My 2022 Thus Far – A Reading Wrap Up of Sorts

2022 has been interesting for me. I mean, the last two years have been very interesting for everybody. A huge mess that keeps getting bigger and messier. But I recently made a huge change in my life by quitting my job and now I’m just trying figure out what to do next.

While I liked my job, I just didn’t like who I was working with/for and the environment I was in surrounded by people who didn’t seem to care and one person who kept dragging me down all the time. It festered a really bad mindset for myself and for the past couple of years, it has affected my mental health & relationships with friends and obviously, if any of y’all have followed me on my blog here, then you could tell that I rarely, if ever, post. Not to be too cliché, but it was toxic.

So as messy as this year has been thus far for me, I haven’t found much motivation to read. Every now and then I would gain some sort of gumption to read a few pages of a book, but then in a few minutes I would give up because I was too tired or couldn’t focus enough. That said I have finished 3 books so far!! (you can put in the applause or clapping emojis in the comments for me). So I’ll blab about all three for a bit, for this “seasonal wrap-up” because I really enjoyed all three and highly recommend them,

Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton — My first read of the year that was technically an end of 2021 read but who cares?? To be honest, it did take me a while to finish this and not because I wasn’t interested, I just had so much bullshit happening in my life. That out of the way, this book!!! I love books about messy, toxic female characters and this one delivered so hard. I cannot wait to read her newest book, The World Cannot Give.

How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell — For some reason, I chose to read this concurrent with Social Creature. I book I got because of the hype surrounding it. It was the book that got Lorde to get off social media and fuck off in Antarctica, so what could it do to me? While it didn’t absolutely make me do anything as profound as Lorde’s venture to Antarctica (#1 I ain’t rich enough #2 It wouldn’t be Antarctica), it made me think so much about how capitalism has affected my life and how to try to detach myself from that way of thinking. Just such an informative and fascinating read that I think is accessible for anyone wanting to read a book about this, that’s filled tons of great resources and references.

Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid — Going into this one, I knew all the hype and its also the hype I was on a couple years ago but I could never seem to get myself to actually READ IT. When I finally got to it recently, I devoured it. It’s my kind of read about a messy rock band going through drama during thee peak rock ‘n roll making music era, the 1970s. It read to me like an episode of VH1’s Behind the Music but with even much more depth and exploring the humanity within the characters mixed in with the same feelings I get whenever I watch Almost Famous. “It’s all happening”, as Penny Lane says.

Yes, I do enjoy the fact that so much of the characters and stories are based off Fleetwood Mac and the real life behind the scenes of them making Rumours. In fact, I think I wanted to this be as messy and even messier than Fleetwood Mac’s story. Also I love that this plays into my favorite stereotype that bassists are always the chill, laid back or quiet ones that stay out of the mess (Pete deserved to tell some of his story though!!). I am always here for classic rock band drama. It’s so entertaining! I cannot wait for the show now, since really seems like its made for television/film-storytelling format and obviously I am super interested to hear the songs.


So there we go, a glimpse into what January, February and March held for me. I hope to be reading much more in April and the following months, and also to blog more. I’ll have some more time on my hands and plenty to discuss. Thanks for reading! 🙂

Killing Time by Brenna Ehrlich / Blog Tour – Excerpt

Hello all, today I am here to share an excerpt from the newly released YA thriller, KILLING TIME by Brenna Ehrlich. Below the excerpt is more information about the book and its author! Enjoy!

Killing Time by Brenna Ehrlich
Release Date: March 8 2022

EXCERPT

CHAPTER TWO

Natalie didn’t ask her mom if she wanted to come to Lynn Halsey’s memorial, which was just as well because, apparently, Helen did not want to go. When Natalie came down for breakfast that morning, she found a note under the orange juice saying that Helen was heading to dojo in the next town over to train for a while—which meant she was either stressed, angry, or both. (Helen said a while back she had started doing karate for self-defense, not that Natalie was aware of anything she’d need to defend herself against in Ferry.)

Natalie balled up the note and threw it on the floor, equal parts relieved and pissed off by her mother’s absence, but she quickly forgot all about it when she saw the envelope leaning against the box of cinnamon cereal her mom had left sitting out for her. It was your standard business envelope—plain, white—and it had only one word neatly typed across the front: Natalie.

Plopping down on a rickety kitchen chair, Natalie pulled her feet up onto the seat and ripped the envelope open, expecting, perhaps, some spending money from her mom—a small contrition for avoiding the memorial—but instead finding a piece of computer paper with a single message typed out on it: Stay out of it. I’m warning you. Her heart did a cold, little leap like it always did when the first body was found in one of her books, then confusion set in. She blinked, scanning the words again, flipping the paper over to see if she’d missed something—a name, an address, anything. But that was it. Just those two ominous sentences. She shivered despite the heat of the kitchen, which was barely mitigated by the lazily oscillating ceiling fan. Her mom was too cheap for AC.

Cereal forgotten, Natalie pushed away from the table and scanned the room as if the toaster or the microwave might suddenly fill her in on where, exactly, the letter had come from. The kitchen seemed eerily quiet in the diffuse morning light, the only sound the birds that spent the day gossiping at the feeder in the backyard. Natalie pulled out her phone, typing off a quick message to her mom.

Did you leave me a note?

It seemed the mostly likely scenario, since the envelope had been on their kitchen table, but a vague threat wasn’t exactly Helen’s style. No, her mom was more direct than all that, much to her daughter’s annoyance. And then there was the it she was supposed to be staying out of. She could guess what that was: Mrs. Halsey’s murder was the only thing that had happened in Ferry for decades, as far as she was concerned. But someone would have to know about her podcast to suggest that she stay out of anything, and no one really knew about that aside from Katie and the internet randos. They had one all the way in Mount Carroll, Illinois (wherever that was). Could one of them have turned stalker? Broken into her house to… What? Warn her not to discuss a very local crime with her audience of roughly three people who had probably clicked on her podcast by mistake?

Three bubbles appeared immediately on her phone screen. Natalie scoffed. Her mom was supposed to be sparring. Did she keep her cell phone tucked into her black belt?

Yes, honey, I’m at the dojo. Be back around 4.

Natalie snorted. Well after the memorial. No, another one, she typed, her fingers shaking slightly. This was all too bizarre. In an envelope?

There was one with the paper that I brought in for you. More dots, as if her mom were trying for casual. Why? Who is it from? Katie?

Natalie rolled her eyes. Helen would have implanted a tracking device in her daughter’s neck if she could, like those chips they have for cats and dogs—watched her roam the town on her trusty path from school to Katie’s to home, called the cops if she veered off course. It was a wonder she hadn’t just opened the envelope herself. There wasn’t time to fume, though, now that there was a mysterious, threatening letter with her name on it. Which Natalie was aware sounded like a sentence from a bad teenage soap opera. That didn’t negate its existence, though.

She sank back into her chair, staring at the words marching across the page. Stay out of it. I’m warning you. It could be Katie playing a bad joke, but that didn’t seem likely, as Katie could never keep a secret and would have spilled that morning, when they were texting about the memorial. Feeling silly, Natalie sniffed at the paper. Nothing. As if it had just materialized on the table, origin-free. She considered calling the police, but that would mean telling them about her podcast, which would mean telling her mom about her podcast, which would mean never seeing the sun again. Instead, she shoved the note into her backpack—not bothering to put away the juice and cereal—and trundled outside to her bike and Mrs. Halsey’s memorial. She would let it all stew, she decided. Maybe an answer would come to her while she was biking to the high school. She always thought better when she was in motion, legs pumping and lungs full of clean air.

It was as hot if not hotter than yesterday, and beads of sweat rolled down Natalie’s forehead into her eyes as she crested the hill toward the school that had been her de facto prison for the last four years—the only bright spot being a woman who would no longer walk its halls. The only teacher who didn’t hold her eccentricities at arm’s length.

The Halsey house wasn’t on Natalie’s route, but she could feel its presence a few streets over—could imagine the yellow police tape and silence—and a tremor traveled over her neck like phantom fingers.

The True Crime Club had only lasted for one year, officially; after Jessica graduated and her parents effectively bought her way into Columbia, Katie and Natalie were the only members, meaning that the club was no longer valid in the school’s eyes. (No yearbook picture, which was good since Natalie didn’t relish explaining that to her mom. She used to lie and say she was staying after school to study until, well, it all went to hell when she said what she said.) Still, Mrs. Halsey kept up their meetings, critiquing the relative merit of different podcasts, documentaries, and true-crime books through the lens of story. She was a fan of gripping, well-researched accounts of criminal investigations, like Michelle McNamara’s inquiry into the Golden State Killer, but felt a decided disdain for podcasts like this really popular one called My Murder Obsession, which was basically just two guys discussing their favorite murder mysteries. She thought the name was bad enough, but she couldn’t stand the gleeful, error-riddled way the hosts talked about crime. She was a stickler for accuracy—and empathy. “If you can’t get the facts straight, you don’t deserve the story,” she used to say.

As she coasted past Sammy’s Shack and the flinty sea, Natalie wondered what Mrs. Halsey would think of the note on her kitchen table: Stay out of it. Her legs pumped harder, sweat running down to her eyes as she squinted into the sun, her breath getting ragged. Lynn Halsey was the only person she wanted to talk to right now, and she couldn’t because she was dead. The thought brought sudden, angry tears to her eyes. She was dead, and there was nothing Natalie could do about it. Who was the letter writer to tell her stay out of it? How to care? Maybe her mom had written the note. Maybe she had found out about her podcast somehow and wanted to punish her. Helen hated Lynn Halsey; Natalie knew that. Tears flooded her eyes as she pulled into the school parking lot, dropping the toes of her black shoes to the ground to steady herself as her vision swam.

The last time she had spoken to her teacher was at the diner midway through senior year. She had been crying—or trying not to, rather. Her shift had ended, and she was crammed in a booth where her mother couldn’t see her—couldn’t send her home and straight to her room. The night before had been bad. The kind of bad that made your stomach heavy and your mouth flood with acid when you thought about it. She and Katie had been celebrating getting into the colleges of their choice by having a clandestine marathon of the worst true-crime movies on offer. Straight-to-streaming shit. Cheesy cable fare. Trash. Helen’s rules were pretty clear when it came to her daughter’s interests: fine, she could study it in school, but true crime as entertainment was completely off-limits. Sure, she got away with the occasional horror movie or novel, but true stories were, for some untold reason, strictly verboten.

