Shit I Read This Summer

Hey friends!

You may have noticed I haven’t been super active here this summer. I was on a sort of hiatus, getting out and about and enjoying life. You know what helps one enjoy the summer? Reading! I didn’t do as much reading as I thought I would, but I did have a great summer and did read some excellent books.

Without further ado, here’s what I got up to for summer reading:

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Hardcover, 380 pages
Published May 30th 2017 by Simon Pulse
Goodreads | Amazon | Indigo

One of the best YA contemporaries I’ve read, When Dimple Met Rishi is hilarious and adorable.  A cute, funny, quirky romance, it balances love and independence with the weight of family expectations. ​This was my pick for Book Riot’s Best Books of 2017 (So Far)!

Mockingbird Vol. 1: I Can Explain by Chelsea Cain (author) and Kate Niemczyk (artist)

Paperback, 136 pages
Published October 18th 2016 by Marvel
Goodreads | Amazon | Indigo

This is a great series with a hilarious, kick-ass main character, Bobbi Morse (AKA Mockingbird). Think you’re tired of Marvel? Give this one a shot. Especially if you love Ms. Marvel and Captain Marvel! This should definitely have gotten a longer run, but I’m still excited to see where it goes in volume 2. Read more…

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

Paperback, 320 pages
Published July 25, 2017 by Simon & Schuster Canada
Note: I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher.

The text message is just three words: I need you.

Isa drops everything, takes her baby daughter and heads straight to Salten. She spent the most significant days of her life at boarding school on the marshes there, days which still cast their shadow over her now.

Something terrible has been found on the beach. Something which will force Isa to confront her past, together with the three best friends she hasn’t seen for years, but has never forgotten. Theirs is no cosy reunion: Salten isn’t a safe place for them, after what they did.

A dark, atmospheric tale of old friends, secrets, and our pasts that will always find us. I loved every minute of this book. It’s exactly the kind of mystery I like: atmospheric, slow-burning, character-based. It’s a gorgeous, quietly sinister tale.

For the most part, the action in this story takes place in the past. Through the relationships between these old friends, more and more is revealed. Why are they in Salten together right now? What secret binds them together, but also tore them apart?

It kept me turning the pages, but it’s not a pulse-pounder. In The Lying Game, we try to unravel the past as the past unravels the lives of the four main characters. In this story, the stakes are not life or death, like in many mysteries. The stakes are personal. What would you sacrifice for the ones you love? Can we ever escape the past?

If you like a slow-burning, atmospheric, personal mystery, definitely pick this one up. I loved it!

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Paperback, 400 pages
Published June 13th by Atria
Goodreads | Amazon | Indigo

Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.

Today, Evelyn Hugo is 79. She is making headlines again with the impending auction of her most famous gowns.

Who is Evelyn Hugo, you ask? She is an actress, an icon. She is an Elizabeth Taylor, a Marilyn Monroe. And she hasn’t done an interview in decades.

Her people reach out to Vivant magazine, offering an exclusive interview. There is, however, a catch. Evelyn does not want just anyone interviewing her. She insists on being interviewed by Monique Grant, a veritable unknown reporter working for the magazine, writing mainly puff pieces.

Monique is shocked, and so is the editor. However, neither of them are willing to give up this amazing opportunity. Everyone has so many questions. Why Vivant? Why Monique? Why does Evelyn want to give an interview now? Read more…

Tantalizing and Electric–White Fur by Jardine Libaire

White Fur by Jardine Libaire

Hardcover, 305 pages
Published May 30th 2017 by Hogarth Press
Amazon | Indigo | Goodreads

Note: I received a copy of this book for my participation in the TLC book tour.

Young, dumb, and in love, Elise and Jamey will take you for one hell of a ride.

Romeo and Juliet with more grit, these two passionate, obsessively in love, twenty-somethings find themselves in a motel with a shotgun on the first page. How do they get there? You have to dive in to find out.

When? The 1980s. Where? Connecticut and New York.

Elise Perez is a rough-and-tumble girl from the wrong side of the tracks. She doesn’t graduate high school, and instead picks up the slack of her single mother, caring for her half siblings. One day she can’t take it anymore. She runs away from home and finds herself sleeping in a car in New Haven. There, a kind stranger finds her and ends up becoming her roommate.

Next-door lives a couple of Yale students in an off-campus townhouse. One of them is Jamey Hyde. He is indisputably from the right side of the tracks in every possible way. He was born and bred from money, and immediately placed on the conveyor belt. Heir to an investment-bank fortune, he is fully expected to fit the mold and join the family business. Read more…

Missing | A New YA Mystery from Kelley Armstrong

missing kelley armstrong book coverMissing by Kelley Armstrong

Young Adult Mystery
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published April 18th, 2017 by Doubleday Canada
Goodreads | Amazon | Indigo

An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher for an honest review. 

The only thing Winter Crane likes about Reeve’s End is that soon she’ll leave it. Like her best friend did. Like her sister did. Like most of the teens born in town have done. There’s nothing for them there but abandoned mines and empty futures. They’re better off taking a chance elsewhere.

The only thing Winter will miss is the woods. Her only refuge. At least it was. Until the day she found Lennon left for dead, bleeding in a tree.

But now Lennon is gone too. And he has Winter questioning what she once thought was true. What if nobody left at all? What if they’re all missing?

If you know me, you know that I’m a huge K.A. fangirl. The Cainsville series is one of my all time favourites, and I’ve been known to gush about her Casey Duncan books, too.

But you might also remember my first foray into her young adult books. If not, here is how I felt about The Masked Truth (spoiler, not good). I was worried that this reading experience was going to go the same way, but I was willing to give it a chance.

