Waiting on Wednesday: Insanity by Susan Vaught



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.  Its purpose is to spotlight eagerly-anticipated upcoming releases.


This week I’m eagerly awaiting:

Insanity by Susan Vaught

Expected Release Date: February 18th, 2014

Never, Kentucky is not your average scenic small town. It is a crossways, a place where the dead and the living can find no peace. Not that Forest, an 18-year-old foster kid who works the graveyard shift at Lincoln Hospital, knew this when she applied for the job. Lincoln is a huge state mental institution, a good place for Forest to make some money to pay for college. But along with hundreds of very unstable patients, it also has underground tunnels, bell towers that ring unexpectedly, and a closet that holds more than just donated clothing….When the dead husband of one of Forest’s patients makes an appearance late one night, seemingly accompanied by an agent of the Devil, Forest loses all sense of reality and all sense of time. Terrified, she knows she has a part to play, and when she does so, she finds a heritage that she never expected. 

With her deep knowledge of mental illness and mental institutions, Susan Vaught brings readers a fascinating and completely creepy new book intertwining the stories of three young people who find themselves haunted beyond imagining in the depths of Lincoln Hospital.

(summary via Goodreads)

Is there anything scarier than a mental institution?  I’m pretty sure there’s not.  I don’t know why they’ve always fascinated and terrified me, but they have.  Probably this is leftover scarring from when I watched MTV’s Fear and they had to stay overnight in that abandoned mental institution.  HORRIFYING.  At any rate, this one looks like it might be a lot of scary, good fun.

What are you waiting on this week?

Waiting on Wednesday: The Glass Casket by McCormick Templeman

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.  Its purpose is to spotlight eagerly-anticipated upcoming releases.

This week I’m eagerly awaiting:

The Glass Casket by McCormick Templeman

Expected Release Date: February 11, 2014

Death hasn’t visited Rowan Rose since it took her mother when Rowan was only a little girl. But that changes one bleak morning, when five horses and their riders thunder into her village and through the forest, disappearing into the hills. Days later, the riders’ bodies are found, and though no one can say for certain what happened in their final hours, their remains prove that whatever it was must have been brutal.

Rowan’s village was once a tranquil place, but now things have changed. Something has followed the path those riders made and has come down from the hills, through the forest, and into the village. Beast or man, it has brought death to Rowan’s door once again.

Only this time, its appetite is insatiable.

(summary via Goodreads)

What I love about this one’s summary is that nothing is given away, really.  It’s the perfect teaser for a book that’s undoubtedly creepy and a little haunting.  Do I wish the cover weren’t quite so irritating?  Yes, of course.  There’s no reason to sexualize the girl quite so much with the red lips and nails (why are they in her mouth, really? is there a point to the story?), but that’s what sells, right?

At any rate, I’ll definitely be checking this one out.

What are you waiting on this week?

Waiting on Wednesday: Before My Eyes by Caroline Bock

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.  Its purpose is to spotlight eagerly-anticipated upcoming releases.

This week I’m eagerly awaiting:

Before My Eyes by Caroline Bock

Expected Release Date:  February 11, 2014

Dreamy, poetic Claire, seventeen, has spent the last few months taking care of her six-year-old sister, Izzy, as their mother lies in a hospital bed recovering from a stroke. Claire believes she has everything under control until she meets “Brent” online. Brent appears to be a kindred spirit, and Claire is initially flattered by his attention. But when she meets Max, the awkward state senator’s son, her feelings become complicated.

Max, also seventeen, has been working the worst summer job ever at the beachside Snack Shack. He’s also been popping painkillers. His parents—more involved in his father’s re-election than in their son’s life—fail to see what’s going on with him.

Working alongside Max is Barkley, twenty-one. Lonely and obsessive, Barkley has been hearing a voice in his head. No one—not his parents, not his co-workers—realizes that Barkley is suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. Until the voice in his head orders him to take out his gun.

