Wednesday, April 29, 2015

"Waiting On" Wednesday #6: End of Days by Susan Ee

This book - END OF DAYS by Susan Ee - came today by way of a very kind publicist and my little fangirl heart burst with happiness until I realized that I cannot read it until next week! Company comes tomorrow evening and the house must be clean. There is baking to do and more Harry Potter celebratory decorations to go up! Yeah... that's how we do Sweet 16 in this house. 



DETAILS:
  • Title: End of Days
  • Publisher: Skyscape
  • Publishing date: May 12, 2015
  • Author(s): Susan Ee
  • Series: Penryn and the End of Days

SYNOPSIS:
End of Days is the explosive conclusion to Susan Ee’s bestselling Penryn & the End of Days trilogy.

After a daring escape from the angels, Penryn and Raffe are on the run. They’re both desperate to find a doctor who can reverse the twisted changes inflicted by the angels on Raffe and Penryn’s sister. As they set off in search of answers, a startling revelation about Raffe’s past unleashes dark forces that threaten them all.

When the angels release an apocalyptic nightmare onto humans, both sides are set on a path toward war. As unlikely alliances form and strategies shift, who will emerge victorious? Forced to pick sides in the fight for control of the earthly realm, Raffe and Penryn must choose: Their own kind, or each other?


Want to participate in Waiting On Wednesday... check out the details and leave your link at Breaking the Spine. Some of the best books you'll read, you'll discover checking this list out.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

#TopTenTuesday: Ten Characters Who Belong on the Stage

Oh hey look at this... a top ten list featured on The Broke and The Bookish that won't leave me gutted if I accidentally leave someone off. Woohoo. Pretty excited about this grouping too because well... I was able to think of a lot right off the bat without a lot of overthinking. Okay... maybe a little overthinking because I only chose characters that I thought would be awesome in live theater but were not performers in their fictional universes.



So without further ado...

1) Emily of New Moon ~ yeah... I know Anne of Green Gables probably should be on this list, but seriously, I have always adored Emily slightly more than Anne and if ever a fictional character was destined for the stage, it's her!

2) Daphne Bridgerton from the Duke and I ~ well... she does maintain a ruse very, very well and Simon totally buys it while falling in love with her but she's got that sparkle and mischief and penchant for pretend that would make her an amazing actress for the stage. Go Big or don't show up at all is totally her motto.

3) Draco Malfoy from those Harry Potter novels ~ really... do I even have to say more?! Okay, the boy totally was a drama queen and I hear that the stress and focus needed for live performance such as theater can be so cathartic. One man stage play. He was destined for the stage, don't you think?!

4) Liesel from the Book Thief ~ maybe... not a conventional choice, but anyone who can charm death probably would be ace as a stage performer. Plus she has entrancing facial expressions that speak to the soul... right?

5) The Pevensie Four Siblings from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe ~ truly... these four - Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy - have a great penchant for the seriousness and dramatic in all things but especially for entrances and exits. A very handy talent I imagine for theater.

6) Lyra from His Dark Materials ~ given... the above four, how could I not have Lyra here. The girl is a natural born actress and her highhandedness and ease for navigating speeches that motivate followers, she should definitely hold the spotlight with no problems.

7) Wolf from Scarlet ~ y'see... the Lunar Chronicles delights in heroines and female villains and out of them all, Scarlet picked her way through smidgeons of clues and came up with the right answers and the love of a werewolf. However, if that boy couldn't playact his way through some psychopaths maneuverings... whew! He deserved an academy award for his performance and what better way to show off his serious acting chops than by heading to live theater?

8) Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird ~ communication... is key and Scout has it. When she speaks, she will have the eloquence and stature that her father passed onto her. Also, she will pick political statements in the guise of acting live and her father will come see every single one even when the outlook on humanity seems bleak and polar opposite to his perspective.

9) Reagan from Fangirl ~ Duuuuuude... she so would rock the stage live and especially in the Crucible. Right?! You all know that I am right. She has orations to give and the only place worthy of her awesomeness is the Theatre!

