Giveaway alert!

I read Necessary Lies earlier this year, and it’s one of my few five-star books in recent memory.

It is 1960 in North Carolina and the lives of Ivy Hart and Jane Forrester couldn’t be more different. Fifteen-year-old Ivy lives with her family as tenants on a small tobacco farm, but when her parents die, Ivy is left to care for her grandmother, older sister, and nephew. As she struggles with her grandmother’s aging, her sister’s mental illness, and her own epilepsy, she realizes they might need more than she can give.

When Jane Forrester takes a position as Grace County’s newest social worker, she is given the task of recommending which of her clients should be sterilized without their knowledge or consent. The state’s rationalization is that if her clients are poor, or ill, or deemed in some way “unfit” they should not be allowed to have children. But soon Jane becomes emotionally invested in her clients’ lives, causing tension with her new husband and her supervisors. No one understands why Jane would want to become a caseworker for the Department of Public Health when she could be a housewife and Junior League member. As Jane is drawn in by the Hart women, she begins to discover the secrets of the small farm—secrets much darker than she would have guessed. Soon, she must decide whether to take drastic action to help them, or risk losing a life-changing battle.

Necessary Lies is the story of these two young women, seemingly worlds apart, but both haunted by tragedy. Jane and Ivy are thrown together and must ask themselves: How can you know what you believe is right, when everyone is telling you it’s wrong?

Goodreads currently has 10 copies available for giveaway, so enter to win if it sounds like something you’d be interested in!

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This book is so, so different from what I normally read that I’m not even sure where to start. I know that Peter F. Hamilton is one of my boyfriend’s favorite authors, and he’s been suggesting to me for years that I try out some of his favorite epic fantasy novels. So I guess it’s just a coincidence that when I got really frustrated with young adult/new adult as a whole, I saw Hamilton’s new novel, The Abyss Beyond Dreams, pop up on Netgalley. I never thought I would be approved – most of my Netgalley approvals are embarrassing romance novels – but for some reason, Del Rey decided to take a chance on me and approve the request. I had a little moment of panic when I received that approval email, because, after all, now I needed to read almost 2000 pages of the Void trilogy to really understand what’s going on. What if I didn’t like it? What had I gotten myself into?

I didn’t need to worry. It was a little bit of a change, going from reading fluffy romances to the intricate world that Hamilton has built in his Void series. Instead of following one character, you’re following a good dozen or so, but it’s easy enough to adjust.

I’m actually surprised at how much I liked The Dreaming Void.

Suffice it to say that there’s a lot going on in The Dreaming Void. While there are a handful of stories carefully woven together, it’s split into two main sections taking place in two different worlds. I will admit that at the beginning of the novel, I was so overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information that I was getting that I didn’t quite know what to do with myself. It took me almost a week to read the first 200 pages, and then another week to finish the remaining 400+. The story starts off a little slow, but then really picks up steam as Edeard’s story unfolds and it becomes apparent why a religion began as a result of his actions.

I wish that I’d actually started with the Commonwealth series to have a bit more background on this universe, but then I’d be even further from completing The Abyss Beyond Dreams prior to its release date. (I suppose I can always go back and read it once I’ve finished the next three books.)

I’m already fairly deep into The Temporal Void, and I’m looking forward to finding out what comes next for these characters that I’ve grown to love.

Final rating: 

Are you there, God? It’s me, Layla. I know I just jerked off some guy who is not even my boyfriend in the bathroom of this crappy, brown house. But if you could find a way to kill me quickly and painlessly within the next ten seconds, I promise to never touch another penis again. Well, I’ll be dead, so, I guess I promise not to whore it up in heaven. Which, of course is where you’ll be sending me, right? I mean I’d hate to think you’d deny me an eternity behind your pearly gates just because of one impetuous handjob. Thank you. Sincerely, Layla Warren. Amen.

Remember When | T. Torrest

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Okay so I just caught the look you shot me over your shoulder and you need to know that I can’t even breathe right now. 

This book. I laughed. I cried. It took me right back to high school in all the best ways. I can’t wait to read the next two books!

