#5Books: Book recs

I’m really excited that I’m going to be seeing Michael Connelly this week! At a library in surburbia, which never happens! Usually, authors who come over here, go to the city and sometimes even in events that cost so much, I really can’t justify it. So, I am excited to say the least! The Night Fire, BTW, is a fantastic addition to his Harry Bosch series — which mind you — is anyone watching the series? Bc I feel I need to.

And in other news: here are the books I am hanging out for this week — all the way to Aug 2020, people! Doesn’t that sound painfully long? (Mind you at one point, November 2019 seemed very far away)

The Night Swim

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?

I maintain small towns make for the best settings and The Night Swim does nothing to dissuade me from that! There is so much happening here, but I am interested in all of it. Rachel and her podcast, and the pressure that comes with trying to make it a success. And these mysterious letters and … just how involved is the town in all this? 

I will make you pay

Every Wednesday, like clockwork, the terror returns.

It seems like an ordinary Wednesday, until the phone rings. A mysterious caller with a chilling threat. Journalist Alice Henderson hangs up, ready to dismiss it as a hoax against the newspaper. But the next Wednesday, the stalker makes another move—and it becomes clear that this is all about Alice.

Someone wants her to suffer, but for what? Her articles have made her a popular local champion—could it be her past rather than her work that’s put her life in danger? Alice is determined not to give in to fear, but with the police investigation at a dead end, her boyfriend insists on hiring private investigator Matthew Hill.

With every passing Wednesday the warnings escalate, until it’s not only Alice but also her family in the stalker’s sights. As her tormentor closes in, can Alice uncover what she’s being punished for before the terrifying threats become an unthinkable reality?

Isn’t it the scariest thing — to be targeted for something you did, and you don’t know what that something is… but I must admit, I feel like that’s the twist in the tale of this. Did Alice do something?

From Hell to Breakfast

Lucinda’s boyfriend Dracula claims to be the Dracula―he sleeps in a coffin, hunts pigeons for blood, and only goes out at night. But is he really? Unsettlingly, there has been a spate of recent disappearances and Dracula may be connected. Lucinda doesn’t know for sure or which is more dangerous: dating an immortal vampire or a UPS driver with a night shift who thinks he’s one?

While Dracula sleeps, Lucinda works at a smoothie shop where her boss is a creep, and their neighbor is always either belting out Whitney Houston or yelling in Russian through the walls. Lucinda focuses on the play she’s written that’s being produced by the community theatre and a pair of sibling actors, Rory and Lauren, she’s met there.

Rory is clearly infatuated with Lucinda, and while she is out all day Dracula ruminates on next steps. Their other neighbor is a bicycle cop who clearly has it out for him, the landlord claims to have never seen Lucinda, and Lucinda’s brother Warren is constantly asking for Dracula’s help killing birds for his art. As the play’s premiere draws nearer, sinister forces are at work, though it may just be the fault of amateur actors. Meghan Tifft creates an alternate small town America, one brimming with strange delights and dark curiosities, where you can be whoever you want, thought not really, and somebody’s dinner is always another person’s breakfast.

This blurb sounds insane, but that is exactly why it’s here: Is this really Dracula? I hope it is, because I want to see how the author pulls this off! 

Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters

Sixteen-year-old Ariadne’s whole life is curated and shared with the world. Her royal family’s entertainment empire is beloved by the tabloids, all over social media, and the hottest thing on television. The biggest moneymaker? The Labyrinth Contest, a TV extravaganza in which Ariadne leads fourteen teens into a maze to kill a monster. To win means endless glory; to lose means death. In ten seasons, no one has ever won.

When the gorgeous, mysterious Theseus arrives at the competition and asks Ariadne to help him to victory, she doesn’t expect to fall for him. He might be acting interested in her just to boost ratings. Their chemistry is undeniable, though, and she can help him survive. If he wins, the contest would end for good. But if she helps him, she doesn’t just endanger her family’s empire―the monster would have to die. And for Ariadne, his life might be the only one worth saving.

Ariadne’s every move is watched by the public and predestined by the gods, so how can she find a way to forge her own destiny and save the people she loves?

First, I that covers gets a hard no from me. Second, the rest of this however, sounds brilliant! Reality TV + a Greek Gods retelling! 

Love, Heather

What you see isn’t always what you get.

Stevie never meant for things to go this far. When she and Dee–defiant, bold, indestructible Dee–started all this, there was a purpose to their acts of vengeance: to put the bullies of Woepine High School back in their place. And three months ago, Stevie believed they deserved it. Once her best friend turned on her, the rest of the school followed. Stevie was alone and unprotected with a target on her back. Online, it was worse.

It was Dee’s idea to get them all back with a few clever pranks, signing each act Love, Heather–an homage to her favorite 80’s revenge flick. Despite herself, Stevie can’t help getting caught up in the payback, reveling in every minute of suffering. And for a while, it works: it seems the meek have inherited the school.

But when anonymous students begin joining in, punishing perceived slights with increasingly violent ferocity, the line between villain and vigilante begins to blur. As friends turn on each other and the administration scrambles to regain control, it becomes clear: whatever Dee and Stevie started has gained a mind–and teeth–of its own. And when it finally swallows them whole, one will reemerge changed, with a plan for one final, terrifying act of revenge

I’ve never watched Heathers, but after this, I feel like I should! Payback is a dangerous thing, isn’t it? But, what sort of school is this that their pranks take off like this? And who is going to emerge as the one with their final act of revenge? I feel like the implication is Stevie and Dee, but I also feel like there’s something missing, and the one might not be who we expected. 

Revenge is sweet — or at the very least, sweet to read.

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