Highlights: November 2019

It’s the month of thanksgiving, and you know what that means! We are ready to give thanks for all the new books coming our way! If between all the turkey and the babies we are able to keep our eyes open enough to read them that is. What are we talking about…OF COURSE we’ll make time for more reading! Priorities, am I right? Here are the book we’re looking forward to this month!

Serena’s Pick:

32605126._sy475_Book: “Song of the Crimson Flower” by Julie C. Dao

Publication Date: November 5, 2019

Why I’m Interested: I’ve been meaning to read one of Dao’s books for a while now and just have never gotten around to it. So when I was given the opportunity to join in a blog tour for her latest title, I jumped on the chance to find out what all the fuss was about! The story follows Lan, a young woman who cruelly rejects the love of a poor village boy, Dao. From there, the story sounds like a version of “The Princess and the Frog” only this time the frog is a flute and the story is drawing from the author’s Vietnamese roots as inspiration for this fantasy world. YA fantasy romance can be very hit and miss for me, so I’m guessing a lot of my enjoyment of this book will come down to just how cruel we’re talking with regards to Lan’s rejection. On the other hand, a good redemption story for a heroine can also be pretty great, so here’s to hoping!

9781250208408_8e486Book: “Sister of Shadow and Light” by Sara B. Larson

Publication Date: November 5, 2019

Why I’m Interested: This is another author who I’ve been meaning to check out. But as nice as it is to start a series that you know is concluded, it’s also a bit intimidating to start out, which has held me back from her “Defy” books for a bit. But no more excuses! She’s starting up a new series with this book, and we we all know I’m a sucker for sister stories, so now seems like the time. On top of that, the story seems to be a sort of fairytale fantasy, combining elements from both “Rapunzel” and “Sleeping Beauty” which sounds right up my alley. Trapped away in a tower, their lives have been filled with solitude and fear, until one day (of course) someone makes their way in. The longer description sounds a lot like Laini Taylor’s “Strange the Dreamer” story as well, so that adds an extra layer of intrigue!

40401975Book: “Flamebringer” by Elle Katharine White

Publication Date: November 12, 2019

Why I’m Interested: So we have a new standalone, the first in a new series, and now it’s time for the last in a series! Enter: “Flamebringer.” What started out as a standalone fantasy interpretation of “Pride and Prejudice” has turned into an enthralling fantasy series that has focused on some tough issues while presenting a fully fleshed out fantasy world all of its own. In the last book, Aliza and her husband seemed to discover the hints of a world-ending danger lurking in the shadows, so I’m sure that here that conflict will finally come to a head. But at its heart, this has always been a story about Aliza and the challenge of living in a world much bigger than the one in which she was born into. I’m sure she will rise to the occasion once again!

Kate’s Picks:

40538634Book: “Highway of Tears: A True Story of Racism, Indifference, and the Pursuit of Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls” by Jessica McDiarmid

Publication Date: November 12, 2019

Why I’m Interested: True crime is a weakness of mine, but I will absolutely admit that a lot of the cases that get a lot of attention involve a predominantly white focus. An ongoing true crime mystery/tragedy is going on in Canada along Highway 16, in which dozens and dozens of Indigenous women and girls have gone missing, and a number have been found murdered. Many of the cases have gone unsolved, and the victims have been forgotten, an all too familiar outcome for victims who are POC. In “Highway of Tears”, Jessica McDiarmid seeks to give voices and stories to a number of the women who are remembered less as people, and more as nameless statistics, and to explore the societal factors such as racism, misogyny, and poverty that contribute to their victimization.

43263434Book: “Anything For You” by Saul Black

Publication Date: November 5, 2019

Why I’m Interested: The Valerie Hart series is a gritty and dark crime procedural with a tough as nails female detective. I don’t follow too many mystery series, but Saul Black’s Valerie gives me a reason to keep coming back. It’s been a bit since we’ve seen a new book about her, but “Anything For You” is now here and we get to go back to Valerie and her complicated life, as well as a new mystery. This time Valerie is investigating the death of a prominent attorney (whom she had a history with), whose time as a prosecutor has garnered a long list of suspects who would want him dead. But as Valerie starts to dig into his life, including his wife and daughter, she comes upon a mysterious blonde woman who may have her own score to settle. It will no doubt be bleak and upsetting, but I wouldn’t expect any less from Saul Black.

