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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Eagle Tree by Ned Hayes

Good morning, readers! Today I'm a stop on the TLC blog tour for Ned Hayes's latest, The Eagle Tree.

March loves trees. He knows everything there is to know about their ecosystems, the various species, and anything else pertaining to them. His real passion is climbing them, mapping out the routes in his head and planning which to tackle next. 

His absolute favorite tree is the Ponderosa Pine. A rare and endangered tree, he never thought to see one in his home state. But while climbing the tree in his new backyard, he catches sight of a magnificent specimen. Known locally as the Eagle Tree, March believes it might be an elusive Ponderosa Pine. But when the land the tree sits on is purchased privately and under contract to become the site for a new development, March realizes the Eagle Tree is in grave danger. March's sole focus is saving the tree, no matter the cost, but doesn't realize that it could mean losing his mother in the process. 

There's not really a way to sum up Ned Hayes's latest in a manner that truly does it justice. Yes, it's about a boy and a tree. It's about an autistic boy who connects to the world through trees. It's about an autistic boy being raised by his single mother who is facing the very real danger of losing her son to the courts.

And it's told from the perspective of March himself.

Because of this, the reader is forced to see the world through March's eyes. Pieces of his story, as a result, are gleaned through inference or by piecing together clues March allows us to see. In between facts about trees and global warming, that is. It might sound strange, and again I blame the fact that it's very hard to sum up adequately in a nutshell while conveying exactly what makes this book so special.

I loved it. Absolutely and completely. And honestly, though I'd read and enjoyed Hayes's previous work, I really wasn't sure that this one was going to appeal to me. I'm glad my apprehension was proven to be without merit!

I really thought that Hayes did a magnificent job with March. Without experiencing it ourselves, many of us will never truly have a good understanding of autism and how it affects people. Hayes, through March, gives readers a chance to see that first hand and to understand how a mind like March's works. And though we don't see the story from March's mother or uncle's eyes, we do see, through March, how his autism affects them as well. It's a unique perspective that could definitely have had grave faults to it. Hayes, though, manages to handle it with respect and honesty, making March a real and sympathetic character.

I could probably go on and on speaking to Hayes's talent and how wonderful this book is but I really want you to grab a copy and see for yourself. Know this, though: Hayes is quickly becoming a favorite of mine and an author who can grab my attention no matter what I might be in the mood for. And readers, that struggle is real! I'll admit that this holiday weekend had me craving GoT level epic fantasy and I thought there was no way I'd be able to get into and enjoy The Eagle Tree as a result. I was oh, so thankfully wrong. I breezed through most of March's story in one sitting and stayed up way too late reading the rest! Hayes and Eagle Tree are definitely on my highly recommended list :)

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.

For more on Ned Hayes and his work you can visit his website here. You can also follow him on Twitter.

Purchase Links: Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble



Monday, May 30, 2016

A House for Happy Mothers by Amulya Malladi

Hi, readers! Today I'm a stop on the TLC book tour for Amulya Malladi's A House for Happy Mothers.

Priya and Madhu are happy, but their repeated attempts to have a baby have worn them thin. Now, in an almost last ditch effort, they've opted to hire a surrogate in India to carry their child. It's a move some of their closest friends and family can't understand and some find it hard to support, but for Priya it means having their own child even if she's not the one to carry it to term. 

Asha knows her son is smart. And she knows their village school can't give him the education he needs. But she and her husband, Pratap, don't have the money to pay for something better. And so, at the suggestion of her sister-in-law and mother-in-law, she's decided to become a surrogate. Already a mother of two, it isn't carrying the child that's the hardest thing for her to handle, but the knowledge that she can't build any sort of connection with the baby - it isn't hers to love. In the end, though, Asha is willing to do whatever it takes to ensure a future for her son. 

A House for Happy Mothers was, for me, a surprisingly easy read. It's somewhat issuey in terms of topic but I thought Malladi did a fantastic job with these characters. They're both focused on the surrogacy and the various issues that surround their individual positions - Priya has to deal with comments from other mothers about how lucky she is she'll keep her figure, etc, comments from her mother about how she's exploiting this poor Indian woman (her mother is Indian as well), and the normal fears of having a child but with the added worry of it being a world away! Meanwhile, Asha is concerned about the stigma of selling her womb. But in addition to all of that, Malladi takes the time to build them and their families as whole and rounded characters!

The emotions in particular are very poignant. Priya's yearning to be a mother, Asha's battle with - as mentioned above - not becoming attached to the child she carries... Both women experience highs and lows, illustrating, I think, the pain and mental strain that anyone in their position must struggle with regularly.

And while Priya and Asha are both Indian, and represent two very different aspects of the culture: Priya was born in America, the daughter of an Indian mother and a white father, and barely speaks Telugu. She's had every advantage and, as Asha sees it, luxury of growing up in the States. Asha, on the other hand, barely speaks English and lives a life I think Priya herself would have a hard time even imagining. Malladi does, again, a fabulous jobs with these characters, giving readers insight into these two very different lives. But, that said, it's still a very universal story.

A House for Happy Mothers will likely be a harder read for some than others. In my opinion, though, Malladi handles the subject well and balances the truly heart breaking moments with hope and even a little humor.

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.

For more on Amulya Malladi and her work you can visit her website here. You can also friend her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.


Sunday, May 29, 2016

New Releases 5/31/16

Some of the new titles hitting shelves this week are:

The Sisters by Claire Douglas

The Fallout by Tamar Cohen

A House for Happy Mothers by Amulya Malladi

Leviathan's Blood by Ben Peek

The Wheel of Osheim by Mark Lawrence (June 2)

The View From the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman

Beware That Girl by Teresa Toten

Resurgence by Kerry Wilkinson

New on DVD:
Pride & Prejudice & Zombies
Triple 9

Sorry, this is a very edited list. I'm late putting this together this week!

New reviews at Bookbitch.com:
Borderline by Mishell Baker
The Bob's Burgers Burger Book by Loren Bouchard and Cole Bowden

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Pre Pub Book Buzz: The Crow Girl by Erik Axl Sund

If you like BIG books and Scandi-crime, Erik Axl Sund's The Crow Girl is going to be a great addition to your TBR!

