Welcome to my weekly wrap-up! Here is where you can see my books read during the past week, books to be read next week, books I have added to my shelves, any bookish happenings and the like. I have linked to Stacking the Shelves, the Saturday Situation, the Saturday Review of Books, Talk of the Town, Bought, Borrowed & Bagged, The Sunday Salon, Caffeinated Book Reviewer’s Sunday Wrap-Up, It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? and Mailbox Monday. So check out what I’ve been up to this past week.
Books Added This Week
Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig – Flynn’s girlfriend, January, is missing. All eyes are on Flynn—he must know something. After all, he was—is—her boyfriend. They were together the night before she disappeared. But Flynn has a secret of his own. As he struggles to uncover the truth about January’s disappearance, he must also face the truth about himself.
This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills – Sloane isn’t expecting to fall in with a group of friends when she moves from New York to Florida—especially not a group of friends so intense, so in love, so all-consuming. Yet that’s exactly what happens. Sloane becomes closest to Vera, a social-media star who lights up any room, and Gabe, Vera’s twin brother and the most serious person Sloane’s ever met. When a beloved painting by the twins’ late mother goes missing, Sloane takes on the responsibility of tracking it down, a journey that takes her across state lines—and ever deeper into the twins’ lives. Filled with intense and important friendships, a wonderful warts-and-all family, shiveringly good romantic developments, and sharp, witty dialogue, this story is about finding the people you never knew you needed.
Afterward by Jennifer Mathieu – When Caroline’s little brother is kidnapped, his subsequent rescue leads to the discovery of Ethan, a teenager who has been living with the kidnapper since he was a young child himself. In the aftermath, Caroline can’t help but wonder what Ethan knows about everything that happened to her brother, who is not readjusting well to life at home. And although Ethan is desperate for a friend, he can’t see Caroline without experiencing a resurgence of traumatic memories. But after the media circus surrounding the kidnappings departs from their small Texas town, both Caroline and Ethan find that they need a friend–and their best option just might be each other.
Nemesis by Anna Banks – Princess Sepora of Serubel is the last Forger in all the five kingdoms. The spectorium she creates provides energy for all, but now her father has found a way to weaponize it, and his intentions to incite war force her to flee from his grasp. She escapes across enemy lines into the kingdom of Theoria, but her plans to hide are thwarted when she is captured and placed in the young king’s servitude. Tarik has just taken over rulership of Theoria, and must now face a new plague sweeping through his kingdom and killing his citizens. The last thing he needs is a troublesome servant vying for his attention. But mistress Sepora will not be ignored. When the two finally meet face-to-face, they form an unlikely bond that complicates life in ways neither of them could have imagined. Sepora’s gift could save Tarik’s kingdom from the Quiet Plague. But should she trust her growing feelings for her nemesis, or should she hide her gifts at all costs?
This is Not My Beautiful Life by Victoria Fedden- IF YOU THINK IT SUCKS TO LIVE WITH YOUR PARENTS WHEN YOU’RE THIRTY-SIX AND NINE MONTHS PREGNANT, JUST WAIT TILL THE DEA COMES KNOCKING (WITH THE IRS IN TOW): WELCOME TO VICTORIA FEDDEN’S LIFE.
When a squad of federal agents burst through her parents’ front door, Victoria Fedden felt ill-prepared to meet them: She was weeks away from her due date and her T-shirt wasn’t long enough to hide her maternity undies. As for the question of how to raise a child when you’ve just discovered that your mother and stepfather have allegedly masterminded a pump-and-dump scheme? She was pretty sure that wasn’t covered in What to Expect When You’re Expecting—and she really hoped that Bradford Cohen, the noted criminal defense attorney who famously waived his exemption on The Apprentice, would prove them innocent. This Is Not My Beautiful Life is the story of how Victoria lost her parents to prison and nearly lost her mind. No one ever said motherhood would be easy, but as she struggles to change diapers, install car seats, and find the right drop-off line at pre-school—no easy task, when each one is named for a stage in the lifecycle of a f*cking butterfly—she’s also forced to ask herself whether a jump-suit might actually complement her mom’s platinum-blonde extensions and fend off the cast of shady, stranger-than-fiction characters (like the recovering addict who scored a reality show when he started an escort service for women) who populated her parents’ world. A real-life Arrested Development that could only unfold in southern Florida, This Is Not My Beautiful Life is a hilariously funny and unexpectedly moving memoir of a just-functional family you’ll never forget.
