Happy Pub Day – September 21

Happy Pub Day to all of these new books!

Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao

When We Make It by Elisabet Velasquez

All These Bodies by Kendare Blake

When Sparks Fly by Helena Hunting

Under the Whispering Door by T.J. Klune

The Other Merlin by Robyn Schneider

This Is Why We Lie by Gabriella Lepore

As If On Cue by Marisa Kanter

The Bronzed Beasts by Roshani Chokshi

Into the Dying Light by Katy Rose Pool

Sidelined by Kara Bietz

She Who Rides the Storm by Caitlin Sangster

Things We Couldn’t Say by Jay Coles

Big Boned by Jo Watson

Spells Like Teen Spirit by Kate Williams

Maybe We’re Electric by Val Emmich

To Break a Covenant by Alison Ames

Gutter Mage by J.S. Kelley

What books are you most excited for this week?

Top Ten Tuesday – Books On My Fall 2021 TBR

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 Books On My Fall 2021 TBR. Here’s my list:

1. White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson

2. You’ll Be The Death of Me by Karen M. McManus

3. Dark Rise by C.S. Pacat

4. Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson

5. Defy the Night by Brigid Kemmerer

6. Beasts of Prey by Ayana Gray

7. Hunting by Stars by Cherie Dimaline

8. The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox

9. Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao

10. The Keeper of Night by Kylie Lee Baker

(All book covers from Goodreads)

What’s your list of books on your Top Ten Tuesday?

Blog Tour Review: This Is Why We Lie

Title: This Is Why We Lie
Author: Gabriella Lepore
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 21, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Everyone in Gardiners Bay has a secret.

When Jenna Dallas and Adam Cole find Colleen O’Dell’s body floating off the shore of their coastal town, the community of Gardiners Bay is shaken. But even more shocking is the fact that her drowning was no accident.

Once Jenna’s best friend becomes a key suspect, Jenna starts to look for answers on her own. As she uncovers scandals inside Preston Prep School leading back to Rookwood reform school, she knows she needs Adam on her side.

As a student at Rookwood, Adam is used to getting judgmental looks, but now his friends are being investigated by the police. Adam will do whatever he can to keep them safe, even if that means trusting Jenna.

As lies unravel, the truth starts to blur. Only one thing is certain: somebody must take the fall.

Review:

One morning, while Jenna was standing at the harbour taking photos, she found Adam pulling a body from the water. Her friend, Colleen, had drowned but it wasn’t an accident. Jenna’s best friend is the main suspect, but she is certain that her friend didn’t do it. Adam and his friends also had a connection to Colleen. She had threatened him and his friends the night before her body was found. Adam and Jenna bond over this tragedy. Everyone has a motive and everyone is keeping secrets, but the clock is ticking down until they find the murderer.

This was such a fast paced thriller. It had short chapters that flew by quickly. It was really hard to put this book down because there were so many twists.

It’s been a while since a thriller truly surprised me. I couldn’t figure out how this story was going to end and I was really surprised. I liked that there wasn’t any wasted space. Every chapter and scene was important to the plot and it wrapped up quickly at the end.

This is Why Why Lie is an exciting, fast paced thriller!

Thank you Inkyard Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

About the author:

Gabriella Lepore is a YA author from South Wales in the United Kingdom. She lives in the countryside with her husband James and daughter Sophia. When she isn’t reading or writing, she can usually be found exploring the coastline. She enjoys cups of tea, bookstore coffee shops, stormy beaches, and autumn days.

Have you read This Is Why We Lie? What did you think of it?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? – September 20

This blog meme is hosted by Book Date. It is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile!

What I just finished:

This weekend I finished This Is Why We Lie by Gabriella Lepore.

What I’m currently reading:

I’m currently reading When We Make It by Elisabet Velasquez.

What I’m reading next:

Next I will be reading Rule by Ellen Goodlett.

What are you guys reading this week? Have you read any of these books?

Jill’s Weekly Wrap-Up – September 19

Here are my reviews for the week with my ratings:

I did 7 weekly blogging memes:

How was your week? What did you guys read?

Sundays in Bed With… This Is Why We Lie

The meme that dares to ask what book has been in your bed this morning? Come share what book you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed, or which book you wish you had time to read today! This meme is hosted by Midnight Book Girl.

This Sunday I’m reading This Is Why We Lie by Gabriella Lepore.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Everyone in Gardiners Bay has a secret.

When Jenna Dallas and Adam Cole find Colleen O’Dell’s body floating off the shore of their coastal town, the community of Gardiners Bay is shaken. But even more shocking is the fact that her drowning was no accident.

