Friday Reads! What are you reading this weekend? 😀 📚 🤠 🐦

I can’t wait to fit in some reading this weekend. This weekend I’m reading…

Six of Crows.jpgSix of Crows (Six of Crows #1)

YA, Fantasy, Adventure, Romance, LGBT
Published September 2015
Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)

Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)

Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.“

If I somehow manage to finish it this weekend then I’ll be reading another ARC…

The shoe on the roofThe Shoe on the Roof

Expected Publication October 17, 2017
Adult Fiction (Canadian, Mystery, Relationships, Psychology, Humour)
Imagine…meeting someone with the same name, the same history, the same family, the same identity as you. Now, imagine meeting another person making the same exact claim. What would that do to you?
From the Giller Prize–winning novelist of 419 comes the startling, funny, and heartbreaking story of a psychological experiment gone wrong.

Ever since his girlfriend ended their relationship, Thomas Rosanoff’s life has been on a downward spiral. A gifted med student, he has spent his entire adulthood struggling to escape the legacy of his father, an esteemed psychiatrist who used him as a test subject when he was a boy. Thomas lived his entire young life as the “Boy in the Box,” watched by researchers behind two-way glass.
But now the tables have turned. Thomas is the researcher, and his subjects are three homeless men, all of whom claim to be messiahs—but no three people can be the one and only saviour of the world. Thomas is determined to “cure” the three men of their delusions, and in so doing save his career—and maybe even his love life. But when Thomas’s father intervenes in the experiment, events spin out of control, and Thomas must confront the voices he hears in the labyrinth of his own mind.

The Shoe on the Roof is an explosively imaginative tour de force, a novel that questions our definitions of sanity and madness, while exploring the magical reality that lies just beyond the world of scientific fact.“

What are you reading this weekend?

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September 2017 Releases I want to Read

September 2017 new books! 🙂

Clash of Kings Graphic novel #4George R.R. Martin’s A Clash Of Kings #4

by George R.R. Martin, Landry Q. Walker (Adapter), Mel Rubi (Illustrator)
Expected Publication: September 20, 2017
Arya continues to travel north to the Wall, and makes the acquaintance of a most unusual character – Jaqen H’ghar– but when the recruits for the Night’s Watch are stopped by the Gold Cloaks, a confrontation seems inevitable… Meanwhile, Catelyn Stark must come to terms with her son, Robb, is now also the King in the North – and that sometimes family and politics conflict.”

Sleeping BeautiesSleeping Beauties

Expected Publication September 26, 2017
In this spectacular father-son collaboration, Stephen King and Owen King tell the highest of high-stakes stories: what might happen if women disappeared from the world of men?

In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If they are awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent; and while they sleep they go to another place. The men of our world are abandoned, left to their increasingly primal devices. One woman, however, the mysterious Evie, is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease. Is Evie a medical anomaly to be studied, or is she a demon who must be slain? Set in a small Appalachian town whose primary employer is a women’s prison, Sleeping Beauties is wildly provocative and gloriously absorbing.“

Little Fires Everywhere.jpgLittle Fires Everywhere

Published September 12, 2017
In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.
Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.
When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town–and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.

There's someone inside your houseThere’s Someone Inside Your House

Expected Publication: September 26, 2017
Scream meets YA in this hotly-anticipated new novel from the bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss.

One-by-one, the students of Osborne High are dying in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, the dark secrets among them must finally be confronted.

International bestselling author Stephanie Perkins returns with a fresh take on the classic teen slasher story that’s fun, quick-witted, and completely impossible to put down.“

they both die at the endThey Both Die at the End

Published September 5, 2017
On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure and to live a lifetime in a single day.”

The Language of ThornsThe Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic

by Leigh Bardugo and Sara Kipin(Illustrator)
Expected Publication: September 26, 2017
Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.

Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.“

What new books are you excited to read?

