“The Night Before” by Wendy Walker: An Official 2019 Pre-order Recommendation

This year, I’m going to be highlighting some 2019 titles available for pre-order that I’m completely nerding out over. Today’s post covers the first of these!

Wendy Walker slammed onto the thriller scene with All is Not Forgotten, and followed it up with the incredible Emma in the Night.

Now she’s gearing up for the release of her third, The Night Before. Here’s the description for the book:

A shocking, twisty novel that has the biggest names in the thriller community buzzing…

Rosie Ferro and Laura Heart are sisters, but as different as it is possible to be. One is lucky in love and has a conventional family: a husband, and a small son. The other has a troubled past she is still struggling to break free from.

When Laura disappears after going on a date with a stranger she met online, Rosie, her protector since they were young, springs into action to look for her. But as she slowely uncovers more about the situation, Rosie begins to fear that her sister might have been more of a danger than the man she went out with.

Told in duel timelines – the night of and the night before, Wendy Walker’s new novel is a riveting examination of family loyalty, obsession, and how just how far we will go for love.

I was provided an early copy of the book to provide my honest feedback, and boy oh boy. This book is just too easy to devour.

This baby bookling is so newborn that it doesn’t even have a cover yet! You’ll have to wait on the edge of your seat for my full review and the book itself, but here’s a little nibble of my thoughts!

“This book is a master class in the unreliable narrator, the alternating-time chapters, in leading you down the road only for you to find it wasn’t taking you where you thought.”

I gave The Night Before an unreserved four stars! 🌟🌟🌟🌟

The book comes out in May 2019, but lucky you! You can pre-order the book on Amazon 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.

“Not Her Daughter” by Rea Frey

9781250166425New release Tuesday!

Not Her Daughter is an interesting mystery/thriller that explores the interesting moral question of When is kidnapping okay? Is it okay if the daughter doesn’t get enough fun and mental stimulation? Is it okay if the younger brother gets more love and attention? Is it okay if the mother is abusive?

Sarah is the CEO of a new educational tool called TACK, and spends much of her time in schools, presenting the product and researching new innovations. When a massive coincidence puts Sarah near little Emma twice, both times when she seems to have a horrible family, she decides she must take action. She must take Emma away from her sad, painful life, and give her a happy, fulfilled, and fun life.

Amy, Emma’s mother, is just so tired. Tired of the fights, of her lack of self-confidence, of her lack of caring anymore. One evening, Emma just won’t listen. She just wants Emma to behave and not make messes or do anything to disturb the family. When Amy snaps and slaps Emma’s face, Emma runs into the woods in the backyard that she frequents as a hiding spot. Mentally exhausted and angry, Amy locks the back door to punish Emma, then accidentally falls asleep in the bedroom from pure tiredness.

Sarah, who was in the woods during Amy and Emma’s fight, decides that her chance is now or never. She takes Emma, gets her new clothes and toys, and begins the most dangerous adventure of her life: Keeping Emma safe, and keeping herself out of jail when the family finally realizes their daughter is missing.

Told from the Amy and Sarah’s perspectives, plus mixed between “Before,” “Now,” and “After,” this book has many threads and twists that will keep you glued to the page. It’ll have you asking the same questions Sarah has — When is kidnapping okay? Would I do the same thing in her situation? Would I turn her in? — and you’ll keep wondering long after turning the last page.

🌟🌟🌟🌟

Order Not Her Daughter 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.

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

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.

“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.

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

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.

🌟🌟🌟🌟

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.