Kat's Books

Photographer, reader, mama, cat-lover in Seattle. Originally from England. I'm usually busy taking cat photos at a cat rescue or reading books...

I put my reviews up on Goodreads (along with my huge TBR list), and on Amazon, and take part in the Penguin First to Read program. I have MS so I'm tired a lot but it's a good excuse to have a lie-down and read a book!

Powerful and beautiful collection of adult fairytales, that would have impressed the Brothers Grimm

The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic - Sara Kipin, Leigh Bardugo

This is a powerful collection of fairytales, and it would have made the Brothers Grimm incredibly impressed. Leigh Bardugo has such a disctinctive ‘voice’ when it comes to her writing, and it lends itself well to allegorical tales such as these, with vivid imagery, and vibrant characters, some frightening, and some beautiful.

You can’t help but be drawn into even the most scary stories, just like you did when you heard Little Red Riding Hood’ for the first time, but this you realize is on a much grander and more lavish scale.
The book itself is a delight to hold and read, and the illustrations by Sara Kipin make it a keepsake you’ll want to treasure. It’s not a book to rush through and the stories are definitely ones that make you think. Thorny, sumptuous and very clever.

Beautiful, terrifying, spellbinding and vivid; it’s easy to see why this is a YA horror classic

Anna Dressed in Blood - Kendare Blake

How had I not read this amazing ghost story, filled with blood and a touch of romance before now? Spurred on by the fact the author Kendare Blake will be here in town for a signing, and me just knowing by looking at the cover that I was going to love the book (and therefore read it at my usual breakneck speed), I had to read this at last. I know Blake has new books out but it's easy to see why this has become the sort of book that people recommend when you ask ' do you know of any good YA ghost stories?'. Well, yes, I do.

 

This is a 'new' classic: there's the chilling haunted house, the handsome ghost hunter Cas, the terrifying, beautiful ghost of Anna, and a tale that doesn't let up until the very last page. It's gory, funny, romantic, vivid, and just a brilliant piece of writing. It's also heartbreaking, and not just a fluffy piece of young adult literature. The best part of waiting a few years before getting to a book is that the second one has already been written! Nothing but good things to say about a very dark and chilling but fantastic novel. Instant favorite. 

Highly British YA thriller about boarding school elites; quick entertaining read

S.T.A.G.S. - Bennett D. Hill

As soon as I find out there’s a book about boarding school to read, I’m there. I’m just a little bit spurred on by the fact I went to boarding school myself at the age of 11 (encouraged by reading books by Enid Blyton, in fact), and so I’ll eat up any book on the subject. Harry Potter was quite a thing, after all.
S.T.A.G.S. is far from being Hogwarts, however.
The main character, Greer, is at a prestigious private school (St. Aidan The Great School, which doesn’t in real life exist), on scholarship, among many wealthy kids from aristocracy. She feels out of place and is both somehow reluctant and desperate to fit in.
She gets invited on a fancy ‘hunting, shooting, fishing’ weekend by the top group of kids at the school, known as the Medievals, and led by the dashing but snobbish and rather repugnant Henry de Warlencourt.
Greer is both blown away by the lifestyle of these wealthy young elites, who are used to being tended on by servants, and somehow as if they are grooming her to be one of them, along with two other ‘Savages’ like her. The whole weekend is filled with fine foods, and the activities of Old, (the hunt, shooting pheasant, and fishing), and connection to the outside world is abandoned. The three of these invited students suddenly seem like the hunted and the weekend turns very sour.
While the story was exciting to read in general, I have good things to say about this book and few misgivings. The premise of these three invitees being trapped with these Medievals, these kids who are sometimes so nauseating (and I’ve met some of them in my past) is spot on, and becomes frightening. The hunt and the shoot can be hard to stomach (I am dead set against these antiquated ‘sports of Old) and can’t stand the glee taken by the wealthy in thinking that these pasttimes that connect them to the past should be glorified. But I really relished how the author depicted life in the stately home, and loved how Bennett also wrote about Greer’s connection to
her father through watching old movies together (especially since I’m a film buff).
The ending was pretty clever and wound tightly in a neat bow, and overall this is a entertaining read. I think especially so for American readers, since this is highly ‘British’ in its approach and plot.
While this is already out in the UK, thank you for the early release from NetGalley for the book here in the US.

