Try this! – A mish-mash of recommendations

aka that time I force my opinions down your throat, maybe?

I’ve always been interested in these kinds of ideas and thought, why not give it a try. So here we are, with me pretending that I know what I’m doing with this. Hopefully, I introduce you all to some new things…(or reaffirm your thoughts on them).


The Shining

 

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A haunting look at the descent into madness.

 

 

Jack Torrance’s new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he’ll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote…and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five-year-old.

What works for The Shining is how isolated and helpless to escape their fate our characters are. Off Season by Jack Ketchum features a cast that is on an equally inevitable path to destruction.

 

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Lulls you into a temporary state of calm and then BAM!

 

 

It’s gory, for sure, so if that’s something that you can’t handle then give this one a pass. But, Ketchum gives you glimpses of our hunters and the hunted and you feel for both groups in a way that leaves you confused about who you’re rooting for. The ending as well…it got me good.

 

 

 

A Wrinkle in Time

 

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Kids to the RESCUE!!!

 

 

It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger. 

“Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me be on my way. Speaking of way, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract”.

Meg’s father had been experimenting with this fifth dimension of time travel when he mysteriously disappeared. Now the time has come for Meg, her friend Calvin, and Charles Wallace to rescue him. But can they outwit the forces of evil they will encounter on their heart-stopping journey through space.

 

You like children on adventures? Are you a fantasy lover who’s always up for a bit of magic? Then Terry Pratchett’s The Wee Free Men is the one for you.

 

 

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All of the action! So much spunk!

 

 

Armed only with a frying pan and her common sense, Tiffany Aching, a young witch-to-be, is all that stands between the monsters of Fairyland and the warm, green Chalk country that is her home. Forced into Fairyland to seek her kidnapped brother, Tiffany allies herself with the Chalk’s local Nac Mac Feegle – aka the Wee Free Men – a clan of sheep-stealing, sword-wielding, six-inch-high blue men who are as fierce as they are funny. Together they battle through an eerie and ever-shifting landscape, fighting brutal flying fairies, dream-spinning dromes, and grimhounds – black dogs with eyes of fire and teeth of razors – before ultimately confronting the Queen of the Elves, absolute ruler of a world in which reality intertwines with nightmare. And in the final showdown, Tiffany must face her cruel power alone…

Tiffany is the kind of girl you want fighting battles for you. She has a single-minded determination and overcomes obstacles like nobody’s business. And those little men are strange in all the right ways. Give it a try.

Or you can try: Gregory and the Grimbockle, a new release that just tugs at you.

 

 

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The soundtrack is beautiful and the art is pure whimsy.

 

Ten-year-old Gregory is about to find out that the enormous mole stuck straight beneath his nose is not just a mole, but is actually a humpy crumpy portal of skin that hides a creature called the Grimbockle.

What’s more? The Grimbockle is just one of the many strange little creatures called Bockles tending to the mysterious threads that connect all humans from one to the other. It is a very important job and one that has long been carried out with incredible secrecy…

…that is, before tonight.

 

Gregory is an outcast, who you can’t help but want to protect, in a family that could work on communication and affection. I also love that this book reminds us that human connections are OUR responsibility and that there are no magical creatures running around fixing it for us. Put in the work.

 

 

 

 

 

Black Dagger Brotherhood

 

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In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing more than Wrath, the leader of The Black Dagger Brotherhood.

The only purebred vampire left on earth, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But, when one of his most trusted fighters is killed-leaving his half-breed daughter unaware of his existence or her fate-Wrath must usher her into the world of the undead-a world of sensuality beyond her wildest dreams

 

Sexy, protective vampires fighting to keep their world secret and safe, all while protecting the human race. Easily binge-worthy material. On par with this series is the Midnight Breed series.

 

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Part human, part otherworldly, the Breed has lived among humankind for thousands of years, maintaining a tentative peace built on secrecy, power, and the dark justice carried out by the formidable warriors of the Order.

But now, a blood war within the race is set to ignite. Vampires are going Rogue in startling numbers, feeding without discretion, killing humans in the streets. It is up to the Order to stop the spreading threat of Rogue domination — and in so doing, each of the warriors will be forced to confront private demons, darkest secrets, deepest fears. Some will know triumph, some will know loss, but each warrior can count on one thing: Love, when it finds him, will often come at the worst possible moment, with the least likely woman . . . and it will bring each of these powerful males to his knees. 

 

Also, if you love loooong series, then both these are right up your alley. So. Many. Books!

 

 

 

Homegoing

Literary fiction at its finest.

 

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Two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery

 

If heart-tugging literary fictions that span years/generations then Homegoing and A Thousand Splendid Suns are both for you. They have it in spades.

 

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Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them – in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul – they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation. With heart-wrenching power and suspense, Hosseini shows how a woman’s love for her family can move her to shocking and heroic acts of self-sacrifice, and that in the end it is love, or even the memory of love, that is often the key to survival

 

 

 

With Malice

 

 

 

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It was the perfect trip…until it wasn’t.

