Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Anticipated Reads for June 2016

Anticipated Reads for June

Below are books published this month that I will be adding to my ever growing 2016 TBR list! Which new or upcoming titles are you most looking forward to this year?

With Malice by Eileen Cook
Published June 7th by HMH Books for Young Readers

For fans of We Were Liars and The Girl on the Train comes a chilling, addictive psychological thriller about a teenage girl who cannot remember the last six weeks of her life. 

Julia Vanishes (The Witch's Child) by Catherine Egan 
Published June 7th by Knopf Books for Young Readers

Fans of Marie Lu, Leigh Bardugo, and Kristin Cashore will be captivated by this stunning first book in a must-have new fantasy trilogy about a spy who can vanish at will and who discovers that monsters, mystery, and magic are also lurking—just out of sight.

Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh
Published June 7th by HarperTeen

Debut author Julie Eshbaugh’s sweeping prehistoric fantasy—with allusions to Pride and Prejudice—will enthrall readers with high-stakes survival, blinding betrayal, and star-crossed love.

How It Ends by Catherine Lo
Published June 7th by HMH Books for Young Readers 

Catherine Lo makes her debut with an honest, nuanced tale about the intricacies of female friendship.

American Girls by Alison Umminger
Published June 7th by Flatiron Books

Alison Umminger writes about girls, sex, violence, and which people society deems worthy of caring about, which ones it doesn't, in a way not often seen in YA fiction.

Tumbling by Caela Carter
Published June 7th by Viking Books for Young Readers

Work harder than anyone.
Be the most talented.
Sacrifice everything.
And if you’re lucky, maybe you will go to the Olympics.

How to Disappear by Ann Redisch Stampler
Published June 14th by Simon Pulse

This electric cross-country thriller follows the game of cat and mouse between a girl on the run from a murder she witnessed—or committed?—and the boy who’s sent to kill her.

Never Missing, Never Found by Amanda Panitch
Published June 28th by Random House Books for Young Readers

A juicy thriller about a girl who returned from the missing. . . . Hand to fans of We Were Liars, Bone Gap, and Vanishing Girls.

All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda
Published June 28th by Simon & Schuster

Like the spellbinding psychological suspense in The Girl on the Train and Luckiest Girl Alive, Megan Miranda’s novel is a nail-biting, breathtaking story about the disappearances of two young women—a decade apart—told in reverse.

Empire of Dust (Blood of Gods and Royals) by Eleanor Herman
Published June 28th by Harlequin Teen

New York Times bestselling author Eleanor Herman entwines the real scandals of history with epic fantasy to reimagine the world's most brilliant ruler, Alexander the Great, in the second book of the Blood of Gods and Royals series.

And I Darken by Kiersten White
Published June 28th by Delacorte Press

From New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White comes the first book in a dark, sweeping new series in which heads will roll, bodies will be impaled . . . and hearts will be broken.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Isabella's Reading Corner: The Girls

The Girls by Emma Cline
Published June 14th 2016 by Random House
The Girls is told from the point of view of a middle aged woman named Evie, with flashbacks from her life as a 14 year old girl and her indoctrination into a Manson Family-like cult after a chance encounter with one of it's members - Suzanne.
I've always been fascinated by the Manson Family, so I was intrigued to read The Girls. The murders depicted committed by the fictional cult bear many similarities to the Tate killings by members of The Family. Suzanne is reminiscent of Susan (Sadie) Atkins and it's difficult not to make comparisons to other Manson Family members as characters are introduced. Most of the girls in the fictional cult appear to be a composite of the real life Manson girls.
Evie's involvement with the cult is not the whole of the book - far from it. The Girls is essentially a coming of age story and one that is rich in detail. There is an ethereal, hazy quality to the book. You can almost feel the warm, lazy, floaty summer days of California in the 60's.
There is so much background to Evie's story. She's lonely and envious of the bonds people share, made evident when she sees Suzanne for the first time and her closeness with the other girls. When a distance develops between Evie and her best friend, it is clear that she will become involved with the cult, mostly due to her growing fixation with Suzanne. There is a sense of foreboding of what is to come and I wanted to know how far Evie would go.
The comparison to the real life murders and The Family is something that I initially found interesting in the novel, but yet in no way does this detract from the enjoyment of the story for those unfamiliar with them. If anything it is probably beneficial to have little to no knowledge of the real case, as I found myself constantly referring to what I knew about the actual story behind it. In some ways I would have preferred the author to have created her own cult/crimes, as opposed to relying so heavily on Manson's, as it removed some of the author's own creativity. However, saying this, I still felt this was an engrossing, haunting and timely novel that I would recommend.
From the publisher:
Girls—their vulnerability, strength, and passion to belong—are at the heart of this stunning first novel for readers of Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides and Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad.

Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged—a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence, and to that moment in a girl’s life when everything can go horribly wrong.

Emma Cline’s remarkable debut novel is gorgeously written and spellbinding, with razor-sharp precision and startling psychological insight. The Girls is a brilliant work of fiction—and an indelible portrait of girls, and of the women they become.

You can read my original Isabella's Reading Corner post on The Girls here.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House for the ebook ARC to review