April TBR

 

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim – “In rural Virginia, Young and Pak Yoo run an experimental medical treatment device known as the Miracle Submarine – a pressurised oxygen chamber that patients enter for “dives”, used as an alternative therapy for conditions including autism and infertility. But when the Miracle Submarine mysteriously explodes, killing two people, a dramatic murder trial upends the Yoos’ small community. Who or what caused the explosion? Was it the mother of one of the patients, who claimed to be sick that day but was smoking down by the creek? Or was it Young and Pak themselves, hoping to cash in on a big insurance payment and send their daughter to college? The ensuing trial uncovers unimaginable secrets from that night–trysts in the woods, mysterious notes, child-abuse charges–as well as tense rivalries and alliances among a group of people driven to extraordinary degrees of desperation and sacrifice.”
 
Honeybee by Craig Silvey – “Late in the night, fourteen-year-old Sam Watson steps onto a quiet overpass, climbs over the rail and looks down at the road far below. At the other end of the same bridge, an old man, Vic, smokes his last cigarette. The two see each other across the void. A fateful connection is made, and an unlikely friendship blooms. Slowly, we learn what led Sam and Vic to the bridge that night. Bonded by their suffering, each privately commits to the impossible task of saving the other.”
 
Every Last Secret by A.R. Torre – “Cat Winthorpe has worked hard to get what she has: a gorgeous home; social standing; and William, her successful, handsome husband. Then a friendly new couple moves into the estate next door. While cautious, a good neighbor like Cat greets them with open arms and warm hospitality. Neena Ryder isn’t a fellow lady of leisure. A life coach with off-the-rack dresses, personal issues, and a husband who hasn’t delivered, she’s anxious to move up in the world. This beautiful new town is a step in the right direction. It’s also making Neena aware of what she doesn’t have. Namely, William. When Neena’s infatuation escalates into obsession, it’s just a matter of eliminating a few obstacles to get the life she wants. The life next door. As Neena’s secret fixation grows, so does her friendship with Cat. But beneath their cordial interactions is a wealth of temptations, secrets, and toxic jealousy. For both women, the desire for a perfect life can turn perfectly dangerous.”
 
The Night Swim by Megan Goldin – “Ever since her true-crime podcast became an overnight sensation and set an innocent man free, Rachel Krall has become a household name – and the last hope for people seeking justice. But she’s used to being recognised for her voice, not her face. Which makes it all the more unsettling when she finds a note on her car windshield, addressed to her, begging for help. The new season of Rachel’s podcast has brought her to a small town being torn apart by a devastating rape trial. A local golden boy, a swimmer destined for Olympic greatness, has been accused of raping the beloved granddaughter of the police chief. Under pressure to make Season 3 a success, Rachel throws herself into her investigation – but the mysterious letters keep coming. Someone is following her, and she won’t stop until Rachel finds out what happened to her sister twenty-five years ago. Officially, Jenny Stills tragically drowned, but the letters insist she was murdered – and when Rachel starts asking questions, nobody in town wants to answer. The past and present start to collide as Rachel uncovers startling connections between the two cases – and a revelation that will change the course of the trial and the lives of everyone involved.”

March TBR (Nostalgic Reads)

 

Sweet Valley High #21 – Runaway“Jessica Wakefield is sick and tired of taking second place to her twin sister, Elizabeth. Everyone adores Elizabeth; she’s kind and loving and generous. But Jessica can’t seem to do anything right. Then Jessica meets handsome, sensitive Nicky Shepard, who feels the same way she does. Nicky is running away to San Francisco and wants Jessica to join him. At first she doesn’t take him seriously. But when things reach the breaking point at home, Jessica starts to see that she might be better off if she left Sweet Valley – forever!”
 
Sweet Valley High #22 – Too Much In Love“Bill Chase and DeeDee Gordon have been happy together for a long time. But lately DeeDee has become too dependent on Bill. She wants to do everything and go everywhere with him. Bill feels that he doesn’t have any room to breathe and decides it’s over between them. Elizabeth doesn’t know why DeeDee is acting the way she is, but she knows DeeDee’s strange behaviour is killing her relationship. Can Elizabeth help DeeDee regain her strength and independence before its too late?”
 
