Review – Queenie, by Candice Carty-Williams


Queenie 
by Candice Carty-Williams

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 320 Pages

Release date: March 19, 2019

Publisher: Orion Publishing

Synopsis: 

Bridget Jones’s Diary meets Americanah in this disarmingly honest, boldly political, and truly inclusive novel that will speak to anyone who has gone looking for love and found something very different in its place.

Queenie Jenkins is a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. She works at a national newspaper, where she’s constantly forced to compare herself to her white middle class peers. After a messy break up from her long-term white boyfriend, Queenie seeks comfort in all the wrong places…including several hazardous men who do a good job of occupying brain space and a bad job of affirming self-worth.

As Queenie careens from one questionable decision to another, she finds herself wondering, “What are you doing? Why are you doing it? Who do you want to be?”—all of the questions today’s woman must face in a world trying to answer them for her.

With “fresh and honest” (Jojo Moyes) prose, Queenie is a remarkably relatable exploration of what it means to be a modern woman searching for meaning in today’s world.

rating

four

My thanks to Orion Publishing and NetGalley for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by the publisher. 

When I first started reading Queenie, I wasn’t sure I was going to like it, but boy did she grow on me. This novel follows her during a major downward spiral, (mostly) of her her own making. While there are some factors adding to it, such as childhood trauma and racism, for the most part, Queenie is the story of Queenie making a lot of Really Bad Decisions resulting from a mental health crisis.

I think the concept of agency is a big part of what made this a really interesting novel. Very little happens to Queenie that isn’t a result of the choices she makes, but to what extent have her circumstances made those choices for her? The triggering event of the downward spiral is the dissolution of a long term relationship coming on the tail of a miscarriage. Her childhood has not set her up well to cope with these stressors; Queenie’s neglectful mother is alluded to early in the story, the full extent of this becoming apparent only towards the end. Her sense of self worth at an all-time low, her performance at work begins to suffer and she goes on a spree of casual sex with various partners, none of whom are particularly concerned about anyone’s pleasure but their own. Each poor decision kicks her mental health down a notch, leaving her less and less equipped to turn things around.

Structurally, this book mostly takes place in Queenie’s present life, occasionally flashing back to her relationship with her ex boyfriend, Tom. There are also lots of passages made up of email or text message exchanges. I know these are kind of a pet peeve for some readers, but I thought it worked well in this particular novel. Queenie sets up a group text with some of her friends, some of whom do not know each other, hoping to compile all of her emotional support into one place. Watching her vastly different friends interact with one another as strangers was one of the highlights of the novel for me.

Queenie also gets political, which is another thing that can be really hit or miss when it comes to fiction, but Candice Carty-Williams ingrained it into Queenie’s life and personality really effectively, and it doesn’t feel forced into the story. The Black Lives Matter movement becomes important to the story, not because the author wants to make use of something culturally relevant, but because Queenie is a young black woman who works in journalism and encounters racism within her own life.

It’s easy at times in this book to become frustrated with Queenie, as we are joining her in the midst of a breakdown. After a while, though, it because apparent that Queenie and her story are well worth a little patience.

Purchase links

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Thank you for reading! What was the last debut novel you read and really enjoyed? Let’s discuss in the comments!

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As Long as We Both Shall Live, by JoAnn Chaney (Review)

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As Long as We Both Shall Live
by JoAnn Chaney

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Length: 324 Pages

Release date: January 15, 2019

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Synopsis: 

What happens when you’re really, truly done making your marriage work? You can’t be married to someone without sometimes wanting to bash them over the head…
As Long As We Both Shall Live is JoAnn Chaney’s wicked, masterful examination of a marriage gone very wrong, a marriage with lots of secrets…

“My wife! I think she’s dead!” Matt frantically tells park rangers that he and his wife, Marie, were hiking when she fell off a cliff into the raging river below. They start a search, but they aren’t hopeful: no one could have survived that fall. It was a tragic accident.

But Matt’s first wife also died in suspicious circumstances. And when the police pull a body out of the river, they have a lot more questions for Matt.

Detectives Loren and Spengler want to know if Matt is a grieving, twice-unlucky husband or a cold-blooded murderer. They dig into the couple’s lives to see what they can unearth. And they find that love’s got teeth, it’s got claws, and once it hitches you to a person, it’s tough to rip yourself free.

