Thursday, August 15, 2019

Shorter Musings: The Lighthouse Between the Worlds, Snow & Rose, Straw Into Gold, Watch Hollow

Here are some shorter musings on recently read MG fantasy novels.

The Lighthouse Between the Worlds by Melanie Crowder
Melanie Crowder is one of the most underrated MG/YA authors. She continuously writes excellent books, and she has such a range. This is an excellent example of what she is capable of. This book takes place in a multi-verse where the portal between the worlds is a lighthouse on the pacific coast. It is about imperialism, slavery, totalitarianism, and political rebellion. Those are important topics to tackle in a rather short MG novel, but Crowder handles it with finesse. The characters are well drawn and the action is exciting from start to finish.

Snow & Rose by Emily Winfield Martin
This is a beautiful retelling of a tale many children are not familiar with because Disney hasn't touched it yet. It is perfect for fairy tale lovers who are new to reading novels. The chapters are short. The illustrations are gorgeous. Both Snow and Rose are layered characters and very different. The world is steeped in the original tale while also having its own sense of place. It isn't very often that you find a book that feels so other worldly written for the younger age of the MG spectrum that does it all so well. Martin managed to pull all of that off.

Straw into Gold: Fairy Tales Respun by Hilary McKay
This is a collection of fairy tales, each with a twist of some sort. The twist range from the point of view of the storyteller, the point in time from which the story is told, and the circumstances surrounding the story. It's a decent collection, but mostly I was just bored. The stories were not engaging enough to keep my interest when or twisty enough to offer anything new. There were a couple of shining, profound moments, but those were too few and far between to count against how I had to force myself to pick up the book when it was time to read. Typically I'm able to say even if a MG book doesn't work for me how it might work for the intended audience. For once, I can't do that. I have no idea. I know many of the 5th-7th graders I work with are completely unfamiliar with the original version of fairy tales, so I don't know what they would get from this.

Watch Hollow by Gregory Funaro 
This is a fantastical mystery involving a spooky house, a magical clock, and inanimate animals that come to life. It is an entertaining read, but for me it didn't really stand out from the pack as far as MG fantasy goes. There is a dead mother and a confused, distant father. Nothing really makes it particularly memorable, but it is a good thing to give new novel readers who have yet to read much fantasy. 

Friday, August 9, 2019

Future Favorites Friday August 19

I take the 2nd Friday of every month to highlight some upcoming releases I am looking forward to that I hope are Future Favorites. Feel free to do your own post, just please link back to my blog and tell me about your post in the comments.

One look at this cover is really all I needed. But I read the synopsis anyway and that only made my desire for this book grow.

Headstrong Anya is the daughter of the only Jewish family in her village. When her family's livelihood is threatened by a bigoted magistrate, Anya is lured in by a friendly family of Fools, who promise her money in exchange for helping them capture the last dragon in Kievan Rus. This seems easy enough—until she finds out that the scary old dragon isn't as old—or as scary—as everyone thought. Now Anya is faced with a choice: save the dragon, or save her family.

Release Date: September 24, 2019 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Guys, this one is a YA retelling of Mansfield Park, which is not my favorite Austen. This means there's a better chance I'll love it. (Especially considering the creepy cousin element will be gone.)

Mansfield, Massachusetts is the last place seventeen-year-old Edie Price wants to spend her final summer before college. It’s the home of wealthy suburbanites and prima donnas like Edie’s cousins, who are determined to distract her from her mother’s death with cute boys and Cinderella-style makeovers. Edie has her own plans, and they don’t include a prince charming.

But as Edie dives into schoolwork and applying for college scholarships, she finds herself drawn to two Mansfield boys who start vying for her attention. First there's Sebastian, Edie’s childhood friend and first love. He’s sweet and smart and . . . already has a girlfriend. Then there's Henry, the local bad boy and all-around player. He’s totally off limits, even if his kisses are chemically addictive.

Both boys are trouble. Edie can’t help but get caught between them. Someone's heart is going to break. Now she just has to make sure it isn't hers.

Release Date: December 17, 2019 by HMH Books for Young Readers

What upcoming releases are you looking forward to? 

Monday, August 5, 2019

The Field Guide to the North American Teeanager

The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe is a book I picked up on a whim at the bookstore when it first came out. I liked the cover. I thought it had an engaging premise. I went into it with a healthy does of trepidation because the execution could have gone so terribly wrong. Fortunately, Philippe is an excellent character writer, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent reading about Norris's adventures in Texas and high school.

