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Showing posts from June, 2014

The Kiss of Deception

The Kiss of Deceptionby Mary Pearson is a book I looked forward to with much anticipation. I will always read a political intrigue fantasy story, even if many times they leave me dissatisfied. As I began to read, I thought this might be one of those. I almost DNFed it. In the end I'm glad I didn't because once stuff started happening, it got really good.

Synopsis:
In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.
On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unl…

Quarterly Review Round-Up with GIVEAWAY

It is time for the Quarterly Review Round-Up where I talk about the best of the best, the one's I couldn't finish, and the adult novels I'm reading that I don't review here. Plus there's a GIVEAWAY.

The DNFs (links to my reasons why-if I shared them-on Goodreads):
The Falconer by Elizabeth May
The Lost Planetby Rachel Searles
Royally Lostby Angie Stanton
The Things You Kiss Goodbye by Leslie Conner

Adult Books (links to reviews on Goodreads):
About That Night by Julie James
Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart by Sarah MacLean
It Happened One Wedding by Julie James
A Lot Like Love by Julie James
Love Irresistibly by Julie James
Sun-Kissed by Laura Florand

Old Favorites I Reread:
The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner

The Best of the Best (where the Giveaway comes in):

Links to my reviews unless otherwise noted.

The Castle Behind Thorns by Merrie Haskell
The Homeward Bounders by Diana Wynne Jones

The Great Greene Heistby Varian J…

Rereadathon/Shelf-Sweeper

My friend Shae at Shae Has Left the Room is co-hosting, along with  Beauty and the Bookshelf, a Rereading AND Shelf Sweeper event for the month of July. I participated in the Rereadathon last year and was unable to get as much in as I wanted. I'm hoping to do better this year, and love that it is combined with the Shelf Sweeper concept-reading backlist books that have been on your shelf for too long. Yay! If you want to participate, you can sign up here anytime during the month of July.


So what are my goals? Well, they are really not any more specific than to read as many books that fall into these two categories as I can. There are SO MANY books I want to reread. I need to go with whatever I'm in the mood for with that. As for the Shelf Sweeper category: City in the Lake by Rachel Neumeier and The Lost Conspiracy by Frances Hardinge are my top priorities. Then I have a lot of e-books I bought on special that need to be read.

On the Fence

Last year I read Kasie West's The Distance Between Us. While not perfect, I really enjoyed it. West has the sort of voice I look for in my light contemporary YA, a voice that is hard for me to define but I know when I find it. Could I be any more vague? Probably not. This voice as well as some other more concrete positives are why I looked forward to reading On the Fencewhich is every bit as good as I hoped. 

This is a review of an ARC received from the publisher in exchange for a fair review.

Synopsis:
She's a tomboy. He's the boy next door…
Charlie Reynolds can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn't know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at a chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world. To cope with the stress of her new reality, Charlie takes to spending nights chatting with her neighbor Braden through the fence between their yards. As she gr…

Revolution

I read Countdown by Deborah Wiles when it came out and loved it. I loved the documentary style format (with some reservations) and the story.  I highly anticipated the release ofthe companion novel, Revolution. It was well worth waiting for and is a powerful and moving story. 

Synopsis:
It's 1964, and Sunny's town is being invaded.  Or at least that's what the adults of Greenwood, Mississippi are saying. All Sunny knows is that people from up north are coming to help people register to vote.  They're calling it Freedom Summer.
Meanwhile, Sunny can't help but feel like her house is being invaded, too.  She has a new stepmother, a new brother, and a new sister crowding her life, giving her little room to breathe.  And things get even trickier when Sunny and her brother are caught sneaking into the local swimming pool -- where they bump into a mystery boy whose life is going to become tangled up in theirs.


Revolution chronicles the events that took place in Mississippi 40…

Shorter Musings: MG Fantasy

Sometimes I read a book, and I even enjoy it, but I don't have much to say about it. I jot down a few thoughts and then I move on. When these start to pile up, I put them together in one post.

Here are some reviews of MG Fantasy novels I've read recently. 

