Highlights: January 2018

2018!!! Whaaaaat? [Insert witty comment that somehow accidentally ages oneself and reveals that 2018 might be a decade from a certain graduation year for one of us…and not the graduation you’d wish in this instance.] But never mind that! We will also NOT discuss the dumpster fire that was 2017. Instead, we choose to remember last year by all of the excellent books we read, and will look forward to 2018 as nothing more or less than another year during which we will read even more! So, without further ado, here are a few books we’re looking forward to this month!

Serena’s Picks

26032825Book: “The Cruel Prince” by Holly Black

Publication Date: January 2, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Though I haven’t had a chance to review one of her books on this blog, I’m a huge fan of Holly Black. She writes just the sort of dark fantasy that I right up my alley. So, when I saw a new one coming out from her, I knew it would make it onto this list. When I read that the story was going to feature a group of orphaned sisters who had been stolen away as small children and raised in a cruel and capricious Faerie court, I knew I had to get my hands on it AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. It’s like Holly Black opened my own personal wish list for fantasy fiction and pulled out this book just for me!

27366528Book: “Beneath the Sugar Sky” by Seanan McGuire

Publication Date: January 9, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I’ve read and loved (to varying extents) the first two novellas in McGuire’s “Wayward Children” series, so it’s a no brainer that I would include her next book on this list. From the description, it looks like we’ll see a continuation of a plot point (Sumi’s death back in book one) that I definitely never expected. Somehow the story features Rini, Sumi’s daughter, who is on a mission to bring her mother back to life. So I’m guessing there’s some sort of “Back to the Future” stuff going on here? Other than that, the title implies that we’re going to spend some time in Sumi/Rini/s world of candyland, one of the worlds we’ve heard about but never visited so far.

33257757Book: “Iron Gold” by Pierce Brown

Publication Date: January 16, 2018

Why I’m Interested: A continuation of the “Red Rising” trilogy!!!…oh…you want more than that? Well, to be honest, that same excitement about the continuation of a much-loved trilogy is also tinged with extreme amounts of worry. I’m always concerned when authors revisit stories that they had originally ended a few years ago. Is there really a new story to be told? Or are they just dipping back in a known well and will somehow retroactively damage the quality of the originals? I’m pleased to see that the story will be set 10 years after the first trilogy and that it will feature more protagonists than just Darrow himself. These avenues will hopefully provide options for keeping this world and story fresh. I’m so excited! I’m so nervous!

Kate’s Picks

29749090Book: “Batman: Nightwalker” by Marie Lu

Publication Date: January 2, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I really enjoyed Leigh Bardugo’s take on Wonder Woman in “Wonder Woman: Warbringer”, which was the first in the “DC Icons” series. This series is a set of  books written by some of the hottest YA authors about some of the coolest DC characters. Up next is “Batman: Nightwalker” by Marie Lu, and I must say that I’m QUITE excited for this one. First of all, it’s about my main dude Batman, specifically Bruce Wayne when he’s a teenager and before he’s officially become Batman. I like Lu’s writing style (I read “WarCross” last year and found it very fun, and I think that she can bring a good amount of edge and excitement to Bruce.)

33918883Book: “Before I Let Go” by Marieke Nijkamp

Publication Date: January 2, 2018

Why I’m Interested: One of the stories that I didn’t really talk about in “Feral Youth” was written by Marieke Nijkamp. It was dark and brooding, and had a lot of hard themes and good characterization. When I saw that she had a new book coming out in January, “Before I Let Go”, I wanted to explore more than just a short story of hers. This book sounds like part small town conspiracy, part psychological chiller piece. When Corey’s best friend Kyra dies in their small Alaska town, she is heartbroken. And when it seems like the townspeople are hiding something, Corey has to delve into the dark secrets to find out what happened to her friend. My guess is this one will be tense and twisty.

35248505Book: “S.T.A.G.S.” by M.A. Bennett

Publication Date: January 30, 2018

Why I’m Interested: It’s another book with bitchy boarding school girls and danger at every turn!! You know I’m into it. “S.T.A.G.S.” already came out in England last year, but it’s finally making it’s Stateside debut and I’m itching to get my hands on it. When Greer gets a scholarship to the prestigious St. Aidan the Great School (or S.T.A.G.S.), she is shunned from the cliquey atmosphere. But she is soon invited to a weekend holiday by a group called the Medievals, the most popular kids in school. Little does she know that her invitation is merely to set her up as bait. “The Most Dangerous Game” meets “Pretty Little Liars”, “S.T.A.G.S.” is sure to be a soapy thrill ride.

