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Showing posts from November, 2014

Shorter Musings: YA Fairytale Retellings

Here are few shorter musings on some recent YA fairytale retellings I've read: Kill Me Softly  by Sarah Cross I enjoyed the concept of this story, which is a lot like  Ever After High: The Storybook of Legends  but with a more solid thought through world building behind it. It is a retelling of "Sleeping Beauty" and "Bluebeard" combined, which in itself is genius. Who would think to combine those two??? And I really wanted to love it, but I had too hard of a time liking the main character, Mira. When EVERYONE you meet is telling you that a guy is dangerous stay away, he runs a shady casino, and is a little too suave, maybe you should pay attention. Her stubbornness regarding this, particularly once she knew what was going on was more than I could buy into. Another thing that bothered me was the Felix plot thread left dangling at the end. Where was he? What was he planning? I did like Blue's character a lot, and the dialogue and interactions between him an

TTT: Books on My Winter TBR

Top Ten Tuesday  is a Meme hosted by  The Broke and the Bookish This week's TTT topic: Books on My Winter TBR Shadowed Heart by Laura Florand (December) This is a rare thing-a sequel to a romance that is about the same couple as the original ( The Chocolate Heart ) and I absolutely can not wait. Florand is superb with character development and Luc and Summer are two of her more complex characters. Party Lines  by Emma Barry (January 12) This one is a CAMPAIGN romance. Democrat boy, Republican girl, opposite teams: this should be a whole lot of fun. And there will probably be amazing banter because its Emma Barry and there's that set-up. Perfect Couple  by Jennifer Echols (January 13) I read the first book in the Senior Superlatives earlier and LOVED it. It was my first Jennifer Echols experience and I have been making my way through her backlist. I'm most interested to see what she will do with this couple. All the Answers  by Kate Messner (January 27)

Pennyroyal Academy

Fantasy boarding schools are nothing new. They weren't even new when Harry Potter was published. But certainly trending and hot right now are Fantasy boarding schools where a fairy tale tradition is somehow incorporated into the world-building. Pennyroyal Academy  by M.A. Larson is the latest such book and is a fun inventive take on the concept. A young girl completely lacking memories of her past except a few snatches here and there, not knowing even her name, is in an enchanted forest with naught but an advertisement stating all people, even those of common blood, may apply to be cadet Princesses and Knights at Pennyroyal Academy. Unfortunately she ends up in the house of a witch. Fortunately a knight candidate is on hand and they manage to rescue each other. Arriving at the school, the girl is given the name Cadet Eleven, Evie to her friends, and embarks on her education to become a Princess. But being a princess is a different reality than many were expecting. For it is the d


I was pretty excited to read Nightmares!  mostly because of the authors. I adore Jason Segel (or maybe  I just adore Marshall-hard to say.) And I love Kirsten Miller's Kiki Strike books. A book written by the two of them together was too good a prospect to pass up. While fun, I didn't love it quite as much as I expected to. All his life the mysterious purple mansion on the hill has fascinated Charlie Laird. But now that he's living in the mansion, he's not longer so excited about it. Another thing he's not excited about is his new stepmother, Charlotte. He's convinced she's a witch. What other explanation is there for the witch who haunts his dreams at night? After all the witch looks too much like Charlotte to be a coincidence. Charlie is doing everything he can to stay awake so the nightmares don't come. Then Charlie discovers his friends are also having strange recurring nightmares and the mysterious new principal features in a lot of them. When t

TTT: Sequels I Can't Wait to Read

Top Ten Tuesday  is a Meme hosted by  The Broke and the Bookish This week's TTT topic: Sequels I Can't Wait to Read The as Yet Unnamed Book 5 of the The Queen's Thief Series -Nothing else tops my want for this!!!!!! The Silent Bells , Book 4 in The Ashtown Burials Series by N.D. Wilson The Next Lion Hunter Book by Elizabeth Wein Jinx's Fire  by Sage Blackwell The Penderwicks in Spring  by Jeanne Birdsall The As Yet Unnamed Sequel to Black Dog  by Rachel Neumeier Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman Perfect Couple by Jennifer Echols Party Lines  by Emma Barry Shadowed Heart  by Laura Florand I will be waiting for some of these longer than others. What sequels are you looking forward to most?

The Ex Games

I am continuing to make my happy way through Jennifer Echols' backlist. This past week in keeping with our first wintry weather of the year, I read  The Ex Games . Hayden was excited when her family started over again in Colorado after a traumatic couple of years in Tennessee following her broken leg. She was even more excited when, on her first day in her new seventh grade, the cutest boy in school plopped down beside her and swept her into a month long dream romance. But it turned out Nick had made a bet with his friend Gavin about getting the new girl to date him. When Hayden finds out, she breaks up with Nick in a spectacular display that most of their classmates witnessed at the movie theater. Four years later, Hayden and Nick are juniors and their relationship has mostly consisted of snarking each other. Now that Hayden's best friends have hooked up with Nick's best friends, everyone in the school assumes they will get back together providing entertainment for the w

Shorter Musings: MG Fantasy

Here are some shorter musings of recent MG Fantasy reads. These are all Cybils nominated books in my category of MG Speculative Fiction.  Gabriel Finley and the Raven's Riddle  by George Hagen Based on Norse mythology and in a contemporary setting,  Gabriel Finley and the Raven's Riddle  is an interesting story about a family who has a proclivity for bonding with ravens and the sinister links some of this has to the past. I found it to be an adequately entertaining book if a little long. One thing that kept annoying me was how often Gabriel blindly trusted random people with the full story of what was going on. And nothing came from that. He was so trusting and everyone he trusted turned out to be trustworthy. Even when he thought momentarily one or two would betray him, turns out they are, in fact, totally willing to be on his side. How nice and convenient for him. I think this would be a great book for people who love riddles. (Though they are basically all the same riddle


