October TBR

The Silent Invasion by James BradleyIt’s 2027 and the human race is dying. Plants, animals and humans have been infected by spores from space and become part of a vast alien intelligence. When 16-year-old Callie discovers her little sister Gracie has been infected, she flees with Gracie to the Zone to avoid termination by the ruthless officers of Quarantine. What Callie finds in the Zone will alter her irrevocably, and send her on a journey to the stars and beyond.

Across The Universe by Beth RevisAmy has left the life she loves for a world 300 years away. Trapped in space and frozen in time, Amy is bound for a new planet. But fifty years before she’s due to arrive, she is violently woken, the victim of an attempted murder. Now Amy’s lost on board and nothing makes sense – she’s never felt so alone. Yet someone is waiting for her. He wants to protect her; and more if she’ll let him. But who can she trust amidst the secrets and lies? A killer is out there – and Amy has nowhere to hide…

End Of The Innocence by Alessandra TorreHe thought I owned him. He thought he loved me, that I was enough. But this animal, this sex god who could drive me crazy and steal my heart in the same breath, he would never fully be mine. It was impossible. No one ever owned a God… One year. I have one year to find out more about this man I am marrying. More about his family. More about our sex, and all of the dirty, delicious places it will take me. I thought I’d spend this year making a decision. I never thought the decision would be taken from me, snatched right from my naive little hands.

Nineteen Eighty Four by George OrwellHidden away in the Record Department of the sprawling Ministry of Truth, Winston Smith skilfully rewrites the past to suit the needs of the Party. Yet he inwardly rebels against the totalitarian world he lives in, which demands absolute obedience and controls him through the all-seeing telescreens and the watchful eye of Big Brother, symbolic head of the Party. In his longing for truth and liberty, Smith begins a secret love affair with a fellow-worker Julia, but soon discovers the true price of freedom is betrayal.

August Reading Wrap-Up

Total Books Read: 7
July TBR Books Read: 4
2017 TBR Challenge Books Read: 1
Total Pages Read: 1,611
Total Hours Listened: 9 hours 13 minutes

Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy – 3/5 – This was a Netgally ARC, and the first book I read in August. This was a decent thriller, but thinking back on it now I have to admit it wasn’t exactly memorable. I can barely remember what happened in the story (besides the part where the families were on a cruise ship – which was minimal), but it was a quick read and it was enjoyable enough at the time.

The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone – 4/5 – I bought this book last year with the intent of reading it for Spookathon, but I never got around to it and to be honest I hadn’t really been interested in reading it until now. I went into it (mostly) blind, and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the story. If you’re not afraid of spiders and are in the mood for something fast-paced and a bit spooky, this is worth checking out.

He Said She Said by Erin Kelly – 4/5 – This was my library book for the month, and although I enjoyed it I’ll admit that it took me a couple of goes to get into the story. Once I was able to get into the story and connect with the characters I couldn’t put it down. This was a great thriller, and did a good job of keeping me guessing until the end.

The Fever by Megan Abbott – 3/5 – This was my audiobook for the month, and like the previous book this took me a few tries to get into. The first half of the book felt completely different to the second, and not in a good way. The cover sucked me in, what can I say.

Sweet Valley University #1 – College Girls – 5/5
Sweet Valley High #48 – Slam Book Fever – 4/5
Nightmare Hall #2 – The Roommate – 1/5

August TBR

The Fever by Megan AbbottThe panic unleashed by a mysterious contagion threatens the bonds of family and community in a seemingly idyllic suburban community. The Nash family is close-knit. Tom is a popular teacher, father of two teens: Eli, a hockey star and girl magnet, and his sister Deenie, a diligent student. Their seeming stability, however, is thrown into chaos when Deenie’s best friend is struck by a terrifying, unexplained seizure in class. Rumors of a hazardous outbreak spread through the family, school and community. As hysteria and contagion swell, a series of tightly held secrets emerges, threatening to unravel friendships, families and the town’s fragile idea of security.

Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile MeloyWhen Liv and Nora decide to take their husbands and children on a holiday cruise, everyone is thrilled. The ship’s comforts and possibilities seem infinite. But when they all go ashore in beautiful Central America, a series of minor mishaps lead the families further from the ship’s safety. One minute the children are there, and the next they’re gone. What follows is a heart-racing story told from the perspectives of the adults and the children, as the distraught parents – now turning on one another and blaming themselves – try to recover their children and their shattered lives.

He Said She Said by Erin KellyIn the hushed aftermath of a total eclipse, Laura witnesses a brutal attack. She and her boyfriend Kit call the police, and in that moment, four lives change forever. Fifteen years on, Laura and Kit live in fear. And while Laura knows she was right to speak out, she also knows that you can never see the whole picture: something is always hidden… something she never could have guessed.