High school junior Norris Kaplan's life is ruined by his mother when she takes a job that requires them to leave the only home he has ever known in Montreal, Quebec. Moving is always hard, but Norris knows for him it will be harder than it's ever been for anyone else. Norris is moving to Texas. He will be a Canadian living in Texas. Not just a Canadian. A French Canadian who speaks fluent French. And not just your average run-of-the-mill French Canadian. A black son of Haitian immigrant parents French Canadian. If Norris has learned one thing from movies, it's that Texas is gong to hate his black French speaking hockey-is-better-than-footbal immigrant self. His plan is to fly under the radar while counting down the days until he can fly north again. But flying under the radar isn't so easy. First Norris needs a job for airfare to go to Whistler for Spring Break. Then he has to make a pact with a cheerleader for assistance in getting the girl he wants to date. Then he ends up in a strange interaction that has him teaching someone to ice skate. That snowballs into captaining a hockey team. Before he knows it, Norris is living a full life in Austin, Texas. However, when a series of bad choices puts at risk everything Norris has built in his new home, he has to choose whether to run back to what is familiar or stick it out.

Norris is pretty obnoxious. He is a likable obnoxious though. Philippe manage to walk the fine line of making him empathetic while also highlighting his selfishness and stubbornness. I have particular empathy as I moved from New York to North Carolina as a junior in high school and was equally unhappy about it and met every new thing with scathing quips about its inferiority. So I get Norris, but I also recognize exactly how stubbornly selfish he's being. It's a sort of self-sabotage that comes with immaturity and lack of wisdom. Fortunately Norris gains both as the book moves forward. Helping him in his journey are some truly excellent people. Norris's mom is amazing. It's always great when parents are present and doing their best in a YA novel. Liam is a quiet, strangely focused boy at Norris's school who wants to learn how to play hockey. Norris obliges. The friendship that grows between the two of them is wonderful. It's so different than his relationship with his best friend in Canada that Norris takes almost too long to recognize it for what it is. This connection helps him see the world in new ways and brings him into contact with more of the boys he goes to school with. Norris's relationship with his coworker and high school cheerleader Maddie is not so straightforward. But Maddie is great. She is an organizer, a great listener, and smart. She gives Norris advice and helps him understand the new culture he is in. She also has zero qualms about calling him out on his crap. As their relationship progresses, there is a sense it is heading for disaster simply because Norris is being a stubborn idiot and refuses to see the light. This is the reason for most of the conflict in the last part of the book. It is fairly predictable but is handled well and realistically.

The title of the book refers to a notebook given Norris by his new school guidance counselor. In it he writes his observations as he meets new people. His anger and his sarcasm all come out as he describes his first impressions of the individuals who now people his world. You can probably guess where that goes. Except Norris brings every bit of the trouble that falls on his head on himself. Because he doesn't see himself or those around him clearly at all. That is so typically human, and it was handled really well. The fallout and resolution might bother some in its realism, but I really liked where Norris ended up in the end. This is a time when I ended a book thinking the character's growth was going to stick. I really appreciated how each person is show as an individual an none of them are left as the two-dimensional caricatures Norris made them in his field guide.

One quibble I had with the book were the inconsistencies in describing some of Maddie's family members. I'm not sure who in the chain from first draft to published book should have caught them, but they fell down on their job.

I recommend that people who enjoy good character arcs and realistic high school stories read this one. I will certainly be looking forward to any of Ben Philippe's future books.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

July 2019 Stats

July is always a mad rush for as I'm beginning/preparing for another school year. But I did manage to get some good reading in, and one of those books is one of my favorites of the year so far. I read two non-fiction books this month and both of them are on the favorites board. Maybe I should read more non-fiction?

Favorites of July:

July in Numbers:
New Reads: 7
Rereads: 2

MG: 2
YA: 3
Adult: 4

Fiction: 7
Non-Fiction: 2
Realistic Fiction: 6
Fantasy/Sci-Fi: 1

Here is the current TBR shelf:

For those of you following each new exciting installment of "Brandy Reads Her Own Books", you will notice that....I bought more. Gasp. Shock. Awe.

I miss the library though, so I'm going back this month.

What new reads did you love in July?

