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TorieStorieS

TorieStorieS

Joined October 2016

Visit me on Instagram! @toriestories6
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Whisper Network: A Novel by Chandler Baker
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Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult, Jennifer Finney Boylan
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TorieStorieS
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Always drawn to twin stories, McGue‘s memoir focuses on the search that spans years for her and her sister to track down their biological parents in the hopes of having, at a minimum, more family medical history. Well-performed and a surprising pageturner, I couldn‘t stop listening! I also wasn‘t expecting such a strong local connection! Sure to lead to lively discussion!

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TorieStorieS
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Considered a crime of the century, after nearly a 100 years, King & Wilson re-examine the murder of young Bobby Franks at the hands of two older teens. Leonard & Loeb, of affluent backgrounds to prominent Chicago families, are often thought of committing this brutal murder just because they knew they could get away with it. With details into the trial, their famous attorney and the aftermath, this detailed read presents the case to new audiences.

47 likes1 stack add
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TorieStorieS
Call it what You Want | Brigid Kemmerer
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I really enjoyed Kemmerer‘s Beauty and the Beast retelling, so when looking for a #RobinHood retelling, when this title popped up, I was intrigued! Though this is quite a loose retelling-& all set against the backdrop of a Maryland suburban high school. A school project thrusts the two narrators- Rob & Meagan- together where they come to confide in each other as they deal with the fallout from their own reputations & family drama. A quick listen!

42 likes2 stack adds
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TorieStorieS
The Picture Bride | Lee Geum-yi
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This historical fiction novel, set mainly in Hawaii, provides an interesting view into the lives of three Korean “picture brides” from just before WWI- through WWII. Basically mail order brides, these young women have only a photograph and a letter about their new spouses. Willow‘s story is most central and this well-performed audiobook is fascinating! The shift in the timeline and narrator at the end makes the book feel a bit abrupt and uneven.

42 likes1 stack add
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TorieStorieS
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What a delightfully fun read! Emmeline loves her home at Winnover Hall - even if it means following the rules stipulated by her grandfather to remain there. It drives her to quickly marry- and then to invent fictitious children all to remain there. But as her grandfather‘s birthday approaches, they must present their children- so she and her husband scramble to borrow some. Though a bit predictable, the charming characters make this a fun read!

mdm139 Love the lamp 2w
TorieStorieS @mdm139 Thank you!! ❤️🥰❤️ 2w
56 likes1 stack add2 comments
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TorieStorieS
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In this #CinderellaRetelling, the focus lies on after the happily-ever-after. It‘s been 13 years since she‘s said, “I do.” And Cinderella no longer finds her prince very charming at all… in fact, she wants him dead. As the past trickles out, this fairy tale shifts into something a bit less magical. Engaging and unique, this reminded me a bit of Sheri S. Tepper‘s BEAUTY and a touch of Catherynne M. Valente‘s novellas! A sure discussion starter!

Reggie Oooh stacked because I loved this author‘s book 40 Rooms. 2w
5feet.of.fury Pretty picture! 2w
TorieStorieS @Reggie Oh- I will have to check that one out!! Thank you!! 🥰 2w
TorieStorieS @5feet.of.fury Thank you!! I love to #AudioColor! 2w
52 likes4 comments
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TorieStorieS
Uncultured: A Memoir | Daniella Mestyanek Young
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Happy Publication Week! This powerful memoir explores more than just groupthink as Daniella grows up within The Children of God cult across the globe and later, finds a path to a different future within the US Army. This is the kind of memoir that reads like fiction- with fast-pacing and full of plenty to talk about amongst readers. Perfect for book clubs and discussion groups, this is a story that will linger on after the pages end!

46 likes3 stack adds
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TorieStorieS
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The third installment in Disney‘s Villains series centers around Ursula. While this one seems like the most closely aligned to the original animated film with lines of dialogue and lyrics matching exactly with my memory, it doesn‘t really delve very deeply into Ursula‘s backstory as much as I had hoped. It also carries on more from the second book in the series than I expected, too. The ending makes way for my favorite villain‘s story- Malificent!

