Review- Midnight Sun (Twilight #5)

Midnight Sun (Twilight #5)
By: Stephanie Meyer
Website: https://stepheniemeyer.com/
Release Date: August 3rd, 2020
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Series: Twilight
Rating:


Yes, I really went back to Forks.

If you’re seeing this you’re probably having simultaneous flashbacks to the Twilight craze in the circa 2008. The books, the (literally) screaming fangirls, the movies, Robert Pattinson, glittering vampires and CGI werewolves. Sound familiar?

Perhaps you’re asking why a thirty-something bookworm would go back to a series that was so entrenched in teenage angst and unrealistic expectations of relationships and life in general. It’s a fair question and I asked myself the same thing a few times before purchasing the kindle version and again a few times before I actually read the book itself.

Just like my true crime obsession and my general need to know and understanding things that maybe I should leave alone I decided to go back into the Twilight saga books, this time through Edward’s POV, to see what it was like.

2020 Review – Brittney’s Top 10 Books of 2020

See assorted titles in list
By: See assorted authors in list
Release Date:
Publisher:
Rating:


Hi All,

Well 2020 was a bit of a rollercoaster, wasn’t it? I know I’m not alone in thinking this but it has to be acknowledged all the same. The chaos we all went through led to a lot of ups and downs and perhaps one of the few high points for me was that I got a lot more reading done this year.

My original goal was 110 books and I managed to read 114. On January 1st, 2020 I thought my goal of 110 books was a huge stretch, little did I know a global pandemic would cut out the few social things I used to do that prevented me from reading. The pandemic also provided nightmare fuel for me which mean insomnia was the worst it has ever been which inevitably led to the thought of, “Well if I can’t sleep I might as well read that book I started earlier.” Most nights I was up until around 4 AM reading which, while not the healthiest coping mechanism and definitely horrible for my health in other ways it did allow me to reach one goal in 2020.

So, out of 114 books below are my top 10.

Review – The Crowns of Croswald (The Crowns of Croswald #1)

The Crowns of Croswald (The Crowns of Croswald #1)
By: D.E. Night
Website: https://denight.com/
Release Date: July 21st, 2017
Publisher: Stories Untold Press
Series: The Crowns of Croswald
Rating:


If you’re looking for some magic and fantasy the Crowns of Croswald may serve as a good escape into another realm for a while. I received this book through NetGalley and was thrilled to get a copy.

Review – The Way Back

The Way Back
By: Gavriel Savit
Website: https://www.gavrielsavit.com/
Release Date: November 17th, 2020
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Received From: NetGalley
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
Rating:


As I’m sure most of us can agree, as a reader we love any and all stories. For me my first love was classic fairy tales and folklore so when I saw The Way Back on NetGalley advertised as a historical fantasy brushing the realms of folklore I had to beg for the copy. I was thrilled to receive it and enjoyed every single page.

The Way Back follows a boy named Yehuda Leib and a girl named Bluma as they both chase after the Angel of Death for their own reasons. For Eastern European Jews there is the belief that demons have a land of their own: a Far Country peopled with the souls of the transient dead, governed by demonic dukes, barons, and earls. 

In their adventures we see Yehuda and Bluma struggle towards their goals and face the realities of the realm they find themselves in. I loved the fantastical elements of the story and loved the rich descriptions and interwoven details throughout the book.

Review: And I Darken (The Conqueror’s Saga #1)

And I Darken
By: Kiersten White
Website: http://kierstenwrites.blogspot.com/
Release Date: June 28th, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Series: The Conqueror's Saga
Rating:


I’m not going to lie to everyone – sometimes I do judge books by their cover. When I saw this cover in particular I was drawn in by the dagger and flower petals. I’m also a sucker for simple titles.

In the time of the Ottoman Empire we follow the story of Lada and Radu, princess and prince of Wallachia as they are taken from their home and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman Courts (as part of a deal between the empires). To everyone’s surprise these two outsiders become close friends with Mehmed, the son of the Ottoman sultan.

Review – The Last Agent (Charles Jenkins #2)

The Last Agent (Charles Jenkins #2)
By: Robert Dugoni
Website: https://www.robertdugonibooks.com/
Release Date: September 22nd, 2020
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Series: Charles Jenkins
Received From: NetGalley
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
Rating:


When we return to the life and world of Charles Jenkins we learn that, luckily, he has been exonerated. All should be well as the retired man focuses on his family, right? Well, that wouldn’t be much of a story. If you haven’t read book one and are looking for an edge of your seat espionage novel, start with The Eighth Sister. Then join me with The Last Agent.