I'm way behind. I know. I bought Cress  by Marissa Meyer when it first came out and I was so excited, but I was also swamped with review books. Then something strange happened. I became less excited and more wary of reading it. It is so long. And it has been my experience that books don't typically need to be that long. So it kept getting put off. Finally I was in the perfect mood for it, I guess, because I didn't want to put it off anymore. Yes, it's too long in a way that required more editing. Yes, there are some issues. But it is also a whole lot of fun. Cress has lived for seven years on a satellite hacking into Earth's computer systems for Mistress Sybil and Queen Levana. Her latest job is to track down the Rampion carrying Cinder, Thorne, Scarlet, and Wolf. She did this, and then immediately scrambled their signal and has since been protecting them from capture while lying to Sybil about her ability to find them. Cress has also been studying up on the occ

TTT: Characters Who I Want to See Have Their Own Books

Top Ten Tuesday  is a Meme hosted by  The Broke and the Bookish This week's TTT topic: Characters Who You Want to See Have Their Own Books CHAZ SANTANGELO from Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta I'm a little strange because, while I adore Jonah Griggs, he's not my favorite Marchetta boy by a long shot, and isn't even my favorite one in Jellicoe Road . Yes that's right, I do like Chaz more. I like his leadership skills, his loyalty, his protectiveness, and even his inability to let something rest. And, of course, any book that has a Chaz as the main character will have to have lots of Raffy in it too. If anyone could write the perfect best friend to love that's also a hate to love story, it would be Melina Marchetta. And Chaz and Raffy are certainly an interesting combination of both of those. THE MINISTER OF WAR and THE QUEEN THIEF from The Queen's Thief Series by Megan Whalen Turner (AKA: Gen's parents) These two capture my imagination in s

The Jupiter Pirates: Hunt for the Hydra

The cover for The Jupiter Pirates: Hunt for the Hydra  by Jason Fry pretty much sells itself. Hold this up to a bunch of upper elementary kids and watch their eyes light up with anticipation. To seal the deal all you need to say are three magic words: Pirates. In. Space. Now try not to get knocked over. This book is all kinds of fun, but also has some more serious elements tossed in that make it so much more than it first appears. The Hashoone family are privateers licensed by their home government on Jupiter to take Earth merchant ships as prizes. They mostly live aboard their ship, the Shadow Comet. Twelve year old Tycho Hashoone is a member of the bridge crew along with his twin sister, Yana, and his older brother, Carlo. Their mother is the Captain and their father is the First Mate. Their grandfather, the former Captain, does a lot of curmudgeonly grumbling about how things aren't like the good old days of pirating while his daughter tells him to be quiet. When the Shadow Co

Maid of Deception

I read and throughly enjoyed Maid of Secrets  by Jennifer McGowan a couple weeks ago and immediately checked out Maid of Deception , the second book in the series. I enjoyed this one even more. Lady Beatrice Knowles has worked hard to reach her wedding day. She serves Elizabeth well even though she doesn't like the queen, and the queen doesn't like her. Beatrice has lived her life playing the games of the court, being a pawn of monarchs, and trying to keep her family's secrets from ruining them. She plotted to become betrothed to the perfect Lord of the realm only to have her wedding day ruined when the queen orders a postponement, and then orders Beatrice to play the flirt with a young Scottish Lord named Alasdair. Caught between the queen's politics and plotting, her family's troubles, her own plans, and her unwanted feelings for Alasdair, Beatrice increasingly feels caught in a game she can't win. And that she may be heading toward a disaster of her own mak

TTT: Books I Want to Reread

Top Ten Tuesday  is a Meme hosted by  The Broke and the Bookish This week's TTT topic: Books I Want to Reread There are books that I reread often because they are comforting and I love them. The Queen's Thief series are the books I reread the most. Obviously. (If you hang around here at all frequently you know those are my most fervent book passion.) But there are other books I loved on a first read that I would really love to reread if only could find the time. Here are the 10 books I've never reread, but really really want to: What books are you longing to read again?

The Boundless

The Boundless  by Kenneth Oppel is a fun adventurous story that is historical fantasy of a time we don't see often. Will's father was a train brakeman and worker on the transcontinental railroad in Canada. Will pores over his father's letters seeping up all the adventures he's had, including an encounter with a Sasquatch. When Will is finally reunited with his father the day the railroad is finished, an accident causes a tremendous reversal in their fortunes and Will's father eventually runs the rail company taking the new and innovative train, The Boundless, for its maiden run across Canada. But there are those who feel they were cheated in the building of the railway, and they want their due. These villains are willing to risk anything including the lives of the passengers and any worker who stands in their way to get it. Will ends up witnessing a murder and with one of the two keys that access the car which holds the great treasures The Boundless carries. Hidin

Almost Super

Super hero books are always a lot of fun, and Almost Super  by Marion Jensen is no exception. Every Leap Year any Bailey that has turned 12 since the last Leap Year gets their super power. Because the Baileys are a family of Supers. This time its Rafter and his brother Benny's turn. On the much anticipated day, disaster strikes. Instead of getting amazing powers to help their family of supers fight crime, Rafter and Benny get silly ridiculous powers. Benny can change is belly button from an innie to an outie. Rafter can strike a match on polyester. This is bad, and the boys are worried because they go to school with Juanita Johnson. The Johnsons are a family of super villains and Juanita was supposed to get her power too. But she didn't get an amazing power either. The Baileys suspect the Johnsons are up to no good as usual, and the Johnsons suspect the Baileys are up to no good. After Juanita confronts Rafter and Benny at school, it is clear that there is much confusion. Bec