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TorieStorieS
Star Mother | Charlie N. Holmberg
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This #KindleUnlimited listen is well-performed! The mythic and fairy tale-like story centers around Ceris, who ends up volunteering for the role of Star Mother. Her name may go down as legend, but it‘s known as a universally lethal part for a mortal to birth a star… and yet, Ceris ends up defying the odds in this story of celestial warfare, gods and godlings and most of all, love. There‘s a sequel out now that I‘m curious to check out as well!

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TorieStorieS
I'm the Girl | Courtney Summers
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Mehso-so

I‘ve really loved Summers‘ previous YA novels, so I was thrilled to dive into her latest! Unfortunately it left me with mixed feelings… the immediacy of the writing sometimes makes it harder to connect with the characters. Georgia Avis, the narrator, pieces together what happened to the younger sister of a classmate she‘s always admired while uncovering the truth behind her own dreams of working at the ritzy private club on the outskirts of town.

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TorieStorieS
Hester: A Novel | Laurie Lico Albanese
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As the title suggests, this book relates to The Scarlet Letter- though it‘s not truly a retelling. The main character, Isobel Gamble, narrates her life from the Scottish countryside to Salem and inspiring a young writer to create his masterpiece as the muse behind Hester Prynne. With a great performance and historical detail, this colorful and rich story unfolds as a great accompaniment to an American classic! The characters come to life!

Cinfhen I have the ARC too!! It‘s my soon to be read - your review has me looking forward 3w
TorieStorieS @Cinfhen Oh I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!! 3w
49 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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TorieStorieS
Paper Palace | Miranda Cowley Heller
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My book club is gathering later today to discuss this one and I am really looking forward to talking about it! Though the book takes place in 24 hours, it also covers Elle‘s whole life- and a little before that even as it relays her family‘s story of over 50 years. Elle, married with three children, starts the book with an act that had been building for what feels like her whole life- and the flashbacks show this building as she makes her choices.

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TorieStorieS
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With a description offering CLUE vibes, I excitedly dove right into this locked room murder mystery game turned real mystery! The layers, snippets of the faux character descriptions & gameplay- along with red herrings- makes this a fun read. Main character & narrator, Becca, bogs the pacing down a bit with her own backstory & reflections on marriage, infidelity & her own flaws. Overall, this makes for a fun- though not entirely unpredictable read!

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TorieStorieS
The Foundling | Stacey Halls
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This is my book club‘s pick for this month, & I thoroughly enjoyed this compelling #audiobook! I definitely found myself listening at every opportunity and really enjoyed both performances. Told in two perspectives- Bess & Alexandra‘s lives are brought together by the titular character. While credulity may be strained at times, this is an engaging read & I‘m looking forward to hearing what the rest of the group thought of it! Well-researched too!

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TorieStorieS
Don't Let in the Cold | Keely Parrack
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This YA thriller may be set at the end of October, but the blizzard makes this feel like a wintry read meant for a snowy night! Lottie‘s not looking forward to a night of forced bonding with her new stepsister, Jade, at the remote Tahoe cabin while their parents enjoy a 1-night honeymoon. A solar flare & storm turn this into a survival adventure against not only the elements but also human villains. A pageturner where things go from bad to worse!

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TorieStorieS
After Dark with Roxie Clark | Brooke Lauren Davis
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I really enjoyed this YA thriller! Roxie Clark runs a ghost tour in her hometown of Whistler, IN. She discusses her relatives- a line of women apparently cursed with meeting violent ends. She doesn‘t touch on the recent murders in town- not even that of her neighbor-& her sister‘s boyfriend- only the year before. But a note from beyond the grave spirals Roxie and her sister to start their own investigation. A perfect read to get ready for fall!

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TorieStorieS
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This Australian romance/family drama involves Marnie Fairchild and the whole Charlesworth family. Marnie runs Wish & Co- a gift buying and wrapping shop. Many of her buying clients are men with complicated family lives- like Brian Charlesworth- who‘s mistress shares a birthday with his wedding anniversary. Parts of the plot are more expected, but I enjoyed this rather comforting story from start to finish!

