July 18th, 2018 by Pingwing
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.
Today my pick is Nightingale by Amy Lukavics, out October 1, 2018 from Harlequin Teen.
At seventeen, June Hardie is everything a young woman in 1951 shouldn’t be—independent, rebellious, a dreamer. June longs to travel, to attend college and to write the dark science fiction stories that consume her waking hours. But her parents only care about making June a better young woman. Her mother grooms her to be a perfect little homemaker while her father pushes her to marry his business partner’s domineering son. When June resists, her whole world is shattered—suburbia isn’t the only prison for different women…
June’s parents commit her to Burrow Place Asylum, aka the Institution. With its sickening conditions, terrifying staff and brutal “medical treatments,” the Institution preys on June’s darkest secrets and deepest fears. And she’s not alone. The Institution terrorizes June’s fragile roommate, Eleanor, and the other women locked away within its crumbling walls. Those who dare speak up disappear…or worse. Trapped between a gruesome reality and increasingly sinister hallucinations, June isn’t sure where her nightmares end and real life begins. But she does know one thing: in order to survive, she must destroy the Institution before it finally claims them all.
I’ve read Amy Lukavics’ previous three books and enjoyed them all to varying degrees, and her most recent one (The Ravenous) was my favourite.
She writes good YA horror, which is always something I’m in the mood to read, particularly around Halloween. So this book coming out in October makes it a pretty perfect pick for a fall spooky read!
I have an e-ARC of this one courtesy of the publisher via Netgalley, and it’s at the top of my fall TBR!
What are you waiting on this week?
July 16th, 2018 by Pingwing
Romancing the Duke
By Tessa Dare
Series: Castles Ever After #1
Published by Avon on January 28, 2014
As the daughter of a famed author, Isolde Ophelia Goodnight grew up on tales of brave knights and fair maidens. She never doubted romance would be in her future, too. The storybooks offered endless possibilities.
And as she grew older, Izzy crossed them off. One by one by one.
Ugly duckling turned swan?
Abducted by handsome highwayman?
Rescued from drudgery by charming prince?
No, no, and… Heh.
Now Izzy’s given up yearning for romance. She’ll settle for a roof over her head. What fairy tales are left over for an impoverished twenty-six year-old woman who’s never even been kissed?
I’ve been reading the occasional romance book over the past year or so, trying to find ones that I like, and Tessa Dare is an author who was frequently recommended to me. I’ve generally enjoyed the historical / regency romances I’ve read, and this book in particular was recommended to me on Litsy.
Eventually, I started reading it, and I wish I’d read it sooner! This book was so fun and sweet. I loved the story, and felt for Izzy immediately. She was broke, alone, and had nowhere to go – until she inherited a mysterious castle. But things are not what they seem, with the castle or the duke who refuses to leave.
Part of what I loved about this book so much was Izzy. She was funny, clever, and tenacious. And in a way, this book is about stories and writing, and I really enjoyed that aspect. I don’t want to say too much and risk spoilers, but I loved the way the plot about Izzy’s late father’s stories unfolded.
The romance was very swoony, and I was pleasantly surprised by the reveals and character development of Ransom (the duke). I think I was still holding on to some preconceived ideas about romance books, and Romancing the Duke showed me that I was wrong.
I enjoyed this book and will definitely be reading more by Tessa Dare!
July 15th, 2018 by Pingwing
July 9 – 15
Blegh another hot, humid week here! I know we wait all winter for summer to get here, but does it have to be so humid and yucky when it does??
Other than the heat and humidity, it’s been a good week: I got a new bike, a new Fitbit, and I took Friday off to have a long weekend. Going back to work tomorrow will be extra tough!
The bike is set up in my husband’s indoor bike trainer, so I’ve been using it every day so far and it’s definitely not fun, but I feel really good when it’s over! Eventually I’ll get a helmet and try to be brave enough to ride it outside, but I’m so grateful right now that I can use it indoors, where I have privacy and air conditioning, while I’m getting comfortable on it.
And the Fitbit is really cool. I like being able to monitor my heart rate (one of my health goals for the year is to get my resting heart rate down a little), my sleep patterns, and the calories I’m burning on the bike. And one of my sisters has one, so we’ve been challenging each other to meet our daily step goals!
I also got a Happy Planner after seeing a few fellow book bloggers mention theirs – I am really into it now, but I don’t have a great track record of using planners after the shiny new excitement wears off…but I’m really going to try and stick with this one!