What are you most excited to read this month? Let us know in the comments!

 

Highlights: December 2017

It is December, and 2017 is winding down! The holiday season is in full swing, and our Book Club is amping up for its annual Secret Santa Book Exchange. With the promise of family, friends, togetherness, and presents coming up in our lives, we have some books we have our eyes on. These are the titles we’re looking forward to this month, and our last batch for 2017!

Serena’s Picks

34050917Book: “The Girl in the Tower”

Publication Date: December 5, 2017

Why I’m Interested: Well, as I was lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC copy of this book, I’ve already raved about it all over this blog. But technically it doesn’t come out until December, so I’m throwing it up on this list anyways. I have no shame; I will promote this book all year long! The second book in the “Winternight” trilogy, sees Vasya venturing out into the greater world beyond her small home village. With adventure comes danger and a harsh reality check on the few options given to young women in this time period and world. But Vasya is nothing if not brave, insisting on carving her own path, with the aide of her magical (and magically snarky) horse and a certain frost demon.

34963526Book: “Saga” Volume 8

Publication Date: December 27, 2017

Why I’m Interested: It’s true that Kate is typically the graphic novel reader of the two of us, but I make an exception for the “Saga” series. From the very first volume, I’ve loved the sci fi action, the romance, the gorgeous art, and the bizarre and endlessly creative characters and creatures that inhabit these worlds. While I’m a few volumes behind, whenever I see a new one is coming out, it serves as a kick in the butt to return to this series. Judging by this one’s cover and the brief story description, it sounds like Hazel and her parents are about to dive into some type of “Western-in-space!” Sounds pretty fun to me!

36145169Book: “Mycroft Holmes and the Adventures of the Desert Wind” by Janina Woods

Publication Date: December 6, 2017

Why I’m Interested: I love all things “Sherlock Holmes” and have read and enjoyed (to varying extents) a bunch of re-imaginings of the character. I don’t believe, however, that I’ve read a version told from Mycroft’s perspective. And honest, thinking about it now, why hasn’t that  angle been used more before?? Mycroft is an extremely interesting character in his own right: brilliant (potentially even more brilliant that Sherlock) and existing on a more “flexible” moral platform made of up espionage and working in the shadows.  In this book, Sherlock has gone missing and Mycroft, inconvenienced by his own brotherly affection, must step in to help locate him before it’s too late. He’s also referred to as an “antihero” in a few early reviews, and that’s another point of interest for me!

Kate’s Picks

28533271Book: “The Truth Beneath The Lies” by Amanda Searcey

Publication Date: December 12, 2017

Why I’m Interested: When two girls named Kayla and Betsy are both trying to escape from their dark pasts and presents, they start on a course that could mean trouble for both of them. This is being heralded by a number of other YA thriller authors as a twisted and suspenseful triumph, so I am hoping that it will be a book that will drag me in and not let me go. I like juxtapositions between two narrators in stories like this, and while I’m sure there will be some kind of connection between the two in the end, I’m hopeful that the journey to finding it out will be a fun one.

33913889Book: “Shadow Girl” by Liana Liu

Publication Date: December 19, 2017

Why I’m Interested: This sounds like it could be a great updated Gothic horror novel, a genre that I am a huge sucker for. Mei is a teenager who is going to a large mansion to tutor a girl for the summer. But something may be lurking in the halls and rooms of the mansion. While I don’t know if it’s going to be an actual ghost, or dark family secrets, I love the concept of isolation and danger. I am also stoked to see that Liana Liu, the author, is a graduate from my Alma Mater, The University of Minnesota! A creepy ghost story for a winter’s night.

33215969Book: “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Vol 2)” by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

Publication Date: December 19, 2017

Why I’m Interested: IT’S BACK!!!! IT’S BACK!!!! It has been so long, but we are finally about to get our hands on the second volume of my favorite horror series, “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”! Given that the first in the series was one of my favorite books of 2016, I’ve been waiting with baited breath for this book to come out. I want to know what is next in store for Sabrina, now that her boyfriend Harvey is dead and her evil father has taken over his body. You KNOW I have this on pre-order, because this is easily one of my most anticipated books of the year!

