Tuesday, August 11, 2020

8/11/20 HOUSE IS A BODY - SHRUTI SWAMY - ALGONQUIN BOOKS

 



Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: Algonquin Books (August 11, 2020)


A Most-Anticipated Book of 2020 from The Millions * Bustle * BuzzFeed * Electric Literature

“Swamy’s A House Is a Body will not simply be talked about as one of the greatest short story collections of the 2020s; it will change the way all stories—short and long—are told, written, and consumed. There is nothing, no emotion, no tiny morsel of memory, no touch, that this book does not take seriously. Yet, A House Is a Body might be the most fun I’ve ever had in a short story collection.” —Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy

Dreams collide with reality, modernity with antiquity, and myth with identity in the twelve arresting stories of A House Is a Body. In “Earthly Pleasures,” a young painter living alone in San Francisco begins a secret romance with one of India’s biggest celebrities, and desire and ego are laid bare. In “A Simple Composition,” a husband’s professional crisis leads to his wife’s discovery of a dark, ecstatic joy. And in the title story, an exhausted mother watches, hypnotized by fear, as a California wildfire approaches her home. Immersive and assured, provocative and probing, these are stories written with the edge and precision of a knife blade. Set in the United States and India, they reveal small but intense moments of beauty, pain, and power that contain the world.

A House Is a Body introduces a bold and original voice in fiction, from a writer at the start of a stellar career.



THOUGHTS/REVIEW:

Everyone, read this short story collection - I don't usually go for short stories in my read and this one really surprised me and I LOVED IT!! A HOUSE IS A BODY was a riveting collection of deep soul searching stories written in a prose so magical I was immersed into this debut. 


A collection of twelve stories spanning the globe set between the United States, India and beyond, with each story unique and touching upon important themes about family, parenthood, sisterhood and brotherhood, and most of all, love. With a dream like quality, and very unique style of writing which I loved and devoured, Swamy transported me through these stories into worlds and experiences both fantastic and mythologic, and reality as well. 


The stories were very well written and very poignant. Though this could be read in one sitting, I enjoyed the stories individually taking the time to savor and reflect first, then moving on to the next story. Just like a box of chocolates, each had its own unique flavor and I just never know what I will be getting next, but they were all oh so good.  

I highly recommend this amazing short story collection. I am excited to see how you will savor this highly anticipated collection. 



AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT:




The winner of two O. Henry Awards, Shruti Swamy's work has appeared in The Paris Review, McSweeney’s, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. In 2012, she was Vassar College's 50th W.K. Rose Fellow, and has been awarded residencies at the Millay Colony for the Arts, Blue Mountain Center, and Hedgebrook. She is a Kundiman fiction fellow, a 2017 – 2018 Steinbeck Fellow at San Jose State University, and a recipient of a 2018 grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation. She lives in San Francisco.

Monday, August 10, 2020

8/10/20 Murder Ahoy!: A laugh out loud cozy mystery. (The Bella Tyson Mysteries Book 2) EXCERPT

 



Print Length: 252 pages
Publication Date: June 15, 2020
Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC


Murder Ahoy!

Famous crime writer Bella Tyson is hired to co-host a Murder Mystery cruise, on a luxury liner sailing from Southampton to New York. She’s expecting an easy ride; fun and games, surrounded by amateur sleuths and fans of her books, all the while staying in a deluxe cabin and enjoying the spa and the amazing restaurants on board, culminating in a visit to one of her favourite cities in the world - the Big Apple.

 

She’s NOT expecting to be stuck on a boat in the middle of the Atlantic with her two least favourite people in the world, her hot but unfaithful bastard ex-husband Joel Quigley and fellow crime writer, bitch goddess and Twitter frenemy, Louise Meyers. And when real live dead bodies start turning up - as well as fake not-really-dead bodies - Bella’s dreams of being pampered on the high seas turn sour.

