ARCs are clearly a hot topic.
But, surprisingly, I haven’t talked about them yet on my blog! I know, the horror! So, I decided we’d go ahead and chat about it today!
Last week, I praised some of the Bookcon ARCs I had read, but with the good always comes some bad. I ended up DNF-ing two ARCs I got at Bookcon, and I thought it’d be nice to talk about them, since both of them ended up failing my expectations, and my job as a bookworm is to save people from bookish disappointment, obviously!
Genre: Dystopian, Sci-fi
Series: Words #1
Release Date: August 29, 2017
In a world where every word and gesture is copyrighted, patented or trademarked, one girl elects to remain silent rather than pay to speak, and her defiant and unexpected silence threatens to unravel the very fabric of society.
Speth Jime is anxious to deliver her Last Day speech and celebrate her transition into adulthood. The moment she turns fifteen, Speth must pay for every word she speaks (“Sorry” is a flat ten dollars and a legal admission of guilt), for every nod ($0.99/sec), for every scream ($0.99/sec) and even every gesture of affection. She’s been raised to know the consequences of falling into debt, and can’t begin to imagine the pain of having her eyes shocked for speaking words that she’s unable to afford.
But when Speth’s friend Beecher commits suicide rather than work off his family’s crippling debt, she can’t express her shock and dismay without breaking her Last Day contract and sending her family into Collection. Backed into a corner, Speth finds a loophole: rather than read her speechrather than say anything at allshe closes her mouth and vows never to speak again. Speth’s unexpected defiance of tradition sparks a media frenzy, inspiring others to follow in her footsteps, and threatens to destroy her, her family and the entire city around them.
Originally, I was super excited for this book! The cover was nice to look at, the concept sounded amazing and different from most dystopian novels, and I saw zero mention of any romance, so I was really happy when I managed to get a copy of it at Bookcon. I was quickly disappointed. From the beginning, something just felt…off. It was interesting, but I still felt a little bit bored about what was going on. I was still sticking with it since I was so excited for this book and didn’t want to give up on yet…until Speth is saved from sexual assault by a rebellious group of people who are against the strict government, and – you guessed it! – one of the members is an attractive boy her age with an air of sarcasm about him. I knew from that moment on that it was just becoming yet another YA dystopian novel that I’ve already read and has been done better, so I quit. I’m so disappointed in this one since it had such a good concept, but it didn’t work out! I seem to be in the minority, so maybe others might enjoy it!
Genre: Contemporary, Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Release Date: September 19, 2017
Jane has lived an ordinary life, raised by her aunt Magnolia—an adjunct professor and deep sea photographer. Jane counted on Magnolia to make the world feel expansive and to turn life into an adventure. But Aunt Magnolia was lost a few months ago in Antarctica on one of her expeditions.
Now, with no direction, a year out of high school, and obsessed with making umbrellas that look like her own dreams (but mostly just mourning her aunt), she is easily swept away by Kiran Thrash—a glamorous, capricious acquaintance who shows up and asks Jane to accompany her to a gala at her family’s island mansion called Tu Reviens.
Jane remembers her aunt telling her: “If anyone ever invites to you to Tu Reviens, promise me that you’ll go.” With nothing but a trunkful of umbrella parts to her name, Jane ventures out to the Thrash estate. Then her story takes a turn, or rather, five turns. What Jane doesn’t know is that Tu Reviens will offer her choices that can ultimately determine the course of her untethered life. But at Tu Reviens, every choice comes with a reward, or a price.
I honestly wasn’t too intrigued with this one since I read the synopsis multiple times, and each time I was like, “Wait…what?” But, since this was one of the Penguin Teen Game-Changers in the box I won at Bookcon, I decided to cave and try it out since after having the concept explained via Booktube, I got super excited. A mind-bending book where there are five different stories to tell, all in different genres? I was sold! Unfortunately, this book was just weird – even too weird for me. I didn’t care about any of the characters, the writing was way too stiff, I was getting bored just reading the 100 pages I did, and when I finally got to the part where we’re supposed to break into different paths, I was really disappointed where instead of being a story where the main character is faced with five doors that define her future, and she only has one choice, it ended up being about the main character having to choose between five different characters to go with, and going on a different journey depending on who you choose. Unfortunately, this book wasn’t for me, but it’ll probably be the perfect fit for someone else!
So, I got a lot of ARCs at Bookcon, and earlier this month, I finally dived into them! I still have all of my October and 2018 releases left, but just one September release, and I thought it’d be a good idea to just review all of some of my anticipated releases in one big post! So here are five positive reviews of some books coming at you in August and September!
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Series: DC Icons #1
Rating: 4 STARS
Release Date: August 29, 2017
She will become one of the world’s greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. . . .
Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.
Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.
Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.
I actually wasn’t really planning on reading this one, but then the hype reached me and I ended up getting a copy at Bookcon, so I caved – and I’m so glad I did! The cast of characters in this book were absolutely fantastic, especially Aila, who I found so relatable as a heroine and a character. I also loved learning more about Wonder Woman; I hadn’t watched the movie yet when I read the book, so this was my first exposure to anything about her, so it was really interesting getting to know more about her background and seeing her as a teenager. It’s pretty much impossible to not fall in love with her. This story was a journey-type story, and even though I’m not a huge fan of those types, I actually really enjoyed it in this case! Also, this book was hilarious, and I rarely find books funny, so that was definitely a treat! The ending was also really sweet; I actually teared up a little. Overall, I think people will really enjoy this one!