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TorieStorieS
Happy-Go-Lucky | David Sedaris
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I started reading this one out loud to my aunt while she was in the hospital for some laughs-& while glossed over for her some of the sections about Lou‘s decline & death, it still gave us some last happy memories to laugh about- gunderpants especially! Because I read it so slowly, I also listened to it myself. While it‘s not all new material, I found this essay collection to hit a wide range though I‘ll probably always associate it with my aunt.

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TorieStorieS
Please Join Us: A Novel | Catherine McKenzie
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This legal-ish thriller drawing from the #MeToo movement makes for an exciting and intricately plotted read. Lawyer Nicole has followed the plan for her law career & when it‘s suddenly de-railed, a women‘s networking group appears to give her the lifeline she‘s needed… but is her husband right that it sounds cultish? A genuine pageturner, this kept my attention from start to finish! I think there‘s a lot here that could lead to lively discussion!

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TorieStorieS
Monsters Born and Made | Tanvi Berwah
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This YA sure debut has more of a Spartacus-vibe than the South-Asian inspiration advertised, but it makes for an exciting and inventive read. Koral and her family live at the outskirts of their caste society between the Landers who rule with their wealth and the rebels, renters and poor. They hunt and train the maristags who pull the chariots for the grand Glory Race. But Koral‘s choices box her into having no option other than to race to win!

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TorieStorieS
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After a disastrous relationship nearly destroys Lucy‘s hotel management career, an opportunity in Rennes opens up. Moving to France and diving in to a project not at all what she expected turns out to be just the second start that Lucy needs! Sweet, with plenty of fun decorating and projects, this makes for an enjoyable light read that still tackles serious topics and involves a largely older cast. I really enjoyed this one!

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TorieStorieS
All of Our Demise | Amanda Foody, Christine Lynn Herman
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This exciting conclusion picks up right where ALL OF US VILLAINS left off! I‘ve been eagerly awaiting this since November & have to admit that this time, the male narrator‘s overly dramatic emphasis didn‘t grate on my nerves as heavily! The plot takes some surprising turns & the relationships between the main characters provides added surprises! It‘s a satisfying, exciting duology with great world-building & fun magical spells & a fairytale vibe!

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TorieStorieS
Kalyna the Soothsayer | Elijah Kinch Spector
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The titular character in this epic fantasy makes a living as a soothsayer- but is a fraud. Kalyna‘s predictions come true through her own skills of observation, tips from informants & sometimes from her own intervention. Traveling the Tertarchia (4 kingdoms combined) with her ailing father & bitter grandmother, their travels are interrupted when one of the royal courts intervenes to use her prophetic talents. Intrigue & excitement unfolds!

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TorieStorieS
With Neighbors Like This | Tracy Goodwin
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Mehso-so

Single-mom Amelia returns to Houston and is determined to keep her promise of providing normalcy in their new home by displaying their hand-painted garden gnome by their front door. Unfortunately this puts her at odds with the dreaded HOA-& so this chaste romance of enemies to more unfolds with plenty of scenes of #MomLife. I‘m not really the target audience here & found the chapter‘s closing comments a bit clunky. But it‘s a sweet story overall.

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TorieStorieS
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Wow! This start to a new epic fantasy series really surpassed my expectations! Not being into martial arts, I worried a little bit that this one would be too violent & focused on fighting. While there‘s definitely plenty of action, the strength of the setting & the development of the characters is what dominates this well-written novel. Chu takes a common trope- the Chosen child & turns it into something fresh & fun! I can‘t wait for the sequel!

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TorieStorieS
Bronze Drum | Phong Nguyen
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This historical look at Vietnam provides a fascinating story of family, heartache and war. Two sisters, Trung Trac & Trung Nhi are both raised as leaders- supported by their parents & who eventually rise up against the Han overlords. This illuminates part of history that isn‘t often included in US courses. It‘s a fascinating listen that is well-performed. Some of the action comes at a bit of a remove, highlighting the legendary feel to the story.

