Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Can't-Wait Wednesday #9: The Devils You Know by M.C. Atwood

Happy Wednesday, fellow book lovers! This week's "can't wait to read" is:

by M.C. Atwood
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Plenty of legends surround the infamous Boulder House in Whispering Bluffs, Wisconsin, but nobody takes them seriously. Certainly nobody believes that the original owner, Maxwell Cartwright Jr., cursed its construction—or that a murder of crows died upon its completion, their carcasses turning the land black. If anyone did believe it all, there’s no way River Red High would offer a field trip there for the senior class.

Five very different seniors on the trip—Violet, Paul, Ashley, Dylan, and Gretchen—have reasons beyond school spirit for not ditching the trip. When they’re separated from the group, they discover that what lies within Boulder House is far more horrifying than any local folklore. To survive, they’ll have to band together in ways they never could have imagined and ultimately confront the truths of their darkest selves.

I am ALWAYS looking for a good horror read, but especially around Halloween and would you look at that perfect release date? And that perfect cover? How about that synopsis?? I am SO here for a fantastic new haunted house story! I can't wait to get my hands on The Devils You Know!

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Wishful Endings.
This meme is based on Waiting-on Wednesday, which went inactive last year.
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday #155: Hidden gem horror & fantasy

Today's Topic: 
Top Ten Hidden Gem Horror & Fantasy Books

Happy Tuesday, everyone! So yes, I am aware that horror and fantasy are two weird genres to put together. I did it because I'm worried that all of my top lists are too similar and I didn't want to do the same old thing! I chose books for this list that had under 550 reviews, although the majority of these books had less than 300 and that is a TRAGEDY! Every single one of these is 100% worth your time!

The Architect of Song by A.G. Howard (Fantasy)
The Beast is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale (Horror/Fantasy)
Insylum by Z. Rider (Horror)
Never Never by Brianna R. Shrum (Fantasy)
Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine (Fantasy)

The Shuddering by Ania Ahlborn (Horror)
Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer (Fantasy)
Stranded by Bracken Macleod (Horror)
Timekeeper by Tara Sim (Fantasy)
Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz (Horror)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.
Monday, August 28, 2017

Audiobook Review: The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd

Title: The Secret Horses of Briar Hill
Author: Megan Shepherd
Publication Date: October 11, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Pages: 220
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There are winged horses that live in the mirrors of Briar Hill hospital. In the mirrors that line its grand hallways, which once belonged to a princess. In those that reflect the elegant rooms, now filled with sick children. It is her secret.

One morning, when Emmaline climbs over the wall of the hospital’s abandoned gardens, she discovers something incredible: a white horse with broken wings has left the mirror-world and entered her own.

Tucked into the garden’s once-gleaming sundial, Emmaline finds a letter from the Horse Lord. He is hiding the wounded white horse, named Foxfire, from a dark and sinister force—a Black Horse who hunts by colorless moonlight. If Emmaline is to keep the Black Horse from finding her new friend, she must collect colorful objects with which to blind him. But where can Emmaline find color when her world is filled with gray?

Emmaline lives in Briar Hill Hospital, a building that once housed a princess and now houses sick children. Emmaline has a secret - there are winged horses that live in the mirrors at Briar Hill, and only Emmaline can see them. While sneaking around the grounds one day, Emmaline stumbles across a beautiful white winged horse with an injured wing. She then receives a letter from the Horse Lord, explaining that the injured horse, Foxfire, is hiding from the mysterious Black Horse. The Horse Lord urges Emmaline to help save Foxfire by gathering as much color as she can to deter the Black Horse. Emmaline then goes on a hunt through the bleak halls of Briar Hill to find color and save Foxfire.

I had never heard of The Secret Horses of Briar Hill, but when I was looking for a quick and easy audiobook, I figured I would give it a try. I am so glad I did. This book was so lovely. It was enchanting, yet heartbreaking, and beautifully written. I have never read any books by Megan Shepherd before, but now I definitely want to give some of her young adult books a try.

Emmaline is our narrator throughout this story, but she is quite an unreliable one. We never really know if the mysterious horses that she sees in the mirrors actually exist, or if what she sees is a coping mechanism to help her deal with her illness. Regardless, going on this adventure with Emmaline is so much fun. Her belief in the horses is so strong and her desire to save Foxfire so real that the reader gets sucked into her quest and roots for her to succeed.

