Whew, I have read a LOT this past week! In addition to almost all of the books on last week’s TBR, I read a fun Thanksgiving cozy mystery, a media favorite that I REALLY didn’t like, a family drama that had been sitting on my shelf since I bought it in March, and a title I won in a giveaway this past summer. My reviews of these are all linked above and are or will be featured on my Instagram!
Now for this next TBR pile…….and whatever other random titles I decide to pick up to add or substitute! As usual, all descriptions are from Goodreads and all my reviews will be on Goodreads and Instagram.
A Hope Divided by Alyssa Cole
(Kensington ~ November 28, 2017)
Thanks to Kensington for this review copy! I read the first title in the Loyal League collection a few weeks ago and LOVED it – can’t wait to dig into this one!
The Civil War has turned neighbor against neighbor–but for one scientist spy and her philosopher soldier, war could bind them together . . .
For three years of the War Between the States, Marlie Lynch has helped the cause in peace: with coded letters about anti-Rebel uprisings in her Carolina woods, tisanes and poultices for Union prisoners, and silent aid to fleeing slave and Freeman alike. Her formerly enslaved mother’s traditions and the name of a white father she never knew have protected her–until the vicious Confederate Home Guard claims Marlie’s home for their new base of operations in the guerilla war against Southern resistors of the Rebel cause.
Unbeknowst to those under her roof, escaped prisoner Ewan McCall is sheltering in her laboratory. Seemingly a quiet philosopher, Ewan has his own history with the cruel captain of the Home Guard, and a thoughtful but unbending strength Marlie finds irresistible.
When the revelation of a stunning family secret places Marlie’s freedom on the line, she and Ewan have to run for their lives into the hostile Carolina night. Following the path of the Underground Railroad, they find themselves caught up in a vicious battle that could dash their hopes of love–and freedom–before they ever cross state lines.
The Sisters of Glass Ferry by Kim Michele Richardson
(Kensington ~ November 28, 2017)
Thanks to Kensington for this review copy! I’m always up for a Southern gothic novel – this one looks fabulous and the Goodreads reviews are stellar so far.
Spanning several decades and written in an authentic voice both lyrical and wise, The Sisters of Glass Ferry is a haunting novel about small-town Southern secrets, loss and atonement, and the unbreakable bond between siblings.
Glass Ferry, Kentucky, is bourbon country. Whiskey has been a way of life for generations, enabling families to provide and survive even in the darkest times. Flannery Butler’s daddy, Beauregard “Honey Bee” Butler, was known for making some of the best whiskey in the state, aged in barrels he’d take by boat up and down the Kentucky River until the rocking waters turned the spirits smooth and golden. Flannery is the only person Honey Bee ever entrusted with his recipes before he passed on, swearing her to secrecy as he did so.
But Flannery is harboring other secrets too, about her twin sister Patsy, older by eight minutes and pretty in a way Flannery knows she’ll never be.
Then comes the prom night when Patsy–wearing a yellow chiffon dress and the family pearls–disappears along with her date. Every succeeding year on the twins’ birthday, Flannery’s mother bakes a strawberry cake, convinced that this is the day Patsy will finally come home. But it will be two tumultuous decades until the muddy river yields a clue about what happened that night, compelling Flannery to confront the truth about her sleepy town, her family’s past, and the choices she and those closest to her have made in the name of love and retribution . . .
The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny (Inspector Gamache Book 3)
(Minotaur Books ~ first published 2007)
I’m reading along with the Penny Pushers Goodreads group, and we are on book 3 of the 12 in this series! I really like the first two in the series, and have heard this one is a little different but they get way better with each subsequent title after this. We shall see!
Welcome to Three Pines, where the cruelest month is about to deliver on its threat.
It’s spring in the tiny, forgotten village; buds are on the trees and the first flowers are struggling through the newly thawed earth. But not everything is meant to return to life.
When some villagers decide to celebrate Easter with a séance at the Old Hadley House, they are hoping to rid the town of its evil—until one of their party dies of fright. Was this a natural death, or was the victim somehow helped along?
Brilliant, compassionate Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec is called to investigate, in a case that will force him to face his own ghosts as well as those of a seemingly idyllic town where relationships are far more dangerous than they seem.
Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke – YOUNG ADULT
(Clarion Books ~ January 9, 2018)
Thanks to HMH Kids for this review copy! I’m reading ahead on my kid lit galleys so I can pass them along to Kid Lit Exchange a little quicker. The reviews of this have been great so far, and it looks like one I’ll be able to just inhale in a sitting or two.
The only thing 17-year-old Jane Sinner hates more than failure is pity. After a personal crisis and her subsequent expulsion from high school, she’s going nowhere fast. Jane’s well-meaning parents push her to attend a high school completion program at the nearby Elbow River Community College, and she agrees, on one condition: she gets to move out.
Jane tackles her housing problem by signing up for House of Orange, a student-run reality show that is basically Big Brother, but for Elbow River Students. Living away from home, the chance to win a car (used, but whatever), and a campus full of people who don’t know what she did in high school… what more could she want? Okay, maybe a family that understands why she’d rather turn to Freud than Jesus to make sense of her life, but she’ll settle for fifteen minutes in the proverbial spotlight.
As House of Orange grows from a low-budget web series to a local TV show with fans and shoddy T-shirts, Jane finally has the chance to let her cynical, competitive nature thrive. She’ll use her growing fan base, and whatever Intro to Psychology can teach her, to prove to the world—or at least viewers of substandard TV—that she has what it takes to win.
The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby by Jenny Lundquist – MIDDLE GRADE
(Aladdin ~ September 19, 2017)
Thanks to the author for sharing this title with Kid Lit Exchange! I read the first in the series last month and loved it – excited to read this next title!
Violet Barnaby searches for the joy in life after losing her mother in this sweet and funny follow-up to The Charming Life of Izzy Malone.
Violet Barnaby is a having a blue Christmas. She’s still grieving the loss of her mother, and to make things worse, her dad has just married Melanie Harmer, a.k.a. the meanest teacher at Dandelion Hollow Middle School. But on the day Violet and her dad are packing up and moving into the new house they’ll share with Melanie and Melanie’s two children, Violet finds a letter her mother wrote to her before she died, asking Violet to enjoy Christmas, along with a Christmas Wish List—things her mom wants her to do during the holiday season. On the list are exactly the kinds of things Violet doesn’t want to do this year, like Be Someone’s Secret Santa; Give Someone the Gift of Your Time: Volunteer; and Bake Christmas Cookies.
Violet shows the letter to her friend Izzy’s Aunt Mildred, who calls a meeting of the Charm Girls, a club Izzy and Violet belong to along with their friends, Daisy and Sophia. Aunt Mildred decides she will give them each a charm to put on their bracelet if they do all of the tasks on the Christmas Wish List, which Violet is not too happy about. She’d rather forget about the list completely, but feels compelled to honor her mother’s wishes.
And when Izzy’s crush confides a big secret to Violet, Violet feels like she is stuck between her best friend and the boy who she just might have a crush on, too…
Lie to Me by J.T. Ellison
(Mira ~ September 5, 2017)
I’m reading this one as the November pick for the Saltwater Reads Instagram book club – definitely cutting it close to the deadline, but I’m excited to join in the discussion next week!
They built a life on lies.
Sutton and Ethan Montclair’s idyllic life is not as it appears. The couple seems 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.