Skip to main content


Showing posts from June, 2015

TTT: Best Reads of 2015 So Far

Top Ten Tuesday is a Meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
This Week's Topic: Books I've Read So Far in 2015
Audacity by Melanie Chowder Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge I'll Meet You Thereby Heather Demetrios

Jinx's Fire by Sage Blackwood
Listen Slowly by Thanhha Lai

Once Upon a Rose by Laura Florand
Party Lines by Emma Barry

The Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsall Uprooted by Naomi Novik
What are some of your favorite reads of the year so far?

Deep Secret

I'm still making my way through the full backlist of Diana Wynne Jones. Since I was participating in the 48 Hour Book Challenge last weekend, I decided it was a good time to tackle Deep Secret. I've owned this book for a while but hadn't gotten to it yet. It was an excellent book. Not surprising.

Rupert Venables is a young Magid. As a young Magid, it is his job to look after the Empire of Koryfos. It always goes to the youngest Magid because no one else wants it. Upon returning from a trip there that fills him with as much disgust as possible, Rupert is faed with the death of his mentor. Since Magids must be replaced as quickly as possible, Rupert (who is again the default Magid responsible for this) begins his search with names Stan left him. After meeting the person he thought was his most likely candidate, Maree Mallory, and immediately taking a dislike to her, he begins a working to draw all his final candidates to one place and time so he can evaluate them all at once.…

Cover Love: A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston

Cover Love is a meme hosted by Shae on Thursdays at Shae Has Left the Room.
My Pick This Week: Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.
And so she is taken in her sister's place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin's court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time.But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.


I typically don't review books that are considered adult books on the blog. I think this is a first. I've always used the blog as resource for students and parents. But Uprooted by Naomi Novik has enough crossover YA appeal I'm making an exception. Also I just want to rave about how much I LOVE THIS BOOK.

Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.

This is how Agnieszka's story begins. She is one of the girls who will be lined up as a potential companion for the Dragon. She is not angry but not overly worried. Everyone knows what type of g…

48 Hour Book Challenge End Post

I still technically have an hour, but since we leave for church in 15 minutes, I'm finished. I did not get nearly as much in as I wanted to. Considering the reading slump I just came out of, I'm just happy I was able to read as much as I dd while enjoying it.

Hours Reading/Reviewing: 13 hours

Social Media Time: 1.5 hours

Books Read: 4 (Uprooted, The Thief reread, Mechanica, Deep Secret)

Pages Total: 2,117

Reviews for Uprooted and Deep Secret coming later this week. Here are my quick Goodreads thoughts on Mechanica

48 Hour Book Challenge First Update

My first 12 hours are up and my stats are seriously lame because life intervened a bit today.

I read/reviewed: 6.5 hours

Social Networking/Commenting: .5 hours

So that's just a total of 7 hours.

Pages read 435

Because I read only one book and I'm not even ashamed to say that because I reread several parts of it immediately after finishing. And wrote a gushing review which you can read on Thursday. Uprooted is a favorite forever for me now. I LOVED it. I still don't really want to move on which will make continuing this challenge difficult....ugh. Will persevere.

48 Hour Book Challenge Starting Post

I do love and look forward to this weekend every year. I can't quite as all in as I did in the first couple years when I actually slept as little as possible and read the entire time, but it is still fun to read as much as possible and have a weekend dedicated to it. My hope is to get 24 hours in total. I should be able to come close as this is a pool day for me and the kids and my husband wants to go to the lake tomorrow. Those are good environments for reading.

I don't have much of a plan this year either. I have three books I've been waiting to read (two of them for a very long time), and I want to start my annual reread of the Queen's Thief this weekend. I will try to knock out some of the ARCs I have on my Nook too. Hopefully this is just my start-up pile and will get through even more.

Want to participate? There's still time! Sign up here.

ETA: I scheduled this to post at 9:30 AM, but my official start time is 10:00 AM.

Serafina and the Black Cloak

Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty is a thrilling tale of mystery and adventure set at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC in 1899. Having lived in Asheville and visited the house several times, there was no way I was going to pass up a chance to read this. (Also it's MG fantasy, always a bonus for me.)

Serafina lives in secret in the basement of the Vanderbilt's spacious vacation home. She has lived there most of her life. Her father worked on the house as it was being built and is the mechanic who runs the massive generator and keeps the electricity going. Serafina is the chief rat catcher, slipping through the halls of her massive home secretly and quietly. She is light on her feet, sees well in the dark, and is quick enough to catch the vermin and keep them out. Serafina knows she if different and strange. Her father insists she stay hidden. But all that changes when one night Serafina witnesses a horrible crime. A little girl, a guest in the house, is fleeing f…

Emmy & Oliver

I was looking forward to reading Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway. Not only does it have an interesting concept, but I've enjoyed Benway's books in the past. Emmy & Oliver really surpassed my expectations though.