One of my favorite things about this book was the beautiful way that dark themes were handled in something aimed at a younger audience. The children that occupy Briar Hill Hospital are all sick - mostly with tuberculosis - and will most likely all die at a young age. Not only are these children facing their illnesses, but they are also living during the height of World War II. They have all been separated from their families. Some have already lost family members to the war, and some may die before the war is over. These children have to learn how to face their own mortality, while also mourning their family members and trying to understand the scope of what is happening in the world around them. These are all things that no child should ever have to deal with at such a young age. Megan Shepherd does a fantastic job of explaining these themes in ways that young readers can understand and cope with.

While the audiobook was lovely, I appear to have once again missed out on beautiful illustrations in the physical book. I wish I had been able to see the illustrations as I was listening to this story. I think it would have added a layer of whimsy to the story and really enhanced the reading experience. I definitely recommend The Secret Horses of Briar Hill for readers both young and old. I will most certainly be checking out some of Megan Shepherd's other works in the future.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Weekly Recap: 8/20 - 8/26


Happy weekend, everyone! I hope you're all having a fantastic Sunday doing whatever it is you love! I'm currently spending time with friends and family while trying to catch up on some reading. I'm very impatiently waiting for the Game of Thrones Finale and trying to avoid spoilers like the plague! Today I'll be visiting friends and going to an escape room for the first time so wish me luck!


No new books this week!



Happy weekend! Man, this week was long. I have been working my butt off trying to get a whole bunch of projects completed. But the good news is that now I get a few days off! I am so excited for this time off. I've been working so hard lately and I really need a break. I think I've run myself ragged lately, because I've been starting to feel sick the past few days. Hopefully this time off will let me relax and feel better. Maybe I will have some exciting adventures to share with you next week. My life has been pretty boring the past few weeks because all I've been doing is work. Have a great weekend!


No new books this week!



Monday audiobook review of To All the Boys I've Loved Before
The topic was books I wish I'd read in school for Top Ten Tuesday
Thursday ARC review of Girls Made of Snow and Glass
Saturday graphic novel sampler review



We're linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
Saturday, August 26, 2017

Graphic Novel Sampler Review: First Second Fall 2017

I received the First Second Sampler in the Fall Fierce Reads box and, I'll admit, I wasn't quite sure how to review it. How exactly does one review samples of multiple graphic novels? But I'll do my best to tell you about this cute little sampler and the content inside!

There are fifteen separate samplers inside this little book and SO many of them drew me right in! The art varies wildly, as does the content, but there are definitely a few that I'm interested to know more about. Here are my more complete thoughts on some of the stand-out stories I can't wait to get my hands on:

Title: The Dam Keeper
Authors: Robert Kondo & Dice Tsutsumi
Publication Date: September 26, 2017
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Life in Sunrise Valley is tranquil, but beyond its borders lies certain death. A dangerous black fog looms outside the village, but its inhabitants are kept safe by an ingenious machine known as the dam. Pig’s father built the dam and taught him how to maintain it. And then this brilliant inventor did the unthinkable: he walked into the fog and was never seen again.

Now Pig is the dam keeper. Except for his best friend, Fox, and the town bully, Hippo, few are aware of his tireless efforts. But a new threat is on the horizon—a tidal wave of black fog is descending on Sunrise Valley. Now Pig, Fox, and Hippo must face the greatest danger imaginable: the world on the other side of the dam.

Based on the Oscar-nominated animated short film of the same name, The Dam Keeper is a lush, vibrantly drawn graphic novel by Tonko House cofounders Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi.

This is the first sample in this book and the art completely blew me away! It has the same feeling as a few indie horror video games and is actually described as a "spooky story." Even though it's marketed to ages 7 and up, this is one I'm definitely going to have to get my hands on!

Title: Cici's Journal: The Adventures of a Writer-In-Training
Author & Illustrator:  Joris Chamblain, Aurélie Neyret
Publication Date: November 7, 2017
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Cici dreams of being a novelist. Her favorite subject: people, especially adults. She’s been watching them and taking notes. Everybody has one special secret, Cici figures, and if you want to write about people, you need to understand what’s hiding inside them. But now she’s discovered something truly strange: an old man who disappears into the forest every Sunday with huge pots of paint in all sorts of colors. What is he up to? Why does he look so sad when he comes back?

