Highlights: November 2018

Kate is still in mourning over Halloween being over. Serena is setting up a permanent camp in front of her fireplace from which she will not budge for the next 4 months. And we’re both doing our best to turn a blind eye to any and all advertising for Christmas that is brazenly trying wedge its way in before Thanksgiving has even been given a chance! But, of course, we still have books to look forward to. Here are our picks for November.

Serena’s Picks

36382969Book: “Umbertouched” by Livia Blackburne

Publication Date: November 6, 2018

Why I’m Interested: “Rosemarked” took me by surprise last year and quickly sucked me into a new world that is plagued by a deadly disease, a disease that our heroine immediately contracts. But that does nothing to detract her from her mission: to go across the border into enemy territory as a spy. I expect this sequel to pick up where that story left off, with Zivah and Dineas making their way to report on the soon invasion, and still struggling to comprehend their ever-changing relationship. The first book was a bit of a slower read, establishing this world and these characters. But with that work now complete, I’m excited to see where the story goes from here!

36300671Book: “Dragonshadow” by Elle Katharine White

Publication Date: November 20, 2018

Why I’m Interested: “Heartstone” was one of those rare, unicorn books: a Jane Austen retelling that I actually enjoyed! It didn’t hurt that this version of “Pride and Prejudice” threw in a healthy dose of dragons and magic. But when it ended, I happily put it on my shelf and thought that was that. Imagine my surprise and delight when I saw that a sequel was coming out this fall! What makes this second book all the more intriguing is that by this point, the original re-telling is complete. The story is free to go wherever it pleases from here on out without needing to tie back to a piece of classic literature. Beyond that, I’m happy to just get more dragon goodness out of the deal.

26061583Book: “The Dark Days Deceit” by Alison Goodman

Publication Date: November 20, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Observant readers may have noted a missing review for the second book in the series and here I am anticipating the third. The review for the second is on its way, never fear! Sometimes I need the release of yet another book in a series to kick me in the pants and get me caught up. This is the final book in the trilogy, and I can’t wait to find out what happens to our Lady Helen. The stakes have only gotten higher as the trilogy has progressed and in this book it looks like things are really going to come to a head.

Kate’s Picks

Woman wearing a red hoodie by a riverBook: “Someone Like Me” by M.R. Carey

Publication Date: November 6. 2018

Why I’m Interested: I have been mostly impressed by books by M.R. Carey, as he always knows how to take a typical horror story and turn it on its head. I never really know what to expect when I pick up one of his books, and I kind of feel the same way about “Someone Like Me”. It sounds like a straightforward plot: a woman is usually kind and demure, a loving mother determined to raise them the best way she can. Then another side of her, a violent and malicious side, starts to take over, and she has to try to beat back this new personality before it overtakes her. It may sound like a typical “Jekyl and Hyde” kinda thing, but knowing Carey’s work and how he twists expectations I am thinking it’s going to be something else entirely. I can’t wait to see what it is.

38927017Book: “Daughters of the Lake” by Wendy Webb

Publication Date: November 1, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Gothic ghost stories are a genre that I try to seek out, but am very picky about. One of the authors who usually does a pretty good job with the genre is Wendy Webb, a Minnesota author whose affection for my home state is as deep as her affection for a good ghost story. “Daughters of the Lake” takes place on Lake Superior, and involves a woman named Kate who has been dreaming of a mysterious woman. When this woman ends up being a murder victim, who is found in the lake with a baby in her arms, Kate is swept up in a mystery that may span a full century. Webb has a real knack for writing creepy and unsettling moments and scenes, and given that the setting is always a comfort with its familiarity, I’m very much looking forward to her newest work.

