Hello, you beautiful people!
My October Book Haul was very interesting and rich. I am not sure what exactly happened, but many publishers suddenly started reaching out to me, and I won many giveaways as well. I am reading some of them in November, but not all of them. Without further delays, let’s get into the books I’ve received in October:
1. Pizza Girl by Jean Kyoung
Huge thanks to the team at HQ Stories, for sending me a copy of this book as part of the giveaway, as well as a pizza kit to make two mozzarella pizzas at home. This is how our pizzas turned out.
Eighteen years old, pregnant, and working as a pizza delivery girl in suburban Los Angeles, our charmingly dysfunctional heroine is deeply lost and in complete denial about it all. She’s grieving the death of her father (who she has more in common with than she’d like to admit), avoiding her supportive mom and loving boyfriend, and flagrantly ignoring her future.
Her world is further upended when she becomes obsessed with Jenny, a stay-at-home mother new to the neighborhood, who comes to depend on weekly deliveries of pickled covered pizzas for her son’s happiness. As one woman looks toward motherhood and the other towards middle age, the relationship between the two begins to blur in strange, complicated, and ultimately heartbreaking ways.
Bold, tender, propulsive, and unexpected in countless ways, Jean Kyoung Frazier’s Pizza Girl is a moving and funny portrait of a flawed, unforgettable young woman as she tries to find her place in the world.
2. The Silent Stars Go By by Sally Nicholls
This is a book that I’ll be reading in November, because I’ll be part of the Instagram Book Tour hosted by Kaleidoscopic Tours. Huge thanks to Andersen Press for sending not only a copy of the book, but also plenty of surprise goodies, that I have to open once I reach a certain page milestone. I cannot wait to start this – look out for my Instagram Stories, where I will open the goodies as I read the book.
Seventeen-year-old Margot Allan was a respectable vicar’s daughter and madly in love with her fiance Harry. But when Harry was reported Missing in Action from the Western Front, and Margot realised she was expecting his child, there was only one solution she and her family could think of in order to keep that respectability. She gave up James, her baby son, to be adopted by her parents and brought up as her younger brother.
Now two years later the whole family is gathering at the Vicarage for Christmas. It’s heartbreaking for Margot being so close to James but unable to tell him who he really is. But on top of that, Harry is also back in the village. Released from captivity in Germany and recuperated from illness, he’s come home and wants answers. Why has Margot seemingly broken off their engagement and not replied to his letters? Margot knows she owes him an explanation. But can she really tell him the truth about James?
| Amazon UK |
3. Beneath Cruel Fathoms (The Bitter Sea Trilogy #1) by Anela Deen
When the author Anela Deen reached out to me to read this book, I has a quick look at the cover and I was immediately hooked. Then, the synopsis also got me. I mean, it’s about mermaids – what more can I ask for!
After a violent storm destroys her ship, Isaura Johansdottir knows better than to hope she’ll be rescued from Eisland’s vast Failock Sea. Adrift and alone, her plans to start over lost, it’s a tragic conclusion after the disastrous end of her marriage – until she’s saved by Leonel, one of the merfolk, a creature long believed extinct. In repayment for her life, Leonel enlists her help to investigate the Failock’s mysterious and deadly plague of squalls. But when Isaura discovers Eisland’s ruthless new Lord commands the storms, her life will be in more danger on land than it ever was at sea.
As guardian of the Fathoms, Leonel must find the cause of unnatural storms ravaging the tidal currents and destroying the sea life. There are rumors of dark magic stirring in the Orom Abyss, the resting place of old, vanquished gods who tried to submerge the land millennia ago. Yet without proof, no one in King Ægir’s court will listen to him. And if it’s discovered he broke the Blue Laws to save a shipwrecked landweller, he might not survive the consequences.
As storms spread, Leonel and Isaura uncover secrets as forbidden as the bond that grows between them. Betrayal lurks in the restless sea, and when ancient powers lay siege to Eisland’s coast, the truth may be drowned along with everything else.
