Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Graphic Novels TBR

This week's Ten:
10 Graphic Novels On My TBR List

Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 (Wires & Nerve #1)
by Marissa Meyer &
Douglas Holgate (illustrations)

Prodigy: The Graphic Novel (Legend: The Graphic Novel #2)
by Marie Lu &
Leigh Dragoon (Adapted by), Kaari (Illustrated by)

March: Book One (March #1)
by John Lewis &
Andrew Aydin (co-author), Nate Powell (artist)

Saga, Vol 1 (Saga, Volume 1)
by Brian K Vaughn (author) & Fiona Staples (artist)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Freefall (Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 #1)
by Joss Whedon &
Andrew Chambliss, Georges Jeanty (Artist), Karl Moline (Artist)

Through the Woods
by Emily Carroll

R.I.P.D. Volume 1 (R.I.P.D.)
by Peter Lenkov, Randy Emberlin (inks), Lucas Marangon (pencils), Steve Dutro (letterer), Dave Nestelle (colorist)

Doctor Who Volume 1: Fugitive (Doctor Who volume 1 (2009) #1)
by Tony Lee, Al Davison (illustrator), Matthew Dow Smith (illustrator)

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor, Vol. 1: Revolutions of Terror (Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #1-5)
by Nick Abadzis, Elena Casagrande (illustrations), Arianna Florian (illustrations)

Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor, Vol. 1: After Life (Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor #1-5)
by Al Ewing, Rob Williams, Simon Fraser (illustrations), Gary Caldwell (illustrations)

I seem to forget about reading the graphic novels on my TBR list (I have started one or two of these, read other books in some of the series, etc) so maybe this list will help me to actually read/finish them! (And Wires & Nerve is out today!)

Please leave a comment and let me know what graphic novels/comics are on your to-read list - or which are your favorites!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Right Behind You ~ Lisa Gardner (earc) review [@LisaGardnerBks @DuttonBooks @PenguinUSA]

Right Behind You (Quincy & Rainie #7)
January 31, 2017
400 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

Lisa Gardner's next thriller following her runaway New York Times bestseller Find Her takes her wildly popular brand of suspense to new heights.

Is he a hero?

Eight years ago, Sharlah May Nash’s older brother beat their drunken father to death with a baseball bat in order to save both of their lives. Now thirteen years old, Sharlah has finally moved on. About to be adopted by retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his partner, Rainie Conner, Sharlah loves one thing best about her new family: They are all experts on monsters.

Is he a killer?

Then the call comes in. A double murder at a local gas station, followed by reports of an armed suspect shooting his way through the wilds of Oregon. As Quincy and Rainie race to assist, they are forced to confront mounting evidence: The shooter may very well be Sharlah’s older brother, Telly Ray Nash, and it appears his killing spree has only just begun.

All she knows for sure: He’s back.

As the clock winds down on a massive hunt for Telly, Quincy and Rainie must answer two critical questions: Why after eight years has this young man started killing again? And what does this mean for Sharlah? Once upon a time, Sharlah’s big brother saved her life. Now, she has two questions of her own: Is her brother a hero or a killer? And how much will it cost her new family before they learn the final, shattering truth? Because as Sharlah knows all too well, the biggest danger is the one standing right behind you.

Right Behind You was the first Quincy & Rainie book I have read, so I can tell you that you do not have to have read books one through six first. We get enough of their backstory to understand who they are, what they do and to see why Sharlah is such a great fit for them.

I really loved Sharlah's character and how she fits into the events of the story and into Quincy and Rainie's life. Her past is an undoubtedly painful one and she still has those scars - both physical and emotional - but is working at moving on, forming a new, healthy life. The past she shares with Telly, how that became part of the story, the conflicts it created and the contrast it provided really makes you feel for all of the characters.

For Sharlah, for Telly, even for Quincy and Rainie, it isn't that the past is in the past and everything is just fine and shiny, happy now. What they've experienced has shaped who they are today, for better or for worse. I really liked how Sharlah's personality was, in so many ways, an effect of those first few years of her life and how that affected the decisions she makes in the story.

From Sharlah's personality to Cal and the SAR involvement to Luka and what he can and does do to the crime and the response, all of Right Behind You feels like Lisa Gardner really did her research, really understood who and what she as talking about. It is all fictional, but every bit feel realistic and true.

There were elements of the story, certain developments or events, that I thought I could predict and, sometimes, I was even right. What really kept this novel surprising, tense and thrilling, however, was that the how or why or when things happened wasn't easy to guess. Things that were so seamlessly integrated into the characters or the story that you never questioned them would end up having much more impact than you'd ever imagine.

Right Behind You does a fantastic job not only providing a thrilling mystery, but including SAR searchers, super smart (and loving) dogs, and unconventional family situations. It all comes together  to make for a superb read. This  may have been the first Quincy & Rainie series book I read, but it won't be the last.

