Expected Releases for February 2018

Goodreads synopsis included.

6 February

Shadowsong (Wintersong, #2)

Shadowsong (Wintersong, #2) by S. Jae-Jones

Six months after the end of Wintersong, Liesl is working toward furthering both her brother’s and her own musical careers. Although she is determined to look forward and not behind, life in the world above is not as easy as Liesl had hoped. Her younger brother Josef is cold, distant, and withdrawn, while Liesl can’t forget the austere young man she left beneath the earth, and the music he inspired in her. 

When troubling signs arise that the barrier between worlds is crumbling, Liesl must return to the Underground to unravel the mystery of life, death, and the Goblin King—who he was, who he is, and who he will be. What will it take to break the old laws once and for all? What is the true meaning of sacrifice when the fate of the world—or the ones Liesl loves—is in her hands?

Amazon | Goodreads


The Edge of Everything (The Edge of Everything, #1)The Edge of Everything (The Edge of Everything, #1) by Jeff Giles

For the perfect love, what would you be willing to lose?

It’s been a shattering year for seventeen-year-old Zoe, who’s still reeling from her father’s shockingly sudden death in a caving accident and her neighbors’ mysterious disappearance from their own home. Then on a terrifying sub-zero, blizzardy night in Montana, she and her brother are brutally attacked in a cabin in the woods—only to be rescued by a mysterious bounty hunter they call X.

X is no ordinary bounty hunter. He is from a hell called the Lowlands, sent to claim the soul of Zoe’s evil attacker and others like him. X is forbidden from revealing himself to anyone other than his prey, but he casts aside the Lowlands’ rules for Zoe. As they learn more about their colliding worlds, they begin to question the past, their fate, and their future.

Amazon | Goodreads


 The Bookworm by Mitch Silver

Why did Hitler chose not to invade England when he had the chance?

Europe, 1940: It’s late summer and Belgium has been overrun by the German army. Posing as a friar, a British operative talks his way into the monastery at Villers-devant-Orval just before Nazi art thieves plan to sweep through the area and whisk everything of value back to Berlin. But the ersatz man of the cloth is no thief. Instead, that night he adds an old leather Bible to the monastery’s library and then escapes.

London, 2017: A construction worker operating a backhoe makes a grisly discovery—a skeletal arm-bone with a rusty handcuff attached to the wrist. Was this the site, as a BBC newsreader speculates, of “a long-forgotten prison, uncharted on any map?” One viewer knows better: it’s all that remains of a courier who died in a V-2 rocket attack. The woman who will put these two disparate events together—and understand the looming tragedy she must hurry to prevent—is Russian historian and former Soviet chess champion Larissa Mendelovg Klimt, “Lara the Bookworm,” to her friends. She’s also experiencing some woeful marital troubles.

In the course of this riveting thriller, Lara will learn the significance of six musty Dictaphone cylinders recorded after D-Day by Noel Coward—actor, playwright and, secretly, a British agent reporting directly to Winston Churchill. She will understand precisely why that leather Bible, scooped up by the Nazis and deposited on the desk of Adolf Hitler days before he planned to attack Britain, played such a pivotal role in turning his guns to the East. And she will discover the new secret pact negotiated by the nefarious Russian president and his newly elected American counterpart—maverick and dealmaker—and the evil it portends.

Oh, and she’ll reconcile with her husband.

Amazon | Goodreads


I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with DeathI Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O’Farrell

I AM, I AM, I AM is a memoir with a difference – the unputdownable story of an extraordinary woman’s life in near-death experiences. Intelligent, insightful, inspirational, it is a book to be read at a sitting, a story you finish newly conscious of life’s fragility, determined to make every heartbeat count.

A childhood illness she was not expected to survive. A teenage yearning to escape that nearly ended in disaster. A terrifying encounter on a remote path. A mismanaged labour in an understaffed hospital. Shocking, electric, unforgettable, this is the extraordinary memoir from Costa Novel-Award winner and Sunday Times bestselling author Maggie O’Farrell.
It is a book to make you question yourself. What would you do if your life was in danger, and what would you stand to lose?

Amazon | Goodreads


The Last to Let GoThe Last to Let Go by Amber Smith

How do you let go of something you’ve never had?

Junior year for Brooke Winters is supposed to be about change. She’s transferring schools, starting fresh, and making plans for college so she can finally leave her hometown, her family, and her past behind.

But all of her dreams are shattered one hot summer afternoon when her mother is arrested for killing Brooke’s abusive father. No one really knows what happened that day, if it was premeditated or self-defense, whether it was right or wrong. And now Brooke and her siblings are on their own.

In a year of firsts—the first year without parents, first love, first heartbreak, and her first taste of freedom—Brooke must confront the shadow of her family’s violence and dysfunction, as she struggles to embrace her identity, finds her true place in the world, and learns how to let go.

