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Shorter Musings MG Fantasy

Here are some shorter musings on recent MG fantasy reads. Anya and the Dragon   by Sofiya Pasternack This book is fun. It is a book full of adventure, an obvious bad guy, some more complicated morally gray area characters, and a strong, brave heroine. It is also a book about friendships, community, and fighting for what is right. All things that usually work for me really well. While I enjoyed this, I did feel it was a little overlong and there were certain plot points at the end I didn't love. However, there were things I thought were done really well, such as Anya's Jewish faith and the idea that power needs to be challenged. In the end it was a middle of the road read for me, but it is one I will certainly be recommending to dragon and fantasy adventure lovers I know! R is for Rebel   by J. Anderson Coats This is tough because I usually really like Coats's books. I had such a hard time with this one though on so many levels. It's difficult to get into because t
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Shorter Musings: MG Realistic

Here are some shorter musings on some recent MG realistic reads. New Kid  by Jerry Craft I get why this became the first graphic novel to win the Newbery. It has an excellent cast of diverse (in every way including personality) characters with truly good character arcs. The themes are important but never seem heavy-handed. I enjoyed the way the text and the graphics worked together to provide a deeply rich reading experience. I would love to have a book about all of the kids featured in this one. I enjoyed all of their personalities that much.

Shorter Musings: YA Realistic

Here are shorter musings of some recent realistic YA reads. The Fountains of Silence   by Ruta Sepetys I truly appreciate and love the amount of research Sepetys puts into her historical fiction writing. This novel has a better bibliography than most YA non-fiction books that are published. I also like how Sepetys tends to bring attention to historical moments that often go unremarked or unnoticed. In this case she is tackling life in Franco's Spain, and the kidnapping of children to give up for adoption that was rampant under the regime. While this book is a great intellectual exercise, I couldn't quite love it as a work of literature. I felt a distance between myself and the characters. It was almost clinical. I'm not sure if this is a fault of how they were written and developed or a fault in my own ability to want to immerse myself in so painful a reality. The prose is on the same level Sepetys typically gives us, and the setting is fully realized. Maybe This Time

Shorter Musings: YA Fantasy

Here are some shorter musings on some recent YA fantasy reads. His Hideous Heart  by Various I was excited to read this because it is a unique idea, and I love Edgar Allan Poe. Unfortunately, all the things that make Poe's stories great are watered down in these new reworking, making them just the same as any other modern day horror. I also have some serious issues with how a couple of them handled the psychology of the stories. I'm especially not comfortable with the apologist attitude of a couple of the stories that changed the murderer to angry girls. Torturous violence and murder is never justified in my opinion.  My favorite is by far the first one, and it's based on a shorter, not as well known Poe. I wish I had stopped there. The Merciful Crow  by Margaret Owen This book was  almost  a new book of my heart. I thoroughly enjoyed the beginning and everything about the voice. And the SYMBOLISM. I could write a paper on that. The way the symbolism brought out the t

May 202 Recap

I read 12 books this month, but most of those were rereads due to several things including finishing up the kids' school years. Of the four new books I finished, I loved only one. The Favorite: May in Numbers Total: 12 New: 4           Rereads: 8 MG: 1              YA: 2               Adult: 9 Contemporary: 3 Historical: 7 Fantasy: 2 Science-Fiction: 0 Non-Fiction: 0 Did you read any new favorites this month?

TTT: Opening Lines

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly themed blog hop created by  The Broke and the Bookish  and now hosted at  That Artsy Reader Girl . These are the opening lines I find most memorable-most of them I was able to type word for word and only looked them up to be absolutely sure they were word perfect. Some of these lines I like for their cleverness, some for the way they set up the story, and some for the mindset they immediately set from while reading.  I can personally vouch for all the contents that follow these stellar first lines too. "There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it."            -C.S. Lewis The Voyage of the Dawn Treader " There is no lake at Camp Green Lake."            -Lois Sachar Holes         "I didn't know how long I'd been in the king's prison."            -Megan Whalen Turner The Thief " It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession o


Frances Hardinge is an auto buy author for me. However, I enjoy most of her books more on an intellectual level. There have thus far only been two that I have felt a deep full connection to as a reader, A Face Like Glass  and The Lost Conspiracy . Now there are three. Hardinge's most recent release Deeplight  falls into the same category-intellectually and emotionally satisfying with prose that makes my mind sing. Just 50 years ago the people of the Myriad lived lives of fear. They lived in fear of the monstrous sea gods that would occasionally rise from the sea and swallow whole islands of people. Everything changed with the Cataclysm. The gods turned and destroyed each other, and the Myriad learned what peace was. Now enterprising exhibitions dive under the sea to recover pieces of old god to harvest the powerful godware that still carries a range of powers. On the island of Lady's Crave, Hark is an orphan who must use his wits and cunning to survive. His greatest talent