This is a decent addition to the parenting books I've read thus far. I very much liked the focus on validation, teaching emotional intelligence and seThis is a decent addition to the parenting books I've read thus far. I very much liked the focus on validation, teaching emotional intelligence and self-soothing/regulation. I will use some of the mindfulness exercises where you teach your child to attend to physical stimuli and label them. The book was also quite readable and I got through it quickly. I did feel there was more fluff than I like with the useful bits padded with more stories than I thought necessary. Fewer stories and more references to research of some kind would have greatly strengthened the book. Luckily I also think my child is just on the more intense side of normal rather than truly dysregulated which made large parts of the book feel less relevant. I also think that consequences and behavioral principles, while mentioned, seemed to be downplayed in favor of simply accommodating emotional reactivity and I would really love to see research, particularly with children, on whether this is the better approach. ...more
So I read and loved this series when I was a tween and after re-reading the books I'm really glad that I came upon them at that age. They still feel wSo I read and loved this series when I was a tween and after re-reading the books I'm really glad that I came upon them at that age. They still feel well crafted to me, but the level of overwrought emotion in the books interfered with my enjoyment on the second reading. Plus, poor Vanyel. Gees, to go from emotionally abusive home life to being sent away and crazy school, I can see why he would be overwrought, still it felt like too much. I do like the world, I do like the system of magic that Lackey created, and I do like the characters. So still good, but I don't feel an enormous urge to have them in a pile I will revisit again....more
This book again follows Daisy as she tries to keep the peace in Pemkowet while appeasing the tourism industry as represented by Stacy and her mom, onlThis book again follows Daisy as she tries to keep the peace in Pemkowet while appeasing the tourism industry as represented by Stacy and her mom, only now Stacy is dating Daisy's ex, and Daisy keeps being pulled between Cody the off-limits were-wolf/cop and hawwt ghoul Stefan.
These stories are so much fun. Fluffy and light, but with a solid, fantasy core of more existential meaning about good vs evil. The first third of the book felt like just more of the same from the first two. Then I got a little nervous when the court battle was first brought up that we were going into dull, plodding courtroom drama territory, but I should have trusted Carey. Much of the lead-up to the court battle we spend on Daisy's love life and then Carey weaves in espionage and good old, straight-up conflict so it never really slows down, but in fact builds up to a crescendo for the final act. Some of the threads of the plot felt predictable, but Carey does give the story enough twists and turns that I never did get bored and I do so love these characters and this setting. With the conclusion of this book I don't see a continuation of the story, but it has been really fun while it's lasted and I'm looking forward to whatever Carey has up her sleeve next....more
This book returns to following Daisy Johanssen as she represents the Norse goddess of death in keeping the peace in her small, Michigan town. There isThis book returns to following Daisy Johanssen as she represents the Norse goddess of death in keeping the peace in her small, Michigan town. There is a voodoo (or really Obeah) element that comes into play here and of course leads to Daisy kicking ass and taking names. There is a strong romance (read sex) thread throughout the story as well, which, as we know, Carey does really well.
So I enjoyed this book significantly more than the first. The things I liked about the first were still there in spades, while the complaints I had before (too much detail and slangey stream of consciousness) seem to have gotten addressed. Though the other alternative is simply that they didn't bother me anymore. Carey's intermingling of various supernatural traditions was interesting and her ability to use pacing and action to increase tension is wonderful. I'm curious to see where Carey goes with the third and I'm hoping that it comes out early in 2014 so I don't have to wait too long....more
Anthony Bourdain is as amusing in print as he is in No Reservations. He has an irreverent sense of humor and an amazing ability to describe his worldAnthony Bourdain is as amusing in print as he is in No Reservations. He has an irreverent sense of humor and an amazing ability to describe his world in a way that does make it feel like a pirate story. The events in Bourdain's life are not presented chronologically, but rather in a more stream-of-consciousness organization that seem more related to their relevance to a particular topic or episode. I wasn't completely sure about that, but it did work for the content. I'm still bothered that he didn't finish telling how his catering business ended, but just moved on.
