The Burning

🌟🌟🌟/5

Title: The Burning

Author: Laura Bates

Pub date: April 07, 2020

Genre: YA Fiction

“We are the granddaughters of the witches you could not burn. And we’re not putting up with it anymore.”

Anna and her mother make a new home in Scotland hundreds of miles and a new country away from the home she grew up in. Told from the perspective of Anna Clark as her and her mother navigate a new life together without her father, who has passed away, trying to put her past of online sexual harassment and abuse by her friends and school mates behind her. They hope by erasing all of Anna’s social media, and moving, the problem will go away on it’s own.

They move into an old cottage by the sea, which Anna finds once belonged to a woman accused of witchcraft, and their stories begin weaving together from there, with Anna having troubling, vivid flashbacks of the woman’s life.

While I am not the target audience for this book, as a woman, I connected to it in more than one way. The readers are taken down the paths of two women, while hundreds of years apart, find themselves in similar situations, discovering just how powerful, and detrimental a rumor can be. This book would be beneficial for any woman to read, with a powerful story that is relevant to our day and age, and deals with the many faces of abuses young women have to deal with, Online bullying & Harassment, Slut-shaming, rape, victim blaming, just to name a few. These topics are dealt with in the present day of Anna’s life, and the life of the accused witch that lived hundreds of years ago.

I found the way Bates weaved the women’s stories together quite lovely, and the “visions” not only fit within the book at perfect times, they fit the story so well that both of the narratives had my heart breaking for these girls at the same time.

This book is a slow burn, taking quite some time for the reader to discover just exactly what Anna was running from in her previous life, and while I enjoyed this book, I found it incredibly tedious waiting for the author to unravel the details. I was expecting more of a climax, an AH-HA moment that felt like it never came to fruition, and the story just fizzled out. All in all it was an ok debut that dealt with important subject matter relevant to girls in our day and age, however I felt that it fell flat for me in more ways than one.

**Thank you Netgalley and publishers for my advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**

The Burning will be available on April 07, 2020

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Wild at Heart

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟/5

“I love seeing this.” I curl my gloved hand around his. “Thank you.” Is this what life with Jonah means? Will he whisk me away to remote places and show me awe-inspiring wonders? Things I had no idea about and things I may have heard about but but never realized how much I would appreciate? Because if that’s the case, I’ll never get enough of this new life with him.

It’s fine. I’m fine. I just have the most head -pounding book hangover of all time….but I’ll be fine.

Wild at Heart was my most anticipated read of 2020, and when you get the ARC of your most anticipated book of the YEAR, you throw everything else away and read it!

Have you ever moved to a new place and felt so lost, amazed, alone, happy, confused, homesick, and every other emotion possible for your heart to feel? That is how I felt reading this book. KA Tucker has done it again. She has captured the pristine beauty of the Alaskan frontier with such poetic ease that it made my mouth water, and consumed my heart with wanderlust.

I was wondering as I started this book if any newly introduced characters could live up to Wren,(who I miss, by the way, because, YES, it IS possible to fall in love with a fictional man!) Agnes and Mabel, but I found myself falling in love, yet again, with them all. The Curmudgeon was my favorite, he captured my heart with his mean, stubborn personality, and found that he was easily my favorite character in the book.

Wild at Heart is a slow burn, with delicious morsels of love, adventure, and new family scattered throughout so perfectly, that it had me wanting more. I finished this book in ONE DAY, I could not put it down, and I have the WORST book hangover of all time, wondering if there will be a novella sequel soon, so we can catch up on Jonah and Calla’s new life they have built together.

It is rare that I find a book that elicits such feelings within my heart, and I found myself laughing, crying, and on edge more than once throughout this book, especially when it came to the BEARS! I love that Calla has found her own voice, strength and purpose within Alaska and her new home!

Wild at Heart is just as amazing as The Simple Wild with complex, fun, lovable characters, a beautiful setting, and a love story that will make your heart swell as you realize you have fallen in love with everyone in the book…..again!