42201962Book: “The Deep” by Rivers Solomon

Publication Date: November 5, 2019

Why I’m Interested: This is a bit more of a fantasy or magical realism pick, but the premise was far too intriguing to pass up. A society of merpeople have learned to live in the sea, the descendants of pregnant African slave women who were thrown overboard during the Triangle Trade. The society has learned to forget of the traumas of the past, except for one single historian. The current historian, Yetu, has to bear the painful and horrific memories of the past, and the burden drives her to run away to the surface. While there she learns of the past and present of the people that she and others could have become, as well as her own. I imagine this is going to be a very powerful and emotional story, and cannot wait to read it.

What new books are you looking forward to this month? Let us know in the comments!

 

Highlights: October 2019

We are now entering the Season of the Witch, and that means a few things here at The Library Ladies! For one, it means that Kate’s Annual Horrorpalooza is in full swing. It also means that cardigans and cozy clothing is coming out of Serena’s closet. And, of course, it means that we have some Highlights for books coming out this month!

Serena’s Picks

42283300Book: “The Throne of the Five Winds” by S. C. Emmett

Publication Date: October 15, 2019

Why I’m Interested: Good, epic, political fantasies are hard to come by. There are a lot of moving pieces and complicated plots that need to play out just right so that readers can follow what is happening but still be surprised by the end result. This story featuring multiple princes’ bids for the throne, a political hostage princess and a handmaiden who is more than she seems sure does sound like it has all the pieces for it! I had to re-read the description itself to even start to get an idea of who is at the heart of this story. This could be a really good sign…or not. But I can’t wait to find out!

36510437Book: “The Art of Theft” by Sherry Thomas

Publication Date: October 15, 2019

Why I’m Interested: Obviously. I’ve been staring down my early review copy of this one for ages trying to hold out until I’m at least close to the month it is going to be released. The last story showed a definite shift in the relationship between Charlotte Holmes and Lord Ingram, but it also left things quite up in the air as to where the story would go from there. Knowing the Holmes we’ve seen so far, that relationship will take a second seat to whatever new case falls on her plate. This time it comes in the form of an old friend of Mrs. Watson’s who is needing Charlotte and the gang to take on a more active role in their investigation than ever before.

36578543Book: “Fireborne” by Rosaria Munda

Publication Date: October 15, 2019

Why I’m Interested: With comparisons to Pierce Brown’s “Red Rising” and a cover that is prominently featuring a dragon, “Fireborne was an obvious pick for me. Annie and Lee were both children when the revolution struck, each experiencing the horrors from very different walks of life. Now, they are both part of an elite corp of dragon riders working to gain entrance into the new regime’s dragon unit. But it turns out the revolution is not as over as everyone thought, and now Annie and Lee find themselves again splitting on opposite sides of the aisle. I’m hopeful that the comparison to “Red Rising” has more to do with the exploration of the challenges and moral gray zones of revolutions (a pretty interesting topic) and less to do with non-stop action (another thing “Red Rising” excelled at.) Not that I don’t like action and expect that, too. But the story was also said to draw from Plato’s “The Republic,” so…what does that look like??

Kate’s Picks

31934011Book: “Ghoster” by Jason Arnopp

Publication Date: October 22, 2019

Why I’m Interested: Given that I absolutely loved Jason Arnopp’s previous novel “The Last Days of Jack Sparks”, I was ecstatic to see that he was coming out with a new novel. In “Ghoster” he shifts his satirical eye from viral videos to the enticing power of social media and online dating. When Kate meets Scott they have a whirlwind romance, and when he invites her to move in she’s ecstatic. But just a few days before she’s supposed to move in, he stops answering her calls. Her friends think she’s been ghosted, but Kate is convinced that something else is going on, and she starts an obsessive search to find out what happened to Scott. And what she finds may be more disturbing than anyone ever thought. I am very excited to tackle this follow up novel!