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The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower Book III) #FridayReads

I’m currently reading…

The Waste Lands

The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower Book III)

By Stephen King

With Illustrations by Ned Dameron

Back Blurb: “With The Waste Lands, the third masterful novel in Stephen King’s epic saga, The Dark Tower, we again enter the realm of the mightiest imagination of our time. King’s hero, Roland, the Last Gunslinger, moves ever closer to the Dark Tower of his dreams and nightmares – as he crosses a desert of damnation in a macabre world that is a twisted mirror image of our own. With him are those he has drawn to this world, street-smart Eddie Dean and courageous wheelchair-bound Susannah. Ahead of him are mind-rending revelations about who he is and what is driving him. Against him is arrayed a swelling legion of fiendish foes both more and less than human. And as the pace of action and adventure, discovery and danger pulse-poundingly quickens, the reader is inescapably drawn into a breathtaking drama that is both hauntingly dreamlike…and eerily familiar. The Waste Lands is a triumph of storytelling sorcery – and further testament to Stephen King’s novelistic mastery.”

 

Glow by Megan E. Bryant Book Review (Spoiler-Free)

Glow.jpg

Glow is a young adult novel by Megan E. Bryant that sheds light on a dark time in American history. Julie (Jubilee) Chase, a high school graduate who was looking forward to attending College only to have it postponed due to her mother’s debt issues. When the bank was about to foreclose on their mortgage, Julie cashed out her college fund to buy the house. She harbors resentment towards her mother for having to lose her college fund, putting her dreams on hold, while her mom seems to not be bothering to find a job. Julie’s friend Lauren is from a well-to-do family and is off to college leaving Julie behind. This creates a rift between the two, bringing the worst out of the both of them. Attempting to salvage their friendship they head off for a fun day of shopping (Lauren’s idea), and Julie buys a painting at Lost and Found consignment store. When darkness blankets Julie’s room the painting reveals a glowing secret artwork that ignites her curiosity. She becomes obsessed with finding more paintings by the same artist, and attempts to re-create the technique. Julie has no idea that the technique involves the “radium girls” who unknowingly poisoned themselves while painting numbers on watch dials used to help soldiers see the time more accurately during WWI.

Bryant uses fictional characters inspired by real history to tell the story of the “radium girls.” The perspective shifts back and forth from Lydia in 1917-1918 to Julie in modern time. We hear Lydia’s story from letters she writes to her beloved Walter who has gone off to war. Lydia has an incredible weight upon her shoulders at 16 years old. Her older sister Liza helps Lydia get a job at ARC painting watch dials with a magical glowing substance. The same magical powder used to make the paint is also sold as a cure for practically all ailments.

While running an errand at the local college Julie meets Luke (Lucien), a chemistry student  working at the college over the summer. Their friendship evolves as he helps her figure out how to create the glow-in-the-dark paint.

Through Julie’s research and Lydia’s letters we learn the heart-wrenching story of the Grayson sisters. There are parts of the story which are descriptive and vivid. I will admit that I cried twice while reading this page-turner.

I do have a couple of complaints. For one, why is Julie friends with Lauren? Lauren is selfish, stubborn, and rude. I feel like the tension between Lauren and Julie was unnecessary to the plot.

I also find it strange that Julie didn’t suspect the glow-in-the-dark paint used on the vintage artwork. She researched how to create the paint, yet somehow didn’t stumble across the possibility of radioactive ingredients.

There were a couple of times where the dialogue felt a bit clunky, and I also think Lydia’s letters are a little unbelievable. I don’t know anyone who writes complete back-and-forth dialogue while recounting an event in a letter.

Even though a couple small areas were bothersome, this is an extremely important story to write, to read, and to share. Glow is an incredible story that sheds light on the hideous greed of some companies who put profit above health, giving opportunity for brave people to sacrifice, and fight for what’s right.

Expected Publication: September 1st, 2017

Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company

I received an advanced copy in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion. Thank you Brandi from Flutter Communications, the publisher, and NetGalley, for allowing me to review.