I 100% recommend this book, It will leave a lasting impression on your heart that is not easily shaken.

Wild at Heart will be available on 2-18-20. I hope you pick up this book, and I hope you love it as much as I did! Let me know, I would love to talk about it with you….or ANYONE! Yes, it was that good.

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About The Author

The Simple Wild

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟/5

The Simple Wild by K. A. Tucker was easily my FAVORITE and most anticipated read of 2018, and it did not disappoint! I had to share my love of this book with you all because THE SEQUEL, “Wild at Heart” is set to be released on Feb. 18, 2020, and you’re not going to want to miss it!

“Calla Fletcher wasn’t even two when her mother took her and fled the Alaskan wild, unable to handle the isolation of the extreme, rural lifestyle, leaving behind Calla’s father, Wren Fletcher, in the process. Calla never looked back, and at twenty-six, a busy life in Toronto is all she knows. But when Calla learns that Wren’s days may be numbered, she knows that it’s time to make the long trip back to the remote frontier town where she was born.

She braves the roaming wildlife, the odd daylight hours, the exorbitant prices, and even the occasional—dear God—outhouse, all for the chance to connect with her father: a man who, despite his many faults, she can’t help but care for. While she struggles to adjust to this rugged environment, Jonah—the unkempt, obnoxious, and proud Alaskan pilot who helps keep her father’s charter plane company operational—can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. And he’s clearly waiting with one hand on the throttle to fly this city girl back to where she belongs, convinced that she’s too pampered to handle the wild.

Jonah is probably right, but Calla is determined to prove him wrong. Soon, she finds herself forming an unexpected bond with the burly pilot. As his undercurrent of disapproval dwindles, it’s replaced by friendship—or perhaps something deeper? But Calla is not in Alaska to stay and Jonah will never leave. It would be foolish of her to kindle a romance, to take the same path her parents tried—and failed at—years ago. It’s a simple truth that turns out to be not so simple after all.”

The Simple Wild is a rare gem. It is a poignant, moving story about love, forgiveness, adventure, and family. As with all of Tucker’s books, the writing was beautiful, and she painted an unforgettable picture of the Alaskan frontier, and those who live and work there. Surprisingly, I found myself loving the adventure in the book most of all, and I’m ready to pack my bags for a trip to Alaska. YES, it was that fun to read!

I will have to admit I am not a huge romance lover, Give me a murder mystery ANY DAY……..But I found myself so moved by this book and the characters that I devoured every morsel happily! I related to each and every character on some level, and I loved them all! They were real, and raw, vulnerable, and so LOVABLE.

This book was so much more than I had anticipated in a romance novel, because it was not just a romance novel, it was the best NA book that I have read in YEARS. I am torn between keeping this short and sweet and writing a novel length review, but I don’t want to spoil this book for you, because it is a MUST-READ!

If you are looking for a book to make you laugh, cry, and everything in between, I suggest picking up this book, and don’t forget the tissues!

You have PLENTY of time to read The Simple Wild before Wild at Heart is out, so go grab it! I can guarantee you the sequel will make you fall in love all over again. It’s just as good!

Happy reading, friends!

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The Woman in The Window

🌟🌟🌟🌟/5

Book title: The Woman in the Window

Author: A.J. Finn

Pub Date: October 12, 2017

Genre: Adult fiction, Psychological thriller

“Many of us-the most severely afflicted, the ones grappling with post-traumatic stress disorder-are housebound, Biden from the messy, massy world outside. Some dread the heaving crowds; others, the storm of traffic. For me, it’s the vast skies, the endless horizon, the sheer exposure, the crushing pressure of the outdoors. “Open spaces,” the DSM-5 calls it vaguely, anxious to get to its 186 foot-notes.
As a doctor, I say that the sufferer seeks an environment she can control. Such is the clinical take. As a sufferer (and that IS the word), I say that agoraphobia hasn’t ravaged my life so much as become it.”