 

Accused of a murder she would have liked to commit but didn’t, and helped (or hindered) by a gang of unlikely detectives, can Bella find out who the real murderer is before the ship reaches its destination and New York’s finest drag her off?



THOUGHTS/REVIEW


This is the second book in the Bella Tyson Mystery Series and my first book reading Fiona Leitch amazing laugh out loud cozy mystery. This was the most fun I have read for quite a while, and I really loved it. It is so addicting and truly one of those books you cannot put down. 

Murder Ahoy combines what I love in books and storytelling. A great mystery, some romance and the injection of humor throughout was simply fantastic. Murder Ahoy was such a great read for me that I highly recommend this to everyone. Don't miss this.

 

Purchase Links - mybook.to/Ahoy



Author Bio Fiona Leitch is a writer with a chequered past. She's written for football and motoring magazines, DJ'ed at illegal raves and is a stalwart of the low budget TV commercial, even appearing as the Australasian face of a cleaning product called 'Sod Off'. After living in London and Cornwall she's finally settled in sunny New Zealand, where she enjoys scaring her cats by trying out dialogue on them. She spends her days dreaming of retiring to a crumbling Venetian palazzo, walking on the windswept beaches of West Auckland, and writing funny, flawed but awesome female characters. Her debut novel and first in the Bella Tyson series, ‘Dead in Venice’, was published by Audible as one of their Crime Grant finalists. Fiona is represented by Lina Langlee at the North Literary Agency.

Social Media Links https://twitter.com/fkleitch www.fionaleitch.com https://www.pinterest.nz/fionakleitch/

EXTRACT FROM ‘MURDER AHOY!’

 

Crime writer Bella Tyson has been invited to help host a murder mystery cruise on a swanky liner, during a crossing between Southampton and New York. She’s looking forward to meeting up with her co-hosts and old friends, fellow crime writers Peter James and Mark Billingham. But they’ve both dropped out and, to her horror, been replaced at the last minute by her nemesis and Twitter frenemy, Louise Meyers, and this man - her bastard unfaithful ex-husband, Joel Quigley…

 

If you’re a woman, you’ll know The Look. It’s the one that turns your knees to jelly and involuntarily loosens your knicker elastic, the one that starts a fire in your nether regions and travels all the way up to your cheeks (the facial ones). Not all men have The Look - Will has A Look, which I love, but it’s not the same thing. The Look comes in different variations - it can be a knowing smile, a twinkle in the eye, even an arrogant, slightly disdainful sneer (Joel’s Look was definitely closest to the latter). But the one thing that all Looks have in common is that the only men who really have them are the ones who have already broken your heart at least once.

            So there stood my bastard unfaithful ex-husband, the one who had already broken my heart several times, giving me The Look. And I’m ashamed to admit that for one moment, it worked. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to smack him so hard in the mouth that his teeth landed in someone’s drink on the other side of the room, or rip his shirt off and lick him like a testosterone-flavoured lollipop.

            “Are you alright?” said Will next to me, and I flushed with shame this time rather than lust. I was disgusted with myself for giving into carnal thoughts of Joel for even one second when my wonderful, loving and sexy new husband stood beside me.

            “Absolutely fine,” I said, not believing quite how calm I sounded.

            “You’d better be, because he’s coming over,” said Will, looking worried. I squeezed his hand and smiled at him, then grabbed another drink off a passing waiter and downed half of it in one go.

            “Bella!” I looked up and there he was, the big beautiful bastard… I tried not to remember the first time we met, when we’d ended up having a drunken shag in his trashy hotel room the night he’d beaten me to a Smoking Gun crime writer’s award. And then I burped, because I’d drunk my glass of bubbly too fast.

            He leaned in to kiss me on the cheek. “You look great, the extra weight suits you.” And just like that I was cured. He was still an absolute wanker. I looked around; our messy and acrimonious divorce was common knowledge, of course, and had filled a few column inches at the time as news of his numerous infidelities and my subsequent withdrawal from writing (and life) had spread. Sure enough, the passengers around us were looking over, watching to see how we would react to each other. Let’s give them something to watch, I thought.

