Jillian is a seer. She lives in the Mystic Quarter of Manhattan with her mother. The two of them can see into the future. Jillian's best friend Roxanne is a muse. Her best guy friend, Ryan, can read minds. During one of her readings Jillian sees her client die, and then she sees heaven. This moment propels Jillian toward discovering a second power, learning about her missing father, and halting an evil plot.
Nic Tatano's new book is fun. I enjoyed reading about Jillian and her friends. Some of their powers are pretty interesting. Mindreading has certainly been done, but Roxanne's muse powers are intriguing as are Jillian's ability to see life after death. There's a nice balance between trying to save the world and trying to just be teenagers. Jillian can be funny, and Roxanne is something else. I also appreciated that these teens have a good relationship with the adults in their lives. And, surprisingly, this book comes across as very pro-religion and pro-virginity.
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender tells the story of three generations of women, Ava, her mother Viviane, and her grandmother Emmaline Roux. The tale takes us from Emmaline's birth in France to her family's immigration to Manhattan and her move across the country to Seattle.
Leslye Walton's book is an eerily beautiful work of magical realism. The Roux family is strange and the strangeness is passed down from generation to generation until Ava is born with wings.
I really enjoyed the beautiful prose and lovely bizarreness of this book until the introduction of Nathaniel Sorrows, and then the whole thing soured a bit for me. I tire of psychotic religious characters, especially when the psychotic religious character is the only religious character in the novel. It was all too clear where the novel was headed once Nathaniel Sorrows entered the scene.
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender is being marketed as a young adult book, but it doesn't feel like a young adult book to me. Yes, there are three coming of age stories in this book, but it is as much, if not more so, about love in old age as it is about youth. Ava's life and experiences, if anything, open her mother and grandmother's eyes to the love they have been blind to for so many years.
It has been a while since I've been so completely enchanted by a fantasy. Seraphina is the music mistress in the castle at Goredd. Incredibly talentedIt has been a while since I've been so completely enchanted by a fantasy. Seraphina is the music mistress in the castle at Goredd. Incredibly talented, she is also hiding a very dangerous secret. Her secret is dangerously close to the surface as the tenuous peace between the humans and the dragons is threatened.
Seraphina is nearly perfect book. The world that Rachel Hartman created is so interesting and utterly captivating. Seraphina is a character that you cannot help but like despite her missteps. Seraphina's relationships with Lucian Kiggs, Princess Glisselda, her dragon teacher Orma, her father, and the music master are deliciously complicated.
I really enjoyed listening to this book. I think the audio version brought a whole other dimension to my reading experience because of all the music involved in the story.
I have not been able to stop thinking about this book, nor do I want to. Seraphina belongs on my list of favorite fantasies. I am eager to visit Seraphina's world again...more
I almost didn't finish this book. I had read about 40% of the novel and was bored, but I decid Featured in a "Pair It With" on Intellectual Recreation.
I almost didn't finish this book. I had read about 40% of the novel and was bored, but I decided to give it one more night and that turned into two more nights and suddenly I had finished.
In Fire Flood Tella enters The Brimstone Bleed, a race across four ecosystems, in hopes that she will be able to win the cure that will save her dying brother. I thought this Amazing Race-type concept sounded interesting.
Tella left her family and selected her Pandora (a genetically modified animal that helps her in the competition), and everything seemed to be going okay for this book. The beginning wasn't super thrilling, but it was fine. The race began in the jungle, and it didn't involve any cool contraptions or vehicles just a two-week hike. And suddenly Tella was absolutely alone. No human companions. Even her Pandora was still an egg. You guys. Wasteland wanderings make me want to bang my head against the wall. All the wandering and the hunger and the dangerous insects and animals and the rain and the heat. Wasteland wanderings are not my thing. Thus, I almost gave up on this book.
About mid-way through the novel Tella joins up with a group of contenders, and I guess I was as relieved as she was to have human companions because by the time they finished the first ecosystem I was committed to finishing the book.
Victoria Scott is embarking on a new series with Fire Flood and while I can't recommend the first in the series wholeheartedly I am annoyingly curious about the next two ecosystems.
