Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday-- Winter TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a really cool original feature/weekly meme now hosted over at That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week they post a new Top Ten List that bloggers join in on answering... and today (December 18th) I'm one of them :)

Today's Topic

Top Ten Books On My Winter 2018-19 TBR

  • I love making my annual fails lists-- err, my seasonal TBRs.  I don't care that I never stick to the list or that I never read fast enough to even have a prayer of finishing them.  They're fun to make, and make them I shall...

1.  Come Find Me by Megan Miranda- I freaking love this author and will read everything she writes from here on out.

2.  That Night by Amy Giles- I'm cheating because I'm reading this now, but having a head start is needed sometimes.

3.  Pretty in Punxsutawney by Laurie Boyle Crompton- I love Groundhog's Day books-- and this one is set IN Punxsy!!  Plus, it obviously has Pretty in Pink vibes, so I'm down.

4.  Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus- I really liked ONE OF US IS LYING.  It wasn't perfect, but it was fun.

5.  Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty- I've been on the library hold list for this book since it came out-- and I'm bound to get a turn with it before winter is over, right??

6.  That's Not What I Heard by Stephanie Kate Strohm- I love fun books like this every now and again.  Plus, I read IT'S NOT ME, IT'S YOU & found it adorable.

7.  We Told Six Lies by Victoria Scott- This sounds like my kind of thriller/mystery.

8.  My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix- This is happening.  It won my poll on which backlist book I should read next.

9.  The Dead Queens Club by Hannah Capin- I just got this in the mail the other day and I'd never heard of it, but the more I looked into it, the more fun it sounded.

10.  Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills- Need I explain?

So that's my TBR for the future-- maybe.
What books are you planning to read this winter??

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Winter Wonderland w/ The Golden Girls

I am so excited to bring to you Penguin Young Readers' WALKING IN A WINTER WONDERLAND Blogger Campaign!

The book I'm featuring is by far the most ME book that was offered-- and fate brought it to me because the books were sent randomly!!  It is a Golden Girls rendition of Twas the Night Before Christmas.

When I think about The Golden Girls, I think about those Saturday nights in the late 80's-early 90's when I would get home from a day of mall shopping with my mom.  We would run into the house because we didn't want to miss our favorite weekend show-- and I would usually end up straining to keep my eyes open, but not wanting to miss a minute of these sharp-tongued ladies.

It reminds me of college-- watching it in the dorm with my friends and all of us swearing that would be us one day (you know, after our husbands die).

The Golden Girls will always hold a place in my heart-- because really, there will never be anything else like it.

The Golden Girls: Twas the Night Before Xmas

Celebrate this holiday season with the Golden Girls!

     'Twas the night before Christmas and out on the lanai...

This holiday season, celebrate with Blanche, Dorothy, Rose, and Sophia. This illustrated gift book is a perfect stocking stuffer for fans of the show that won eleven Emmy Awards, three Golden Globes, and a place in pop culture fame as one of the best shows of all time.

A look inside:

As a bonus, I've put together a list of books to read when you want a winter feel.  These aren't "Christmasy" books.  These are books that make me think WINTER when I see them.

  • The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke
    • The group of Mercies travel across lands through winter to fight a beast 
  • 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough
    • A girl falls into icy water and is dead for 13 Minutes
  • The Seven Torments of Amy and Craig by Don Zolidis
    • Takes place in Wisconsin in winter-- so, VERY COLD.
  • The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr
    • Flora travels to the Arctic in search of the boy she kissed.
  • Little Monsters by Kara Thomas
    • This mystery takes place in winter with a lot of outdoor wintery scenes.
  • Trapped by Michael Northrop
    • These boys are trapped at school in a killer snow storm.
  • Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler
    • The ultimate winter book.  Ice skating, hockey, upstate New York.  It's all cold and wintery goodness.

What books get you in the mood for Winter?

Thursday, December 6, 2018

The End of Year Fear: 2018 Edition

It's officially time to PANIC!!

It's December (how did that happen?), and every December I start thinking about all the books I wanted to read in the previous year and STILL HAVEN'T YET!!  Every year end I have (at least) 1 stack of books that I was really really excited about and didn't get around to reading.  This is usually due to me being a slow reader, a mood reader, and a hype-avoider.

So, here are the books that I'd really like to get to before 2019, and I probably won't:

Sawkill Girls by Claire LeGrand

  • I don't read a ton of books like this, but it sounds eerie and I want to try it.

Geography of Lost Things by Jessica Brody
  • I love Jessica Brody SO MUCH.  Her books are my kind of books even if I'm not that into Contemporary Romance anymore.

Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  • I have never read a book by this author and I've been wanting to.  I was hoping for a super interesting debutante Mystery/Thriller, but I've heard it's light on the Mystery/Thriller part.

Rabbit & Robot by Andrew Smith
  • I love Andrew Smith, but I DEFINITELY have to be in the mood for his weirdness.

The Last to Let Go by Amber Smith
  • I loved The Way I Used to Be and was SO EXCITED for a new book by this author-- and then I just didn't read it??

