Uncategorized

January-March 2018 Releases

Capture.PNG

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

No, not Christmas (although, that is pretty wonderful, too).

It’s time to start looking ahead and preordering all the wonderful books that are coming out in 2018. I can only hope this year is less of a trash fire than 2017 and by the looks of all the great books releasing… that hope might be a reality!

This is my list of “Winter 2018” (January-March) releases that I am super looking forward to.

Capture

1CHAINBREAKER by TARA SIM.

Release Date: 01/02/2018

Preorder here.

As soon as I finished TIMEKEEPER, I preordered this one. Listen, it’s amazing and I’m hoping the sequel is just as good.

Clock mechanic Danny Hart knows he’s being watched. But by whom, or what, remains a mystery. To make matters worse, clock towers have begun falling in India, though time hasn’t Stopped yet. He’d hoped after reuniting with his father and exploring his relationship with Colton, he’d have some time to settle into his new life. Instead, he’s asked to investigate the attacks.

After inspecting some of the fallen Indian towers, he realizes the British occupation may be sparking more than just attacks. And as Danny and Colton unravel more secrets about their past, they find themselves on a dark and dangerous path–one from which they may never return.

1PRETTY DEAD GIRLS by Monica Murphy.

Release Date: 01/02/2018

Preorder here.

Beautiful. Perfect. Dead.

In the peaceful seaside town of Cape Bonita, wicked secrets and lies are hidden just beneath the surface. But all it takes is one tragedy for them to be exposed.

The most popular girls in school are turning up dead, and Penelope Malone is terrified she’s next. All the victims so far have been linked to Penelope—and to a boy from her physics class. The one she’s never really noticed before, with the rumored dark past and a brooding stare that cuts right through her.

There’s something he isn’t telling her. But there’s something she’s not telling him, either.

Everyone has secrets, and theirs might get them killed.

1THE CRUEL PRINCE by Holly Black.

Release Date: 01/02/2018

Preorder here.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

33413915

NICE TRY, JANE SINNER by Lianne Oelke.

Release date: 01/09/18

Preorder here.

I fell for Jane Sinner the minute I started this book. You can read me gush about it here.

The only thing 17-year-old Jane Sinner hates more than failure is pity. After a personal crisis and her subsequent expulsion from high school, she’s going nowhere fast. Jane’s well-meaning parents push her to attend a high school completion program at the nearby Elbow River Community College, and she agrees, on one condition: she gets to move out.

Jane tackles her housing problem by signing up for House of Orange, a student-run reality show that is basically Big Brother, but for Elbow River Students. Living away from home, the chance to win a car (used, but whatever), and a campus full of people who don’t know what she did in high school… what more could she want? Okay, maybe a family that understands why she’d rather turn to Freud than Jesus to make sense of her life, but she’ll settle for fifteen minutes in the proverbial spotlight.

As House of Orange grows from a low-budget web series to a local TV show with fans and shoddy T-shirts, Jane finally has the chance to let her cynical, competitive nature thrive. She’ll use her growing fan base, and whatever Intro to Psychology can teach her, to prove to the world—or at least viewers of substandard TV—that she has what it takes to win.

 

31207017

LOVE, HATE & OTHER FILTERS by Samira Ahmed.

Release date: 01/16/2018

Preorder here.

Maya Aziz is torn between futures: the one her parents expect for their good Indian daughter (i.e.; staying nearby in Chicago and being matched with a “suitable” Muslim boy), and the one where she goes to film school in New York City–and maybe, just maybe, kisses a guy she’s only known from afar. There’s the also the fun stuff, like laughing with her best friend Violet, making on-the-spot documentaries, sneaking away for private swimming lessons at a secret pond in the woods. But her world is shattered when a suicide bomber strikes in the American heartland; by chance, he shares Maya’s last name. What happens to the one Muslim family in town when their community is suddenly consumed with hatred and fear?

 

35378963THE JOURNEY OF LITTLE CHARLIE by Christopher Paul Curtis.

Release date: 01/30/2018

Preorder here.

Twelve-year-old Charlie is down on his luck: His dad just died, the share crops are dry, and the most fearsome man in Possum Moan, Cap’n Buck, says Charlie’s dad owed him a lot of money. Fearing for his life, Charlie strikes a deal to repay his father’s debt by accompanying Cap’n Buck to Detroit in pursuit of some folks who have stolen from him. It’s not too bad of a bargain for Charlie . . . until he comes face-to-face with the fugitives and discovers that they escaped slavery years ago and have been living free. Torn between his guilty conscience and his survival instinct, Charlie needs to figure out his next move—and soon. It’s only a matter of time before Cap’n Buck catches on . . .

 

feb

1YOUR ONE & ONLY by Adrianne Finlay.

Release date: 02/06/2018

Preorder here.

I LOVED this book about clones and scrappy humans!

Jack is a walking fossil. The only human among a sea of clones. It’s been hundreds of years since humanity died off in the slow plague, leaving the clones behind to carry on human existence. Over time they’ve perfected their genes, moving further away from the imperfections of humanity. But if they really are perfect, why did they create Jack?

While Jack longs for acceptance, Althea-310 struggles with the feeling that she’s different from her sisters. Her fascination with Jack doesn’t help. As Althea and Jack’s connection grows stronger, so does the threat to their lives. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love?

 

32702898ALL OUT (anthology) edited by Saundra Mitchell.

Release date: 02/27/18

Preorder here.

