Wrap-Up | June 2018

I wrapped up the month with the second book in the Fear Street Relaunch Buddy Read happening over on Litsy, Don’t Stay Up Late by R.L. Stine. I know I am in good company with fellow Fear Fans when I say that I grew up reading Stine, so this has been a super fun buddy read! Look me up if you’re on the app, Litsy; it’s such an awesome book community and we have fun buddy reads and swaps going on all the time.

Without further ado, here’s a look at what I read in June:

  • Macbeth by Jo Nesbo – ARC, eBook
  • Rubbernecker by Belinda Bauer – eBook
  • Paper Ghosts by Julia Heaberlin – ARC, eBook
  • American War by Omar El Akkad – Library Haul
  • Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes – Audiobook
  • The Body Reader by Anne Frasier – eBook
  • Don’t Stay Up Late by R.L. Stine – Hardcover

You can find most of my reviews on Goodreads and my review of Paper Ghosts, here.

Macbeth – This was my first Jo Nesbo novel and it was written as part of the Hogarth Shakespeare project where current writers take a Shakespearean play and make it modern. In Nesbo’s version we have Macbeth, an inspector with a troubled past. Duncan, the police commissioner and Lady who owns the casino in town and whose ambitions go far beyond controlling the gambling scene. This novel is dark and gritty but it’s a slow burn which struggled to keep my attention at times. Macbeth was an ARC from NetGalley and Crown Publishing and while I was glad to have the opportunity to read it, I probably wouldn’t put it on my list of recommendations. I gave this 3/5 stars on Goodreads.

Rubbernecker – I really enjoyed this book! Rubbernecker follows the story of Patrick Fort, a medical student who has Asperger’s Syndrome. He is obsessed with death. This story was fast paced and so well written that I couldn’t put it down. Bauer has this ability in her writing to take something so grim and dark and still make it ‘fun’ by spinning just the right amount of dark humor throughout. I just can’t say enough good things and if you don’t believe me, read all the praise it received on Goodreads! She just released a new book, Snap, in May that I can’t wait to get my hands on. I gave this a 5/5 stars on Goodreads.

American War – Out of everything I read this month, this was a big flop. It would’ve been a DNF had I not been reading it with two of my girlfriends as a buddy read. I thought it only fair to them that I finish it. I realize that books about war are generally not happy but this book was terribly depressing. Classified as a Science Fiction novel, American War takes place in Louisiana when the Second American Civil War breaks out and a “devastating” plague decimates the south in 2074. I use quotations because there’s not a lot written about the so-called plague and that was disappointing. There was a whole lot of build up for the ‘big event’ and then…nothing. This book was overly long with poorly developed characters. It seemed to be more a story of revenge than anything else and it wasn’t even a good revenge story. And for a story that takes place between 2074 and 2095, there was nothing futuristic about it at all except for the occasional rogue drone that you hear the locals talk about. They call them the ‘Birds’. Overall this was a 1/5 stars on Goodreads and I don’t see myself picking up anything else by this author.

Hidden Bodies – I listened to this as an audiobook and loved it just as much as I loved You! Both books will be re-reads for me. I plan on picking up physical copies of each because I love them so much. Hidden Bodies picks up where You left off, with our dear Joe Goldberg packing up and heading out to LA, the city of second chances. Except that the thing with hidden bodies, is that they never really stay hidden and his past seems determined to ruin his chance at love forever. Santino Fontana narrated this novel as well and he is just phenomenal. He really brings Joe to life in such a brilliant way. I don’t even know what else to say about You and Hidden Bodies that hasn’t already been said but so much yes. Just brilliant. 5/5 stars on Goodreads.

The Body Reader – This is the first book in the Detective Jude Fontaine series by Anne Frasier. I received an ARC of book two so I wanted to read this one first (naturally). I’ve read a lot of Frasier’s novels in the past and always enjoyed them and this was no different. The Body Reader is a fast-paced thriller which makes it hard to put down once you start. Jude Fontaine is a detective in the homicide department when she was kidnapped and held captive for three years. She was held in a dark underground cell, her only contact was with her sadistic captor, and reading his face was her entire existence. Learning every movement, every line is what kept her alive. She manages to escape and, though badly broken, she’s eager to get justice. With her heightened ability to read the body language of both the living and the dead, she returns to the force with a new partner and now a killer is on the loose. I loved Jude’s character, I’m always a sucker for troubled detectives but she takes ‘troubled’ to a whole new level. She’s badass and can obviously survive anything. This was everything that a good thriller should be and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series. I gave this a 4/5 stars on Goodreads.

Don’t Stay Up Late – Okay so if you’re reading this book as an adult who is used to dark and twisted novels of gripping suspense and terror, then Don’t Stay Up Late is honestly child’s play. You see a lot of bad reviews of this on Goodreads because you have adults reading Stine for the first time and expecting Stephen King material. R.L. Stine writes for kids. He is the gateway drug for young would-be-horror fans. So, take it for what it is, I did and I enjoyed it. It’s nostalgic through and through, back to the first Fear Street series and Goosebumps books that I eagerly gobbled up when I was 8 and 9. I gave this a 3/5 stars on Goodreads.

