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The Revealed

Lily Atwater is an eighteen year old in The Revealed by Jessica Hickham, which means that in this post-apocalyptic world, she’s a target for a mysterious group called The Revealed who have been targeting eighteen year olds for no apparent reason, kidnapping them with no ransom or communication afterwards. Nearly 400 have vanished without a trace so far, and Lily knows she’s on the target list.

She, of course, is lucky. Not only is she the only child of a presidential candidate, but because her family is one of the few that is rich, she doesn’t have to go to work in factories – putting her further at risk of being taken – but she chafes at the ritual of the rich where she is essentially under house arrest in an effort to keep her safe from The Revealed.

Everyone fears The Revealed, partly because no one knows anything about this mysterious society and partly because the have the ability to control things that normal humans can’t. They can start fires, cause things to ice over, control plants to tie people down and more.

The story is slightly more disturbing for me than it would be were it not for the girls who have been kidnapped in Nigeria, as there are definite parallels there. Fortunately, Hickham has succeeded in creating a world with a girl itching for independence who I can very easily relate to, although when I first started reading it and recognized that the book was going to be told from an 18 year old’s perspective, I wasn’t sure how into the book or character I would get.

I appreciated the multiple plot angles from the relationship that the Atwater family had with the other presidential candidate’s family before the war to Lily’s relationship with both of her parents – which has different tensions to it between her and her mother and her and her father – as well the happenings amongst Lily and the security contingent and her one friend, etc. They definitely keep the book moving, and they are smoothly plotted to intersect but not in a completely formulaic manner.

The only part that confused me was Lily’s fixation on the fact that she thinks she’s ugly and wants to wear her hair down. I kept waiting for a reveal that she has a scar from an injury that happened during the war or some other deformity or mark, but I waited in vain for a description of what she felt she had to hide.

This is just the first book in the series, and I read it in a day. The second book – I assume – will pick up where the first one has left off, as there is so much more to learn and discover and solve in this post-war world. I appreciate that the plot points that needed to be closed off in the first book were but that there is plenty remaining ambiguous to pick up in the next one in the series, which I will definitely be picking up.

The book is a light thriller – words that I don’t often use together. It is a fun book, even as there is a definite element of panic as Lily continues to receive threatening notes from The Revealed (the only 18 year old who has) and as she attempts to both gain her independence and remain safe within her family. I appreciate that Hickham didn’t use this first book to set the stage with lots of background and information for future books that didn’t truly relate to character development or the plot of this book. It kept the book flowing much better than I’ve seen with some other authors.

Written by Michelle who is grateful that she is not the daughter of a presidential candidate. She has her own interests she’s grateful she’s been able to pursue. See what they are on her blog Honest & Truly! and follow along with her on Twitter where she is also @HonestAndTruly.

Email Author    |    Website About Michelle M.

Michelle is a freelance writer who is happy to not have a commute but still misses her marketing and product development jobs. She keeps busy with her 7 and 9 year old children, who fortunately love to read as much as she does. When she isn't reading or cooking - or doing laundry - you can find her on her blog Honest & Truly! or on Twitter as @Honest AndTruly.

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What’s on Your Nightstand, July 22

It’s one of those early 4th Tuesdays again, so here we are. It’s hard to believe July is winding down to a close. I wouldn’t say I’m surprised, but I hadn’t felt as if summer was flying by, but here we are. How has your reading been? Have you had long relaxing vacations or days by the pool to read? Or maybe you are busy with activities and out of town guests. We’d love to hear about your reading plans and/or accomplishments for this month. Just write a post on your blog and link it up below. Be sure to visit the others to get some great recommendations as well. Check out our current giveaways. Subscribe to our feed. Follow us @5M4B on Twitter or
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The Queen of the Tearling #Giveaway

Given the chance to start over, would humanity actually change or would our societies still be plagued by the same problems we face now–corruption, exploitation, violence, poverty and disease? Author Erika Johansen imagines a world in which humanity attempted to begin anew in a sort of utopia, only to find themselves within a few hundred years living in a sort of medieval world, with horses as transportation and swords and arrows for weapons, and feudalism and sex-trafficking and slavery all functioning as well. But the story opens with a bookish and isolated girl hiding in a tree, watching the horsemen come and knowing this is the day her life irrevocably changes. The Queen of the Tearling is a great read–just a really enjoyable story that’s
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The Bookman’s Tale: A Novel of Obsession

Peter Byerly is a single-minded man with two obsessions–his wife, Amanda, and old books. 9 months after Amanda’s sudden, unexpected death, he relocates to the English countryside and one day, he manages to get out of the house and visit an antique bookseller in Hay-on-Wye, Wales. There, tucked between the pages of a Victorian-era book, he finds a watercolour of Amanda’s face staring out at him. Of course it can’t be her–the portrait is unmistakeably Victorian, painted by someone with the initials B.B.–but the resemblance is uncanny. Peter buys another book, slips the portrait inside, and begins trying to track down the artist, thereby beginning a quest that will take him much further than he ever dreamed. The Bookman’s Tale is a really fun book.
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Identity: A Fina Ludlow Novel