(Anna-Marie McLemore is in this and I would literally read her grocery list so…)

Take a journey through time and genres and discover a past where queer figures live, love and shape the world around them. Seventeen of the best young adult authors across the queer spectrum have come together to create a collection of beautifully written diverse historical fiction for teens.

From a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood set in war-torn 1870s Mexico featuring a transgender soldier, to two girls falling in love while mourning the death of Kurt Cobain, forbidden love in a sixteenth-century Spanish convent or an asexual girl discovering her identity amid the 1970s roller-disco scene, All Out tells a diverse range of stories across cultures, time periods and identities, shedding light on an area of history often ignored or forgotten.

32618983THE SERPENT’S SECRET by Sayantani DasGupta.

Release date: 02/27/2018.

Preorder here.

MEET KIRANMALA: INTERDIMENSIONAL DEMONSLAYER

(But she doesn’t know it yet.)

On the morning of her twelfth birthday, Kiranmala is just a regular sixth grader living in Parsippany, New Jersey… until her parents mysteriously vanish later that day and a rakkhosh demon slams through her kitchen, determined to eat her alive. Turns out there might be some truth to her parents’ fantastical stories—like how Kiranmala is a real Indian princess—and a wealth of secrets about her origin they’ve kept hidden.

To complicate matters, two crushworthy Indian princes ring her doorbell, insisting they’re here to rescue her. Suddenly, Kiran is swept into another dimension full of magic, winged horses, moving maps, and annoying, talking birds. There she must solve riddles and slay demons all while avoiding the Serpent King of the underworld (who may or may not want to kill her) and the rakkhosh queen (who definitely does) in order to find her parents and basically save New Jersey, her entire world, and everything beyond it…

 

First autumn frost on Stinging Nettle leaves - France  -  -  -

I STOP SOMEWHERE by T.E. Carter

Release date: 02/27/2018

Preorder here.

Ellie Frias disappeared long before she vanished.

Tormented throughout middle school, Ellie begins her freshman year with a new look: she doesn’t need to be popular; she just needs to blend in with the wallpaper.

But when the unthinkable happens, Ellie finds herself trapped after a brutal assault. She wasn’t the first victim, and now she watches it happen again and again. She tries to hold on to her happier memories in order to get past the cold days, waiting for someone to find her.

The problem is, no one searches for a girl they never noticed in the first place.

 

 

mar

 

35604722

IVY ABERDEEN’S LETTER TO THE WORLD by Ashley Herring Blake.

Release date: 03/06/2018

Preorder here.

In the wake of a destructive tornado, one girl develops feelings for another in this stunning, tender novel about emerging identity, perfect for fans of The Thing About Jellyfish.

When a tornado rips through town, twelve-year-old Ivy Aberdeen’s house is destroyed and her family of five is displaced. Ivy feels invisible and ignored in the aftermath of the storm–and what’s worse, her notebook filled with secret drawings of girls holding hands has gone missing.

Mysteriously, Ivy’s drawings begin to reappear in her locker with notes from someone telling her to open up about her identity. Ivy thinks–and hopes–that this someone might be her classmate, another girl for whom Ivy has begun to develop a crush. Will Ivy find the strength and courage to follow her true feelings?

Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World exquisitely enriches the rare category of female middle-grade characters who like girls–and children’s literature at large.  

 

35604686THE ASTONISHING COLOR OF AFTER by Emily X.R. Pan.

Release date: 03/20/2018

Preorder here.

Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing: When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird.

Leigh, who is half Asian and half white, travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time. There, she is determined to find her mother, the bird. In her search, she winds up chasing after ghosts, uncovering family secrets, and forging a new relationship with her grandparents. And as she grieves, she must try to reconcile the fact that on the same day she kissed her best friend and longtime secret crush, Axel, her mother was taking her own life.

Alternating between real and magic, past and present, friendship and romance, hope and despair, The Astonishing Color of After is a novel about finding oneself through family history, art, grief, and love.

 

34499232

LOSING LEAH by Tiffany King.

Release date: 03/20/2018

Preorder here.

Ten years after the tragic disappearance of her twin sister Leah, sixteen-year-old Mia Klein still struggles to exist within a family that has never fully recovered. Deep in the dark recesses of her mind lies an overwhelming shadow, taunting Mia with mind-splitting headaches that she tries to hide in an effort to appear okay.

Leah Klein’s life as she knew it ended the day she was taken, thrust into a world of abuse and fear by a disturbed captor―”Mother,” as she insists on being called. Ten years later, any recollections of her former life are nothing more than fleeting memories, except for those about her twin sister, Mia.

As Leah tries to gain the courage to escape, Mia’s headaches grow worse. Soon, both sisters will discover that their fates are linked in ways they never realized.

 

35604682

TYLER JOHNSON WAS HERE by Jay Coles.

Release date: 03/20/2018

Preorder here.

When Marvin Johnson’s twin, Tyler, goes to a party, Marvin decides to tag along to keep an eye on his brother. But what starts as harmless fun turns into a shooting, followed by a police raid.

The next day, Tyler has gone missing, and it’s up to Marvin to find him. But when Tyler is found dead, a video leaked online tells an even more chilling story: Tyler has been shot and killed by a police officer. Terrified as his mother unravels and mourning a brother who is now a hashtag, Marvin must learn what justice and freedom really mean.

 

31689949 AND SHE WAS by Jessica Verdi.

Release date: 03/27/2018.

Preorder here.

