I’m just saying this right now — Jason Reynolds is an ePosted originally at my blog The Perpetual Page-Turner -- come hang out for book talk and more!
I’m just saying this right now — Jason Reynolds is an extraordinary talent who needs WAY more recognition. I was so, so impressed with The Boy In The Black Suit. It’s smart, moving and
1. The Boy in the Black Suit was a book that I related to immensely: It’s no secret that I gravitate to books dealing with grief –especially that of a parent– and Jason Reynolds explored this with such finesse and beauty. Now, if you hear “grief” in the summary and normally go running, I’m begging you not to. It wasn’t the ugly sobbing sort of book about grief and it most definitely is NOT all about grief. Rather it was just so quietly profound and piercing in its emotion as Matt grieves his mom and tries to find normalcy in the after and tries to deal with that crushing loneliness that seems to separate you from everyone else because nobody seems to be able to truly understand — whether or not that’s true. I cannot even tell you how many pages I dog-eared because I just kept nodding my head like, “YES. Exactly this. I felt this.” I understood his need to watch someone else’s raw grief to know he wasn’t alone. I just connected with him so much and Jason Reynolds tapped into something REAL and raw that made my heart ache.
2. I loved the relationship between Matt & Lovey: I loved that Lovey doesn’t actually come into the picture right away because we really get to know Matt in a way I think we need to in order to show his loneliness but the downside to that is I WANTED MORE MATT AND LOVEY because they were just so smile inducing. Their connection is just so beautiful and honestly it reminds me a lot of how Will and I really connected for the first time in a real way. There’s something so isolating about grief and when you find someone who GETS it, it feels so intense. That’s how Will and I connected at first (I had just lost my mom and he had lost his mom when he was younger) and then it’s what brought us even closer together as a couple when he lost his dad a couple years into our relationship. What Matt and Lovey share is hard to describe but Jason Reynolds lets you FEEL it in such an honest way.
3. Matt’s POV is one of the best male POVs I’ve read in a while: Truly, his POV was just so refreshing and really captivated me. This book is definitely a character driven novel and Matt felt like a leap off the pages type character to me. God, Jason Reynolds is just a fantastic writer.
4. Mr Ray. That’s all I’m going to say: Look, you just need to meet Mr. Ray because he is one of my favorite secondary characters that I’ve met in a while....more
OKAY OKAY. So first of all I know this is super hyped. It was the IT book at BEA. THE BOOKTERNET WAS ALL ABUZZ. I don't want to play into tha4.5 stars
OKAY OKAY. So first of all I know this is super hyped. It was the IT book at BEA. THE BOOKTERNET WAS ALL ABUZZ. I don't want to play into that hype because it's such a disservice to books a lot of the times. It's hard to live up to it. I went into it knowing that I loved Susan's first series but I was scared because I was building this up in my head SO MUCH.
But I just really need to tell you that I LOVED this book. Truly. It has the makings of an epic series and I was just SO engrossed in Truthwitch. My husband, Will, laughed at me because at one point I was lazily reading on the couch and I shot straight up and read sitting up (uncomfortably straight) because SO TENSE and I could not sit still.
I LOVE these characters. SO complicated. So interesting and all having different purposes that intersect. They are all fiercely fighting for something completely different from each other. LOVED seeing things from the main POVs. I love the elaborate magic system. The plot just bewitched me. THE FRIENDSHIPS. Oh my god I haven't felt the friendship feels so strongly since Code Name Verity which is one of my favorite books ever. This friendship just made me wish for my own Threadsister. THERE IS EVEN AN EPIC BROMANCE. What a page-turner -- so magical, fierce and overflowing with characters who will inspire you to be braver, kinder, courageous and to love genuinely and with all your heart.
OH AND HOT DAMN....sexual tension to boot. But like so perfectly placed and well done.
GIMME BOOK 2 PLEASE AND THANK YOU. MY EMOTIONS ARE A FRENETIC HOT MESS RIGHT NOW. ALL OF THE EMOJIS CROSSED MY MIND AS I WAS READING AND FINISHING IT.
