Review: Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel

Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Published by Random House Audio on September 9, 2014
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, dystopia, post-apocalyptic, science fiction
Format & Pages: audiobook
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2014 National Book Award Finalist

A New York Times Bestseller

An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

One snowy night Arthur Leander, a famous actor, has a heart attack onstage during a production of King Lear. Jeevan Chaudhary, a paparazzo-turned-EMT, is in the audience and leaps to his aid. A child actress named Kirsten Raymonde watches in horror as Jeevan performs CPR, pumping Arthur’s chest as the curtain drops, but Arthur is dead. That same night, as Jeevan walks home from the theater, a terrible flu begins to spread. Hospitals are flooded and Jeevan and his brother barricade themselves inside an apartment, watching out the window as cars clog the highways, gunshots ring out, and life disintegrates around them.

Fifteen years later, Kirsten is an actress with the Traveling Symphony. Together, this small troupe moves between the settlements of an altered world, performing Shakespeare and music for scattered communities of survivors. Written on their caravan, and tattooed on Kirsten’s arm is a line from Star Trek:“Because survival is insufficient.” But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who digs graves for anyone who dares to leave.

Spanning decades, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, this suspenseful, elegiac novel is rife with beauty. As Arthur falls in and out of love, as Jeevan watches the newscasters say their final good-byes, and as Kirsten finds herself caught in the crosshairs of the prophet, we see the strange twists of fate that connect them all. A novel of art, memory, and ambition, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.

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Review: Good Neighbors, by Joanne Serling

Good Neighbors, by Joanne Serling

Good Neighbors by Joanne Serling
Published by Twelve on February 6, 2018 (expected)
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, contemporary
Format & Pages: paperback, 248
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Purchase at AmazonBarnes & Noble, Book Depository

In an idyllic suburb, four young families quickly form a neighborhood clique, their friendships based on little more than the ages of their children and a shared sense of camaraderie. When one of the couples, Paige and Gene Edwards, adopt a four-year-old girl from Russia, the group’s loyalty and morality is soon called into question. Are the Edwards unkind to their new daughter? Or is she a difficult child with hidden destructive tendencies?

As the seams of the group friendship slowly unravel, neighbor Nicole Westerhof finds herself drawn further into the life of the adopted girl, forcing Nicole to re-examine the deceptive nature of her own family ties, and her complicity in the events unfolding around her.

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Like This? Try That! Movie Edition #1

Like this? Try that! Movie Edition

Hi guys! This is the first in a new series of posts recommending specific books based on other books, movies, or TV shows. Since I am a huge movie fan (my best friend and I go see a new movie together every week), I thought it would be fun to start out with a movie edition! I included a range from backlist books to a new release, and each of the three recommendations is in an entirely different genre than the others. Hopefully that means you’ll find something you like!

Let’s just jump in, shall we?

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January Reading Recap

January Reading Recap

January was a great month of books and reading! I managed to read nine books (a record for me), which were a good mix of review copies and books I’ve been excited to read for some time now. Starting the year out strong with two books I rated a full five out of five, I’m excited to see what the rest of 2018 has to bring!

Ready to see the list?

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Author Q&A & Signed Book Giveaway: Rhiannon Navin, author of Only Child

Only Child, by Rhiannon Navin

I’m so excited to share this post with you today! ONLY CHILD was the first book I read in 2018 and it was such an amazing read. It moved me so much I couldn’t believe it was her debut novel! Click HERE for more details and my full review.

In honor of ONLY CHILD’s release next week, I’m sharing a Q&A with Rhiannon Navin on how she began writing, where her idea for the story came from, the type of research she did, and more. And don’t forget to scroll all the way to the bottom to enter the giveaway for a signed copy of ONLY CHILD!

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Review: Surprise Me, by Sophie Kinsella

Surprise Me, by Sophie Kinsella

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella
Published by The Dial Press on February 13, 2018 (expected)
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, women’s fiction
Format & Pages: e-book, 448
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Purchase at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

#1 bestselling author Sophie Kinsella’s emotionally charged new standalone novel about marriage and family, and how those we love and know best can sometimes surprise us the most.

After being together for ten years, Sylvie and Dan have all the trimmings of a happy life and marriage; they have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, beautiful twin girls, and communicate so seamlessly, they finish each other’s sentences. However, a trip to the doctor projects they will live another 68 years together and panic sets in. They never expected “until death do us part” to mean seven decades.