            “Oh my god!” I cried. “I’m surprised to see you looking so well. They treated the syphilis, then? Did they manage to save your penis?” Will guffawed loudly before clapping a hand over his mouth, while Joel’s wide smile faltered for a moment and he looked around to see who had heard before he could stop himself. I looked penitent. “Sorry, I shouldn’t have said anything.” I turned to the watching crowd. “It’s a sore point,” I explained to them.

            He was silent for a second, then forced a loud, hearty and unconvincing laugh. “Still the same old Bella,” he said, with a smile that didn’t reach his eyes. His gaze flickered over to Will, who was still standing patiently next to me, grinning. Will wiped the smile off his face abruptly and put his hand out to shake.

            “I’m Will. You must be Joel?” he said, in a friendly, man-to-man tone. “Bella’s told me so much about you.”

            Joel’s lip curled slightly as he looked back at me. “I bet she has…”

            “Yes,” said Will. “I thought she was joking, though.” He looked Joel up and down, then held his arm out to me. “I believe they’re about to announce dinner. Shall we?”

            “I’d be delighted,” I said, smiling at him. God, he was just The Best. Forget The Look, what every woman really needs is a man who sticks up for her, makes her laugh and buys her sanitary products without complaining. I took his arm and we headed for the door.

            “You are so getting lucky tonight,” I murmured to him.

            “Was there ever any doubt of that?” he asked, smiling, and I had to admit there wasn’t.

8/9/20 Life Lessons: She thought she was learning to be a midwife...she was learning to be herself. (The Lessons of a Student Midwife Book 1)



Print Length: 243 pages
Publication Date: July 31, 2020

Life Lessons



For fans of "Call the Midwife", "Hard Pushed" or "This is Going to Hurt".


Life Lessons is a new adult chick-lit medical drama, with splashes of clean romance.
Expect an unputdownable emotional page-turner that will take you deep into the life lessons of a student midwife.

Violet wants to be a midwife, but she has struggled with anxiety throughout her teenage years.



With her best friend Zoe at her side, she gets a place at University and starts training for her dream job.


Can she overcome her fears and find the self-confidence to make it through her first year?

Will Zoe's romance with their housemate spell dating disaster?



Book one of the Lessons of a Student Midwife series.



This book is a prequel to Ghosted, the bestselling novel. 


THOUGHTS/REVIEW:

This book was an amazing read for me that brought me back to my days learning how to be a nurse. As a young woman trying to navigate University, clinicals in the hospital, a new career, and also dealing with all matters of friendship, young love, crushes, and all sorts of adventures and journey of self discovery, this book really resonated with me and brought me all sorts of emotion and nostalgia.

Violet and her journey in becoming a midwife while overcoming her fears, anxieties and developing her confidence was beautifully written by Rowney. I really enjoyed the writing style, the character development, and the subject matter of course was very well researched. I highly recommend this book. What a great easy read and a walk down memory lane to my days in the hospital and college days. This was a fantastic read I really enjoyed. 


Purchase Links - http://mybook.to/lifelessons

Author Bio – 




J.E.Rowney spent several years in the cold Yorkshire hills, which brings the flavour of the moorland countryside into her work. She now lives in Dorset, and the sun and sea are slowly creeping in as influences.

"Charcoal", her first novel, was published in 2012 to wide critical acclaim, and was a bestselling novel across the whole of Amazon within days of release.



Ms Rowney has recently been awarded the Dinesh Allirajah Writing Prize 2020.


Her third novel, "Ghosted", was released in January 2020 and quickly also became a bestseller.


She spends lots of time writing in coffee shops, so if you see her, say hello.

Ms. Rowney says: "I always dreamed of being a writer, until I realised that I was. Then I started to write."

