Friday, October 13, 2017

Future Favorite Friday

I'm back again! Hopefully more regularly this time. This move has taken more out of me than the last one did for sure. But we are in our new house and almost completely unpacked. I still need to get a library card. It is on my list of things to do today, but hopefully the reviews will start again soon. In the meantime, it's the second Friday of the month so here is the Future Favorite Friday post for October!

Varian Johnson's Great Greene Heist duo is a favorite in our house. I'm excited about his latest upcoming novel. 

The letter waits in a book, in a box, in an attic, in an old house in Lambert, South Carolina. It's waiting for Candice Miller. 

When Candice finds the letter, she isn't sure she should read it. It's addressed to her grandmother, after all, who left Lambert in a cloud of shame. But the letter describes a young woman named Siobhan Washington. An injustice that happened decades ago. A mystery enfolding the letter-writer. And the fortune that awaits the person who solves the puzzle. Grandma tried and failed. But now Candice has another chance. 

So with the help of Brandon Jones, the quiet boy across the street, she begins to decipher the clues in the letter. The challenge will lead them deep into Lambert's history, full of ugly deeds, forgotten heroes, and one great love; and deeper into their own families, with their own unspoken secrets. Can they find the fortune and fulfill the letter's promise before the summer ends?

Release Date: March 27, 2018 from Arthur Levine books

I've followed Justina Ireland on Twitter for some time. I appreciate her voice and the way she speaks up on important issues. But the reason I'm excited about this book is due to what it's about. And everything I've heard about it so far is good.
Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.

But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.

Release Date: April 3, 2018 from Blazer & Bray

What upcoming releases are you looking forward to?

Friday, September 29, 2017

Quarterly Review

Here is a round up of all the books I chose not to finish, adult reads, and favorite reads of the last three months.

The DNFs (with links to my reasons why on Goodreads):
Love, Ish by Karen Rivers
Windfall by Jennifer Smith

Adult Reads (with links to Goodreads reviews):
Beauty Like the Night by Joanna Bourne (historical romance)
Rogue Desire by various (contemporary romance)
The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley (mystery, steam-punk, historical)

The Best of the Best (links to my reviews):

Beauty Like the Night by Joanna Bourne
Emperor of Mars by Patrick Samphire

An Uninterrupted View of the Sky by Melanie Crowder

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

TTT: Books with "Difficult" Women

This week's TTT topic: Books That Feature Characters Who....

I'm back! Finally. Kind of sort of. I'm still in the transition process. We close on our house this week and get our stuff soon after. Then comes the unpacking. But I'm getting in more time for reading again. (Stay tuned.)

In the meantime, this week's Top Ten Tuesday was one I couldn't pass up. When I saw this week's topic, I immediately though of my favorite kind of heroine: The "Difficult" Female. Who finds these fine ladies difficult? Usually the people in their stories angry that they won't fit in the nice neat boxes they want to stuff them in. And they won't go quietly into them either. I find it strange that many times readers don't like these heroines either, probably because they are my everything.

Difficult Woman: The Queen of Attolia
Who Finds her Difficult: Pretty much everyone else in the book including herself.
Why I Love Her: She is ambitious, ruthless, intelligent, and an excellent, organized administrator. Attolia is my favorite character of all time.

Difficult Woman: Harriet Vane
Who Finds her Difficult: A lot of puffed up self-righteous people with too many opinions on things they know nothing about. Herself. Peter (the hero), but only because he wants her to see herself and him clearly, not because he's trying to conform her to anything.j
Why I Love Her: Harriet is fiercely intelligent and introspective. I identify with her on a lot of levels, particularly her struggles in this novel.

Difficult Woman: Kate Sutton
Who Finds Her Difficult: Everyone trying to get her to stay where they put her.
Why I Love Her: She is intensely curious and stubborn. While those to trait combinations get her in trouble, they also save her (and Christopher) in the end. She is also all that is sassy and snarky.

Difficult Woman: Aravis
Who Finds Her Difficult: Pretty much every male in the novel.
Why I Love Her: This young girl concocted a brilliant plot to escape an arranged marriage and her own future.

Difficult Woman: Meg Murry
Who Finds Her Difficult: Everyone (including herself) except Calvin who just revels in who she is.
Why I Love Her: Reading this book as a child is the first time I ever remember fully seeing myself in a character in a book. Introverted, smart (but feels not quite smart enough), awkward, Meg means more to me than I could ever properly put into words.

