The Monday Agenda 2/10/2014

MondayAgendaNot a lofty, ambitious to-be-read list consisting of 100+ book titles. Just a simple plan for the upcoming week — what I’m reading now, what I plan to read next, and what I’m hoping to squeeze in among the nooks and crannies.

How did I do with last week’s agenda?

When Audrey Met AliceArchetype

I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing two new books right in time for their release dates last week:

When Audrey Met Alice by Rebecca Behrens: My review, along with the author’s guest post, is here.

Archetype by M. D. Waters: Suspenseful and altogether terrific. My review is here.

And then things went a bit astray, despite my careful planning…

The Fiery Cross (Outlander, #5)Instead of moving forward to the next ARC on my reading schedule, I decided to reread a truly massive book. So, for the past several days, I’ve been reading Diana Gabaldon’s The Fiery Cross — because I’m in the midst of an attack of Outlander obsession and felt the need to re-read the books I’m less familiar with in order to be ready for the upcoming new book in June. Sigh. I love it, but I’m also shaking my head at myself for starting a 1400 page book when I have so much else to read!

Fresh Catch:

Two very different books came my way this week:

Riot

Riot by Mary Casanova: I just received a review copy of this new book aimed at middle grade readers, set in 1989 during a labor dispute in Minnesota. It sounds quite interesting, if a bit outside of my usual reading topics.

Locke & Key, Vol. 6: Alpha & OmegaI am completely thrilled that volume 6 of the incredible Locke & Key graphic novel series has finally been released! I think I need to hold off on reading #6, though, until I have time to re-read #5 (if not all of them), so that I can truly enjoy this final volume with all of the details fresh in my mind. I love these books!

What’s on my reading agenda for the coming week?

The Winter PeopleSee Jane RunThe Time Tutor

Assuming I finish The Fiery Cross within the next few days (only 400 pages to go!), I’ll return to my regularly scheduled reading with:

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon (which I started last week, then abandoned for my huge red book…)

See Jane Run by Hannah Jayne: I was intrigued by the premise of this new young adult novel, and will be participating in the blog tour next week.

The Time Tutor by Bee Ridgway: A prequel novella connected to The River of No Return — which was one of my very favorite books of 2013!

In addition:

House of Secrets (House of Secrets, #1)House of Secrets by Chris Columbus and Ned Vizzini: My son and I have practically stalled on our read-together venture with this book, but we haven’t quite abandoned it yet. We keep ending up with other things to do besides sitting down to read House of Secrets — which may be a sign that, despite being pretty fun so far, neither of us feels really grabbed by this book. We’ll keep going, and see if we get more into it this week.

echoThe Outlander Book Club’s re-read of An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon continues! Coming up this week: Chapters 19 – 23. Want to join in? Contact me and I’ll provide all the details!

So many book, so little time…

That’s my agenda. What’s yours? Add your comments to share your bookish agenda for the week.

boy1

Thursday Quotables: Archetype

quotation-marks4

Welcome back to Thursday Quotables! This weekly feature is the place to highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.  Whether it’s something funny, startling, gut-wrenching, or just really beautifully written, Thursday Quotables is where my favorite lines of the week will be, and you’re invited to join in!

Archetype

Archetype by M. D. Waters
Release date: February 6, 2014

His lips part to say something, but I cannot wait any longer. I kiss him. He does not stop it, but his hands hover over my cheeks as if debating it. Finally — finally — his hands tighten on either side of my head and his return kiss is desperate. This kiss feels as if it is my first breath after a lifetime of being forced to hold it. I want to cry and laugh and scream and claw and crawl inside him. I do not care that I do not understand what has happened, because nothing matters more than being with him in this moment. Holding him. Feeling him. Tasting him.

Wow. Steamy, right?

Happy book birthday to Archetype! Be sure to check out my review of this smart, sexy, and altogether mesmerizing new science fiction novel!

What lines made you laugh, cry, or gasp this week? Do tell!

