Friday, November 6, 2020

Book Reviews - Reading in the Future Again

For this round, I tried to make a (small) dent in my advanced copies stack/list. It was a quartet that brought lots of unexpected twists and compelling stories that are worth checking out once they're released!

Alone by Megan E. Freeman was a phenomenal middle grade read. It gave me major Hatchet vibes which I so loved. The story focuses on Maddie. Wanting a night alone, she and her friends scheme to have a sleepover at her grandparents' abandoned home. When her friends aren't able to go, Maddie decides to spend the night relaxing solo. However, overnight, there is an evacuation of the area, and Maddie wakes up literally alone. Her family and friends have left. There are signs of the evacuation, but no way to get in touch with anyone. With no other choice, Maddie must figure out how to fend for herself in a world where she is truly and utterly by herself. This was a story written in verse that was so emotional and captivating and beautiful. It is a story of determination and hope and even despair that is just outstanding. As a kid, I loved survival reads, and I loved that this was an updated version of that realm that is truly wonderful for readers of all ages. Thanks to NetGalley for the early look at this January 2021 release that y'all are going to need to experience.

Too Good to be True by Carola Lovering was a thriller with some major twists. I would offer the caveat that I found the suspense to be better before the reveals, but a solid plot! It still kept me reading, but the build was the best part as sometimes happens in a thriller. The story focuses on Skye who falls in love with Burke, an older man. He seems perfect - too perfect at times, but she is thrilled to have found love. Heather is introduced as an additional narrator. She seems to have some connection to Skye and/or Burke, but it isn't immediately clear what that might be. The story then builds as two stories are told, and you know there is some intersection, but you just can't figure out what or how. The twists in this one are wild, and I did a legit jaw-drop as it played out which is what always makes me love a thriller. Thanks to NetGalley for the early look at this March 2021 release.

The Time of Green Magic by Hilary McKay was a (literal) magical middle grade read. The story focuses on a blended family who moves into a mysterious new home. The home has a strange appeal and vibe, and that's why they are drawn to it. And then things start happening. The story then focuses on the kids trying to understand the magic. Some of it is good, and some of it is bad, so it's navigating what's what and their plan of action. I found it to be a nice, light read. Thanks to Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing for the advanced copy of this now released read!

The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner was historical fiction with all kinds of twists and turns along the way. The historical "happening" that the story focuses on is the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. The main character of the story is Sophie. Sophie moves to San Francisco after seeing a newspaper advertisement. Martin is a widower who is looking for a wife to help him with his daughter Kat. Sophie is looking for a fresh start, and this seems like just what she needs. Sophie knows only what her husband tells her about himself. When a stranger shows up at her door when Martin is away, Sophie realizes there is more to Martin than she could have ever realized. The story is focused on all kinds of secrets and lies. The twists were so good as it weaves together the stories of women who discover their connections and must figure out what's next. This is one with twists into its very last pages, and it was such a compelling tale. If historical fiction is your jam, this is one that'll suck you in for sure. Thanks to NetGalley for the early look at this February 2021 release!

Onto the next ones!