“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.

“Moxie” by Jennifer Mathieu

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THIS BOOK GOT ME PUMPED. Moxie Girls Fight Back!

Vivian is sick of the sexist teachers and students at East Rockport High School. When she finally hits her breaking point, she begins distributing copies of Moxie. Moxie is a zine she creates to bring together the girls in her school to fight back in simple ways, like drawing stars and hearts on their hands to show solidarity. This movement eventually builds into something that will change not only Vivian, East Rockport High School, but people all over the world.

This book is absolutely filled with girl power, feminism, discussions about what is right and wrong, and other deliciously *moxie* things. I love this book so much! Read if you need a massive dose of girl power in your life (even if you’re male!!!).

I mean, when something is endorsed by Amy Poehler, you know it’s good. “Moxie is sweet, funny, and fierce. Read this and then join the fight.”―Amy Poehler

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 Stop Somewhere” by T.E. Carter

29751533._UY1678_SS1678_(Content Warning: murder, rape, sexual assault)

New Release Tuesday! I Stop Somewhere is a very emotional, sad, and gripping book. In the vein of novels like The Lovely Bones, we follow Ellie as she watches her murderer from the afterlife as a ghost of sorts. Where it differs, is that this book alternates between the past leading up to Ellie’s murder, and the present as she watches girl after girl be assaulted just like her, unable to do anything to help.

Finally, one of the victims speaks up. It isn’t easy, as the two assailants are the sons of the most powerful man in town, the one buying up all the foreclosed houses and remodeling them to keep the town from shriveling up and dying. Ellie watches as the girls struggle with the repercussions of their attacks, the boys scramble to save themselves from prison, and the police struggle to solve Ellie’s now long-cold case.

This book is very graphic, but it is also very addictive. I flew through it, pausing to reflect on how sad the story was, getting pissed at the bad guys, and wishing I didn’t have to do real life things instead of reading.

Here is an excerpt of the Walt Whitman poem “Song of Myself” that the title was taken from:

I depart as air—I shake my white locks at the runaway sun;
I effuse my flesh in eddies, and drift it in lacy jags.

I bequeathe myself to the dirt, to grow from the grass I love;
If you want me again, look for me under your boot-soles.

You will hardly know who I am, or what I mean;
But I shall be good health to you nevertheless,
And filter and fibre your blood.

Failing to fetch me at first, keep encouraged;
Missing me one place, search another;
I stop somewhere, waiting for you.

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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.

“The Stranger Beside Me” by Ann Rule

1262745The Stranger Beside Me was originally published in 1980, and it had a 20th anniversary edition that came out in 2000. It’s been on my to-read shelf for…… longer than I care to admit.

Ann Rule, as you may know, is an acclaimed true crime author known for many of her works. Back in the 80’s, there was a suspected serial killer sexually assaulting and bludgeoning young women to death. The case was in full swing when Rule’s publisher asked her to follow the story and write a book about it.

A short time before this, Ann had done some work for a suicide hotline to honor her brother’s memory (he had committed suicide many years before). She became close to another volunteer there named Ted Bundy. Bundy was kind of a charmer, and Rule felt almost sisterly love for him, giving him rides and attending events together.

As Ann followed the serial killer case, she began to hear things that brought Ted to mind. But no, nice Ted that she worked with would never do something that horrible! Eventually, Ted was caught and sentenced to death by electrocution. Rule continued to communicate with Ted, even with him knowing she was writing this book, up until when he was executed.

Doesn’t that sound like an amazing, unbelievable story? In case you didn’t catch it, this is a T R U E  S T O R Y. You could not make this stuff up.

This is a very solid read, even with its age. If you like serial killers and well-researched procedural and mystery books, you should definitely put this on your list.

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Buy the book here.

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman (Arc of a Scythe, Book 2)

33555224I read an ARC of Scythe by Neal Shusterman last year, and it absolutely blew my mind. It is on my list of top favorites of all time. Check out my gushy ramblings about book 1 here. Obviously if you haven’t read Scythe, you will not understand all the spoilers for book 1 below. Come back after you’ve read Scythe and you’ll thank me!

