Entry 90: We Set the Dark on Fire (We Set the Dark on Fire #1)

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Author: Tehlor Kay Mejia
Genre:
Fiction > Young Adult > Sci-fi > Dystopia
Fiction > Young Adult > Romance
Published/Publisher: February 26th 2019 by Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 384
Format Read In: Audiobook

Summary from Goodreads (GOODREADS LINK)

At the Medio School for Girls, distinguished young women are trained for one of two roles in their polarized society. Depending on her specialization, a graduate will one day run a husband’s household or raise his children, but both are promised a life of comfort and luxury, far from the frequent political uprisings of the lower class. Daniela Vargas is the school’s top student, but her bright future depends upon no one discovering her darkest secret—that her pedigree is a lie. Her parents sacrificed everything to obtain forged identification papers so Dani could rise above her station. Now that her marriage to an important politico’s son is fast approaching, she must keep the truth hidden or be sent back to the fringes of society, where famine and poverty rule supreme.

On her graduation night, Dani seems to be in the clear, despite the surprises that unfold. But nothing prepares her for all the difficult choices she must make, especially when she is asked to spy for a resistance group desperately fighting to bring equality to Medio. Will Dani cling to the privilege her parents fought to win for her, or to give up everything she’s strived for in pursuit of a free Medio—and a chance at a forbidden love?

My Review

TW: sexism, sexual harassment, violence, blood

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Entry 89: The Silent Patient

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Author: Alex Michaelides
Genre:
Fiction > Adult > Mystery
Fiction > Adult > Thriller
Published/Publisher: February 5th 2019 by Celadon Books
Pages: 323
Format Read In: Audiobook

Summary from Goodreads (GOODREADS LINK)

Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him…

My Review

TW: suicide attempt, blood, depiction of mental illness, childhood trauma, brief description of child abuse, mentions of self harm, scars, infidelity, sexual assault, fatphobia

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Entry 88: Odriel’s Heirs (Odriel’s Heirs #1)

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Author: Hayley Reese Chow
Genre:
Fiction > Young Adult > Fantasy
Expected Published/Publisher: March 1st, 2020 by Amazon KDP
Pages: 332
Format Read In: ARC ebook

Summary from Goodreads (GOODREADS LINK)

The brave, burning with fire, harnessed the Dragon’s Rage….

As the Dragon Heir, seventeen-year-old Kaia inherited the power of flame to protect her homeland from a godlike necromancer’s undead army. But after centuries of peace, the necromancer has faded to myth, and the Dragon Heir is feared by the people. Persecuted and cast out, Kaia struggles to embrace and control her seemingly useless gift while confined to her family’s farm.

But when the necromancer’s undead terrorize the land once again, Kaia runs away to join the battle.

With the help of her childhood rival, the handsome Shadow Heir, and a snarky, cursed cat, Kaia must figure out how to control both her fire and her confidence in time to save Okarria. If she fails, she will sacrifice her family, her new friends, and the enchanting world she has only just begun to see.

And time is running out.

My Review

TW: violence, blood, mild gore, death of a child (not depicted), body horror, suicide, use of torture (not depicted), blood

Disclaimer: I received an ARC copy of this book from the author. Thank you to Hayley Reese Chow for the opportunity to provide an honest review.

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Entry 87: The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War #2)

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Author: R.F. Kuang
Genre:
Fiction > Adult > Fantasy > Historical Fantasy
Published/Publisher: August 8th 2019 by Harper Voyager
Pages: 560
Format Read In: Audiobook

Summary from Goodreads (GOODREADS LINK)

The searing follow-up to 2018’s most celebrated fantasy debut – THE POPPY WAR.

In the aftermath of the Third Poppy War, shaman and warrior Rin is on the run: haunted by the atrocity she committed to end the war, addicted to opium, and hiding from the murderous commands of her vengeful god, the fiery Phoenix. Her only reason for living is to get revenge on the traitorous Empress who sold out Nikan to their enemies.

