G. Bianco, 2019
In her debut novel, Nanny Dearest, author Flora Collins tells the story of a relationship of a babysitter and her old charge. This story, which comes out on November 30th, dives into the minds of two very different women with a unique connection that transcends time and will have you wondering just what kind of experiences shape a person.
Sue Keller is lost. When her father dies suddenly, she's orphaned in her mid-twenties, her mother already long gone. Then Sue meets Annie. It’s been twenty years, but Annie could never forget that face. She was Sue’s live-in nanny at their big house upstate, and she loved Sue like she was her own. Craving connection and mothering, Sue is only too eager to welcome Annie back into her life; but as they become inseparable once again, Sue starts to uncover the truth about Annie's unsettling time in the Keller house all those years ago, particularly the manner of her departure—or dismissal. At the same time, she begins to grow increasingly alarmed for the safety of the two new charges currently in Annie's care. Told in alternating points of views—Annie in the mid-'90s and Sue in the present day—this taut novel of suspense will keep readers turning the pages right up to the shocking end.
As many of you know, I usually never read thrillers… (What can I say: I’m a scaredy cat who likes romcoms better I’m sorry!) However, when I was put into contact with Flora by a friend about reading her debut novel, I knew I had to check this book out! And I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this book! The plot is so engaging and the alternating POVs and times makes this story even more enthralling! These characters are all super complex and trying to figure out the depths of Sue and Annie’s relationship is riveting as a reader!
So take it from a non-thriller reader that this book should definitely be added to your TBR this holiday season! I will definitely be on the look out for more of Collins’s novels in the future.
*I received an ARC from the author and MIRA Books in exchange for my honest opinion.
From the creator of Yes, I'm Hot In This, comes a YA graphic novel about discovering who you are and how to stand out. Filled with sarcasm and humor, Huda Fahmy’s Huda F Are You? (which comes out on November 23rd) is a great book to add to your holiday TBR!
Huda and her family just moved to Dearborn, Michigan, a small town with a big Muslim population. In her old town, Huda knew exactly who she was: She was the hijabi girl. But in Dearborn, everyone is the hijabi girl. Huda is lost in a sea of hijabis, and she can't rely on her hijab to define her anymore. She has to define herself. So she tries on a bunch of cliques, but she isn't a hijabi fashionista or a hijabi athlete or a hijabi gamer. She's not the one who knows everything about her religion or the one all the guys like. She's miscellaneous, which makes her feel like no one at all. Until she realizes that it'll take finding out who she isn't to figure out who she is.
This graphic novel was so cute! It immediately brought me back to high school and trying to find a way to stand out amongst people like me, but also not wanting to stand out too much. Additionally, the underlying theme of being Muslim and being persecuted because of your religion is very well done. Fahmy's artwork is also fantastic and paired with this story just makes this graphic novel a joy to read!
If you're looking for a fun and quick graphic read, then I highly recommend this one!
*I received an ARC from Penguin Teen in exchange for my honest opinion.
What happens when your whole world turns upside down? In Kate Sweeney’s debut YA novel, Catch the Light, one girl must grapple with a family tragedy and the ripple effect it has on her life, relationships, and future.
Nine months after the death of her father, Marigold is forced to pick up and move from sunny Los Angeles all the way across the country to rural upstate New York. According to her mom, living with her aunt in a big old house in the woods is the fresh start Marigold and her little sister need. But Mary aches for the things she’s leaving behind—her best friend, her older sister, her now-long-distance boyfriend, and the senior year that felt like her only chance at making things feel normal again. On top of everything, Mary has a troubling secret: she’s starting to forget her dad. The void he’s left in her memory is quickly getting filled with bonfires, house parties, and hours in the darkroom with Jesse, a fellow photographer and kindred spirit whom she can’t stop thinking about. As the beauty of Mary’s new world begins to sink in and her connection with Jesse grows stronger, she feels caught between her old life and her new one. Mary might just be losing her grip on the pieces of her life that she’s tried so hard to hold together. When the two finally come crashing together, Mary will have to decide what she really wants and come to terms with the ways that the loss of her dad has changed who she is. Even if she can’t hold on to her past forever, maybe she can choose what to keep.
If you’re a fan of Nina LaCour, then you HAVE to check this book out! Sweeney’s writing is so poetic in the way it explores Mary’s thoughts and feelings through this rough time in her life. The way grief is expressed through Mary, her sisters, and her mom after the death of her father showcases how people cope with their emotions and how you can feel guilt for trying to find happiness after a tragedy.
Poignant and bittersweet, this book is a must-read for those striving to find a deeper meaning in their world. This is a touching and speculative read for any YA lovers out there!
*I received an ARC from Penguin Teen in exchange for my honest review.
What would you do if someone could make all of your internet shame disappear? In Margot Mertz Takes It Down by Carrie McCrossen and Ian McWethy (Pub Day: November 9th), the titular character is know for cleaning up people’s dirty business, but in this YA novel, she tries to dismantle an entire revenge porn website while also struggling to figure out her own path in life.
For the right price, high school junior Margot Mertz will go to the ends of the internet to remove your nip-slip, dick pic, or embarrassing DM. At least that's what it says on her business card. Margot founded a now notorious company that helps students, teachers, even a local weatherman, discreetly clean up their digital shame. And since her parents lost her college fund, Margot is happy to work for anyone... if they can pay, she can clean. But when a fellow student hires her to take down some leaked nudes, Margot discovers a secret revenge porn site featuring Roosevelt High girls. And hell hath no fury like Margot when she sees girls’ butts shared without their consent. With the help of an unwitting ally, the popular and uncomfortably handsome Avery Green, Margot will gain access to the far flung cliques of Roosevelt High. Anything to find the mastermind (read: asshole) behind the site. But the more she digs, the deeper and darker the case becomes until Margot realizes that some jobs are so dirty, no one can come away clean. Even her. Gross.
This book was really engaging and I loved Margot as a narrator. She was snarky, blunt, sarcastic, and sooo funny! Not only that, but I liked the way the story progressed and how eager I was to turn the page to see who is behind the site and how Margot will help dismantle it.
I kind of appreciated the realistic arc of the plot and how Margot kind of grows as a character. She realizes the loner existence she claims to like is actually not conducive to her needs and wants and how sometimes it’s harder to put yourself out there and be nice than to stand out and keep everyone at arm's length.
If you want to read about a badass character who doesn’t take BS from anyone, but is also kind of quirky, then you will love Margot Mertz!
*I received an ARC from Penguin Teen in exchange for my honest review.
Hi! My name is Elisa and my bookshelf is quite literally overflowing! Join me in my journey of reading as many books as humanly possible!