The Week in Books #93

6/14 ✅

The week in books! I’m almost halfway through this stack (yaaaay!) and have made one modification. The books I’ve read so far from this pile have been so engaging and readable that I found I wasn’t interested in reading one of the titles I added to this stack, The People of Forever are not Afraid, a book I picked up at GIRO a week months ago on a whim. I like the idea of creating stacks to help me commit to getting through books I’ve been wanting to read for a while, but every so often I just lose interest in reading something and life is too short for books I don’t want to read! So I swapped it for one I’m very excited to get to, All’s Well by Mona Awad. Here’s what I got through this week.

1. Trickster Drift by Eden Robinson. I love this series. At times I wondered what the point of this novel was, it being the continuation of the trilogy that began with Son of a Trickster, but even if I wasn’t sure where it was going I loved all the ghosts and creatures and magic. It is also set in Vancouver which I enjoy reading about because I can picture all the locations easily and understand things on a deeper level. Very excited for the third book!

Jared Martin, seventeen, has quit drugs and drinking. But his troubles are not over: the temptation to slip is constant (thanks to his enabling, ever-partying mom, Maggie). He’s being stalked by David, his mom’s ex–a preppy, khaki-wearing psycho with a proclivity for rib-breaking. And Maggie, a witch as well as a badass, can’t protect him like she used to because he’s moved from Kitimat to Vancouver for school.

As the son of a Trickster, Jared is a magnet for magic, whether he hates it or not. He sees ghosts, he sees the monster moving underneath his Aunt Georgina’s skin, he sees the creature that comes out of his bedroom wall and creepily wants to suck his toes. He also still hears his father in his head, and other voices too. When David finally catches up with him, Jared can’t ignore his true nature any longer. And neither can anyone else he loves.

Penguin Randomhouse

2. The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna. This is the first in a new series for young adults about a teen girl with dark skin and golden blood, something that her world considers to be “impure”. The first few chapters are a bit of a heavy info dump but it’s all to set you up for what unfolds later in the story, and it gets pretty cool! I blasted through this and really enjoyed the characters and world building. There is a lot of feminism woven in as well which I always appreciate. Very into this series already! If you liked Children of Blood and Bone you will like this one as well.

Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.

But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.

Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki–near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat.

Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she’s ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be–not even Deka herself.

Penguin Randomhouse

3. The Push by Ashley Audrain. This book actually gave me anxiety. It’s about a mother (Blythe) who struggles to develop an attachment to her daughter, a little girl that she feels isn’t normal and exhibits strange behaviour with her as well as with the kids at her school. She’s essentially a little psychopath but no one believes Blythe. This is literally something that I had thought about a lot in my 20’s; what if you have a child and straight up don’t like them? What if you end up with a little nut case that ruins your life? This novel definitely made me uncomfortable, and not just because I have a daughter and am about to have a baby boy as well… good thing my daughter is a total sweetheart lol. This is a quick paced and very mess-with-your-head story about motherhood that I couldn’t put down, even if it made my stomach turn.

Blythe Connor is determined that she will be the warm, supportive mother she never had to her new baby Violet.

But in the thick of motherhood’s exhausting early days, Blythe doesn’t find the connection with her daughter she expected. She’s convinced that something is wrong with Violet–the little girl is distant, rejects affection, and becomes increasingly disruptive at preschool.

Or is it all in Blythe’s head? Her husband, Fox, says she is imagining things. Fox doesn’t see what Blythe sees; he sees a wife who is struggling to cope with the day-to-day challenges of being a mother. And the more Fox dismisses her fears, the more Blythe begins to question her own sanity…

Then their son Sam is born–and with him, Blythe has the natural maternal connection she’d always dreamed of. Even Violet seems to love her little brother. But when life as they know it is changed in an instant, the devastating fall-out forces Blythe to face the truth about herself, her past, and her daughter.

The Push is a rare and extraordinary gift to readers: a novel about the expectations of motherhood we’re taught not to challenge and what really happens behind the closed doors of even the most perfect-looking families. It’s impossible to put down and impossible to forget.

Penguin Randomhouse

4. The Jigsaw Man by Nadine Matheson. I don’t read a lot of crime thrillers, but I really enjoyed this one. I couldn’t stop reading it once I started! Anjelica Henley is a WOC Investigator in London following a complex trail of murders committed by the copycat of a serial killer she previously sent to prison. It’s very fast paced and has over a hundred micro-chapters which made it very easy to blast through. I definitely got sucked right into the mystery and everything unfolded at the right time. Very strong! I believe this is the start of a series so I’d be very interested in checking out what Matheson writes next as she draws on her experience as a criminal attorney.

On the day she returns to active duty with the Serial Crimes Unit, Detective Inspector Anjelica Henley is called to a crime scene. Dismembered body parts from two victims have been found by the river.

The modus operandi bears a striking resemblance to Peter Olivier, the notorious Jigsaw Killer, who has spent the past two years behind bars. When he learns that someone is co-opting his grisly signature—the arrangement of victims’ limbs in puzzle-piece shapes—he decides to take matters into his own hands.

As the body count rises, DI Anjelica Henley is faced with an unspeakable new threat. Can she apprehend the copycat killer before Olivier finds a way to get to him first? Or will she herself become the next victim?

Drawing on her experience as a criminal attorney, debut novelist Nadine Matheson delivers the page-turning crime novel of the year. Taut, vivid and addictively sinister, The Jigsaw Man will leave you breathless until the very last page.


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