Saturday, 31 July 2021

Hello August!: What's Coming This Month


August is here! In Canada, that means that summer will soon collapse into fall. By the end of this month, I'll be back to wearing sweaters and jeans, but cooler temperatures mean cozy reading vibes so I won't complain. Even if I will miss the warmth of summer a tiny bit.

This month should see the return of a more regular schedule for me, since I no longer have to fit in posts around moving and internet access.

So far, I have eight posts already scheduled. So far, only one of those are reviews, but I'm hoping to be able to sneak in at least one more this month. I'm also hoping that I'll be able to post a few author interviews this month (if you're still waiting on my reply I apologize! I'm still working my way through emails.)

I do know that tomorrow I'll have a Music Monday to post! This is only my second time making one of those posts and I'm really excited about it. This week the Music Monday will be for music that I think suits The Ballerinas by Rachel Kapelke-Dale.

Among the other posts that I have scheduled are, as always, a few Waiting on Wednesdays, Teaser Tuesdays, Top Ten Tuesdays, and First Line Fridays.

I have no idea what I'm going to read this month, but here's hoping I'll find a few gems. :)

July Wrap-Up

 So July is coming to a close! It went just as quickly as I hoped it would in my June Wrap-Up.

This month, quite a lot of things have happened that kept me busy. Most notably, I moved about 22 hours away from where I was living, and I've been working on getting settled, which is happening nicely. Slowly, but nicely.

Today, my neighbors sheep managed to get out of the fence and wander into my yard, so even if I'm not quite settled into living here yet, at the very least every day is eventful.

This month on the blog I did get seven posts up, not counting this one, which I feel pretty good about considering I spent the better part of this month without internet. (Speaking of which if you're waiting for an email from me, I didn't forget! I'm still working through all my emails.) In those posts included two reviews, one of The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould, which was a hit for me, and one of Meet Me At The Summit by Mandi Lynn which was unfortunately more of a miss.

Although I didn't post very much this month, I did manage to type out 12 posts to be scheduled for the future, which is a lot for me. I tend to only have about 2-3 posts scheduled at a time usually. So anyway, even though there were not a lot of posts this month, there is definitely a lot to come in the future.

Finally, I kept track of Netgalley Bingo this month! Which started on July 1, and will run until August 31. I'm going to post my progress now and again in my August wrap up post to see if I can manage toget a bingo! If you want to participate you can download the blank bingo card and read the rules  from Netgalley's post Reach Your #NetgalleyGoals with Bingo!


I've been keeping track of the books I've used for each space so I don't accidentally cheat and use the same book for two spaces. I only want to play HONEST games of bingo on this blog, after all. So in the interest of complete transparency, I have used the titles The Ballerinas by Rachel Kapelke-Dale, The Rumor Game by Dhonielle Clayton and Sona Charaipotra and Red Magnolia by Lucy Holden.

I hope July treated you guys well, and happy reading everybody. :)

Friday, 30 July 2021

Meet Me At The Summit by Mandi Lynn


Title:  Meet me at the Summit
Author: Mandi Lynn
Expected publication date: August 31, 2021
Publisher: Stone Ridge Books 
Pages: 275

Introduction

Marly Price lost her parents in a car accident 9 months ago, and since then, she's just been going through the motions. She's getting through it, but every day feels the same as the last. When she's presented with the opportunity to travel across the US in a renovated VW bus, she knows she should do it. The old her, the person she was before her parents died, would have jumped at the opportunity. To travel again, to enjoy hiking again, to enjoy photography again. Those are all things Marly wants. But after everything that's happened, will Marly be able to find passion in the things that she used to love again?

Pacing

The pacing starts off very slow as Marly is being convinced by her family to take the bus on the road trip, but as it starts to take off, it quickly becomes very repetitive. The order of events for nearly the entire book is driving --> hiking --> Marly having a panic attack on the top of a mountain-->  Marly taking photos --> Marly struggling to sleep --> repeat. Dylan, the romantic interest quickly finds his place in the cycle when he starts to calm Marly's panic attacks, but that quickly grows repetitive in nature as well. Because of this cycle, I found myself having to take a lot of breaks from reading to avoid getting bored with the story.

Romance 

I was disappointed in Marly and Dylan's romance. They knew very little little about each other and there doesn't seem to be much of substance backing their feelings for each other, so it was hard for me to care about them.

Marly

Marly was just an average protagonist. The grief she felt about her parents dying was interesting to read about but I feel like she read a little younger than a nineteen year old. I think the most prominent example of Marly reading a little younger than she was intended to be was when she actually considered staying with Dylan in Colorado instead of finishing her trip so that she could make sure she kept his interest. It felt very childish to me and she didn't really get much better throughout the course of the book. I don't think she grew very much as a character with the exception of maybe the last 25 pages or so.