Here's a bit about the book from Goodreads:

In a Stockholm city park, police discover the hideously abused body of a young boy. Detective Superintendent Jeanette Kihlberg heads the investigation, battling an apathetic prosecutor and a bureaucratic police force unwilling to devote resources to solving the murder of a nameless immigrant child. But with the discovery of two more mutilated children's corpses, it becomes clear that a serial killer is at large. Jeanette turns to therapist Sofia Zetterlund for her expertise in psychopathic perpetrators, and their lives become increasingly intertwined, professionally and personally. As they draw closer to the truth about the killings--working together but, ultimately, each on her own--we come to understand that these murders are only the most obvious evidence of a hellishly insidious evil woven deep into Swedish society. As viscerally dramatic as it is psychologically intense, The Crow Girl is a tale of almost unfathomably heinous deeds, and of the profound damage--and the equally profound need for revenge--left in their wake.

This doorstopper (clocking in at 784 pages) is the first release from coauthors Jerker Eriksson and Håkan Axlander Sundquist, aka Erik Axl Sund, and the first title in their Victoria Bergmans trilogy.

The Crow Girl is due out from Knopf this June.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Rebel Sisters by Marita Conlon-McKenna

Hi, everyone! Today I'm a stop on the TLC book tour for Maria Conlon-McKenna's Rebel Sisters.

Grace, Muriel, and Nellie Gifford weren't brought up to be revolutionaries. They were raised in the upper crust of Ireland's society. Respectable and educated, they enjoyed privileges beyond those of many in their country. And yet all three were drawn into the Rising. Nellie, schooled in Domestic Economy, takes up arms as part of the Citizens Army while Grace, an artist, and Muriel, a nurse, are both drawn in after falling for leaders of the Rising itself. 

Theirs is a true story, a story of three sisters who played significant roles in Ireland's modern history. 

I knew literally nothing about the Easter Rising. In fact, it was Kate Kerrigan's story in Fall of Poppies that really alerted me to the story. And it's huge! A massive story, in fact, and yet it gets overshadowed by WWI, especially for those of us here in the States.

What's so fascinating about this story is that, as I believe the author shows through the opening chapters, these sisters were never the kind of people anyone would expect to take part in an effort like this. Certainly their mother never expected they would. As the author's note states in the end of the novel, the relationship between mother and daughters was strained (to say the least) as a result.

And while the book focuses specifically on Grace, Muriel, and Nellie, the Gifford family sported more rebels than them. We meet, for example, their sister Sydney as well. She was a journalist who famously wrote under the name John Brennan and was also a member of the Daughters of Ireland. Why the book's focus is limited to the other three is somewhat confusing considering Sydney was certainly as involved as the other three. (Chapters are narrated from the perspectives of Muriel, Grace, Nellie, and occasionally their mother.)

I did have a bit of a hard time getting into Rebel Sisters. The book kicks off in 1901, obviously setting the scene and introducing the reader to the characters, the family, and even the politics leading up to the 1916 Rising. But the coverage of years 1901-1913 in particular are so choppy that I found it hard to get truly taken in by the story.

Perhaps, though, the mistake was mine in assuming this was a story of the Rising itself. It's not. This is a story about the Gifford sisters. The book is two-thirds through before we even hit 1916 at all. Understandably, in writing Nellie, Grace, and Muriel's stories, one cannot ignore their childhood or upbringing. The death of Queen Victoria, the death of their own brother, their educations... all of this is appropriate context for their participation in the Rising. I can imagine it may even have been difficult to choose exactly what to highlight and when to start in order to give the reader a full picture of these extraordinary women! Knowing that, and knowing that anyone's biography - even a fictionalized one - can fill volumes, I still wanted more of a linear narrative than Conlon-McKenna provided here. I wanted to be swallowed up in the Giffords' story rather than feeling as though I was hopping through a highlight reel.

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here. For more on Marita Conlon-McKenna you can visit her website here.


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Summer Guest by Alison Anderson

Good morning, everyone! Today I'm a stop on the TLC book tour for Alison Anderson's The Summer Guest.

The discovered diary of Zinaida Lintvaryova is something of a godsend and revelation for two very different women. For Katya Kendall, it could mean saving the publishing company she and her husband have struggled to keep afloat for so many years. For Ana Harding, the translator hired to rework the journal, it means the possible discovery of a long lost novel by one of literature's greats. 

Zinaida, a blind doctor living in Luka, meets young Anton Chekhov when his family rents her family's summer house in 1888. They form a close friendship, one that Zinaida chronicles in her diary as the days go by. And, as their friendship grows, so does the the mention, the promise, of a novel Chekhov may have penned at Zinaida's suggestion.

The Summer Guest was, as the author states on her blog, a quiet novel. One that will appeal most to literature fans and readers who enjoy books about books. I mean, what could be more appealing than a book about the rumor of another lost book? A book about a publisher, a translator (the author knows this part of the industry well!), and a famous literary figure all linked through the words and thoughts of a woman lost to history?

It's a slow burn of a read, one that does require quite a bit of attention and concentration (not something you'll be able to zip through in one sitting), but one that is ultimately rewarding. The culmination of the tale, one I won't spoil, was particularly fun. And the fact that the story itself - the diary, that is - is based on very real people makes it that much more appealing.

Zinaida was real. Chekhov did spend time on the Luka estate. There's even a museum dedicated to Chekhov on the old grounds. The story is fiction, but is, as was the author's goal, a fitting and respectful tribute to Chekhov.

And if, like me, you know very little about Chekhov, that's ok. Again, this is really a book about friendship and the love of books and literature.

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here. For more on Alison Anderson you can visit her website here.

Purchase Links: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Elements of Pizza by Ken Forkish

If you're looking for a serious pizza cookbook, look no further. Ken Forkish's The Elements of Pizza: Unlocking the Secrets to World-Class Pies at Home is what you need.

But mind the fact that I note "serious." This is not, at least for me, a good cookbook for the average home cook looking to make quick weeknight pizzas without much fuss. The dough recipes provided take six hours or more and the author suggests purchasing and using specific pizza implements (a pizza stone, which I do have; a pizza paddle, which I definitely don't have space for; and even special tubs to allow your dough to rise and ferment). If you're not planning or prepared to put that kind of effort into your pizza, this is NOT the book for you.