43522576Book: “Imaginary Friend” by Stephen Chbosky

Publication Date: October 1, 2019

Why I’m Interested: Confession time! I haven’t actually read “The Perks of Being A Wallflower”, the classic YA book by Stephen Chbosky. I know enough about it, though, to know that it’s not a horror novel, so I was VERY interested when I heard he was coming out with a new literary horror book. After Kate leaves her abusive relationship, she and her son Christopher flee to a small town across the country. Then Christopher disappears for nearly a week. Though he’s found safe and sound, something has changed within him. And he says he has a mission: build a tree house by Christmas, or there will be dire consequences. The premise is odd and eerie, and I’m quite curious to see how it all shakes out.

44774415._sy475_Book: “Mooncakes” by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu

Publication Date: October 15, 2019

Why I’m Interested: Perhaps it’s not a horror novel, but it still has spooky and witchy themes, so I’m down for it. In “Mooncakes” a young adult witch named Nova is learning how to harness her magic thanks to her grandmothers. When her childhood friend Tam comes back into her life, she reconnects with her friend she lost a long time ago. Tam is a werewolf, and their connection is still as strong as ever. But someone, or something, with evil intent is looking for Tam, and Nova and her grandmothers want to help Tam before it’s too late. This story sounds adorable and sweet, and like it could be a contender for a gentler Halloween read!

What new books are you looking forward to this month? Let us know in the comments!

 

Highlights: September 2019

September signals the end of summer, the start of autumn, and the promise of cozy days and nights. While Kate is eager for the upcoming spooky season and cooler weather, Serena wonders why we can’t just get a LITTLE more sun and warmth before the doldrums of winter arrive. We have some new books on our personal lists that we’re looking forward to, however! Here’s what we can’t wait to read in September!

Serena’s Picks

43316755._sy475_Book: “The Harp of Kings” by Juliet Marillier

Publication Date: September 3, 2019

Why I’m Interested: Confession time: Last Monday while Kate so kindly implied that we both had not finished up the Highlights post, it was definitely all me. She, responsible and on-top-of-it blogger that she is, had her part all done and it was me who completely forgot that yes, the first Monday of the month was indeed already upon us! Thus, now my first highlight choice is a book that I’ve already reviewed. But never say I pass up a chance to brazenly endorse one of my favorite authors every chance I get! “The Harp of Kings” is a wondrous new fantasy novel that brings together pieces of many of Marillier’s past works while setting the stage for what looks to be a compelling new series. If you want to read my full review, it’s here. And, even more, don’t forget to enter our givewaway to win a free copy!

42867937Book: “The Girl the Sea Gave Back” by Adrienne Young

Publication Date: September 3, 2019

Why I’m Interested: I really enjoyed “Sky in the Deep.” It was a historical fantasy novel where the balance definitely veered more towards the historical side with an emphasis on the warring nature of two Viking-esque clans and the young woman who must bring them together to save both. The fact that it was a standalone was also a huge perk. So I was pleased to find out that the author was releasing this book, another standalone, but one that is set in the same world, ten years later. It’s like having your cake and eating it too! More of the same world and mentions of familiar characters, but readers don’t have to wait for years for a continuation of a beloved story, biting their lips hoping for a happy ending! This story seems to follow Halvard, a boy we met in the first book and a young woman, Tova, whose origins and abilities are a mystery. I can’t wait to see how the author draws in past players and expands her world!

44059557._sy475_Book: “The Magnolia Sword: A Ballad of Mulan” by Sherry Thomas

Publication Date: September 10, 2019

Why I’m Interested: This book is every reader’s dream come true, a favorite author taking on a beloved tale that hasn’t been done well in the past (yes, I mean you “Flame in the Mist.”) I’ve only ever read Thomas’s “Lady Sherlock” series, so I know that she can take famous characters and reimagine them in creative ways while also keeping the foundation of what made that character excellent to begin with. That said, I know this tale mostly from the Disney “Mulan” perspective, and I’m curious to see whether Thomas will draw more from the original material than that did? The description sounds pretty inline with the tale I know, a young woman going under cover dressed as a man to join the army. I can’t wait to get my hands on this!

Kate’s Picks

43798285Book: “The Institute” by Stephen King

Publication Date: September 10, 2019

Why I’m Interested: Say it with me: STEPHEN KING!! My favorite author is always going to be at the top of the list whenever he has a new book coming out. But not only is this a new Stephen King book, it incorporates one of my favorite creepy tropes: a shady school setting where kids are in danger! Luke is kidnapped from his house in the middle of the night and taken to The Institute, where kids like him (with special powers) are held and studied. If you cooperate you’re rewarded, if you don’t you’re punished severely. And you can never leave. King seems to be revisiting themes he’s talked in books like “Firestarter”, and honestly I’m totally here for it. On top of that, I pre-ordered the audiobook, and Santino Fontana is going to be the one reading it. I can barely contain my excitement!

