Little Heaven

By Nick Cutter

Source: Received from the publisher

Series: n/a

Received from the publisher, for free, for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Publication Date: January 10, 2017

Published by Gallery Books

My Rating: four-stars

Little Heaven

Cover image and synopsis from Goodreads:

An all-new epic tale of terror and redemption set in the hinterlands of midcentury New Mexico from the acclaimed author of The Troop—which Stephen King raved “scared the hell out of me and I couldn’t put it down…old-school horror at its best.”

From electrifying horror author Nick Cutter comes a haunting new novel, reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian and Stephen King’s It, in which a trio of mismatched mercenaries is hired by a young woman for a deceptively simple task: check in on her nephew, who may have been taken against his will to a remote New Mexico backwoods settlement called Little Heaven. Shortly after they arrive, things begin to turn ominous. Stirrings in the woods and over the treetops—the brooding shape of a monolith known as the Black Rock casts its terrible pall. Paranoia and distrust grips the settlement. The escape routes are gradually cut off as events spiral towards madness. Hell—or the closest thing to it—invades Little Heaven. The remaining occupants are forced to take a stand and fight back, but whatever has cast its dark eye on Little Heaven is now marshaling its powers…and it wants them all.

I was really excited to read Little Heaven! I like horror novels, and I quite enjoyed the other Nick Cutter book I’ve read (The Troop).

I still don’t quite know what to make of this book. I really enjoyed the opening few chapters, introducing the various characters. Once the story had thrown everyone together and sent them to Little Heaven – when things really started to get strange – is where I struggled a little with the book. I found the characters and the story really interesting, but I had a very difficult time grasping what was going on with the horror element of the story [Spoiler – highlight to read: Just like the characters when faced with the evil that is out there at Little Heaven/in the woods, who’s minds could not grasp what they were seeing, I couldn’t really picture what the author was describing.] Because of that, and the nature of the horror, I didn’t find this book outright scary. There were definitely some wonderfully creepy moments, but it didn’t frighten me. However, the book was just as violent and gory as I expected! I don’t think Nick Cutter’s books are for the squeamish!

Compared to The Troop, which I liked, I found the plot, the structure (the way the timeline moved back and forth), and the characters of Little Heaven more interesting. And despite its size (my ARC was nearly 500 pages), I read it fairly quickly. Once I got going, I didn’t want to put the book down!

For horror fans, Little Heaven is definitely a recommended read!

Week In Review

January 9 – 15

Happy Sunday! This week felt like the longest work week ever, so I was mega happy for the weekend to finally arrive.

via GIPHY

I received a couple of e-ARCs via Edelweiss this week:

Cold Summer, Gwen Cole; and

The Perfect Stranger, Megan Miranda.

I also purchased a couple of books, one of which was a steal of a deal:

The Miniaturist, Jessie Burton; and

Hygge: The Danish Art of Happiness, Marie Tourell Soderberg.

I finished reading three books this week:

Lumberjanes, Vol. 5: Band Together, Shannon Watters, Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Brooke Allen, Carolyn Nowak;

The Last Policeman, Ben H. Winters; and

Beautiful Broken Girls, Kim Savage.

Currently, I’m reading The Royal We, by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan (the ladies behind the hilarious Go Fug Yourself site). My friends love this book, and I’ve owned a copy since the book was released in 2015. I don’t know why I haven’t read it sooner, but I’m really enjoying it so far.

I had three posts on the blog this week – so far, the plan to read and blog more is working:

Top Ten Tuesday about 2016 releases that I didn’t get to last year but will be reading this year;

Waiting on Wednesday about Danika Stone’s upcoming book, Internet Famous; and

My review of The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well, by Meik Wiking.

So now it’s time to finally take down my Christmas tree and put the decorations away, which always makes me sad. I think that’s why I’ve put it off for so long! And then hopefully that will leave me time to get some more reading in before it’s time to get ready for the start of another work week.

Happy Sunday and happy reading!

The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well

By Meik Wiking

Source: Purchased

Series: n/a

Publication Date: November 16, 2016

Published by Penguin UK

My Rating: five-stars

The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well

Cover image and summary from Goodreads:

Denmark is often said to be the happiest country in the world. That’s down to one thing: hygge.

‘Hygge has been translated as everything from the art of creating intimacy to cosiness of the soul to taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things. My personal favourite is cocoa by candlelight…’

You know hygge when you feel it. It is when you are cuddled up on a sofa with a loved one, or sharing comfort food with your closest friends. It is those crisp blue mornings when the light through your window is just right.