Popular book that's also important look at mental illness; this one surprised me

Turtles All the Way Down - John Green

I'm really glad I got around to reading this, and I read as part of a postal book club with some book buddies. I may well have skipped this mega-popular book (I like rebelling like that) unless we had picked it, and I hadn't actually read any John Green before either. It was such a hyped book (what's with the turtles? the spiral on the cover?), that I was immediately suspicious, so I'm happy to say it was so much better than I expected it to be.
Since so many people in the book world HAVE read it, I won't summarize the premise, but I will speak a bit about the topic of mental illness, since that's the core issue at hand within the novel. Because of my own past struggles with mental illness (particularly depression and anxiety, including intrusive thoughts, which the main character Aza has severe issues with), I connected strongly with the story and Aza. I too suffered some loss and struggled with grief. I personally sought out help from Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and tried countless medications, all of which was so vivid in my mind when reading, and I remembered my old battles of the past quite well. I wanted to reach out and be the chorus to tell Aza that she would indeed survive this.
Aza was extremely blessed to have fierce love from her mom and her best friend Daisy, and while I appreciate the inner look at the battle against the illness, there are no names put on it, nor many distinct solutions pursued. The extreme societal stigma surrounding mental illness is also not discussed; is this a good or necessary thing? I couldn't decide. Maybe there wasn't a place for it here.
I loved the character Davis, and I loved the connections in this book. Overall, I'm happy I read this and loved the look at Aza's struggle and the bravery it takes to write about this topic, but the message is that there is hope, and that there is help. I have TOO much to say about this stuff so I'll shut up about it now!
PS. I'm glad no turtles were harmed in the writing of this novel.

It’s all about ME! Thanks for the interview, Kate!

#24 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Kat's Books

Reblogged from BookLikes:

 

All book lovers know that cats and books go well together. Meet Kat, a true avid reader and a cat lover with an amazing book box library ;)

 

Follow Kat's Books blog on BookLikes: http://kamoorephoto.booklikes.com/

 

 

When did you discover you’re a book lover? 

 

I've truly been a book lover all my life; I was the kind of child that loved going to the library, and got into trouble for bringing my book to the dinner table, and loved organizing my bookshelves. My parents were (and still are) avid book readers, so I'm sure that played a huge part in it. I even fell in love with a series of books about boarding school (by Enid Blyton) so much, that I got my wish to go to an English boarding school (we lived in Hong Kong at the time). Bonus points for looking up where I went: Battle Abbey. 

 

 

How did your book blogging adventure start and how did it affect your (reading) life? 

 

I started doing reviews, and then started receiving more ARCs, and discovered BookLikes. I enjoy posting reviews and organizing my books online, and hopefully others will read something I wrote and it will help them decide what to read or buy next. I guess it makes me more conscious of what I read next.   

 

 

What are you reading right now? 

 

I'm reading the ARC for a book called The Afterlives byThomas Pierce, which is a book that almost defies description. It's fascinating, and it's out January 9th, '18. I've also just taken on an epic 'buddy read' of The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss  , which is 752 pages long (what am I thinking?!). I hope at some point to just focus on that one though. (I've got it on audio too, though)   

 

The Afterlives: A Novel - Thomas PierceThe Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicle, #1) - Patrick Rothfuss

 

Do you read one book or several at a time? 

 

I usually only read one at a time, and generally take 2-3 days to finish a book if I'm not too busy and if life isn't too crazy. I like being able to focus on one book, so I can really grasp the story and characters, and only sometimes take on another. I find it's easier to take on a second if it's a different genre, or it's in a different medium (ie audiobook/ebook).   

