15 #Netgalley Rejects

I have shared my Netgalley good news and figured I would share the bad ones too.

Many of my requests have been declined, I am assuming either because I live in Portugal or my feedback rate is below 80%. It is tough when you just get a generic email and publishers do not write anything on the Preferences section, so more often than not I am never 100% sure of why I was declined.

Anyway, here are some of the most recent books I requested and really wanted to read but did not get a chance to.

Let me know if you have read any of them and, tell me the truth – am I majorly missing out?

The People at Number 9
by Felicity Everett

‘Have you met them yet, the new couple?’

When Gav and Lou move into the house next door, Sara spends days plucking up courage to say hello. The neighbours are glamorous, chaotic and just a little eccentric. They make the rest of Sara’s street seem dull by comparison.

When the hand of friendship is extended, Sara is delighted and flattered. Incredibly, Gav and Lou seem to see something in Sara and Neil that they admire too. In no time at all, the two couples are soulmates, sharing suppers, bottles of red wine and childcare, laughing and trading stories and secrets late into the night in one another’s houses.

And the more time Sara spends with Gav and Lou, the more she longs to make changes in her own life. But those changes will come at a price. Soon Gav and Lou will be asking things they’ve no right to ask of their neighbours, with shattering consequences for all of them…

Have you met The People at Number 9? A dark and delicious novel about envy, longing and betrayal in the suburbs…

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore A Novel
by Matthew Sullivan

When a bookshop patron commits suicide, his favorite store clerk must unravel the puzzle he left behind in this fiendishly clever debut novel from an award-winning short story writer.

Lydia Smith lives her life hiding in plain sight. A clerk at the Bright Ideas bookstore, she keeps a meticulously crafted existence among her beloved books, eccentric colleagues, and the BookFrogs—the lost and lonely regulars who spend every day marauding the store’s overwhelmed shelves.

But when Joey Molina, a young, beguiling BookFrog, kills himself in the bookstore’s upper room, Lydia’s life comes unglued. Always Joey’s favorite bookseller, Lydia has been bequeathed his meager worldly possessions. Trinkets and books; the detritus of a lonely, uncared for man. But when Lydia flips through his books she finds them defaced in ways both disturbing and inexplicable. They reveal the psyche of a young man on the verge of an emotional reckoning. And they seem to contain a hidden message. What did Joey know? And what does it have to do with Lydia?

As Lydia untangles the mystery of Joey’s suicide, she unearths a long buried memory from her own violent childhood. Details from that one bloody night begin to circle back. Her distant father returns to the fold, along with an obsessive local cop, and the Hammerman, a murderer who came into Lydia’s life long ago and, as she soon discovers, never completely left. Bedazzling, addictive, and wildly clever, Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore is a heart-pounding mystery that perfectly captures the intellect and eccentricity of the bookstore milieu and will keep you guessing until the very last page.

The Marsh King’s Daughter
by Karen Dionne

The suspense thriller of the year – The Marsh King’s Daughter will captivate you from the start and chill you to the bone.

‘I was born two years into my mother’s captivity. She was three weeks shy of seventeen. If I had known then what I do now, things would have been a lot different. I wouldn’t have adored my father.’

When notorious child abductor – known as the Marsh King – escapes from a maximum security prison, Helena immediately suspects that she and her two young daughters are in danger.

No one, not even her husband, knows the truth about Helena’s past: they don’t know that she was born into captivity, that she had no contact with the outside world before the age of twelve – or that her father raised her to be a killer.

And they don’t know that the Marsh King can survive and hunt in the wilderness better than anyone… except, perhaps his own daughter.

Packed with gripping suspense and powerful storytelling, The Marsh King’s Daughter is a one-more-page, read-in-one-sitting thriller that you’ll remember for ever.

The Choice
by Samantha King

For fans of The Couple Next Door, I See You and The Widow, The Choice is a hypnotic suspense debut from a remarkable new talent and explores the terrifying Sophie’s Choice scenario: What if you had to choose between your children?