Tell Me Something Real by Call Devlin – Three sisters struggle with the bonds that hold their family together as they face a darkness settling over their lives in this masterfully written debut novel. There are three beautiful blond Babcock sisters: gorgeous and foul-mouthed Adrienne, observant and shy Vanessa, and the youngest and best-loved, Marie. Their mother is ill with leukemia and the girls spend a lot of time with her at a Mexican clinic across the border from their San Diego home so she can receive alternative treatments. Vanessa is the middle child, a talented pianist who is trying to hold her family together despite the painful loss that they all know is inevitable. As she and her sisters navigate first loves and college dreams, they are completely unaware that an illness far more insidious than cancer poisons their home. Their world is about to shatter under the weight of an incomprehensible betrayal…
The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee – New York City as you’ve never seen it before. A thousand-story tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future, where anything is possible—if you want it enough. Welcome to Manhattan, 2118. A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. But people never change: everyone here wants something…and everyone has something to lose. Leda Cole’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched. Eris Dodd-Radson’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart. Rylin Myers’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world—and a romance—she never imagined…but will her new life cost Rylin her old one? Watt Bakradi is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy by an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies. And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is Avery Fuller, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.
The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan – Nina Redmond is a literary matchmaker. Pairing a reader with that perfect book is her passion… and also her job. Or at least it was. Until yesterday, she was a librarian in the hectic city. But now the job she loved is no more. Determined to make a new life for herself, Nina moves to a sleepy village many miles away. There she buys a van and transforms it into a bookmobile—a mobile bookshop that she drives from neighborhood to neighborhood, changing one life after another with the power of storytelling. From helping her grumpy landlord deliver a lamb, to sharing picnics with a charming train conductor who serenades her with poetry, Nina discovers there’s plenty of adventure, magic, and soul in a place that’s beginning to feel like home… a place where she just might be able to write her own happy ending.
Darling Days by iO Tillett Wright – Unfolding in animated, crystalline prose, an emotionally raw, devastatingly powerful memoir of one young woman’s extraordinary coming of age—a tale of gender and identity, freedom and addiction, rebellion and survival in the 1980s and 1990s, when punk, poverty, heroin, and art collided in the urban bohemia of New York’s Lower East Side. Born into the beautiful bedlam of downtown New York in the ’80s, iO Tillett Wright came of age at the intersection of punk, poverty, heroin, and art. This was a world of self-invented characters, glamorous superstars, and strung out sufferers, ground zero of drag and performance art. Still, no personality was more vibrant and formidable than her mother Rhonna, a showgirl and young widow, a mercurial, erratic Glamazon who was iO’s fiercest defender and only authority in a world with few boundaries and even fewer indicators of normal life. At the center of Darling Days is the remarkable relationship between a fiery kid and her domineering Ma—a bond defined by freedom and control, excess and sacrifice, by heartbreaking deprivation, agonizing rupture and, ultimately, forgiveness. Darling Days is also a provocative examination of culture and identity, of the instincts that shape us and the norms that deform us, and of the courage and resilience of a child listening closely to her deepest self. When a group of boys refuse to let six-year-old iO play ball, she instantly adopts a new persona, becoming a boy named Ricky, a choice her parents support and celebrate. It is the start of a profound exploration of gender and identity through the tenderest years, and the beginning of a life invented and reinvented at every step. Alternating between the harrowing and the hilarious, Darling Days is the candid, tough, and stirring memoir of a young person in search of an authentic self as her family and home life devolve into chaos.
All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai – You know the future that people in the 1950s imagined we’d have? Well, it happened. In Tom Barren’s 2016, humanity thrives in a techno-utopian paradise of flying cars, moving sidewalks, and moon bases, where avocados never go bad and punk rock never existed . . . because it wasn’t necessary. Except Tom just can’t seem to find his place in this dazzling, idealistic world, and that’s before his life gets turned upside down. Utterly blindsided by an accident of fate, Tom makes a rash decision that drastically changes not only his own life but the very fabric of the universe itself. In a time-travel mishap, Tom finds himself stranded in our 2016, what we think of as the real world. For Tom, our normal reality seems like a dystopian wasteland. But when he discovers wonderfully unexpected versions of his family, his career, and—maybe, just maybe—his soul mate, Tom has a decision to make. Does he fix the flow of history, bringing his utopian universe back into existence, or does he try to forge a new life in our messy, unpredictable reality? Tom’s search for the answer takes him across countries, continents, and timelines in a quest to figure out, finally, who he really is and what his future—our future—is supposed to be.