(Also, this book had the plot twist of the century. That’s all I’ll leave it at.)
Genre: Thriller, YA
Rating: 5 STARS
Release Date: September 5, 2017
The story of a young woman whose diabolical smarts are her ticket into a charmed life. But how many times can someone reinvent themselves? You be the judge.
Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.
Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete.
An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two.
A bad romance, or maybe three.
Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains.
A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.
A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.
I didn’t really expect anything from this novel for two reasons: I’ve never read We Were Liars, and the summary is extremely vague. I’m so glad I had zero impressions, because I absolutely loved this book with all my heart. It was a genuinely good, mature YA thriller that seemed to be written just for me: an unreliable narrator, backwards story-telling, an addicting fast pace, a twisted female friendship. I literally could not stop raving about this book in my head while I read it. Also, to top it all off, the ending was absolutely perfect for this novel. Overall, I’m almost happy I trudged through so many meh and just plain terrible YA thrillers to get to this one – it was so worth it.
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Rating: 5 STARS
Release Date: September 5, 2017
On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure and to live a lifetime in a single day.
Well, this was probably the most anticipated release of the second half of 2017 for me, and BOY, it did not disappoint. Adam Silvera has done it again. Like his first two books, I binged the entire thing in less than a day and left me completely ruined. Honestly, you can’t help yourself; it’s an addicting and intense read because you just need to know – will they both die at the end, and if so, how? I absolutely loved Rufus and Mateo as characters; both have completely different lives, and seeing them meet and watching their bond grow from being tentative acquaintances to close friends that (slowly) blooms into a beautiful romance made my heart ache. We also get to see other people’s POVs of those that personally effect them and those whose lives they have effected. The ending was so, so good, and, yep, I cried. I finally cried at a book. Overall, a powerful book that if you haven’t added to your TBR yet, you absolutely must.
Genre: Sci-fi, Thriller, Dystopian, YA
Series: Warcross #1
Rating: 5 STARS
Release Date: September 12, 2017
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu—when a game called Warcross takes the world by storm, one girl hacks her way into its dangerous depths.
For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.
Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.
In this sci-fi thriller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu conjures an immersive, exhilarating world where choosing who to trust may be the biggest gamble of all.
As soon as I heard the concept for this book, I was set on getting it into my hands and reading it, so when I managed to meet Marie Lu AND get an ARC signed at Bookcon, I basically died. And, boy, did Marie Lu not let me down whatsoever. WHERE DO I BEGIN? First off, I want the Warcross game to exist in real life. I WILL FIGHT FOR IT. As per usual, Lu’s writing was absolutely terrific and was so fantastic at transporting the reader into the story. The characters were all diverse and well-rounded, and really made this story shine, even the background characters. Honestly, the concept could not have been carried out better, and I absolutely LOVED the direction Lu took it at the very end. This book actually didn’t have a cliffhanger, but it was left so open and I have so many questions! Overall, what do I have to do to get the sequel again?
Genre: Contemporary, Fantasy, YA
Rating: 4 STARS
Release Date: September 19, 2017
Adam Thorn doesn’t know it yet, but today will change his life.
Between his religious family, a deeply unpleasant ultimatum from his boss, and his own unrequited love for his sort-of ex, Enzo, it seems as though Adam’s life is falling apart. At least he has two people to keep him sane: his new boyfriend (he does love Linus, doesn’t he?) and his best friend, Angela.
But all day long, old memories and new heartaches come crashing together, throwing Adam’s life into chaos. The bindings of his world are coming untied one by one; yet in spite of everything he has to let go, he may also find freedom in the release.
From the New York Times-best selling author of A Monster Calls comes a raw, darkly funny, and deeply affecting story about the courage it takes to live your truth.
Look at me, I’ve finally read a full Patrick Ness book! After finally reading A Monster Calls last year and loving it, I told myself I’d read more of his work, and I’m so glad I did! I absolutely loved Adam and was so sympathetic to his situation since terrible thing after terrible thing kept hitting him. I could totally feel for his really crappy day, especially since I know I have those days as a teenager myself where it just seems like the only place I could go is down. This was quite the fast-paced book, especially since it was so short, and I really liked the frank way the book dealt with sex, especially since I feel so many YA books can deal with it in the most unnecessarily cheesiest way possible and it seems completely unrealistic to boot. This book has an open ending, so if you don’t like those types of endings in contemporary novels, you’ll probably hate this book. My one complaint was probably the magical realism. It follows a character mentioned in passing in the beginning of the novel, and, unfortunately, the parts were just so boring and didn’t make any sense until the end of the novel. I ended up skipping over them since Adam’s story was much more compelling then hers. Overall, I need to read all the Patrick Ness books!
Are you excited for any of these books? Have you read any of these books? What’s your most anticipated release for the second half of 2017?
Tomorrow, two books are coming out that deal with very similar themes, but one ended up disappointing me and one ended up being a fantastic book! I decided to just go ahead and review the both of them today!
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Adult
Rating: 5 STARS
Release Date: July 25, 2017
In this relentlessly paced novel of psychological suspense, New York Times bestselling author Michelle Richmond crafts an intense and shocking tale that asks: How far would you go to protect your marriage?
Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple. Alice, once a singer in a well-known rock band, is now a successful lawyer. Jake is a partner in an up-and-coming psychology practice. Their life together holds endless possibilities. After receiving an enticing wedding gift from one of Alice’s prominent clients, they decide to join an exclusive and mysterious group known only as The Pact.
The goal of The Pact seems simple: to keep marriages happy and intact. And most of its rules make sense. Always answer the phone when your spouse calls. Exchange thoughtful gifts monthly. Plan a trip together once per quarter. . . .
Never mention The Pact to anyone.
Alice and Jake are initially seduced by the glamorous parties, the sense of community, their widening social circle of like-minded couples.
And then one of them breaks the rules.
The young lovers are about to discover that for adherents to The Pact, membership, like marriage, is for life. And The Pact will go to any lengths to enforce that rule.
For Jake and Alice, the marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare.
I was originally going to give this one four stars, but I don’t even remember why I took off a star, so five stars it is! I was really intrigued with this one mainly because the synopsis tells you next to nothing, and I am a very nosy person, so I needed to know what was going to happen! I definitely liked seeing from Jake’s point-of-view, since I rarely ever read a thriller from a guy’s point-of-view. I was definitely intrigued with the whole cult-ish vibe of The Marriage Pact, and this book was extremely addicting, especially since it took a lot of twists and turns I really wasn’t expecting. Not only that, but I ADORED the writing. It was very formal, but not so pretentious, you don’t know what’s going on. I’ve just never read a thriller like that before. Also, this one inserted a bunch of facts about marriage, so I learned things! And I also really loved the ending. Basically, this was like Fates and Furies, but with a cult.
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, YA
Rating: 2.5 STARS
Release Date: July 25, 2017
A group of friends start a secret society in this out-of-control thriller from the author of The Telling and The Creeping that examines the all-consuming love of lifelong friendship—and what someone is capable of when they’re afraid of losing it.
Izzie loves nothing more than her three best friends, Viv, Graham, and Harry, and the bond the four of them share. And she’s terrified of their friendship falling apart next year when they go off to college. To bind them together, she decides to create that will belong only to them, a special thing that they’ll always share between the four of them. And so they dream up the Order of IV, a secret society devoted to mischief that rights wrongs and pays back debts. At first, it works like a charm—but when the Order of IV’s escapades get recognition beyond their wildest expectations, other people start wanting in. And soon, what started as a game of friendship is spiraling into something dangerous and beyond their control—and before it’s over, they’ll pay the ultimate sacrifice.
Hm, I was sort of disappointed by this one. I absolutely loved The Creeping, so I was really excited for this one, but it was just meh. First off, I thought this book was going to be about a girl gang when I read the synopsis, so I was already let down when there were two boys in the group, especially since these two boys end up being the heart of a mini love triangle – probably the dumbest one I’ve ever seen. It also had this weird feminist slant where they stand up to sexist dress codes and girls can masturbate, too, but we also have girl hate THE ENTIRE BOOK since our main characters are outcasts and the people they hate are popular, so what was the point? I also thought the whole IV thing was dumb. I am a teenager, so I highly doubt teenagers would get up to this. They’re cutting themselves to bleed on a statue, dancing around in their underwear, going out until the early morning to dump blood on people’s houses and throw rocks at their window, and I’m supposed to believe teenagers would do this why? All because of the murder of some girl they didn’t know that they found the dead body of as kids? And I’m not even going to bring up the lack of parenting that goes on as well. It just seemed really far-fetched and dumb. I will say, this was an addicting book and it was very dark, and that’s not seen much in YA, so I’ll give it that! But, overall, I was disappointed. Hopefully, The Telling is better.
A huge thank you to Ballantine and Simon and Schuster’s Children’s Publishing for the e-ARCs via Netgalley!
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Adult
Rating: 4 STARS
Release Date: July 18, 2017 (today!)
If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?
Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside—the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped.
But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby.
The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.
Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…
“Mikaela, are you reviewing on a Tuesday???” I know, I know; I’ve broken my schedule (which I truly, truly hate). But, I wasn’t able to get this up yesterday, so I’m putting it up today, just in time for this book’s publication date! Hopefully, this will be the first and last time I do this.
1. I thought it was addicting. I mean, of course it was. I didn’t expect anything less from B.A. Paris, to be honest. As soon as I read the first chapter, I knew I was hooked, and I ended up reading this in a day. I CAN’T HELP MYSELF WHEN IT COMES TO B.A. PARIS. I know most people really appreciate having an addictive psychological thriller to read, and this one definitely fits the bill.
2. Cass was a great main character. I absolutely loved being in her point-of-view for the entirety of the book! It’s very easy to be sympathetic to her situation, especially since imagining yourself in her shoes is actually terrifying. I know I’m also one who can be quite paranoid about dumb things, especially when it’s at night and I think I’m hearing noises that aren’t even there and completely over-thinking the worst-case scenario in situations that really aren’t that bad, so I could definitely relate to her and understand how she felt. If I told you guys the type of paranoia I have about some serial killer coming to get me at night, it probably sounds dumb to you, but it makes sense to me, so I definitely understood the predicament she was caught up in.