In a graphic novel interwoven with journal notes, scrapbook pieces, and doodles, Cici assembles clues about the odd and wonderful people she’s uncovered, even as she struggles to understand the mundane: her family and friends.

Cici's Journal was another that completely pulled me in with its gorgeous art - that cover does NOT do it justice! From the small sample I read, this is a really unique story about an old man who paints gorgeous animal murals in the forest. I know there must be a lot more to this story and I'd really love to find out what it is!

Title: Mighty Jack and the Goblin King
Author: Ben Hatke
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
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In the thrilling conclusion of Mighty Jack - desperate to rescue Maddy, who has been kidnapped by an ogre, Jack and Lilly travel through vines and stalk into a world where giants grind the bones of human children to feed their "beast," while a fearsome goblin king rules the sewers down below. 

So apparently this is part two in a series, which I totally didn't realize while I was reading it. I am a SUCKER for gorgeous art, in case you hadn't figured that out, and this sample had one illustration in particular that made me definitely want to know more about this story and this world. I may be picking up part one of this soon!

Title: Castle in the Stars: The Space Race of 1869
Author: Alex Alice
Publication Date: September 12, 2017
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This one is Jules Verne meets Miyazaki. It’s the space race in 1869 in a kind of alternate past. … When you see the book itself, it’s this big, oversized object with this incredible watercolor comics style, and it’s this really big, epic, sweeping story of a boy following in his mother’s discovery and then opening up the solar system, but in the age of the 1800s. It’s got a kind of steampunk but also a kind of young, classic children’s story feel to it.

The last one I'll talk about is Castle in the Stars. While the beautiful, intricate art definitely drew me in,  I was incredibly intrigued by the story! This is about a young boy named Seraphin whose mother has disappeared. He has an obsession with space travel via hot air balloon (?) and is determined to find his mother again when a letter comes from a stranger promising a mysterious task. I'm definitely curious to see what the task is!


This gorgeous sampler really has something for everyone! There were stories ranging from middle grade contemporary to adult true crime and everything in between. I had never heard of this graphic novel publisher before this sampler, but I definitely will be keeping an eye on their books in the future!
Thursday, August 24, 2017

ARC Review: Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Title: Girls Made of Snow and Glass
Author: Melissa Bashardoust
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Pages: 384
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Frozen meets The Bloody Chamber in this feminist fantasy reimagining of the Snow White fairytale.

At sixteen, Mina's mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone—has never beat at all, in fact, but she’d always thought that fact normal. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass. When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: win the king’s heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that she’ll have to become a stepmother.

Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, and one day she discovers why: a magician created her out of snow in the dead queen’s image, at her father’s order. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. She gets her wish when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, displacing Mina. Now Mina is starting to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to do—and who to be—to win back the only mother she’s ever known…or else defeat her once and for all.

Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything—unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story. 

I have very rarely met a retelling I didn't like. Girls Made of Snow and Glass immediately caught my eye when I heard that it was a Snow White retelling. I love that fairytale (even if I don't love the film from the 30's) and I'm always looking for a unique take on it! I'm fairly confident that the Frozen comparison wasn't on the original synopsis I read, but I love that one too so I was excited to dig in!

There are two MCs in this story - Mira and Lynet. It was a little jarring to read this book from both their perspectives. Mira's POV began during her childhood and each time she had a chapter it came closer to merging with the present. Lynet's chapters began in the present and stayed there. While this style did end up working okay, it was hard to get used to at first.

Lynet is approaching her sixteenth birthday when this book begins. She has always been physically compared to her mother and is forever expected to become her, both in demeanor and occupation. As her birthday approaches she learns that her father is about to give her control of the southern territories, a responsibility she really doesn't want. Not only will this assignment force her into a role she's never wanted for herself - it also has the potential to ruin her relationship with her stepmother, Mina.

Mina has spent her life grappling for power in an attempt to make people love her after a lifetime of being told she cannot be loved. Her rise to power is a very interesting and heartbreaking one and made me feel more strongly for Mina than Lynet in the end. I've read other reviews that claim this book doesn't pit the stepmother against the stepdaughter because of looks, but that really isn't true - Mina definitely spends a fair amount of time worrying that Lynet is more beautiful and will be more loved because of it. Although this is the case, Mina doesn't fall into every Snow White trope. This story definitely diverges enough to be very unique among retellings.

