Retribution Rails

Secrets are like bullets. Ditto the dark, personal stuff. Folks say they’ll take’em off yer hands, share the burden, but really they just load ’em into their own weapons so they can use ’em against you later.

Title: Retribution Rails

Author: Erin Bowman

Series: Companion novel to Vengeance Road

Publication:  November 7th 2017 by HMH Books for Young Readers

Pages: 384

Source: Netgalley

Summary from Goodreads:

When Reece Murphy is forcibly dragged into the Rose Riders gang because of a mysterious gold coin in his possession, he vows to find the man who gave him the piece and turn him over to the gang in exchange for freedom. Never does he expect a lead to come from an aspiring female journalist. But when Reece’s path crosses with Charlotte Vaughn after a botched train robbery and she mentions a promising rumor about a gunslinger from Prescott, it becomes apparent that she will be his ticket to freedom—or a noose. As the two manipulate each other for their own ends, past secrets are unearthed, reviving a decade-old quest for revenge that may be impossible to settle.

In this thrilling companion to Vengeance Road, dangerous alliances are formed, old friends meet new enemies, and the West is wilder than ever.

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The Disapperances

“What needs darkness to grow instead of light?” she asked me one night when we were younger.
“I give up,” I finally said.
“Isn’t it obvious?” Her eyes flashed more silver than gray. “Secrets”

Title: The Disappearances

Author: Emily Bain Murphy

Series: Standalone

Publication: July 4th 2017 by HMH Books for Young Readers

Pages: 400

Source: Netgalley

Summary from Goodreads:

What if the ordinary things in life suddenly…disappeared?

Aila Quinn’s mother, Juliet, has always been a mystery: vibrant yet guarded, she keeps her secrets beyond Aila’s reach. When Juliet dies, Aila and her younger brother Miles are sent to live in Sterling, a rural town far from home–and the place where Juliet grew up.

Sterling is a place with mysteries of its own. A place where the experiences that weave life together–scents of flowers and food, reflections from mirrors and lakes, even the ability to dream–vanish every seven years.

No one knows what caused these “Disappearances,” or what will slip away next. But Sterling always suspected that Juliet Quinn was somehow responsible–and Aila must bear the brunt of their blame while she follows the chain of literary clues her mother left behind. 

As the next Disappearance nears, Aila begins to unravel the dual mystery of why the Disappearances happen and who her mother truly was. One thing is clear: Sterling isn’t going to hold on to anyone’s secrets for long before it starts giving them up.


A Listical of Thoughts:

  • This book is impossible to describe. One can only experience it, trust me.
  • MAGICAL REALISM (Which isn’t a reason, but it really is)
  • Beautifully handled mystery. It doesn’t unfold all at once, and it’s hard to pick up on all the pieces which makes for some really wonderful surprises.
  • The writing is ridiculously gorgeous – seriously. The writing in this book is making me fall in love with magical realism all over again.
  • The Disappearances has it all: heartbreak, thrills, love, mystery, and laughter.
  • The world building alone was mind blowing – the small, little town was so compelling and it crafted the perfect atmosphere for the story.
  • SIBLING RELATIONSHIPS! Ugh. Well done.
  • How many times can I say magical before you read it?

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Definitions of Indefinable Things

How does anyone know they’re depressed? You feel equally alive and dead and have no idea how that’s even possible. And everything around you doesn’t seem so full anymore. And you can’t tell if the world is empty or you are. That’s how I knew. I realized it wasn’t the world that was empty.

Title: Definitions of Indefinable Things

Author: Whitney Taylor

Series: Standalone

Publication: April 4th 2017 by HMH Books for Young Readers

Pages: 336

Source: Netgalley

Summary from Goodreads:

Reggie Mason is all too familiar with “the Three Stages of Depression.” She believes she’s unlocked the secret to keeping herself safe: Nobody can hurt you if you never let them in.

Reggie encounters an unexpected challenge to her misanthropy: a Twizzler-chomping, indie film-making narcissist named Snake. Snake’s presence, while reassuring, is not exactly stable—especially since his ex-girlfriend is seven months pregnant. As Reggie falls for Snake, she must decide whether it’s time to rewrite the rules that have defined her.


A List of Feelings:

  • Handles depression, angst, and hard topics like teen pregnancy with a snarky, sarcastic, and refreshing voice that doesn’t drown you in it.
  • Beautiful depiction of how everyone wears masks to hide themselves and their feelings despite everything else going on. Very easy to relate to this aspect of the book.
  • Reggie’s voice, while almost overly sarcastic, adds new layers to the novel because of her attitude.
  • It’s not an insta-love romance. It’s a romance born out of feelings – feelings that aren’t even good, but they’re feelings in a sea of nothing and that makes them important and worthy of clinging onto.
  • The writing in this book reminds me of why words are so powerful. A sentence can be so simple on the surface, yet so deep within context.
  • The characters are not meant to be likable, and they aren’t. You don’t like them, their choices, what they’re doing and how they are living. But you can understand them because they are so real. They grow on you, and though you never actually like them, you start to care.


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But Then I Came Back

“We do have to rescue ourselves in the end, no matter how much we learn to lean on other people.”

Title: But Then I Came Back

Author: Estelle Laure

Series: Companion to This Raging Light, can be read as a standalone

Publication:  April 4th 2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers

Pages: 288

Source: Netgalley

Summary from Goodreads:

Eden: As far as coma patients go, Eden’s lucky. She woke up. But still, she can’t shake the feeling that she might have dragged something back from the near-afterlife.

Joe: Joe visits the hospital every day, hoping that Jaz, his lifelong friend, will wake up. More than anything, he wants to hear her voice again. But he’s not sure anyone can reach her.

Eden & Joe: Even though she knows it sounds crazy, Eden tells Joe that they might be able to talk to Jaz. Opening themselves up to the great unknown—and each other—Eden and Joe experience life: mysterious and scary, beautiful and bright.


My Thoughts:

I read This Raging Light back in December of 2015, yet I still remember the vividness of the emotions that book dragged from my body. Estelle Laure is a master of crafting heartbreaking, hopeful, and utterly destroying contemporary novels – and But Then I Came Back is no different. But Then I Came Back is unique, charming, and surprisingly profound.

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Coming Soon: March 2017

It’s been too long since I’ve done one of these. Who else is ready for ALL THE BOOKS!

Books are amazing, unique packages of magic and every month there is a whole slew of new additions to the fold. Here are some of my most anticipated books coming out this upcoming month.

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