I still can not wrap my mind around the fact that this is a debut novel!
I was hesitant to write a review in light of the authors questionable actions, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and HAD to review this one. The writing is beautiful, and I found myself immersed in Anna’s world, and loved every riveting chapter. The only reason I did not 5 star this book is because some plot twists were predictable to the point that I was expecting them chapters ahead of time…BUT that did not take away from the story for me at all!
I would definitely recommend this book, it is the most original story I have read in quite some time-it was refreshing, and I am ready for A.J. Finn’s next novel. It was slated to be released in January 2020, but has not been released as of yet, so if you loved The Woman in the Window, keep an eye out for his next book.
If you are a thrill seeker, film noir lover, or wine lover (ha!) this is a must-read!

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The Family Upstairs

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟/5

Book Title: The Family Upstairs

Author: Lisa Jewell

Pub date: August 6, 2019

Genre: Adult Fiction, Thriller

” I can look back on those years in the house on Cheyne Walk with the Thomsens and see exactly the tipping points, the pivots upon which fate twisted and turned, upon which the storyline warped so hideously.”
” I remember where it started, but I have no idea how we’d got from that night to the point nine months later when strangers had taken over every corner of our home and my parents had let them.” 

Lisa Jewell is a mastermind. She has so beautifully woven the characters stories together to create an epic gothic tale. The story is written from three points of view which are easy to follow, and come together so fantastically at the end that it leaves you wanting more.
I am not going to divulge too many details, because I don’t want to spoil a single thing.. The Family Upstairs is a disturbing, twisty tale that left me wanting more. I did not guess any twists in this book which is rare for me, usually if the cues are there, I can pick up on them pretty quick. That was NOT the case with this book, which made it all the more delicious for me to read, and I devoured it in two sittings.
I will 1000 times recommend this book. definitely one of the best Lisa Jewell books to date, its a super fast read, and If you’re into gothic, atmospheric, and straight up psychopathic stories…you will want to run out and grab this one.


Happy reading, friends!

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5 new books I’m excited to read this spring & summer!

There are quite a few new and exciting books on the horizon, friends! These are the ones that I am most excited about. Check them out, and get excited with me!

Enter The Aardvark

Only one thing stands between Alexander Paine Wilson and his destiny… and it has long ears, spoon-like claws and a tubular snout.

Republican congressman Alexander Paine Wilson is determined that nothing will stop him in his campaign for re-election. Not the fact that he is a bachelor, not the fact that his main adversary Nancy Beavers – married, with children – is rising in the polls. Nothing. That is, until one hot day in August, he receives a large parcel via FedEx. Inside is a gigantic taxidermied aardvark.

This aardvark has a surprising history – from the Victorian naturalist who discovered it to the taxidermist who deemed it his finest creation. But for Wilson, the entrance of the aardvark sets off a chain of events that threaten to ruin his entire career.

Constantly surprising, brilliantly comic and piquantly provocative, Enter the Aardvark is a tale for our times, a biting satire with a tender underbelly.

Political satire, a taxidermy, and mystery? what more could you ask for? This synopsis reeled me right in, and I can not wait to devour this comical morsel! Enter the Aardvark will be published March 24, 2020, and you can pre-order it here-

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The Familiar Dark

A spellbinding story of a mother with nothing left to lose who sets out on an all-consuming quest for justice after her daughter is murdered on the town playground.

Sometimes the answers are worse than the questions. Sometimes it’s better not to know.

Set in the poorest part of the Missouri Ozarks, in a small town with big secrets, The Familiar Dark opens with a murder. Eve Taggert, desperate with grief over losing her daughter, takes it upon herself to find out the truth about what happened. Eve is no stranger to the dark side of life, having been raised by a hard-edged mother whose lessons Eve tried not to pass on to her own daughter. But Eve may need her mother’s cruel brand of strength if she’s going to face the reality about her daughter’s death and about her own true nature. Her quest for justice takes her from the seedy underbelly of town to the quiet woods and, most frighteningly, back to her mother’s trailer for a final lesson.