4. A Cornish Betrothal by Nicola Pryce
Four years have passed since Midshipman Edmund Melville was declared missing, presumed dead, and Amelia Carew has mended her heart and fallen in love with a young physician, Luke Bohenna. But, on her twenty-fifth birthday, Amelia suddenly receives a letter from Edmund announcing his imminent return. In a state of shock, devastated that she now loves Luke so passionately, she is torn between the two.
When Edmund returns, it is clear that his time away has changed him – he wears scars both mental and physical. Amelia, however, is determined to rekindle their courtship and nurse him back to help. Luke, who has always understood that Amelia’s love for Edmund would take precedence, backs away.
But soon, Amelia begins to question what really happened to Edmund while he was missing. As the treads of truth slip through her fingers, she doesn’t know who to turn to: Edmund, or Luke?
5. Make It Happen: How To Be An Activist by Amika George
The amazing HQ Stories team reached out to me and sent me this book as part of the International Day of the Girl, which was on 11th October. I am so glad I was part of that initiative, and could raise awareness about the rights that girls have around the world. As a person that was born and raised in Macedonia, this is a very important topic, and one very close to my heart, and I am glad I could promote awareness. I have already read this book, but I will be re-reading it soon so I can give it a proper book review as well.
GET UP. SPEAK UP. DON’T GIVE UP.
In the spring of 2017, 17-year-old Amika George founded the Free Periods movement on behalf of every schoolgirl who couldn’t afford tampons or sanitary towels.
Three years later, in January 2020, these products became freely available to every schoolgirl in England for the first time, funded by the government.
Anyone can make history, including a teenager launching a global campaign from their bedroom. And Amika will show you how, in this essential guide to being an activist.
With chapters on finding your crowd and creating allies, going public with your campaign, how to use social media effectively and how to look after your mental health while protesting, Amika will show you how you can effect real and lasting change in your community, on the streets of your city, on your social media feed, in your country and in YOUR world.
6. The Human Son by Adrian J. Walker
I am so glad that I won this book through a giveaway! It sounds amazing, and I cannot wait to dive in!
It is 500 years in the future and Earth is no longer populated by humans.
The new guardians of Earth, the genetically engineered Erta, have reversed climate change. They are now faced with a dilemma; if they reintroduce the rebellious and violent Homo Sapiens, all of their work will be undone.
They decide to raise one final child; a sole human to help decide if humanity should again inherit the Earth.
But the quiet and clinical Ima finds that there is more to raising a human than she had expected; and there is more to humanity’s history than she has been told.
7. The Angel of the Crows by Katherine Addison
Again, another title I won through a giveaway, but that also sounds amazing! I was hoping to read this for October, because it gave away a spooky vibe, but my TBR was already huge, so it’ll have to wait for now.
This is not the story you think it is. These are not the characters you think they are. This is not the book you are expecting.
In an alternate 1880s London, angels inhabit every public building, and vampires and werewolves walk the streets with human beings under a well-regulated truce. A fantastic utopia, except for a few things: Angels can Fall, and that Fall is like a nuclear bomb in both the physical and metaphysical worlds. And human beings remain human, with all their kindness and greed and passions and murderous intent.
Jack the Ripper stalks the streets of this London too. But this London has an Angel. The Angel of the Crows.
8. The June Boys by Court Stevens
I received The June Boys thanks to the team at Harper 360. Another spooky read that I cannot wait to dive in.
The Gemini Thief could be anyone. Your father, your mother, your best friend’s crazy uncle. Some country music star’s deranged sister. Anyone.
The Gemini Thief is a serial kidnapper, who takes three boys and holds them captive from June 1st to June 30th of the following year. The June Boys endure thirteen months of being stolen, hidden, observed, and fed before they are released, unharmed, by their masked captor. The Thief is a pro, having eluded authorities for nearly a decade and taken at least twelve boys.
Now Thea Delacroix has reason to believe the Gemini Thief took a thirteenth victim: her cousin, Aulus McClaghen.