Amazon | Goodreads

***

13 February

Surprise Me

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella

After being together for ten years, Sylvie and Dan have all the trimmings of a happy life and marriage; they have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, beautiful twin girls, and communicate so seamlessly, they finish each other’s sentences. However, a trip to the doctor projects they will live another 68 years together and panic sets in. They never expected “until death do us part” to mean seven decades.

In the name of marriage survival, they quickly concoct a plan to keep their relationship fresh and exciting: they will create little surprises for each other so that their (extended) years together will never become boring. But in their pursuit to execute Project Surprise Me, mishaps arise and secrets are uncovered that start to threaten the very foundation of their unshakable bond. When a scandal from the past is revealed that question some important untold truths, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other after all.

Amazon | Goodreads


The Queen of HeartsThe Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin

A debut novel that pulses with humor and empathy and explores the heart’s capacity for forgiveness…

Zadie Anson and Emma Colley have been best friends since their early twenties, when they first began navigating serious romantic relationships amid the intensity of medical school. Now they’re happily married wives and mothers with successful careers–Zadie as a pediatric cardiologist and Emma as a trauma surgeon. Their lives in Charlotte, North Carolina are chaotic but fulfilling, until the return of a former colleague unearths a secret one of them has been harboring for years. 

As chief resident, Nick Xenokostas was the center of Zadie’s life–both professionally and personally–throughout a tragic chain of events in her third year of medical school that she has long since put behind her. Nick’s unexpected reappearance during a time of new professional crisis shocks both women into a deeper look at the difficult choices they made at the beginning of their careers. As it becomes evident that Emma must have known more than she revealed about circumstances that nearly derailed both their lives, Zadie starts to question everything she thought she knew about her closest friend.

Amazon | Goodreads

***

27 February

Everlife (Everlife #3)

Everlife (Everlife, #3) by Gena Showalter

From New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter comes book three in the unique and exhilarating Everlife series. Tenley “Ten” Lockwood knows the fate of the Everlife rests on her ability to unite the realms and destroy the Prince of Ravens. When betrayal leads to defeat and Ten finds herself bonded to the enemy, an unthinkable choice may the only answer.

Amazon | Goodreads


This Heart of Mine: A NovelThis Heart of Mine: A Novel by C.C. Hunter

A new heart saved her life—but will it help her find out what really happened to its donor?

Seventeen-year-old Leah MacKenzie is heartless. An artificial heart in a backpack is keeping her alive. However, this route only offers her a few years. And with her rare blood type, a transplant isn’t likely. Living like you are dying isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But when a heart becomes available, she’s given a second chance at life. Except Leah discovers who the donor was — a boy from her school — and they’re saying he killed himself. Plagued with dreams since the transplant, she realizes she may hold the clues to what really happened.

Matt refuses to believe his twin killed himself. When Leah seeks him out, he learns they are both having similar dreams and he’s certain it means something. While unraveling the secrets of his brother’s final moments, Leah and Matt find each other, and a love they are terrified to lose. But life and even new hearts don’t come with guarantees. Who knew living, took more courage than dying?

This Heart of Mine is a haunting, poignant tale about living and dying, surviving grief, guilt, and heartache, while discovering love and hope in the midst of sadness.

Amazon | Goodreads


A Girl Like ThatA Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena

A timeless exploration of high-stakes romance, self-discovery, and the lengths we go to love and be loved. 

Sixteen-year-old Zarin Wadia is many things: a bright and vivacious student, an orphan, a risk taker. She’s also the kind of girl that parents warn their kids to stay away from: a troublemaker whose many romances are the subject of endless gossip at school.  You don’t want to get involved with a girl like that, they say. So how is it that eighteen-year-old Porus Dumasia has only ever had eyes for her? And how did Zarin and Porus end up dead in a car together, crashed on the side of a highway in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia? When the religious police arrive on the scene, everything everyone thought they knew about Zarin is questioned. And as her story is pieced together, told through multiple perspectives, it becomes clear that she was far more than just a girl like that. 

This beautifully written debut novel from Tanaz Bhathena reveals a rich and wonderful new world to readers. It tackles complicated issues of race, identity, class, and religion, and paints a portrait of teenage ambition, angst, and alienation that feels both inventive and universal.

Amazon | Goodreads

Goodreads Listopia for upcoming February releases:

 

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eARC Book Review: Dream Me by Kathryn Berla

Dream Me

Goodreads Synopsis

Every night Babe dreams of a boy she s never met before named Zat. But Zat is no ordinary daydream. He s actual a human from the distant future, who has travelled back in time to be with Babe in the only way that he can be in her dreams. But the dreams leave Babe more and more tired and pained each morning. Zat is determined to help her, even if it means never sharing dreams with her again.


I received this book from the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Dream Me is a book that is a love story of sorts told through a science fiction point of view.

I’ll start right off by saying that most of this book was confusing to me. I don’t know what message was trying to be told and it irked me that I couldn’t tell because I felt like I was missing out on some joke.

