Format: ARC

#BookReview Expiration Dates by Rebecca Serle @RebeccaASerle @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #ExpirationDates #RebeccaSerle #SimonSchusterCA #Gifted

#BookReview Expiration Dates by Rebecca Serle @RebeccaASerle @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #ExpirationDates #RebeccaSerle #SimonSchusterCA #Gifted Title: Expiration Dates

Author: Rebecca Serle

Published by: Atria Books on Mar. 19, 2024

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 272

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Being single is like playing the lottery. There’s always the chance that with one piece of paper you could win it all.

From the New York Times bestselling author of In Five Years and One Italian Summer comes the romance that will define a generation.

Daphne Bell believes the universe has a plan for her. Every time she meets a new man , she receives a slip of paper with his name and a number on it—the exact amount of time they will be together. The papers told her she’d spend three days with Martin in Paris; five weeks with Noah in San Francisco; and three months with Hugo, her ex-boyfriend turned best friend. Daphne has been receiving the numbered papers for over twenty years, always wondering when there might be one without an expiration. Finally, the night of a blind date at her favorite Los Angeles restaurant, there’s only a Jake.

But as Jake and Daphne’s story unfolds, Daphne finds herself doubting the paper’s prediction, and wrestling with what it means to be both committed and truthful. Because Daphne knows things Jake doesn’t, information that—if he found out—would break his heart.

Told with her signature warmth and insight into matters of the heart, Rebecca Serle has finally set her sights on romantic love. The result is a gripping, emotional, passionate, and (yes) heartbreaking novel about what it means to be single, what it means to find love, and ultimately how we define each of them for ourselves. Expiration Dates is the one fans have been waiting for.


Review:

Pensive, fresh, and romantic!

Expiration Dates is a charged, tender tale that takes you into the life of Daphne Bell, a young woman with a big secret who, after so long believing in fate and the mysterious papers she always receives that tell her exactly how long her relationships will last, thinks she may have finally found the one when the latest slip of paper has no end date, only a name.

The prose is heartfelt and immersive. The characters are flawed, troubled, and genuine. And the plot is an absorbing tale about life, loss, love, grief, friendship, family, relationship dynamics, introspection, hope, happiness, and romance, all interwoven with a thread of the supernatural.

Overall, Expiration Dates is a compelling, heartwarming, optimistic tale by Serle that does a beautiful job of reminding us to always live life to the fullest and surround ourselves with those we love.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

         

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Rebecca Serle

Rebecca Serle is the New York Times bestselling author of In Five Years, The Dinner List, and the young adult novels The Edge of Falling and When You Were Mine. Serle also developed the hit TV adaptation Famous in Love, based on her YA series of the same name. She is a graduate of USC and The New School and lives in Los Angeles.

Photo by Ann Molen.

#BookReview The Black Crescent by Jane Johnson @JaneJohnsonBakr @SimonSchusterCA #TheBlackCrescent #JaneJohnson #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Black Crescent by Jane Johnson @JaneJohnsonBakr @SimonSchusterCA #TheBlackCrescent #JaneJohnson #SimonSchusterCA Title: The Black Crescent

Author: Jane Johnson

Published by: Simon & Schuster on Mar. 5, 2024

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A captivating historical novel set in post-war Casablanca about a young man marked by djinns who must decide where his loyalties lie as the fight for Moroccan independence erupts.

Hamou Badi is born in a village in the Anti-Atlas Mountains with the markings of the zouhry on his hands. In Morocco, the zouhry is a figure of legend, a child of both humans and djinns, capable of finding treasure, lost objects, and even water in the worst of droughts. But when young Hamou finds the body of a murdered woman, his life is forever changed.

Haunted by this unsolved murder and driven by the desire to do good in the world, Hamou leaves his village for Casablanca to become an officer of the law under the French Protectorate.

But Casablanca is not the shining beacon of modernity he was expecting. The forcible exile of Morocco’s sultan by the French sparks a nationalist uprising led by violent dissident groups, none so fearsome as the Black Crescent. Torn between his heritage and his employers, Hamou will be caught in the crossfire.