My reasoning for the .5 star off is because I did have a wee bit of trouble getting my bearings in the first 50-70ish pages but this is also probably me being newer to fantasy series. The magic system and the different witchery and things such as that were a lot for my brain to absorb/be patient with but then things really clicked and I COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN AT ALL. God, I haven't felt this absorbed in a couple months. Like, hello JAMIE PLEASE COME BACK TO REALITY sort of absorbed.
SO YEAH...this crazy rambling is brought to you by the fact that I just finished it on a Friday night (I REFUSED PLANS BC I NEEDED TO FINISH) and need to unleash my feels. ...more
I almost put this book down to be honest because I was just really not into it. It wasn’t the novel in verse thing, which I like, it was just that I wI almost put this book down to be honest because I was just really not into it. It wasn’t the novel in verse thing, which I like, it was just that I was pretty much bored and not feeling like I cared what the last page held. But I kept reading it because I was like, “oh what the hell..it’s really short, told in verse and I’ll finish it in less than an hour…which I did.
1. I swear, I felt no emotions during this book: If I could have recorded my face reading it I feel like my face would have been have remained the same the whole time and FEELINGS pretty much did fluctuate at all. I was just turning page after page hoping something would make me care. I mean, I WANTED to care about a young girl who cuts herself and gets caught and Baker Acted (sent to a psych ward for a mandatory 72 hours). I thought I would feel something towards it but I just didn’t. Like at all. I felt nothing really which was strange considering I know it was inspired by this happening to the author’s daughter.
2. From a technical standpoint I thought the novel in verse worked well & the writing was solid: It was poetic and flowed really well. I really LOVE novels in verse and this executed it really well. It really FIT the story well!
3. I will say that I liked that it wasn’t an AND NOW SHE IS FIXED AFTER THIS EVENT type of book but just a snapshot of a girl who can’t help but cut and is forced to reflect on it: It was about a normal girl. Not a girl with a ton of issues or a deep dark secret. But just a girl who got caught up in it for her own reasons (which are revealed). It wasn’t an “AND NOW SHE IS SAVED AND SHALL NEVER CUT AGAIN” book but an honest look at a girl who gets a chance to reflect on it for 72 hours and meet people who will give her even more to think about. It’s that looking back of this is how I got there, this is where I’m at and she gets to think about the path she wants to take when she is released. I FELT like it was a realistic portrayal but I also admit that my experience is limited to this peer pressure induced, wanting-attention-from-a-guy-I-liked week of cutting I had in 7th grade....more
Cause of death: brain just exploding from the brilliance that was this book. I don't even know how she doInitial thoughts upon finishing - 8/22
Cause of death: brain just exploding from the brilliance that was this book. I don't even know how she does it but OMG I'm shaking right now from how perfect this was and how much I love these characters. A LITTLE DISORIENTED TBH.
Direct thy wyverns to a bookstore immediately on Sept 1, buy the book and ignore the world!!! Seriously. Ask my husband how much he has spoken to me in the past 24 hours.
REAL THOUGHTS TO COME LATER. But holy shit I cannot wait until the next book. Shit about to get even more real.
Okay now that I've had time to sit down and untangle my thoughts!!
Queen of Shadows was everything I had hoped for. When I finished it (literally binged it from Friday night, went to bed, then woke up and finished it Saturday which was intense because that book is THICK) I was just like BRAIN. EXPLODING. BRILLIANT. OMG. I LOVE THESE CHARACTERS. I LOVE EVERYTHING. CAN I HAZ BOOK 5?? I’m just so obsessed with this story and world and obviously the characters. I can’t really put into words, non-spoiler words, to explain what this book did to me and why I loved it so much…it was just everything and made my love for it expand all the way to the undiscovered parts of the universe and back. Sarah is just so brilliant in the way she truly makes me feel and understand these characters, why they do what they do, their struggles, what they are fighting for, etc. Everything was epic. I am so, so beyond invested and basically will sign a deal with the devil not to die before this series ends haha. Sooo now I will just talk in spoilers because that is all I can do...so
We are just going to go straight up lists for this because it’s been over a week and my brain still is like HAHAH YEAH COHERENT THOUGHTS WHAT ARE THEY.