Flights and Chimes and MysteriousTimes by Emma Trevayne
This is a well written and fun story. I am not the best reader for it. I am now convinced I like MG steampunk better in theory than in reality. This book has some really great elements of steampunk, including mechanics dragons. Set in an alternate London, it tells the story of one boy from our world who finds himself in this world of mechanics and Fae, at the mercy of the changeable and ruthless Lady and her most loyal henchman. There are a lot of characters, and there was so much moving around it was difficult to get to know them well. I do think the sinister action and fascinating world building will draw readers into it. I know I have some students who would be very int…

Don't Call Me Baby

When I discovered what Don't Call Me Babyby Gwendolyn Heasley was about, I immediately wanted to read it because I like books that explore online dynamics and family dynamics. A book with both seemed a perfect fit for me and this one does both fairly well.

Synopsis:
All her life, Imogene has been known as the girl on THAT blog.
Imogene's mother has been writing an incredibly embarrassing, and incredibly popular, blog about her since before she was born. Hundreds of thousands of perfect strangers knew when Imogene had her first period. Imogene's crush saw her "before and after" orthodontia photos. But Imogene is fifteen now, and her mother is still blogging about her, in gruesome detail, against her will.
When a mandatory school project compels Imogene to start her own blog, Imogene is reluctant to expose even more of her life online...until she realizes that the project is the opportunity she's been waiting for to tell the truth about her life under the virtual m…

TTT: Books on Summer TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a Meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
This week's TTT topic: Books on My Summer TBR

In Order of Release Day:

On the Fence by Kasie West (July 1)
The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson (July 15)

The Fire Wish by Amber Lough (July 22)
Once Upon a Roseby Laura Florand(August)

Magnolia by Kristi Cook (August 7)
Courting Magic by Stephanie Burgis (August 12)

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins (August 14)
Fiendishby Brenna Yovanoff (August 14)

Greenglass House by Kate Milford (August 26)
The Fouteenth Goldfish by Jennifer Holm (August 26)

What releases are you anticipating this summer?

Minion

I read John David Anderson's Sidekicked last year and throughly enjoyed it. I was on the committee that shortlisted it for the Cybil's. I liked the shades of gray in the story and the attempt to look at the good and evil combined in each person. The companion novel, Minion, has all of this and I liked it even  more. 

This is a review of an ARC received from the publisher in exchange for a fair review.

Synopsis:
Michael Morn might be a villain, but he's really not a bad guy. When you live in New Liberty, known across the country as the City without a Super, there are only two kinds of people, after all: those who turn to crime and those who suffer. Michael and his adoptive father spend their days building boxes—special devices with mysterious abilities—which they sell to the mob at a price. They provide for each other, they look out for each other, and they'd never betray each other.
But then a Super comes to town, and Michael's world is thrown into disarray. The Comet …

A Matter of Souls

I received a copy of A Matter of Souls by Denise Lewis Patrick at ALA Midwinter, a signed copy after I met the author. I'm going to confess that I shelved it and forgot about it after returning until I unpacked it this past week after moving. I was reminded of the #weneeddiversebook campaign and decided the weekend of the 48 Hour Book Challenge was the perfect time to read it. I feel so bad for having neglected it for this long, but I feel even worse that I didn't see much buzz about it to remind me. WHY are more people not talking about this book???? 

Synopsis:
From the shores of Africa to the bowels of a transatlantic ship to a voting booth in Mississippi to the jungles of Vietnam, all human connection is a matter of souls. In this stirring collection of short stories, Denise Lewis Patrick considers the souls of black men and women across centuries and continents. In each, she takes the measure of their dignity, describes their dreams, and catalogs their fears. Brutality, beau…

The Homeward Bounders

I am still making my way through Diana Wynne Jones's backlist. I probably wouldn't have read The Homeward Bounders for a long time to come as it's currently out of print in the the US (except as an e-book) if it weren't for a conversation on Twitter I had with Sage Blackwood in which she said she heard some consider it to be a metaphor for life as a military kid. My interest level rose exponentially and she was kind enough to send me an old used library copy to read. (Much thanks for that.)

