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Showing posts from February, 2019

Shorter Musings (MG Fantasy)

Here are some shorter musings on some recent MG Fantasy reads.

Angel and Bavar by Amy Wilson
Writing a retelling of Beauty and the Beast for a MG audience is no mean feat, yet Wilson pulls it off brilliantly here. The themes of "Beauty and the Beast" are such that making them both palatable and relatable for this age bracket is a challenge. In this version the "beast" is a young boy born to fight monsters and hold them back from humanity thanks to a family curse and ancestors who didn't know when enough was enough. The "beauty" is a young girl who can see the magic and is drawn in due to the trauma of her past. Angel and Bavar team up to try and find a way to stop the monsters forever and allow Bavar to live a more normal life. They are drawn to each other out of loneliness and a shared trauma, but they build a real friendship from that and make a great team. This is a retelling that works on every level, and I really enjoyed it.

The Book of Boyby Cathe…

Merci Suárez Changes Gears

I adore Meg Medina's YA novels. I feel like all of them (especially Burn Baby Burndo not get the love and accolades they fully deserve. I was so excited when I discovered she was writing a MG novel. The switch from YA to MG is not as easy as it would first appear, but Medina also has two delightful picture books to her name, so I knew she had the range. I was over the moon when she won the Newbery even though I had not yet read Merci Suárez Changes Gears. It couldn't have happened to a better author. Now that I have read the book, I know it won on its merits.

Merci is a 6th grader at a private school in southern Florida. Unlike the majority of her classmates, Merci doesn't take fancy vacations or have a big house or own a boat or two. She is a scholarship student. Her family is hard-working, but definitely not rich. Merci works hard and is smart, but knows she doesn't compare to her older brother in the genius department. Merci loves to play soccer, spend time with h…

TTT: Favorite Book Couples

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: Favorite Couples in Books

The Valentine's Week TTT is always a conundrum for me. I love romance and the whole psychology behind the process of "falling in love", so I write about my favorite love stories often. My favorites being this one and this one. I wondered if doing one more would just be superfluous, but I honestly couldn't resist. I also think favorite couple can be different than love story (which is often what I write about). Many times a love story ends with the formation of a couple, and you don't actually get to see the pair be a couple and handle the world together. Although. of course there is crossover.


The King and Queen of Attolia (Queen's Thief Series) Sometimes talking about these books can be so frustrating. Almost everything is a major spoiler. And yet, this is my favorite love story of all ti…

Future Favorites Friday 2-19

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.

We know how I feel about Stephanie Burgis. This is the 2nd book in the Hardwood Spellbook Series. I adored Snowspelled and can not wait to get my hands on this one.


Cassandra Harwood scandalized her nation when she became the first woman magician in Angland. Now, she's ready to teach a whole new generation of bright young women at her radical new school, the Thornfell College of Magic…

Until a sinister fey altar is discovered in the school library, the ruling Boudiccate sends a delegation to shut down Thornfell, and Cassandra’s own husband is torn away from her.

As malevolent vines slither in from the forest and ruthless politicians scheme against her, Cassandra must fight the greatest battle of her life to save her love, her school, and the futur…

Cover Reveal: The Princess Who Flew with Dragons by Stephanie Burgis

Regular readers of this blog know how much I love dragons, strong-willed heroines, and political intrigue. Stephanie Burgis has a series that combines all three exquisitely with the added bonus of frequent chocolate references.

I am so pleased today to reveal the cover of the third installment of the series.


Isn't beautiful? I love everything about it from the use of light to Sofia's expression and every detail in between. (I don't know how Stephanie always manages to have the most perfectly gorgeous covers for her books, but she does.) Peter Antonsson is the artist. Thank you Peter for gifting us with this.

Jacket copy: 
Perfect for fans of Shannon Hale, this girl-powered fantasy follows a smart young princess determined to save her kingdom.
Princess Sofia of Drachenheim is sick of being used for her older sister’s political gains. At twelve years old, she’s already been a hostage to invading dragons and a promised future fiancé to a wicked fairy. Her only comfort lies in wr…

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and her Monster

I saw buzz start to build around Sweep: The Story of a Girl and her Monster by Jonathan Auxier start to build several months ago. Now that I've read it for myself, I completely understand why so many people were talking about it.

"We save ourselves by saving others."
In Victorian London Nan lives a life of danger where she could die any day. She is a sweep-one of those unfortunate children who earn a pittance of money climbing up chimneys to make them clean and safe. Fortunately Nan is good at her job. But even being good at her job doesn't mean she has a good life. She is apprenticed to a harsh master and is haunted by dreams and memories of her Sweep-the man who raised her until she was six, taught her the trade, and then disappeared one night leaving her with nothing but a small clump of charcoal to remember him by. One day when a job goes horribly wrong, her little lump of char saves her life. Nan finds herself alive and awake in an attic with a small golem newly b…

January 2019 Stats

I appear to be back. I remain hopeful. I enjoyed reading this month, and I read A LOT. I'm not quite ready to start throwing confetti in celebration yet as I had a good January last year too. This one was even better though. Here's hoping February is as successful!

The Favorites (3 New Reads, 3 Rereads)


A look at my January Reading in Numbers:

Total: 16
New Reads: 12
Rereads: 4

MG: 4
YA: 6
Adult: 6

Fiction: 14
Non-Fiction: 2
Realistic Fiction: 8
Fantasy/Sci-Fi: 6

On to the next month! Here's a look at my TBR for February: the shelf where all my library and purchased-but-not-yet-read books are and my three most anticipated February Releases.