So what happens when you’re done making it work?

ratingone
Oh, boy, this book was definitely not for me. I’ve said it on here before, but I’m a bit of a thriller snob. Excessive plot twists, overly tropey plot lines, and stock characters, oh my! While I definitely enjoy the occasional thriller (The Silent Patient, An Anonymous Girl, and No Exit come to mind) this… was not one of those for me. Spoilers ahead for this review (as much as I normally hate to include them), because I don’t know how to explain my issues with this book without going into major plot points.

The prologue had me hooked and I went into this novel feeling optimistic. The opening line reads, “If you try to kill your wife without a plan, you will fail,” and goes on to lambaste the stupidity of the average killer, eventually closing with this: “So here’s the thing: if you want to kill your wife, don’t. Don’t kill her, don’t touch her. Ditch the bitch, if you have to, get on with your life. Or make it work. But kill her? Nope. You want the opposite of Nike’s advice: Just don’t do it. Because sooner or later, no matter how careful you think you’ve been, you’ll get caught.”

Given the genre, you can pretty much assume that there’s some misdirection going on here, and this won’t be a book about a man killing his wife and getting caught. So, what’s the next most obvious assumption when Matt’s wife disappears? If you’re picturing Amy from Gone Girl right now, bingo. As if to desperately try to convince the readers that the novel is paying homage to Gone Girl rather than blatantly trying to ride on its coattails, Matt references his wife’s obsession with the book while trying to convince the detectives that he’s being framed.

Speaking of the detectives, a frankly uncomfortable amount of time is spent inside the head of the spectacularly unlikable Detective Ralph Loren. Loren is totally obsessed with sex and crude seemingly for the sake of being crude (and then genuinely shocked when another character calls him crude… okay, buddy.) The author seems hell-bent on convincing the reader that this serial sexual harasser secretly has a heart of gold, with numerous characters remarking on what a great guy he is deep down.

I’d say that there was some social commentary intended here about how willing people are to look the other way when it comes to men like this, but it doesn’t seem supported by the narrative. There’s an entire mystery subplot surrounding whether or not Loren killed his prior partner and it turns out he was innocent the whole time. You see, Loren was the only one who cared that his partner was beating his wife, and it was the wife who finally snapped and killed him. Loren got blackmailed roped into covering up the crime, when his only real crime was caring too much about a battered woman. …okay.

Finally, what is it with thrillers that think they can make a compelling story by pure quantity of twists? You have to earn your twists by setting them up, and less is more. Think about Gone Girl, the book that this one so desperately wants to emulate. There were a few things that could be considered minor twists, but really the main thing was that Amy was behind her own disappearance. That was the whole crux of the story, Flynn focused on it, and it worked really well. I’m writing this review a while after finishing the book, and three big twists come to mind right away. I’d be willing to wager that I’ve forgotten one or two of them already.

Save yourself some time and frustration and just read Gone Girl. 

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WWW Wednesday 03/13/2019

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday! This meme is hosted by Taking on a World of Words. To participate, just answer the following three questions:
What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

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I’m currently reading…

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Beautiful Bad
by Annie Ward
This is a mystery/thriller and it’s been kind of slow going for me so far. I’m hoping it picks up in the second half, but right now I’m feeling a bit lukewarm towards it.

Daisy Jones & The Six
by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This is a reread for me; I’d read it a while back as an ARC, but the interview format of the book made me really want to check it out through audio book format. You can read my review of the book here.

Lost Roses
by Martha Hall Kelly
Nothing new to say here, as I’ve made zero progress on this one since last week. Oops. It’s not the book’s fault, I just got sucked into other reading, I’ve previously read Lilac Girls, from the same author, and it’s absolutely lovely.

I recently finished reading…

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Before She Knew Him, by Peter Swanson

(Review copy received at no cost courtesy of the publisher.) This was a fast paced and interesting thriller. You can read my full review here.
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The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt

Tartt’s work can be really polarizing, and it’s easy to say why. The Goldfinch follows the story of a young boy named Theo in the aftermath of his mother’s sudden and violent death. I’m still gathering my thoughts in regards to how I’d rate this overall, as there were really captivating bits and then parts that seemed to needlessly drone on and on. (For reference, it’s 771 pages long.)

