Review: The Night Swim, by Megan Goldin

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Title: The Night Swim

Author: Megan Goldin

Series: none

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Publication Date: August 4th, 2020

Genres: Mystery, Adult

In this new thriller from the author of The Escape Room, a podcast host covering a controversial trial in a small town becomes obsessed with a brutal crime that took place there years before.

After the first season of her true crime podcast became an overnight sensation and set an innocent man free, Rachel Krall is now a household name―and the last hope for thousands of people seeking justice. But she’s used to being recognized for her voice, not her face. Which makes it all the more unsettling when she finds a note on her car windshield, addressed to her, begging for help.

The small town of Neapolis is being torn apart by a devastating rape trial. The town’s golden boy, a swimmer destined for Olympic greatness, has been accused of raping a high school student, the beloved granddaughter of the police chief. Under pressure to make Season Three a success, Rachel throws herself into interviewing and investigating―but the mysterious letters keep showing up in unexpected places. Someone is following her, and she won’t stop until Rachel finds out what happened to her sister twenty-five years ago. Officially, Jenny Stills tragically drowned, but the letters insists she was murdered―and when Rachel starts asking questions, nobody seems to want to answer. The past and present start to collide as Rachel uncovers startling connections between the two cases that will change the course of the trial and the lives of everyone involved.

Electrifying and propulsive, The Night Swim asks: What is the price of a reputation? Can a small town ever right the wrongs of its past? And what really happened to Jenny?

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Review: Chosen Ones, by Veronica Roth

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Title: Chosen Ones

Author: Veronica Roth

Series: Chosen Ones Series

Publisher: John Joseph Adams/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Publication Date: April 7th, 2020

Genres: Fantasy, Adult

A decade ago near Chicago, five teenagers defeated the otherworldly enemy known as the Dark One, whose reign of terror brought widespread destruction and death. The seemingly un-extraordinary teens—Sloane, Matt, Ines, Albie, and Esther—had been brought together by a clandestine government agency because one of them was fated to be the “Chosen One,” prophesized to save the world. With the goal achieved, humankind celebrated the victors and began to mourn their lost loved ones.

Ten years later, though the champions remain celebrities, the world has moved forward and a whole, younger generation doesn’t seem to recall the days of endless fear. But Sloane remembers. It’s impossible for her to forget when the paparazzi haunt her every step just as the Dark One still haunts her dreams. Unlike everyone else, she hasn’t moved on; she’s adrift—no direction, no goals, no purpose. On the eve of the Ten Year Celebration of Peace, a new trauma hits the Chosen: the death of one of their own. And when they gather for the funeral at the enshrined site of their triumph, they discover to their horror that the Dark One’s reign never really ended.

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Review: Someone We Know, by Shari Lapena

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Title: Someone We Know

Author: Shari Lapena

Series: none

Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books

Publication Date: July 25th, 2019

Genres: Thriller, Adult

Maybe you don’t know your neighbors as well as you thought you did . . .

“This is a very difficult letter to write. I hope you will not hate us too much. . . My son broke into your home recently while you were out.”

In a quiet, leafy suburb in upstate New York, a teenager has been sneaking into houses–and into the owners’ computers as well–learning their secrets, and maybe sharing some of them, too.

Who is he, and what might he have uncovered? After two anonymous letters are received, whispers start to circulate, and suspicion mounts. And when a woman down the street is found murdered, the tension reaches the breaking point. Who killed her? Who knows more than they’re telling? And how far will all these very nice people go to protect their own secrets?

In this neighborhood, it’s not just the husbands and wives who play games. Here, everyone in the family has something to hide . . .

You never really know what people are capable of.

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Review: The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, by Stuart Turton

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Title: The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

Author: Stuart Turton

Series: none

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

Publication Date: February 8th, 2018

Genres: Mystery, Young Adult

At a gala party thrown by her parents, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed–again. She’s been murdered hundreds of times, and each day, Aiden Bishop is too late to save her. Doomed to repeat the same day over and over, Aiden’s only escape is to solve Evelyn Hardcastle’s murder and conquer the shadows of an enemy he struggles to even comprehend–but nothing and no one are quite what they seem.