I tend to fall somewhere in between. The amount of time required for a traditional dough, even the one Forkish titles the "I Slept in But I Want Pizza Tonight" dough is still usually an overwhelming amount of time for me to plan for a pizza night. Typically when I want pizza, I want it now. And even if I plan ahead and buy toppings and such, I haven't put that much planning into the dough. Using Forkish's book required a definite adjustment for me in that regard and does leave me a bit undecided on how I'd rate the book overall as a general cookbook. It's not a general cookbook, I know. And I guess I'm not enough of a hardcore pizza eater for it to really be considered a regular use cookbook either. But for special occasions or for someone with more drive than me, it's a great one to have on hand for sure.

Forkish spends a good stretch of time speaking to the philosophy and tradition of what has become an American favorite. The history of pizza's origins, the differences between regional pizza (including American regional pizza), etc are all covered and pizzerias famous for different kinds of pies are highlighted as well. There are even recipes from some (the Vodka Sauce and Sausage Pizza the author references as resembling Rubirosa's was my first attempt).

I do love the variety of pizzas covered - from the various topping combinations to sauces, types of dough, and methods of cooking. But I did have one significant issue beyond even the time requirements of the dough and the constraints of my somewhat limited pizza making tools - my oven. I was under the assumption that I had a fairly good oven. And it's a fairly new one as well. What I discovered, though, is that my own oven did not particularly like the required temperatures for making the above mentioned Vodka Sauce and Sausage Pizza. At least not while both ovens were running!

That's my own personal issue to troubleshoot, however, and I do appreciate that oven particulars are something the author draws attention to in the book. All in all, if you are a pizza aficionado willing and able to devote the time and effort to a really great pizzeria style home made pies, Forkish truly does cover it all. If, like me, you tend to make your pizza decisions on the fly, you can either make extra dough (most of the recipes are for more than one and include instructions for saving them for later use), take your chances with store or pizzeria purchased crust, or continue to order in.

Per Blogging for Books requirements: I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman

It's Monday, readers! And today I'm a stop on the TLC blog tour for Robin Wasserman's latest, Girls on Fire.

Hannah was never part of any group. Never popular. Never one of the bright and shiny girls everyone wanted to be friends with. And that was ok. 

But then Lacey came into her life. Lacey opened her eyes. Lacey dubbed her Dex and made everything different. Dex was wild and unafraid. Dex was who Hannah could never have imagined being but, once changed, could never leave behind. Their friendship changed them both, and, in the time of Kurt Cobain and satanism scares, not necessarily for the better. 

Oh, my. I'm not even quite sure how to react to this one. It's all at once a bit of a mean and nasty book, a scary book, and a bleak book. I wonder if it's supposed to, as one of the characters notes, make mothers afraid of raising daughters!

There's no way to read Girls on Fire, as a girl that is, and not consider your own teen years. I knew girls like Dex, Lacey, and even Nikki. I wasn't one of them. Thankfully.

I'd describe Dex and Lacey's friendship as a toxic one. Hannah/Dex is a follower. She seems to rely on cues around her to determine who she is and who she wants to be. She allows Lacey to mold her into what Lacey wants, and latches onto it full force. But when she feels betrayed and abandoned by Lacey, Hannah/Dex becomes unmoored. Hannah has no strength or backbone.

In spite of the narrative, I find it hard to believe that Lacey is actually friends with Hannah. I think Hannah is a pawn, even as the story progresses and comes to its dark and inevitable close. Lacey is broken, a girl even Hannah's parents seem to believe has some redeeming qualities, but one who is shaped by her surroundings and left to flounder. And under the influence of the weird happenings of the 90s (remember this is the time when everything from heavy metal to horror movies was accused of turning teens into rampant and avid devil worshippers) Lacey becomes a festering ball of hot hatred.

I didn't really like Girls on Fire. It's just a little too everything for my taste. Most of all, it's a bit too real. As I said, I knew girls like this. I knew girls like Hannah who would follow any strong personality that paid attention to them. I knew girls like Lacey who would take advantage of girls like Hannah. And it's not too hard to imagine that some of the people I knew could have, under the right circumstances, had a story that played out as Hannah's and Lacey's does. And it's kind of terrifying.

That Wasserman captures that, is kind of amazing. But Girls on Fire is not going to be a book that hits high notes with every reader. In fact, I think it's a book that should come with a caution sticker: the writing is great, the story is ugly, enter at your own risk.

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here

For more on Robin Wasserman and her work you can visit her website here. You can also follow her on Twitter.


Sunday, May 22, 2016

New Releases 5/24/16

Some of the new titles hitting shelves this week are:

Seven Days Dead by John Farrow

A Game for All the Family by Sophie Hannah

The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin

A Blade of Black Steel by Alex Marshall

Flight Patterns by Karen White

The Children by Ann Leary

The 100 Year Miracle by Ashley Ream

Marlene by C. W. Gortner

The Summer Guest by Alison Anderson

The Progeny by Tosca Lee

Please Don't Tell by Laura Tims

Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee

The Last Star by Rick Yancy

The Hunt by Megan Shepherd

Return to the Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz

The Safest Lies by Megan Miranda

New on DVD:
The Finest Hours
How to be Single

New reviews at Bookbitch.com:
Past Crimes by Glen Erik Hamilton

Friday, May 20, 2016

Short Fiction Friday: Runtime by S.B. Divya

Marmeg has everything riding on the Minerva Sierra Challenge. It's a race she's certain she can place in, if not win. And the winnings would mean enough to buy a license for her youngest brother, pay for her own nursing school, and maybe even buy some better gear. But the race turns out to be way more challenging that Marmeg could have anticipated and she'll soon have to choose between winning and doing the right thing. 

In her latest novella, S.B. Divya imagines a future where humans use technology to increase their strength, to stimulate their stamina, and even to erase and create new personas.

The problem with this future is twofold, though. First, only the richest can actually afford legal purchase of this technology. And the country has a new caste system where money isn't the only requirement - families and individuals require licenses to even get the kind of education that qualifies them for decent jobs (to earn legal money). Marmeg and her family don't qualify, which means that Marmeg's earnings are limited even though she's bright and talented enough to get a great job with a tech company. Instead, her strengths in this regard are put to use on the black market and on her own gear. Gear that's scavenged from trash bins and barely hanging together. This hindrance has always been apparent to Marmeg. It's one of the reasons she wants so badly to be able to purchase a license for her younger brother - so he'll have opportunities the rest of her family missed out on.