 

 

You wish to read 100 books in 2018 - we keep our fingers crossed! How much time do you spend reading? 

 

Well, I only really started tracking my book-reading last June, and I read 69 from June until the end of the year. I usually read several hours late at night (I kind of have an insomnia problem) when it's quiet, and when everyone else is in bed. But I also have MS, so sometimes when I'm not feeling good, and I'm having a good rest, I get in extra reading time. I think I can take on 100 this year!   

 

Kat's Books - Reading Challenge page

 

 

What are your favorite book genres? Why are they special? 

 

I like a lot of different genres and read a lot of different kinds of books: thriller, sci-fi, horror, fantasy, literary fiction, memoirs, YA or otherwise. The only genre that doesn't grab me is romance. Can't do it! Sometimes it feels more appropriate or special to do certain ones at different times of the year though.   

 

 

You’re a cat lover and a photographer <3 Would love to see some pics ;) 

 

I could actually show you my photos all day (see attached, for a few), and you can also find me here:  http://kamoorephotography.com   

 

All photos Copyrighted K.A.Moore Photography

 

 

In your short bio you write “I'm usually busy taking cat photos at a cat rescue” - tell us more about it.

 

I've been a volunteer photographer at the same cat rescue for about 7 years now, here in Seattle, and I take photos of cats who especially need photos that need that extra awesome photos from me to get them noticed, ie senior cats, special-needs kitties. I sometimes do private home sessions, families and events too, but I do photos at the rescue every week like clockwork, edit them and get them up on our site.

 

All photos Copyrighted K.A.Moore Photography

 

 

I also design our annual calendar (still for sale! http://bit.ly/CatCalendarKAMoore)  I used to work in film production, on movies, and have a degree in film and video, so have always had a penchant for storytelling, but I went back to still photos after I found out I have MS and to slow down a bit. 

 


Copyrighted K.A.Moore Photography

 

 

What are your three favorite book covers? 

 

EVER?! That's so hard! There are so many book covers these days and who doesn't pick up a book because they love the cover? 

- One of the ALL-TIME best is a children's book – Where The Wild Things Are; it was my son's favorite book when he was little and he was even Max for Halloween when he was 3 (I made his costume). 

 

 

 

- My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix  (Paperback): it's made to look like a VHS casing/cover, and it is genius. The design is actually by a comedian Doogie Horner and it caught my eye immediately. I also loved the book!

- This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada; I happen to love the book to death, and is one of my top books of 2017, but when you realize what the cover art represents, along with the vibrant simplicity of it, it is unbeatable as a cover design. 

 

My Best Friend's Exorcism - Grady HendrixThis Mortal Coil - Emily Suvada

 

 

 

How do you pick your next book to read? 

 

I usually set out a bunch for the month because I include ARCs I have (that may have review deadlines), plus I participate in some challenges on Litsy, so sometimes it depends on those two things, but I'm very much a mood reader when I'm picking my next book to read. 

 

 

 

Which books are you most excited recommending to your followers in 2018? 

 

- Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh  (out next week! I actually also have been written into the sequel too, in a teeny part) 

- My Plain Jane by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows  (I loved My Lady Jane so this is a must) 

 

Reign of the Fallen - Sarah Glenn MarshMy Plain Jane - Brodi Ashton,Cynthia Hand,Jodi MeadowsMy Lady Jane - Brodi Ashton,Jodi Meadows,Cynthia Hand

 

 

- The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza by Shaun David Hutchinson  (sci-fi genius) 

- The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager  (who wrote 'Final Girls) 

- The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke (a genderbent reimaging of Beowulf) 

 

The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza - Shaun David HutchinsonThe Last Time I Lied - Riley SagerThe Boneless Mercies - April Genevieve Tucholke

 

 

What’s your reading spot? We’d love to see the photos :) 

 

My favorite place is actually in bed, or on my bed, with my cats, and dog. In winter it's snuggly and warm, and in the summer, it's where my fan is. 

 

 

 

 

A paper book or an e-book? 

