Jill’s Weekly Wrap-Up – September 23

Here’s my weekly wrap up!

Here are my reviews for the week with my ratings:

I did 7 weekly blogging memes:

I also posted an excerpt from the new book The Home:

How was your week? What did you guys read?

Sundays in Bed With… The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein

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 reading The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Elizabeth Lavenza hasn’t had a proper meal in weeks. Her thin arms are covered with bruises from her “caregiver,” and she is on the verge of being thrown into the streets . . . until she is brought to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, solitary boy who has everything–except a friend.

Victor is her escape from misery. Elizabeth does everything she can to make herself indispensable–and it works. She is taken in by the Frankenstein family and rewarded with a warm bed, delicious food, and dresses of the finest silk. Soon she and Victor are inseparable.

But her new life comes at a price. As the years pass, Elizabeth’s survival depends on managing Victor’s dangerous temper and entertaining his every whim, no matter how depraved. Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost . . . as the world she knows is consumed by darkness.

What book are you in bed with today?

Review: Tell Me You’re Mine

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Title: Tell Me You’re Mine
Author: Elisabeth Norebäck
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada
Source: Publisher
Release Date: September 4, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In this riveting domestic suspense debut, a woman’s life shatters when she meets a girl she believes is the daughter she lost years ago–and she finds that reclaiming the life she lost might cost her the life she has. Tell Me You’re Mine is a story of guilt, grief, and the delicate balance between love and obsession.

Where is the line between hope and madness?

Three women: one who believes she has found her long lost daughter, one terrified she’s about to lose her child, and one determined to understand who she truly is.

Stella Widstrand is a psychotherapist, a happily married mother to a thirteen-year-old son. But when a young woman named Isabelle steps into her clinic to begin therapy, Stella’s placid life begins to crumble. She is convinced that Isabelle is her daughter, Alice. The baby that tragically disappeared more than twenty years ago on a beach during a family vacation. Alice is believed to have drowned, but her body was never found. Stella has always believed that Alice is alive, somewhere–but everyone around her worries she’s delusional. Could this be Alice?

Stella will risk everything to answer that question, but in doing so she will set in motion a sequence of events beyond her control, endangering herself and everyone she loves.

Review:

This was a slow paced thriller with a good ending.

It took a while for me to get into this book. The first few chapters ended with cliffhangers and things weren’t clear, so I didn’t really know who was related and what they believed was the truth. Once I got used to the pace of the story, it became exciting.

I found the ending predictable, but good. I think the ending was the only possible solution to the mystery of the possibility of Isabelle being Stella’s long lost daughter. I don’t think there could have been another ending, especially considering the involvement of Isabelle’s mother in the narrative.

There were some things in the story that weren’t believable, including the fact that Stella could just abandon her job for days and no one noticed or complained. However, this is still an entertaining story.

What to read next:

  • The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

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  • Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

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Have you read Tell Me You’re Mine? What did you think of it?

 

 

Stacking the Shelves – September 22

This is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and Reading Reality. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

I received one book this week from Penguin Random House Canada:

  • Son of a Critch: A Childish Newfoundland Memoir by Mark Critch

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  • The Lantern’s Ember by Colleen Houck

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  • Lady Smoke (Ash Priness Trilogy #2) by Laura Sebastian

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  • No One Here Is Lonely by Sarah Everett

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  • Come Find Me by Megan Miranda

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  • Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen M. McManus

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I was approved for this book from Disney Book Group on NetGalley:

  • Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

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Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada and Disney Book Group for these books!

What books did you get this week?

Review: The Storm Runner

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Title: The Storm Runner
Author: J.C. Cervantes
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Rick Riordan Presents
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: September 18, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Zane has always enjoyed exploring the dormant volcano near his home in New Mexico, even though hiking it is challenging. He’d much rather hang out there with his dog, Rosie, than go to middle school, where kids call him Sir Limps a Lot, McGimpster, or Uno—for his one good leg. What Zane doesn’t know is that the volcano is a gateway to another world and he is at the center of a powerful prophecy. A new girl at school, Brooks, informs him that he’s destined to release an evil god from the ancient Maya relic he is imprisoned in—unless she can find and remove it first. Together they return to the volcano, where all kinds of crazy happens. Brooks turns into a hawk, a demon attacks them in a cave, and Rosie gives her all while trying to protect Zane. When Zane decides to save his dog no matter the cost, he is thrust into an adventure full of surprising discoveries, dangerous secrets, and an all-out war between the gods, one of whom happens to be his father. To survive, Zane will have to become the Storm Runner. But how can he run when he can’t even walk well without a cane?