I really like the way that Lauren Oliver writes. I have read several of her books. None have quite surpassed Before I Fall for me but Panic comes awfully close.
Every summer in the small town of Carp, New York the recently graduated seniors participate in a high-stakes, highly dangerous, strictly illegal competition: Panic. This novel follows Heather, Dodge and their friends as they play this dangerous game.
The synopsis of Panic might sound a little like The Hunger Games but it's not at all. This book is not a dystopia. It takes place in the present day in the real world. It's a work of realism. Carp is one of those dusty little towns that very few escape. Panic could be their ticket out. But, in reality, the reasons the characters are playing or not playing Panic are complicated, just as they should be.
Oliver's writing, as always, is so evocative. The setting is incredibly well drawn. Even better, Oliver establishes an on-the-edge mood that never lets up. It's not suspense exactly, it's more of a feeling of desperation.
City of the Sun is written in third person singular and alternates between chapters that focus on Mickey Connolly, Kesner the German spy, and Blumenthal's sister Maya. The novel gives the reader a glimpse into the Egypt of the 1940s. Its richness, its politics, its people. I really enjoyed that aspect of the book. The intrigue is not particularly sophisticated--coincidence makes a significant contribution to the plot. The reader gets a good idea of the status of Jews and Jewish refugees in Cairo, however, for the most part the novel is about foreigners in Egypt and westerner's intervention in the affairs of the Middle East. I do wish that we could have followed a native Egyptian as well, even one that was conspiring with the German spy, so that we could gain insight into their motivations as well.
City of Jasmine stars aviatrix Evangeline Stark (I love her name). She is doing a tour of the seven seas in her airplane when she receives a mysterious photograph of her husband Gabriel Stark taken near Damascus. Everyone thought that Gabriel drowned with the Lusitania. Evie makes a detour from her tour to head to Damascus and put to rest her feelings for Gabriel once and for all.
City of Jasmine is kind of cross between Indiana Jones, Lawrence of Arabia, and Amelia Earhart. Unfortunately it doesn't quite live up to the awesomeness of any of these things. Gabriel, like Brisbane of the Lady Julia novels, is surly and difficult and the keeper many secrets. Evie feels the need to constantly assert her independence (I don't blame her, it is the 1920s), but she is also naive and tempestuous. The two spend so much time bickering. Granted bickering does seem to be Gabriel's love language, and he also uses these little spats to distract Evie from his secrets, but I got so tired of reading about the two fighting.
My favorite part of the novel was the time spent in the Bedouin camp. One of the central issues of the book was the intervention of western Europe in the affairs of the Middle East and its outcomes.
Alex Wayfare has visions of the past. She will be sitting in class and then suddenly be trFeatured in a Reading on a Theme on Intellectual Recreation.
Alex Wayfare has visions of the past. She will be sitting in class and then suddenly be transported to Jamestown or the World's Columbian Exposition. The thing is, these aren't visions at all. Alex is traveling to the past. In the hopes that she will finally get some answers, Alex meets with Porter who explains that Alex has lived many lives, and she can slip back into her old lives.
The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare is really interesting. At points it is a little confusing, but I take confusing in stride when I'm reading books about time travel. M.G. Buehrlen's book combines afterlife, reincarnation, an evil genius, science experiments, time travel, and soul mates. I'm looking forward to the sequel. ...more
Gwen Castle lives on an New England island and is a local; one of the folk that keeps the island running for the wealthy vacationers. Cassidy Somers (I love his name) is a rich kid from across the bridge. When Cass gets hired as the yard boy, Gwen is less than thrilled. They have a messy history and now Gwen is going to have to face it.
What I Thought Was True has a rich setting. Gwen's family is deep and complicated. Her Portuguese heritage is deftly woven into her identity. I liked how Gwen worked for a plucky elderly woman. I liked Gwen's friends and her cousin Nic and brother Emory. The ending is satisfying.