39127647Book: “His Hideous Heart” by Dahlia Adler (ed.)

Publication Date: September 10, 2019

Why I’m Interested: I’m warming up to short stories collections, especially if they have a uniting theme and a number of different perspectives. “His Hideous Heart” really appeals to me because, not only is it a number of high profile YA authors, it’s their takes and spins on stories by Edgar Allan Poe! Poe is one of my favorite ‘classic’ authors, and I am very interested to see what a number of modern YA writers will do with his themes and his most famous stories. Some of the contributors are some of my favorites in the YA community, like Stephanie Kuehn and Tiffany Jackson, so that makes me all the more excited to get my hands on this book and devour it.

42369064Book: “The Tea Dragon Festival” by Katie O’Neill

Publication Date: September 17, 2019

Why I’m Interested: A follow up to the adorable and gentle fantasy graphic novel “The Tea Dragon Society” was something that I had hoped for, but didn’t necessarily expect to happen. So when I saw that Katie O’Neill had written a follow up, I freaked out and was so excited to dive back into the world of Tea Dragons! When her mountain village is preparing for a festival to celebrate the Tea Dragons in town, Rinn stumbles upon an ACTUAL Dragon asleep in the woods. But when the Dragon, named Aedhan, wakes up, he tells her that he has been sleeping for decades, and doesn’t know how it happened. As Rinn tries to help Aedhan come back to society as their protector, some familiar faces arrive to try and find out what caused him to sleep for so long. Given how much I LOVED “The Tea Dragon Society”, this follow up is near the top of my anticipation list of the year!

Highlights: August 2019

It feels like summer just got here, and yet now it’s already August?! We only get a precious few consistently summer months here in Minnesota, and with autumn on the way so too comes change and transition. But hey, until then we have BBQs, outdoor sports time, and, of course, the Minnesota State Fair! So while we celebrate the last month of full summer, let’s highlight some books we are looking forward to that come out this month!

Serena’s Picks

41555968Book: “Turning Darkness Into Light” by Marie Brennan

Publication Date: August 20, 2019

Why I’m Interested: I haven’t read the “Lady Trent” series that is the original in this Victorian-fantasy series. But I’ve had luck before with reading series out of order, so I’m not letting that stop me! We’ll see how it goes. Really, what it comes down to is this awesome cover. I’m pretty sure I was placing a request for it before I even understood that it was by this author and had a connection to the other series. It is described as being the story of Lady Trent’s granddaughter and is told through a collection of diary entries, lists, and other media formats. I’m really intrigued to find out how this type of story telling pans out! But in the mean time, I have adorable baby dragons to look forward to!

43260625Book: “Tidelands” by Philippa Gregory

Publication Date: August 20, 2019

Why I’m Interested: I read “The Other Boleyn Girl” way back when and then a handful of Gregory’s books since then. Other than the first one, I found most of them to be a bit too tragic for my taste as history was often none to kind to many of these women. But I enjoyed her writing throughout. So when I saw she had the first in a new series coming out, I thought it was well enough time to dive back in to her books. This one even has hints of the mystical with the main character, Alinor, trying to survive the difficult reality for unmarried women who might know too much in a time when women who were different were easily labeled as witches.

42281646._sy475_Book: “Tiger Queen” by Annie Sullivan

Publication Date: August 21, 2019

Why I’m Interested: This book is marketed as an adaptation of the short story “The Lady, or the Tiger?” So, yeah. That sounds interesting! Of course, this is YA, so the lady in question is at the heart of all the action and not just hanging out behind a door as a prize. Instead, Princess Kateri must literally fight to prove her worth as a queen. But this quickly becomes the least of her concerns as desert raiders make inroads on her city and shortly she finds herself on the outside of its study wall as well. What she discovers turns everything upside down. I’m not quite sure how the tiger fits into this all, but there better damn well be an actual tiger at some point. If they team up, Jasmine-and-Rajah style, I’m even more on board!