Who better than Meik Wiking to be your guide to all things hygge? Meik is CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen and has spent years studying the magic of Danish life. In this beautiful, inspiring book he will help you be more hygge: from picking the right lighting and planning a dinner party through to creating an emergency hygge kit and even how to dress.

Meik Wiking is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen. He is committed to finding out what makes people happy and has concluded that hygge is the magic ingredient that makes Danes the happiest nation in the world.

It wasn’t that long ago that I first heard about the concept of hygge. I came across it in a couple of articles that I read about quality of life and happiness in our daily life. One of the articles mentioned that there were even books you could buy about hygge – so off I went to the Chapters website to get one for myself!

This little book was so enjoyable and charming! The cover is beautiful, as are the photos inside the book. The writing is informative, insightful, and full of humour.

It was quite cold (20 degrees [Celsius] below zero) and snowy as I read The Little Book of Hygge – and I made sure that I was snuggled up in my jammies, on the couch under a blanket, with my reading socks on. So hygge!

There really was a lot touched on in here that I want to practice and include in my daily life: slowing down, being intentional with my time, enjoying the simple moments like cooking with my husband, putting my phone down and being present, etc.

This was a perfect book to read as a Canadian in January, with so much winter weather still ahead. And it made for some great food for thought while I contemplated the new year and resolutions. Recommended!

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Today my pick is Internet Famous by Danika Stone, out June 6, 2017 from Swoon Reads.

From Goodreads:

High school senior and internet sensation Madison Nakama seems to have it all: a happy family, good grades, and a massive online following for her pop-culture blog. But when her mother suddenly abandons the family, Madi finds herself struggling to keep up with all of her commitments.

Fandom to the rescue! As her online fans band together to help, an online/offline flirtation sparks with Laurent, a French exchange student. Their internet romance—played out in the comments section of her MadLibs blog—attracts the attention of an internet troll who threatens the separation of Madi’s real and online personas. With her carefully constructed life unraveling, Madi must uncover the hacker’s identity before he can do any more damage, or risk losing the people she loves the most… Laurent included.

I really enjoyed Danika Stone’s previous book, All the Feels, when I read it last year, so I’m really looking forward to reading her next book!

Is Internet Famous on your radar? What are you waiting on this week?

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic is:

Top Ten 2016 Releases I Meant To Read But Didn’t Get To (But TOTALLY Plan To)

Every year, there are tons of releases that I get so excited about! I usually buy a whole bunch of them but then they sit unread on my shelf because, well, there are so many other books to read! But these are 14 (because there were just too many!) of the 2016 books that I really really wanted to read last year, didn’t, and now plan to read this year:

1. Bad Blood (The Naturals #4), by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

I really like this series, and I’ve borrowed this book from the library and returned it unread like three times already.

2. Rich and Pretty, by Rumaan Alam

I’ve heard so much about this book and I bought the e-book when it came out, and then just put off reading it…

3. The Diabolic, by S.J. Kincaid

This book had a lot of buzz, and it sounds like a pretty good science fiction story.

4. The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead

This is another one that had so much great buzz, and I saw it on a number of ‘best of’ lists at the end of 2016. I have got to read this in 2017!

5. Every Hidden Thing, by Kenneth Oppel

I’ve loved the Kenneth Oppel books I’ve read, and this one has such a great premise that I’m sure I would love it. I just have to read it!

6. Bookshelf, by Lydia Pine

A book about bookshelves! Why haven’t I read this yet?!?

7. Tumbling, by Caela Carter

I love gymnastics! I love YA! I bought this e-book on release day! What is taking me so long to actually read it?!

8. The Assistants, by Camille Perri

am an assistant, so I feel like I need to read this.

9. A Study in Charlotte, by Brittany Cavallaro

I love Sherlock Holmes stories and retellings!

10. Romancing the Nerd, by Leah Rae Miller

I really enjoyed the first book in this series, and was so excited when I heard about this sequel! This is another book that I borrowed from the library a few times but kept returning unread.

11. The Last Boy and Girl in the World, by Siobhan Vivian

This just sounds so good. And I really did plan on reading it last year!

12. A Drop of Night, by Stefan Bachmann

I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS SYNOPSIS! So I don’t know why I haven’t read it yet.

13. And I Darken, by Kiersten White

I bought the chunky hardcover when it came out last year because my friend Ciara told me it’s basically about like a female version of Vlad the Impaler. Sold!

14. Three Dark Crowns, by Kendare Blake

She is pretty much an auto-buy author for me. So I have an e-galley of this and a hardcover…and I still have to read it! This book is definitely my priority of all the books on this list for 2017!

Are any of these on your 2017 TBR? Or have you already read them? Let me know!