(This is a book that shows both a pit bull and a German shepherd in a positive light, something I love the book (and author) all the more for doing!)

digital copy received for review from publisher, via NetGalley

Friday, January 27, 2017

Book Trailer Friday [@Writeinbk @epicreads @KatherineTegen]

The book trailer I picked for this week is for Tiffany D Jackson's debut novel, Allegedly, released this week - it is a great book and I hope the book trailer will help entice you to read it!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday [@KatherineTegen @harperteen @skippingstones]

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

My pick for this week:

THE LAST OF AUGUST by Brittany Cavallaro

In the second brilliant, action-packed book in the Charlotte Holmes trilogy, Jamie and Charlotte are in a chase across Europe to untangle a web of shocking truths about the Holmes and Moriarty families.

Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are looking for a winter break reprieve in Sussex after a fall semester that almost got them killed. But nothing about their time off is proving simple, including Holmes and Watson’s growing feelings for each other. When Charlotte’s beloved uncle Leander goes missing from the Holmes estate—after being oddly private about his latest assignment in a German art forgery ring—the game is afoot once again, and Charlotte throws herself into a search for answers.

So begins a dangerous race through the gritty underground scene in Berlin and glittering art houses in Prague, where Holmes and Watson discover that this complicated case might change everything they know about their families, themselves, and each other.

published February 14th by Katherine Tegen Books

add to your Goodreads shelf // pre-order from Book Depo // or Amazon


For all of the reasons I wanted to read A Study in Charlotte (my WOW post) make me also really want to read The Last of August!

Charlotte Holmes is an even better female, teenage, re-imagined Sherlock Holmes than I had even hoped for. Author Brittany Cavallaro didn't shy away from making her a bit (or maybe more than a bit) weird and strange but it's part of why she fits so well into the story. And with Jamie.

He is not only a great balance to her character, but I really like what we've seen of his family and hope for more of that in the next two books.

Also? I really do enjoy crime/mystery solving books, crime/mystery solving books where the solvers are teenagers and seeing how the characters go about piecing things together - and hopefully surviving until the end.

A Study in Charlotte was a great read and full of some truly unexpected elements and developments. I loved starting to get to know Jamie and Charlotte and can't wait for more of their story.

That's my pick for this week, what's yours? Tell me in the comments and/or link me to your own post!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Allegedly ~ Tiffany D Jackson review [@Writeinbk @epicreads @KatherineTegen]

Katherine Tegen Books
January 24, 2017
400 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

Mary B. Addison killed a baby.

Allegedly. She didn’t say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: A white baby had died while under the care of a church-going black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it? She wouldn’t say.

Mary survived six years in baby jail before being dumped in a group home. The house isn’t really “home”—no place where you fear for your life can be considered a home. Home is Ted, who she meets on assignment at a nursing home.

There wasn’t a point to setting the record straight before, but now she’s got Ted—and their unborn child—to think about. When the state threatens to take her baby, Mary must find the voice to fight her past. And her fate lies in the hands of the one person she distrusts the most: her Momma. No one knows the real Momma. But who really knows the real Mary?

In this gritty and haunting debut, Tiffany D. Jackson explores the grey areas in our understanding of justice, family, and truth, and acknowledges the light and darkness alive in all of us.
If you want a calm, reassuring, predictable read, Allegedly isn't what you're looking for. If, however, you are (and why wouldn't you be) looking for a book whose main character and story will take you on a bit of a roller coaster ride, give you unforgettable characters and is going to be running through your mind long after you finish it, you need to read Allegedly.

As much as I have enjoyed reviewing some books I didn't previously know about (here and here), I was so excited to receive Allegedly; this is one' I've really wanted to read for a while. I figured from both the description and the title that this wasn't going to be a book with clear answers, with black and white right and wrong. I had no idea, though, how true that was.

The characters in this book really keep you guessing. Sometimes you think you know them, know what they're about or what they're capable of . . .but very rarely are you actually correct. The girls in the group home, the adults in charge of the different aspects of Mary's life, her mother, Ted, and Mary are all really complex, well written and real people. They have their pasts, how that's affected them, how they're trying to live their lives now - and whether those intentions seems to matter (for the good or the bad).

These aren't characters you find in a lot of books, aren't people you often see represented but the author does a great job making them someone you can relate to while (with many of them) making them really intimidating or frightening, too.

There were points when I thought I had something figured out and, sometimes, I was even right but those things that I thought were going to be 'big' things ended up barely playing a role in what happened.

