SPOILER FREE REVIEW: AN ANONYMOUS GIRL BY GREER HENDRICKS & Sarah Pekkanen

Title: An Anonymous Girl

Author: Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

Pub. Date: January 8th 2019

Genre: Thriller Suspense

Format: Audiobook 

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 375 Pages/11 Hours; 40 minutes

GOODREADS | BARNES & NOBLES | AMAZON

“You’re Invited: Seeking women aged 18 to 32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality conducted by a preeminent NYC psychiatrist. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed. Call for more details.”

We meet Jessica who is stressed beyond measure & feeling a bit over burdened with a sense of duty to her family. Self appointed financial care taker of her sisters medical bills, Jessica is struggling to make ends meet. Her job as a on the go makeup artist is barely allowing for her to make a living let alone supplement her struggling parents income. When she catches word of a study that’s being held by a University Professor she seizes the opportunity. Things get weird rather quickly during the initial survey questions…

“Question #1: Could you tell a lie without feeling guilt?”

Nevertheless, Jessica was dead set on earning a bit of extra cash & answering some questions for a reputable doctor seemed harmless no matter how odd these morality/ethical questions seemed. As I listened to the audiobook which btw had excellent narration, I started to feel as if our MC was legit a spider caught in a web. I honestly got stalker vibes all the way through & wondered how the MC who was super inquisitive still managed to get lured in deeper. This was a very narcissistic read & our MC formed a co-dependent relationship from the very beginning. I can’t say I was honestly shocked by the twists & turns that were taken. However, the vibe of this book was so unsettling that it grabbed a hold of me & wouldn’t let go. If you’re looking for a suspenseful novel featuring some very toxic relationships then this would be the book to pick up. There were times I didn’t know for sure who was in the know vs. who was being drawn into a corner. Overall I enjoyed An Anonymous Girl & will most definitely be picking up this duo’s current title You Are Not Alone.

Content Warning: Suicide, Death, Sexual Assault, Adultery


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Spoiler Free Review: Sky In The Deep by Adrienne Young

Title: Sky In The Deep

Author: Adrienne Young

Pub. Date: April 24th, 2018

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publisher: Wednesday Books/St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 352

Format: eGalley

Buddy Read: Melanie @Meltotheany, Amy @ACourtOfCrownsandQuills , Jules @JAIronside Always a good time with these bookworms! ❤

*HUGE thanks to Wednesday Books/St. Martin’s Press, Netgalley, and Adrienne Young for the early review copy in exchange for my honest opinion

   

Sky In The Deep is one of those books you definitely shouldn’t judge by the cover. As a avid fan of the History channel series Vikings & anything Norse Mythology really, I had this book on my radar for quite some time. However, although this book has battle & blood shed…It was & wasn’t the focal point in this story. We have two Viking clans with different sets of beliefs & each has their own God they worship. Every year these two clans face off in a bloody battle to appease what they believe is the will of their Gods. We are given history as to why the Gods feud originally started & all year round those of fighting age prepare for battle & the gathering of supplies to heal their wounded. Our MC Eelyn from the Aska Clan lost her brother Iri on the battlefield five years before the start of the story. Eelyn lives with her father who is a great Viking warrior & Myra her friend/adopted sister of sorts. The story takes off with Eelyn preparing for the yearly battle against the Riki Clan alongside her father & Myra. Whilst  on the battlefield, Eelyn comes close to death and face to face with the brother she believed to be dead. Eelyn is in shock & desperate for answers when she makes the decision to follow Iri and his Riki friend Fiske against their wishes. Her decision to follow Iri into Riki territory sets off a series of events that will make every character question their beliefs.

Sky In The Deep is a VERY character driven book, which means it was my type of book but it may not be for everyone. The plot is pretty straight forward, it isn’t deeply layered or complex with promises of plot twists. Instead, Young delivered a story about family ties & my all time favorite…those people we CHOOSE to be our family. There’s a sense of betrayal underneath it all and sorting through those feelings to see the bigger picture. This is also a slower paced story with attention to detail, each & every time I opened this book I felt transported to their time & place. I LIVE for this style of writing because it wakens my imagination and senses with descriptions of nature, climate, and YES battle! With the being said, I did end up feeling like the pacing was a bit off since this to my knowledge is a stand-alone. My love for the characters is what really carried the story for me & ultimately my attachment is the reason for which I rated this read 4 stars.

Eelyn Our MC has lived the life of a shield maiden ever since she was a little girl, training side by side with her brother Iri. Eelyn is loyal to her loved ones & the Aska clan. She isn’t the YA female heroine you’re perhaps used to seeing. There were times I wished she fought a bit harder against those who wished to do her harm considering she was a trained fighter/killer. Overall I enjoyed seeing her road to self discovery, she had the most growth in this book. Most of all, I loved that Eelyn never abandoned her beliefs while understanding she was evolving into someone new.

Myra Eelyn’s best friend who is more like a sister. Myra is a side character I have to mention because her scenes were some of the most passion filled to read. She is someone who has lost everyone she loves to these yearly clan wars. She only has Aghi (Eelyn’s father) & Eelyn who have taken her in as family. Which means she will fight tooth & nail to protect them. I LOVED reading the scenes where they readied their armor & checked with each other for weakness/injuries. Eelyn & Myra are the definition of ride or die BFF’s!