Here’s what I did get. Zat was from a future Earth where the world and humans had evolved so much that even their appearance was changed. He was often referred to as a dreamer because even though people stopped dreaming ages ago, he was fascinated and obsessed with it, so much so that he was willing to live in and through someone else’s dreams.

As much as Babe spoke throughout the book, I didn’t much get the feel of her as a person. She was kind of the main character but I understood her through Zat’s eyes. The way he spoke about her and expressed his feelings about and towards her helped me know her better.

Even though this book threw me for a loop, I can’t deny that the author’s writing is amazing. Maybe there wasn’t much world building and certain points did seem either slightly forced or rushed but I wouldn’t write her off as yet.

Read: 2 April 2017
Rating: ★★.5

Publication Date: 11 July 2017
Publisher: Amberjack Publishing
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Kathryn Berla

Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Wattpad

Expected Releases for July 2017

Goodreads synopsis included.

4 July

The Reason You're Alive

The Reason You’re Alive by Matthew Quick

The New York Times-bestselling author of The Silver Linings Playbook offers a timely novel featuring his most fascinating character yet, a Vietnam vet embarking on a quixotic crusade to track down his nemesis from the war.

After sixty-eight-year-old David Granger crashes his BMW, medical tests reveal a brain tumor that he readily attributes to his wartime Agent Orange exposure. He wakes up from surgery repeating a name no one in his civilian life has ever heard—that of a Native American soldier whom he was once ordered to discipline. David decides to return something precious he long ago stole from the man he now calls Clayton Fire Bear. It might be the only way to find closure in a world increasingly at odds with the one he served to protect. It might also help him finally recover from his wife’s untimely demise.

As David confronts his past to salvage his present, a poignant portrait emerges: that of an opinionated and goodhearted American patriot fighting like hell to stay true to his red, white, and blue heart, even as the country he loves rapidly changes in ways he doesn’t always like or understand. Hanging in the balance are Granger’s distant art-dealing son, Hank; his adoring seven-year-old granddaughter, Ella; and his best friend, Sue, a Vietnamese-American who respects David’s fearless sincerity.

Through the controversial, wrenching, and wildly honest David Granger, Matthew Quick offers a no-nonsense but ultimately hopeful view of America’s polarized psyche. By turns irascible and hilarious, insightful and inconvenient, David is a complex, wounded, honorable, and loving man. The Reason You’re Alive examines how the secrets and debts we carry from our past define us; it also challenges us to look beyond our own prejudices and search for the good in us all.

Amazon | Goodreads


Serafina and the Splintered Heart (Serafina, #3) by Robert Beaty

The storms are coming….

Something has happened to Serafina. She has awoken into a darkness she does not understand, scarred from a terrible battle, only to find that life at Biltmore Estate has changed in unimaginable ways. Old friends do unthinkable things and enemies seem all around.
A mysterious threat moves towards Biltmore, a force without a name, bringing with it violent storms and flooding that stands to uproot everything in its path. Serafina must uncover the truth about what has happened to her and find a way to harness her strange new powers before it’s too late.
With only days to achieve the impossible, Serafina fights to reclaim herself as the Guardian of Biltmore, friend of Braeden, daughter of her Pa, and heroine of the Blue Ridge Mountains and all the folk and creatures that call it home.
In the epic third installment of Robert Beatty’s #1 bestselling series, Serafina takes her rightful place among literary champions as she battles fiercely to defend all she loves and become everything that she is meant to be.

Amazon | Goodreads


Made for LoveMade For Love by Alissa Nutting

Hazel has just moved into a trailer park of senior citizens, with her father and Diane—his extremely lifelike sex doll—as her roommates. Life with Hazel’s father is strained at best, but her only alternative seems even bleaker. She’s just run out on her marriage to Byron Gogol, CEO and founder of Gogol Industries, a monolithic corporation hell-bent on making its products and technologies indispensable in daily life. For over a decade, Hazel put up with being veritably quarantined by Byron in the family compound, her every movement and vital sign tracked. But when he demands to wirelessly connect the two of them via brain chips in a first-ever human “mind-meld,” Hazel decides what was once merely irritating has become unbearable. The world she escapes into is a far cry from the dry and clinical bubble she’s been living in, a world populated with a whole host of deviant oddballs.

As Hazel tries to carve out a new life for herself in this uncharted territory, Byron is using the most sophisticated tools at his disposal to find her and bring her home. His threats become more and more sinister, and Hazel is forced to take drastic measures in order to find a home of her own and free herself from Byron’s virtual clutches once and for all.

Amazon | Goodreads

***

11 July

Worlds Collide (The Land of Stories #6)Worlds Collide (The Land of Stories, #6) by Chris Colfer

The epic conclusion to Chris Colfer’s #1 New York Times bestselling series The Land of Stories!

