[REWIND] March 2020 Releases

SUBSCRIBE: Want to be notified of new posts on this blog? Simply leave a comment on this post, tick the ticky-box that says “Notify me of new posts via email”, then click “Post Comment”. I don’t have a newsletter, so this will have to suffice. And I don’t post often nowadays, so you probably won’t be bombarded with alerts.

If you stopped keeping updated on book stuff in 2020, this blog series is for you. A list, organised by month, of 2020 book releases. All are US publication dates, and all buy links are to Kindle Editions. (NOTE: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.) Goodreads links lead to my star-ratings (out of five) and any thoughts.

MARCH 2020 RELEASES

Kelley Armstrong: Wolf’s Curse: Buy
Jessica Brody & Joanne Rendell: Between Burning Worlds: Buy
Amy Ewing: The Alcazar: Buy
Mindy McGinnis: Be Not Far from Me: Buy
Tara Moss: The Cobra Queen: Buy
Natasha Preston: The Twin: Buy: Goodreads
Tiffany Reisz: The Priest: Buy
Ren Richards: The Broken Ones: Buy
Kate Elizabeth Russell: My Dark Vanessa: Buy: Goodreads
Erica Spindler: Triple Six: Buy: Goodreads
Erica Spindler: Fallen Five: Buy: Goodreads
Erica Spindler: Random Acts: Buy
Victoria Helen Stone: Problem Child: Buy

[REWIND] February 2020 Releases

SUBSCRIBE: Want to be notified of new posts on this blog? Simply leave a comment on this post, tick the ticky-box that says “Notify me of new posts via email”, then click “Post Comment”. I don’t have a newsletter, so this will have to suffice. And I don’t post often nowadays, so you probably won’t be bombarded with alerts.

If you stopped keeping updated on book stuff in 2020, this blog series is for you. A list, organised by month, of 2020 book releases. All are US publication dates, and all buy links are to Kindle Editions. (NOTE: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.) Goodreads links lead to my star-ratings (out of five) and any thoughts.

FEBRUARY 2020 RELEASES

V. C. Andrews: Out of the Attic: 4 Feb 2020: Buy: Goodreads
Kelley Armstrong: Alone in the Wild: 4 Feb 2020: Buy: Goodreads
Keri Arthur: Blackbird Rising: 3 Feb 2020: Buy
Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre: Honor Lost: 11 Feb 2020: Buy
Megan E. Hart: In the House of Broken Glass: 13 Feb 2020: Buy
Jennifer Iacopelli: Break the Fall: 18 Feb 2020: Buy
Carrie Jones: The Places We Hide: 1 Feb 2020: Buy
Seanan McGuire: Imaginary Numbers: 25 Feb 2020: Buy
Tara Moss: The Blood Countess: 4 Feb 2020: Buy: Goodreads
Tara Moss: The Spider Goddess: 4 Feb 2020: Buy: Goodreads
Tara Moss: The Skeleton Key: 4 Feb 2020: Buy: Goodreads
Danielle Rollins: Twisted Fates: 25 Feb 2020: Buy
Kristen Simmons: Scammed: 4 Feb 2020: Buy

[REWIND] January 2020 Releases

SUBSCRIBE: Want to be notified of new posts on this blog? Simply leave a comment on this post, tick the ticky-box that says “Notify me of new posts via email”, then click “Post Comment”. I don’t have a newsletter, so this will have to suffice. And I don’t post often nowadays, so you probably won’t be bombarded with alerts.

If you stopped keeping updated on book stuff in 2020, this blog series is for you. A list, organised by month, of 2020 book releases. All are US publication dates, and all buy links are to Kindle Editions. (NOTE: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.) Goodreads links lead to my star-ratings (out of five) and any thoughts.