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Books I'm Teaching This Year (2019)

It's that time of year again! School starts here in Tennessee next week. Our homeschool co-op, where I teach two high school English classes, begins on Monday. Here in my house, the Painter children have already started with their non co-op studies. As always, I enjoy sharing what I'm going to be teaching (and therefore rereading) through the year.

For my Elegant Essay class:
First Semester 
Second Semester

For my Literary Analysis Class (my oldest who will be a Sophomore is in this):
First Semester

Second Semester
In addition to these, they will be reading a whole bunch of classic short stories we all remember fondly and not so fondly from our own time in school. They will also have one more novel I'm still deciding on.

For my 5th Grader is doing an Ancient Based writing curriculum:

He will obviously be reading way more books than this, but those will be of his own choosing from a list.

What was your favorite required reading in school? Least favorite? 

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Shorter Musings: A Curse so Dark and Lonely; Echo North, The Hazel Wood

Here are some shorter musings on recent YA Fantasy Reads.

A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
At nearly 500 pages, this book seems long, but I actually found it to be a quick, engaging read. Brigid Kemmerer certainly has a way with words and is a gifted writer. This is the first book of hers I have read, and I will definitely be reading more. As far as "Beauty and the Beast" retellings go, this one is fairly well done. Rhen has the factor the male lead in this story needs-the realization that he is undeserving of saving. I love that he rallied not for himself but his people. As far as staunch allies go, you can't get better than Grey. He is such a wonderful foil to both Rhen and Harper. (He is my favorite. I'm reading the sequel just because he's the main character.) My main issue with the book is Harper, who I never really saw as a fully realized character. Harper has Cerebral Palsy. She has a limp due to it. This causes her to have to explain it to Rhen in a way that sounds like the author copied and pasted it from the dictionary. And then....that's it. I would love to hear from someone who has CP on this. In the course of my life, I've had two friends with it, and it is not anywhere close to being that simple for them. (Both of them have very different experiences.) My understanding is most people who have CP also have at least one other condition as well, and there is a very real fear of injuring oneself. It DOES affect their daily lives when they're trying to navigate being a person with a disability in a world that has little to no time for that. I'd imagine it gets ten times worse when one is in a world that has no concept of it at all. I imagine that is why Harper's is the mildest of mild CP can get. The fact that it was so easily pushed aside or ignored felt like it was a way to be "diverse" without having to put in the work to actualize it. That is the one thing bothered me, but as it bothered me throughout the entirety of the novel, I couldn't love this like I might have otherwise been able to. I do really enjoy the ambiguity of the end and am looking forward to seeing how Kemmerer resolves it in the sequel.

Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer
Let me begin by saying the crafting of this novel is good. Meyer has a talent for spinning words and her plotting is certainly captivating. I'm still going to read her previous novel even though this one didn't quite work for me the way I wanted it to. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love "East of the Sun, West of the Moon", "Beauty and the Beast", and "Tam Lin". Whenever I'm reading novel adaptations of these, I always enter with a sense of caution because why two people may love the same tale differs wildly. And I know this. I think it's important to note that my favorite novel retellings of any of these are The Perilous Gard, Bone Gap, and Fire and Hemlock. It's important because it highlights what about Echo North it was that didn't work for me. Anyone super familiar with these tales knows that there is a chance to fall into creepy relationship dynamics with it very very fast. (No one understood this better than Diana Wynne Jones. Except maybe Laura Ruby.) I feel like Echo North flirted with that a little more closely than I was comfortable with. There is a lot of the Wolf/Hal apologizing for hurting Echo, telling her she needs to stay away from him, reminding her he's dangerous, but then he does nothing to remove himself from her presence. He also scars her in his wolf form and at one point seems oddly proud about this fact. Here's the thing about this character in this tale. You have to believe he's worth the sacrifice the heroine is making for him. And I never bought that here. In The Perilous Gard, Christopher can be a pompous, melodramatic arse but he is also quite obviously a GOOD MAN. In Bone Gap, the guy in that role is actually the villain and not the hero because...yeah. And in Fire and Hemlock, Tom is most definitely not worth it, but at least both DWJ and Polly seem to know this. We could argue about the end of that novel and what it means until the cows come home (and people have), but one thing everyone seems to agree with is that it isn't tidy and it isn't neat and it definitely doesn't scream happily ever after. I always interpreted it as Polly saving herself and being required to save Tom at the same time, but that didn't mean she was planning on putting up with him forever. As I was reading this novel, I was never convinced this was an actual relationship worth saving. We aren't given enough of it, but also Echo just isn't that layered. I was terribly frustrated with her character development. When the twist at the end arrived, it made it even harder for me to swallow that I was supposed to want this relationship to work. Like, girl. Shake his hand and go your own road. What did he ever do to convince you to trust him with all of you forever?