Which was why she and Katie had waited until Helen went to a Garden Club cocktail night to indulge. Helen, not being the biggest drinker, had come home in the middle of a truly terrible early-thousands clunker called Teacher’s Pet—all about a TA who had an affair with his student, then killed her—and had lost her shit. She’d gone so far as to threaten to move to college with Natalie and live in her dorm room, which seemed like an empty threat if you didn’t know Helen, who wouldn’t let Natalie sleep over at Katie’s until she was thirteen.

“You okay, Natalie?” Mrs. Halsey asked, sliding into the booth across from her, holding a to-go bag of burgers and fries. She was wearing her leather jacket and had her hair up in a blue paisley scarf, her cheeks pink from the early spring chill; she brought with her the smell of the omnipresent daffodils that blanketed Ferry this time of year.

Natalie shook her head mutely, picking at a plate of cold fries she had pilfered from the cook. People in town knew her mother was strict, but she wasn’t quite sure she wanted her role model to know that Helen had had a meltdown over a Lifetime Channel movie.

“I dunno,” she muttered, chastising herself internally for her lack of eloquence. She always tried to speak as intelligently as possible in front of her favorite teacher, but right now she was too wrung-out to care. Her mother’s overprotectiveness was a shroud, stifling and heavy. And what was so ironic was Natalie had gotten into true crime because of her mom in the first place—she’d found a box of old books in the attic when she was twelve about the Manson murders, the Night Stalker, all the big ones. She had read them under the covers until all hours, equal parts scared and thrilled. She loved it when the killers were caught, the intricate work it took to track them down. That is, until her mom found out and burned all the books in the yard with the autumn leaves. She wouldn’t even tell Natalie where they’d come from in the first place.

“Did something happen with Katie? A friend?” Mrs. Halsey pressed, her voice so gentle and caring that Natalie caved.

“My mom flipped out on me last night,” she choked out, studying the table. “I was watching some stupid true-crime movie, and she just…lost it.” Natalie dug her chipped nails into the red vinyl of the booth and let it all spill out. “She’s just so controlling. Like, why does she care what I watch? I’m eighteen. I’m an adult, basically. And I’m good!” She raised her eyes to look at her teacher, who was studying Natalie with a furrowed brow. “I don’t break curfew. I have, like, no social life. I don’t drink. So why can’t I just…read and watch and do what I want? Who am I hurting?”

Mrs. Halsey gave a sad smile. “I understand, Natalie. It’s hard being eighteen. Almost independent, but not quite. But, I promise, it’ll get easier. You might even miss your mom worrying about you.”

Natalie grunted and folded her arms. “I doubt it.”

Mrs. Halsey laughed, then steepled her hands on the diner table. “I’m confused, though, Natalie. Why would a movie upset your mom so much when you’re in a true-crime club at school?”

Natalie swallowed hard. In her fit of rage, she’d forgotten all about forging her mother’s signature all those years ago to join Mrs. Halsey’s after-school group. She had forgotten the countless lies she’d told. Or maybe she was just subconsciously tired of it all.

“You’re in what?” Helen appeared behind her like the ghoul from that horror movie—the one that just slowly wanders after its prey until it wears it down and eats it. Natalie didn’t turn around. Instead, she gritted her teeth and dug her nails even deeper into the booth, anchoring herself to the spot. She couldn’t even sit with her favorite teacher for five minutes without her mom butting in. Without her ruining everything.

“You didn’t know about this?” Mrs. Halsey asked Helen, as if Natalie weren’t there, which Natalie found hard to believe, considering anger was radiating off her like a bad aura. Why did everyone treat her like a child? Like she couldn’t make her own choices without consulting her mother first? Why didn’t they see her?

Helen shook her head, her eyes locked on Natalie’s teacher, a twin rage coursing through her. The pencil she used to take orders snapped in her hand, but she didn’t seem to notice the pieces as they clattered to the floor and rolled to rest under the booth.

“I’m sorry, Helen,” Mrs. Halsey sputtered, getting to her feet, looking between mother and daughter, both practically vibrating with indignation. “I thought you knew about the club.” She raised a conciliatory hand. “And, really, it’s all educational. We talk about story and methodology and…” The words died on her lips as Natalie’s mother shook her head again.

“I appreciate all you’ve done for Natalie, Lynn, but we have rules,” Helen said in a voice befitting an android. “This stuff is not entertainment. If she wants to go to school and learn the proper way to engage with it, then fine. But no clubs. No movies. No bullshit.”

Mrs. Halsey cut in. “I would hardly call our club bull—” Natalie couldn’t help smiling, which didn’t make matters any better. Her mom gave a look filled with such pure menace she dropped her eyes to her feet.

“I don’t care,” Helen snapped, smoothing her apron as if eradicating the wrinkles would fix everything. As if she could control the world with her nervous hands. “My kid, my rules. Now, I think you should leave.”

Mrs. Halsey opened her mouth, shooting Natalie an inscrutable look. She took a step toward the door.

“Please, don’t go,” Natalie asked in a small voice before she knew the words were coming out of her mouth. “You don’t have to listen to her. Please.”

With her hands tucked into her jacket pockets and her hair coming free from her scarf, the teacher suddenly looked younger than she was. She was probably the same age as her mom, thirty-eight, but Helen’s face was much harder. Likely because she’d had Natalie so young, because she’d been worrying for eighteen years. “I’m sorry, Natalie.” She glanced at her bag of food but made no move to pick it up. “I think I should go…”

Natalie got to her feet then, leveled her eyes at her teacher, watching her one tether to everything she cared about cut her free, let her go. “You never cared about me,” she said finally, seething and holding Mrs. Halsey’s eyes for a long moment before retreating to the kitchen so she wouldn’t have to see her mentor go, regretting the words as soon as they left her mouth. She turned back to stop her, to apologize, but her teacher was already gone.

Mrs. Halsey deserved more than that. More than her mom’s disdain and her own parting words. She deserved to be remembered. To be avenged. And no anonymous note writer could tell Natalie otherwise. An idea that prompted a mix of excitement and shame deep down in her stomach germinated in Natalie’s head as she pushed through those familiar swinging doors and entered the bizarre world that is school during summer.

Excerpted from Killing Time by Brenna Ehrlich, Copyright © 2022 by Brenna Ehrlich. Published by Inkyard Press. 


SYNOPSIS

Killing Time follows a true-crime obsessed teenage girl who sets out to uncover a killer when her favorite teacher is murdered. With a dual POV that sends the reader back twenty years, this engrossing and twisty thriller is perfect for fans of Courtney Summers and Karen McManus.

Summer in Ferry, Connecticut has always meant long, lazy days at the beach and wild nights partying in the abandoned mansions on the edge of town. Until now, that is.

Natalie Temple’s favorite teacher has been murdered, and there’s no way this true-crime obsessed girl is going to sit back and let the rumor mill churn out lie after lie. Not if she has anything to say about it – even if she has to hide her investigation from her disapproving mom and team up with a new boy in town with a mysterious smile and a talent for making fake IDs.

But the more Natalie uncovers, the more she realizes some secrets were never meant to be told.

With two interwoven mysteries, Killing Time is a deathly warning to a generation of murderinos: what happens when the stories we’re chasing finally catch up with us?

About the Author

Brenna Ehrlich is a journalist, YA author, and editor who has worked everywhere from MTV News to Rolling Stone. She resides in New Jersey with her husband Morgan and their two cats, Nimbus and Hazel. She enjoys horror movies and romcoms in equal measure.

Social Links:

Author website: https://www.brennaehrlich.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BrennaEhrlich

IG: https://www.instagram.com/brennaehrlich/

Buy Links:

Bookshop.org: https://bookshop.org/books/killing-time-9781335418678/9781335418678 B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/killing-time-brenna-ehrlich/1139262919;jsessionid=77463C2A28F769B395869EB9A2D55A2B.prodny_store02-atgap11?ean=9781335418678&st=AFF&2sid


Thanks for reading and I hope you check out KILLING TIME!!!

Top Ten Tuesday — Most Anticipated Non-Fiction Books Releasing In the First Half of 2022

This is a Top Ten Tuesday post, which is hosted by That Artsy Reader GirlClick here form more on this weekly meme and for future topics

This week’s topic is anticipated releases and I am pretty much making a bunch of these types of lists already. However I don’t think in any those I mention non-fiction books. I’m making it a goal for 2022 to read at least 5 non-fiction books. I read about 3 in 2022 so I think it could be manageable. So here’s 10 non-fiction titles coming out this year that sounds the most interesting to me.

How We Can Win: Race, History and Changing the Money Game That’s Rigged by Kimberly Jones – Release Date: January 18

This is social issue book about Black lives focusing on economic and social issues facing Black people and other marginalized people in America. I believe this is a written form of the viral video that the author was in, which if you can watch it, I recommend it.

In Defense of Witches: The Legacy of the Witch Hunts and Why Women Are Still on Trial by Mona Challet – Release Date: March 8

A book about witches or well women who were persecuted as witches during the witch hunts and witch trials, can always manage to grab my attention so I am interested. Also I feel like having a forward by Carmen Maria Machado is a huge endorsement.

People Change by Vivek Shraya – Release Date: January 4

I have yet to read her other books (but I would like to), but I think this is a good place to start for me since it’s a sort of memoir while also being a story about personal growth and change. But I’ve heard great things about Vivek Shraya and I hope I can at least read this year.

Overdue: Reckoning with the Public Library by Amanda Oliver – Release Date: March 22

As a public librarian worker, I cannot wait to read this one. It seems like it will discuss many of the biggest issues public libraries have such as racism, class discrimination, mental health care issues and much more. I hope 1) this is actually good 2) People will read this. I think this book bringing up these issues about libraries will hopefully get more people to understand that not all libraries are these perfect little sanctuaries for book lovers. Libraries are a lot of things and I hope this author illustrates that.

The Unwritten Book: An Investigation by Samantha Hunt – Release Date: April 5

I’m currently reading The Seas by this author, Samantha Hunt, and enjoying it a lot. This is described as being genre-bending (kind of like how Carmen Maria Machado’s In the Dream House blends memoir with horror) as this book explores the authors own history as well as the unwritten stories of other authors as well as an unfinished story from her dead father.

Read Dangerously: The Subversive Power of Literature in Troubled Times by Azar Nafisi – Release Date: March 8

In 2021, many schools & public libraries began to ban books for children and teens with many authors having to fight for their books to be read by their intended audiences. I don’t think my mind will be blown necessarily by this book because I know quite a bit about the history of censorship and banned books, but I just think it would still be worth reading more on the subject and from a non-white dude perspective.

