I can’t believe July is over. Honestly, why is this year flying by so fast? (Spoiler alert: we’re all hurtling towards our doom… sorry.)
This month I ended up with 14 books- 7 that I purchased and 7 that were given to me. I feel super, super blessed that I have friends that are nice enough to think of me and send me books. It’s been a nice reminder that I’m not alone, especially this last month when Dad’s health turned sour again. I’ll mention who sent what, but I just want to thank y’all again from the bottom of my heart for your kindness.
1. THE CROWNS OF CROSWALD by D.E. Night. This was sent to me by the author! I started it in July but got sidetracked… so I’ll be reading it for #ARCAugust.
For sixteen years Ivy Lovely has been hidden behind an enchanted boundary that separates the mundane from the magical. When Ivy crosses the border, her powers awaken. Curiosity leads her crashing through a series of adventures at the Halls of Ivy, a school where students learn to master their magical blood and the power of Croswald’s mysterious gems. When Ivy’s magic––and her life––is threatened by the Dark Queen, she scrambles to unearth her history and save Croswald before the truth is swept away forever.
2. THE LANGUAGE OF THORNS by Leigh Bardugo. This was a sampler my amazing friend Shenwei sent to me!
Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.
3. THE EXACT LOCATION OF HOME by Kate Messner was another ARC Shenwei sent. Thank you so much!
Kirby “Zig” Zigonski lives for the world of simple circuits, light bulbs, buzzers, and motors. Electronics are so much more predictable than people.
So when his dad’s visit is canceled with no explanation and his mom seems to be hiding something, Zig turns to his best friend Gianna and a new gizmo-a garage sale GPS unit-for help. Convinced that his dad is leaving clues through the popular hobby of geocaching, Zig sets out to search for answers. Following one clue after another, logging mile after mile, Zig soon finds that people aren’t always what they seem… and sometimes, there’s more than one set of coordinates for home.
4. THE WONDERLING by Mira Bartok. I sent out an SOS on twitter, asking anyone at ALA if they would pick me up a copy and the ever wonderful Katie not only picked me up a copy but also had the author sign it for me!
Welcome to the Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures, an institution run by evil Miss Carbunkle, a cunning villainess who believes her terrified young charges exist only to serve and suffer. Part animal and part human, the groundlings toil in classroom and factory, forbidden to enjoy anything regular children have, most particularly singing and music. For the Wonderling, an innocent-hearted, one-eared, fox-like eleven-year-old with only a number rather than a proper name — a 13 etched on a medallion around his neck — it is the only home he has ever known. But unexpected courage leads him to acquire the loyalty of a young bird groundling named Trinket, who gives the Home’s loneliest inhabitant two incredible gifts: a real name — Arthur, like the good king in the old stories — and a best friend. Using Trinket’s ingenious invention, the pair escape over the wall and embark on an adventure that will take them out into the wider world and ultimately down the path of sweet Arthur’s true destiny.
5. NEVER NEVER by Brianna R. Shrum. (ebook sale)
James Hook is a child who only wants to grow up. When he meets Peter Pan, a boy who loves to pretend and is intent on never becoming a man, James decides he could try being a child – at least briefly. James joins Peter Pan on a holiday to Neverland, a place of adventure created by children’s dreams, but Neverland is not for the faint of heart. Soon James finds himself longing for home, determined that he is destined to be a man. But Peter refuses to take him back, leaving James trapped in a world just beyond the one he loves. A world where children are to never grow up. But grow up he does. And thus begins the epic adventure of a Lost Boy and a Pirate. This story isn’t about Peter Pan; it’s about the boy whose life he stole. It’s about a man in a world that hates men. It’s about the feared Captain James Hook and his passionate quest to kill the Pan, an impossible feat in a magical land where everyone loves Peter Pan. Except one.
6. P.S. I STILL LOVE YOU by Jenny Han.
Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.
She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.
When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?
7. AFTER THE WOODS by Kim Savage (ebook sale)
Would you risk your life to save your best friend? Julia did. When a paroled predator attacked Liv in the woods, Julia fought back and got caught. Liv ran, leaving Julia in the woods for a terrifying 48 hours that she remembers only in flashbacks. One year later, Liv seems bent on self-destruction, starving herself, doing drugs, and hooking up with a violent new boyfriend. A dead girl turns up in those same woods, and Julia’s memories resurface alongside clues unearthed by an ambitious reporter that link the girl to Julia’s abductor. As the devastating truth becomes clear, Julia realizes that after the woods was just the beginning.