The lines between right and wrong, past and future, the old world and the new, are not as clear as the magical lines on his palms. And as the danger grows, Hamou is forced to choose between all he knows and all he loves.


Review:

Complex, evocative, and moving!

The Black Crescent is a compelling, gritty tale that sweeps you away to Morocco in the mid-1950s and into the life of Hamou Badi, a young man from the small village of Tiziane who, after discovering a murdered woman on his way home as a young boy, decides to train as a police officer in Casablanca to try to do some good in a country that is unfortunately full of unrest and upheaval and where simmering anger, questions of loyalty, and ongoing tension due to the French occupation is quickly coming to a violent head.

The prose is rich and smooth. The characters are kind, strong, and resilient. And the plot is a vivid, suspenseful tale filled with life, loss, friendship, family, folklore, religion, morality, self-identity, patriotism, survival, politics, romance, murder, and culture.

Overall, The Black Crescent is a thought-provoking, informative, atmospheric tale by Johnson that reminds us that often the choices we make have far-reaching consequences and has just the right amount of intrigue, colourful history, magic, culture, moral dilemmas, and heart-tugging emotion to be exceptionally pleasing to lovers, like myself, of the historical fiction genre.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

       

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Jane Johnson

Jane Johnson is from Cornwall and has worked in the book industry for over 20 years, as a bookseller, publisher and writer. She is responsible for the publishing of many major authors, including George RR Martin.

In 2005 she was in Morocco researching the story of a distant family member who was abducted from a Cornish church in 1625 by Barbary pirates and sold into slavery in North Africa, when a near-fatal climbing incident caused her to rethink her future. She returned home, gave up her office job in London, and moved to Morocco. She married her own ‘Berber pirate’ and now they split their time between Cornwall and a village in the Anti-Atlas Mountains. She still works, remotely, as Fiction Publishing Director for HarperCollins.

#BookReview Finlay Donovan Rolls the Dice by Elle Cosimano @ElleCosimano @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #FinlayDonovanRollsTheDice #FinlayDonovan #ElleCosimano

#BookReview Finlay Donovan Rolls the Dice by Elle Cosimano @ElleCosimano @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #FinlayDonovanRollsTheDice #FinlayDonovan #ElleCosimano Title: Finlay Donovan Rolls the Dice

Author: Elle Cosimano

Series: Finlay Donovan #4

Published by: Minotaur Books on Mar. 5, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 9/10

Finlay Donovan and her nanny/partner-in-crime Vero are in sore need of a girls’ weekend away. They plan a trip to Atlantic City, but odds are―seeing as it’s actually a cover story to negotiate a deal with a dangerous loan shark, save Vero’s childhood crush Javi, and hunt down a stolen car―it won’t be all fun and games. When Finlay’s ex-husband Steven and her mother insist on tagging along too, Finlay and Vero suddenly have a few too many meddlesome passengers along for the ride.

Within hours of arriving in their seedy casino hotel, it becomes clear their rescue mission is going to be a bust. Javi’s kidnapper, Marco, refuses to negotiate, demanding payment in full in exchange for Javi’s life. But that’s not all―he insists on knowing the whereabouts of his missing nephew, Ike, who mysteriously disappeared. Unable to confess what really happened to Ike, Finlay and Vero are forced to come up with a new plan: sleuth out the location of Javi and the Aston Martin, then steal them both back.

But when they sneak into the loan shark’s suite to search for clues, they find more than they bargained for―Marco’s already dead. They don’t have a clue who murdered him, only that they themselves have a very convincing motive. Then four members of the police department unexpectedly show up in town, also looking for Ike―and after Finlay’s night with hot cop Nick at the police academy, he’s a little too eager to keep her close to his side.

If Finlay can juggle a jealous ex-husband, two precocious kids, her mother’s marital issues, a decomposing loan shark, and find Vero’s missing boyfriend, she might get out of Atlantic City in one piece. But will she fold under the pressure and come clean about the things she’s done, or be forced to double down?


Review:

Quirky, clever, and exceptionally entertaining!