Sweet Valley University #18 – Billie’s Secret“Billie Winkler is breaking Steven Wakefield’s heart. By competing for a scholarship to study in Spain, she has shattered Steven’s plans for their perfect future. Will Billie win a year abroad and risk losing Steven forever? Jessica Wakefield is miserable. She has the job from hell at Taylor’s department store, and if she messes up one more time, she’ll be fired! Everyone’s taking bets on how long Jessica will last, even her ex-husband Mike McAllery. But there’s no way she’ll let Mike get the last laugh. Posing as a waitress in a sleazy nightclub, Elizabeth Wakefield is about to uncover a major scandal. But can she expose the crooks without exposing too much of herself?”
 
Sweet Valley University #19 – Broken Promises, Shattered Dreams“Billie Winkler and Steven Wakefield are having a baby! But Steven’s joy quickly turns to misery when Billie tells him that marriage is not the only option. Will this mean the end of Billie and Steven? Now that she owns her own clothing business, Jessica Wakefield’s life is perfect. But then her flirty partner, Val Tripler, and scheming ex-husband, Mike AcAllery, disappear with all the company’s borrowed money. How will Jessica find her way out of this one? Lila Fowler’s sick of her freeloading friends! She opens a non-profit doughnut shop to help the neighbourhood, and her friends help themselves to all the free food. Can Lila keep her store without losing her friends?”

March TBR

 

The Bluffs by Kyle Perry – “When a school group of teenage girls goes missing in the remote wilderness of Tasmania’s Great Western Tiers, the people of Limestone Creek are immediately on alert. Three decades ago, five young girls disappeared in the area of those dangerous bluffs, and the legend of ‘the Hungry Man’ still haunts locals to this day. Now, authorities can determine that the teacher, Eliza Ellis, was knocked unconscious, so someone on the mountain was up to foul play. Jordan Murphy, the local dealer and father of missing student Jasmine, instantly becomes the prime suspect. But Detective Con Badenhorst knows that in a town this size – with corrupt cops, small-town politics, and a teenage YouTube sensation – everyone is hiding something, and bluffing is second nature. When a body is found, mauled, at the bottom of a cliff, suspicion turns to a wild animal – but that can’t explain why she was discovered barefoot, her shoes at the top of the cliff, laces neatly tied.”
 
Girl A by Abigail Dean – “Lex Gracie doesn’t want to think about her family. She doesn’t want to think about growing up in her parents’ House of Horrors. And she doesn’t want to think about her identity as Girl A: the girl who escaped. When her mother dies in prison and leaves Lex and her siblings the family home, she can’t run from her past any longer. Together with her sister, Evie, Lex intends to turn the House of Horrors into a force for good. But first she must come to terms with her six siblings – and with the childhood they shared.”
 
The Favourite Sister by Jessica Knoll – “Brett and Kelly Courtney are the shining jewels in a New York-based reality TV show called Goal Diggers. One of the most popular shows on American national television, its fiercely competitive cast of five self-made women are defined by their success, beauty and ruthless drive to reach the top by whatever means necessary. The Courtney sisters’ rivalry goes skin deep despite the blossoming business they have built together that helps disadvantaged women in Morocco. Harbouring bitter jealousies and dark secrets about their manufactured screen lives they’re joined by three other hyper-competitive women who all have their own agendas. And the latest season promises sparks to fly in the quest for even higher ratings. Vicious backstabbing, scathing social media attacks and finely-tuned scripting draw in the viewing public every week, all orchestrated by the show’s omnipotent producers. But even they don’t know that season 4 will end in murder…”
 
Into The Forest by Jean Hegland – “Over 30 miles from the nearest town, and several miles away from their nearest neighbor, Nell and Eva struggle to survive as society begins to decay and collapse around them. No single event precedes society’s fall. There is talk of a war overseas and upheaval in Congress, but it still comes as a shock when the electricity runs out and gas is nowhere to be found. The sisters consume the resources left in the house, waiting for the power to return. Their arrival into adulthood, however, forces them to re-examine their place in the world and their relationship to the land and each other.”

February TBR (Nostalgic Reads)

 

Sweet Valley High #19 – Showdown“When Lila Fowler’s mysterious new boyfriend finally appears at her pool party, Jessica Wakefield is dazzled. Jack is handsome, sexy, and exciting — even more perfect than Lila described him. So Jessica wastes no time making sure he notices her, too. Unknown to Lila, Jack dates both girls — Jessica during the week and Lila on weekends. But the sight of Lila’s happy face on Monday mornings is more than Jessica can stand! Jessica’s twin sister, Elizabeth, warns her to drop Jack before she really gets hurt. But Jessica would rather get Lila out of the picture. Then Jack will be hers — all hers.”
 
