Welcome to What I’ve Been Reading Lately, a feature where I’ll be giving short reviews of what I’m currently reading:
Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian
Expected Publication Date: September 7
Meet Chloe Sevre. Freshman honor student. Average-seeming, legging-wearing, hot girl next door…and diagnosed psychopath with an IQ of 135. Her hobbies include yogalates, frat parties, and plotting to kill Will Bachman, a childhood friend who grievously wronged her.
Now Chloe and six other students at John Adams College are part of an unusual clinical study that includes smartwatches to track their moods and movements, in exchange for free tuition. The study, led by a renowned psychiatrist, has inadvertently brought together some of the most dangerous minds who feel no guilt or fear. When one of the participants is found murdered, it becomes obvious they’re all in danger. Chloe goes from hunter to prey, and joins forces with two other psychopaths in the program to discover why they’re being targeted – if they could only trust each other.
At first, I found the book to be a bit boring but maybe the reason is that I’ve been reading so many thrillers. But it started picking up and I’m halfway through and I’m starting to be both engrossed and intrigued!
Madam by Phoebe Wynne
For 150 years, high above rocky Scottish cliffs, Caldonbrae Hall has sat untouched, a beacon of excellence in an old ancestral castle. A boarding school for girls, it promises that the young women lucky enough to be admitted will emerge “resilient and ready to serve society.”
Into its illustrious midst steps Rose Christie: a 26-year-old Classics teacher, Caldonbrae’s new head of the department, and the first hire for the school in over a decade. At first, Rose is overwhelmed to be invited into this institution, whose prestige is unrivaled. But she quickly discovers that behind the school’s elitist veneer lies an impenetrable, starkly traditional culture that she struggles to reconcile with her modernist beliefs–not to mention her commitment to educating “girls for the future.”
It also doesn’t take long for Rose to suspect that there’s more to the secret circumstances surrounding the abrupt departure of her predecessor–a woman whose ghost lingers everywhere–than anyone is willing to let on. In her search for this mysterious former teacher, Rose instead uncovers the darkness that beats at the heart of Caldonbrae, forcing her to confront the true extent of the school’s nefarious purpose, and her own role in perpetuating it.
I was right about this being a slow book but that isn’t stopping me from being interested and compelled by what this story has to offer!
Run: Book One by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin and illustrated by Nate Powell and L. Fury
The sequel to the #1 New York Times bestselling graphic novel series March—the continuation of the life story of John Lewis and the struggles seen across the United States after the Selma voting rights campaign. (Credit: Abrams ComicArts)
Loved the March Trilogy and was excited to see that there was a continuation of John Lewis’s inspirational and powerful history.
Blue Period, Vol. 2 by Tsubasa Yamaguchi
Art has changed the course of Yatora’s once dull life, and now he’s aiming for Japan’s most competitive art school. With entrance exams a year away, he’ll need to expand his limited eye for art, and quickly. He turns to new peers and the masters to envision pieces only he can produce, and soon dives into his first competition–the same one where his Art Club role model nearly scored last place. Among geniuses and lifelong art kids, does Yatora even stand a chance…? (Credit: Kodansha Comics)
Home by John Mackay
Built for the new age, the house stood boldly upright on the edge of the ocean withstanding the harsh blasts of a cruel century, nurturing and protecting the family within, watchful of hearts swollen or broken, dreams delivered and dashed. It had absorbed the tears and echoed the laughter.
The sweeping saga of one family through a momentous century. Different people, divergent lives and distinctive stories. Bound together by the place they called home.
But one of them was missing, lost to the world. An unknown grandchild, born to a son who’d gone off to war and never came back. As the years pass through wars and emigration, social transformation and generational change, the search continues.
And the questions remain the same: Who is he? Where is he?
Will he ever come home? (Credit: Luath Press Ltd.)
What I Plan to Read Next:
Assembly by Natasha Brown
Come of age in the credit crunch. Be civil in a hostile environment. Step out into a world of Go Home vans. Go to Oxbridge, get an education, start a career. Do all the right things. Buy a flat. Buy art. Buy a sort of happiness. But above all, keep your head down. Keep quiet. And keep going.
The narrator of Assembly is a Black British woman. She is preparing to attend a lavish garden party at her boyfriend’s family estate, set deep in the English countryside. At the same time, she is considering the carefully assembled pieces of herself. As the minutes tick down and the future beckons, she can’t escape the question: is it time to take it all apart?
Assembly is a story about the stories we live within – those of race and class, safety and freedom, winners and losers. And it is about one woman daring to take control of her own story, even at the cost of her life. (Credit: Hamish Hamilton)
As Good As Dead by Holly Jackson
Pip’s good girl days are long behind her. After solving two murder cases and garnering internet fame from her crime podcast, she’s seen a lot.
But she’s still blindsided when it starts to feel like someone is watching her. It’s small things at first. A USB stick with footage recording her and the same anonymous source always asking her: who will look for you when you’re the one who disappears? It could be a harmless fan, but her gut is telling her danger is lurking.
When Pip starts to find connections between her possible stalker and a local serial killer, Pip knows that there is only one choice: find the person threatening her town including herself–or be as good as dead. Because maybe someone has been watching her all along…(Credit: Electric Monkey)
Northern Spy by Flynn Berry
A producer at the Belfast bureau of the BBC, Tessa is at work one day when the news of another raid comes on the air. The IRA may have gone underground after the Good Friday agreement, but they never really went away, and lately, bomb threats, arms drops, and helicopters floating ominously over the city have become features of everyday life. As the anchor requests the public’s help in locating those responsible for this latest raid – a robbery at a gas station – Tessa’s sister appears on the screen. Tessa watches in shock as Marian pulls a black mask over her face.
The police believe Marian has joined the IRA, but Tessa knows this is impossible. They were raised to oppose Republicanism, and the violence enacted in its name. They’ve attended peace vigils together. And besides, Marian is vacationing by the sea. Tessa just spoke to her yesterday.
When the truth of what has happened to Marian reveals itself, Tessa will be forced to choose: between her ideals and her family, between bystanderism and action. Walking an increasingly perilous road, she fears nothing more than endangering the one person she loves more fiercely than her sister: her infant son. (Credit: Viking)
In the early years of the new millennium, poets Malika Booker and Roger Robinson saw the need for a space for writers outside of the establishment to grow, improve, discuss and learn. One friday night, Malika offered her Brixton kitchen table as a meeting place. And so Malika’s Poetry Kitchen was born.
‘Kitchen’, as it became known, has ushered in a new generation of voices, launching some of the most exciting writers, books and initiatives in British poetry in the past twenty years. Today, Kitchen is a thriving writers’ collective, with a wealth of talented poets and branches in Chicago and India.
Too Young, Too Loud, Too Different is a celebration of Kitchen’s legacy, an appreciation of its foundational spirit and a rallying cry for all writers to dream the future. The collection features breathtaking new poems by Warsan Shire, Inua Ellams, Kayo Chingonyi, Dean Atta, Roger Robinson, Malkia Booker among many others. (Credit: Corsair)