Dara’s lived a sheltered life with her single mom, Mellie. Now, at eighteen, she’s dreaming of more. When Dara digs up her never-before-seen birth certificate, her world implodes. Why are two strangers listed as her parents?

Dara confronts her mother, and is stunned by what she learns: Mellie is transgender. The unfamiliar name listed under “father”? That’s Mellie. She transitioned when Dara was a baby, shortly after Dara’s birth mother died.

But Dara still has more questions than answers. Reeling, she sets off on a road trip with her best guy friend, Sam. She’s determined to find the extended family she’s never met. What she discovers—and what her mother reveals, piece by piece over emails—will challenge and change Dara more than she can imagine.

 

35238072NOT IF I SAVE YOU FIRST by Ally Carter.

Release date: 03/27/2018.

Preorder here.

Maddie thought she and Logan would be friends forever. But when your dad is a Secret Service agent and your best friend is the president’s son, sometimes life has other plans. Before she knows it, Maddie’s dad is dragging her to a cabin in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness.

No phone.
No Internet.
And not a single word from Logan.

Maddie tells herself it’s okay. After all, she’s the most popular girl for twenty miles in any direction. (She’s also the only girl for twenty miles in any direction.) She has wood to cut and weapons to bedazzle. Her life is full.
Until Logan shows up six years later . . .
And Maddie wants to kill him.

But before that can happen, an assailant appears out of nowhere, knocking Maddie off a cliff and dragging Logan to some unknown fate. Maddie knows she could turn back- and get help. But the weather is turning and the terrain will only get more treacherous, the animals more deadly.

Maddie still really wants to kill Logan.
But she has to save him first.

 

32056397HURRICANE CHILD by Kheryn Callendar.

Release date: 03/27/2018

Preorder here.

Twelve-year-old Caroline is a Hurricane Child, born on Water Island during a storm. Coming into this world during a hurricane is unlucky, and Caroline has had her share of bad luck already. She’s hated by everyone in her small school, she can see things that no one else can see, and — worst of all — her mother left home one day and never came back. With no friends and days filled with heartache, Caroline is determined to find her mother. When a new student, Kalinda, arrives, Caroline’s luck begins to turn around. Kalinda, a solemn girl from Barbados with a special smile for everyone, seems to see the things Caroline sees, too. Joined by their common gift, Kalinda agrees to help Caroline look for her mother, starting with a mysterious lady dressed in black. Soon, they discover the healing power of a close friendship between girls.

 

35498395

OUT OF THE WILD NIGHT by Blue Balliett.

Release date: 03/27/2018

Preorder here.

From the New York Times bestselling author of Chasing Vemeer an unforgettable story about an island haunted by the past . . . and the ghosts who must help with the present.

Ghosts are alive on the island of Nantucket. You can hear them in the wind, and in the creaks of the old homes. They want to be remembered. And, even more, they want to protect what was once theirs.

The ghosts seem to have chosen a few local kids to be their messengers — and to help save the island. But in this mystery, the line between those who haunt and those who are haunted is a thin one — and the past and the present must come to terms with one another in order to secure the future.

 

35297272EMERGENCY CONTACT by Mary H.K. Choi

Release date: 03/27/2018

Preorder here.

For Penny Lee high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.

Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him.

When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.

 

Those are my most anticipated releases for the first quarter of 2018! What books are you looking forward to? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

Advertisements
Uncategorized

November Wrap Up!

Capture.JPG

Merry Ultimate Christmas/Happy Holidays!

I know, I know. It’s December 5. It’s not Christmas, you’re thinking. But it is Christmas.

November was an, um, interesting reading month. I thought it would be slow because of NaNo and YallFest. But then I didn’t do NaNo so I thought it was would be a decent reading month. Wrong. Wrong.

Eight books isn’t that terrible but I’m used to reading a fair share more than that. Honestly, I feel like I had a giant hangover from YallFest. I had such a good time and got to meet people I’ve known exclusively on twitter in real life which was both fun and nerve wracking!

#MiniMoji helped me rack up a few extra books for the month… literally half of my wrap up was read during this readathon.

Despite not having a large reading month, I was super happy with the fact that all but 2 of the 8 books I read were 4 or 5 star reads. That’s huge! Not the best reading month number wise, but definitely a good month when you factor in quality and enjoyment.. which is what matters the most!

5

  • THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES: THE FIELD GUIDE by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi. I think I read this either in early 2017 or late 2016 with my oldest goddaughter, but I honestly forgot the majority of it by the time I decided to pick the series back up. I thoroughly enjoyed this little gem and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series in 2018! Review coming soon!
  • TIMEKEEPER by Tara Sim. Everyone kept telling me I would love this book and I was so, so resistant to reading it. Even though the whole “He’s a clock” thing threw me off, I really enjoyed every minute of this book and I’m so excited for the sequel, CHAINBREAKER. I’ll have a review up this month!
  • CHICKADEE by Louise Erdrich. Louise never fails to touch my heart with her books and I knew this one, with it’s super cute and simplistic cover, would be a 5 star before I ever read it. It’s part of a series but each one can be read as a standalone. I’m looking forward to collecting and reading them all! You can read my review here!