38749157Book: “Wet Hot American Summer” by Christopher Hastings

Publication Date: November 20, 2018

Why I’m Interested: “Wet Hot American Summer” is my favorite movie of all time. With a star studded cast, absurd humor, and a WHOLE lot of heart, the story of Camp Firewood’s last day of Camp (and the first Netflix Series that talks about the first day) never fails to make me laugh. And now Boom! Comics (the same publisher of the “Clueless” graphic that I really liked) has written a new story within that universe! While capturing the humor of the original may seem like a daunting task (it IS incredibly irreverent), Christopher Hastings may be up for the task. After all, he’s written for “Deadpool”. And since it’s in written form, we don’t have to worry about certain actors being unable to come back to reprise their roles (goddamn it, Bradley Cooper). I’m always eager for new “Wet Hot” content. And it can’t be as big of a disappointment as “10 Years Later”, right?

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

Highlights: October 2018

HAPPY HALLOWEEN SEASON, NERDS!!! Yes, the Season of the Witch has begun, and Kate can barely contain her excitement for all things horror, while Serena looks forward to embracing all clothing cozy and cardigan-esque. Neither like to think about the upcoming winter. But with a new month comes new books, and here are the titles we are looking forward to this month!

Serena’s Picks

36342330Book: “The Hollow of Fear” by Sherry Thomas

Publication Date: October 2, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Interested?? I’m SO much more excited than just “interested!” I absolutely adored the first two books in the Lady Sherlock series (thanks again Kate for getting me started on this!) and devoured them both in only a few days. So this has been one of my more anticipated reads of the entire year. I have a copy already on hand and it’s been all I can do to try to resist reading it until closer to its publication date. That being said, a review is going to show up VERY soon. As for the plot, it seems to be continuing the fallout of the break in Lord and Lady Ingram’s marriage, ending with murderous finality in this book with the discovery of the body of the latter found on Lord Ingram’s own property. Now it is up to Charlotte Holmes to save her dear friend from the noose. Have I mentioned that I’m excited for this one??

25446343Book: “Muse of Nightmares” by Laini Taylor

Publication Date: October 2, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Again, do you have to ask? After the crushing cliffhanger that was the end of “Strange the Dreamer,” I’ve been  biting at the bit to get my hands on this one and finally have all of my questions resolves. I mean, I’m sure they will be resolved in the heard-wrenching and tragic manner possible, because this is Laini Taylor we’re talking about. But the writing will be beautiful while we suffer, so at least there’s that. Don’t want to spoil the first one for any of you crazies who haven’t gotten around to it yet, but news gods have appeared, characters have died, and ghosts roam free. It’s sure to be a wild ride!

31822495Book: “West” by Edith Pattou

Publication Date: October 23, 2018

Why I’m Interested: This is also technically a sequel, but its predecessor, “East” a retelling of “East of the Sun, West of the Moon” came out in 2005, so it was a complete shock when I saw it making its rounds as an up-and-comer. I might have to go re-read that one to re-familiarize myself with that exact retelling of the tale (man, I read too many fairytales), but it sounds like this one is set in the same world with the same characters only nine years later. And once again tragedy strikes and it is up to Rose to save her love and, perhaps, the world. It’s pretty rare to see authors pick up stories like this over ten years after the first book, so I’m excited to see what Pattou has in store.

Kate’s Picks

37859646Book: “Broken Things” by Lauren Oliver

Publication Date: October 2, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I have been a huge fan of Lauren Oliver for a few years now, as I think that she’s a pretty solid YA thriller author and has written some books that have caught me by surprise. So when I found out that she had a new book coming out this October, I was immediately interested. And then when it sounded a little like the Slenderman Stabbing, I was all the more excited to read it. Summer, Mia, and Brynn were inseparable teens obsessed with a fantasy book called “The Way Into Lovelorn”, so much so they began to believe that they could enter Lovelorn. Then Summer ends up murdered, and everyone thinks that Mia and Brynn killed her, though they are never charged. Now, a few years later, they are determined to clear their names, and to try and find out what did happen to Summer. I’m hoping for a solid murder mystery with lots of surprises!

