Here There Are Monsters

Here There Are MonstersHere There Are Monsters
Source Received from the publisher
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on August 6, 2019

Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

three-half-stars

The Blair Witch Project meets Imaginary Girls in this story of codependent sisterhood, the struggle to claim one’s own space, and the power of secrets

Sixteen-year-old Skye is done playing the knight in shining armor for her insufferable younger sister, Deirdre. Moving across the country seems like the perfect chance to start over.

In their isolated new neighborhood, Skye manages to fit in, but Deirdre withdraws from everyone, becoming fixated on the swampy woods behind their house and building monstrous sculptures out of sticks and bones.

Then Deirdre disappears.

And when something awful comes scratching at Skye’s window in the middle of the night, claiming she’s the only one who can save Deirdre, Skye knows she will stop at nothing to bring her sister home.

I was very intrigued by this book. Sibling stories with a horror / fantasy / thriller element are always interesting to me, and the synopsis and cover of Here There Are Monsters definitely grabbed my attention.

I feel torn about this book because I really liked some elements of it (the mystery of what happened to Deirdre; the way the story moved back and forth in time; the creepiness of the woods and what was out there; Skye and Deirdre’s complicated relationship), but I failed to connect with the characters or with the story emotionally, which prevented me from really getting invested in this one. I also felt sometimes like the pacing was uneven, so sometimes there seemed to be a lot happening at once and other times I felt like I was just waiting for something to happen.

Overall, I enjoyed this one, and while it wasn’t full on horror, I think it’s a good recommendation for a creepy YA read. I do feel like the comparison to Imaginary Girls is somewhat apt (at least, based on my recollection it is – it’s definitely been a few years since I read that one), so if you liked that book and/or if you’re intrigued by the synopsis or cover like I was, check this one out!

three-half-stars

Week In Review

August 5 – 11

It’s BTS movie day!!! I’m going to see Bring the Soul today and I’m so excited!

New books:

Before I go see the movie, I have to mention this week’s book haul! There are so many e-ARCs on my Kindle now that I’m beyond excited to read:

Loveboat, Taipei, Abigail Hing Wen;

Clique Bait, Ann Valett;

The Upside of Falling, Alex Light;

Spellhacker, M.K. England;

All Your Twisted Secrets, Diana Urban; and

Don’t Call the Wolf, Aleksandra Ross.

I also bought a few more books from my Kobo wishlist that were on for a decent price:

Evvie Drake Starts Over, Linda Holmes;

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, Abbi Waxman;

The Best Lies, Sarah Lyu;

Into the Drowning Deep, Mira Grant; and

Kushiel’s Dart, Jacqueline Carey.

And I picked up another book from the library:

Small Town Hearts, Lillie Vale.

Books read:

This was not a big reading week for me. My brain just didn’t feel like it could focus. But I did finish Red Rising by Pierce Brown (and put a hold on book two at the library!).

I also finished an e-ARC of Amelinda Berube’s Here There Are Monsters.

Current reads:

I’ve just barely started reading The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, but I hope to spend more time with it this week.

Posts and reviews:

I only posted one review this week (for Caite Dolan-Leach’s We Went To The Woods).

I also shared a TBR Thursday post and another Saturday Soundtrack post.

Time to get ready to go see the movie! Happy Sunday!

Saturday Soundtrack

Here’s what I’ve been listening to this week! (Note: the links will take you to YouTube, if you can’t see the videos embedded below)

Idlewild – You Wear It Secondhand &
I Almost Didn’t Notice &
Lake Martinez

This is my other, non-BTS favourite band, and these are some of my favourite songs from their excellent album Interview Music, which came out earlier this year. I’ve been listening to them a lot lately.

Bic Runga – This Girl’s Prepared for War

This song is off her fantastic album Belle, which I’ve been listening to again a lot the last couple of weeks.

Kylie Minogue – Your Disco Needs You

I’ve been using my indoor bike trainer again, and I love listening to Kylie Minogue while I’m doing it. This song is one of my absolute favourites of hers, and when it comes on while I’m riding the bike, I can’t help but speed up!

Happy listening!

