Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Can't-Wait Wednesday: Last to Leave the Room by Caitlin Starling, Death Valley by Melissa Broder, & Curious Tides by Pascale Lacelle


Can't-Wait is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings that spotlights exciting upcoming releases that we can't wait to be released! This meme is based off of Jill @ Breaking the Spine's Waiting on Wednesday meme.

This week's upcoming book spotlights are:

Last to Leave the Room by Caitlin Starling
Publication: October 10th, 2023
St. Martin's Press
Hardcover. 320 pages.
Pre-order: Amazon |

From Goodreads:
"The city of San Siroco is sinking. The basement of Dr. Tamsin Rivers, the arrogant, selfish head of the research team assigned to find the source of the subsidence, is sinking faster. As Tamsin grows obsessed with the distorting dimensions of the room at the bottom of the stairs, she finds a door that didn’t exist before - and one night, it opens to reveal an exact physical copy of her. This doppelgänger is sweet and biddable where Tamsin is calculating and cruel. It appears fully, terribly human, passing every test Tamsin can devise. But the longer the double exists, the more Tamsin begins to forget pieces of her life, to lose track of time, to grow terrified of the outside world. As her employer grows increasingly suspicious, Tamsin must try to hold herself together long enough to figure out what her double wants from her, and just where the mysterious door leads…"

I read an ARC of this and it had me absolutely riveted, so it seems like the perfect October release! I actually think this one might be getting a special edition, too, so that'll be neat to see as well. I loved Starling's The Luminous Dead, but not so much The Death of Jane Lawrence, so this was such a great surprise to read!

Death Valley by Melissa Broder
Publication: October 3rd, 2023
Hardcover. 240 pages.
Pre-order: Amazon |

From Goodreads:
"In Melissa Broder’s astounding new novel, a woman arrives alone at a Best Western seeking respite from an emptiness that plagues her. She has fled to the California high desert to escape a cloud of sorrow—for both her father in the ICU and a husband whose illness is worsening. What the motel provides, however, is not peace but a path, thanks to a receptionist who recommends a nearby hike.

Out on the sun-scorched trail, the woman encounters a towering cactus whose size and shape mean it should not exist in California. Yet the cactus is there, with a gash through its side that beckons like a familiar door. So she enters it. What awaits her inside this mystical succulent sets her on a journey at once desolate and rich, hilarious and poignant.

This is Melissa Broder at her most imaginative, most universal, and finest. This is Death Valley.

I'm always interested in a California setting, and I love that this sounds pretty weird–right up my alley!

Curious Tides by Pascale Lacelle
Publication: October 3rd, 2023
Margaret K. McElderry
Hardcover. 544 pages.
Pre-order: Amazon |

From Goodreads:
"Emory might be a student at the prestigious Aldryn College for Lunar Magics, but her healing abilities have always been mediocre at best—until a treacherous night in the Dovermere sea caves leaves a group of her classmates dead and her as the only survivor. Now Emory is plagued by strange, impossible powers that no healer should possess.

Powers that would ruin her life if the wrong person were to discover them.

To gain control of these new abilities, Emory enlists the help of the school’s most reclusive student, Baz—a boy already well-versed in the deadly nature of darker magic, whose sister happened to be one of the drowned students and Emory’s best friend. Determined to find the truth behind the drownings and the cult-like secret society she’s convinced her classmates were involved in, Emory is faced with even more questions when the supposedly drowned students start washing ashore— alive —only for them each immediately to die horrible, magical deaths.

And Emory is not the only one seeking answers. When her new magic captures the society’s attention, she finds herself drawn into their world of privilege and power, all while wondering if the truth she’s searching for might lead her right back to Dovermere…to face the fate she was never meant to escape.

There's a part of me that's actually tired of school settings... but the part of me that still always jumps at them is stronger, so I'm excited about the sound of this!


  1. Death Valley sounds really good, I agree. I have a copy of Curious Tides and I'm hoping to get to it soon😁

  2. Leave the Room sounds fun. Love dopplegangers and alternate reality stuff like that. And oh my gosh the cactus- I might need that just to see where it goes! And Tides could be fun. A big old doorstopper at 544!

  3. Death Valley sounds weird and I love weird tales. I am also very curious about the Starling book. Great choices!

  4. I am excited about Last to Leave the Room and am glad to hear you enjoyed it. I can't wait to read it.

    I will be very curious to know what you think of Death Valley. It sounds interesting--and I love the setting.

    Curious Tides also sounds very appealing to me. I like a good school setting, especially if there's magic involved.

    Thank you for sharing!

  5. Oooh! All of these books look mysterious! Great pick!

    Here’s my WoW

    Rabbit Ears Book Blog: WORLD’S WEIRDEST BOOK BLOG!