Finlay Donovan Rolls the Dice is a vibrant, action-packed tale that takes us back into the lives of mystery writer Finlay Donovan and her nanny-turned-trusty sidekick Vero Ruiz as their plan to head to Atlantic City to negotiate with a ruthless loan shark, find a stolen car, and save the missing Javi goes a little sideways when Finlay’s mother, two kids, and ex-husband decide to tag along, bodies start piling up and need to be put on ice, and a whole slew of police officers and FBI agents show up uninvited.

The prose is dramatic and amusing. The characters are reckless, impulsive, and charming. And the plot is the perfect mix of witty banter, familial drama, humour, suspense, friendship, secrets, parenthood, deception, mayhem, dangerous situations, steamy moments, and sexy times.

For the past three years, the three previous novels in this series have topped my must-read list, and even though I didn’t think it was possible to love an Elle Cosimano book more than I already did, she proved me wrong. Finlay Donovan Rolls the Dice is escapism at its best and is hands down my new favourite novel in this outrageously zany series I can’t seem to get enough of.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following links.

          

 

 

Thank you to Minotaur – St. Martin’s Press for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Elle Cosimano

ELLE COSIMANO is an award-winning author. Her YA debut, Nearly Gone, was an Edgar Award finalist and winner of the International Thriller Award. Her novel Holding Smoke was a finalist for the International Thriller Award and the Bram Stoker Award. Her essays have appeared in The Huffington Post and Time. Elle lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with her husband, two sons, and her dog. Finlay Donovan Is Killing It is her adult debut.

Photo by Powell Woulfe Photography.

#BookReview The Other Valley by Scott Alexander Howard @SimonSchusterCA #TheOtherValley #ScottAlexanderHoward #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Other Valley by Scott Alexander Howard @SimonSchusterCA #TheOtherValley #ScottAlexanderHoward #SimonSchusterCA Title: The Other Valley

Author: Scott Alexander Howard

Published by: Scribner on Feb. 27, 2024

Genres: Fantasy, General Fiction, Science Fiction

Pages: 304

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A literary speculative novel about an isolated town neighbored by its own past and future

Sixteen-year-old Odile is an awkward, quiet girl vying for a coveted seat on the Conseil. If she earns the position, she’ll decide who may cross her town’s heavily guarded borders. On the other side, it’s the same valley, the same town–except to the east, the town is twenty years ahead in time. To the west, it’s twenty years behind. The towns repeat in an endless sequence across the wilderness.

When Odile recognizes two visitors she wasn’t supposed to see, she realizes that the parents of her friend Edme have been escorted across the border from the future, on a mourning tour, to view their son while he’s still alive in Odile’s present. Edme––who is brilliant, funny, and the only person to truly see Odile––is about to die. Sworn to secrecy in order to preserve the timeline, Odile now becomes the Conseil’s top candidate, yet she finds herself drawing closer to the doomed boy, imperiling her entire future.


Review:

Intricate, unique, and thought-provoking!

The Other Valley is a clever, absorbing tale that takes you into the life of Odile, a young girl who has her life turned upside down when she accidentally glimpses people visiting from the east who are living twenty years in the future, one of her close friends suddenly dies, she destroys her chances of becoming a member of the influential Conseil, and she must decide whether she will risk her life to go twenty years in the past and enter the duplicate valley to the west to alter the one tragedy that changed so many lives forever.

The prose is raw and expressive. The characters are vulnerable, conflicted, and inured. And the plot is a mysterious, immersive tale of life, love, loss, family, friendship, self-identity, power, security, control, duty, desperation, and magical realism.

Overall, The Other Valley is a gripping, pensive, speculative story by Howard that did a beautiful job of incorporating a creative storyline, what-if fiction, and an atmospheric setting into a compelling coming-of-age tale full of reflection, friendship, and first love.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

        

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Scott Alexander Howard

Scott Alexander Howard lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. He has a PhD in philosophy from the University of Toronto and was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard, where his work focused on the relationship between memory, emotion, and literature. The Other Valley is his first novel.