One thing I do know is that I have no desire to be a chef, that I know little to nothing about French food, and that I don't have much interest in trying the majority of the food Bourdain gushes about. Hanging out with Bourdain though would be very cool....more
This story follows Daisy Johanssen who is half-devil and the liaison and enforcer for the eldrich leader, Hel, within a small Michigan town. Things quThis story follows Daisy Johanssen who is half-devil and the liaison and enforcer for the eldrich leader, Hel, within a small Michigan town. Things quickly get complicated by the death of a human college boy from a religiously devout family. In the course of investigating the death, Daisy encounters naiads, ghouls, werewolves, vampires, and even more unusual creatures.
Carey's writing is as engaging as usual, but somehow this book did not rise to the level of either the Santa Olivia or the Terre d'Ange novels. The setting and characters were interesting, but I also had complaints. There was too manic a back and forth between overly nuanced details of what Daisy was doing (did we really need to know that the gazebo was whicker?) and crazy action. I enjoyed the juxtaposition of the normal midwestern small town life and the dramatically bizarre creatures Carey chose to add to the mix. But even with that I couldn't completely get into my suspension of disbelief mode. I think that urban fantasy requires a bit more of a nuanced approach and this one didn't quite work for me. Also I couldn't help being annoyed with the voice of Daisy. The informality of her constant "gahs," "Ew. Just...ew's," and other internal monologue felt forced.
Overall, an easy, good read, but not as outstanding as I've come to expect from Carey....more
I will never be too old for McKinley's young adult fantasy.
This book follows Margaret Alastrina, Maggie, in what could be thought of as a very traditiI will never be too old for McKinley's young adult fantasy.
This book follows Margaret Alastrina, Maggie, in what could be thought of as a very traditional coming-of-age story placed in an alternate, near future setting in which science and magic both exist and are used to battle dimensional rifts in our world. Maggie is an animal-crazy, math-hating 17-year-old who lives in a science oriented culture which deeply mistrusts and has even rendered much of magic illegal. In the middle of this, Maggie's widowed mother remarries and dimensional rifts come to their small town.
Looking back at the story, the events feel somewhat predictable and perhaps even formulaic, but McKinley writes about them so compellingly and the pacing is so dramatic that I was sucked in and read the thing in about two days. I felt a little skeptical at first with McKinley's made-up slang (usually really annoys me), but it took maybe a chapter or two for my brain to adjust and then I was bowled over by the cinematic quality of the description and the sense of reality I got from the character's and McKinley's portrayal of the world....more
**spoiler alert** This book follows Sieh, the godling (read demigod) of childhood as he becomes linked to a twin girl and boy and somehow in the proce**spoiler alert** This book follows Sieh, the godling (read demigod) of childhood as he becomes linked to a twin girl and boy and somehow in the process is rendered mortal. The twins, Shahar and Dekarta, are not just any twins, they are the children of the ruling Arameri. The Arameri family rule the world and the girl is set to inherit her mother's throne.
If it took me a long time to get into the second book, it took me even longer to get into this one. There are long sections of the book in which Sieh is in teenaged moping mode and more sections in which he appears to be just killing time running around the world and gathering tiny bits of information. Dull. When Jemisin gets back into the dynamic between the now young adult twins and Sieh, she seems to be back in her element. But I had to wait 300+ pages for that. Way too long.
What Jemisin does do really well is balance high power characters, Gods no less, and make the end of the world feel real and threatening. Seeing the characters from the previous books from the young/old perspective of Sieh was also interesting, but not quite enough to satisfy. The end battle was thrilling though. I was surprised, but pleasantly when both Sieh and Dekarta died nobly. I'm not sure what it means that I wasn't sad. Probably lack of connection to the characters. I was interested in the story, but the characters not so much....more
**spoiler alert** In this book, Jemisin picks up approximately a decade after the return of the third god (now Yeine). Instead of following those fami**spoiler alert** In this book, Jemisin picks up approximately a decade after the return of the third god (now Yeine). Instead of following those familiar characters, however, Jemisin's heroine is a blind woman who is somehow able to see magic, Oree. Oree's paintings also glow magically in her vision. She has come to the city of Sky, now known as Shadow to live in the shadow of the magical tree that grew at Yeine's ascendance to power. She is fascinated by the magic of the tree and of the godling children of the three gods. Then she takes in a man she finds in a muckbin who turns out to be Itempas. Really this story is about Itempas' rehabilitation through his relationship with Oree.
