Hi everyone! Happy Wednesday(after a long time!) and welcome to my weekly reading update post or the WWW Wednesdays. It’s been a long time since I posted my last WWW Wednesdays update and my blog posts have been pretty sporadic as well. I’m mostly active on Instagram these days and have two giveaways going on (on) my feed. Without any further ado, let me tell you what I’ve been reading this week and what I intend to read next.
WWW Wednesday takes place every Wednesday, where bloggers discuss their 3 Ws:
What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?
I’m currently eyeing The Vanished Bride, gifted by Berkley, as my next read. I’ll start it as soon as I finish writing this post and a review. The story is about Charlotte Brontë, Emily Brontë, and Anne Brontë before they became famous writers. It’s described as a “charming historical mystery” and I can’t wait to read it!
My last read was The Lying Room by author duo Nicci French and it was gifted by William Morrow. This was my first Nicci French and I had high hopes for this one but it fell flat. I was not “hooked” throughout and had problems with the characters as well. The twist was unexpected and I loved that “shock” element but overall, it was kind of underwhelming.
I think I’ll pick up The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones after I finish The Vanished Bride. I got it in my Owlcrate September rep box(Use RAMBLER10 for 10% discount) and have planned to readalong with a couple of bookstagram folks.
Anyone noticed that the choices are perfect from Spooktober? It was a coincidence, well..not entirely.
Thank you for reading! What are you currently reading or have finished reading? Have you read any of the titles I’ve listed? If not, do you want to read any of them? Let me know in the comments below!
Publication date: October 17th, 2019 Publisher: HQ Pages: 384 Genre: Fiction, Adult, Historical,Mystery Buy: Book Depository | Wordery
Her secret will tear the town apart.
Maine, 1846. Gabriel Stone is desperate to escape the ghosts that haunt him after his wife’s death, so he takes a position as a minister in the remote village of Pale Harbour.
But not all is as it seems in the sleepy town. Strange, unsettling things have been happening, and the townspeople claim that only one person can be responsible: Sophronia Carver, a reclusive widow who lives in the decaying Castle Carver. Sophronia must be a witch, and she almost certainly killed her husband.
As the incidents escalate, one thing becomes clear: they are the work of a madman inspired by the wildly popular stories of Mr. Edgar Allan Poe. And Gabriel must find answers, or Pale Harbour will suffer a fate worthy of Poe’s darkest tales.
– My Thoughts –
“A town gripped by fear. A woman accused of witchcraft. Who can save Pale Harbor from itself?“
It should come as no surprise that I loved The Widow of Pale Harbour, probably as much as I did the author’s debut The Witch of Willow Hall. It is perfect for spooky October even though it’s more on the mystery side.
Set in 1846, Pale Harbour, Maine, the story starts with a young widow Sophronia who lives with her maid/companion Helen in a daunting mansion called Castle Carver. Sophronia spends her days reading submissions for her magazine, drinking tea and taking short walks around her property.
Soon, a mysterious man called Gabriel Stone arrives in this quiet village to escape from the memories of his past. Gabriel arrives as a transcendentalist minister but he feels like a fraud. When everyone starts warning Gabriel about Sophronia, he becomes intrigued by the strong woman he sees. However, someone is not quite happy seeing Sophronia’s happiness; soon, dead things and cryptic messages start arriving at Sophronia’s doorstep. Things start to escalate from dead animal carcasses to murder where all evidence points to Sophronia as the main suspect.
If you liked The Witch of Willow Hall, then don’t waste any time picking this up. The Widow of Pale Harbour has a murder mystery and romance which combined with the setting and eery atmosphere in the book makes this a page-turner. In the beginning, the plot takes time to build up but that anticipation proves fruitful. I loved Sophronia who has been mistreated a lot but despite that, she manages to aid others in need. Gabriel is yet another favourite character -okay, yes..that might be because he’s a hunky priest- and I loved watching his and Sophronia’s relationship bloom. He doesn’t lie to Sophronia, respects her boundaries(Is it really that hard?) and even after hearing about the times he was wronged.. he didn’t bear ill will for that person. You know what? They were freaking perfect for each other. Broken in different ways and yet they were the ones who could piece each other together.
I also loved the friendship between Tom and Gabriel; Tom was a perfect addition to the plot during its darker transition. Then there’s the relationship between Helen and Sophronia.. which was complicated but very intriguing.