The biggest reason I didn't really love the book is because I felt that there was no spark or sizzle between Gwen and Cass. It took a really long time for their interactions to be anything but uncomfortable for the reader. There is all this back story to Gwen adn Cassidy's relationship that Gwen and the other characters keep referencing but that isn't revealed to the reader until late in the book. That the reader is the only one in the dark is so annoying. Just clue us in already! Also, for how mature Gwen is, she is really clueless about boys and especially about sex. She grows, like good characters do, and comes to a fuller understand of romantic relationships. So that's good. In fact issues surrounding sex are really the central theme of the book (thanks to some of the side characters' stories), and the rich and poor thing was more of a side theme. That wasn't what I was expecting. If what you are looking for is a rags and riches romance, I would suggest The Distance Between Us instead. Read What I Thought Was True if you want to read about a girl with a messy romantic past and a truly good guy. Cass is a good one.
A group of New York City high school students receive a contaminated flu vaccine and begin to experience bizarre neurological side effect: they can hear what other people are thinking. And, what's more, because a group of them have developed ESP they can talk to one another through telepathy.
Clearly, there are many challenges that come with being able to hear each others' thoughts. Nothing can remain secret. And, while several students learn things they definitely don't want to know, what was great about this book was seeing how the kids came together: some developed greater confidence and made more friends, others had to face facts about themselves they had been trying to ignore. The whole crew became tight. Really tight.
Book club really helped me thinkTill We Have Faces was the book club pick for this month. C.S. Lewis crafts a retelling of the Cupid and Psyche myth.
Book club really helped me think through this book and gain a little more appreciation than I would have had for it without the discussion.
It seems many love this book, but I found it kind of strange. There are, of course, overtones of Christian belief that are worth pondering. The characters, however, are just so unlikable. I think The Fox was probably my favorite character and what does that say about me?
I wish the whole "you will be another Psyche" would have been shown rather than told to the reader. I was not a fan of the beauty vs ugly theme. The idea of "till we have faces" is a good one, but I'm not sure I needed a whole story to illustrate it. ...more
After her run-in with the Jack the Ripper copycat, Rory returns with her parents to Bristol and is miserable and traumatized. Her therapist unexpectedly suggests she return to London and Wexford, and Rory soon learns that Stephen is behind her therapist's sudden change of tune.
In London Rory continues to struggle with the aftermath of the Ripper attack. She has been through a very traumatic experience, and it shows. This is a good thing. Johnson allows her characters to develop. Rory also begins seeing Jane, a therapist recommended to her by Charlotte.
The Madness Underneath is a transitional book. It doesn't the urgency or surprises of the first in the series, but because I already knew and loved the characters I was happy to go along with them on another ride. The ending is a horrible cliff hanger that left me wishing I could get the next in the series right away. Alas, The Shadow Cabinet doesn't even have a cover yet.
I a big fan of the audio version of these books. I love listening to all the accents. ...more
It can be a little scary to pick up a book that you haven't heard anything about, but I am happy to report that I had no need for nerves this time. IIt can be a little scary to pick up a book that you haven't heard anything about, but I am happy to report that I had no need for nerves this time. I really, really liked Colleen Oakes'sQueen of Hearts. I liked it in a I-wish-I-could-read-the-sequel-now way.
Queen of Hearts is the story of Dinah, princess and heir to the throne of Wonderland. Dinah has a difficult life. Her mother is dead. Her father is unloving. Her father's illegitimate daughter has usurped Dinah's place in the hearts of the people. With her coronation approaching, Dinah hopes that she will be able to make a real impact on Wonderland, but more sinister plots are afoot as well.
I really enjoyed seeing how Colleen Oakes adapted Lewis Carroll's world. Oakes's Cards, Cheshire, Mad Hatter, White Rabbit, and Queen of Hearts are brilliantly connected to Carroll's originals and simultaneously unexpected. I loved that the with this story, Dinah, the future Queen of Hearts, gets some life and nuance beyond Carroll's "off with her head" creation.
I also think Oakes's writing is very good. The phrasing, characterization, and pacing is all great, and the descriptions of Wonderland absolutely do justice to this fantastical world.
While Beauty Slept is a Sleeping Beauty story told from the perspective of one of the royal family's most trusted servants as she looks back on her yeWhile Beauty Slept is a Sleeping Beauty story told from the perspective of one of the royal family's most trusted servants as she looks back on her years of service in her old age.