Blood, Sweat and Chrome: The Wild and True Story of Mad Max: Fury Road by Kyle Buchanan – Release Date: February 22

Mad Max: Fury Road is one of my favorite films of all-time. Not even just action. It’s just a good film about so many things and I cannot wait to read the story of how it was made.

Pandora’s Jar: Women in the Greek Myths by Natalie Haynes – Release Date: March 1

Greek mythology retellings have been IN for a while now, and while I’m not the biggest Greek mythology retelling fan, I’m still interested in knowing more about them or about the women that most of these are interested in highlighting. Since a lot of have involved the women of Greek mythology such as Circe, Ariadne, Helen of Troy, etc.

Pathological: The True Story of Six Misdiagnoses by Sarah Fay – Release Date: March 15

As someone who is still being diagnosed with various mental illnesses, I feel the exhaustion and pain that comes with being misdiagnosed. As I am typing this I am still in the process of finding the right doctor to diagnose me with whatever.

Brace for Impact: A Memoir by Gabe Montesanti – Release Date: May 24

Me, a person who saw the movie Whip It, loved it and only has knowledge of roller derby from that film: “Getting a lot of Whip It vibes from this” I don’t know much about the author but it seems like it’ll make for an interesting read!


2022 Horror, Thriller, & Spooky Book Releases to Haunt to Your TBR – Part I

As we get towards the end of October, I wanted to share some future releases coming out next year that have caught my eye. These books range from horror, thrillers, mysteries, dark fantasy and other spooky/scary stories.

First this first post I’ll be talking about Young Adult releases. Part II will be talking about adult horror/thriller fiction releases. Let me know what you’re excited to read in 2022.


Young Adult Releases

All the Best Liars by Amelia Kahaney – April 5

A dark, modern psychological thriller and coming-of-age about obsession, manipulation, and the intensity of those first friendships that take hold of you and never let go

Tic tac toe, three girls in a row. Nine years old and inseparable. Friends for life, or so they think . . .

Best friends Syd, Rain, and Brie grew up on the wrong side of the tracks in the stifling California desert, desperately wishing for a way out.

In the end, each of them will escape—but not in the way they expect. One will do it by dying, another by lying, a third by taking the fall. A deadly fire is set two weeks before the end of their senior year of high school and nothing will ever be the same.

With gorgeous, taut prose and twists to the very last page, All the Best Liars switches between the present and the past to unravel the truth behind the fire and the cost of the secrets at heart of their friendship.


Alone Out Here by Riley Redgate – April 5

What do you stand for, when you’re one of the last left standing?
The year is 2072. Soon a volcanic eruption will trigger catastrophic devastation, and the only way out is up.

While the world’s leaders, scientists, and engineers oversee the frantic production of a space fleet meant to save humankind, their children are brought in for a weekend of touring the Lazarus, a high-tech prototype spaceship. But when the apocalypse arrives months ahead of schedule, First Daughter Leigh Chen and a handful of teens from the tour are the only ones to escape the planet. This is the new world: a starship loaded with a catalog of human artifacts, a frozen menagerie of animal DNA, and fifty-three terrified survivors. From the panic arises a coalition of leaders, spearheaded by the pilot’s enigmatic daughter, Eli, who takes the wheel in their hunt for a habitable planet. But as isolation presses in, their uneasy peace begins to fracture. The struggle for control will mean the difference between survival and oblivion, and Leigh must decide whether to stand on the side of the mission or of her own humanity.

With aching poignancy and tense, heart-in-your-mouth action, this enthralling saga will stay with readers long after the final page.


Belladonna by Adalyn Grace – August 23

A girl confronts Death—and her own deathly powers—to solve a murder in this Gothic-infused, romantic young adult fantasy.

Orphaned as a baby, nineteen-year-old Signa Farrow has been raised by a string of guardians more interested in her wealth than her well-being—all of whom have died of mysterious circumstances. Her last remaining relatives are the Hawthornes, an eccentric family who live at Thorn Grove, a manor as glittering as it is gloomy.

Thorn Grove’s patriarch, Elijah, mourns his late wife, Lillian, through liquor and wild parties, while son Percy grapples to maintain the family’s waning reputation and daughter Blythe suffers from the same mysterious illness that killed her mother. But when Lillian’s spirit confronts Signa and claims it was poison that killed her and not an illness, Signa realizes that Blythe will be next to die unless the murderer is found.

Signa’s best chance of uncovering the culprit and solving Lillian’s murder is an alliance with Death himself—the very man she hates most. And Death, that fascinating, dangerous shadow who has never been far from her side, shows her that their connection may be more powerful than she ever dared imagine.


Cold by Mariko Tamaki – February 8 

A boy, a murder, a girl, a secret. From award-winning author Mariko Tamaki comes Cold, a haunting YA novel about a shocking crime in a quiet town and four students who knew too much and said too little.

This is the story of a boy who died—and a girl who wants to know why.

Todd Mayer is dead. Now he’s some sort of ghost, hovering over his body, which has just been found in the town park, naked and frozen in the snow. As detectives investigate Todd’s homicide, talking to the very people who are responsible for how he died, Todd replays the events that lead him to his end in the park.

Georgia didn’t know Todd. But she can’t stop thinking about him. Maybe because they’re both outcasts at their school, or because they’re both queer. It might also be because Georgia has a feeling she’s seen Todd somewhere before, somewhere he wasn’t supposed to be.

In the vein of The Lovely Bones, this dual narrative is told through the voices of Todd in his afterlife and Georgia as she uncovers the truth behind his death, resulting in an immersive, emotional, and provocative read.


Daughter by Kate McLaughlin – March 8

Scarlet’s life is pretty average. Overly protective mom. Great friends. Cute boy she’s interested in. And a father she’s never known – until she does.

When the FBI show up at Scarlet’s door, she is shocked to learn her father is infamous serial killer Jeffrey Robert Lake. And now, he’s dying and will only give the names and locations of his remaining victims to the one person, the daughter he hasn’t seen since she was a baby.

Scarlet’s mother has tried to protect her from Lake’s horrifying legacy, but there’s no way they can escape the media firestorm that erupts when they come out of hiding. Or the people who blame Scarlet for her father’s choices. When trying to do the right thing puts her life in danger, Scarlet is faced with a choice – go back into hiding or make the world see her as more than a monster’s daughter.

Kate McLaughlin’s Daughter is a novel about trying right deadly choices that were never yours to begin with.


Dead End Girls by Wendy Heard – May 1 

In one week, Maude will be dead. At least, that’s what she wants everyone to think. After years of research, Maude has decided to fake her own death. She’s figured out the how, the when, the where, and who will help her unsuspectingly.

The why is complex: revenge, partly. Her terrible parents deserve this. But there’s also l’appel du vide, the call of the void, that beckons her toward a new life where she will be tied to no one, free and adrift. Then Frankie, a step-cousin she barely knows, figures out what she’s plotting, and the plan seems like it’s ruined. Except Frankie doesn’t want to rat her out. Frankie wants in. The girls vault into the unknown, risking everything for a new and limitless life. But there are some things you can never run away from. What if the poison is not in the soil, but in the roots?

This pulse-pounding thriller offers a nuanced exploration of identity, freedom, and falling in love while your world falls apart.


Dead Girls Can’t Tell Secrets by Chelsea Ichaso – April 5

Piper’s fall was no accident. Did someone want her dead? It’s up to her sister to discover the truth in this shocking new thriller with an unreliable narrator, from the acclaimed author of Little Creeping Things.

Piper Sullivan was in a strange hiking accident last month and has been in a coma ever since. Her older sister, Savannah, can’t pretend to be optimistic about it; things look bad. Piper will likely never wake up, and Savannah will never get any answers about what exactly happened.

But then Savannah finds a note in Piper’s locker, inviting Piper to a meeting of their school’s wilderness club…at the very place and on the very day that she fell. Which means there was a chance that Piper wasn’t alone. Someone might’ve seen something. Worse, someone might’ve done something. But who would want to hurt the perfect Piper Sullivan…and why?

To discover the truth, Savannah joins the club on their weekend-long camping trip on the same mountain where her sister fell. But she better be careful; everyone in the club is a suspect, and everyone seems to be keeping secrets about that tragic day.

And Savannah? She’s been keeping secrets, too…


Deep in Providence by Riss M. Neilson – May 31 

For best friends Miliani, Inez, Natalie and Jasmine, Providence, Rhode Island has a magic of its own. From the bodegas and late-night food trucks on Broad Street to The Hill that watches over the city, every corner of Providence glows with memories of them practicing spells, mixing up potions and doing séances with the help of the magic Miliani’s Filipino grandfather taught her.

But when Jasmine is killed by a drunk driver, the world they have always known is left haunted by grief…and Jasmine’s lingering spirit. Determined to bring her back, the surviving friends band together, testing the limits of their magic and everything they know about life, death, and each other.

And as their plan to resurrect Jasmine grows darker and more demanding than they imagined, their separate lives begin to splinter the bonds they depend on, revealing buried secrets that threaten the people they care about most. Miliani, Inez and Natalie will have to rely on more than just their mystical abilities to find the light. 


Dig Two Graves by Gretchen McNeil – March 29

I did my part, BFF. Now it’s your turn.

Seventeen-year-old film noir fan Neve Lanier is a girl who just wants to be seen, but doesn’t really fit in anywhere. When Neve is betrayed by her best friend, Yasmin, at the end of the school year, she heads off to a girl’s empowerment camp feeling like no one will ever love her again. So when she grabs the attention of the beautiful, charismatic Diane, she falls right under her spell, and may accidentally promise to murder Diane’s predatory step-brother, Javier, in exchange for Diane murdering Yasmin. But that was just a joke…right?

Wrong. When Yasmin turns up dead, Diane comes calling, attempting to blackmail Neve into murdering Javier. Stalling for time, Neve pretends to go along with Diane’s plan until she can find a way out that doesn’t involve homicide. But as she gets to know Javier – and falls for him – she realizes that everything Diane told her is a lie. Even worse, she discovers that Yasmin probably wasn’t Diane’s first victim. And unless Neve can stop her, she won’t be the last.


Extasia by Claire Legrand – February 22

From New York Times bestselling author Claire LeGrand comes a new, bone-chilling YA horror novel about a girl who joins a coven to root out a vicious evil that’s stalking her village. Perfect for fans of The Handmaid’s Tale and The Grace Year.

Her name is unimportant.

All you must know is that today she will become one of the four saints of Haven. The elders will mark her and place the red hood on her head. With her sisters, she will stand against the evil power that lives beneath the black mountain—an evil which has already killed nine of her village’s men.