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Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstanceby Ruth Emmie Lang

I’m increasingly finding myself enjoying magical realism lately. This one has such a comfy, fairy tale vibe and I’m kind of kicking myself for leaving it unread on the shelf as long as I did. It follows the story of Weylyn Grey, orphaned as a young boy and raised by wolves. Weylyn has mysterious powers he can’t entirely control. Review to come!

Up next…
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Review copy of American Princess: A Novel of First Daughter Alice Roosevelt, by Stephanie Marie Thornton received courtesy of Berkley Books.

A sweeping novel from renowned author Stephanie Marie Thornton…

Alice may be the president’s daughter, but she’s nobody’s darling. As bold as her signature color Alice Blue, the gum-chewing, cigarette-smoking, poker-playing First Daughter discovers that the only way for a woman to stand out in Washington is to make waves–oceans of them. With the canny sophistication of the savviest politician on the Hill, Alice uses her celebrity to her advantage, testing the limits of her power and the seductive thrill of political entanglements.

But Washington, DC is rife with heartaches and betrayals, and when Alice falls hard for a smooth-talking congressman it will take everything this rebel has to emerge triumphant and claim her place as an American icon. As Alice soldiers through the devastation of two world wars and brazens out a cutting feud with her famous Roosevelt cousins, it’s no wonder everyone in the capital refers to her as the Other Washington Monument–and Alice intends to outlast them all.jennabookish

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What are you reading this week? Any thoughts on the books listed in this post?  Please feel free to discuss or share WWW links in the comments!

 

Before She Knew Him, by Peter Swanson (Review)

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Before She Knew Him
by Peter Swanson

Genre: Thriller

Length: 320 Pages

Release date: March 5, 2019

Publisher: William Morrow

Synopsis: 

Catching a killer is dangerous—especially if he lives next door 

From the hugely talented author of The Kind Worth Killing comes an exquisitely chilling tale of a young suburban wife with a history of psychological instability whose fears about her new neighbor could lead them both to murder . . .

Hen and her husband Lloyd have settled into a quiet life in a new house outside of Boston, Massachusetts. Hen (short for Henrietta) is an illustrator and works out of a studio nearby, and has found the right meds to control her bipolar disorder. Finally, she’s found some stability and peace.

But when they meet the neighbors next door, that calm begins to erode as she spots a familiar object displayed on the husband’s office shelf. The sports trophy looks exactly like one that went missing from the home of a young man who was killed two years ago. Hen knows because she’s long had a fascination with this unsolved murder—an obsession she doesn’t talk about anymore, but can’t fully shake either.

Could her neighbor, Matthew, be a killer? Or is this the beginning of another psychotic episode like the one she suffered back in college, when she became so consumed with proving a fellow student guilty that she ended up hurting a classmate?

The more Hen observes Matthew, the more she suspects he’s planning something truly terrifying. Yet no one will believe her. Then one night, when she comes face to face with Matthew in a dark parking lot, she realizes that he knows she’s been watching him, that she’s really on to him. And that this is the beginning of a horrifying nightmare she may not live to escape. . .

ratingfour

My thanks to William Morrow for sending me a copy of this book at no cost in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by the publisher. 

Before She Knew Him is a quick and super creepy read. I will preface this review by saying that I think the synopsis is slightly misleading. It asks: Could her neighbor, Matthew, be a killer? Or is this the beginning of another psychotic episode like the one she suffered back in college, when she became so consumed with proving a fellow student guilty that she ended up hurting a classmate?” You may be led to believe that there’s some mystery surrounding whether or not Matthew is actually a murderer, and there truly isn’t.

The novel is told through multiple point of view characters, one of which is Matthew himself, so it is revealed very early on that Hen’s suspicions about him are correct. So what’s sort of framed in the synopsis as a mystery for the reader is more Hen’s own internal struggle with herself and her struggle to be taken seriously as someone with a mental illness. Hen may remind readers a lot of Anna Fox from The Woman in the Window or Rachel Watson from The Girl on the Train. Mira, Matthew’s wife, is also a point of view character for a few chapters, and these chapters were a lot of fun. It was interesting to see Matthew through her lens and watch how her impression of him slowly changed throughout the story. 

