2019 Book #4 – An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

419p4e1xfql._sx327_bo1,204,203,200_Title: An Anonymous Girl
Author: Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
Date finished: 1/16/19
Genre: Thriller/suspense
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: January 8, 2019
Pages in book: 372
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Seeking women ages 18–32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed.

When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave.

Question #1: Could you tell a lie without feeling guilt?

But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking…and what she’s hiding.

Question #2: Have you ever deeply hurt someone you care about?

As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr. Shields’ manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.

Question #3: Should a punishment always fit the crime?

From the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us comes an electrifying new novel about doubt, passion, and just how much you can trust someone.

My rating:  4.5 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

I had read The Wife Between Us by these authors last year and enjoyed it so much – I was exciting to see they had a new book coming out. Similar to that book, this book makes the reader question what is the “truth,” and additionally in this book we begin to question our own ethics and morality. This was a SUPER creepy book, I was on the edge of my seat the whole book waiting to find out what was going to happen and I couldn’t stop myself from looking over my shoulder. The author did such a great job of infusing paranoia and fear into Jessica’s narrative. I loved the two points of view too, and how they were written – with all of Dr. Shields’ entries reading as if she was telling Jessica a story. It was an interesting dynamic and created an obvious difference between their two points of view. The reasoning wasn’t revealed until later in the story but it ended up making complete sense. There were some good plot twists in this story, but while they were exciting, they may have also been a tad predictable. The premise behind this book reminded me a little of another book I had read last year, Believe Me, as the main character in that book is hired to entrap husbands in compromising situations, and the reader is led to question what the truth is and who is the more reliable narrator – similar to this novel. Overall I really enjoyed this read and I thought it brought up some really interesting questions on morality, plus it was sufficiently suspenseful. I can see why this one is a hot topic in the book world right now – I would definitely recommend!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

Advertisements

2019 Book # 2 – The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden

51qqjkvcdqlTitle: The Winter of the Witch
Author: Katherine Arden
Date finished: 1/10/19
Genre: Fiction, fantasy, magical realism, fairy tale
Publisher: Del Rey
Publication Date: January 8, 2019
Pages in book: 384
Stand alone or series: #3 in the Winternight Trilogy
Where I got the book from: Publisher NOTE: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Following their adventures in The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower, Vasya and Morozko return in this stunning conclusion to the bestselling Winternight Trilogy, battling enemies mortal and magical to save both Russias, the seen and the unseen.

“A tale both intimate and epic, featuring a heroine whose harrowing and wondrous journey culminates in an emotionally resonant finale.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Reviewers called Katherine Arden’s novels The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower “lyrical,” “emotionally stirring,” and “utterly bewitching.” The Winternight Trilogy introduced an unforgettable heroine, Vasilisa Petrovna, a girl determined to forge her own path in a world that would rather lock her away. Her gifts and her courage have drawn the attention of Morozko, the winter-king, but it is too soon to know if this connection will prove a blessing or a curse.

Now Moscow has been struck by disaster. Its people are searching for answers—and for someone to blame. Vasya finds herself alone, beset on all sides. The Grand Prince is in a rage, choosing allies that will lead him on a path to war and ruin. A wicked demon returns, stronger than ever and determined to spread chaos. Caught at the center of the conflict is Vasya, who finds the fate of two worlds resting on her shoulders. Her destiny uncertain, Vasya will uncover surprising truths about herself and her history as she desperately tries to save Russia, Morozko, and the magical world she treasures. But she may not be able to save them all.

My rating: 5.0 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

I have read the first two books in this series and loved them. For me, this series has been so interesting, different and refreshing, and I have thoroughly enjoyed each book. Also, I don’t know who designed the covers for this trilogy, but they have been GORGEOUS. They really draw the reader to the book and represent each book’s story so well.  I found this book a bit easier to jump back into than the last, though it does still take a good amount of additional concentration compared to some of the other novels I’ve read recently. There are just so many characters to keep track of and they’re all called multiple names/nicknames throughout the book. It can be daunting to keep track of at times, but it’s definitely do-able. This book could possibly be classified as “wordy” – to be honest if it were any other book I would probably say it is – but with this book I found each word to be so necessary to the magic of the story, and I found myself going back over the pages because I didn’t want to miss a single word. The author uses intense descriptions to draw the reader into the story and trap them in this Russian world of magic and wonder. And the narratives surrounding the fight scenes were so good that I felt like I was there, watching the sweat drip from the warriors’ faces.

This book really made the reader question the idea of right vs wrong and good vs evil. I love when books make us reevaluate our ideas of morality, and I thought this was a very interesting sub-layer to the story. One of my favorite quotes in the book was “monsters were for children,” as Vasya learns that the truth is more complicated than simply being able to pick a side and call it the “right” side or the “good” side. All of us have the potential for goodness inside of us and all of us have the ability to make a difference in the world, even in unorthodox ways. I just loved delving into this concept within the story line amidst all of the action and magic that the book brought to life for me. I highly recommend reading this series and I can’t wait to see what this author comes up with next!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

Bout of Books 24 Update – Day 7 & Wrap Up

qffxp8j

So for one of my goals this year to help me focus more on reading and having concentrated time for reading, I decided to participate in two of the three Bout of Books reading challenges / read-a-thons this year! This was the first one for this year. I didn’t done as much as I wanted to but it was still ok amounts of successful.