 

I love paper books, both new and good-condition used books, but I also have a Kindle Fire, and I love being able to read on-the-go and I receive ARCs on there, have Amazom Prime, as well as borrow books from the library that way. 

 

 

Three titles for a winter evening? 

 

- Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (everyone must read this! It will make you think) 

- The Princess Bride by William Goldman  (the one romance/comedy/adventure I truly love, and I can't believe I waited so long to read after loving the movie so much) 

- Invictus by Ryan Graudin (time-traveling adventure that will take you to Roman times, to the Titanic, and beyond; you'll have so much fun reading this)

 

Dark Matter: A Novel - Blake CrouchThe Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure - William GoldmanInvictus - Ryan Graudin

 

Favorite quote? 

 

Actually, my favorite is an animal quote:

Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened.

~ Anatole France 

 

If you could meet one literary character, who would it be? 

 

I guess he's not really a 'literary' character but after reading and then 'hearing' Trevor Noah's Born A Crime (and if you haven't heard his audiobook yet, you must!), I so would love to meet him.

And Garfield. 

 

 

Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :) 

 

Don't laugh! I had to give my big bookcase to my book-loving son when we moved into a smaller place, so now my books are in limbo, mostly in open subscription book boxes. Someone give me a wall bookshelf system!

 

Thank you!

 

*

 

Missed previous Follow Friday talks? Use ffwithbookbloggers tag or click the catch up links:

 

You can nominate your blogger friends to the Follow Friday interview! Leave the URL address and a short note in the comment section below.

 

 

See you next Friday! 

 

Both beautiful and terrifying, this is a standout in the crowded YA fantasy genre

Everless - Sara  Holland

'Everless' took me totally by surprise. There are quite a lot of young adult fantasy novels being released with beautiful cover designs to draw you in (even though I want to get my hands on the UK cover in this case, over the US one), so I think it's starting to get harder to stand out in this genre, at least on the bookshelf. But I dove into 'Everless' without too many preconceptions and once I started the book, I barely came up for air.


In the land of Sempera, time is money, and blood is currency, meaning blood-iron can be sold and turned into coins for the very things that people need to survive: rent and food. It is all-consuming and cause for corruption - the wealthy just drop coins into their tea to look younger, and people go to get their blood drawn to satisfy their debts, as well as having their blood taken from them as punishment or stolen.


This whole concept aside (which initially seemed confusing to me but then made total sense!), the main character who drives the tale is Jules, and I gravitated towards her from the beginning. I already feel like I'm saying too much, but she must leave her beloved father to go back to work and live at 'Everless' where the Gerlings, the Sempera royalty, reside, to understand the secrets that reside within, and to try and support her dying father, against his wishes. I don't dare say any more about the plot, but I will say that this book just flows because of Holland's great writing, her fairytale world filed with fascinating characters, and I couldn't put the book down.


Sara Holland has created a world so enthralling, as beautiful as it is terrifying, and it's hard not be absorbed in this tale filled with secrets, danger, and adventure. Read this book!
*I can't believe I'm going to have to wait for her to write the next one now!! The ending really left us with a cliffhanger!

A book of stories about the female experience with a powerful voice

Her Body and Other Parties: Stories - Carmen Maria Machado

I finally read this celebrated book, and it’s quite a read. It’s all at once devastating, complicated, weird, queer, scary, sometimes funny, and the writing was always beautiful. Machado has written about the female experience in a number of different stories, some I enjoyed vastly more than others, some captivating me, a couple dragged on a bit. But this is unlike anything I’ve read before. A book YOU should probably all read! 