Gendered violence is a major theme throughout the book; men who hurt women and men who hurt other men to protect women are central to most of the violence which occurs. Given the subject matter, I’d like to give a trigger warning for this novel in regards to sexual violence, with the caveat that it never becomes graphic or overly descriptive in this  regard.

Overall, the story was fast-paced, deliciously creepy, and has just enough twists and turns to keep the reader super engaged without veering into ridiculousness. Swanson juggles various point of view characters without the novel feeling overly crowded or jumbled. I would definitely recommend this novel to fans of A. J. Finn or Paula Hawkins!

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Thank you for reading! Have you read Before She Knew Him? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

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It’s International Women’s Day!

Happy International Women’s Day, bookworms!

International Women’s Day is a day devoted to the women who have fought for women’s rights throughout history. In celebration of the holiday, I wanted to dedicate today’s post to some women who inspire me.

So let’s get right into it! In no particular order….

Malala Yousafzai

Malala’s fight for girls’ education worldwide speaks for itself. She almost paid the ultimate price for her activism, and it only made her more intent on achieving her goals. She said it best herself: “Extremists have shown what frightens them most: a girl with a book.” If you haven’t read her memoir, I Am MalalaI highly recommend you check it out, even if you’re not really a memoir person.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

AOC made history as the youngest woman ever elected to congress, and her status as a newcomer has never made her hesitate to speak out in her new role. She went from bartender to congresswoman with a largely grassroots campaign and has since been a thorn in the side of government officials who are bought and paid for by large corporations. Here’s hoping she has a long political career ahead of her.

Katherine Johnson

After the release of Hidden Figures, Katherine Johnson probably needs no introduction. Johnson worked for NASA and was instrumental in the development of successful space travel. She did all this while dealing with marginalization as a black woman entering a largely white male dominated work force in the 1950’s.

Hedy Lamarr

Hedy Lamarr is best known as an actress, but in recent years efforts have been made to bring to light the work she did in developing spread spectrum technology.  She did this in hopes of contributing to the US war effort in WWII, as it would provide a means of sending “unjammable” signals to missiles. The US government, unfortunately,  was not interested in her work… until the patent rant out, that is. Today, Lammar’s work provides the basis for a huge variety of wireless communication, from Wi-Fi to GPS and Bluetooth.

Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay is a feminist writer who has been remarkably candid about her experience as a rape victim and body issues. If you’re not familiar with her work, I highly recommend her collection of essays, Bad Feminist, and her memoir, Hunger. (Gay has also written a bit of fiction, but admittedly I’m much more familiar with her nonfiction.)

Carrie Fisher

Carrie Fisher is obviously best known for her role as Princess Leia General Leia Organa, but that’s not why I love her. Fisher spent a great deal of her life speaking candidly about her struggles with mental health. The role such a high profile celebrity can have in reducing stigma around such issues is so important. No one is obligated to feel comfortable speaking about such struggles publicly, but I can’t say enough about how much it means to me that there have been people like Carrie who did.

J K Rowling

I’ll be honest and say I have some mixed feelings about this entry, given that Rowling has disappointed me a lot in recent years (and not just because Fantastic Beasts 2 was kind of a travesty) but if I’m being honest, J K Rowling’s influence on my childhood can’t be overstated. I was fully on board the Harry Potter bandwagon the moment the first book came out, and those stories are still near and dear to my heart. Hermione Granger helped me, an awkward, bookish little outcast, to feel like maybe there was nothing wrong with being me, and the underlying messages in the HP books about love and social justice are forever ingrained in my heart.

Thank you so much for reading! What women have inspired you? Let me know in the comments!

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The Huntress, by Kate Quinn (Review)


The Huntress
by Kate Quinn

Genre: Historical Fiction

Length: 560 Pages

Release date: February 26, 2019

Publisher: William Morrow

Synopsis: 

From the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling novel, The Alice Network, comes another fascinating historical novel about a battle-haunted English journalist and a Russian female bomber pilot who join forces to track the Huntress, a Nazi war criminal gone to ground in America.

In the aftermath of war, the hunter becomes the hunted…

Bold, reckless Nina Markova grows up on the icy edge of Soviet Russia, dreaming of flight and fearing nothing. When the tide of war sweeps over her homeland, she gambles everything to join the infamous Night Witches, an all-female night bomber regiment wreaking havoc on Hitler’s eastern front. But when she is downed behind enemy lines and thrown across the path of a lethal Nazi murderess known as the Huntress, Nina must use all her wits to survive.

