So, quick take on this one. It's definitely creepy. Kelly Robson sets off right away by building tension, and it keeps you guessing for a good half ofSo, quick take on this one. It's definitely creepy. Kelly Robson sets off right away by building tension, and it keeps you guessing for a good half of the story. When the actual cause of all this tension broke through the story though, I kind of lost interest. I don't know what I was expecting. Honestly. Still, the twist here was just a little too odd for me to wrap my mind around. Be warned that this is a bit gory, which should be evident by the title but I figured I'd put a warning out. Overall, not a bad way to pass a half hour or so!...more
Gorgeous. Stunning. Absolutely breathtaking. Any of those words and phrases barely skim the surface of how impressed I was by this well-woven tale. FaGorgeous. Stunning. Absolutely breathtaking. Any of those words and phrases barely skim the surface of how impressed I was by this well-woven tale. Fairy tales will always have a special place in my heart. I relish the feeling of being swept off into a new world or, in this case, a world that is right on the borders of our very own. Arden's tale pulls together Russian folklore into a tale that will have you breathless with equal parts excitement and fear. It's a beautiful thing.
Characters like Vasilisa have always been my favorite. Stubborn, willful, strong to a point where they actually cause others to fear their strangeness. Vasilisa is a woman on the fringes. She's a character who doesn't conform to norms, and is better because of it. In other words, she's everything I aspire to be. Arden wastes no time in pushing Vasilisa towards her ultimate fate and, to her credit, Vasilisa faces it head on. I was mesmerized by her, and it made this story fly by. I could have read many more pages following this amazing woman.
As mentioned above, the Russian folklore is really the star of the show here though. As the children sat around the fire, to hear tales of bravery and death, so did I. Arden brought to life the winter demon, his black-hearted brother, and all the household spirits that populated this story. As Vasilisa grew to know them, and love and hate them as called for, so did I. I found myself so immersed in this story, that I actually felt angry when people pulled me away from it. My one wish was to find out what became of our brave protagonist, and the family that she would do anything to protect.
The Bear and the Nightingale is my first five-starred review of 2017, and well deserving of that honor. This is the kind of book that you buy in hardcover, so that it will survive many re-reads to come. If this isn't already on your reading list, it should be. It really, really should....more
I first discovered Josh Sundquist by reading his memoir, and giggling the entire way through it. I'm not generally a non-fiction reader, but I devoureI first discovered Josh Sundquist by reading his memoir, and giggling the entire way through it. I'm not generally a non-fiction reader, but I devoured that book. That meant that when I found out that Sundquist had written a YA book, I knew I had to read it. I couldn't wait to see how his wit and honesty translated to a fiction novel.
First off, I have to give credit where credit is due. It's very obvious from the first few pages of this story that Sundquist did a tremendous amount of research on visual impairment, and worked hard to make sure that he was accurately portraying Will's day to day routine. Pair that with a lovingly crafted character, complete with Sundquist's signature wit, and you have a story that is a joy to read. I fell in love with Will, and the rest was history.
When the experimental surgery came into the picture, I found myself riveted. Everything was described in intricate detail, but it never felt overbearing. Instead, I found myself in the same situation as Will. Wondering if the surgery would be worth it, cheering him on when he was doing well, and lamenting with him when things weren't going well. His parents were so wonderfully supportive, if a little over involved at times, and there was this whole aura of growth and love to this book. It was a happy place to be.
Even if the friendship turned romance hadn't been a main portion of this book, I would have still loved it. Still, I couldn't help but fall for the slow growth of Cecily and Will's relationship. Cecily's acceptance of Will, her ability to open things up for him with wonderful analogies, tugged at my heart strings. I knew that fight was imminent, and of course I was right. What is YA without teenage tension? Still, it all felt so perfect. Not a single sentence of this book felt out of place. It all worked to build up Will, and show how amazing a person he was.
I'd highly recommend this for your reading list! If it's not there already, it's well worth a second look....more
Just a quick review on this one, since I've been trying to knock it off of my TBR for a good long while.
The ending of this book, actually probably theJust a quick review on this one, since I've been trying to knock it off of my TBR for a good long while.
The ending of this book, actually probably the entire last quarter of this book, was utterly terrifying. It had me riveted, in normal King fashion. If only the whole first portion of this book hadn't felt like I was stuck in a giant pile of book quicksand, I would have absolutely loved Revival. Perhaps it was the audio book that I was listening to, but this felt like it had no traction for a good long while. It felt like, as Jamie kept saying, "Something Happened" but then it was lost beneath too much narrative. It just didn't work all that well for me....more