I got the horizontal layout ‘Enjoy All the Things‘ planner (I’m very picky about a horizontal layout over a vertical one, but there are not as many options if you prefer the horizontal layout). I like that it’s an 18 month planner, from July 2018 until December 2019. And if you look at #happyplanner on Instagram, you can see just how much you can customize the planner. There are some really creative people out there! I think mine will be functional but not very pretty, but I bought some stickers to help make mine cute!
I only read two books this week:
The Last Time I Lied, Riley Sager; and
Romancing the Duke, Tessa Dare.
I’m still reading Kendare Blake’s Three Dark Crowns. I’m around 20% in, but hoping to read a lot more of it today.
The blog was busy this week! I posted reviews of Assassin’s Heart by Sarah Ahiers, and The Last Time I Lied.
I also posted my first Top Ten Tuesday in ages, as well as a Waiting on Wednesday post and a #BookishBloggersUnite post.
Time for some more coffee, some breakfast, and then a bike ride before I curl up on the couch with my book (and some air conditioning). Happy Sunday!
July 14th, 2018 by Pingwing
Hello! Today I’m participating in (and hosting) #BookishBloggersUnite for the first time. Today our topic is all about comfort reads!
I don’t reread very often, but when I do, it’s usually because I want something familiar. Other times, it’s because I want something soothing and cozy.
The first book that came to mind when I thought about comfort reads was Jenny Colgan’s The Bookshop on the Corner. I read it last year and I loved it! It was really sweet and all about books – what’s not to like? I’ve only read it once but it’s at the top of my list for rereads when I want something cute and cozy.
As for books that I reread when I want something familiar, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is my go-to. I’ve read it three or four times now. It’s the total opposite of The Bookshop on the Corner, but sometimes I want something dark and sharp, where I know everything that’s coming and I can enjoy the journey to the last page.
In a similar vein, Victoria Schwab’s Vicious has become a bit of a comfort read. I’ve read it a few times, and I can’t wait to read the long-awaited sequel this fall!
I’ve also started to read romance in the past year, and while I’m still figuring out what kinds of stories I like, I’ve found historical romances like Sarah MacLean’s to be comfort reads. After all, don’t romance books usually have a happily ever after? What’s more comforting than that?
Currently I’m reading Tessa Dare’s Romancing the Duke, and it’s delightful! It’s really funny and I love the idea of inheriting a castle (even if it is rundown).
So those are my comfort read requirements: sweet and cute and cozy, or dark and twisty and familiar.
What about you? Let me know in the comments or link to your post below!
July 13th, 2018 by Pingwing
The Last Time I Lied
By Riley Sager
Published by Dutton on July 3, 2018
Also by this author: Final Girls
Two Truths and a Lie. The girls played it all the time in their tiny cabin at Camp Nightingale. Vivian, Natalie, Allison, and first-time camper Emma Davis, the youngest of the group. The games ended when Emma sleepily watched the others sneak out of the cabin in the dead of night. The last she–or anyone–saw of them was Vivian closing the cabin door behind her, hushing Emma with a finger pressed to her lips.
Now a rising star in the New York art scene, Emma turns her past into paintings–massive canvases filled with dark leaves and gnarled branches that cover ghostly shapes in white dresses. The paintings catch the attention of Francesca Harris-White, the socialite and wealthy owner of Camp Nightingale. When Francesca implores her to return to the newly reopened camp as a painting instructor, Emma sees an opportunity to try to find out what really happened to her friends.
Yet it’s immediately clear that all is not right at Camp Nightingale. Already haunted by memories from fifteen years ago, Emma discovers a security camera pointed directly at her cabin, mounting mistrust from Francesca and, most disturbing of all, cryptic clues Vivian left behind about the camp’s twisted origins. As she digs deeper, Emma finds herself sorting through lies from the past while facing threats from both man and nature in the present.
And the closer she gets to the truth about Camp Nightingale, the more she realizes it may come at a deadly price.
I loved Riley Sager’s Final Girls when I read it last year, so I knew that his follow-up would be high on my TBR.
I really liked the sound of the plot for this book, but reading it felt like not much was happening, for a long time. It’s definitely a slowwwww build! I liked the chapters jumping back and forth between past and present, and there were some good reveals, but I just didn’t feel as pulled into this as I did with Final Girls.
I was disappointed that this was pretty predictable in terms of the villain and motive. There wasn’t much that was surprising or difficult to piece together, but I liked the way some of the reveals occurred.
So as I summarized on Litsy, this was slow at first and too predictable on occasion, but in the end it really picked up and was a fun read. The Last Time I Lied was good but not great. If you’re looking for a thriller, I enjoyed Final Girls more and would recommend reading that one first.