Kate’s Picks

40489648._sy475_Book: “The Turn of the Key” by Ruth Ware

Publication Date: August 6, 2019

Why I’m Interested: Ruth Ware is one of my go to authors, as her books have mostly left me feeling fully satisfied. It was a guarantee that I was going to want to read “The Turn of the Key”, but that turned into an all out need when I read the description. Rowan is a nanny who is hired to take care of three children on a private, isolated estate. While the job seems to be the perfect opportunity, once she is at the house, things start to get strange and difficult. Not only are two of her charges badly behaved, the ‘smart house’ set up is hard to handle. And then the noises at night begin. Ware is shedding her usual Agatha Christie vibe and going for “The Turn of the Screw”, and I for one am here for it!!

36472241._sy475_Book: “Ziggy, Stardust and Me” by James Brandon

Publication Date: August 6, 2019

Why I’m Interested: Well, for one, I’m a fan of David Bowie, so anything that is going to reference it within it’s pages is probably going to be a good fit. But on top of that, seldom do I find myself intrigued by the premise of a romance… unless it’s historical fiction, has a healthy dose of angst, and has LGBTQIA+ themes. In 1973, Jonathan is a teenager who is living a lonely life and is grappling with his sexual identity. He likes to retreat into a fantasy world that has such characters as his dead mother and Ziggy Stardust help him cope. When he meets Web, a moody and out boy, Jonathan sees the possibilities of being honest with himself, and finding potential acceptance and love with someone like him. I’m ready for an enthralling love story, guys!

40864790Book: “Pumpkinheads” by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks (Ill.)

Publication Date: August 27, 2019

Why I’m Interested: Rainbow Rowell’s stories have always sucked me in, and I was happy to see that she decided to write an original graphic novel after taking on “Runaways”. And oh look, it’s another potential romance, though perhaps not between the two main characters (but we shall see I suppose)! Deja and Josiah work together at a pumpkin patch in their hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, and only see each other during the fall and up until Halloween. They are both graduating in the Spring, and this will be their last season together as best friends and partners in crime. Deja wants them to have the best last season ever, and that might include getting Josiah to talk to the girl he’s been crushing on all these years. I was lucky enough to read a sample from Edelweiss+, and let me tell you, I am ready to read the rest of it. I’m hoping that it’s going to be a perfect and sweet feel good story just in time for Fall!

What books are you looking forward to this month? Let us know in the comments! 

Highlights: July 2019

Oh, July. The month where summer comes into its own and everything becomes super patriotic. It’s a fun game to find the most bizarre, July-4-themed things you can (similar to the game you play in the fall where you try and spot the pumpkin spice all over the place). Last year, Serena found a T-shirt at Target that said “My favorite color is freedom” and with a few adjustments, like cutting off the sleeves, it now makes regular appearances at silly things like volleyball games and such. Anywho. Here are some more books we’re looking forward to reading this month!

Serena’s Picks

22819354Book: “Age of Legend” by Michael Sullivan

Publication Date: July 9, 2019

Why I’m Interested: I’ve been devouring Sullivan’s “The Legends of the First Empire” series, and this was the first book I had to wait for. Luckily not long, though I was still too impatient to wait for the audiobook, even though I was really enjoying that version of the story. This epic fantasy series has been incredibly solid with the first three entries of the story, and with this, happening several years after the events of the first books, I’m excited to see where Sullivan takes things. There were some major changes and events at the end of the last book, so it should be interesting. You’ll be hearing more from me about this book this week…

36510722Book: “Gods of Jade and Shadow” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Publication Date: July 23, 2019

Why I’m Interested: I’ve really enjoyed the books I’ve read by Silvia Moreno-Garcia in the past, so I’m always game when I see a new title from her. This one is particularly interesting on concept alone, however! A Mayan god of death sends a young woman on a question to resolve a war between himself and his god-brother. It’s billed as a dark fairytale that pulls from Mexican folklore. I’m really excited about this one. It’s always great to find new fairytales and folk legends, especially ones that come from cultures that aren’t the “go-to” for many books of this type. I can’t wait to read this! Plus, that cover is awesome.

