Source: Raincoast Books

#BookReview Outlawed by Anna North @annanorthtweets @RaincoastBooks @BloomsburyPub #Outlawed #AnnaNorth

#BookReview Outlawed by Anna North @annanorthtweets @RaincoastBooks @BloomsburyPub #Outlawed #AnnaNorth Title: Outlawed

Author: Anna North

Published by: Bloomsbury Publishing on Jan. 5, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 272

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Raincoast Books

Book Rating: 8.5/10

The Crucible meets True Grit in this riveting adventure story of a fugitive girl, a mysterious gang of robbers, and their dangerous mission to transform the Wild West.

In the year of our Lord 1894, I became an outlaw.

The day of her wedding, 17 year old Ada’s life looks good; she loves her husband, and she loves working as an apprentice to her mother, a respected midwife. But after a year of marriage and no pregnancy, in a town where barren women are routinely hanged as witches, her survival depends on leaving behind everything she knows.

She joins up with the notorious Hole in the Wall Gang, a band of outlaws led by a preacher-turned-robber known to all as the Kid. Charismatic, grandiose, and mercurial, the Kid is determined to create a safe haven for outcast women. But to make this dream a reality, the Gang hatches a treacherous plan that may get them all killed. And Ada must decide whether she’s willing to risk her life for the possibility of a new kind of future for them all.

Featuring an irresistibly no-nonsense, courageous, and determined heroine, Outlawed dusts off the myth of the old West and reignites the glimmering promise of the frontier with an entirely new set of feminist stakes. Anna North has crafted a pulse-racing, page-turning saga about the search for hope in the wake of death, and for truth in a climate of small-mindedness and fear.


Review:

Unique, tender, and thrilling!

Outlawed is a compelling, adventurous tale featuring Ada, the young daughter of a midwife whom after being unable to bear her husband a child flees her hometown, to rumblings of witchcraft, to a convent run by nuns before finally settling and finding a home as the doctor for the notorious outlaws, non-binary, Hole in the Wall Gang.

The prose is rich and expressive. The characters are strong, determined, passionate, and loyal. And the plot set in the wild west during the mid-1890s is an intense, fast-paced tale of love, life, loss, bravery, strength, loyalty, danger, gender neutrality, nonconformity, gunslinging, violence, and survival.

I have to admit that I didn’t know what to expect when I started Outlawed, but North did such a wonderful job of blending a classic western story with such an original, alluring, feministic spin that I was not only left highly entertained but incredibly impressed.

 

This novel is available now.

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

           

 

 

Thank you to Raincoast Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Anna North

Anna North is a novelist and journalist. She is the author of the novels America Pacifica (2011), The Life and Death of Sophie Stark (2015), and Outlawed (forthcoming with Bloomsbury, January 2021). She has been a writer and editor at Jezebel, BuzzFeed, Salon, and the New York Times, and is now a senior reporter at Vox.

Photograph by Seth Pomerantz.

#BookReview Be Dazzled by Ryan La Sala @Ryality @SourcebooksFire @RaincoastBooks #BeDazzled #RyanLaSala

#BookReview Be Dazzled by Ryan La Sala @Ryality @SourcebooksFire @RaincoastBooks #BeDazzled #RyanLaSala Title: Be Dazzled

Author: Ryan La Sala

Published by: Sourcebooks Fire on Jan. 5, 2020

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, LGBTQIA

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Raincoast Books

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Who’s ready to sparkle??

Project Runway goes to Comic Con in an epic queer love story about creativity, passion, and finding the courage to be your most authentic self.

Raffy has a passion for bedazzling. Not just bedazzling, but sewing, stitching, draping, pattern making–for creation. He’s always chosen his art over everything–and everyone–else and is determined to make his mark at this year’s biggest cosplay competition. If he can wow there, it could lead to sponsorship, then art school, and finally earning real respect for his work. There’s only one small problem… Raffy’s ex-boyfriend, Luca, is his main competition.

Raffy tried to make it work with Luca. They almost made the perfect team last year after serendipitously meeting in the rhinestone aisle at the local craft store–or at least Raffy thought they did. But Luca’s insecurities and Raffy’s insistence on crafting perfection caused their relationship to crash and burn. Now, Raffy is after the perfect comeback, one that Luca can’t ruin.

But when Raffy is forced to partner with Luca on his most ambitious build yet, he’ll have to juggle unresolved feelings for the boy who broke his heart, and his own intense self-doubt, to get everything he’s ever wanted: choosing his art, his way.


Review:

Fresh, uplifting, and cute!

Be Dazzled is a heartwarming, amusing tale featuring the hesitant, closeted Luca and the creative, confident, Raffy as they discover through crafting, cosplay, and the highly competitive Controverse that the heart wants who the heart wants and that some things are definitely worth fighting for.

The writing is creative and light. The characters are talented, loyal, and supportive. And the plot using a back-and-forth, past-present style is a passionate, fascinating tale full of familial drama, teenage angst, hard work, goals, dreams, friendship, and first love.

Overall, Be Dazzled is an enjoyable, entertaining, satisfying novel by La Sala with its endearing characters, heartfelt moments, unique storyline, and happy-ever-after ending.

 

This book is available now.

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

            

 

 

Thank you to Raincoast Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Ryan La Sala

Ryan La Sala is the author of Reverie and Be Dazzled and is the co-host of Celebrity Book Club.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict @RaincoastBooks @Sourcebooks #TheMysteryofMrsChristie #MarieBenedict

#BookReview The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict @RaincoastBooks @Sourcebooks #TheMysteryofMrsChristie #MarieBenedict Title: The Mystery of Mrs. Christie

Author: Marie Benedict

Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark on Dec. 29, 2020

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 288

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Raincoast Books

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Marie Benedict, the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Only Woman in the Room, uncovers the untold story of Agatha Christie’s mysterious eleven day disappearance.

In December 1926, Agatha Christie goes missing. Investigators find her empty car on the edge of a deep, gloomy pond, the only clues some tire tracks nearby and a fur coat left in the car—strange for a frigid night. Her husband and daughter have no knowledge of her whereabouts, and England unleashes an unprecedented manhunt to find the up-and-coming mystery author. Eleven days later, she reappears, just as mysteriously as she disappeared, claiming amnesia and providing no explanations for her time away.

The puzzle of those missing eleven days has persisted. With her trademark exploration into the shadows of history, acclaimed author Marie Benedict brings us into the world of Agatha Christie, imagining why such a brilliant woman would find herself at the center of such a murky story.

What is real, and what is mystery? What role did her unfaithful husband play, and what was he not telling investigators?

A master storyteller whose clever mind may never be matched, Agatha Christie’s untold history offers perhaps her greatest mystery of all.


Review:

Immersive, mysterious, and intriguing!

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie is a captivating, colourful interpretation that sweeps you away to England in the early 1900s and into the life of Agatha Christie, from her courtship by Lieutenant Christie to wifehood, motherhood, authorship, and the subsequent investigation into the unaccountable eleven days in 1926 that she was missing.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are well-drawn, complex, and authentic. And the plot, alternating between a Chrisite manuscript detailing her life and her husband’s actions and motivations following her disappearance, is an absorbing tale of life, loss, loneliness, loyalty, aspirations, heartache, retribution, and infidelity.

Overall, The Mystery of Mrs. Christie is a vivid, compelling, pensive novel by Benedict that does an exceptional job of highlighting her considerable knowledge and impressive research into this renowned literature figures life as well as a dramatic, somewhat plausible explanation for her still unexplainable disappearance all those years ago.