Elise Dalriss begins her tale at the beginning of her life. A life that was hard and touched with sorrow when she was a child. After her mother's death she leaves for the castle. Elise quickly rises in the ranks and is soon serving the queen herself.
Elizabeth Blackwell's version of Sleeping Beauty is more realistic than most versions of this fairy tale, and it was interesting to read a version that imagines what Sleeping Beauty would be without the magic and the fairies.
Blackwell populates her novel with a terrific cast of female characters who, although limited in their options and forced to make difficult decisions because of the limitations placed on women in a medieval/ Renaissance setting, are also powerful and capable....more
Lavender and Scarlet don't seem to have much in common. Scarlet is pretty and popular, a star soccer player, but her home life is difficult. Lavender is picked on at school, klutzy, and sarcastic. The one thing the two share is a birthday. And on their thirteenth birthday they each make a wish to be someone else. The next morning they wake up to find they've switched bodies.
Seeing the two navigate another life is both hilarious and poignant. And, to make things work Lavender and Scarlet have to talk and get along. In the process they build a friendship. They learn that everyone has value and that people are dealing with so many things that are not obvious from the surface.
Natalie Standiford is from Baltimore and many of her stories are set in her hometown, including this one. It's fun for me to support a local author.
After seeing a real mix of reviews, I went into Pawn with a bit of trepidation. But, what do you know, I was pleasantly surprised. (Perhaps it helps to go in with low expectations.)
Pawn starts out with with a typical dystopia set-up. It's a Washington, D.C. of the future. Kitty has just taken the test that will determine her role for the rest of her life, and that test did not go well. She got a III and is headed for sewer repair in Denver. Kitty absolutely refuses to go and leave Benjy, her longtime boyfriend. Instead she goes underground and is bought by Prime Minister Hart. When Kitty wakes up she is in a whole new body--Lila Hart's body, the niece of Prime Minister Hart.
As the title implies, Kitty has very few choices available to her. As Lila, Kitty is pushed and pulled in multiple directions. Some demand she quell the rebellion Lila started. Others want her to fuel the flames. Kitty might be a prisoner, but she is a powerful prisoner, and she starts to make her own decisions. The best surprise of Aimee Carter's book? Several twists I did not see coming. Also, I was so pleased that this book ended the way that it did. For a minute there I was afraid that things were going to reboot, and Kitty would be back where she started. A little complaint, I would have liked the pacing to be a little quicker. There's no need for characters to repeat themselves so often....more
The first book in Lissa Price's series, Starters, was a delightfully pleasant surprise. The Spore Wars have left the country split into the old and thThe first book in Lissa Price's series, Starters, was a delightfully pleasant surprise. The Spore Wars have left the country split into the old and the young. The vast generational gap causes some serious problems. The many unclaimed minors, street kids who are doing their best to stay out of the awful institutions set up to "care" for them.
Enders picks up with Prime Destinations destroyed and Callie, Micheal, and Tyler no longer on the streets. However, all is not well. Callie can still hear the voice of The Old Man in her heads, and he demonstrates he can take over donor bodies and use them any way he wants to.
I thought Enders was a good sequel to Starters. One must, of course, suspend disbelief when it comes to the strife between the Enders and Starters. The addition of Hadyn seems to come out of the blue but the reveals make his presence less and less random. (His inability to touch anyone is rather odd, however.) I also enjoyed Callie's hunt for her father. The end of the book seems to set Lissa Price up nicely for sequels, if she is so inclined.
University of Wyoming students, Violet and Luke are both dealing with the aftermath of horrific childhoods. They are on a collision course to burnout. Luke is an alcoholic with little interest in connecting with anyone. Violet is an adrenalin junkie and drug dealer. This book has lots of alcohol, lots of sex, lots of swearing, lots of violence, and many disastrous moments. However, despite the fact that there is little to recommend them, Violet and Luke are much, much better when they are together, so I just kept reading. There's plenty of foreshadowing that a tragic reveal is going to rip these two apart. The ending is awful. I think The Destiny of Luke Violet and its sequel would be better as one book so that the poor reader and the poor characters weren't left so devastated.