29226553Book: “Dark Age” by Pierce Brown

Publication Date: July 30, 2019

This book has seen several delays in publication date. I think it was originally supposed to come out last January? Needless to say, I’ve been anxiously awaiting its arrival and regularly checking to make sure that it is still on schedule. While I didn’t love the previous book and first in this new trilogy as much as the original “Red Rising” story, I’m still invested in Darrow’s ongoing struggles to right the wrongs in the galaxy. The last book also introduced a host of other characters, some of whom I enjoyed more than others. Many of their stories were left on cliffhangers, essentially, so the publishing delays for this book have been killer! Soon though, very soon!

Kate’s Picks

43261389Book: “Season of the Witch” by Sarah Rees Brennan

Publication Date: July 9, 2019

Why I’m Interested: Any additional Sabrina content while I wait impatiently for the next season of the show to come back is good. And on top of that, this is a prequel to the series, so it’s going to build upon the mythology of the show. “Season of the Witch” takes place during the summer before Sabrina’s 16th birthday, and focuses on the relationship she has with her mortal friends, specifically her boyfriend Harvey. When she thinks about casting a spell to see how deeply he feels about her, a spirit with not so good intentions decides to interfere. Since we’re waiting forever for the next comic collection in print form (SERIOUSLY, THREE YEARS AND COUNTING), I am going to take any kind of print media that I can get, and I hope that “Season of the Witch” will make the show’s mythology all the richer.

41212413Book: “Growing Things and Other Stories” by Paul Tremblay

Publication Date: July 2, 2019

Why I’m Interested: Paul Tremblay is one of those authors that I am always going to read no matter what. I’ve enjoyed everything of his that I’ve read, and I am always excited for something new to come out. And even though I am usually a bit wary when it comes to short stories collections, I am looking forward to “Growing Things and Other Stories”. This collection takes a number of stories stories that Tremblay has written over the years and puts them together into one book, with ranges from cosmic horror, t0 ghost stories, to throw backs to some characters that may seem familiar to those who know is previous works (hello again, Merry and Marjorie from “A Head Full of Ghosts”). Tremblay is not only good at bringing scares, but also ambiguity and pathos, so this collection will no doubt be filled with ALL the emotions.

32603079Book: “Wanderers” by Chuck Wendig

Publication Date: July 9, 2019

Why I’m Interested: Given that I love me some post-apocalyptic fiction and this book is getting early buzz comparisons to “The Stand” in theme and depth, I am incredibly excited to read “Wanders” by Chuck Wendig. When a mysterious malady starts to affect people, and they begin walking with a purpose but do not respond to their surroundings, thus begins a global disaster that will reflect the perils of fear and hysteria rather than the actual threat, and it might be up to a teenage girl named Shana and a now disgraced scientist named Benji to help bring the sleepwalkers to safety, and to help rebuilt society. Clocking in at 800some pages, this is going to be a whopper of a book, but I am very excited by the prospect of it.

What books are you looking forward to this month? Let us know in the comments! 

Highlights: June 2019

We’ve had a bit of a chilly start to this summer, but even so we are looking forward to warm weather, outdoor activities, and the grilling of delicious foods. Summer is here! And along with a new season, we have some new book titles that we’re looking forward to!

Serena’s Picks

42201395Book: “Sorcery of Thorns” by Margaret Rogerson

Publication Date: June 4, 2019

Why I’m Interested: I really enjoyed “An Enchantment of Ravens.” For me, it had the perfect balance of a solid fairytale, a sweet romance, and some really humorous dialogue between its main characters. So I’m really excited to see another book by this author! And what’s more, it’s about warrior librarians! Obviously that’s going to peak my interest. I also have to point out that whomever they have hired for the cover art for both of these books is firing on all cylinders. I love both of these covers so much, and even without previous knowledge of the author, this cover would have been enough to get me to pick it up at a library or a bookstore.

40696990Book: “Fray” by Rowenna Miller

Publication Date: June 4, 2019

Why I’m Interested: There’s going to be a theme here, because this is another book that follows one I really enjoyed previously. “Torn” was an interesting political fantasy novel, delving into some pretty complex issues dealing with income inequality and political systems within a fantasy realm. The story was rather long and could be slow at points, but it also dealt with some complicated economic and class-based topics in the midst of it all. I enjoyed the main character and am willing to be more sold on the romance at its heart. I also am curious to see how the complicated brother/sister relationship will play out.

