LIFE : This week has been pretty good! I did physical therapy twice and am making lots of progress, but man it hurts. I was even able to work a little bit this week, which was a nice change. AND today, I am driving from Nashville to NY where I grew up. I’m so excited to go home for a week, spend some time with my dad, see my friends…it’s exactly what I needed after a stressful month! I can’t wait to see everyone and just be with my people.
BLOG : I had a very successful first week back here on DRB. I got lots of stuff posted, talked to a few new people, gained a couple followers. So check out my posts below!
I decided to start a new weekly feature here on Danie Reads Books! I don’t know about anyone else, but I am a Kindle freebie junkie. I have signed up for both Bookbub and Booksends, even though a lot of time there is overlap. I don’t even care. And I download quite a few freebies every week. So I’ve decided to start a feature where I list a few of them every week.
The first book from ‘This Dark Town’ mystery thriller trilogy.Eighteen-year-old Lydia Stone wakes up one morning in the north London gothic mansion she shares with her family, to find that her twin sister Kate has disappeared off the face of the earth.
CCTV footage shows Kate entering a night club in south London on the night she went missing, but there is no evidence that she ever came out of the club, and police are considering the idea that she was sex-trafficked.
In the days and weeks that follow, Lydia takes a closer look at her twin sister’s life; her modelling career, penchant for fetish clubs, and interesting array of older friends. It seems like Kate was definitely hiding something.
In Jason Van Otterloo’s neighborhood, the Fourth of July fireworks are provided by his drunken parents brawling in the driveway. One moment they’re not speaking to each other, the next they’re on the couch like teenage lovers. He’s not sure which is worse. He’s been waiting for them to grow up for nearly 16 years, and it doesn’t seem likely to happen any time soon.
Desperate to escape, Jason takes on any job that comes his way with the dream of saving enough money to get his own place. When the border patrol snuffs out his landscaping career, he talks his best friend Drew into enlisting with him as a caddy at the local country club. His income might not be sufficient to move out on, but it’s plenty to cover his first date with Gina—if she’s willing to overlook the minor detail about having to take the bus to the movies. Life would be so much easier if Jason were old enough to drive.
Gina proves a nice distraction from the circus at home, at least until Jason realizes he has competition for her attention. “I want to come right out and say something,” he tells Drew, “but at the same time I don’t want to know for sure.” At coffeehouse poetry slams or via late-night email exchanges, his fellow intellectual Drew is always there to provide perspective. But the one topic he can’t help Jason make sense of is Rob and Janice Van Otterloo’s rocky relationship. “Maybe they’ll learn how to become boring and safe like my parents,” Drew suggests, when they finally seek marriage counseling. “I don’t want them to be like your parents,” Jason replies. “It wouldn’t be authentic.”
Title : What We Buried
Author : Kate A. Boorman
Published : February 26, 2019
Publisher : Henry Holt
Genre : YA, mystery
Series : N/A Goodreads Amazon
Siblings Liv and Jory Brewer have grown up resenting one another. Liv—former pageant queen and reality-TV star—was groomed for a life in the spotlight, while her older brother Jory, born with a partial facial paralysis, was left in the shadows. The only thing they have in common is contempt for their parents.
Now Liv is suing her mom and dad for emancipation, and Jory views the whole thing as yet another attention-getting spectacle. But on the day of the hearing, their parents mysteriously vanish, and the siblings are forced to work together. Liv feels certain she knows where they are and suspects that Jory knows more than he’s telling . . . which is true.
What starts as a simple overnight road trip soon takes a turn for the dangerous and surreal. And as the duo speeds through the deserts of Nevada, brother and sister will unearth deep family secrets that force them to relive their pasts as they try to retain a grip on the present.
First things first. Can we just all stare at this beautiful cover? It’s so unique, especially in YA. I’m a sucker for a good cover. The whole “don’t judge a book” thing does not work for me, at all, because I absolutely am more interested in a book with a interesting cover. That being said…
I wanted to like this book so much more than I actually did. It started out interesting – two siblings, Liv and Jory are as physically different as different can be. Liv is a spoiled beauty queen, and Jory is physically deformed and has Moebius syndrome. When we first meet these two, Liv is suing their parents for her childhood essentially being in front of a camera. As they’re walking into the courtroom though, their parents disappear. Despite their differences and the fact that they haven’t had a solid relationship in years, Jory and Liv decide to go searching for them together.
Unfortunately, this is where I started to struggle a bit. The bulk of this book takes place between two characters in a car. The POV switches back and forth a lot, but there wasn’t a big enough difference between the two voices for me. I liked that there were a lot of flashbacks, but wasn’t a fan that one character would flashback to a memory, and then the other character would flashback to the same memory.
What saved this book for me were a couple things. First, unreliable narrators are my jam. Give me a narrator who is into some shiesty stuff, and I’m all about it. Secondly, I really loved the time loop thing. It was confusing at first but once I got the hang of it, I enjoyed it.
Overall, I gave this 3 stars. Not bad, but not my favorite.
Can’t Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. It’s a weekly meme to spotlight new releases.
Verify by Joelle Charbonneau
Publish date : September 24, 2019
Publisher : HarperTeen
Genre : YA, sci-fi, dystopia
Series : Verify #1
Meri Beckley lives in a world without lies. When she turns on the news, she hears only the facts. When she swipes the pages of her online textbooks, she reads only the truth. When she looks at the peaceful Chicago streets, she feels the pride everyone in the country feels about the era of unprecedented hope and prosperity over which the government presides.