 

November 2017 Highlights

November is here, and with it comes the beginning of what seems to be officially “holiday season.” Aside from Thanksgiving, our library bookclub also uses this month as an excuse to host a “Friendsgiving” themed get-together. Yes, it is exactly what it sounds like: Thanksgiving 2.0 but with tons of book talk added in for good measure! Here are a few of the books that Kate and I will likely be discussing!

Serena’s Picks:

32718027Book: “City of Brass” by S. A. Chakraborty

Publication Date: November 14, 2017

Why I’m Interested: This book is being compared to “The Golem and the Jinni,” which is one of my favorite historical fantasy novels. Plus, it’s set in the late 1700s in the Middle East, which isn’t the setting of most historical fantasy you find. Add to that a story description of a young woman who has grown up as a con artist on the streets of Cairo only to discover a new and complicated history and world lurking behind the scenes, and you have a sure fire “must read” for me! While there have been a few YA Middle Eastern fantasy novels making their rounds over the last several years, I have yet to find one that fully takes advantages of the uniqueness of this region’s history and folklore. I’m excited to see if this one finally makes the leap!

34002132Book: “Oathbringer” by Brandon Sanderson

Publication Date: November 14, 2017

Why I’m Interested: Brandon Sanderson is one of my all-time favorite authors and one of the few whose books I will always pre-order. The guy is also a crazy fast writer, which is awesome as there is almost always a new story to look forward to from him each year. Sometimes we even get two! This is even more noteworthy for his “Stormlight Archive” epic fantasy saga series. Each of these books are big time door stops. I think I read from Tor Publishing that his last book in this series was literally the largest book their machines could possibly bind. “Oathbringer” is the third in this series, and I’m both excited and intimidated to jump back into this complicated word. I feel like I need to go re-read the last two books to prepare…but that’s like a 1800 page time commitment! Challenge accepted!

34286537Book: “City of Lies” by Victoria Thompson

Publication Date: November 7, 2017

Why I’m Interested: I’m always on the lookout for historical fiction, and as we’ve already seen in this very list, books that feature female con artists always catch my eye. This book features Elizabeth Miles, a con artist and trickster living on the edge of society in the early 20th century. After a con goes bad, she finds herself caught up among a group of women protesting within the Suffrage movement. Here she finds friendship and maybe even love with the son of one leading ladies of this movement. I know that Victoria Thompson has a long-running gaslamp mystery series, but somehow I’ve never read any of her books. I’m hopeful that this book will serve as a great introduction to a new author and new series!

Kate’s Picks:

34523174Book: “Into the Drowning Deep” by Mira Grant

Publication Date: November 14th, 2017

Why I’m Interested: I like Mira Grant’s “Newsflesh” series quite a bit, as I think she’s very good at creating some very fun and original horror narratives. And one of my biggest horror squicks is the deep deep sea. So I’m totally going to dive into this book that involves a film crew that went missing when on the job in the Mariana Trench, and the crew that is assembled after them to try and find out what happened to them. I’m sure that they are going to find some really upsetting things, and if the characters are as likable and intrepid as those in the “Newsflesh” series, I will no doubt have found another horror book that scares as much as it entertains.

34928122Book: “Artemis” by Andy Weir

Publication Date: November 14th, 2017

Why I’m Interested: Perhaps you are thinking to yourself “Well I thought Kate wasn’t that big into Sci-Fi!” And yeah, you’re right. But I really, really liked “The Martian”, Andy Weir’d previous novel, and so I feel like I really oughta give “Artemis” a shot, even if it’s not usually my genre. This story takes place in a more distant future, and concerns a smuggler named Jazz who finds herself in a heist and conspiracy story involving Artemis, the first colony on the moon. It sounds like a really fun concept and a potentially flashy adventure. If Weir brings the same amount of heart and humor to this story as he did “The Martian”, I’m sure that I will enjoy it.

34657854Book: “Batwoman (Vol.1): The Many Arms of Death” by Marguerite Bennett and James Tynion IV.