Feisty heroes, tricky gods, murderous demons, and spirited giants are just some of the pleasures that await in this fresh and funny take on Maya mythology, as rich and delicious as a mug of authentic hot chocolate.

Review:

This story is about Mayan mythology. I wasn’t familiar with Mayan myths before this book. Many of the names were difficult to say, because they are not pronounced the way they are written. Zane explains how to say some words in his narrative, but there is also a glossary at the end which details the gods and how to pronounce their names.

This story followed the usual format of Rick Riordan books. Though he did not write this book, it is published by his imprint, Rick Riordan Presents. Zane lives with his mother and has never known his father. His father is a figure from Mayan mythology, and Zane learns his identity when he gains his own powers. The Percy Jackson series and the Magnus Chase series also begin like that, but they are about Greek mythology and Norse mythology. I liked the predictability of the story, and the ending was a surprise.

This narrative was unique because it is Zane’s account of events which he is writing down for the gods. He makes comments directly to the gods a few times. At the end of his narrative for the gods, he continues the story to tell how it really ends. This was a unique way to tell the story.

I’m excited to see where this story goes. This was a great start to the series.

What to read next:

  • The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1) by Rick Riordan

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  • The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #1) by Rick Riordan

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Have you read The Storm Runner? What did you think of it?

 

First Lines Friday – September 21

This is a weekly meme hosted by Wandering Words, where you give the first few lines of a book to hook your readers before introducing the book.

Here are my first lines:

“Once upon a time there was a pair of pants. They were an essential kind of pants – jeans, naturally, blue but not that stiff, new blue that you see so often on the first day of school. They were a soft, changeable blue with a little extra fading at the knees and the seat and white wavelets at the cuffs.”

Do you recognize these first lines?

And the book is… The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares.

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Goodreads synopsis:

FOUR VERY DIFFERENT FRIENDS. ONE PAIR OF MAGICAL PANTS. AND A SUMMER APART …

We, the Sisterhood, hereby instate the following rules to govern the use of the Traveling Pants:

1. You must never wash the Pants.

2. You must never double-cuff the Pants. It’s tacky. There will never be a time when this will not be tacky.

3. You must never say the word “phat” while wearing the Pants. You must also never think “I am fat” while wearing the Pants.

4. You must never let a boy take off the Pants (although you may take them off yourself in his presence).

5. You must not pick your nose while wearing the Pants. You may, however, scratch casually at your nostril while really kind of picking.

6. Upon our reunion, you must follow the proper procedures for documenting your time in the Pants.

7. You must write to your Sisters throughout the summer, no matter how much fun you are having without them.

8. You must pass the Pants along to your Sister according to the specifications set down by the Sisterhood. Failures to comply will result in a sever spanking upon our reunion.

9. You must not wear the Pants with a tucked-in shirt and belt. See rule #2.

10. Remember: Pants = love. Love your pals. Love yourself.

Have you read The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants? What did you think of it?

Blog Tour Excerpt: The Home

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Title: The Home
Author: Karen Osman
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: Aria
Release Date: September 4, 2018

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Synopsis:

Angela was just a baby when her mum left her for the last time, and a children’s home is no place to grow up. The home’s manager Ray takes the girls off to his ‘den’ in the garden and the littlies come back crying, and Ray’s wife Kath has special wooden spoons which she saves for beating any of the children who dare to misbehave.

So, when wealthy couple James and Rosemary come to choose a child to adopt, Angela is desperate to escape. But the scars of her childhood remain, and when Angela’s search for her birth mother Evelyn is successful, their reunion is no fairy tale. Soon strange and sinister events start to unfold, and Evelyn fears she may not survive her daughter’s return…

The Home is another devastating psychological thriller from the author of the bestselling The Good Mother.

Extract:

7

Monday 19 January 1970

Dear Diary,

Today is my birthday – I am nine years old. Nelly gave me her favourite marble as a present. It’s yellow like a daffodil and the only thing I own, apart from this diary. I need to hide it otherwise Peter might steal it. He has a huge collection, which he says he won in bets but everyone knows he steals. Apparently, he keeps his loot under his bed. We don’t get birthday presents but when I got back from school for tea Fat Franny gave me the biggest piece of chicken. When she’s not clipping me round the ear, she’s all right really. Better than Nasty Nora anyway – she didn’t even say Happy Birthday.