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TorieStorieS
Stay Awake: A Novel | Megan Goldin
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Oh, I absolutely couldn‘t put this one down! I‘m an absolute sucker for amnesia stories & Liv‘s narrative sucked me right in as she wakes with mysterious messages on her hands & soon realizes that she‘s lost two years of her life. Like a terrible version of Groundhog Day, new memories are erased each time she wakes up. Meanwhile the NYPD is on the hunt for a killer… with stomach-churning tension & surprises to the storyline, this is Goldin‘s best!

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TorieStorieS
Such a Good Mother | Helen Monks Takhar
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This school mum drama starts off a bit familiarly, with Rose desperate not only for her son to fit in at the new posh school but to fit in herself. When taken under the wing of the head of the school, it is clear that while Rose may get what she wanted the cost may be much higher than she ever expected… The unlikable characters bog the pacing down & while unexpected, some of the finale loses its satisfactory oomph… but sure to start discussion!

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TorieStorieS
The Book Eaters | Sunyi Dean
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Wow!! Definitely one of the #Top2022Reads for me!! Although, I actually listened to this one (and I loved the voice & Northern accent of the performer!), I am looking forward to reading it physically as well (though not my lovely US edition- Waterstones has an exclusive edition with an epilogue that I am anxiously awaiting!). A modern twist on a classic vampire story for book lovers, this is fresh, absolutely riveting & totally unique! I loved it!

64 likes3 stack adds
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TorieStorieS
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What a fun and fast spy thriller! The bulk of Glass‘ impressive debut novel takes place in a single long night as she tries to get across London and protecting her target from teams of deadly Russian assassins. Along the way, Emma‘s route to becoming a spy unfolds. Entertaining and hard to put down, I thoroughly enjoyed this one! A great summer read for sure! Costumes, multiple chases and explosions all add up to a ton of excitement!

54 likes1 stack add
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TorieStorieS
The Furies | John Connolly
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This 20th installation of the absolutely fantastic Charlie Parker series marks an unusual format- it‘s actually 2 novellas (technically more like short novels) into one! The Sisters Strange first appeared in a serial format during the pandemic- providing escape & comfort into a classic Charlie case involving ancient coins & modern thieves. Continuing to display his soft spot for female clients, the titular story delves more into the supernatural!

mcipher That‘s a fun restaurant too!! 2mo
TorieStorieS @mcipher I know!! I love that it features so prominently in the series- and in both of these stories! 2mo
53 likes2 comments
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TorieStorieS
Untitled | Untitled
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Thanks for the tag, @Andrew65 & thanks to @Eggs for this fun #WondrousWednesday!
🌸Yes!! Even on the busiest of days, part of my getting ready routine involves listening to an audiobook! But I can‘t think of the last time I haven‘t read an e-book or physical one, too!

🌼 Multitasking by listening to books makes any dull task- folding laundry, dishes better!

🌺 Thrillers, fantasy, historical fiction- I love them all, really!
Want to play,

Eggs Thanks so much for joining in 🌸🌼 2mo
TorieStorieS @Eggs Thanks for organizing! 🌺🌸 2mo
37 likes2 comments
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TorieStorieS
The Hacienda | Isabel Caas
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This historical spooky novel wasn‘t quite as scary as I had hoped it would be… but the haunted hacienda at the center of this one makes for an original and enticing backdrop to a story of violence, witchcraft and family secrets. Beatriz comes to the titular home after a hasty marriage of convenience while Andres returned after years away to the land and people he feels so connected with… but it‘s clear the hacienda isn‘t very welcoming… #BOTM

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TorieStorieS
Don't Go to Sleep | Bryce Moore
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Set during the 1918 influenza pandemic, modern readers will find strong parallels to the COVID-19 pandemic. 17-year old Gianna & her family survived a brutal attack by a crazed axeman who was never caught. But now, years later, the maniac has returned & once again preys on Italian grocers & their families. Well-researched, the supernatural elements here don‘t gel into place. I liked the news articles but never quite connected with the characters.

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TorieStorieS
You're Invited | Amanda Jayatissa
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This month‘s #BOTM pick isn‘t my favorite… it gets off to a very slow start when Amaya learns that her ex-best friend & ex-boyfriend are getting married. Horrified, Amaya wants nothing more than to stop the wedding; she returns to Sri Lanka for the first time in 5 years to do just that. With separate timelines & interview transcripts & other perspectives, I wish the characters were more developed. None of them are likable but I loved the setting.

