LOVED it. I love the concept and how real it felt the entire time--never once does it enter your mind to think that this is a fantasy world. The Archi...moreLOVED it. I love the concept and how real it felt the entire time--never once does it enter your mind to think that this is a fantasy world. The Archive is totally real. The Narrows are real. Roland really has red Chucks and is DYING to meet the Kim-Kanye baby. And probably the royal baby. But definitely the Kardashian one.
And dude--WESLEY. WESLEY is EVERYTHING and, though this is true of this book in general but SPECIFICALLY for Wesley, I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE WHERE THIS IS GOING! It's right up there with THE DIVINERS for books I've read lately that have developed an entirely new world that I can't wait to see expanded.
And there's a mention of blue crayons in the very end that made me BAWL. The ability for a tiny, off-handed, half a sentence to crumble me is pretty impressive. (less)
By far the best use of slam poetry I've ever seen in a book; I was really impressed by not only the poetry itself but also the way it expressed differ...moreBy far the best use of slam poetry I've ever seen in a book; I was really impressed by not only the poetry itself but also the way it expressed different voices; this wasn't just the author writing poetry, but the author writing poetry as characters.
This was my first foray into New Adult, and while there were things I liked and things I didn't, overall I really enjoyed it! (less)
I *know* the history of the Tudor court. I love that history. I know a considerable amount about Anne Boleyn (as an Anne myself, I kind of bonded with...moreI *know* the history of the Tudor court. I love that history. I know a considerable amount about Anne Boleyn (as an Anne myself, I kind of bonded with her).
Katherine Longshore's GILT showed the wide-eyed waif Catherine Howard to be a manipulative and unapologetic mean girl who arguably got what she deserved. So when I got to TARNISH, about the girl who history seems to argue knowingly and seductively turned the world upside down and changed the course of English history (to say nothing of raising and inspiring Elizabeth I, one of the most effective and interesting leaders of all time in my opinion), I really thought I knew where she was going with it. Younger. Blair Waldorf for the Tudor court.
TARNISH knocked me off my feet. There is an incredibly beautiful, perfectly told, lavishly researched and utterly surprising story in there. Maybe Anne Boleyn wasn't the most famous slut/whore/bitch of all time. Maybe she was a young girl who wanted to belong, who wanted to be loved, who wanted something real and solid that she could count on.
Longshore's Anne is heartbreaking. She's vulnerable, she's sharp, she's witty, and she is so eager and scared. Emotions I felt like I could so deeply relate to. The novel captures the heart of YA because it allows the reader to immediately identify the narrator--in this case, a fascinating and dangerous historical figure.
But then there's this other layer where the author is equally as clever as Anne herself, using a light touch with foreshadowing of events to come (I think in one place she used the word "execution" in reference to a marriage contract, and it literally made me shiver).
This is a deftly written glimpse into the Tudor court, a fresh new history of a familiar subject, and beyond all of that, an utterly engrossing read.
**spoiler alert** So, I'm going to have to hide my review, because I was so obsessed with these books and I'm just dying that she didn't choose Cassia...more**spoiler alert** So, I'm going to have to hide my review, because I was so obsessed with these books and I'm just dying that she didn't choose Cassian!! I get it, I get it--but I LOVED Cassian and I just got so incredibly entrenched in Jacinda's decision. I LOVED the fact that she got the chance to be truly free to make her decision so it wasn't clouded by any of the other factors--UH I just loved this series. Dragons, hot boys, tough girls--love. But Team Cassian all the way. (less)
You might think this book is about paranormalcy--and you'd be forgiven. That's certainly in there, and done well, and originally, and with a unique sp...moreYou might think this book is about paranormalcy--and you'd be forgiven. That's certainly in there, and done well, and originally, and with a unique spin that grazes against Janice Hardy but takes it in a cool, different direction. Remy steals pain from people, and heals them by taking the pain upon herself--sometimes with disastrous results.
You might think this book is about romance--again, yes, technically, that's in there. And it's a gorgeous romance between Remy and Asher, two lonely young people that are two pieces in the same cosmic balancing act--they're designed for each other, in a way that never seems cheesy or fake, only deep and soulful. More than that, they DESERVE each other, like all the crappiness in their lives delivered them to a relationship to balance it out.
But TOUCHED really isn't those things. Only because by the time I finished, I just felt like this novel was about how to survive. How to be someone that survives, and not just physically, like Remy has to do in the wake of her incredibly abusive past, but emotionally. How to learn to love, trust, and HEAL after awful things happen to you and you question your true worth, your value. More than that, how to still be a person who give something back to the world.
I loved this book. Loved loved loved. I can't wait for the next--and how cool is SENSE THIEVES for a trilogy name? SO COOL. (less)
There are books that I enjoy profoundly as an adult, and then there are books that give me this yawning ache in my chest because I wish, I wish they h...moreThere are books that I enjoy profoundly as an adult, and then there are books that give me this yawning ache in my chest because I wish, I wish they had been around when I was a teenager, and hurting, and lonely, and thinking about all these questions of life, love, death, forgiveness, and this strange notion of forgiving yourself.