Layla is a senior at a small New Jersey high school. Everybody knows everything about everybody else until Terrance C. Wilmington III, better known as Trip, is introduced as the new guy. Layla and Trip click immediately, but while Layla quickly develops a crush on Trip, it seems that Trip’s feelings are purely platonic. As Layla and Trip begin spending more and more time together, Trip drops hints that he might be interested in something more than friendship – but misunderstandings keep them apart.

But, if you can believe it, there is actually a plot outside of the relationship between Trip and Layla. They have distinct personalities. They have friends. They worry about what they’re doing after high school. They have parents who worry about them. They even have hobbies! This is so rare in a New Adult novel that I just want to find Torrest and give her a huge hug. THANK YOU FOR WRITING A REALISTIC BOOK!

I can’t wait to get books two and three and devour them over a weekend. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the free copy.

Final rating: 

I always liked to read…I consumed books. Two or three entire novels over a weekend. Bleary eyed and exhausted, bypassing sleep in order to just finish one more chapter, and then break down and read just one more after that.

Remember When| T. Torrest

Remember When | T. Torrest

Years before Trip Wiley could be seen on movie screens all over the world, he could be seen sitting in the desk behind me in my high school English class.

This was back in 1990, and I cite the year only to avoid dumbfounding you when references to big hair or stretch pants are mentioned. Although, come to think of it, I am from New Jersey, which may serve as explanation enough. We were teenagers then, way back in a time before anyone could even dream he’d turn into the Hollywood commodity that he is today.

In case you live under a rock and don’t know who Trip Wiley is, just know that these days, he’s the actor found at the top of every casting director’s wish list. He’s incredibly talented and insanely gorgeous, the combination of which has made him very rich, very famous and very desirable.

And not just to casting directors, either.

I can’t confirm any of the gossip from his early years out in Tinseltown, but based on what I knew of his life before he was famous, I can tell you that the idea of Girls-Throwing-Themselves-At-Trip is not a new concept.

I should know. I was one of them.

And my life hasn’t been the same since.

Expect a review by the end of the day tomorrow!  I had a lot of fun reading this one.

I received a free copy of The Abyss Beyond Dreams from Netgalley, so I’m catching up on the books that come before it before delving in.  The Void series begins with The Dreaming Void:

The year is 3589, fifteen hundred years after Commonwealth forces barely staved off human extinction in a war against the alien Prime. Now an even greater danger has surfaced: a threat to the existence of the universe itself.

At the very heart of the galaxy is the Void, a self-contained microuniverse that cannot be breached, cannot be destroyed, and cannot be stopped as it steadily expands in all directions, consuming everything in its path: planets, stars, civilizations. The Void has existed for untold millions of years. Even the oldest and most technologically advanced of the galaxy’s sentient races, the Raiel, do not know its origin, its makers, or its purpose.

But then Inigo, an astrophysicist studying the Void, begins dreaming of human beings who live within it. Inigo’s dreams reveal a world in which thoughts become actions and dreams become reality. Inside the Void, Inigo sees paradise. Thanks to the gaiafield, a neural entanglement wired into most humans, Inigo’s dreams are shared by hundreds of millions–and a religion, the Living Dream, is born, with Inigo as its prophet. But then he vanishes.

Suddenly there is a new wave of dreams. Dreams broadcast by an unknown Second Dreamer serve as the inspiration for a massive Pilgrimage into the Void. But there is a chance that by attempting to enter the Void, the pilgrims will trigger a catastrophic expansion, an accelerated devourment phase that will swallow up thousands of worlds. 

And thus begins a desperate race to find Inigo and the mysterious Second Dreamer. Some seek to prevent the Pilgrimage; others to speed its progress–while within the Void, a supreme entity has turned its gaze, for the first time, outward…

Since there’s a good 2000 pages or so of the Void series, it will probably be awhile before I post my review of The Abyss Beyond Dreams, but I’m looking forward to getting there.

Does this series sound interesting to you?  The Abyss Beyond Dreams is currently available on Netgalley and Goodreads First Reads!