Publication Date: November 21st, 2017

Why I’m Interested: While I liked that Batwoman got her own comic series in The New 52, I found myself quite bored with how it was going, and quit after Volume 2. But given that Marguerite Bennett of “DC Bombshells” fame is taking the helm on this one (with James Tynion IV), I have reason to be excited! While I know that this surely won’t have the same bubblegum and fun tone that “DC Bombshells” has, I do trust Bennett to give new life to Batwoman in the Rebirth series!

October 2017 Highlights

It’s October! Kate’s favorite month of the year! Serena is less sold on the idea, but can grudgingly admit to liking the fact that she can now pull out even more cardigans and sweaters to wear from her closet. The slight chill in the air also gives the perfect excuse to say “No thanks!” to any outdoor activities and justify hours on end spent curled up in a blanket reading on the couch. Here are the books we’re looking forward to getting our hands on this month!

Serena’s Picks:

30025336Book: “All the Crooked Saints” by Maggie Stiefvater

Publication Date: October 10, 2017

Why I’m Interested: After blowing through the entire “Raven’s Cycle” which just got better with each entry, it’s not a surprise to find Stiefvater’s latest book on this list. The story takes place in Bicho Raro, Colorado, a small town not unfamiliar with every day miracles. Three cousins, each with a unique miraculous ability of their own, all learn that not everything wished for comes true in the manner you may expect. Or want. There’s been some early controversy around this book (which is an entire post in itself, since how can there be much controversy over a book many of us haven’t even read yet??), so I’m excited to read it and form my own opinion.

34128219Book: “The Book of Dust” by Philip Pullman

Publication Date: October 19, 2017

Why I’m Interested: AAAAAAAAHHHHHH! I mean, is any actual reason needed?? It’s a prequel to “The Golden Compass” trilogy! This should be titled “Why I’m Scared” not “Why I’m Interested.” That’s always the cruel twist of returning to a world you’ve always loved. My one reassurance in this case is that young Lyra is very, very young. A baby. So it seems that she’s more of a side character than anything, which leaves the door wide open for Pullman to let other, new characters shine without damaging the story that we all know and love that follows. Mostly, I’m excited to see some good Mrs. Coulter/Lord Asriel action!

33574143Book: “The Beautiful Ones” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Publication Date: October 24, 2017

Why I’m Interested: By now it’s been well-established that I love the combination of historical “etiquette” books and fantasy. Antonina Beaulieu has a gift, a telekinetic gift. But her limited control of this ability has made her the target of malicious gossip and rumors. She’s finds comfort, and potentially love, in the tutelage of a grand performer, Hector Auvray. But is Auvray all he appears to be? And is his courtship of Nina to be trusted? This last part, especially, the question surrounding the romantic plot line, is what intrigues me the most about this story. It could go one of several ways: A.) there is no romance and he’s a villain character, B.) he’s actually a good guy, though there’s a question surrounding this for much of the story, or C.)…there’s a love triangle. We’ll see!

Kate’s Picks:

34690764Book: “DC Bombshells (Vol.5): The Death of Illusion” by Marguerite Bennett

Publication Date: October 3, 2017

Why I’m Interested: Because DUH AND OR HELLO?!?! It’s a new “DC Bombshells” Collection!! And judging by the cover, it looks like my girls Harley and Ivy are going to be back! While I did most certainly enjoy the previous installment, I have been ACHING to see more of those two, Zatanna, and that action that is going on in Europe, so I’m hoping that we will get all of that in this issue. Plus, it’s always fun to see who will turn up and how they will subvert certain plots and truths from the DC Universe to fit into this story. I’m hoping that somehow, some way, Star Girl comes back, though I’m not holding my breath.

28096526Book: “A Line in the Dark” by Malinda Lo

Publication Date: October 17, 2017

Why I’m Interested: Malinda Lo is known for writing some well regarded LGBTQIA YA fiction, and given that this sounds like it could be a bit of romance with a bit of psychological intensity I am fully on board. It’s about two best friends, Angie and Jess. Jess is attracted to Angie, but Angie falls for a preppy girl named Margot who goes to a local boarding school. Margot, of course, brings these two into her inner circles, and it sounds like things get pretty messy, pretty quickly. And you all know how much I love catty girls at boarding school! I’ve been meaning to read Malinda Lo for awhile now, and now seems as good a time as any! Especially if things get disturbing and dark.

34497909Book: “Haunted Nights” by Lisa Morton (Ed.)