Madeleine lived for her children. She’d always believed she’d die for them, too. But on the morning of her twins’ tenth birthday her love was put to the test when a killer knocked on their door and forced her to make a devastating choice: which child should live, and which should die – her son, or her daughter?


Madeleine stands silent on the periphery of her now fractured family, trying desperately to unravel why her world was so suddenly blown apart. But while everyday life continues around her, memories of everything leading up to that tragic day return in agonising flashes.

And that’s when she realises her family’s life still hangs terrifyingly in the balance…

How to Be Human
by Paula Cocozza

From Guardian writer Paula Cocozza, a debut novel of the breakdown of a marriage, suburbian claustrophobia, and a woman’s unseemly passion for a fox

One summer’s night, Mary comes home from a midnight ramble to find a baby lying on her back door step. Has Mary stolen the baby from next door? Has the baby’s mother, Mary’s neighbour, left her there in her acute state of post-natal depression? Or was the baby brought to Mary as a gift by the fox who is increasingly coming to dominate her life?
So opens How to Be Human, a novel set in a London suburb beset by urban foxes. On leave from work, unsettled by the proximity of her ex, and struggling with her hostile neighbours, Mary has become increasingly captivated by a magnificent fox who is always in her garden. First she sees him wink at her, then he brings her presents, and finally she invites him into her house. As the boundaries between the domestic and the wild blur, and the neighbours set out to exterminate the fox, it is unclear if Mary will save the fox, or the fox save Mary.
In this masterful debut, Paula Cocozza weaves together a penetrating portrait of marital breakdown, a social novel of wit and nuance, and an obsessive love story that crosses new boundaries.

The Substitute
by Nicole Lundrigan

Warren Botts is a disillusioned Ph.D., taking a break from his lab to teach middle-school science. Gentle, soft-spoken, and lonely, he innocently befriends Amanda, one of his students. But one morning, Amanda is found dead in his backyard, and Warren, shocked, flees the scene.

As the small community slowly turns against him, an anonymous narrator, a person of extreme intelligence and emotional detachment, offers insight into events past and present. As the tension builds, we gain an intimate understanding of the power of secrets, illusions, and memories.

Nicole Lundrigan uses her prodigious talent to deliciously creepy effect, producing a finely crafted page-turner and a chilling look into the mind of a psychopath.

One Little Mistake
by Emma Curtis

Vicky Seagrave is blessed: three beautiful children, a successful, doting husband, great friends and a job she loves. She should be perfectly happy.

When she risks everything she holds dear on a whim, there’s only person she trusts enough to turn to.

But Vicky is about to learn that one mistake is all it takes; that if you’re careless with those you love, you don’t deserve to keep them . . .

‘A tense and utterly engrossing story’ Tammy Cohen, author of WHEN SHE WAS BAD and THE BROKEN
‘A compelling page-turner which kept me reading well into the night.This book will make any woman look at her best friend with more than a touch of suspicion . . .’ Jane Corry, author of MY HUSBAND’S WIFE
‘A page-turner that explores how friendship, mothering, marriage, and events in the past can collide in unexpected and tumultuous ways’ Beth Miller, author of THE GOOD NEIGHBOUR and WHEN WE WERE SISTERS
‘A brilliant, gripping read. I couldn’t put it down’ Claire Douglas, author of THE SISTERS and LOCAL GIRL MISSING

Alice and the Fly
by James Rice

Greg is cripplingly shy, afraid of spiders, and obsessed with Breakfast at Tiffany’s. He’s not exactly the most popular kid at his high school. In fact, he pretty much goes out of his way to avoid talking to anybody he doesn’t have to. And it doesn’t help that he has a severe lisp.