The Goblin Market poem is mentioned in the story, so of course I had to find it and read it 🙂

Goblin Market Poem

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Radium_Corporation
“The United States Radium Corporation was a company, most notorious for its operations between the years 1917 to 1926 in Orange, New Jersey, in the United States that led to stronger worker protection laws. After initial success in developing a glow-in-the-dark radioactive paint, the company was subject to several lawsuits in the late 1920s in the wake of severe illnesses and deaths of workers (the Radium Girls) who had ingested radioactive material. The workers had been told that the paint was harmless.[1] During World War I and World War II, the company produced luminous watches and gauges for the United States Army for use by soldiers.

The Drawing of the Three (The Dark Tower Book #2) By Stephen King #SpoilerFree #BookReview

Drawing of the ThreeWhile pursuing his quest for the Dark Tower through a world that is a nightmarishly distorted mirror image of our own, Roland is drawn through a mysterious door that brings him into contemporary America.

Here he links forces with the defiant young Eddie Dean, and with the beautiful, brilliant, and brave Odetta Holmes, in a savage struggle against underworld evil and otherworldly enemies.” https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5094.The_Drawing_of_the_Three

Fiction: Fantasy/Horror/Sci-Fi

First Published May 1987

A newer edition was published August 2003

Stephen King

 

If you haven’t heard of Stephen King yet then you must have been living under a rock.

http://www.stephenking.com

 

 

 

 

The Drawing of the Three begins with Roland, the Gunslinger, on a beach not long after the man in black had predicted Roland’s future with tarot cards. The cards showed a man called The Prisoner, a woman called The Lady of Shadows, and Death. A 4-foot-long lobster-like creature with eyes on stalks attacks Roland. Roland’s bullets were soaked by the tide as he was sleeping and he’s unable to defend himself against the attack. The lobster creature bit off Roland’s first and second fingers, then took a chunk out of his calf and his toe. Roland’s injuries are severe and infection is spreading. He decides to walk North, and after three hours comes across a door, made of ironwood, with two words written on it “The Prisoner”. He looks through the door and finds himself looking through the window of a plane. It takes Roland awhile to figure it out, but he finally realizes he’s looking through the eyes of The Prisoner, Eddie Dean. Eddie is an addict attempting to smuggle cocaine into America.

The flight attendant, Jane, brings Eddie a “tooter-fish” (tuna) sandwich and notices that his eye color has changed. Her training taught her to pay attention to strange things, no matter how small they may seem. She decides to keep a close eye on Eddie. Roland manages to bring the sandwich back through the door to his body lying on the beach.

Before landing Jane notices Eddie’s eyes had changed back to hazel. She fills a thermos with hot coffee, alerts her coworker Suzy that there may be a problem, then sits down to watch Eddie. If he whips out a gun or a bomb she’ll throw the hot coffee on him. Suzy catches a glimpse of Eddie’s cocaine packaged taped around his ribs when he bends over to pick up a paper. The Gunslinger sees Suzy’s face and knows what she’s discovered. Roland is hoping Eddie will be able to get medicine for Roland’s infection, but the only way to do that is if Eddie can get through customs without being caught with drugs. Roland needs to make this happen so he can continue his journey to The Dark Tower.

I admire how King writes characters in such a realistic way. The setting and descriptions make you feel like you are right there with them. Holding your breath when things get intense, laughing when something funny happens, crying when there is sadness. The Drawing of the Three is a roller-coaster ride of emotions. My favorite character is most definitely Odetta, The Lady of the Shadows. I don’t want to say too much about her because it will be better for you to learn about her through the story. At 463 pages it seems like a hefty read, but the short sections within chapter inspire you to keep reading – just one more, just one more. I honestly can’t think of anything I didn’t like about this story.

I recommend this book to anyone over the age of 16 (profanity, graphic descriptions, violence, sex) who are fans of stories about hope, fighting inner demons, unlikely friendships, trust, and justice.