40042001Book: “Shadow & Flame” by Mindee Arnett

Publication Date: June 4, 2019

Why I’m Interested: Yes, yes, another sequel! No debut authors/series this month for me. I very much enjoyed “Onyx & Ivory” and wasn’t quite sure when it ended whether or not there was going to be a sequel, even though it definitely seemed to be setting up for one. So I was thrilled when I saw that this was scheduled for release this June. I’m excited to see where the author takes things from here, now that the views on magic are beginning to change and a villain is now at larger (rather than the general, societal conflict that took up much of the first book’s plot). I also enjoyed the romance quite a lot in the first book. It’s always nice to see new versions of romance other than the enemies-to-lovers one we see so often. And this series features the second bloom romance, a rarity indeed.

Kate’s Picks

41716679Book: “Searching for Sylvie Lee” by Jean Kwok

Publication Date: June 4, 2019

Why I’m Interested: I admittedly haven’t read anything by Jean Kwok, but I’ve been wanting to pick up “Girl in Translation” for years. So when “Searching for Sylvie Lee” ended up in the blog mail, I was pretty damn excited to pick it up (and made a serious mental note to finally read “Girl in Translation”, dammit). Part immigrant family story, part mystery, the oldest daughter of a Chinese immigrant family, Sylvie, disappears after going to visit a relative in the Netherlands. Her younger sister, Amy, is desperate to track down her last known location, and goes on a mission to find out where Sylvie has gone. But on her journey she uncovers family secrets, lies, and the push and pull of identity. It sounds heavy, but I’m very excited to read it.

42190273Book: “The Last House Guest” by Megan Miranda

Publication Date: June 18, 2019

Why I’m Interested: While I will own up to the fact that I didn’t really care for “All the Missing Girls”, I did enjoy Megan Miranda’s YA novel “Fragments of the Lost”. So given that I feel like I need to pull a best two out of three scenario, I have put Miranda’s newest book “The Last House Guest” on my to read list! Sadie and Avery have a close friendship in spite of their townie and rich vacationer relationship that is seen so often in a New England coastal town. But when Sadie is found dead and it’s ruled a suicide, Avery is devastated. It doesn’t help that the townspeople, including Sadie’s detective brother, blame her. But Avery thinks that things aren’t as clear cut as they seem, and decides that not only is she going to clear her name, she’s going to find out what happened to her friend. I’m intrigued by the girl friendships and the small town mystery!

40201006Book: “I’ll Never Tell” by Catherine McKenzie

Publication Date: June 1, 2019

Why I’m Interested: You take a summer camp, a group of siblings with shady motives, and a dead girl, and you mix it all up to make a literary cocktail that I absolutely need to read. So I was absolutely interested when I heard about “I’ll Never Tell” by Catherine McKenzie. Twenty years ago, camper Amanda Holmes washed up on the shores of Camp Macaw in a rowboat, dead with a head wound. Though it was clear it was murder, there wasn’t enough evidence to charge anyone with a crime. Now, the camp’s owners have died, and their now adult children are hoping to sort out the inheritance and walk away, even though they have different ideas of what to do with the camp. And when the will is read, the siblings realize that unloading the camp, in any way it may be, won’t be so easy, because Amanda’s death is still unsolved, and it has to be wrapped up. But the siblings may have secrets of their own, and may have reason to leave it unsolved. I will take duplicitous family relationships AND summer camp shenanigans any day of the week, so I’m VERY excited to read this book!

What books are you looking forward to this month? Let us know in the comments! 

Highlights: May 2019

Well okay, so we had to get a couple more snow storms in April just to be spiteful. But now, CERTAINLY, it has to be Spring time for good! With more opportunities to spend time outside (and the promise of Summer coming), we have some books that we can’t wait to read!

Serena’s Picks

9780425281291_StormCursed_FCO_mech.inddBook: “Storm Cursed” by Patricia Briggs

Publication Date: May 7, 2019

Why I’m Interested: My beloved Kate Daniels urban fantasy series just recently concluded, so I’m now only left with one remaining current favorite: the Mercy Thompson series. I also read the “Alpha and Omega” offshoot series, but, oof, I had some major problems with the last book. And what’s worse, those problems directly connect to this series as well. It’s the sort of thing that likely won’t come into play, but I’m still curious to see how this book is handled, being the first one now since the horrid reveal in the other series. The last couple of books have been fairly up and down for me as the author has been experimenting with adding different POV chapters into the story. Here’s to hoping that this is a return to the good ole Mercy-focused books we had earlier in the series!

