Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
Posted on Thursday, May 25th, 2017 by Emily May

Into the Water by Paula HawkinsInto the Water by Paula Hawkins
Published by Penguin Publishing Group on 2017
Genres: Fiction, Thrillers, Suspense
Pages: 400
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The author of the #1 New York Times bestseller and global phenomenon The Girl on the Train returns with Into the Water, her addictive new novel of psychological suspense. A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.   Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother's sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from--a place to which she vowed she'd never return.   With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.   Beware a calm surface--you never know what lies beneath.

I’m going straight down the middle with a 3-star rating but, in truth, my thoughts are all over with this book. I think the only way I can make sense of it is to break it down into points.
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One StarOne StarOne Star

Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
Posted on Monday, April 4th, 2016 by Emily May

Jane Steele by Lyndsay FayeJane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
Published by Penguin on March 22nd 2016
Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction
Pages: 400
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“Reader, I murdered him.”   A sensitive orphan, Jane Steele suffers first at the hands of her spiteful aunt and predatory cousin, then at a grim school where she fights for her very life until escaping to London, leaving the corpses of her tormentors behind her. After years of hiding from the law while penning macabre “last confessions” of the recently hanged, Jane thrills at discovering an advertisement.  Her aunt has died and her childhood home has a new master: Mr. Charles Thornfield, who seeks a governess.   Burning to know whether she is in fact the rightful heir, Jane takes the position incognito, and learns that Highgate House is full of marvelously strange new residents—the fascinating but caustic Mr. Thornfield, an army doctor returned from the Sikh Wars, and the gracious Sikh butler Mr. Sardar Singh, whose history with Mr. Thornfield appears far deeper and darker than they pretend. As Jane catches ominous glimpses of the pair’s violent history and falls in love with the gruffly tragic Mr. Thornfield, she faces a terrible dilemma: can she possess him—body, soul, and secrets—without revealing her own murderous past?

The first 1/3-1/2 of this book was really great.
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One StarOne StarOne Star

The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry
Posted on Saturday, February 27th, 2016 by Emily May

The Love That Split the World by Emily HenryThe Love That Split the World by Emily Henry
Published by Penguin on January 26th 2016
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 400
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Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start…until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.   That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.

This book is almost impossible to rate. Take my 3-teacup rating lightly, because it does not even begin to sum up everything I felt about this different, imaginative, weird romance.
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One StarOne StarOne Star

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
Posted on Thursday, January 14th, 2016 by Emily May

Truthwitch by Susan DennardTruthwitch by Susan Dennard
Published by Pan Macmillan on January 14th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 275
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The first in the Witchlands series, Truthwitch by Susan Dennard is a brilliantly imagined coming-of-age story perfect for fans of Robin Hobb, Sarah J. Maas and Trudi Canavan.
In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.
Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.
Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she's a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden - lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult's true powers are hidden even from herself.
In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls' heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

“I will kill you,” he went on.
“No.” The girl’s eyes thinned; she pushed herself further upright and the moon streamed over her. “I d-d-d…” She coughed. Then wiped her mouth. “I don’t think you will.”

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Perdition by Ann Aguirre
Posted on Friday, December 18th, 2015 by JennyJen

Perdition by Ann AguirrePerdition (Dred Chronicles, #1) by Ann Aguirre
Published by Ace on August 27th 2013
Genres: Science Fiction, Space Opera
Pages: 337
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WELCOME TO HELL.

The prison ship Perdition, a floating city where the Conglomerate’s most dangerous criminals are confined for life, orbits endlessly around a barren asteroid.

Life inside is even more bleak. Hailed as the Dread Queen, inmate Dresdemona “Dred” Devos controls one of Perdition’s six territories, bordered on both sides by would-be kings eager to challenge her claim. Keeping them at bay requires constant vigilance, as well as a steady influx of new recruits to replace the fallen. Survival is a constant battle, and death is the only escape.

Of the newest convicts, only one is worth Dred’s attention. The mercenary Jael, with his deadly gaze and attitude, may be the most dangerous criminal onboard. His combat skill could give her the edge she needs, if he doesn’t betray her first.

Unfortunately, that’s what he does best. Winning Jael’s allegiance will be a challenge, but failure could be worse than death…

He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.