Sweet Valley High #20 – Crash Landing!“George Warren has been looking forward to taking his girlfriend, Enid Rollins, as a passenger on his first licensed flight. Afterward he’s going to tell her something he’s known for a long time — he doesn’t love her anymore, and their relationship is over. Then he’ll be free to date Robin Wilson, the girl he does love. But as he and Enid are flying, George loses control of the plane and is forced to make a crash landing. Enid is seriously injured, and George is overcome with guilt. He can’t possibly break up with Enid now. But how long can he pretend to be in love with her and continue living a lie?”
 
Sweet Valley University #16 – The Other Woman“Jessica Wakefield is in love with the wrong man. Both she and her professor, Louis Miles, know that getting involved will only lead to heartbreak. But can they deny the force of their passion? Elizabeth Wakefield and Todd Wilkins are shaking up Sweet Valley University! They’ve discovered corruption in the administration that is more rampant than anything they could have imagined. But is blowing the lid off the scandal worth risking their lives? Lila Fowler and Bruce Patman are living together! They’ve got a perfect apartment, perfect furniture, and the perfect relationship – until their families cut them off. Can Lila and Bruce live on nothing but love?”
 
Sweet Valley University #17 – Deadly Attraction“Jessica Wakefield is crushed. It turns out her new love, Professor Louis Miles, is married – and his wife is out for blood. Will Jessica’s bittersweet romance end in tragedy? Elizabeth Wakefield and Todd Wilkins are running out of time. If they can’t expose the conspiracy that’s tearing Sweet Valley University apart, they may not live to see another day. Winston Egbert in the army? Now that Winston’s been caught cheating, his father is teaching him a lesson – by sending him to boot camp! Lila Fowler and Bruce Patman defied their parents and moved in together. Now they’re sleeping under a leaky roof, on a sagging bed, with only roaches for company. Who ever said that poverty was romantic?”

February TBR

 

Erotic Stories for Pubjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal – “Nikki lives in cosmopolitan West London, where she tends bar at the local pub. The daughter of Indian immigrants, she’s spent most of her twenty-odd years distancing herself from the traditional Sikh community of her childhood, preferring a more independent (that is, Western) life. When her father’s death leaves the family financially strapped, Nikki, a law school dropout, impulsively takes a job teaching a creative writing course at the community center in the beating heart of London’s close-knit Punjabi community. Because of a miscommunication, the proper Sikh widows who show up are expecting to learn basic English literacy, not the art of short-story writing. When one of the widows finds a book of sexy stories in English and shares it with the class, Nikki realizes that beneath their white dupattas, her students have a wealth of fantasies and memories. Eager to liberate these modest women, she teaches them how to express their untold stories, unleashing creativity of the most unexpected–and exciting–kind. As more women are drawn to the class, Nikki warns her students to keep their work secret from the Brotherhood, a group of highly conservative young men who have appointed themselves the community’s moral police. But when the widows’ gossip offers shocking insights into the death of a young wife–a modern woman like Nikki–and some of the class erotica is shared among friends, it sparks a scandal that threatens them all.”
 
The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez – “Kristen Peterson doesn’t do drama, will fight to the death for her friends, and has no room in her life for guys who just don’t get her. She’s also keeping a big secret: facing a medically necessary procedure that will make it impossible for her to have children. Planning her best friend’s wedding is bittersweet for Kristen — especially when she meets the best man, Josh Copeland. He’s funny, sexy, never offended by her mile-wide streak of sarcasm, and always one chicken enchilada ahead of her hangry. Even her dog, Stuntman Mike, adores him. The only catch: Josh wants a big family someday. Kristen knows he’d be better off with someone else, but as their attraction grows, it’s harder and harder to keep him at arm’s length.”
 
You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle – “Meet Naomi and Nicholas: the Perfect Couple. Their glorious, lavish wedding is coming up in three short months… and they are utterly, miserably sick of each other. Unfortunately, whoever backs out first will end up bearing the brunt of the wedding bill. When Naomi finds out that Nicholas has been feigning contentment too, the two of them go head-to-head in a battle of sabotage, pranks, and all-out emotional warfare to see who can annoy the other into surrendering first. Now that they have nothing to lose, they’re finally being themselves. In fact, they’re having so much fun getting on each other’s nerves that it starts to feel like something else entirely…”
 
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens – “For years, rumors of the Marsh Girl have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens.”