Sunday, November 29, 2020

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | November 29

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving if you celebrated. I cooked like I normally do even though it was just us and the kids. I've been eating Thanksgiving dinner for every meal since. 😂

I was hoping to put up some Christmas lights this weekend, but it has been raining for three days now. It's so gross and cold out now. It's been nice for staying inside and watching movies, though!


Posted Last Week


On My Wishlist {34}

Book Review | The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

Book Review | Horrid by Katrina Leno


Finished Reading



Last week I read Megan Goldin's The Night Swim. You can read my full ⭐⭐⭐⭐★ review.


Currently Reading



I'm having a lot of fun reading Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline. If you loved Ready Player One {review}, the sequel will throw you right back into that world.

So what about you? Let me know what you're reading (or watching) this week or leave me some links!



This post is being shared as part of Book Date's It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Caffeinated Book Reviewer's The Sunday Post.

Jennifer

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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

On My Wishlist {34}

On My Wishlist is where I share a couple of books that have recently made it onto my wishlist. These are the books that have recently caught my eye!

Root Magic by Eden Royce
Expected publication: January 5th 2021 by Walden Pond Press 

Root Magic by Eden Royce

From debut writer Eden Royce comes a wondrous historical ghost story set in South Carolina in the 1960s—an unforgettable tale of courage, friendship, and Black Girl Magic.

It’s 1963, and things are changing for Jezebel Turner. Her beloved grandmother has just passed away. The local police deputy won’t stop harassing her family. With school integration arriving in South Carolina, Jez and her twin brother, Jay, are about to begin the school year with a bunch of new kids. But the biggest change comes when Jez and Jay turn eleven—and their uncle, Doc, tells them he’s going train them in rootwork.

Jez and Jay have always been fascinated by the African American folk magic that has been the legacy of her family for generations—especially the curious potions and powders Doc and Gran would make for the people on their island. But Jez soon finds out that her family’s true power goes far beyond small charms and elixirs...and not a moment too soon. Because when evil both natural and supernatural comes to show itself in town, it’s going to take every bit of the magic she has inside her to see her through.

Debut author Eden Royce arrives with a wondrous story of love, bravery, friendship, and family, filled to the brim with magic great and small.


I have this debut middle grade ghost story on preorder. I can't wait to read it!




The Worm and His Kings by Hailey Piper
Published November 15th 2020 by Off Limits Press

The Worm and His Kings by Hailey Piper

New York City, 1990: When you slip through the cracks, no one is there to catch you. Monique learns that the hard way after her girlfriend Donna vanishes without a trace.

Only after the disappearances of several other impoverished women does Monique hear the rumors. A taloned monster stalks the city’s underground and snatches victims into the dark.

Donna isn’t missing. She was taken.

To save the woman she loves, Monique must descend deeper than the known underground, into a subterranean world of enigmatic cultists and shadowy creatures. But what she finds looms beyond her wildest fears—a darkness that stretches from the dawn of time and across the stars.

I love Hailey Piper, and I love cosmic horror. This is a must read for me. I need to get this onto my TBR ASAP.

Have you read or are you planning to read any of these? What books have recently made it onto your wishlist?



This post is being shared as part of Can't-Wait Wednesday over at Wishful Endings.

Jennifer

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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Book Review | The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

The Night Swim is a thriller novel by Megan Goldin.


After the first season of her true crime podcast became an overnight sensation and set an innocent man free, Rachel Krall is now a household name―and the last hope for thousands of people seeking justice. But she’s used to being recognized for her voice, not her face. Which makes it all the more unsettling when she finds a note on her car windshield, addressed to her, begging for help.

The small town of Neapolis is being torn apart by a devastating rape trial. The town’s golden boy, a swimmer destined for Olympic greatness, has been accused of raping a high school student, the beloved granddaughter of the police chief. Under pressure to make Season Three a success, Rachel throws herself into interviewing and investigating―but the mysterious letters keep showing up in unexpected places. Someone is following her, and she won’t stop until Rachel finds out what happened to her sister twenty-five years ago. Officially, Jenny Stills tragically drowned, but the letters insists she was murdered―and when Rachel starts asking questions, nobody seems to want to answer. The past and present start to collide as Rachel uncovers startling connections between the two cases that will change the course of the trial and the lives of everyone involved.

Electrifying and propulsive, The Night Swim asks: What is the price of a reputation? Can a small town ever right the wrongs of its past? And what really happened to Jenny?


Trigger warnings for rape and sexual assault.

Oof. This book is a tough one. A tough one to read, a tough one to rate.

The Night Swim is my first book by Megan Goldin and it's expertly crafted. You are following a true crime podcaster who heads to a small town to cover a rape trial. In her podcasting life, she is careful to hide her identity and her face, but someone in this small town knows who she is and needs her help.

The main plot, the subplots, the narrative - they all deal with rape and sexual assault. At one point it literally broke me.

In the beginning of the book, I honestly thought I would give it 2 stars. It's just not subject matter that I want in my entertainment, but as the book went on I got further hooked into Goldin's writing and the way she pieced together the multiple timelines of the rape trial, what happened in the case, and the cold case she's looking into on the side.

I wound up really liking The Night Swim in the end. I give you strong warnings going into this. The rape victims are teenagers and there's a lot of narrative surrounding women, sexual assault, and our legal system.