In the highly anticipated conclusion to the Land of Stories series, Conner and Alex must brave the impossible. All of the Land of Stories fairy tale characters–heroes and villains–are no longer confined within their world!

With mayhem brewing in the Big Apple, Conner and Alex will have to win their biggest battle yet. Can the twins restore order between the human and fairy tale world?

Breathtaking action mixed with laugh out loud moments and lots of heart will make this a gripping conclusion for many fans!

Amazon | Goodreads


Ash and Quill (The Great Library #3)Ash and Quill (The Great Library, #3) by Rachel Caine

The unforgettable characters from Ink and Bone and Paper and Fire unite to save the Great Library of Alexandria from itself in this electrifying adventure in the New York Times bestselling series.

Hoarding all the knowledge of the world, the Great Library jealousy guards its secrets. But now a group of rebels poses a dangerous threat to its tyranny….

Jess Brightwell and his band of exiles have fled London, only to find themselves imprisoned in Philadelphia, a city led by those who would rather burn books than submit. But Jess and his friends have a bargaining chip: the knowledge to build a machine that will break the Library’s rule.

Their time is running out. To survive, they’ll have to choose to live or die as one, to take the fight to their enemies—and to save the very soul of the Great Library….

Amazon | Goodreads


The Zodiac Legacy: The Age of Bronze (Zodiac, #3)The Zodiac Legacy: The Age of Bronze (Zodiac, #3) by Stuart Moore

It s a heavy-metal battle royale when Maxwell head of the Vanguard organization with the evil powers of the Dragon Zodiac sends an army of robots against Steven Lee, the teenaged Tiger, and his team. Using their new and mysterious powers of the ancient Zodiac, Steven and his teammates must work together like never before to defeat the robotic invaders!”

Amazon | Goodreads

***

18 July

The Library of FatesThe Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana

A romantic coming-of-age fantasy tale steeped in Indian folklore, perfect for fans of The Star-Touched Queen and The Wrath and the Dawn

No one is entirely certain what brings the Emperor Sikander to Shalingar. Until now, the idyllic kingdom has been immune to his many violent conquests. To keep the visit friendly, Princess Amrita has offered herself as his bride, sacrificing everything—family, her childhood love, and her freedom—to save her people. But her offer isn’t enough.

The unthinkable happens, and Amrita finds herself a fugitive, utterly alone but for an oracle named Thala, who was kept by Sikander as a slave and managed to escape amid the chaos of a palace under siege. With nothing and no one else to turn to, Amrita and Thala are forced to rely on each other. But while Amrita feels responsible for her kingdom and sets out to warn her people, the newly free Thala has no such ties. She encourages Amrita to go on a quest to find the fabled Library of All Things, where it is possible for each of them to reverse their fates. To go back to before Sikander took everything from them.

Stripped of all that she loves, caught between her rosy past and an unknown future, will Amrita be able to restore what was lost, or does another life—and another love—await?

Amazon | Goodreads

***

25 July

Vanguard (Razorland, #4)Vanguard (Razorland, #4) by Ann Aguirre

The Razorland saga continues. Since the war ended, Tegan has dreamed of an epic journey, so when she has the opportunity to sign on as ship’s doctor, she can’t wait. It’s past time to chart her course. Millie Faraday, the kindest girl in the free territories, also yearns to outrun her reputation, and warrior-poet James Morrow would follow Tegan to the ends of the earth.

Their company seems set, but fate brings one more to their number. Tegan will battle incredible odds while aiding Szarok, the Uroch vanguard, who has ventured forth to save his people. Szarok is strange and beautiful, like a flower that blooms only in the dark. She shouldn’t allow him close, as such a relationship is both alien and forbidden. But through stormy seas and strange lands, she will become stronger than she ever knew.

Amazon | Goodreads


The Intuitives by Erin Michelle Sky & Steven BrownThe Intuitives

IMAGINATION JUST BECAME OUR GREATEST WEAPON.

A lost tomb full of mythical statues… a strange test with impossible answers… a mysterious institute hosted by Homeland Security. Only six students will receive invitations. But nothing is as it appears to be, including the students themselves.

Roman Jackson, 11—the lonely artist.
Samantha Prescott, 16—the sarcastic nerd.
Daniel Walker, 17—the shy musician.
Ashton Hunt, 17—the frustrated gamer.
Mackenzie Gray, 17—the spiritual fighter.
Kaitlyn Wright, 15—the bubbly engineer.

But why is the U.S. government so interested in six outcasts? And what, exactly, is it teaching them to do? Now, they must band together to uncover the true purpose behind the institute—and the ancient secrets that lie hidden beneath its surface.

Before history catches up to them.

Goodreads


Little MonstersLittle Monsters by Kara Thomas

For fans of Pretty Little Liars, Little Monsters is a new psychological thriller, from the author of The Darkest Corners, about appearances versus reality and the power of manipulation amongst teenage girls.