Shy Isla has had a crush on Josh for years when she runs into him over summer break in New York City. She thinks maybe it's fate, but then she doesn't see him again until they return to school in Paris in the fall, and things are awkward as always. Until they aren't.
Josh and Isla fall hard for each other, and I fell hard for them. I liked Isla so much more than I thought I was going to. Both Isla and Josh have depths that most people don't see, but they see each other.
I loved Anna and the French Kiss so, so much, and the little with Anna and Etienne had me bubbling over with joy. It was a treat to be back in Paris where I first fell in love with Stephanie Perkins's characters. It doesn't hurt that I too had a short study aboard in the City of Lights. Also, this will come as no surprise, but I loved all the art in the book.
Isla and the Happily Ever After is a heady, romantic read. It's sweet and funny and passionate with characters who make mistakes and get second chances. It was such a pleasure to read.
The summer before their senior year best friends Lucy and Mikayla set off for the small town of Bridgeport, Minnesota for their summer jobs and the adThe summer before their senior year best friends Lucy and Mikayla set off for the small town of Bridgeport, Minnesota for their summer jobs and the adventure of living alone. Things start to go awry when Lucy discovers she is working with Jackson, the boy who ruined her life in 8th grade. Meanwhile, shy Mikayla literally runs into a very cute boy and begins crushing on him before she realizes he is Jackson, her best friend's supposed nemesis.
Catherine Clark'sHow to Meet Boys is more about friendship than romance. The story alternates between Lucy's and Mikayla's point-of-view. What's a girl to do when she falls for her friend's enemy? How can Lucy get over these hurt feelings? I liked that this book focuses on friendship. It's sure to be a fun summer read.
Apparently reading contemporary YA romances is my remedy for influenza. Starting with How to Meet Boys I read a YA romance a day this January while I was laid up. Something fun, light, and cheerful was just the thing.
Lainey Mitchell's summer is set to be great. She's got a job at her parent's coffee house with her best friend. She's playing on a summer soccer leaguLainey Mitchell's summer is set to be great. She's got a job at her parent's coffee house with her best friend. She's playing on a summer soccer league, and she's dreaming of spending as much time as possible with her boyfriend of two-and-a-half years, Jason. But then said boyfriends breaks up with her. At her parent's coffee shop in front of everyone! Lainey and her best friend Bianci employ Sun Tzu's tactics from The Art of War in the war to win Jason back.
I liked Lainey. She is a complete character with flaws, strengths, and insecurities. She makes mistakes. I like that she is an athlete. Lainey's friendship with Bee feels real as well. Micah is more than meets the eye. What I loved most about Paula Stokes'sThe Art of Lainey is that Lainey really got a chance to discover herself.
A good boy is hard to find. Claire really wants a boy that would be a good boyfriend. Someone who doesn't fall for her irresistible friend Megan and wA good boy is hard to find. Claire really wants a boy that would be a good boyfriend. Someone who doesn't fall for her irresistible friend Megan and who can deal with her fragile family. When Luke moves to town he seems like just the guy. He doesn't know about her family, he's traveled, and he plays soccer just like her. But Megan likes him too, and she always gets her man.
Rachel Allen's debut novel 17 First Kisses perfectly navigates the complications of high school life; friends who like the same boy, social awkwardness, issues at home, wanting and dreading moving on.
I love how this story is told. Claire is a senior in high school, but one by one her previous kisses are told in little flashbacks--from the playground kiss in second grade to the cheating boyfriend in tenth--that offer a lot of insight into Claire's past and character.
Macallan and Levi are best friends. Have been since Levi moved to Wisconsin in 7th grade. They are your goofy, finish-each-others-sentences, have-tonsMacallan and Levi are best friends. Have been since Levi moved to Wisconsin in 7th grade. They are your goofy, finish-each-others-sentences, have-tons-of-inside-jokes, best friends, but a boy/girl best friendship is a complicated thing.
I really enjoyed Elizabeth Eulberg's little YA romance. I especially enjoyed how the story is told. Each chapter is told by one of the two characters, and then, at the end of the chapter, the two provide commentary on what was just said. It's darling and funny, and it really helps the reader get to the know the two of them as a pair.