10) Sophie and Howl from Howl's Moving Castle ~ totally... my best choices yet, amirite?! These two together on stage. No one would ever leave because it would be magical. They would be brilliant and could you even look away? There would be behind-the-scene footage that would air on BBC and the grand disagreements and hair color changes Howl would go through while convincing Sophie she needs to speak louder while she progressively does get louder when telling him to mind his own business and worry about his own performance rather than critiquing hers would be spectacular too.

Monday, April 27, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Read Between the Lines by Jo Knowles

This book might be one of the most non-judgemental collection of stories I have ever read. So completely transitional and seamless from one story to the next, the ease of which the reader is given detailed glimpses into the interconnected lives of an entire school and the town allows you to sit back and relax while soaking in the fact that Jo Knowles has written multiple perspectives and narratives and each one told with such empathy that even as she gives the reader opportunity to judge, the words encourage you to see the potential for change in these characters rather than see them punished or get their comeuppance.
  • TITLE: Read Between the Lines
  • AUTHOR(S): Jo Knowles
  • SERIES: Standalone
  • PUB INFO: Candlewick (March 10, 2015)
  • ACQUIRED HOW? Publisher sent ARC for honest review
  • BOOK RATING: Lemon Tart 



Read Between the Lines is not an easy book to read. Jo Knowles writes the good, the bad and the ugly of human nature. Nothing is sugar coated and some of the characters have multi-facets that make them seem contrary and unlikeable and yet completely relatable. All ages are represented and giving the finger takes on a variety of meanings but ultimately each raised finger becomes an act of defiance, a freedom of expression.



QUOTE ME: Not sure how to describe this book but it's important reading. We forget sometimes... actually a lot of times, people are going through crap every day that we do not have a clue about and we judge them without bothering to treat them as human beings deserving of time, kindness and understanding. Even bullies and thieves and eternal optimists who take hit after hit and I guess after finishing the book... I sort of felt that way too. Even after all the hits, I'm pretty hopeful that despite everything, there are still people out there who see humanity just the way we are and can still spin the story without damning us all to hell.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

"Waiting On" Wednesday #5: A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab

Go ahead, mock me. This book, A Gathering of Shadows doesn't even come out this year. Yes... it comes out in 2016 and not until the end of February - February 23, 2016 to be exact. So yeah, how's that for "waiting on"!!!

But just know that the explorative look at a seedier, darker London is just too cool for me not to be ecstatic knowing there's more coming and that they've kept a cohesive design so that the covers look like collectibles rather than book dustjackets makes my obsessive hobbyist heart happy.






DETAILS:
  • Title: A Gathering of Shadows
  • Publisher: Tor Books
  • Publishing date: February 23, 2016
  • Author(s): V. E. Schwab
  • Series: A Darker Shade of Magic

SYNOPSIS:
Four months have passed since the shadow stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Rhy was wounded and the Dane twins fell, and the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift, and into Black London.
In many ways, things have almost returned to normal, though Rhy is more sober, and Kell is now plagued by his guilt. Restless, and having given up smuggling, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks like she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games—an extravagant international competition of magic, meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries—a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.
But while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life, and those who were thought to be forever gone have returned. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night reappears in the morning, and so it seems Black London has risen again—meaning that another London must fall.


Want to participate in Waiting On Wednesday... check out the details and leave your link at Breaking the Spine. Some of the best books you'll read, you'll discover checking this list out.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

#TopTenTuesday: Favorite Authors of All Time

Hmm... I don't even know how this list could exist?! Who thinks this list is even possible? Right?! You all feel my pain, don't you? And I thought last week was rough with all the inspiring quotes that kept popping up while I tried to whittle those down to ten. So here we go... I'm breaking these authors up into sections again in hopes of allowing me to maybe get a grip on some of my favorites and sort them into lists of tens. There's no specific order to them within their lists.



Thanks to The Broke and the Bookish for torturing us all with this list.