You can find out more about JE Rowney on her website at jerowney.com, or follow @jerowneywriter on social media.

Social Media Links –

Website: http://jerowney.com/

Mailing list http://jerowney.com/join-me

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/jerowneywriter/

https://www.instagram.com/jerowneywriter/?hl=en

https://twitter.com/jerowneywriter?lang=en

https://www.facebook.com/jerowneywriter/ 

EXCERPT

Violet has overcome many obstacles to get her place at University. Ahead of her lie three years of hard work and an ongoing battle with her anxiety. Fortunately, her best friend Zoe will be by her side, helping her through every step of the way.

Just before Violet’s first day at uni, her anxiety threatens to overwhelm her – can she really succeed as a student midwife?

Enjoy this extract from “Life Lessons” by J.E. Rowney. Chick lit with a medical theme.

 

“You’ve wanted this for as long as I have wanted to be a teacher. This has always been our dream. The two of us, here at uni together, working towards our ideal careers. We have done it. Don’t pussy out on me now, Vi.” She gives me a huge smile and pats my back gently. “You’re going to be fine.”

All I can think about is walking into that classroom tomorrow with all the other students, who are all going to be better than I am, in every way. I’m not clever enough, not good enough. I feel like a fraud. Yes, I passed my exams, but it must have been a fluke. There must have been some kind of mistake. I don’t deserve to be here.

My breathing rate has increased again, and Zoe frowns at me.

“Really. Come on. Don’t let your brain do this to you. Don’t let your anxiety spoil this moment for you.” I close my eyes and concentrate on regulating my inhalations, slowing down, exhaling deeply. “That’s it,” she says.

When my parents were fighting, when they divorced, when I had a hopeless crush on the boy I sat next to in maths class, just so I could let him copy off me, when I thought I would never pass my GCSEs, when I thought I shouldn’t have gotten into college, when I split up with Jared, my first boyfriend, my first love, when I was certain that A Level biology was going to destroy me…all of those times and so many more, Zoe was there for me.

I suck breath in so sharply that I feel the kick in the back of my throat.

“That’s it.” She pulls me in towards her and wraps both arms around me in that familiar comforting hug.

“I’m sorry,” I say. “I’m such an idiot.”

“No, no, no,” she says, stroking my hair. “Your brain is an idiot sometimes, that’s all. You’ll show it though. You can do this, and you will do this.”

I wish it was as easy as believing her and believing in myself. It isn’t. The feelings that have been brewing within me will continue to bubble, but I can’t let them take over. Not now.

We sit for a while in a silent embrace. I listen to her heartbeat thud against my ear and feel her warmth. The only sound is our breathing, we don’t need anything else.

 

Saturday, August 8, 2020

8/8/20 BRONTË’S MISTRESS BY FINOLA AUSTIN ATRIA BOOKS

 

  • Title: Brontë’s Mistress: A Novel  
  • Author: Finola Austin
  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • Publisher: Atria Books (August 04, 2020)
  • Length: (320) pages
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1982137236
  • eBook ISBN: 978-1982137250
  • Audiobook ISBN: 9781797106878
  • Tour Dates: August 3 – August 16, 2020


BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Yorkshire, 1843: Lydia Robinson—mistress of Thorp Green Hall—has lost her precious young daughter and her mother within the same year. She returns to her bleak home, grief-stricken and unmoored. With her teenage daughters rebelling, her testy mother-in-law scrutinizing her every move, and her marriage grown cold, Lydia is restless and yearning for something more.

All of that changes with the arrival of her son’s tutor, Branwell Brontë, brother of her daughters’ governess, Miss Anne Brontë and those other writerly sisters, Charlotte and Emily. Branwell has his own demons to contend with—including living up to the ideals of his intelligent family—but his presence is a breath of fresh air for Lydia. Handsome, passionate, and uninhibited by social conventions, he’s also twenty-five to her forty-three. A love of poetry, music, and theatre bring mistress and tutor together, and Branwell’s colorful tales of his sisters’ elaborate play-acting and made-up worlds form the backdrop for seduction.