JANUARY 2020 RELEASES

Simone Buchholz (translated by Rachel Ward): Mexico Street: Buy: Goodreads
Rachel Caine: Bitter Falls: Buy: Goodreads
A. R. Capetta: The Storm of Life: Buy
Nicci French: Losing You: Buy
Megan Hart: Shattered: Buy
Kristi Helvig: The Boy Who Wasn’t There: Buy: Goodreads
Parker Peevyhouse: Strange Exit: Buy
Erica Spindler: The Look-Alike: Buy: Goodreads
Laurie Faria Stolarz: Jane Anonymous: Buy: Goodreads

“Creative” Plans for 2021

I posted this in a comment on Jenny Trout’s blog. May as well share it here, too.

*****

Speaking of blogging, got a rude awakening when I tried to post of my own blog last month – WordPress have changed their settings, and I can’t find out to add categories to my posts, and the tags don’t seem to be showing up, and I DON’T LIKE CHANGE!

(Mind you, I only have the free edition of WP – presumably things are easy to find and change for the paid people.)

Anyhoo, if anyone has WP tech advice, my inbox is always open.

Also I need to figure out how to subscribe to people’s blogs via email, since I gave up on feed-readers after Google Reader (or whatever it was called) was discontinued. And not every Facebook page/profile has a notification option. Only way I’m finding things out (since I don’t have time to scroll FB and Twitter) is via author newsletters/alert-emails and my own Amazon searches.

I have no creative urges anymore (just reading your list of hobbies exhausts me), but I’d like to rediscover the love of reading. I read two five-star books in a row in…October when my area opened (I remember this because I stood in line for a haircut for over 45 minutes, and finished the second of my five-star reads). Since then, I have a bedroom full of unread books, including library books, and a laptop full of eBooks, and just can’t summon up enthusiasm or energy to read anything. Minus the two short stories I read when the wi-fi was out. And I managed two sessions of bathtime reading of a non-fiction book (which is easy to pick up after I haven’t touched it for awhile, because I don’t need to remember what happened earlier in the book).

Also, book promotion. It’s where I get my book budget (Amazon Associates credits), and the money only goes toward buying more eBooks that I may or may not read but I own them anyway. I’m currently on a Kindle Unlimited free-trial, so I may consider buying a subscription, even though they’re like $10 a month, but in order to afford that, I need to earn more Amazon Associates credits.

I usually donate books to the parish/school fete, but the event didn’t happen this year. So I guess I better try to list everything on eBay, or be more proactive about finding a book-swap group, or somewhere I can sell my books second-hand. (Anyone in VIC, Australia, with leads – please contact me!)

Anyway, that’s as far as my “creative plans for 2021” go. Other than that, just taking one day at a time. I have a lot of personal stuff to deal with.

Thanks for providing comment space for me to brain-dump!

Now Available for US Pre-Order

NOW AVAILABLE: Karen Ann Hopkins: The Widow: Paperback

Kelley Armstrong: A Stitch in Time: 16th March 2021: Paperback

Jennifer Lynn Barnes: The Hawthorne Legacy: 7th September 2021: Kindle Edition & Hardcover

Kim Harrison: American Demon: 27th April 2021: Paperback

Paula Hawkins: A Slow Fire Burning: 31st August 2021: Kindle Edition & Hardcover

Samantha Hayes: Single Mother: 5th January 2021: Paperback

Marie Lu: Skyhunter: 28th September 2021: Paperback

Marie Lu: Skyhunter 2: 28th September 2021: Hardcover

Madeleine Roux: The Book of Living Secrets: 7th September 2021: Kindle Edition

Lisa Scottoline: Feared: 24th August 2021: Paperback

P. J. Tracy: Deep into the Dark: 28th September 2021: Paperback

Now Available for US Pre-Order

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

NOW AVAILABLE
Marta Acosta: Mad Dog Down the Road: Kindle Edition; Paperback
Megan E. Hart: In the House of Broken Glass: Paperback
Maria V. Snyder: Defending the Galaxy: Paperback
Jenny Trout: Nightmare Born: Paperback