Photograph by Veronica Bonderud

#BookReview What We Buried by Robert Rotenberg @RobertRotenberg @SimonSchusterCA #WhatWeBuried #RobertRotenberg #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview What We Buried by Robert Rotenberg @RobertRotenberg @SimonSchusterCA #WhatWeBuried #RobertRotenberg #SimonSchusterCA Title: What We Buried

Author: Robert Rotenberg

Published by: Simon & Schuster on Feb. 27, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A Toronto homicide detective is attacked at his doorstep when his investigation into possible links between the Nazi occupation of Italy and the murder of his brother decades later gets too close to the truth—in the new crime thriller from bestselling author Robert Rotenberg. Perfect for fans of Scott Turow and David Baldacci.

It’s been years since Daniel Kennicott’s brother, Michael, was shot and killed the night before he was about to depart for Gubbio, Italy. The case, never solved, has haunted Daniel ever since. Long suspecting the killing was tied to Michael’s planned trip but overwhelmed with grief, Daniel has put off going there—until now, the tenth anniversary of the murder.

As he’s about to leave, Daniel learns that his two mentors, detectives Ari Greene and Nora Bering, have been more involved in the investigation of Michael’s murder than he ever knew. And they’re concerned about Daniel’s safety. But why? Is Daniel risking his life—and those of others—by trying to uncover the truth?

When Daniel arrives in the bucolic Italian hill town, he learns the past has not been put to rest. Residents are still haunted by the brutal Nazi occupation, the brave acts of the local freedom fighters, and the swift savagery of German retribution.

And as Daniel delves into his family’s deadly connection to Gubbio, Ari Greene searches for a killer closer to home.

Inspired by the true story of the Forty Martyrs in Gubbio, Italy, during World War II, What We Buried is an extraordinary crime novel about troubled legacies, revenge, and the unbreakable bonds of family.


Review:

Compelling, suspenseful, and fast-paced!

What We Buried is an intense, ominous tale that takes us into the life of Toronto detective Daniel Kennicott who, on the tenth anniversary of his brother’s murder, heads to Gubbio, Italy, to finally discover what his brother was working on before his death and uncover all the deep dark family secrets leading back to WWII that may have led to it.

The prose is meticulous and tight. The characters are persistent, troubled, and resourceful. And the plot, told from multiple perspectives, is an insightful, menacing tale about life, loss, tragedy, danger, desperation, secrets, survival, manipulation, betrayal, deception, deduction, violence, and wartime brutalities.

Overall, What We Buried is an absorbing, mysterious, well-written tale by Rotennberg inspired by real-life events that does a wonderful job of interweaving historical facts and compelling fiction into an insightful, sinister tale that is intriguing and highly entertaining.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

        

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Robert Rotenberg

Robert Rotenberg is the author of several bestselling novels, including Old City Hall, The Guilty Plea, Stray Bullets, Stranglehold, Heart of the City, and Downfall. He is a criminal lawyer in Toronto with his firm Rotenberg Shidlowski Jesin. He is also a television screenwriter and a writing teacher.

Photo by Ted Feld Photography.

#BookReview Leave No Trace by A. J. Landau @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #AJLandau #LeaveNoTrace #NationalParksThriller

#BookReview Leave No Trace by A. J. Landau @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #AJLandau #LeaveNoTrace #NationalParksThriller Title: Leave No Trace

Author: A. J. Landau

Series: National Parks Thriller #1

Published by: Minotaur Books on Feb. 27, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 8.5/10

In a daring, brutal act of terrorism, an explosion rocks and topples the Statue of Liberty. Special Agent Michael Walker of the National Park Service is awakened by his boss with that news and sent to New York as the agent-in-charge. Not long after he lands, he learns two things – one that Gina Delgado of the FBI has been placed in charge of the investigation as the lead of the Joint Terrorism Task Force and two, that threats of a second terrorism attack are already being called into the media. While barred from the meetings of the Joint Task Force for his lack of security clearance, Walker finds a young boy among the survivors with a critical piece of information – a video linking the attackers to the assault.

As a radical domestic terrorist group, led by a shadowy figure known only as Jebediah, threatens further attacks against America’s cultural symbols, powerful forces within the government are misleading the investigation to further their own radical agenda.


Review:

Propulsive, twisty, and intense!