Oliver disappears over a three day weekend in second grade. He was abducted by his father and it changed the lives of his three best friends, Emmy, Caro, and Drew forever. Emmy's life was devastated the most. She was his best friend, next door neighbor, and they had been inseparable since they were babies. Stowed away in her room is the last memory she has of Oliver, the note Caro passed to him asking him whether or not he liked Emmy on the Friday he was taken with the yes circled three times. Oliver left a hole in Emmy's life and forever altered her view on the world. It also caused her parents to turn extra cautious and protective. Ten years later all Emmy wants is to make her own choices and live her own life. Her world is changed again when Oliver is f…

The Devil You Know

I love Trish Doller's books and I was super excited to read her latest, The Devil You Know. It is a bit different than her previous two novels in that it is a bit of thriller, but it has the same wonderful level of writing and amazing character development that made me love her books in the first place.

Since her mother's death from cancer, Cadie has given her teen years to being the responsible and reliable good girl. She helps at her dad's store, practically raises her younger brother by herself, and does most of the housework. Cadie has sacrificed soccer, her GPA, and her boyfriend for her family. All she can see in her future is more of the same, living the same life while she looks at the map on her wall holding all her dreams of future travels that will never happen. Disgusted with her father and saddened by her lack of choices, all Cadie wants is one weekend to be a teenager and live and do something spontaneous and unpredictable. When she meets two good looking cous…

TTT: Most Anticipated Releases for Rest of 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a Meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This Week's Topic: Most Anticipated Releases for Rest of 2015

Most Likely to Succeed by Jennifer Echols on August 4th
A Pocket Full of Murderby R.J. Anderson on September 8th

The Hollow Boyby Jonathan Stroud on September 15th

Ash & Brambleby Sarah Prineas on September 15th

The Marvels by Brian Selznick on September 15th
Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson on September 22nd

The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow on September 22nd

A Thousand Nightsby E.K. Johnston on October 6th

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt on October 6th

The Immortal Heights by Sherry Thomas on October 13th

September is going to kill me as is usual. WHY, PUBLISHERS, WHY????? And this was a really hard list to make because there are so many good books yet to come this year.

Favorite YA Speculative Fiction Heroines

I got behind on these for various reasons but here is the next installment of my favorite heroines series. This time I'm focusing on YA Speculative Fiction Heroines. These are in addition to the ones I listed in my original favorite heroines' post. (Irene Attolia)

Roza and Petey from Bone Gap by Laura Ruby: These girls are incredibly different but both amazing in their own ways. This book is well worth reading for both of their stories.

Nix from Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge: This girl is fierce and broken and wonderful.

Natividad from Black Dog and Pure Magic by Rachel Neumeier: Natividad is so young but she is so powerful. I love how she is also one of the sweetest people there are, and I love how she wields her power carefully.

Otter and Kestrel from Sorrow's Knot by Erin Bow: These two have complementary but equally important skills and their friendship and the way they work together is beautiful.

Elisa from The Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy by Rae Carson: Elisa is …


Valiant by Sarah McGuire has so many elements I love in a book: fairy tale elements, a brave yet flawed heroine, a determined hero, kingdom politics, and a land in peril. There was so much I enjoyed about the book. (Not the least being I actually read a book I liked! After weeks of hating everything.)

Saville has always known her father loves the fabrics he sews as a tailor more than he's ever loved anything or anyone else including her. She resents those fabrics, her father's trade, and the life they've led her to in Reggen. She is determined to escape as soon as she can. When her father has a stroke shortly after their arrival, Saville sees her opportunity for escape disappear. In order to save them from destitution, Saville makes a dangerous gamble disguising herself as a boy and gaining a commission from the King himself. But Reggen is a city on the verge of disaster. Reports are coming in of an army of giants razing towns and leaving no survivors, led by a dangerous hu…

Pure Magic

Black Dog by Rachel Neumeier was one of my favorite books of last year. I basically wanted the sequel from the moment I closed the book. When its publisher, Strange Chemistry, closed its doors, I knew a moment of panic that I would never see it. Fortunately Rachel Neumeier is self-publishing the  sequels. (I reviewed the collection of short stories a few weeks ago.) Pure Magic, the second novel, is available now, and it is fantastic.

Following a tragic flash flood that took the life of his mother, Justin is wandering with no direction. One night after accepting the hospitality of a priest, he finds himself the target of a vicious werewolf attack. Two other werewolves intervene and save his life. These two are more civilized, but very insistent that Justin come with them to a place called Dimilioc claiming he is Pure and that this attack won't be the last. In fact they're completely confused as to how Justin has survived this long not knowing anything about the magic running thr…