Such a Fun Age – ARC Review

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Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Series: N/A

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Expected publication: December 31st, 2019

Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Adult

Pages: 320

Format: ARC

Buy: Amazon / Book Depository

* Received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much! This doesn’t affect the review in any way. My opinions are, as always, my own.*

A striking and surprising debut novel from an exhilarating new voice, Such a Fun Age is a page-turning and big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both.

Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living showing other women how to do the same. A mother to two small girls, she started out as a blogger and has quickly built herself into a confidence-driven brand. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains’ toddler one night. Seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, a security guard at their local high-end supermarket accuses Emira of kidnapping two-year-old Briar. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make it right.

But Emira herself is aimless, broke, and wary of Alix’s desire to help. At twenty-five, she is about to lose her health insurance and has no idea what to do with her life. When the video of Emira unearths someone from Alix’s past, both women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, and each other.

With empathy and piercing social commentary, Such a Fun Ageexplores the stickiness of transactional relationships, what it means to make someone “family,” the complicated reality of being a grown up, and the consequences of doing the right thing for the wrong reason.

Captura de ecrã 2017-06-30, às 18.09.21This is so much more than I was initially expecting. I was completely enthralled from the very first page and it just kept getting more and more interesting!

This book has some of the best drama I’ve read about recently. It was incredibly gripping!

I think my favorite part was how unreliable the characters in this book were. I never knew who to trust and it kept me turning the pages as fast as I could.

It does deal with racism quite a lot, but in a way you don’t see much, so I felt that was interesting and unique.

Our MC is a babysitter, so we have some childcare related parts. I really loved Emira and Briar’s connection. I loved how much she tried to make the kid have a good time, help her out on not feeling so lonely and just overall be there for her. The mom was quite an interesting character to read about, both on a romantic and a maternal level. She definitely wasn’t there for her kid as much as she should be and we can kind of see the effect of that in Briar’s life, and the repercussions that may appear in the future.

I really enjoyed Emira’s circle of friends. I felt that they were super connected and there was something very real about their friendship. How much they helped each other, even if we mainly saw them at party-out moments, it was still present there. As for her romantic life, it was awesome, unique and unexpected!

There’s a lot of white lies gone wrong, weary intentions and disrespectful situations in here that I loved to read about. But the best topic might have been how we feel the need to compare ourselves to others. How we see other people’s lives and how we feel that our age we should also be doing that but instead… You know? I really liked that aspect and it really spoke to me. I do believe there’s an age for certain things, but then again everyone is different. Other people might have things you want in life at a sooner or later stage and that’s okay. Just live your life the best you can, doing what you love and try to achieve your goals. Comparing ourselves will only make us feel bad and unappreciative of what we have and what we’ve achieved. I really loved to see Emira figure out her life and see her feelings throughout.

The book’s wrapping up was quite quick, but it also gave an overview of how her life went after it all, which is not as common anymore, so it was a nice change.

It was emotional and exciting and full of drama, and I really enjoyed reading it and would recommend it!

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What did you think of it? Are you excited about this book? Let’s discuss it in the comments below!

 

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton – ARC Review

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The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Series: N/A

Publisher: Raven Books

Expected publication: February 8th, 2018 (UK) / September (US)

Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction

Pages: 512

Format: ARC

Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

* Received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much! This doesn’t affect the review in any way. My opinions are, as always, my own.*

How do you stop a murder that’s already happened?

At a gala party thrown by her parents, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed–again. She’s been murdered hundreds of times, and each day, Aiden Bishop is too late to save her. Doomed to repeat the same day over and over, Aiden’s only escape is to solve Evelyn Hardcastle’s murder and conquer the shadows of an enemy he struggles to even comprehend–but nothing and no one are quite what they seem.

Deeply atmospheric and ingeniously plotted, The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a highly original debut that will appeal to fans of Kate Atkinson and Agatha Christie.

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The Martian by Andy Weir

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The Martian by Andy Weir
Series: The Martian #1*
Publisher: Broadway Books/Crown/Random House
First published September 27th, 2012
Genres: Sci-fi, Fiction
Pages: 387
Format: Paperback
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.
Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm forces his crew to evacuate the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars’s surface, with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive. And even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone years before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, Mark won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first.

Armed with nothing but his ingenuity, his engineering skills–and a gallows sense of humor that proves to be his greatest source of strength–Mark embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive. But will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

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A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena

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A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena
Series: N/A
Publisher: Bantam Press
First published July 27th, 2017
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction
Pages: 289
Format: Hardcover
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

He looks at her, concerned. “How do you feel?” She wants to say, Terrified. Instead, she says, with a faint smile, “Glad to be home.”

Karen and Tom Krupp are happy—they’ve got a lovely home in upstate New York, they’re practically newlyweds, and they have no kids to interrupt their comfortable life together. But one day, Tom returns home to find Karen has vanished—her car’s gone and it seems she left in a rush. She even left her purse—complete with phone and ID—behind.

There’s a knock on the door—the police are there to take Tom to the hospital where his wife has been admitted. She had a car accident, and lost control as she sped through the worst part of town.

The accident has left Karen with a concussion and a few scrapes. Still, she’s mostly okay—except that she can’t remember what she was doing or where she was when she crashed. The cops think her memory loss is highly convenient, and they suspect she was up to no good.

Karen returns home with Tom, determined to heal and move on with her life. Then she realizes something’s been moved. Something’s not quite right. Someone’s been in her house. And the police won’t stop asking questions.

Because in this house, everyone’s a stranger. Everyone has something they’d rather keep hidden. Something they might even kill to keep quiet.