3. It was different from Behind Closed Doors. I actually loved Behind Closed Doors, but I know some people might not like it that much, and worry that this one won’t be too good. I actually thought this was quite different, and had more of a mystery feel than her previous domestic thriller feel. It definitely still had that element of psychological suspense that I really loved and was extremely addicting, of course, but I’m glad that it shows that Paris can branch out if she wants to!
4. The writing was fantastic. I talked a bit earlier in this review about how it really captured how it felt to be paranoid, and that’s what made the writing SO GOOD. Her writing also managed to make the book so suspenseful and kept me turning the pages, which is always good for a thriller.
5. I absolutely loved the ending. I really, really did! I’ve been a bit frustrated with some thrillers when it comes to their endings since some seem to build up to some out-of-this world ending that doesn’t make any sense whatsoever, but this one ended up having not just a pretty realistic ending, but a shocking ending, showing that thriller endings don’t have to be outlandish to be good. Not only that, but it also managed to tie up the story in a neat little bow, which will make a lot of readers happy.
All in all, B.A. Paris has done it again! I can’t wait to see what she puts out next!
A huge thank you to St. Martin’s Press for giving me an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley; I truly appreciate it!
Fear not, because it’s not because I’m not reading, it’s actually because I’m reading SO MUCH, I can barely keep up with writing reviews. I know, I’m terrible.
So, I decided to grab an almost-finished August post, edit it and tidy it up a bit, and post it today instead of next month! I mean, why not? This, kids, is why you should always have 30+ drafts in WordPress AT ALL TIMES.
(I’m just kidding. Let’s get to the books.)
They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera (Sep 5) – Keeping up with my tradition of reading Adam Silvera books in one day, I did it with this one last weekend, and I can now say that a book has officially made me cry. You’ll definitely want to read this one when it comes out.
Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart (Sep 5) – I was very nervous to read this one because most of the YA thrillers I’ve read this year have been really disappointing, but OH MY GOD; this book was absolutely brilliant. Just a super clever and addicting thriller, and it was told in a backwards format, WHICH I LOVED. Everything about this book was so good, so I’m definitely going to be reading We Were Liars!
Feral Youth by Shaun David Hutchinson and Others (Sep 5) – I’ve been intrigued by this concept since I heard about it, and I’m glad it’s coming out this year and not pushed back into next year! I actually read a little bit of The Canterbury Tales for school this past year, and I’ve mentioned that I love anthologies, so I want!
Lie To Me by J.T. Ellison (Sep 5) – I’m always in the mood for a good book about an awful marriage, and combine that with a missing persons case, and I’m hooked.
Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton (Sep 5) – I haven’t read too many thrillers where the main character has to run for their life, but I’m definitely intrigued by the concept of a woman having to keep away from a murderer who’s out to get her!
Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust (Sep 5) – This is supposed to be a feminist retelling of Snow White, and that’s all I needed to know before I got excited!
Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas (Sep 5) – Well, duh.
Devils Within by S.F. Henson (Sep 5) – This book deals with a boy who’s trying to get used to life after being under the influence of white supremacists, and it sounds brilliant! Also, I may be hoping a little bit that he falls in love with that other boy in the synopsis, but it’s a dream!
Autoboyography by Christina Lauren (Sep 12) – All I had to hear was that this was a mix of Fangirl and Simon vs the Homo-Sapien Agenda, and that’s all I needed to know! I’m intrigued since Christina Lauren usually only writes straight erotica, so this will be interesting.
Warcross by Marie Lu (Sep 12) – I read this book just last weekend, and I absolutely loved it! Her characters, her writing, her romance were all absolutely brilliant, and that ending was SO GOOD. I didn’t expect the direction it would take, and I really enjoyed it. Also, I need Warcross to be real, thank you very much.
Lies She Told by Cate Holahan (Sep 12) – I actually discovered this one via Netgalley and have an e-ARC of it! The concept of this book really intrigues me! I haven’t read this author’s previous book, but maybe if this one’s good, I’ll try it out.
Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda (Sep 19) – This sounds SO INTERESTING. The concept is vague, which I really appreciate, but it tells just enough that I need to know what happens. More thrillers about marriages falling apart please!
Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu (Sep 19) – I’m loving this rise of all these books about feminism, and the idea of a girl starting a feminist revolution at her school sounds amazing! I’ve heard nothing but good things!
Release by Patrick Ness (Sep 19) – Ah, I’m so glad I read this one because I really enjoyed it! I wasn’t really a fan of the whole magical realism story line – it wasn’t as intriguing as Adam’s story and I ended up just skipping those parts – but it was a really beautiful and touching book that I highly recommend!
Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows (Sep 26) – Hey, it’s anxious black girl a.k.a me! Count me in!
An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson (Sep 26) – FAE. COURTS. CHARLIE BOWATER. This sounds like the perfect book to fill the Sarah J. Maas-hole in my heart. I can’t wait to have my hands on it!
The Ravenous by Amy Lukavics (Sep 26) – I actually haven’t liked Lukavic’s previous two books (both got two stars), but her premises are so interesting and she’s one of the few true YA horror writers out there, so I’ll cave. Also, CANNIBALS!
There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins (Sep 26) – I haven’t read any of Stephanie’s other books, but this is a horror novel, so I’m intrigued! I’ve heard that it’s super gory, which makes me extremely excited.
Sleeping Beauties by Stephen and Owen King (Sep 26) – I have yet to read a full Stephen King novel, and this one sounds so good and so intriguing that I’m hoping this is my start!