But Greg’s English teacher, Miss Hayes, can see that there’s something different about him. He’s insightful and sensitive beyond his years, and maybe–just maybe–he’ll use these strengths to break out of his shell someday. Miss Hayes urges Greg to keep a journal. “This isn’t an assignment,” she tells him, “just write down your thoughts.”

Greg begins to write about everything from his mother’s ill-conceived interior decorating ideas to his job at the local butcher’s shop. When Greg begins to take an interest in a girl at his school named Alice, he realizes that he will have to face his most paralyzing anxieties if he wants to befriend Alice and help her escape from her violent family life.

Gather the Daughters A Novel
by Jennie Melamed

NEVER LET ME GO meets THE GIVER in this haunting debut about a cult on an isolated island, where nothing is as it seems.

Years ago, just before the country was incinerated to wasteland, ten men and their families colonized an island off the coast. They built a radical society of ancestor worship, controlled breeding, and the strict rationing of knowledge and history. Only the Wanderers–chosen male descendants of the original ten–are allowed to cross to the wastelands, where they scavenge for detritus among the still-smoldering fires.

The daughters of these men are wives-in-training. At the first sign of puberty, they face their Summer of Fruition, a ritualistic season that drags them from adolescence to matrimony. They have children, who have children, and when they are no longer useful, they take their final draught and die. But in the summer, the younger children reign supreme. With the adults indoors and the pubescent in Fruition, the children live wildly–they fight over food and shelter, free of their fathers’ hands and their mothers’ despair. And it is at the end of one summer that little Caitlin Jacob sees something so horrifying, so contradictory to the laws of the island, that she must share it with the others.

Born leader Janey Solomon steps up to seek the truth. At seventeen years old, Janey is so unwilling to become a woman, she is slowly starving herself to death. Trying urgently now to unravel the mysteries of the island and what lies beyond, before her own demise, she attempts to lead an uprising of the girls that may be their undoing.

GATHER THE DAUGHTERS is a smoldering debut; dark and energetic, compulsively readable, Melamed’s novel announces her as an unforgettable new voice in fiction.

Everything but the Truth
by Gillian McAllister

It all started with the email. It came through to her boyfriend’s iPad in the middle of the night. Rachel didn’t even mean to look. She loves Jack, and she’s pregnant with their child. She trusts him. But now she’s seen it, she can’t undo that moment, or the chain of events it has set in motion. Why has Jack been lying about his past? Just what exactly is he hiding? And doesn’t Rachel have a right to know the truth at any cost?

‘Perfection. Intriguing and compelling. An exceptional debut.’

Clare Mackintosh, author of I Let You Go and I See You

‘A beautifully written domestic noir full of secrets and lies that felt utterly plausible yet suspenseful and chilling’

Claire Douglas, author of Local Girl Missing

The Forgotten Girls
by Owen Laukkanen

They are the victims no one has ever cared about, until now. Agents Stevens and Windermere return in the blistering new crime novel from the fast-rising, multi-award-nominated suspense star.

She was a forgotten girl, a runaway found murdered on the High Line train through the northern Rocky Mountains and, with little local interest, put into a dead file. But she was not alone. When Kirk Stevens and Carla Windermere of the joint FBI-BCA violent crime force stumble upon the case, they discover a horror far greater than anyone expected—a string of murders on the High Line, all of them young women drifters whom no one would notice.
But someone has noticed now. Through the bleak midwinter and a frontier land of forbidding geography, Stevens and Windermere follow a frustratingly light trail of clues—and where it ends, even they will be shocked.

The Girl Before
by J. P. Delaney

In the tradition of The Girl on the Train, The Silent Wife, and Gone Girl comes an enthralling psychological thriller that spins one woman’s seemingly good fortune, and another woman’s mysterious fate, through a kaleidoscope of duplicity, death, and deception.

Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life.

The request seems odd, even intrusive—and for the two women who answer, the consequences are devastating.

Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece: a minimalist design of pale stone, plate glass, and soaring ceilings. But there are rules. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control: no books, no throw pillows, no photos or clutter or personal effects of any kind. The space is intended to transform its occupant—and it does.

After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street she is instantly drawn to the space—and to its aloof but seductive creator. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home’s previous tenant, a woman similar to Jane in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror, as the girl before.

Advance praise for The Girl Before

“Dazzling, startling, and above all cunning—a pitch-perfect novel of psychological suspense.“—Lee Child

“Riveting! One of the most compelling page-turners I’ve read in years. Twisty, turny, and with an ending not to be missed!“—Lisa Gardner

4 3 2 1 A Novel
by Paul Auster

Paul Auster’s greatest, most heartbreaking and satisfying novel—a sweeping and surprising story of birthright and possibility, of love and of life itself: a masterpiece.

Nearly two weeks early, on March 3, 1947, in the maternity ward of Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, Archibald Isaac Ferguson, the one and only child of Rose and Stanley Ferguson, is born. From that single beginning, Ferguson’s life will take four simultaneous and independent fictional paths. Four identical Fergusons made of the same DNA, four boys who are the same boy, go on to lead four parallel and entirely different lives. Family fortunes diverge. Athletic skills and sex lives and friendships and intellectual passions contrast. Each Ferguson falls under the spell of the magnificent Amy Schneiderman, yet each Amy and each Ferguson have a relationship like no other. Meanwhile, readers will take in each Ferguson’s pleasures and ache from each Ferguson’s pains, as the mortal plot of each Ferguson’s life rushes on.

As inventive and dexterously constructed as anything Paul Auster has ever written, yet with a passion for realism and a great tenderness and fierce attachment to history and to life itself that readers have never seen from Auster before. 4 3 2 1 is a marvelous and unforgettably affecting tour de force.

by Daniel Cole

This title has been listed for readers in Australia and New Zealand. If you are in the UK or other territories please search for the UK edition, if listed. Please note that not all Hachette Australia titles are listed in the public NetGalley catalogue.

“…utterly addictive with brilliant characters and a killer twist you will never see coming – the best debut I’ve ever read.” – Rachel Abbott, No. 1 bestselling author

The nation is gripped by the infamous ‘Ragdoll Killer’. Your friends, your family and your neighbours are all talking about it

A body is discovered with the dismembered parts of six victims stitched together like a puppet, nicknamed by the press as the ‘ragdoll’.

Assigned to the shocking case are Detective William ‘Wolf’ Fawkes, recently reinstated to the London Met, and his former partner Detective Emily Baxter.

The ‘Ragdoll Killer’ taunts the police by releasing a list of names to the media, and the dates on which he intends to murder them.

With six people to save, can Fawkes and Baxter catch a killer when the world is watching their every move?

This Is How It Always Is
by Laurie Frankel

Laurie Frankel’s THIS IS HOW IT ALWAYS IS is a warm, touching and bittersweet novel about a family that’s just like any other – until it’s not.

Telling our stories and secrets is hard and scary.
And sometimes dangerous. But we must do it anyway
because that’s how life gets better for everyone.

Rosie and Penn always wanted a daughter. Four sons later, they decide to try one last time – and their beautiful little boy Claude is born. Life continues happily for this big, loving family until the day when Claude says that, when he grows up, he wants to be a girl.

As far as Rosie and Penn are concerned, bright, funny and wonderful Claude can be whoever he or she wants. But as problems begin at school and in the community, the family faces a seemingly impossible dilemma: should Claude change, or should they and Claude try to change the world?

Warm, touching and bittersweet, THIS IS HOW IT ALWAYS IS is a novel about families, love and how we choose to define ourselves. It will make you laugh and cry – and see the world differently.

I did not include the publisher because some have several editions, and I requested all of them but still got declined.

Looking forward to your feedback!

