What We’re Reading Wednesday (Haley)

Posted December 11, 2019 by stuckint in What We're Reading Wednesday / 4 Comments

Its time for another What We’re Reading Wednesday which is inspired by a meme of a similar name currently hosted by Taking on a World of Words. Its a meme that takes a deep dive into what we’re reading and how we feel about it. Its been a while and I am so excited to share what I’ve read and loved recently, in addition to some titles I can’t wait to read.

Recently Finished

The Valiant (The Valiant, #1) by Lesley Livingston
Published by Razorbill on January 23, 2018
Pages: 400

Princess. Captive. Gladiator. Always a Warrior. Fallon is the daughter of a proud Celtic king and the younger sister of the legendary fighter Sorcha. When Fallon was just a child, Sorcha was killed by the armies of Julius Caesar.
On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is excited to follow in her sister's footsteps and earn her place in her father's war band. She never gets the chance.
Fallon is captured and sold to an elite training school for female gladiators--owned by none other than Julius Caesar himself. In a cruel twist of fate, the man who destroyed Fallon's family might be her only hope of survival.
Now, Fallon must overcome vicious rivalries, deadly fights in and out of the arena, and perhaps the most dangerous threat of all: her irresistible feelings for Cai, a young Roman soldier and her sworn enemy.
A richly imagined fantasy for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Cinda Williams Chima, The Valiant recounts Fallon's gripping journey from fierce Celtic princess to legendary gladiator and darling of the Roman empire.

This book made my Classics heart so happy. Set in the Roman Empire during the height of Julius Caesar’s time as Emperor, Fallon finds herself taken captive and sold into servitude as a gladiator. Okay, something you don’t know about me is in my undergrad I spent three weeks researching in Italy and part of that time was spent at Pompeii in this gladiator barracks where gladiators are believed to have lived and trained. I was so fascinated to read about the Rome LIvingston imagined and the opportunity to learn about the possible life and existence of female gladiators in Ancient Rome.

Bloom by Kenneth Oppel
Published by HarperCollins on February 4, 2020
Pages: 320

The first book in bestselling author Kenneth Oppel’s explosive new trilogy
It was just rain.
But after the downpour, odd black plants begin to shoot up.
They. Are. Everywhere.
They take over fields and twine around houses. They bloom and throw off toxic pollen—and feed.
Strangely, three Salt Spring Island teens seem immune. Anaya, Petra and Seth. What’s their connection? What’s their secret? A week ago, they wouldn’t have thought they had one.
But they’d better figure it out fast—the invasion has already begun.

This book! First of all, if you haven’t read The Nest - and you aren’t afraid of wasps- you need to drop everything and read it . Bloom is the first book in a new horror/ sci-fi trilogy that is basically The Ruins meets Hatchet. In an island off the coast of Canada first it rains and then the plants come, developing venus flytrap-like pods that swallow animals and people and dissolve them with acid. Only three middle school students seem to be immune: Petra, Seth and Anaya- will they e able to band together and save the save the world?

Currently Reading

The Wives by Tarryn Fisher
Published by Graydon House on December 30, 2019
Pages: 336

Imagine that your husband has two other wives.
You’ve never met the other wives. None of you know each other, and because of this unconventional arrangement, you can see your husband only one day a week. But you love him so much you don’t care. Or at least that’s what you’ve told yourself.
But one day, while you’re doing laundry, you find a scrap of paper in his pocket—an appointment reminder for a woman named Hannah, and you just know it’s another of the wives.
You thought you were fine with your arrangement, but you can’t help yourself: you track her down, and, under false pretenses, you strike up a friendship. Hannah has no idea who you really are. Then, Hannah starts showing up to your coffee dates with telltale bruises, and you realize she’s being abused by her husband. Who, of course, is also your husband. But you’ve never known him to be violent, ever.
Who exactly is your husband, and how far would you go to find the truth? Would you risk your own life?
And who is his mysterious third wife?