Deeply atmospheric and ingeniously plotted, The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a highly original debut that will appeal to fans of Kate Atkinson and Agatha Christie.

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Review: It, by Stephen King

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Title: It

Author: Stephen King

Series: none

Publisher: Viking Press

Publication Date: September 15th, 1986

Genres: Horror, Adult

Welcome to Derry, Maine. It’s a small city, a place as hauntingly familiar as your own hometown. Only in Derry the haunting is real.

They were seven teenagers when they first stumbled upon the horror. Now they are grown-up men and women who have gone out into the big world to gain success and happiness. But the promise they made twenty-eight years ago calls them reunite in the same place where, as teenagers, they battled an evil creature that preyed on the city’s children. Now, children are being murdered again and their repressed memories of that terrifying summer return as they prepare to once again battle the monster lurking in Derry’s sewers.

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Review: A Game of Thrones, by George R. R. Martin

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Title: A Game of Thrones

Author: George R. R. Martin

Series: A Song of Ice and Fire

Publisher: Bantam

Publication Date: August 6th, 1996

Genres: Fantasy, Adult

In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes of the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.

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Review: The Kind Worth Killing, by Peter Swanson

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Title: The Kind Worth Killing

Author: Peter Swanson

Series: none

Publisher: William Morrow

Publication Date: February 3rd, 2015

Genres: Thriller, Adult

On a night flight from London to Boston, Ted Severson meets the stunning and mysterious Lily Kintner. Sharing one too many martinis, the strangers begin to play a game of truth, revealing very intimate details about themselves. Ted talks about his marriage that’s going stale and his wife Miranda, who he’s sure is cheating on him. Ted and his wife were a mismatch from the start—he the rich businessman, she the artistic free spirit—a contrast that once inflamed their passion, but has now become a cliché.

But their game turns a little darker when Ted jokes that he could kill Miranda for what she’s done. Lily, without missing a beat, says calmly, “I’d like to help.” After all, some people are the kind worth killing, like a lying, stinking, cheating spouse. . . .

Back in Boston, Ted and Lily’s twisted bond grows stronger as they begin to plot Miranda’s demise. But there are a few things about Lily’s past that she hasn’t shared with Ted, namely her experience in the art and craft of murder, a journey that began in her very precocious youth.

Suddenly these co-conspirators are embroiled in a chilling game of cat-and-mouse, one they both cannot survive . . . with a shrewd and very determined detective on their tail.

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Review: The Apartment, by K.L. Slater

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Title: The Apartment

Author: K.L. Slater

Series: none

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publication Date: April 28th, 2020

Genres: Mystery, Thriller

It’s an opportunity she can’t refuse. The woman before her tried…

Freya Miller needs a miracle. In the fallout of her husband’s betrayal, she’s about to lose her family home, and with it the security she craves for her five-year-old daughter, Skye. Adrift and alone, she’s on the verge of despair until a chance meeting with the charismatic Dr Marsden changes everything. He’s seeking a new tenant for a shockingly affordable flat in a fashionable area of London.

Adder House sounds too good to be true… But Freya really can’t afford to be cynical, and Dr Marsden is adamant she and Skye will be a perfect fit with the other residents.

But Adder House has secrets. Even behind a locked front door, Freya feels as if she’s being watched: objects moving, unfamiliar smells, the blinking light of a concealed camera… and it’s not long before she begins to suspect that her dream home is hiding a nightmarish reality. Was it really chance that led her here—or something unthinkably dark?

As the truth about Adder House starts to unravel, can Freya and Skye get out—or will they be locked in forever?

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Updates + Quarantine Reading List

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I’m currently wrapping up my senior year of college under…slightly different circumstances than I was originally anticipating. COVID-19 threw a bit of a monkey-wrench in my spring semester plans, resulting in 50% of the semester being held online and the indefinite postponement of graduation. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to the semester wrapping up within the next two weeks and receiving my degree at the end of May.