British war correspondent Ian Graham has witnessed the horrors of war from Omaha Beach to the Nuremberg Trials. He abandons journalism after the war to become a Nazi hunter, yet one target eludes him: the Huntress. Fierce, disciplined Ian must join forces with brazen, cocksure Nina, the only witness to escape the Huntress alive. But a shared secret could derail their mission, unless Ian and Nina force themselves to confront it.

Seventeen-year-old Jordan McBride grows up in post WWII Boston, determined despite family opposition to become a photographer. At first delighted when her long-widowed father brings home a fiancée, Jordan grows increasingly disquieted by the soft-spoken German widow who seems to be hiding something. Armed only with her camera and her wits, Jordan delves into her new stepmother’s past and slowly realizes there are mysteries buried deep in her family. But Jordan’s search for the truth may threaten all she holds dear.

ratingfour

My thanks to William Morrow for sending me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by the publisher. 

Kate Quinn has such a remarkable gift when it comes to creating seriously captivating characters. It’s been almost a week since I finished reading and I keep finding myself thinking about Nina, a ruthless, Nazi-killing hellcat who probably really needs a hug. I love Nina to death, and her adoration for real-life Night Witch Marina Raskova had me wanting to learn more about these women. (If anyone knows any good documentaries, drop a link in the comments and I’ll love you forever.)

At 560 pages, The Huntress is a somewhat lengthy read, and I found myself annoyed every time I had to put it down. Despite the backdrop of war and violence, the story isn’t super action packed or fast-paced. It’s a bit of a slow burn and very character driven.

I (obviously) found Nina to be the most compelling character, but the story is told through three separate point of view characters. Nina’s perspective takes place during the war, whereas Jordan and Ian’s perspectives take place after, during Ian’s hunt for the infamous Nazi known as The Huntress. Nina exists in both timelines, as she teams up with Ian, but her direct perspective is limited to her life leading up to the war through the first day she meets Ian. Nina comes from a remarkably dysfunctional family, with a drunken and abusive father and siblings she describes as more or less feral. She is damaged in a lot of ways, but her hardships also prepared her for the harshness of war.

Ian also made for a really compelling character. No spoilers here, but he has a personal vendetta that fuels a lot of his desire to take down The Huntress. He has a background as a war correspondent, and gives off a distinct air of survivor’s guilt. He saw a lot of atrocities during his reporting on the war, and I think Quinn really nailed down the psychology of what that can do to a person. Ian, like a lot of people who has endured trauma, has internalized this idea that he hasn’t fully “earned” his emotional disturbances. Soldiers fought and died on the front lines; he wrote articles about it. In the aftermath of trauma, it’s sadly so common to see people downplay what happened to them, to dismiss their rights to their own feelings on the basis that someone else had it worse. Ian exemplifies this mindset and I really appreciated seeing an author portray a character like this in a way that seems to validate that struggle.

Jordan, the final POV character, is a normal young girl living in America who has her life turned upside-down by The Huntress and those who are searching for her. She has suspicions about her new step-mother early on, which she buries to keep her father happy. A lot of her story line, however, has little to do with the rest of the book. She is a budding young photographer who wants to create a career for herself in a time when women were largely expected to get married and be housewives. She sees nearly every scene as if she’s looking through her camera, constantly mentally framing shots even when she doesn’t have her camera with her.

I absolutely enjoyed every page of this story. Quinn’s last novel, The Alice Network, was a ridiculously tough act to follow, but The Huntress did not disappoint in the slightest. This novel is an excellent choice for fans of The Lost Girls of Paris, Lilac Girls. and of course, Kate Quinn’s past work.

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Thank you for reading! Have you read The Huntress? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

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WWW Wednesday 03/06/2019

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday! This meme is hosted by Taking on a World of Words. To participate, just answer the following three questions:
What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

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I’m currently reading…

readingThe Goldfinch
by Donna Tartt
I was nervous about starting this book because it’s rather long (almost 800 pages) and has a 3.90 average on Goodreads. (I’m increasingly finding that I’m not super likely to enjoy any book with an average rating of less than 4. Maybe I’m overly picky.) It’s still early, but so far, I’m enjoying it. The Goldfinch follows the story of a boy named Theo in the aftermath of his mother’s death in a terrorist attack.