8. SAINTS AND MISFITS by S.K. Ali (Review here)
Janna Yusuf knows a lot of people can’t figure out what to make of her…an Arab Indian-American hijabi teenager who is a Flannery O’Connor obsessed book nerd, aspiring photographer, and sometime graphic novelist is not exactly easy to put into a box. And Janna suddenly finds herself caring what people think. Or at least what a certain boy named Jeremy thinks. Not that she would ever date him—Muslim girls don’t date. Or they shouldn’t date. Or won’t? Janna is still working all this out. While her heart might be leading her in one direction, her mind is spinning in others. She is trying to decide what kind of person she wants to be, and what it means to be a saint, a misfit, or a monster. Except she knows a monster…one who happens to be parading around as a saint…Will she be the one to call him out on it? What will people in her tightknit Muslim community think of her then?
9. MAPPING THE INTERIOR by Stephen Graham Jones was sent to me by Lala!
Walking through his own house at night, a fifteen-year-old thinks he sees another person stepping through a doorway. Instead of the people who could be there, his mother or his brother, the figure reminds him of his long-gone father, who died mysteriously before his family left the reservation. When he follows it he discovers his house is bigger and deeper than he knew. The house is the kind of wrong place where you can lose yourself and find things you’d rather not have. Over the course of a few nights, the boy tries to map out his house in an effort that puts his little brother in the worst danger, and puts him in the position to save them . . . at terrible cost.
When Cackleberry Clubber Suzanne delivers a pie to funeral director Ozzie Driesden, she discovers him not working at the embalming table but lying on the embalming table. She barely has time to recognize his corpse before she?s drugged with chloroform. With more suspects than breakfast specials, the Cackleberry Club scrambles to crack the case before one of their own ends up six feet under.
11. STEPHEN KING GOES TO THE MOVIES by Stephen King was also sent by Shay!
Stephen King revisits five of his favorite short stories that have been turned into films: The Shawshank Redemption (based on the novella “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption”) was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and best actor for Morgan Freeman. 1408 starred John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson and was a huge box office success in 2007. The short story “Children of the Corn” was adapted into the popular Children of the Corn. The Mangler was inspired by King’s loathing for laundry machines from his own experience working in a laundromat. Hearts in Atlantis (based on “Low Men in Yellow Coats,” the first part of the novel Hearts in Atlantis) starred Anthony Hopkins.
The last three books were all from BookOutlet. They had a $5 off coupon so I paid $.32 for these + shipping… can’t beat that…
12. PRETTY IS by Maggie Mitchell
The summer precocious Lois and pretty Carly May were twelve years old, they were kidnapped, driven across the country, and held in a cabin in the woods for two months by a charismatic stranger. Nearly twenty years later, Lois has become a professor, teaching British literature at a small college in upstate New York, and Carly May is an actress in Los Angeles, drinking too much and struggling to revive her career. When a movie with a shockingly familiar plot draws the two women together once more, they must face the public exposure of their secret history and confront the dark longings and unspeakable truths that haunt them still.
13. THE WITCH’S BOY by Kelly Barnhill
When Ned and his identical twin brother Tam tumble from their raft into a raging, bewitched river, only Ned survives. Villagers are convinced the wrong boy lived. Sure enough, Ned grows up weak and slow, and stays as much as possible within the safe boundaries of his family’s cottage and yard. But when a Bandit King comes to steal the magic that Ned’s mother, a witch, is meant to protect, it’s Ned who safeguards the magic and summons the strength to protect his family and community. In the meantime, in another kingdom across the forest that borders Ned’s village lives Áine, the resourceful and pragmatic daughter of the Bandit King. She is haunted by her mother’s last words to her: “The wrong boy will save your life and you will save his.” But when Áine and Ned’s paths cross, can they trust each other long enough to make their way through the treacherous woods and stop the war about to boil over?
14. MOON OVER MANIFEST by Clare Vanderpool
Abilene Tucker feels abandoned. Her father has put her on a train, sending her off to live with an old friend for the summer while he works a railroad job. Armed only with a few possessions and her list of universals, Abilene jumps off the train in Manifest, Kansas, aiming to learn about the boy her father once was. Having heard stories about Manifest, Abilene is disappointed to find that it’s just a dried-up, worn-out old town. But her disappointment quickly turns to excitement when she discovers a hidden cigar box full of mementos, including some old letters that mention a spy known as the Rattler. These mysterious letters send Abilene and her new friends, Lettie and Ruthanne, on an honest-to-goodness spy hunt, even though they are warned to “Leave Well Enough Alone.”
Abilene throws all caution aside when she heads down the mysterious Path to Perdition to pay a debt to the reclusive Miss Sadie, a diviner who only tells stories from the past. It seems that Manifest’s history is full of colorful and shadowy characters—and long-held secrets. The more Abilene hears, the more determined she is to learn just what role her father played in that history. And as Manifest’s secrets are laid bare one by one, Abilene begins to weave her own story into the fabric of the town.
And that’s my July book haul! I’ve been steadily trying to cut down on the amount of books I read as I get ready for YALLFEST and my pilgrimage to Montana. August might be a different story since the library is hosting its annual GIANT book sale… so we’ll see what happens.