So there you have it. Overall a fairly good reading month for me! I enjoyed everything except for American War which slowed down my groove. Nothing like a drag of a book to put damper on your reading mood.

Now I’m working on my TBR for July but there’s definitely going to be a couple of buddy reads, some ARC’s, as well as some graphic novels that have been eyeballing me from my shelves for quite some time!

Happy reading my friends!

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Upcoming Releases | June – October 2018

 

My TBR is longer than I know what to do with (which is an excellent problem to have in my opinion), but here’s a look at some upcoming releases that I’m really excited about! Now if I can just get Mo Hayder and Paul Clave to release something new, I’d be the happiest little reader on the planet!

The Cabin at the End of the WorldExpected Release Date: June 26th, 2018 (ahem, TOMORROW!)

Publisher: William Morrow

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 288

Genre: Horror

“Seven-year-old Wen and her parents, Eric and Andrew, are vacationing at a remote cabin on a quiet New Hampshire lake. Their closest neighbors are more than two miles in either direction along a rutted dirt road.

I’m pretty sure that right there is a sure sign that something terrible is going to happen you guys. A cabin in the woods with no one around? Classic horror.

Your dads won’t let us in, Wen. But they have to. Tell them they have to. We are not here to hurt you. We need your help to save the world.”

Somebody's DaughterExpected Release Date: July 10th, 2018

Publisher: Berkley Books

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 432

Genre: Thriller

When Michael Frazier’s ex-wife, Erica, unexpectedly shows up on his doorstep, she drops a bombshell that threatens to rip his family apart: Her ten-year-old daughter is missing – and Michael is the father.

Over the course of one night, lies that span a decade come bubbling to the surface, putting Michael, his wife, and his whole family in jeopardy. And as the window for a little girl’s safe return closes, Michael will have to decide who can be trusted and how is hiding the truth…

I just started reading the ARC of this and I’m really enjoying it so far. David Bell is a new-to-me author so I’m not very familiar with his other novels however I do love a good gut-wrenching suspense novel!

Pieces of HerExpected Release Date: August 21st, 2018

Publisher: Harper Collins

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 480

Genre: Thriller

What if the person you though you knew best turns out to be someone you never knew at all…?”

“Pieces of Her” follows Andrea Cooper and her mother, Laura. Andrea thinks she knows everything there is to know about her mother. But after a trip to the mall ends with violence, Andrea realizes that there is a completely different side to her mother. Because it turns out her mother wasn’t always Laura and for nearly thirty years, she’s been hiding from her previous life hoping that her past won’t find her. Now that it has, the police want answers and Laura won’t speak to anyone, even her own daughter Andrea.

I’m a big fan of Slaughter’s work, especially the darker novels because my soul itself is a little dark. I’m really looking forward to this new standalone novel even though I keep hearing it’s not a typical ‘Slaughter novel’. My guess is it’s a slight departure from the darkness but because I really love her writing style, it’s bound to be awesome.

The CraftsmanExpected Release Date: October 16th, 2018

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 432

Genre: Mystery & Crime

Florence Lovelady’s career was made when she convicted coffin-maker Larry Grassbrook of a series of child murders 30 years ago in a small village in Lancashire. Like something out of a nightmare, the victims were buried alive in. Florence was able to solve the mystery and get a confession out of Larry before more children were murdered.

But now, decades later, he’s dead, and events from the past start to repeat themselves. Is someone copying the original murders? Or did she it wrong all those years ago? When her own son goes missing under similar circumstances, the case not only gets reopened…it gets personal.

You guys, I LOVE Sharon Bolton and this sounds like one of her creepiest novels yet!!  I am so excited about this release I can’t even begin to tell you! Whoever got there hands on advance copy of this, I’m so jealous!

The Witch Elm

Expected Release Date: October 9th, 2018

Publisher: Viking

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 528

Genre: Mystery & Crime

Toby is a happy-go-lucky charmer who’s dodged a scrape at work and is celebrating with friends when the night takes a turn that will change his life – he surprises two burglars who beat him and leave him for dead. Struggling to recover from his injuries, beginning to understand that he might never be the same man again, he takes refuge at his family’s ancestral home to care for his dying uncle Hugo. Then a skull is found in the trunk of an elm tree in the garden – and as detectives close in, Toby is forced to face the possibility that his past may not be what he has always believed.

I’ve read all of Tana French’s books, most I’ve really enjoyed and others I didn’t like as much but regardless, I never fail to miss one! She writes beautifully – the prose, the characters and ingenious plots, she always finds a way to surprise you. Really looking forward to this one!

So there you have it! Some great new releases coming out this summer and fall be sure to have star status at the top of my TBR pile.

Any new releases you’re looking forward to?

