Pet minder extraordinaire by day. Bookworm by night. I've been an avid reader my whole life, which started in the world's of Harry Potter, Nancy Drew Mysteries, and The Babysitter's Club. I enjoy reading mostly YA Fantasy/Sci-fi, YA Contemporary, New Adult, and Historical Fiction, but am willing to try nearly anything if it sounds interesting! Come travel through worlds and join me on an adventure!
Happy Sunday!! I thought it might be fun to write a Sunday Selections post of what I’m reading and upcoming reads for the week ahead, or anything else you may want to add in. This will be pretty informal, but feel free to play along if you like!
WHAT I’M READING
Tweet Cute by Emma Lord (eARC – and on the blog tour, so keep an eye out this week!!)
The Deep by River Solomon (review copy) Thank you Kate!!
Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi (review copy)
The Handbook of Applied Dog Behaviour and Training by Stephen R. Lindsay (coursework)
‘She loved me as I loved her, fierce as a bloodied blade.’
When teenage queen Lia inherits her corrupt uncle’s bankrupt kingdom, she brings a a new spymaster into the fold…Xania, who takes the job to avenge her murdered father.
Faced with dangerous plots and hidden enemies, can Lia and Xania learn to rely on one another, as they discover that all is not fair in love and treason?
In a world where the throne means both power and duty, they must decide what to sacrifice for their country – and for each other…
I must apologise, wayfarers… It has been an insane few months! But I am back now, so welcome along to the journey once again! The dogs and family are doing well, so I can start reading properly again! Onto the review!
I recently DEVOURED Queen of Coin and Whispers! It’s been on my most anticipated since DeptCon last year and, man, was I blown away! This world is steeped in beauty and political intrigue, which is absolutely engrossing. Helen Corcoran has my heart and allegiance – long may she reign! She entwines the main characters all so perfectly with brilliant supporting characters to round them out. They’re such multi-faceted characters, but what I loved most was that you really got to experience their wonderful side relationships with friends and family members. And the romance!! My damn… Suffice to say, it is well worth the read for that alone – it’s done perfectly and I just loved them together. There’s a scene involving the parents, and that was definitely one of my favourite! Wait until you read it!!
There are so many healthy representations in this novel. M/M, F/F, bisexuality, step-parents, parents being present and involved yet not oppressing, parents refusing to continue allowing their children to be assholes (!!), lady spies, and much more.. Helen included so much in this novel that makes me want to dive back in – I actually woke up this morning hoping to get back into it, then reality crashed down around my ears when I realised I’d already finished the book! However, the ending more than makes up for the fact that there won’t be a sequel! …and I’ll probably read it again once the finished copy comes out in April!! Fair warning now…you won’t want to put it down once you start…
I felt SO MUCH while reading this – laughed, gasped, sadness, and adoration. It’s really refreshing to read a fantasy novel that doesn’t include magic once in awhile, and you know what, I don’t think I’ve read anything quite like this.
Thank you to The O’Brien Press for this review copy.
TWs: Death, abuse, sexual molestation, animal abuse, alcoholism, familial abuse/dysfunction, child death
“Finely observed, beautifully written” Daily Mail on The Secrets of Life and Death
“The victim had been buried in a carved hollow in the grass and shrouded in fallen leaves…”
Archaeologist Sage Westfield has her first forensics case: investigating the murder of a teenage girl. Hidden by holly leaves, the girl’s body has been discovered on the grounds of a stately home, where another teenage girl went missing twenty years ago – but her body was never found. The police suspect the reclusive owner, Alistair Chorleigh, who was questioned but never charged. But when Sage investigates a nearby burial mound – and uncovers rumours of an ancient curse – she discovers the story of another mysterious disappearance over a hundred years ago. Sage will need both her modern forensics skills and her archaeological knowledge to unearth the devastating truth.
I LOVED THIS BOOK! If I’m really honest, it reminds me of the Bones TV series with Dr. Temperance Brennan, which was always one of my favourite shows. I remember binge watching that because I loved the characters and storyline SO much. This novel had everything from that TV series that I loved about it – banter, drama, thrills, and mystery. Plus, the personal character arc only adds to my interest!
Rebecca Alexander is a supremely talented writer. She has the ability to draw you into the story itself and hold you captive until its conclusion. A Shroud of Leaves is steeped in folk history, psychology, and scientific study. Sage and the rest of the cast are all highly individual and you can nearly feel their various motives, fears, and dreams. Their individual plots all interact so well to create this poignant story about finding the root of the crimes committed covered up by individual stories. I really couldn’t put it down and highly recommend this to anyone who loves murder mysteries or crime thrillers!