She will tell no one of the white-eyed beasts that follow her. Or the faceless gray women tall as houses. Or the girls she saw kissing in the elm grove.

Today she will be a saint of Haven. She will rid her family of her mother’s shame at last and save her people from destruction. She is not afraid. Are you?

This searing and lyrically written novel by the critically acclaimed author of Sawkill Girls beckons readers to follow its fierce heroine into a world filled with secrets and blood—where the truth is buried in lies and a devastating power waits, seething, for someone brave enough to use it.


Gallant by Victoria Schwab – March 1

Everything casts a shadow. Even the world we live in. And as with every shadow, there is a place where it must touch. A seam, where the shadow meets its source.

#1 New York Times–bestselling author Victoria Schwab weaves a dark and original tale about the place where the world meets its shadow, and the young woman beckoned by both sides. The Secret Garden meets Crimson Peak in this stand-alone novel perfect for readers of Holly Black and Neil Gaiman.

Olivia Prior has grown up in Merilance School for girls, and all she has of her past is her mother’s journal—which seems to unravel into madness. Then, a letter invites Olivia to come home—to Gallant. Yet when Olivia arrives, no one is expecting her. But Olivia is not about to leave the first place that feels like home, it doesn’t matter if her cousin Matthew is hostile or if she sees half-formed ghouls haunting the hallways.

Olivia knows that Gallant is hiding secrets, and she is determined to uncover them. When she crosses a ruined wall at just the right moment, Olivia finds herself in a place that is Gallant—but not. The manor is crumbling, the ghouls are solid, and a mysterious figure rules over all. Now Olivia sees what has unraveled generations of her family, and where her father may have come from.

Olivia has always wanted to belong somewhere, but will she take her place as a Prior, protecting our world against the Master of the House? Or will she take her place beside him?

New York Times bestselling author Victoria Schwab crafts a vivid and lush novel that grapples with the demons that are often locked behind closed doors. An eerie, standalone saga about life, death, and the young woman beckoned by both. Readers of Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, Melissa Albert, and Garth Nix will quickly lose themselves in this novel with crossover appeal for all ages.


Go Hunt Me by Kelly deVos – June 14

For Dracula lovers and fans of Diana Urban’s All Your Twisted Secrets,this spine-tingling thriller follows eight horror buffs as their dream trip to a remote Romanian castle turns into a nightmare when they begin to be killed one by one.

Alex Rush is ready for the trip of a lifetime.

She and her friends have made some creepily awesome films together throughout high school, so with only a few months left before they go their separate ways for college, they’re determined to make the best one yet: an epic documentary about the real inspiration for Dracula, filmed on location at a remote castle in Romania.

But when they get there, it’s not quite the majestic setting they planned for. Menacing weapons line the walls, the twisted halls are easy to get lost in, and with no connection to the outside world, the group is unexpectedly off the grid. After just a few hours spent under its roof, Alex and her friends have no trouble imagining how this dark, terrifying castle inspired one of the most enduring horror novels of all time.

Only soon they no longer have to use their imaginations to understand the location’s terrifying history—just as they get the documentary’s first shot rolling, one of Alex’s friends disappears, and she’s nearly certain she saw a cloaked stranger lurking in the shadows. As more members of the group begin to meet an untimely demise, Alex is desperate to stop the bloodshed, even if it means facing a monster she never thought would be let loose.


Hell Followed With Us by Andrew Joseph White – June 7

Sixteen-year-old trans boy Benji is on the run from the cult that raised him—the fundamentalist sect that unleashed Armageddon and decimated the world’s population. Desperately, he searches for a place where the cult can’t get their hands on him, or more importantly, on the bioweapon they infected him with.

But when cornered by monsters born from the destruction, Benji is rescued by a group of teens from the local Acheson LGBTQ+ Center, affectionately known as the ALC. The ALC’s leader, Nick, is gorgeous, autistic, and a deadly shot, and he knows Benji’s darkest secret: the cult’s bioweapon is mutating him into a monster deadly enough to wipe humanity from the earth once and for all.

Still, Nick offers Benji shelter among his ragtag group of queer teens, as long as Benji can control the monster and use its power to defend the ALC. Eager to belong, Benji accepts Nick’s terms…until he discovers the ALC’s mysterious leader has a hidden agenda, and more than a few secrets of his own.


Horror Hotel by Victoria Fulton & Faith McClaren – February 1

This addictive YA horror about a group of teen ghost hunters who spend the night in a haunted LA hotel is The Blair Witch Project for the TikTok generation.

When the YouTube-famous Ghost Gang—Chrissy, Chase, Emma, and Kiki—visit a haunted LA hotel notorious for tragedy to secretly film after dark, they expect it to be just like their previous paranormal huntings. Spooky enough to attract subscribers—and ultimately harmless.

But when they stumble upon something unexpected in the former room of a gruesome serial killer, they quickly realize that they’re in over their heads.

Sometimes, it’s the dead who need our help—and the living we should fear.


I Am the Ghost in Your House by Maria Romasco Moore – April 19

From the author of Some Kind of Animal comes a wildly unique story about an invisible girl struggling to see herself in a world obsessed with appearances.

Pie is the ghost in your house.
She is not dead, she is invisible.
The way she looks changes depending on what is behind her. A girl of glass. A girl who is a window. If she stands in front of floral wallpaper she is full of roses.
For Pie’s entire life it’s been Pie and her mother. Just the two of them, traveling across America. They have slept in trains, in mattress stores, and on the bare ground. They have probably slept in your house.
But Pie is lonely. And now, at seventeen, her mother’s given her a gift. The choice of the next city they will go to. And Pie knows exactly where she wants to go. Pittsburgh—where she fell in love with a girl who she plans to find once again. And this time she will reveal herself.
Only how can anyone love an invisible girl?

A magnificent story of love, and friendship, and learning to see yourself in a world based on appearances, I Am the Ghost in Your House is a brilliant reflection on the importance of how much more there is to our world than what meets the eye.


It Will End Like This by Kyra Leigh – January 4

For fans of The Cheerleaders and Sadie comes a psychological thriller that reminds us that in real life, endings are rarely as neat as happily ever after. A contemporay take on the Lizzie Borden story that explores how grief can cut deep.

Charlotte lost her mother six months ago, and still no one will tell her exactly what happened the day she mysteriously died. They say her heart stopped, but Charlotte knows deep down that there’s more to the story.

The only person who gets it is Charlotte’s sister, Maddi. Maddi agrees—people’s hearts don’t just stop. There are too many questions left unanswered for the girls to move on.

But their father is moving on. With their mother’s personal assistant. And both girls are sure that she’s determined to take everything that’s theirs away for herself.

Now the only way to get their lives back is for Charlotte and Maddi to decide how this story ends, themselves.


Killing Time by Brenna Ehrlich – March 8

A deathly warning to a generation of murderinos: What happens when the stories we’re chasing finally catch up with us?
 
Summer in Ferry, Connecticut, has always meant long, lazy days at the beach and wild nights partying in the abandoned mansions on the edge of town. Until now, that is.
 
Natalie Temple, who’s never been one for beaches or parties in the first place, is reeling from the murder of her favorite teacher, and there’s no way this true-crime-obsessed girl is going to sit back and let the rumor mill churn out lie after lie—even if she has to hide her investigation from her disapproving mom and team up with the new boy in town…
 
But the more Natalie uncovers, the more she realizes some secrets were never meant to be told.


Lock the Doors by Vincent Ralph – March 1

A brand new addictive, twisty thriller from the author of ARE YOU WATCHING? for fans of Karen McManus, Holly Jackson and Lisa Jewell.

LOCK EVERY DOOR

Tom’s family have moved into their dream home. But pretty soon he starts to notice that something is very wrong – there are strange messages written on the wall and locks on the bedroom doors. On the OUTSIDE.

The previous owners have moved just across the road and they seem like the perfect family. Their daughter Amy is beautiful and enigmatic but Tom is sure she’s got something to hide. And he isn’t going to stop until he finds the truth behind those locked doors. . .

Will their dream home become a nightmare?

Mirror Girls by Kelly McWilliams – February 8

As infants, twin sisters Charlie Yates and Magnolia Heathwood were secretly separated after the brutal lynching of their parents, who died for loving across the color line. Now, at the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement, Charlie is a young Black organizer in Harlem, while white-passing Magnolia is the heiress to a cotton plantation in rural Georgia.

Magnolia knows nothing of her racial heritage, but secrets are hard to keep in a town haunted by the ghosts of its slave-holding past. When Magnolia finally learns the truth, her reflection mysteriously disappears from mirrors—the sign of a terrible curse. Meanwhile, in Harlem, Charlie’s beloved grandmother falls ill. Her final wish is to be buried back home in Georgia—and, unbeknownst to Charlie, to see her long-lost granddaughter, Magnolia Heathwood, one last time. So Charlie travels into the Deep South, confronting the land of her worst nightmares—and Jim Crow segregation.

The sisters reunite as teenagers in the deeply haunted town of Eureka, Georgia, where ghosts linger centuries after their time and dangers lurk behind every mirror. They couldn’t be more different, but they will need each other to put the hauntings of the past to rest, to break the mirrors’ deadly curse—and to discover the meaning of sisterhood in a racially divided land.


My Dearest Darkest by Kayla Cottingham – April 5

Two girls, inexplicably linked. An ancient creature rising in the dark. And a town on the verge of being devoured. My Dearest Darkest is a sharp, feminist horror debut, about girls claiming their power, and the price we sometimes pay for wanting.

Finch Chamberlin is the newest transfer student to the ultra-competitive Ulalume Academy… but she’s also not what she seems. Months before school started, Finch and her parents got into an accident that should have left her dead at the bottom of a river. But something monstrous, and ancient, and terrifying, wouldn’t let her drown. Finch doesn’t know why she woke up after her heart stopped, but since dying she’s felt a constant pull from the school and the surrounding town of Rainwater, like something on the island is calling to her.

Selena St. Clair sees right through Finch, and she knows something is seriously wrong with her. But despite Selena’s suspicion, she feels drawn to Finch and has a sinking feeling that from now on the two will be inexplicably linked to one another.

One night Finch, Selena, and her friends accidentally summon a carnivorous creature of immense power in the depths of the school. It promises to grant every desire the girls have kept locked away in their insecure hearts―beauty, power,adoration―in exchange for a price: human body parts. But as the cost of their wanting becomes more deadly, Finch and Selena must learn to work together to stop the horror they unleashed, before it consumes the entire island.