This feels like a second novel, and other reviewers have talked about how much better crafted it is than the first Inheritance novel. I agree, but still like it less than the first. Instead of the rough immediacy of the first story, The Broken Kingdoms feels self consciously constructed. There are a number of conceits in the novel. The first being Oree's blindness. I've worked with a vision loss population and this felt like it was a way for Jemisin to be able to use more dramatic descriptions of sound and smell and touch, not as really something that added to the story. I don't know, blindness as a literary conceit. Somehow that vaguely annoyed me. Then there was the way in which each chapter was labeled as though it was the title of a painting along with the medium used to make it. Again a conceit, and interesting since she has created a character who is blind, but who also is able to paint amazing pictures. I'm not a painted and labeling the chapters that way seemed wholly unnecessary. Perhaps if I was an artistic type this would have resonated with me, but being the person I am it didn't. Finally there is the ultimate conceit revealed at the end (and this is why I spoilered this review). Apparently Oree is pregnant by Itempas and the narrative is her explanation t her unborn child of the story of her relationship with its father. I liked that little twist, but if that was the ostensible audience, it doesn't make any sense that she just described in great detail her sexual encounters with Itempas or the horrific violence leading up to their escape from Shadow. Again a conceit that didn't work for me.
The book was still enjoyable. I kind of didn't buy that Oree would still be going after some of the injuries she sustained, but I guess if she is a demon, as is revealed later, you could say that she is maybe more durable than most. Also, there was a period of inactivity for Oree that felt like merely the appearance of captain exposition.
All that said I did care deeply about the characters and enjoyed the humanization of the character who was the "bad guy" in the first novel. I have no hesitation in seeing what Jemisin concocts in the third book, which I'm starting now!...more
This book hovers in between a four and five starer for me. It's the story of two young girls, Zanna and Deeba. One has been designated "the chosen" byThis book hovers in between a four and five starer for me. It's the story of two young girls, Zanna and Deeba. One has been designated "the chosen" by destiny to save an alternate version of London called Un Lun Dun. The other has been designated her "funny side kick." With typical genre bending aplomb, Miéville turns the ideas of destiny, heroism, and the epic coming-of-age story on their heads. Suffice it to say, that Deeba learns that destiny of sometimes what you make of it, or maybe it would be better to say that destiny doesn't really exist at all unless it's in the form of a series of choices.
This book is basically Miéville light and boy do I like him better light. For a young adult book, this still felt awfully dark and dingy and dangerous, with Miéville's characteristically bent but believable cast of characters. There was definitely an unformulaic feeling about the whole thing, unless the formula was to inject a balance of good and evil into the majority of the characters. Miéville definitely kept to his tradition of having characters decisions be based largely on their own self interest. However, one of the things that I loved about this young adult version of Miéville's imagination was that there were also a good number of characters for whom altruism was a powerful, and frequently, deciding force.
The one things was that the characters did spend quite a bit of the middle third of the book engaged in what felt like frantic, but understandable, running back and forth in Un Lun Dun. And that did mess up the pace of the story just a smidgeon for me. Otherwise this was a near perfect hit out of the park.
In my reading future I plan on picking up young adult Miéville without a second thought, and continuing to ration my adult Miéville for those moments when I am psychologically prepared to deal with a more nihilistic view of the world....more
If I could put this book just shy of five stars I would, but having to choose, it's definitely on the five side of the mark for me.
This is the story oIf I could put this book just shy of five stars I would, but having to choose, it's definitely on the five side of the mark for me.