I want to take a minute to discuss the romance in this book. If you're interested in Girls Made of Snow and Glass, you're probably aware that it's marketed as F/F Romance. There are two romances in this book and the main one is not between Lynet and Nadia - it's between Mina and her male love interest. Without getting into spoiler territory, the romance between Lynet and Nadia might be the absolute slowest burn I have ever seen and nothing romantic happens until near the end. Let me tell you friends, if you go into this looking for a swoon-worthy lesbian love story, you might be disappointed.

Girls Made of Snow and Glass truly has an incredibly concept to work with. I love the Snow White and Evil Queen characters being so close before things go south. I love the feminist angle of both women working towards what they want instead of what's expected. And I love the idea of Snow White falling for a woman instead of Prince Charming! Unfortunately, this story was just a little bland. It was extremely (ex-treme-ly) slow and even the big, exciting moments kind of meandered across the page. There was no real sense of urgency or danger, even when lives were on the line!

While I did enjoy parts of the world building in this book (mostly Whitespring Castle and its snowy surroundings), it did ultimately leave me wanting more. Characters in this book seem to have Fast Travel skills and we learn next to nothing about Lynet's journey or the South other than people wear different clothes. Something else I really liked was the magical elements, although they weren't very logical, but I won't dig into that here. It was fun and I can totally see why the Frozen comparison is there now.

I really wanted and fully expected to love Girls Made of Snow and Glass! I think there are great ideas here and some parts of the story were great, but this turned out to be just an okay read for me. The characters were fine, the world was fine - everything about this book was just fine. If you love retellings and don't mind books that are on the slower side, you may very well enjoy this one!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday #154: Books I Wish I'd Read In School

Today's Topic: 
Top Ten Books I Wish I'd Read In School

Happy Tuesday, everyone! This is a topic I actually feel somewhat strongly about. My school didn't have very much required reading. I grew up in the American South and the only books I remember being assigned in high school were A Separate Peace, To Kill a Mockingbird, Lord of the Flies, Beowulf, and Wuthering Heights (did I mention I took AP English for two years?). We watched movies instead of reading books in English class (Romeo and Juliet, for example, which I think we read a scene from) and everything we read was rated PG. We didn't read much that forced us to think and nothing we read was controversial. These are some of the books I wish I'd been assigned in high school - mostly books that would've inspired deeper thought and conversation as well as a few that I've enjoyed or just think I would've enjoyed reading! 

Anthem by Ayn Rand
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Iliad by Homer
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.
Monday, August 21, 2017

Audiobook Review: To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

Title: To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before #1)
Author: Jenny Han
Publication Date: April 15, 2014
Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 355

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What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them… all at once?

Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

Lara Jean has a unique way of getting over the boys that she has loved throughout her life - she writes them a letter to get all her feelings out, then tucks the letters into a hatbox she keeps in her room. Lara Jean's life begins to change when her sister Margot goes off to college, leaving her with the responsibility of taking care of her father and little sister, Kitty. Just as she is trying to deal with these big changes, her letters mysteriously get sent to all the boys she has loved, and she has to deal with the backlash. In an attempt to save face, Lara Jean ends up actually pretending to date one of the boys who received a letter. But everything gets even more complicated when they start developing real feelings for each other - and when Margot's ex-boyfriend expresses his love for Lara Jean as well.

Ok, I am not normally a huge fan of contemporary stories, but I have found a few that I really love. To All the Boys I've Loved Before was definitely NOT one of them. I hated just about everything about this book. It was boring and annoying and went absolutely nowhere. I couldn't get through the audiobook fast enough.

My biggest complaint (which seems to be a common one among those who did not like this book) is how absolutely, frustratingly ANNOYING Lara Jean is. Yes, I know, teenagers can be pretty annoying. Some might say that she is just acting her age. But I have never met a junior in high school that is as immature as Lara Jean. She is scandalized by the fact that someone would cheat on a quiz in high school. She never swears and it is a big deal when she says "shit." And GASP! - when someone DARES to take the last piece of pizza without politely asking if she wants it first...well, we never hear the end of it. The worst thing about her annoying character is that she shows absolutely zero growth throughout the book. She doesn't change or mature at all. She is the same obnoxiously annoying person at the end of the book that she was at the start.