YA Authors that will always... ALWAYS show up on my bookshelf:

Tamora Pierce
Garth Nix
Marissa Meyer
Holly Black
J. K. Rowling
Elizabeth George Speare
Judy Blume
Beverly Cleary
Andrew Clements
Avi

Mystery/Historical Fiction Authors that I always read:

Laurie R. King
Charles Finch
P. D. James
Elizabeth George
Carole Nelson Douglas
Arthur Conan Doyle
Jasper Fforde
Baroness Emma Orczy
Rafael Sabatini
Alexandre Dumas

Classic Authors that I always read:

Sylvia Plath
L. M. Montgomery
Louisa May Alcott
Anais Nin
C. S. Lewis
J. R. R. Tolkien
Harper Lee
Jane Austen
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Edgar Allan Poe

Realism Authors that I always read:

Rainbow Rowell
Stephanie Perkins
Gayle Forman
David Levithan
Nick Hornby
Lauren Oliver
John Green
Andrew Smith
Matthew Quick
Markus Zusak

Romance Authors that I always read:

Julia Quinn
Jo Beverley
Mary Jo Putney
Gaelen Foley
Maria V. Snyder
Amanda Quick
Jennifer Crusie
Sarah Desson
Lisa Kleypas
Susane Colasanti

So uhm... anyone feel for me? Who else had a multitude of authors to choose from and attempted to put them together all into one post. Ha! My overachieving book reader self is a bit sad that even now there are some people left off this list and not necessarily under the best headline either. Forgive me dearest people, but I would rather have you here than leave you out.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Stacking the Shelves & #WeekReview 4/18/15

Oh wow, but you know I don't usually have this many BOUGHT books to show off, but our local Barnes & Noble is going out of business and so I felt obligated to use the additional 30% on top of my B&N Membership to buy a lot of copies of books that I had only borrowed from the library to read.

Thanks to Tynga's Review for hosting Stacking the Shelves:



BOUGHT:


Sarah J. Maas ~ Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight and The Assassin's Blade (the novellas combined into one book). These books are so good and I want to own them all, just in paperback because when I know my daughter and I will be rereading a series over and over; it's best to go with paperback.






The next book, The Winner's Curse makes the bought pile since I received The Winner's Crime as an ARC and chatted with the author during a Twitter Q&A. Marie Rutkoski definitely impressed me and also, I hate reading books out of order. It's kind of nice that the ARC is soft so I don't have to worry about a hardback here either.

Of course, from what I can tell so far, I will buying The Winner's Crime (#2) and The Winner's Kiss (#3) when they come out in paperback and bemoaning how long I have to wait for the third to be on my shelves. Oh well... I am learning to wait.


Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain needs to be read and be on every female's shelf! This book I found at B&N and was ecstatic that it was the UK cover which I love. Also, I need to reread it before the film starring my favorite Irish actor, Colin Morgan releases in America - June 5th. (BTW... the film stars quite a few dashing European actors as well as the smart beauty, Alicia Vikander.)

So inspiring and amazing what this woman did to just show the rest of the world, how her generation was struggling and coming to terms with what was expected of them when entering adulthood.











Okay... so I added multiple copies of the 07-Ghost Manga because my daughter loves that series, not because I actually know a lot about it. Looks amazing though and usually my daughter and I like the same stories.

Also, omigosh... did you know that Clamp is finally reviving the characters from Legal Drug?! Yuhp! And we have the first Manga in the new series called Drug & Drop. How gorgeous is this cover, yeah?

And guess who is making a regular appearance in it. Watanuki from xxxholic. We are so excited and already pre-ordered the second Manga from Amazon.


Yeah... we knew nothing about this book, but the cover entranced my daughter and I. Plus black cats are our weakness. We LOVE black cats and ours, Berlioz, passed away last year so I think missing him plus how eerie this cover was made us feel we just had to have this book. So we bought it without even knowing anything about it. After reading the description though on Goodreads, The Kneebone Boy by Ellen Potter will fit right in with the rest of the stories we enjoy reading.






Oh and look at this book... yeah that's Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli who is the sweetest person in the universe. You all need to read this book. I am so excited to have my copy of the book. Yay me... getting to promote a brand new author this week.

Then I added two non-fiction books to my shelves this week: The Skinnytaste Cookbook and The Unofficial Harry Potter Party book. Uhm... yeah... those aren't random at alllllll... :)




ARC COPIES:

The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver
Atlanta Burns by Chuck Wendig
The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski
The Cemetery Boys by Heather Brewer
The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley

FINISHED COPIES for Review:




So excited about this novel! And Melissa de la Cruz is perfect to bring this prequel of the Disney Movie, the Descendants, to the world.