From the Mailbox
From Publisher – Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed. The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault. Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion. When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands. But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope. Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.
From Publicist – Stars Over Sunset Boulevard by Susan Meissner – Los Angeles, Present Day. When an iconic hat worn by Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind ends up in Christine McAllister’s vintage clothing boutique by mistake, her efforts to return it to its owner take her on a journey more enchanting than any classic movie… Los Angeles, 1938. Violet Mayfield sets out to reinvent herself in Hollywood after her dream of becoming a wife and mother falls apart, and lands a job on the film-set of Gone With the Wind. There, she meets enigmatic Audrey Duvall, a once-rising film star who is now a fellow secretary. Audrey’s zest for life and their adventures together among Hollywood’s glitterati enthrall Violet…until each woman’s deepest desires collide. What Audrey and Violet are willing to risk, for themselves and for each other, to ensure their own happy endings will shape their friendship, and their lives, far into the future.
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir – Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free. Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear. It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do. But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy. There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.
The Darkest Torment by Gena Showalter – Driven to his death by the demon of Distrust, Baden spent centuries in purgatory. Now he’s back, but at what cost? Bound to the king of the underworld, an even darker force, he’s unable to withstand the touch of another…and he’s quickly devolving into a heartless assassin with an uncontrollable temper. Things only get worse when a mission goes awry and he finds himself saddled with a bride—just not his own. Famed dog trainer Katarina Joelle is forced to marry a monster to protect her loved ones. When she’s taken hostage by the ruthless, beautiful Baden immediately after the ceremony, she’s plunged into a war between two evils—with a protector more dangerous than the monsters he hunts. They are meant to be enemies, but neither can resist the passion burning between them…and all too soon the biggest threat is to her heart. But as Baden slips deeper into the abyss, she’ll have to teach him to love…or lose him forever.
Books Read This Week
Books to be Read Next Week
This Week in Review…
I did not get really anything bookish done this week. Little One had her 5th grade promotion and is now officially a middle schooler (Jesus take the wheel!), she was the co-lead in the school play and she had her karate promotion ceremony (from green belt to green level 3 belt) all in the last week and a half, so I have been crazy busy with kid stuff.
I did get my May wrap-up done, so you can check out what I did, the challenges I finished and my best of the month here.
I have one giveaway going currently – A copy of B. S., Incorporated physical copy (US shipping only) or Kindle copy — Ends Jun 10th, 2016
I had a request to show off my new hair color (well newish, I got it done the day before I left for BEA) so here it is. I took out the blue and added pink and purple. This is it freshly done and straight, but to see it in its natural curly state you can visit my BEA post.
Stuff I Enjoyed This Week…
Karen at Kissin Blue Karen – Amazon SECRETS and an Invitation
Lexxie at (un)Conventional Book Views – Let’s Talk About Sex
Up Next – June 7, 2016 – Emily Albright author of The Heir and the Spare with two signed hardcover copies (US/CAN) up for grabs.
June 21, 2016 – Suzanne Redfearn author of No Ordinary Life will join us and we will be giving away a signed copy (US only).
My Weekly Posts
- [29 May] Life Before by Michele Bacon ★★★½
- [30 May] United States of Books – Drown by Junot Díaz
- [30 May] Meet Me Here by Bryan Bliss ★★★½
- [31 May] Author Tuesday Countdown – Emily Albright
- [31 May] Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge: A Novel by Paul Krueger ★★★★
- [31 May] Waiting on Wednesday – The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel
- [31 May] Monthly Wrap-Up – May, 2016
- [1 Jun] Goldfish by Nat Luurtsema ★★★½
- [2 Jun] The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell ★★★★
- [3 Jun] American Girls by Alison Umminger ★★★★
- [4 Jun] Weekly Wrap-Up – June 4, 2016
So how was your bookish week?