But Lydia’s new taste of passion comes with consequences. As Branwell’s inner turmoil rises to the surface, his behavior grows erratic and dangerous, and whispers of their passionate relationship spout from her servants’ lips, reaching all three protective Brontë sisters. Soon, it falls on Lydia to save not just her reputation, but her way of life, before those clever girls reveal all her secrets in their novels. Unfortunately, she might be too late.

Meticulously researched and deliciously told, Brontë’s Mistress is a captivating reimagining of the scandalous affair that has divided Brontë enthusiasts for generations and an illuminating portrait of a courageous, sharp-witted woman who fights to emerge with her dignity intact.


THOUGHTS/REVIEW:

This will come down as one of my favorite historical fiction novels that I have read this year - to be honest probably ever. I gave this amazing historical novel all the stars it deserved and more. I enjoyed every page of this book and I just could not devour this fast enough, only to reread it again and again. 

Bronte's Mistress is a debut novel by Fiona Austin that is flawlessly written and meticulously researched historical fiction about the alleged affair between Branwell Bronte - the lesser known Bronte, and his employer's wife, Lydia Robinson. Branwell was employed by the Robinsons as a tutor to their young son Ned, and came highly recommended by Anne Bronte, the governess for the Robinsons' daughters, Lydia, Bessy and Mary. 

What I find amazing about the story is the gender role reversal where in this time period of early 1840's, portrays the woman as the temptress and the man the victim. This affair between Lydia, who was forty-three and Branwell twenty-five was known to have brought the Bronte family down to its demise with premature deaths for all the Bronte siblings. 

Lydia is a strong woman who has suffered significant loss. First though the death of their youngest daughter Georgina, and most recently her mother who has succumbed to illness, and a lifeless and dispassionate marriage to an older husband. Lydia is a complex character and certainly a woman ahead of her time full of passion and restless discontent. 

Austin beautifully delivered through the use of language and dialogue, a novel that transported me right in the middle of the Victorian countryside into the lives of the Robinsons and the Brontë's that I never want to leave. In true style, the story touched on the themes of women's struggles of being trapped, lacking choices and with passion just bubbling beneath the surface. I enjoyed reading Lydia's story and reading her story in her point of view was a wonderful perspective - her thoughts and feminist point of view was refreshing. 

This was a story that needed to be told, and I am glad Finola Austin took this to task, and delivered with nothing short than utmost reverence to this story. 

In the end, I was compelled to reread again not wanting to leave the characters Austin dazzingly portrayed in these pages. I highly recommend this book.


ADVANCE PRAISE

 

·       “…a page-turning read full of passion and fire…[Austin] dares to give us a main character as flawed as Jane Austen’s Lady Susan and Margaret Mitchell’s Scarlett O’Hara—a real, hot-blooded woman who has desires and passions and isn’t afraid to act on them.” —Syrie James, The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte

 

·       Brontë's Mistress gives voice to a woman who, until now, has been voiceless; and, indeed, to thousands of women whose lives, like Lydia's, were so terribly suffocating.” —Molly Greeley, author of The Clergyman's Wife

 

·       “Confident, convincing and engrossing, and with a sure historical touch, it illuminates another dark corner in the Brontës' story.” —Gill Hornby, author of Miss Austen

 

·       "Rich in heart and detail, Finola Austin’s novel Brontë’s Mistress is a beautifully created tour-de-force." —Sarah Shoemaker, author of Mr. Rochester

 

·       “This is not a book about a nineteenth-century affair - it is about using physical passion and experience to get at the very sense of self that society wanted women of the time to repress and even deny. It is a daring, troubling, and sophisticated first novel, and it heralds a most intriguing new voice in historical fiction.” —Natalie Jenner, author of The Jane Austen Society

 

AUTHOR BIO:



Finola Austin, also known as the Secret Victorianist on her award-winning blog, is an England-born, Northern Ireland-raised, Brooklyn-based historical novelist and lover of the 19th century. By day, she works in digital advertising. Find her online at FinolaAustin.com. Brontë’s Mistress is her debut novel.

