Warm and delicious and so much fun, like a peppermint hot chocolate you can really sink into on a day when you're snowed in but very cozy inside a wonWarm and delicious and so much fun, like a peppermint hot chocolate you can really sink into on a day when you're snowed in but very cozy inside a wonderful, eccentric old house. It's that kind of book! I absolutely loved it and highly recommend it. Full of fabulous stories, intriguing mysteries, and totally delightful characters, especially Milo, the hero, who is full of heart and courage and vulnerability. Total love!
We just rediscovered our copy of this book (which had been packed away in an unopened box from our last house-move), much to my six-year-old's joy - aWe just rediscovered our copy of this book (which had been packed away in an unopened box from our last house-move), much to my six-year-old's joy - and to my joy, too! It's just such a wonderfully fun book, on the older end of picture books - I think we got this when my son was 4, and hr still loves it now as a six-year-old, but my almost-two-year-old is still too young for it - there's too much complicated text for him to follow.
The voice of the heroine is so, so strong and funny and compelling, and the whole story is just the best kind of fun, as a girl whose father has farming in his blood finds her own vocation: dragon-raising! (With hilarious and wonderful results, like the best and funniest and sweetest kind of tall tale.) Perfect for any little kids, and fun for the adults who get to read it out loud, too!...more
One of the most beautiful books I've ever read. I marked lots of specific passages as I read (to go back to later, again and again) because they wereOne of the most beautiful books I've ever read. I marked lots of specific passages as I read (to go back to later, again and again) because they were so beautifully written, powerful, and emotionally true - and the overall effect of the book was overwhelming. I cried at multiple points, but it's such a hopeful book, by the end. Deeply, deeply emotional, heartwrenching, funny, and just wonderful. I'll be re-reading it many times....more
The Cafe la Femme series is my favorite mystery series right now - really cozy in the best way, funny, quirky, charming and delightful, with fabulousThe Cafe la Femme series is my favorite mystery series right now - really cozy in the best way, funny, quirky, charming and delightful, with fabulous characters. This is a standalone novella set between Books 1 and 2, a mystery set around high tea with a truly wicked Regency romance author, and I just loved it. Tabitha is such an endearing heroine, the quirkiness is just exactly my cup of tea, and this was one of my favorite entries in the series so far. (It's a sign of just how good the series is that I love it despite its love triangle - I have a massive personal and irrational loathing of love triangles in fiction - but I think Livia Day, a.k.a. Tansy Rayner Roberts, handles this one really well. And I love that Tabitha's immediate decision, when she realizes, to her initial dismay, that one of her love interests has a different possible love interest, is to order herself: I WILL like her, no matter what! She refuses to get catty out of jealousy, and I love that. She's just such an awesome character.)...more
Beautifully written, intensely personal, honest, sometimes painful, but overwhelmingly hopeful, this is the best book I've ever read about depression.Beautifully written, intensely personal, honest, sometimes painful, but overwhelmingly hopeful, this is the best book I've ever read about depression. Really worth reading whether or not you've ever struggled with depression yourself....more
Argh - trying to mark this as want to read on my iPad, my thumb slipped & it was accidentally marked as read-2 stars. I've fixed that now, but jusArgh - trying to mark this as want to read on my iPad, my thumb slipped & it was accidentally marked as read-2 stars. I've fixed that now, but just in case my earlier "rating" was already passed along to my Goodreads friends, I thought I'd clarify here. I haven't read it! I have no idea how many stars I'll give it! But I can't wait to find out. :)...more
I loved this book so very much that when I finished reading it, I actually wanted to just hug it against my chest in gratitude. I read it during a weeI loved this book so very much that when I finished reading it, I actually wanted to just hug it against my chest in gratitude. I read it during a week that was very tough for me, personally, and Binny in Secret gave me the perfect respite throughout. In fact, I loved it so much, I was torn between reading it nonstop and forcing myself to take breaks just so that I wouldn't finish it too quickly! Because I wanted to savor every moment of it.
This is the second book in McKay's Binny series, and it might well be my favorite of any of her books...which is saying a LOT, because her Casson family series is the main reason I became an MG writer in the first place. (Saffy's Angel and Indigo's Star made a HUGE impression on me when I came across them! I can't count how many times I've re-read them, and of course I love that whole series.)
