weekly wrap-up 2/7

↠ Aaaahhh today is my baby sister’s birthday! She’s 18! That’s absolutely mind-boggling to me! ♥ Happy birthday, Jo! Earlier in the week, on the 1st, my niece turned 7!!!

↠ There’s a bug going around my family and when my nieces were at my house earlier this week they left me a little present. :( :( :( :( (if this wrap-up seems a little too short and sweet, blame it on my fever, lost voice, and general feeling of crappiness)

↠ I only have to get through Thursday and then vacation! I’m taking off until March and I can’t wait! There are a few house things I want to tackle (we still have a few boxes we threw in the basement that I want to finally go through) but my big goal: weed out my closet. In our bedroom I have an amazing walk-in that I adore but it’s full of clothes I bought and then never wore.

↠ This week I finished two upcoming YA novels and the more I think about them, the more disappointed I get. Seven Ways We Lie sounded great at first (and y’all know I love me a cast of narrators!) but it seemed like the author wanted to try to fit in every ‘teen issue’ she could: abandonment, divorce, teacher/student relationship, drugs, sex, coming to terms with your sexuality (or asexuality in one character,) underage drinking (including being the supplier at school and an alcohol poisoning subplot,) sibling and family dynamic, social status, etc etc. It was just too much and none of it worked. Girl Last Seen could have been a great thriller: two youtube sensations have a falling out…and shortly after one of the girls goes missing. It was such a quick read (and, again, multiple POVs!) but toward the end there was a SEVERE detour into crazyville: there’s a rape subplot, one of the characters – the love interest, obvs – is a creepy stalker, there’s a poisoning, and the big reveal had me rolling my eyes. Bummer.

Missed something this week? I love older, backlist titles and this week I shared 5 recent additions to my TBR pile. I’m especially gaga over the Elizabeth Wein King Arthur series (and I ended up searching my library – they’ve got the entire series…maybe a binge-read over vacation??) I also reviewed Posie Graeme-Evans’s Wild Wood, a novel I really enjoyed despite misreading the summary!

Reliance, Illinois by Mary Volmer
1874. A 13-year-old girl is conned into pretending she’s her mother’s younger sister after her mother places an ad in a matrimonial paper (and conveniently forgets to mention Madelyn.) Naturally hurt and upset, Madelyn soon leaves and finds herself taken in by a suffragette and dealer of black market birth control. There’s also a Civil War veteran and an appearance by Mark Twain. I have a feeling this book and I will get along VERY well. Thank you, Mary!

Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan
Magic, New York, soulless doppelganger, and Sarah Rees Brennan. That’s all I need to know about this one! Thank you, Clarion Books/HMH!

Annabel Lee by Mike Nappa
A girl’s uncle hides her deep underground in a military-style bunker. Above, the race begins to find her and answer some questions. This is the first in a new mystery series and it’s clearly paying homage to Poe (and you know how much I love him!) I only have one concern though and I’m hoping it’ll be fixed by the time the finished copies roll out: on the back cover, Poe’s name is spelled wrong. Eek! Thank you, Revell!

A Murder in Time by Julie McElwain
A rising FBI agent’s dreams are shattered when half of her team is murdered and a mole is discovered. Left to recover, she flees to England where she’s on a personal mission to hunt down and kill the man responsible. When a disastrous run-in has her seeking shelter, she turns to an abandoned stairwell…and finds herself in 1815 where she’s mistaken for a lady’s maid. I love thrillers, I love time travel. This seems like the perfect blend of the two and I’m very excited to sit down with this one! Thank you, Pegasus!

Left in the Wind by Ed Gray
A fictionalized journal from an actual Roanoke colonist?? YES PLEASE. Thank you, Pegasus!

The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell
I have this weird quirk where I love reading retellings of classics I’ve never read. I have yet to read a single Jane Austen, yet I thought First Impressions was great! I’m beyond excited for Lyndsay Faye’s upcoming Jane Steele, a reimagining of Jane Eyre, and in my Wild Wood review I discussed being a total sucker for books pitched as being similar to Outlander (despite never actually reading the series.) The Madwoman Upstairs focuses on the Bronte family: a long-rumored secret estate sends the family’s only remaining member on a scavenger hunt. Thank you, Touchstone!

The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip
I’ve been on a huge fantasy kick lately! This one had been on my To Read list for ages and I finally caved and requested a copy. A girl is 16 when a baby is brought to her to raise. Her entire life she’s only known magical creatures; she’s not quite sure what to do with another human. I really don’t know much about this one apart from cheesy 70s goodness and dragons but you can’t go wrong with McKillip!

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