Tuesday, August 21, 2018

All The ARCs

In the past few weeks, I've gotten SEVEN advanced copies. While I will never not love having free books show up on my doorstep, this has also meant my book queue has gotten a little out of control. Again, this is not a problem, but rather an observation. For this round, I wanted to pare down my ARC queue specifically, so here are four books from my "sneak preview" reads.

The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain was amazing and incredible and all related adjectives. This was one of those rare books you think about constantly when you're not reading because you've become emotionally attached and need to know what happens next. This is also one of those books that I'm still thinking about days later and wish I could be back in its clutches. At its core, this book is about a mother's love for her daughter. In her quest to keep her healthy and safe, an unknown possibility is opened up to her. I cannot tell you what this is here, but please trust me that it will captivate you. I have come to love, love, LOVE the stories that Diane Chamberlain tells in her novels. This one, however, was another level. Even as I type, I'm simultaneously smiling and getting a bit weepy (I'm all feels, all the time y'all) as I think back to the journey this book took me on. I realize I'm not giving you much "teeth" to the plot, and that's actually intentional. You need to read this one with fresh eyes and a clear mind, so that you can feel all the emotions the developments in this one bring. Put this one on your book queue now y'all, read it, and then please let me know at any point in life after October 2nd (release date) how very much you loved this story.

Oh, and unrelated to the plot, this book had a shout out to As The World Turns. ATWT is the soap opera of my youth (via my mom's love), and I miss it terribly. It was an unexpected surprise as I read, and I'd be remiss to not share that little moment of bliss here.

Read this book if - You want a story that is unlike any other. You want a story built on the choices we make for love. You want characters that you cannot stop think about as you read and even days after. You want a book that will make you feel all the feels - in the best of ways. 

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen was an ARC I was legit pumped to receive. Their first joint venture (The Wife Between Us) was such a captivating read, and I was excited to have a chance to jump back into the thrilling world they create. One of the challenges with authors who write something incredible is following that up, and despite not wanting to compare, well, you do. That said, I liked The Wife Between Us better. Others may rate them in reserve order because we each like what we like. Regardless, both are 1000% worth the read. Anyway. . .

This book was intriguing. It starts with a psychology experiment. Needing cash, Jessica signs up for a study. Seems like easy, quick money, however it quickly becomes more than that. Dr. Shields truly wants to test Jessica's limits. It's hard for to Jessica to say no as each of these additional layers has a financial component. The experiment becomes more complex as Dr Shields' own emotions and wants become wrapped in what she's asking Jessica to do under the guise of her work. I actually read this in one sitting on a long flight, and it kept me captivated throughout. I will also say the ending was one that was so wild I had to re-read to make sure I truly understood the twist. Overall, I'm really digging this duo, and I'm looking to forward the discussion this one brings when it's released next year (yup, it's not out until 2019) as well as what's next.

Read this book if - You love a good pageturner of a thriller. You like a book that raises ethical questions written in a fast-paced thriller environment. You like a book that has a good twist or two or seven up its sleeve.

Little Do We Know by Tamara Ireland Stone was a book I snagged at Library Night at the K. It's actually already out on shelves, but still a new-ish release. This one was classic YA. Emory and Hannah are lifelong next door neighbors and former BFFs, but now aren't talking, and you don't know why. Through alternating chapters, they share their story of their final days of high school as well as elude to where things have been with their friendship. Things get more complex when Emory intervenes as she finds Hannah's boyfriend Luke passed out in a car outsider her house. This book is a story about friendship, romance and faith told in a unique and different way. I can't say that I've read many books that talk about all three of these like this one did. I will say I figured out the reason Emory and Hannah weren't talking fairly early on, but it didn't ruin my reading of the book. There are also some other complexities in the story that I'm still processing through, but overall I thought this one did what YA generally does for me.

Read this book if - You are looking for a YA story about friendship with an added dimension of faith development. You are looking for a YA story that takes on a different tone than others. 

Sheets by Brenna Thummler was a graphic novel I wanted to love, and there were moments I did. This one is a story of a girl who feels like a ghost and a boy who is. Marjorie is trying to navigate life after her mother's death. Due to his own grief, her father isn't at a place where he can run the family laundromat, so this falls on her shoulders. Wendell is a ghost trying to figure out just what it means to be a ghost and how he interacts with the rest of the world. The two intersect as they figure out life after/the afterlife. There were moments I was all about the feels in this one, and there were many others where I just wanted more. Honestly, I wanted more Marjorie than anything. I thought her story and emotions were so real. The ghost thing had its moments, but the humans in this are what made me enjoy the read. 

Read this book if - You want a graphic novel with some heart. You are looking for a quick read that will make you feel some feels.