RYFO TBR – July

 

The general goal for a #ReadYourFaceOff readathon is to get through as much reading as you can in a 24-hour window of time. It’s a fun (and short) readathon that was created by Riley from RMFickFack. This round will run from 9am on Saturday 11th July to 9am on Sunday 12th July in your time zone. My focus for this round is to try and break my reading slump. It’s been a while since I’ve had a decent reading session, so hopefully this weekend is it for me! Good luck to everyone participating in this round!

Nostalgic Book Haul (July)

 

Sweet Valley High #34 – Forbidden Love“Maria Santelli’s engagement to Michael Harris is the talk of Sweet Valley High, but they must keep it a secret from their parents. Years ago, the two families had a huge argument, and Michael and Maria were forbidden to see each other. At first, the sparkle in Maria’s eyes nearly matches the sparkle of her diamond ring. But being engaged isn’t as easy as Maria had expected. She’s used to doing things on her own; but not Michael acts as if he owns her . He’s even jealous of her helping Winston Egbert with his campaign for Student Council. Maria’s beginning to think that she and Michael were happier before their engagement. Will Michael and Maria resolve their differences and go ahead with their wedding plans? Or will their secret engagement destroy their relationship forever?”
 
Goosebumps #4 – Say Cheese And Die!“Greg thinks there is something wrong with the old camera he and his friends found. The photographs keep turning out wrong. Very wrong. Like the snapshot Greg took of his father’s new car that shows it totalled. And then Greg’s father is in a nasty wreck. But Greg’s friends don’t believe him. Shari even makes Greg bring the camera to her birthday party and take her picture. Only Shari’s not in the photograph when it develops. Is Shari about to be taken out of the picture permanently? Who is going to take the next fall for… the evil camera?”
 
Sweet Valley High #37 – Rumors“It’s every girl’s dream at Sweet Valley High to attend the fabulous Bridgewater Ball, and Susan Stewart has the chance to go with handsome, wealthy Gordon Stoddard. Nobody knows where Susan gets her money and style – or who her real parents are – but everyone agrees she’s beautiful, friendly, and fun to be with. Then jealous Lila Fowler starts spreading vicious rumors about Susan’s mother – who she really is and why she abandoned Susan. No one wants to talk to Susan anymore, not even Gordon. To clear her name, Susan has to find out the truth about her parents. But is she better off not knowing?”

July TBR

 

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager – “What was it like? Living in that house. Maggie Holt is used to such questions. Twenty-five years ago, she and her parents, Ewan and Jess, moved into Baneberry Hall, a rambling Victorian estate in the Vermont woods. They spent three weeks there before fleeing in the dead of night, an ordeal Ewan later recounted in a nonfiction book called House of Horrors. His tale of ghostly happenings and encounters with malevolent spirits became a worldwide phenomenon, rivaling The Amityville Horror in popularity–and skepticism. Today, Maggie is a restorer of old homes and too young to remember any of the events mentioned in her father’s book. But she also doesn’t believe a word of it. Ghosts, after all, don’t exist. When Maggie inherits Baneberry Hall after her father’s death, she returns to renovate the place to prepare it for sale. But her homecoming is anything but warm. People from the past, chronicled in House of Horrors, lurk in the shadows. And locals aren’t thrilled that their small town has been made infamous thanks to Maggie’s father. Even more unnerving is Baneberry Hall itself–a place filled with relics from another era that hint at a history of dark deeds. As Maggie experiences strange occurrences straight out of her father’s book, she starts to believe that what he wrote was more fact than fiction. Alternating between Maggie’s uneasy homecoming and chapters from her father’s book, Home Before Dark is the story of a house with long-buried secrets and a woman’s quest to uncover them–even if the truth is far more terrifying than any haunting.”
 