More Than We Can Tell (Letters to the Lost #2) by Brigid Kemmerer
  • I loved Letters to the Lost and wanted to know all about Rev and his story-- but then I was never in the mood for the emotions, so I've put it off.

The Lies They Tell by Gillian French
  • I must read this book.

Not Even Bones by Rebecca Schaeffer
  • I was hoping to read this before Halloween and that was a big fail.

The Lying Woods by Ashley Elston
  • This is another book that is MUST READ.

Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson
  • Doesn't this book sound and look AMAZING??  I can't believe I didn't read it when it came out.

Since I am physically unable to read 10 books in the next 4 weeks, I need your help deciding which books to push to the front of the line.

Which books should I make top priority before 2019 happens?

Monday, December 3, 2018

Welcome to the FFBC: This Lie Will Kill You by Chelsea Pitcher-- Interview & 10 book Giveaway!!

Hello FFBC team!!  We are announcing a new tour we're hosting for This Lie Will Kill You that is being released December 11, 2018.

**Tour Banner Designed by the talented Vicky Who Reads**

This Lie Will Kill You

by Chelsea Pitcher
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: December 11, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller
 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg


Tell the truth. Or face the consequences.

Clue meets Riverdale in this page-turning thriller that exposes the lies five teens tell about a deadly night one year ago. 

One year ago, there was a party.
At the party, someone died.
Five teens each played a part and up until now, no one has told the truth.

But tonight, the five survivors arrive at an isolated mansion in the hills, expecting to compete in a contest with a $50,000 grand prize. Of course…some things are too good to be true. They were each so desperate for the prize, they didn’t question the odd, rather exclusive invitation until it was too late.

Now, they realize they’ve been lured together by a person bent on revenge, a person who will stop at nothing to uncover what actually happened on that deadly night, one year ago.

Five arrived, but not all can leave. Will the truth set them free?
Or will their lies destroy them all? 

Hi Chelsea!!  We’re so excited to have your book in our FFBC Tours, and can’t wait to ask you a couple of questions about THIS LIE WILL KILL YOU!


Favorite Book?

The Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and The Diviners are at the top of my list!

Favorite TV show?

Pushing Daisies and Veronica Mars

Favorite movie?

Mean Girls 

Favorite Song?

Is There Somewhere by Halsey

Favorite Food?

Thai yellow curry with tofu

Name 3 fictional places you would move to in a heartbeat. 

Eretz, Camelot, and Holly Black’s version of Faerie

What were your favorite books during your elementary/junior high years?

I loved the Bunnicula series as a kid, the Chronicles of Prydain as an adolescent, and any 
Francesca Lia Block books I could get my hands on as a teenager.

 Favorite Quote?

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

What are your fandoms?

Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Veronica Mars, His Dark Materials, Morgan le Fay, Hanson and anything faerie related!

What recent book would you recommend to our YA fans?

I had the chance to read an early version of AdriAnne Strickland’s Beyond the Black Door, a
deliciously dark YA fantasy with an ace narrator. The book is absolutely fantastic and comes out in 2019.


Could you tell our Book Addicts a little bit about THIS LIE WILL KILL YOU?

On the surface, THIS LIE WILL KILL YOU is about a murder mystery dinner that turns ugly. Five teens attend the party, only to find that someone is already there watching them. Someone has been watching them for a very long time. And that person will stop at nothing to uncover what happened one year ago, when a classmate died in a tragic accident.

An accident that might’ve been premeditated. 

Under the surface, though, the book might be about something else. It might be a guidebook to exposing predators. It might even be an instruction manual on how to burn the patriarchy to the ground. 

Let’s leave it up to the audience to decide.

What 3 hashtags would you most associate with your book? (Could be a word or phrase or anything that would instantly make you think of THIS LIE WILL KILL YOU.)

#TrustNoOne #TellTheTruthOrFaceTheConsequences #BurnItDown

Do you have any favorite mystery/thriller books/movies/tv shows?

Oh, tons! I grew up reading Christopher Pike books and watching movies like Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer. More recently, I loved reading We Were Liars and admit to 
watching all seven seasons of Pretty Little Liars. (I had a killer Toby theory that would’ve lined up with everything.)

Can you tell us anything about our 5 suspects?

Juniper Torres is whip smart and would do anything for the people she loves. Anything.

Ruby Valentine has a flair for the dramatic, and she loves putting on a show for anyone who will watch her: friends, lovers… and mortal enemies.

Parker Addison is planning to win back the love of his life, and if anyone tries to stop him, well… good thing he brought a rope to the party.

Brett Carmichael is a fighter, always has been. Always will be. Of course, always isn’t as long as you might think, in a house with five liars and a killer.

Gavin Moon is the keeper of everyone’s secrets. It’s easy, when you’re looking in from the outside. But tonight, Gavin’s stepping into the party, and into a massive web of lies. Can he expose the truth… before someone tries to silence him?

Tell us your favorite quote from THIS LIE WILL KILL YOU.

“Each of them had a secret. Each of them was wearing a mask. And one by one, those masks would fall away.”

If you had to pick one song to be the Theme Song for THIS LIE WILL KILL– Which one would you pick?

