Autumn Book Haul

 

If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio – “Oliver Marks has just served ten years for the murder of one of his closest friends – a murder he may or may not have committed. On the day he’s released, he’s greeted by the detective who put him in prison. Detective Colborne is retiring, but before he does, he wants to know what really happened ten years ago. As a young actor studying Shakespeare at an elite arts conservatory, Oliver noticed that his talented classmates seem to play the same roles onstage and off – villain, hero, tyrant, temptress – though Oliver felt doomed to always be a secondary character in someone else’s story. But when the teachers change up the casting, a good-natured rivalry turns ugly, and the plays spill dangerously over into life. When tragedy strikes, one of the seven friends is found dead. The rest face their greatest acting challenge yet: convincing the police, and themselves, that they are blameless.”

No Exit by Taylor Adams – “On her way to Utah to see her dying mother, college student Darby Thorne gets caught in a fierce blizzard in the mountains of Colorado. With the roads impassable, she’s forced to wait out the storm at a remote highway rest stop. Inside are some vending machines, a coffee maker, and four complete strangers. Desperate to find a signal to call home, Darby goes back out into the storm… and makes a horrifying discovery. In the back of the van parked next to her car, a little girl is locked in an animal crate. Who is the child? Why has she been taken? And how can Darby save her? There is no cell phone reception, no telephone, and no way out. One of her fellow travelers is a kidnapper. But which one? Trapped in an increasingly dangerous situation, with a child’s life and her own on the line, Darby must find a way to break the girl out of the van and escape. But who can she trust?”

Nightingale by Amy Lukavics – “At seventeen, June Hardie is everything a young woman in 1951 shouldn’t be–independent, rebellious, a dreamer. June longs to travel, to attend college and to write the dark science fiction stories that consume her waking hours. But her parents only care about making June a better young woman. Her mother grooms her to be a perfect little homemaker while her father pushes her to marry his business partner’s domineering son. When June resists, her whole world is shattered–suburbia isn’t the only prison for different women… June’s parents commit her to Burrow Place Asylum, aka the Institution. With its sickening conditions, terrifying staff and brutal “medical treatments,” the Institution preys on June’s darkest secrets and deepest fears. And she’s not alone. The Institution terrorizes June’s fragile roommate, Eleanor, and the other women locked away within its crumbling walls. Those who dare speak up disappear… or worse. Trapped between a gruesome reality and increasingly sinister hallucinations, June isn’t sure where her nightmares end and real life begins. But she does know one thing: in order to survive, she must destroy the Institution before it finally claims them all.”

Autumn/Winter Bucket List

 

My favourite time of year is finally here. We survived another Summer and the cooler weather is starting to creep in at last. I like to write a little bucket list for each season so I can remember to make the effort to do the things I love. There will be a few things on this list that I might not have a chance to do this year because of social isolation and everything that is going on in the world right now, but if the opportunity presents itself I will definitely be making the effort to get out there and get involved. My bucket list for this year –

– Make Sunday Roasts a thing (I have been trying to do this for years)
– Take a week off work to relax
– Buy a new winter coat
– Pick up a new Autumn/Winter nail shade
– Host a dinner party
– Watch some spooky movies
– Perfect making a Massaman curry (from scratch)
– Find an amazing hydrating facial serum

March TBR (Nostalgic Reads)

 

Sweet Valley High #13 – Kidnapped“Elizabeth Wakefield never imagined that her evening of volunteer work at Sweet Valley’s hospital would turn into the most horrifying night of her life. But when a strong hand clamps a chloroformed rag over her mouth and she is pulled from her car, Elizabeth’s hellish ordeal begins. When she regains consciousness, Elizabeth finds herself tied to a chair in an isolated shack. She has been kidnapped by Carl, a lonely and disturbed orderly from the hospital. Elizabeth doesn’t know what Carl wants from her, but it’s clear he’s on the brink of insanity. Somehow Elizabeth must escape before it’s too late!”

Sweet Valley University Super Thriller #2 – He’s Watching You“For months William White has been desperate to possess Elizabeth. Now he’s finally escaped from the mental institution – and he’s ready to set his deadly plan in motion. Elizabeth Wakefield is trapped in a dangerous game of cat and mouse. Pitted against an unknown opponent, Elizabeth has to win the game – or lose her life. Jessica Wakefield is determined to save her sister. Can she stop the stalker in time? Watch out, Elizabeth… the hunt is on!”

The Lifeguard by Richie Tankersley Cusick – “Kelsey’s summer should have been paradise: An invitation to rich and famous Beverly Island, complete with sun-drenched beaches and three gorgeous lifeguards on duty. But Kelsey’s summer is the opposite of paradise. It starts with the note under her pillow from a girl who’s missing. Then there’s the crazy man in the lighthouse who won’t leave Kelsey alone. And there have been a number of suspicious drownings… At least she has the lifeguards around to protect her… Poor Kelsey. Someone forgot to tell her that lifeguards don’t always like to save lives.”

January Reading Wrap Up

 

Total Books Read: 3
January TBR Books Read: 1
January Nostalgic TBR Books Read: 1
Total Pages Read: 895

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood – 5/5 – Who doesn’t love starting the year with a 5 star read? I was a bit nervous going into reading this because I was thinking I wouldn’t love it as much as The Handmaid’s Tale, but I am happy to say that this book did not disappoint at all. The only thing that I feel let the book down slightly for me (which is totally a personal preference) was the jumping back and forth between perspectives. But having said that, switching perspectives is something I have never been able to enjoy in a book. I would highly recommend this to those who has read and enjoyed The Handmaid’s Tale. I absolutely loved it.

Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid – 3/5 – I had really high hopes for this book, because The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was one of my favourite reads of 2019. Unfortunately in this case I did end up being disappointed. I don’t know whether to blame my high expectations, or the interview format of the story (which I did not enjoy at all), but overall I just wasn’t impressed with this book. I am still looking forward to the movie adaptation, however. And I am eagerly anticipating Taylor Jenkins Reid’s next book… I might just need to lower my expectations next time.

Favourite Reads 2019

 

I took a look back over all of the books I read throughout the year of 2019, and are were the four that stood out to me the most. Overall, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was my favourite book of the year. The characters are still vivid in my mind and I can remember the majority of what happened in the story. This is a good sign for me because I’m usually someone who forgets a lot of what happened in a book the second I stop reading it. Dead Mountain was really fascinating. I’ve known about the Dyatlov Pass incident for years but getting to hear the story in so much detail and with a clear idea of what the author thought had happened to the group made for a really compelling audiobook. Normal People was probably one of the few books throughout the year where I stopped and thought wow this is beautifully written. Oh, and Obama recommended it in his roundup of 2019 books, so what more needs to be said? Finally, Bunny was just weird as shit and I loved every second of it.