Hey everyone! We want to welcome you back to another WWW where we talk about the three Ws: What we’re read recently, what we’re currently reading, and what we’re planning on reading next. It is currently hosted by Taking on a World of Words.
Well the quarantine and social distancing are in full swing and Haley is studying for oral exams (so wish her luck!) Like many fellow bookworms out there, we have been reading a lot and are so excited to share our thoughts about some recent reads with all of you.
What We’ve Finished RecentlyMy Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell
Published by William Morrow on March 10, 2020
Exploring the psychological dynamics of the relationship between a precocious yet naïve teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher, a brilliant, all-consuming read that marks the explosive debut of an extraordinary new writer.
2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher.
2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenager—and who professed to worship only her—may be far different from what she has always believed?
Alternating between Vanessa’s present and her past, My Dark Vanessa juxtaposes memory and trauma with the breathless excitement of a teenage girl discovering the power her own body can wield. Thought-provoking and impossible to put down, this is a masterful portrayal of troubled adolescence and its repercussions that raises vital questions about agency, consent, complicity, and victimhood. Written with the haunting intimacy of The Girls and the creeping intensity of Room, My Dark Vanessa is an era-defining novel that brilliantly captures and reflects the shifting cultural mores transforming our relationships and society itself.
This one is definitely controversial and I (Haley) have so many feelings about it. The book follows Vanessa, on the one hand when she is fifteen and groomed into a romantic relationship with her thirty-something English teacher and thirty two year old Vanessa when it all comes back to her. This is a hard book, but an important one in light of current political climate and the #metoo movement.Sparrow by Mary Cecilia Jackson
Published by Tor Teen on March 17, 2020
In the tradition of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak, a devastating but hopeful YA debut about a ballerina who finds the courage to confront the abuse that haunts her past and threatens her future.
There are two kinds of people on the planet. Hunters and preyI thought I would be safe after my mother died. I thought I could stop searching for new places to hide. But you can’t escape what you are, what you’ve always been.My name is Savannah Darcy Rose.And I am still prey.
Though Savannah Rose―Sparrow to her friends and family―is a gifted ballerina, her real talent is keeping secrets. Schooled in silence by her long-dead mother, Sparrow has always believed that her lifelong creed―“I’m not the kind of girl who tells”―will make her just like everyone else: Normal. Happy. Safe. But in the aftermath of a brutal assault by her seemingly perfect boyfriend Tristan, Sparrow must finally find the courage to confront the ghosts of her past, or lose herself forever….
We read this book for our upcoming blog tour with The Fantastic Flying Book Club (find the tour schedule here) and it was so good! Its about a young girl named Savannah Rose (Sparrow to her friends) and her experience with being assaulted by her boyfriend. Its really heavy but it asks important questions about healing from abuse, who it effects, and the cycles abuse that people often find themselves in without realizing it. All the trigger warnings but its an important book and the epitome of my favorite sort of contemporary.Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X, #1) by Richelle Mead
Published by Dutton Adult on June 4, 2013
In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills.
When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.
Gameboard of the Gods, the first installment of Richelle Mead’s Age of X series, will have all the elements that have made her YA Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series such megasuccesses: sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; and relentless action and suspense.
This one is a sci-fi fantasy novel that reminded me (Emily) a lot of American Gods set in an Americanized Roman culture. Religion is banned but the gods are making a comeback through a select few. It has a great plot, a dash of romance and has kept me engaged throughout. I was so disappointed to learn that the third novel has been shelved! Everyone go check out this series so Mead will feel compelled to finish it!
What We’re Currently ReadingRed Hood by Elana K. Arnold
Published by Balzer + Bray on February 25, 2020
You are alone in the woods, seen only by the unblinking yellow moon. Your hands are empty. You are nearly naked.
And the wolf is angry.
Since her grandmother became her caretaker when she was four years old, Bisou Martel has lived a quiet life in a little house in Seattle. She’s kept mostly to herself. She’s been good. But then comes the night of homecoming, when she finds herself running for her life over roots and between trees, a fury of claws and teeth behind her. A wolf attacks. Bisou fights back. A new moon rises. And with it, questions. About the blood in Bisou’s past and on her hands as she stumbles home. About broken boys and vicious wolves. About girls lost in the woods—frightened, but not alone.
I am really close to finishing this book and I have so many feelings about it! Elana K. Arnold’s books are often controversial and this very loose Red Riding Hood retelling is full of female empowerment and dismantling the patriarchy. It definitely unique and not for everyone but I have really enjoyed it!The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver
Published by Ballantine Books on March 3, 2020
Lydia and Freddie. Freddie and Lydia. They'd been together for more than a decade, and Lydia thought their love was indestructible.
But she was wrong. On her twenty-eighth birthday, Freddie died in a car accident.
So now it's just Lydia, and all she wants to do is hide indoors and sob until her eyes fall out. But Lydia knows that Freddie would want her to try to live fully, happily, even without him. So, enlisting the help of his best friend, Jonah, and her sister, Elle, she takes her first tentative steps into the world, open to life--and perhaps even love--again.