⭐⭐⭐⭐★
4/5 stars

Review copy provided by publisher

Jennifer

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Monday, November 23, 2020

Book Review | Horrid by Katrina Leno

Horrid is a YA horror novel by Katrina Leno.

From the author of You Must Not Miss comes a haunting contemporary horror novel that explores themes of mental illness, rage, and grief, twisted with spine-chilling elements of Stephen King and Agatha Christie.

Following her father's death, Jane North-Robinson and her mom move from sunny California to the dreary, dilapidated old house in Maine where her mother grew up. All they want is a fresh start, but behind North Manor's doors lurks a history that leaves them feeling more alone...and more tormented.

As the cold New England autumn arrives, and Jane settles in to her new home, she finds solace in old books and memories of her dad. She steadily begins making new friends, but also faces bullying from the resident "bad seed," struggling to tamp down her own worst nature in response. Jane's mom also seems to be spiraling with the return of her childhood home, but she won't reveal why. Then Jane discovers that the "storage room" her mom has kept locked isn't for storage at all--it's a little girl's bedroom, left untouched for years and not quite as empty of inhabitants as it appears....

Is it grief? Mental illness? Or something more...horrid?

 

Why Did I Read Horrid?


The cover is what first caught my eye. I'm so in love with this cover! I'm also trying to read all of the YA horror written by women that I can this year. Horrid was an obvious fit for me! As as added bonus, Horrid was selected by the Ladies of Horror Fiction Goodreads group as our November readalong book.

The Strengths


I loved the writing in Horrid! I loved the imagination and the creepy build up. I appreciated how subtle yet unsettling Horrid was.

It's hard really hard to say much else without spoiling anything.

The Weaknesses


I mentioned the creepy build up and how subtle the horror is in Horrid. This does make Horrid a slow burn with the only real action happening at the very end. It worked for me, but this is not going to work for everyone.

Final Thoughts


All of my favorite books have an element of imagination in them. This is one of the big reasons I love to read speculative genres. I'm a fan of Katrina Leno's writing, and I love how she was able to infuse that imaginative quality into Horrid. I will keep my eye out for more creepy releases by Leno.

⭐⭐⭐⭐★
4/5 stars

Jennifer

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Sunday, November 22, 2020

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | November 22

Happy Sunday, all. I want to apologize for not being around much, but I know everyone understands what 2020 has been like. I have some time off this week so I'm planning to do some catch up around here. I'm also getting my reading mojo back so that's exciting.

It's almost December, and I'm looking forward to seeing all of the best of lists. I've been trying to catch up on my 2020 reading now that I have a little mojo and a little time.

I host Thanksgiving for my family at my house every year, but this year I told everyone they will just have to make their own plans. My husband and the kids and I still plan to feast. We are going to spend the day smoking a turkey on the barbecue pit and just trying to enjoy a more relaxed pace this year.

Finished Reading


Horrid by Katrina Leno was the November Ladies of Horror Fiction readalong pick. This is one of my favorite covers! I just love it. I'm landing somewhere around ⭐⭐⭐⭐★.

I think Long Bright River by Liz Moore was the first book I bought in January so I'm glad to have finally read it. It was a lengthy read, but I loved it. ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫

I'm on such a good streak. I started The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson yesterday, and I couldn't put it down. I finished reading it this morning. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Currently Reading


I think I'm going to start reading Megan Goldin's The Night Swim today.

I'm also reading and loving Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega. It is the perfect read for me so far.


Added to the TBR


A Primer to Han Song edited by Eric J. Guigard The Girl and the Ghost by Hanna Alkaf Beward the Silent Woods by Svetlana Chmakova

I love the Exploring Dark Short Fiction series so much. Many thanks ro Eric J. Guignard for sending me out a copy of A Primer to Han Song for review.

I'm planning to greatly increase the amount of middle grade horror I'm reading so I ordered Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega (pictured earlier), The Girl and the Ghost by Hanna Alkaf, and Volume One of The Weird Books: Be Wary of the Silent Woods by Svetlana Chmakova.


Good Neighbors by Sarah Langan Nightmare Flower by Elizabeth Engstrom The Women of Weird Tales

Thank you to Atria for sending me an ARC of Good Neighbors by Sarah Langan. I'm really excited to check it out.

I also bought two of the books in Valancourt Press' Monster, She Wrote series: Nightmare Flower by Elizabeth Engstrom and The Women of Weird Tales. I'm excited to visit these stories from some of the original women horror authors.


The Burning God by R.F. Kuang Rythym of War by Brandon Sanderson The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn by Tyler Whitesides

It's finally time to start The Poppy War trilogy. I didn't purposely wait until all three books were out, but here I am! The Burning God (The Poppy War #3) by R.F. Kuang arrived this week.

When am I ever going to have a chance to read The Stormlight Archives? AAH. I need to make time for these behemoths! Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson arrived this week this well.

I also bought the first two books in the Ardon Benn/Kingdom of Grit series by Tyler Whitesides. These came highly recommended to me. The third one will be released in December, and I will need to find the time for these chunky monkeys, too!!


So what about you? Let me know what you're reading (or watching) this week or leave me some links!




This post is being shared as part of Book Date's It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Caffeinated Book Reviewer's The Sunday Post.

Jennifer

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