’s fate

Nothing can compare to this book. I am so happy that I picked it up and was able to review it for Julie!

Holly Banks Full of Angst comes out December 1 BUT if you have Amazon Prime you can select it as your Amazon First Reads choice! Which I highly recommend 😉

Thank you to NetGalley and Julie Valerie for my review copy!! But, all opinions are my own!

Xoxo,

Shannon

October Favorites

Hey friends 👋🏻 can you BELIEVE it is almost the end of the month?

This month has been super stressful for me and I had to make time for my mental health above all my commitments. But! I’m back and I’m going to bring you up to full speed.

To do just that, I’m going to share with you some of my favorite things and products this month that really helped me out and I want to share them all with you!

CBD oil for sleep – Calm by Wellness

I have the hardest time falling asleep and STAYING asleep. I work a 9-5 job in a law office then I come home and do reviews for products and books. Try to read so I can review more books. And then engage with my audience on multiple platforms.

At the end of the day I am EXHAUSTED, but when I lay down I can’t sleep.

Some of the lovely people over at Calm by Wellness reached out to me and asked me to try their products and let them know how it went for me.

YALL! Calm by Wellness was my angel in disguise 😇

Before this month I have never tried a CBD product but I was also curious about it since I was hearing so many positive results for people in the same situation as me.

Like I said I was having trouble sleeping which was also causing me not to preform the best throughout my day because I was still tired. On top of that, I suffer from anxiety which also messes with my sleep and energy levels.

I’ve been using Calm By Wellness’s Sleep cbd oil and it is like a complete miracle!

The first night I used it I had no idea what I was doing. So I googled how to use it online and just went for it.

The great thing about Calm by Wellness is that the CBD oil doesn’t taste funky. The one that I use for Sleep is blueberry lavender and I can smell it before I even open the bottle.

Please, please for the love of the universe give this baby a shake before you squirt it under your tongue! If you don’t I promise you it will not taste like blueberry. 😅

My favorite part about using this product though is how I feel the next day.

I get right out of bed and I’m MOTIVATED to start my day. I make coffee before leaving my house and I never forget anything walking out the door. If I forget to take my CBD the next morning is a disaster. And I know I don’t need to go into details 😂

I want to share this amazing product with YOU!

You can buy this delicious CBD oil here.

Or check out their gummies and other oils here

Holly Banks Full of Angst by Julie Valerie

I want to start off by saying that I am not a RomCom reader. I love thrillers and long drawn out fantasy.

HOWEVER! I throughly enjoyed Holly Banks Full of Angst.

Julie’s characters are funny and relatable! I found myself laughing out loud during my lunch break or waiting in the waiting room.

Have you ever sympathized with a topiary? Well you will! 😂

I am recommending Holly Banks Full of Angst to all!! Not just moms with young kids, not just RomCom lovers or even lovers of topiaries…but everyone!

Do yourself a favor and pre-order Holly Banks Full of Angst because this wonderful purple baby comes out December 1!

Buy Holly Banks Full of Angst here

Zebra Sarasa Dry pens

I am a stationary and pen snob!

I spent years and years religiously using the Pilot G2 pens. But! One day in Walmart I was perusing the back to school section when these pens caught my eye.

They looked EXACTLY like Pilot G2 pens but they were cheaper and came with a little zebra mascot that holds your pens…

I’m telling you that they write better than G2 pens.

Get your amazing Gel pens here

❓❓ what products made it to your October Favorites?

Tell me in the comments!!

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Book of the Month

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That’s all for today guys…thanks for sticking around with me

Xoxo,

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood | Book Review

I finished The Testaments awhile ago…like weeks ago. It took me awhile to sit on what I wanted to say and I still really don’t know what I want to say so I am just going to go for it. What could go wrong?

Book 19 of 2019

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

Publisher: Double Day Books

Genre: Fiction/Sci-Fi/Dystopian/Feminist

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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 more than 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

To me, The Testaments, was like a hurricane.

Out of nowhere we see this book being whispered about in the corners of the internet. Maybe..possibly..just a rumor.

Then suddenly, everyone is talking about it. I saw the Testaments on every single social media platform. It was hard to believe. The Handmaid’s Tale FINALY has a sequel.

Then…it arrived at my house. I tried to protect myself from the onslaught of early reviews and opinions so I can form my own.

Once I was done reading…the Testaments faded back and disappeared.


The Testaments is a great example of an overhyped book. I was so so so excited to get my hands on the sequel to the Handmaid’s Tale and I couldn’t help but feel slightly disappointed.

Let me explain why.

