Review: Hyacinth Girls by Lauren Frankel

22926549Released May 12th 2015 by Crown

Young-Adult Fiction

Coming-of-Age, Parenting

Hardcover (304 pages)

Publisher via Blogging For Books

My Rating 4 Stars

Thirteen year old Callie is accused of bullying at school, but Rebecca knows the gentle girl she’s raised must be innocent. After Callie is exonerated, she begins to receive threatening notes from the girl who accused her, and as these notes become desperate, Rebecca feels compelled to intervene. As she tries to save this unbalanced girl, Rebecca remembers her own intense betrayals and best-friendships as a teenager, when her failure to understand those closest to her led to tragedy. She’ll do anything to make this story end differently. But Rebecca doesn’t understand what’s happening or who is truly a victim, and now Callie is in terrible danger.

This raw and beautiful story about the intensity of adolescent emotions and the complex identity of a teenage girl looks unflinchingly at how cruelty exists in all of us, and how our worst impulses can estrange us from ourselves – or even save us.

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Review: The World Before Us by Aislinn Hunter

*First Published May 27th 2014*

22716411Release Date: March 31st 2015

Publisher: Hogarth

Genres: Adult/ Historical Fiction/ Magical Realism/ Mystery

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publisher

My Rating: 3 Stars

Find It: Goodreads | Amazon

Deep in the woods of northern England, somewhere between a dilapidated estate and an abandoned Victorian asylum, fifteen-year-old Jane Standen lived through a nightmare. She was babysitting a sweet young girl named Lily, and in one fleeting moment, lost her. The little girl was never found, leaving her family and Jane devastated.

Twenty years later, Jane is an archivist at a small London museum that is about to close for lack of funding. As a final research project–an endeavor inspired in part by her painful past–Jane surveys the archives for information related to another missing person: a woman who disappeared more than one hundred years ago in the same woods where Lily was lost. As Jane pieces moments in history together, a portrait of a fascinating group of people starts to unfurl. Inexplicably tied to the mysterious disappearance of long ago, Jane finds tender details of their lives at the country estate and in the asylum that are linked to her own heartbroken world, and their story from all those years ago may now help Jane find a way to move on.

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Review: Black Moon by Kenneth Calhoun

22926602Release Date: January 20th 2015 (First published January 4th 2014)

Publisher: Hogarth

Genres: Adult/Science-Fiction/Dystopia/Post-Apocalyptic/Horror

Format: Paperback (288 pages) Source: Publisher via Blogging For Books

My Rating: 4 Umbrellas

Find It: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

Insomnia has claimed everyone Biggs knows.  Even his beloved wife, Carolyn, has succumbed to the telltale red-rimmed eyes, slurred speech and cloudy mind before disappearing into the quickly collapsing world.  Yet Biggs can still sleep, and dream, so he sets out to find her.

He ventures out into a world ransacked by mass confusion and desperation, where he meets others struggling against the tide of sleeplessness.  Chase and his buddy Jordan are devising a scheme to live off their drug-store lootings; Lila is a high school student wandering the streets in an owl mask, no longer safe with her insomniac parents; Felicia abandons the sanctuary of a sleep research center to try to protect her family and perhaps reunite with Chase, an ex-boyfriend.  All around, sleep has become an infinitely precious commodity. Money can’t buy it, no drug can touch it, and there are those who would kill to have it. However, Biggs persists in his quest for Carolyn, finding a resolve and inner strength that he never knew he had.

Kenneth Calhoun has written a brilliantly realized and utterly riveting depiction of a world gripped by madness, one that is vivid, strange, and profoundly moving.

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Review: Bonita Avenue by Peter Buwalda

22237471Release Date: January 13th 2015

Publisher: Hogarth (first published in 2010)

Genres: Literary Fiction

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publisher via Blogging For Books

My Rating: 3 Umbrellas

Find It: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

 

Siem Sigerius is a beloved, brilliant professor of mathematics with a promising future in politics. His family—including a loving wife, two gorgeous, intelligent stepdaughters and a successful future son-in-law—and carefully appointed home in the bucolic countryside complete the portrait of a comfortable, morally upright household. But there are elements of Siem’s past that threaten to upend the peace and stability that he has achieved, and when he stumbles upon a deception that’s painfully close to home, things begin to fall apart. A cataclysmic explosion in a fireworks factory, the advent of internet pornography, and the reappearances of a discarded, dangerous son all play a terrible role in the spectacular fragmentation of the Sigerius clan.

 

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Review: The Barefoot Queen by Ildefonso Falcones

21423574Release Date: November 25th 2014

Publisher: Crown

Genres: Historical Fiction

Format: Hardcover (647 pages)

Source: Publisher via Blogging For Books

My Rating: 4 Umbrellas

Find It: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

It’s January of 1748. Caridad is a recently freed Cuban slave wondering the streets of Seville. Her master is dead and she has nowhere to go. When her path crosses with Milagros Carmona’s-a young, rebellious gypsy-the two women are instantly inseparable. Milagros introduces Caridad to the gypsy community, an exotic fringe society that will soon change her life forever. Over time they each fall in love with men who are fiercely loyal and ready to fight to the death for their rights as a free people. When all gypsies are declared outlaws by royal mandate, life in their community becomes perilous. They soon find themselves in Madrid-a city of passion and dancing, but also a treacherous one full of smugglers and thieves. Caridad and Milagros must help in the gypsy’s struggle against society and its laws in order to stay together; it’s a dangerous battle that cannot, and will not, be easily won. From the tumultuous bustle of Seville to the theaters of Madrid, The Barefoot Queen is a historical fresco filled with characters that live, love, suffer, and fight for what they believe.

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My Thoughts: The Secret Journal of Ichabod Crane by Alex Irvine

21480933Release Date: September 16th 2014

Publisher: Three Rivers Press

Genre: Historical Fiction/Fantasy/Horror/Mystery

Format: paperback (208 pages)

Source: Publisher via Blogging For Books

My Rating: 5 Umbrellas

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From Fox’s breakout hit “Sleepy Hollow,” an unprecedented look inside the mind of one of TV’s hottest new characters.

 

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*I received this book from Blogging For Books for this review*

I am a huge Sleepy Hollow fan. Although I have seen the movie version in which Johnny Depp plays Ichabod Crane, I can say that I like the current TV version better. It’s the actors/actresses that does it for me. Every episode is so well put together and the mystery, horror, and history make it worth watching. Tom Mison, in all his swoon-worthiness, and Nicole Beharie make a great team on this show.

This book is basically just a glimpse inside of Ichabod’s head. His character is outstanding, and he really does a great job. He adds his own mannerisms and quirks during scenes, and it goes to show how dedicated he is to this role. The book sums up more of the first season and the history behind certain events that took place. That was really cool, in aspects of research. Ichabod’s dialect is more forward in this journal, so it’s really hard to know what he’s speaking of. I’m not big on words from 1781 and the like, so I had to Google phrases a lot. It was a great read, especially for a “Sleepy Head” like me. I recommend if you are a fan of the show and would like to get more in tune with the character Ichabod. He is truly fascinating.

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