Released: 11TH JULY 2019 by MACMILLAN CHILDREN’S BOOKS
Genre: YOUNG ADULT FANTASY SCI-FI
TWs: Death, allusion to rape/sexual assault, abuse, self harm.
Welcome to the Kingdom… where ‘Happily Ever After’ isn’t just a promise, but a rule.
Glimmering like a jewel behind its gateway, The Kingdom(TM) is an immersive fantasy theme park where guests soar on virtual dragons, castles loom like giants, and bioengineered species–formerly extinct–roam free.
Ana is one of seven Fantasists, beautiful “princesses” engineered to make dreams come true. When she meets park employee Owen, Ana begins to experience emotions beyond her programming including, for the first time… love.
But the fairytale becomes a nightmare when Ana is accused of murdering Owen, igniting the trial of the century. Through courtroom testimony, interviews, and Ana’s memories of Owen, emerges a tale of love, lies, and cruelty–and what it truly means to be human.
how do you define real anyway?
This tale is told through Ana’s POV, as well as trial testimony and her interview with Dr. Foster. Obviously, she’s been accused of murdering a staff member, which shouldn’t be part of her programming as a half-human, half-android, but it quickly becomes evident that Ana may be more than her programming. The style of the chapter arrangement reminded me a bit of Sadie solely for the way it was constructed. The plots are obviously very different. I loved the alternation between story telling styles because you got details to fill in some gaps and then a bit of intrigue to create more from each bit, which only made your compulsion to keep reading grow by the chapter!
i can control my own ocular lenses. i can control a feature on my own body.
It was very different to books I’ve read this year, but still had some similar themes exploring how we treat other people and women as a commodity rather than being treated as people. Now, in this story, due to the Fantasists being created by The Kingdom(TM)’s scientists, they are considered things rather than proper beings. There is a lot wrong with the Investor’s, guards, and some other staff’s morals regarding how the Fantasists are treated (massive trigger warning for anyone who needs it regarding the mention and allusion to rape). Several of the situations and a lot of the dialogue is basically a discussion on locker room culture and the boys club. Meaning, guards and staff are allowed use the Fantasists whichever way they like and and say terrible, abusive things. Remember that quote, where happily ever after is not just a promise, but a rule? Yeah, they’re programmed to go along with things, even if they don’t like it or agree because your happiness is my happiness… I found myself struggling with some of the more difficult situations Ana faces and her conflict within herself to decide what is right, even when it goes against her programming and how The Kingdom(TM) has told her to behave. There is a lot to break down, but I’m not going to go that far into the analysis. Feel free to message me if you want to discuss, though!
that’s just how guards behave. it has always been this way.
The characters and world were extremely well developed! I loved learning more about this futuristic theme park/fantasy land. The world is rich in detail and I could clearly picture the different scenes in my mind. It is definitely the characters that bring this story to life, though! Their interaction with the world and each other is beautifully written. Jess Rothenberg has worked in YA fantasy for awhile and it shows through very clearly in her own story. This has been one of the most compelling stories I’ve read in a long time and I urge you to give it a try.
sometimes it is hard, not quite knowing what i am.
TWs: Death, talk of divorce, talk of adultery, parental separation, abuse, torture – physical and mental.
Zara’s family moved to Kilshamble for a new beginning. But everything changed the night her sister was found dead on the village green.
Two months later, Laila’s death is a riddle that nobody wants solved. Where were her injuries? Why was she so obsessed with local folklore? And what does all this have to do with David, the boy who lives at the big house?
As Zara delves deeper into her sister’s secret life, she becomes entangled in an ancient magical feud. All too unwittingly she is treading the same dangerous path that led Laila to the village green.
I HAVE BEEN AWAITING THIS SINCE I FINISHED READING THE WREN HUNT LAST YEAR!! Set not long after the close of The Wren Hunt, we find a new family has moved to Kilshamble and one of them has stumbled upon a deadly secret. I love everything that is fantasy and set in Ireland, so it was no surprise that I loved this as much as I did. It was equal parts mystical, dark, and beautiful. Chock full of Irish mysticism with a little South African detail!! I highly enjoyed that Mary Watson utilised her own background to develop the main family in this story.
I adored Mary Watson’s writing style in The Wren Hunt and she did not let us down in The Wickerlight! Her ability to invoke such immediacy for the reader has only improved from The Wren Hunt to now. As I started reading, I was completely lost in the world of judges and augurs once again. The world building and character development is (…out of this world? 🤣) unreal – so freaking good! Mary Watson is a writing ninja and I love her!!