40006251Book: “The Living God” by Kaytalin Platt

Publication Date: May 21, 2019

Why I’m Interested: I confess: a large portion of my interest in this book has to do with the striking cover. Which is a weird thing for me, I know, since I rarely like books with models on the cover. But there’s something very atmospheric about this one that I find pretty striking. The story description itself is rather confusing to me, but it has to do with two mages, Saran and Keleir, who each have their own distinct magic. When Saran loses her abilities, however, she has to seek out new answers for how to save Keleir from the dark fate of being coming the Living God. Whatever that means? In this case, the increased mystery is intriguing!

40523458Book: “Kingsbane” by Claire Legrand

Publication Date: May 21, 2019

Why I’m Interested: I didn’t love the first book in this series. I didn’t hate it, but there were several sticking points that I struggled with, most having to do with the way the story was being told, more than the story itself. But when I received a ARC of this in the mail, I decided to give it another go. At least one of the storylines, that of Eliana, still intrigues me, especially now that the (way too obvious, in my opinion) secret of her past has been exposed. Rielle’s story…eh, we’ll see! There have definitely been series out there that have improved as they went along, so here’s to hoping this is one of them!

Kate’s Picks

41068144Book: “Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide” by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark

Publication Date: May 28, 2019

Why I’m Interested: “My Favorite Murder” is one of my very favorite true crime podcasts, and one of the reasons for that is because of the hosts. Karen and Georgia approach the stories they cover with compassion and a bit of humor, but never at the expense of the victims or the horrors they have to endure. Along with that they are very open with their own lives and the various struggles they’ve had to endure and overcome. One of their big pieces of advice on the show is ‘fuck politeness’, as in if you are in a situation where you feel like you may be in danger, don’t worry about being polite, advocate for yourself and get out by any means necessary. I can’t wait to see how they apply their various experiences and ethos’s in book form. While I’m sure it won’t be applicable to everyone (so many self help books aren’t), I look forward to their wit and insight.

40867676Book: “The Night Before” by Wendy Walker

Publication Date: May 14, 2019

Why I’m Interested: I enjoyed Wendy Walker’s previous book “Emma in the Night”, so when I saw she had a new book coming out I put it on my list. In “The Night Before” is about two sisters, Rosie and Laura, who have led fairly separate lives and are trying to forget their problematic childhood. After Laura moves in with Rosie and her family the tension is high, but it’s when Laura doesn’t return from an Internet arranged date that things start to take a dark turn. Now Rosie has to try and figure out what happened to her sister, and what kind of trouble she may have found… or caused. The dangers of Internet dating meets suburban angst? I’m so there.

36285129Book: “Let Me Hear a Rhyme” by Tiffany D. Jackson

Publication Date: May 21, 2019

Why I’m Interested: It’s full disclosure time. “Let Me Hear a Rhyme” is probably not going to make it up on the blog, if only because it’s not a thriller, horror, or graphic novel, and with all the options coming out in the coming months I feel like I need to focus on my genres. But, that said, Tiffany D. Jackson is one of my favorite YA writers writing today. And I have already read “Let Me Hear a Rhyme” thanks to the kind people at Edelweiss+. Guys, it is so good. Taking place in Bed-Stuy in the 1990s, “Let Me Hear a Rhyme” follows Qadir, Jarrell, and Jasmine, three teens reeling after the shooting death of Jasmine’s brother Steph. Steph was an up and coming musician who had big dreams, hoping to make it big like fellow Bed-Stuy rapper Biggie Smalls, who was also killed too soon. Qadir and Jarrell cook up a scheme to make sure that Steph’s music is heard, and they try to market his songs as if he’s still alive, looking for a record deal. Meanwhile, Jasmine wants to find out what happened to her brother. This book is raw and powerful, and it has not only a lot of good points about social justice issues that are still relevant today, it has some great 90s music nostalgia.

What books are you looking forward to this month? Let us know in the comments!