The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay – “Seven-year-old Wen and her parents, Eric and Andrew, are vacationing at a remote cabin on a quiet New Hampshire lake. Their closest neighbors are more than two miles in either direction along a rutted dirt road. One afternoon, as Wen catches grasshoppers in the front yard, a stranger unexpectedly appears in the driveway. Leonard is the largest man Wen has ever seen but he is young, friendly, and he wins her over almost instantly. Leonard and Wen talk and play until Leonard abruptly apologizes and tells Wen, “None of what’s going to happen is your fault”. Three more strangers then arrive at the cabin carrying unidentifiable, menacing objects. As Wen sprints inside to warn her parents, Leonard calls out: ‘Your dads won’t want to let us in, Wen. But they have to. We need your help to save the world.’”
Into The Water by Paula Hawkins – “In the last days before her death, Nel called her sister. Jules didn’t pick up the phone, ignoring her plea for help. Now Nel is dead. They say she jumped. And Jules has been dragged back to the one place she hoped she had escaped for good, to care for the teenage girl her sister left behind. But Jules is afraid. So afraid. Of her long-buried memories, of the old Mill House, of knowing that Nel would never have jumped. And most of all she’s afraid of the water, and the place they call the Drowning Pool…”
Sweet Valley High Super Edition – Spring Break – “Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield are nearly bursting with excitement. Spring break has arrived, and the twins are off to the glamorous South of France! It’s the vacation of a lifetime: Elizabeth can’t wait to practice her French, but Jessica’s dying to meet those romantic French boys. The Riviera turns out to be even more beautiful and wonderous than the twins had imagined, with its beach clubs, magnificent mansions, and the glittering Mediterranean Sea. But while the Frenchwoman with whom Jessica and Elizabeth are staying with is a welcome hostess, her handsome son, Rene, is arrogant and rude. Can the twins figure out why Rene seems to despise them, or will he spoil their dream vacation?”
Sweet Valley High #28 – Alone In The Crowd – “Lynne Henry is tall, awkward, and painfully shy. The one bright spot in her life is her songwriting. In her room, playing her guitar, Lynne forgets how lonely she is and becomes someone special. When The Droids, Sweet Valley High’s most popular rock band, announce a songwriting contest, Lynne enters it. But she is so insecure about her talent that she submits her song anonymously. As soon as they hear Lynne’s song, The Droids know they’ve got a winner. Guy Chesney, the attractive lead guitarist for the band, vows to find the songwriter, no matter how long it takes. Only Elizabeth Wakefield knows Lynne’s secret. Can she persuade Lynne to come out into the open and share her talent, or is Lynne destined to remain unnoticed?”
Sweet Valley University #24 – His Secret Past – “Jessica Wakefield has hooked up with the perfect guy. Nick Fox is sexy, smart, and dangerous. And just like her, he lives for excitement. Jessica knows Nick has secrets to spare – and she’s determined to find out every last one! Elizabeth Wakefield is worried about her boyfriend, Tom Watts. His twenty-first birthday is just a few days away, and he’s depressed that he doesn’t have a family to help him celebrate. Elizabeth’s sure the surprise party she’s planning will cheer him up – but will her gift be more than he can handle? Celine Boudreaux is back at SVU and determined to make a splash with the most exclusive sorority on campus. Celine will do anything to get into Thetas – even if it’s illegal…”
Sweet Valley University #25 – Busted! – “What is Nick Fox’s secret? Jessica Wakefield’s curiosity leads her deeper and deeper into the middle of Nick’s mysterious world, and the middle of a drug bust! Will the guy Jessica loves send her to jail? Tom Watts has never been happier. He’d once thought that his entire family was dead, but George Conroy changed that. Now Tom has a father, brothers, sisters, a trust fun – even a dog! It looks so perfect. But sometimes looks can be deceiving. Elizabeth Wakefield is thrilled that Tom finally has a family. But she’s afraid that his father’s affection for her isn’t as innocent as it should be. How can she tell Tom her fears without destroying his newfound happiness?”
Erotic Stories For Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal – I picked this book up a long time ago, after seeing it as one of the recommendations for Reese Witherspoon’s book club. I had high hopes for this, and although it was an okay read it unfortunately drove me into a bit of a reading slump. I enjoyed elements of the book, it was fun to explore the world of the widows, and their lives, but the mystery elements that were weaved into the story fell flat for me.
Girl A by Abigail Dean – This was the main book I read during June’s Read Your Face Off weekend, and it was the first book in a very long time that I’ve managed to read in one day. This book included so many of my favourite elements, and I loved it. Warning – it involves themes like child abuse/children locked up inside their own house (and I blame reading Flowers in the Attic at a young age for my fascination with this sort of plot), so reader beware.
