November TBR

In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware – Nora hasn’t seen Clare for ten years. Not since the day Nora walked out of her old life and never looked back. Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen party arrives. A weekend in a remote cottage – the perfect opportunity for Nora to reconnect with her best friend, to put the past behind her. But something goes wrong. Very wrong. And as secrets and lies unravel, out in the dark, dark wood the past will finally catch up with Nora.

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson – Taylor Edwards’ family aren’t close but when they receive some life-changing news they decide to get to know each other again, spending one last summer together at their old lake house. But Taylor is faced with the past she ran away from. Her former summer best friend is still living across the lake and still as mad with Taylor as she was five years ago, and her first boyfriend has moved in next door… but he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve. Can one summer be enough time to get a second chance – with family, friends, and love?

Fresh Complaint by Jeffrey Eugenides – `What was it about complaining that felt so good? You and your fellow sufferer emerging from a thorough session as if from a spa bath, refreshed and tingling?’ The first-ever collection of short stories from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jeffrey Eugenides presents characters in the midst of personal and national emergencies. We meet Kendall, a failed poet who, envious of other people’s wealth during the real estate bubble, becomes an embezzler; and Mitchell, a lovelorn liberal arts graduate on a search for enlightenment; and Prakrti, a high school student whose wish to escape the strictures of her family leads to a drastic decision that upends the life of a middle-aged academic.

Faithless by Karin Slaughter – A walk in the woods takes a sinister turn for police chief Jeffrey Tolliver and medical examiner Sara Linton when they stumble across the body of a young girl. Incarcerated in the ground, all the initial evidence indicates that she has, quite literally, been scared to death. But as Sara embarks on the autopsy, something even more horrifying comes to light. Something which shocks even Sara. Detective Lena Adams, talented but increasingly troubled, is called in from vacation to help with the investigation – and the trail soon leads to the neighbouring county, an isolated community, and a terrible secret…

Spookathon TBR

It’s nearly time for Spookathon, and I have my TBR all planned out and ready to go. I was lucky (or sneaky) enough to be able to cover a couple of the challenges with one book, which means by TBR is reasonably short. Which is a good thing for me because life is kind of hectic at the moment and I don’t have a lot of spare time to read. Which seems to be the story of my life at the moment. Here are the books I picked for the challenges this year –

#1 A Thriller: Love Murder by Saul Black – I really loved ‘The Killing Lessons’ by Saul Black, so when I found out there was a sequel I knew I had to pick it up.

#2 A Book With A Spooky Word In The Title: Skitter by Ezekiel Boone – The thought of things skittering around is enough to spook me out, so I think this book fits the challenge perfectly.

#3 A Book Based On A Childhood Fear: Skitter by Ezekiel Boone – You may have noticed that I managed to fit this book into three of the categories. It fits quite nicely into this category, because I watched Arachnophobia as a kid, and it scarred me for life.

#4 A Book With Orange On The Cover: Skitter by Ezekiel Boone – Pretty self explanatory. If I get enough time I have a Nightmare Hall book that I could also slot in for this challenge.

#5 A Book With A Spooky Setting: 1984 by George Orwell – I’m interested to re-read this now that we live in a time where “Big Brother” is not too far outside the realm of possibility.

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.

September TBR

Nothing by Annie BurrowsNothing ever happens to Charlotte and Frankie. Their lives are nothing like the lives of the girls they read about in their YA novels. They don’t have flowing red hair and hot romantic encounters never happen—let alone meeting a true soul mate. They just go to high school and live at home with their parents, who are pretty normal, all things considered. But when Charlotte decides to write down everything that happens during their sophomore year to prove that nothing happens and there is no plot or character development in real life, she’s surprised to find that being fifteen isn’t as boring as she thought. It’s weird, heartbreaking, silly, and complicated. And maybe, just perfect.

The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind. Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn’s happy smalltown family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father – Pikeville’s notorious defence attorney – devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night. Twenty-eight years later, and Charlie has followed in her father’s footsteps to become a lawyer herself – the archetypal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again – and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatised – Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it’s a case which can’t help triggering the terrible memories she’s spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime which destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won’t stay buried for ever…

The Leaving by Tara AltebrandoEleven years ago, six five-year-olds went missing without a trace. After all this time, the people left behind have moved on, or tried to. Until today. Now five of those kids are back. They’re sixteen, and they are… fine. Scarlett comes home and finds a mother she barely recognises, and doesn’t really know who she’s supposed to be, either. But she remembers Lucas. Lucas remembers Scarlett, too, but they can’t recall where they’ve been or what happened to them. Neither of them remember the sixth victim, Max. He doesn’t come back and everyone wants answers.

Mr Mercedes by Stephen KingA cat-and-mouse suspense thriller featuring Bill Hodges, a retired cop who is tormented by ‘the Mercedes massacre’, a case he never solved. Brady Hartsfield, perpetrator of that notorious crime, has sent Hodges a taunting letter. Now he’s preparing to kill again. Each starts to close in on the other in a mega-stakes race against time.

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…