A.

Saturday 14 February 1970

Dear Diary,

Yesterday, we had to make Valentine’s Day cards at school. When Snapper asked who I was going to give it to, I said Nelly and everyone laughed and Peter started chanting lesbian! lesbian!at the top of his voice and the whole class joined in. Mrs Thistlethwaite had to snap her ruler on the desk so hard it broke. Nelly said to ignore them. Peter is going to be so sorry.

A.

Friday 27 February 1970

Dear Diary,

After school, me and Nelly went ice-skating on the lake in the park. We don’t have skates, we just slide on our feet. I saw Peter and his mates skating as well. As soon as I got close to him I pushed him and he went flying head first onto the ice. It was so funny! I couldn’t stop laughing but Nelly said I pushed him too hard and he could have really hurt himself. His friends had to pick him up off the ice and when he stood up he had blood on his forehead. Nelly said she doesn’t want to be friends with a bully. I don’t care – I bet he won’t call me a lesbian in front of the whole class again.

A.

Monday 2 March 1970

Dear Diary,

A horrid day – Nelly wasn’t talking to me and Peter had to stay home. When I got back after school, Nasty Nora was waiting for me. I knew I was in trouble. Somehow she must have found out what I did to Peter. Maybe Nelly told her. As soon as I got through the door, Nasty Nora grabbed me by the hair and dragged me into her office. She didn’t even ask me what had happened, just gave me the strap. I didn’t cry but that seemed to make her even angrier as she gave me a few extra welts. Luckily, there was a knock on the door and Nelly told Nasty Nora she was needed immediately as there was a fire in the kitchen. Nasty Nora ran out and Nelly after her. I was in so much pain I had to force myself to walk to the kitchen. There was a small fire in the sink. Later, Nelly told me that she had stolen Peter’s lighter from under his bed. I think Nelly’s my friend again – it’s not easy to get in the boys’ dorm – she must have stolen the key from Fat Franny. My bum hurts so much I’m going to have to sleep on my front for a week.

A.

Monday 30 March 1970

Dear Diary,

It’s Easter Monday. Nasty Nora and Fat Franny let us join in the Easter Egg hunt in the park. Nelly won a Cadbury’s Easter Egg and she shared it with me. After the hunt, we rolled down the hill – it was great fun. We are off school for one more week. In the morning, we have to do chores but in the afternoons me and Nelly sell lemonade. So far we’ve made five shillings. At the end of the week, we’re going to go to Woolworths to buy sweets – I can’t wait!

A.

Tuesday 7 April 1970

Dear Diary,

I hate Nasty Nora – when she found out we were selling lemonade, she took all our money and told us it was her payment for looking after us all the time. Nelly said that we can make a plan to get it back but I told Nelly that she will know it’s us if we take it. I had a better idea – I put itching powder in Nasty Nora’s bed and when she woke up the next morning she was red and sore all over and scratching like a cat! And the best part? She has no idea who did it! Nelly was worried but I told her she deserved it. That’ll teach Nasty Nora to steal!

A.

Tuesday 5 May 1970

Dear Diary,

Nothing interesting to write about today. After morning inspection, we went to school, did our chores and then played in the den until dark. One good thing that happened was that we had potatoes, meat, vegetables, AND custard for tea!

A.

Saturday 6 June 1970

Dear Diary,

Baby Carole was adopted this morning. We all waved her off. A man and a lady came to collect her. The lady smelt sweet, like candy floss. I tried to talk to her to tell her that Baby Carole would need an older sister to help take care of her but Fat Franny told me to scoot quick smart. Candy floss lady was wearing a red coat. When I grow up, I’m going to have ten coats in all the colours of the rainbow. Me and Nelly watched them leave from the window. I wonder if Baby Carole will get a bicycle like Nelly did?

A.

About the Author:

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Originally from the UK, Karen won the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature Montegrappa Novel Writing Award 2016 with her crime-thriller novel, the bestselling The Good Mother. When she’s not writing novels, Karen is busy bringing up her two young children and running her communication business Travel Ink.

Follow Karen

Twitter: @KarenAuthor
Facebook: @KarenOsmanAuthor

Buy links

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2LmFsya
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2JwcDgS
iBooks: https://apple.co/2wi8ngo
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2Npi9of

Follow Aria 

Website: www.ariafiction.com
Twitter: @aria_fiction
Facebook: @ariafiction
Instagram: @ariafiction

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