First let’s do my Day 7 (Sunday) update on reading.

Update

Sunday

Time spent reading: (Approximately) 3.5 hours
Number of pages I’ve read today: 188 pages
Total number of pages I’ve read: 658 pages
Books read: Finished reading a book I’m judging for NERCA 2019 (unfortunately I can’t reveal the books on my site until after finalists are announced!) and started reading An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
Challenges: I did not do the challenge post for today

And now let’s look at how I fared for my overall Bout of Books 24 wrap up:

Time Devoted to Reading

I plan to read at least 1.5 hours each day during the week (except for Friday I think), with hopefully additional hours on Saturday and Sunday. Friday I’ll be working all day and then we have a work trip planned trip to the casino Friday night! This does mean that I probably won’t get much reading done on Friday but I’m looking forward to letting off a little steam with my coworkers!
I met the daily reading goal 5 out of the 7 days. Thursday I was too tired and Friday I was too busy having fun! I read extra some of the other days though so I made up for it. Overall I read over 13 hours for the challenge!

My Goals

My goals for this read-a-thon are that I’d like to participate in as much as I can: the daily posts plus reading every day. I’d really like to just focus on getting back into reading. I picked it up again over the holidays but I’ve lost the schedule again with how crazy the last week or so has been.

I was able to read every day! For the first time though I didn’t participate in even 1 daily challenge. I wanted to focus all my available time on reading, though some of the daily challenge posts did look fun!

Books to Read

 

Overall not my best showing but I think I did ok given my time constraints for last week! I’m looking forward to participating in a Bookish Bingo challenge next month and hopefully get lots more reading done!

Bout of Books 24 Update – Day 6

qffxp8j

Yesterday was Goal Day so I had a good amount of time with the opportunity to read. Unfortunately I was so hung over that I couldn’t take full advantage but I still read for awhile. Friday night we had a GREAT time at the casino but it made for a rough Saturday. Luckily my darling Momma took care of me and we made it through. So anyways my Saturday’s progress is below:

Update

Saturday

Time spent reading: (Approximately) 2.5 hours
Number of pages I’ve read today: 70 pages
Total number of pages I’ve read: 470 pages
Books read: Continued reading a book I’m judging for NERCA 2019, unfortunately I can’t reveal the books on my site until after finalists are announced!
Challenges: I did not participate in the challenge for yesterday – I focused on reading for the day!

Stay tuned for continued progress made in tomorrow’s post on my Sunday update!!

Bout of Books 24 Update – Day 5

qffxp8j

Yesterday was a bust for me reading wise. We had the best time at the casino on our work trip but I had A BIT too much to drink. That didn’t leave a lot of time for reading. So anyways my Friday’s progress is below:

Update

Friday

Time spent reading: (Approximately) 0.5 hours
Number of pages I’ve read today: 29 pages
Total number of pages I’ve read: 400 pages
Books read: Continued reading a book I’m judging for NERCA 2019, unfortunately I can’t reveal the books on my site until after finalists are announced!
Challenges: I did not participate in the challenge for yesterday – the day just flew by and there wasn’t enough time

Stay tuned for continued progress made in tomorrow’s post on my Saturday update!!

Bout of Books 24 Update – Day 4

qffxp8j

Didn’t quite make the goal yesterday. Between a full day of work and the season premiere of one of our favorite shows at night, I only had a little time to read before I got too tired and went to sleep. Today doesn’t look super promising either, all day meetings and then we have a work trip to the casino tonight! I know I’ll be able to catch up tomorrow though, and I’m looking forward to a fun evening tonight! So anyways my Thursday’s progress is below:

Update

Thursday

Time spent reading: (Approximately) 1.0 hour
Number of pages I’ve read today: 83 pages
Total number of pages I’ve read: 371 pages
Books read: Finished The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden (Hopefully will have the review post up sometime this weekend) and started a book I’m judging for NERCA 2019, unfortunately I can’t reveal the books on my site until after finalists are announced!
Challenges: I did not participate in yesterday’s challenge, it didn’t sound like something I could manage quickly before my workday started

Stay tuned for continued progress made in tomorrow’s post on my Friday update!!

Bout of Books 24 Update – Day 3

qffxp8j

Still trucking along. Not making huge strides but I am fitting in reading time as much as I can. I LOVE the book I’m reading right now but it does take me a little longer than normal to read since there’s so much going on and I have to concentrate on the book a lot. Hoping to making some longer strides this weekend. So anyways my Wednesday’s progress is below:

Update

Wednesday

Time spent reading: (Approximately) 1.75 hours
Number of pages I’ve read today: 77 pages
Total number of pages I’ve read: 288 pages
Books read: Continued reading The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden (I’m hoping I’ll be able to finish this one today! I’m enjoying this one so much I’m trying not to rush through it)
Challenges: I did not participate in yesterday’s challenge – I was in a training all day and between that and traveling I didn’t have time to put a post together

Stay tuned for continued progress made in tomorrow’s post on my Thursday update!!