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
When this book was released, I saw the title, saw the cover, and saw that it was about fairy tales. That was enough for me, so I didn't read the synopsis. If I had read the synopsis, I might have realized it was a reworking of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and therefore never would have picked it up. Alas. I was ridiculously far into it when I realized what it was. I was already struggling by that point because my overwhelming reaction to Alice was pure annoyance. (Yes. That's her name. I fully admit I was rather blindingly stupid here.) She is exactly the sort of person who drives me crazy-aloof, mean to those who try to get close to her, sneers at everyone and everything. There is an in-world reason for all of that, but by the time I got there, I had stopped caring. I also felt that she read way older than she was. Again, there are reasons for that, but for the majority of the book it felt like the author was writing an adult novel she was told needed to be YA, and all she did was change the age of the protagonist. A lot of people have really loved this, so this is clearly a "it's me" thing. I have a deep and abiding dislike of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland that typically carries over into all reworkings.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Lovely War

When I first heard about Lovely War by Julie Berry, I remember thinking, "Whoa, that's ambitious." And it is. The scope and depth of this story with all of its intricacies and thematic elements is massive. Berry manages to hold it all together beautifully. She managed it so beautifully that it is so far my favorite YA read of 2019.

The ecstasies and the wounds of love were Aphrodite's work. Forging passions was what she was born to do. She, too, was a welder, a mistress of fire of a different sort, working in materials more powerful and resistant than carbon and iron. And what did that toil do to her?

In 1942 New York City while men are partying on the eve of shipping off to war, a stunning couple arrives at a hotel in the midst of the revelry and departs for their room followed by an overly enthusiastic bellboy. But none of these figures are as they appear. The couple is Aphrodite and Ares on a secret assignation that turns out to be not so secret as the bellboy is Aphrodite's husband Hephaestus, who is there to trap them. Caught in the net her husband forged, Aphrodite proposes a private trial where she will explain her work and the impossibility of the goddess of love ever being truly loved herself. To assist with her story she calls on Ares and brings in both Apollo and Hades. For what goes better with epic love than war, music, and death? Together they weave the tale of four individuals whose lives collided thanks to love, war, music, and the always present specter of death three decades prior:

James Alderidge is a young, British future architect headed off to the western front in mere days. His life is forever altered by one chance attending of a dance where he meets the love of his life right before its devastated by the realities of war.

Hazel Windicott is a shy, talented pianist who always offers to play piano rather than dance while never dreaming her playing will attract the attention of a handsome soldier she discovers she can't live without. Their chance meeting and whirlwind romance forever change the course of her life and she soon finds herself headed to France as a YMCA volunteer to help cheer the morale of the troops.

Aubrey Edwards is a prodigy of a piano player who is a member of the famous African American 15th Infantry headed to France with visions of earning glory in both music and battle. He is not thinking of girls or the possibility of love until he meets a beautiful singer who moves his muse and ignites more than one passion in his soul.

Colette Fournier is a young, devastated Belgian woman whose life was tragically ravished in the first few days of the war. Alone in the world, she finds solace in singing and has shut herself off from the sort of close connections that devastate when they are lost. She isn't counting on meeting two fabulously talent pianists who offer the friendship, closeness, compassion, and the love she is desperately missing. Now she has a best friend and a love for the ages that could be snatched away at any moment.

Like I said, the premise of this is ambitious. It is a frame story where the frame is intrinsically important because it deals with gods, fate, and the meddling of the divine in human affairs. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love the mythopoeic, particularly when it deals with the relationship of the human and the divine. I have rather high standards for it though, and this story hurdled right over them. 