General Character Thoughts

I feel like at best, the characters were average, and at worst, a little forgettable. I especially feel this way about Dylan and Lori. They both had essentially no personality. Dylan enjoyed hiking, which is necessary, but we get enough of the hiking obsession with Marly. Lori felt a little bit excitable most of the time, but she just felt like the bubbly happy token character there to balance out Marly. Mostly, they both felt like they were both only there for Marly's development rather than having personalities on their own.

Conclusion

Overall, this book was only okay. The repetitive nature really bogged it down for me and since I wasn't really into the romance, even the cutesy scenes that served to break the routine a little bit didn't interest me very much. There does look to be a second book coming, so the story will continue, and I would consider giving it a chance in hopes to see a little bit more character development.

Thursday, 29 July 2021

First Line Friday (10): The Ballerinas by Rachel Kapelke-Dale

First Line Friday is a bookish tag hosted over at Abstract Books that is used to showcase your favourite first lines of books.

There really is something to be said about a good first line, and I'm going to be using this tag from now on to showcase my current read's first lines.

For this week's First Line Friday I have the first line from The Ballerinas by Rachel Kapelke-Dale


"You start out as potential energy and then you fall.
       
Before Nathalie emailed and offered to take me back, before I killed anyone, I saw variations of the same quotation everywhere: Paris is always a good idea. On mugs, on throw pillows, on Instagram. Always attributed to Audrey Hepburn, always in pink. I couldn’t escape it; everywhere I went, there were those fucking words."

I love this first line, it's a bold attention grabber. 

At the time of writing this I'm only about 13% through this book but so far I am in love with the writing and I can't wait to see how the story develops.

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Waiting on Wednesday (8): Quiet Village by Eden Darry

Waiting on Wednesday's is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. *It appears that Breaking the Spine hasn't been active since 2016, but I still want to credit them as the creators.

For my 8th Waiting on Wednesday I want to spotlight Quiet Village by Eden Darry.


Publication date: August 1, 2021

Goodreads Synopsis

When her sister dies, Collie Noonan gets custody of her ten-year-old niece. Hoping for a fresh start, they move to a small village on the outskirts of Suffolk. But in Hyam all is not as it seems. The locals are verging on hostile, and all the local shop seems to stock is meat – a problem for Collie’s vegetarian niece.

Emily Lassiter is also new to the village, and Collie is drawn to the mysterious schoolteacher. Unknown to Collie, Emily is an undercover reporter looking into the disappearance of her brother. He warned her something was wrong in Hyam. Something was watching him. Emily believes the answers lie in the village, and she’ll do whatever it takes to discover the truth.

But something not quite human is stalking Collie and her niece. It’s coming for them all, and they’ll need to work together if any of them want to get out of Hyam alive.

Why I Can't Wait

I think I say this in every other blog post, but I am obsessed with any book that features a town and townspeople that just seem slightly off and this book seems like it'll scratch that itch for me.

Monday, 26 July 2021

Teaser Tuesday (17): The Ballerinas by Rachel Kapelke-Dale

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Anyone can participate in Teaser Tuesdays. Just do the following:
• Grab your read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• Be careful not to include spoilers!
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers.


This week my teasers are coming from The Ballerinas by Rachel Kapelke-Dale.


"English words echoed through my head as I raced down the Rue des Francs-Bourgeois: Lindsay, I'm about to give you everything you ever wanted."

"From afar, the blonde and brunette sitting in the booth sent a shock of adrenaline to my heart. Thirteen years since we’d seen each other;"

Page 24.


Friday, 2 July 2021

The Dead And The Dark by Courtney Gould

Title: The Dead And The Dark
Author: Courtney Gould 
Publishing Date: August 3, 2021
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Pages: 352

Introduction

Something isn't quite right about the town of Snakebite, Oregon, and when now-paranormal-investigators go back to their roots to investigate the town, things get weirder. A teen disappears, and then teens start getting killed. People are holding on to old anger, and old secrets. Is something stranger than just a few missing teens going on in this sleepy town in the middle of nowhere? Something stranger? Something darker?

Cover

You're not supposed to judge a book by it's cover, but I will say that this cover is so gorgeous and it definitely grabbed my attention when I was browsing through Netgalley.

Tone

I loved the consistent slightly "off" vibe that runs through the whole story. Small town weird vibes are my favourite and this book delivered.

The Dark

I love the concept of The Dark being an entity of it's own. It reminds me of the "The Forest" element in We Were Restless Things by Cole Nagamatsu (review of that book here!

Alternating POVs

I loved the alternating POVs of Ashley and Logan and The Dark. Usually when I read a book that switches POVs I find myself being less interested in one of them, and eagerly waiting for the story to switch back to the POV I like better, but that didn't happen at all with this book, and that feels so refreshing for me.

Conclusion

I loved this book. I believe the editor described it "like Riverdale, but good," and I agree. With the small town vibes with an undertone of something strange going on, the shoe fits. Because of the general spookiness of the novel I would also recommend this book to fans of After Obsession by Carrie Jones and Steven E. Wedel, and, of course, We Were Restless Things. I will definitely be looking our for more from this author.