1. SHIPS AND THINGS: So it’s no secret that there has been lots of speculation about ships and where those would go in this series. I take my ships seriously. But I’ve realized some people take their ships EVEN MORE SERIOUSLY (ie. death threats to authors and crap). What I’m always more concerned about, especially with a fave series, is the integrity of the story that author is trying to tell rather than an author feeling pressured to give reader wish fulfillment. What I mean by that is I WANT CELAENA TO END UP WITH WHO SHE NEEDS TO BE WITH REGARDLESS OF HOW I FEEL ABOUT IT. If it happens to be the popular ship, cool. If it happens to be my ship, even better. But like…I need to BELIEVE that this is true to the character and their journey and this is what has to happen. Now, I rarely jump ships. I’m truly loyal. But QoS made me jump ships faster than a pirate looking for more booty. I was so team Chaol. And then I wasn’t. We saw his lack of acceptance for certain things about Celaena in HoF and (it should have raised red flags for me but I’m a hopeless romantic) and it struck me pretty early on in QoS that they couldn’t be together in my mind. At least not right now. Or ever. Maybe they will just be good friends. WHO KNOWS. You can’t be with someone who doesn’t get these essential parts of you. Who doesn’t accept them. Things that are you to the core. That are an important part of who you ARE and who you are going to be. Chaol can’t get past some of these things. I think he tried to believe she could be who he wanted but couldn’t altogether. She deserves to be with a person who gets her. Truly. She deserves to be understood to her core. Chaol loves her no doubt…but it might not be in the way she NEEDS or WANTS to be loved romantically. ALSO, we always knew early on that Chaol’s allegiances would always be to Dorian. That was evident from book 1. That was his King in his mind. And now he is the King. And he needs to be there while she is figuring shit out with her kingdom. They have dueling and conflicting journeys right now. I know lots of people are going to be upset about the turn in ships but I actually find it hella refreshing that a young female character doesn’t have to always be with their first or second love etc. That they can learn and grow and appreciate what that person brought to their life. Chaol did so much to help her to realize who she is and what she is fighting for. He is part of her journey to where she is now. I mean, this happens in life. Someone is right for you at a certain chapter in your life and then sometimes you both are still moving…but in different directions. Like hello my whole high school and college until I met Will. I thought I wanted vastly different things as I was coming of age. I don’t know what the rest of the series holds for them but I am SO OKAY WITH WHERE THEY ARE RIGHT NOW. And maybe they will be right for each other again….but they both of things to deal with in the remaining books…you never know where life is going to take you. But Sarah made me feel like THIS IS THE RIGHT THING. This is right for my girl. She is so complicated and still figuring her shit out and she deserves to be able to do that. She was a different person in some ways when she met Chaol. She deserves to keep figuring out who she is and what she wants –and decide who she wants to love. It’s an important decision when it comes to matters of the heart. I will defend this until the end of time. I HAVE SO MUCH PEACE ABOUT IT.
2. Manon continues to be one of my favorites EVER and I think her character is even more fleshed out here. She still feels like who she is but these shifts within her in this book are SO believable to me and I can’t wait to see what she does in next book with all the info/perspective she has now. I have been waiting for an epic showdown between them and IT WAS THE SHOWDOWN THAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF. I burst into tears at the two acts of kindness they showed toward each other. THE MESSAGE ABOUT DORIAN. OMG OMG. BAWLED. I can’t wait to see when they meet again.
3. Aedion: I’m just saying I want Aedion for MYSELF. He is a character who I loved getting to know better in QoS as I already loved him in HoF. “And Aedion grinned at his queen as the entire world went to hell” I DIED I DIED. The first eye contact between them after these years. DIED. And their first real conversation after they got to have after they rescued him….KILL ME NOW. EPIC REUNION IS SO BEYOND EPIC. The plan and execution was flawless.
4. Dorian’s POV: One of the most distressing, and I mean heart in the pit of my stomach distressing, was Dorian’s POV. Oh my heart I wanted to puke. It was breaking my heart to watch him not remember and try so hard to. To be aware and acknowledge the demon in him and trying so hard to fight it. I cried so hard when he remembered his name. I LOST MY SHIT when C says to him, “We get to come back from this loss — this darkness. I came back for you.” LOST IT. LIKE SOBBED. And I totally felt like as much as she was saying it to him…she was reminding herself of this.