19 thoughts on “15 #Netgalley Rejects

  1. The only one of these that I requested and received was The Girl Before. There was a specific edition available for UK and Commonwealth countries to request so I didn’t have to try my luck with the US edition. It was very good and I enjoyed it a lot. I’ve had a fair few rejections too and I don’t mourn them too much :)


    • Lucky you, I really wanted to read that one.

      So far I have 89 rejections. So yeah, it stings a bit. Especially when the blurb really intrigues me. There were quite a few of these that really piqued my interest.

      I have several ones waiting to be picked up that I am sure will be just as lovely but I guess I wanted your feedback to see if I should actually spend money in any of these, since I didn’t get the ARC.

      Thanks for your feedback, I really appreciate it!

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s really annoying when they have no country preferences and you still get rejected! I understand the country stuff because of copyright laws but they should state more preferences too.

        I definitely think that the book is worth buying. It’s really good :)

        Liked by 1 person

      • They really should…

        Alright, thank you for your feedback, I will probably get it if I find on sale or if my Netgalley TBR decreases a tad!


  2. I can totally relate with this; I often wonder as well why my requests are exactly declined, although like you I think it’s probably either because I live in Argentina or because I don’t have a 80+% NG ratio. I wasn’t approved for any of the above titles either… The ones I’ve heard the best things about are The Girl Before, The Marsh King’s Daughter (Buzz Books had an excerpt of that one and it sounded really good!) and Ragdoll. I do the same as you and request all versions of a title I really want by the way!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, I have an 80% feedback ratio AND I live in the UK – one of the recognised publication territories and I STILL get rejected. It happened to me only last week… Admittedly, it doesn’t happen as often as it used to, but like you – I’ve no idea exactly why…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, amazing. I didn’t think that could happen. So weird… O.o Did you request an edition that was only available to US or Australia? There are quite a few of those out there…

      Liked by 1 person

      • No. The books I requested were all UK approved – but it came back that they didn’t think the book would be a ‘good fit’. Whatever that means… So don’t think that it’s just down to being in the wrong part of the world, or not having the right stats. It might simply be they only allow a certain number out…

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think so… But to be honest, I simply let it go. I’m just thrilled and awed that a place like Netgalley exists so I do get a chance to have access to new releases at the click of a mouse… I just wanted you to know that there are obviously other factors in play than the ones you mentioned in your article.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That is so true! Netgalley completely revolutionalised my world. I know I would not read nearly as much if it weren’t for them.

        I appreciate you taking the time to let me know!

        So from what I gathered I only lost three really good ones, right? That’s not too bad.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Just to echo sjhigbee – I’m in the UK and I’m now making a real effort to keep my feedback ratio above 90%, but it does take time to get there and the rejections are par for the course. But keep trying! Give feedback on everything you’ve been sent and that’ll help to drive the numbers up. It’s true, though, that sometimes the pesky publishers just don’t want to press that ‘accept’ button. And, more often than not, it’s the really tantalising books that get oversubscribed, where they can afford to be picky. ;-)

    I’ve read Gather the Daughters – my review is scheduled to go live nearer the release date, but it’s a good book – disturbing and thought-provoking – and it’s worth keeping your eyes open for it when it’s published.

    Good luck with your further requests and don’t be downhearted. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I thought the premise for Gather the Daughters were very intriguing. Thank you. I definitely need to bring my feedback rate up, hopefully that will help.


  5. Pingback: February 2017 Wrap-Up | Ana's Lair

  6. I only got a sample of The Girl Before and I am looking forward to purchasing myself a copy. I also had Ragdoll which I quite enjoyed!

    I also wanted to read The Forgotten Girls but unfortunately didn’t get to. I can’t always tell why I’ve been declined but I usually just assume that they may have preferred readers or have reached their quota for reviewers. Who knows, really! :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it does make sense.

      It’s weird how drawn I am to twisted themes. I am reading Roanoke Girls now and it is very twisted.

      Ragdoll has been doing really well out there.

      Liked by 1 person

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