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TorieStorieS
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It feels like I waited forever for this one to come out! Hillier is a go-to author for me, so I was delighted that it was a June #BOTM option! Another dark thriller, this one hooks the reader in with Paris being arrested for the murder of her much older husband. Mixing past & present, this is hard to put down- though some twists are more expected than others. Well-developed characters round this out! I can‘t wait to see what Hillier writes next!

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TorieStorieS
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My #BookClub discusses this one on Thursday and I can‘t wait! This superbly written family drama set in the 1950s-1960s MA was another unexpected #OneSittingRead for me! Highlighting the healing power of found family, I didn‘t want the story of the Moscatellis and their foster children to end! Multiple perspectives spanning years and characters that leap from the pages displays Francis‘ stellar talents! I loved this one! Keep the tissues handy!

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TorieStorieS
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Nesseth dissects the horror film genre- looking at some of the science behind the scares. Including interviews with horror fans, as well as the professionals of bringing scares to the screen, this makes for an informative & interesting read! While there are some spoilers for popular films, there are also lists of titles that may be unfamiliar to readers. From body horror to the jump scare, this will spark some thought for your next scary movie!

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TorieStorieS
Dirt Creek: A Novel | Hayley Scrivenor
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Set in small-town Australia, this impressive debut novel revolves around a missing girl, 12 year-old Esther. Told across multiple perspectives- her mother, two best friends, the female city detective called in to assist, & a sort out of communal voice of the rest of her peers- this quickly becomes a hard one to stop listening to! A twisting plot, a town full of secrets & a great audio performance all combines wonderfully here! The setting shines!

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TorieStorieS
The Swell | Allie Reynolds
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Reynolds‘ second thriller moves from the dangers of the ski slopes to the Australian surf! Worries about her best friend, Kenna travels to convince Mikki to return home with her. But Mikki has found a group of fellow surfers who take things to the extreme- even when it‘s clear that they are taking lethal risks. Fast-paced and with a sort of AND THEN THERE WERE NONE-vibe, this is an exciting read! Look what creature tried to read over my shoulder!

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TorieStorieS
Remarkably Bright Creatures | Shelby Van Pelt
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Oh what a delightful read! I am so glad my #BookClub voted this one in for the month! What an impressive debut novel! The characters all spring to life- of course, Marcellus the octopus certainly steals the show! But it‘s easy to grow to love the quadrupeds too! The plot may follow expected paths, but it‘s a sweet and deeply satisfying read! I can‘t wait to see what the author writes next- and to see what the rest of the club thinks of this one!

Graciouswarriorprincess I loved it too!!! 2mo
TorieStorieS @Graciouswarriorprincess How could you not?? I am so glad you loved it, too! ❤️🐙❤️ 2mo
Graciouswarriorprincess @TorieStorieS Agree! I loved all the characters and the story! Such a charming, heartfelt book! 2mo
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LiteraryinLawrence Can I ask a question? I struggle with reading books where animals die or are hurt. Would I be safe to read this one? Thanks! 2mo
TorieStorieS @LiteraryinLawrence I think this one will be okay because I struggle with that too- the aquarium rehabilitates injured animals but that violence isn‘t on page. There is one animal death, but it‘s off-page and peaceful of a life fulfilled. 2mo
LiteraryinLawrence @TorieStorieS Thank you for your thoughtful answer! 2mo
TorieStorieS @LiteraryinLawrence No problem!! I hope you enjoy the book- my book club read this, and my mom is a part of that club but really did not look forward to reading this- and then she ended up totally loving it! 2mo
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TorieStorieS
The Bodyguard: A Novel | Katherine Center
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Oh, what a genuinely fun read!! I love Center‘s books & this latest is one of her best yet! I can certainly see why it was a #BOTM option for July! Hannah is a bodyguard who‘s has a string of terrible tragedies- death, break-up & betrayal- she can‘t wait to escape into her work. But her latest assignment- guarding a hunky but reclusive actor, forces her out of her conform zone. It may include a few predictable tropes- but also contains real humor!