5. THE BATTLE IN THE END. Her plan. Slipping the eye in Chaol’s pocket. How she saved Dorian. The banter with the king. THE FUCKING FIRE WALL. I was had to remind myself to breathe during this epicness.
6. FUCKING CANNOT WAIT FOR MY QUEEN TO RECLAIM HER KINGDOM AND SEE WHAT IS UP THERE.
7. HOT SEXY ROWAN. Please make that towel drop next time SARAH!!! “You make me want to live, Rowan. Not survive; not exist. Live.” HEART STOPPED. This is what I want for her. This is why I ship this.
8. HOLLA BADASS LADIES: I’m so all about all the amazing dudes that Sarah writes (no seriously how does she?) but I was soooo in love with the roles that the ladies played in this book. It’s magical what Nesryn and Lysandra brought to this book. SQUAD GOALS ALL THE WAY. Badass, unapologetic ladies in the house! And seriously Kaltain quite literally blowing shit up?? And obviously Manon being Manon and what she did. IT WAS ALL ABOUT THE LADIES SAVING THE DAY IN THIS BOOK (hide spoiler)]
TL;DR: Queen of Shadows is all I had hoped for and more. All the love I had for this world/characters/story before x 1000000000000. Sarah continues to deliver the perfect amounts of everything I need: amazing character development, complex romances/relationships, hella interesting plot and flawless writing. It’s just one BIG, and I mean big, book of badassery and perfection. GIRL SQUADS, HOT DUDES, HOLD-YOUR-BREATH MOMENTS. SCENES THAT WILL MAKE YOU LAUGH AND CRY AND HAPPY CRY. It was all glorious and I am basically dead still after reading it.
Historical fiction used to be my one true love, frOriginally posted on my blog The Perpetual Page-Turner -- come hang out for some book talk and more!
Historical fiction used to be my one true love, friends. In the past couple years I haven’t read as much of it but this book reminds me why I LOVE it so much. The truly excellent historical novels, like this one, transport me so flawlessly into this sliver of the past and leave me with this insatiable thirst to research that time period or event or find more fiction set in that time.
So what was so great about A Mad, Wicked Folly?
1. The setting: London in 1909 = Edwardian era goodness! The height of the suffragette movement there! Plus Vicky’s world is high society and balls and pretty dresses. I was just so immersed as Sharon just so perfectly and with detail painted the setting for the reader to feel instantly transported to that time. I could feel the tension in the social structure and in the women’s rights movement as well.
2. Vicky is such a dynamic character: Girl is FEISTY and incredibly passionate about her art and I loved it. She’s not a perfect character and that’s what I loved about her. She only really seems to be interested in the suffragette’s works at first because it can further her dreams of going to art school. She has her prejudices, due to her upbringing, that will make you cringe. But it all felt so realistic. How her eyes were opened to the things that the suffragette’s were fighting for. How she looked differently at the social constructs after the things she experienced. I loved watching her growth SO MUCH as she fights to be able to create the art she so desires, asks the hard questions and questions
3. It made me just feel so thankful for these suffragettes: Reading this book and watching what the suffragette’s are doing in this time just made me so grateful for all these women who did so much to give me all the right’s I have. They were laughed at and jailed and treated AWFULLY and still they fought. It was so incredibly inspiring and I just love reading about strong, passionate women. Made me not want to take forget how far we’ve come but also so sad for the ways that as women we still are not looked at as equal to men....more
A Little Something Different was well…a little something different as far as romances go. I was smitten with the unique way this story was told and was just a refreshing sort of read that defied the norm!
1. I swear this book was a love letter to my people-watching soul: I am a people-watcher. I make up things in my mind about the people I observe. This book was told from 14 different perspectives — baristas, friends of Gabe and Lea, A SQUIRREL, a professor etc. All of these people observed some facet of their interactions and were wanting them to get together! THESE ARE MAH PEOPLE. Watching it all unfold. Willing it to happen. SHIPPING THE CRAP OUT OF IT. I loved the observations and watching this love story unfold from the eyes of friends, strangers and at times INANIMATE OBJECTS. YEAH YOU HEARD ME.