  1. We get 3 different perspectives and NONE of them are June
  2. The entire “Baby Nicole” thing seems to have been born from the Netflix series and felt just weird to me
  3. I couldn’t discern what was a product of the Netflix series and what was truly the natural progression from the Handmaid’s Tale book

Almost a month later and I am so confused.

But, if I remove everything I know about the Netflix series (which is hard) from my mind and think of the Testaments as its own unique story then I found I could enjoy it.

I did enjoy seeing Gilead 14 years after where we left off with the Handmaid’s Tale. It was weird seeing Agnes and Nicole all grown up – but I feel like they would have been older than Atwood said they were.

Like this girl needs a timeline.

Forget putting a map on the front page give me a god damn time line!

(sorry, collecting myself)

The Testaments on its own was a very good, entertaining read and I was very happy with the way Atwood connected the 3 different povs at the end of the book.

However, I am upset with the Testaments as a sequel. And because of that, I gave it 4 stars.

While my review is (mostly) spoiler free…the comments may not be! Talk to me fam! What did you think? What are you disappointed about? What did you absolutely love?

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XOXO,

Shannon

Get to Know Me | Blogtober Day 11

Happy Friday Friends!!

I’m so proud of myself…I’ve posted a blog THREE days in a row. That is a new record.

Today’s blog is inspired by my Instagram Post.

I’m gonna share 5 bookish facts about me and 5 non-bookish facts!

At the end of this post if you wanna know anything else just put your question in the comments!

5 bookish facts about me!

1. My favorite series when I was younger were the Mary Kate and Ashley adventure books!

2. When I was in college I didn’t want to read at all. Not my required readings and not for pleasure. It’s almost like college took the fun away. 😂

3. I love reading fantasy, thrillers, ya romance, and memoirs!

4. I started my bookstagram in September 2018 – then I took a hiatus and now I’m back!!

5. On top of reading books and stories…I also like to write them!!

5 non-bookish facts about me!

1. I am a 5ft tall ginger

2. I am a fur mom to a spoiled cat named Lynx and a six month old pit bull puppy named Kai.

3. I have a bullet journal that is my life in a notebook.

4. I have a YouTube channel that I get really into sometimes.

5. I prefer to stay in bed with my fur babies and a glass of wine than go out!

What else do you want to know???

What are your plans this weekend?

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Xoxo,

Shannon

Reading Challenge Update | Blogtober day 10

Happy day 10 of Blogtober! As you can tell, I’m not doing so good 😂 but listen I’m trying and that’s all that matters.

Today I want to just talk about my yearly reading challenge and give a little update since we are in the last quarter of the year now!

My Goodreads reading challenge was to read 30 books this year and I’m currently at 29 books!!!

I’m so excited because it’s been YEARS since I’ve completed my reading challenge. This is a big deal to me y’all

So far for October I’ve finished two books and I’m currently reading 3 more 🤣 why do I do this?? Why can’t I just start one book and finish it and then move on to the next one. WHY?!?

But anyways…I do anticipate reading over 30 books for the year. Maybe I’ll hit 45. I think that would be nice. But we will see.

How close are you to hitting your reading goals? Or if you already hit your goals do you make a new one?

Xoxo

Shannon

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WWW Wednesday! | 10•9

Happy Wednesday, friends!

If you’re here you already know what’s going down so let’s jump right in!

What did I just finish reading?

I finished the Amazon Forward Collection on audio and I will be posting a review of all 6 books soon! It was really fun to read all of these.

I did a binge read of You Were There Too by Colleen Oakley for my Bookish Ladies Book Club on instagram. I am not okay y’all. This book crushed my soul. I was NOT ready. Review will hopefully be posted this weekend. But I’m so damn behind so who knows.

What am I currently reading?

What do I think I will read next?

What about you? Let me know in the comments!

Xoxo,

Shannon

Bookish Fall Bucket List | Blogtober day 3

On October 3rd, he asked me what day it was…it’s October 3rd…

Hello and happy October 3rd 😉

Today I’m participating in Blogtober which I hear is similar to Blogmas 🤷🏼‍♀️ I’m new to both. 😂

Apparently the idea is to just blog every day on October. So let’s do this!

I’m using these prompts:

As a guide.

Bookish Fall Bucket List

1. Read a book in a pile of leaves (that I painfully raked together for no other purpose than this task)

2. Read a book while drinking the largest PSL I can get my hands on. (Ha, just kidding I hate PSL)

3. Read a book while on a hayride

4. Take a picture of my book on a field of pumpkins

5. Read a book while throwing all the candy corn in the trash.

6. Read a book while I walk through a Haunted House and inevitably get separated from my group because I’m not watching where I’m going.