Also, on Fangirlish, I get to interview her and be a part of the blog tour. So make sure you head over there to get that scoop.

The Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz










Elena Vanishing (A Memoir) by Elena and Clare B. Dunkle 
plus the companion novel ~ Hope and Other Luxuries by Clare B. Dunkle




SIGNED COPIES BOUGHT:

Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead... Woohoo!

THE WEEK IN REVIEW ~ 

"Waiting On" Wednesday - Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Book Reviews - 

Chats on Twitter - 


Thursday, April 16, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Half Wild by Sally Green

You know, it is really hard for me, now that I blog full time to get away with not reading the books in series before they are complete. I really hate waiting on things! Binge watching television on Netflix or Amazon Prime or On Demand ruined me and my patience for new books has always been tolerant at best. Waiting is not something I do best. So yeah, I tried to avoid it for awhile especially after spending years of my life waiting for the next Harry Potter novel. Have I told you I fail at waiting, yeah? Which explains I am in the middle of numerous series and have indeed read the books when they came out rather than waiting for the last book and reading them in one go of it.

I feel like pulling my hair out for some of the books I am waiting on... this book was one. And now that I have read it, instead of appeasing my impatience, it only further heightened it because omigosh, it was a smashing good read and everything I could've wanted for the second book of the Half Bad Trilogy!


  • TITLE: Half Wild
  • AUTHOR(S): Sally Green
  • SERIES: Half Bad Trilogy
  • PUB INFO: Viking Juvenile on March 24, 2015
  • ACQUIRED HOW? Publisher sent ARC for honest review
  • BOOK RATING: Going Bananas! 


Nathan's narration comes across straightforward and honest. He doesn't dwell on the actions of others unless it pertains to how he is feeling or he is in need of dissecting their motives. Now that he has his power, though, mingling with other people seems impossible. In tune with nature on such a heightened level versus any of the other witches he has come into contact with, makes him feel even more like an outsider until Marcus, his father shows up again and gives Nathan an inside look at his family's inheritance. A world of such singleminded focus that of course, Marcus seems like a threat to humanity and why Nathan has been singled out and said to be most like him. His father barely functions in that form of himself. Half wild himself, much in part because he was kept in isolation from other witches, Nathan now fully understands the ramifications of living a dual life. When war comes to him, he sees the struggle for what it is and finally gets a chance to prove himself to his father, to Annalise and Gabriel. However, with each passing loss, and Nathan is no stranger to losing the ones he loves, he realizes no one has a right to the moral high ground and in this fight, no one comes away a winner.

QUOTE ME: It's amazing how Sally Green tackles segregation, prejudice, racism and obnoxious societal snobbery in a world that could be ours if magic and witchcraft were real. Her universe fits like a transparency over reality and highlights everything wrong in how people track, bully and eliminate others based upon their heritage, from the places they originate, who their parents are and how culture has defined them without ever letting them become who they might've with encouragement and support. Readers of all ages will relate without even realizing the heaviness in their chest is because they've experience the same "growing pains" Nathan has.

As a second book in a series, HALF WILD by Sally Green reads surprisingly thorough and action-filled while rounding out the characters and developing them in a way that doesn't feel forced. Some of the message-giving feels heavy-handed much like in HALF BAD and HALF LIES; but the appeal of the story and characters quickly overrode my irritation with that aspect. In fact, I almost could say I liked HALF WILD more than HALF BAD and that's rare for me. Second books are not usually my favorites.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

"Waiting On" Wednesday #4: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Feels like forever ago when I heard that Leigh was going back to the same universe as the Grisha Trilogy. However, my desire to get this book into my hands as soon as humanly possible for me has not diminished. When the cover and excerpt were released, my little fangirl heart nearly burst with happiness. Thanks to Breaking the Spine as always for hosting.




DETAILS:
  • Title: Six of Crows
  • Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
  • Publishing date: September 29, 2015
  • Author(s): Leigh Bardugo
  • Series: The Dregs #1
Wow! September might be that month for me this year, because it looks like a lot of what I am most anticipating in bookdom releases that month. Sucks to be me, huh?! September is not even a few months out. 