Mary, her story, her past, her present, her hopes for the future and everything and everyone part of her life make this a truly unforgettable read. (I am still working on just how I feel about some things.) This is a terrific debut and I am definitely looking forward to me from author Tiffany D Wilson.

finished copy received, for review, from publisher

Top Ten Tuesday: 2012 Faves I Wish Had 2017 Books

This week's Ten:
10 of My Favorite 2012 Books by Authors I Wish Had a 2017 Release*
*I went by what's on Goodreads, so I may have missed one

34 Pieces of You by Carmen Rodrigues

Revived by Cat Patrick

Harbinger by Sara Wilson Etienne

Timepiece (Hourglass #2) by Myra McEntire

Between You and Me by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

The Right & The Real by Joelle Anthony

Through to You by Emily Hainsworth

The Unquiet by Jeannine Garsee

Blood Moon (Drake Chronicles #5) by Alyxandra Harvey

Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf

Please leave a comment and let me know some of your favorite books released in 2012 and/or some authors you wish would have a 2017 new release!

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Girl Before ~ JP Delaney (earc) review [@randomhouse #TheGirlBefore]

The Girl Before
Ballantine Books
January 24, 2017
320 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life.

The request seems odd, even intrusive—and for the two women who answer, the consequences are devastating.

Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece: a minimalist design of pale stone, plate glass, and soaring ceilings. But there are rules. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control: no books, no throw pillows, no photos or clutter or personal effects of any kind. The space is intended to transform its occupant—and it does.

After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street she is instantly drawn to the space—and to its aloof but seductive creator. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home’s previous tenant, a woman similar to Jane in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror, as the girl before.

Early on in the story, one of the characters muses, "Who wouldn't  want to live in a house like this?" in regards to One Folgate Street.  The story's barely started but already I knew that I wouldn't . . . and yet, I could understand why both Jane and Emma found the home, even with its myriad of eccentric rules, appealing.

Each woman has been though something very painful and the drastic changes that living at One Folgate Street would require make a certain kind of sense for them and their lives. It is also a great setting and setup for the story.

I especially liked that, once we get into the story, we seem to get pieces of Jane's story before what could be considered the corresponding or parallel bits of Emma's story. Learning the story though our 'now' character before our 'then' character really engenders different feelings in the reader for each character than the expected 'then' and 'now' order.

This was a book full of surprises and then a few more surprises. Some of them you might have started to see coming, but others really were unexpected. Somehow, though, they don't cancel each other out and really build on the mystery and tension.

I do want to note that there was more of a sexual element to the story than I was anticipating and which normally would have turned me away from the book. (It was a bit Fifty Shades-ish at times.) The reason I mention it, however, is that it really seemed to work here.  It plays a definite part of who our characters are and how the story and their relationships (or interactions) develop. So, it was necessary.

The Girl Before is a twisty, dark and thrilling read (and that ending? I see what you did there - and I love it) and I know I"ll paying attention for more from author J.P. Delaney in the future.

digital review copy received from publisher, via NetGalley

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday [@penguinteen @stephanieeoakes]

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

My pick for this week:

THE ARSONIST by Stephanie Oakes

Code Name Verity meets I Am the Messenger in this riveting YA novel from Morris Award finalist Stephanie Oakes, in which three points of view are woven together in a story that's part Cold War mystery, part contemporary coming-of-age, and completely unputdownable.

Molly Mavity is not a normal teenage girl. For one thing, her father is a convicted murderer, and his execution date is fast approaching. For another, Molly refuses to believe that her mother is dead, and she waits for the day when they ll be reunited . . . despite all evidence that this will never happen.

Pepper Al-Yusef is not your average teenage boy. A Kuwaiti immigrant with epilepsy, serious girl problems, and the most useless seizure dog in existence, he has to write a series of essays over the summer . . . or fail out of school.

And Ava Dreyman the brave and beautiful East German resistance fighter whose murder at seventeen led to the destruction of the Berlin Wall is unlike anyone you ve met before.

When Molly gets a package leading her to Pepper, they re tasked with solving a decades-old mystery: find out who killed Ava, back in 1989. Using Ava s diary for clues, Molly and Pepper realize there s more to her life and death than meets the eye. Someone is lying to them. And someone out there is guiding them along, desperate for answers.

At turns heart-racing, hilarious, and heartbreaking, The Arsonist is an intricate tapestry of love, loss, and the mysterious connections between us all.

published August 22nd by Dial Books

add to your Goodreads shelf // pre-order from Book Depo // or Amazon


After reading Stephanie Oakes' first book The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly in 2015, I have been looking forward to finding out what she would publish next. I loved that book and that its characters, story were so unlike anything else.

The Arsonist is a book that I would be interested in even without knowing the author based on those character descriptions, that there's a crime to solve and a diary involved. All are things I often really like in books. I do know who the author is, though, and that has me anticipating the August release of The Arsonist even more!

