Friday, August 10, 2018

Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott

Give Me Your Hand
Release Date: July 17th, 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown Publishing
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 352 Pages
Format: ARC
Source: From Publisher
Reason: For Honest Review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon 

Kit Owens harbored only modest ambitions for herself when the mysterious Diane Fleming appeared in her high school chemistry class. But Diane's academic brilliance lit a fire in Kit, and the two developed an unlikely friendship. Until Diane shared a secret that changed everything between them. More than a decade later, Kit thinks she's put Diane behind her forever and she's begun to fulfill the scientific dreams Diane awakened in her. But the past comes roaring back when she discovers that Diane is her competition for a position both women covet, taking part in groundbreaking new research led by their idol. Soon enough, the two former friends find themselves locked in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse that threatens to destroy them both. 

I can't believe this is my first Megan Abbott book! I have heard wonderful things about her so when I was presented with the opportunity to read Give Me Your Hand I had to jump on it!

Give Me Your Hand tells the story of Kit Owens and Diane Fleming. Two ex-friends who are reunited when a position opens up for a scientific research study.  Kit and Diane were friends in high school but a devastating secret changed everything. Now, a decade later, Diane and Kit are thrust into each others lives once again.

Firstly, I absolutely loved the way this novel was delivered. Going back and forth between past and present, making the story unfold at a perfect pace, keeping you hanging on until the very end.  Abbott put a lot of care into the backstory which I really appreciated. You get a great understanding of why both Kit and Diane are the way that they are and how they seem to have this everlasting attachment.

Abbott not only crafted great characters but she backed it up with an epic storyline, or I should say multiple storylines. A few things unravel in this book: Kit and Diane's history, their present connection and both Kit and Diane's separate backstory. It made for a very interesting read! Another great addition was the research they are studying. It is fascinating. PMDD is something that I have never heard about and the author does a great job at integrating it into the story.

Give Me Your Hand will appeal to lots of readers. It's a psychological thriller with a young adult twist. It takes you on a heart-racing journey of who and why. All of your questions will be answered but the author does not give them up quickly. You will be left guessing until the very end!

Monday, July 23, 2018

Watch the Girls by Jennifer Wolfe

Watch the Girls
Release Date: July 10th. 2018
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Genre: Mystery | Thriller, Horror, Fiction
Pages: 320 Pages
Format: ARC
Source: From Publisher
Reason: For Honest Review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon

I've been watched all my life. I'm used to being stared at. Observed. Followed.
Fame and obsession collide in this darkly twisted novel from an incredible new voice in suspense.SOMEONE IS WATCHINGWashed up teen star Liv Hendricks quit acting after her beloved younger sister inexplicably disappeared following a Hollywood party gone wrong. Liv barely escaped with her life, and her sister was never heard from again. But all this time, someone's been waiting patiently to finish what was started...FOUR MISSING GIRLSNow fifteen years later, broke and desperate, Liv is forced to return to the spotlight. She crowdfunds a webseries in which she'll pose as a real-life private detective--a nod to the show she starred on as a teen. When a mysterious donor challenges her to investigate a series of disappearances outside a town made famous by the horror movies filmed there, Liv has no choice but to accept.FOLLOW THE WHITE WOLFLiv is given a cryptic first clue: Follow the white wolf. And now a darker game is about to begin. Through social media, someone is leaving breadcrumbs to follow. As Liv makes increasingly disturbing discoveries, her show explodes in popularity. A rapt internet audience is eager to watch it all--perhaps even at the cost of Liv's own life...Filled with provocative twists and turns as the line between plot and reality blurs in this inventive tour-de-force from breakout writer Jennifer Wolfe. 
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*Slow Clap*
Bravo, Jennifer Wolfe, Bravo!!

This is EXACTLY how a thriller is done! Jennifer Wolfe nailed it!

Watch the Girls is a wild and suspenseful ride that will have you hanging on to the edge of your seat the entire time. You will struggle with the desire to fly through the pages to see how it all ends and the desire to slow down and savour the story. 

Jennifer Wolfe introduces us to Liv Hendricks, a former teen star who is still struggling over the disappearance of her sister, Miranda, 15 years ago. At her financial breaking point, Liv is forced to enter the spotlight again. She decides to start a crowdfunding campaign for an investigation-style web series. A mysterious donor makes her an offer she can't refuse. He asks her to go to Stones Throw, a place famous for its horror movies filmed there, to investigate a series of disappearances. We are then taken down the "dark road" of Stones Throw and thrust into an eerie and disturbing web of events. Buckle up!