There were also a couple parts of this story that just made no sense and were so annoying I wanted to scream. Lara Jean writes letters to the boys she's loved as a way to deal with her feelings. Fine. But WHY WOULD YOU ADDRESS THE ENVELOPES??? That is just so dumb. There is no need for that, and it's just asking for someone to find them and mail them out. Lara Jean is also absolutely terrified of driving. She gets in a car accident the very first time she has to go out and drive on her own. If she has such a horrible fear of driving, why does her father let her drive her little sister around????? That is so unsafe for everyone! I wanted to reach into the book and shake her and her father!

Ultimately, To All the Boys I've Loved Before ended up being a waste of my time and a source of aggravation for me. I get annoyed every time I think about Lara Jean. I definitely won't be continuing on with the series, and I have already put my copies of the books in my donate pile because I have no interest in keeping them. Apologies if that sounds harsh, but I don't have room in my life or on my shelves for books that make me angry.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Weekly Recap: 8/13 - 8/19


Hi everyone! I hope you're all having a fantastic weekend! Mine has been spent making final runs to various stores to make final preparations for my upcoming trip to Europe. I'm so excited, but also super nervous about all of our travel arrangements! Can anyone recommend a must-do bookstore near Westminster?? Yesterday I also got my flu vaccine (maybe I actually won't get sick on this trip) and spent the afternoon being a super wimp about how sore my arm was. It was also a fantastic candle week as we added several new products to our shop, including Halloween candles! And now I'm rambling. Have a great week, guys!


No new books this week!



Woohoo! It's the weekend! This week has been a long one. I don't have much to report for this week, since I have just been working really hard. I have a very busy September ahead of me, so I am trying to get ahead as much as possible on everything. I've been working so hard on things around my apartment, stuff for work, and TONS of blog projects. I've even been seriously powering through audiobooks so that I can get reviews done in advance. I may have stretched myself a little thin with all the commitments I've made, but I will figure out how to get it all done somehow. I've also been working on a secret project that I'm not ready to announce yet...but hopefully I will be able to share exciting news soon! This weekend is going to be filled to the brim with reading and blogging. I only have one more week to get ahead before my life gets super busy!


No new books this week!




I featured Warcross for Can't-Wait Wednesday
Thursday audiobook review of The Forgetting
On Saturday I did the Tolkien Book Tag



We're linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
Saturday, August 19, 2017

Tolkien Book Tag

You may or may not know that I am totally obsessed with The Lord of the Rings! I regret to inform you that my answers will revolve mostly around the LotR films instead of the books, because I love them the most. I originally saw this book tag on The Book Nut and knew I had to do it, despite not being tagged. As usual, I tag all of my fellow LotR fans because why should anyone have to wait for a tag to join the fun?


In the early 2000s I was not super aware of popular culture. I had heard some things about The Fellowship of the Ring film, but I didn't know a whole lot about it. My best friend had the VHS (you read that right!) in her movie cabinet and I borrowed it and an obsession was born.


The Hobbit. It's the only Middle Earth book I've read more than once and I love it every time!


The Fellowship of the Ring! I love all three original LotR movies, but the first one will always be magic. I actually really disliked The Hobbit films, which is super disappointing. I signed the petition in 2003 to have Peter Jackson direct The Hobbit, so I was SO excited when he finally got the chance! Sadly, I thought the movies were mostly crap. :/ I recently got my hands on a fan edit of the three Hobbit films that condenses them into one 4 hour movie and cuts out all the garbage (but not the CGI, sadly).


Please don't hurt me... movies. I've read the books but they were PAINFUL to get through, although I did enjoy them overall. I adored all three LotR films so much and watch them at least once a year (extended editions, of course).


Galadriel is my #1 favorite character in the trilogy and I'm devastated that she was only in the first movie. She was my absolute favorite part of the Hobbit trilogy - I loved watching her kick ass! (Find more about that obsession in this post.) Pippin is my other favorite for many reasons but here I will cite his adorable face.


I'd hope with all my heart to be an elf! Hobbits are cool, but I hate dirt so I'm not sure I'd fit in. I could definitely picture myself living in Lothlorien or Rivendell. I could tolerate being a human, probably. Definitely wouldn't want to be a dwarf (besides, are there any dwarf women?).


Sir Ian McKellen/Gandalf and Christopher Lee/Saruman. I love the two of them and thought they were perfectly cast to bring their characters to life!


Lothlorien, hands down. If I could leave the real world right now and go there and hang out with the likes of Galadriel and Haldir (*sobs forever*), I wouldn't even look back!


