“The Book of Essie” by Meghan Maclean Weir

91nZ-OBPoRLTold in three perspectives, The Book of Essie is the story of what happens when a Christian reality TV family finds out one of the daughters is pregnant. They will go to any length to protect their reputation, celebrity, show, and ultimately — power and wealth.

Essie, 17, is pregnant. Her parents have decided that the best way to deal with the situation is to marry her off quickly and pretend the baby belongs to the husband. Essie doesn’t like her life in the spotlight and disagrees with what her parents are doing. She knows how fake everyone is in her world and is generally disillusioned with the world, ready to escape her small town.

Rourke, a year older at Essie’s high school, is “chosen” to be Essie’s husband. He is appalled at what his parents are willing to do to save their business and be set for life. But at the same time…he really wants to go to Columbia. And he wants his parents to be financially stable. But he really also doesn’t want to be a celebrity, and he really doesn’t want to marry Essie and be a part of the strict, religious family he’s grown up watching on television and in real life.

Liberty Bell, now a journalist, earned her spotlight for being an escaped member of a cult. The cult leader is not only in jail now, and has Liberty’s mom petitioning for his release, but Liberty hates him with everything she is because he is responsible for her sister’s death so many years ago. Essie knows about Liberty’s story, and she asks to be put through interviews on Liberty’s show to give an “inside look” to the viewers before her whirlwind marriage.

Full of twists, shocking moments, and horrifying revelations, The Book of Essie is one of the most bingeable books I’ve picked up this year. I initially got it as my June Book of the Month, but ended up listening to the audiobook. The audiobook has amazing narrators and I could not turn it off!

If you like celebrity drama, teenage angst mixed with real problems, journalistic investigations, and a real, down-to-earth American story, this one is for you.

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Buy the book here.

Sign up for Book of the Month here. I love it so much!

[It should also be mentioned that there are a few content warnings: rape, homophobia, murder, general bad treatment of children. However, these things are not condoned in the book.]

Links in post are affiliate links whose proceeds go toward the maintenance of this blog.

“From Twinkle with Love” by Sandhya Menon

81wu+v1CDsL.jpgNew release Tuesday!

Twinkle Mehra has big plans for her life. She’s going to get popular, get her best friend back, and fall madly in love with the mega-popular Neil Roy, and then she’s going to get into the film school of her dreams and become a famous filmmaker.

But lofty plans rarely are accomplished the way we want.

When Sahil Roy, Neil’s twin, approaches Twinkle with the idea for a gender-swapped Dracula film for an upcoming film festival, she is excited. She gets to make a film, and Sahil can probably get her close to her crush, Neil!

Twinkle is a Desi character, so reading this book, much like in When Dimple Met Rishi by Menon, I was excited to see a diverse family and to learn more about their culture. For instance, when Sahil comes to Twinkle’s house, instead of where I might call my friend’s parent “Mr. Jones” or by their first name, in this culture they call them “Uncle or Aunt (first name).”

(And yes, I know these diverse titles by WOC are not meant to educate white people, but instead so that all people can find themselves represented in books. However, I do take the opportunity to learn about different cultures and diverse reads like Twinkle help me educate myself.)

Beyond the awesome diversity in this book, the story is just adorable and squee-worthy. It’s a young adult contemporary, so you know it has a happy ending.

I liked From Twinkle with Love significantly more than When Dimple Met Rishi (which I did quite enjoy), so if you liked Dimple, you’ll like Twinkle! I can’t wait for the next installment, When Ashish Met Sweetie due out in 2019.

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Buy From Twinkle with Love here.
Buy When Dimple Met Rishi here.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. Links in post are affiliate links whose proceeds go toward the maintenance of this blog.

“Undead Girl Gang” by Lily Anderson

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LOOK AT IT IT’S SO PRETTY

New release Tuesday! And cover swoons!

Picture Veronica Mars meets Pushing Daisies. YES. GO READ UNDEAD GIRL GANG. (Oh, you want more of a review? Fine.)

Mila’s best friend was found dead the day after two of the most popular girls in school are found hanging in a nearby park. It was said to be a pact between the two. But Mila knows Riley wouldn’t kill herself.

Fortunately, Riley and Mila used to spend their free time dabbling in witchcraft, mostly blessings for good luck on tests, or activating crystals, like the one Riley wears every day. The police refuse to investigate Riley’s “suicide” — so Mila takes things into her own hands.

When Mila raises Riley from the grave to help solve her own murder, Mila inadvertently raises the other two girls from her school, but they all have lost their memories of before they died. They form a team and work to find out why they all ended up dead, and if it was murder, who did it.

This book is equal parts fun and slightly eerie, and if you like teen detectives with lots of sass, you’ve got to pick up Undead Girl Gang.

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Buy the book here!

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. Links in post are affiliate links whose proceeds go toward the maintenance of this blog.

“Only Human” by Sylvain Neuvel

New Release Tuesday!

Only Human is the stellar conclusion to the Themis Files Trilogy. (Book one was Sleeping Giants, book two was Waking Gods.) And WHOOO BOY. What a roller coaster of emotions!

If you haven’t started the trilogy, read my review of Sleeping Giants here. Basically, without spoiling too much, a young girl stumbles upon a giant metal hand, and this sparks a world of scientists to figure out what it is. The book is told in letters, transcripts, interviews, diary entries, etc., much like the Illuminae series I so adore.