The Familiar Dark is a story about the bonds of family–women doing the best they can for their daughters in dire circumstances–as well as a story about how even the darkest and most terrifying of places can provide the comfort of home.

If you know me, you know I am ALL IN when it comes to a good atmospheric thriller! I am digging the creepy feel of this book, and I have to admit, it is one of my worst nightmares as a mom to think about things like this! On of the things I am loving about this book is the strong female protagonist. I have been looking for a book with a strong female character, and this is the one I am most excited about! The familiar dark will be published on March 3, 2020, and is available for pre-order here-

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Chosen Ones

The first novel written for an adult audience by the mega-selling author of the Divergent franchise: five twenty-something heroes famous for saving the world when they were teenagers must face even greater demons—and reconsider what it means to be a hero . . . by destiny or by choice.

A decade ago near Chicago, five teenagers defeated the otherworldly enemy known as the Dark One, whose reign of terror brought widespread destruction and death. The seemingly un-extraordinary teens—Sloane, Matt, Ines, Albie, and Esther—had been brought together by a clandestine government agency because one of them was fated to be the “Chosen One,” prophesized to save the world. With the goal achieved, humankind celebrated the victors and began to mourn their lost loved ones.

Ten years later, though the champions remain celebrities, the world has moved forward and a whole, younger generation doesn’t seem to recall the days of endless fear. But Sloane remembers. It’s impossible for her to forget when the paparazzi haunt her every step just as the Dark One still haunts her dreams. Unlike everyone else, she hasn’t moved on; she’s adrift—no direction, no goals, no purpose. On the eve of the Ten Year Celebration of Peace, a new trauma hits the Chosen: the death of one of their own. And when they gather for the funeral at the enshrined site of their triumph, they discover to their horror that the Dark One’s reign never really ended.

Veronica Roth’s first adult fantasy novel…..FIRST OF ALL, YES, and SECOND, pick me up off the floor, I’m so excited about this. The trend of YA authors branching out into the adult genre is everything. I love everything about the premise of this book, and YET AGAIN, a strong female protagonist. BRING IT TO ME! Chosen ones will be published on April 7, 2020 and is available for pre-order here-

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The Boys’ Club

weetbitter meets The Firm in this buzzy, page-turning debut novel—already optioned to Netflix—about sex and power in the halls of corporate America.

Alex Vogel has always been a high achiever who lived her life by the book—star student and athlete in high school, prelaw whiz in college, Harvard Law School degree. Accepting a dream offer at the prestigious Manhattan law firm of Klasko & Fitch, she promises her sweet and supportive longtime boyfriend that the job won’t change her. Yet Alex is seduced by the firm’s money and energy . . . and by her cocksure male colleagues, who quickly take notice of the new girl. She’s never felt so confident and powerful—even the innuendo-laced banter with clients feels fun. In the firm’s most profitable and competitive division, Mergers and Acquisitions, Alex works around the clock, racking up billable hours and entertaining clients late into the evening. While the job is punishing, it has its perks, like a weekend trip to Miami, a ride in a client’s private jet, and more expense-account meals than she can count. 

But as her clients’ expectations and demands on her increase, and Alex finds herself magnetically drawn to a handsome coworker despite her loving relationship at home, she begins to question everything—including herself. She knows the corporate world isn’t black and white, and that to reach the top means playing by different rules. But who made those rules? And what if the system rigged so that women can’t win, anyway? 

When something happens that reveals the dark reality of the firm, Alex comes to understand the ways women like her are told—explicitly and implicitly—how they need to behave to succeed in the workplace. Now, she can no longer stand by silently—even if doing what’s right means putting everything on the line to expose the shocking truth.