Leave No Trace is a sinister, action-packed thrill ride featuring the tenacious FBI ASAC Gina Delgado and the steadfast National Park Service ISB agent Michael Walker as they join forces to hunt down a group of cold, calculating mercenaries who are driven by vengeance, have their own deadly agenda, and are intent on causing as much destruction and devastation as they possibly can.

The writing is tight and crisp. The characters are astute, tenacious, and persistent. And the plot, with its short, intense chapters, keeps you on the edge of your seat as it immerses you, page after page, into a world full of terrorism, politics, revenge, corruption, coercion, military operations, and domestic terrorist drama.

Overall, Leave No Trace is a meticulous, compelling, intricate mystery by this creative writing duo that kept me highly entertained from the very first page and left me more than a little eager to read what Walker and Delgado manage to get mixed up in next.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

         

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press – Minotaur Press for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About A. J. Landau

A. J. LANDAU is the pseudonym for two authors, Jon Land, the award-winning, bestselling author and co-author of more than fifty books, and Jeff Ayers, reviewer, former-librarian, and author. Land lives in Providence, Rhode Island, and Jeff Ayers lives in Seattle, Washington.

#BookReview Lilith by Eric Rickstad @ericrickstad @BlackstoneAudio #EricRickstad #Lilith #BlackstonePublishing

#BookReview Lilith by Eric Rickstad @ericrickstad @BlackstoneAudio #EricRickstad #Lilith #BlackstonePublishing Title: Lilith

Author: Eric Rickstad

Published by: Blackstone Publishing on Mar. 19, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 245

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Blackstone Publishing

Book Rating: 10/10

From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of I Am Not Who You Think I Am—a New York Times Thriller of the Year—comes Lilith, an incendiary powerhouse of a novel that strikes straight at the wounded heart of America.

After her son Lydan suffers traumatic injuries in a school shooting, single mom Elisabeth Ross grows enraged at men in power. If they won’t do anything to help end this epidemic of violence, she will. Believing it’s her destiny, she sets out to awaken the world to the cowards these men are and commits her own shocking act of violence.

Going by the name Lilith—the first wife of Adam who fled Eden rather than serve a man—she posts a video of her crime that reverberates throughout society.

Praised by some, demonized by others, and sought by the FBI and vigilantes alike, Elisabeth must keep her identity a secret as she tries to care for her son.

As events take startling twists, Elisabeth begins to question her act of violence and the very roots and mythology of violence itself. Was her act justified or has she become the monster that the original Lilith was accused of being?

When the FBI draws closer, and Lydan starts to display odd, terrifying behavior, Elisabeth plots to avoid capture and keep her son safe, fearing she’ll never escape what she’s done without losing her son forever.

Written with Rickstad’s singular command of language, human insight, and unnerving suspense, Lilith is a tale of our times. Tragic and profound, it echoes in the mind and lingers in the blood.


Review:

Powerful, haunting, memorable, and timely!

Lilith is a gritty, moving, frightening tale that takes you into the life of elementary school teacher and single mother Elisabeth Ross who, after a school shooting leaves her son Lydan physically and emotionally changed, damaged and scarred forever, takes it upon herself to retaliate and enact her own style of vengeance on those who turn a blind eye to gun violence and prosper by the sale of these deadly weapons that steal too many innocent lives.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are vulnerable, troubled, and strong. And the plot is a raw, absorbing tale about life, loss, love, grief, strength, parenthood, hope, survival, violence, injustice, community, unconscionable politics, and fear.

Overall, Lilith makes you think, it makes you feel, and it ultimately resonates long after the final page. It’s a beautifully written, sobering, impactful tale by Rickstad that uses extraordinary character development to weave a combination of an impressive, sad mystery with a heartrending, realistic tale, all steeped in an abundance of preventable tragedies and unimaginable pain that highlights just how blurry the line between right and wrong can truly often be.

This novel is available March 19, 2024.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

        

 

 

Thank you to Blackstone Publishing for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Eric Rickstad

Eric Rickstad is the New York Times bestselling author of I Am Not Who You Think I Am, Reap, What Remains of Her, and the Canaan Crime Trilogy, which has sold more than a half million copies worldwide. He lives in Vermont with his wife, daughter, and son.