 

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS


BLOG TOUR 

 

Join the virtual online blog tour of BRONTË’S MISTRESS, Finola Austin’s highly acclaimed debut novel August 3 through August 16, 2020. Twenty-five popular blogs and websites specializing in historical fiction, historical romance, and women’s fiction will feature guest blogs, interviews, excerpts, and reviews of this early Victorian novel set in Yorkshire, England.

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE:

 

Aug 03          Bronteblog (Guest Blog)                      

Aug 03          The Reading Frenzy (Interview)                      

Aug 03          Austenprose—A Jane Austen Blog (Review)                               

Aug 04          Lu's Reviews (Review)                         

Aug 04          The Best Historical Fiction (Review)                       

Aug 05          The Write Review (Review)                            

Aug 05          English Historical Fiction Authors (Guest Blog)                               

Aug 06          Historical Fiction Reader (Review)                          

Aug 06          Captivated Reading         (Review)                          

Aug 07          Reading the Past (Review)                             

Aug 07          Diary of an Eccentric (Excerpt)                      

Aug 08          Book Nursie (Review)                          

Aug 09          Girl with her Head in a Book (Excerpt)                    

Aug 10          Frolic Media (Interview)                        

Aug 10          Historical Fiction with Spirit (Review)                     

Aug 10          Bronteblog (Review)                            

Aug 11          Chicks, Rogues and Scandals (Review)                             

Aug 11          A Bookish Way of Life (Review)                    

Aug 12          Laura's Reviews (Review)                              

Aug 12          Historical Fiction Reader (Interview)                        

Aug 13          The Lit Bitch (Excerpt)                         

Aug 14          Silver Petticoat Reviews (Guest Blog)                     

Aug 14          The Reading Frenzy (Review)                        

Aug 15          The Write Review (Live Facebook Interview)                       

Aug 16          Probably at the Library (Review)                             

 

 

PURCHASE LINKS:

 

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND | BOOKBUB | GOODREADS

 

 


 

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

8/5/20 LUCY'S GREAT ESCAPE


 

Lucy’s Great Escape, Little Duck Pond Café 



Lucy never wanted to abandon her friends and family, and travel to the other side of the country to start a new life. And all without telling anyone where she was going. But these are desperate times. And finding herself with a nightmare of a dilemma, fleeing her home town seems like the only way she can protect herself and those she loves.

The Cornish town of Pengully Sands holds happy childhood memories for Lucy and seems the perfect place to escape to, although having little money and no friends, life at first seems grim.

But a chance meeting with Madison and the rest of the Little Duck Pond Café girls, plus a decidedly attractive local guy who won’t take no for an answer, gives Lucy a glimmer of hope for the future. Could she really settle in Pengully Sands and make a living by selling her watercolours?

But just as life is starting to look a little rosier, it becomes clear that someone back home – the last person she ever wanted to see – has tracked her down… 



Thoughts/Review:

I enjoyed this book even though this is Book 11 and only my first introduction to Rosie Green's books. 

In this installation, "Little Duck Pond Cafe" Lucy escapes to the other side of the country trying to escape and start anew. How many times has that happened to me when things get really stressful and I just want to hop on a plane and go somewhere - anywhere. So right away I was able to relate to poor Lucy and what she is going through. Lucy escapes to a place where she finds comfort and good memories from her childhood in the Cornish town of Pengully. I really wanted to be where Lucy is, where she meets Madison and the girls at the cafe. Things seems to be smooth sailing until someone whom Lucy is trying to escape from has tracked her down.