TOUCHING THE SURFACE is both of those books. I loved it--a lush fantasy (seems like the wrong word for it, but still) world of ever changing dimensions, Elliot finds herself in the Obmil, the physical space of the afterlife. She has to rediscover her past life, and find a way to heal herself and learn her lesson before she moves on.
Throw in Trevor, troubled hottie with an undeniable connection to Elliot--and the mystery of dying moments after her--and the ride becomes breathless, and romantic, and AWESOME. I loved "delving", which is like watching--WITH the character--as they experience TV episodes of their past life. How cool--to be able to unveil secrets to the character and the reader at the same time!
The writing was tight and fast paced, and had me hooked about 20 pages in. It's a beautiful, unique book. (less)
Less of a review, more just notes and thoughts: 1. I am so flippin' on board with this being a huge and never ending series. This book did feel like a...moreLess of a review, more just notes and thoughts: 1. I am so flippin' on board with this being a huge and never ending series. This book did feel like a lot of set up--there are tons and tons of tangential characters--but I loved every word. It's a set up, but I'm down for whatever plays out. Has it been announced how many books this series will be? 2. I was genuinely creeped out by the horror aspect--in a delicious way that made me jump every time I got a text message and made me a little wary of finishing it at night. 3. Libba Bray, your research is spectacular and the way you set up a world makes it feel like I can walk right into it. Write more historicals, please!
This is the book I wish someone had given me right before I entered college. Maybe even earlier, but what I LOVED about this book was that I am SO an...moreThis is the book I wish someone had given me right before I entered college. Maybe even earlier, but what I LOVED about this book was that I am SO an Alice--I am so the girl looking for the patterns of fate in everything, looking for the plan, looking for the way everything connects and has a grand master plan that over-arches all of my very human planning. And man do I wish that I had a book like this that's a snarky whirlwind of unplanned hilarity, and epic battle of control freak vs. the real world, three totally separate personalities all finding exactly what they needed without really finding what they initially wanted.
Because honestly, in my experience, that's what life is--the plan you can't control, the unexpected moments of love and friendship and painful realization. And this book captured them PERFECTLY.
Plus, from a writer's standpoint, I have NO IDEA how Graham managed to write three such separate characters with such distinct voices. Incredibly impressive!
I loved this book! Let me preface this by saying I don't read a ton of MG--most of it doesn't appeal to me, but I've been super interested in this boo...moreI loved this book! Let me preface this by saying I don't read a ton of MG--most of it doesn't appeal to me, but I've been super interested in this book since I saw the wicked cute cover. I managed to sneak a peek at an ARC, and I wasn't disappointed by this wonderful story.
Goldenrod is looking for a summer of adventure in her suburban mid-west town; her best friend has moved away and she's on her own, which isn't so bad for an intrepid explorer. Following in the footsteps of her hero, Meriwether Lewis, she decides to make a map of her town. After a few false starts and a Labradoodle she's pretty sure is a previously discovered animal, she decides the forest is the best place to start her map and possibly even discover an animal or plant that the world has never seen, and thus become a famous explorer.
Only she stumbles across the dastardly endeavors of the Gross Out Gang, a group of kids hiding out in the forest that embrace their gross habits and have evil fun while doing it. Soon enough, Goldenrod and her little brother Birch get caught in their crosshairs, and it will take the ghost of Meriwether Lewis, the legend of a magical, undiscovered rose, and Goldenrod's lovably geeky ingenuity to get them out of trouble.
What really struck me about this adorably fun read was that nothing is ever simple, which in turn makes it relatable and accessible. You get to see the redeemable parts of every member of the Gross Out Gang, you get to see Goldenrod really embrace her inner geek (LOVE!!), you get to see a quirky and snuggle-worthy family. And underneath it all is a tons of really fascinating information about Lewis and Clark! What could be better?
Can't say enough about how much I loved this book!(less)
Ari Fish is a really superstitious kid with a seemingly limitless wealth of information about (and slight obsession with) the US Pr...moreI LOVED this book!!
Ari Fish is a really superstitious kid with a seemingly limitless wealth of information about (and slight obsession with) the US Presidents. He's also a young Jewish boy preparing for his bar mitzvah, a younger brother missing his older brother, and a soccer player gearing up for his first starting season. When he finds a trading card for his soccer idol and local hometown legend, his lucky streak begins and everything starts going Ari's way.
Of course, luck runs out, and when he loses the card, his life turns upside down and the worst things possible go wrong. His friendships and soccer career are all on the line, but when something more important might fall victim to his bad luck, Ari has to move forward and figure out what there is beyond luck.
I'm a twentysomething Catholic girl, so it's a little strange to say that I found myself really identifying with Ari, but it's totally true. Ari is right at that moment when you're going from kid to teenager, from knowing absolutely everything about the way the world works to finding out that you don't know much at all, and moving through those first experiences that test your friendships, love, and faith.
The book is so fast paced and fun, and I felt like all the characters were someone I knew when I was growing up. This is just a really special, really sweet book (okay, yes, it also had me crying at one crucial moment) and I heartily recommend it! (less)