Narrated in turns by Claire, Max, and Barkley, Before My Eyes captures a moment when possibilities should be opening up, but instead everything teeters on the brink of destruction.

(summary via Goodreads)

Okay.  This could be great, or it could be a disaster.  I actually think the summary gives away too much, but maybe I’m wrong and all that happens right at the beginning?  Doubtful, but I’m still willing to give this one a try.  I like the idea of alternating chapters, so long as each character is distinctive enough.  I have a feeling this one is going to end in tragedy, but who knows.

What are you waiting on this week?

Waiting on Wednesday: And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.  Its purpose is to spotlight eagerly-anticipated upcoming releases.

This week I’m eagerly awaiting:

And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard

Expected Release Date: January 28, 2014

When high school senior Paul Wagoner walks into his school library with a stolen gun, he threatens his girlfriend Emily Beam, then takes his own life. In the wake of the tragedy, an angry and guilt-ridden Emily is shipped off to boarding school in Amherst, Massachusetts, where she encounters a ghostly presence who shares her name. The spirit of Emily Dickinson and two quirky girls offer helping hands, but it is up to Emily to heal her own damaged self.

This inventive story, told in verse and in prose, paints the aftermath of tragedy as a landscape where there is good behind the bad, hope inside the despair, and springtime under the snow.

(summary via Goodreads)

I recently read a book that featured a fictional Emily Dickinson, so this one caught my eye as it features her ghost.  This doesn’t exactly look like light reading, but it does look interesting.  Plus, bonus points for using the word “inventive” instead of something else that feels overused and meaningless at this point.  I like the idea of combining prose and verse in the novel, and I have high hopes that this is as riveting as I expect it to be.

What are you waiting on this week?

Movie News and Randomness

I think it’s past time for another installment of movie news and randomness.  Here are five movie-related items I’m particularly excited about this week.

1. A Case of You guarantees I’ll see it based on the title and Justin Long

The movie stars Justin Long (whom I love to a ridiculous degree), and Evan Rachel Wood (who I like, generally) as a couple who meet and are attracted to one another, yadda yadda yadda.  But Long’s character decides that instead of being himself, he’ll try to be her perfect man, based on information from vaguely Facebook-esque online profile.  It’s contrived, and I’m sure we can all figure out how it will unfold, but the movie also stars Peter Dinklage, so how could I not see it?

2.  Reese Witherspoon attached to star in Happily Ever After

The movie, which is in what I assume is pre-pre-production, focuses on a princess ten years after she’s married her prince.  What happens after the end of a fairytale?  It’s likely to be a little twee and overly-saccharine, but I like Reese Witherspoon much more than I should (I sat through This Means War–sober), so there’s no doubt I’ll see this one at some point. (THR)

3. Frozen looks cute, I guess, for an animated film

I’m not really what you’d call a fan of animated films in general, but I like the ones that feature female protagonists, generally (I really liked Brave).  This one stars the voices of Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel, so they’ve already got me hook, line, and sinker.  It’s all about a quest to restore a city to its summer glory from the eternal winter that’s been cast upon it.  Or something.  The details don’t really matter because it’s going to be formulaic.  But, whatever.

4. Bryce Dallas Howard is in talks to star in Jurassic World

NOOoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. (The Wrap)

5. Geography Club Trailer is all glammed up

I read Brent Hartinger’s The Geography Club back when I was finishing up my teaching degree, and I remember generally liking it but not being blown away by it.  It’s about a group of teens at a high school who start what is essentially a GSA for other students, but they call it the Geography Club so as not to arouse suspicion from other students.  Apparently, there are other books in the series, though I just learned that today, when putting together this post.  At any rate, someone has made it into a movie, and it’s…didactic.


What movie news are you excited about this week?

Waiting on Wednesday: Ashes to Ashes by Melissa C. Walker

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.  Its purpose is to spotlight eagerly-anticipated upcoming releases.