Publication Date: October 3, 2017

Why I’m Interested: Well obviously it’s because it’s October, and with October comes HALLOWEEN!! So what better way to get amped for Halloween than with a collection of ghost stories!! And even better, this collection of scary stories is specifically themed to have a focus on Halloween and the scary things that come with it. With popular authors like Seanan McGuire, Jonathan Maberry, and Garth Nix on board, this collection is sure to have something for everyone, and is coming out just in time for the best and scariest time of year!

What are you excited for this month? Let us know in the comments!

September 2017 Highlights

School is starting! Granted, this means less than it did years ago, but one of us works in an academic library, so return of students is still kind of a big deal. The summer is closing out and fall is around the corner. Kate is more excited about this than Serena. But we both know how we’ll be spending the more chilly months when we’re locked indoors: reading some great books that are coming out soon!

Serena’s Picks:

32768509 Book: “Girls Made of Snow and Glass” by Melissa Bashardoust

Publication Date: September 5, 2017

Why I’m Interested: Yet another fairytale re-telling! But this version of Snow White is told from the perspective of both Snow White herself and her evil stepmother. But what makes someone good? And what makes someone evil? When marrying a king, Mina never meant to become a stepmother. But Mina is the only mother that Lynet has ever known. But when Lynet’s father sets her up as a ruler of the southern providence, Mina begins to see her own hopes of independence and rule slipping away. This sounds like it is very loosely based on the original tale, but that’s all the better!

32991569Book: “Jane, Unlimited” by Kristin Cashore

Publication Info: September 19, 2017

Why I’m Interested: I got this one signed by Kristin Cashore while at ALA this summer, and I’m very excited to finally read it! I loved “Graceling” and “Fire” and it’s been a while since she’s released something new. I heard her speak at a panel where she got a question from someone in the audience wondering whether the version she had read was complete. The answer was “yes.” So, I’m guessing that Cashore plays with narrative style quite a lot in this book. I, personally, enjoy non-traditional story-telling and unreliable narrators, so I’m excited to find out what prompted this question!

28524058Book: “Before She Ignites” by Jodi Meadows

Publishing Info: September 12, 2017

Why I’m Interested: Here, too, is an author who I’ve enjoyed in the past. This is the story of a girl whose been told she’s special and perfect since the day she was born. Rather than inspire egotism, however, this has only made Mira’s crippling anxiety worsen. When she discovers secrets that betray everything she’s ever known, her life will take a turn towards discovering dark and dangerous truths. I love the concept of turning the “special snowflake” YA heroine protagonist on its head, and if anyone is capable of pulling it off, its Meadows. This one’s already on the hold list for me at the library!

Kate’s Picks:

34273236Book: “Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng

Publishing Info: September 12th, 2017

Why I’m Interested: I really liked Ng’s previous novel, “Everything I Never Told You”, as it was not only a stunning and devastating literary novel about a teen’s death, it was also a meticulously pieced together mystery. I have been waiting eagerly for her newest book, “Little Fire’s Everywhere”, as it sounds like an examination of small town life and the ugliness that can come with it. True, it doesn’t really match up with the usual books that I blog about on here, but I love Ng’s writing so much that I couldn’t resist trying to get an ARC for it through NetGalley… and then totally succeeding. And besides, you all know how much I live for the dramatic stories of angst and potential backstabbing.

31556153Book: “Feral Youth” by Shaun David Hutchinson (editor)

Publishing Info: September 5th, 2017

Why I’m Interested: This is a collection of short stories written by a number of YA authors, a couple of whom I really, really like. This is a collection kind of inspired by “The Canterbury Tales”, only the twist is that the premise is that each story is written by a group of teens at a camp for troubled youth, who have been instructed to go into the wilderness and reflect through writing. This is an interesting enough premise in and of itself, but the real kicker for me is that both Brandy Colbert AND Stephanie Kuehn have contributed stories to this collection. And I love me some Brandy Colbert and Stephanie Kuehn, because it means that we have to potential to get some pretty dark and insightful stories from both of them.