The second issue is one that's less obvious to Marmeg considering her own views on the world: folks are becoming increasingly less prepared for a world in which technology is compromised or altogether non existent.

This latter is an interesting element of the story and one that I particularly liked. Honestly, it's an element of our current society that I already see as problematic even if you consider the smallest inconvenience - your WiFi or internet goes out and you need to look up a phone number. Holy crap! I have phone books galore and DO know how to use them but there are plenty of folks who don't. There's also the issue that with less call for phone books, less folks are in them at all. Is your cell phone in a phone book? Do you have the numbers in your phone memorized? Think about it...

Of course it's a much broader issue that phone numbers in the story. It's survival. And Marmeg is faced with just that challenge as part of the race itself.

I really enjoyed Divya's tale but I definitely wanted more. This was just a taste, a sampling, of a world that can encompass so much story! And Marmeg's own story ends rather abruptly in this installment. So far there's no news about whether Divya will be returning to this world but I certainly hope that's the plan.


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore + a Giveaway

Happy Thursday, readers! Today I'm a stop on the TLC book tour for Christopher Moore's Secondhand Souls, the follow up to A Dirty Job!

Okey dokey, when we left Charlie Asher and friends things were not looking so good. Secondhand Souls opens with Charlie dead/undead, Sophie orphaned, and Charlie's shop closed down by the now defunct as their relationship pizza and jazz restaurant started by Lily and Minty Fresh. Up to speed?

In the year since Charlie Asher and friends battled the Morrigan, things have not improved. Retired cop Rivera has been bumped up to death merchant but hasn't been collecting souls. And with Charlie still technically alive, apparently he's also neglected his continued duty to do the same. But it appears that even without having been collected by the official death merchants, the souls are vanishing none the less.  

No one knows yet what the ramifications of all this will be, but all hope is not lost considering Sophie's position. Except it appears the seven year old may just have lost her powers as well. And now the hellhounds have taken a hike, leaving the girl unprotected. If only Charlie had a real body, then he could go back to being a dad, protect his little girl (and maybe the world), and put things right!

Oh, Christopher Moore you wicked genius you! I have been waiting for the return of Charlie, Sophie, Lily, etc for so long - and you didn't let me down :) There's even a few "like bear" statements too!

A Dirty Job holds a very special place in my heart as my FAVORITE Chrisopher Moore title (hubs's is Lamb). So yes, as soon as I heard Moore was working on a sequel I started getting all antsy pantsy about getting my hands on a copy. It released last year, brand new on shelves while we were in New Orleans, and I bought a hardcover signed edition over at Faulkner House (the tiniest bookstore ever!). But I held off reading it until now... Maybe, considering I recommended A Dirty Job during some massive nasty news in 2008 (I don't recall what), it was simply that my reading brain knew I'd need similar relief now!

Moore, if you haven't read him (and I do recommend you rectify that if that's the case!) is one of the most hilarious authors I've ever had the pleasure of reading. He's raunchy and crass, but surprisingly (especially in the case of the two Grim Reaper books) charming and heartwarming at the same time. I mean ultimately you have a story here about a father and daughter and their support system of friends... trying to save the world. And sure, some of those friends might be little meat puppets wearing tiny theater garb but that just makes it all the more insanely amusing! And yes, you need insanely amusing in your life.

I won't give away any more but I will stress (STRESS) that you should definitely read A Dirty Job before diving into Secondhand Souls. It'll all make a little more sense to you if you do. Plus, you know, two great books is always better than one!

Rating: 4/5

To see all the stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.

For more on Christopher Moore and his work you can visit his website here. You can also like him on Facebook and follow him in Twitter.

Purchase Links: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

And now for the giveaway! Today I've got a paperback copy of Secondhand Souls up for grabs. All you have to do to get your name in the hat is fill out the Rafflecopter below before Monday, June 6. Open US only.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A Totally Awkward Love Story by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison + a Giveaway

Hannah's just graduated and has plans to finally lose her virginity to Freddie Clemence. Is he the one? No, not really. But he'll do for this. Unfortunately nothing goes according to plan and the night ends with Hannah's situation unchanged. But she did meet someone. A cute guy whose name she didn't even catch. 

Sam is certain he botched his French exam, ruining his chances at university. But for one night that's all been put aside. For one night, he and his friends are going to party and enjoy themselves. And, if he's lucky, Sam might just meet a girl. Luckily, he does. Meet a girl, that is. Unfortunately she's with someone named Freddie! 

Theirs is a match that should be made in heaven, but absolutely nothing goes the way it should!

Well today's certainly been a day for fun and funny romantic tales! And this one kind of has to be, all things considered. I mean, it's written by two best friends/exes!

Yep, it's true. Authors Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison dated once upon a time and banded together as friends to write "...an older teen book that was funny and that really captured how just awkward and ridiculous it is to be seventeen years old." I'd say they've succeeded!

Sam and Hannah are genuine and realistic, the kind of kids you knew in high school (or maybe were yourself). And their experiences are fairly universal, I think. The awkwardness of meeting someone new, the general self-consciousness of being a teen, that weird in between world that comes right after high school... oh, and the drama! Holy, moly! It's been some time since I was a teen myself, but some things never fade from memory. And, speaking as an adult who quite enjoyed this teen outing, while it may not be a phase of life many of us would voluntarily repeat, spending a little time in a story that captures that feeling is definitely fun. (Maybe because it's that much more of a relief that it's over!)

One of the things I quite enjoyed about this book was how well the two authors' prose works together. It's a dual narrative, splitting time between Sam and Hannah fairly equally and giving readers the story from both of their perspectives (Tom = Sam and Lucy = Hannah). Their styles and voices really do bring the characters to life but, even better, the story itself is completely cohesive and fluid. It really is a perfect storytelling match! (Which is great because apparently they've got two more titles going already!)

If you're in the mood for a goofy and yes, awkward, love story, A Totally Awkward Love Story definitely fits the bill. And it will make you laugh out loud - you have been warned!

Rating: 4/5

For more on the book and the authors, check out the super cute website here. You can also head over to Bustle to read an excerpt here.

As an added bonus today, I am offering up a hardcover copy of A Totally Awkward Love Story to one lucky reader. To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below before Monday, May 30. Open US only.