 

 

 

You by Caroline Kepnes

You (You, #1)

Released: September 30th, 2014

Publisher: Simon Schuster Audio

Format: Audiobook

Narrated by: Santino Fontana

Genre: Thiller, Fiction

Rating: 9/10

“When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight – the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joes transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way – even if it means murder.”

I realize I am late to the party when it comes to the story of Joe and Beck but let me tell you, it was worth the wait! An online friend recomended Caroline Kepnes books to me and insisted that the audio version of You was an incredible place to start, so I dived in. I re-started my Audible account souly so I could downlook this book and listen. Best decision ever made.

Here’s the thing, I love a good crazy serial-killer. I especially love it when the story is written from their warped perspective. With that being said, this book is not for everyone: it’s extremely sexual, violent and most likely, very offensive to some. I, however, am not ‘everyone’.

There aren’t a lot of Guinevere Becks in the world – just the one. The first thing I had to find was your home and the Internet was designed with love in mind. It gave me so much of you, Beck.

One of the things that makes this book especially chilling is the realization that in today’s digital and social media crazed society, you can really find anything out about anyone. Honestly, you’ll want to re-evaluate your digital footprint in a hot minute after reading this.

Our sinister-yet-sexy Joe Goldberg is looking for love. He loves to read and is disengaged from modern technology. He’s pretentious and, even though he’s a highschool drop-out, he’s probably the smartest guy in the room. So when a woman walks into his bookstore and they begin to flirt, he does what any man looking for love would do – he googles her name from her credit card.

He begins to stalk her Twitter, Facebook, and Google Maps. He knows her address, her friends and her plans and where she’ll be and with whom. He knows where she went to college and her job. He knows she’s a writer and can read everything she’s written. He can access hundreds of pictures and knows her favorite movies and the books that she loves. And he knows all about her favorite green pillow.

::shudder::

This was real. I press my thumb into the wet ink of your receipt and the ink of Guinevere Beck stains my skin.

Somehow Caroline Kepnes makes you LOVE Joe. I was pulled in by him, completely captivated by him. The audiobook is narrated by Santino Fontana and he really makes Joe come alive. I don’t think that I can ever hear is voice and not think of Joe, in fact, I would happily listen to Fontana read to me all night long if I could. Kepnes pulls you so deep into the mind of Joe that, as disturbing as his behaviour is, there are moments where he becomes sympathetic. He is sensitive and charasmatic and something about him makes you want to love him like he loves Beck.

I just can’t recomend this book enough. Kepnes has earned a spot among my favorite authors and You has earned a place among the few books that I would read again and again. If you can handle the darkness of Joe’s mind, then run and get yourself a copy. Or rather, download the audio and listen the to soothing voice of Fontana (but make sure you have your headphones) and let your imagination go.

The problem with books is that they end. They seduce you. They spread their legs to you and pull you inside. And you go deep and leave your possessions and your ties to the world at the door and you like it inside and you don’t want for your possessions or your ties and then, the book evaporates.”

 

Paper Ghosts by Julia Heaberlin

Paper GhostsReleased: May 15th, 2018

Publisher: Random House Publishing – Ballantine

Length: 368

Buy: Amazon

Format: Kindle

Genre: Myster & Thriller, Fiction

Rating 7/10

 

 

 

 

 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

An obsessive young woman has been waiting half her life – since she was twelve years old – for this moment. She has planned. Researched. Trained. Imagined every scenario. Now she is almost certain the man who kidnapped and murdered her sister sits in the passenger seat beside her.

Carl Louis Feldman is a documentary photographer who may or may not have dementia – and may or may not be a serial killer. The young woman claims to be his long-lost daughter. He doesn’t believe her. He claims no memory of murdering girls across Texas, in a string of places where he shot eerie pictures. She doesn’t believe him.

Determined to find the truth, she lures him out of a halfway house and proposes a dangerous idea: a ten-day road trip, just the two of them, to examine cold cases linked to his haunting photographs.

I have to start by saying that this totally wasn’t planned, that my first post back into the book blogging world would be by the same author as my last post back in July of 2015! Total coincidence.

Julia Heaberlin’s new novel, Paper Ghosts, is such a unique and captivating tale. Throughout the book I found myself questioning not only Carl and his motives (his he lying or is he really losing his mind), but of the woman whose taken him; because let’s be honest, who in their right mind would think it’s a great idea to take a killer on a road trip, albeit an aging one? She has trained for this moment since she was twelve years old, an obsession so deep that it is all she knows about herself. What happens if she’s not right? Scarier yet, what will happen if she is?

I wouldn’t classify this as your typical serial-killer novel but instead a psychological game of cat and mouse. It’s a slow build, written beautifully with an eerie-edge. A mystery that makes you question everything you think is happening at every turn of the page.

I enjoyed this book more so than I did Black-Eyed Susans and if you’re looking for an emotional and clever mystery, than I would definitely recommend picking up a copy of Paper Ghosts. The ending was clean and poignant and I felt happy with the conclusion. Like a perfect little present. I look forward to seeing what Heaberlin has up her sleeve next!