Macallan and Levi are truly nice kids, and, because I know I have friends that are wondering, this is a really clean book. Macallan's and Levi's high school experience seemed much more indicative of my own than the YA books with all the alcohol and partying.
I find myself thinking fondly on this book even days and weeks after I finished it. It made me smile.
I'm keeping my eye on Kasie West. She has the potential to become one of my favorite authors. West's debut novel Pivot Point made my favorites of theI'm keeping my eye on Kasie West. She has the potential to become one of my favorite authors. West's debut novel Pivot Point made my favorites of the year list for 2014. I have not-so-patiently waiting for the sequel. Luckily I was able to fill some of the time with West's contemporary YA novel, The Distance Between Us. It was another smash-hit for me from Kasie West.
Caymen lives with her mom over their doll shop. When's she's not at school she's helping out in the shop so the two can scrap together enough money to carry on. Due to many a cautionary tale told by her mother, Caymen has always stayed far, far away from the rich folk that live in their town and patronize their store. But she starts to question the wisdom of that when she meets Xander, the grandson of one of their rich customers.
This book is exactly how I like my YA contemporary novels. Caymen is feisty, sarcastic, and funny. I laughed out loud more than once. And Xander gives her a run for her money. The scenes with the two of them are just so much fun. Plus the quirks! I love a novel with plenty of quirkiness, and the whole creepy doll shop thing really worked for me. (Maybe because, I too, have a grandmother that loves dolls. She had a whole room dedicated to them in her house. It was kind of creepy. Ahh those eternal wailers.) I loved the other characters, the surprises, the romance. I loved everything about it. Basically this book has a golden glow to it.
Defy by debut author Sara B. Larson is the story of Alexa who, disguised as a Alex, serves as a guard for the prince of Antion. Things in Antion aren'Defy by debut author Sara B. Larson is the story of Alexa who, disguised as a Alex, serves as a guard for the prince of Antion. Things in Antion aren't so great. The country is at war. Orphan girls are forced into the breeding house (thus Alexa's need to masquerade as a boy), and King Hector is pretty darn ruthless. Alexa guards prince Damian because it's her duty, but she's pretty convinced that he is smug, stuck-up, and wimpy. Things are, of course, not as they seem, and more than one person is putting on a mask.
The one thing that I didn't love about this book was that Alexa's lengthy descriptions of the beauty of the male body got a little sappy for my tastes. If she's just starting to notice these things because she's grown older, that's fine and actually kind of interesting, but I wish it had been handled with a bit more nuance. That said, Alexa is in a situation that she has never encountered before. Once the fact that she is a woman is revealed she no longer knows how to act. She's been pretending to be a boy for three years. Plus, there's those two boys that really like her confusing her even more.
The adventure in this book is pretty solid, the stakes were definitely high, and a lot happens. There are multiple layers of secrets, and the pace at which they are revealed is good. I liked that Alexa is a darn good sword fighter, that she was trained by her father, and that (view spoiler)[there's a good reason why she is so good with the sword (hide spoiler)]. Also it really didn't bother me that a lot of people knew that Alexa was really a girl because, honestly, it's pretty tough for a girl to pull off being boy once she reaches a certain age, and the fact that so many people knew her secret really threw Alexa.
I inevitably compare Defy to the Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce, and it's easy for me to think, "oh, but Alexa is no Alanna." The thing is, if I look back at my review of The First Adventure I wasn't in love with Alanna or her series right away either, but by the end I thought it was just about the best thing ever. Here's hoping that Larson can make this fantasy series truly epic.
Being Sloane Jacobs is another cute, contemporary YA novel from Lauren Morrill, author of Meant to Be. Sloane Emily Jacobs is a perhaps-past-her-primeBeing Sloane Jacobs is another cute, contemporary YA novel from Lauren Morrill, author of Meant to Be. Sloane Emily Jacobs is a perhaps-past-her-prime figure skater and senator's daughter. Sloane Devon Jacobs is a choking hockey player from the rougher side of Philadelphia. They are both running from their lives, so when the two meet unexpectedly in Montreal it's almost like fate has stepped in to offer them each a momentary respite. The two switch places and Sloane Devon goes to figure skating camp and Sloane Emily to hockey camp.