The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You by Lily Anderson

It's senior year and that means that the war that's been raging between Trixie Watson and Ben West since first grade - when he broke her arm on the monkey bars - has reached its peak. With just one year left, Trixie has made it her goal to come out the ultimate winner in the fray by vowing to edge Ben out of his third place spot in their class ranking for good. But when a string of cheating accusations begins making the rounds, eventually targeting one of Trixie's best friends, she finds that her efforts are inevitably affected. Rather than focusing on Ben, Trixie is determined to clear her friend's name. And it turns out her worst enemy may be her best ally in this fight!

Oooh, Lily Anderson's debut is CYUTE!!! All caps worthy for sure!

Let's start with the fact that Trixie and her super genius friends are nerd girls to the max, with impeccable nerd taste. I mean, I knew this just reading the official synopsis - Trixie is a Doctor Who fan and all Whovians know a fellow Whovian is by default awesome!

Trixie is witty and can spin an insult at the drop of a hat, a super power she uses most often against Ben West, her nemesis supreme, and it makes for some hilarious reading. Don't worry, he does fight back. But then a funny thing happens: one of Trixie's friends begins dating one of Ben's friends, bringing the two groups together for way more socializing than previous years. Shared space in the form of the cafeteria lunch table means Trixie and Ben are forced into an awkward truce for the sake of their friends. And of course when their friends become caught up in the growing plagiarization scandal, they find common ground.

All of the teens are uber intelligent. The school they attend is one specifically catered to gifted teens, offering classes like "the physics of Star Trek and the chemistry of emotions" (Sounds a bit like my own college special topics dream school! Special topics being the cool but limited classes my own university offered on things like SFF lit and History of Film.) But the school is incredibly focused on academic standing and rank. So much so that when the cheating scandal breaks, no adult or student really questions the whole thing, immediately blaming the high stress and requirements of the school as the obvious reason any one of their students would break and turn to cheating. Except Trixie. Trixie knows that her best friend isn't the one behind the whole thing and stands by her no matter what, making her a pretty fabulous friend indeed. One who, although she's not a troublemaker or problem child in any way, is willing to test those boundaries if necessary.

The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You is delightfully fun and charming. A teen contemporary that'll give you the warm and fuzzies even if you've fallen victim to the Cybermen! In fact, it's a book the Doctor could probably use to combat the Cybermen considering their goal is to wipe out all emotion. I'd place money on the fact that Anderson's tale could replace a "Delete!" with a chuckle or giggle for sure! (If you're a Dalek, there's probably no hope for you.)

Rating: 4/5

Monday, May 16, 2016

Death at Breakfast by Beth Gutcheon

Good morning, everyone! Today I'm a stop on the TLC book tour for Beth Gutcheon's latest, Death at Breakfast.

Maggie Detweiler has finally retired and she and her friend Hope are planning to do some traveling to celebrate. Their first trip is to the famed Oquossoc Mountain Inn - a small resort inn located in the tiny village of Oquossoc, Maine. The trip is in part to see how well the two of them will do together but also o enjoy the new cooking class being offered by Oquossoc's much talked about new chef. 

But their little vacation turns into something of an adventure when the hotel catches fire and a fellow guest is found dead in his bed. A hotel employee is arrested under suspicion of arson and murder, but the two ladies aren't certain the police are really looking in the right place. Together they decide to launch their own investigation, one that could exonerate a young girl and reveal the killer's true identity and motives. 

I'm so at odds with this book! When I dove into it over the weekend, bent on reading straight through in order to distract myself from the yucky weather outside, I was very much looking forward to it. I'd read Gutcheon's Gossip and thoroughly enjoyed it, so I was definitely excited to see that not only did she have a new book due out but that it was to be the first in a new mystery series.

Unfortunately, the start of Death at Breakfast was more than a little rocky and I wasn't sure the two of us would hit it off. The mystery itself seemed silly and the characters weren't really grabbing my attention. What's more, the fluid and vibrant writing I'd so loved in Gossip was missing!

When I returned to the book the following day, reading in fits and starts during lulls in an all day dress rehearsal, my experience was somewhat different. I'd discovered that once the story took off, once the murder had taken place and the characters' investigation was under way, I was much more drawn into the tale. Perhaps it was simply because I needed a distraction, but I suspect it was more a matter of an underwhelming beginning and the recovery of the story gaining its footing. It never did wow me, though. Maggie and Hope never really took over as the fabulous leading ladies I'd hoped they would become and I'd figured out the killer and motive quite early on.

I'm glad Death at Breakfast wasn't a total wash but, thanks to my high expectations, it obviously wasn't what I'd hoped for.

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.

For more on Beth Gutcheon and her work you can visit her website here. You can also like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

Purchase Links: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Sunday, May 15, 2016

New Releases 5/17/16

Some of the new titles hitting shelves this week are:

Don't You Cry by Mary Kubica

The Highwayman by Craig Johnson

The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews

Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman

The Fireman by Joe Hill

Company Town by Madeline Ashby

The Second Life of Nick Mason by Steve Hamilton

Lost and Gone Forever by Alex Grecian

The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North

Boar Island by Nevada Bar

Blood Flag by Steve Martini

Nitro Mountain by Lee Clay Johnson

Michael Palmer's Mercy by Daniel Palmer

Beyond the Ice Limit by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

Tell Tail by Rita Mae Brown

Rock-a-Bye Bones by Carolyn Haines

Roses & Rot by Kat Howard

My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

Summer Days & Summer Nights ed by Stephanie Perkins

The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You by Lily Anderson

The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye

Circle of Jinn by Lori Goldstein

New on DVD:
The Witch
Dirty Grandpa


New reviews at Bookbitch.com:
The Girl I Used to Be by April Henry

Friday, May 13, 2016

Short Fiction Friday: Summer Days & Summer Nights ed by Stephanie Perkins

Oh, I do love summer. It's my favorite season of the year: warm and sunny days, my birthday, and when I was a kid it meant summer break from school, no bedtime, and days spent reading by the pool. And even though there's no break now (or pool), there's a part of me that still gets excited when the weather starts to turn balmy. The season itself still holds that same anticipation even if the only break we adults get is on weekends!