7. Take a picture of my book in the pile of leaves from task 1

8. Wrap my book in a scarf. Maybe take a picture.

9. Wrap my book and my scarf around me like I’m carrying a tiny child.

10. (The only one that matters) Sit by a nice window that overlooks the changing leaves with a cup of tea and a book.


Happy fall! What’s on your bucket list?

Xoxo,

Shannon

WWW Wednesday • 10/2

Helloooo everyone!

It’s finally October! It’s fall! The leaves will be changing! It’s warm so I can still have iced coffee! It’s blogtober… (I have no idea what this really is, I’m just winging it)

But, I know you are here for WWW Wednesday so I will give you what you want 😉

As always the three Ws are…

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

This weekly meme is hosted by the ever lovely Taking on a World of Words

Please feel free to leave your own WWW Wednesday link in the comments. I love seeing what everyone else is reading!

If you don’t have a blog feel free to just leave your responses in the comments ☺️

What are you currently reading?

War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi

Thank you Bookish HQ and Razorbill for this Advanced Readers Copy!

I am on page 62 right now and I love it! I love the idea of half human and half mech people.

Also, why are the females and males split apart from one another and why are they at war?

I can’t wait to find out ☺️

You Were There Too by Colleen Oakley

I am currently reading this one on my Kindle Fire and only pick it up when I don’t have my copy of War Girls with me.

I’m reading You Were There Too for a binge buddy read and we are discussing it on October 7.

What did you recently finish reading?

Joyland by Stephen King

Another buddy read 😂

I read this as a buddy read for HBD Blog Fall Bingo – and we haven’t discussed it yet.

This was a re-read for me and I didn’t love it as much the second time 😅

What do I think I will read next?

The Whisper Man by Alex North

ANOTHER BUDDY READ!!

I am soooo excited to read this. Everyone is saying it’s a little spooky and I 👏🏻Am👏🏻Here👏🏻For👏🏻It

What about you?

Xoxo,

Shannon

September Wrap-Up

Ya’ll, I think this has been the best reading month for me to date! 🤩

I read 11 books!! (So this might be lengthy…bare with me)

One I didn’t finish yet and the other I gave up on (DNF).

Total Pages Read: 2454

Minutes Listened: 268

Man Mission by eytan uliel

1st DNF of 2019

Rating: DNF

First off, this is not a book that I pick would have picked up normally.

Second off, I ONLY picked up this book because I joined The Online Book Club which is a website that pays you for book reviews after you submit your first review. With that being said, since I was a newbie to their community I was not offered a great choice of books to review. Actually, this was the only book available to me after weeks of checking back to see if there were any available.

I read over half of this book and could not force myself to finish it.

I actually enjoyed it up to around 33%. After that point, the storyline became repetitive and was no longer contributing to the plot.

And that is that.

His hideous heart edited by dahlia adler

To be Continued…

I actually really enjoy reading this book…I just haven’t had the time to finish the rest of it.

I am on page 115 right now. I read a handful of the revised short stories and I have loved all of them.

After the Flood by Kassandra Montag

Book 17 of 2019

Okay, for the rest of these I will note their average ratings, format, and synopsis. My reviews will be linked to the titles and this post will be updated as I post more reviews. 🙂

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Average Rating: 4.02

Format: e-ARC thanks to NetGalley and William Morrow

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 Arctic 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.

House of salt and sorrows by erin A. craig

Book 18 of 2019

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Average Rating: 4.02

Format: BOTM Hardback edition

*Get your own copy for $9.99 with code ‘GROW’ by signing up here! *

Synopsis:

In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

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. 

The Twenty-Ninth Day by alex messenger

Book 24 of 2019

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Average Rating: 4.80

Format: e-ARC thanks to NetGalley and Blackstone Publishing

Published November 12, 2019

Synopsis:

A six-hundred-mile canoe trip in the Canadian wilderness is a seventeen-year-old’s dream adventure, but after he is mauled by a grizzly bear, it’s all about staying alive.

This true-life wilderness survival epic recounts seventeen-year-old Alex Messenger’s near-lethal encounter with a grizzly bear during a canoe trip in the Canadian tundra. The story follows Alex and his five companions as they paddle north through harrowing rapids and stunning terrain. Twenty-nine days into the trip, while out hiking alone, Alex is attacked by a barren-ground grizzly. Left for dead, he wakes to find that his summer adventure has become a struggle to stay alive. Over the next hours and days, Alex and his companions tend his wounds and use their resilience, ingenuity, and dogged perseverance to reach help at a remote village a thousand miles north of the US-Canadian border.

