Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Shorter Musings: YA

Here are some shorter musings on recent reads.

Scythe by Neal Shusterman
I have had this on my list since it came out. Then I thought I might wait unlit the trilogy was finished. One of my teen book club girls chose it for our June book, so I read it earlier than intended. It is quite excellent. I am well and truly over dystopians, but this is so well done. I appreciated the philosophy and exercises in ethics found throughout, as well as the themes on the corruption of man and our lust for power. I also loved the adult characters in the book. They are truly fascinating. The two teen protagonists could have been developed a little better, which is the only reason this isn't getting 5 stars from me. (Funny thing is, this was the prevailing opinion of the teens too.)

Shadowhouse Fall by Daniel José Odler
I enjoyed this sequel to Shadowshaper. It is a broader book, requiring knowledge of both plot and characters for the previous book in order to fully enjoy it. (If you haven't read Shadowshaper, start there and know you have TWO amazing books awaiting you.)  Shadowhouse Fall picks up a few months following the end of the first story. Sierra is training her Shadowshapers and trying to grow into her role as Lucera. In the midst of all of this, The Sorrows are again on the move eager to use Sierra's youth and naivety to gain power again. The world Older created in the first book in the series is widened here, showing many layers and depths. Several new characters are introduced, all of whom add new angles to the story. This is an excellent series that uses mythology and magic and also highlights many social injustices and societal issues. Older does an exquisite job of balancing hope with the starker realities of the world. I also appreciate how there is closure but everything isn't tied up perfectly.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Shorter Musings MG Historical Fiction Edition

Here are some shorter musings on three recent MG historical fiction reads.

Betty Before X by Ilyasah Shabazz and Renee Watson
This book is a narrative on the life of Betty Shabazz's childhood. This is the little girl who would grow up to be the wife of Malcom X and a community leader. It is considered fiction because of the way the story is told, but her daughter is one of the author's so the basic facts of Betty's life are true. The book is a short, quick read. It's perfect for kids who love historical fiction or stories about complicated families and friendships. I found it engaging and hard to book down.

The Journey of Charlie Little by Christopher Paul Curtis
This book is about a share cropper's son who must travel with a slave catcher to Michigan in order to pay of a debt his father incurred before his tragic death. Charlie doesn't like the overseer he is indebted to and finds everything about their journey distasteful. I enjoyed this mostly because it is a glimpse into a part of this country's history we don't see much in children's books. There are many books that cover slavery, but not from the point of view of slave catchers. I was sort of disappointed because I went in with the expectation that this was more about a friendship between Charlie and the son of the family he is being forced to retrieve. This was not the book's fault, but I would have liked to have seen a bit more character development all around.

Rebound by Kwame Alexander
This a prequel to the Newbery winner [book:The Crossover|18263725] (one of my all time favorite MG books). I had a harder time clicking with this one. I think part of the reason is that I put up a wall between the characters and me because I know what happens in the future. The end when it ties into The Crossover did make me tear up. 

Monday, July 2, 2018

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):
The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

Adult Books
Beginner's Luck by Kate Clayborn (contemporary, romance)
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (historical, literary)
One and Only by Jenny Holiday (contemporary, romance)
A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole (contemporary, romance)


The Penderwicks at Last by Jeanne Birdsall

Sunday, July 1, 2018

June Stats

Here are my reading stats for June with my favorite reads of the month.

Did you read any book in June you want to recommend?