A unique novel that questions the afterlife (and so much more), and has left me speechless

The Afterlives: A Novel - Thomas Pierce

This book almost defies description and I'm still basically 'speechless' upon finishing. Yes, I can say it's a fictional novel (unless author Pierce knows things we don't!), but then I can tell you all the different genres and subjects it touches: fantasy, the supernatural/ghosts, sci-fi and aliens, relationships, religion and the question of God, conspiracy theories, and the biggest question of all - what happens to us all when we die.
The novel begins when Jim Byrd dies for a few minutes, but he is left with no experience of seeing an 'afterlife', ie, no 'tunnels with lights'. This leaves him with huge life questions and starts seeing the world in a whole new way, along with his new 'HeartNet' to keep his ticker beating safely. The world in which this novel is set in, is even filled with holograms, and so many questions for Jim, and consequently for the reader. I didn't read this as quickly as some books because of that, and I was often putting it down to digest and think about what I'd just read because of everything I just had to absorb. There's actually a lot of humor in the novel too, so even though there are huge topics on the table like life and death, the tone of the book remains light, even when big events happen.
Originally I was put off by the fact that Jim's romance and subsequent relationship with his wife Annie, would be central to the novel, but it ended up being such an original journey that they were on, that I was absorbed by their story within the bigger story.
This is such a unique and intelligent novel, one that will get your brain thinking and your heart thumping. I know I won't read another quite like this in 2018, and it's got to be read to be fully appreciated. Fabulous.

First one in ‘the books’ for 2018!!

Dare Mighty Things - Heather Kaczynski

First one in the ‘books’ for 2018! Thanks to no plans for New Year’s Eve, I was glued to this all last night, and then finished it basically at the 24 hour mark. And it was a Christmas present from a friend! I’ve already stuck to my first book resolution: read from my huge stack of books I own!
AND it was a good one! ‘Dare Mighty Things’ is a story about a competition between a group of the brightest and bravest young people vying for a spot on a top-secret space mission funded by NASA a few decades from now, and it’s only at the very end of the book that it’s revealed what the actual mission is.

Cassandra (Cassie) Gupta isn’t your usual storybook ‘heroine’ either, and I enjoyed following her character and getting to know her; she’s 18, Indian-American, is one of the first wave of ‘designer babies’, super smart, and athletic, and ever since she can remember, her dream has been to go into space. All the way through the book, I couldn’t help but think about how I’m kind of in awe of ANYone who has that drive to go through what it takes to test for and train to go into space, because it has to be a VERY intense drive. You see this from the many characters in the book, not just Cassie. She starts to develop friends as she goes through the program, something that’s pretty new to her, as she now has found a place where she ‘fits in’. So this story has elements of not only this ‘big picture’ (in this case, a HUGE ONE, ie Space) that she is finding her place in, but one where the main character Cassie is newly discovering what it means to develop bonds with others, at the same time as pushing oneself and persevering to achieve a long-held dream. At times it’s intense, and at others, very self-reflective.
The writing in this book was never a struggle to read, even with all the quasi-tech lingo, and (author) Heather Kaczynski's love of space flight is obvious when you read this book; it’s hard not to get excited, and a bit terrified, for the mission. Now that I have read to the end and know that it’s a duology (I must read the upcoming 2nd book to know what on Earth, haha) is going to happen. There’s definitely a lot more to come!

Fast paced read that centers around a Ted Bundy Unsub; exciting stuff!

Into the Black Nowhere: An UNSUB Novel - Meg Gardiner

I totally enjoyed this, and read it at a break-neck speed, which matched the fast pace of the novel. I hadn’t read the first ‘Unsub’ novel, but the cross between a ‘Criminal Minds’/Behavioral Analysis Unit at the core, with a familiar ‘Unsub’ as the basis for the plot (in this case, someone quite similar to Ted Bundy), made for a compelling read. I liked Gardiner’s writing style, and that she kept a step removed from the real Bundy case. Fun read!

A one-of-a-kind thriller; can't wait to see what comes from this author next

The Chalk Man - C.J. Tudor

As soon as I was able to read 'The Chalk Man', I raced through it, and especially so, to give recommendations in time for all my book friends to make their 'Book of The Month' picks. It wasn't hard to force me because as soon as I started reading, I was captivated by the tale of a group of young English boys (and girl), back in 1986, and then, their lives three decades later in 2016. 

