January 9th, 2019 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 As Long As We Both Shall Live by JoAnn Chaney, out January 15 from Flatiron Books:
“My wife! I think she’s dead!” Matt frantically tells park rangers that he and his wife, Marie, were hiking when she fell off a cliff into the raging river below. They start a search, but they aren’t hopeful: no one could have survived that fall. It was a tragic accident.
But Matt’s first wife also died in suspicious circumstances. And when the police pull a body out of the river, they have a lot more questions for Matt.
Detectives Loren and Spengler want to know if Matt is a grieving, twice-unlucky husband or a cold-blooded murderer. They dig into the couple’s lives to see what they can unearth. And they find that love’s got teeth, it’s got claws, and once it hitches you to a person, it’s tough to rip yourself free.
So what happens when you’re done making it work?
I am beyond excited for this book! Her previous book, What You Don’t Know, was a dark, gripping thriller that I read in one day (and which was one of my favourite reads of 2017).
I’m already hearing that this book is fantastic, so thankfully I don’t have to wait too long to get my hands on a copy!
What are you waiting on this week?
January 8th, 2019 by Pingwing
By Kiersten White
Series: Slayer #1
Source Received from the publisher
Published by Simon Pulse on January 8, 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.
Nina and her twin sister, Artemis, are far from normal. It’s hard to be when you grow up at the Watcher’s Academy, which is a bit different from your average boarding school. Here teens are trained as guides for Slayers—girls gifted with supernatural strength to fight the forces of darkness. But while Nina’s mother is a prominent member of the Watcher’s Council, Nina has never embraced the violent Watcher lifestyle. Instead she follows her instincts to heal, carving out a place for herself as the school medic.
Until the day Nina’s life changes forever.
Thanks to Buffy, the famous (and infamous) Slayer that Nina’s father died protecting, Nina is not only the newest Chosen One—she’s the last Slayer, ever. Period.
As Nina hones her skills with her Watcher-in-training, Leo, there’s plenty to keep her occupied: a monster fighting ring, a demon who eats happiness, a shadowy figure that keeps popping up in Nina’s dreams…
But it’s not until bodies start turning up that Nina’s new powers will truly be tested—because someone she loves might be next.
One thing is clear: Being Chosen is easy. Making choices is hard.
I was so excited to read this! I love love love Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and had just finished a series rewatch when I started to read Slayer.
Kiersten White is a Buffy fan, and it showed. She captured the TV show’s snark, and while you could read this without having seen the show, I loved all of the references that I picked up on. View Spoiler » I definitely got emotional when Buffy herself showed up. I love her, and I thought the author captured her on the page so well. « Hide Spoiler
I really liked the plot, particularly its Watcher-centric focus. And I liked the dynamic between Nina and her twin, Artemis. Overall I really enjoyed the story, but it felt like there were several occasions where problems or mysteries could have been resolved if people just talked to each other, which frustrated me. There were a few too many instances of people keeping secrets or making assumptions just to serve as something to move the plot forward.
That said, I thought this was a really fun and engaging read. The action scenes were exciting, and I enjoyed its perspective on the Buffyverse. Recommended – and I can’t wait to read book two!
January 7th, 2019 by Pingwing
She Rides Shotgun
By Jordan Harper
Published by Simon & Schuster on May 4, 2017
Eleven-year-old Polly is smart far beyond her years. But she’s a loner. Her mother tells her she has ‘gunfighter eyes’, like the father she’s never met. In prison, about to be released, Nate runs afoul of the powerful leader of the Aryan Brotherhood. Marked for death on his release, Nate soon realizes that everyone he has ever loved is a target – including his daughter, Polly. Now, forced into hiding by the greenlight placed upon them, Nate finds himself having to teach his estranged daughter how to survive in a kill-or-be-killed world, all the while observed by Polly’s teddy bear, who is soon the only outlet for the little girl’s emotions. Soon the two of them find themselves on a non-stop struggle for survival, and along the way, discover the bonds that eluded them for so many years…
This was recommended on a Book Riot Get Booked podcast, so I was very excited to read it.
She Rides Shotgun was a quick, engaging read and I really enjoyed it. I loved Polly and her teddy bear, and I was super invested in the story.
This was a dark, gritty, violent book and was just what I was looking for! Recommended for readers in the mood for an unusual thriller.
January 6th, 2019 by Pingwing
December 24 – January 6
Hello and happy new year! I hope everyone had a nice holiday. I had a great long vacation from work, so it was really hard to go back after New Year’s Day, but I managed!
I spent much of my vacation reading, but I did get sick for a few days, which made it hard to really do anything. But when I wasn’t reading, I was playing with my new Nintendo Switch! It was a Christmas gift, along with a copy of Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!, and I felt very spoiled!! I spoiled myself with Super Mario Odyssey, so between those two games, my stomach bug, the Taylor Swift concert on Netflix, and my books, it felt like two weeks wasn’t a long enough vacation to do all of the things I wanted to do!