I enjoyed reading about Lucy and I am already getting ready to order the other books in this series. The writing was easy to read, and felt that the story had a lot of heart. I loved how the characters of Lucy, Madison and Gabe were written, and do enjoy reading about their support and friendship. I found the story to be hopeful and relatable. We all need some escape read and to escape with the character as they go through journey of self-discovery, family, trust and love. 


Purchase Link - https://amzn.to/2xGW5mJ

Author Bio – 



Rosie has been scribbling stories ever since she was little. Back then, they were rip-roaring adventure tales with a young heroine in perilous danger of falling off a cliff or being tied up by ‘the baddies’. Thankfully, Rosie has moved on somewhat, and now much prefers to write romantic comedies that melt your heart and make you smile, with really not much perilous danger involved at all – unless you count the heroine losing her heart in love. Rosie’s Little Duck Pond Cafe series of novellas is centred around life in a village cafe. Each book can be read as a stand-alone story. The latest, ‘Lucy’s Great Escape’, is out now. Watch out for further tales of the Little Duck Pond Cafe, including the delicious ‘Log Fires & Toffee Apple Cake’, which will be published in autumn 2020.

Follow Rosie on Twitter - https://twitter.com/Rosie_Green1988

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

THEY WISH THEY WERE US By Jessica Goodman - RAZORBILL / PENGUIN TEEN PUB DATE 8.4.2020





Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Razorbill
Pub Date: (August 4, 2020)
ISBN-10: 0593114299

Gossip Girl meets One of Us Is Lying with a dash of The Secret History in this slick, taut murder mystery set against the backdrop of an exclusive prep school on Long Island.

In Gold Coast, Long Island, everything from the expensive downtown shops to the manicured beaches, to the pressed uniforms of Jill Newman and her friends, looks perfect. But as Jill found out three years ago, nothing is as it seems.

Freshman year Jill's best friend, the brilliant, dazzling Shaila Arnold, was killed by her boyfriend. After that dark night on the beach, Graham confessed, the case was closed, and Jill tried to move on.

Now, it's Jill's senior year and she's determined to make it her best yet. After all, she's a senior and a Player--a member of Gold Coast Prep's exclusive, not-so-secret secret society. Senior Players have the best parties, highest grades and the admiration of the entire school. This is going to be Jill's year. She's sure of it.

But when Jill starts getting texts proclaiming Graham's innocence, her dreams of the perfect senior year start to crumble. If Graham didn't kill Shaila, who did? Jill vows to find out, but digging deeper could mean putting her friendships, and her future, in jeopardy.



REVIEW:


I AM OBSESSED!

Jessica Goodman wrote one of the summer’s most anticipated books and I am all here for it. They Wish They Were Us is an addictive YA murder mystery set in the backdrop of one of Long Island’s most exclusive and prestigious school for the most privileged, Gold Coast Prep. This is a book that you will devour for its secret society, hazing rituals, exclusivity, popularity and power of the privileged few.

Jill Newman and her best friend Shaila Arnold were selected to join an exclusive secret society called “The Players” with an incredibly vicious hazing ritual that one would die for, to achieve status and the opportunity to access information that would ensure an Ivy League standing. Well, that is exactly what happened three years ago when Jill’s best friend was murdered at the hands of her boyfriend Graham Calloway, who confessed to the murder.

Now it’s senior year and Jill is determined to make this year the best ever! She is now one of the leaders of “The Players” and enjoying the privilege status everyone is coveting for. Everything is going well until she receives a text message from Rachel, Graham’s older sister that claims his innocence. At this point, through Jill’s POV and flashbacks to what really happened leading up to the murder had my fingers flipping unable to put this book down. Amazing!

I loved that the writing delved deeper beyond the prep-school murder-mystery trope and explores female friendships, loyalty and grief. Goodman explores the harrowing consequences of belonging and keeping up the façade. Don’t miss this one.


AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: