Year in Review: A List of Books

Happy New Year!

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So, it’s that time where I like to put into writing (or on a screen) what I read over the last year.  I know you can find the list on GoodReads, but what fun is that for a book review blog?

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  1. Robert M. Drake, Beautiful Chaos
  2. E.B. Wheeler, The Haunting of Springett Hall
  3. Sarah Miller, The Borden Murders
  4. R.M. Drake, A Brilliant Madness
  5. Megan Shepard, The Madman’s Daughter
  6. Gerald Butler, The Demonologist
  7. Michael Griesbach, The Innocent Killer
  8. Cat Winters, The Uninvited
  9. Micol Ostow, The Devil & Winnie Flynn
  10. Madeleine Roux, Catacomb
  11. Cat Winters, The Steep and Thorny Way
  12. Marissa Meyer, Cinder
  13. Dawn Kurtagich, Dead House
  14. Jessie P. Polak & Mark Moran, Death on the Devil’s Teeth
  15. Kristin Hannah, The Nightingale
  16. Melissa de la Cruz, Isle of the Lost
  17. Shannon Hale, Ever After High: The Storybook of Legends
  18. Amy Lukavics, Daughters Unto Devils
  19. Kathy Parks, The Lifeboat Clique
  20. Kara Thomas, The Darkest Corners
  21. Jeanine Pirro, He Killed Them All
  22. Robert Galbraith, The Cuckoo’s Calling
  23. Yael Egal, Flat Earth Theory
  24. James Renner, True Crime Addict
  25. Tina Fey, Bossypants
  26. Heather Harlan, Shame, Shame, I Know Your Name
  27. Linda Castillo, After the Storm
  28. Lindsay Rebar, Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies
  29. Sarah Jude, The May Queen Murders
  30. Cyn Balog, Unnatural Deeds
  31. Amy Lukavics, The Women in the Walls
  32. John Patrick Stahley, Doubt: A Parable
  33. Linda Fairstein, Devil’s Bridge
  34. Natalie D. Richards, One Was Lost
  35. Ransom Riggs, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
  36. Kat Howard, Roses and Rot
  37. E.K. Johnston, Exit, Pursued by a Bear
  38. Madeleine Roux, Escape from Asylum
  39. Neil Gaiman, Fantastic Mistakes
  40. Sara Blaedel, The Killing Forest
  41. Mary Roach, Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife
  42. Sara Shepard, The Amateurs
  43. Megan Miranda, All The Missing Girls
  44. Robert Roth, All That Blood Can Tell (Manuscript Evaluation)
  45. Norah Olson, What the Dead Want
  46. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  47. Natasha Preston, The Cabin
  48. Dawn Kurtagich, And the Trees Crept In
  49. Spencer Johnson, The Present
  50. Rabia Chaudry, Adnan’s Story
  51. Malala Yousafzai, I Am Malala
  52. Jennifer L. Armentrout, Oblivion
  53. Danielle Vega, The Merciless
  54. Danielle Vega, The Merciless II
  55. R.L. Stine, The Lost Girl
  56. Jenny Adams Perinovic, A Magic Dark & Bright
  57. Melanie Brooks, Writing Hard Stories
  58. Michelle Krys, The Dead Girls Society

Book Giveaway!

We’re so excited to help Ray Litt promote her YA book, WESTWARD TO STRANGE!  (Book #2 is coming out soon.)

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Here’s what it’s about:

Have you ever wondered about the dark water? Talula “Lu” Burke never had, despite being born and raised on the Florida coast. But when dead animals start showing up on the shores of Salerna Beach, and Lu spots a mysterious boy in the shark-infested waters of the cove late at night, she’s forced to search the dark water for answers.

When a school assignment leads to information about a sea-monster-worshipping cult, Lu can’t help seeing connections to the animals being found on her beach. More disturbing are the links she uncovers between her own family and the violent legend. Soon enough, more about Lu’s world starts to seem unreal: she gets into a knock-down drag-out with her BFF, is plagued by insomnia and chronic exhaustion, and can’t seem to fight the urge to pounce on the new kid in town who is all of a sudden very sexy—and very interested in Lu. Taking cues from her newfound instinct—and a strange alliance with the moon—Lu knows she alone must uncover the truth, or risk becoming part of the legend herself.

Ready to read it? (I know I am!)

First four to email racheldlitt@gmail.com receive Kindle authorization codes! ***Please enter “WESTWARD GIVEAWAY” in subject line to avoid spam filter.***
Don’t forget to rate on AMAZON and GOODREADS, and to stay tuned for Book #2 release: TO EACH HER OWN.