In the name of marriage survival, they quickly concoct a plan to keep their relationship fresh and exciting: they will create little surprises for each other so that their (extended) years together will never become boring. But in their pursuit to execute Project Surprises, mishaps arise and secrets are uncovered that start to threaten the very foundation of their unshakable bond. When a scandal from the past is revealed that question some important untold truths, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other after all.

With a colorful, eccentric cast of characters, razor-sharp observations, and her signature wit and charm, Sophie Kinsella crafts a humorous, yet thoughtful portrait of a marriage and shines a light on the danger of not looking past the many layers of the ones you love to discover how infinitely fascinating–and surprising–they truly are.

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Review: The Ghostwriter, by Alessandra Torre

The Ghostwriter, by Alessandra Torre

The Ghostwriter by Alessandra Torre
Published by DCA on October 2, 2017
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, mystery, suspense
Format & Pages: e-book, 303
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Purchase at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Four years ago, I lied. I stood in front of the police, my friends and family, and made up a story, my best one yet. And all of them believed me.

I wasn’t surprised. Telling stories is what made me famous. Fifteen bestsellers. Millions of fans. Fame and fortune.

Now, I have one last story to write. It’ll be my best one yet, with a jaw-dropping twist that will leave them stunned and gasping for breath.

They say that sticks and stones will break your bones, but this story? It will be the one that kills me.

This book is not a romance. It is contemporary fiction, but very suspenseful in nature. It is about a famous romance author and a dark secret she keeps.

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Review: Lines of Justice: Aždaja, by Lee Sherred

Lines of Justice: Azdaja, by Lee Sherred

Lines of Justice: Aždaja by Lee Sherred
Published by Lee Sherred on June 26, 2017
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, action, crime, thriller
Format & Pages: e-book, 170
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Purchase at Amazon

Bound by honour. Driven by revenge. Two men with a score to settle.

Kosovo, 1999:

Sgt Dean Samson and his team of British soldiers are well aware of the dangers they’ll face and the things they’ll see in a country that has suffered years of oppression and ethnic cleansing. But nothing could have prepared them for Aždaja, a sadistic, mythical, serial killer with a penchant for vile humiliation and unimaginable torture.

Present day:

Since leaving the Army, Samson now a Police Officer, has struggled to erase his darkest memories of Kosovo. When he receives a devastating medical diagnosis, his nightmares come flooding to the surface, forcing him to face up to what he did….and what he didn’t do. With nothing to lose and no one to stop him, he’s at a crossroads. But is he prepared for what lies in wait? Will the horrors of Kosovo return with a vengeance?

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Review: Lie to Me, by J.T. Ellison

Lie to Me, by J.T. Ellison

Lie to Me by J.T. Ellison
Published by Mira Books on September 5, 2017
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, mystery, suspense, thriller
Format & Pages: paperback, 448
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Purchase at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

They built a life on lies

Sutton and Ethan Montclair’s idyllic life is not as it appears. They seem made for each other, but the truth is ugly. Consumed by professional and personal betrayals and financial woes, the two both love and hate each other. As tensions mount, Sutton disappears, leaving behind a note saying not to look for her.

Ethan finds himself the target of vicious gossip as friends, family and the media speculate on what really happened to Sutton Montclair. As the police investigate, the lies the couple have been spinning for years quickly unravel. Is Ethan a killer? Is he being set up? Did Sutton hate him enough to kill the child she never wanted and then herself? The path to the answers is full of twists that will leave the reader breathless.

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Review: Seven-Sided Spy, by Hannah Carmack

Seven-Sided Spy, by Hannah Carmack

Seven-Sided Spy by Hannah Carmack
Published by NineStar Press on January 15, 2018 (expected)
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, action, historical fiction, science fiction, thriller
Format & Pages: e-book, 201
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Purchase at AmazonBarnes & Noble, Book Depository

In the midst of the cold war, the CIA’s finest and most fatal female agent, Diana Riley, vanishes. Kidnapped by the KGB and taken to the backcountry of North Carolina, she and her team of unsavory partners are forced to undergo illegal experimentation.

But, when the experiments leave them horribly deformed and unable to reenter society without someone crying monster, the previously glamorous and high-maintenance spies must escape KGB captivity and avoid recapture at the hands of Nikola, a ruthless KGB agent with an intense and well-justified grudge against her former flame.

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