This week I’m eagerly awaiting:

Ashes to Ashes by Melissa C. Walker

Expected Release Date: December 23, 2013

If I Stay meets the movie Ghost in this first book in a teen duology about a teenage-girl-turned-ghost who must cling to the echoes of her former life to save the people she left behind.

Ashes to Ashes is author Melissa Walker’s sweeping, romantic, and emotionally rich story about the things that torment and tempt us, even from the Great Beyond. This book is perfect for fans of Die for Me andImaginary Girls, and its breathtaking ending will leave readers anxiously awaiting the series conclusion, Dust to Dust.

When Callie’s life is cut short by a tragic accident, she expects to find nothingness, or maybe some version of heaven.

Instead, her spirit travels to the Prism, an ethereal plane populated by the ghosts she thought were fictional. Here she meets a striking and mysterious ghost named Thatcher, who is meant to guide her as she learns to haunt and bring peace to the loved ones she left behind.

However, Callie uncovers a dark secret about the spirit world: The angry souls who always populate ghost stories are real, dangerous, and willing to do whatever it takes to stay on Earth, threatening the existence of everyone she ever cared about.

As she fights to save them, Callie will learn that while it may no longer beat, her heart can still love-and break.

(summary via Goodreads)

Setting aside the kind of obnoxious comparison to two different pop culture-y things, I like Melissa Walker enough to give her new paranormal novel a chance.  I haven’t read much paranormal this year (and with the Cybils coming up, I probably won’t get to much more until the end of December), but when it’s done well, I like it well enough.

I like the idea of encountering ghosts in the afterlife, and I’m not averse to some scarier stuff, if Walker can pull it off.  It’d be a good read on a cold weekend when all you want to do is stay inside by a fire.

What are you waiting on this week?

Waiting on Wednesday: Ink is Thicker Than Water by Amy Spalding

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.  Its purpose is to spotlight eagerly-anticipated upcoming releases.

This week I’m eagerly awaiting:

Ink is Thicker than Water by Amy Spalding

Expected Release Date: December 3, 2013

For Kellie Brooks, family has always been a tough word to define. Combine her hippie mom and tattooist stepdad, her adopted overachieving sister, her younger half brother, and her tough-love dad, and average Kellie’s the one stuck in the middle, overlooked and impermanent. When Kellie’s sister finally meets her birth mother and her best friend starts hanging with a cooler crowd, the feeling only grows stronger.

But then she reconnects with Oliver, the sweet and sensitive college guy she had a near hookup with last year. Oliver is intense and attractive, and she’s sure he’s totally out of her league. But as she discovers that maybe intensity isn’t always a good thing, it’s yet another relationship she feels is spiraling out of her control.

It’ll take a new role on the school newspaper and a new job at her mom’s tattoo shop for Kellie to realize that defining herself both outside and within her family is what can finally allow her to feel permanent, just like a tattoo.

(summary via Goodreads)

This one looks pretty cute.  It’s got all the makings of a quirky little story, including the overtly quirky family of the protagonist.  There’s also a lot of stuff here that could make for some good exploration of what it means to grow up, so if it’s executed well, the book may end up having some heft to it.  Either way, the book should be a fun, lighter read right at the end of the year.

What are you waiting on this week?

Waiting on Wedneday: Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.  Its purpose is to spotlight eagerly-anticipated upcoming releases.

This week I’m eagerly awaiting:

Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff

Expected Release Date: October 1, 2013

Printz Award-winning author Meg Rosoff’s latest novel is a gorgeous and unforgettable page-turner about the relationship between parents and children, love and loss.

Mila has an exceptional talent for reading a room—sensing hidden facts and unspoken emotions from clues that others overlook. So when her father’s best friend, Matthew, goes missing from his upstate New York home, Mila and her beloved father travel from London to find him. She collects information about Matthew from his belongings, from his wife and baby, from the dog he left behind and from the ghosts of his past—slowly piecing together the story everyone else has missed. But just when she’s closest to solving the mystery, a shocking betrayal calls into question her trust in the one person she thought she could read best. 