SYNOPSIS:
Game of Thrones meets Ocean's Eleven in this brand-new book in the world of the Grisha by New York Times-bestselling author Leigh Bardugo. Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...
A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.
A spy known as the Wraith.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. 
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes. 
Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.
While I am not a fan of comparing novels to other novels in an effort to project goodwill upon a book not yet reviewed or out to stand on its own merits... I do believe that based upon Leigh's other series, the Grisha Trilogy, that the Game of Thrones' reference fits. How excited are we that she is returning to this world? 


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

#TopTenTuesday: Ten Inspiring Quotes from Books

To truly pull out all the stops, because truthfully, there are too many quotes to choose from and I am already feeling overwhelmed, I am taking a page out of  "What Sarah Reads" and choosing to pair my quotes with how they made me feel. This way I can parse some of my favorites into this post quicker.

When life seems more than I can handle... 

“Just… isn’t giving up allowed sometimes? Isn’t it okay to say, ‘This really hurts, so I’m going to stop trying’?”
“It sets a dangerous precedent.”
“For avoiding pain?”
“For avoiding life.”

~ Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.
~ J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone


When people make no sense to me... 

"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside his skin and walk around in it." 
~ Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird

"Destroying things is much easier than making them."

~ Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games

When I think I'll always be a failure... 

"Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it." 
~ L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

"Isn't it splendid to think of all the things there are to find about? It just makes me feel good to be alive -- it's such an interesting world. It wouldn't be half as interesting if we know all about everything, would it? There'd be no scope for imagination then, would there?" 

~ L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

When the future of humanity seems bleak... 

"Nature cannot be reprogrammed forever. Humans are not meant to run like software. You cannot hack the human condition." 
~ Alex London, Proxy

"We should all get a little forgiveness -- without it, there can be no kindness."

~ Alex London, Proxy

When others think less of me for whatever reasons... 


"I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am."
~ Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

"Ordinary life does not interest me."
~ Anais Nin, The Diary of Anais Nin Vol. 1: 1931-1934

As always thanks to the bloggers who participate and make this event fun and memorable and to The Broke and the Bookish for hosting us all.







Monday, April 13, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: The Ruby Iyer Diaries by Laxmi Hariharan


When women feel like they're fighting the good fight or rebelling against societal norms, it's rare that they can accurately describe when the anger ignited in them. Mostly, the rage just always has been there. As we mature as humans, females learn and digest the experiences around them, the images, the way people talk... even their own parents' perspectives that leads to this inequality of genders. You fight against yourself eventually, because misogyny becomes an internalized response despite your best efforts. You don't believe the lie but you are hurt, confused, abandoned and alone even within your family unit many times in the belief that girls are not less, or meant to be groomed for the marriage mart. In The Ruby Iyer Diaries, all of these feelings find voice, words to describe the change that overcomes us when we realize we're being shoved into a box and it is unfair. And you do not have to be a female to understand the feeling of helplessness and betrayal by all mankind.



  • TITLE: The Ruby Iyer Diaries
  • AUTHOR(S): Laxmi Hariharan
  • SERIES: Prequel to The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer
  • PUB INFO: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • ACQUIRED HOW? Purchased Kindle edition off Amazon
  • BOOK RATING: Lemon Tart
My childhood sucked on one-hand for many reasons, and not for other reasons. My biggest complaint about my parents who obviously loved and hoped for me to succeed was that while I was growing up they couldn't get past their obnoxiously Victorian beliefs that girls were meant to be weak, gentle, kind, made of sugar and overall be the sweetest persons on the planet who could tame the worst of the world while married to men who would expect them to maintain a gorgeous, immaculate home, have and raise babies and all the while look like she stepped off a fashion magazine. Now I don't even think Mary Poppins would condone this perspective and she was practically perfect in every way. So when reading Ruby Iyer's defiance throughout this book, I related on so many levels. My home very much mimics hers even though I come from a poor American southern family. My dad was the comedic relief who would laugh off most of my ridiculous efforts in avoiding the same fate as my mother who tried to mold me into a refined lady. Needless to say my mother and I gave each other hell! Thankfully as we have aged, our differences while still wildly cataclysmic for us, we have learned to tone it down when speaking to each other. And despite her beliefs growing up, my mother has begrudgingly entered the era of free-thinking women. Or she has seen the error of her ways in believing a woman should only live to prepare for marriage at least. After two daughters divorced, had children as single mothers and basically was crapped on by the legal system, their exes and the system that was supposed to help them out, I believe she got a first hand look at how grooming wives is just not a valid life choice anymore when you have daughters. 