39720991Book: “The Witch Elm” by Tana French

Publication Date: October 9, 2018

Why I’m Interested: This is another thriller novel based on a true crime, this time the “Who Put Bella in the Wych Elm?” murder. And similar to that case, it involves someone finding a skull inside of a tree. But as if that wasn’t tantalizing enough, I’ve read a few other books by Tana French, and she is almost assuredly one of the most anticipated mystery writers out there right now, with her “Dublin Murder Squad” books almost always in high demand at book stores and libraries alike. “The Witch Elm”, however, is on it’s own as a standalone novel, which is definitely a change of pace for her. A man named Toby is trying to escape the memories of a trauma, and goes to a familial estate to care for an ill uncle. But while he is there the gruesome discovery of a skull in a tree is found, which makes Toby think that perhaps the past can’t really be escaped. Given that I’ve enjoyed her writing in the past I’m really looking forward to this new chiller from Tana French.

38355410Book: “Elevation” by Stephen King

Publication Date: October 30th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Say it with me: STEPHEN KING!! But here is the thing about “Elevation” and what it sounds like: this book might not actually be a horror story. In fact, coming in at only 145 pages, this book sounds like it’s more likely going to be one of his more recent exercises in expanding his genres, and perhaps a little bit of therapy for a world and culture that feels more and more divided as each day goes by. When a man named Scott in Castle Rock realizes that he’s ill with some mysterious disease, he starts to reevaluate his life. One of his changes is to try and reach out to the lesbian couple next door, a couple that has been experiencing discrimination and bigotry from the town, and from Scott as well. As they make unlikely friendships, they come together to try and help each other. Does it sound a little cheesy? Oh yes. But honestly, after the Halloween season is over it may be just what I need to ease down from the scares and anxieties of my favorite time of year.

Highlights September 2018

Happy Labor Day! The days are getting shorter, the temperatures are getting cooler, and some of us are very sad to say goodbye to summer. But others can’t wait to break out the Halloween decorations and pumpkin pie! You take the good with the bad. But, as always, we have some exciting books to look forward to regardless of our opinions on cooler weather.

Serena’s Picks

37588503Book: “A Spark of White Fire” by Sangu Mandanna

Publication Date: September 11, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I’m always on the lookout for new science fiction, so I was super excited when I saw this book listed. Much of the story sounds very familiar to other fantasy books: an exiled princess, a stolen throne, a fight to reclaim one’s inheritance. But add to that sentient warships and dark moons, and you’ve got yourself what sounds like an intriguing space opera! What makes it all the more appealing is the fact that the story is loosely based on ancient Indian folklore. All together, it sounds like an intriguing mix!

32824058Book: “Strange Grace” by Tessa Gratton

Publication Date: September 18, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Well, first off, look at that cover! Is that gorgeous or what? This is definitely one of those cases where I clicked through to read more about this title based simply on the lovely cover art. But then I read the synopsis and was even more in. The story is that of a town where long ago something terrible happened (or was it love?) between a witch and a demon. Either way, the result is every few years the town must sacrifice its best boy to the forest. At its heart are our three protagonists and what looks like the set-up of some complicated relationship drama. There’s also a good chance that Kate should probably read this, too, what with the witchcraft angle and the representation.

37854049Book: “The Sisters of the Winter Woods” by Rena Rossner

Publication Date: September 25, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Another beautiful cover! Plus, a fairytale-esque fantasy novel featuring sisterhood. Of course I’m all over this one! Liba and Laya are two Jewish sisters, and while they’ve heard of their people have troubles at other villages, in their small home, the community has lived together in peace. But the arrival of a strange band of young men begins to stir unrest, and Liba and Laya discover startling truths about their own heritage and that what were once fairytales may in fact be histories. Even that brief description pretty much checks all of my boxes, so I’m sure there will a review for this one coming up shortly!

Kate’s Picks

34810320Book: “Sadie” by Courtney Summers

Publication Date: September 8, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I’ve read another of Courtney Summer’s books, “Some Girls Are”, and I found it to be an interesting and gritty story. “Sadie”, on the other hand, makes “Some Girls Are” sound like child’s play. As someone who loves her share of true crime podcasts, I’d me remiss to pass this one by. After her younger sister is murdered, Sadie is on the trail of the man she believes killed her. Meanwhile, a podcaster has taken interest in Sadie’s story, and is trying to figure out where she disappeared to. This book is getting a lot of advanced praise, and it sounds like a realistic and rough look at violence towards women, and how our culture tries to capitalize on it.