Liv Hendricks was a fantastic main character. Despite some of her decision-making, she is a very likable character. Watch the Girls has a small character cast, making it an intimate experience with the time you spend with each one. You grow to like(or dislike) characters easily. The book is told from Liv's perspective but delivered between the past and the present. Two stories are unfolding here: What is happening in Stones Throw and What happened that night Miranda disappeared, 15 years ago. Wolfe's delivery of these 2 storylines is flawless. She pens two thrilling and suspenseful narratives, each as equally heart-pounding as the other. She crafts a unique reading experience, winding through multiple theories and whodunnits, but nothing will prepare you for the jawdropping ending! 

I loved every single minute of this book. If this is what Jennifer Wolfe has up her sleeve, I cannot wait to see what else she has in store for us! Jennifer Wolfe, you better be high-fiving yourself, because you nailed it!

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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart

Grace and Fury
Release Date: July 31st, 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 320 Pages
Series: Grace and Fury #1
Format: ARC
Source: From Publisher
Reason: For Honest Review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

In a world where women have no rights, sisters Serina and Nomi Tessaro face two very different fates: one in the palace, the other in prison.Serina has been groomed her whole life to become a Grace--someone to stand by the heir to the throne as a shining, subjugated example of the perfect woman. But when her headstrong and rebellious younger sister, Nomi, catches the heir's eye, it's Serina who takes the fall for the dangerous secret that Nomi has been hiding.Now trapped in a life she never wanted, Nomi has only one way to save Serina: surrender to her role as a Grace until she can use her position to release her sister. This is easier said than done. A traitor walks the halls of the palace, and deception lurks in every corner. But Serina is running out of time, imprisoned on an island where she must fight to the death to survive and one wrong move could cost her everything. 


You guys, this book...THIS book...THIS BOOK WAS SO DAMN GOOD! Okay, I'm sorry, I'll try to tone it down a little, but only mildly. I am still fan-girling over how much I liked, loved, adored this book!

I knew just based off of the authors dedication that I was going to love everything about this book:

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If that doesn't sell you enough, just flip over a page or two more and you will be immersed into the dark and addictive tale that Tracy Banghart weaves. Grace and Fury is told from the perspectives of 2 sisters, Nomi and Serina. Nomi is strong and stubborn and struggles to conform to the horrible rules set for woman. Serina has prepared for "grace-hood" her entire life. She longed for the day that she would reside in the palace living as a Grace to the superior, with Nomi by her side as a Handmaiden.

Banghart's writing is bang on(couldn't resist). She crafts a story that flows so effortlessly off of the pages. It's equally heart-wrenching and heart-pounding. Nomi and Serina are both very strong and in-depth characters. Each one has such a bold yet completely different personality. Their bond is strong and all though they are apart for most of the book, there love for each other radiates off of the pages. Malachi and Asa and very intense characters! I loved them both yet for very different reasons. Malachi, the villain, Asa the hero, a sibling rivalry that could draw blood.

Grace and Fury will capture your heart. Its deep characters and intense story line make for a one-of-a-kind reading experience. Cancel all of your plans, find your favourite reading spot and get comfortable because you will devour this book in one sitting.

"I think the woman in this prison--in this country--will rise up eventually. My father used to say that oppression isn't a finite state. It is a weight that is carried until it becomes to heavy, and then it is thrown off. Not without struggle, not without pain, but he believed that the weight would always, always, be fought and overcome."

Monday, July 9, 2018

All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

All Your Perfects
Release Date: July 17th, 2018
Publisher: Atria Books
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 320 Pages
Format: E-galley
Source: Netgalley
Reason: For Honest Review
Find the Author:
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon

Colleen Hoover delivers a tour de force novel about a troubled marriage and the one old forgotten promise that might be able to save it.
Quinn and Graham’s perfect love is threatened by their imperfect marriage. The memories, mistakes, and secrets that they have built up over the years are now tearing them apart. The one thing that could save them might also be the very thing that pushes their marriage beyond the point of repair.All Your Perfects is a profound novel about a damaged couple whose potential future hinges on promises made in the past. This is a heartbreaking page-turner that asks: Can a resounding love with a perfect beginning survive a lifetime between two imperfect people?
Before we start, I should tell you all that this is my first Colleen Hoover book...
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I know, I know, it's awful. Aside from disappointing the book world, I was disappointing my office as 2 of my co-workers are very big Hoover fans. So, when I saw All Your Perfects on Netgalley it felt like book fate! 