Review- The Vanishing Season(The Collector #4)

The Vanishing Season (The Collector #4)
By: Dot Hutchinson
Website: https://www.fantasticfiction.com/h/dot-hutchison/#:~:text=Dot%20Hutchison%20is%20the%20author,adult%20thriller%20The%20Butterfly%20Garden.
Release Date: May 21st, 2019
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Series: The Collector
Rating:


Book four and the final book in the Collector Series by Dot Hutchinson. The Vanishing Season was just as wild of a ride as the rest of the books in the series. Honestly, when I started book one I knew I was in for some intense reading but by the end of the series, I’m not sure the series has a proper warning label. Seriously, if you’re ready for an intense ride with this group of detectives, jump in at book one. If you’re not sure…maybe wait. The subject matter is heavy, the twists and turns are plenty and if you’re not careful you’ll get sucked in like I did.

Review – For the Best

For the Best
By: Vanessa Lillie
Website: http://www.vanessalillie.com/
Release Date: September 8th, 2020
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Rating:


What else could I, as a mystery/thriller addict ask for? I’ve never read any of Vanessa Lillie’s works before but this book may have brought me to a new author. Her debut novel, Little Voices is now on my wishlist and I will definitely be picking it up sometime soon.

In For the Best we follow the life of Jules Worthington, a CEO, wife and mother as she wakes up the day after an event, completely hungover after her blackout the night before only to find that she has been connected to and suspected of a murder. Rough way to wake up if you ask me.

Sure of her innocence and not liking the pressure of the police as they zero in on Jules as their only suspect she begins to investigate on her own. The further she digs into that night, and everything that lead to it, the more chaotic things get as Jules learns things that were maybe better off buried.

Vanessa Lillie earned me as a fan for all the successful red herrings, surprises and smooth, enjoyable writing style. I will say that I couldn’t fully connect to Jules but I still wanted the truth that she was hunting for so I was happy to see the story from her point of view, even when things took dark and unexpected turns.

If you like suspense, mystery, thrillers and seeing characters go deeper into their own struggles, face their own past and refusing to give up you should check out For the Best which is available on September 8th, 2020.

Thank you to NetGalley, Thomas & Mercer and Vanessa Lillie for the chance to read the ARC!

Review- The Hierarchies

The Hierarchies
By: Ros Anderson
Website: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/authors/2212863/ros-anderson/
Release Date: August 25th, 2020
Publisher: Dutton
Received From: NetGalley
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
Rating:


I’m not going to lie, when I first saw this book I was interested but also skeptical. A book written from the POV of a robot that was built for one purpose – to serve her “Husband” didn’t sound super interesting until I reached the part of the description where she becomes curious and begins to think of the world beyond her assigned role. I’ll say this, it was a very wild ride indeed.

Where to begin with this book. First of all you should be aware as a reader that there are graphic depictions of sex. If that is not your thing, don’t read this book. It’s literally everywhere.

I have to say I was surprised by my changing emotions with this book as I read it. I was gripped at first, plowing through the story but then some scenes completely turned me off and I had to put it down. Maybe it was the content of the scene, maybe it was the style of the story being told through Sylv.ie’s eyes, maybe it’s because I needed a break but I definitely had times where this book wasn’t exactly for me.

I really enjoyed the social commentary of the world in this book. Yes it’s talking about a not-so-distant future but the lessons, as with all dystopian novels, apply to the world we currently live in. In a world where being Born or Created assigns you a class, where the created robots and Dolls are little better than dirt, and the exploitation of all of the Created ones is rampant, there was a lot to take in on the similarities in our own world.

Sylv.ie is a perfect guide through this strange and twisted world as she grows curious about life beyond her Husband, the man who paid for her and who keeps her locked away except for when it pleases him. Her oddly flat tone, even through the sexually explicit and horrifying scenes both helped and hurt me as a reader in this story. I was glad that some of the difficult scenes were presented as odd or out of protocol for Sylv.ie as it helped me get through them but then it also made it harder for me to connect to her.

One thing about this novel that I applaud is the recognition that money equaling power and therefore the ability to do as your please is a horrendous way for the world it exist. We see it every day in our world; rich people (and more specifically rich men) get away with crimes because they can afford a lawyer or the people they harm are too afraid to go after them given their power. This book definitely hits a lot of feminist points as well as social justice in general and I applaud Anderson for tackling these subjects in such a unique way in her debut novel.

The Hierarchies is set for release on August 25th, 2020. If you’re looking for an interesting take on dystopian novels, filled with unique insights on the world we currently live in, I’d recommend The Hierarchies to you, as long as you can stomach some intense moments while reading. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Thank you to Dutton, NetGalley and Ros Anderson for the ARC of this book!