March Book Haul

 

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera“Meet Arthur and Ben. Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it. Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things. But when the boys have a chance meeting at the post office, they leave wondering what exactly the universe does have in store for them. What if – in a city of eight million people – they can’t find each other again? What if they do … and then can’t nail a first date even after three do-overs? What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work and Ben doesn’t try hard enough? What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play? But what if it is?”

Girl Made Of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake“Mara and Owen are as close as twins can get, so when Mara’s friend Hannah accuses Owen of rape, Mara doesn’t know what to think. Can her brother really be guilty of such a violent act? Torn between her family and her sense of right and wrong, Mara feels lost, and it doesn’t help that things are strained with her ex-girlfriend, Charlie. As Mara, Hannah, and Charlie come together in the aftermath of this terrible crime, Mara must face a trauma from her own past and decide where Charlie fits into her future. With sensitivity and openness, this timely novel confronts the difficult questions surrounding consent, victim blaming, and sexual assault.”

Dare To Lead by Brene Brown“Leadership is not about titles, status and power over people. Leaders are people who hold themselves accountable for recognising the potential in people and ideas, and developing that potential. This is a book for everyone who is ready to choose courage over comfort, make a difference and lead. When we dare to lead, we don’t pretend to have the right answers; we stay curious and ask the right questions. We don’t see power as finite and hoard it; we know that power becomes infinite when we share it and work to align authority and accountability. We don’t avoid difficult conversations and situations; we lean into the vulnerability that’s necessary to do good work. But daring leadership in a culture that’s defined by scarcity, fear and uncertainty requires building courage skills, which are uniquely human. The irony is that we’re choosing not to invest in developing the hearts and minds of leaders at the same time we’re scrambling to figure out what we have to offer that machines can’t do better and faster. What can we do better? Empathy, connection and courage to start.”

#ReadYourFaceOff TBR – March

 

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 9th March to 9am on Sunday 10th March in your time zone. My focus for this round is to just get back into the swing of reading. I’ve been in a major reading slump lately, so I’m hoping spending the weekend with some easy books will help kick-start my motivation. Good luck to everyone participating in this round!

February Book Haul

 

Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen McManus“A perfect town is hiding secrets. Two teenagers are dead. Two murders unsolved. And a killer who claims to be coming back. Ellery’s never been to Echo Ridge, but she’s heard all about it. It’s where her aunt went missing at age sixteen, never to return. Where a Homecoming Queen’s murder five years ago made national news. And where Ellery now has to live with a grandmother she barely knows, after her failed-actress mother lands in rehab. Malcolm grew up in the shadow of the Homecoming Queen’s death. His older brother was the prime suspect and left Echo Ridge in disgrace. His mother’s remarriage vaulted them to Echo Ridge’s upper crust, but it could all change when mysterious threats around town hint that a killer plans to strike again. And the return of Malcolm’s brother doesn’t help matters. But his return is just a coincidence… isn’t it? Ellery and Malcolm both know it’s hard to let go when you don’t have closure. Then another girl disappears. As they race to unravel what happened, they realise every secret has layers in Echo Ridge. The truth might be closer to home than either of them want to believe. And somebody would kill to keep it hidden.”

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater“Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…”

I Am Still Alive by Kate Marshall“Jess is stranded in the woods. She has few supplies and only her dog for company. Her survival skills are limited, and she has disabilities that make physical labor a challenge. And winter is on its way. How did she get here? Alternating between the past and the present, this tightly-paced novel tells the story of a girl who survived a car crash that killed her mother, then was pulled from foster care and sent to live with her estranged survivalist father in the remote Canadian wilderness. Jess was just beginning to get to know her dad when a secret from his past paid them a visit, leaving their cabin burned to the ground and Jess’s father dead. Now, Jess must fight with everything she has to forage and hunt for food, build shelter, and keep herself warm. But she will survive. She has to survive. Because she wants revenge.”

January Reading Wrap Up

 

Total Books Read: 8
January TBR Books Read: 2
Total Pages Read: 1,734
Total Hours Listened: 14 Hours 20 Minutes

Sadie by Courtney Summers – 3/5 – If you’re going to pick this book up I highly recommend checking out the audiobook format. It features a full cast, and the podcast element of the story is presented as if it were a real podcast (theme music included). All in all, it was very well done. This was a decent YA thriller that kept me entertained throughout. The ending was different from what I’m used to in thrillers, which made it all the more enjoyable for me.

The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey – 4/5 – This was a good Australian thriller that kept me entertained until the end. Not being able to guess the ending of a thriller is rare for me, and it tends to bump the book up in my opinion when it happens. This was the first book of Sarah Bailey’s that I have read and I am interested to pick up more from her in the future.

