The Great Alone - Kristen Hannah

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Alaska, 1974.
Unpredictable. Unforgiving. Untamed.
For a family in crisis, the ultimate test of survival.

Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if it means following him into the unknown.

I was hooked from the first chapter and did not want to put this one down! The blurb doesn't do justice to this story and that's a good thing.

Deep and complex characters against a turbulent and unpredictable backdrop. Just my type of read.

This is only the second book I have read by Hannah and it will not be the last.

One Caveat ...

I did not personally feel Ernt was abusive because of PTSD. He was an abusive person who (later) happened to have a mental problem. Most of his abuse tended to be tied to alcoholism and lack of sleep (which is legit).

Unfortunately, there is a bit at the end where the author all but states that ... yeah that was the problem.

One Caution ...

This book deals with an abusive relationship. It starts off a bit implied, but later gets much more graphic and obvious. 

Blog Ahead: June 22 - July 6 [Challenge]

This challenge is host by Herding Cats & Burning Soup and is all about catching up and getting ahead with your blogging.

Blogging can be stressful. Especially when life gets busy with vacations, school, emergencies or when a dreaded blogging slumps hit. Blog Ahead aims at helping cut the stress by blogging ahead and creating a stockpile of scheduled posts that are ready to go when life gets a little crazy.

Whatever number of posts you have scheduled on that day...add 15 posts and THAT's the goal you're aiming for by the time the challenge ends.

*All challenge posts must go live after the event ends to count.

I have zero posts scheduled on any of the days, so my goal is 15 posts scheduled after July 6th.

One of Us is Lying - Karen M McManus

This post contains affiliate links.

Summary (from goodreads): The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars, One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
-Bronwyn, the brain
-Addy, the beauty
-Nate, the criminal
-Cooper, the athlete
And Simon, the outcast

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon's dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn't an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he'd planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who's still on the loose?
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

Edition Read:  Library ebook via Overdrive

Where (else) to buy: kobo*, google play, amazon*, nook*,

It's no secret that I am not a fan of YA. I find most of it to be annoying, angsty, and usually want to slap the main characters. Yet, I still pick them up.

This novel is one of the reasons why I continue to look for gems among a genre that overall infuriates me.

The characters were likable and believable, while also not being self-absorbed, angst-ridden balls of frustration.

The end was mildly predictable. I didn't quite guess who did do it, but I was able to guess who didn't. Part of me loved it... the cynic in me, not so much.


Highly recommended. A perfectly breezy book that remains grounded.

*This is an affiliate link

COYER: Big Summer Birthday Bash (Jun 9 - Aug 31 2018)

The Basics

Let’s start with the basic rules as always, and then we’ll get to the fun Birthday Goodies!

  • The challenge begins June 9th (which happens to Berls’s Birthday!!) at 12am EST and ends August 31st at 11:59pm EST. The review linky and giveaway widgets will remain open until September 1st, 11:59 PM EST.
  • You must create a sign-up post anytime between now and July 9th on blog, Goodreads, Facebook, Google+, etc indicating your clean up goal. Link your sign-up to the linky over on the official signup page.
  • It’s Summer and you know what that means! Anything you read goes! It can be any format, any price, obtained from any LEGAL location. Library? Yep! Borrowed? Yep! KU? Yep? $500? Yep (but are you crazy?)!
  • Link your reviews to the linky that will be provided on the Kick-off Post.
  • There will be two grand prize winners – $10 gift card – one for the linky review list and one for Birthday Bash Goodies.

Those are the basics, and if that’s all you do, you’ll be fine! But you know us, we have to throw in more fun than that! See below for all the Birthday Bash Goodies!

For more information go see the original post


I will be updating this entry as I finalize my decisions.

I will be participating in...

Goody #1 

Declare your goal!

My goal is to Lightly Clean (1 - 10 books) with a stretch goal of Spring Clean (11 - 20 books).