If I had to some up All Your Perfects, it would go like this: 

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This book seriously toyed with all of my emotions! It struck every cord my heart has. I laughed, I cried, I got angry and repeat. I can definitely see why Colleen Hoover has such a large and passionate fanbase. I can see, just from this book, that her storytelling is faultless, her characters are loveable and her writing style is without imperfections. 

All Your Perfects tells the story of Quinn and Graham. A couple whos first meeting is of unusual circumstances. Call it fate, call it circumstance, divine intervention, whatever you chose, it's apparent from that first meeting that they have an undeniable connection. The story of All Your Perfects is delivered between the past and present, then and now. Hoover gives us just enough each chapter that keeps us hanging on. Making the book nearly impossible to put down. Also, she gives us a character who is so damn swoon-worthy. If I could marry a fictional character I would marry Graham.

All Your Perfects made me an instant Colleen Hoover fan! I cannot wait to devour her past work and will eagerly await her future novels. All Your Perfects is the perfect combination of romance, drama, and emotion. A reading experience that will leave you adding Hoover to your auto-buy list! 

“The problem is, love and happiness are not concordant. One can exist without the other.”

Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Outsider by Stephen King

The Outsider
Release Date: May 22, 2018
Publisher: Scribner
Genre: Fiction | Horror
Pages: 561 Pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Reason: Personal Interest
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon

An unspeakable crime. A confounding investigation. At a time when the King brand has never been stronger, he has delivered one of his most unsettling and compulsively readable stories.
An eleven-year-old boy’s violated corpse is found in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City’s most popular citizens. He is Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon add DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad.
As the investigation expands and horrifying answers begin to emerge, King’s propulsive story kicks into high gear, generating strong tension and almost unbearable suspense. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face? When the answer comes, it will shock you as only Stephen King can.


Okay, confession time...I am fairly new to Stephen King. I've read 2 books by him: Carrie(which I loved!) and Joy Ride(which I didn't). But I could not get through Instagram or Twitter without hearing about The Outsider. And what can I say, when it comes to books, I easily succumb to peer pressure! So, I picked myself up a copy and eagerly dived in!

I kept my expectations pretty neutral given my limited King experience, but this book blew me away! Typical King style, the size of the book can be a bit intimidating, but I flew through this book eager for the closure of this nail-biting, page-turning tale!

As mentioned, the book packs a pretty hefty punch at 561 pages, but the way King penned this novel makes it a quick read! He broke down The Outsider in smaller chapters and multiple perspectives. I've heard that Stephen King is well known for his character development and depth, and I can now certainly see what people mean by that. Each character in this story play a very vital piece to the story; even the secondary cast add so much value to the overall delivery of The Outsider.

The Outsider will take you on a wild, baffling ride. You will be left bewildered one moment and jolted the next. The story is a rollercoaster of who, what's and why's. And don't expect King to give in easy. The suspense will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. I have come across some conversations online that there is a link to The Outsider and the Bill Hodges Trilogy, seeing as I haven't read that series, I can confidently say that this book reads as a stand-alone. I will be adding that series to my list though because I am curious as to what the links are.

I loved everything about The Outsider: the pacing, the characters, the delivery. It was put together, in my opinion, flawlessly. It made me an instant Stephen King fan. I happen to have 5 of his books sitting on my shelf right now and can't wait to devour them. So King fans, which one should I read next?

Hearts of Atlantis
The Shining
Doctor Sleep
Under the Dome

“Doesn’t look like a monster, does he?” “They rarely do.” 

Monday, June 25, 2018

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage

Baby Teeth
Release Date: July 17th, 2018
Publisher: St. Martins Press
Genre: Mystery & Thriller
Pages: 320 Pages
Format: ARC
Source: From Publisher
Reason: For Honest Review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon

Sweetness can be deceptive. 
Meet Hanna.
Meet Suzette.
She loves her daughter, really, but after years of expulsions and strained home schooling, her precarious health and sanity are weakening day by day. As Hanna’s tricks become increasingly sophisticated, and Suzette's husband remains blind to the failing family dynamics, Suzette starts to fear that there’s something seriously wrong, and that maybe home isn’t the best place for their baby girl after all.
She’s the sweet-but-silent angel in the adoring eyes of her Daddy. He’s the only person who understands her, and all Hanna wants is to live happily ever after with him. But Mommy stands in her way, and she’ll try any trick she can think of to get rid of her. Ideally for good.

