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Showing posts from 2020

Shorter Musings MG Fantasy

Here are some shorter musings on recent MG fantasy reads. Anya and the Dragon   by Sofiya Pasternack This book is fun. It is a book full of adventure, an obvious bad guy, some more complicated morally gray area characters, and a strong, brave heroine. It is also a book about friendships, community, and fighting for what is right. All things that usually work for me really well. While I enjoyed this, I did feel it was a little overlong and there were certain plot points at the end I didn't love. However, there were things I thought were done really well, such as Anya's Jewish faith and the idea that power needs to be challenged. In the end it was a middle of the road read for me, but it is one I will certainly be recommending to dragon and fantasy adventure lovers I know! R is for Rebel   by J. Anderson Coats This is tough because I usually really like Coats's books. I had such a hard time with this one though on so many levels. It's difficult to get into because t

Shorter Musings: MG Realistic

Here are some shorter musings on some recent MG realistic reads. New Kid  by Jerry Craft I get why this became the first graphic novel to win the Newbery. It has an excellent cast of diverse (in every way including personality) characters with truly good character arcs. The themes are important but never seem heavy-handed. I enjoyed the way the text and the graphics worked together to provide a deeply rich reading experience. I would love to have a book about all of the kids featured in this one. I enjoyed all of their personalities that much.

Shorter Musings: YA Realistic

Here are shorter musings of some recent realistic YA reads. The Fountains of Silence   by Ruta Sepetys I truly appreciate and love the amount of research Sepetys puts into her historical fiction writing. This novel has a better bibliography than most YA non-fiction books that are published. I also like how Sepetys tends to bring attention to historical moments that often go unremarked or unnoticed. In this case she is tackling life in Franco's Spain, and the kidnapping of children to give up for adoption that was rampant under the regime. While this book is a great intellectual exercise, I couldn't quite love it as a work of literature. I felt a distance between myself and the characters. It was almost clinical. I'm not sure if this is a fault of how they were written and developed or a fault in my own ability to want to immerse myself in so painful a reality. The prose is on the same level Sepetys typically gives us, and the setting is fully realized. Maybe This Time

Shorter Musings: YA Fantasy

Here are some shorter musings on some recent YA fantasy reads. His Hideous Heart  by Various I was excited to read this because it is a unique idea, and I love Edgar Allan Poe. Unfortunately, all the things that make Poe's stories great are watered down in these new reworking, making them just the same as any other modern day horror. I also have some serious issues with how a couple of them handled the psychology of the stories. I'm especially not comfortable with the apologist attitude of a couple of the stories that changed the murderer to angry girls. Torturous violence and murder is never justified in my opinion.  My favorite is by far the first one, and it's based on a shorter, not as well known Poe. I wish I had stopped there. The Merciful Crow  by Margaret Owen This book was  almost  a new book of my heart. I thoroughly enjoyed the beginning and everything about the voice. And the SYMBOLISM. I could write a paper on that. The way the symbolism brought out the t

May 202 Recap

I read 12 books this month, but most of those were rereads due to several things including finishing up the kids' school years. Of the four new books I finished, I loved only one. The Favorite: May in Numbers Total: 12 New: 4           Rereads: 8 MG: 1              YA: 2               Adult: 9 Contemporary: 3 Historical: 7 Fantasy: 2 Science-Fiction: 0 Non-Fiction: 0 Did you read any new favorites this month?

TTT: Opening Lines

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly themed blog hop created by  The Broke and the Bookish  and now hosted at  That Artsy Reader Girl . These are the opening lines I find most memorable-most of them I was able to type word for word and only looked them up to be absolutely sure they were word perfect. Some of these lines I like for their cleverness, some for the way they set up the story, and some for the mindset they immediately set from while reading.  I can personally vouch for all the contents that follow these stellar first lines too. "There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it."            -C.S. Lewis The Voyage of the Dawn Treader " There is no lake at Camp Green Lake."            -Lois Sachar Holes         "I didn't know how long I'd been in the king's prison."            -Megan Whalen Turner The Thief " It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession o


Frances Hardinge is an auto buy author for me. However, I enjoy most of her books more on an intellectual level. There have thus far only been two that I have felt a deep full connection to as a reader, A Face Like Glass  and The Lost Conspiracy . Now there are three. Hardinge's most recent release Deeplight  falls into the same category-intellectually and emotionally satisfying with prose that makes my mind sing. Just 50 years ago the people of the Myriad lived lives of fear. They lived in fear of the monstrous sea gods that would occasionally rise from the sea and swallow whole islands of people. Everything changed with the Cataclysm. The gods turned and destroyed each other, and the Myriad learned what peace was. Now enterprising exhibitions dive under the sea to recover pieces of old god to harvest the powerful godware that still carries a range of powers. On the island of Lady's Crave, Hark is an orphan who must use his wits and cunning to survive. His greatest talent

Future Favorites Friday May 2020

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. I throughly enjoyed the first book in this series about Suffragettes in Victorian England, and I'm looking forward to reading all the rest as they come. These characters are so engaging. Lady Lucie is fuming. She and her band of Oxford suffragists have finally scraped together enough capital to control one of London’s major publishing houses, with one purpose: to use it in a coup against Parliament. But who could have predicted that the one person standing between her and success is her old nemesis, Lord Ballentine? Or that he would be willing to hand over the reins for an outrageous price—a night in her bed. Lucie tempts Tristan like no other woman, burning him up with her fierceness and determination every time they clash. But as t