That's my pick for this week, what's yours? Tell me in the comments and/or link me to your own post!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Secret of a Heart Note ~ Stacey Lee review [@epicreads @staceyleeauthor @KatherineTegen]

The Secret of a Heart Note
Katherine Tegen Books
December 27, 2016
384 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

Love chose me, and I tried, but I couldn’t stop the arrow in its flight.

As one of only two aromateurs left on the planet, fifteen-year-old Mimosa knows what her future holds: a lifetime of using her extraordinary sense of smell to mix base notes, top notes, and heart notes into elixirs that help others fall in love.

All while remaining incurably alone.

For Mim, the rules are clear—falling in love would render her nose useless, taking away her one great talent. Still, Mimosa doesn’t want to spend her life elbow-deep in soil and begonias. She dreams of a normal high school existence—taking up a sport and limping away flush from victory, joining the debate club and saying things like “That’s a logical fallacy!” Having a boyfriend.

When she accidentally gives an elixir to the wrong woman and has to rely on the school soccer star to help fix the situation, Mim quickly begins to realize that when it comes to falling in love, the choice isn’t always hers to make.

If you were better than I was at reading email the week after Christmas, you may have have read the first chapters of The Secret of a Heart Note thanks to Epic Reads' FIRST5. (If not, maybe they're still in your inbox? You should go check.)

The Secret of a Heart Note has one of my favorite first lines: "Most people don't know that heartache smells like blueberries." It's such a wonderful introduction to Mim and the whole idea of aromateurs.  Everything else about this books is contemporary, realistic YA fiction, but then we have the fact that Mim and her mother, as aromateurs, have a super sense of smell that allows them to create carefully mixed elixirs that help others fall in love. It's a great, fun bit of magic.

For so long that's has been all of Mim's life: her mother, their garden, learning scents, the life destined for her. But it is not all that she wants, she also wants a normal, teenage life.

She's managed to convince her mother to let her attend public high school but it's not long before managing her school work and her work with scents becomes difficult.

I really enjoyed the premise of this book, what Mim and her mother (and their ancestors) are able to do, the sort of 'rules' around all of it and how it's shaped her life. I also liked that it was something everyone knew about (not something she had to hide) but that it also made people wary of her. All of that - Mim's past, that she's spent so long not interacting with a lot of people, not at school, what's expected of her as an aromateur, trying to balance everything - comes together to make Mim a unique character and to make for a fun story.

It was fun discovering more about Mim, about aromateurs and how it all works, as she struggled to fix her mistakes and stay within the rules - or figure out if they needed breaking.

The Secret of a Heart Note is a sweet story about Mim growing up, deciding what she wants and how to fit that into what has always been expected of and for her. It was nice to see a fuller picture of Mim's relationship with her mother as the story progressed. I didn't quite get why the novel's romance started but liked it once it had.

(There are also a number of plants I now want to see/smell . . . )

finished copy received from publisher, for review

Top Ten Tuesday: Underrated Reads of '16

This week's Ten:
Ten Underrated/Hidden Gem Books I've Read In The Past Year 

I used the number of ratings and reviews each book had on Goodreads as a sort of objective measure of what books, of those I most liked this past year, were less widely read and/or known. It's not a perfect indicator but, hopefully, a decent one. (About half of these have less than 100 reviews on Goodreads, the other half between 100 and 200 and all have less than 500 ratings.)

The Haunting by Alex Bell

Cloud and Wallfish by Anne Nesbet
Review // Goodreads

Civilianized: A Young Veteran's Memoir by Michael Anthony
Review // Goodreads

The Last Harvest by Kim Liggett

The Second Mrs Hockaday by Susan Rivers

Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock & Fear . . . And Why by Sady Doyle

The Museum of You by Carys Bray

The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd

Where You'll Find Me by Natasha Friend

The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever by Jeff Strand

Please leave a comment and let me know what were your favorite underrated reads of the past year! If you've read any of those on my list, I would love to know what you thought.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Cover Reveal: As You Lay Sleeping ]@XpressoTours @katlyn_duncan]

As You Lay Sleeping
Katlyn Duncan
HQ Digital
February 20th 2017
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult

I did it all for you…
Cara’s boyfriend is dead.
When fingers start pointing at her, she knows she’s in more trouble than she originally thought. Because Cara can see that something isn’t right.
As her carefully constructed life begins to crumble, Cara isn’t sure who she is anymore.
But maybe that’s exactly what someone wants her to think…

Author Bio:\

Katlyn Duncan was born and raised in a small town in western Massachusetts. Her overactive imagination involved invisible friends, wanting to be a Disney Princess and making up her own stories. Her bibliophile mom always encouraged her love of reading and that stayed with her ever since. Even though she works full time in the medical field Katlyn has always made time for books, whether she is reading or writing them.

Katlyn now lives in southern Connecticut with her husband and adorable Wheaten Terrier and she is thrilled to finally share her stories with the world.

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