In other news, I’ve recently committed to attend medical school in the fall! I’m ecstatic to continue my education in a field that I’m so passionate about, and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store! I’m also excited to move to an entirely new state and city, explore a new location, and meet my future classmates. I’m hoping to document my medical school journey by posting regular updates (both bookish and non-bookish) on my blog, as well as filming the occasional vlog for my booktube channel.

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Review: Ghostly Echoes

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13047090Title: Ghostly Echoes

Author: William Ritter

Series: Jackaby Series

Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers

Publish Date: August 23rd, 2016

Genres: Young Adult, Mystery

Jenny Cavanaugh, the ghostly lady of 926 Augur Lane, has enlisted the investigative services of her fellow residents to solve a decade-old murder—her own. Abigail Rook and her eccentric employer, Detective R. F. Jackaby, dive into the cold case, starting with a search for Jenny’s fiancé, who went missing the night she died. But when a new, gruesome murder closely mirrors the events of ten years prior, Abigail and Jackaby realize that Jenny’s case isn’t so cold after all, and her killer may be far more dangerous than they suspected.

Fantasy and folklore mix with mad science as Abigail’s race to unravel the mystery leads her across the cold cobblestones of nineteenth-century New England, down to the mythical underworld, and deep into her colleagues’ grim histories to battle the most deadly foe she has ever faced.

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Most Anticipated Releases of 2020

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2020 looks like it’s going to be a great year with respect to new releases! Quite a few of my favorite authors are publishing new works, and I’m also planning to pick up a few releases from new-to-me authors throughout the year. If you’re curious to hear about some of the upcoming publications that I’m most excited about, keep reading!

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Review: Her Every Fear, by Peter Swanson

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13047090Title: Her Every Fear

Author: Peter Swanson

Series: none

Publisher: HarperCollins

Publish Date: January 10th, 2017

Genres: Thriller, Adult

Growing up, Kate Priddy was always a bit neurotic, experiencing momentary bouts of anxiety that exploded into full-blown panic attacks after an ex-boyfriend kidnapped her and nearly ended her life. When Corbin Dell, a distant cousin in Boston, suggests the two temporarily swap apartments, Kate, an art student in London, agrees, hoping that time away in a new place will help her overcome the recent wreckage of her life.

Soon after her arrival at Corbin’s grand apartment on Beacon Hill, Kate makes a shocking discovery: his next-door neighbor, a young woman named Audrey Marshall, has been murdered. When the police question her about Corbin, a shaken Kate has few answers, and many questions of her own—curiosity that intensifies when she meets Alan Cherney, a handsome, quiet tenant who lives across the courtyard, in the apartment facing Audrey’s. Alan saw Corbin surreptitiously come and go from Audrey’s place, yet he’s denied knowing her. Then, Kate runs into a tearful man claiming to be the dead woman’s old boyfriend, who insists Corbin did the deed the night that he left for London.

When she reaches out to her cousin, he proclaims his innocence and calms her nerves–until she comes across disturbing objects hidden in the apartment and accidentally learns that Corbin is not where he says he is. Could Corbin be a killer? What about Alan? Kate finds herself drawn to this appealing man who seems so sincere, yet she isn’t sure. Jet-lagged and emotionally unstable, her imagination full of dark images caused by the terror of her past, Kate can barely trust herself, so how could she take the chance on a stranger she’s just met?

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2019 Reading Wrap-Up

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2019 was an extremely hectic year for me – between attending college full-time, applying to graduate school, and participating in clubs and extracurriculars, my schedule was packed. I was a little wary of all of these time commitments at the beginning of 2019 and tried to plan accordingly with realistic reading goals (albeit, slightly less lofty than they’ve been in previous years). I’m using the start of 2020 as an opportunity to revamp my bookish platforms (blog, booktube, bookstagram, goodreads, etc.), reflect on my reading throughout 2019, and set myself some new goals for 2020.