377158591Book: “We Sold Our Souls” by Grady Hendrix

Publication Date: September 18, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Because who doesn’t love a little satire, a little heavy metal, and a really badass female protagonist? Given how much I loved “My Best Friend’s Exorcism”, it was a sure thing that I was going to get my ands on whatever novel he came out with next. And lo and behold, his follow up was about a washed up heavy metal player, an old grudge she has for a former bandmate, and the possibility that her soul was sold without her permission. Since I have a special place in my heart for metal music, and since Hendrix is a fun author whose books have some scares but a whole lot of heart, I am very much looking forward to “We Sold Our Souls”.

38255342Book: “The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein” by Kiersten White

Publication Date: September 25, 2018

Why I’m Interested: You all know how much Serena loves White’s “Conquerer’s Saga”, but now it’s my turn to see her take on a classic tale and twist it into her own thing. I do enjoy “Frankenstein” quite a bit, but I’ve always felt bad for Victor’s doomed ladyfriend Elizabeth. SO color me interested in “The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein”, as it sounds like it’s going to give this character more of a voice. While I’m sure that this story will be as emotionally devastating for me as “The Conquerer’s Saga” was for Serena, I am very excited to see what White does to this classic story, and the places she takes it.

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

 

Highlights: August 2018

Summer is starting to wind down, but we are going to cling to it until it’s forcibly removed from our cold dead hands. It’s been a busy season this year, but we always have time (and make the time) for reading. So here are some of the titles that we are looking forward to that are coming out this month!

Serena’s Picks

294220911Book: “These Rebel Waves” by Sara Raasch

Publication Date: August 7, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I’ve really enjoyed the sea-based fantasy adventures I’ve read recently, so I was excited when I saw several more coming down the line! This one features three main characters: a solider, a pirate, and a prince. All coming from very different backgrounds, they all must discover who they truly are and what is important to them in a fight to control the plant-based magic that is forbidden in their world. I’m not usually a huge fan of duel narratives, let a lone three, but I’m intrigued by what sounds like a pretty unique magic system that is focused on water plants.

37822534Book: “Seafire” by Natalie C. Parker

Publication Date: August 28, 2018

Why I’m Interested: See? I told you that these pirate-based fantasy stories were hitting some type of peak! What makes this one stand out is the fact that it’s about a pirate ship with a captain and crew made up entirely of women. You know how I love stories with female friendship and sisterhood! I mean, look at that tagline! “Sisterhood is survival.” I’m definitely all over this one. It also seems that this sisterhood of pirates is out for revenge against an all-male raider group, so that could be interesting as well. I’m a bit nervous that it might slip into some weird gender stereotypes what with the segregated ships and all, but I’m still definitely curious to see where this could go!

Magic_Triumphs.inddBook: “Magic Triumphs” by Ilona Andrews

Publication Date: August 28, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Gah, I was all geared up and ready to go last spring when this was originally set to be published in March or April. And then one day, I casually check on it and what do I see?? Not until August now! But, finally, August has arrived and I’m so excited to read this book! This is the final book in the Kate Daniels series and my expectations are through the roof. I only really follow two urban fantasy series right now, this and the “Mercy Thompson” series (and we all know my feelings on where that has been head cough“Burn Bright”cough). So that leaves a lot on the shoulders of this book to not only stick its own landing, but prove that yes, some urban fantasy series can not implode under their own nonsense. Plus, the showdown that’s been building over the last few books has been intense. I’m so excited, I’m so excited, I’m so excited.