This is the story of Yeine, a young woman from the distant reaches of an all-powerful theocracy in which two members of the three-some that previously made up the world'a main pantheon have been overthrown by the third. Yeine is the granddaughter of the ruler of the theocracy, but her mother chose exile to marry Yeine's father and Yeine has been raised far from court life. Now she has been recalled to the violence of the capital to serve as the third of her grandfather's heirs.
I should have paid more attention to the very first paragraph of the book which says, "I am not as I once was. They have done this to me, broken me open and torn out my heart. I do not know who I am anymore. I must try to remember." If I had remembered that the book is written as the reminiscence of someone to whom something horrible had happened, and that the action is leading up to that event, it would have made a little more sense as I pushed through it. However, that was my one and only complaint main and it's not a defect of the book since I was the one who glossed over that it.
The story is gripping and poignant with a lot of very human experiences of loss motivating the characters. At no time did Yeine annoy me with stupidity. She did make poor choices, but they were always understandable in the context of the character, her struggles and her motivations.
What really stood out to me was the vividness of the world that Jemisin creates. It feels almost wholly novel without the formulaic elements of so much of fantasy.
And I kept wondering how/whether Yeine and the captive gods would be able to overcome the overwhelming odds arrayed against them.
I'm a little sad that we leave Yeine in the second book, but am eagerly looking forward to the read nonetheless....more
5/5, Under/Above the Water, by Tanith Lee 5/5, After the Blood, by Marjorie M Liu 5/5, The Thing About Cassandra, by Neil Gaiman 5/5, The Wayfarer's Advi5/5, Under/Above the Water, by Tanith Lee 5/5, After the Blood, by Marjorie M Liu 5/5, The Thing About Cassandra, by Neil Gaiman 5/5, The Wayfarer's Advice, by Melinda M Snodgrass 4/5, Kaskia, by Peter S Beagle 4/5, Hurt Me, by MLN Hanover 4/5, Demon Lover, by Cecelia Holland 4/5, You, and You Alone, by Jacqueline Carey 4/5, Courting Trouble, by Linnea Sinclair 3/5, Man in the Mirror, by Yasmine Galenorn 3/5, His Wolf, by Lisa Tuttle 3/5, Love Hurts, by Jim Butcher 3/5, Rooftops, by Carrie Vaughn 3/5, A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows, by Diana Gabaldon 2/5, The Marrying Maid, by Jo Beverley 1/5, The Demon Dancer, by Mary Jo Putney 1/5, Blue Boots, by Robin Hobb
So, as with any anthology, this book is wonderfully diverse. Of course there were stories in it that I barely got through, but there were enough stories that were really gripping to me that it pulled me through. The premise of this anthology is "star crossed love." I really enjoy reading about relationships, but not necessarily romance, and the ratings above probably reflect that. The highlights for me were Lee's story (of course since she's a favorite author of mine) following the connection between two people that crosses time in Lee's peculiarly surreal way. Gaiman's "The things about Cassandra" also gave me that Twilight Zone feeling, while at the same time drawing me along with wonderful pacing. I loved discovering Snodgrass and Liu as authors. In fact, Liu's cinematic story felt like the first act in a larger story and I hope that she writes a whole book based on those characters. I'd be in line to buy it....more
Moon continues to follow her cast of characters as tensions spiral higher and higher across the kingdoms and the all-out conflict looms closer.
Now agMoon continues to follow her cast of characters as tensions spiral higher and higher across the kingdoms and the all-out conflict looms closer.
Now again, I have read the last three books back-to-back and I'm sensing a pattern where I've enjoyed each subsequent book more than the previous one. I've given up almost all my previous complaints about the books and felt more and more captivated by Moon's world and storytelling. Rather than being ready for a break, I would gladly buy and read the next book right now if it were out.
The development of Kieri and Arian's mature love, Arneson's continued movement toward being a "good" instrument of the Gods against the sociopolitical backdrop of resolving prejudice toward magic users makes for a great story. I highly recommend this....more