Freefall by Joshua David Bellin (Sept 26) – This sounds like a mix of Red Rising and the movie Passengers, and I AM HERE FOR IT!
Invictus by Ryan Graudin (Sep 26) – I also got an ARC of this at Bookcon, and it sounds AMAZING. It’s an entire book about time-traveling! This book is basically made for me. I’ve had this author’s books on my TBR forever, so, hopefully, this will be a domino effect.
Exquisite by Sarah Stovell (Oct 1) – I LOVE toxic friendships in thrillers, so I’m super excited for this one! I’ve only heard terrific things!
The Devils You Know by M.C. Atwood (Oct 3) – Five teens end up getting lost on a field trip to a creepy house and find some dark secrets? I AM SOLD. Hopefully, this won’t be bogged down with romance since way too many of my anticipated horror/thriller reads seem to be doing this year!
The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey (Oct 3) – I’m usually not one to read a lot of police procedurals or books featuring detectives, but I’m interested enough that I really want to read it! Also, SMALL TOWN SMALL TOWN SMALL TOWN.
13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough (Oct 3) – After reading and loving Behind Her Eyes, it is now my mission to read all the Pinborough books! Also, this has a really interesting concept, and I WANT.
The Hanging Girl by Eileen Cook (Oct 3) – Kidnapping! Tarot card reading! A girl is faking her psychic powers! I have an e-ARC of this one, AND IT SOUNDS AMAZING.
27 Hours by Tristina Wright (Oct 3) – I got to meet Tristina Wright at Bookcon and get my ARC signed by her, which was awesome, and I’m so excited to read this one! It’s supposed to be really diverse, and I’m just a huge fan of sci-fi in general, so I’m excited to read it!
Don’t Wake Up by Liz Lawler (Oct 5) – I found this book via Netgalley, but actually held out on requesting it on Netgalley (look at me, being responsible!), but as soon as I read the concept, I knew that I just had to have it! I want to know all the answers!
Dare Mighty Things by Heather Kaczynski (Oct 10) – As soon as I read the concept of this book, I KNEW I HAD TO HAVE IT. It sounds absolutely amazing, and I love competitions in books and SPACE, so I’m ready!
The Hollow Girl by Hillary Monahan (Oct 10) – I read Monahan’s previous books and thought they were just meh, but A GIRL IS GOING TO TAKE VENGEANCE ON THE GUYS WHO ASSAULTED HER AND TAKE THEIR BODY PARTS TO BRING SOMEONE BACK TO LIFE OH MY GOD. AND IT’S GORY. SIGN ME THE HELL UP.
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green (Oct 10) – JOHN GREEN IS WRITING A NEW JOHN GREEN IS WRITING A NEW BOOK JOHN GREEN IS WRITING A NEW BOOK JOHN GREEN IS WRITING A NEW BOOK.
All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater (Oct 10) – It’s Maggie Stiefvater, so duh.
Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao (Oct 10) – THIS IS THE DARK FAIRYTALE RETELLING I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR. I got an ARC of this at Bookcon, so I can’t wait to read it!
This Darkness Mine by Mindy McGinnis (Oct 10) – I have yet to read a Mindy McGinnis book, but as soon as I saw she was writing a dark YA psychological thriller about a woman who thinks that the twin she absorbed in the womb is taking over her life I WAS IN. I have an ARC of this one from Bookcon also, so I’m excited!
Dear Martin by Nic Stone (Oct 17) – With everything that’s been happening recently and with the hype of The Hate U Give, I’m really excited to see a more direct perspective of this written from the POV of a black boy. It sounds amazing, and I have an ARC of it, so I’m pumped!
A Line in the Dark by Malinda Lo (Oct 17) – This sounds like an amazing thriller book, so I’m super excited to read it! And, again, dark friendships and murder! I’ve had other Malinda Lo books on my TBR, so I might be able to finally get to one!
The Innocence Treatment by Ari Goelman (Oct 17) – An intriguing concept! A special format! SPECULATIVE SCI-FI! THIS BOOK WAS WRITTEN FOR ME!
The Wicker King by K. Ancrum (Oct 31) – This one sounds AMAZING. Also, it’s supposed to be written in a weird format, which I love, so I’m so excited for it! Also, I’m hoping the two guys get together; I’ll admit it.
Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi (Oct 31) – First off, the cover is stunning. And second, the premise sounds absolutely brilliant! I’ve been missing fantasy, so I need more!
Bad Girls With Perfect Faces by Lynn Weingarten (Oct 31) – I haven’t read Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls (I have it on my TBR), but this sounds like such a dark YA thriller that I can’t pass it up. AND THE COVER IS BEAUTIFUL OH MY GOD.
The Other Twin by L.V. Hay (Nov 1) – I haven’t really read a good old mystery novel in a while, so this sounds interesting!
Devil in Ohio by Daria Polatin (Nov 7) – CULTS CULTS CULTS CULTS. Also, maybe a side-plot of things falling apart and people taking over other people’s lives. I’m intrigued!
The Dark Intercept by Julia Keller (Nov 7) – I’m always a huge fan of sci-fi/dystopian novels where the perfect world isn’t as it seems, so I’m super excited for this one!
Renegades by Marissa Meyer (Nov 7) – I love reading about superheroes and supervillians, but don’t think there are enough good books surrounding that premise, so I’m counting on Marissa Meyer to save the day!