Before She Knew Him
Peter Swanson
William Morrow books was kind enough to send me a free copy of this one, and I’m so excited to read it! I’m only one chapter into it right now, but the basic premise is that the protagonist, Hen, suspects her neighbor of being a murderer. It’s supposed to be a fun and twisty thriller.

Lost Roses
by Martha Hall Kelly
I received a NetGalley ARC of this April 9th release. Lost Roses is a historical fiction novel which takes place during WWI, and it is a prequel to Martha Hall Kelly’s last novel, Lilac Girls. It’s still too early for me to give much of an opinion on this book, but I do highly recommend Lilac Girls. 

I recently finished reading…

finished

As Long as We Both Shall Live
by Joann Chaney
Two words: big nope. I’m so glad I didn’t get this through a publisher because I would feel really bad about the review it’s going to be getting. This was probably a two star read for me. It’s a domestic thriller with a Gone Girl vibe, but not remotely of Gone Girl quality.

The Last Romantics
by Tara Conklin
This was my first novel by Tara Conklin, although I understand House Girl did very well. I read this for the Barnes and Noble book club, and I’m glad it was for a book club meeting, because I’m not sure I would have read it otherwise. The story didn’t grab me, but the more I read, the more I became enamored with Conklin’s writing style. The POV character is a poet and I feel like she really captured that very well.

The Turn of the Screw
by Henry James
This is a short novella and I don’t be reviewing it (I don’t particularly like reviewing classics as it seems a bit unfair given how much writing conventions change over time) but I didn’t particularly enjoy it. It’s meant to be horror and maybe I’m overly desensitized because I never got a creep factor at all and the story felt very dry to me.

The Huntress
by Kate Quinn
I went into this with really high expectations after reading The Alice Network, and I was not disappointed. The Huntress is a WWII historical fiction novel told from three separate perspectives. One character, Nina, gives her POV during the war, and the other two perspectives take place after. The main thrust of the novel is the hunt for an infamous Nazi known as “The Huntress” who disappeared into the shadows in the aftermath of the war, escaping justice.

Up next…

Beautiful Bad
By Annie Ward
(ARC received from Booktrib.)

In the most explosive and twisted psychological thriller since The Woman in the Window, a beautiful marriage turns beautifully bad.

Things that make me scared: When Charlie cries. Hospitals and lakes. When Ian drinks vodka in the basement. ISIS. When Ian gets angry… That something is really, really wrong with me.

Maddie and Ian’s romance began with a chance encounter at a party overseas; he was serving in the British army and she was a travel writer visiting her best friend, Jo. Now almost two decades later, married with a beautiful son, Charlie, they are living the perfect suburban life in Middle America. But when a camping accident leaves Maddie badly scarred, she begins attending writing therapy, where she gradually reveals her fears about Ian’s PTSD; her concerns for the safety of their young son, Charlie; and the couple’s tangled and tumultuous past with Jo.

From the Balkans to England, Iraq to Manhattan, and finally to an ordinary family home in Kansas, sixteen years of love and fear, adventure and suspicion culminate in The Day of the Killing, when a frantic 911 call summons the police to the scene of a shocking crime.

American Princess
by Stephanie Marie Thornton
(ARC receive from Berkley Books)

A sweeping novel from renowned author Stephanie Marie Thornton…

Alice may be the president’s daughter, but she’s nobody’s darling. As bold as her signature color Alice Blue, the gum-chewing, cigarette-smoking, poker-playing First Daughter discovers that the only way for a woman to stand out in Washington is to make waves–oceans of them. With the canny sophistication of the savviest politician on the Hill, Alice uses her celebrity to her advantage, testing the limits of her power and the seductive thrill of political entanglements.

But Washington, DC is rife with heartaches and betrayals, and when Alice falls hard for a smooth-talking congressman it will take everything this rebel has to emerge triumphant and claim her place as an American icon. As Alice soldiers through the devastation of two world wars and brazens out a cutting feud with her famous Roosevelt cousins, it’s no wonder everyone in the capital refers to her as the Other Washington Monument–and Alice intends to outlast them all.

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What are you reading this week? Any thoughts on the books listed in this post?  Please feel free to discuss or share WWW links in the comments!