Only a Monster by Vanessa Len – February 22

With the sweeping romance of Passenger and the dark fantasy edge of This Savage Song, this standout YA contemporary fantasy debut from Vanessa Len, is the first in a planned trilogy.

It should have been the perfect summer. Sent to stay with her late mother’s eccentric family in London, sixteen-year-old Joan is determined to enjoy herself. She loves her nerdy job at the historic Holland House, and when her super cute co-worker Nick asks her on a date, it feels like everything is falling into place.

But she soon learns the truth. Her family aren’t just eccentric: they’re monsters, with terrifying, hidden powers. And Nick isn’t just a cute boy: he’s a legendary monster slayer, who will do anything to bring them down.

As she battles Nick, Joan is forced to work with the beautiful and ruthless Aaron Oliver, heir to a monster family that hates her own. She’ll have to embrace her own monstrousness if she is to save herself, and her family. Because in this story . . .

. . . she is not the hero.

Primal Animals by Julia Lynn Rubin – May 24

Protect the girls

Arlee Gold is anxious about spending the summer at the college prep Camp Rockaway—the same camp her mother attended years ago, which her mother insists will help give Arlee a “fresh start” and will “change her life.” Little does Arlee know that, once she steps foot on the manicured grounds, this will prove to be true in horrifying ways.

Even though the girls in her cabin are awesome—and she’s developing a major crush on the girl who sleeps in the bunk above her—the other campers seem to be wary of Arlee, unwilling to talk to her or be near her, which only ramps up her paranoia. When she’s tapped to join a strange secret society, Arlee thinks this will be her shot at fitting in…until her new “sisters” ask her to do the unthinkable, putting her life, and the life of her new crush, in perilous danger.


Queen of the Tiles by Hanna Alkaf – April 19

They Wish They Were Us meets The Queen’s Gambit in the world of competitive Scrabble when a teen girl is forced to investigate the mysterious death of her best friend a year after the fact when her Instagram comes back to life with cryptic posts and messages.

CATALYST
13 points
noun: a person or thing that precipitates an event or change

When Najwa Bakri walks into her first Scrabble competition since her best friend’s death, it’s with the intention to heal and move on with her life. Perhaps it wasn’t the best idea to choose the very same competition where said best friend, Trina Low, died. It might be even though Najwa’s trying to change, she’s not ready to give up Trina just yet.

But the same can’t be said for all the other competitors. With Trina, the Scrabble Queen herself, gone, the throne is empty, and her friends are eager to be the next reigning champion. All’s fair in love and Scrabble, but all bets are off when Trina’s formerly inactive Instagram starts posting again, with cryptic messages suggesting that maybe Trina’s death wasn’t as straightforward as everyone thought. And maybe someone at the competition had something to do with it.

As secrets are revealed and the true colors of her friends are shown, it’s up to Najwa to find out who’s behind these mysterious posts—not just to save Trina’s memory, but to save herself.


Sense and Second-Degree Murder by Tirzah Price – April 5

Three of Jane Austen’s classic novels receive a murder mystery makeover in this romantic and thrilling three-book series that’s perfect for fans of The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy and Stalking Jack the Ripper. In Sense and Second-Degree Murder, aspiring scientist Elinor Dashwood and her sister Marianne, a budding detective, work together to solve the mystery of their father’s murder.

When eighteen-year-old aspiring scientist Elinor Dashwood discovers her beloved father slumped over the desk of his office study, she knows his death means dire straits for the Dashwood women. To make matters worse, an outdated will entails his estate—including Norland & Company, the private investigation firm where her younger sister Marianne worked as her father’s partner and protégé—to their half-brother and his haughty wife, who waste no time in forcing the Dashwoods out of their home and into a cramped apartment on London’s Barton Street.

But before they go, the Dashwood sisters make a startling discovery that points to foul play, and the killer might be family.

Obviously, the girls must investigate. It could be dangerous; it could ruin their reputations; and most importantly, it won’t bring back their father. But if the Dashwood sisters can combine their talents and bring their father’s murderer to justice, it may bring them all some comfort—and it might even lead to love.


Summer’s Edge by Dana Mele – May 31

I Know What You Did Last Summer meets The Haunting of Hill House  in this atmospheric, eerie teen thriller following an estranged group of friends being haunted by their friend who died last summer.

Emily Joiner was once part of an inseparable group—she was a sister, a best friend, a lover, and a rival. Summers without Emily were unthinkable. Until the fire burned the lake house to ashes with her inside.

A year later, it’s in Emily’s honor that Chelsea and her four friends decide to return. The house awaits them, meticulously rebuilt. Only, Chelsea is haunted by ghostly visions. Loner Ryan stirs up old hurts and forces golden boy Chase to play peacemaker. Which has perfect hostess Kennedy on edge as eerie events culminate in a stunning accusation: Emily’s death wasn’t an accident. And all the clues needed to find the person responsible are right here.

As old betrayals rise to the surface, Chelsea and her friends have one night to unravel a mystery spanning three summers before a killer among them exacts their revenge.


The Book of Living Secrets by Madeleine Roux – March 1

This story follows two girls who transport themselves into the world of their favorite book only to encounter the sinister alternate reality that awaits them.

No matter how different best friends Adelle and Connie are, one thing they’ve always had in common is their love of a little-known gothic romance novel called Moira. So when the girls are tempted by a mysterious stranger to enter the world of the book, they hardly suspect it will work. But suddenly they are in the world of Moira, living among characters they’ve obsessed about for years.

Except…all is not how they remembered it. The world has been turned upside down: The lavish balls and star-crossed love affairs are now interlaced with unspeakable horrors. The girls realize that something dark is lurking behind their foray into fiction—and they will have to rewrite their own arcs if they hope to escape this nightmare with their lives.


The Drowned Woods by Emily Lloyd-Jones – August 16

Once upon a time, the kingdoms of Wales were rife with magic and conflict, and eighteen-year-old Mererid “Mer” is well-acquainted with both. She is the last living water diviner and has spent years running from the prince who bound her into his service. Under the prince’s orders, she located the wells of his enemies, and he poisoned them without her knowledge, causing hundreds of deaths. After discovering what he had done, Mer went to great lengths to disappear from his reach. Then Mer’s old handler returns with a proposition: use her powers to bring down the very prince that abused them both.

The best way to do that is to destroy the magical well that keeps the prince’s lands safe. With a motley crew of allies, including a fae-cursed young man, the lady of thieves, and a corgi that may or may not be a spy, Mer may finally be able to steal precious freedom and peace for herself. After all, a person with a knife is one thing…but a person with a cause can topple kingdoms.

The Drowned Woods—set in the same world as The Bone Houses but with a whole new, unforgettable cast of characters—is part heist novel, part dark fairy tale.


The Drowning Summer by Christine Lynn Herman – April 19

A gorgeously atmospheric contemporary fantasy by the author of The Devouring Gray and The Deck of Omens.

Six years ago, three Long Island teenagers were murdered—their drowned bodies discovered with sand dollars placed over their eyes. The mystery of the drowning summer was never solved, but as far as the town’s concerned, Evelyn Mackenzie’s father did it. His charges were dropped only because Evelyn summoned a ghost to clear his name. She swore never to call a spirit again. She lied.

For generations, the family of Mina Zanetti, a former friend of Evelyn, has worked as mediums, using the ocean’s power to guide the dead to their final resting place. But as sea levels rise, the ghosts grow more dangerous and Mina has been shut out of the family business. When Evelyn performs another summoning that goes horribly wrong, the two girls must navigate their growing attraction to each other while solving the mystery of who was really behind the drowning summer…before the line between life and death dissolves for good.

Beautifully written and just the right amount witchy, The Drowning Summer is a deliciously eerie story perfect for reading under a full moon


The Gifts That Bind Us by Caroline O’Donoghue (All Our Hidden Gifts #2) – June 7

A spellbinding supernatural teen drama – and sequel to All Our Hidden Gifts.

Maeve and her friends have revealed their powers and banded together as a coven: Roe can pick locks, Lily sends sparks flying, Maeve can read minds and Fiona can heal any injury.

And even better than their newfound talents? Roe and Maeve are officially an item.

But with strange things happening at school, and old enemies appearing in new places, it soon becomes clear their powers are attracting all the wrong attention. It’s not long before Maeve’s gift start to wane, drained by someone – or something – that’s hiding even from her second sight…

The brilliant second installment in the Hidden Gifts series, with further titles to come.


The Honeys by Ryan La Sala – TBD 2022

From Ryan La Sala, the wildly popular author of Reverie, comes a twisted and tantalizing horror novel set amidst the bucolic splendor of a secluded summer retreat.

Mars has always been the lesser twin, the shadow to his sister Caroline’s radiance. But when Caroline dies under horrific circumstances, Mars is propelled to learn all he can about his once-inseparable sister who’d grown tragically distant.

Mars’s genderfluidity means he’s often excluded from the traditions — and expectations — of his politically-connected family. This includes attendance at the prestigious Aspen Conservancy Summer Academy where his sister poured so much of her time. But with his grief still fresh, he insists on attending in her place.

What Mars finds is a bucolic fairytale not meant for him. Folksy charm and sun-drenched festivities camouflage old-fashioned gender roles and a toxic preparatory rigor. Mars seeks out his sister’s old friends: a group of girls dubbed the Honeys, named for the beehives they maintain behind their cabin. They are beautiful and terrifying — and Mars is certain they’re connected to Caroline’s death.

But the longer he stays at Aspen, the more the sweet mountain breezes give way to hints of decay. Mars’s memories begin to falter, bleached beneath the relentless summer sun. Something is hunting him in broad daylight, toying with his mind. If Mars can’t find it soon, it will eat him alive.


The Last Laugh by Mindy McGinnis (The Initial Insult #2) – March 15

In the dark and stunning sequel to The Initial Insult, award-winning author Mindy McGinnis concludes this suspenseful YA duology as long-held family secrets finally come to light . . . changing Amontillado forevermore.

Tress Montor murdered Felicity Turnado—but she might not have to live with the guilt for long. With an infected arm held together by duct tape, the panther who clawed her open on the loose, and the whole town on the hunt for the lost homecoming queen, the odds are stacked against Tress. As her mind slides deeper into delirium, Tress is haunted by the growing sound of Felicity’s heartbeat pulsing from the “best friend” charm around her fevered neck.

Ribbit Usher has been a punchline his whole life—from his nickname to his latest turn as the unwitting star of a humiliating viral video. In the past he’s willingly played the fool, but now it’s time to fulfill his destiny. That means saving the girl, so that Felicity can take her place at his side and Ribbit can exact revenge on all who have done him wrong—which includes his cousin, Tress. Ribbit is held by a pact he made with his mother long ago, a pact that must be delivered upon in four days.