The story centers around Eddie who is still trying to put a difficult past behind him, a past that involves the group finding a dismembered body in the woods. Cut to the present day, and the group of friends all get the same mysterious message in the mail, and one of them turns up dead. And what about the mysterious chalk figure code?
*I actually found some amusement reading the story as I'm the same age as the protagonist Eddie, and being from England, found it fun to read little things like the kids going to spend their money at the corner shop (note: some lingo might get missed by some American readers).

I personally found this novel to be one of a kind, and because I got to read it in 2017, it was actually one of my favorites of the year. Start your 2018 with it, and I expect this will be one of those books that will stay the course of books (and authors) that people will still be talking about at year's-end. I can't wait to see what C.J.Tudor writes next!

Absolutely heart-wrenching novel with bipolar illness at its core

— feeling sad
Before I Let Go - Marieke Nijkamp

This was an absolutely heart-wrenching read. It’s a story about a college-age girl called Corey going back to the tiny town of Lost Creek, Alaska, where she grew up, upon hearing that her very best friend, Kyra has suddenly died. But Corey knows something isn’t right and Kyra shouldn’t have ‘gone’ so soon.
As soon as Corey gets back to Lost, she feels like an outsider in a place she used to know like the back of her hand. You immediately start reading and get an eerie feeling, and that unwelcome vibe she’s feeling is ominous. Author Marieke Nijkamp writes about the friendship between Kyra and Corey with such love and empathy, as well as she describes the cold, harsh veneer that the townspeople are throwing up against Corey upon her return. It’s mystifying and becomes more deeply disturbing, the more alone she feels. Nijkamp interestingly employs phone calls, flashbacks, letters, and even the use of screenplay-style writing structures to convey what’s going on in the story.
I went into reading this not quite knowing that the underlying emotional and complex issue, beyond mammoth ones of grief and loss, is mental illness (bipolar disorder). There’s also a good amount of the characters exploring their sexuality, so there’s a significant LGBTQ storyline to this, and written with wonderful tenderness.
When it came to the core issue of how Kyra was dealing with being bipolar and how her parents were not treating it appropriately, as well as issues with how she felt ostracized because of her illness, I do hope this brings up a larger conversation, and is thought about significantly when read. It is central to the whole story, and the effects of her illness not being dealt with are devastating.
What is so beautiful to read about in this novel is the strong friendship between the girls, their different passions (for storytelling, for the stars, for travel), and the description of the frightening but likely majestic wilderness.
This is a very unique novel, with an original setting, and I felt heartbroken that these two great friends had to lose each other. Thank you for the spectacular read, Sourcebooks.

Thought-provoking novel that's a real treat

As You Wish - Chelsea Sedoti

Just one wish. We've all imagined it: getting the chance for one wish that can come true, with the possibility of it changing your whole life. What would you do with it? Suspend your belief and dive into this coming-of-age-novel, where in the whole town of Madison, Nevada, you get granted one wish on your eighteenth birthday. This wonderful book totally gripped me, and I flew through it in 2 days, totally believing that this town in the middle of the desert had a wishing cave and this premise could unfold for teens who live there. 
But the cost of choosing your wish isn't taken lightly. This book grapples with many themes of life and death, greed and loss, how happiness for yourself doesn't necessarily mean happiness for those around you. I wanted desperately to find out what Eldon, who has 25 days before his 18th birthday, is going to do with his wish, and he goes on a mission to understand others' wishes before he makes his own decision. His character is complicated by his relationships with his friends, his parents, and the sister who he desperately misses but is lying in a nursing home. It was also refreshing to read a book with the main character being a male with real emotions, showing deep thought, and strong friendships.
Chelsea Sedoti has written such a thought-provoking novel with wonderfully realistic flawed characters, and I hope it doesn't get lost in the sea of fantasy YA novels that are coming out at the same time (as much as I love what I am seeing there too).
Thank you to Sourcebooks for my early copy. This book is a real treat.

Don’t just read this book; ABSORB it...