My new year in reading isn’t off to the best start: I DNF’d the first book that I chose to read, and then the first book I finished in 2019 got 2.5 stars from me. I’m trying to be more relaxed about things, including not forcing myself to finish reading books I’m not enjoying, so there will probably be many more DNFs this year than in previous years. I’ve also made a small TBR list for the month, but I am treating it more as a suggestion or guide than as something set in stone.
I’ve also been removing tons of books from my shelves. I watched one episode of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix, and now I’m ready to go through everything I own, books included, to see which ones spark joy and which ones can go! I used to hold on to every book I bought or received, whether I’d read it or not, but the older I get, the more bogged down I feel by the accumulation of stuff, and I’ve started to love removing things that I can honestly say no longer need to be in my home.
When it comes to books, for me, I have no problem getting rid of something that I’ve already read. I have also gotten better at honestly assessing whether I will read the books I bought years ago but which I haven’t read. It’s okay to say that, while I may have wanted to read it when I bought it, I am no longer interested in reading something. Then I can donate it somewhere where hopefully someone else will read it! I’ve also been reading more and more ebooks, and using the library again, to help cut down on the number of physical books in my home.
I purchased two ebooks that had been on my TBR for a while, and which were on sale for under five dollars:
Nobody Cares, Anne T. Donohue; and
The Blinds, Adam Sternbergh.
I ended up reading 102 books by the end of 2018, so I just managed to make my Goodreads goal of 100 books. Since my last Week in Review post, I read six books:
She Rides Shotgun, Jordan Harper;
The Gilded Wolves, Roshani Chokshi;
Geekerella, Ashley Poston;
Slayer, Kiersten White;
My Year of Rest and Relaxation, Otessa Moshfegh; and
Romancing the Nerd, Leah Rae Miller.
I just started reading an e-ARC last night of Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye. I’m not too far into it yet, but so far I really like the world. I’m definitely going to try and read a lot more of it today!
Reviews and posts:
I had a bunch of posts and reviews at the end of the year and the beginning of 2019.
I posted reviews of:
Whiskey When We’re Dry, John Larison (which ended up being one of my favourite reads of the year);
Not Even Bones, Rebecca Schaeffer; and
Dreadnought, April Daniels.
I also had a bunch of end of year posts:
My favourite podcasts in 2018;
My favourite books read in 2018;
2018 end of year survey; and
My sister’s 2018 end of year survey.
Now it’s time for some more reading before the end of the weekend. They always go too fast, don’t they? But I’m trying to spend less time worrying about the future or agonizing over time getting away from me, and more time just enjoying what I’m doing in the moment. Happy Sunday!
January 4th, 2019 by Pingwing
By April Daniels
Series: Nemesis #1
Published by Diversion Publishing on January 24, 2017
Until Dreadnought fell out of the sky and died right in front of her, Danny was trying to keep people from finding out she’s transgender. But before he expired, Dreadnought passed his mantle to her, and those secondhand superpowers transformed Danny’s body into what she’s always thought it should be. Now there’s no hiding that she’s a girl.
It should be the happiest time of her life, but Danny’s first weeks finally living in a body that fits her are more difficult and complicated than she could have imagined. Between her father’s dangerous obsession with “curing” her girlhood, her best friend suddenly acting like he’s entitled to date her, and her fellow superheroes arguing over her place in their ranks, Danny feels like she’s in over her head.
She doesn’t have much time to adjust. Dreadnought’s murderer—a cyborg named Utopia—still haunts the streets of New Port City, threatening destruction. If Danny can’t sort through the confusion of coming out, master her powers, and stop Utopia in time, humanity faces extinction.
I’d been wanting to read this book for a while, and it felt like just the right book to pick up after I’d finished a gritty book.
I really liked Dreadnought. The superhero stuff was really fun, and I was very interested in the different superhero factions.
Danny has always known that she’s a girl, but it isn’t until she receives the superhero powers of Dreadnought that her outward appearance matches how she feels on the inside. After Danny’s transition, she is faced with the negative reactions of her best friend and parents. Danny faces so much hate and transphobia and my heart went out to her. And on top of that, she is trying to figure out her new super powers, figure out where she stands with the other capes, and decide if she actually wants to take on the Dreadnought mantle.
Thankfully, Danny makes a new friend who accepts her for who she is, and helps explain some of the super powered life to her.
The action scenes were fun to read, although the final showdown didn’t totally work for me and was confusing. Also, some of the characters felt underdeveloped and flat to me. For example, Danny’s best friend David: when their friendship ended, I knew it was a difficult thing for Danny to lose a friend, but I didn’t actually feel anything about it because I didn’t have a real sense of David as a character or his friendship with Danny.
Overall, this was a very good book, and I’m definitely looking forward to reading the sequel!