This book, like all of Jones's books, has had many covers. I'm using the latest UK cover because I really like these covers for her books.

Synopsis:
"You are now a discard. We have no further use for you in play. You are free to walk the Bounds, but it will be against the rules for you to enter play in any world. If you succeed in returning Home, then you may enter play again in the normal manner." When Jamie unwittingly discovers the scary, dark-cloaked Them playing …

TTT: Top Ten Books I've Read so Far in 2014

Top Ten Tuesday is a Meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
This week's TTT topic: Books Read so Far This Year

I have been having a really good reading year thus far, so this was a hard list to make, but in the end these are the ten books that won through.
Black Dog by Rachel Neumeier Boys of Blurby N.D. Wilson
TheCracks in the Kingdom by Jaclyn Moriarty
Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge
The Homeward Bounders by Diana Wynne Jones (Review posts Thursday!)
Horizon by Jenn Reese
Moonkind by Sarah Prunes


The Night Gardenerby Jonathan Auxier Nomad by R.J. Anderson
And a bonus favorite that I read in 2013, but that came out in January: Jinx's Magic by Sage Blackwood
All these series I've loved so much that have come to an end this year, but boy are they ending well. I don't even want to think about how hard doing a top 10 at the end of the year will be.

What are some of your favorite reads of the year thus far?




Pointe

I never read any reviews for Pointeby Brandy Colbert because I knew I was going to read it no matter what and I have a policy against reading reviews of book I know I'll read so as not to be influenced. I had heard it was powerful. I had heard it was heartbreaking. I knew it had something to do with a kidnapping. Other than that I had no idea what I was getting into. Whoa. This book is a HARD read, and not only because it is about hard things. It's because Colbert gave us a protagonist with a voice that makes you feel her pain in every way. 

Synopsis:
Theo is better now.
She's eating again, dating guys who are almost appropriate, and well on her way to becoming an elite ballet dancer. But when her oldest friend, Donovan, returns home after spending four long years with his kidnapper, Theo starts reliving memories about his abduction—and his abductor.
Donovan isn't talking about what happened, and even though Theo knows she didn't do anything wrong, telling the truth wo…

48 HBC Final Update

I stopped counting time after my last update. I figured I would barely make 12 hours at the rate I was going so why not just sit back and enjoy? So I did. I had a lovely day exploring the shores of Lake Michigan with my family and reading as much as I could. Here's a summary of the rest of the books I was able to get in. I finished 6.5, just shy of my goal of 8.

What I read:
My review on Goodreads
Review coming next Saturday. (WHY ARE MORE PEOPLE NOT TALKING ABOU THIS BOOK???)



48 HBC Update 2

And so ends the second quarter and first half of my participation in the 48 Hour Book Challenge. I did need to get some a lot of sleep, but here is what I was able to read:

Review will post on Monday.

An adult novella to give me some recovery time after Pointe.Goodreads review here.

I read the first quarter of The True Meaning of Smekday and am going to finish it now.

I'm trying not to focus on how sad my numbers are going to look in comparison to my numbers from last year. (Last year I was awesome.) But I really did underestimate how exhausted and ready to crash the move would leave me this first weekend of relaxation in weeks.

The Numbers for this Round:
Reading: 2 hours 45 minutes (350 pages)
Reviewing: 35 minutes
Social Media: 15 minutes



48 HBC First Update

Happily reading away. Here are the books I've finished in the first 12 hours:
Review here on Goodreads

Review coming June 16th!

I'm halfway through Pointe by Brandy Colbert now and it is more intense than I thought it would be not having read any reviews of it since I knew I was going to read it no matter what. I'm taking a break to blog because my brain and heart need it.

Totals so far:
Reading: 4 hours 25 minutes (695 pages)
Review Writing: 25 minutes
Social Media: 25 minutes

Not bad considering in the last 12 hours I've also cooked a meal, took my kids to the pool for 2.5 hours, and went to the grocery store.