Kate’s Picks

29749098Book: “Catwoman: Soulstealer” by Sarah J Maas

Publication Date: August 7, 2018

Why I’m Interested: UHHHHH, CATWOMAN, QUITE OBVIOUSLY. I’ve also quite enjoyed the “DC Icons” series as of now, which helps. I am always eager to find new Catwoman material, and so I was pretty happy that she was getting her own time to shine in this series, causing trouble for Luke Fox as he’s holding down the fort for Batman. My ONE qualm is that the author is Sarah J Maas, whose works I haven’t been impressed with in the past (we read “Throne of Glass” for book club and boy was I not a fan of it), but my hope is that Selina Kyle is an interesting enough character that Maas will be able to do her justice. And of COURSE Selina is. Bonus: Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn are in this as well, so my dreams of a bad girl power trio might be met!

36426163

Book: “Toil and Trouble” by Tess Sharpe (Ed.)

Publication Date: August 29, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I am, of course, a huge fan of stories about witches and witchcraft. It doesn’t even have to be a scary story about witches for me to get my kicks; I just love books and stories about witchy women living their lives. “Toil and Trouble” is a short story collection from a number of different authors that all involve witchcraft and witches. Some are scary, some are romantic, all sound like they are going to be teeming with spells and magic. There are a couple of authors in this book that I’ve enjoyed in the past (Brandy Colbert, Zoraida Córdova), and perhaps I’ll find other authors that I will add to my list of favorites.

35403058Book: “City of Ghosts” by Victoria Schwab

Publication Date: August 29, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I have been meaning to read something by Victoria Schwab for a bit now, though it hasn’t been my priority because so much of her work is based in strictly fantasy settings. But her upcoming novel, while still in fantasy for the most part, involves GHOSTS AND GHOST HUNTERS! So you know that I’m interested. When Cassidy Blake, the daughter of ghost hunters, goes to Scotland to see a haunted castle, her actual ability to see ghosts comes into play. Apparently, her power plays a very specific purpose to the ghost world. This is a kid’s story, but I do enjoy middle grade novels when they fit my tastes, and this sounds like it’s REALLY going to fit my tastes. So here I come, Victoria Schwab! And I’m more than ready!

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

Highlights: July 2018

We hope that you are all still enjoying summer time! As we start to enter the dog days of the season, our book piles keep growing, giving us lots of options to take to the pool or the lake or the park. Here are some of our most anticipated releases of July!

Serena’s Picks

22817368Book: “Bright We Burn” by Kiersten White

Publication Date: July 10th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Oh man, oh man, oh man. I’m so nervous!! I absolutely loved the first two books in this series that is re-imaging history through the perspective of Lada, a female version of Vlad the Impaler, and her brother, Radu. There were real tears in the last book and I was constantly vacillating between fear and anger as I watched my precious characters be raked across the coal again and again. And by the end, everything was even more broken than it had been to start. How can this end in anything other than gallons of even more tears?? It’s rare for me to be excited for a book that is sure to be heart-wrenching, but the masterful characterization and historical detail have carried this series so far. It’s kind of a “put me out of my misery” situation going on over here, but of the very best variety.

36896898Book: “Spinning Silver” by Naomi Novik

Publication Date: July 10th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I absolutely adored “Uprooted” when it came out several years ago. Not only was it a completely unique fairytale that was only loosely connected to familiar stories, but it was the magical white stag in fantasy fiction: a stand alone book. So it’s weird to then be excited by a…sequel? But it’s not a sequel? But the cover art is clearly trying to pair the two together? Really, I think it’s only the cover art and the fact that this is also a fairytale that tie these two together because nothing in the description even distantly refers to events/characters from “Uprooted.” (Mostly, I’m calling “publishing shenanigans” on this one, with publishers just wanting to bank on the success of that book.)  Instead, it looks like this is going to be some type of “Rumpelstiltskin” interpretation. But, just like “Uprooted” had only minuscule parallels to “Beauty and the Beast,” I’m looking forward to what I hope will be another mostly new story with only the loosest similarities.