With time ticking down and an enemy she considers a friend lurking in the shadows, Tress’s grip on reality is failing. Can she keep both mind and body together long enough to finally find out what happened to her parents?


The New Girl by Jesse Q. Sutanto (The Obsession #2) – February 1

Lia Setiawan has never really fit in. And when she wins a full ride to the prestigious Draycott Academy on a track scholarship, she’s determined to make it work even though she’s never felt more out of place.

But on her first day there she witnesses a girl being forcefully carried away by campus security. Her new schoolmates and teachers seem unphased, but it leaves her unsure of what she’s gotten herself into.

And as she uncovers the secrets of Draycott, complete with a corrupt teacher, a golden boy who isn’t what he seems, and a blackmailer determined to get her thrown out, she’s not sure if she can trust anyone…especially when the threats against her take a deadly turn.


The Red Palace by June Hur – January 25

To enter the palace means to walk a path stained in blood…

Joseon (Korea), 1758. There are few options available to illegitimate daughters in the capital city, but through hard work and study, eighteen-year-old Hyeon has earned a position as a palace nurse. All she wants is to keep her head down, do a good job, and perhaps finally win her estranged father’s approval.

But Hyeon is suddenly thrust into the dark and dangerous world of court politics when someone murders four women in a single night, and the prime suspect is Hyeon’s closest friend and mentor. Determined to prove her beloved teacher’s innocence, Hyeon launches her own secret investigation.

In her hunt for the truth, she encounters Eojin, a young police inspector also searching for the killer. When evidence begins to point to the Crown Prince himself as the murderer, Hyeon and Eojin must work together to search the darkest corners of the palace to uncover the deadly secrets behind the bloodshed.


These Fleeting Shadows by Kate Alice Marshall

In this queer supernatural YA novel, a girl inherits her ancestral home, only to discover that a dark presence lurks within it—and within herself. With the help of the young woman called the Witch of Harrow, she must unlock the house’s secrets and her own if she wants to survive.


The Witchery by S. Isabelle – July 26

A bewitching debut by S. Isabelle, perfect for fans of Maggie Stiefvater, Zoraida Córdova, and Leigh Bardugo!

THE HAUNTING SEASON IS HERE AND THE WOLVES ARE AWAKE.

Haelsford, Florida is a Hellmouth. Or at least, that’s what Logan, a baby witch struggling to control her powers, thinks as she arrives to the witchtown to begin the new school year at Mesmortes Coven Academy. She is immediately taken under the wing of the infamous Red Three. Iris is a deathwitch who wants nothing more than to break the town’s curse; Jailah is one of the most powerful witches at the academy but her thirst for power may lead her down a dark path; and Thalia, the talented greenwitch, is on the run from her religious family and a past that still haunts her.

Fear and prejudice still fuel the uneasy truce between humans and witches who are forced to work together when the Haunting Season begins and Wolves rise from the swamp to feed. With this approaching, two Hammersmitt boys prepare to make their first sacrifices to the witches in exchange for protection. But as they become involved with the Mesmortes witches’ plan to end the Wolves’ reign of terror once and for all, old dangers lie in wait.

The cost to break the curse may be greater than any witch or human could ever know.


Wake the Bones by Elizabeth Kilcoyne – July 12

The sleepy little farm that Laurel Early grew up on has awakened. The woods are shifting, the soil is dead under her hands, and her bone pile just stood up and walked away.

After dropping out of college, all she wanted was to resume her life as a tobacco hand and taxidermist and try not to think about the boy she can’t help but love. Instead, a devil from her past has returned to court her, as he did her late mother years earlier. Now, Laurel must unravel her mother’s terrifying legacy and tap into her own innate magic before her future and the fate of everyone she loves is doomed.


We Made It All Up by Margot Harrison – July 12

Celeste is the talk of the town when she moves to Montana from Montreal, but the only friend she makes is Vivvy, the heir to the town’s name and a social pariah. Inspired by a passion-fueled school incident, they begin writing a love-story fan fic between the popular guy and the school stoner, one that gradually reveals Celeste’s past. While their bond makes Celeste feel safe and alive again, Vivvy keeps prodding Celeste to turn fantasy into reality. When they finally try, one drunken night on a dark mountainside, Celeste is the one who ends up kissing golden boy Joss. And Joss ends up dead.

Celeste doesn’t remember the end of that night and can’t be sure she didn’t deliver the killing blow. Could she still be that scared of getting close to a boy? Secrets are hard to keep in a small town, and even Vivvy seems to suspect her. Exploring the winding passages of the cave where Joss died, Celeste learns he had his own dark secrets, as does Vivvy. The town isn’t as innocent as it appears.


What We Harvest by Ann Fraistat – March 22

For fans of Wilder Girls comes a nightmarish debut guaranteed to keep you up through the night, about an idyllic small town poisoned by its past, and one girl who must fight the strange disease that’s slowly claiming everyone she loves.

Wren owes everything she has to her home, Hollow’s End, a centuries-old, picture perfect American town. Tourists travel miles to marvel at its miracle crops, including the shimmering, iridescent wheat of Wren’s family farm. Until five months ago.

That’s when the quicksilver mercury blight first surfaced, poisoning the farms of Hollow’s End one by one. It began by consuming the crops–thick, silver sludge bleeding from the earth. Next were the animals. Infected livestock and wild creatures alike staggered off into the woods by day—only to return at night, their eyes, fogged white, leering from the trees.

Then, the blight came for the neighbors.

Wren is among the last locals standing. And the blight has finally come for her, too. Now, the only one she can turn to is the last person she wants to call: her ex, Derek. They haven’t spoken in months, but Wren and Derek still have one thing in common—Hollow’s End means everything to them. Only there’s much they don’t know about their hometown and its renowned miracle crops. And they’re about to discover that miracles aren’t free.

Their ancestors have an awful lot to pay for, and Wren and Derek are the only ones left to settle old debts.


Youngblood by Sasha Laurens – July 19

For fans of Vampire Diaries and dark academia, two queer teen bloodsuckers at an elite vampire-only boarding school must go up against all of Vampirdom when they uncover a frightening conspiracy on campus.

Kat Finn and her mother can barely make ends meet living among humans. Like all vampires, they must drink Hema, an expensive synthetic blood substitute, to survive, as nearly all of humanity has been infected by a virus that’s fatal to vampires. Kat isn’t looking forward to an immortal life of barely scraping by, but when she learns she’s been accepted to the Harcote School, a prestigious prep school that’s secretly vampires-only, she knows her fortune is about to change.

Taylor Sanger has grown up in the wealthy vampire world, but she’s tired of its backward, conservative values—especially when it comes to sexuality, since she’s an out-and-proud lesbian. She only has to suffer through a two more years of Harcote before she’s free. But when she discovers her new roommate is Kat Finn, she’s horrified. Because she and Kat used to be best friends, a long time ago, and it didn’t end well.

When Taylor stumbles upon the dead body of a vampire, and Kat makes a shocking discovery in the school’s archives, the two realize that there are deep secrets at Harcote—secrets that link them to the most powerful figures in Vampirdom and to the synthetic blood they all rely on.


Books Without Covers

Echo Sunset by Courtney Gould – TBD

This supernatural thriller follows two sisters who, after their mother dies, learn about her mysterious ties to an isolated Arizona town. When they decide to investigate, nothing and no one is who they seem, including the daughter of the town’s enigmatic leader.

Eternally Yours by Patrice Caldwell – TBD

a YA paranormal romance anthology edited by Patrice Caldwell (editor of A Phoenix First Must Burn). In addition to a contribution from Caldwell, the volume will include short stories by Kendare Blake, Kat Cho, Melissa de la Cruz, Emily Duncan, Hafsah Faizal, Sarah Gailey, Alexis Henderson, Adib Khorram, Kwame Mbalia, Anna-Marie McLemore, Casey McQuiston, Sandhya Menon, Danielle Paige, Akshaya Raman, Marie Rutkoski, and Julian Winters

The Agathas by Kathleen Glasgow & Liz Lawson – May 3

A mystery pitched as Big Little Lies meets Veronica Mars that asks the question “What would Agatha Christie do?”.

A girl’s five-day disappearance used to be the biggest scandal in Castle Crove – until her ex-boyfriend is accused of murdering his new girlfriend, and she must pair up with her tutor to clear his name by using techniques from the mystery queen herself, Agatha Christie.

The Ones We Burn by Rebecca Mix – TBD

A young blood-witch’s mission to assassinate her betrothed—a gentle human prince—gets complicated when they uncover a witch-killing plague, and in their race to stop it, she falls for the prince’s sister. Coming fall of 2022 from Simon & Schuster.

The Undead Truth of Us by Britney S. Lewis – August 9

Sixteen-year-old Zharie Young is absolutely certain her mother morphed into a zombie before her untimely death, but she can’t seem to figure out why. Why her mother died, why her aunt doesn’t want her around, why all her dreams seem suddenly, hopelessly out of reach. And why, ever since that day, she’s been seeing zombies everywhere.

Then Bo moves into her apartment building—tall, skateboard in hand, freckles like stars, and an undeniable charm. Z wants nothing to do with him, but when he transforms into a half zombie right before her eyes, something feels different. He contradicts everything she thought she knew about monsters, and she can’t help but wonder if getting to know him might unlock the answers to her mother’s death.

As Zharie sifts through what’s real and what’s magic, she discovers a new truth about the world: Love can literally change you—for good or for dead.

In this surrealist journey of grief, fear, and hope, Britney S. Lewis’s debut novel explores love, zombies, and everything in between in an intoxicating amalgam of the real and the fantastic.

The Weight of Blood by Tiffany D. Jackson – TBD

The Weight of Blood is a remix of Stephen King’s Carrie set at a school’s first integrated prom.

Violet Made of Thorns by Gina Chen – July 26

A darkly romantic, fairytale-inspired fantasy—the first in a duology—for fans of The Cruel Prince and Serpent & Dove.

Violet is a prophet and a liar, influencing the court as Seer with her cleverly phrased—and not always true—divinations. Honesty is for suckers like the oh-so-not-charming Prince Cyrus, who plans to strip her of her title once he’s crowned.

After the king asks her to falsely prophesy Cyrus’s love story for an upcoming ball, Violet awakens a dreaded curse about the prince’s future bride. Her wits may protect her in the ruthless court, but they can’t protect her against fate—nor the doomed attraction growing between her and the prince . . .