 

4

  • NOT A DROP TO DRINK by Mindy McGinnis. I’ve had this one on my shelf for a while (and even got it signed at Se-Ya Fest!) but didn’t pick it up until the #MiniMoji readathon. I loved this book and I will have a review up for it this month!
  • THE SERPENT KING by Jeff Zentner. Why, oh, why did I wait so long to read this book? Just like with TIMEKEEPER, I think THE SERPENT KING was just pitched to me wrong. I ended up loving this and you can read my review here!
  • MY BRIGADISTA YEAR by Katherine Paterson. This one was a hard rate for me. While I loved the writing and the story, I was a little concerned with how the opposition was portrayed. If anyone knows of a Cuban or Cuban American reviewer who has read this one, please let me know! I’d love to read and link their review! In the mean time, here’s my review.

3

12219867

  • THE NINE LIVES OF CHRISTMAS by Sheila Roberts. This was a cute little Christmas read about a cat named Ambrose who is trying to earn back his ninth life by “saving” a human bachelor named Zach. While I enjoyed this, there were a lot of sexist comments in the book and Zach was your typical “he-man firefighter”. Review coming soon!

 

2

24763621

  • WINTERSONG by S. Jae-Jones. This book almost had. Almost. I was fully prepared to give this a 4 or 5 star rating. I couldn’t understand why people were so iffy about it… and then the whole “we had sex and now I’m a woman and completely changed” thing happened. Big pass.

 

And that’s what I read in November! Thoughts on these books or my ratings? Read anything spectacular this month? Let me know in the comments!

Uncategorized

LEAH ON THE OFFBEAT COVER REVEAL!

IT’S HERE, IT’S HERE, IT’S HERE!

When the news dropped last year that Becky Albertalli was writing a companion novel to her award winning debut, SIMON VS THE HOMO SAPIANS AGENDA, I was shook. When we found out this novel was going to be centered around Leah Burke, Simon’s sarcastic, fat best friend… I cried.

If you follow me on any social media (or maybe you’ve seen my Leah shirt?), you already know that Leah won my heart super early on in SIMON. There’s nothing I love more than a tough girl with a soft center, and I will always be trash for fat characters.

I was lucky enough to see an early version of the cover and it was beautiful… but then the final cover was decided on and IT WAS BEAUTIFUL, TOO. Honestly, I can’t decide which one I love more but I am so stoked to have this one on my shelf when it comes out.

Without further ado…

LeahOffbeat Cover_sticker (002)

LOOK. AT. IT.

LOOK AT LEAH!!!!

I am SO glad that we have a fat babe with an obvious attitude on the cover because anything less would have been cheating Leah out of what she deserves. I love the black speckles that totally match the ones on Simon’s book.

I’m in love, y’all.

Art/Design credits: art by Chris Bilheimer; design by @alisondonalty, David Curtis, Molly Fehr, and Michelle Cunningham.

LEAH ON THE OFFBEAT will be released on 4/24/18 but you can preorder now on Amazon, B&N, HarperCollins, IndieBound, and Chapters.

As the date for release gets closer, be on the look out for giveaways through this blog, my twitter, and the Leah Burke twitter account!

Also, today is Becky Albertalli’s birthday! Send her some love!

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic.

She’s an anomaly in her friend group: the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high.

It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.

Uncategorized

Curious Cat Q&A

Capture

Last week I decided that I wanted to do one of those “Get To Know Me” Q&As since I had never done one. The problem was… the questions all seemed kind of boring and basic. Instead of just making up my own questions, I opened up a Curious Cat for your questions! I ended up getting a lot. A LOT. My friend who was fielding the questions for me (and deleting any negative bs) picked a few for me to answer!

1. Do you think Adam will get Albetalli’d in the Becky/Adam book? Or will Becky be Silvera’d?

This is an excellent question and one I have genuinely been worried about since Becky mentioned the Silbertalli book. I honestly think Becky’s Hufflepuff powers will overcome Adam’s need to make everyone around him cry. At least… I hope that’s how it works out.

2. Who is your favorite minor character in the Grishaverse books?

Baghra! She’s a tough lady who had a rough life and can admit her mistakes. What’s not to love?

3. If you could cosplay as a character, who would it be?

Anne Shirley! I’ve been trying for years to find the exactly right outfit (my sewing skills are not up to par). I will cosplay her one day.

4. How is Gansey doing?

My sunshine baby is doing well! He had a rough go of it when I was staying at the hospital with my dad because he doesn’t like sleeping with the other puppers. I gave him a bath last night so he’s very fluffy at the moment.

5. Who’s your favorite side character in your current WIP? Why?

I’m going to use my #QueerAlaska WIP since I’m starting #WitchyGirlsBook over in November.

I think my favorite side character is Donnie, Faye’s second oldest brother. He’s a little goofy and silly, but he’s also Faye’s main support system throughout the book. Donnie just loves people. It’s been a lot of fun writing him because… I can’t love that way? Donnie has no problems making friends and it’s been interesting writing a character who is so very opposite of me.

6. What are some of your favorite books with Native characters?

THE ROUND HOUSE by Louise Erdrich
IF I EVER GET OUT OF HERE by Eric Gansworth
LOVE BEYOND BODY, SPACE, AND TIME anthology
#NOTYOURPRINCESS anthology
THE LESSER BLESSED by Richard Van Camp

7. What’s your favorite book you’ve read this year? What are you most anticipated books?

It’s so hard to narrow down a favorite… but I think it might be WILD BEAUTY by Anna-Marie McLemore. I literally have not went one day without thinking about that book since I read it. It’s just magical and beautiful and I want more.