#BookReview Listen for the Lie by Amy Tintera @amytintera @CeladonBooks #AmyTintera #ListenForTheLie #CeladonBooks #CeladonReads #partner

#BookReview Listen for the Lie by Amy Tintera @amytintera @CeladonBooks #AmyTintera #ListenForTheLie #CeladonBooks #CeladonReads #partner Title: Listen for the Lie

Author: Amy Tintera

Published by: Celadon Books on Mar. 5, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Celadon Books

Book Rating: 9/10

What if you thought you murdered your best friend? And if everyone else thought so too? And what if the truth doesn’t matter?

After Lucy is found wandering the streets, covered in her best friend Savvy’s blood, everyone thinks she is a murderer. Lucy and Savvy were the golden girls of their small Texas town: pretty, smart, and enviable. Lucy married a dream guy with a big ring and an even bigger new home. Savvy was the social butterfly loved by all, and if you believe the rumors, especially popular with the men in town. It’s been years since that horrible night, a night Lucy can’t remember anything about, and she has since moved to LA and started a new life.

But now the phenomenally huge hit true crime podcast “Listen for the Lie,” and its too-good looking host Ben Owens, have decided to investigate Savvy’s murder for the show’s second season. Lucy is forced to return to the place she vowed never to set foot in again to solve her friend’s murder, even if she is the one that did it.


Review:

Sophisticated, twisty, and gripping!

Listen for the Lie is an edgy, menacing tale that takes you into the life of Lucy Chase, a young woman who, after staying as far away from her hometown as she possibly could for the past five years, reluctantly returns to celebrate her grandmother’s birthday even knowing that the whole town still thinks she murdered her best friend and the persistent true-crime podcaster Ben Owens is hanging around stirring up trouble and trying to finally discover what really happened on that stormy night all those years ago.

The writing is brisk and tight. The characters are layered, secretive, and troubled. And the plot builds quickly as it twists, turns and unravels all the personalities, motivations, actions, and relationships within it.

Overall, Listen for the Lie, at its core, is a novel about family, friendship, secrets, manipulation, obsession, red herrings, revelations, violence, and murder. It’s a fast-paced, riveting, tortuous tale by Tintera that highlights everything is not always as it seems and is a real page-turner I highly recommend, and one you definitely don’t want to miss.

 

This novel is available March 5, 2024.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

        

 

 

Thank you to Celadon Books for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Amy Tintera

Amy Tintera is the New York Times bestselling author of several series for young adults. She earned degrees in journalism and film and worked in Hollywood before becoming an author. Raised in Austin, Texas, she frequently sets her novels in the Lone Star State, but she now lives in Los Angeles, where there’s far less humidity but not nearly enough Tex-Mex. Listen for the Lie is her adult debut.

Photo credit: Stephanie Girard

#BookReview Batshit Seven by Sheung-King @PenguinRandomCA #SheungKing #BatshitSeven #PenguinReads

#BookReview Batshit Seven by Sheung-King @PenguinRandomCA #SheungKing #BatshitSeven #PenguinReads Title: Batshit Seven

Author: Sheung-King

Published by: Penguin Canada on Feb. 20, 2024

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 336

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

From Governor General’s Award-nominated author Sheung-King comes a novel about a millennial living through the Hong Kong protests, as he struggles to make sense of modern life and the parts of himself that just won’t gel.

Glen Wu (aka Glue) couldn’t care less about his job. He’s returned to Hong Kong, the city he grew up in, and he’s teaching ESL, just to placate his parents. But he shows up hungover to class, barely stays awake, and prefers to spend his time smoking up until dawn breaks.
 
As he watches the city he loves fall—the protests, the brutal arrests—life continues around him. So he drinks more, picks more fights with his drug dealer friend, thinks loftier thoughts about the post-colonial condition and Frantz Fanon. The very little he does care his sister, who deals with Hong Kong’s demise by getting engaged to a rich immigration consultant; his on-and-off-again relationship with a woman who steals things from him; and memories of someone he once met in Canada….
 