Stay tuned for more 2022 haunted book talk coming soon…

In the mean time, let me know what you’re looking forward to reading.

books on my radar: summer 2021 edition

Hello y’all!! This is my first non-review/blog tour post since I don’t know when to be honest. At least since sometime last year, when I started becoming less active on here. I have been wanting to revive my blog again for a long but things happen! Life happens. It gets super hard to manage a blog when you’re working, when the world is burning, and your mental health is shit. I’m hoping to make an official “I’m back from my hiatus (?)” post soon though and talk about things that have happened last year and this year.

In the meantime, I have been dying to talk about some upcoming books!! So here’s a typical anticipated summer releases list for you to enjoy or not. I decided to separate these books into arbitrary categories so do with that what you will. Please enjoy this list and I hope I have convinced some of y’all to look into these for yourself! Let’s have a good summer full of reading, chilling out and also staying 6 feet apart and away from me with a mask still on please.

SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY / LITERARY FICTION RELEASES
(JUNE TO AUGUST 2021)

This is the straight up fantasy category. The lush and descriptive type of fantasy that takes you to a whole other world.

For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten – Release Date: June 1

Woodsy, fantasy romance with a monster boyfriend/husband?? Indulge me please. I’ve been waiting for this book ever since it was announced and I cannot wait to devour it.

The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo – Release Date: June 1

Not only is this a retelling of The Great Gatsby but its also queer, Asian, and magical. I’m also lucky enough to have been given an arc of this 👀👀👀 Review to come obviously for this one!

The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri – Release Date: June 8

This is the start of a fantasy trilogy featuring morally grey sapphic characters. I’ve heard so many great things about Tasha Suri’s first series, Empire of Sand & Realm of Ash. She’s also an author that I follow on Twitter and she seems chill. IDK There is something about authors that are just kind of chill and cool on Twitte that makes me want to read their books more.

The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava Reid – Release Date: June 8

Will anyone hate me when I say that I have read this book already? I will have a review up soon for this one because WOW. This book. I hope my review can give this book justice to how damn good it was. I also have the the book itself in person and it is GORGEOUS. I am begging y’all to grab this book that if you want a fantasy story that hits you dark and brutal themes of nationalism, genocide, and ethnic cleansing. I would definitely check into the trigger warnings for this book before going in.

This a mix of contemporary/historical settings and characters.

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston – Release Date: June 1

I haven’t read Red, White & Royal Blue and I KNOW I WILL READ IT EVENTUALLY. But One Last Stop just really sounded more my speed. Queer Kate & Leopold?? This sounds a lot of fun and I need more fun in my life. I’ll more than likely take this as a beach read since I am going to hit the beach at some point this summer. Vaccinated baby!!!

The Temple House Vanishing by Rachel Donohue – Release Date: July 6

Okay so I have to point out that this has not been the only book released this year about boarding schools and specifically all-girls schools. There’s at least 3 others that also fit in this category from this year alone. It’s a sub-genre that I have come to realize that I enjoy reading about because its usually mystery and coming of age all rolled into one. Picnic at Hanging Rock is one of my favorite films and I think that’s where I get my admiration for this type of story.

Afterparties by Anthony Veasna So – Release Date: August 3

This a collection of short stories that is specifically about Cambodian Americans dealing with race, sexuality, and generational trauma from the Khmer Rouge genocide. I’ve been wanting to read more short stories and I think this sounds like it would be interesting.

Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – Release Date: August 17

I have to first address the cover because it is both HOT and COOL. Tell me that isn’t a hot as fuck cover. But also super cool and badass. Moving on from my cover love, this is a historical noir from a new favorite author of mine. Mexican Gothic was one of my favorite reads from last year and I’m super intrigued to see how Silvia Moreno-Garcia goes into historical noir. She’s an author that puts so much work into research and it shows. Plus her writing is so lush and captivating.

I guess this is also like the previous category of books. There are two thrillers and two contemporaries.

Ghost Forest by Pik-Shuen Fung – Release Date: July 13

This sounds like it will be a strong book about grief as well as the experience of immigrants. Also not a book set in the U.S. as its set both in China and Canada. I know its random that I point that out but I also don’t for some reason read many non-US books which I obviously should fucking fix.

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris – Release Date: June 1

This had me at Get Out meets The Stepford Wives which is quite the comp to make. This about a young Black woman who works a book publishing house in New York where she has been the only Black employee until the new girl arrives. It seems like they’ll get along fine but the new girl starts to leave her hostile messages and things begin to spiral out.

With Teeth by Kristen Arnett – Release Date: June 1

Not going to lie but I actually am kind of wanting to read this because 1) the author is hilarious on Twitter. She’s always trending somehow?? 2) She’s a Florida author and this is set in Florida. I am naturally biased towards books set where I am from. But I mean the book does sound intriguing. The synopsis sounds almost basic but also eerily unsettling??? I guess that’s how I would describe it because it sounds like its going to be a messy ride and I am here for it.

The Comfort of Monsters by Willa C. Richards – Release Date: July 13

Set in the early 1990s during the time Jeffrey Dahmer was caught, a teenage girl also happened to disappear and it follows the sister’s story to piece together what actually happened. Also I saw the name “Gillian Flynn” and immediately added this to my tbr.

This is the “whatever else is left to talk about” category. A mix of genres and authors.

My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones – Release Date: August 31

This is described as Shirley Jackson meets Friday the 13th which sounds cool as hell. I’m also very excited because of the hype and praise surrounding his release from last year, The Only Good Indians (which I am also dying to read). And yeah that title is hardcore.

Star Eater by Kerstin Hall – Release Date: June 22

The synopsis does not at all mention that this book is about cannibalism but it is apparently about cannibalism but fantasy. This sounds fucked up to be honest and I am here for it.

Songs in Ursa Major by Emma Brodie – Release Date: June 22

Another thing I am into, books about music. This book leans into the 1960s/1970s folk music scene which is an era I vibe with. Bob Dylan. Joni Mitchell. James Taylor. This apparently is partially based off James Taylor and Joni Mitchell’s love affair. Sorry Bob.

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix – Release Date: July 13

Okay this might sound fake but I had a WIP that was also about final girls joining up together to face up against one villain. RIP The Final Girls Club. Damn you Grady Hendrix for also going for the most obvious story idea to tell and doing it before me. But this seriously sounds super cool. It probably will be better than anything I put on paper.

YOUNG ADULT RELEASES (JUNE TO AUGUST 2021)

This category is the YA horror/thriller category and this year it looks strong. I’ll especially love to talk about the ones coming out in the fall/winter season as well. There’s another book that fits here but I am purposely leaving it out for aesthetic reasons.

Darling by K. Ancrum – Release Date: June 22

A dark retelling of Peter Pan which K. Ancrum is known to deliver on dark topics. The synopsis itself is pretty vague and mysterious as to what the hell is happening. But that somehow makes me more excited to read this one. I have an ARC for this and hopefully I will be getting into it soon!

The Devil Makes Three by Tori Bovalino – Release Date: August 10

Demonic books, boarding school, dark academia…what could be better??? I am actually rubbing my hands over the thought of reading this. This is the kind of spooky shit I have been craving.

The River Has Teeth by Erica Waters – Release Date: July 20

I adored Ghost Wood Song, the author’s debut which you should check out! This one is a sapphic Southern gothic/ supernatural book. I crave for more Southern gothic stories TBH.

A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee – August 3

Sapphic dark academia in the house!!! We love to see it!!!

This is a mix of books that have mostly contemporary settings grounded in realism but also two have have fantastical elements.

The Sea Is Salt and So Am I by Cassandra Hartt – Release Date: June 8

This deals with a seaside town during stormy weather season and also deals with depression and suicide. So this could be a difficult read for myself since those issues hit hard for me. But I like the premise enough to want to try to read it.

Me (Moth) by Amber McBride – Release Date: August 17

So this is an interesting mix of novel-in-verse contemporary and ghost story. It sounds like it will be a haunting read and I didn’t look into it any further than that because novels-in-verse are easy for me to go in without knowing too much about them.

Dangerous Play by Emma Kress – Release Date: August 3

I have been wanting to venture into YA sports books which there seems to be a lack of. Not non-existent but just very limited and they don’t seem to get as much coverage as fantasy and romance contemporaries do. I am interested to see how this portrays sexual assault and the trauma of it.

This Poison Heart by Kaylynn Bayron – Release Date: June 29

I believe this is a retelling of The Secret Garden which I story I ADORED in my childhood years but also I recognize that its a story that could use a good retelling and especially one from the perspective of a person of color. I’m also a sucker for plant magic fantasy. Give me all the cottagecore vibes please.

This is the WLW category. HAROLD.

Gearbreakers by Zoe Hana Mikuta – June 29

Aimed at fans of Pacific Rim (that’s me) with a sapphic romance, I really think this could be a fun read. I actually preordered this a while ago so I have been anxiously waiting for the finished copy to show up for a long time now but I also have an ARC and I am dying to find time to read this!! To my knowledge I haven’t read any book with mechas in them, which is honestly such a weird thing because that whole category of cyberpunk/sci-fi is huge in anime, if you’re a fan of Neon Genesis Evangelion or Gundam and of course Pacific Rim.

Girls at the Edge of the World by Laura Brooke Robson – June 8

I actually have no idea what the hell this book is really about. From the synopsis I get the hint of fantasy ~but make it apocalyptic~ which is my absolutely my thing. Also it is of course sapphic. I kind of like that I’m going into this not knowing much tbh.

The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould – August 3

Ghosthunting!! Haunted towns!! Horror!! Sapphics!! *In the tune of Shania Twain’s Man I Feel Like a Woman* Let’s go ghouls!!

Rise to the Sun by Leah Johnson – July 6

This sounds like the perfect summer read, its about two girls at a music festival and falling in love. I personally love books that are about music and about the fans of music. Look at that cover and tell that this isn’t going to be cute af.


That’s my little list, let me know some of your most anticipated summer releases. Also what do you think of this year in books thus far? Has it been a good/okay/bad year for book releases? Have you already found a favorite book of the year or do you expect this next half to have a new favorite in store?

thanks for reading! sav :)

Top Ten Tuesday -First Ten Books I Reviewed on This Blog

This is a Top Ten Tuesday post, which is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.


Hello everyone! It’s been a while! (I feel like I write this in every post).

This is a great topic because it’s a fun retrospective of my blog and seeing how I’ve made some progress and also kind of regressed in writing reviews and also how I write in general.