It's that feeling of excitement and anticipation that the newly released Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories truly captures. Edited by Stephanie Perkins and featuring a slew of YA authors of varying genres, Summer Days and Summer Nights does for the upcoming season what Perkins's My True Love Gave to Me did for the holidays!

I do love that Perkins has again built an anthology featuring a variety of kinds of stories. I gravitate more often (but not always) to the eerie or supernatural - more often, that is, than straightforward contemporary. And I think the variety itself is part of the magic of an anthology like this. It gives readers like me a chance to step outside their comfort zone while still offering up our usual genres as well.

Leigh Bardugo, Libba Bray, and Lev Grossman were definite favorites this time around - as you'd expect of me! Bardugo's tale tells of a friendship shared during summer months only, but as the characters grow older their relationship is complicated by their limited time together. Bray's story is a fun and funny tale about the final night at a horror theater! And Grossman's story is a sweet (and heartbreaking) story a la Groundhog Day.

But I found myself drawn to at least a few of those contemporaries too! Perkins brings readers the next chapter, of sorts, in Marigold and North's story (a welcome, welcome return to these My True Love Gave to Me characters!) and Jennifer E. Smith drew me in with a story of a crush and a first date that truly could all go wrong.

There's definitely something for everyone here, though as the subtitle reads they are all love stories at heart.

Here's the full table of contents:

"Head, Scales, Tongue, Tail" by Leigh Bardugo
"The End of Love" by Nina Lacour
"Last Stand at the Cinegor" by Libba Bray
"Sick Pleasures" by Francesca Lia Block
"In Ninety Minutes, Turn North" by Stephanie Perkins
"Souvenirs" by Tim Federle
"Inertia" by Veronica Roth
"Love is the Last Resort" by Jon Skovron
"Good Luck and Farewell" by Brandy Colbert
"Brand New Attraction" by Cassandra Clare
"A Thousand Ways This Could All Go Wrong" by Jennifer E. Smith
"The Map of Tiny Perfect Things" by Lev Grossman

Summer Days and Summer Nights is a charming anthology perfect for anytime reading - whether you're enjoying it in the midst of summer or simply wishing for you were!

Rating: 3.5/5

(Summer Days and Summer Nights officially hits shelves Tuesday, May 17.)

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

On a rainy day in December, a driver hits and kills Jacob Jordan then speed saway. DI Ray Stevens and DC Kate Evans are determined from the start to see the killer prosecuted but when months go by without any new evidence, they're forced to close the case.

Meanwhile, Jacob's mother has disappeared, frustrated by her belief that the police aren't doing everything they can to find the person who stole her son away from her. 

I Let You Go first came across my radar last fall thanks to glowing reviews in the UK. Even Elizabeth Haynes threw her own blurb into the mix calling it "Absorbing, authentic, and deeply unsettling: a stellar achievement, and so deliciously clever." This is Elizabeth Haynes, folks, an author whose recommendations I've taken on title before and she's never steered me wrong!

I settled in with I Let You Go expecting some sort of twisted story or crazy twist to the story and I have to say I was rewarded. When part two began, my jaw was on the floor already and there was still more than half of the book left to get through! And at no point did I actually have the story figured out, even though I was sure I had it more than once.

One of the interesting things Mackintosh does is play with the timeline. In the early chapters it's not entirely clear how much time has passed until Stevens's boss pulls him in to close the case after six months. We see more of the passage of time through Stevens as well with updates on his son in particular, who's struggling in school. Without them, and a few notations about holidays passing (part two begins one year after the accident), I automatically assumed early on that we were moving in a much quicker timeline. It was somewhat disorienting to realize that was not the case, but pleasantly so as it was the first indication I had that Mackintosh was already bending my perceptions almost unnoticeably.

I Let You Go isn't an easy read in terms of the topics covered and the emotions they evoke in the reader. Especially when you take into account how the author is actually playing with our minds throughout the book! It is an utterly fascinating read, though, and the insight given through the eyes of the various characters makes it even more so.

Early in the book, chapters alternate between the police and Jenna. Stevens and Evans become almost obsessed with the case, allowing it to seep into every aspect of their lives. But they feel justified in that they do finally make an arrest after twelve months of searching. Jenna, meanwhile, has taken up residence in a small beach resort town, living as anonymously as possible in the wake of the tragic event that has so altered her life. There are other characters introduced after the arrest is made, but you'll have to read the book yourself to find out who they are and how they play into the story.

Clare Mackintosh's debut is a fabulously mind bendy read perfect for fans of psychological suspense. And as the image below stresses: read it, recommend it, but whatever you do don't spoil it!

Rating: 4/5

Monday, May 9, 2016

Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman

Happy Monday, everyone! Today I'm a stop on the TLC book tour for Laura Lippman's latest standalone, Wilde Lake.

Lu was raised with a strong moral code and sense of justice. Her childhood in the idyllic community around Wilde Lake is to blame for much of that. That and the fact that she was raised by one of the most well known and beloved State's Attorneys in the history of the county. It's what led her to run for the office herself so many years later. But when she takes on a slam dunk murder case as her first in office, she finds herself forced to reevaluate everything she was raised to believe. 

One of the questions readers face the most is that concerning favorite authors. Who's your favorite author?/Who are some of your favorite authors? It's a tough one even if you allow for more than one answer. And it's one I find my own answer to waffles depending on the day, the month, the season, and my mood. Laura Lippman is definitely up there, though, and a quick run through of posts shows I've featured here on the blog ten times now. Sure there are a slew of other favorites who have been featured eight and nine times - Laura Benedict, Mo Hayder, and Lisa Lutz, to name a few. But it turns out Lippman is the only one who's appeared a whopping ten times AND that's only topped by Stephen King with eleven!

One of the things I love about Lippman's style is that it is quite versatile. She's played with unlikable characters, unreliable characters, dual timelines, and this is on top of her long running series featuring Baltimore PI Tess Monaghan. And they're all fabulous reads!

With Wilde Lake, Lippman hasn't deviated in the enjoyment department one bit. But this is the first time I felt like I was unsure how the two parts were going to wrap up in the end. Chapters here alternate between Lu's present day as a newly elected State's Attorney, and written chapters memorializing what at first seems to be Lu's childhood. It turns out this is just part of the case. It was an interesting way for the story to play out and one that I felt kept me on my toes as a reader, leaving me guessing almost all the way to the end.