 

 

The Drawing of the Three By Stephen King #FirstChapterFirstParagraph

Drawing of the ThreeWhen I pick up a book to decide if I’d like to read it I often read the first chapter, first paragraph. I thought perhaps other readers do the same. I also like to share the first chapter first, paragraph so I can highlight fantastic writing. That first paragraph is often the one that draws you in to the story. Without further ado, here is first chapter first paragraph of The Drawing of the Three (The Dark Tower #2) by Stephen King.

“Three. This is the number of your fate.
Three?
Yes, three is mystic. Three stands at the heart of the mantra.
Which three?
The first is dark-haired. He stands on the brink of robbery and murder. A demon has infested him. The name of the demon is HEROIN.
Which demon is that? I know it not, even from nursery stories.
He tried to speak but his voice was gone, the voice of the oracle, Star-Slut, Whore of the Winds, both were gone; he saw a card fluttering down from nowhere to nowhere, turning and turning in the lazy dark. On it a baboon grinned from over the shoulder of a young man with dark hair; its disturbingly human fingers were buried so deeply in the young man’s neck that their tips had disappeared in flesh. Looking more closely, the gunslinger saw the baboon held a whip in one of those clutching, strangling hands. The face of the ridden man seemed to writhe in wordless terror.”

The Raven Boys By Maggie Stiefvater – Book Review #SpoilerFree

The Raven Boys

Published 2012 by Scholastic Press (Goodreads Photo)

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater is a unique, hard-to-put-down young adult fiction novel. It’s not your typical fantasy romance story. A few of the characters have some real shit going on their life. When I say hard-to-put-down I mean it. I picked this up when I could fit in a page or two here and there throughout my day. If I wasn’t a mom with “adulting” responsibilities I could have devoured the entire book in one sitting. I want to put aside the rest of my August TBR and see if the library has the second book of The Raven Cycle series…Okay, I checked. The library does have it. The next book is The Dream Thieves. I put it on hold LOL (P.S. if you didn’t know you can put a hold on a book, so when it is available they call you for pick up).

 

Maggie Stiefvater

Maggie Stiefvater (Goodreads Photo)

New York Times bestselling author of The Shiver Trilogy, The Raven Cycle, and The Scorpio Races. Artist. Driver of things with wheels. Avid reader.

All of Maggie Stiefvater’s life decisions have been based around her inability to be gainfully employed. Talking to yourself, staring into space, and coming to work in your pajamas are frowned upon when you’re a waitress, calligraphy instructor, or technical editor (all of which she’s tried), but are highly prized traits in novelists and artists. She’s made her living as one or the other since she was 22. She now lives an eccentric life in the middle of nowhere, Virginia with her charmingly straight-laced husband, two kids, two neurotic dogs, and a 1973 Camaro named Loki.” (Goodreads Blurb: Author Page)

The Raven Boys main character is Blue Sargent, the teenage-daughter of a medium, Maura Sargent. They live with Maura’s psychic best friends, Persephone and Calla, in a house at 300 Fox Way, Henrietta, Virginia. Maura and other mediums have told Blue that she will cause her true love to die. Unlike her family and house-mates Blue is not psychic, but when she is near she’s like an amplifier, helping Maura, Persephone, and Calla make predictions and read tarot cards.

On April 24, St. Mark’s Eve, Blue accompanies her mother’s half-sister, Neeve, on the church watch. This is the night where mediums can see the souls of the people who will die within the next 12 months. Blue jots down notes as Neeve asks each spirit their name. Neeve, Maura and their psychic friends will use this information to let clients know their fate. For the first time Blue can see one of the ghosts making his way to the church doors. He wouldn’t tell Neeve his name, hence Neeve asks Blue to get his name. Blue has to ask a few times before he finally tells her that his name is Gansey.

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve, Blue. Either you’re his true love,” Neeve said, “or you killed him.”