Gather round children, have a seat, and lets talk about YET ANOTHER strong female character. I am starting to see a trend here, and I LOVE IT! The Boys’ Club is Erica Katz’ debut novel, and if the amazing, smart, synopsis doesnt make you want to RUN out and pre-order this book, I am positive this will…..Drumroll please……Netflix has aquired the screen rights to this book! SOOOO now you can not only binge the book, but the Movie too! YAAASSSSSS! The Boys’ Club will be published on August 4, 2020 and is available for pre-order here-

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Valentine

Written with the haunting emotional power of Elizabeth Strout and Barbara Kingsolver, an astonishing debut novel that explores the lingering effects of a brutal crime on the women of one small Texas oil town in the 1970s.

Mercy is hard in a place like this . . .

It’s February 1976, and Odessa, Texas, stands on the cusp of the next great oil boom. While the town’s men embrace the coming prosperity, its women intimately know and fear the violence that always seems to follow.

In the early hours of the morning after Valentine’s Day, fourteen-year-old Gloria Ramírez appears on the front porch of Mary Rose Whitehead’s ranch house, broken and barely alive. The teenager had been viciously attacked in a nearby oil field—an act of brutality that is tried in the churches and barrooms of Odessa before it can reach a court of law. When justice is evasive, one of the town’s women decides to take matters into her own hands, setting the stage for a showdown with potentially devastating consequences.

Valentine is a haunting exploration of the intersections of violence and race, class and region in a story that plumbs the depths of darkness and fear, yet offers a window into beauty and hope. Told through the alternating points of view of indelible characters who burrow deep in the reader’s heart, this fierce, unflinching, darkly funny, and surprisingly tender novel illuminates women’s strength and vulnerability, and reminds us that it is the stories we tell ourselves that keep us alive.

This is probably one of the books I am MOST excited about. The town of Odessa, Texas is close to my heart, and it is always exciting to read a book that is set somewhere familiar. The oilfield can be a crazy, scary, exciting place! The premise of this story is heartbreaking and raw, and I am excited to meet yet again, another strong, smart female protagonist. Valentine will be published on April 7, 2020, and is available for pre-order here-

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Many thanks to Netgalley and Buzzbooks 2020 for sharing these wonderful books, and giving me the opportunity to preview them, and share them with all of you! Let me know if you read them, and what you think about them!

Happy reading, friends!

Cracked up to be

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟/5

Book title: Cracked up to be

Author: Courtney Summers

Pub Date: Feb 04, 2020

Genre: YA

*YAY- this is a re-issue of Cracked Up to be, with an added forward from the author**

Parker Fadley is a high school senior dealing with some pretty heavy stuff! Parker’s story starts at her boyfriends party, a night she will never forget, and never forgive herself for.

Parker was the captain of the cheerleading squad, the most popular girl in school, and a better than straight-A student before that night. The flashbacks she has weave into the storyline so effortlessly, and they continue building until the very end.

Parker is not a very likable protagonist, she is an asshole full of teenage angst….but I found myself heartbroken over and over agin while reading her story, and I completely fell in love with her.

The new forward from the author is beautiful and poignant; it is so raw, and fits this story so perfectly that I thought about it a lot during the course of the book. While this is a YA novel, it deals with heavy subject matter- rape, suicide, sex, and drug & alcohol abuse.

While the book builds and builds up to the climax, it came so suddenly, and poof it was over. I would have liked to have seen the story play out more in the end. I felt like the story was a long fuse building to this very short, abrupt end.

*I originally gave this book 4 stars, but after some thought I am giving it a solid 5 stars. I gave it 4 stars because of the abrupt end, but I keep thinking about this book, and how I’m only sad about the ending because I wanted more!*

This book is a fantastic read, I enjoyed it so much that I devoured it in two sittings, and I’m already looking forward to reading the authors other books as this was my first!

I hope you all love Parker Fadley as much as I did! Happy reading, friends!

*Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for my advanced copy of this book!