 

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

 

Thank you to Raincoast Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Marie Benedict

Marie Benedict is a lawyer with more than ten years' experience as a litigator at two of the country's premier law firms and Fortune 500 companies. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Boston College with a focus on history and a cum laude graduate of the Boston University School of Law. She is the author of New York Times bestseller The Only Woman in the Room, Carnegie's Maid, The Other Einstein, and Lady Clementine. She lives in Pittsburgh with her family.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Dear Child by Romy Hausmann @RaincoastBooks @Flatironbooks #DearChild #RomyHausmann

#BookReview Dear Child by Romy Hausmann @RaincoastBooks @Flatironbooks #DearChild #RomyHausmann Title: Dear Child

Author: Romy Hausmann

Published by: Flatiron Books on Oct. 6, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Raincoast Books

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A windowless shack in the woods. A dash to safety. But when a woman finally escapes her captor, the end of the story is only the beginning of her nightmare.

She says her name is Lena. Lena, who disappeared without a trace 14 years prior. She fits the profile. She has the distinctive scar. But her family swears that she isn’t their Lena.

The little girl who escaped the woods with her knows things she isn’t sharing, and Lena’s devastated father is trying to piece together details that don’t quite fit. Lena is desperate to begin again, but something tells her that her tormentor still wants to get back what belongs to him…and that she may not be able to truly escape until the whole truth about what happened in the woods finally emerges.


Review:

Dark, spine-chilling, and intricately plotted!

Dear Child is a gritty, tortuous, intense, character-driven tale that takes us on a hunt for a sadistic kidnapper and highlights the enduring psychological, physical, and emotional effects experienced by all those affected by his actions and ensnared, even briefly, in his despicable world.

The writing is edgy and tight. The characters are vulnerable, tormented, and scarred. And the plot told from multiple perspectives is an engrossing, eerie tale full of twists, turns, lies, secrets, deception, familial drama, obsession, depravity, violence, and murder.

Overall, Dear Child is a highly suspenseful, well written, gripping thriller that is a scary reminder that even the most heinous of evil can often be concealed behind masks of normality.

 

This novel is available now!

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

           

 

 

Thank you to Raincoast Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Romy Hausmann

Romy Hausmann lives with her family at a remote house in the woods in Stuttgart, Germany. Dear Child is her English-language debut.

Photograph by Astrid Eckert.

#BookReview All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny @RaincoastBooks @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #AlltheDevilsAreHere #ChiefInspectorGamache

#BookReview All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny @RaincoastBooks @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #AlltheDevilsAreHere #ChiefInspectorGamache Title: All the Devils Are Here

Author: Louise Penny

Series: Chief Inspector Gamache #16

Published by: Minotaur Books on Sep. 1, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 448

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Raincoast Books

Book Rating: 9/10

The 16th novel by #1 bestselling author Louise Penny finds Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Quebec investigating a sinister plot in the City of Light

On their first night in Paris, the Gamaches gather as a family for a bistro dinner with Armand’s godfather, the billionaire Stephen Horowitz. Walking home together after the meal, they watch in horror as Stephen is knocked down and critically injured in what Gamache knows is no accident, but a deliberate attempt on the elderly man’s life.

When a strange key is found in Stephen’s possession it sends Armand, his wife Reine-Marie, and his former second-in-command at the Sûreté, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, from the top of the Tour d’Eiffel, to the bowels of the Paris Archives, from luxury hotels to odd, coded, works of art.

It sends them deep into the secrets Armand’s godfather has kept for decades.

A gruesome discovery in Stephen’s Paris apartment makes it clear the secrets are more rancid, the danger far greater and more imminent, than they realized.

Soon the whole family is caught up in a web of lies and deceit. In order to find the truth, Gamache will have to decide whether he can trust his friends, his colleagues, his instincts, his own past. His own family.

For even the City of Light casts long shadows. And in that darkness devils hide.


Review:

Thrilling, pacey, and action-packed!

In this latest novel by Penny, All the Devils Are Here, we head to Paris, France where Chief Inspector Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec and his extended family will find themselves uncovering long-buried family secrets, examining the inner workings of a company with suspicious intentions, and inadvertently investigating the murder of an engineer and the attempted murder of one of their own.