This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvuda (Nov 7) – Okay, I mainly decided to read this because I saw the word “plague” but this one sounds really good! And, again, sci-fi! And hackers! Who can change at will!
Bonfire by Krysten Ritter (Nov 9) – SMALL TOWNS SMALL TOWNS SMALL TOWNS.
No Saints in Kansas by Amy Brashear (Nov 14) – I’m not a huge historical fiction fan, but this is a thriller! Apparently it’s based off of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, which I haven’t read, but is on my TBR! This sounds really interesting!
R.I.P. Eliza Hart by Alyssa B. Sheinmel (Nov 28) – This sounds like a fantastic mix between contemporary and mystery, so I’m really interested in this one. It sounds weird, but I love weird books, so I’m down!
Are you excited for any of these books? Any books you’re excited for that aren’t on the list? DID I ADD MORE BOOKS TO YOUR TBR (if so, not sorry)?
I thought that the reason I had one was because of reading fantasy, but I think it’s actually because of all these sequels and finales I’ve been attempting to read, but just am not in the mood for. So, at the moment, I’m going to be taking a break from sequels until I’m in the mood for them because I MISSED READING BOOKS SO MUCH.
Anyway, for some reason, I made a terrible decision to go around requesting Netgalley books over the last few months, then getting accepted for them, and then saying, “Well, the book’s not going to be published FOR MONTHS, so I don’t have to worry about it, right?” WRONG. Summer comes upon me, and I realize that I apparently ALL THE BOOKS ARE COMING OUT IN JULY. AND ON THE SAME DAY. WHICH IS TUESDAY. PUBLISHERS ARE WEIRD.
So, since I have way too many July books coming out on similar dates (seriously, there are 31 damn days in July. Why can’t they just space it out???), I thought I’d go ahead and do some mini reviews to take the load off!
Rating: 1 STAR
Release Date: July 1, 2017
Break ups can be messy. After his ex-girlfriend Hope embarrasses him in front of the entire school, Tony wants revenge. So he signs her up for online dating sites, subscriptions, and even makes the location of her phone public. And it works. A few days later, Hope calls begging Tony to stop the prank. Then Hope screams and a car door slams. The call drops.
Tony tries to keep cool. It’s just like Hope to get back at him with more drama. But when Hope isn’t at school the next day, Tony knows the joke has gone too far-and he may have lead a predator right to his ex’s door. Can Tony find Hope and save her before it’s too late for both of them?
Um…WTF? This book honestly left me speechless. Like most YA thrillers I hated, the only credit I can give it is that it was addicting…and that’s basically it. The characters were completely forgettable, the writing wasn’t that good, and it was just…weird? I literally can’t put into words how much this didn’t make sense. And the ending was SO OPEN. Like, it just ended, and when I saw that there were acknowledgements, I flipped back to see if I had missed something because that couldn’t possibly have been the end. But, nope, that was it. Basically, this was the poor man’s version of Gone Girl. Like, a REALLY poor man’s version of Gone Girl.
Rating: 3 STARS
Release Date: July 11, 2017
Cram ten hormonal teens into a spaceship and blast off: that’s the premise for the ill-conceived reality show Waste of Space. The kids who are cast know everything about drama—and nothing about the fact that the production is fake. Hidden in a desert warehouse, their spaceship replica is equipped with state-of-the-art special effects dreamed up by the scientists partnering with the shady cable network airing the show.
And it’s a hit! Millions of viewers are transfixed. But then, suddenly, all communication is severed. Trapped and paranoid, the kids must figure out what to do when this reality show loses its grip on reality.
And we have another “WTF?” book, except on a totally different scale! I guess you could say that it was contemporary, but then a little sci-fi ended up being thrown in at the end, so was it magical realism? WHO KNOWS? This was basically making fun of reality shows, and I actually enjoyed how satirical it was and how it poked fun at itself! It was also formatted to include interviews and transcripts, so think Illuminae, except all the science stuff is fake? This is honestly the hardest book to rate ever, because I didn’t enjoy it, but I didn’t hate it? So, three stars it is, I guess!
Rating: 4 STARS
Release Date: July 11, 2017
Five days ago, aspiring crime novelist Jason Swike awoke chained to the wall of a run-down horse stable, convinced he would soon die at the hands of Crackerjack, the infamous serial killer who had terrorized the residents of Massachusetts for the past year—capturing and tormenting men, painting whimsical designs on their faces before shattering their bones and ending their lives. Just when death seems inevitable, Jason, with the help of another captive, manages to kill the madman and escape.
Hailed as a hero, Jason reaps the benefits of his newfound fame: a book deal, a possible reconciliation with his estranged wife, and reward money he can use to pay for his son’s costly medical treatments. But he soon realizes the nightmare that began in the deserted stable is far from over, as he is drawn into a twisted game where the darkest terror may not be the psychopath manipulating his every move, but what Jason may have to do to survive…
I absolutely devoured this one! I was really happy that the synopsis was so vague because that’s what made the book so entertaining – you think that the book doesn’t have enough material to carry on, but then BAM! Something happens halfway through and you just can’t stop reading because it’s so tense! I enjoyed seeing all the POVs in the story, and the ending was SO GOOD. This reminded me of Jeff Strand’s Pressure (which I loved!), but if you haven’t read that book, don’t bother looking it up because the synopsis will spoil you for this one. Overall, I really enjoyed it, and I hope to get to some of his other books soon!