Iri Not my favorite of the characters if I’m being honest. I can see how thinking you were left for dead in battle can mess with your head. I can see why he found a home with the Riki after one of them saved his life. However, I wanted more dialogue from Iri specifically between him & Eelyn. She’s both elated to see him alive & furious to see him willingly living as a Riki.

Fiske The Riki who saved Iri’s life & is basically like a brother to Iri. Fiske is honestly that guy who is all tough on the outside but mush for the people he loves. He’s also one of the MOST open minded characters I’ve ever come across in YA Fantasy. He is someone who follows his heart no matter what others may think. Fiske is a new found favorite of mine.

Inge The Riki who took in Iri wounded and helped bring him back to life. She is a healer and a motherly figure to those in her household & a healer to those in the village. Inge LOVES her boys & most importantly she knows their hearts.

Halvard Can’t forget to mention this little guy who is Fiske’s little brother who is not of fighting age. Halvard dreams of one day joining his “brothers” but until that day he helps around in the house. Halvard immediately takes a liking to Eelyn and her religious beliefs. I loved this characters innocence against the back drop of so much violence.

If you’re looking for a slower paced book with an emphasis on family ties and relationships, Sky In The Deep is a solid choice. We do get the battles we all know the Viking culture thrived in but it isn’t the core focus of the story. There were some pacing issues I personally feel if ironed out, would’ve enhanced this read for me. Mainly because I enjoyed the time I was spending with each of these characters. It’s rare when you find MC’s & side characters you truly get attached to & so I greatly enjoy and appreciate these types of books. I also enjoyed learning about both the Aska & Riki culture and religious beliefs. When I was reading this book I was easily transported to the Fjord by Eelyn’s home. It was very easy to silence my surrounding & get absorbed into this world. The romance (cause there is one lol) is hate-to-love & slow burn to another level HAHA! part of me got a bit impatient with this ship #jussayin smh. Overall, Sky In The Deep was a very enjoyable read for me & I’m going to miss these characters.


Sky In The Deep hits shelves April 24th!!! are you ready to take a trip into Viking territory?!?! ❤ ❤ ❤

Also, Adri from Little Fox and Reads blessed me with some news on my WWW Wednesday post…it appears the author was on IG yesterday with news of a companion novel! *GASP* Thank you Adri for making my DAY! 🙂


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Review: Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance

Title: Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance

Author: Ruth Emmie Lang

Pub. Date: November 14th, 2017

Genre: Fantasy Fiction

Publisher:  St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 352

Format: eGalley/Netgalley

   

Orphaned, raised by wolves, and the proud owner of a horned pig named Merlin, Weylyn Grey knew he wasn’t like other people. But when he single-handedly stopped that tornado on a stormy Christmas day in Oklahoma, he realized just how different he actually was.

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance is perhaps the most whimsical read I’ve picked up in all of 2017 & I’m so glad to have read it this holiday season. The Goodreads Synopsis for this book is pretty generous in length but if I’m being honest all I needed to read was the snippet above to know this was one I’d want to read. When introduced to Weylyn Grey, I instantly got the Jungle Book & Charlotte’s Web vibes. Here is a kid who has been orphaned at a very young age & ends up being raised by wolves. He’s not just any ordinary kid though, Weylyn has a special connection with animals and can communicate with all species of animal. Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance is a multiple POV story told by the many characters who cross paths with Weylyn Grey. They all share one thing in common, their lives are forever changed after meeting Weylyn & witnessing the odd and extraordinary things that occur whenever he is around. This story is special in that it not only asks its characters to suspend their disbelief but also you the reader. I wouldn’t call it Magical Realism which in my opinion has a whole different feel in writing style but it certainly is very whimsical. This is a very character driven story with a underlying message of what makes a home a home…is it a place? or the people we meet along the way?

Weylyn Grey sees himself living in many places & meeting many others from all walks of life but even he has that one person that is his hearts anchor. Mary, the girl he met when he was a young boy & who ran away from home to spend one whole month with him and the wolves. Each chapter starts off in a new place/different year where Weylyn has tried to settle down in but we also see him pop in & out of Mary’s life. This is mainly because he believes he is a danger to those he loves, strange & mysterious things like sudden tornados striking or storms tapering off. It seems he has the ability to manifest & also dispel weather phenomena. We get to see how others perceive Weylyn, some are nicer than others but all come away with a different perspective on life after witnessing things that can’t be explained.

For those readers who love character driven books, Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance will prove to be a real treat. This is one boys journey to manhood as he touches the lives of many and discovers that home is what you make it. I really enjoyed getting sucked into this world and the nostalgia it stirred in me when recalling some of my favorite childhood reads. Lang’s writing is beautiful & the imagery left me smiling on many occasion. I did wish we had perhaps less characters introduced along the way & a bit more of the love story that is hidden underneath all of the extraordinary. I’m not typically the one to go for the romance but we meet a plethora of characters & their time with Weylyn is brief, I wanted a bit more of Mary since she is the most important person in Weylyn’s life. Overall, this is one story i’m sure will remain with me for a long time & as a person who has also moved around a ton, I can definitely appreciate the message. Best read on a cool night with a hot cup of cocoa, Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance is an atmospheric read sure to feed the imagination!

*Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press, Netgalley, and Ruth Emmie Lang for the eGalley copy of Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance in exchange for an honest review.


Happy Monday Bookworms! Hope you’ve all had a wonderful weekend & managed to squeeze in some good reads. Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance was recently a Book Of The Month pick which made me happy to have my own physical copy, have any of you read this magical book? if so, sound off in the comments down below.


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