NOW AVAILABLE FOR US PRE-ORDER
Kelley Armstrong: Cursed Luck: 4 May 2021: Hardcover; Paperback
Jennifer Lynn Barnes: The Inheritance Games: 27 Jul 2021: Paperback
Simone Buchholz (translated by Rachel Ward): Hotel Cartagena: 4 Jan 2021: Kindle Edition
Jennifer Iacopelli: Break the Fall: 18 May 2021: Paperback
Laura Lam & Elizabeth May: Seven Devils: 27 Jul 2021: Paperback
Marie Lu: Skyhunter 2: 28 Sep 2021: Kindle Edition
Kass Morgan & Danielle Paige: The Monarchs: 11 Jan 2022: Kindle Edition
Sara Raasch & Kristen Simmons: Rise Up from the Embers: 10 Aug 2021: Kindle Edition; Hardcover
Tiffany Reisz: The Auction: 5 Jul 2021: Kindle Edition; Paperback
Andrea Robertson: Forged in Fire and Stars: 22 Jun 2021: Paperback
Andrea Robertson: Cast in Secrets and Shadow: 20 Jul 2021: Kindle Edition; Hardcover
Karin Slaughter: False Witness: 27 Jul 2021: Kindle Edition; Hardcover
Maria V. Snyder: The Eyes of Tamburah: 1 Feb 2021: Kindle Edition
Danielle Vega: The Unleashed: 13 Jul 2021: Paperback

[REVIEW] What Unbreakable Looks Like – Kate McLaughlin

Kate McLaughlin
What Unbreakable Looks Like
Macmillan Wednesday Books (US: 23rd June 2020)
Buy (US Kindle Edition) Buy (US Hardcover) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (AU) Buy (Worldwide)

Lex is not like other girls. Not like other girls at school, and not like other trafficked girls.

A common criticism of some stories is “wish fulfillment”. And while it’s a weird thing to say about a character who’s been trafficked and assaulted…this is still a wish-fulfillment novel.

Because Lex’s story is very much the exception. It’s only because of her strong relationships that she’s able to not go back to being Poppy. Normally in story structure there would’ve been a plot point where she returned, however briefly before escape… But that just wouldn’t have been realistic in order for Lex to achieve the happily-ever-after story ending.

I can’t remember if there was mention of Lonnie’s after-life, except that she’s in college and isn’t in a relationship. Did she go it alone, or have family and friends to support her post-rehab?

Even the court case Lex testifies in has a happy ending for her.

It’s the kind of novel that makes you think of the stories it DOESN’T centre – and it’s those stories we need to hear the most. After all, this IS a novel…and Lex’s happy ending is, unfortunately, fiction.

[REVIEW] Master Class – Christina Dalcher

Christina Dalcher
Master Class (also published as Q)
Penguin Random House Berkley (US & CA: 21st April 2020); HarperCollins HQ (UK & AU: 30th April 2020/7th January 2021)
Buy (US Kindle Edition) Buy (US Hardcover) Buy (UK Kindle Edition) Buy (UK Hardcover) Buy (UK Paperback) Buy (CA) Buy (AU eBook) Buy (AU Hardcover) Buy (AU Paperback) Buy (Worldwide Hardcover) Buy (Worldwide Paperback)

Probably not the wisest choice to read this while my depression and autism symptoms flared up.

But I don’t think I’m the target audience. Probably more aimed at moms of high-achieving selective-entry private school students with bright futures.

I read this, relating to nine-year-old Freddie. Flashbacks to my final year of high school exams in 2004.

I’ve read reviews that mention the heavy-handed use of the German grandmother’s warnings. And we readers well understand what’s going on before Elena does.

But comments that it’s “unrealistic” that parents would vote for a political party pushing for separating lowest-tier students away from higher-tiered people?

I wish I had the optimism that this wouldn’t happen in real life. But too easily it could happen. Too many parents want the “dropkicks” out of the classes shared with their precious intelligent children. Because of course their children are the best and brightest. Their darlings couldn’t be “mediocre”. *eyeroll*

I do agree that parts of this story are unrealistic. Namely, the free healthcare with no one blocking access to termination should a pregnant person want one. Alas, in 2020, continued pregnancy is still used to punish.