A huge thank you to Sourcebooks Fire, HMH Children’s Book Group, and Thomas and Mercer for the e-ARCS via Netgalley!
Genre: Sci-fi, Dystopian, YA
Rating: 4 STARS
Series: Want #1
Release Date: June 13
From critically acclaimed author Cindy Pon comes an edge-of-your-seat sci-fi thriller, set in a near-future Taipei plagued by pollution, about a group of teens who risk everything to save their city.
Jason Zhou survives in a divided society where the elite use their wealth to buy longer lives. The rich wear special suits, protecting them from the pollution and viruses that plague the city, while those without suffer illness and early deaths. Frustrated by his city’s corruption and still grieving the loss of his mother who died as a result of it, Zhou is determined to change things, no matter the cost.
With the help of his friends, Zhou infiltrates the lives of the wealthy in hopes of destroying the international Jin Corporation from within. Jin Corp not only manufactures the special suits the rich rely on, but they may also be manufacturing the pollution that makes them necessary.
Yet the deeper Zhou delves into this new world of excess and wealth, the more muddled his plans become. And against his better judgment, Zhou finds himself falling for Daiyu, the daughter of Jin Corp’s CEO. Can Zhou save his city without compromising who he is, or destroying his own heart?
I will say, I didn’t even really have this book on my radar until I was so intrigued by the cover, I caved and decided to add it to my TBR, then went ahead and requested it. I’m so glad I was accepted for this one because I can only say that I freaking loved it.
1. The romance was amazing. So, we have this angst-y, forbidden, sexually tense romance between Daiyu and Zhou, and before you roll your eyes and groan, this romance was incredibly done well. There was absolutely no insta-love (in fact, they never say they love each other AT ALL. What is this sorcery?), and it’s all wonderful slow-burn and sexual tension. And when they finally get together, it’s like magic. I’m usually not one to get heart eyes over a ship where the both of them are on different sides of the track, but I loved it.
(Sidenote, I also ship Lingyi and Iris SO HARD. I would not be against a book entirely dedicated to the two of them being cute. Just saying.)
2. The characters were amazing. First of all, this book had a gang at a center of it, and I’m a sucker for any sort of gang or squad – think the Dregs from Six of Crows or the Night Court from the A Court of Thorns and Roses Series – so I was into it. But I absolutely loved all the individual characters and what they brought to the table!
We have Zhou, our wonderful main character who decides to act as the spy, Victor, who is sleek and sauve and hilarious, Arun, who is the scientist, Lingyi, who is the hacker, and Iris, who reminds me so much of Black Widow, and I love her, so it was great. And Daiyu, who isn’t part of the gang but is Zhou’s love interest who is strong and smart and stands on her own. I’m loving this rise of smart girls over ones who can kick ass 24/7 (even though I love those as well). I WANT THEM ALL TO BE MY FRIENDS. I just loved the interactions and relationship between Zhou and the gang, especially near the end.
3. It had great world-building. First off, this book took place in Taiwan, which I’ve never really seen as a setting before, so it was really awesome to have a book take place somewhere different and diverse. I also thought that a world that’s falling apart because of pollution and global warming was pretty much right on the nose considering the fact that Trump pulled out of the Paris Agreement a couple of weeks ago, so it was interesting to see a sci-fi future like this.
4. It was a perfect sci-fi novel. I’ve definitely become more obsessed with sci-fi over the last year, but I haven’t read enough it, and I’m SO glad I had the opportunity to read this one. This one was more of a cross between dystopian and speculative sci-fi (which is my favorite type of sci-fi), and did a fantastic job of holding up a mirror to things such as privilege, class, and taking care of the environment. It was just done SO WELL, and I applaud Pon for it.
5. Basically, it was amazing. If I had to describe this book in any way, it’d be Six of Crows meets Red Rising – Six of Crows because of the characters and the aspect of them being in a group and Red Rising because of the whole “lower class goes undercover in the upper class” ruse, which I totally love. So, it was two of my favorite series in one, and I couldn’t be happier. Not to mention that even though this had long chapters, the pacing was still perfect and kept me addicted. AND I WANT MORE. I saw on Goodreads that this might have a sequel, which I’m eternally thankful for. I NEED ONE.
Basically, you will not regret adding this book to your TBR. It’s definitely worth it, and I highly recommend it, obviously.
A huge thanks to Simon and Schuster for giving me an e-ARC of this book, especially since I enjoyed it so much!
Series: Follow Me Back #1
Rating: 1 STAR
Tessa Hart’s world feels very small. Confined to her bedroom with agoraphobia, her one escape is the online fandom for pop sensation Eric Thorn. When he tweets to his fans, it’s like his speaking directly to her…
Eric Thorn is frightened by his obsessive fans. They take their devotion way too far. It doesn’t help that his PR team keeps posting to encourage their fantasies.
When a fellow pop star is murdered at the hands of a fan, Eric knows he has to do something to shatter his online image fast—like take down one of his top Twitter followers. But Eric’s plan to troll @TessaHeartsEric unexpectedly evolves into an online relationship deeper than either could have imagined. And when the two arrange to meet IRL, what should have made for the world’s best episode of Catfish takes a deadly turn…
Told through tweets, direct messages, and police transcripts.