Overall, I would highly recommend this book if you’re looking for a gothic murder mystery/romance with a twist of Poe‘s words in it. If you’re looking for a fall read, then pick up this beauty and dive into the haunting story. Hester Fox is already on my list of auto-buy authors and I can’t wait to read her next book!
Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Also, thanks to HQ for including me in The Widow of Pale Harbour blog tour! Please take a look at the blog schedule and visit all the other lovely bloggers in this tour.
– About the Author –
Hester comes to writing from a background in museum work and historical archaeology. She loves the Gothic, the lurid, the dark…so long as the ending is a happy one. She has never seen a ghost, though she remains hopeful.
Hester lives outside of Boston with her husband and their son. Please visit Hester Fox hereto learn more
Thank you for reading! Have you read Hester Fox’s debut? Or, Will you add The Widow of Pale Harbour to your TBR? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Publication date: October 1st, 2019 Publisher: Simon & Schuster Pages: 368 Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Buy: Book Depository | Wordery
Everyone has scars. Some are just easier to see …
16-year-old Ava Gardener is heading back to school one year after a house fire left her severely disfigured. She’s used to the names, the stares, the discomfort, but there’s one name she hates most of all: Survivor. What do you call someone who didn’t mean to survive? Who sometimes wishes she hadn’t?
When she meets a fellow survivor named Piper at therapy, Ava begins to feel like she’s not facing the nightmare alone. Piper helps Ava reclaim the pieces of Ava Before the Fire, a normal girl who kissed boys and sang on stage. But Piper is fighting her own battle for survival, and when Ava almost loses her best friend, she must decide if the new normal she’s chasing has more to do with the girl in the glass—or the people by her side.
The beautiful, life-affirming debut from Erin Stewart that’s being called the YA answer to Wonder. Perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson, Nicola Yoon and John Green.
– My Thoughts –
There is always beauty in the ashes. Sometimes we just can’t see it yet.
Erin Stewart, Scars like wings
Scars like Wings is about sixteen year old Ava who’s severely scarred now after surviving a house fire which left her without parents and her cousin. She lives with her uncle and aunt in her dead cousin Sarah’s room. Her life has now two timelines: before the fire and after the fire; this is also how the book is written. Ava’s life after the fire is anything but normal and it certainly doesn’t help when her aunt Cora tells her that she has to go to school from now on. School meant interaction with people who’d either ridicule her or pity her, why must she suffer through all of that? While in support group for burn survivors, she meets a feisty girl called Piper who goes to her new school. After meeting with Piper, Ava agrees to go to school for 2 weeks and to her surprise, it turns out to be one of the best decisions she makes.
At first, high school turned to be the exactly the kind of nightmare she had envisioned but with her new friends Piper and Asad, Ava managed to survive and even joined the theatre club. I freaking loved Piper who didn’t coddle Ava but instead pushed her every time to enjoy life. Even though Piper seemed so vivid and full of life, she had her own secrets and problems but that didn’t stop her from supporting and encouraging Ava through everything.
The synopsis says that this book is the YA answer to Wonder and it is such a wonderful one at that! I loved all the characters; they were realistic and loveable. Cora and Glenn were wonderful guardians to Ava; even though their own daughter Sarah perished in the fire, they supported and cared for Ava exactly like their own daughter. There are some heartbreaking moments that’ll make you tear up specifically in the end when Ava goes on a roap trip with Dr. Layne. There are many moments when we see people trying to judge Ava because of her outward appearance from calling her names to “editing” her scars out in a yearbook photo. This book will make you angry, make you cry and in the end smile.
Overall, I would highly recommend this book If you want to read a brilliantly written emotional YA book about loving oneself scars and all. This is about finding love, hope and through friendship and family bonds. This is about how you can simply be there for someone and that’ll be more than enough.
Thanks to the publisher for gifting me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis:Years after the Salem witch trials one witch remains. She just doesn’t know it… yet.
Growing up Lydia Montrose knew she was descended from the legendary witches of Salem but was warned to never show the world what she could do and so slowly forgot her legacy. But Willow Hall has awoken something inside her…
1821: Having fled family scandal in Boston Willow Hall seems an idyllic refuge from the world, especially when Lydia meets the previous owner of the house, John Barrett.
But a subtle menace haunts the grounds of Willow Hall, with strange voices and ghostly apparitions in the night, calling to Lydia’s secret inheritance and leading to a greater tragedy than she could ever imagine.
Can Lydia confront her inner witch and harness her powers or is it too late to save herself and her family from the deadly fate of Willow Hall?