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Showing posts from February, 2017

Piecing Me Together Blog Tour with Giveaway

I'm rather choosy about participating in publicity for a book. When I received an email about possibly participating in this blog tour for Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson, my immediate answer was yes, yes, and yes. Not only do I love Watson's work in general, but I had already read my ARC of Piecing Me Together and knew exactly how special this book is.  There is a link to a giveaway sponsored by Bloomsbury following Renée's lovely words on art and finding your people.  On Finding My People by Renée Watson  “She is a friend of my mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order. It’s good, you know, when you got a woman who is a friend of your mind.” –Toni Morrison, Beloved I am often asked, “What advice would you give aspiring writers?” I usually start by saying what every English teacher I’ve ever had told me, something we writers all know and have heard time and time again: “Read

Shorter Musings (YA)

Here are some shorter musings on some recent YA reads. Iron Cast  by Destiny Soria I have very mixed feelings about this one. The prose definitely drew me in as a reader and the concept was interesting and carried out well. I love books that feature strong female friendships and this one is a stellar example. But I thought it was a little too long and despite it being technically excellent, I found that it lacked a certain heart that kept me from falling in love with it. It was more of an intellectual appreciation of the writing skill and that always distracts me from fully loving a book. I don't want to be thinking about that WHILE I'm reading. My Unscripted Life  by Lauren Morrill I haven't liked any of Morrill's books as much as I liked her debut, [book:Meant to Be|11721314],  but this one comes the closest to recapturing the feel of that book. It is fun, fluffy, and romantic. There is a good bit of a wish fulfillment fantasy type story. That is not a criticism

Miss Ellicott's School for the Magically Minded

Miss Ellicott's for the Magically Minded  by Sage Blackwood is one of my most anticipated 2017 releases. Blackwood's previous trilogy beginning with Jinx  is one of my favorites so I wanted to read this new book as soon as I could. I was immediately pulled into the story here and delighted to find a book about sticking it to the patriarchy with magic and a dragon while fighting for what is right. Chantel is an orphan who attends Miss Ellicott's School for the Magically Minded. Girls who show proficiency in magic and have no other place in the world go there to learn to use their magic. They also have lessons in deportment and are taught to be "shamefast and biddable". Chantel has more trouble with that part. She is prodigiously talented in the area of magic, but when it comes to holding her tongue and deporting, she has to work extra hard. When Miss Ellicott and all the other enchantresses who do the magic (the buttoning) that holds up the city's walls and k

WoW: Ghosts of Greenglass House

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill of  Breaking the Spine , that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. Ghosts of Greenglass is the sequel to Milford's 2014 book Greenglass House , which was one of my favorite reads of that year. Kate Milford is an auto-buy author for me anyway, but I'm especially looking forward to reading more about Milo and the Greenglass House. Ghosts of Greenglass House  releases on October 3rd from Clarion books.

TTT: Antagonism to Love Romances

Top Ten Tuesday  is a Meme hosted by  The Broke and the Bookish This week's TTT topic: Favorite Romance Tropes (all media) I chose Antagonism to Love I know this trope is usually called hate to love, but hate isn't the right word for how I like these relationships arcs to start out. It's more that the hero and heroine are in opposition for some reason. Sometimes it is initial dislike, but it can also be a circumstantial thing. Whichever, it usually results in excellent banter and fun all around. Back in 2014 I wrote a post on the love stories I trained on and many of these were featured there. My affinity for this trope started young. Here they are in order of obsession: Han and Leia from Star Wars "' Go back' Taran shouted at the top of his voice.'Have you lost your wits?' Eilonwy, for it was she, half-halted. She had tucked her plaited hair under a leather helmet. The Princess of Llyr smiled cheerfully at him. 'I underst

Piecing Me Together

A couple years ago  This Side of Home was one of my favorite reads so when I found out we were getting a new Renée Watson book this year it automatically became one of my most anticipated reads. Piecing Me Together lived up to all my expectations and then some. Jade lives in north Portland but goes to the fancy private school St. Francis on a scholarship. She knows this is her greatest opportunity to go to school and get out of Oregon. It can make her feel like she is living a dual life though. Her first two years there were successful academically, but she didn't make many friends. As her junior year begins, Jade is asked to join a mentor/mentee program for "at risk" girls called Woman to Woman. She's not really sure she needs it. She doesn't feel at risk, and she definitely  doesn't feel like her mentor, Maxine, is going to be very helpful in teaching her about the real world. But as the year continues to go less the way Jade expected, the more she lea

Amina's Voice

I have been looking forward to Amina's Voic e  by Hena Khan since first hearing about it. It is the first novel from Salaam Reads, a new imprint of Simon & Schuster and I was eager to see what it would be like. It is excellent in every way possible and a much needed book for multiple reasons. Amina is is a Pakistani American girl living in Wisconsin trying to survive middle school. She loves singing, but is afraid of the spotlight. Her best friend is acting different and seems interested in befriending one of the "cool girls" who used to actively make fun of them. Things at home can be stressful too as her brother, now in high school, is starting to have more conflicts with their parents. Then her family gets a visit from their father's older brother from Pakistan who is more conservative and strict in his religious views. Amina is more confused than ever. When their local mosque is vandalized, Amina needs to find her voice and her courage as she watches the peo

Finding My Words

Things have been slow on the blog lately and that's because for a while there I lost all my words. I've been feeling a lot these past few weeks and all of it was overwhelming. There has been anxiety and fear, but also a fierce need to DO something. That overwhelmed me all the more, and I couldn't help but feel like this space was frivolous and maybe not the best use of my time in the face of everything else going on. But I kept reading because without books and words I don't know what I would be. As always, reading helped me find a path even if I still can't see the end of it and the shadows are looming dark. There are many recent or upcoming releases I've read that speak to the heart of where we are as a nation, and I've realized that boosting those voices is important. My space here is small and my voice is not loud, but I'm going to use it to the best of my ability. Because books speak to the heart. They build empathy. They force us to see people,