Once Jenna’s best friend becomes a key suspect, Jenna starts to look for answers on her own. As she uncovers scandals inside Preston Prep School leading back to Rookwood reform school, she knows she needs Adam on her side.

As a student at Rookwood, Adam is used to getting judgmental looks, but now his friends are being investigated by the police. Adam will do whatever he can to keep them safe, even if that means trusting Jenna.

As lies unravel, the truth starts to blur. Only one thing is certain: somebody must take the fall.

What book are you in bed with today?

Six for Sunday – Books I Think Should Be Studied in School

This meme is hosted by Steph at A little but a lot. The weekly prompts for 2019 can be found here.

This week’s prompt is Books I Think Should Be Studied in School. Here’s my list:

1. Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

2. Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

3. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

4. Sugar Town Queens by Malla Nunn

5. The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

6. A Universe of Wishes by Dhonielle Clayton (editor)

(All book covers from Goodreads)

Did you make a Six for Sunday list?

Review: Doctor Who: The Wonderful Doctor of Oz

Title: Doctor Who: The Wonderful Doctor of Oz
Author: Jacqueline Rayner
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: BBC Children’s Books
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: June 10, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Embark on a strange and enchanting adventure with old foes and monsters in this glorious crossover of Doctor Who and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

When a sudden tornado engulfs the TARDIS, the Thirteenth Doctor and her fam find themselves transported to the magical land of Oz. With a damaged TARDIS and an unexpected stowaway from the 1930s, their only hope of getting home is to follow the yellow brick road.

But when an army of scarecrows ambushes them, they quickly realise that everything is not as it should be, and they’re thrown into a fight for survival against a mysterious enemy. As each of her companions becomes a shadow of their former selves, only the Doctor is left standing.

Desperate to save her friends, she must embark on a perilous journey to seek help from the mysterious Wizard of Oz – and stop whatever forces are at work before she and her friends are trapped in the fictional world forever.

Review:

The Thirteenth Doctor and her fam, Ryan, Graham, and Yaz, travelled back to the 1930s to see the premiere of The Wizard of Oz. However, when they land, they discover that no one has ever heard of L. Frank Baum or The Wizard of Oz. Then, the Tardis is pulled into a tornado, landing them in the land of Oz. The Doctor and her friends, along with a young man named Theodore who stowed away in the 1930s, have to follow the yellow brick road to see the Wizard and save Oz.

This story was a clever combination of The Wizard of Oz and Doctor Who. The Oz that they visited was mostly based on the book, which is slightly different from the movie. In place of some of the characters from Oz, were Doctor Who characters, such as the Cyberman who stood in for the Tin Man. Each of the Doctor’s companions also faced the same problems that Dorothy’s companions faced in the original after some accidents: needing a brain, a heart, and courage.

Gender was an important part of the story. The Thirteenth Doctor is the first female Doctor. In this story, she meets the Doctor’s longtime enemy the Master, in her female form, called Missy. This was an interesting meeting since these two female characters never met on the TV show. Though Missy is on the cover, she wasn’t in the story for very long. I would have loved to see more of her on the page because she’s an interesting character. There was also a clever ending that you’ll have to read to find out!

The Wonderful Doctor of Oz is a fun Doctor Who story.

What to read next:

Doctor Who: Combat Magicks by Steve Cole

Doctor Who: Legends of Camelot by Jacqueline Rayner

Have you read Doctor Who: The Wonderful Doctor of Oz? What did you think of it?

Review: The Merchant and the Rogue (The Dread Penny Society #3)

Title: The Merchant and the Rogue (The Dread Penny Society #3)
Author: Sarah M. Eden
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback arc
Release Date: August 17, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

London, 1865

Vera Sorokina loves reading the Penny Dreadfuls and immersing herself in tales of adventure, mystery, and romance. Her own days are filled with the often mundane work of running the book and print shop she owns with her father. The shop offers her freedom and an income, and while she is grateful for the stability it brings to her life, she often feels lonely.

Brogan Donnelly was born and raised in Ireland, but has lived in London for several years, where he’s built a career as a penny dreadful writer. He has dedicated himself to the plight of the poor with the help of his sister. But with no one to share his life with, he fears London will never truly feel like home.

Brogan and Vera’s paths cross, and the attraction is both immediate and ill-advised. Vera knows from past experience that writers are never to be trusted, and Brogan has reason to suspect not everything at Vera’s print shop is aboveboard. When a growing criminal enterprise begins targeting their area of London, Brogan and Vera must work together to protect the community they’ve both grown to love. But that means they’ll need to learn to trust each other with dangerous secrets that have followed both of them from their home countries.