34466922Book: “Sleeping Beauties” by Stephen King and Owen King

Publishing Info: September 26th, 2017

Why I’m Interested: Because duh. It’s a new work by Stephen King!! But along with that, it’s a joint project with his son Owen. Owen, like his father and his brother Joe Hill, is a writer in his own right, though unlike them he trends a bit lighter in his tone. This one sounds a bit more like a dystopic future, in which women of the world have succumbed to a sleeping disease. If disturbed, they turn incredibly violent and dangerous. There is one exception, a woman named Evie, who seems to be immune. Set inside the backdrop of a women’s prison, I have a feeling this book is going to be gritty and tense, just the way I like them.

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

August 2017 Highlights

We are entering the Dog Days of Summer, as the heat keeps rising and the last throes of the warmest season start to sound off. In Minnesota that means more trips to the lake and the Minnesota State Fair! We have some books that we’re looking forward to this month, maybe some we’ll take to the beach or on a last summer trip!

Serena’s Picks

32051720Book: “Wicked like a Wildfire” by Lana Popvic

Publication Date: August 15, 2017

Why I’m Interested: The synopsis presents this as a story of two sisters who come from a magical family. Each with their own abilities, one who can manipulate what sees into beautiful glass works and the other who can interpret the true depths of music, these two grow up with only two rules: don’t share the family secret and don’t fall in love. So…it’s like “Practical Magic” right? We all know how much I love sisters stories, so combined with the magical elements, this sounded like the book for me. A bit concerned about whatever inevitable romantic plot lines get squeezed in there, but I’m still hopeful!

31817749Book: “The Stone Sky” by N. K. Jemison

Publication Date: August 15, 2017

Why I’m Interested: I’ve been a fan of N. K. Jemisin since being blown away by the surprise that was “The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms.” Her novels are always richly complex with complicated character who you long to spend more time with. I haven’t reviewed the first two books in this series on the blog yet, but they’re lined up in the pike to be gotten through so I can get to this, the third book in her “Broken Earth” trilogy. My expectations are high, but she’s one of the few authors currently writing who has yet to let me down!

31438747Book: “The Dire King” by William Ritter

Publication Date: August 22, 2017

Why I’m Interested: I have been joyously making my way through the “Jackaby” series. It’s one of those magical unicorns of a series where the story gets better with each book. The last book, especially, did a lot of work to tie together the threads of the series and set the stage for its grand finale in this, the fourth and final book in the series. The big bad has been revealed, and the stakes have never been higher. Will Abigail, Jackaby, and the rest of their supernatural crew have what it takes to make sure that history doesn’t repeat itself? I can’t wait to find out!

Kate’s Picks

33574211Book: “Emma in the Night” by Wendy Walker

Publication Date: August 8th, 2017

Why I’m Interested: A story of two sisters named Emma and Cass who go missing and what happens when one comes back years later, but the other doesn’t. That sounds like a seriously solid premise, right? That’s “Emma in the Night”, and when I heard about it I knew that I would have to get my hands on it. Especially since it sounds like there are going to be some crazy twists and turns in this one, like a dysfunctional family unit, a strange island, and a tenacious forensic psychiatrist who hopes to find answers in this strange case and the return of Cass without Emma. I have high hopes for this one, given that my last foray into a book about a missing child coming home didn’t go as well as I had hoped it would.

30753570Book: “Are You Sleeping” by Kathleen Barber

Publication Date: August 1st, 2017

Why I’m Interested: This is described as “In A Dark, Dark Wood” meets “Serial”, so man, that really perked my ears up when I heard about it. When a long closed case is given new life because of a true crime podcast, Josie has to revisit her father’s murder and her messed up childhood. This childhood involves death, a two faced twin sister, and a cult. Okay, does this NOT sound super interesting? It also harkens back to the book “Dark Places” by Gillian Flynn, the best of her books. I’m sort of worried that this will turn into another ‘messed up female protagonist’ book, but I’m hoping that it will keep my interest up and that it will surprise me.

32508637Book: “See What I Have Done” by Sarah Schmidt

Publication Date: August 1st, 2017

Why I’m Interested: Um, a fictionalized account of the Lizzie Borden murder and subsequent trial????? I’m both interested and hesitant!! But I have to put this on my list, because true crime is one of my guilty pleasures, and Victorian history is a not so guilty one. I don’t really know how I feel about taking an actual murder and tragedy and fictionalizing it in a way that could appeal to an thriller novel audience, but I’m willing to give it a try. Anything that gives me an excuse to chant ‘Lizzie Borden took an axe…’ over and over again while checking a book out from the library.