But when Meri’s mother is killed, Meri suddenly has questions that no one else seems to be asking. And when she tries to uncover her mother’s state of mind in her last weeks, she finds herself drawn into a secret world full of facts she’s never heard and a history she didn’t know existed.
Suddenly, Meri is faced with a choice between accepting the “truth” she has been taught or embracing a world the government doesn’t want anyone to see—a world where words have the power to change the course of a country, and the wrong word can get Meri killed.
Dude, I am so pumped for this book! What are you waiting for?
This week’s theme is “books I Enjoyed That Are Outside of My Comfort Zone”. I don’t really have a comfort zone when it comes to reading per se. I like to read anything and everything. But I will say, one thing I have recently started reading more and more of is NA contemporary romance. Before 2019, I hadn’t really been into it much, but for some reason this has been the year of romance! Here are my ten faves in no particular order.
Okay, so lots of Colleen Hoover going on here. Whoops! Also, The Deal and The Goal are from the same series, but the series as a whole is just so dang good. It deserves two mentions. Goodreads links below, again in no particular order.
Title : Hot Dog Girl
Author : Jennifer Dugan
Published : April 30th, 2019
Publisher : Putnam
Genre : YA, contemporary romance
Series : N/A Goodreads Amazon
Elouise (Lou) Parker is determined to have the absolute best, most impossibly epic summer of her life. There are just a few things standing in her way:
* She’s landed a job at Magic Castle Playland . . . as a giant dancing hot dog.
* Her crush, the dreamy Diving Pirate Nick, already has a girlfriend, who is literally the Princess of the park. But Lou’s never liked anyone, guy or otherwise, this much before, and now she wants a chance at her own happily ever after.
* Her best friend, Seeley, the carousel operator, who’s always been up for anything, suddenly isn’t when it comes to Lou’s quest to set her up with the perfect girl or Lou’s scheme to get close to Nick.
* And it turns out that this will be their last summer at Magic Castle Playland–ever–unless she can find a way to stop it from closing.
Jennifer Dugan’s sparkling debut coming-of-age queer romance stars a princess, a pirate, a hot dog, and a carousel operator who find love–and themselves–in unexpected people and unforgettable places.
Okay so I went into this book semi-blind. What I did think about the book was actually false. For some reason I thought it was a middle grade novel. I’m not sure why? Maybe the colors on the cover? Which is really stupid, ha. But in general, I thought it was a middle grade novel and didn’t really read the synopsis.
I was BLOWN AWAY. I loved this book so so much. Lou was my fave character (for the most part, which I’ll touch on in a bit) that I’ve read in a YA romance in a while. She was sarcastic, snarky, and hilarious.
“But that’s not what happened because, hi, I’m Elouise. I’m the hot dog.”
I really loved the atmosphere for this story. This is the only YA I can think of that takes place primarily in a theme park. But not the theme parks like Disneyland or Six Flags, but one that is well-loved, old, and starting to get run down. I grew up going to a theme park like that on summer vacations with my family, so it filled me with nostalgia. Also, I was cracking up at how Lou described wearing the hot dog suit. I dressed as Olaf for a winter carnival once at my school and it was all the things she described – hot, sweaty, smelly, etc. I did it that one time and never, ever will I do it again. I can’t imagine having to do it day in and day out, outside, in the summer.
I think my only issue with Hot Dog Girl was the unnecessary hatred toward Jess, which was the girlfriend of Lou’s initial love interest. I get that Lou wanted to be with Nick but I just felt like in the beginning, there was no reason to dislike her as much as Lou did. Now, all was not as it seemed so in the end, things changed (could I be any more vague?) but still!
What made this book a five star read for me was the relationship between Lou and her Dad. I was raised by a single dad for my teenage years, and I have literally never seen our interesting relationship dynamic written about. It’s awkward at times, but underneath, we are extremely close. Lou and her Dad were the same way, and it filled me with so much joy to relive those moments while reading Hot Dog Girl.
All in all, this was a really strong, sweet novel. I will absolutely be continuing to read Jennifer Dugan’s work. 5 stars.
Hey y’all! This is way late. Like I mean, way late. My last post in here was in October of 2017. So almost two years ago.Whoops! But I’ve decided to come back! I miss blogging and connecting with book friends here and on Twitter and Bookstagram. So here we go! I decided my first post back should be an easy one, so I figured I’d do a quick Sunday Post!
LIFE : Oh man. I don’t want to recap the past two years because it will be too long. Instead I’ll recap the main thing going on in my life, which is my elbow. On July 28th, I was walking out of my mom’s house and fell, landing on her concrete porch. I ended up shattering my elbow. I mean…it was bad. I’ve since had a radial head arthoplasty, which is essentially an elbow replacement with one giant screw.
It’s been gnarly! I’m in physical therapy twice a week. It’s crazy – you never realize how much you use things like your elbow until you can’t! I can’t turn my wrist all the way over, can’t extend my elbow or fully bend it, and I definitely can’t hold anything! I have five weeks of physical therapy left so I’m hoping by the end I’ll be back to normal.
BLOG : Literally nothing. Ha! But I did make a bookstagram, so be sure to come follow me here. I’m on there and Twitter (here!) wayyy too much.
BOOKS I BOUGHT BUT PROBABLY SHOULDN’T HAVE : I’ve mainly been borrowing ebooks from the library. Over the past two years there have been (obviously) a lot, but I’ll just show the past week.
Links all go to Goodreads.
That’s it for me this week! I’m excited to be back on here and can’t wait to chat with you all!