But the game changes when one of the kidnapped boys turns up dead. Together with her boyfriend Nick and her best friends, Thea is determined to find the Gemini Thief and the remaining boys before it’s too late. Only she’s beginning to wonder something sinister, something repulsive, something unbelievable, and yet, not impossible:
What if her father is the Gemini Thief?
9. Someone We Know by Shari Lapena
I am so excited about this one. It seems like such an intriguing thriller, and I bet it’ll have an unpredictable plot twist in the end.
Maybe you don’t know your neighbors as well as you thought you did . . .
“This is a very difficult letter to write. I hope you will not hate us too much. . . My son broke into your home recently while you were out.”
In a quiet, leafy suburb in upstate New York, a teenager has been sneaking into houses–and into the owners’ computers as well–learning their secrets, and maybe sharing some of them, too.
Who is he, and what might he have uncovered? After two anonymous letters are received, whispers start to circulate, and suspicion mounts. And when a woman down the street is found murdered, the tension reaches the breaking point. Who killed her? Who knows more than they’re telling? And how far will all these very nice people go to protect their own secrets?
In this neighborhood, it’s not just the husbands and wives who play games. Here, everyone in the family has something to hide . . .
You never really know what people are capable of.
10. Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
Another mystery thriller that I wish I received earlier, just so I can add it to my spooky TBR for October. But it’ll have to wait.
She was fifteen, her mother’s golden girl. She had her whole life ahead of her. And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone.
It’s been ten years since Ellie disappeared, but Laurel has never given up hope of finding her daughter.
And then one day a charming and charismatic stranger called Floyd walks into a café and sweeps Laurel off her feet.
Before too long she’s staying the night at this house and being introduced to his nine year old daughter.
Poppy is precocious and pretty – and meeting her completely takes Laurel’s breath away.
Because Poppy is the spitting image of Ellie when she was that age. And now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back.
What happened to Ellie? Where did she go?
Who still has secrets to hide?
11. One More for Christmas by Sarah Morgan
I actually won Sarah Morgan’s giveaway and won a signed copy. Can you believe that!? I already read a few books by her, a couple of them Christmas ones, and I am in love with her writing. And honestly, I cannot wait to dive into this one, right in time for Christmas. I truly hope the November TBR prompts will be kind to me and allow me to add this one on my list.
Gayle is a highly successful and motivated business woman, but her success has come at a price – she hasn’t spoken to her daughters, Ella and Samantha, for years. But when Gayle has an accident at work, she realises she needs to make amends with her family.
And so she invites herself to join Ella and Samantha for their Christmas in the beautiful Scottish Highlands. The sisters are none too pleased that their mother has inserted herself into their Christmas plans. They have each other – and don’t need their mother back in their lives. Or so they think…
As they embark on their first family Christmas together in years, will the three women learn that sometimes facing up to a few home truths is all you need to heal your heart?
12. Starve Acre by Andrew Michael Hurley
I am so happy to be part of a bookstagram readalong, hosted by Tandem Collective UK and John Murray Press, starting on the 1st November and finishing on the 5th November. Thanks to the above teams, I am also able to host a UK giveaway as well, where you can win a paperback edition of Starve Acre, as well as a tote bag and a pin. Just head over to my Instagram page to find out more!
The worst thing possible has happened. Richard and Juliette Willoughby’s son, Ewan, has died suddenly at the age of five. Starve Acre, their house by the moors, was to be full of life, but is now a haunted place.
Juliette, convinced Ewan still lives there in some form, seeks the help of the Beacons, a seemingly benevolent group of occultists. Richard, to try and keep the boy out of his mind, has turned his attention to the field opposite the house, where he patiently digs the barren dirt in search of a legendary oak tree.
Starve Acre is a devastating new novel by the author of the prize-winning bestseller The Loney. It is a novel about the way in which grief splits the world in two and how, in searching for hope, we can so easily unearth horror.
And that’s a wrap up for my October Book Haul. I can’t wait to dive into all of these books! What’s your October Book Haul? I would love to know what books you acquired last month! Let me know in the comments.