 

Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron wakes up in a hospital room, leg in a cast, stitches in her face and a big blank canvas where the last six weeks should be. She discovers she was involved in a fatal car accident while on a school trip in Italy. A trip she doesn’t even remember taking. She was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care. Care that includes a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident…wasn’t an accident.

As the accident makes national headlines, Jill finds herself at the center of a murder investigation. It doesn’t help that the media is portraying her as a sociopath who killed her bubbly best friend, Simone, in a jealous rage. With the evidence mounting against her, there’s only one thing Jill knows for sure: She would never hurt Simone. But what really happened? Questioning who she can trust and what she’s capable of, Jill desperately tries to piece together the events of the past six weeks before she loses her thin hold on her once-perfect life

 

When this book first came out it was EVERYWHERE! Every booktuber and book blogger was raving about it, and I wasn’t buying the hype. Well…this was well warranted. Another book that deserves the hype is If I Die Before I wake by Emily Koch.

 

 

 

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Coming January 2018. PREORDER IT NOOOOOW!

 

 

How Do You Solve Your Own Murder?

Everyone believes Alex is in a coma, unlikely to ever wake up. As his family debate withdrawing life support, and his friends talk about how his girlfriend Bea needs to move on, he can only listen.

But Alex soon begins to suspect that the accident that put him here wasn’t really an accident. Even worse, the perpetrator is still out there and Alex is not the only one in danger.

As he goes over a series of clues from his past, Alex must use his remaining senses to solve the mystery of who tried to kill him, and try to protect those he loves, before they decide to let him go.

Mystery/Thriller, unreliable narrator. Check, and check. Both these books leave you confused and enthralled and 100% invested. Oh, and the settings are pretty similar too: hospital rooms, so…

 


 

Thoughts?

 

Dee ^_^

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Books that break you…😭😭😭💔

aka These are the books that will stay with me forever.

 

 

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Before I get into my top five, let’s talk about my bonus book: Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller.  This one I had to read while in Secondary School and most people try to blank out the recommended reading, but not me. Especially not with this book.

 

SYNOPSIS:

‘For a salesman, there is no rock bottom to life. He don’t put a bolt to a nut, he don’t tell you the law or give you medicine. He’s a man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a shoeshine.’

Willy Loman has been a salesman for 34 years. At 60, he is cast aside, his usefulness exhausted. With no future to dream about he must face the crushing disappointments of his past. He takes one final brave action, but is he heroic at last or a self-deluding fool?

 

Throughout this short play we follow Willy as he tries to feel relevant again. It must be a hard thing doing a job for more than half your life only to be cast aside as a relic of a time gone past. His hurt and confusion comes across quite clearly, and I would never forget him saying: ‘Attention, attention must be paid,‘ as he pleads for his wife, for his family, to see him. Can’t help but want to hug him.

 

 

 

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

 

After reading this one I was compelled to do a full review, that’s how much it resonated with me.

SYNOPSIS:

In 1959 Virginia, the lives of two girls on opposite sides of the battle for civil rights will be changed forever.

Sarah Dunbar is one of the first black students to attend the previously all-white Jefferson High School. An honors student at her old school, she is put into remedial classes, spit on and tormented daily.

Linda Hairston is the daughter of one of the town’s most vocal opponents of school integration. She has been taught all her life that the races should be kept separate but equal.

Forced to work together on a school project, Sarah and Linda must confront harsh truths about race, power and how they really feel about one another.

 

This one covers every angle, and yes, there are problematic things about it, but there is so much in here that deserves to be seen. Being from a country that didn’t live through these kinds of race issues (because we do have our own race issues here), this book opened my eyes to a lot that I hadn’t considered before. I knew it was bad, but in that abstract way that you know falling out of a moving vehicle would be bad: there was nothing to use as context, to make it real and relatable.

 

 

 

 

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

 

I’m not sure I can say why this one broke me without spoilers so…um…GO READ THE BOOK!

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A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

 

Much like LWTO, this one hurt me for its harsh realities.

 

SYNOPSIS:

Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them – in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul – they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation. With heart-wrenching power and suspense, Hosseini shows how a woman’s love for her family can move her to shocking and heroic acts of self-sacrifice, and that in the end it is love, or even the memory of love, that is often the key to survival.

 

There is domestic violence, emotional abuse, poverty and child-loss, all interwoven with the constant dangers of an at war country. So much death, and fear, and oppression. This is worth the read.

 

 

AND NOW FOR THE MAN HIMSELF, ADAM SILVERA….

 

 

 

 

More Happy Than Not

 

SYNOPSIS:

In the months after his father’s suicide, it’s been tough for 16-year-old Aaron Soto to find happiness again–but he’s still gunning for it. With the support of his girlfriend Genevieve and his overworked mom, he’s slowly remembering what that might feel like. But grief and the smile-shaped scar on his wrist prevent him from forgetting completely.

