Review: Hideaway

Title: Hideaway
Author: Nicole Lundrigan
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback
Release Date: July 9, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

What if home is the most dangerous place you can be? For fans of Room and readers of Shari Lapena. 

Gloria Janes appears to be a doting suburban mother and loving wife. But beyond her canary-yellow door, Gloria controls her husband, Telly, as well as seven-year-old Maisy and her older brother Rowan, through a disorienting cycle of adoration and banishment. 

When Telly leaves, Gloria turns on Rowan. He runs away, finding unlikely refuge with a homeless man named Carl, with whom he forms the kind of bond he has never found with his parents. After they are menaced by strangers, Rowan follows Carl to an isolated cottage, where he accidentally sets off a burst of heightened paranoia in Carl, and their adventure takes a dark turn. 

Gloria is publicly desperate for the safe return of her son while privately plotting ever wilder ways to lure Telly home for good. Her behaviour grows more erratic and her manipulation of Maisy begins to seem dedicated toward an outcome that only she can see. The two storylines drive relentlessly toward a climax that is both shocking and emotionally riveting.

Suspenseful, unsettling, and masterful, Hideaway explores the secrets of a troubled family and illuminates an unlikely hero and a source of unexpected strength.

Review:

This story was difficult to get into at first. Most of the characters have mental health disorders. They were making bad decisions that they couldn’t help because of their conditions, but it made me uncomfortable to read about. However, once I got into the story, I couldn’t put it down.

The two narrators of the story are both children, Rowan and Maisy. They were unreliable because they were children, but also because their sense of reality was warped by the adults with them. Rowan spent time with Carl, who often had conversations with people who weren’t there and he would lash out at random moments. Their mother, Gloria, would convince Maisy that things happened when they didn’t, to cover for her own mistakes. These unreliable narrators added a lot of tension to the story.

This was a great thriller with an unpredictable ending!

Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Room by Emma Donoghue

The Substitute by Nicole Lundrigan

Have you read Hideaway? What did you think of it?

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TBR Thursday – August 22

TBR Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly Faye Reads, where you post a title from your shelf or e-reader and find out what others think about it.

My pick this week is Old Lady Harley by Frank Tieri and Inaki Miranda.

Goodreads Synopsis:

After liberating New York City from her now-feral Gang of Harleys, poor Harley wants nothing more than to slip back into retirement in her coastal (and heavily guarded) paradise. But the Laughing Boys Gang has another idea–they’ll follow her to the ends of the Earth, to drag her back to their leader!

If you think that’s a big problem, just wait. The Joker couldn’t possibly still be alive, could he? After all … Harley killed him with her bare hands! Should she turn to President Power Girl for help? Or flee to the 51st state, Atlantis? Step into an insane vision of a future DC Universe we all better hope we don’t live to see!

In this dystopian-future tale, Harley’s quest to find out how The Joker could possibly still be alive has taken her back to their old stomping grounds, but Gotham City is very different nowadays! Nobody’s allowed on the streets without the Batman’s permission–but who is this Batman, anyway? Harley’s only choice is to return to Arkham…the Arkham Home for Criminally Insane Retirees, that is! Fancy a round of bingo with the Riddler? Or some pool aerobics with Killer Croc? Collects Harley Quinn #42 (Rebirth Series) and Old Lady Harley #1-5 

Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

Review: Tidelands (The Fairmile #1)

Title: Tidelands (The Fairmile #1)
Author: Philippa Gregory
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback
Release Date: August 20, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

THE BRAND NEW SERIES FROM THE SUNDAY TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLING AUTHOR

England 1648. A dangerous time for a woman to be different . . .

Midsummer’s Eve, 1648, and England is in the grip of civil war between renegade King and rebellious Parliament. The struggle reaches every corner of the kingdom, even to the remote Tidelands – the marshy landscape of the south coast. 

Alinor, a descendant of wise women, crushed by poverty and superstition, waits in the graveyard under the full moon for a ghost who will declare her free from her abusive husband. Instead she meets James, a young man on the run, and shows him the secret ways across the treacherous marsh, not knowing that she is leading disaster into the heart of her life.

Suspected of possessing dark secrets in superstitious times, Alinor’s ambition and determination mark her out from her neighbours. This is the time of witch-mania, and Alinor, a woman without a husband, skilled with herbs, suddenly enriched, arouses envy in her rivals and fear among the villagers, who are ready to take lethal action into their own hands.

Review:

I have loved all of the Philippa Gregory books I’ve read in the past, so I was excited to read this latest novel. The other ones I’ve read have been more focused on the Tudor royals. This one was different because it was about a working class woman in the seventeenth century.

The story started at a slow pace. It began with just two characters, Alinor and James, meeting by chance. She is an innocent women who is accused of witchcraft by gossipers in her village, and he leads a dangerous double life in religion and politics.

I loved how the women tried to fight for their rights. The politics of the country were open to lots of change in this story, with the King in exile. Alinor and her daughter Alys often talked about how unfair their position was, just because they were women. I’m not sure how historically accurate these conversations were, but it was fitting for the contemporary reader.

Though the story started slow, the plot gradually grew into a thrilling story. I was shocked at the surprising ending. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book!

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Queen’s Fool by Philippa Gregory

Have you read Tidelands? What did you think of it?

‘Waiting on’ Wednesday – August 21

This is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. In this post we highlight a book that’s highly anticipated.