TBR Thursday

TBR Thursday

I did a few of these posts years ago, when I wanted something like a Waiting on Wednesday post, but for books that had already been released (and usually already on my physical or virtual bookshelves). I  found the TBR Thursday meme at Book Blather and realized it was just what I was going for.

Today’s pick is non-fiction, for a change: My Life with Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues, by Pamela Paul:

Imagine keeping a record of every book you’ve ever read. What would this reading trajectory say about you? With passion, humor, and insight, the editor of The New York Times Book Review shares the stories that have shaped her life.

Pamela Paul has kept a single book by her side for twenty-eight years – carried throughout high school and college, hauled from Paris to London to Thailand, from job to job, safely packed away and then carefully removed from apartment to house to its current perch on a shelf over her desk – reliable if frayed, anonymous-looking yet deeply personal. This book has a name: Bob.

Bob is Paul’s Book of Books, a journal that records every book she’s ever read, from Sweet Valley High to Anna Karenina, from Catch-22 to Swimming to Cambodia, a journey in reading that reflects her inner life – her fantasies and hopes, her mistakes and missteps, her dreams and her ideas, both half-baked and wholehearted. Her life, in turn, influences the books she chooses, whether for solace or escape, information or sheer entertainment.

But My Life with Bob isn’t really about those books. It’s about the deep and powerful relationship between book and reader. It’s about the way books provide each of us the perspective, courage, companionship, and imperfect self-knowledge to forge our own path. It’s about why we read what we read and how those choices make us who we are. It’s about how we make our own stories. 

I love books about books! And before getting into blogging and Goodreads to track my reading, I used to keep a notebook of the books I read, and I’m so interested in reading about Pamela and Bob!

I bought the hardcover of this when it was released in 2017, so it hasn’t been on my shelf for as long as some other TBR Thursday picks, but I really do want to read this one this summer.

We Went To The Woods

We Went To The WoodsWe Went To The Woods
By Caite Dolan-Leach
Source Library
Published by Random House on July 2, 2019

four-stars

Certain that society is on the verge of economic and environmental collapse, five disillusioned twenty-somethings make a bold decision: They gather in upstate New York to transform an abandoned farm, once the site of a turn-of-the-century socialist commune, into an idyllic self-sustaining compound called the Homestead.

Louisa spearheads the project, as her wealthy family owns the plot of land. Beau is the second to commit; as mysterious and sexy as he is charismatic, he torments Louisa with his nightly disappearances and his other relationships. Chloe, a dreamy musician, is naturally able to attract anyone to her–which inevitably results in conflict. Jack, the most sensible and cerebral of the group, is the only one with any practical farm experience. Mack, the last to join, believes it’s her calling to write their story–but she is not the most objective narrator, and inevitably complicates their increasingly tangled narrative. Initially exhilarated by restoring the rustic dwellings, planting a garden, and learning the secrets of fermentation, the group is soon divided by slights, intense romantic and sexual relationships, jealousies, and suspicions. And as winter settles in, their experiment begins to feel not only misguided, but deeply isolating and dangerous.

Caite Dolan-Leach spins a poignant and deeply human tale with sharp insights into our modern anxieties, our collective failures, and the timeless desire to withdraw from the world.

I read and loved Caite Dolan-Leach’s Dead Letters a couple of years ago, so when I heard she had a new novel coming out this year, I knew it would be a must-read. I was quite pleased to be near the top of the library holds for this one, and when my hold came in, I knew I was going to drop whatever else I was reading for this book.

First of all, View Spoiler »

This book was both fascinating and frustrating. I was definitely intrigued by Mack and the rest of the group’s attempts at survival, but the dynamics between them frustrated me. And even though sometimes it seemed like nothing much was happening, I found that I couldn’t put it down, knowing that this was all building to some sort of disaster that was mentioned at the very beginning of the story. Knowing that it all fell apart somehow, I was eager to read on and see just how and when things went so wrong.

As with Dead Letters, I was really moved in the end of this one, and surprised myself by shedding a few tears. I didn’t think I was that emotionally invested in the characters as I was reading, but my emotions snuck up on me!

I’m already looking forward to more from Caite Dolan-Leach, and I’m glad I got to check this one out of the library so close to its release date. Recommended!

four-stars

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