36518517Book: “Dreadful Company” by Vivian Shaw

Publication Date: July 31, 2018

Why I’m Interested: “Strange Practice” was a quirky little novel that completely took me by surprise last year. I don’t read that much urban fantasy, and the two series I do follow are fairly typical of the genre. So this one, set in London and featuring a heroine who serves as a doctor to the supernatural beings in her city was like a breath of fresh air! I enjoyed the many winks to classical monster/supernatural cliches and the neat tie-ins to the type of “ailments” these beings might suffer from. Gretta herself was a strong leading lady and not prone to some of the more irritating tendencies that befall other urban fantasy heroines (like rushing in even when they’re much more under-powered than their colleagues). The story also neatly tied things up in one book, but left just enough room for the story to grow. In this second outing, I’m particularly interested in who the new big bad will be and whether or not Gretta will make any inroads on the romance side of things.

Kate’s Picks

36750068Book: “The Last Time I Lied” by Riley Sager

Publication Date: July 10th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I greatly enjoyed Sager’s debut novel “Final Girls”, so when I found out that he had a new one coming out I was all over it. While that one seemed to be an homage to the slasher killer girls of cinema, “The Last Time I Lied” seems like it’s a loving tribute to Nancy Drew and intrepid girl detectives. Our main character Emma was at Camp Nightingale when her bunkmates disappeared mysteriously. As an adult Emma is invited to come back and be a counselor at the reopened camp. But when she gets there in hopes of getting some closure, instead she finds that her friends may have been involved in a mystery… and that she may have a new, scarier one to contend with. This hits so many of the themes I love in a thriller mystery, so you know that I’m very excited for this one.

29569206Book: “Give Me Your Hand” by Megan Abbott

Publication Date: July 17th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: While I’ve had a hit or miss time with Megan Abbott up until now, her most recent book “You Will Know Me” was a definite hit for me. Abbott has a talent for writing a pretty twisted up mystery with compelling characters, and so I’ve had high hopes for “Give Me Your Hand”, her newest novel. While we aren’t dealing with gymnasts and driven teenagers this time, instead we have Diane and Kit, two women who were friends as teens, and now are pitted against each other as adults in a working environment. Even worse, Diane divulged a terrible secret to Kit when they were teens, a secret that has haunted Kit ever since. A lot of fans of thrillers have been waiting for this book, so you know the buzz is a din for it.

32928987Book: “Scream All Night” by Derek Milman

Publication Date: July 24th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: You all know that I love horror movies like whoa, and so when I heard about a book that has themes of old horror movies, a film studio, and an emancipated youth having to revisit his horror movie past, I was absolutely interested. While I’m not sure if this is something that can REALLY be classified as horror (the description makes me wonder, but what do I know, I am sure that “Scream All Night” is going to have a lot of fun horror easter eggs that I will enjoy spotting. Hell, even the main character’s first name is Dario, and that alone made me smile. Even if this doesn’t end up being a ‘true’ horror novel, the themes of going home again, horror cinema, and quirky characters is enough to make me truly intrigued by this book.

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

 

Highlights: June 2018

Summer is here!!! Cook outs, volleyball, walks around the many lakes, you name a summer activity and the odds are one of us is taking advantage of it! And who can forget finding a nice sunny (or shady in Kate’s case) spot to read outside. Here are the books we’re most looking forward to in June!

Serena’s Picks

34519536Book: “Whisper on the Tide” by Sarah Tolcser

Publication Date: June 5th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I just finished up the first in this series  and I’m definitely geared up for the second! I absolutely loved the romping adventures on the high seas from the last book, and am excited to find out what will come of our two protagonists. Will Caro finally begin to understand her place in the world? Will Markos continue his streak of not being an arrogant nincompoop? And, most importantly, will we continue to get all the sailing facts?? I love sailing facts.

34357122Book: “Starless” by Jacqueline Carey

Publication Date: June 12, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I’ve had a very hit and miss relationship with Carey’s work. I absolutely loved her Kushiel’s Dart series and really enjoyed her Naamah Kiss trilogy. Both had incredible world-building and two fantastic heroines at their heart. But I’ve also read some of her urban fantasy, and I absolutely couldn’t stand it. It’s still hard for me to reconcile the fact that one author could spark such extreme opposite reactions. I’m hoping that this return to high fantasy, with a young hero who fights in a world where a dark god is rising, will be the key to my enjoyment of this author once again.