So, when I picked up Missing, I was worried. But I didn’t need to be! It was a perfect book, and sure, some things were a little over the top. However, I didn’t really notice that when I was reading it. I was easily able to suspend my disbelief, nothing managing to be enough to pull me out of the story. I was completely engaged the whole time. I had to know what would happen next.

One thing I love about Kelley Armstrong is her knack for writing intense, independent, kick-ass women. Missing is no exception. Winter Crane is not a girl you want to mess with.

Fun and exciting throughout, this mystery will keep you on your toes. If an easy to read, gripping mystery in the woods and a creepy small town sounds up your alley… definitely pick this one up.

Woman No. 17 by Edan Lepucki

Cover of Woman No. 17 by Edan LepuckiWoman No. 17 by Edan Lepucki

Hardcover, 320 pages
Published May 9th, 2017 by Hogarth Press
I received a copy of this book for my participation in the TLC book tour.

High in the Hollywood Hills, writer Lady Daniels has decided to take a break from her husband. Left alone with her children, she’s going to need a hand taking care of her young son if she’s ever going to finish her memoir. In response to a Craigslist ad, S arrives, a magnetic young artist who will live in the secluded guest house out back, care for Lady’s toddler, Devin, and keep a watchful eye on her older, teenage son, Seth. S performs her day job beautifully, quickly drawing the entire family into her orbit, and becoming a confidante for Lady.

 

But in the heat of the summer, S’s connection to Lady’s older son takes a disturbing, and possibly destructive, turn. And as Lady and S move closer to one another, the glossy veneer of Lady’s privileged life begins to crack, threatening to expose old secrets that she has been keeping from her family. Meanwhile, S is protecting secrets of her own, about her real motivation for taking the job. S and Lady are both playing a careful game, and every move they make endangers the things they hold most dear.

Darkly comic, twisty and tense, this mesmerizing new novel defies expectation and proves Edan Lepucki to be one of the most talented and exciting voices of her generation.

Read more…

Almost Missed You, A Spring She Reads Pick!

Cover of Almost Missed You by Jessica StrawserAlmost Missed You by Jessica Strawser

Thriller
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 28th, 2017 by St. Martin’s Press
Goodreads | Amazon | Indigo

Almost Missed You is a spring She Reads pick! I received a copy for my honest review.

Almost Missed You is an emotional thriller about marriage, family, secrets, and what it means to really know someone.

The story begins on a beach in Florida. Violet, Finn, and their son Bear are on a beach vacation, soaking up the sun. When it’s time for Bear’s nap, Finn takes him up to the hotel to put him down. After a while, Violet decides to go check on them. When she gets to their room, no one is there, and only her belongings remain. Where have they gone? Where is her son?! Read more…

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel | Shit got dark real fast

 The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

Adult Fiction
Hardcover, 276 pages
Published March 7th, 2017 by Crown
Goodreads | Amazon | Indigo

Please note: I received an ARC of this book in for my honest review and participation in the TLC Book Tour.

I read and enjoyed The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel. When I found out she was writing an adult mystery, I had to get my hands on it. The Roanoke Girls is the story of a missing woman, an insanely dysfunctional family, a small town, and a woman returning home to look for her missing cousin.

It had me at “missing woman” and “dysfunctional family.”

Read more…

What to do if your sister is a psychopath | Review of My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier

 My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier

Young Adult (with Adult crossover appeal)
Hardcover, 312 pages
Published November 15th, 2016 by Soho Teen

My Sister Rosa–The story of a nomadic family, a reluctant son, and a psychopathic sister. What would you do if you saw danger in your ten year old sister that no one else did?

We follow seventeen year old Che as he navigates his new life in NYC. Never staying in one place longer than his first childhood home in Sydney, Australia, Che hates moving. All he wants to do is go back to Sydney, back to his friends.

Once Che starts to settle into his new city and his new boxing gym, he meets a girl that makes New York seem not so bad. The beautiful, powerful, lithe, muscular Sojourner—Sid to her friends. He also begins to make friends with the caustic Leilani, daughter of his parents’ friends and benefactors the McBrunights.

Che never truly feels settled though. No matter where he is, no matter how cool his friends, he can never escape his sister Rosa, and his desire to protect her—and protect others from her.

That’s another thing about moving so much—no one else can see what Rosa really is. When Che tries to tell people, they don’t believe him. All they see is the sweet little blonde-ringletted ten year old in front of them. Even his parents make excuse after excuse.

What can Che do when he is not there to watch Rosa? What can he do about the new “friendship” she has made? How can he stop her from manipulating those around her? How far will she go to get what she wants?

This book was a great blend of contemporary realistic YA and mystery. It had the best elements of both. This book gets kudos for diversity, great friendships, swoonworthy romance. It also has the serious creep factor in little Rosa.When I began the book, I thought I was getting into a thriller. Although this book definitely has thrilling elements, I wouldn’t call it that. It’s not straight-up one genre. I liked reading a contemporary from a guy’s perspective—I don’t read those a lot. I’m thinking I should give it a try. And maybe one actually written by a dude.

I did have a couple of qualms, though minor, with My Sister Rosa. There were no Oxford commas and that bugs the shit out of me. I get that some of the words were with the Australian spelling, but I feel like “Woah” is always wrong and that was in there more than once. I also found Sojourner’s brand of Christianity a little unsettling. It’s definitely good to be loving and accepting of all people. But to me, the description of her faith came across as a bit of a cop out of the have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too variety.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. If you want an exciting, interesting read with a little bit of creepy, I’d recommend My Sister Rosa.

Note: This book does have some mature content.