Just as a refresher, when we left off last time, Citra had just been named the newest Scythe in Mid-Merica. Her first task was to glean Rowan, but due to her brilliance, he got away.

Enter Thunderhead, the second book in the trilogy. The Thunderhead is the all-knowing being that controls and regulates everything on earth, with one exception—anything dealing with the Scythedom. The main theme through the entirety of the book is whether it’s right or wrong for the Thunderhead to police the Scythedom, especially with the rise of the New Order Scythes. They love to cause pain, fear, and revel in their celebrity and immortality.

Citra has continued her fellowship with Scythe Curie, now as her new identity: the Honorable Scythe Anastasia. They continue to glean as they are required, and always ensure they perform the grim duty with dignity and humility. When there’s a shake-up at the Mid-Merican conference, they are both thrown into deep political drama.

Rowan, meanwhile, is cavorting around as Scythe Lucifer, all dressed in black like the grim reaper. He has taken on the task of hunting down, gleaning, and burning the bodies of the Scythes who have gone bad. He makes one mistake, and definitely suffers the consequences.

The rest of the plot will just absolutely blow your mind. It is literally unreal and haunting. I sat catatonic for quite an embarrassing amount of time when I finished reading.

So anyway, this series is incredible and you are missing out so hard if you haven’t picked it up yet. It has amazing characters, enchanting world building, puzzling moral questions, and twist after twist after twist.

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Buy the book here.
Buy Scythe (Book 1) 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.

“Bonfire” by Krysten Ritter

We all know the actress, Krysten Ritter, from a myriad of things: The B in Apartment 23, Gilmore Girls, Breaking Bad, Jessica Jones, etc. But in her debut novel, Bonfire, we get to know another side of her. And it is full of thrilling, scheming, curious characters.

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Abby heads back to her small hometown in Indiana to work a case for her environmental law firm against the big corporation in town, Optimal Plastics. She has bad memories of the town, it being where she was teased and harassed incessantly in her high school. She runs into many of her old classmates, and notices the absence of her old friend, Kaycee. When they were in high school, Kaycee and many other girls came down with a mysterious illness that caused them to seize, vomit blood, and pass out. The illness eventually passed, and Kaycee left town. But no one knows where she went.

Abby is working the case against Optimal, but she also falls back into town gossip and rumor, and tries to figure out what happened to Kaycee.

This book is like Erin Brockovich meets Gillian Flynn, with the big corporation  (think Sweetums in Parks and Rec) with their hands in everything. And I do mean everything.

★★★★

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.

“The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I was so excited this year when I saw that Taylor Jenkins Reid was coming out with a new book! I’m a total fangirl for her work (I loved One True Loves, adored Maybe in Another Life, and Forever Interrupted and After I Do broke me). And this one was no different. It is one of my favorite books of the year. I also got to meet Taylor Jenkins Reid this year at BookCon and it was so wonderful!

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But more about the book: Evelyn Hugo is a world-famous actress known for her beauty, many movies, and most importantly, her sordid love life that the tabloids have followed through her entire life. More specifically, she has been married SEVEN times. Everyone wants to know what really happened with all of these men, and which, if any, was her soulmate. And everyone was forced to wonder. Until one day, Hugo agrees to be interviewed for an article in one of the nation’s most popular magazines.

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The story goes from present day, with Monique, the reporter, interviewing Evelyn, to Evelyn telling her life story. Sprinkled within are articles from tabloids reporting the public’s view of what’s happening in Evelyn’s life.

This is such a whirlwind story, full of celebrity, fame, loneliness, and romance. To tell you any more would spoil the amazing read. I’ll just end by saying that by the end of this book, my chest physically hurt with emotion. It’s such a beautiful love story, but it’s also unfathomably sad. I cannot recommend this book enough. The audiobook is also great, with fantastic narrators. I can’t wait to reread this soon.

★★★★★

Buy the book here.  You can also buy Reid’s other books (and you should!) 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.