2. The 14 perspectives sound confusing but it wasn’t at ALL to me: It was labeled with the name and who they were (example: waitress, Gabe’s friend, etc.) so I remembered who they were easily from the beginning. I was worried about how this would be pulled off and I thought maybe it would be confusing and jumbled but somehow it just really worked well for me!
3. Can we talk about how adorably awkward this romance was??? I used to observe a lot at my small college and I TOTALLY used to see the beginnings of relationships just by sitting in class or in the lounge. I HAVE SEEN COUPLES LIKE THIS. Maybe not quite as awkward and frustrating (in the way that you are like OMG TALK TO EACH OTHER AND STOP BEING SO AWKWARD) but I just loved how down-to-earth and realistic this romance was. It wasn’t a sweeping, grand gesture-y romance but just the kind you know happen. There’s a lot of frustrations, because as readers, we know things that Gabe and Lea don’t know about the other because we see THEM through interactions with different perspective so the NEED for them to figure it out so they can KISS already is overwhelming. It’s just a cute, awkwardly romantic story and I really enjoyed it. SO CUTE....more
I talked more personally about this book on my blog, The Perpetual Page-Turner, and how The Bell Jar was important to me and about how this kind of to I talked more personally about this book on my blog, The Perpetual Page-Turner, and how The Bell Jar was important to me and about how this kind of took me back to a time in my life that was hard. So if you want to read THAT...go here! But I wanted to actually let you know more what I thought about it here!
What I Liked:
1. The plot -- it was super interesting! A girl whose boyfriend dies and she isn't handling it well at all gets sent to a special school with other kids who have some issues and needs therapy. She gets put into this mysterious English class that is super hard to get into and nobody even KNOWS how you get picked to be in it. They study the works of Sylvia Plath the whole semester and are given a journal they HAVE to write in. And what happens with the journal I'm not telling you! I was VERY much engaged and interested!
2. So quoteable: I can't tell you how many dog-ears I made with just really great lines or passages. The writing was pretty solid and it was very thought-provoking!
3. I thought I had this book's number but NOPE -- I thought I knew the trajectory of the story pretty much and let me tell you...it took me for a bit of a ride. I didn't see something coming and how it was revealed and built-up to was SMART.
4. Some of the characters and their stories were intriguing! I really liked our main character and some of the friends she made. I LOVED how their group came together and supported each other. I wish we would have seen a LITTLE more of the teacher because she intrigued me a whole lot.
What I Didn't Like:
1. The pacing wasn't consistent -- there were times I was racing to read this and there were other times it just was DRAGGING and DRAGGING. Too much in some places, not enough in others.
2. Way too "this is the message/lesson" -- This was a really thought-provoking novel! However, it felt almost as the author didn't quite trust the reader to glean some of the important things out of it. At the end it was super THIS IS THE MESSAGE and I felt like it was dumping it all out there to make sure I got it. Which I did.
3. Sometimes I felt we were being TOLD stuff rather than shown -- There were certain areas where I think I was supposed to feel more but instead I felt like it was just being told to me and I was like okay so this is happening. Like instead of FEELING changed attitudes and hearts..I was just told that there were changes.
Overall, Belzhar was enjoyable and engaging. It wasn't always consistent but at its highs it was GREAT. It felt unique and I loved how thought-provoking it was. In certain ways I think this could have been better but I did like it. ...more
Behind the Scenes was an enjoyable read with a fun Hollywood setting and a VERY shippable romance aka noFrom The Final Thoughts portion of my review:
Behind the Scenes was an enjoyable read with a fun Hollywood setting and a VERY shippable romance aka normal girl falls for the hot co-star on her bff’s new teen show who ends up being her faux boyfriend in a publicity stunt. Despite some random lulls in the story and little irksome things, it was an addictive read and I can’t wait for the next book in the series because JOSH…I want to know HIS story for sure.