Sweet Valley High Superstar #1 – Lila’s Story – “Lila Fowler is the richest girl at Sweet Valley High. She wears designer clothes, lives in a mansion, and has an allowance at least three times the size of her friends’. And as an only child, she’s always had all of her father’s affection. Lila has everything a girl could possibly want. But before long Lila’s happiness is shattered. Her father brings home a beautiful new girlfriend, Joan. And Joan has a daughter, Jacqueline, who’s the same age as Lila. Soon it seems that Joan and Jacqueline are taking over Fowler Crest and Lila is furious. Then Mr. Fowler drops a bombshell – he and Joan are getting married! If Lila can’t stop them, her life will change forever!”
Sweet Valley High Superstar #2 – Bruce’s Story – “The license plates on Bruce Patman’s Porsche read 1BRUCE1, and that’s exactly how he thinks of himself – as Number One. Handsome and arrogant, Bruce is used to getting everything he wants. Bruce’s cousin Roger, who lives with the Patman family is nothing like Bruce. Roger was penniless for most of his life. He only recently found out that his late father was a Patman and that he was heir to his father’s estate. Roger is still trying to adjust to his newfound wealth. The boys have only one thing in common – their grandfather, who is one of the richest men in California. A shrewd, hardworking businessman, Mr. Patman decides to set up a contest between Bruce and Roger. The winner will inherit the grandfather’s entire estate. The war is on – and Bruce will do anything to win!”
Sweet Valley High Superstar #3 – Enid’s Story – “People who meet pretty, quiet Enid Rollins find it hard to belive that she ever ran with a wild crowd. She’s popular, a straight-A student, and is best friends with Elizabeth Wakefield. Finally, Enid seems to have her life together. Then everything starts to go wrong. She’s interested in Jeffrey French, Elizabeth’s ex-boyfriend, and thinks that he likes her, too. But it turns out he hasn’t gotten over Elizabeth. Then Enid’s father shows up drunk for his Christmas visit. The only person left in Enid’s life is Elizabeth, and when they have a terrible disagreement, Enid feels totally alone. So when Brian, a boy from her past, asks her out, Enid is thrilled. She knows that being with Brian is risky, but he’s the only person who seems to appreciate her. Can Enid resist temptation, or will she return to her wild life?”
Sweet Valley High Superstar #4 – Olivia’s Story – “Olivia Davidson’s offbeat style sets her apart from the other students at Sweet Valley High. And until now, her mother has always encourage Olivia in her artistic pursuits. But ever since Olivia started spending time with James Yates, another intense artist, Mrs. Davidson has been pushing Olivia to change her ways and begin thinking about college and earning a living. Then Olivia’s career-oriented cousin Emily comes to town, and it’s more than Olivia can take. Emily’s got her whole life planned and organized in color-coded files; meanwhile, Olivia doesn’t even have the money to buy a paintbrush! She’s ready to give up her art and James forever. Then Mrs. Davidson reveals a startling secret about her own past that forces Olivia to make what could be the most difficult and important decision of her whole life.”
Sweet Valley High Superstar #5 – Todd’s Story – “When Todd Wilkins and his girlfriend, Elizabeth Wakefield, land jobs as counselors at Secca Lake Day Camp, the summer is off to a great start-until Todd runs into a counselor named Kevin Holmes. Everyone else thinks Kevin is terrific-including Elizabeth. But Todd knows Kevin’s secret: Kevin was in jail, and Todd helped put him there! Todd suspects that Kevin wants revenge, even though Kevin acts as if he’s turned over a new leaf. When Kevin’s around, Todd becomes edgy, defensive, and rude. Soon even Elizabeth is siding with Kevin. But when a crime wave hits Sweet Valley, Todd knows he was right all along. Can Todd expose Kevin’s criminal scheme before Kevin gets his revenge… and hurts Elizabeth in the process?”
The Survivors by Jane Harper – “Kieran Elliott’s life changed forever on a single day when a reckless mistake led to devastating consequences. The guilt that haunts him still resurfaces during a visit with his young family to the small coastal town he once called home. Kieran’s parents are struggling in a community which is bound, for better or worse, to the sea that is both a lifeline and a threat. Between them all is his absent brother Finn. When a body is discovered on the beach, long-held secrets threaten to emerge in the murder investigation that follows. A sunken wreck, a missing girl and questions that have never washed away…”
The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton – “On an autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman knocks at the door of a grand house in the wealthiest quarter of Amsterdam. She has come from the country to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt, but instead she is met by his sharp-tongued sister, Marin. Only later does Johannes appear and present her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. It is to be furnished by an elusive miniaturist, whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in unexpected ways …Nella is at first mystified by the closed world of the Brandt household, but as she uncovers its secrets she realizes the escalating dangers that await them all. Does the miniaturist hold their fate in her hands? And will she be the key to their salvation or the architect of their downfall?“