When Genevieve leaves for a couple of weeks, Aaron spends all his time hanging out with this new guy, Thomas. Aaron’s crew notices, and they’re not exactly thrilled. But Aaron can’t deny the happiness Thomas brings or how Thomas makes him feel safe from himself, despite the tensions their friendship is stirring with his girlfriend and friends. Since Aaron can’t stay away from Thomas or turn off his newfound feelings for him, he considers turning to the Leteo Institute’s revolutionary memory-alteration procedure to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he truly is.

Why does happiness have to be so hard?

 

 

Who the hell needs dry eyes anyway, right? Right?!! This was such a dark and twisty read, even my stomach felt its effects. Just when you think you’ve gotten to the point where you can’t hurt anymore, Silvera adds an extra layer of pain. Beautiful right, heartwrenching premise and characters that move you. BUY EVERYTHING THAT ADAM WRITES, RIGHT NOW!

 

 

 

History is All You Left Me

 

SYNOPSIS:

When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.

To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.

If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.

 

Oh. God. This. Book.

 

Griffin is such a broken boy and his worsening compulsions perfectly reflect that. But that’s not what hurt me in this book. What hurt me is the fact that Jackson and Griffin are hurting over someone who may or may not be worthy of that pain. He certainly wouldn’t have wanted them dwelling on him like they did. But life doesn’t work that way; we don’t get to choose who burrows their way into our hearts and leave it shredded. Read it.

 

 


Have you read any of these? Did they break you too? What books have wormed their way into your heart hole?

 

 

Dee ^_^

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Queen of the Books

AKA the time I conquered reading.

 

 

All hail, cuz I done goooood. Well, as long as you don’t count the flop that was my attempt at the Fairy-a-Thon. If I’m being honest, I completely forgot about the challenges for this one. I read so many books, and gave out so many 5 stars! Are you jealous?


 

Username: Evie by Joe Sugg [Graphic Novel] – 2 stars. The premise was so good, and the hype was real. Unfortunately, the execution doesn’t match. On the brightside the artwork was gorgeous.

 

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski – 2 stars. Ugh. Nope. I’m not sure if this is a series that I will be continuing. I dislike these characters. I really do.

 

Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined by Stephenie Meyer – 3 stars. This didn’t hit me in the feels like Twilight did, but the ending redeemed it for me. As much as I would miss Nessie, I appreciate that Edythe gave Beau the choice that Edward never would have given Bella in book 1. Jessamine and Archie are my new Twilight OTP, hands down.

 

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan – 3 stars. I wanted to love this one because JOHN GREEN, but it was average and I wasn’t in love with any of the characters. The story was fine, but mere curiousity kept me going and now I want to try David Levithan as a solo author.

 

 

The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer – Somewhere between 3.5 and 4 stars. This one is very Stephenie. An almost insta-love relationship, heavy on vivid descriptions and a false sense of security. I grew to love the romance and the action but it was a bit slow, hence the uncertain rating.

 
Superfail by Max Brunner [Graphic Novel] – 4 stars. Oh how cute can one book be??? I loved it. LOVED IT! We tag along as a group of defective superheroes attempt to save the world from The Man with No Name, and what ensues is a series of mishaps that are just to adorable to ignore. Release date: October 17, 2017. Get this one!

 

Caraval by Stephenie Garber – 4 stars. The ending saved this one for me, otherwise this would have been a 2.5 star read. I didn’t much care for the characters or their story, but I did like the idea of the game itself. However, the little teaser that the end left me with has me intrigued to read the next book. Hopefully it stops at book 2, otherwise this one would be equally drawn out and possibly bordering on painful.

 

With Malice by Eileen Cook – 5 stars. Now I need more Eileen Cook in my life. I loved the writing and the mystery of the whole thing and I felt so sorry for our main character. To have such extensive memory loss must be terrifying, made only worse by the fact that you’re being accused of killing your best friend. Horrifying.

 

If I Die Before I Wake by Emily Koch – 5 stars. OMG! I can’t wait for you all to read this one. I’ll do a full review closer to the release date (Jan. 11, 2018). Stay tuned

 

Stars Above by Marissa Meyer – 5 stars. How I missed the Lunar Chronicles and that wonderful universe. My only qualm with this book was the lack of Iko. My three favorite of the short stories were: After Sunshine Passes By (poor Cress), The Mechanic and Something Old, Something New. The little glimpses into my favorite character’s past and that one beautiful look at their future, was everything that I expected to get from this collection.

 

A Thousand Splendid Suns Khaled Hosseini – 5 stars. Be prepared to have your heart hurt and your blood pressure raise because this one touches some nerves. A beautiful story of two women who deserve happiness and peace, but instead get saddled with abuse while living in war torn Afghanistan. This one hurts guys, but it’s so worth it.

 

***

 

In progress: Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index (10% complete), Mask of Shadows (9% complete).


BOOKS READ: 11

PAGES READ: 4150 plus 35 pages of Mask of Shadows and about 13 pages of Juniper Lemon = 4198

 

What have you read for the month? Tell me, tell me!

 

Dee ^_^