Review:

London, 1865: Vera Sorokina runs a print shop with her father. Though her father doesn’t like writers, she sells and reads the Penny Dreadful stories. Brogan Donnelly is a member of the secret Dread Penny Society, a group of writers who write Penny Dreadful stories and help those who need saving. Brogan had been questioning his membership in the group because he felt guilty about lying to his sister about it. The Dreadmaster gives Brogan permission to leave the group, so that he is no longer lying to his sister, and go investigate what is really going on at Vera’s print shop. Brogan works there under a pseudonym and must help Vera to figure out who is threatening her community.

This is another fun story in the Dread Penny series. Vera and Brogan were both immigrants with mysterious backgrounds. They both kept secrets, and they didn’t necessarily know everything that had happened in their pasts that led them both to London. Though they were from different cultures, Russian and Irish, their circumstances as immigrants to London drew them together.

One of my favourite parts of these books is that there are penny dreadful stories included throughout the novel. There are always two stories, one written by Mr. King, one of the best penny dreadful authors, and another by one of the protagonists. These stories relate to the main romance plot, but they’re also very entertaining in themselves. I really enjoy reading these stories within the novel.

The Merchant and the Rogue is a great Victorian novel. I hope there will be more in the series!

Thank you Shadow Mountain for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart by Nancy Campbell Allen

Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore

Other books in the series:

Have you read The Merchant and the Rogue? What did you think of it?

Blog Tour Review: Stalking Shadows

Title: Stalking Shadows
Author: Cyla Panin
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Amulet Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 14, 2021
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A gothic YA fantasy debut about a young woman striving to break her sister’s curse and stop the killing in her small French town

Seventeen-year-old Marie mixes perfumes to sell on market day in her small eighteenth-century French town. She wants to make enough to save a dowry for her sister, Ama, in hopes of Ama marrying well and Marie living in the level of freedom afforded only to spinster aunts. But her perfumes are more than sweet scents in cheap, cut-glass bottles: A certain few are laced with death. Marie laces the perfume delicately—not with poison but with a hint of honeysuckle she’s trained her sister to respond to. Marie marks her victim, and Ama attacks. But she doesn’t attack as a girl. She kills as a beast.

Marking Ama’s victims controls the damage to keep suspicion at bay. But when a young boy turns up dead one morning, Marie is forced to acknowledge she might be losing control of Ama. And if she can’t control her, she’ll have to cure her. Marie knows the only place she’ll find the cure is in the mansion where Ama was cursed in the first place, home of Lord Sebastien LeClaire. But once she gets into the mansion, she discovers dark secrets hidden away—secrets of the curse, of Lord Sebastien . . . and of herself.

Review:

Seventeen-year-old Marie makes perfume with her sister to sell at the market everyday, but there’s a secret behind the perfume. Some of it is laced with a scent that marks the wearer as a target for her sister, Ama, when she turns into a beast once a month. Marie limits the people that Ama kills to ones who won’t be missed from the village, so it doesn’t draw attention to her sister. However, when people are killed between the nights when her sister becomes the beast, Marie gets concerned that their secret will be discovered. Marie goes to the place where her sister became cursed: the home of Lord Sebastian LeClaire. While looking after Sebastian’s sickly younger brother, Marie searches for the cure to her sister’s beastly curse.

This story was an original version of the Beauty and the Beast tale. Instead of the Beauty and Beast characters being female and male, the two characters were sisters. This increased the intensity of their relationship right from the beginning, since Marie was trying to save her sister, rather than being in an enemies-to-lovers relationship like in the original tale.

Though there were some intense moments and high stakes in the story, it was a little slow paced. I would have liked to see more danger and tense moments with the “beast.” There was a lot of reflection and details, but I would have loved more dramatic action.

Stalking Shadows is a great original Beauty and the Beast story!

Thank you Amulet Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw

The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones

About the author:

Cyla Panin is an MG, YA and Adult Author who prefers to look at the world through a dusting of magic.

After spending most of her childhood wanting to escape into the wonderful worlds her favourite authors created, she’s now using her own words to craft magical places. When not writing, Cyla can be found playing dinosaurs with her two young boys, watching swashbuckling and/or period TV shows with her husband, and, of course, reading.

Her YA debut, STALKING SHADOWS will be out with Amulet, Abrams Fall 2021. She is represented by Chloe Seager of the Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV, and Film Agency.

Have you read Stalking Shadows? What did you think of it?