When the government tightens its grip, language starts to lose all meaning for Glue, and he finds himself pulled into an unsettling venture, ultimately culminating in an act of violence.
 
Inventive and utterly irresistible, with QR codes woven throughout, Sheung-King’s ingenious novel encapsulates the anxieties and apathies of the millennial experience. Batshit Seven is an ode to a beloved city, an indictment of the cycles of imperialism, and a reminder of the beautiful things left under the hype of commodified living.


Review:

Insightful, candid, and immersive!

Bathsit Seven is a unique, colourful tale that takes us into the life of Glen “Glue” Wu, a young man who, after spending a few years attending university in Canada, returns to a politically tense Hong Kong where he finds himself in a serious rut spending his days drinking, getting high, spending the occasional time with platonic friends as well as those with benefits, masturbating, lackadaisically teaching ESL remotely, and contemplating what he wants out of life and where he actually fits into the world.

The writing is creative and direct. The characters are lonely, impulsive, and insecure. And the plot, told through narration and a scattering of QR Codes, is an engaging, perceptive tale about life, friendship, family, culture, politics, orientalism, racism, and self-identity.

Overall, Batshit Seven is a captivating, well-written, astute tale by Sheung-King that highlights the true struggles of coming of age in a contemporary world that seems to increasingly be more overwhelming, judgemental, and stressful.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

        

 

 

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Sheung-King

SHEUNG-KING’s debut novel, You Are Eating an Orange. You Are Naked., was a finalist for the 2021 Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction and the 2021 Amazon Canada First Novel Award. It was longlisted for Canada Reads 2021 and named one of the best book debuts by The Globe and Mail. Sheung-King taught creative writing at the University of Guelph, where he received his MFA. He divides his time between Canada and China.

Photo by Maari Sugawara.

#BookReview The Year of the Locust by Terry Hayes @SimonSchusterCA #TheYearoftheLocust #TerryHayes #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Year of the Locust by Terry Hayes @SimonSchusterCA #TheYearoftheLocust #TerryHayes #SimonSchusterCA Title: The Year of the Locust

Author: Terry Hayes

Published by: Atria/Emily Bestler Books on Feb. 06, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 800

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

If, like Kane, you’re a Denied Access Area spy for the CIA, then boundaries have no meaning. Your function is to go in, do whatever is required, and get out again – by whatever means necessary. You know when to run, when to hide – and when to shoot.

But some places don’t play by the rules. Some places are too dangerous, even for a man of Kane’s experience. The badlands where the borders of Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan meet are such a place – a place where violence is the only way to survive.

Kane travels there to exfiltrate a man with vital information for the safety of the West – but instead he meets an adversary who will take the world to the brink of extinction. A frightening, clever, vicious man with blood on his hands and vengeance in his heart…


Review:

Ominous, action-packed, and twisty!

The Year of the Locust is an intelligent, sinister tale that takes you into the life of CIA operative Kane, a man who has access to the deadliest secrets and who, after his initial operation in the Middle East goes sideways, ends up with an archenemy whose terror knows no bounds and if left unrestrained will happily destroy the world and the human race as we currently know it.

The prose is brisk and tight. The characters are vulnerable, resourceful, and persistent. And the plot is a unique, captivating tale full of greed, power, deception, coercion, manipulation, corruption, espionage, politics, destruction, danger, end-of-the-world mayhem, and murder.

Overall, The Year of the Locust is a hefty novel by Hayes, coming in around 800 pages. And even though it took a little detour, I wasn’t expecting and didn’t entirely love around the seventy-five percent mark. It is still undoubtedly an absorbing, creative, enthralling saga by Hayes that was highly entertaining and is a great choice for anyone who enjoys the spy thriller genre with a side of terminator-like science fiction.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

        

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Terry Hayes

Terry Hayes is the New York Times bestselling author of I Am Pilgrim and The Year of the Locust and is the award-winning writer and producer of numerous movies. His credits include Payback, Road Warrior, and Dead Calm (featuring Nicole Kidman). He lives in Switzerland with his wife, Kristen, and their four children.

Photograph © Stuart Simpson