Happy Wednesday everyone! Here is what I am planning on reading and reviewing this week, once again trying to catch up on my NetGalley list. I am so close to their suggested 80% feedback ratio that I can taste it 🙂
Dragonfly Wishes, by Penny Harmon
Publication: June 23, 2017
About the book:
Callie Daniels had it all – a handsome and loyal husband – a sweet and loving son. When death comes knocking at the door twice and they are both taken from her, Callie is suddenly struggling to find a reason to continue with her own life.
During an accidental overdose, she discovers that maybe her son is not lost to her forever when she sees a vision and her journey to understand what happens after death takes top priority.
In the middle of Callie’s quest to deal with her grief, she uncovers a secret that she just can’t ignore. These secrets lead her on a journey to understanding more about life than she ever expected to know.
These Happy, Heroic Dead, by Luke Mogelson
Publication: Tim Duggan Books; Reprint edition; June 6, 2017
About the book:
With his harrowing debut, Luke Mogelson provides an unsentimental, unflinching glimpse into the lives of those forever changed by war. Subtle links between these ten powerful stories magnify the consequences of combat for both soldiers and civilians, as the violence experienced abroad echoes through their lives in America.
Troubled veterans first introduced as criminals in “To the Lake” and “Visitors” are shown later in “New Guidance” and “Kids,” during the deployments that shaped their futures. A seemingly minor soldier in “New Guidance” becomes the protagonist of “A Human Cry,” where his alienation from society leads to a shocking confrontation. The fate of a hapless Gulf War veteran who reenlists in “Sea Bass” is revealed in “Peacetime,” the story of a New York City medic’s struggle with his inurement to calamity. A shady contractor job gone wrong in “A Beautiful Country” is a news item for a reporter in “Total Solar,” as he navigates the surreal world of occupied Kabul. Shifting in time and narrative perspective—from the home front to active combat, between experienced leaders, flawed infantrymen, a mother, a child, an Afghan-American translator, and a foreign correspondent–these stories offer a multifaceted examination of the unexpected costs of war.
Here is an evocative, deep work that charts the legacy of an unprecedented conflict, and the burdens of those it touched. Written with remarkable empathy and elegance, These Heroic, Happy Dead heralds the arrival of an extraordinary new talent.
The Secrets of Married Women, by Carol Mason
Publication: Lake Union Publishing; June 22, 2017
About the book:
When Jill’s husband discovers he can never have children, it tears a hole in their marriage that Jill doesn’t know how to repair. Frustrated, she seeks comfort in her friends: fierce Leigh, with her high-powered career and doting family, and sweet, uncomplicated Wendy, who has a rock-solid marriage any woman would envy.
Leigh and Wendy’s lives seem perfect. But beneath the surface are secrets that could tear their friendship apart.
Leigh has grown tired of her stay-at-home husband and is looking for excitement—outside of the marriage bed. And after seventeen years of marriage, Wendy can’t shake the sense that there is something missing in her life.
As Jill is drawn deeper into her friends’ relationships, she is confronted by a temptation of her own: an intriguing stranger whose good looks and charm spark an instant connection.
Full of the realities of modern-day marriage, The Secrets of Married Women asks the question: how well can we ever know our husbands, our friends, or even ourselves?
Final Girls, by Riley Sager
Publication: Dutton; July 11, 2017
About the book:
Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout’s knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media’s attempts, they never meet.
Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.
That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy’s doorstep. Blowing through Quincy’s life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa’s death come to light, Quincy’s life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam’s truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.
Conversations with Friends, by Sally Rooney
Publication: Hogarth; July 11, 2017
About the book:
Frances is a cool-headed and darkly observant young woman, vaguely pursuing a career in writing while studying in Dublin. Her best friend and comrade-in-arms is the beautiful and endlessly self-possessed Bobbi. At a local poetry performance one night, Frances and Bobbi catch the eye of Melissa, a well-known photographer, and as the girls are then gradually drawn into Melissa’s world, Frances is reluctantly impressed by the older woman’s sophisticated home and tall, handsome husband, Nick. However amusing and ironic Frances and Nick’s flirtation seems at first, it gives way to a strange intimacy, and Frances’s friendship with Bobbi begins to fracture. As Frances tries to keep her life in check, her relationships increasingly resist her control: with Nick, with her difficult and unhappy father, and finally, terribly, with Bobbi.
Desperate to reconcile her inner life to the desires and vulnerabilities of her body, Frances’s intellectual certainties begin to yield to something new: a painful and disorienting way of living from moment to moment. Written with gem-like precision and marked by a sly sense of humor, Conversations with Friends is wonderfully alive to the pleasures and dangers of youth, and the messy edges of female friendship.
Hard Proof (Notus Motorcycle Club Book 1), by Debra Kayn
Publication: May 29, 2017
About the book: A sexy, gripping romantic suspense…
Identical twin sisters move to St. John’s, Oregon, buy Vavoom’s Bar, and purposely put themselves into the path of Notus Motorcycle Club.
Burdened by a deep, dark secret, Clara has to be careful because one wrong step, one wrong word, could land her and Gracie in prison. Her need to stay close to the motorcycle club members backfire when Wayne Shaw throws her heart into a tailspin. There is more to the possessive biker than she originally thought. Cornered and out of options, she can only go forward and hope Wayne protects her.
Wayne Shaw splits his time between working at Port Loaders, searching for missing persons in partnership with the local police department, and keeping Notus Motorcycle Club together in hopes a brother will come home. Skilled at finding clues normal people miss, he has no trouble telling the new owners of Vavoom’s apart. He only wants Clara.
When a little girl goes missing, followed by a teenager disappearing, Wayne’s need to keep Clara safe while searching for a serial killer gets tested…until he’s no longer sure who is the hunted and who is the hunter.