[REVIEW] Little Peach – Peggy Kern

Peggy Kern
Little Peach
HarperCollins Balzer + Bray (US & CA: 10th March 2015)
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Michelle is fourteen years old. Her beloved grandpa dies, and her drug-addicted mother kicks her out of the house. Michelle wants to escape being sexually abused by her mother’s boyfriend again, so she leaves…but with nowhere to go.

We know what this story is about: Child trafficking, child drugging, child rape, child prostitution. It hurts witnessing Michelle go home with Devon, wanting a real family and watching it go so wrong so fast. It hurts witnessing Michelle, Kat, and Baby going to the hotel every night, drugging their selves to get through their “jobs”. It hurts that they’re scared of police, of people who could get them out of this situation.

It’s heartbreaking as Michelle sees a poster for a missing teen girl – a WHITE girl. There’s a reward for information leading to her return. And Michelle realises that there’s no one searching for her, hoping she’ll be back. A missing white girl still has skin privilege.

The ending is probably fitting – there’s hope that Michelle’s life could improve, but no guarantee of a happily-ever-after.

Little Peach is a five-star read. It’s not fun or enjoyable, but it is important. It strikes the heart. Peggy Kern is skilled at making readers care about her characters and those suffering similar situations in real life.

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[REVIEW] The Other Girl – Erica Spindler

Erica Spindler
The Other Girl
Macmillan St. Martin’s (US: 22nd August 2017); Hachette Little, Brown Sphere (UK: 26th October 2017; AU: 31st October)
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Miranda Rader knows a revenge-killing when she sees one. Yet her colleagues and higher-ups in the police force claim she’s not objective, and that she’s leading witnesses. These men don’t want to believe that a murder victim may have been sexually and psychologically abusive while he was alive.

The deceased’s father protects his son’s reputation in a way that brings to mind the Brock Turner case – wherein if a male commits sexual violence, his future shouldn’t be “ruined” because of “ten minutes of action”. Way to perpetuate rape culture, you terrible parent.

The Other Girl rings true on so many levels: Women not being believed. Men more interested in defending a man’s reputation than supporting his victims. The gaslighting. And women being punished – via employment loss and/or psychological anguish – because they know the truth and speak of it.

It reminds me so much of those conservatives on Twitter shouting about “due process”, because they believe false accusations of rape are more damaging than actually being raped. “Due process” gives the accused the benefit of the doubt, instead of the accuser. This cruel environment supports rapists (or suspected rapists) instead of the raped. They’d rather perps go unpunished than have one false accusation lead to a conviction.

And it’s impossible to ignore the racism that gets innocent black people killed by police or imprisoned, while white rapists walk free to commit their crimes again. (Though race isn’t discussed in the novel, because I think all the characters are white.)

In fewer than 300 pages, Erica Spindler has crafted a timeless thriller packed with hurtful truths. Sometimes no one will believe or help you. But there’s also hope that maybe there’ll be a person like Miranda Rader who won’t give up on you, and will keep fighting for justice.

P.S. Two unrelated characters named Cathy and Catherine confused me. One of them should’ve had a different name.

1st October 2017 Releases

Happy Release Day to:

Lisa Heathfield
Paper Butterflies
Lerner Carolrhoda Lab (US: 1st October 2017)
Buy (US Kindle Edition) Buy (US Hardcover) Buy (UK Kindle Edition) Buy (UK Hardcover) Buy (UK Paperback) Buy (CA Kindle Edition) Buy (CA Hardcover) Buy (CA Paperback) Buy (Worldwide Hardcover) Buy (Worldwide Paperback)

June’s life at home with her stepmother and stepsister is a dark one – and a secret one. Not even her dad knows the truth, and she can’t find the words to tell anyone else. She’s trapped like a butterfly in a net. Then June meets Blister, a boy from a large, loving, chaotic family. In him, she finds a glimmer of hope that perhaps she can find a way to fly far, far away. Because she deserves her freedom. Doesn’t she?

October 2017 Releases

Done with September 2017 Releases? Here are October 2017 Releases. For future releases, check Reading Wishlist.

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Now Available for US Pre-Order

Megan Abbott: GIVE ME YOUR HAND: 24th April 2018: Buy (US)
Tara Altebrando: THE POSSIBLE (paperback): 5th June 2018: Buy (US)
Tara Altebrando: THE OPPOSITE OF HERE: 5th June 2018: Buy (US)
Cyn Balog: ALONE (paperback): 1st May 2018: Buy (US)
Claire Cameron: THE LAST NEANDERTHAL (paperback): 1st April 2018: Buy (US)
Heather Davis: A CURSE SO DARK: 5th October 2017: Buy (US)
Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff: GEMINA (paperback): 16th January 2018: Buy (US)
Kate Kessler: ZERO HOUR: 24th July 2018: Buy (US)
Andrea Kleine: EDEN: 10th July 2018: Buy (US)
Kim Liggett: THE LAST HARVEST (paperback): 10th July 2018: Buy (US)
Kim Liggett: THE UNFORTUNATES: 10th July 2018: Buy (US)
Katharine McGee: THE DAZZLING HEIGHTS (paperback): 5th June 2018: Buy (US)
Seanan McGuire: SPARROW HILL ROAD: 5th June 2018: Buy (US)
Kelly Meding: STRAY MAGIC: 19th June 2018: Buy (US)
Danielle Rollins: BREAKING (paperback): 12th June 2018: Buy (US)
Veronica Rossi: SEEKER (paperback): 8th May 2018: Buy (US)
Madeleine Roux: COURT OF SHADOWS: 29th May 2018: Buy (US)
Jessica Spotswood: THE LAST SUMMER OF THE GARRETT GIRLS: 1st June 2018: Buy (US)
Danielle Vega: THE MERCILESS IV: LAST RITES: 12th June 2018: Buy (US)
Rachel Vincent: 100 HOURS (paperback): 29th May 2018: Buy (US)

8 New Covers (Beckett, Caine & Aguirre, Chan, Davis, Kleine, McGarry, Weir)

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19th September 2017 Releases

Happy Release Day to:

Laura Bickle
Flesh
Pronoun (US: 19th September 2017)
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Charlie Sulliven thinks she knows all the secrets of the dead. Raised in a funeral home, she’s the reluctant “Ghoul Girl,” her reputation tied to a disastrous Halloween party. But navigating her life as a high school sophomore is an anxiety-inducing puzzle to her. She haunts the funeral home with her parents, emo older brother, Garth, their pistol-packing Gramma, and the glass-eyeball-devouring dachshund, Lothar. Chewed human bodies are appearing in her parents’ morgue…and disappearing in the middle of the night. The bodies seem tied to a local legend, Catfish Bob, who has resurfaced in the muddy Milburn River near Charlie’s small town. When one of Charlie’s classmates, Amanda, awakens in the cooler as a flesh-eating ghoul, Charlie must protect her newfound friend and step up to unravel the mystery…and try to avoid becoming lunch meat for the dead.