Richard Campbell Gansey III is an “all-American” rich boy who attends Aglionby Academy, a private all boys school. The Aglionby uniform includes a raven emblem, and therefore students have the nickname “the raven boys”. Gansey’s friends are Adam, Ronan, and Noah. Adam is an incredibly polite boy who attends Aglionby Academy thanks to a partial scholarship. Ronan likes to make people feel uncomfortable. He’s a bad-boy struggling with his father’s death. Noah is extremely shy, with pale skin and combed-back fair hair. Gansey, Ronan and Noah live in an old abandoned manufacturing building once called Monmouth Manufacturing.

On St. Mark’s Eve, Gansey had also been sitting at the old church with his recorder, hoping to hear the dead. He’s attempting to find a ley line which will lead him to the tomb of Owain Glyndwr (Glendower), the Raven King. Legend says the one who wakes the Glendower will receive a favor.

Gansey longed for him like Arthur longed for the grail, drawn by a desperate but nebulous need to be useful to the world, to make sure his life meant something beyond champagne parties and white collars, by some complicated longing to settle an argument that waged deep inside himself.

Adam, on the other hand, needed that royal favor.

And that meant they needed to be the ones to wake Glendower. They needed to be the ones to find him first.”

Gansey captured the discussion between Blue and his ghost. The recording gets the boys, especially Gansey and Adam, excited that they are on the right track to finding the ley line. Gansey schedules a reading with Blue’s mom to hopefully gain information about hidden energy fields in Henrietta. This is when Blue and Gansey will meet, and the adventure begins…

My favorite character is a toss-up between Persephone and Adam. Persephone, one of Maura’s best friends, has wavy white-blond hair down to the back of her thighs, black eyes, and speaks in a very soft voice. In my mind she reminds me of Lady Amalthea in The Last Unicorn, which is my most favorite movie of all-time. Ronan blames his bad choices on his hard life, where Adam uses his dreary life as fuel to improve. Adam is mature well beyond his years and I just can’t help but want him to find happiness.

My one complaint is that I had a hard time connecting with Neeve. She was interesting, yet for some reason I just couldn’t picture her in my mind and didn’t understand her motivations.

The Raven Boys is one of the best books I’ve read this year. I’m anxious to pick up the next book to see what will happen next. I recommend this book to anyone who likes teenage friendship quest stories, with a little paranormal ghost stuff weaved in.

Maggie Stiefvater’s website: https://www.maggiestiefvater.com/

Remnant Population By Elizabeth Moon #SpoilerFree #BookReview

Remnant Population Sept 2003

September 2003, Paperback Edition

 

Remnant Population

By Elizabeth Moon

336 pages

Science Fiction, Fantasy

There are a few editions of this book with different covers. I read the hardcover edition published May 1st, 1996.

 

 

 

Elizabeth Moon

Elizabeth Moon, Goodreads

Elizabeth Moon Grew up in McAllen, Texas. “Her first novel, Sheepfarmer’s Daughter, sold in 1987 and came out in 1988; it won the Compton Crook Award in 1989. Remnant Population was a Hugo nominee in 1997, and The Speed of Dark was a finalist for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and won the Nebula in 2004.” (Goodreads)

http://www.elizabethmoon.com/

 

Remnant Population May 1996

Remnant Population, May 1996 Hardcover Edition (Goodreads photo)

This is the cover of the edition I read. I borrowed Remnant Population from the library after a few people on the Reddit Fantasy group recommended it to satisfy the “Too Old for this Crap” square for the Fantasy Bingo Challenge 2017. That means I had to pick a fantasy book where the main character is over 50-years-old. When I picked up the book and saw the cover my heart sank. I thought this would be the corniest, cheesiest book I read in my life. I’m giving it two stars, but the story is okay. I had a really hard time routing for the main character, Ofelia. I’ll touch on that later.

Ofelia is an older woman who lives with her only living son Barto and his wife Rosara within a small colony owned by Sims Bancorp. Her late husband told her what to do (and I think was abusive), Barto and Rosara boss her around all of the time. Ofelia craves to just simply be left alone to do what she wants to do.