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

July 2017 Highlights

We’re back from ALA and ready for another holiday with the Fourth of July coming up tomorrow. Also, it happens to be Serena’s birthday today, so there’s that. She will not disclose her age except to say that “Yes, she is turning 30 once again!” But on to relevant business: here is our list of books we’re excited to get our hands on this month!

Serena’s Picks

29750595Book: “Buried Heart” by Kate Elliott

Publication Date: July 27, 2017

Why I’m Interested: I’ve read and loved the first two books in this series, “Court of Fives” and “Poisoned Blade.” This series has it all: great world building, an interesting commentary on colonialism that gets beyond the surface points, and, most importantly, a stellar main character. Not to mention the sports! The first book focused on Jes’s rise to stardom as an athlete. The second saw her begin to realize her own power as public figure and the responsibilities that came with that. And now, in the third book, Jes will need to find her place in the growing rebellion while trying to maintain her relationship with the prince who falls on the other side of it.

32452160Book: “Strange Practice” by Vivian Shaw

Publication Date: July 25, 2017

Why I’m Interested: This is the story of Greta Helsing, a girl who has inherited her family’s strange medical practice of providing health care to to the undead. And when a group of murderous monks come onto the scene, killing both the living and the dead, Greta must jump into action to save herself and her practice. What a bizarre sounding story! And I’ve had some great success with bizarre-ness in the past, so sign me up for this! The mixture of fantasy, horror, and mystery all bookended by a girl physician sounds great. And full props for the cover art that also immediately struck me!

32600725Book: “The Painted Queen” by Elizabeth Peters & Joan Hess

Publication Date: July 25, 2017

Why I’m Interested: Sadly, Elizabeth Peters passed away before she completed this book, the 20th and last in her “Amelia Peabody” mystery series. From what I can tell, it was in the editing stage when she died, and was finished by Joan Hess, a friend of Peters’ and a fellow mystery author. Luckily, I still have many, many books left in the series to enjoy before I get to this one, but as I love the series so much, I had to highlight the last one coming out. And I will be curious to see the reception it receives. All of my fingers are crossed that Hess did right by Peters and Amelia Peabody, and that the series can end as strongly as it has been at its very best.

Kate’s Picks

32796253Book: “Final Girls” by Riley Sager

Publication Date: July 11th, 2017

Why I’m Interested: Once again, I have been sucked in by the promise of a group of horror movie scenario survivors in peril. While “Survivors’ Club” ultimately didn’t give me everything I needed, I’m hoping that Sager is going to bring this concept to grisly, scary life. So basically a girl who survived a massacre while on Spring Break has become the member of an unofficial club of other survivors like her. Just as her life has started to get back on track, with a loving fiance and a successful blog (about BAKING, this girl sounds great), the original Final Girl in their group is found dead. Could it be that the nightmare is happening again? I am REALLY looking forward to this one.

32895291Book: “The Lying Game” by Ruth Ware

Publication Date: July 25th, 2017

Why I’m Interested: I really loved Ruth Ware’s book “In a Dark, Dark Wood”, and while “The Woman in Cabin 10” wasn’t as enthralling, I liked it enough that I’m still a huge fan of Ruth Ware. So of COURSE when a new one by her is coming out, I’m going to be pretty excited to get my hands on it. This one concerns a group of women who are linked by a dark and mysterious past. When they were in school they played ‘The Lying Game’, in which they would tell lies to see how far they’d go. When it ended in tragedy, they were expelled and went their separate ways. Now they are being pulled back in for reasons unclear. I am totally on board for this and have it on request, hoping to get it ASAP.

31450633Book: “The Breakdown” by B.A. Paris

Publication Date: July 18th, 2017

Why I’m Interested: While I haven’t read Paris’s last big runaway bestseller “Behind Closed Doors”, this one definitely has my interest piqued. This one concerns a woman named Cass who saw a broken down car on the side of the road, but didn’t help the driver inside. Which, of course, lead to the driver’s death. And now Cass is starting to feel like someone may be watching her, along with her own nerves being frayed and on edge. My hope is that it will keep me guessing, and given how it sounds like it could be “I Know What You Did Last Summer”-esque it could be a creepy stalker book, and I haven’t read one of those in awhile.

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