If you’d like to participate in Thursday Quotables, it’s really simple:

  • Write a Thursday Quotables post on your blog. Try to pick something from whatever you’re reading now. And please be sure to include a link back to Bookshelf Fantasies in your post (http://www.bookshelffantasies.com), if you’d be so kind!
  • Leave your link in the comments — or, if you have a quote to share but not a blog post, you can leave your quote in the comments too!
  • Visit other linked blogs to view their Thursday Quotables, and have fun!

Book Review: Archetype

Book Review: Archetype by M. D. Waters

ArchetypeSay you wake up in a hospital room with no memories. You’re told you’ve been in a terrible accident. There’s an incredibly handsome man sitting by your bedside, pledging his love and saying he’ll see you through your recovery. He’s your husband, after all. And he’s going to get you the very best of care, because he loves you with all his heart.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Well, that’s my take-away, in any case, after reading this scary, suspenseful, and altogther un-put-downable first novel by the very talented M. D. Waters. In this science fiction thriller, main character Emma wakes up in a high-tech hospital with no memories, surrounded by an elite medical team and with a very sexy man by her side, who only wants her to get better so they can continue their perfect lives together.

Problems? Well, there are the nightmares, for a start. Emma wakes in horrible trauma each night after dreaming of being trapped in a tank of water, unable to communicate, and watching a strange man who seems to be consumed by anger and grief. And that’s not all. On the nights without nightmares, there are other dreams: dreams of a beautiful beach, the arms of an unseen lover, and words of undying passion and commitment. And still more: dreams of battle, explosions, weapons, and danger. Are these delusions? Simple nightmares? Products of a damaged brain? Or is Emma starting to remember something — something that her husband wants to keep hidden?

Far be it from me to give anything away — but suffice it to say that all is not as it seems. Archetype takes place a couple of hundred years in the future, in a world quite similar to ours… but with much more pervasive technology, a United States that has divided into two separate countries following a civil war, a fertility crisis resulting in some very paternalistic laws around reproduction, and young women kept in restrictive Women’s Training Centers until age 18, when they are either bought and paid for by wealthy men who want families or assigned to a more menial role of support and subservience.

And yet, Emma’s husband Declan seems to really love her, and lavishes her with affection, patience, gifts, a lovely mountain home, and an art studio in which to pursue her newly awakened compulsion to paint landscapes. Declan is one hot guy, and just happens to be incredibly rich and powerful as well. Emma can’t help but be drawn to him, and there’s a connection between the two that just steams up the pages.

There’s more, lots more, but I absolutely want you all to experience Archetype for yourselves! I gobbled this book up within the space of 24 hours, because I just could not look away. And when I stopped for little things like eating or sleeping, I swear I kept turning over all the puzzles of the plot in my brain. There are so many clues, and so much to tease apart. What really happened to Emma? What do those dreams represent? Can Declan be trusted? Who is the mystery lover that Emma may or may not remember? There’s danger, there’s mystery, there’s passion, and there’s enough new and bizarre medical technology to make a sci-fi geek purr with contentment.

I loved the scientific and medical twists and turns, the strange new world of this alternate America, and of course, I loved Emma herself. She may be confused, but she’s not weak or a pushover, and it’s just thrilling to see her take control and try to outsmart everyone, stay ten steps ahead, and figure out how to survive — all without knowing whether anything she believes about herself or her life is actually true.

Normally, this is where you’d hear me complain about a book with a “to-be-continued” ending. Well, not this time. Yes, Archetype ends with a shocker of a cliffhanger, and yes, I’m dying to know more. But — thank you, thank you, thank you — the sequel, Prototype, will be out in July 2014! Now that’s some smart publishing! Anyone who reads Archetype will be practically salivating over the prospect of  a speedy sequel.

Archetype is one crazy roller coaster ride of a thrill, and plenty smart too. Read this book! But be prepared to lose sleep until you get to the very end.

_________________________________________

The details:

Title: Archetype
Author: M. D. Waters
Publisher: Dutton
Publication date: February 6, 2014
Length: 384 pages
Genre: Science fiction (adult)
Source: Review copy courtesy of Dutton