36301023Book: “My Plain Jane” by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

Publication Date: June 26th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I absolutely loved the super quirky, super weird, but super lovely “My Lady Jane” that these authors penned a few years ago, retelling the would-be-tragic story of Lady Jane Grey. Here, they tackle another famous Jane, this time pulling from literature rather than history. That’s right folks, it’s a Jane Eyre adaptation! My excitement for this book is completely out of control, but after having my doubts put in place so firmly with their handling of the first book, I can’t help but have high hopes for their take on one of my favorite novels!

Kate’s Picks

35226186Book: “Providence” by Caroline Kepnes

Publication Date: June 19th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I love Caroline Kepnes and her “Joe Goldberg” series so, so much, that I of COURSE am putting her newest book, “Providence” on my list. Two teenagers have a deep connection, until one is kidnapped. When he resurfaces a few years later, he has been forcibly changed, and has gained ‘powers’ that he has no control over, powers that can hurt others. Kepnes always does such a good job of pulling complexity from all of her characters, and with themes of love, friendship, and H.P. Lovecraft being prevalent in this newest book lord knows she’ll be able to create something very special and very unique. It may be a bit of a departure from the thriller genre (with a gallows humor twist) that her devoted fans are used to, but if she can make someone like Joe Goldberg appear to have actual depth and feelings, think of what she can do with characters who AREN’T sociopathic creepazoids.

33918887Book: “Bruja Born” by Zoraida Córdova

Publication Date: June 5th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: So if you remember I read Córdova’s first “Brooklyn Brujas” book “Labyrinth Lost” and was mildly entertained by not completely enthralled. But when I found out that it was going to be the start of a series I knew I’d keep going, and THEN when the second in the series sounded like a mix of “American Horror Story: Coven” and “Pet Sematary”, I was SOLD!!! The second in this unique series follows Lula Mortiz, the sister of our first protagonist Alex. When her boyfriend dies, she tries to bring him back using her magic. And, as one might expect, there are unintended consequences. Given that I wanted to learn more about the Mortiz sisters within their home turf of Brooklyn, this book is going to give me all that AND more. I’m looking forward to a darker tale of love and loss and magic.

36381091Book: “The Cabin at the End of the World” by Paul Tremblay

Publication Date: June 26th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Much like Caroline Kepnes, Paul Tremblay is one of my favorite authors writing at the moment. Both “A Head Full of Ghosts” and “Disappearance at Devil’s Rock” messed me up but good, both in terms of fear and sadness, so I have no doubt in my mind that “A Cabin at the End of the World” will do the same. It sounds like a combination of “Funny Games” and countless apocalypse stories, as a girl and her fathers are trapped in a cabin the woods with a doomsday cult that invades their living space, saying that a horrible and personal sacrifice must be made to prevent the end of days. So not only do we have a home invasion and an innocent family in danger, we also have the fact that Paul Tremblay knows how to twist the emotional knife relentlessly. So of course I’m all about it.

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

Highlights: May 2018

Okay, so after a bit of a false start that led to multiple snow storms in April (including an honest to God BLIZZARD), May is here and now, NOW, spring is finally here. We’re celebrating by exploring the outdoors, opening the windows, and anticipating a number of new books. Here are the titles we’re looking forward to this month!

Serena’s Picks

35842338Book: “The Surface Breaks” by Louise O’Neill

Publication Date: May 3rd, 2018

Why I’m Interested:  “Beauty and the Beast” will always be my favorite fairytale, but as a young girl, I also had a special place in my heart for “The Little Mermaid.” However, unlike “Beauty and the Beast,” that story has become a bit harder to swallow as I’ve gotten older. I mean, everything else aside…she’s sixteen!!! At least they don’t put an age on Belle! But, all of that said, I love fairytale retellings and ‘The Little Mermaid” doesn’t really have a ton of them. I’m a little wary about the “groundbreaking feminism” that this book is hyped to have (I’m now wary of much hype about anything it seems), but I’m excited to check it out and judge for myself. The cover is absolutely gorgeous, if nothing else!