Well Met by Jen De Luca – “Emily knew there would be strings attached when she relocated to the small town of Willow Creek, Maryland, for the summer to help her sister recover from an accident, but who could anticipate getting roped into volunteering for the local Renaissance Faire alongside her teenaged niece? Or that the irritating and inscrutable schoolteacher in charge of the volunteers would be so annoying that she finds it impossible to stop thinking about him? The faire is Simon’s family legacy and from the start he makes clear he doesn’t have time for Emily’s lighthearted approach to life, her oddball Shakespeare conspiracy theories, or her endless suggestions for new acts to shake things up. Yet on the faire grounds he becomes a different person, flirting freely with Emily when she’s in her revealing wench’s costume. But is this attraction real, or just part of the characters they’re portraying? This summer was only ever supposed to be a pit stop on the way to somewhere else for Emily, but soon she can’t seem to shake the fantasy of establishing something more with Simon or a permanent home of her own in Willow Creek.”
 
Keeper by Jessica Moor – “When Katie Straw’s body is pulled from the waters of the local suicide spot, the police are ready to write it off as a standard-issue female suicide. But the residents of the domestic violence shelter where Katie worked disagree. These women have spent weeks or even years waiting for the men they’re running from to catch up with them. They know immediately: This was murder. Still, Detective Dan Whitworth and his team expect an open-and-shut case–until they discover evidence that suggests Katie wasn’t who she appeared.”

Nostalgic Book Haul (June)

 

Sweet Valley High #33 – Starting Over“Sally Larson is thrilled when she moves in with her cousin Dana’s family. After years of living in foster homes, Sally longs to have a real home, and she’s determined to make a good impression. As long as Sally lets Dana control her life, she feels she’ll be accepted. After all, her cousin is pretty, popular, and the lead singer for the Droids, Sweet Valley High’s smash rock band. Sally even hopes to overcome the resentment of Dana’s brother, Jeremy. But when Dana begins to resent her, too, Sally’s afraid she’ll have to leave–and she knows this is her last chance to make a life for herself. Will Sally ever be able to call Sweet Valley home?”
 
Sweet Valley University #30 – Beauty and the Beach“Ben Mercer has a big surprise in store for Jessica Wakefield. He’s returning to Sweet Valley Shore–and bringing his supersmart girlfriend, Priya Rahman, along with him. Elizabeth Wakefield is heading back to the beach and straight for the arms of gorgeous head lifeguard Ryan Taylor. But Ryan is hiding something from her–something important. Will Elizabeth’s perfect summer romance be over before it even begins? The last thing Nina Harper wants to do this summer is fall in love. Can Stu Kirkwood, a sweet, sexy surfer, make her change her mind?”
 
Goosebumps #3 – Monster Blood“While staying with his weird great-aunt Kathryn, Evan visits a funky old toy store and buys a dusty can of monster blood, It’s fun to play with at first. And Evan’s dog, Trigger, likes it so much, he eats some! But then Evan notices something weird about the green slimy stuff it seems to be growing. And growing. And growing. And all that growing has given the monster blood a monstrous appetite…”

Winter Book Haul

 

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell – “Vanessa Wye was fifteen years old when she first had sex with her English teacher. She is now thirty-two and in the storm of allegations against powerful men in 2017, the teacher, Jacob Strane, has just been accused of sexual abuse by another former student. Vanessa is horrified by this news, because she is quite certain that the relationship she had with Strane wasn’t abuse. It was love. She’s sure of that. Forced to rethink her past, to revisit everything that happened, Vanessa has to redefine the great love story of her life – her great sexual awakening – as rape. Now she must deal with the possibility that she might be a victim, and just one of many.”
 
Keeper by Jessica Moor – “When Katie Straw’s body is pulled from the waters of the local suicide spot, the police are ready to write it off as a standard-issue female suicide. But the residents of the domestic violence shelter where Katie worked disagree. These women have spent weeks or even years waiting for the men they’re running from to catch up with them. They know immediately: This was murder.
Still, Detective Dan Whitworth and his team expect an open-and-shut case–until they discover evidence that suggests Katie wasn’t who she appeared.”

 
If It Bleeds by Stephen King – “Holly Gibney of the Finders Keepers detective agency is working on the case of a missing dog – and on her own need to be more assertive – when she sees the footage on TV. But when she tunes in again, to the late-night report, she realises there is something not quite right about the correspondent who was first on the scene.”