Kacey is the new girl in Broken Falls. When she moved in with her father, she stepped into a brand-new life. A life with a stepbrother, a stepmother, and strangest of all, an adoring younger half sister.

Kacey’s new life is eerily charming compared with the wild highs and lows of the old one she lived with her volatile mother. And everyone is so nice in Broken Falls—she’s even been welcomed into a tight new circle of friends. Bailey and Jade invite her to do everything with them.

Which is why it’s so odd when they start acting distant. And when they don’t invite her to the biggest party of the year, it doesn’t exactly feel like an accident.

But Kacey will never be able to ask, because Bailey never makes it home from that party. Suddenly, Broken Falls doesn’t seem so welcoming after all—especially once everyone starts looking to the new girl for answers.

Kacey is about to learn some very important lessons: Sometimes appearances can be deceiving. Sometimes when you’re the new girl, you shouldn’t trust anyone.

Amazon | Goodreads

Goodreads Listopia for upcoming July 2017 releases:

 

Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Wattpad

Wrap Up: May 2017 (and June TBR)

SO delayed!!

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 5.13.14 AM

This Is What a Librarian Looks Like: A Celebration of Libraries, Communities, and Access to Information The Nightingale Circus (Broken People, #0.5) Supergirl: Rebirth #1 (Supergirl 2016, #1) Secret Wars #0 (FCBD 2015) Secret Wars (2015-) #1 (of 9) Then Comes Love (Then Comes Love, #1) The Giver (The Giver Quartet, #1) Time in a Bottle The Time Keeper City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2)

This is What a Librarian Looks Like by Kyle Cassidy

This book needs to be in all libraries. I deserves to be noticed and I think that this was easily one of the best reads for me this year. See review here.

The Nightingale Circus by Ioana Visan

I really enjoyed this novella, as I do with Ioana Visan’s work. I want to read Broken People so I can find out more about the circus and the people that use it as their safe haven. See review here.

Supergirl: Rebirth #1 by Steve Orlando

This was a different and fresh view of Supergirl for me. I enjoyed this short piece and I’m definitely considering reading more about her. See Review here.

Secret Wars #0 by Jonathan Hickman

It’s about time I started this event. I think everything was summed up pretty well in this piece. Review to come soon.

Secret Wars #1 by Jonathan Hickman

I thought this was a pretty good start to the whole event. Definitely got me even more intrigued. Review to come soon.

Then Comes Love by Lindsay Detwiler

A cute, funny, quick read. I really liked this book and enjoyed it tremendously. See review here.

The Giver by Lois Lowry

I’ve had this book for a few years and I took way to long to actually read it. I really liked it and I want to read the rest of The Giver Quartet. See review here.

Time in a Bottle by Kathleen D. Tresemer

I had a few issues with this book mainly because the proper trigger warnings weren’t applied but I really did enjoy the writing. See review here.

The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom

This was definitely one of the better books I’ve read this year. I can’t believe I took so long to get to it. See review here.

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

And so the reread continues! I loved this read a lot more the second time around and seeing my babies growing up is always a pleasure. See review here.

Total Read: 10 Books


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Revival, Vol. 3: A Faraway Place The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 2: Fandemonium A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3) Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2)

ARCs (I swear this list is getting shorter)

Sleight Heartborn Loving Ashe: Book 1 of the Celebrity Series Soothsayer: Magic Is All Around Us (Soothsayer Series #1) Ever Shade (A Dark Faerie Tale, #1) Unseen (Breaking Free Book 1) Teeth: The First Bite (Teeth, #1) Jaeth's Eye (The Agartes Epilogues, #1) Demolition Love The Labyrinth Eve The Soul Reaper The Tower's Alchemist (The Gray Tower Trilogy, #1) Can't Buy Forever

Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Wattpad

Expected Releases for June 2017

Goodreads synopses included.

6 June

The Alice Network

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

1947. In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She’s also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive. So when Charlie’s parents banish her to Europe to have her “little problem” taken care of, Charlie breaks free and heads to London, determined to find out what happened to the cousin she loves like a sister.

1915. A year into the Great War, Eve Gardiner burns to join the fight against the Germans and unexpectedly gets her chance when she’s recruited to work as a spy. Sent into enemy-occupied France, she’s trained by the mesmerizing Lili, the “Queen of Spies”, who manages a vast network of secret agents right under the enemy’s nose.

Thirty years later, haunted by the betrayal that ultimately tore apart the Alice Network, Eve spends her days drunk and secluded in her crumbling London house. Until a young American barges in uttering a name Eve hasn’t heard in decades, and launches them both on a mission to find the truth …no matter where it leads.

Amazon | Goodreads


33347428I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons by Kevin Hart

Superstar comedian and Hollywood box office star Kevin Hart turns his immense talent to the written word by writing some words. Some of those words include: the, a, for, above, and even even. Put them together and you have the funniest, most heartfelt, and most inspirational memoir on survival, success, and the importance of believing in yourself since Old Yeller.