Lu herself will likely appeal more or less to readers depending on their own personalities. She's strong and competitive and this competitiveness sometimes becomes a bit judgmental and catty on her part. The picture of her as a schoolgirl getting her feelings hurt by a teacher unimpressed by her particular personality was, I thought, a perfect way of gaining some ground in terms of likability. And her strong belief in justice, as handed down by her father, is illustrated time and again throughout the story.

But it's this belief that begins haunting her more and more as the story progresses, paralleled by her father's own fight in this same regard. I most certainly will not ruin the end for you, but if you're curious - or worried - about how things will tie up in the end, have no fear it all becomes clear as the story winds to its end.

Rating: 4/5

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.

For more on Laura Lippman and her work you can visit her website here. You can also like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

Purchase Links: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Sunday, May 8, 2016

New Releases 5/10/16

Some of the new titles hitting shelves this week are:

Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

Death at Breakfast by Beth Gutcheon

Children of Earth and Sky by Guy Gavriel Kay

Killer Deal by Sofie Sarenbrant

Walleye Junction by Karin Salvalaggio

Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones

Reliance, Illinois by Mary Volmer

LaRose by Louise Erdrich

The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley

Troublemaker by Linda Howard

The Countdown by Kimberly Derting

Unrivaled by Alyson Noël

Hearts, Fingers, and Other Things to Cross by Katie Finn

The Season of You and Me by Robin Constantine

Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

New on DVD:
Deadpool
The Boy
Synchronicity
Regression

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Pre Pub Book Buzz: This is Our Story by Ashley Elston

I'm a cover person - I don't BUY based on the cover but an intriguing or well-designed one certainly can and does draw my attention. Ashley Elston's This is Our Story has a fabulous cover that immediately caught my eye when it popped up on my recommendations page and the book sounds equally amazing!

Here's a bit about it from Goodreads:

No one knows what happened that morning at River Point. Five boys went hunting. Four came back. The boys won’t say who fired the shot that killed their friend; the evidence shows it could have been any one of them.

Kate Marino’s senior year internship at the District Attorney’s Office isn’t exactly glamorous—more like an excuse to leave school early that looks good on college applications. Then the DA hands her boss, Mr. Stone, the biggest case her small town of Belle Terre has ever seen. The River Point Boys are all anyone can talk about. Despite their damning toxicology reports the morning of the accident, the DA wants the boys’ case swept under the rug. He owes his political office to their powerful families.

Kate won’t let that happen. Digging up secrets without revealing her own is a dangerous line to walk; Kate has her own reasons for seeking justice for Grant. As she and Stone investigate—the ageing prosecutor relying on Kate to see and hear what he cannot—she realizes that nothing about the case—or the boys—is what it seems. Grant wasn’t who she thought he was, and neither is Stone’s prime suspect. As Kate gets dangerously close to the truth, it becomes clear that the early morning accident might not have been an accident at all—and if Kate doesn’t uncover the true killer, more than one life could be on the line…including her own.

This is Our Story is due out in November from Disney-Hyperion.


Friday, May 6, 2016

Short Fiction Friday: The Mermaid Girl by Erika Swyler + a Giveaway

Last summer I had the pleasure of reading and featuring Erika Swyler's utterly spellbinding debut novel, The Book of Speculation. Well with the paperback due out at the end of the month, it seems the it's time for another little taste of Swyler's fabulous world.

In The Book of Speculation we meet Simon Watson, a research librarian with a strange family history. His mother drowned when he was just a boy and, as it turns out, she's not the first in her line to have passed so tragically. And though we get to know Simon's parents just a bit through his own story, Paulina and her husband, Daniel, are long gone by the time Book of Speculation begins.

"The Mermaid Girl" fills the gaps left by Book, telling of the time before Paulina's death, giving insight into her mindset and such in those early days.

Daniel was smitten with Paulina when he saw her floating in the mermaid tank. And after years of traveling and moving around, the circus girl decided she was ready to settle down. But life in one place is much different than life in a traveling circus. Paulina is plagued by migraines and fights daily against the pull of her former life. Daniel feels it, too, and worries about what it means for his family.

This is a strange little tale, one that clearly shows Paulina's growing concern and obsession over a fate she's read over and over in the cards. It's a fate those who have read The Book of Speculation are very aware of as well. It was fun to see young Simon beginning to become the man he'll be in the later story - already showing a fondness for old books and such. And it was a pleasant return to these characters and this world!

And now for the giveaway! I have a hardcover copy of The Book of Speculation to give away to one of your lucky readers today! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below before Monday, May 23. Open US only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

Sara and Amy bonded over books, in spite of the long distances between them. And so, one day, Sara decides to visit Amy. She travels all the way from Sweden to the tiny town of Broken Wheel, Iowa, only to discover that Amy has passed away in the meantime. 

Sara is all but stranded, unsure what to do or where to go. Fortunately, Amy was beloved in Broken Wheel and her friends and fellow townspeople had been anxiously awaiting Sara's arrival just as much as Amy had. The townspeople of Broken Wheel readily embrace Sara, befriending her, making her feel welcome, and even insisting she stay in Amy's home. And Sara, after her initial discomfort with the attention, decides to give something back - a book store. But not just any book store, one that will honor Amy's memory, one that might just offer the people of Broken Wheel exactly what they've needed for so long. 

It's no surprise that Katarina Bivald herself was a bookseller. And while it can be assumed that authors in general are book lovers, The Readers of Broken Wheel proves Bivald is one of the most enthusiastic of those!

From Sara's arrival through to the trial that will determine her fate in Broken Wheel (because, if you couldn't tell, she's working without a visa), Bivald tells a tale that's charming and sweet and absolutely packed with some of the most brilliantly built characters in fiction. They reminded me a bit of Chocolat, if I'm honest: quirky, scarred, broken, opinionated, secretive, nosy... Sara gets to know each and every one of them, teasing out the details of their most intimate secrets through simple friendship and observation. And, book lover that she is, she is determined to find the perfect book for each and every one of their needs!

The Readers of Broken Wheel is the kind of book any and every reader can appreciate. It's one that will tug at your heartstrings and make you smile. It'll also make you wish you could spend a day or two in Broken Wheel yourself!

Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Girl I Used to Be by April Henry

Imagine if your father killed your mother. It'd shape you and affect you all your life. Now imagine his name is cleared fourteen years later. How would you feel?