Difficult Woman: Kat Stephenson 
Who Finds Her Difficult: Everyone with firm ideas of how proper ladies should behave and everyone who wants her highly inquisitive self out of their nefarious business.
Why I Love Her: Read the Kat books if you haven't, and I guarantee you'll love her too. She's vivacious, smart, loyal, stubborn, and devoted to her family.

Difficult Woman: Rose Lee Carter
Who Finds Her Difficult: Her Family (particularly her cousin and grandmother) 
Why I Love Her: Rose's journey of discovery, both of herself and the world around her, is a beautiful story. I adore her brain, her ambition, her stubbornness, and her heart. 

 Difficult Woman: Tiffany Aching
Who Finds Her Difficult: Anyone Who Attempts to Cross Her
Why I Love Her: Tiffany is a heroine who grew in to her stature as a difficult woman over time. I loved watching her become the confident, talented, wise woman she is.

Difficult Woman: Tori Beuagrand
Who Finds Her Difficult: Everyone in some way or another. 
Why I Love Her: Tori exudes a fierce determination and confidence even when she is floundering and falling apart inside. She is a firm friend and willing to make any sacrifice necessary to protect those she loves.

Difficult Woman: Charlotte Eason
Who Finds Her Difficult: Men with a small minded view of what women can and should be doing. Her parents. Eugene (the hero), but only because their relationship is complicated, not because he wants her any differently.
Why I Love Her: Charlie is ambitious and wants to do her best at the job she's been given. I love the way she figures out the tension between her heart and her head and reconciles the two.

I could have an endless list for this particular topic, which is why I'm so strict about actually limiting the TTT lists to ten. These are definitely my favorite though.

Do you enjoy any character considered a "difficult" woman?

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Shorter Musings (MG)

Here are some shorter musings on recent reads

First Class Murder by Robin Stevens
This delightful series continues to make me smile. Hazel is coming in to her own so nicely and I can't wait to see how that affects her relationship with Daisy. I can already see more strain starting to develop. I hope that it eventually leads to more growth on Daisy's part. Meanwhile, I love the callbacks to classic mysteries and was delighted to see my two favorites from book two make cameos. Alexander was a great secondary character addition in this as well. I can not wait for the US to catch up to where the series is in the UK! If you haven't experienced these wonderful MG books and are a fan of old fashioned mystery stories, start with Murder is Bad Manners.

The Daybreak Bond by Megan Frazer Blakemore
This is an enjoyable sequel to last year's [book:The Firefly Code|26073153]. It answers a lot of questions brought up in the first book and has the continued adventure of the Firefly Five. It also introduces a new group of characters, "outsider" children who meet and help the Firefly Five. This book is more of a quest novel than the first, and I find myself liking the first book a lot more. I was satisfied with this, and I liked the resolution, but I was one of the few content with how the first book ended even if it didn't resolve everything and was leading into a new adventure.

The Metropolitans by Carol Goodman
This is a fairly typical MG adventure quest story. There are group of four kids who need to save each other and the world. They have all lost something significant and need a sense of family and community. The main four characters are a diverse group. The story has many Arthurian elements to it. It's not bad but its not fantastic. I don't think it brings much that is new or innovative to MG fantasy, and it could have used another couple of edits to pare down the content. It's a thick book with very small print. It's going to have a very niche audience when you bring all those things plus the WWII setting together.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Moving Again

My family is moving. Again. I did this just a little over three years ago. Fortunately this time it looks as though we will be staying in the same place for a while. In the mean time, things around here might slow down a little. Or a lot.

In addition to the regular moving things, school just started. I can't exactly let that slide even a little bit or we will have a TERRIBLE year. It will be almost impossible to get them back on track if I let things slide even a tiny bit. And even more, moves in my husband's business happen fast. From the date we found out until he reports to work is six weeks, but I want the kids there for homeschool co-op so we really only have a five week turn around really. And we need to find a house.

I'm excellent at handling day to day stress. And even slightly extra stress. I've moved every 2-5 years my whole life so I'm actually pretty good at it. But there are several factors about this move that have ratcheted the stress up even higher than normal and several unknowns that need to turn into knowns very very quickly. And I tend to want to escape from everything with that sort of stress.

Not really. I usually want to run away to a blanket fort and read nothing but romance novels when this level of stress comes on. Though taking all the wine and dark chocolate with me to the blanket fort full of romance novels sounds like a plan. The end result is that I will not have the extra head space I need to read for review. Surely not while doing the books I'm reviewing any sort of justice. And I probably won't be reading any of those books anyway. There may be an occasional Top Ten Tuesday post or Shorter Musings round-up, but if there's nothing for a week or two, don't be surprised. I will be back eventually.