Within the frame is a story that would be an excellent work of historical fiction all on its own. The characters of James, Hazel, Aubrey, and Colette are wonderfully layered and their stories exquisitely told. I love all four of them so much. So. Much. I could read at least a thousand more words about them and never grow bored. Through each of them we see a different perspective on the first world war. James gives the reader the up close personal devastation of a soldier on the front lines. In a weird twist of fate, James is a crack shot and is made into a sniper. The psychological trauma of so many close-up kills, the sites he sees, and the friends he loses demonstrate exactly how devastating war is on the combatants. Hazel is thoroughly sheltered and innocent before her arrival in France. Through befriending Colette and Aubrey she gets a second-hand look into how devastating a place the world can be. Then she gets to personally experience it as she encounters trials as a volunteer near the front and then has to contend with the possibility of losing James to the horrors he has witnessed and endured. Through Aubrey we are given a window into the segregation of the US Army and the atrocities that were heaped on soldiers only trying to serve a country that didn't value them the same as their fellow, white soldiers. Colette shows the reader what life was like for the civilians whose lives were trampled and devastated by the war before they even realized there was anything to worry about. It is a startling picture of how normal life can be blown apart in a flurry of bullets and fire bombs abruptly and instantly.  Berry does an exquisite job of making the reader feel everything all four of them experience. They are like real people who you can't help but love. Despite the fact that I was fully immersed and wanted to keep reading to the end, I had to take breaks just to breathe a couple of times. The story is a sweeping one that encompasses the last year or so of the war in all its horrors and triumphs. Through it all, the use of music as a balm for the soul and lifeline that carries the characters through is artistically masterful. 

I didn't expect to find myself as fully invested in the frame as I was though. I thought that was going to be merely intellectual. But dang it if I didn't fall in love with Aphrodite and Hephaestus. And Hades. Hades is marvelous in this. I want a whole book just about this Hades. (Pleeaasse, Julie Berry. Give us a companion novel with him and Persephone. That would make my year.) Apollo is the charming rogue he always is, which is absolutely delightful. Ares is an ass. There's one in every family. His part is crucial for reasons other than the obvious one of war though, and that is entertaining. Let's return to my love for Aphrodite though. The reason the reader loves the four characters so much and so fast is due to how Aphrodite describes them. It's in how much she loves them, her passion for the work she does, the pain it often causes her, the loneliness she feels. It's all powerful and more real than I expected coming from a goddess. 

The entire thing is woven together masterfully. It requires patience and a willingness to sit through a story well told, but it is well worth it in every way.

Lovely War is being marketed as YA, yet it has crossover adult market appeal as well. The characters are all adults in the world in which they live. Hazel is the youngest at 18. This is definitely for more mature YA readers and would make a good read for anyone who enjoys excellently written and researched historical fiction. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

TTT: Auto-Buy Authors

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly themed blog hop created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl.

This Week's Topic: Auto-Buy Authors

Here are my auto-buy authors and their most recent or coming soon release. Also, I got stuck on twelve and couldn't cut it down any further. So it's really Top Twelve Tuesday today. Or Thirteen rather as I sort of combined Emma and Genevieve. (I auto-buy all their individual projects too.)

Who are some authors whose books you buy no matter what?
(I don't know what it says about me that there is only one male author on this list, but I don't dislike whatever it is.)

Friday, July 12, 2019

Future Favorite Friday July 19

I take the 2nd Friday of every month to highlight some upcoming releases I am looking forward to that I hope are Future Favorites. Feel free to do your own post, just please link back to my blog and tell me about your post in the comments.

Jason Reynolds has a new MG coming out!!!!! The premise is a fascinating one too. It sounds complicated, but Reynolds is a waste at voice and storytelling, so I'm sure it will be so well done.

This story was going to begin like all the best stories. With a school bus falling from the sky. But no one saw it happen. They were all too busy—

Talking about boogers.
Stealing pocket change.
Wiping out.
Braving up.
Executing complicated handshakes.
Planning an escape.
Making jokes.
Lotioning up.
Finding comfort.
But mostly, too busy walking home.

Jason Reynolds conjures ten tales (one per block) about what happens after the dismissal bell rings, and brilliantly weaves them into one wickedly funny, piercingly poignant look at the detours we face on the walk home, and in life.

Release Date: October 8, 2019 from Atheneum

 A list of pretty spectacular YA writers are teaming up to bring us a retelling of Edgar Allan Poe's stories. I am here for this. (And according to the cover, the originals are also included.) 

Edgar Allan Poe may be a hundred and fifty years beyond this world, but the themes of his beloved works have much in common with modern young adult fiction. Whether the stories are familiar to readers or discovered for the first time, readers will revel in Edgar Allan Poe’s classic tales, and how they’ve been brought to life in 13 unique and unforgettable ways.

