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Showing posts from March, 2015

Quarterly Review Round-Up and Giveaway

It is time for the Quarterly Review Round-Up where I talk about the best of the best, the one's I couldn't finish, and the adult novels I'm reading that I don't review here. Plus there's a GIVEAWAY.

Adult Books (links to reviews on Goodreads):
Autumn Sage by Genevieve Turner*
Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters
A Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley
Once Upon a Rose by Laura Florand*
Party Linesby Emma Barry*
The Secret History of the Pink Carnationby Lauren Willig
The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthyby Julia Quinn
The Secret Heart by Erin Satie
The Sheriff Takes a Bride by Genevieve Turner
The Suffragette Scandal by Courtney Milan
Sugar Rush by Diana Kauffman

*These were all 5 stars reads. Because I do the Giveaway through Book Depository, they can't be included but know they are part of the Best of the Best and come highly recommended by me.

The Best of the Best (where the Giveaway comes in):

Audacityby Melanie Crowder Bone Gap by Laura Ruby I'll Meet You Th…

The Arctic Code

The Arctic Code is the first book in a new MG sci-fi series by Matthew Kirby. I tend to like Kirby's books and the way he writes character relationships. The Arctic Code is no exception and has an exciting fast-paced plot to pull readers along on the adventure.

In a not so distant future, the Earth is experiencing an unexpected Ice Age. The ice sheet has taken over, forcing most of the surviving inhabitants toward the Equator. Energy is a coveted resource and the UN has given a great deal of power to a company called GET. Eleanor is a girl living in Arizona while her geologist mother works on finding a new energy source in Alaska. Eager for adventure, Eleanor is often doing things that most consider unwise. When her mom goes missing after sending Eleanor files of information with the warning to keep it all a secret, Eleanor stows away on a plane headed for Alaska to discover what has happened to her mom. Upon reaching Alaska, Eleanor discovers that mysterious sites are appearing on…

Fun and Funny MG Reads for Whole Family

In case you missed it, I made a list for the Cybils blog this week entitled Fun and Funny Fantasy Read Alouds for the Whole Family. You can see the list here.



The YA/MG Battle is Now Just MG

I can not say that this displeases me. It's funny because this final round could have gone one of three ways based on the four books that went into Round 3: two Aussie YAs duking it out, one Aussie YA and one MG (repeating both versions of round 3), or two MGs. I kind of like the MG books are ruling they day as that is where my heart of hearts is. (And I did have a hand in facilitating that.)

Tune in Monday to fine out the ultimate winner between:

Favorite MG Speculative Fiction Heroines

The Top Ten Tuesday topic from a few weeks ago was Favorite Heroines and I wanted to include so many girls that I decided to keep that post for my absolute top ten favorites and then do a series of lists through out the year that celebrates smart, fierce, independent female characters who EVERYONE should read. Celebrate the girls. That's never seemed more important. While I was working on this the #womeninfiction tag happened on Twitter and it was amazing. Check it out if you haven't yet.

I'm starting with the age category and genre most near and dear to my heart, MG Speculative Fiction.

Kat Stephenson from the Kat Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis: Kat loves her family and is fierce about protecting them all even when they don't appreciate it. 
Fer from Winterling by Sarah Prineas: She is a heroine who saves her people and land. She is a leader who makes some hard mistakes and does the harder work of atoning for them. 
 Ivy from Swift and Nomad by R.J. Anderson: She ha…

SLJ BoB Round Two Thoughts

Round Two of SLJ's Battle of the Books is over now. Here is what is moving on to Round Three:


This is a really strong Final Four. Even though I'm not a big fan of West of the Moon personally, I see why others do like it so much. I think this may be the first year ever I'm not completely confused by how one of the books made it this far.

But just as the judges have to choose, so will I. The books I want to see go to the final are: El Deafo and The Port Chicago 50.

Of this round I liked Elizabeth Wein's decision the best despite its length, because of her unbridled enthusiasm for the competition and for referencing Roger Sutton's judging of the judges. (And I'm glad she did because I was starting to think he might need to take that up again as a reminder.)

YA/MG Book Battle Round Two Results

These are the books moving on:


Four amazing amazing books. And guess what? I'm the one who has to choose between Saving Francesca and The Perilous Gard. I may have considered leaving the country so Beth would never find me and I wouldn't have to do it. But, alas. I promised. You can see my decision, the one ripping my heart in two, on Thursday here.

Black Dove White Raven

I'm a huge fan of Elizabeth Wein's books, both her more recent World War II historicals, and the Ancient Ethiopian books so I was so excited to read her latest, Black Dove White Raven, which is sort of a combination of the two.

Emilia and Teo have grown up together as siblings. Their mothers were best friends and flying partners in an act they called Black Dove White Raven. When a horrible freak accident caused a crash that kills Teo's mother, Em's mother works to move all of them to Ethiopia. It was Teo's mother's dream to have her son grow up in a place where the color of his skin would not matter the way it does in the US. But Ethiopia is not exactly a Utopia. There are complicated bonds of service. There is a war on the horizon as Italy seeks to conquer the still independent nation. Em, Teo, and their mother, Rhoda, find themselves caught in the middle of a war that may destroy their last remaining links as a family.

Like all of Wein's books, Black Dove…

SLJ BoB Round One Wraps Up

It has been an exciting Round One in this year's SLJ's Battle of the Books. There have been surprises, excellent commentary (mostly from Kid Commentator RGN), and some disappointments. My favorite, The Crossover, was knocked out in this round, but I have hopes it will come back from the dead for the final. My favorite judge's decision was this one from Rachel Hartman.

Here are the books moving on to Round Two:




I have zero strategy for picking winners in this competition. I just like to see my favorites last as long as possible. That being the case I would like to see Round 2 end with these winners: Brown Girl Dreaming, El Deafo, The Port Chicago 50, and This one Summer.
As far as judges go, I'm most looking forward to reading Elizabeth Wein's decision. Because I will read anything she writes.

Jinx's Fire

I have been a big fan of Jinx and company from the very first book, which felt like such a perfect Brandy book. The conclusion of Sage Blackwood's trilogy, Jinx's Fire, finished the story beautifully and is definitely my favorite of the three.

Spoilers for first two books abound. Read those first:

Jinx

Jinx's Magic

The Urwald is in danger from more than one direction and has no hope of defending itself if there is not unity amongst the people. Jinx, Sophie, Elfwyn, Wendell, and a dedicated group of others are working to make this happen as quickly as they can. Time is running out. At the same time, they are still dealing with the threat of the Bonemaster from within, and the Urwald's magic is fading. Where is it going? Can it be restored? And where has the Bonemaster put Simon? Jinx is the only one who can find the answers to these questions, and harnass the Urwald's power to save them all, but only if he is willing.

Jinx has some serious attitude in this book, and I …

TTT: Books on My Spring TBR

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

This Week's Topic: Books on My Spring TBR





I actually plan to start Black Dove, White Raven today. I'm bracing myself.
Here are two bonus books that I already read, but can't wait to get my official copies of:
What books are you looking forward to reading this Spring?





YA MG Book Battle Round One-What Survived?

A friend of mine puts together the YA MG Book Battle to discuss and talk about underrated books, both old and new. This is my second year participating and it's a lot of fun. Round One is now over and here are the books moving on to Round Two:





Such good books!
In the top half of the bracket, I would really love to see Greenglass House and Graffiti Moon move on.
I won't comment on the bottom half as I'm the one judging between the winners. And holy cow am I nervous about that now!