January & February Book Haul! | 2020

Hello, everyone! I can’t believe we’re over a week into March already, the days are flying by. I was really good with my self-control in February. I think after the intimidating onslaught of books from Dec/Jan, I found the will to say NO to buying anything new (well, to fewer books, I guess).

However, I have quite literally only just realised I somehow forgot to do both my January wrap-up and book haul. I cannot work out for the life of me how that managed to happen. So this will be a two-month haul! Which means it’s going to be big . . .


BOUGHT

Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies
by Tara Schuster

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I had discovered this book in my February releases post and quickly became obsessed with the title. I’m also really into non-fiction/memoir-esque books at the moment and this really ticks that box. I’m hoping I enjoy this as much as I’m anticipating!

A Heart So Fierce and Broken
by Brigid Kemmerer

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It was inevitable that I would buy a copy of this. The first book, A Curse So Dark and Lonely, was one of my favourite books in 2019 so I have been highly anticipating this sequel! I’m waiting to be in the perfect mood to read this so that I enjoy it 110%.

A Dress for the Wicked
by Autumn Krause

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This was a cover buy, I won’t lie. I spent several weeks trying to convince myself I didn’t need it but the hardback was just so cheap over on the Book Depository that my resolve eventually (inevitably) crumbled. I’ve heard a number of good things about this over on Instagram so here’s to hoping the story lives up to the cover!

The Crown’s Fate
by Evelyn Skye

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I had really been on the fence about this one. I hadn’t loved book one but I was certainly curious about book two (and this is a duology). Eventually, this went on an epic sale so I decided what the heck and got a copy. I can’t see myself reading this any time soon but I will and I’ll discover how this story wraps up!


RECEIVED

Truthwitch
by Susan Dennard

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This was a Christmas present (that arrived in January) from one of my good friends. I’ve been wanting to read this FOREVER because everyone loves this series. I’m going to be so disappointed if this doesn’t blow me away because my expectations are so high.

A Thousand Nights
by E K Johnston

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Another slightly late Christmas present and one I’ve already read! My review is actually (shockingly) already up for this one so you can explore more of my thoughts on this one HERE. I can never pass up on a One Thousand and One Nights retelling!

The Queen of Nothing
by Holly Black

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Again, another I’ve already read (and received for Christmas)! This is the finale in this spellbinding trilogy by Holly Black. I wasn’t 100% blown away by this one which I was disappointed about but I did think it wrapped up the series nicely.

The Vanishing Deep
by Astrid Scholte

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This is a new release from Allen & Unwin who kindly sent me a review copy. I read Scholte’s last release, Four Dead Queens, which I thoroughly enjoyed last year and am really curious how this one is going to go down. Despite the cover, this is actually fantasy!

Seventeen-year-old Tempe was born into a world of water. When the Great Waves destroyed her planet, its people had to learn to survive living on the water, but the ruins of the cities below still called. Tempe dives daily, scavenging the ruins of a bygone era, searching for anything of value to trade for Notes. It isn’t food or clothing that she wants to buy, but her dead sister’s life. For a price, the research facility on the island of Palindromena will revive the dearly departed for twenty-four hours before returning them to death. It isn’t a heartfelt reunion that Tempe is after; she wants answers. Elysea died keeping a terrible secret, one that has ignited an unquenchable fury in Tempe: Her beloved sister was responsible for the death of their parents. Tempe wants to know why.
But once revived, Elysea has other plans. She doesn’t want to spend her last day in a cold room accounting for a crime she insists she didn’t commit. Elysea wants her freedom and one final glimpse at the life that was stolen from her. She persuades Tempe to break her out of the facility, and they embark on a dangerous journey to discover the truth about their parents’ death and mend their broken bond. But they’re pursued every step of the way by two Palindromena employees desperate to find them before Elysea’s time is up–and before the secret behind the revival process and the true cost of restored life is revealed.

Just an Ordinary Family
by Fiona Lowe

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I read and loved Fiona Lowe’s previous book, Home Fires, last year which was completely unexpected. This chick-lit sort of genre isn’t something I usually reach for but Lowe constructed such an amazing story. I’m anticipating that this latest book from Pan Macmillan (thank you!) will be just as moving!

Liane Moriarty meets Jodi Picoult in this tensely negotiated story of family ties, betrayal and sacrifice.
Every family has its secrets…
Alice Hunter is smarting from the raw deal life has thrown her way: suddenly single, jobless and forced to move home to her parents’ tiny seaside town. And now she faces an uncomfortable truth. She wants her twin sister Libby’s enviable life.
Libby’s closest friend Jess Dekic has been around the Hunter family for so long she might as well be blood. She’s always considered herself a sister closer to Libby than Alice ever could be…
Libby Hunter has all of life’s boxes ticked: prominent small-town doctor, gorgeous husband and two young daughters. But when she is betrayed by those she loves most, it reveals how tenuous her world is…
For Karen Hunter, her children are a double-edged sword of pain and pride. She’s always tried to guide her girls through life’s pitfalls, but how do you protect your children when they’re adults?
As the family implodes, the fallout for these four women will be inescapable…

Jane in Love
by Rachel Givney

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A wonderful new release from Penguin Random House (thank you!)! This exciting story imagines what would’ve happened if Jane Austen found herself in modern-day England and fell in love. I think the concept of this book sounds wonderful and I can’t wait to read it.