Oh man, that's hard. I don't know how to do serious quotes so can we go with my favorite funny one?

Friday, August 18, 2017

Audiobook Review: The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron

Title: The Forgetting (The Forgetting #1)
Author: Sharon Cameron
Publication Date: September 13, 2016
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 403
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What isn't written, isn't remembered. Even your crimes.

Nadia lives in the city of Canaan, where life is safe and structured, hemmed in by white stone walls and no memory of what came before. But every twelve years the city descends into the bloody chaos of the Forgetting, a day of no remorse, when each person's memories – of parents, children, love, life, and self – are lost. Unless they have been written.

In Canaan, your book is your truth and your identity, and Nadia knows exactly who hasn't written the truth. Because Nadia is the only person in Canaan who has never forgotten.

But when Nadia begins to use her memories to solve the mysteries of Canaan, she discovers truths about herself and Gray, the handsome glassblower, that will change her world forever. As the anarchy of the Forgetting approaches, Nadia and Gray must stop an unseen enemy that threatens both their city and their own existence – before the people can forget the truth. And before Gray can forget her.

In the city of Canaan, everyone loses all of their memories every twelve years in a terrifying event called the Forgetting. In order to cope with this phenomenon and return some semblance to their lives, the citizens write everything down and archive all of their books. This way they can remember who they are (and who their family is) when they wake up from the Forgetting. But if they don't write something down, it is lost forever, giving people the perfect opportunity to commit crimes. But Nadia is special. Somehow, she has never forgotten. She remembers the wrongs that were done to her family. Determined to learn more about the Forgetting and how Canaan came to be, Nadia stumbles upon huge secrets and unearths atrocities that no one saw coming.

Ugh. I was really intrigued by this book, and ultimately I was let down. the biggest complaint that readers seem to have about this book is that the pacing is very slow. And that is definitely true. But I have read Sharon Cameron's books before, so I knew what to expect. Despite her writing style, I still loved her other work, so I thought I could find a new love in The Forgetting as well. I was very wrong.

Yes, the pacing is slow, but that didn't bother me very much. One of my biggest issues was with the main character of Nadia. She was SO. ANNOYING. She had an endless train of thought going through her head, but she very rarely spoke aloud. The narrator of the audiobook also read Nadia in such a way that every single thought she had carried a sense of extreme urgency. It was exhausting to listen to. Taking a bath does not require an underlying panic in your voice. Calm down.

I was also majorly disappointed with the plot. First of all, the synopsis of the book makes it sound like there would be tons of action and gore. If you are familiar with Sharon Cameron's writing, you would know that you shouldn't expect that from her books. The tagline of the book is "What isn't written isn't remembered. Even your crimes." It makes it sound like that movie The Purge, where the entire city goes crazy before a Forgetting and commits every crime they can think of. The synopsis goes on to reference the "bloody chaos of the forgetting, a day of no remorse." Wrong. There is ONE crime committed during a Forgetting in this book. It is not a bloody day. Everyone gets into their bed before the Forgetting and they wake up crying because they can't remember anything. Then they read their books and everyone is fine again. No blood. No mass murder. Everyone is sad for a few minutes. Boo hoo.

I also really did not like the twist in the plot. For most of the book, I was noticing a lot of similarities to The Giver, a book which I love. I didn't mind reading a story with similar vibes. But then the twist happened and we find out the history of the Forgetting. It felt like such a cheap shot. There were so many awesome ways this phenomenon could have been explained, but the author took the easy way out. I immediately lost interest in the story after this big reveal, turned my audiobook up to 2x speed, and powered through the rest just so I could finish it.

Another small note on the plot: There were a lot of holes in the storytelling. Characters would reference a conversation that happened earlier and mention things that never actually happened. The timeline was really off during a lot of parts. And the people of Canaan could live to be at least 150 years old and it was never explained. The characters actually SAY it doesn't make any sense, yet it is just brushed over like it's no big deal. WHAT?!?!

Suffice it to say, I was not a fan of The Forgetting. I don't think I will be continuing on with this series because I am just not invested in it. The synopsis for the sequel, The Knowing, looks almost exactly like that of The Forgetting. One girl who never forgets is intrigued by the outside world and wants to learn more about Canaan. Didn't we just go through that with Nadia?

PS - Don't read the synopsis for The Knowing if you don't want to be spoiled for The Forgetting.