Saturday, April 28, 2018

Book Haul: A Few Strange Secrets

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. I get to show off all the books I’ve gotten recently. I picked up most of these delightfully strange tales because they fit the prompts for my 2018 reading challenges. In each of these books, someone is keeping a secret.

A Few Strange Secrets

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland (Dread Nation #1)

Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children to attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.

But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.

Outsider in Amsterdam by Janwillem van de Wetering (Amsterdam Cops Mysteries #1)

On a quiet street in downtown Amsterdam, the founder of a new religious society/commune—a group that calls itself “Hindist” and mixes elements of various “Eastern” traditions—is found hanging from a ceiling beam. Detective-Adjutant Gripstra and Sergeant de Gier of the Amsterdam police are sent to investigate what looks like a simple suicide, but they are immediately suspicious of the circumstances. 

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1)

Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands," she speaks many languages—not all of them human—and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

The Blue Girl by Laurie Foos

In this small lakeside town, mothers bake their secrets into moon pies they feed to a silent blue girl. Their daughters have secrets too—that they can't sleep, that they might sleep with a neighbor boy, that they know more than they let on. But when the daughters find the blue girl, everyone's carefully held silences shake loose.

Annabel by Kathleen Winter

In 1968, into the devastating, spare atmosphere of Labrador, Canada, a child is born: a baby who appears to be neither fully boy nor fully girl, but both at once. Only three people are privy to the secret—the baby’s parents, Jacinta and Treadway, and their trusted neighbor and midwife, Thomasina. Though Treadway makes the difficult decision to raise the child as a boy named Wayne, the women continue to quietly nurture the boy’s female side. And as Wayne grows into adulthood within the hypermasculine hunting society of his father, his shadow-self, a girl he thinks of as “Annabel,” is never entirely extinguished. 

When Wayne finally escapes the confines of his hometown and settles in St. John’s, the anonymity of the city grants him the freedom to confront his dual identity. His ultimate choice will once again call into question the integrity and allegiance of those he loves most.

Have you read any of these? What did you think?


  1. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is pretty good, I liked it alot. Definitely different books here!!

  2. I'm a bit concerned about Dread Nation as there might be fewer zombies than I hoped for! I do have a copy but it has slid down my priority list!

  3. I've been eyeing The Daughter of Smoke and Bone for a long time, but haven't put it on my to-read pile yet. I'll be looking forward to your thoughts. 📚

  4. Dread Nation is looking really good. Enjoy your haul.

  5. Great haul. I'm loving Dread Nation!

  6. Great haul! I've read Daughter of Smoke and Bone and I loved it! I also heard some great things about Dread Nation! I hope you enjoy all of your books!

    Here’s my Stacking the Shelves!

    Ronyell @ Rabbit Ears Book Blog

  7. AJ I started re-reading Smoke & Bone too, I really need to get a move on! It's just sooo many great books is CONSTANTLY being released so...

    Angelica @ Paperback Princess

  8. I vote for the Amsterdam cops one. Since it's a series, I wonder how the lead characters hold up.

  9. I have heard a ton of great things about Dread Nation and Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Hope you enjoy them all!

  10. OOh nice! I still need to read Dread Nation! It sounds like a lot of fun! I hope you enjoy all your new reads!

    Here's my STS

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower :)

  11. I'll be interested in your thoughts on Outsider In Amsterdam! I liked it overall

    And Annabel looks like an unusual story - one to look out for

  12. I am curious about The Blue Girl. Enjoy your week! Here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES

  13. The Blue Girl sounds straight-up bizarre. I like Laini Taylor's work a lot, though I somehow never made it through the 3rd book of this trilogy. I read Educated last week and totally thought of you.

  14. Since you didn't post today, I hope you're doing something fun. Reading and eating nachos perhaps.

  15. The Blue Girl sounds like a trip. And Dread Nation is supposed to be quite good I guess!

  16. The Blue Girl sounds intriguing, and I love the cover. It's making me hungry.

  17. I loved Dread Nation! I could not get in to daughter of smoke and bone although so many people loved it! Good Haul!

    Tori @ In Tori Lex

  18. Haven't read any of these :) but they look great! Enjoy :)

  19. You got some interesting books! I really like Laini Taylor's books, her writing is magical! I hope you'll enjoy all the books you got! Have a wonderful week!

  20. a lot of those look so so good I hope you enjoy! I want to read The Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Dread Nation

  21. I adore Daughter of Smoke and Bone, I really hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did. Dread Nation and The Blue Girl sound like my kind of thing.

  22. I'm dipping into Dread Nation this week. Should be good. Enjoy your latest.