With no other options, Rin joins forces with the powerful Dragon Warlord, who has a plan to conquer Nikan, unseat the Empress, and create a new Republic. Rin throws herself into his war. After all, making war is all she knows how to do.

But the Empress is a more powerful foe than she appears, and the Dragon Warlord’s motivations are not as democratic as they seem. The more Rin learns, the more she fears her love for Nikan will drive her away from every ally and lead her to rely more and more on the Phoenix’s deadly power. Because there is nothing she won’t sacrifice for her country and her vengeance.

The sequel to R.F. Kuang’s acclaimed debut THE POPPY WAR, THE DRAGON REPUBLIC combines the history of 20th-century China with a gripping world of gods and monsters, to devastating effect.

My Review [SPOILERS AHEAD]:

TW: drug addiction, recovery of drug addiction, PTSD episodes, violence, gore, a character suggests suicide to another character, drug use, slurs towards sex workers, racism, anxiety episodes, religious supremacy, racial superiority, suicidal thoughts, contemplation of self harm, rape, self harm, violence against women

(Did you think this book would tone down the triggers? Ha. Nope.)

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Entry 86: The Good Luck Girls (The Good Luck Girls #1)

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Author: Charlotte Nicole Davis
Genre:
Fiction > Adult > Fantasy > Historical Fantasy
Published/Publisher: October 1st 2019 by Tor Teen
Pages: 352
Format Read In: Hardback

Summary from Goodreads (GOODREADS LINK)

Westworld meets The Handmaid’s Tale in this stunning fantasy adventure from debut author Charlotte Nicole Davis.

Aster, the protector
Violet, the favorite
Tansy, the medic
Mallow, the fighter
Clementine, the catalyst

THE GOOD LUCK GIRLS

The country of Arketta calls them Good Luck Girls–they know their luck is anything but. Sold to a “welcome house” as children and branded with cursed markings. Trapped in a life they would never have chosen.

When Clementine accidentally murders a man, the girls risk a dangerous escape and harrowing journey to find freedom, justice, and revenge in a country that wants them to have none of those things. Pursued by Arketta’s most vicious and powerful forces, both human and inhuman, their only hope lies in a bedtime story passed from one Good Luck Girl to another, a story that only the youngest or most desperate would ever believe.

It’s going to take more than luck for them all to survive.

My Review:

TW: vague descriptions of sexual abuse, forced sterilization, drug use, drug addiction, depiction of recovery of drug addiction, depiction of PTSD episodes, violence against women, anxiety attacks, slut-shaming, discussions of suicide, suicide attempt, forced Russian roulette

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Entry 85: Crooked Kingdom (The Six of Crows Duology #2)

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Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre:
Fiction > Young Adult > Fantasy
Fiction > Young Adult > Romance
Fiction > Young Adult > Romance > LGBTQA+
Fiction > Young Adult > Adventure
Published/Publisher: September 27th 2016 by Orion Children’s Books
Pages: 536
Format Read In: Hardback

Summary from Goodreads (GOODREADS LINK)

Welcome to the world of the Grisha.

Kaz Brekker and his crew of deadly outcasts have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives.

Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties.

A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets – a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

My Review [SPOILERS AHEAD]:

TW: drug addiction, depiction of drug addiction recovery, threats of torture, torture, gore, violence, ableism, gambling addiction

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Entry 84: The Bromance Book Club (Bromance Book Club #1) [RECOMMENDED]

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Author: Lyssa Kay Adams
Genre:
Fiction > Adult > Romance
Fiction > Adult > Contemporary
Published/Publisher: November 5th 2019 by Berkley
Pages: 352
Format Read In: Paperback

Summary from Goodreads (GOODREADS LINK)

The first rule of book club: You don’t talk about book club.

Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.

Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.

Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.

TW: descriptions of child abuse, descriptions of bullying

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