The Company, Sims Bancorp, has lost the franchise which means Ofelia and her people will have to leave the colony. Ofelia is the oldest of the originals who came to the colony many years ago. As others accept they will need to move within 30 days, Ofelia decides she is staying.

The company informs Barto that his mother will have to take one of the later shuttles and he will have to pay extra because of her age. After her son and daughter-in-law leave on their shuttle, Ofelia packs some food, and sleeps in the woods until everyone is gone. For the first time in her life she is FREE! It doesn’t take long for her to get rid of her clothes and enjoy walking around naked. Over the next month she keeps busy scavenging food and supplies from other houses, tending the gardens, checking on the machines, and ensuring the animals are safe.

During a terrible “sea-storm” Ofelia takes shelter in the control center and hears voices on the radio. It’s a shuttle coming to land somewhere else on the planet seeking a place to start a new colony. Creatures attack and only some of the humans manage to escape. Ofelia is left in shock and is now fearing the creatures will find her.

The story now flips to the alien perspective. They call the humans monsters. After the shuttles left, the aliens decide to go find the area where they had seen other shuttles land 40-years-ago.

I don’t want to say anything more, but I will say things get interesting and take a couple turns that I wasn’t expecting. I had a hard time relating to the characters. I felt they were a little flat, with no arc of any kind. Some parts of the story were a little suspenseful, but nothing scary. I did laugh a few times, mainly because Ofelia thinks and says some really weird stuff sometimes. She is incredibly selfish and stubborn. We aren’t given much information about the planet, or why they left “old earth”. We also don’t know much about the government or company that owns the colonies. It would have been great to have a bit more world-building and background info.

Remnant Population didn’t quite meet my expectations, but I would still recommend it to sci-fi fantasy fans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best Book I’ve read this year! Dress Codes For Small Towns by Courtney Stevens ] Spoiler-Free #BookReview

Dress Codes for Small Towns is an endearing young adult fictional romantic contemporary novel about a tomboy teenage girl finding herself among the rumor-mill of a small town. Courtney Stevens starts an interesting conversation about gender, sexuality, friendship, love, expectations, perceptions, identity, and family.

Dress Codes for Small Towns

 

Dress Codes For Small Towns

By: Courtney Stevens

On Sale: August 22nd, 2017

http://www.courtneycstevens.com/

 

Eight year old Elizabeth “Billie” McCaffrey is aware that she doesn’t fit in with most girls. She bonds with Woods Carrington, and over the next nine years they form a tight-knit group of misfit friends. They call themselves the hexagon; Billie, Janie Lee Miller (the pixie), Woods “Woods” Carrington (the president), Robert “Fifty” Tilghman (the douchebag), Kevin “Mash” Vilmer (the puker) and Mash’s cousin, David “Davey” Winters (the pretender).

Billie’s father, Scott McCaffrey, is the preacher of Otters Holt, a small town in western Kentucky. In an effort to keep teens on the “right track” Brother McCaffrey has set up a youth room in the church filled with fun things to keep the teens entertained and out of trouble. Ironically, the hexagon accidentally set the youth room on fire. While in the parking lot waiting for the fire to be put out the kids find out that Tyson “Big T” Vilmer, Davey and Mash’s grandfather, has died.

Big T was the financial backing for the Harvest Festival, and now that he has died there is talk around town that the festival will not be happening anymore. The Harvest Festival is when the mayor picks the winner of the corn dolly, awarded to the most “deserving” woman who will then be the first to dance at the Sadie Hawkins dance. Many women strive to win the corn dolly, many men are proud of their women who win, or even get nominated.

Due to the destruction the hexagon have done to the church with the fire they are given the punishment of construction – helping elderly people around town with odd jobs. Woods then gets the bright idea that the hexagon will help raise money to save the Harvest Festival.

While the hexagon attempt to save the Harvest Festival Billie is discovering the difference between friendship love, and love love. She feels incredibly confused about her gender and sexuality. Being the daughter of a preacher doesn’t make anything easier. I adore Billie’s character, even when she’s making bad decisions I’m always routing for her to prove that girls can do anything.