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Review: Shutter Island

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13047090Title: Shutter Island

Author: Dennis Lehane

Series: none

Publisher: Harper Perennial

Publish Date: April 15th, 2003

Genres: Thriller, Adult

Links: GoodreadsAmazon • Barnes and Noble

The year is 1954. U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his new partner, Chuck Aule, have come to Shutter Island, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane, to investigate the disappearance of a patient. Multiple murderess Rachel Solando is loose somewhere on this remote and barren island, despite having been kept in a locked cell under constant surveillance. As a killer hurricane relentlessly bears down on them, a strange case takes on even darker, more sinister shades—with hints of radical experimentation, horrifying surgeries, and lethal countermoves made in the cause of a covert shadow war. No one is going to escape Shutter Island unscathed, because nothing at Ashecliffe Hospital is what it seems. But then neither is Teddy Daniels.

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Review: Stillhouse Lake

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13047090Title: Stillhouse Lake

Author: Rachel Caine

Series: Stillhouse Lake Series

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publish Date: July 1st, 2017

Genres: Thriller, Adult

Links: GoodreadsAmazon • Barnes and Noble

Gina Royal is the definition of average—a shy Midwestern housewife with a happy marriage and two adorable children. But when a car accident reveals her husband’s secret life as a serial killer, she must remake herself as Gwen Proctor—the ultimate warrior mom.

With her ex now in prison, Gwen has finally found refuge in a new home on remote Stillhouse Lake. Though still the target of stalkers and Internet trolls who think she had something to do with her husband’s crimes, Gwen dares to think her kids can finally grow up in peace.

But just when she’s starting to feel at ease in her new identity, a body turns up in the lake—and threatening letters start arriving from an all-too-familiar address. Gwen Proctor must keep friends close and enemies at bay to avoid being exposed—or watch her kids fall victim to a killer who takes pleasure in tormenting her. One thing is certain: she’s learned how to fight evil. And she’ll never stop.

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Review: After You

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181309Title: After You

Author: Jojo Moyes

Series: Me Before You

Publisher: Penguin Books

Publish Date: December 6th, 2016

Genres: Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Fiction

How do you move on after losing the person you loved? How do you build a life worth living?

Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.

Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding–the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future. . . .

For Lou Clark, life after Will Traynor means learning to fall in love again, with all the risks that brings. But here Jojo Moyes gives us two families, as real as our own, whose joys and sorrows will touch you deeply, and where both changes and surprises await.

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Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin

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13047090Title: A Court of Wings and Ruin

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses Series

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

Publish Date: May 2nd, 2017

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

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Discussion: How has college impacted my reading?

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Back to school is one of my favorite times of the year: new stationary + the onset of fall + pumpkin spice flavored everything, what could be better?  My college move-in date is right around the corner.  Tomorrow, to be exact.  And I’m doing anything and everything within my power to procrastinate packing like the responsible human being that I am.  In an attempt to further delay packing, what better time to share my experiences with reading and blogging throughout my freshman year of college?

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Review: Code Name Verity

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13047090Title: Code Name Verity

Author: Elizabeth Wein

Series: Code Name Verity Series

Publisher: Egmont Press

Publish Date: February 6th, 2012

Genres: Historical Fiction, World War II, Young Adult

Two young women become unlikely best friends during WWII, until one is captured by the Gestapo. Only in wartime could a stalwart lass from Manchester rub shoulders with a Scottish aristocrat, one a pilot, the other a special operations executive. Yet whenever their paths cross, they complement each other perfectly and before long become devoted to each other.

But then a vital mission goes wrong, and one of the friends has to bail out of a faulty plane over France. She is captured by the Gestapo and becomes a prisoner of war. The story begins in “Verity’s” own words, as she writes her account for her captors. Truth or lies? Honour or betrayal? Everything they’ve ever believed in is put to the test…

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#TheReadingQuest TBR

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All graphics are courtesy of CW at Read, Think, Ponder.

I’m very excited to finish the summer by participating in #TheReadingQuest, which is hosted by Aenteen of Read at Midnight (click to view her sign-up post).  I’m heading back to college next week, so I’m not sure how successful I’ll be, but I decided to give it a shot!

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