The book that I’m waiting on this Wednesday is The Lady Rogue by Jennifer Bennett. The expected publication date is September 3, 2019.

Goodreads Synopsis:

The Last Magician meets A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue in this thrilling tale filled with magic and set in the mysterious Carpathian Mountains where a girl must hunt down Vlad the Impaler’s cursed ring in order to save her father.

Some legends never die…

Traveling with her treasure-hunting father has always been a dream for Theodora. She’s read every book in his library, has an impressive knowledge of the world’s most sought-after relics, and has all the ambition in the world. What she doesn’t have is her father’s permission. That honor goes to her father’s nineteen-year-old protégé—and once-upon-a-time love of Theodora’s life—Huck Gallagher, while Theodora is left to sit alone in her hotel in Istanbul.

Until Huck arrives from an expedition without her father and enlists Theodora’s help in rescuing him. Armed with her father’s travel journal, the reluctant duo learns that her father had been digging up information on a legendary and magical ring that once belonged to Vlad the Impaler—more widely known as Dracula—and that it just might be the key to finding him.

Journeying into Romania, Theodora and Huck embark on a captivating adventure through Gothic villages and dark castles in the misty Carpathian Mountains to recover the notorious ring. But they aren’t the only ones who are searching for it. A secretive and dangerous occult society with a powerful link to Vlad the Impaler himself is hunting for it, too. And they will go to any lengths—including murder—to possess it.

What books are you waiting on this week?

Review: Two Peas in a Pod (Whatever After #11)

Title: Two Peas in a Pod (Whatever After #11)
Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: April 24, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

I’ve landed — along with my brother, Jonah, and our dog, Prince — in the fairy tale of The Princess and the Pea! When I can’t fall asleep on top of a hundred mattresses, the kingdom decides I must be the princess they’re looking for. Talk about royal treatment — I’m suddenly being waited on hand and foot. Plus, I get unlimited ball gowns, sparkly jewelry, and ice cream. 
But can we find a REAL princess to run the kingdom?
Now we have to:
– Hold a princess contest
– Defeat an obnoxious prince
– Escape hungry alligators
– Make it back home 
There’s no time to snooze — may the best princess win!

Review:

I loved the story of The Princess and the Pea when I was a kid. Whenever I had trouble sleeping at night, I thought about this story. This was a great adaptation.

Abby becomes the princess in this story. She arrives with her brother to the castle, and ends up passing the “princess test” when she can’t sleep on the mattresses that are on top of the pea. However, Abby has to go home eventually so she can’t be their princess forever. She creates her own princess test to find an intelligent, strong, and brave girl to be the princess in her place.

As this series has progressed, the stories become more complex with larger casts of characters. I really like the way the characters have become more developed too. Abby learns life lessons in each book, such as teamwork, which was important to this story.

This was another great story in the Whatever After series!

What to read next:

Seeing Red (Whatever After #12) by Sarah Mlynowski

Have you read Two Peas in a Pod? What did you think of it?

Top Ten Tuesday – Best New Books of the Summer So Far

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and it is now hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is a Favourite Tropes. I didn’t want to do this list, so I decided to list the best new books I’ve read this summer so far. Here’s my list:

1. The Last Resort by Marissa Stapley

2. The Last Guest House Megan Miranda

3. The Beholder by Anna Bright

4. Heartwood Box by Ann Aguirre

5. My Ideal Boyfriend is a Croissant by Laura Dockrill

6. Wherever She Goes by K.L. Armstrong

7. Wilder Girls by Rory Power

8. The Last Hope (The Raging Ones #2) by Krista and Becca Ritchie

9. Love at First Like by Hannah Orenstein

10. A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying by Kelley Armstrong

(All photos taken from Goodreads)

Review: Angel Catbird, Volume 1

Title: Angel Catbird, Volume 1
Author: Margaret Atwood, Johnnie Christmas
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Dark Horse
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: September 6, 2016
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Lauded novelist Margaret Atwood and acclaimed artist Johnnie Christmas collaborate on one of the most highly anticipated comic book and literary events of the year!

On a dark night, young genetic engineer Strig Feleedus is accidentally mutated by his own experiment and merges with the DNA of a cat and an owl. What follows is a humorous, action-driven, pulp-inspired superhero adventure– with a lot of cat puns.

Published in over thirty-five countries, Margaret Atwood is one of the most important living writers of our day and is the author of more than forty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. Her work has won the Man Booker Prize, the Giller Prize, Premio Mondello, and more. Angel Catbird is her first graphic novel series.

Review:

This was actually one of the first books I reviewed on my blog about two and a half years ago. I wanted to reread it before reading the rest of the series, and also because it is a great graphic novel!

I love that this is Margaret Atwood’s first graphic novel. In the foreword, she talks about how she loved graphic novels when she was a kid, so this was a natural thing for her to write. I could really relate to her!

There are great facts about cats throughout the story, including foods that are poisonous to cats and the amount of birds that cats kill every year. I didn’t know these things before reading this book, so they were interesting facts. This also brings awareness to important issues concerning cats.

I love this cat bird hybrid superhero!

What to read next:

Angel Catbird, Volume 2: To Castle Catula by Margaret Atwood, Johnnie Christmas

Have you read Angel Catbird, Volume 1? What did you think of it?