Fina Ludlow is back. It’s been several months since she had to (major spoiler alert on the last book!!) accuse her own brother in Loyalty, and she has reached a wary sort of peace with her parents. Fina is a private investigator who works for the family firm of ambulance-chasing lawyers who’ve done very well for themselves, but she’s as hard-boiled and hard-working as they come. Renata Sanchez is a single mother by choice, conceiving and bearing two children with the help of an anonymous sperm donor. Her oldest child is now mostly grown, and Renata has decided that in spite of a confidentiality statement that she signed years earlier, and in spite of her daughter Rosie’s reluctance, she needs to find out who that
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Bram Stoker’s Dracula: A Choose Your Path Book #Giveaway

Recently I received Greek Mythology’s Twelve Labors of Hercules: A Choose Your Path Book (Can You Survive?), which I read and reviewed over on 5 Minutes for Mom. The publisher was kind enough to send the rest of the set, and while deciding between “Dracula,” “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” and “Sherlock Holmes,” pretty much everyone in my family said I should read Bram Stoker’s Dracula as the next one to review. I’ve always been a fan of vampire stories, but have never read this classic novel, so it didn’t take much for me to agree. Like the other Choose Your Path books, “Dracula” starts out with you as the main character, beckoned by a classic book. You’re then suddenly in the story as the
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5 Perfect Pride & Prejudice Projects {Friday’s Five}

The story of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet has moved beyond just a classic novel into a part of culture. You don’t have to dig too deep to Look at Darcy’s pride/shyness/love! See how sweet Jane looks and how confident (proud?) Elizabeth is. This miniseries brought the story to life for me, and Colin Firth will always be Darcy. I just noticed they are available on on amazon prime to stream. I own the DVDs, and I’ve been wanting to watch it again. I’m glad to know that the six one-hour episodes are just a click away. Yes, this is a book as well as a movie. I read the book ages ago, but it’s the movie that remains a favorite of mine. It’s a
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Mr. Mercedes

Almost every time I review a Stephen King book, I feel like I need disclaimers — most of his recent books are not the horror, blood, and gore that most people associate with his work. The same can be said for Mr. Mercedes. This is not the King many people avoid, in fact it’s a new genre for him — a hard-boiled detective novel. And his first attempt is a good one. Detective Bill Hodges, retired, left only a handful of unsolved cases when he left the police force after 40 years. One of those cases comes back to haunt him when he receives a letter from a man claiming to be the one who stole Olivia Trelawney’s Mercedes and mowed down a crowd of job-seekers. This contact is the
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Best Supporting Role

You know an author has done an outstanding job of developing characters when you’re trying to hold back the tears by page 21. That isn’t to say that Best Supporting Role by Sue Margolis is a tear-jerker throughout. The often funny novel follows Sarah Green as she tries to sort out her life following the death of her husband. Sarah was living a life she loved with a successful husband at a top advertising firm and two adorable children who attend a posh school. She’s finished renovating the Victorian, but her husband Mike’s gambling has turned from a lad’s night out activity into one that is threatening to bankrupt them. Her inability – once again – to withdraw cash from an ATM at Christmas is what
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Our Summer of Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None

I was going to title this: “In Which I Am Unusually Flakey, Even For Me,” but I thought Jennifer might not like that. Remember Book Club Girl’s Summer Read-Along? We (me and several of you) were going to read the books and join in the discussions both here and over at her website, starting June 30th which was, oh, two weeks ago now. I dutifully (and delightedly) read And Then There Were None in plenty of time, but on June 30th I was in a car (with air-conditioning, yes, thank you for asking) headed south from Oregon to California on a day where it was 109 degrees on the Siskyou Pass, and if you don’t think that’s unusual for late June, or actually for any
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Big Whoop!

Young children may not be familiar with the word curmudgeon, but when they meet Mr. Fox in Maxine Lee’s new picture book Big Whoop! (POW!/powerHouse Books, July 2014), they’ll certainly understand the concept. Mr. Fox doesn’t smile, and he doesn’t laugh. He goes about his business with the same unemotional expression on his face all day long. Two of his friends, Roman and Harrison, want to do something about that. These fun-loving pals have a plan to get Mr. Fox to laugh, starting out by donning simple costumes and acting like they’ve turned into zoo animals, but Mr. Fox responds in the same way he always does, by simply stating, “Big whoop,” and continuing on with his reading. Roman and Harrison up their game with each
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The Meaning of Maggie #MMGM

On the morning of Maggie’s 12th birthday, her dad won’t stop beeping. She’s sitting in his hospital room writing in her brand new journal that was a birthday gift meant to encourage her gift of writing and reflecting. She decides to tell the story of her 11th year, since it was such a big one. It was filled with the regular things like bickering with her older sister Tiffany, with whom she shares a room and spying on her oldest sister Layla when she’s getting in trouble, but there were also some big changes. Her mother went to work full time when her dad had to stop working. A cute new boy at school catches Maggie’s eye (and maybe he’s looking her way too?). Maggie
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