Happy Sunday, everyone. In lieu of a serious Self-Care Sunday post this week, I’m going to take it easy and highlight some of the library books that I picked up yesterday via my local libs. They offer touchless, curb-side pick-up, which has been an incredible saviour to me, and my stress shopping habits during this pandemic.
If you are looking for some Self-Care Sunday posts to dive into, or just a spot of motivation and inspiration to help you through a tough time, let me direct you to some of my favourite Self-Care posts that I’ve shared thus far:
Conquering Loneliness with Things that Make Me Smile
What Do You Do When Self-Care Isn’t Enough?
5 Ways to Cope with Anxiety at Home
Recognising Failures as Life Experiences
Using Bad Therapy Sessions for Positive Insights
Speaking of self-care, after my appointment on Thursday, I was feeling relieved, but still a bit emotionally strained. So, I went onto my libs website and found a bunch of books that sounded great and placed them all on hold. I honestly wasn’t expecting them to come in at once, but they did. A couple of these are books that I have checked out before but ended up having to return them before I could read ‘em (other folx had holds on them). I’m happy that I was able to check them out again as my mood for mysteries and thrillers as been inching back into my bloodstream. Since my second favourite season shall begin looming come September (hopefully), it’s no surprise that his mood as resurfaced.
Anyhoo, check out the full haul of six books down below. Clicking on titles shall teleport you to the GoodReads pages! If I had to choose my top two from the pile that I’m swooning over the most, they would have to be The Mermaid, The Witch, and The Sea by Maggie Tokuda Hall and Seven Years of Darkness by You-Jeong Jeong.
Under My Skin by Lisa Unger: A psychological thriller that follows a woman named Poppy. Her husband, Jack, was brutally murdered during his routine run through Manhattan’s Riverside Park. Immediately after that tragic event, Poppy spiralled into a mess of grief, disappearing for several days. When she resurfaced, she was ragged, confused, and wearing a red dress with no recollection of what happened to her. Her husband’s case was never solved. When Poppy finally starts to move on, those missing days begin to haunt her, giving her nightmares and triggering blackouts. Unable to tell the difference between reality and imagination, she starts to feel like she’s being followed. Pulled into a terrifying game of cat-and-mouse, Poppy becomes determined to solve this mysteries and get her life back.
I’ve read a lot of Karen Slaughter’s works and Lisa Unger came recommended to me because of that. After checking out the large list of books she’s written, this was one of the two that stood out to me the most (the second one is shared below). I’m hoping her stories will be just as dark and fucked-up, but with something unique that sets her apart from Slaughter.
The Red Hunter by Lisa Unger: A psychological thriller that follows two strangers. Claudia Bishop’s perfect life falls apart when she’s brutally assaulted. Left with a broken marriage, a new-born kid, and an unwavering sense of anxiety, she just wants peace of mind to move on with her life outside of the realms of being a victim. She takes on a new home restoration project and uses it as material for her blog, not knowing that this ramshackle house harbours some nasty secrets of its own. Then there’s Zooey Drake. Left with a bitching temper problem in the wake of the home invasion that took the life of her parents, Zooey has trained diligently in martial arts and made herself strong enough to face the demons that still terrorise her mind. As Claudia dreams of building a future and finding peace, Zooey hopes to one day obtain justice; two paths that shall ultimately converge in a single rundown house.
The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant: A young adult fantasy novel that takes place in 1829 during the reign of Louis XVII. The French Revolution has failed, and the city is divided between merciless royalty and nine underworld criminal guilds, known as the Court of Miracles. Nina Thénardier is a talented cat burglar and member of the Thieves Guild. Nina’s life is midnight robberies, avoiding her father’s fists, and watching over her naïve sister, Cosette. When Cosette attracts the eye of the Tiger—the ruthless lord of the Guild of Flesh—Nina is caught in a desperate race to keep the younger girl safe. Her vow takes her from the city’s dark underbelly to the glittering court of Louis XVII, forcing Nina to make a terrible choice—protect Cosette and set off a ferocious war between the guilds, or forever lose her sister to the Tiger. (via BN)
This came highly recommended to me by an awesome fellow bookworm (y’all may know her as Aya from Kawaii Paper Pandas), so after her suggestion I added it to my library list. I’ve had this on hold for months and I’m beyond ecstatic that it finally came in! I’m also super thrilled about it because the author is a British-Mauritian (nationality), Indian-Creole (ethnicity) writer of colour who seems like a really nice human.
Wild Beauty by Anna Marie McLemore: An #OwnVoices Latinx, #OwnVoices Queer young adult fantasy novel by a Nonbinary author (WOOT) about the Nomeolvides women who have tended the grounds of La Pradera, the lush estate gardens that enchant guests from around the world. They’ve also hidden a tragic legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. But then, after generations of vanishings, a strange boy appears in the gardens. The boy is a mystery to Estrella, the Nomeolvides girl who finds him, and to her family, but he’s even more a mystery to himself; he knows nothing more about who he is or where he came from than his first name. As Estrella tries to help Fel piece together his unknown past, La Pradera leads them to secrets as dangerous as they are magical in this stunning exploration of love, loss, and family. (via BN)
Everyone whom I admire and love within the bookish community has adored this book with all of their hearts that I just had to give into the magic of it (finally). Plus, Mx McLemore is such a warm-hearted and inspiring author! I’m glad that this will be my introduction to their work.
The Mermaid, The Witch, and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda Hall: A young adult high fantasy story about the pirate Florian, born Flora, who has always done whatever it takes to survive—including sailing under false flag on the Dove as a marauder, thief, and worse. Lady Evelyn Hasegawa, a highborn Imperial daughter, is on board as well—accompanied by her own casket. But Evelyn’s one-way voyage to an arranged marriage in the Floating Islands is interrupted when the captain and crew show their true colours and enslave their wealthy passengers. Both Florian and Evelyn have lived their lives by the rules, and whims, of others. But when they fall in love, they decide to take fate into their own hands—no matter the cost.
This is another of my most-anticipated book release of 2020. I heard it’s such a scrumptious adventure of a book with QUEER characters! What more could my incomplete little heart want? Even though I checked this out from the libs, as soon as I have a few extra bucks, I will buy this!! Watch me (through the magic of time and space, ooooooh).
Seven Years of Darkness by You-Jeong Jeong: An #OwnVoices Korean psychological thriller. When a young girl is found dead in Seryong Lake, a reservoir in a remote South Korean village, the police immediately begin their investigation. At the same time, three men—Yongje, the girl’s father, and two security guards at the nearby dam, each of whom has something to hide about the night of her death—find themselves in an elaborate game of cat-and-mouse as they race to uncover what happened to her, without revealing their own closely guarded secrets. After a final showdown at the dam, one of the guards is convicted of murder and sent to prison. For seven years, his son lives in the shadow of his father’s shocking and inexplicable crime; everywhere he goes, a seemingly concerted effort to reveal his identity as the reviled murderer’s son follows him. When he receives a package that promises to reveal at last what really happened at Seryong Lake, the son must confront a present danger he never knew existed.
I don’t think I’ve ever read a Korean psychological thriller before, only historical fiction and literary fiction, so I am fucking intrigued and supremely delighted! This sounds wicked dark and intense, which is just my perfect brand of thrillers!
That does it for this round of libs loot! My current reads can be found here, but I plan on picking up either of my top two books after I’m finished with at least half of the current reads list. My desire for something fun is veering towards the young adult high fantasy, but my desire to read something incredibly fucked-up has me leaning towards the Korean thriller title. Only time can tell where my bloody mood shall land.
Until next time, I wish you all happy readings and a kind, gentle week ahead.