Second Look: GEMINA: THE ILLUMINAE FILES_02 by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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I have been eagerly awaiting Gemina since I finished Illuminae over the summer. Illuminae was so intense and amazing that I couldn’t imagine how Gemina could be as good, and was afraid I was going to experience what I call “The Hunger Games Effect.” You know, where book two of a trilogy only acts as a bridge to the series finale? I’m going to come right out and say it was NOT the case.

Gemina isn’t a continuation of Kady and Ezra’s story from Illuminae, but more a companion story of what is happening to Hanna and Nik at the Heimdall Jump Station. But don’t worry, we still hear from our favorite out-of-this-world couple (pun-intended). They’re not primary characters, but they do make appearances.

Here’s the official synopsis, via Goodreads:

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

So after I was done, I gently closed the book, calmly hugged it to my chest, and then held it in my lap and quietly stared with my mouth hanging open as I tried to digest what I just read. I emailed Ashley a little bit later to try to explain my feels, and this was all I could muster:

Much like Illuminae, this book has EVERYTHING you could ever want: excitement, betrayal, epic fight scenes, bad ass heroines, swoonworthy guys, hateful villains, scary-ass worms with four mouths that paralyze you, astrophysics…

Ok, so maybe not everyone is a nerd-girl like me who thinks astrophysics is fascinating. And I think my interest in it was one of the reasons I enjoyed this book so much. If you’re not a science geek, some of the plot twists in Gemina will either blow your mind, or confuse you into paralysis (much like the four-mouthed worms). To Kaufman and Kristoff’s credit, they do a great job of breaking down the stuff that some may find difficult to understand.

This book is such a fun wild ride. The writing is superb, and I love one of the quotes so much that I’m considering it for my next tattoo. It’s non-stop action, and you can never guess what awaits Hanna and Nik around the next corner. And speaking of Hanna and Nik, these characters are amazing and just as fun and likable as Kady and Ezra. I didn’t think I could find a book crush I love more than Ezra, but Nik is definitely in my Top 5.

Gemina is a little longer than Illuminae by about 50 pages (weighing it at a whopping 659), but the epistolary format (a word which here means “a work of fiction written in the form of documents, such as letters, diary entries, newspaper clippings, etc.”) makes it fly by. Plus it’s so freaking addicting you won’t want to put it down.

A five star rating doesn’t even seem like enough stars for this book. I’d give it 15 stars if I could. But since I suppose we have to draw the line somewhere or we’d get REALLY out of control with our ratings, I’ll behave. But I’m just going to put this out there… The Illuminae Files is absolutely one of my most favorite series of all time EVER I absolutely cannot wait for Book 3.

OFFICIAL RATING: 10/10

P.S. Ya’ll can thank me later for teaching you a new word. I expect you all to go out and use “epistolary” in as many every day situations as possible. Maybe you can start by telling everyone you know about Illuminae and Gemina.

 

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Second Look: Danielle Vega’s THE MERCILESS

Katie read Danielle Vega’s THE MERCILESS a while ago.  And while she raved about it, I never really thought of picking it up for myself.

That is…until I found out Danielle Vega is going to be at #YAFest2017!

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So, like every year of a Fest, I make it my personal mission to read at least one book by each attending author.  (Spoiler Alert: It doesn’t happen.)

I picked up Danielle Vega’s MERCILESS (and MERCILESS II) from the library and finally made myself stop procrastinating and read.

And oh boy, was I in for a treat!

It’s coined as “Mean Girls meets The Exorcist“.  I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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Psst.  Don’t let the cover fool you.

Danielle Vega’s THE MERCILESS
Deckle Edge, 2014

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Guest Post: Morgan Lee’s Favorite Things

We’re so excited to have Morgan Lee as a guest blogger on After the Last Page!  The blog tour for her new book, The Naked Tree, starts today and we’re one of her stops!

About The Naked Tree:

untitledColette has lived the last seventeen years of her life being hidden away, also choosing to hide herself. Colette is a part of a class of people who are even lower than the animals they herd. They are Vaporless. Defects in a perfect world. And Colette was the worse one of them. After the vicious leaders, Eviya, Levi and Adamek of the Triunity put out a bounty for the blood of the Vaporless no one is safe. Disaster has struck. The Tree of Knowl is failing and the once beautiful Vapors are now killing their hosts. A solution must be found and that solution is to sacrifice the Vaporless to the Tree in an effort to appease it so that it will reverse the curse it placed.

Now on the run, Colette meets Rowan and Holden leaders of a well known rebellion group who call themselves R.H.I.S.K. With the help of Rowan, Holden, Anastasia, Kofi, and Kimaya, Colette hatches a plan to discover a way to save themselves and the Vaporless from destruction. When the group enters into the Province Ilan they find themselves the knights of an ancient war. A risky mission over the Edge. A mysterious device called the Eloi. And a war that will shake the very foundation that they have known.

And the story all starts with a single naked tree.

Jump below the cut for Morgan’s Top 5 Lists!

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