LiteraryinLawrence That vase is the best! 2mo
TorieStorieS @LiteraryinLawrence Thank you!! I think the description online was “sassy vase” and I can‘t think of a more apt adjective!! 🤣 2mo
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TorieStorieS
The Puppeteer's Daughters | Heather Newton
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Walter Grey has been a puppeteer his whole life. Now 80 & in a memory care facility, he tells his 3 adult daughters that he has another daughter. Shocked, the half-siblings work together to find their missing sister. Along the way toward answers, they find an addendum to the will that picks at each woman‘s insecurities. A satisfying read with clear character arcs for each daughter, I found myself listen to this at every opportunity! #AudioColoring

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TorieStorieS
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Happy Publication Week to this wonderful thriller!! Dripping with atmosphere, lively characters, and a genuinely thrilling plot, this is one of my #Top2022Reads for sure! I loved the setting (obviously I couldn‘t stop thinking about MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD & EVIL) and Morgana Musgrove is a real scene stealer! I liked the weaving of history in with the modern murder plot. Well-written & hard to put down, I can‘t wait to read more from Green!

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TorieStorieS
They Drown Our Daughters | Katrina Monroe
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Mehso-so

This multigenerational story covers one family in Cape Disappointment, WA. Switching between generations, along the matrilineal line, this family of mothers and daughters are cursed with early deaths and a strong tie to… something… in the water. This makes for a unique and watery read that is perfect for a creepy beach read!

vlwelser 🦈❤ 3mo
TorieStorieS @vlwelser Shark week is coming- but this book sadly lacks any sharks…. 3mo
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TorieStorieS
Just Like Home | Sarah Gailey
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Although I have several of Gailey‘s earlier novels on my TBR, this #audiobook is my first experience with their writing! It‘s a creepy and engaging listen that is well-performed. Vera returns to her childhood home after many years away at the request of her mother. Her mother lies dying, the shed houses an obnoxious artist and the whole house seems weighed down by the past. Vera‘s father‘s crimes go unspoken and it‘s clear something isn‘t right…

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TorieStorieS
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Happy Publication Day- and check out a #LittleFreeLibrary near you to see if you can score an ARC of this new and thrilling novel! Here‘s the link http://bit.ly/kingdomslfl
This is at #33453 for someone to enjoy!
#KingdomsOfSavannah

kspenmoll Found one about 30 min from me if still there. Nothing in our town( several little free libraries). 3mo
51 likes1 comment
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TorieStorieS
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Avery and her siblings are the few that are chosen to survive the end of the world- they are assured of this and other lessons in the compound they grow up in- one isolated from the outside world and started by her grandfather. Well-performed, this audiobook may follow some expected paths, but it remains engaging from start to finish. There are a few plot points that are sure to incite lively discussion amongst readers!

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TorieStorieS
Upgrade: A Novel | Blake Crouch
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I enjoy Crouch‘s writing & his latest- a #BOTM option for this month- makes for a fast-paced and exciting read! In the future, Logan Ramsey works for the GPA that prosecutes genetic crimes. His career is largely guilt-driven since his mom‘s scientific hubris caused a global food shortage. But a routine raid changes his life forever & sets him on a new path… fast-paced & engaging, this is a fun read for sure! Can‘t wait to see what he does next!

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TorieStorieS
Corinne: A Novel | Rebecca Morrow
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Wow- when I started this yesterday, I wasn‘t prepared for it to be a one-sitting read that kept me up way too late! But Corinne‘s story is a gripping one. Opening in 1992, Corinne grows up in a strictly religious church- never feeling like she belongs. Her relationship with Enoch comes to define her life- even more when she returns to KS 13 years later. It‘s a love story, but also one of family & religion. Compelling & sure to start discussion!

MerlinTheSlightlyAwkward “Surprise, you‘re hooked!” is such an excellent feeling, with an unexpected book 📖 💕 3mo
TorieStorieS @MerlinTheSlightlyAwkward Isn‘t it though?? Plus I got to use my old favorite lamp for the first time in our new house to read most of it! 3mo
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