Contributors include Kendare Blake (reimagining “Metzengerstein”), Rin Chupeco (“The Murders in the Rue Morge”), Lamar Giles (“The Oval Portrait”), Tessa Gratton (“Annabel Lee”), Tiffany D. Jackson (“The Cask of Amontillado”), Stephanie Kuehn (“The Tell-Tale Heart”), Emily Lloyd-Jones (“The Purloined Letter”), Hillary Monahan (“The Masque of the Red Death”), Marieke Nijkamp (“Hop-Frog”), Caleb Roehrig (“The Pit and the Pendulum”), and Fran Wilde (“The Fall of the House of Usher”).

Release Date: September 10, 2019

If the phrase "suffragist squad" is not enough to entice you to read a book, then I don't even want to know you. This also happens to be the first in a series called "A League of Extraordinary Women". (Give them to me. I want them all.)

England, 1879. Annabelle Archer, the brilliant but destitute daughter of a country vicar, has earned herself a place among the first cohort of female students at the renowned University of Oxford. In return for her scholarship, she must support the rising women's suffrage movement. Her charge: recruit men of influence to champion their cause. Her target: Sebastian Devereux, the cold and calculating Duke of Montgomery who steers Britain's politics at the Queen's command. Her challenge: not to give in to the powerful attraction she can't deny for the man who opposes everything she stands for.

Sebastian is appalled to find a suffragist squad has infiltrated his ducal home, but the real threat is his impossible feelings for green-eyed beauty Annabelle. He is looking for a wife of equal standing to secure the legacy he has worked so hard to rebuild, not an outspoken commoner who could never be his duchess. But he wouldn't be the greatest strategist of the Kingdom if he couldn't claim this alluring bluestocking without the promise of a ring...or could he?

Locked in a battle with rising passion and a will matching her own, Annabelle will learn just what it takes to topple a duke....

Release Date: September 3, 2019

What upcoming releases are you looking forward to? 

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

TTT: Childhood Favorites

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly themed blog hop created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl.

This Week's Topic: Childhood Favorites

For the purposes of this list, I'm ending my childhood at 6th grade, which was the end of elementary school for me.

We begin with the books I apparently made my parents hate by demanding they be read so many times:

Now the ones I read independently beginning in 2nd grade and reread until they fell apart. (In the order in which I read them.)

Out of these independently read books 5/8 are still favorites. Any guesses as to which three are not? (Two I'm nostalgically fond of even if I realize they are Not That Great™️.)

What's your favorite childhood book? Did you have a favorite that makes you cringe to think about it now?

Monday, July 1, 2019

June 2019 Stats

June has been busy busy, and I've been doing a ton of school prep. I have found some new favorite reads however.

Here They Are:

June in Numbers:
New Reads: 5
Rereads: 1

MG: 0
YA: 1
Adult: 5

Fiction: 6
Non-Fiction: 0
Realistic Fiction: 5
Fantasy/Sci-Fi: 1

So....June was supposed to be a "read the books I own month" and it WAS. Buuuuutttt...I went on vacation and bought more books, so this shelf is still out of control. July will also be a "read the books I own month".

Do you see the difference from previous months? No? Me either.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Quarterly Review

This is a look back on my reading of the past three months: the best of the best, the books I couldn't finish, and the non-fiction and adult books I don't review on the blog. These only cover new-to-me books and not rereads.

The DNFs:
Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee
Enchantée by Gita Trelease 
The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan 
Trouble Brewing by Suanne Baltzar 
A Wedding in Apple Grove by C. H. Admirand

The Non-Fiction:

The Adult Fiction: 
The Austen Playbook by Lucy Parker (contemporary romance)
Beyond the Point by Claire Gibson (historical fiction)
The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan (contemporary fiction)
One in a Million by Lindsey Kelk (contemporary fiction)
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik (fantasy)
The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris (historical fiction)
Thornbound by Stephanie Burgis (historical fantasy)
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren (contemporary romance)
The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory (contemporary romance)
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (historical fiction)

The Best of the Best (links to my reviews: 

The Austen Playbook by Lucy Parker
Begone the Raggedy Witches by Celine Kiernan

Dragonfell by Sarah Prineas
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik 

There's Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon
Thornbound by Stephanie Burgis 

Who can believe the year is half over already?????