AJR: Burn the House Down

Are there any recommendations you could give your readers to be in the “perfect mood” to read THIS LIE WILL KILL YOU (specific music, snacks…)? 

The book comes out in December, which is perfect, because the murder mystery dinner takes place on December 21st. So make some hot chocolate, settle in by the fire… and prepare to start glancing behind your back every few minutes!

What’s next for you? 

A YA mystery with witches (the real and fairy tale kind!) 

Thanks so much for chatting with us!!

Thank you for having me!! I’m thrilled to be featured on your fabulous site!

  • I don't even know where to start on this interview!!  First, I am SO excited about this book-- I love YA Mystery/Thrillers and I haven't read/watched a murder dinner party book/movie in a long time!!  Sounds fun!
  • My answer to fave movie would also be Mean Girls (and Clueless).  And YES to Bunnicula!!  I loved the original as a kid and I've read that one and a few of the sequels to my son & he enjoys them too!  I would love to hear your Toby theory.  I went through a whole Toby-induced rage-depression for a while during that show.  It was definitely a roller-coaster ride.  Last but not least-- I can't wait to see what the YA Mystery w/ witches is like!!
  • Thanks again for being on my blog!!

Chelsea Pitcher is a karaoke-singing, ocean-worshipping Oregonian with a penchant for twisty mysteries. She is the author of THE S-WORD, THE LAST CHANGELING & THE LAST FAERIE QUEEN.

Watch for her new YA thriller, THIS LIE WILL KILL YOU, coming December 11, 2018 from S&S/McElderry!

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  • 10 copies of THIS LIE WILL KILL YOU by Chelsea Pitcher will go to 10 winners!!
  • US Only
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  • Visit any of the other tour stops for more chances to win!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Truly, Devious by Maureen Johnson-- The Mystery With No Pay-Off

Truly, Devious

True-crime buff, Stevie, is admitted to Ellingham Academy-- an exclusive private school in the mountains of Vermont.  It was founded by an eccentric man who wanted to give people a place to learn without financial or educational boundaries.

Stevie's purpose for going to Ellingham is to solve the decade's old case of what happened to Ellingham's daughter and wife.  The kidnapper who calls him/herself Truly Devious left a cryptic riddle and no one has been able to figure out what it means.

After Stevie settles in, Truly Devious makes reappearance and murder seems like it might be back at Ellingham.

This was supposed to be a 5-star book for me.  It had all the makings-- alternate timelines, dual mysteries, a boarding school, and a girl from Pittsburgh-- it's all there!!  Oh yes, I went into this book wanting to love it, but as the book went on, I realized it wasn't going to quite hit the mark.

Stevie gets accepted to an exclusive boarding school in the wilderness of Vermont where no one pays tuition, expense is not spared, and everyone is studying their own interests.  Stevie happens to be interested in the school itself-- she was accepted on an essay explaining her love for solving crimes and her particular interest in a murder/kidnapping that happened at the school 80 years ago.

It perplexed me why this school would want someone like Stevie in there poking around.  It would be like a celebrity hiring the president of their fan club to be their personal assistant.  How could you trust them not to be like taking your used tissues and selling them on Ebay??  Stevie was a superfan of this place and it felt kind of icky that she was there.

I put that aside though because the historical mystery was interesting.  There's a riddle involved and an intricate cast of potential suspects.  The present-day mystery wasn't as thrilling.  Someone dies and it's basically just treated as an accident for most of the book.

What made me feel MEH about this book was the ending.  The book is 400+ pages long and there are zero conclusions.  Yes, I know that series generally end in cliffhangers, but I expected at least part of one of the mysteries to be cleared up.  We were just left with so many more questions and I felt a little cheated.

The second thing that turned me off throughout the book was the virtue signaling.  If an author wants to be inclusive with their work, great-- but do the work.  I felt like this was just throwing out ethnicities and disabilities and sexualities, but not including those people in any real way.  I felt like this author just wanted her ally-cookies-- and whatever dude.

The whole storyline with the parents also bugged me.  Stevie's parents are campaign volunteers for a politician that Stevie doesn't like-- and okay, that's cool.  But honestly, she acted like her parents were the anti-christ when all I saw of them was:

A. they allowed her to go to this school which clearly did not align with their exact views so that she could follow her dreams.
B. they immediately came to check on her and were extremely worried when they found out about the student death.

Wow, they sound TERRIBLE.  Or actually not.  Stop putting politics in these YA books, it's gross.

I might read the second book-- but basically just because I want to know what happened 80 years ago.  I mean, I read 400 pages to find SOMETHING out, and I got nothing....

OVERALL: Had potential, but didn't quite get there for me.  If I read a 400+ page YA Mystery, I want some sort of pay-off, even if it is a series.  The ending and the obvious virtue signaling squashed what was originally an interesting book with a cool historical mystery.

Date Published: 1/16/2018
How I got this book: Library
Publisher: HarperCollins

Add it to my To-Read List!!

My Rating: 2.5/5

Character: Stevie Bell
Book: All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

  • Stevie would probably figure out most book mysteries, but this one has a timeline that goes backward from the end to the beginning and would probably be able to hold her interest.