Everyone has thought about what it would be like to switch places with someone else, if just for a little while. Obviously it would be pretty insane to try, much less to try and learn a whole new sport while you are at it. Needless to say, this book requires its readers to suspend their disbelief, but somehow it still works. It does so in part because it is a delightful mash-up of The Parent Trap, The Mighty Ducks, and The Cutting Edge. It also works because Sloane Emily and Sloane Devon actually discover a bit about themselves while pretending to be someone else.
The book alternates between Sloane Emily's chapters and Sloane Devon's chapters, and while I do wish the Sloane Emily's and Sloane Devon's voices had been a bit more distinctive, I found each story equally interesting. I also think that Lauren Morrill's books have lovely covers.
I read this book because my 2-year-old picked it out at the library. No seriously, he got it fFeatured in a "Pair It With" on Intellectual Recreation.
I read this book because my 2-year-old picked it out at the library. No seriously, he got it from the shelf and brought it to me because he likes to watch me use the self-checkout.
Pretenders is about the Phoenix 5, five freshman voted most outstanding in their high school. The book is their secret journal spread all over the school that reveal that they are not all that outstanding.
The book only covers the first two months of the year, and so it reads like a quarter of a book. Just as things were getting interesting, it was over. I actually think the premise is pretty intriguing, which is why I read the book, but I wasn't thrilled with the execution....more
One benefit to waiting so long to read the new hit book is that you don't have to wait as long (or at all) for the sequels.
Scarlet Lunar Chronicles 2One benefit to waiting so long to read the new hit book is that you don't have to wait as long (or at all) for the sequels.
Scarlet Lunar Chronicles 2 is a worthy sequel to the pretty fabulous Cinder. I don't think that I liked it quite as well as Cinder, but I'm pretty sure that's only because Little Red Riding Hood is not my favorite fairy tale. Still, Marissa Meyer did more to get to like Red Riding Hood than any other author ever has. Scarlet is awesome and tough (and French - the accent is great in the audio version), and Wolf is a really nuanced character. Also, I was so happy that we didn't leave Cinder behind in this novel.
I'm not going to have to wait so long for book 3, Cress.
Palace of Spies is a mystery that takes place in the court of George I. Peggy is posing as a lady in waiting to Princess Caroline.
Palace of Spies reads a bit like a long prelude. I have a feeling that the other books in the series may be a bit more exciting. Also, I think that I may have enjoyed an adult Havorian spy novel a bit more. There were some things that just didn't make sense in Palace of Spies. Plus a bit more nuance, intrigue, politics, and atmosphere, as one would expect in an adult novel, would have been nice. The book did inspire me to do a bit more research into the Jacobites, so that is something. I also really like the cover. It reminds me of the Marie Antoinette movie starring Kirsten Dunst....more
Linda Rodriguez McRobbie's book, Princesses Behaving Badly, proves that real princesses are just as interesting to read about as fairy tale princesses and perhaps even more interesting. The badly behaved princesses in Rodriguez McRobbie's book tried to usurp power, schemed and schemed, partied hard, and were more than a little crazy. I enjoyed the bite-size summaries of the princess's lives and the wide variety of cultures and time periods covered in this book. I loved that I could pick up the book and read about one or two princesses even if I only had a couple of free minutes. I also didn't mind that the writing included a little bit of preach and more than a bit of snark. I am a big fan of How Stuff Works' "Stuff You Missed in History Class" podcast, and when I heard about Princesses Behaving Badly I thought it sounded like it would dovetail nicely my favorite podcast, and indeed it does. In fact, several of the princesses in the book have been featured on the podcast. This is the type of book that I would love to listen to, and there is an audiobook version available for fellow audiobook lovers out there. But, if I had listened to the audiobook I would have missed out on the beauty of this book itself with its lovely thick pages and many illustrations. Princesses Behaving Badly would be the perfect gift for your favorite history lover, royalty buff, or feminist.