So, originally, I was super pumped to read this. A YA mystery/thriller that uses a unique format? Count me in! I’m a huge fan of thrillers, and I’m always there to read thrillers in the YA genre, since they’re really lacking. After being approved for this one, my interest slightly waned when I learned that this was originally published on Wattpad. Not shaming Wattpad or anything (I’ve read amazing boyxboy stories on there, which is mainly what I read nowadays), but most of their stories, especially the extremely cliché ones, can definitely be a bit juvenile. And this one definitely reminded me of why I don’t read Wattpad stories about straight couples anymore.
1. Eric Thorn was a total douchebag. He’s one of the main characters of the novel and also one of the POVs, and being in his head for more than one page drove me up a wall. I’m guessing I was supposed to empathize with him because his record label is trying to change him from this sweet boy-next-door who’s all deep and such into a shallow boy with manufactured songs, but I didn’t. He continually puts down his fans, implying that they’re idiots and all sex-obsessed and that they don’t really care about him (no, Eric, no they don’t. That’s because they DON’T KNOW YOU), but, of course ~Tessa~ knows all about him and is different from all the other girls. Excuse me while I roll my eyes.
Not to mention his horrible songs. “Aloe Vera”? “Snowflake”? Please tell me who in the world would actually listen to a song titled “Aloe Vera” in this day and age.
2. It had one of the worst romances I’ve ever seen. As you can see from the synopsis, Eric sets up a second account under an alias and ends up communicating with Tessa that way. In the span of a couple of months, Eric apparently falls in love with her? It made absolutely no sense. The two of them are simply talking over Twitter DMs, and before you know it, BAM! Eric’s talking about how much he loves her even though he knows next-to-nothing about her, and then before they’re going to meet, Tessa pours out her love for him, even though we never see this develop on her end. It’s utterly ridiculous.
3. The way Tessa’s agoraphobia was addressed. She’s traumatized by something that happened at camp, and decides to stay locked up in her room after that. I just really hated how literally everyone around her treated her like garbage. Her boyfriend, Scott, assumes that just because she feels like she might be ready to walk outside the house that she’ll want to attend some crowded fraternity party (???) and her mom is very short and impatient with her, which I found more concerning. She gets frustrated when Tessa isn’t mentally ready to go outside and sit for a couple of minutes, and her attitude was just so bad. And then, we reach the end of the book, and it’s as if it never even mattered, in my opinion. I just didn’t see the point of it being in the plot.
4. This is barely a thriller. But, for real though. This isn’t really a thriller. This is basically a contemporary that just slaps thriller elements into it in the most ridiculous manner near the final chapters of the book, and that’s basically it. I have to say, even though basically nothing happens, I still ended up being addicted to its pages. So, there was that.
4. The nonsensical ending. We reach the end of the book, and we find out that Tessa is an undercover psychopath and that she murdered Eric and that she’s fled to Mexico to escape punishment??? Here’s the thing. I’ve already seen this happen twice before: once in With Malice by Eileen Cook and once in Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas, both YA thrillers. So far, Dangerous Girls is the only book to have nailed this. The main character is revealed to have murdered her best friend, but the reason it worked and was such a brilliant plot twist was because the foreshadowing is subtle throughout the entire book, and the last sentence ties it all together. With Malice also did the same thing, and, in my opinion, failed, not only because it was WAY too similar to Dangerous Girls, but also because it just didn’t make sense. We see the main character and how she acts and thinks, and then the final chapters come in, and all of a sudden, she decided to make a last-minute decision to murder her friend out of nowhere. That’s how this felt like. We have zero indication or foreshadowing that Tessa is a psychopath. She seems like a very sweet, shy girl who’s suffering from agoraphobia, and there’s nothing to show she’s an obsessive fangirl who’s out to murder.
Not to mention that this is the most elaborate plot I’ve ever seen. In order for everything to even work out, this means that Tessa had to:
1. Have agoraphobia
2. Write an Eric Thorn fanfiction on Wattpad
3. Create a hashtag and hope that it ends up trending and catching Eric’s eye
4. Somehow play a part in Dorian’s murder to make Eric anxious
5. Get Eric to create a second Twitter account to troll himself
6. Get him to target her and start talking to her
7. Build a relationship over a period of five months
8. Get a crazed fangirl to attack Eric onstage, making him even more anxious
9. Get Eric to fall in love with her
10. Cause Eric to make up a whole contest just to meet her
11. Plan the fact that Blair was going to pretend to be Eric by hacking into his account
12. Escape and not die at the hands of Blair
13. Actually meet Eric
14. Actually carry out the murder
It literally makes no sense. I know there’s a sequel coming out next year that might reveal things, but it’s so frustrating because nothing adds up. There’s not even a reason or motivation for her to kill him. There’s no context or build-up. It just seems like a plot twist tacked on so people can be like, “OMG!!! Never saw that coming!!!” but I’ve seen it before so many times, that it just made me annoyed.
All in all, a huge disappointment. I honestly don’t recommend this book, and I’m sure you can tell since I gave it one star, and if you know me, I rarely give out one stars for books I’ve actually completed. Apparently, everyone seems to love this one, so I’ll take the position of black sheep, I guess!
Even though I didn’t like this book, a huge thanks to Sourcebooks Fire for giving me a free copy of the book via Netgalley!