And I Darken (The Conqueror’s Saga #1) by Kiersten White

My first ever review on my blog and it’s pretty bad folks. There’s misspellings, typos, and just a lot of cringe-y moments here. You’ll notice this trend where I try to rate books from a 1-10 scale instead of using the star system (which I still hate btw) but as of right now I’m not even sure how I want to rate books.

This is also one of the few books I’ve reviewed on here that wasn’t an arc because at this time I had no idea what NetGalley and Edelweiss was. Honestly I had no idea what the hell an arc was.

By the way I still have yet to finish this series….I really need to get on that I guess.

How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

I’m actually proud of this review because I took notes while reading which made it easier for me to go back and recall some details. But I also just genuinely enjoyed this book and wanted to gush about it. I also forgot that I used to do “+” for a positive thing I liked and “-” for something I didn’t like. This did not stay long.

Girl at the Grave by Teri Bailey Black

This was my first ever ARC review and it shows. I think I tried really hard to like this book but I really didn’t. This book was more like a 2 star read now that I come to think about it. It was kind of forgettable but now I’m remembering some of the plot I kind of hated it.

Sadie by Courtney Summers

For Sadie I didn’t want to do a full on review but 1) other people had been doing and had some stunning and poetic reviews of 2) because I was kind of lazy and didn’t want to write a lot. I also just noticed that the photo I took of for this review is really huge and hard to see. But this review felt so easy but it was a great book and obviously it’s easy for me to write reviews for books I enjoyed rather than ones I don’t like and for some people it’s the the opposite.

Shadow of the Fox (#1) by Julie Kagawa

This was my second ARC review and another favorite review of mine because it was so easy to gush over this book.

On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden

I think I like this graphic novel even more now than I did when I first read it. I’m not really sure if my review did it justice but I hope someone picked it up regardless of whether I made them or not.

Aquicorn Cove by Katie O’Neill

This was another grapic novel ARC review. However with this one I don’t really remember too much about it. It wasn’t bad, because it does have a good message but it’s just not a book that was meant for me. I still stick by my original rating but its not a story I would ever read again.

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

And finally I went back to reviewing a book that wasn’t an ARC. Yet another gushy review. I’m not sure what kind of review I was going for here but it did get plenty of interaction so I’m glad about that.


So there’s my evolution of reviewing books on my blog, which is still something I’m working on and I can always improve which I guess is my advice to anyone wanting to write reviews. Keep on writing! 🙂

F is For Friday – April 5 2019

How to participate in the meme:
1. Credit the creator of this tag and link back — Nomadic Worlds
2. Answer the four questions to the best of your ability.
3. Most important of all, enjoy yourself!

Questions:
F – Feature your latest book obsession (it doesn’t have to be your current read)
I – Indicate which book/s you are looking forward to reading this weekend.
F – Favorite quote of the week/day
F – Five things you’re happy or grateful for this week.


F – Feature your latest book obsession

What can I say?? This book was phenomenal. This book made me want to write more and put more words out there. I can’t recommend this enough. It’s won awards so that should give y’all some motivation to read The Poet X. I’m so excited to read her next book, With the Fire on High now.

I – Indicate which book/s you are looking forward to reading this weekend

I really want to get to reading Daisy Jones & The Six. I’m going to be listening to the audiobook since I’ve heard many people say that it’s the best way to take in the story.

Then there’s You’d Be Mine which I have the eARC for that I should really get to and also review!

F – Favorite quote of the week/day

I’m going to share just one of the several powerful quotes from The Poet X

“Late into the night I write and the pages of my notebook swell from all the words I’ve pressed onto them. 
It almost feels like the more I bruise the page the quicker something inside me heals.” 

F – Five things I’m happy or grateful for this week

Lush products

I started using Lush products a few weeks ago and I’m loving them. I got the American Cream shower lotion and body conditioner and I just love the smell.

My awesome coworker

My coworker who is super nice gave me these little composition notebooks. They’re so small and cute. I’m so grateful to have a co-worker like her!! Completely made my day.

10 Things I Hate About You

It was the 20th anniversary of the movie the other day and I still can’t believe it’s that old. It’s one of my favorite rom-coms and has inspired me in so many ways. I will always appreciate the character of Kat Stratford for introducing me to feminism back when I first watched this movie on YouTube.

Shrill

I mentioned this in my March Wrap-Up but it’s still something I’m thinking about because of its body positivity and humor. I can’t praise it enough.

Hearts Beat Loud

This was such a sweet heartwarming underrated gem of a movie featuring Nick Offerman and Kiersey Clemons as a father and daughter who make music and start a band together. The music in this movie is so good. Also Kiersey Clemons’ character has a girlfriend and they are adorable. There’s also Mitski and I love Mitski.


That was my week so far. Let me know how y’all are doing.

March Wrap-Up + Favorites

Hey everyone! I hope March was a good month for y’all. If it wasn’t that’s okay too. I think this month was at least much better than February for me, but still kind of mediocre. It was a very meh month.

I’ve noticed I’ve been slacking in some areas on my blog such as Top Ten Tuesday posts, my Favorite Blog Posts of the Month posts, and in April I’m going to get back into those things.

WHAT I READ

NEVERWORLD WAKE BY MARISHA PESSL

A twisty, surrealistic Groundhog Day story that explores relationships, friendships and life. MY RATING: 5/5

THE POET X BY ELIZABETH ACEVEDO

This book deserves all the hype and critical acclaim it has received. I also highly recommend listening to the audiobook which is narrated by Elizabeth Acevedo herself. What else could I possibly say that hasn’t already been said about this powerful book? Just read it. MY RATING: 5/5 STARS

POSTS

There’s a recurring theme in my posts this month as you will notice.

2019 Anthologies on My TBR

Top 5 Wednesday – Books on My Spring TBR

F is For Friday – March 22

Top 5 Tuesday – Space Books on My TBR

FAVORITES

SHRILL

Give me more Shrill please!! This was a wonderfully hilarious show that has such a great message on body positivity. Aidy Bryant is so brilliant and I want her to be in everything.

US

Jordan Peele does it again. While I didn’t find this movie to be super scary, it was very disturbing, creepy, and unsettling. Lupita is incredible as usual but I also enjoyed the rest of the cast.

CAPTAIN MARVEL

CAPTAIN MARVEL AND GOOSE ARE GOING TO KICK THANOS’ ASS in Endgame. With that aside, I really enjoyed this so much and I even went on Twitter to talk about all the things I felt about it.

APRIL GOALS

  • Post at least 2 reviews
  • Read ARCs
  • Read my Spring TBR
  • Do all tags and challenges I was tagged in
  • Restart my Favorite Blog Posts of the Month posts.

February Wrap-Up and Favorites

WOW. Let’s talk about February. I’ll be honest and say that my mental health plus with work stuff limited my time on here. But just to let y’all know that if you ever need a break or can’t post or whatever, it’s totally fine to not be consistent.

WHAT I READ

I read this because I re-watched Twin Peaks which I’ll go more in depth with in my monthly favorites portion. I enjoyed the information this provided on the show’s production, the stories and characters, and great analysis.

POSTS*

*actually Post because I only made 1 post this month.

Valentine’s Day Book Tag

MONTHLY FAVORITES

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

I downloaded this app at the beginning of February and I’m obsesssed! I never played an Animal Crossing game before (which I really need to get more of the games) but I love how chill and relaxing this game is. It’s so cute and easy-going.

Derry Girls


I first have to thank Aurora for talking about this amazing show on her blog. This is a hilarious coming of age comedy set in 1990s during The Troubles in Northern Ireland. I love this quirky cast of characters. It’s so witty and the quotes are hilarious. Fun fact: I share a birthday with the actor who plays James.

Eighth Grade

Eighth Grade attacked me so much. This about an eighth grade girl, Kayla who is dealing with social anxiety, trying to fit in, and being awkward a.k.a. me in eighth grade.

The Favourite

This deserved so much more praise from the Academy but who am I to judge? The Favourite is about the rivalry between cousins vowing to be the favourite of Queen Anne. I loved the dark comedic tones of this. Olivia Colman deserved her Oscar for her performance in this.

Twin Peaks

This was a rewatch because I always feel like February is the best month to watch this show (since it takes place during the last half of February and into March). I really adore this show no matter how meh it got in the second season. I always find myself coming back to the weird, surrealistic world of Twin Peaks.

Scribd

I started my free trial for this a week ago and I love it! I like listening to audiobooks and this gives you access to so many. I’m actually considering starting a subscription with this.


That is my lackluster monthly wrap-up. Hopefully March is more successful.

Top 5 Tuesday – Upcoming Book Titles

Top 5 Tuesday is hosted by Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm. Here are the topics for December

I’ve reworked this one because I’m currently on the 2019 hype train and there’s so many amazing book titles coming out next year!

Also I’m doing a little bit more than 5 because I couldn’t narrow this down without excluding some absolute gems. 

EDIT: I accidentally posted this last week on the 27th because sleep deprivation probably. Anyways here it is again but posted on the correct date lmao.


With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

This has a gorgeous ring to it. Also this book is about teen chef who is also a mother (a cooking mama if you will), so the title really fits with the cooking theme. 

Also while this is just about the title I do have to give major props to the cover because WOW ITS SO BEAUTIFUL. 

Comics Will Break Your Heart by Faith Erin Hicks

This is actually a quote from the famous Marvel writer Jack Kirby. It’s actually a heartbreaking quote though because he apparently gave this advice to a young artist about comics and has said it frequently. This book of course deals with comics as the main character’s grandfather is a co-creator of a famous comic book series from the 1960’s with a Romeo and Juliet like story. 

These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling

There’s something about this title that’s very striking and affirmative. Like “fuck the patriarchy and witch hunts!” I actually thought that this was an Amanda Lovelace book because it sounds like a title she’d come up with. This book sounds very queer BTW so there’s also that! 

We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia

This is another title that has a powerful vibe to it. One of my most anticipated releases of 2019! This is a speculative fiction novel about queer girls and dismantling the patriarchy! 

Heroine by Mindy McGinnis

I like a good punny title and this one packs a punch. This deal with a softball player who had an injury and is dealing with a drug addiction. 

 The Virtue of Sin by Shannon Schuren

This book just sounds really interesting in general and it has to do with a cult which is a subject I’m maybe a little too weirdly intrigued by. I’m also a huge fan paradoxical titles. 

How to Make Friends with the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow 

And finally there’s this one. Which has hints of loneliness and sadness. Yet another gorgeous title matched with an equally gorgeous cover. 


Thanks for reading! Comment down below some of your favorite titles. Titles that make you think or laugh or whatever emotion you get from a particular title.