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Thank you, Zoje Stage for providing the world with a very effect form of birth control. After reading Baby Teeth I'm not sure a child will ever be in my future. It's not worth the risk having a pint-sized, possessed, murderous monster. 

Okay, all joking aside Baby Teeth was one heck of a read! I am flabbergasted that this is Zoje Stages's debut novel. She has a tremendous talent and I cannot wait to see what else she has to offer!

In Baby Teeth she tells the story from the perspective of Hanna(creepy child) and Suzette(terrified mother of creepy child).  Hanna is mute, which adds a whole new atmosphere to your average Thriller novel. Her mutism doesn't seem to be caused by anything health wise, but more of a choice, either conscious or unconscious, of Hanna's. She is very bright and communicates through a series of gestures, sounds and, at times, writings and drawings. One thing is certain, Hanna LOVES her father. She is the apple of her father's eye, and to him, Hanna can do no wrong. She longs for the day that it is just her and her father. She then decides to take matters into her own hands and get rid of Mommy, forever. 

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Zoje Stage, already proven to be a master at her craft, penned a story that I literally could not put down. If not for a busy weekend, I would have devoured this book in one sitting, but instead it took about a day and a half. I seized any moment I could, no matter how brief, to sneak in a page here, or a chapter there. Stage crafts the novel in a way that each chapter ending pushes you to keep going. Don't bother getting too comfortable in your seat because you will just be sitting on the edge of it the entire time!

She penned a small character cast that really gives the book an intimate reading experience. It's as if you are pulling the curtain aside on this seemingly perfect family and seeing what is really going on. 

Baby Teeth is a heart-racing, page-turning good time! The competition is strong when it comes to Evil Kids: The Omen, Children of the Corn, The Orphan, etc, yet Zoje Stage penned one that can stand out strong among the others. I am eagerly awaiting Stages's upcoming novels. I can't wait to see what else she has up her sleeve!

Monday, June 18, 2018

The Death House by Sarah Pinborough

The Death House
Publisher: Orion Books
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 288 Pages
Format: Paperback
Source: From Publisher
Reason: For Review
Find the Author: Website

Toby is a boy who has forgotten how to live.Clara is a girl who was born to die.Toby's life was perfectly normal . . .Taken from his family, Toby now lives in the Death House. Isolated from the outside world the inhabitants of are watched for any signs of a mysterious illness . . .Clara was a girl who had everything. Adored by her friends and her family, her life was destined for greatness. Now, Clara is the newest resident of the Death House and she's determined not to allow her life to end there.This is Toby and Clara's story.


After reading 13 Minutes, I couldn't wait to get my hands on The Death House. It sounded like the perfect mix of creep and romance. It definitely had a haunting atmosphere to it; a bunch of kids that contain a fatal, defective gene, all living together in an English boarding house until they are taken to the Sanatorium and never seen again...Yikes!

Firstly, Sarah Pinborough's writing style is absolute perfection. She knows how to captivate her audience. The Death House grasps you tightly and does not let you go. Her writing just flows so easily off of the page, making it a quick read because you will not be able to put it down. Her characters are another one of her specialties. Just like 13 Minutes, she creates a medium-sized character cast that all compliment each other wonderfully. Pinborough has done her characters proud! In that imagination of hers, they came to her with their stories and she put them to paper perfectly. The romance aspect of The Death House was just right. It was a good focal point of the book but didn't cloud over the secondary storyline. It all meshed well together!

There were a few aspects of the book that did fall short for me. I wish we got more of a history regarding this mysterious gene: What is it? Why does it affect only a certain population of kids? Where did it originate, etc? I also would have loved a little more backstory on the nurses and the sanitarium. I know keeping those things a mystery was probably intentional, however, I would have liked just a little bit of story on them.

Overall, this book was an entertaining read! I flew through it and adored all of the characters.  I definitely recommend The Death House if you're looking for that quick, can't-put-down kind of read!

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