I have been excited about this book since we predicted it would be a Book of the Month pick for December and now it sits on my nightstand ready for me to start reading tonight. You bet I will be picking up this thriller about a polygamous relationship and convoluted mystery. I have heard nothing but good things from people who have already read it. I have high expectations for this book, but hopefully not too high. Fingers crossed.

Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean
Published by Flatiron Books on December 3, 2019
Pages: 336

Winner of the 2018 Carnegie Medal! New from Michael L. Printz Award winner Geraldine McCaughrean comes an extraordinary story of eight boys stranded on a rock in the middle of the sea, left to fight for their survival.Every time a lad went fowling on the stacs, he came home less of a boy and more of a man. If he went home at all, that is.
Every summer Quill and his friends are put ashore on a remote sea stac to hunt birds. But this summer, no one arrives to take them home. Surely nothing but the end of the world can explain why they’ve been abandoned—cold, starving and clinging to life, in the grip of a murderous ocean. How will they survive such a forsaken place of stone and sea?
This is an extraordinary story of fortitude, endurance, tragedy and survival, set against an unforgettable backdrop of savage beauty.

This is another book that I picked up through Book of the Month and meets a lot of criteria in my wheelhouse- remote island, coming of age tale, and a gritty survival story. I have been kind of intimidated by those who have said they disliked the format. We shall see how I like it and I will definitely report back. I’m only about a chapter in and so far, so good.

On My Nightstand

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
Published by Doubleday Books on November 5, 2019
Pages: 512

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Night Circus, a timeless love story set in a secret underground world--a place of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a starless sea.
Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues--a bee, a key, and a sword--that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library, hidden far below the surface of the earth.
What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians--it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also those who are intent on its destruction.
Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly-soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose--in both the mysterious book and in his own life.

I really don’t need to gush about this book or introduce it. I have heard it described as a warm hug for a book lovers and so I’m looking forward to picking it up as I move into finals week of this semester of Grad school because, honestly, I could use a hug.

The God Game by Danny Tobey
Published by St. Martin's Press on January 7, 2020
Pages: 496

You are invited!Come inside and play with G.O.D.Bring your friends!It’s fun!But remember the rules. Win and ALL YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE.™ Lose, you die!
With those words, Charlie and his friends enter the G.O.D. Game, a video game run by underground hackers and controlled by a mysterious AI that believes it’s God. Through their phone-screens and high-tech glasses, the teens’ realities blur with a virtual world of creeping vines, smoldering torches, runes, glyphs, gods, and mythical creatures. When they accomplish a mission, the game rewards them with expensive tech, revenge on high-school tormentors, and cash flowing from ATMs. Slaying a hydra and drawing a bloody pentagram as payment to a Greek god seem harmless at first. Fun even.
But then the threatening messages start. Worship me. Obey me. Complete a mission, however cruel, or the game reveals their secrets and crushes their dreams. Tasks that seemed harmless at first take on deadly consequences. Mysterious packages show up at their homes. Shadowy figures start following them, appearing around corners, attacking them in parking garages. Who else is playing this game, and how far will they go to win?
And what of the game’s first promise: win, win big, lose, you die? Dying in a virtual world doesn’t really mean death in real life—does it?
As Charlie and his friends try to find a way out of the game, they realize they’ve been manipulated into a bigger web they can’t escape: an AI that learned its cruelty from watching us.
God is always watching, and He says when the game is done.

I love the concept of this novel which basically sounds like Ready Player One meets Black Mirror. It follows a handful of friends who are invited to play an immersive video game hosted by G.O.D an AI that seems harmless. This is until it starts urging them to do more and more illegal things or face the ultimate punishment, death to them and the people they love.

What About You?

If you can’t tell, I am most definitely straying from my TBR some. I recently organized all my ARCs and am working on getting ahead of my January 2020 ARCs so I’m straying a little, at least in terms of the ARCs I’m reading. So what have you been reading recently? Anything you’ve been enjoying that I should pick up? Let me know in the comments!

4 responses to “What We’re Reading Wednesday (Haley)

    • stuckint

      Yes! I have never heard of her before The Wives but I always like finding authors who have extensive backlists.

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