Anticipated as in 2018? LEAH ON THE OFFBEAT by Becky Albertalli, THE STRUGGLE IS REAL by Maggie Ann Martin, BLANCA AND ROJA by Anna-Marie McLemore, FROM TWINKLE WITH LOVE by Sandhya Menon, THE LADY’S GUIDE TO PETTICOATS AND PIRACY by Mackenzi Lee, LOVE HATE AND OTHER FILTERS by Samira Ahmed, PUDDIN’ by Julie Murphy, ARU SHAH AND THE END OF TIME by Roshani Chokshi, TYLER JOHNSON WAS HERE by Jay Coles, CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE by Tomi Adeyemi.

8. If you could write the book you wanted/needed as a young child (maybe 10), how would it look/what would it be about?

I think at 10, I was definitely more aware of my body and was coming to terms with being “different” (in terms of being biracial and not having crushes on boys… but having crushes on my friends). I would probably write a fat, Native kid who wasn’t so sure about this “being a girl” thing and trying to navigate living in a body that made other people uncomfortable.

9. Worst and best parts of the bookish online community.

I’ll start with the worst so I can end on a good note. The worst part for me is how people want to pick and choose what they want more rep for. Most times, it’s not for people who get the least amount of rep in books. This has come about more lately, but I hate the way people act like we’re not allowed to talk about poor rep in books if the book is written by a marginalized person or someone who has previously been an ally in the community. We all know how the 27 Hours thing has gone for me and I guess I’m just astonished that people genuinely think we’re supposed to ignore (in this case) race and colonization issues because some people really like the Queer rep (and some people did not, especially the ace and aro rep).

The good does outweigh the bad for me, though. I’ve made some amazing friends through the bookish community. I’ve been able to be more involved in events and reviews. Getting to talk to my favorite authors is also a huge perk. It’s also nice to see how many people are out there fighting for publishing to do and be better.

10. What part of your WIP is most fun for you to work on? E.g. setting, characters, plot, etc.?

Definitely characters! I love figuring out everyone’s personality and quirks!

11. Do you have a favorite vegan dessert?

Banana nicecream with strawberry jam.

12. What is your favorite guilty pleasure book?

I don’t think I have a guilty pleasure book, per se… but I really enjoy books about serial killers and death in general, which is something I don’t ever talk about because it seems kind of strange? I’m trying to break out of that habit, especially now that I’ve been watching Ask A Mortician on Youtube. Death isn’t some big shameful thing and it doesn’t have to be hidden away. So I will definitely be sharing more of my more “strange” reading habits.

13. What’s your TBR look like?

It’s, uh, *starts crying* it’s fine. It’s fine.

No, honestly, it is out of control. I have books everywhere. A stack fell on Gansey. I stack fell on me. Send help.

14. Do you have any reading goals for 2018?

I want to get my physical TBR down to a more manageable size. I need some closet space back. And floor space. And attic space.

15. Why do you read middle grade books?

Lots of reasons! It’s a bonding experience with my older godkids. I get to read great stories without having to deal with overly romantic plots or sex. Sometimes middle grade books are more impactful than YA, NA, or adult. Because they’re awesome??

 

Thanks to everyone who sent questions! I had a lot of fun answering these!

Uncategorized

OCTOBER TBR

Capture.JPG

October is my favorite month. What’s not to love? I don’t exactly know what it is about October that makes the air feel alive, but since I was a kid, I’ve looked forward to chilly mornings, pumpkins, and Halloween all year long. Speaking of Halloween, it’s my birthday! If I wasn’t already truly spooky to you, that should seal the deal, right?

The whole month feels like there’s something exciting around the corner. Growing up in a rural area, it felt like the dead leaves and the corn fields were part of some great spooky adventure and I spent many hours riding my bike, imagining I was one of the kids in THE HALLOWEEN TREE. Even as an adult, October feels like magic.

Every year I try to come up with the perfect spooky TBR- a mix of October books I already know I love and a few that I hope to love. Without further ado, here is this October’s TBR.

Books I read every year:

1. THE OCTOBER COUNTRY by Ray Bradbury. Ray Bradbury’s second short story collection is back in print, its chilling encounters with funhouse mirrors, parasitic accident-watchers, and strange poker chips intact. Both sides of Bradbury’s vaunted childhood nostalgia are also on display, in the celebratory “Uncle Einar,” and haunting “The Lake,” the latter a fine elegy to childhood loss. This edition features a new introduction by Bradbury, an invaluable essay on writing, wherein the author tells of his “Theater of Morning Voices,” and, by inference, encourages you to listen to the same murmurings in yourself. And has any writer anywhere ever made such good use of exclamation marks!?

2. THE HALLOWEEN TREE by Ray Bradbury. I also love the movie! I remember watching this as a kid at my Grandma’s house and falling in love with it… while also being pretty terrified of the jack’o’lantern tree. Eight costumed boys running to meet their friend Pipkin at the haunted house outside town encounter instead the huge and cadaverous Mr. Moundshroud. As Pipkin scrambles to join them, he is swept away by a dark Something, and Moundshroud leads the boys on the tail of a kite through time and space to search the past for their friend and the meaning of Halloween. After witnessing a funeral procession in ancient Egypt, cavemen discovering fire, Druid rites, the persecution of witches in the Dark Ages, and the gargoyles of Notre Dame, they catch up with the elusive Pipkin in the catacombs of Mexico, where each boy gives one year from the end of his life to save Pipkin’s.

3. SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES by Ray Bradbury. My folklore teacher in high school let us watch this movie over the course of a week long Halloween celebration. I loved the movie and then fell in love with the book. A carnival rolls in sometime after the midnight hour on a chill Midwestern October eve, ushering in Halloween a week before its time. A calliope’s shrill siren song beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. In this season of dying, Cooger & Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery. And two inquisitive boys standing precariously on the brink of adulthood will soon discover the secret of the satanic raree-show’s smoke, mazes, and mirrors, as they learn all too well the heavy cost of wishes – and the stuff of nightmare.

4. JOHNNY HALLOWEEN by Norman Partridge. After reading DARK HARVEST, I knew I needed to read everything Partridge wrote. Unfortunately, his stuff is largely out of print and finding it can sometimes be tricky (if you want a nice copy) and pricey. Now Partridge revisits Halloween with a collection featuring a half-dozen stories celebrating frights both past and present. In “The Jack o’ Lantern,” a brand new Dark Harvest novelette, the October Boy races against a remorseless döppelganger bent on carving a deadly path through the town’s annual ritual of death and rebirth. “Johnny Halloween” features a sheriff battling both a walking ghost and his own haunted conscience. In “Three Doors,” a scarred war hero hunts his past with the help of a magic prosthetic hand, while “Satan’s Army” is a real Partridge rarity previously available only in a long sold-out lettered edition from another press. But there’s more to this holiday celebration besides fiction. “The Man Who Killed Halloween” is an extensive essay about growing up during the late sixties in the town where the Zodiac Killer began his murderous spree. In an introduction that explores monsters both fictional and real, Partridge recalls what it was like to live in a community menaced by a serial killer and examines how the Zodiac’s reign of terror shaped him as a writer.

5. DARK HARVEST by Norman Partridge. On a whim last year, I typed in ‘Halloween books’  in the thriftbooks search bar. This was one of the ones I ended up ordering and it quickly became my favorite Halloween story. Halloween, 1963. They call him the October Boy, or Ol’ Hacksaw Face, or Sawtooth Jack. Whatever the name, everybody in this small Midwestern town knows who he is. How he rises from the cornfields every Halloween, a butcher knife in his hand, and makes his way toward town, where gangs of teenage boys eagerly await their chance to confront the legendary nightmare. Both the hunter and the hunted, the October Boy is the prize in an annual rite of life and death. Pete McCormick knows that killing the October Boy is his one chance to escape a dead-end future in this one-horse town. He’s willing to risk everything, including his life, to be a winner for once. But before the night is over, Pete will look into the saw-toothed face of horror–and discover the terrifying true secret of the October Boy . . .

Books I hope I love:

1. PECULIAR COUNTY by Stuart R. West. Growing up in Peculiar County, Kansas, is a mighty…well, peculiar experience. In 1965, things get even stranger for Dibby Caldwell, the mortician’s fifteen year old daughter. A young boy’s ghost haunts Dibby into unearthing the circumstances of his death. Nobody—living or dead—wants her to succeed. James, the new mop-topped, bad boy at school doesn’t help. Dibby can’t get him out of her head, even though she doesn’t trust him. No, sir, there’s nothing much more peculiar than life in Peculiar County…except maybe death in Peculiar County.  

2. THE HAUNTING OF SUNSHINE GIRL by Paige McKenzie. Something freaky’s going on with Sunshine’s new house . . . there’s the chill that wraps itself around her bones, the giggling she can hear in the dead of night, and then the strange shadows that lurk in her photographs. But the more weird stuff that happens, the less her mom believes her. Sunshine’s always had a quirky affiliation with the past, but this time, history is getting much too close for comfort . . . If there is something, or someone, haunting her house, what do they want? And what will they do if Sunshine can’t help them? As things become more frightening and dangerous, and the giggles she hears turn to sobs and screams, Sunshine has no choice but to accept what she is, face the test before her and save her mother from a fate worse than death.

3. UNDER MY HAT by Jonathan Strahan. Broomsticks. Black Cats. Pointy Hats. They can mean only one thing – somewhere nearby, there must be a witch. From fairy tales to fims to fiction, witches cast their spells and capture our imaginations. Now the biggest names in fantasy and young adult literature have come together to make a little magic of their own. Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, Diana Peterfreund, Margo Lanagan, Peter S. Beagle, and Garth Nix are just a few of the authors who have toiled over their cauldrons and conjured up bewitching new creations inspired by and celebrating the might and mystery of the witch. Assembled by one of the most well-regarded anthologists in the science fiction/fantasy world, this rich, intelligent collection will enchant readers of all ages.

4. NIGHT SHIFT by Stephen King. From the depths of darkness, where hideous rats defend their empire, to dizzying heights, where a beautiful girl hangs by a hair above a hellish fate, this chilling collection of twenty short stories will plunge readers into the subterranean labyrinth of the most spine-tingling, eerie imagination of our time.

5. SALEM’S LOT by Stephen King. Something strange is going on in Jerusalem’s Lot … but no one dares to talk about it. By day, ‘Salem’s Lot is a typical modest New England town; but when the sun goes down, evil roams the earth. The devilishly sweet insistent laughter of a child can be heard echoing through the fields, and the presence of silent looming spirits can be felt lurking right outside your window.

6. THIRTEEN TALES OF HORROR by T. Pines. You don’t really want to read this …do you? The masters of horror are waiting to take you on a terrifying ride, and there are 13 stops. Meet the new guy in town, very handsome, very sexy, and very deadly. Dine on sweet and wonderfully inviting confections – they’re good to the last breath. Learn that some spells can never be broken…

 

And that’s my October TBR! What spooky reads are you diving into this month? Let me know in the comments… and Happy Halloween!