The question you’re probably asking yourself right now is: What does Kevin Hart have that a book also has?

According to the three people who have seen Kevin Hart and a book in the same room, the answer is clear:

A book is compact. Kevin Hart is compact.

A book has a spine that holds it together. Kevin Hart has a spine that holds him together.

A book has a beginning. Kevin Hart’s life uniquely qualifies him to write this book by also having a beginning.

It begins in North Philadelphia. He was born an accident, unwanted by his parents. His father was a drug addict who was in and out of jail. His brother was a crack dealer and petty thief. And his mother was overwhelmingly strict, beating him with belts, frying pans, and his own toys.

The odds, in short, were stacked against our young hero, just like the odds that are stacked against the release of a new book in this era of social media (where Hart has a following of over 100 million, by the way).

But Kevin Hart, like Ernest Hemingway, JK Rowling, and Chocolate Droppa before him, was able to defy the odds and turn it around. In his literary debut, he takes the reader on a journey through what his life was, what it is today, and how he’s overcome each challenge to become the man he is today.

And that man happens to be the biggest comedian in the world, with tours that sell out football stadiums and films that have collectively grossed over $3.5 billion.

He achieved this not just through hard work, determination, and talent: It was through his unique way of looking at the world. Because just like a book has chapters, Hart sees life as a collection of chapters that each person gets to write for himself or herself.

“Not only do you get to choose how you interpret each chapter, but your interpretation writes the next chapter,” he says. “So why not choose the interpretation that serves your life the best?”

Amazon | Goodreads


Dramatically Ever After (Ever After #2)Dramatically Ever After (Ever After, #2) by Isabel Bandeira

Senior year is not shaping up to be the picture perfect movie Em Katsaros had imagined. Her super hot leading man is five thousand miles away. Her dad just got laid off. And Em can kiss her first-pick university goodbye if she doesn’t snag a scholarship.

To turn this Shakespearean tragedy into the Academy Award-winning dream Em has written for herself, she enters a speech competition and manages to cinch a spot in the US Youth Change Council national round. She gets to spend a week in Boston and her prayers might be answered if she can kick butt and win one of the national scholarships.

Everything seems to be going by the script until she finds out Kris Lambert—senior class president, stuck-up jerk, and her nemesis—is going, too. Cue the dramatic music. In Boston, Kris is different. Nice. Cute, even. But she knows his game way too well—be nice to your opponents and then throw them under the bus on your way to victory. Instead of becoming his next victim, Em decides to turn the tables by putting her acting and flirting skills to work. Unfortunately, as they get close to the final competition and judging, reality and acting start to blur.

Can Em use the drama from the stage to get the future she’s been dreaming of?

Amazon | Goodreads


Once and for AllOnce and for All by Sarah Dessen

As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen’s thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine.

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that’s why she’s cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm’s length. But Ambrose isn’t about to be discouraged, now that he’s met the one girl he really wants.

Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.

Amazon | Goodreads


Words in Deep BlueWords in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

Years ago, Rachel had a crush on Henry Jones. The day before she moved away, she tucked a love letter into his favorite book in his family’s bookshop. She waited. But Henry never came.

Now Rachel has returned to the city—and to the bookshop—to work alongside the boy she’d rather not see, if at all possible, for the rest of her life. But Rachel needs the distraction. Her brother drowned months ago, and she can’t feel anything anymore.

As Henry and Rachel work side by side—surrounded by books, watching love stories unfold, exchanging letters between the pages—they find hope in each other. Because life may be uncontrollable, even unbearable sometimes. But it’s possible that words, and love, and second chances are enough.

Amazon | Goodreads

***

13 June

 

Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity, #2)Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity, #2) by Victoria Schwab

Kate Harker is a girl who isn’t afraid of the dark. She’s a girl who hunts monsters. And she’s good at it. August Flynn is a monster who can never be human, no matter how much he once yearned for it. He’s a monster with a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.

Nearly six months after Kate and August were first thrown together, the war between the monsters and the humans is terrifying reality. In Verity, August has become the leader he never wished to be, and in Prosperity, Kate has become the ruthless hunter she knew she could be. When a new monster emerges from the shadows—one who feeds on chaos and brings out its victim’s inner demons—it lures Kate home, where she finds more than she bargained for. She’ll face a monster she thought she killed, a boy she thought she knew, and a demon all her own.

Amazon | Goodreads


Hunger: A Memoir of (My) BodyHunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxanne Gay

From the bestselling author of Bad Feminist: a searingly honest memoir of food, weight, self-image, and learning how to feed your hunger while taking care of yourself

“I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe. I buried the girl I was because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere. . . . I was trapped in my body, one that I barely recognized or understood, but at least I was safe.”