36039814Book: “The Queen of Sorrow” by Sarah Beth Durst

Publication Date: May 15, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Well, this is kind of a strange pick because it’s book three in a trilogy of which I’ve only read the first, “The Queen of Blood.” But I loved that book with its original fantasy world made up of cities built in trees and deadly spirits that only the most powerful queen can control. I’m trying to avoid looking too closely at the plot description of this story, since I haven’t gotten to book two yet, but it seems that Daleina is still queen and is now beginning to go head-to-head with her old school frenemy, Merecot. Merecot was only in the first book for a very short portion, but I really loved what we got from her there. She was incredibly powerful, witty, and a bit sociopathic. But there was also a strange bond between her and Daleina. Will be a bit until I finally get to this, but it’s always nice when a trilogy/series is already finished when you’re reading it and therefore don’t have to deal with any waiting!

34739766Book: “Onyx & Ivory” by Mindee Arnett

Publication Date: May 15, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Yet another new fantasy series to start! At least I’m guessing it’s a series/trilogy, though I’d love to be proven wrong as standalone fantasy stories are rare gems. This story features Kate, a young woman attempting to live her life under the radar for two reasons. Her father was a traitor to the crown, attempting to assassinate his close friend the King, and she possesses a rare, and outlawed, magical skill to command animals. Corwin is the King’s second son. While the traditions of the land say that he and his brother are both viable heirs for the throne, Corwin has never felt worthy.  Partly due to his perceived abandonment of his childhood friend and young love, Kate, after her father’s actions and execution. But, of course, they’re thrown together once again and their futures are not what they had planned.

Kate’s Picks

36000789Book: “The Outsider” by Stephen King

Publication Date: May 22nd, 2018

Why I’m Interested: This is probably obvious from the get go, but given that Stephen King is one of my favorite authors I would be remiss to leave his newest book, “The Outsider”, unacknowledged. This one is more like the “Mr. Mercedes” canon, with more emphasis on evils of a non-supernatural kind, in which a child is murdered and someone is falsely accused for it, while the real killer continues on a spree and remains undetected. King is always going to be a priority for me and my reading list, and while he has his ups and downs, I always enjoy the journey that he takes me on. While I did like “Sleeping Beauties” enough, I’m excited to see King back on his own.

36347888Book: “Our Kind of Cruelty” by Araminta Hall

Publication Date: May 8th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: As you guys know, the Joe Goldberg Duology (please be a series!) by Caroline Kepnes is one of my favorite reads lately, potentially all time. Though a lot of that is because of the humorous voice that Joe has, it’s also the creepy stalker perspective that I enjoy. So I am very intrigued and interested in Araminta Hall’s new book “Our Kind of Cruelty”. This one involves Mike, who knows that he and Verity are meant to be together even if she doesn’t know it. So he figures that if he just keeps track of every move she makes, he’ll know the right time to ‘win’ her back. While I have a feeling it’s not going to be as ‘fun’ as “You” or “Hidden Bodies”, I’m ready to be scared by this kind of tale again.

36373481Book: “The Death of Mrs. Westaway” by Ruth Ware

Publication Date: May 29th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: While it’s true that “The Lying Game” left me a bit underwhelmed, I still like Ruth Ware and her thriller writing skills and am excited about her newest book “The Death of Mrs. Westaway”. In her newest thriller, a woman named Hal is accidentally left an inheritance meant for someone else. Hal, a cold reader who scams people with tarot readings, thinks that she can probably fake her way into getting the money, and goes to claim the inheritance. But, of course, it becomes quite clear that things are very, very wrong. I’m down for a return to a gothic thriller with questionable characters and strange circumstances, and if this can return to “In a Dark Dark Wood” levels of excellence I will be completely stoked.

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