Time changes females more than men, I think, and it makes us more subversive. While we try our hardest to not become what we're expected to become -- the weaker sex (a myth dammit), enclosed and contained and polite despite what the world does around us -- our battle only becomes harder the older we get. Most of us do at least fight against "the norm" nowadays. And Ruby Iyer captures that fight from childhood, adolescent and into adulthood. There's a battle waging between our instinctual strength of character and the way the world pits us against ourselves. Images of sexy perfection and objectified beauty influencing our perspectives, warping our right to be happy with ourselves just the way we are and to see ourselves unique and revel in it.


QUOTE ME: There's a harshness to this narration that makes a lot of the introspection ring true even as it is shocking. As women we are overlooked, under-appreciated, thought less intelligent, less strong, less instinctual... we are expected to be self-aware in a way that turns us on ourselves. It's a harrowing experience and that's the amazing story Ruby Iyer tells. She fights it... and faces those fears with a need to be herself.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

"Waiting On" Wednesday #3: Sweet Madness by Trisha Leaver & Lindsay Currie

Oh my! My Waiting On Wednesday pick is a novel I wasn't even aware of until doing an exclusive for Fangirlish on the authors. It has a standout cover, for sure, with the muted sepia tone starkly contrasted so that the old time writing and slash in the title font seem vibrant. Isn't it pretty?!




DETAILS:
  • Publisher: Merit Press
  • Publishing date: September 18, 2015
  • Author(s): Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie
  • Series: Stand Alone
SWEET MADNESS by Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie doesn't come out until September of this year, but it definitely pinged my radar. I am such a fan of historical retellings and am creeped out but simultaneously enthralled with murderers who were never truly psychologically deconstructed in their time. Lizzie Borden is her own special kind of unsolved mystery and I am going to revel in this new perspective on her.

SUMMARY:

Seventeen-year-old Bridget Sullivan is alone in Fall River, a city that sees Irish immigrants as nothing more than a drunken drain on society. To make matters worse, she's taken employment with the city’s most peculiar and gossip-laden family—the Bordens. But Bridget can’t afford to be picky—the pay surpasses any other job Bridget could ever secure and she desperately needs the money to buy her little sister, Cara, passage to the states. It doesn’t hurt that the job location is also close to her beau, Liam. As she enters the disturbing inner workings of the Borden household, Bridget clings to these advantages.

However, what seemed like a straightforward situation soon turns into one that is untenable. Of course Bridget has heard the gossip around town about the Bordens, but what she encounters is far more unsettling. The erratic, paranoid behavior of Mr. Borden, the fearful silence of his wife, and worse still…the nightly whisperings Bridget hears that seem to come from the walls themselves.

The unexpected bright spot of the position is that Lizzie Borden is so friendly. At first, Bridget is surprised at how Lizzie seems to look out for her, how she takes a strong interest in Bridget’s life. Over time, a friendship grows between them. But when Mr. Borden’s behavior goes from paranoid to cruel, and the eerie occurrences in the house seem to be building momentum, Bridget makes the tough decision that she must leave the house—even if it means leaving behind Lizzie, her closest friend, alone with the madness. Something she swore she would not do.

But when Bridget makes a horrifying discovery in the home, all that she thought she knew about the Bordens is called into question…including if Lizzie is dangerous. And the choice she must make about Lizzie’s character could mean Bridget’s life or death.

SWEET MADNESS is a retelling of the infamous Borden murders from the point of view of Lizzie’s Irish maid, Bridget Sullivan.



As always, many thanks goes to Breaking the Spine for hosting the event and bloggers who participate. What a great way to spread the word about upcoming books, yeah? Don't forget to leave me links to yours. It's my favorite midweek fun read. :)