I found The Wickerlight to be slightly more interesting only because we get more into the judges and their community, rather than only focusing on the augurs. It nearly felt like the augurs were the villains in this story, but truly villainy nearly always depends on the narrator, doesn’t it? We readers really get a lot more information about the feud, etc. in this companion. Plus, the mystery of the introductory death adds a bit of excitement and enigma to this world that wasn’t quite there in The Wren Hunt.
I highly recommend you pick this beautiful story up with some gin spritzes and read it as soon as you can! Read The Wren Hunt first, though! They’re connected, even if The Wickerlight isn’t a direct sequel. You’ll love Kilshamble and its inhabitants.
TWs Graphic violence and body horror. Gore; On the page character death, parental death; Behavior and descriptive language akin to self harm, and references to such; Reference to suicide and suicidal ideation.
Genre: ADULT THRILLER | SCI-FI | HORROR
This was an awesome novel! It more than met my expectations and I truly enjoyed it. I’ve never read Youers before, but after this I’ll definitely be adding him to my list of authors to watch! I am so glad I was able to pick this up.
The plot was so interesting and unique. I can’t say I’ve ever read anything quite like this. There is so much life, and death, in The Forgotten Girl. I found myself thinking about this story even when I wasn’t reading, and there were several times I kicked myself for not bringing it along with me to read in my downtime.
The characters were so real and the writing actually made me feel I was in the room with them dodging bullets and engaging in high speed car chases! Even the secondary characters were so well written and captivating.
It is such a page-turner and I urge you to pick this up as soon as possible! It will surprise you in the best way.
“She possesses a unique and powerful ability. Just like we can erase data from a computer hard drive, Sally can erase memories from a person’s mind.”
Abducted and brutally beaten by a group of thugs, street performer Harvey Anderson is convinced he’s a victim of mistaken identity when they demand to know the location of his girlfriend, Sally Starling. Harvey Anderson has been single for years.
She dominated my dreams. Sometimes as a lover, more often as a scared, lonely girl running from something that slathered and swooped. I woke with her name on my lips, clutching the empty half of the bed, knowing beyond all doubt that she should have been next to me.
Aided by his thugs, a sinister man known as “the spider” has tracked Sally to Harvey. He has pursued her for nine years, desperate to possess her remarkable talents. Yet emotion runs deeper than memory, and so Harvey goes looking for a woman he loves but can’t remember, and encounters a danger beyond anything he could ever imagine.
Thank you so much to Lydia Gittens at Titan Books for the review copy!
Two mothers, Two daughters, Two families changed forever
The mothers: Margo and Cassie – from completely different worlds, but finding themselves in a very similar situation. The daughters: Elsa and Tilly – two girls who share a birthday and who’s lives are about to change. Ida and Jack – The neighbours in Co. Wicklow who become part of the family for several reason, not least of which is their support of Margo and Elsa after their bereavement. There are several other characters who are important, as well, and contribute heavily to the plot, such as Cassie’s husband (hated!!) and father (loved him).
What a phenomenal story O’Loughlin has given us in this novel! I really loved this whole book. This is very much a story about how far a mother is willing to go to protect her daughter, and what sacrifices she makes along the way. Both mothers have been put into an impossible situation and are making the best of it as much as they can. The two women, Margo and Cassie, are very similar in that they are very strong, doing their best for their girls, and willing to do anything to protect that. When a detail comes to light that might change their entire lives, the both have very similar reactions. At first, I couldn’t pin how the two storylines intersected, but when they finally did it was explosive! I can’t really talk much about it without giving away spoilery details, but just believe me when I tell say you need to read this! I was shocked at how completely I was drawn in and made to feel like a bystander of their story. O’Loughlin has 100% become a favourite author!
This was a poignantly written story that explores so many themes in great detail. I loved Ann O’Loughlin’s storytelling and writing style, so will absolutely be picking up another of her books some time soon. She had me in tears several times throughout the book, but it was so worth the read. Thank you, Ann!
County Wicklow, Ireland. Margo has just lost her husband Conor and is grieving his passing, unsure how she and her daughter Elsa will survive without him. Then she receives a letter that turns everything she thought she knew on its head. Not only has she lost her husband, but now Margo fears she could lose her daughter as well.
Ohio, United States. Cassie has just split from her husband acrimoniously. Upset and alone she does not know how to move forward. Then her ex-husband demands a paternity test for their daughter Tilly and sorrow turns to anger as Cassie faces the frightening possibility of losing her daughter.
A powerful, moving stories of family, resilience and compassion, and how women support each other through the most difficult times, My Mother’s Daughter takes the issues closest to our hearts and makes us ask ourselves the most difficult questions – what would we do in Margo and Cassie’s place?
Thank you so much to Ann O’Loughlin, Alex, and Orion’s Books for the ARC.