Spoilers for the first two books lurk below!

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Only Human by Sylvain NeuvelOnly Human is told in past and present pieces. Rose, Vincent, and Eva were whisked to another planet inside the alien robot they had just successfully disabled. The humans have to navigate a world full of aliens, class systems, and rebellion for many years, until one day they finally find a way to escape back to Earth. Upon landing on Earth, they are immediately taken captive by the Russian Government, who take ownership of the robot and interrogate the travelers for details of the foreign planet. These two separate timelines are interwoven, showing the humans on both Earth and their temporary home.

This is an incredibly complex, out-of-this-world story, from the very beginning of the trilogy. I finished the book on the train home, and I’m pretty sure my seatmate thought I was a lunatic with the range of emotions I experienced as I finished the series. So bittersweet, to finally finish a series you’ve been reading for 3 years. I can’t wait to see what Sylvain Neuvel comes up with next.

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Buy Sleeping Giants here.
Buy Waking Gods here.
Buy Only Human here.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. Links in post are affiliate links whose proceeds go toward the maintenance of this blog.

“Sky in the Deep” by Adrienne Young

34726469New Release Tuesday! Eelyn is a Viking warrior from the Aska tribe. Their mortal enemies, as decreed by the gods, are the Riki. Every five years the two clans must meet each other in battle to honor their gods.

Five years ago in battle, Eelyn saw her brother Iri fall in battle, rolling down an unreachable ravine. So when she sees her brother fighting with the Riki five years later, she assumes she’s seeing his spirit. The battle rages on, and Eelyn is shot through the he shoulder and taken hostage—by her brother and his new Riki family. There’s Fiske’s curious little brother, Inge, the village healer, and Fiske. The rude, bull-headed young man who shot Eelyn.

Eelyn must learn to survive while she waits out her escape once winter ends. Along the way, she makes new friends, new enemies, and realizes the Riki are much more alike the Aska than they are different. What follows is a great political and savage story where it seems like it may be hopeless—where everyone Eelyn knows might perish.

Another great thing about this story is that it is a standalone story. Everything is wrapped up at the end and you don’t have to wait tortuously for the sequel. If you like badass warrior women, Viking fierceness, and a fast-paced story, Sky in the Deep is definitely for you.

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Buy the book here.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. Links in post are affiliate links whose proceeds go toward the maintenance of this blog.

I HAD to have it…but why haven’t I read it yet?

If you’re anything like me, you have a lot of books you are anticipating the release date of, all the time. I am always excited for something big coming out, and most times I’ll have them pre-ordered to guarantee release date delivery and to take advantage of any pre-order incentives!

Yet, I find myself looking at my shelf, wondering why all of these highly-anticipated books remain unread! I have a feeling that it may be something of a worry that the book won’t live up to my hype-levels. Plus, there’s just so many AMAZING books coming out all of the time. LIKE SLOW DOWN Y’ALL, there are only so many hours in the day!

So here are the books that have been sitting neglected on my TBR pile, waiting to be read. If you’ve read any of them and liked them, please YELL at me in the comments to get on it!

  1. Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff
  2. Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  3. City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty
  4. Look Alive Out There by Sloane Crosley
  5. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
  6. Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
  7. Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas
  8. This Savage Song *and* Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab
  9. Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith
  10. Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu
  11. A Poison Dark and Drowning by Jessica Cluess
  12. Sourdough by Robin Sloan
  13. Armada by Ernest Cline
  14. Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
  15. Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst
  16. The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
  17. Saga Vol. 8 by Brian K. Vaughan

Now having looked at these…many of them are sequels or in a series! I hate having to try to remember a year ago and what happened in a book to read the newest installation! Sometimes I’ll even wait for more than one to come out so I don’t have to do that!

So what do you think? Are you shunning me yet? Which of these do I NEED to read, and which should I just skip?

“Ace of Shades” by Amanda Foody

30238163New release Tuesday! Take a card and stake your soul with Ace of Shades, book 1 in The Shadow Game series.

Enne (pronounced like the letter “N”) has no choice when her mom, Lourdes Alfero, doesn’t come back from her trip. She has to go to New Reynes to find her. With her handy tourist guidebook, she sets off to find Levi Glaisyer, the only name her mother left behind.

New Reynes is called the City of Sin for a reason. The South Side of the city is considered “safer” — this is where rich tourists go to vacation. The North Side, where Levi is the Lord of the gang called the Irons, is dangerous. There’s other gangs (the Scarhands and the Doves), plus notorious mafia casino families. Enne’s guidebook strongly advises not going to the North Side. But she must.

Ace of Shades switches from Enne’s and Levi’s perspectives. While Enne needs Levi to help her find Lourdes, Levi needs Enne to pay him for his help in order to pay off a large debt that if left unpaid, will cost him his life.

Told over the 10 days Levi has to pay back his debtor, we follow him and Enne through this magical, dangerous, Vegas-meets-carnival adventure. If you liked Caraval, and want more of the same, you have to pick this one up.

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Buy Ace of Shades here.

I also highly recommend Foody’s debut, Daughter of the Burning City – click this link to buy!

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. Links in post are affiliate links whose proceeds go toward the maintenance of this blog.