Ms. Aguirre, your writing slays me. It always has.
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Planetfall by Emma Newman
Posted on Thursday, November 19th, 2015 by JennyJen

Planetfall by Emma NewmanPlanetfall by Emma Newman
Published by Roc on November 3rd 2015
Genres: Colonization, Science Fiction, Space Exploration
Pages: 336
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From Emma Newman, the award-nominated author of Between Two Thorns, comes a novel of how one secret withheld to protect humanity’s future might be its undoing…

Renata Ghali believed in Lee Suh-Mi’s vision of a world far beyond Earth, calling to humanity. A planet promising to reveal the truth about our place in the cosmos, untainted by overpopulation, pollution, and war. Ren believed in that vision enough to give up everything to follow Suh-Mi into the unknown.

More than twenty-two years have passed since Ren and the rest of the faithful braved the starry abyss and established a colony at the base of an enigmatic alien structure where Suh-Mi has since resided, alone. All that time, Ren has worked hard as the colony's 3-D printer engineer, creating the tools necessary for human survival in an alien environment, and harboring a devastating secret.

Ren continues to perpetuate the lie forming the foundation of the colony for the good of her fellow colonists, despite the personal cost. Then a stranger appears, far too young to have been part of the first planetfall, a man who bears a remarkable resemblance to Suh-Mi.

The truth Ren has concealed since planetfall can no longer be hidden. And its revelation might tear the colony apart…

Planetfall is what I would call “Soft Core Sci-fi.” Regular folk would just call it Soft Sci-fi. This is the type of story that would appeal to all kinds of readers, rather than just sci-fi readers. It doesn’t focus only on the usual sci-fi elements. Yes, there is a story here that involves 3-D printing, engineering, biology, and the colonization of a new planet, but the strength of the story lies with the very human characters.
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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Posted on Monday, October 5th, 2015 by Emily May

Fangirl by Rainbow RowellFangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Published by Macmillan on September 10th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
Pages: 448
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#1 New York Times bestselling author!In Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl, Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life-and she's really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it's what got them through their mother leaving.
Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.
Cath's sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can't let go. She doesn't want to.Now that they're going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn't want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She's got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can't stop worrying about her dad, who's loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?
A New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of 2013 A New York Times Best Seller!

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One StarOne StarOne Star

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
Posted on Sunday, September 20th, 2015 by Brandi

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. JemisinThe Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
on February 25th 2010
Genres: Epic Fantasy, Fantasy & Magic, Fiction, Friendship, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 427
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Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky. There, to her shock, Yeine is named an heiress to the king. But the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is not easily won, and Yeine is thrust into a vicious power struggle.

What a strange book. When I try to reason out why I enjoyed it I kind of can, but then I start thinking about how to explain it and it seems like my reasons fall apart. I enjoyed it enough to read late and put aside my school work to get just one more chapter in, but yet I’m not over the moon about it. Read more… »

One StarOne StarOne Star

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
Posted on Monday, September 7th, 2015 by Emily May

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. MaasQueen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing on September 1st 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic
Pages: 576
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Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. Now she returns to the empire to confront the shadows of her past ... The fourth breathtaking instalment in the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series.
Bloodthirsty for revenge on the two men responsible for destroying her life, and desperate to find out if the prince and his captain are safe, Celaena returns to Rifthold, the seat of so much evil. She has accepted her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, there are dark truths to learn and debts to be paid. Aelin must stay hidden beneath her assassin's hood and draw on her mortal strength as Celaena to prevent the King of Adarlan from tearing her world apart. Only then can she fight for her people.
Readers will be held rapt as Celaena's story builds to an agonising crescendo, packed with heart-pounding action and swoon-worthy romance.

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One StarOne StarOne Star

The Paper Swan by Leylah Attar
Posted on Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 by Angela

The Paper Swan by Leylah AttarThe Paper Swan by Leylah Attar
Published by Pitch73 Publishing on August 4th 2015
Genres: Fiction, General, Romantic Suspense
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They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. They lie. For 21 days she held on. But on Day 22, she would have given anything for the sweet slumber of death. Because on Day 22, she realizes that her only way out means certain death for one of the two men she loves.

A haunting tale of passion, loss, and redemption, The Paper Swan is a darkly intense yet heartwarming love story, textured with grit, intrigue, and suspense.

A full-length, standalone novel, intended for mature audiences due to violence, sex and language. Subject matter may be disturbing for some readers. Please note: this is not a love triangle.

It was a good day for Louboutins. I hadn’t planned on wearing statement heels on the runway to death but if this was it, if I was going to be killed by some random psycho with a thirst for blood, what better way to go down than with red-soled “fuck yous” to my murderer?

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Hi! I'm Emily May but feel free to call me Emily. I'm a book lover, beta-reader, and Politics graduate from the North of England.

Hey there! I'm Brandi; I'm a Navy veteran, Army wife, mother, feminist and book lover! My go-to genre would have to be Urban Fantasy, but any fiction is game really.

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