There’s so much injustice in the story, and in real life. Reproductive freedom and reproductive justice…there’s so much work to do. It’s appalling that people are sterilised without the patient’s consent. It’s wrong to shame or guilt people into having wanted pregnancies terminated. But what’s also cruel is to force people (via legal and access barriers) to continue unwanted pregnancies. To deny people sterilisation when they want it.

And the politics of death. Euthanasia for lowest-tiered people without their consent. Meanwhile, others who want to die humanely and on their own terms are denied a legal option.

It’s this whole lack of consent. Choices taken away. Topics that are so personal to me, which is why this book was so hard to read. It’s hard to rate.

It’s hard to live.

[REVIEW] The Runaway – Hollie Overton

Hollie Overton
The Runaway
Hachette Redhook (US: 6th August 2019); Penguin Arrow (UK & AU: 3rd October 2019)
Buy (US Kindle Edition) Buy (US Paperback) Buy (UK Kindle Edition) Buy (UK Paperback) Buy (CA) Buy (AU eBook) Buy (AU Paperback) Buy (Worldwide)

WARNINGS: Cult, abuse.

This may not be the author’s strongest book (that honour goes to second novel The Walls), but it’s a solid story from an author who’s found her feet.

Fostering children – especially older ones – can be challenging, but as a psychologist working with the LAPD, Becca’s up to the task.

It’s hard watching Ash struggle. She has a good heart, but the downside of it – sacrificing herself for others – endangers her.

I’d previously not known much about Skid Row life, so the novel is good insight into the various communities there, and how they operate within themselves and with other groups – including the police. Author Hollie Overton is compassionate in her portrayal of Skid Row’s residents, showing their complexity.

I didn’t expect the cult plot, and watching the leader prey on the most vulnerable people in society while claiming to love them and be one of them…it hurts to read. I might like the THEORY of learning about cults, but reading the psychological manipulation and devastation in a close narrative (rather than the non-fiction I’ve read by journalists, who weren’t cult members themselves) is intimate and kind of intrusive. The futility of being a reader, mentally shouting at characters…it’s not a fun read. Crime fiction may be my escapism, but sometimes you get attached and it’s too close for comfort.

I read a lot of politics in the news. I’ve seen how people love to complain about human faeces on LA streets, but they don’t mention their personal efforts to physically clean up the mess. And that’s kind of how society in general tends to behave about “unpleasantness” – love to “expose” it, but aren’t willing to put in the effort themselves to improve the situation. Instead, it’s used for political point-scoring and agendas – mostly in a negative way, rather than constructive. What exactly would your candidate (who’s not the incumbent) do to improve the situation? How would you approach people – to punish, or rehabilitate? If people are unable to pull up their bootstraps – if they don’t have straps or boots to begin with – will you harm them, abandon them, or lift them? Do you help or harm? (And neglect often fits into the harm category.)

The novel raises big questions, and answers may not be found. But it challenges society at large to face issues they’d rather ignore.

July 2020 Releases

Madeline Ashby: ReV: Kindle Edition; Paperback

Chris Beckett: Two Tribes: Kindle Edition

Oyinkan Braithwaite: Treasure: Kindle Edition

Nicci French: Until It’s Over: Kindle Edition; Paperback

Carrie Jones & Steven E. Wedel: In the Woods: Paperback

Lydia Kang: Opium and Absinthe: Kindle Edition; Paperback

Tom Perrotta: Me and Carlos: Kindle Edition

Tiffany Reisz: A Midwinter Night’s Dream: Kindle Edition

Madeleine Roux: Tomb of Ancients: Paperback

Lisa Scottoline: Exposed: Paperback

Karin Slaughter: The Last Widow: Paperback

Amy Tintera: All These Monsters: Kindle Edition; Hardcover

Paul Tremblay: Survivor Song: Kindle Edition; Hardcover

Danielle Vega: The Unleashed: Kindle Edition; Hardcover

Robin Wasserman: Mother Daughter Widow Wife: Kindle Edition; Hardcover