Janie is one of my favorite character’s. She’s not your typical “pixie” girl. Her father is in jail, her mom runs a laundromat but there are rumors she sells drugs. Janie is counting down to when she will leave Otters Holt.

Honestly, I loved every character. I can see pieces of me in each one. At first they appear to be a straight-forward stereotype, but with each chapter Stevens unveils how complicated the characters are. I would read a novel about each of their lives. For example, Fifty seems to be the stereotypical teenage boy attracted to danger – but then we find out he has four older brothers, so his idea of showing love is shoving, punching, wrestling. I can’t help but wonder what is going on in his mind? What is his life like?

I laughed, I cried, I held my breath in anticipation and pulled my hair in frustration. I think this is an important read for everyone over the age of fourteen, and highly recommend you check this one out!

I was kindly sent an advance reader’s e-proof courtesy of the publisher HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.

 

“The degree to which a person can grow is directly proportional to the amount of truth he can accept about himself without running away.” ~ Leland Val Van De Wall

August TBR

Dress Codes for Small TownsI’m writing this blog post on Tuesday, so by the time this gets posted on Thursday I will probably have read Dress Codes for Small Towns.

Harper Collins kindly sent me a free digital copy for review.

Dress Codes for Small Towns

by Courtney Stevens

On Sale AUGUST 22nd, 2017!
http://www.harpercollins.ca/9780062398512/dress-codes-for-small-towns

Faking Normal author Courtney Stevens delivers a contemporary realistic John Hughes-esque exploration of sexual fluidity in the small-town South.”

Remnant Population

Remnant Population

By Elizabeth Moon

I’m on page 168 and will be finishing this after I read Dress Codes for Small Towns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lightning ThiefThe Lightning Thief: Graphic Novel

By Rick Riordan and Robert Venditti

My daughter borrowed this one from the library and said it was really good, so I’m hoping to fit this read in before it’s due back.

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Potter and the order of the phoenix

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

By J.K. Rowling

I’ve been reading the Harry Potter books aloud to my kids, started this one awhile ago. Lately, they’ve been more interested in reading to themselves (growing up too fast). I’ve renewed it from the library so will be reading this tonight before bed with the munchkins.

 

 

 

Drawing of the Three.jpg

The Drawing of the Three (The Dark Tower #2)

By Stephen King

I re-read The Gunslinger last month and quite enjoyed it, so on to the next book of the series. The movie comes into theater on Friday, August 4th, 2017!

 

 

 

 

A bold and dangerous family

A Bold and Dangerous Family

By Caroline Moorehead

I was kindly sent a free digital copy for review.

On Sale October 2017

“Renowned historian Caroline Moorehead paints an indelible picture of Italy in the first half of the twentieth century, offering an intimate account of the rise of Il Duce and his squaddristi; life in Mussolini’s penal colonies; the shocking ambivalence and complicity of many prominent Italian families seduced by Mussolini’s promises; and the bold, fractured resistance movement whose associates sacrificed their lives to fight fascism. In A Bold and Dangerous Family, Moorehead once again pays tribute to heroes who fought to uphold our humanity during one of history’s darkest chapters.”

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Dead Girls and Other Stories

By Emily Geminder

I was kindly sent a free digital copy for review.

On Sale October 2017

“With lyric artistry and emotional force, Emily Geminder’s debut collection charts a vivid constellation of characters fleeing their own stories. A teenage runaway and her mute brother seek salvation in houses, buses, the backseats of cars. Preteen girls dial up the ghosts of fat girls. A crew of bomber pilots addresses the sparks of villagers below. In Cambodia, four young women confuse themselves with the ghost of a dead reporter. And from India to New York to Phnom Penh, dead girls both real and fantastic appear again and again: as obsession, as threat, as national myth and collective nightmare.”

What’s on your TBR this month?