In her phenomenally popular essays and long-running Tumblr blog, Roxane Gay has written with intimacy and sensitivity about food and body, using her own emotional and psychological struggles as a means of exploring our shared anxieties over pleasure, consumption, appearance, and health. As a woman who describes her own body as “wildly undisciplined,” Roxane understands the tension between desire and denial, between self-comfort and self-care. In Hunger, she explores her own past—including the devastating act of violence that acted as a turning point in her young life—and brings readers along on her journey to understand and ultimately save herself.

With the bracing candor, vulnerability, and power that have made her one of the most admired writers of her generation, Roxane explores what it means to learn to take care of yourself: how to feed your hungers for delicious and satisfying food, a smaller and safer body, and a body that can love and be loved—in a time when the bigger you are, the smaller your world becomes.

Amazon | Goodreads


Bad RomanceBad Romance by Heather Demetrios

Grace wants out. Out of her house, where her stepfather wields fear like a weapon and her mother makes her scrub imaginary dirt off the floors. Out of her California town, too small to contain her big city dreams. Out of her life, and into the role of Parisian artist, New York director—anything but scared and alone.

Enter Gavin: charming, talented, adored. Controlling. Dangerous. When Grace and Gavin fall in love, Grace is sure it’s too good to be true. She has no idea their relationship will become a prison she’s unable to escape.

Deeply affecting and unflinchingly honest, this is a story about spiraling into darkness—and emerging into the light again.

Amazon | Goodreads

***

27 June

Seven Stones to Stand or FallSeven Stones to Stand or Fall (Outlander) by Diana Gabaldon

>>>>><<<<<

A collection of seven short stories set in the Outlander universe, never before published together, including two original stories.
This riveting, romantic collection includes: -Besieged- (original novella), -Survival- (original novella), -Virgins, – -The Space Between, – -Lord John and the Plague of Zombies, – -A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows- and -The Custom of the Army.-

Amazon | Goodreads


Midnight Jewel (The Glittering Court, #2)Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead

In MIDNIGHT JEWEL, Richelle Mead goes beyond the glitz and glamour of the Glittering Court, delving into the dark, political underbelly of Cape Triumph through the eyes of one girl who dares to fight for her freedom.

A refugee of war, Mira was cast out of her home country and thrust into another, where the conditions were inhospitable at best. In a life-altering twist of fate, she is given the chance to escape once more, and she takes it, joining the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. There, Mira finds herself subjected to persecution, not only from her fellow Glittering Court jewels, but from her suitors, as well—men she would potentially be expected to give her life to.

By day, she goes through the motions, learning the etiquette and customs that will help to earn her anonymity, even making a couple true friends in the process, the forthright ladies’ maid Adelaide and the ambitious laundress Tamsin. But by night, Mira hatches a different plan entirely—one that, if exposed, could get her hanged in the highest court of Adoria.

MIDNIGHT JEWEL is the extraordinary story of a girl with few options who courageously forges a new path, finding love, passion, lifelong friendships, and maybe even a way to freedom.

Amazon | Goodreads

Goodreads Listopia for upcoming June 2017 Releases:

 

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eARC Book Review: Then Comes Love by Lindsay Detwiler

Then Comes Love (Then Comes Love, #1)

Goodreads Synopsis

Three generations of women,
Three second loves,
All with a dose of chaos mixed in.

Sometimes in life, changes can be good…

After losing her husband, her five cats, and her home, Charlotte Noel hates feeling dependent. As Charlotte tries to find her identity in this new stage of life, she comes to realize that drama never ends, dance aerobics can be a war zone, and love is always a possibility.

You never know when a midlife crisis is going to strike…

Charlotte’s daughter, Annie, is going through struggles of her own. Recently divorced, she is feeling frumpy and worn-out. Run ragged, Annie mourns her youth and wonders where her life is headed, all while hoping she can help her daughter Amelia get it together.

Settling down can be overrated, especially when you’re falling for a rock star look-alike…

Amelia is the wild child of the family. Working three jobs, because she just hasn’t figured out what she wants in life, she realizes happiness isn’t always settling down with a steady, dependable man; sometimes it’s about following your true passion and living on the edge.

No matter what age you are, life and love can be crazy…


I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

By the title alone I wanted to steer clear of this book because I could sense what was coming. I’m rarely in the mood for a romance novel and I’d forgotten why I’d requested this book in the first place. I’m glad I did though because this is so much more than a mere romance novel.

We are introduced to three generations of women: Charlotte, the eighty-one year old discovering that just because she’s old, it doesn’t mean that her life has to be over. Annie, a fifty year old who has to reinvent herself after the love of her life walks out on her. And of course, Amelia, the thirty-two year old who’s eccentric and devil-may-care behaviour is trying to lead her to the path of fulfilment but the idea of ‘safety’ leads her in a different direction.

First thing’s first, this book did not read like a romance novel. It was more humour than anything else. I found myself laughing only a few pages in and by then I was pretty sure that I was going to enjoy this book. And I did.