The Twenty-Ninth Day is a coming-of-age story like no other, filled with inspiring subarctic landscapes, thrilling riverine paddling, and a trial by fire of the human spirit.

The testaments by margaret atwood

Book 20 of 2019

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Average Rating: 4.30

Format: Hardback

Synopsis:

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 more than 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 

joyland by stephen king

Book 26 of 2019

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Average Rating: 3.91

Format: Paperback

Synopsis:

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.

The turn of the key by ruth ware

Book 19 of 2019

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Average Rating: 4.03

Format: BOTM Hardback Edition

Synopsis:

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.

ark by veronica roth (Forward collection)

Book 20 of 2019

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Average Rating: 3.56

Format: Amazon Audiobook

Synopsis:

On the eve of Earth’s destruction, a young scientist discovers something too precious to lose, in a story of cataclysm and hope by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Divergent trilogy.

It’s only two weeks before an asteroid turns home to dust. Though most of Earth has already been evacuated, it’s Samantha’s job to catalog plant samples for the survivors’ unknowable journey beyond.

Preparing to stay behind and watch the world end, she makes a final human connection.

As certain doom hurtles nearer, the unexpected and beautiful potential for the future begins to flower.

Veronica Roth’s Ark is part of Forward, a collection of six stories of the near and far future from out-of-this-world authors. Each piece can be read or listened to in a single thought-provoking sitting.

Randomize by andy weir (forward collection)

Book 21 of 2019

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Average Rating: 3.47

Format: Amazon Audiobook

Synopsis:

In the near future, if Vegas games are ingeniously scam-proof, then the heists have to be too, in this imaginative and whip-smart story by the New York Times bestselling author of The Martian.

An IT whiz at the Babylon Casino is enlisted to upgrade security for the game of keno and its random-number generator. The new quantum computer system is foolproof. But someone on the inside is no fool. For once the odds may not favor the house—unless human ingenuity isn’t entirely a thing of the past.

Andy Weir’s Randomize is part of Forward, a collection of six stories of the near and far future from out-of-this-world authors. Each piece can be read or listened to in a single thought-provoking sitting.

Emergency skin by N.k. Jemisin (forward collection)

Book 22 of 2019

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Average Rating: 4.16

Format: Amazon Audiobook

Synopsis:

What will become of our self-destructed planet? The answer shatters all expectations in this subversive speculation from the Hugo Award–winning author of the Broken Earth trilogy.

An explorer returns to gather information from a climate-ravaged Earth that his ancestors, and others among the planet’s finest, fled centuries ago. The mission comes with a warning: a graveyard world awaits him. But so do those left behind—hopeless and unbeautiful wastes of humanity who should have died out eons ago. After all this time, there’s no telling how they’ve devolved. Steel yourself, soldier. Get in. Get out. And try not to stare.

N. K. Jemisin’s Emergency Skin is part of Forward, a collection of six stories of the near and far future from out-of-this-world authors. Each piece can be read or listened to in a single thought-provoking sitting.

The last conversation by paul tremblay (forward collection)

Book 25 of 2019

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Average Rating: 3.75

Format: Amazon Audiobook

Synopsis:

What’s more frightening: Not knowing who you are? Or finding out? A Bram Stoker Award–winning author explores the answer in a chilling story about identity and human consciousness.

Imagine you’ve woken up in an unfamiliar room with no memory of who you are, how you got there, or where you were before. All you have is the disconnected voice of an attentive caretaker. Dr. Kuhn is there to help you—physically, emotionally, and psychologically. She’ll help you remember everything. She’ll make sure you reclaim your lost identity. Now answer one question: Are you sure you want to?

Paul Tremblay’s The Last Conversation is part of Forward, a collection of six stories of the near and far future from out-of-this-world authors. Each piece can be read or listened to in a single thought-provoking sitting.

you have arrived at your destination by amor towles (forward collection)

Book 27 of 2019

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Average Rating: 3.61

Format: Amazon Audiobook

Synopsis:

Nature or nurture? Neither. Discover a bold new way to raise a child in this unsettling story of the near future by the New York Times bestselling author of A Gentleman in Moscow.

When Sam’s wife first tells him about Vitek, a twenty-first-century fertility lab, he sees it as the natural next step in trying to help their future child get a “leg up” in a competitive world. But the more Sam considers the lives that his child could lead, the more he begins to question his own relationships and the choices he has made in his life.

Amor Towles’s You Have Arrived at Your Destination is part of Forward, a collection of six stories of the near and far future from out-of-this-world authors. Each piece can be read or listened to in a single thought-provoking sitting.

Whew! I hope you made it through that!

Well…on to the next one!

XOXO,

Shannon