A Thousand Beginnings and Endings

A Thousand Beginnings and EndingsA Thousand Beginnings and Endings Published by HarperCollins on June 26th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Short Stories, Young Adult
Pages: 336
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This is definitely one of the better YA short story collections I have read. As with all anthologies, some stories are much stronger than others, but I enjoyed far more than I disliked. Plus, it was just so great to see the exploration of mythologies we don’t often see in the mainstream. My average rating over the fifteen stories was 3.7.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen

The Bird and the Blade by Megan BannenThe Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen
Published by HarperCollins on June 5th 2018
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 432
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“Should you fail to answer correctly each riddle by the end of seven minutes, you shall forfeit your life. Do you understand?”

 

Mongolian fantasy with ghosts and riddles, anyone?

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

The Queen of Sorrow by Sarah Beth Durst

The Queen of Sorrow by Sarah Beth DurstThe Queen of Sorrow by Sarah Beth Durst
Published by HarperCollins on May 15th 2018
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 432
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I suppose I’ll need Jastra’s plan after all. Pity.
It would have been nice to avoid murdering anyone.

 

I have really enjoyed this series. I came to the end of The Queen of Sorrow and, aptly, felt a lot of sorrow at having to leave these characters behind. At least the author’s note promises a standalone set in the same world – in Belene this time – so I will get to return to, and explore more of, Renthia.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin KwanCrazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
Published by Anchor on May 20th 2014
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 527
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“Imagine wanting to marry a girl from such a family! So disgraceful! Really, Nicky, what would Gong Gong say if he was alive? Madri, this tea needs a little more sugar.”

 

This is some seriously trashy crack-lit. And no that’s not a typo– this book is as addictive and dramatic and ridiculous as you surely imagine it to be. I should probably hate it, but, well… oops.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh

Smoke in the Sun by Renee AhdiehSmoke in the Sun (Flame in the Mist, #2) by Renée Ahdieh
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on June 5th 2018
Pages: 416
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It was a night for magic. A night swirling with mystery, an unknowable energy pulsing in its depths.

 

Okay, I’m going to be honest about something: I remember enjoying the arc I read of Flame in the Mist last year but, before reading this book, I couldn’t remember anything that happened. In fact, I wasn’t sure I was going to continue with the duology. When I was lucky enough to get an arc of this sequel, I figured I’d just give it a shot.

And it all came flooding back to me in a stream of drama, action and royal manipulations! It makes me sad to think I might not have continued with this series and missed out on a lot of enjoyment.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy

The Perfect Mother by Aimee MolloyThe Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy
Published by HarperCollins on May 1st 2018
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 336
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I enjoyed this quite a lot.

The Perfect Mother definitely has something of a Moriarty vibe (Liane, not Jim) but I personally found it better paced. I struggled with the slowness and tame domesticity of Moriarty’s The Husband’s Secret and Truly Madly Guilty, though I enjoyed the HBO adaptation of Big Little Lies. I would say that this book is more like the latter. It’s predominantly about women and the relationships between them, with the thriller aspect of a missing baby providing the stage on which these complex friendships and loyalties play out.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

Little & Lion by Brandy ColbertLittle & Lion by Brandy Colbert
Published by Hachette UK on August 8th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 336
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When Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she isn't sure if she'll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (along with her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support.But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new...the same girl her brother is in love with. When Lionel's disorder spirals out of control, Suzette is forced to confront her past mistakes and find a way to help her brother before he hurts himself--or worse.

I know how easy it is to believe you’re doing the right thing if you say it to yourself often enough.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

The Good Daughter by Karin SlaughterThe Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter
Published by HarperCollins on August 8th 2017
Genres: Mystery & Thriller
Pages: 528
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Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind…
Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn's happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father — Pikeville's notorious defense attorney — devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.
Twenty-eight years later, and Charlie has followed in her father's footsteps to become a lawyer herself — the ideal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again — and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized — Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it's a case that unleashes the terrible memories she's spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime that destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won't stay buried forever…
Packed with twists and turns, brimming with emotion and heart, The Good Daughter is fiction at its most thrilling.

This is the second thriller I’ve read lately that opens with a shitstorm of drama. In the best kind of way, of course. But The Good Daughter is, in some ways, much darker than Stillhouse Lake, and in other ways slower and more character-driven.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail HoneymanEleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Published by Cengage Gale on 2017
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary
Pages: 557
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No one's ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine. Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she's thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond's big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one. Smart, warm, uplifting, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is the story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes. . . The only way to survive is to open your heart.

Eleanor Oliphant is completely 100% fine. She goes to her office job five days a week and then treats herself to a frozen pizza and a bottle of vodka on a weekend. She lives alone and doesn’t have any friends, but that’s okay. She’s doing real well, thank you very much.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Wonder Woman by Leigh Bardugo

Wonder Woman by Leigh BardugoWonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
Published by Random House Children's Books on August 29th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 384
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She will become one of the world's greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. . . .   Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.   Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn't know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.   Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

“Sister in battle,” murmured Diana, “I am shield and blade to you.”
“And friend.”
“And always your friend.”

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