April 2020 Recap

April was an interesting month for me reading wise. After a slow start, I read my three favorites within a week, including my first 5 star MG read of the year. I also read the book that has infuriated me the most so far this year. I definitely covered the entire spectrum of feelings. The Favorites: The Chilbury Ladies' Choir  by Jennifer Ryan A Game of Fox and Squirrels  by Jennifer Reese Spooked! by Gail Jarrow April in Numbers: Total: 10 New:  8          Rereads: 2 MG: 2              YA:  3              Adult: 5 Contemporary: 2 Historical: 3 Fantasy: 4 Non-Fiction: 1 Here are some of the May Releases I'm looking forward to: Did you read any stand out books this month?

A Game of Fox and Squirrels

Jenn Reese's Above World  trilogy is a beloved set of books in this house. My daughter still has all her original copies on her favorite books shelf 8 years later. (One of three series that remained from elementary to high school when others were moved to other rooms as she grew older.) When I discovered a new MG by Reese would be coming out this year, I was so excited. Little did I know the emotional journey in store for me while reading this devastatingly beautiful book. You can try to plan for the Fox. You can save up your cards for him instead of trying to prepare for winter. Many people do. They spend so much time worried about the Fox that they forget about the rest of the game entirely. But remember: you never know when the Fox will appear, or what kind of Fox he will be when he does. And by then it will be too late. Samantha (Sam) has just arrived in Oregon with her sister Caitlyn. They are moving in her with their Aunt Vicky and her wife Hannah following Caitlyn suffe

Future Favorites Friday (April 20)

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. I was so EXCITED to see this on Twitter last week that Angie Thomas wrote a prequel To the Hate You Give . Any good news on Twitter is to be cherished in these times, but this one would be cherished in anytime. I'm prepared to cry my eyes out on the day of this one's release. If there’s one thing seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter knows, it’s that a real man takes care of his family. As the son of a former gang legend, Mav does that the only way he knows how: dealing for the King Lords. With this money he can help his mom, who works two jobs while his dad’s in prison. Life’s not perfect, but with a fly girlfriend and a cousin who always has his back, Mav’s got everything under control. Until, that is, Maverick finds out he’s

March 2020 Recap

How is everyone doing??? We are hanging in there. We have had various illnesses during this quarantine but none too serious. It's been a huge adjustment for the extroverts I live with for sure. I, despite an abundance of extra time, feel listless. It actually feels harder to get these done. I actually read 12 books this month but most were rereads. I'm having a focus issue right now, so rereads are working better for me. The Favorites of the New Reads: Love Lettering  by Kate Clayborn Sal and Gabi Break the Universe  by Carlos Hernandez Undercover Bromance  by Lyssa Kay Adams January in Numbers: Total: 12 New: 4           Rereads: 8 MG: 1             YA:  1             Adult: 10 Contemporary: 2 Historical: 9 Fantasy: 0 Science-Fiction: 1 Non-Fiction: 0 April has a couple of releases I'm really looking forward to, so hopefully my focus and attention span will return. I have both of these beauties on pre-order: I hope you are all safe and well. If yo

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe

  I've been trying to read as many books from Riordan's imprint with Disney Hyperion as I can, though they're coming out so fast it's hard to keep up. I just love the concept of a whole imprint for own voices mythology books. Sal and Gabi Break the Universe  by Carlos Hernandez is my favorite one so far, which is interesting because it is not mythopoeic at all but science-fiction. If there is one thing Sal Vidon knows how to deal with, it's bullies. As a new kid, he knows he needs to be proactive when the school's biggest bully comes for him during his first week at school. One raw chicken in a locker later, Sal finds himself defending against accusations of witchcraft thanks to the interference of student council president Gabi Real, who showed up in the principal's office as the defense attorney of Yasmany. Sal prides himself on being a great magician, but he uses manipulation and sleight of hand-not actual magic. Except he has a talent few others could

Future Favorites Friday March 20

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. Can I tell you how much I loved Well Met ???? It was A LOT. A lot a lot. I was so excited to discover it would have a sequel. I'm loving the cover and the synopsis. CANNOT WAIT!!!! Stacey is jolted when her friends Simon and Emily get engaged. She knew she was putting her life on hold when she stayed in Willow Creek to care for her sick mother, but it's been years now, and even though Stacey loves spending her summers pouring drinks and flirting with patrons at the local Renaissance Faire, she wants more out of life. Stacey vows to have her life figured out by the time her friends get hitched at Faire next summer. Maybe she'll even find The One. When Stacey imagined "The One," it never occurred to her that her summe

TTT: Books with One Word Titles

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: Books with One Word Titles I was almost not going to do this one, but I decided to look through my favorites shelf and realized I loved a lot of really great books with one word titles that I haven't talked about in a while. This seemed the perfect opportunity. \ This is an entire trilogy with one word titles. They are all amazing. This is an entire trilogy full of one word titles that is a favorite, AND it has a spinoff series of one word titles that is equally good. Read them all.