— feeling amazing
Reign of the Fallen - Sarah  Marsh

I waited with great anticipation to get my hands on an early copy of this book, and somehow when ‘the time came’ for me to read it, I had three early copies in my lap. I was obviously meant to read it, and it definitely spoke to me, just from the cover and description. It was definitely worth the wait!
This isn’t just a story about a master necromancer called Odessa (aka Sparrow), it’s so much more. The author Sarah Glenn Marsh, has done an amazing job of world-building, one of a land called Karthia, so vivid, I could imagine it up on the big screen.
The story is filled with dark monsters called Shades, the shrouded dead who live among the living, and a monarchy that is looking more and more fragile as the book precedes. There’s also a lot of blood and gore as these dark monsters must be slain, so there’s plenty of action, and as a reader, we find out some people have special powers according to their eye color, bringing us a very fantastical and superhuman element as well.
But what this lavish fantasy is really about, is a tale about love, grief, friendship, life and death, and loyalties. I was taken by surprise at the levels of loss Sarah wrote about. My own experiences with grief made me deeply feel emotional at some parts of this novel, bringing me to tears, and the lead character struggles with addiction to cover up her grief. I want to appreciate this attention to what loss can do to someone, because this is a vital part of the novel.
There are also deep friendships and new loves (between same sex characters) that are written about in this book, and Sarah does it with such tenderness and with her beautiful writing, that it’s seamless to the plot but something that many readers have been waiting for. She shows how complex both can be, and describes the ‘newness’ of this for one of the characters, and it’s delightful to read. Loyalty and trust are key elements running through the story with respect to these relationships.
I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Reign of the Fallen’ and since I do know there’s another book to follow in its tracks, I’m pleased that this world and its characters will be back. I didn’t so much as ‘read’ this book, I ‘absorbed’ it; I really hope that everyone else will love it as much as I did. Savor this one!
*I also have a tiny character part where I die on a page in the second book, so I KNOW there’s another one!

Finally, a YA book for the guys...

Bad Call - Stephen Wallenfels

I finished this last night, after the last third of the book really sped up and kept me awake until I was done! 

I finally think I've come across a YA book that guys will actually like. It's set with mountain-climbing as the main activity and Yosemite as the backdrop; the author, Stephen Wallenfels, is big into the outdoors and mountain-climbing, and through the dialog and writing, it shows. The book is described as a thriller, although it's low on 'thrill' content, plus there's a complicated 'relationship scenario' going on in the story that directs a lot of the plot, and that took me by surprise. The book goes back and forth between what's going on for the different characters but centers mostly around one of them, and flashes back to some events between them at their private school. There were a few times that those lost me a bit and I wanted to stay in the present, but that's because I wanted to keep pushing up that mountain. I also wanted Wallenfels to push more at the suspense and thrill content because I think he could and should have. But maybe that's because I always want a bit more blood in the snow!

Instead of an ARC, I was generously sent a finished hardcover with that gloriously simple red and white cover design! I'm super grateful for that (BookishFirst) and am glad I got to have an early read of this YA novel. I'd love to hear if the boys pick this one up! You won't find me climbing Yosemite any time soon...

Great debut novel, and gripping thriller

— feeling big smile
The Chalk Man - C.J. Tudor

*I'm finishing this at 3am in the morning after reading nearly all of the book today (will update review without spoilers soon!); I wanted to make sure I could recommend it to those of you pondering it for Book of The Month! I say go for it! Such a great read. Go to join BOTM here, if you haven't yet...
https://www.mybotm.com/u5z2nwei6ba10pb9

 

- I enjoyed this book from the get-go; it’s a thriller set in England with dual timelines, one in 1986, one in 2016, and the main character happens to be the same age as me (pretty fun for this Brit). The twists and turns, the characters, all the details, everything is so tantalizing to read, it’s amazing that this is a debut. Solid pick!

Currently reading

Anatomy of a Scandal: A Novel
Sarah Vaughan
The Name of the Wind: 10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (Kingkiller Chronicle)
Patrick Rothfuss, Care Santos