Cop Town by Karin Slaughter – 3/5 – This was my first buddy read for the year (with my friend Michael), and it was a WILD RIDE. This book contained nearly every single theme you can imagine to the point where it was almost too many themes for one book, but it sure made for an entertaining buddy read with a lot to discuss. This felt different to all of the Karin Slaughter books I have read before, but I still really enjoyed it. Both Michael and I agreed that we would love to see a spin-off book featuring some of the incredible side characters from the story.

Dead Mountain by Donnie Eichar – 3/5 – I am always down for a disaster story and if you throw a potential conspiracy theory into the mix on top of that, you have my favourite kind of story. The author’s theory as to what happened to the hikers was pretty compelling, and I enjoyed the way he presented all of the information. I can imagine this would have been a little dry if I had read a physical copy, so I’d recommend picking up the audiobook if possible.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – 4/5 – I know I enjoyed this book because not even halfway through I started googling people’s dreamcast of characters for the upcoming TV series. I really loved the character and story development, and I’m keen to keep reading and see how the rest of the series plays out.

Top 8 Books – 2018

 

Bird Box by Josh Malerman“Something is out there… Something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from. Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remain, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now, that the boy and girl are four, it is time to go. But the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat–blindfolded–with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. And something is following them. But is it man, animal, or monster? Engulfed in darkness, surrounded by sounds both familiar and frightening, Malorie embarks on a harrowing odyssey–a trip that takes her into an unseen world and back into the past, to the companions who once saved her. Under the guidance of the stalwart Tom, a motley group of strangers banded together against the unseen terror, creating order from the chaos. But when supplies ran low, they were forced to venture outside–and confront the ultimate question: in a world gone mad, who can really be trusted?”

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne“Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome. 2) A person’s undoing. 3) Joshua Templeman. Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman sit across from each other every day… and they hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. HATE. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight approach to his job and refusal to smile. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and desire to be liked. Now they’re up for the same promotion and Lucy, usually a determined people-pleaser, has had enough: it’s time to take him down. But as the tension between Lucy and Joshua reaches its boiling point, it’s clear that the real battle has only just begun…”

A Game of Thrones by George R R Martin“Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun. As Warden of the north, Lord Eddard Stark counts it a curse when King Robert bestows on him the office of the Hand. His honour weighs him down at court where a true man does what he will, not what he must… and a dead enemy is a thing of beauty. The old gods have no power in the south, Stark’s family is split and there is treachery at court. Worse, the vengeance-mad heir of the deposed Dragon King has grown to maturity in exile in the Free Cities. He claims the Iron Throne.”

Beartown by Fredrik Backman“In a large Swedish forest Beartown hides a dark secret… Cut-off from everywhere else it experiences the kind of isolation that tears people apart. And each year more and more of the town is swallowed by the forest. Then the town is offered a bright new future. But it is all put in jeopardy by a single, brutal act. It divides the town into those who think it should be hushed up and forgotten, and those who’ll risk the future to see justice done. Who will speak up? Could you stand by and stay silent? Or would you risk everything for justice? Which side would you be on?”

The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta“Following the sudden disappearance of thousands of citizens, Kevin Garvey, Mapleton’s new mayor, wants to bring a sense of hope to his traumatised community, but his family has fallen apart in the wake of disaster. Kevin’s wife has joined a homegrown cult, and his son is a disciple of the prophet Holy Wayne. Only Jill, Kevin’s daughter, remains, and she’s no longer the sweet student she once was.”

Something In The Water by Catherine Steadman“Erin is a documentary filmmaker on the brink of a professional breakthrough; Mark a handsome investment banker with a bright future. They seem to have it all, until Mark loses his job and cracks start to appear in their perfect life. But they’re determined to make it work. They book their dream honeymoon and trust that things will work out – after all, they have each other. On the tropical island of Bora Bora Mark takes Erin scuba diving. Mark is with her – she knows he’ll keep her safe. Everything will be fine. Until they find something in the water. Erin and Mark decide to keep their discovery a secret — after all, if no one else knows, who would be hurt? Their decision will trigger a devastating chain of events… which will endanger everything they hold dear.”

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng“Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down. In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules. Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother- who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community. When old family friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town – and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at an unexpected and devastating cost…”

Misery by Stephen King“Misery Chastain is dead. Paul Sheldon has just killed her – with relief, with joy. Misery has made him rich; she was the heroine of a string of bestsellers. And now he wants to get on to some real writing. That’s when the car accident happens, and he wakes up in pain in a strange bed. But it isn’t hospital. Annie Wilkes has pulled him from the wreck, brought him to her remote mountain home, splinted and set his mangled legs. The good news is that Annie was a nurse and has pain-killing drugs. The bad news is that she has long been Paul’s Number One Fan. And when she finds out what Paul had done to Misery, she doesn’t like it. She doesn’t like it at all. Paul Sheldon used to write for a living. Now he’s writing to stay alive.”