This is one of those tricksy books that starts out funny (and I mean, really funny - I laughed out loud partway through the first chapter!) and then sneakily, gradually, smoothly turns heartwrenching. Binny's family is as quirky and fabulous as ever, and she is as fiercely, perfectly herself, but she's starting a new school, and when ferocious, strong Binny becomes the target of some really nasty emotional bullying, it's just heartbreakingly powerful to read. Also, her family is staying in a rented house, and as the book goes on, we gradually learn the story of the children who used to live there...just before World War I. There's a lot of deeply emotional content in this book, in other words.
This is also, though, a book full of humor, even in some of the hardest parts - and it's a book about a girl in love with animals and nature. The descriptions of Binny's wild refuge are breathtakingly beautiful in their detail and their love. And oh, do I love the compassion in McKay's writing, where even the people who behave the worst are capable of genuinely plausible redemption.
You could read this as a standalone novel perfectly easily, but of course it's lovely to see how the family has developed since Book One (Binny for Short). No matter whether you read this one first or second, though, I'd definitely say: read it.
I will be reading it again and again. I LOVED it....more
Reading this book felt like getting to hang out with a bunch of great friends while exploring a fabulous, fascinating universe. There wasn't a lot ofReading this book felt like getting to hang out with a bunch of great friends while exploring a fabulous, fascinating universe. There wasn't a lot of high-stakes action or drama to pull the reader through the book, but every time I picked it up, I sank back into it with total enjoyment, and I really loved experiencing it. The characters are all just immensely likable and fun to hang out with, and the details of the world they live in - both within their own spaceship and in all the different planets and moons that they visit, with their distinctly different cultures and local species - are really fascinating and fun. If you liked the created-family dynamic of Joss Whedon's Firefly, or the alien anthropology of Karen Lord's The Best of All Possible Worlds, I can almost promise that you'll love this, especially because it's also full of humor, diversity (in all sorts of ways) and genuine warmth. I can't wait to read more books by Becky Chambers! ...more
SWORD is a rich, romantic, immersive and intensely emotional high fantasy novel, and oh, did I love it by the end. Stylistically, it remind*4.5 stars*
SWORD is a rich, romantic, immersive and intensely emotional high fantasy novel, and oh, did I love it by the end. Stylistically, it reminded me a bit of Robin McKinley's Damar novels and a bit of Sherwood Smith, but as a story, it went to deeply emotional places that I didn't expect it to go, and I was totally wrapped up in it. I'm not sure if it's officially YA or officially adult fantasy, but it could definitely work for either audience!
I loved all four point-of-view characters - Kyali, the fiercely loyal swordswoman, her brother Devin, the bard, their cousin Taireasa, the future queen, and later a fourth character who meshes perfectly into their story - and Bai moved seamlessly among all of them to tell the story of a family fighting to survive in the midst of assassinations, political upheaval, personal trauma, and unsettling magic. The climax was SO emotionally moving - I can't remember the last time I came so close to crying over any high fantasy novel! - and although the ending was a very good one, I let out an actual groan of frustration when I realized that the next book in the series isn't out yet.
(But please don't take that to mean that you should wait to read this one! The central emotional issues in this book are closed out beautifully by this book. I just want to find out what happens next to all the characters, and in the larger plot!)
Honestly, I had a hard time settling on a star-rating for this book. There were some small details along the way that didn't quite work for me, and my biggest nitpick was that I spent the first 2/3 of the book thinking that there was far more real chemistry between Taireasa and Kyali than between Taireasa and her official romantic interest (as much as I did like her romantic interest as a person)...but once I figured out Kyali's own romantic interest, I completely forgave that whole issue, because I LOVE Kyali's romantic interest and I so desperately want their relationship to work out! So I stopped shipping Kyali and Taireasa after all. ;)
And while I kind of feel like I "should" give this book 4 stars because of the small details that didn't quite work for me, the truth is, I haven't been this desperate to read any book's sequel in a very long time, and it's by far my favorite high fantasy novel I've read in ages. It was SO much fun and so absorbing - so, emotionally, for me, it was definitely a 5-star book by the end!
And I CANNOT WAIT to read the next book, SONG! Oh, do I hope that it comes out soon....more