(summary via Goodreads)

Meg Rosoff’s how i live now is probably one of my favorite books of all time, so it’s a given that I’d be excited about any of her other books.  This one looks great for a number of reasons: the summary doesn’t give too much away, the cover is bizarrely interesting looking, and it looks like a twisty little mystery story.  So yeah, I’m pretty excited for this one.

What are you waiting on this week?

Waiting on Wednesday: The Vow by Jessica Martinez

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.  Its purpose is to spotlight eagerly-anticipated upcoming releases.

This week I’m eagerly awaiting:

The Vow by Jessica Martinez

Expected Release Date: October 15, 2013

No one has ever believed that Mo and Annie are just friends. How can a guy and a girl really be best friends?

Then the summer before senior year, Mo’s father loses his job, and by extension his work visa. Instantly, life for Annie and Mo crumbles. Although Mo has lived in America for most of his life, he’ll be forced to move to Jordan. The prospect of leaving his home is devastating, and returning to a world where he no longer belongs terrifies him.

Desperate to save him, Annie proposes they tell a colossal lie—that they are in love. Mo agrees because marrying Annie is the only way he can stay. Annie just wants to keep her best friend, but what happens when it becomes a choice between saving Mo and her own chance at real love?

(summary via Goodreads)

I feel like I already had a WoW post about this book, but a quick search of my archives turned up nothing.  That being said, I think it looks great.  I can’t wait to read this one.  The premise feels fresh, and if it’s done well, it’ll be really interesting and pertinent to today’s world.  I don’t know.  I’m not feeling particularly articulate today, but I do know I want to read this one.

What are you waiting on this week?

What I’m Reading and Thinking About This Week

These are the things that I’ve been reading and thinking about this week:


Elysium’s Politics Don’t Add Up (Salon)

I saw Elysium last weekend, and I was underwhelmed, and kind of confused.  J. and I talked about it for a while afterward, and neither one of us could decide what it was that didnt’ work about the movie, but this piece over at Salon sums up many of my issues with the pretty forgettable film.

I’m Worried that the Cable Rerun Movie is in Danger of Dying Out (Vulture)

This is a great, funny piece about how awesome it is to catch a movie on cable and lose an afternoon or an evening to it.  What’s interesting is that I’ve had this conversation several times with different people, because I’ll definitely watch a movie that I’ve not only seen multiple times but own a copy of–if I happen to catch it on TV.  There’s something so great about the cable rerun movie.  I’d hate to see it disappear because of on-demand viewing (whose choices can be paralyzing).


Tackling the Roots of Rape (NY Times)

My friend Stacey sent me this one (what up, @GingerGoingHAM?), and it was an interesting read.  There’s something to be said for what Chris Kilmartin is doing and teaching all over the country, but what I found disturbing about the article is that not once is the phrase “rape culture” mentioned.  Isn’t that what they’re getting at when they talk about the way that pop culture and the media reinforce the male machismo stereotype?  Isn’t that what we’re being inundated with when it comes to the media and rape apologists?  Is it just that the phrase “rape culture” is so polarizing, or is there something else I’m missing?


16 Questions for the “Real Life Barbie” (The Daily Beast)

This is something I stumbled upon when I fell into a Tumblr hole this week, but it’s absolutely riveting and absolutely horrifying.  The woman is not right in the head for many reasons, but you also can’t look away, can you?  Her body looks like it hurts.

40 Maps They Didn’t Teach You in School (Bored Panda)

This is so cool and such a fun diversion, I really encourage you to spend some time looking carefully at the different maps presented.  As a former social studies teacher, this is exactly the kind of stuff I would have used in my class to reinforce ideas about xenophobia, racism, cartography–you name it, you can find something here it applies to.

What are you reading this week?