Goody #3

  1. Fairy Tales with a Twist: Read fairy tale re-tellings and give those childhood favorites a twist! Read-a-thon runs Sunday June 17th 12am EST to Saturday June 23rd 11:59pm EST
  2. Christmas in July!: Read Holiday themed books. Read-a-thon runs Sunday July 15th 12am EST to Saturday July 21st 11:59pm EST
  3. Dusting Off The Shelves: Read the oldest books in your physical or e-library. They have to have sat on your shelf for at least 1 year. Read-a-thon runs Sunday July 29th 12am EST to Saturday August 4th 11:59pm EST
  4. Scary Stories by the Campfire!: Read about ghosts, goblins, and any other horror/thriller that would make for a scary campfire tale!Read-a-thon runs Sunday August 5th 12am EST to Saturday August 11th 11:59pm EST
  5. Short and Sweet!: Fill your final days not with Novels but with Novellas! Read-a-thon runs Sunday August 26th 12am EST to Friday August 31st 11:59pm EST
I plan on doing at least one, but I need to go through my books and see what will fit into what category. (Lists forthcoming! - 6/7)


Goody #4 

Participate in one or all of the mini-challenges!

I'm going to try, but I'm not sure what they are yet!


Goody #5

Participate in the mini-scavenger hunt Sunday August 12th 12am EST to Saturday August 25th 11:59pm EST

According to the facebook group, this is actually *all* COYER long. I probably won't be able to do the whole list, but maybe I can knock some off!


Goody #6

Participate in the Social Media Games on Facebook, the August Instagram Challenge (Sunday July 29th), and/or our Twitter Parties.

Facebook Games and Insta-Challenge.


Goody #8

Survive Hurricane Berls Wednesday July 25th – Saturday July 28th. Read ONLY eBooks, $1 or less, purchased before June 9th! (not borrowed, but ARCs are ok)

I was going to skip this one since the books have to be in your possession before June 9th. (I have some library books I have been on hold for MONTHS. Not giving those up!) However... it's only 4 days and the library books won't be going anywhere during that short amount of time.


Goody #9

Make a list of 15 books and read a least 10 of them!

This can be a little tricky because I am a mood reader. I'm pretty much just pulling from my library books and netgalley. Hopefully, I'll get it done!

In no particular order...
- Dorothy Must Die (✓ - 6/18)
- Dread Nation (✓ -7/10)
- The Year of Less (DNF. Not what I thought.)
- The Other Woman
- Baby Teeth
- Bring Me Back
- Providence
- Shelter
- Autonomous
- Terminal Alliance
- Artemis
- The Great Alone (✓ - 6/21)
- Sky in the Deep
- Furyborn
- Dawn in Damnation


Goody #10

Join us for the Switch Sunday. Pick your order for the Strict, The List, and The Twist…

The One with the Twist
Sunday June 24th – Saturday June 30th
You can read ANY book. ANY price. Obtained any LEGAL way.
The Twist is, you have to stick with one format. If you choose audiobooks, then only the audiobooks you read during this phase will count toward the TWIST. If you choose eBooks, then only eBooks you read during this phase will count. ETC….

The List
Sunday July 1 – Saturday July 7th
Make a list of up to 15 books you want to read.
Every book on the list must be in your possession BEFORE you put them on the list. Books on the list can be any format, any price, obtained any LEGAL way… so that means library books, KU, borrowed, etc.

(Possibly reusing Goody #9's list. It's a ways off, so I may need to fill the gaps in a bit.)

The Strict
Sunday July 8th – Saturday July 14th
Every book you read must be an eBook or audiobook.
Every book must be either free or less than $5.
No library books, borrowed books, or Kindle Unlimited.


Bonus Personal Challenge (not official COYER stuff)

In the spirit of COYER, I will not be requesting library or netgalley books, adding books to ereaderIQ, or purchasing any books (not already in my ereaderIQ wishlist).

Requests and books added prior to June 9th are still in play. I have a few library books I have been in line for months. Not giving those up.


Just for the duration of the challenge.