The prose is sharp and crisp. The characters are intuitive, loyal, and dependable. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel seamlessly into an engrossing tale of secrets, deception, familial drama, manipulation, corruption, greed, violence, and murder.

All the Devils Are Here is the sixteenth novel in the Chief Inspector Gamache series and whether it’s small-town mayhem, big-city crime, or newsworthy headlines it’s always an absolute indulgence and pleasure to sit back, open the cover and immerse yourself once more in an intricate mystery perfectly befitting this humanly flawed, intelligent, steadfast character who you can’t help but root for.

This novel is available now.

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

                  

 

 

Thank you to Raincoast Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Louise Penny

LOUISE PENNY is the author of the #1 New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling series of Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels. She has won numerous awards, including a CWA Dagger and the Agatha Award (seven times), and was a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Novel. In 2017, she received the Order of Canada for her contributions to Canadian culture. Louise lives in a small village south of Montréal.

Photograph by JEAN-FRANÇOIS BÉRUBÉ.

#BookReview Piranesi by Susanna Clarke @BloomsburyPub @RaincoastBooks #Piranesi #SusannaClarke

#BookReview Piranesi by Susanna Clarke @BloomsburyPub @RaincoastBooks #Piranesi #SusannaClarke Title: Piranesi

Author: Susanna Clarke

Published by: Bloomsbury Publishing on Sep. 15, 2020

Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction

Pages: 272

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Raincoast Books

Book Rating: 10/10

From the New York Times bestselling author of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, an intoxicating, hypnotic new novel set in a dreamlike alternative reality.

Piranesi’s house is no ordinary building: its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, its walls are lined with thousands upon thousands of statues, each one different from all the others. Within the labyrinth of halls an ocean is imprisoned; waves thunder up staircases, rooms are flooded in an instant. But Piranesi is not afraid; he understands the tides as he understands the pattern of the labyrinth itself. He lives to explore the house.

There is one other person in the house-a man called The Other, who visits Piranesi twice a week and asks for help with research into A Great and Secret Knowledge. But as Piranesi explores, evidence emerges of another person, and a terrible truth begins to unravel, revealing a world beyond the one Piranesi has always known.

For readers of Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane and fans of Madeline Miller’s Circe, Piranesi introduces an astonishing new world, an infinite labyrinth, full of startling images and surreal beauty, haunted by the tides and the clouds.


Review:

Unique, memorable, and beautifully mystifying!

Piranesi is an enthralling, moving, creative novel that takes you into the life of a man unsure of his name but known as Piranesi by “The Other”, and who resides in a house, or prison of sorts, where the earth, sea, and sky meet in the vast corridors of time, space, whiteness, magic, statues, tranquillity, and isolation, and mystery lurks around every corner.

The writing is eloquent and sophisticated. The characters are curious, lonely, and intelligent. And the compelling plot sweeps you away into an intricately woven tale of magical realism that touches on life, solace, sacrifice, and survival.

Piranesi is, ultimately, a mesmerizing, haunting, well-written story by Clarke that is a powerful page-turner where the space between the words resonates as loudly as the words themselves.

This novel is available now.

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

                  

 

 

Thank you to Raincoast Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Susanna Clarke

Susanna Clarke was born in Nottingham in 1959, and spent her childhood in Northern England and Scotland.

She studied philosophy, politics and economics at St. Hilda’s College, Oxford and taught in Turin and Bilbao for two years, before becoming an editor at Simon and Schuster in Cambridge, working on their cookery list. She is the author of seven short stories and novellas, published in anthologies in the USA. One of her short stories, ‘The Duke of Wellington Misplaces His Horse’ was published in a limited edition, and her story 'Mr. Simonelli or The Fairy Widower' was shortlisted for the World Fantasy Award 2001.

In 2004, her first novel, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, was published. It tells the story of two magicians in early 19th-century London and was shortlisted for the 2004 Guardian First Book Award and the Whitbread First Novel Award.

Susanna Clarke lives in Cambridge. Her most recent book is The Ladies of Grace Adieu (2006), a collection of short stories.

Photography courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

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