‘If Jane Austen had the choice between the heart and the pen, what do you think she would do?’
At age twenty-eight, Jane Austen should be seeking a suitable husband, but all she wants to do is write. She is forced to take extreme measures in her quest to find true love – which lands her in the most extraordinary of circumstances.
Magically, she finds herself in modern-day England, where horseless steel carriages line the streets and people wear very little clothing. She forms a new best friend in fading film star Sofia Wentworth, and a genuine love interest in Sofia’s brother Fred, who has the audacity to be handsome, clever and kind-hearted.
She is also delighted to discover that she is now a famous writer, a published author of six novels and beloved around the globe. But as Jane’s romance with Fred blossoms, her presence in the literary world starts to waver. She must find a way to stop herself disappearing from history before it’s too late.

The Unspoken Name
by A K Larkwood

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This is probably the ARC I’m most excited about. This is a highly anticipated novel that is fantasy but also with a nod to sci-fi I do believe and has LGBT+ themes. Whew. Not to mention the main character isn’t even human. Big thank you to Pan Macmillan Australia for sending this my way!

What if you knew how and when you will die?
Csorwe does. She will climb the mountain, enter the Shrine of the Unspoken, and gain the most honored title: sacrifice. On the day of her foretold death, however, a powerful mage offers her a new fate.
Csorwe leaves her home, her destiny, and her god to become the wizard’s loyal sword-hand — stealing, spying, and killing to help him reclaim his seat of power in the homeland from which he was exiled.
But Csorwe and the wizard will soon learn – gods remember, and if you live long enough, all debts come due.

The Last Day
by Andrew Hunter Murray

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Oooh, unfortunately, this just wasn’t for me. I ended up DNF’ing this at about 50% because I just found the story so slow and uneventful. But that’s not to say it’s a bad book! This new release from Penguin Random House (thank you!) just wasn’t the exciting/thrilling tale of the end of the world as we know that I had expected.

A WORLD HALF IN DARKNESS. A SECRET SHE MUST BRING TO LIGHT.
2059. The world has stopped turning.
One half suffers an endless frozen night; the other, nothing but burning sun.
Only in a slim twilit region can life survive.
In an isolationist Britain, Ellen Hopper receives a letter from a dying man.
It contains a powerful and dangerous secret.
One that those in power will kill to conceal…

Agency
by William Gibson

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I cannot even begin to tell you how disappointed I am that I didn’t like this. I gave up much earlier on that The Last Day in this one – maybe at the 10% mark. Thank you to Penguin Random House for sending a copy my way, I really had thought this edgy sci-fi would tickle me pink but I just didn’t get along with Gibson’s writing style.

San Francisco, 2017. Clinton’s in the White House, Brexit never happened – and Verity Jane’s got herself a new job.
They call Verity ‘the app-whisperer,’ and she’s just been hired by a shadowy start-up to evaluate a pair-of-glasses-cum-digital-assistant called Eunice. Only Eunice has other ideas.
Pretty soon, Verity knows that Eunice is smarter than anyone she’s ever met, conceals some serious capabilities and is profoundly paranoid  which is just as well since suddenly some bad people are after Verity.
Meanwhile, in a post-apocalyptic London a century from now, PR fixer Wilf Netherton is tasked by all-seeing policewoman Ainsley Lowbeer with interfering in the alternative past in which Verity and Eunice exist. It appears something nasty is about to happen there – and fixing it will require not only Eunice’s unique human-AI skillset but also a little help from the future.
A future which Verity soon fears may never be . . .

The Mercies
by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

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I LOVE the cover on this! This is actually a historical fiction novel set in the 17th century focussing on a Norweigian island. Have a read of the blurb because I think this sounds fantastic. Thank you to Pan Macmillan Australia for sending a copy my way!

Finnmark, Norway, 1617. Twenty-year-old Maren Magnusdatter stands on the craggy coast, watching the sea break into a sudden and reckless storm. Forty fishermen, including her brother and father, are drowned and left broken on the rocks below. With the menfolk wiped out, the women of the tiny Arctic town of Vardø must fend for themselves.
Three years later, a sinister figure arrives. Absalom Cornet comes from Scotland, where he burned witches in the northern isles. He brings with him his young Norwegian wife, Ursa, who is both heady with her husband’s authority and terrified by it. In Vardø, and in Maren, Ursa sees something she has never seen before: independent women. But Absalom sees only a place untouched by God, and flooded with a mighty evil.
As Maren and Ursa are drawn to one another in ways that surprise them both, the island begins to close in on them, with Absalom’s iron rule threatening Vardø’s very existence.
Inspired by the real events of the Vardø storm and the 1621 witch trials, The Mercies is a story of love, evil, and obsession, set at the edge of civilization.

 AUDIOBOOKS

The Testaments
Margaret Atwood

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I’m so excited to be reading this via audiobook as that was how I read The Handmaid’s Tale. I’m crossing my fingers that I love this – but I don’t think I need to worry. So many people are already singing its praises!

Sleeping Giants
by Sylvain Neuvel

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I decided to read this one off a friend’s recommendation so I’m really hoping it lives up to expectations! I know quite a lot of people ending up loving this. The plot is such a strange-sounding one with metal giants in the earth and a girl’s life mission to figure out their purpose.


That’s a wrap!

Have you read any of these? What did you think!


Happy reading!

~~ Kirstie ~~

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5 thoughts on “January & February Book Haul! | 2020

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