 

 

Uncategorized

What’s on my NetGalley shelf?

CaptureBack in August, I had planned to completely clear my NetGalley shelf and leave it empty until the first of 2018. Clearly, that didn’t pan out the way I planned. I joked about it on Twitter, but apparently I was sleepily browsing NetGalley and ended up requesting a bunch of titles… and since HMH has always been good to me, I was approved for all of them.

I swore to myself that I’m not requesting anymore until I get this queue completely cleared. So far I’ve kept that promise just by not browsing NetGalley period. I’m hoping to have all of these finished by the end of October, but honestly, that’s probably not going to happen since I’m devoting this week to finishing IT and then I have books I want to read before YallFest in November.

Here’s what I have on my NetGalley TBR!

1. THE LOVE LETTER OF ABELARD AND LILY by Laura Creedle. When Lily Michaels-Ryan ditches her ADHD meds and lands in detention with Abelard, who has Asperger’s, she’s intrigued—Abelard seems thirty seconds behind, while she feels thirty seconds ahead. It doesn’t hurt that he’s brilliant and beautiful. When Abelard posts a quote from The Letters of Abelard and Heloise online, their mutual affinity for ancient love letters connects them. The two fall for each other. Hard. But is it enough to bridge their differences in person? This hilarious, heartbreaking story of human connection between two neurodivergent teens creates characters that will stay with you long after you finish reading.

2. STRANGERS by David A. Robertson. When Cole Harper is compelled to return to Wounded Sky First Nation, he finds his community in chaos: a series of shocking murders, a mysterious illness ravaging the residents, and reemerging questions about Cole’s role in the tragedy that drove him away 10 years ago. With the aid of an unhelpful spirit, a disfigured ghost, and his two oldest friends, Cole tries to figure out his purpose, and unravel the mysteries he left behind a decade ago. Will he find the answers in time to save his community?

3. YOUR ONE & ONLY by Adrianne Finlay. Jack is a walking fossil. The only human among a sea of clones. It’s been hundreds of years since humanity died off in the slow plague, leaving the clones behind to carry on human existence. Over time they’ve perfected their genes, moving further away from the imperfections of humanity. But if they really are perfect, why did they create Jack?   While Jack longs for acceptance, Althea-310 struggles with the feeling that she’s different from her sisters. Her fascination with Jack doesn’t help. As Althea and Jack’s connection grows stronger, so does the threat to their lives. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love?

4. SAVAGE WOODS by Mary Sangiovanni. Nilhollow—six-hundred-plus acres of haunted woods in New Jersey’s Pine Barrens—is the stuff of urban legend. Amid tales of tree spirits and all-powerful forest gods are frightening accounts of hikers who went insane right before taking their own lives. It is here that Julia Russo flees when her violent ex-boyfriend runs her off the road . . . here that she vanishes without a trace. State Trooper Peter Grainger has witnessed unspeakable things that have broken other men. But he has to find Julia and can’t turn back now. Every step takes him closer to an ugliness that won’t be appeased—a centuries-old, devouring hatred rising up to eviscerate humankind. Waiting, feeding, surviving. It’s unstoppable. And its time has come.

5. LILY’S MOUNTAIN by Hannah Moderow. Lily refuses to believe what everyone else accepts to be true: that her father has died while climbing Denali, the highest mountain in North America. Lily has grown up hiking in the Alaskan wilderness with her dad. He’s an expert climber. There’s no way he would let something like this happen. So instead of grieving, Lily decides to rescue him. Her plan takes her to Denali and on a journey that tests her physically and emotionally.

6. TRU & NELLE, A CHRISTMAS TALE by G. Neri. Young Truman Capote thought life in New York City was going to be perfect, but things didn’t work out as planned. In fact, Tru is downright miserable. So he decides to run away to Monroeville, Alabama, and the only friend he’s ever had, Nelle Harper Lee. But things don’t go well there, either. Bad things seem to happen wherever he goes. The only explanation: he must be cursed.   Christmas is coming, and Tru’s only wish is to be happy. But it’ll take a miracle for that to come true. Luckily, a special feast brings the miracle he’s hoping for. Tru and Nelle: A Christmas Tale is based on the real life friendship of Truman Capote and Harper Lee.

7. GAME CHANGE by Joseph Monninger. Seventeen-year-old Zeb Holloway is happy to work in his uncle’s auto repair shop and cruise through school without much effort. He’s a quarterback on his high school’s undefeated football team, but he never plays. Why would he when T.T. Munroe—a walking, talking highlight real— is around? That is, until T.T’s injured a week before the state championships.   Now Zeb is starting. As he assumes the role of QB and team leader, the entire town is watching him. And when a college recruiter says Zeb could have a future beyond his small New Hampshire town, he realizes there’s a bigger life out there for him . . . if he can play his heart out. 

8. THE VANDERBEEKERS OF 141ST STREET by Karina Yan Glaser. The Vanderbeekers have always lived in the brownstone on 141st Street. It’s practically another member of the family. So when their reclusive, curmudgeonly landlord decides not to renew their lease, the five siblings have eleven days to do whatever it takes to stay in their beloved home and convince the dreaded Beiderman just how wonderful they are. And all is fair in love and war when it comes to keeping their home.  A modern classic in the making reminiscent of the Penderwicks series, The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street is about the connections we make and the unexpected turns life can take. 