But then something inexplicable happens that gives her another chance at her old life with Freddie. A life where none of the tragic events of the past few months have happened.
Lydia is pulled again and again across the doorway of her past, living two lives, impossibly, at once. But there's an emotional toll to returning to a world where Freddie, alive, still owns her heart. Because there's someone in her new life, her real life, who wants her to stay.
Written with Josie Silver's trademark warmth and wit, The Two Lives of Lydia Bird is a powerful and thrilling love story about the what-ifs that arise at life's crossroads, and what happens when one woman is given a miraculous chance to answer them.
I just started this one and its possible that I might set it aside for something else. I usually give my audiobooks about an hour before I decide if I’m going to keep going with them. So far I am enjoying it and I LOVED One Day in December and so I have high hopes for this very emotional romance.Storm Cursed (Mercy Thompson, #11) by Patricia Briggs
Published by Ace Books on May 7, 2019
In this powerful entry in the #1 New York Times bestselling series, Mercy Thompson must face a deadly enemy to defend all she loves...
My name is Mercedes Athena Thompson Hauptman, and I am a car mechanic.
And a coyote shapeshifter.
And the mate of the Alpha of the Columbia Basin werewolf pack.
Even so, none of that would have gotten me into trouble if, a few months ago, I hadn't stood upon a bridge and taken responsibility for the safety of the citizens who lived in our territory. It seemed like the thing to do at the time. It should have only involved hunting down killer goblins, zombie goats, and an occasional troll. Instead, our home was viewed as neutral ground, a place where humans would feel safe to come and treat with the fae.
The reality is that nothing and no one is safe. As generals and politicians face off with the Gray Lords of the fae, a storm is coming and her name is Death.
But we are pack, and we have given our word.
We will die to keep it.
Emily is currently catching up on the Mercy Thompson series, because being behind on it cannot stand! These kind of books are the perfect comfort reads, the perfect remedy to the anxiety to this whole social distancing thing that is happening right now.
What We’re Reading NextPine by Francine Toon
Published by Doubleday on January 23, 2020
They are driving home from the search party when they see her.
The trees are coarse and tall in the winter light, standing like men. Lauren and her father Niall live alone in the Highlands, in a small village surrounded by pine forest. When a woman stumbles out onto the road one Halloween night, Niall drives her back to their house in his pickup. In the morning, she's gone.
In a community where daughters rebel, men quietly rage, and drinking is a means of forgetting, mysteries like these are not out of the ordinary. The trapper found hanging with the dead animals for two weeks. Locked doors and stone circles. The disappearance of Lauren's mother a decade ago.
Lauren looks for answers in her tarot cards, hoping she might one day be able to read her father's turbulent mind. Neighbours know more than they let on, but when local teenager Ann-Marie goes missing it's no longer clear who she can trust.
In spare, haunting prose, Francine Toon creates an unshakeable atmosphere of desolation and dread. In a place that feels like the end of the world, she unites the gloom of the modern gothic with the pulse of a thriller. It is the perfect novel for our haunted times.
Its finally happening. I’m reading this book. I got it from the library back in January and thanks to Grad school and reading for the blog I just haven’t had the time to read it but I am finally ahead on reading for the blog and so I am picking up some books that I have wanted to read for the sake of reading. Also, I haven’t been able to track down an audio version of this book so that’s the other reason I haven’t gotten to it before now but the wait is over and I am so excited!Sky Without Stars (System Divine, #1) by Jessica Brody, Joanne Rendell
Published by Simon Pulse on March 26, 2019
A thief. An officer. A guardian.
Three strangers. One shared destiny . . .
When the Last Days came, the planet of Laterre promised hope. But five hundred years later, it’s now a place where an extravagant elite class reigns supreme; where the clouds hide the stars and the poor starve in the streets; where a rebel group, long thought dead, is resurfacing.
Whispers of revolution have begun—a revolution that hinges on three unlikely heroes…
Chatine is a street-savvy thief who will do anything to escape the brutal Regime, including spying on Marcellus, the grandson of the most powerful man on the planet.
Marcellus is an officer—and the son of a traitor. Groomed to command by his legendary grandfather, Marcellus begins to doubt the government he’s vowed to serve when he discovers a cryptic message that only one person, a girl named Alouette, can read.
Alouette is living in an underground refuge, where she guards and protects the last surviving library on the planet. But a shocking murder will bring Alouette to the surface for the first time in twelve years…and plunge Laterre into chaos.
All three have roles to play in a dangerous game of revolution—and together they will shape the future of a planet.
Power, romance, and destiny collide in this sweeping reimagining of Victor Hugo’s masterpiece Les Misérables.
Well we did a thing. We signed up fort he blog tour for Between Burning Worlds thinking that the other person had read Sky Without Stars. Well last week to talked about our schedule for the next month or so and realized that we hadn’t read it yet so here we are, trying to read this one and its sequel before our stop on the blog tour! Cheers to assumptions!
What About You?
What have you read recently? Which books are sitting at the top of your TBR pile! Let us know in the comments!