Olivia is facing exactly that. When she was just three, she was found abandoned in a Wal-Mart three hours away from the very place her family was reported missing. Three weeks later, her mother's body was found wrapped in a tarp. She was stabbed nineteen times. Olivia's father's truck was left in an airport parking lot, leaving authorities to guess he'd killed his wife and left his daughter before running for good. 

But a woman walking her dog near the original crime scene stumbles across Olivia's dad's remains. Now everything Olivia ever thought she knew about her family has changed. Her father is no longer a killer but a victim himself. And Olivia is willing to do whatever it takes now to find the real killer. 

Once upon a time, readers, April Henry penned a fantabulous mystery series featuring a character named Claire Montrose: Circles of Confusion (1999), Square in the Face (2000), Heart-Shaped Box (2001), and Buried Diamonds (2003). I loved this series. Loved it! And it's one I've never forgotten (considering each featured vanity plate puzzlers, every vanity plate I see IRL reminds me of Claire). She also released a stand alone in the Claire Montrose gap year - Learning to Fly - which was equally fantastic. 

Anywho, after coauthoring two series with Lis Weihl (which I somehow missed), Henry eased into the teen mystery scene with Shock Point in 2006 and has continued in that vein ever since. Even though I've known about Henry's teen titles for quite some time, The Girl I Used to Be is the first of them that I've read (though Learning to Fly does feature a teen protagonist it was still marketed as adult). And I'm so happy to have gotten back into her work!

I recall very little of the Claire Montrose books except how much I enjoyed them and I can definitely say that The Girl I Used to Be hit the mark as far as enjoyment is concerned! It's also a great mystery with a heroine I loved spending the afternoon with. (This was a one-sitting read!)

Olivia has dug herself out of a sort of bad background. I mean, she grew up under the shadow of her mother's death and with the stain of her father's supposed crime. She spent years in the system too, eventually earning her GED and gaining her independence as an emancipated minor. Which is why at seventeen she's able to move back to her parents' hometown and poke around in an attempt to find the real killer. 

The book could have been longer and I most certainly wouldn't have complained, but honestly I think it was just about the perfect length. Olivia's story plays out quickly and with just the right amount of edge-of-your-seat tension and suspense. It was fun, pure enjoyment in fact!

Rating: 4/5

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Rare Objects by Kathleen Tessaro

Good morning, everyone! Today I'm a stop on the TLC book tour for Kathleen Tessaro's latest, Rare Objects.

Maeve Fanning always wanted more. Clever and educated, she nonetheless found herself in a situation of her own creation that demanded escape. And escape she did, all the way to New York City. There she worked as a dancer, partying and drinking away the evenings after work. Unfortunately Maeve's grand adventure ended with her being committed, something she'd never admit to. Instead, she spun a lie that she'd been employed as a secretary for an eccentric and wealthy man whose demands were such that the had no time for writing or visiting home. 

Now, in 1932, Maeve is one of many qualified women searching for work that will allow her to eke out a living. But it's hard enough considering the current Depression, and being Irish doesn't make it easier. With a bit of a lie and a bit of bleach, though, Maeve transforms herself into May, earning a spot as a salesgirl at an antiques dealership. It's there that a new world opens up to her, one that offers connections and opportunities she could never dream of. It's a glimpse inside the world of the rich and elite, one whose doors open to her due to a surprising connection of her own - someone she met in her darkest days in New York. 

Rare Objects is essentially a tale of friendship and of the dangers of keeping up appearances. The time period in particular amplifies the issues, but they are not foreign to what some face even today.

Maeve has marks against her: the economy means less opportunity for everyone, even those in a better position than most. Maeve's own education and qualifications make her suitable for any number of jobs but that simply doesn't matter when there are no jobs to be found! The fact that she's Irish makes it worse considering no one in Boston wants to hire them and Maeve's red hair stands out as an undeniable marker of her heritage. But Maeve's own past is her enemy as well. She's dissatisfied with the life around her. She has secrets she'd rather those around her not know - secrets that could ruin every chance she and her mother have worked for. And her time as a patient at Binghamton State Hospital is certainly not something she's interested in sharing.

Which is why she finds something of a soulmate in Diana Van der Laar. Their reunion is purely coincidental, but their shared shame is a bond that trumps all of their other differences.

Their friendship is one that could save them both, if they'll allow it. But both women bear deep emotional scars that could, if they bend to weakness, ruin them both. And of course both of them must, at all cost, ensure that their carefully built facades remain unquestionable and unshakable. The stress of that alone is enough to threaten each girl's grip on reality!

I love Tessaro's work! I've mentioned in past reviews how graceful and fantastic her writing is and how alive her characters are on the page. Rare Objects is definitely no exception. From the start, Maeve's story had a hold on me that begged for attention. I couldn't put this book down until I knew how things would turn out for her. And of course, as with any great story, hers is one that still had me in its grip well beyond the final page.

Rating: 4/5

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here. For more on Kathleen Tessaro and her work you can visit her website here. You can also like her on Facebook.

Purchase Links: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Sunday, May 1, 2016

New Releases 5/3/16

Some of the new titles hitting shelves this week are:

The Map of Bones by Frances Haig

Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett

Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman

The Secrets of Flight by Maggie Leffler

The Chimes by Anna Smaill

Redemption Road by John Hart

I Let You Go by Claire Mackintosh

Wilde Lake by Laure Lippman

Nightshift by Charlaine Harris

The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett

The Silent Army by James A. Moore

The Last Good Girl by Allison Leotta

The Painter of Souls by Philip Kazan

And After the Fire by Laure Belfer

Finding Fraser by K. C. Dyer

A Killer Ball at Honeychurch Hall by Hannah Dennison

After the Fire by Jane Casey

Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

The Lost Stars by Jack Campbell

Mission Hill by Pamela Wechsler

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick

The Strings of Murder by Oscar de Muriel

City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong

The Apartment by Danielle Steel

Bloodroot by Cynthia Riggs

The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight

A Totally Awkward Love Story by Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison

Alice and the Fly by James Rice

The Girl I Used To Be by April Henry

The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood

The May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

The Crown by Kiera Cass

Ruined by Amy Tintera

Dream On by Kerstin Gier

New on DVD:
A Royal Night Out
400 Days
Joy
The 5th Wave