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Manipulated Lives by H. A. Leuschel

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Manipulated Lives by H. A. Leuschel

Series: N/A

Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform

Published June 28th, 2016

Genres: Short Stories, Psychology, Fiction, Adult

Pages: 274

Format: Paperback

Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

* Received this copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much! This doesn’t affect the review in any way. My opinions are, as always, my own.*

Five stories – Five Lives.
Have you ever felt confused or at a loss for words in front of a spouse, colleague or parent, to the extent that you have felt inadequate or, worse, a failure? Do you ever wonder why someone close to you seems to endure humiliation without resistance?
Manipulators are everywhere. At first these devious and calculating people can be hard to spot, because that is their way. They are often masters of disguise: witty, disarming, even charming in public – tricks to snare their prey – but then they revert to their true self of being controlling and angry in private. Their main aim: to dominate and use others to satisfy their needs, with a complete lack of compassion and empathy for their victim.
In this collection of short novellas, you meet people like you and me, intent on living happy lives, yet each of them, in one way or another, is caught up and damaged by a manipulative individual. First you meet Tess, whose past is haunted by a wrong decision, then young, successful and well balanced Sophie, who is drawn into the life of a little boy and his troubled father. Next, there is teenage Holly, who is intent on making a better life for herself, followed by a manipulator himself, trying to make sense of his irreversible incarceration. Lastly, there is Lisa, who has to face a parent’s biggest regret. All stories highlight to what extent abusive manipulation can distort lives and threaten our very feeling of self-worth.

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Review: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

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The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Series: Standalone
Publisher: HarperCollins
First published in 1911
Genres: Classic, Children, YA, Fiction
Pages: 358
Format: Paperback
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

This 100th anniversary edition of The Secret Garden celebrates a cherished classic with Tasha Tudor’s wonderful illustrations throughout, an extended author biography, games, activities, and more!

When orphaned Mary Lennox comes to live at her uncle’s great house on the Yorkshire Moors, she finds it full of secrets. The mansion has nearly one hundred rooms, and her uncle keeps himself locked up. And at night, she hears the sound of crying down one of the long corridors.

The gardens surrounding the large property are Mary’s only escape. Then, Mary discovers a secret garden, surrounded by walls and locked with a missing key. One day, with the help of two unexpected companions, she discovers a way in. Is everything in the garden dead, or can Mary bring it back to life?

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Review: The Circle by Dave Eggers

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21075514The Circle by Dave Eggers

Series: Standalone

Publisher: Penguin

First published October 8th, 2013

Genres: Sci-fi, Fiction, Dystopia

Pages: 528

Format: Audiobook (+ Paperback)

Buy: Book Depository | Audible at Amazon

When Mae is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. Run out of a sprawling California campus, the Circle links users’ personal emails, social media, and finances with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of transparency. Mae can’t believe her great fortune to work for them – even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public … 

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ARC Review: How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

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How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

Series: standalone

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Expected publication: May 2nd, 2017

Genres: Contemporary, Lgbt, YA

Pages: 336

Format: ARC

Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

* Received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much! This doesn’t affect the review in any way. My opinions are, as always, my own.*

All seventeen year-old Grace Glasser wants is her own life. A normal life in which she sleeps in the same bed for longer than three months and doesn’t have to scrounge for spare change to make sure the electric bill is paid. Emotionally trapped by her unreliable mother, Maggie, and the tiny cape on which she lives, she focuses on her best friend, her upcoming audition for a top music school in New York, and surviving Maggie’s latest boyfriend—who happens to be Grace’s own ex-boyfriend’s father.

Her attempts to lay low until she graduates are disrupted when she meets Eva, a girl with her own share of ghosts she’s trying to outrun. Grief-stricken and lonely, Eva pulls Grace into midnight adventures and feelings Grace never planned on. When Eva tells Grace she likes girls, both of their worlds open up. But, united by loss, Eva also shares a connection with Maggie. As Grace’s mother spirals downward, both girls must figure out how to love and how to move on.

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Review: The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

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The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

Series: Standalone

Publisher: Penguin Random House UK Children’s

Published December 12th 2016 by Penguin

Genres: YA, Contemporary, Fiction

Pages: 311

Format: e-book

Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

* Received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much! This doesn’t affect the review in any way. My opinions are, as always, my own.*

Seventeen-year-old Flora Banks has no short-term memory. Her mind resets itself several times a day, and has since the age of ten, when the tumor that was removed from Flora’s brain took with it her ability to make new memories. That is, until she kisses Drake, her best friend’s boyfriend, the night before he leaves town. Miraculously, this one memory breaks through Flora’s fractured mind, and sticks. Flora is convinced that Drake is responsible for restoring her memory and making her whole again. So when an encouraging email from Drake suggests she meet him on the other side of the world, Flora knows with certainty that this is the first step toward reclaiming her life.

With little more than the words “be brave” inked into her skin, and written reminders of who she is and why her memory is so limited, Flora sets off on an impossible journey to Svalbard, Norway, the land of the midnight sun, determined to find Drake. But from the moment she arrives in the arctic, nothing is quite as it seems, and Flora must “be brave” if she is ever to learn the truth about herself, and to make it safely home.

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Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (spoiler free)

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Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Series: Standalone

Publisher: Corgi Childrens

First published September 1st, 2015

Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, YA

Pages: 310

Format: Paperback

Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

Madeline Whittier is allergic to the outside world. So allergic, in fact, that she has never left the house in all of her seventeen years. But when Olly moves in next door, and wants to talk to Maddie, tiny holes start to appear in the protective bubble her mother has built around her. Olly writes his IM address on a piece of paper, shows it at her window, and suddenly, a door opens. But does Maddie dare to step outside her comfort zone?

Everything, Everything is about the thrill and heartbreak that happens when we break out of our shell to do crazy, sometimes death-defying things for love.

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