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3168175903

Ninth House

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟/5

Book title: Ninth House

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Pub date: Oct 8, 2019

Genre: Adult fantasy

CONGRATULATIONS to the Goodreads 2019 readers choice- adult fantasy winner!

“This is why he had done it, not because of guilt or pride but because this was the moment he’d been waiting for: the chance to show someone else wonder, to watch them realize that they had not been lied to, that the world they’d been promised as children was not something that had to be abandoned, that there really was something lurking in the wood, beneath the stairs, between the stars, that everything was full of mystery.”

I could not put this book down. Shower? food? sleep? who needs those silly things! Not me, not while reading this book! To be fair, this book will not be for everyone, there are a fair amount of trigger warnings in this book. Rape, drug use/overdose, possession, sexual assault of a minor. HOWEVER, if you like extremely dark, gory fantasy novels with a dash of occult magic here, and a dusting of murder and conspiracy….you have found your book.

The thing that I loved about this book is that Alex Stern’s world is no different than our own, until she discovers Yale’s secret societies, and their hidden worlds of magic and intrigue. All of the societies in the book are based on real secret societies at Yale, which I found to be not only super awesome, but incredibly interesting. The spin Bardugo puts on these societies is FANTASTIC, and on a basic level, what I have honestly always thought happens in any secret club. MAGIC!!!!

While this book will not be everyone’s cup of tea, I think for Bardugo’s first adult fantasy novel, she smashed it! I loved every twist, and believe me, they keep coming until the very last sentence. If you want a dark, atmospheric, magical fantasy with a strong heroine….TADA, this is it!

I am ready for the sequel, the movie, the hype. I’m ready for it all. Let’s talk about this book!

Buy This Book!

Amazon- https://www.amazon.com/Ninth-House-Leigh-Bardugo-ebook/dp/B07LF64DZ2/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=ninth+house&qid=1580681006&sr=8-1

Barnes & Noble-https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ninth-house-leigh-bardugo/1130016082?ean=9781250266453#/

Hold Your Breath

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟/5

Book title: Hold Your Breath

Author: B P Walter

Pub date: April 2, 2020

Genres: mystery, fiction

goodreads 5 stars

She holds my gaze for a couple of seconds, then presses on. ‘What you say in this interview will be recorded. We will take into account what you tell us today when we decide whether to pursue formal arrest and any potential criminal charges. You have not brought any legal representation with you, and I believe you declined the offer of a solicitor to be appointed for you?”

I nod again. “yes.”

She produces a folder from her bag under the desk. ‘I trust you have an idea as to why you’re here?’ It’s said like a question, and she raises her eyebrows at me.

‘I do. i’m here because…’ I take a deep breath, trying to stop my speech becoming shaky, ‘because of what happened in the woods, All those years ago.”

“Hold Your Breath” by BP Walter was my first 5 star book of 2020! I devoured every twisted, scary, heartbreaking morsel of this book in two days!

I absolutely loved this book for so many reasons. This book is written from the perspective of a 10 year old girl, named Kitty. The story starts with a string of emails to now grown Kitty from detectives investigating a horrible accident that happened many years ago when her father took her and her mother to a ‘rustic’ cabin in the woods for a short holiday. I was immersed in Kitty’s world. It was herd to read such a deeply heartbreaking story from the perspective of such a young girl, but I was hooked on the first chapter.’

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and just when I thought everything had fallen into place, there was a another little twist. It was fantastic!

If you love twisty mystery thrillers, you will love this book!

About the author:

B P Walter was born and raised in Essex, England. After spending his childhood and teenage years reading compulsively, he worked in bookshops then went to the University of Southampton to study Film and English followed by an MA in Film & Cultural Management. He is an alumni of the Faber Academy and currently works in social media coordination for the book retailer Waterstones in London.

Amazon link-https://www.amazon.com/B-P-Walter/e/B07GNFLBMD%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

Goodreads link- https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18366746.B_P_Walter?from_search=true