The Hatching by Ezekiel BooneDeep in the jungle of Peru, a black, skittering mass devours an American tourist party whole. FBI agent Mike Rich investigates a fatal plane crash in Minneapolis and makes a gruesome discovery. Unusual seismic patterns register in a Indian earthquake lab, confounding the scientists there. The Chinese government “accidentally” drops a nuclear bomb in an isolated region of its own country. The first female president of the United States is summoned to an emergency briefing. And all of these events are connected. As panic begins to sweep the globe, a mysterious package from South America arrives at Melanie Guyer’s Washington laboratory. The unusual egg inside begins to crack. Something is spreading… The world is on the brink of an apocalyptic disaster. An virulent ancient species, long dormant, is now very much awake. But this is only the beginning of our end…

Book Review: The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney

Book: The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney – audible audiobook edition, 10 hours & five minutes.

Synopsis: Enter the world of One Folgate Street and discover perfection… but can you pay the price?

Jane stumbles on the rental opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to live in a beautiful ultra-minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect, on condition she abides by a long list of exacting rules. After moving in, she discovers that a previous tenant, Emma, met a mysterious death there – and starts to wonder if her own story will be a re-run of the girl before.

As twist after twist catches the reader off guard, Emma’s past and Jane’s present become inexorably entwined in this tense, page-turning portrayal of psychological obsession.

My thoughts: I’m a sucker for a good domestic thriller so when I saw this book recommended by a handful of people, I decided to pick it up and see what it was about. I got the audiobook (mostly because I have a handful of Audible credits that I need to use), and I was excited to see how it would play out in this format. Unfortunately, I think listening to the audio book rather than reading it myself was a big part of what let this down for me.

The concept is interesting enough, but I feel like there is a strong need for suspension of disbelief throughout the story. I can’t imagine anyone in their right mind signing up for the scenario these women place themselves in, but maybe that’s just me. The book moves back and forth between the story of two women, Jane who is currently residing in the house, and Emma, the ‘girl before’. I’ve mentioned before that I struggle with stories that move between character perspective, and listening to audio that used similar voices for the two main characters was difficult for me. I had to stop listening to the book half-way through and start again just so I could follow the story properly.

I found nearly all of the characters unlikeable, even the ones we as the reader are supposed to sympathise with. I couldn’t help but picture Mr. Schue from Glee when the women were describing the ‘enigmatic architect’ throughout the book, which became very distracting and I found it hard to find this character attractive in any way. There were a couple of twists and turns throughout the story that did keep things interesting, but the ending was ultimately unsatisfying for me. If you are going to pick this up I would recommend picking up the hard copy of the book rather than the audio book.

Rating: 4/10

May TBR

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret AtwoodThe Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire – neither Offred’s nor that of the two men on which her future hangs.

It by Stephen KingTo the children, the town was their whole world. To the adults, knowing better, Derry Maine was just their home town: familiar, well-ordered for the most part. A good place to live. It was the children who saw – and felt – what made Derry so horribly different. In the storm drains, in the sewers, IT lurked, taking on the shape of every nightmare, each one’s deepest dread. Sometimes IT reached up, seizing, tearing, killing… The adults, knowing better, knew nothing. Time passed and the children grew up, moved away. The horror of IT was deep-buried, wrapped in forgetfulness. Until they were called back, once more to confront IT as IT stirred and coiled in the sullen depths of their memories, reaching up again to make their past nightmares a terrible present reality.

Every Last Lie by Mary KubicaClara Solberg’s world shatters when her husband and their four-year-old daughter are in a car crash, killing Nick while Maisie is remarkably unharmed. The crash is ruled an accident… until the coming days, when Maisie starts having night terrors that make Clara question what really happened on that fateful afternoon. Tormented by grief and her obsession that Nick’s death was far more than just an accident, Clara is plunged into a desperate hunt for the truth. Who would have wanted Nick dead? And, more important, why? Clara will stop at nothing to find out–and the truth is only the beginning of this twisted tale of secrets and deceit.

Amnesia by Peter CareyWhen Gaby Baillieux, Australia’s most formidable hacker, releases the Angel Worm virus into her country’s prison system, cell doors are opened and inmates walk free. Since those prisons use American software, the doors in thousands of jails in the United States are opened as well. Is this an accident or a declaration of cyber war? Does it have anything to do with the largely forgotten Battle of Brisbane between American and Australian forces in 1942? Or with the CIA-influenced coup in Australia in 1975? Disgraced writer Felix Moore known to himself as our sole remaining left-wing journalist is determined to write Gaby’s biography in order to find the answers that could save her, his career, and perhaps his country. But how to get Gaby on the run, scared, confused, and angry to cooperate?