Charlotte’s character was possibly my favourite out of the three women. I have no idea what it feels like to be eighty but this woman did not read like an eighty year old. I kept having to remind myself of her age because the story ran away with me. I think that was a bit different though and I liked that about the book. By doing that, making the characters seem younger, she opened up the book to all ages.

I feel like the main message in this book was: stop running. These characters were so scared to face the music that they kept running away but once they stopped and took a moment to take everything in, new paths opened up for them.

“Sometimes love changed everything. Sometimes love came when you least expected it. Sometimes you gave up on life, gave up on finding out who you were supposed to be.

And then, when you’d forgotten what it felt like, when you’d dismissed the ideal entirely… then, well… then came love.”

Lindsay Detwiler’s writing was superb and extremely fast paced. I sat myself down and finished the book in no time. She really has a way with pulling you into the story and holding your attention up till the very end.

I’m not saying that this book opened up the way for romance novels for me but I’ll definitely be reading more of this author’s work. That was a nice break from the ‘serious’ books I’ve been reading. If you’re looking for a light read that will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy in the end, this is what you need.

Read: 11 May 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Publication Date: 18 March 2016
Publisher: Hot Tree Publishing
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Lindsay Detwiler

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eARC Book Review: [SNEAK PEEK] Alex and Eliza: A Love Story by Melissa de la Cruz

Alex and Eliza: A Love Story

Goodreads Synopsis

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Witches of East End and The Descendants comes the love story of young Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler.

1777. Albany, New York.

As battle cries of the American Revolution echo in the distance, servants flutter about preparing for one of New York society’s biggest events: the Schuylers’ grand ball. Descended from two of the oldest and most distinguished bloodlines in New York, the Schuylers are proud to be one of their fledgling country’s founding families, and even prouder still of their three daughters—Angelica, with her razor-sharp wit; Peggy, with her dazzling looks; and Eliza, whose beauty and charm rival that of both her sisters, though she’d rather be aiding the colonists’ cause than dressing up for some silly ball.

Still, she can barely contain her excitement when she hears of the arrival of one Alexander Hamilton, a mysterious, rakish young colonel and General George Washington’s right-hand man. Though Alex has arrived as the bearer of bad news for the Schuylers, he can’t believe his luck—as an orphan, and a bastard one at that—to be in such esteemed company. And when Alex and Eliza meet that fateful night, so begins an epic love story that would forever change the course of American history.

In the pages of Alex and Eliza, #1 New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz brings to life the romance of young Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler.


I received this sneak peek from the publishers on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Alex and Eliza: A Love Story tells the story of Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler and how even with The Revolution going on around them, they still manage to find love…in each other.

Okay, I’ll admit that sounded cheesy but this is supposed to be a romance novel detailing the great love between Alex and Eliza so I think some cheese is a given. I foresee that no matter how hard I try, I’m not going to be able to separate the musical from this novel. Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing at the moment.

The ‘prologue’ of sorts basically lets us in on the Schuyler financial secret. It also tells us- unlike the Hamilton Musical- that there were a total of seven children in the Schuyler household, six having not survived either life or pregnancy. The first part of this novel just gives us an outline on who and what the family was even though we’re not given full introductions as yet.

With the description that Alex had a reputation with the ladies, I couldn’t help but to think ‘we’re reliable with the ladies’. It’s kind of funny to see Eliza trying to act all innocent in front of her sisters when it’s pretty obvious that she’s fooling no one. Girl, they know you’re at least a little bit intrigued.

“Pretty clothes are like the colors of a flower’s petals. They tell the bee where to land. After that, it’s what’s inside that holds his interest.”

I liked that Eliza was determined to hold her own and stand by her morals and ideals. The fact that she did things for herself and not because someone else told her to is a great quality. She was an extremely strong character and I wholly enjoyed reading about her. What hasn’t changed between then and now is the fact that people live with and entertain the idea that clothes define the type of person you are.

I’ll admit that I seemed to enjoy Eliza’s POV a lot more than Alex’s. I think it’s the fact that he talks a lot about the military and that’s not really an interest of mine. I did notice how blunt he could be even if it was only via his thoughts. I found that he seemed to have met his match in Eliza and the two of them would certainly keep each other on their toes.

I understand that this is a retelling of a musical that’s based on a true story but I’m going to go through this as though it were a normal novel. I can honestly say that I have yet to read any works by Melissa de la Cruz but if these four chapters were anything to go by, her writing is amazing. I can’t wait to read the full novels once it comes out. Although, I might have to read Alexander Hamilton’s biography by Ron Chernow before I start this book.

As mentioned, only a few chapters were included in this sneak peek but I can already tell that this will probably end up being a beautifully written piece.

Both Alex and Eliza are forces to be reckoned with and I for one am ready to go on this journey.

Read: 3 March 2017
Rating: ★★★.5

Publication Date: 11 April 2017
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Melissa de la Cruz

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