9. TENTACLE & WING by Sarah Porter. Twelve-year-old Ada is a Chimera, born with human and animal DNA thanks to a genetic experiment gone wrong. Because being a “kime” is believed to be contagious, she has kept her condition—complete with infrared vision—hidden. But a surprise test outs her, and Ada is shipped off to a quarantined school for kimes.  There Ada meets kids of many different shapes, stripes, and appendages, such as a girl with dragonfly wings and a seal-boy. As she adjusts to her new life, Ada senses that the facility is keeping a secret that could upend everything the world knows about Chimeras. But will someone put a stop to her efforts to uncover the truth?

10. FRANKIE by Shivaun Plozza. Frankie Vega is angry. Just ask the guy whose nose she broke. Or the cop investigating the burglary she witnessed, or her cheating ex-boyfriend, or her aunt who’s tired of giving second chances. When a kid shows up claiming to be Frankie’s half brother, it opens the door to a past she doesn’t want to remember. And when that kid goes missing, the only person willing to help is a boy with stupidly blue eyes, a criminal record, and secrets of his own. Frankie’s search for the truth could change her life, or cost her everything.

11. THE GIRL WHO WASN’T DEAD by Samantha Boyette. Prom was supposed to be the biggest night of senior year, but for Jenny Lewis it was the night she almost died. The night someone drugged her, loaded her in a car, and dumped her body in the river.  The next morning, her soaked prom dress was found on the riverbank. Her body was never found. People whispered that she’d killed herself or gotten drunk and stupid. People moved on, went to college, and stopped thinking about her. Months later, her ex-girlfriend and three other classmates received a text from an unknown number accusing them of her murder and claiming to have proof. The text? It came from Jenny, not dead and ready to figure out who tried to kill her. There’s going to be an impromptu reunion and no one is leaving until the would-be murderer steps forward.

And that’s my NetGalley TBR! I’m excited to read all of these, but I am honestly most excited to read STRANGERS because the author is Cree… and I’m always excited to read stories by other Native and Indigenous authors.

Have you read any of these? What’s your NG TBR looking like?

 

 

Reviews · Uncategorized

Review: PODKIN ONE-EAR

29361219Title: PODKIN ONE-EAR
Author: Kieran Larwood
Illustrator: David Wyatt
Publisher: Clarion Books
Pages: 256
ARC: Yes, provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Release: 09/05/2017
TW/CW: Abuse, death of a parent (non-explicit), blood, disfiguration.
Rep: Blind (side character who is a warrior), disfiguration (main character).
Rating: 5/5

In a classic fantasy world of anthropomorphic rabbits, three young siblings are on the run from the villainous Gorm tribe who have killed and enslaved their clan. Podkin, once destined to be clan leader, has always been spoiled, but now he must act bravely as he, his older sister, and baby brother flee for their lives.
 
Facing pursuit and treachery, the three collect allies in their search for refuge, until at last they are ready to fight back against the Gorm and attempt to rid the land of an evil scourge.

 

Let’s be honest here. As soon as I saw this on NetGalley, realized it was about rabbits, and was compared to WATERSHIP DOWN, I smashed that request button. Thankfully, HMH has been unbelievably kind to me in accepting my ARC requests and I was approved the next day.

This is definitely a middle grade book. I’ve seen a few reviews on Goodreads that say the book is childish and I mean… yes, it totally is. Because it’s intended audience is definitely in the lower part of the middle grade demographic. However, I enjoyed this book tremendously.

Our book starts out with a bard coming to a warren on Bramblemass Eve. In exchange for room and board, he tells the warren a little known story about Podkin One-Ear. We learn that most stories the rabbits have heard about Podkin have been when he was older and more established as a leader. This bard tells the story of Podkin as a child, before he lost his ear, and before he was the brave rabbit of legend.

Since I was a kid, I’ve enjoyed stories about anthropomorphic animals, especially rabbits, and PODKIN ONE-EAR did not disappoint me. I read this one to my godkids and they enjoyed it as well. Larwood does a great job in creating a very diverse cast of rabbits and took pains to show that even good people (rabbits) will do things that are not so good in order to protect themselves. We also get just regular ol’ villians and people who just want to do good, no matter the personal cost. I particularly enjoyed that the hero Podkin seeks out is a blind warrior who is still a great warrior despite being struck blind years ago by a witch.

The villains in this story are truly terrifying. Rabbits who have been taken over by a long forgotten god and are turned into iron clad monsters. Some of the scenes were a little heavy for my younger godkids, so I wouldn’t definitely take care before letting your own young ones read this, especially if they are easily frightened.

The artwork in the book is BEAUTIFUL. There are several illustrations that I would love to have as posters. I think the illustrator did a fantastic job in capturing the different moments shown.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who likes a story with tiny heroes!

Uncategorized

September TBR

Capture

How is it September? Wasn’t it just March? (We are indeed hurtling towards impending doom.)

On that uplifting note, here’s my September TBR!

 

These are all ARCs I want to finish in September

  1. THE HAZEL WOOD by Melissa Albert. Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.” Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.
  2. SAVAGE WOODS by Mary SanGiovanni. Nilhollow—six-hundred-plus acres of haunted woods in New Jersey’s Pine Barrens—is the stuff of urban legend. Amid tales of tree spirits and all-powerful forest gods are frightening accounts of hikers who went insane right before taking their own lives. It is here that Julia Russo flees when her violent ex-boyfriend runs her off the road . . . here that she vanishes without a trace. State Trooper Peter Grainger has witnessed unspeakable things that have broken other men. But he has to find Julia and can’t turn back now. Every step takes him closer to an ugliness that won’t be appeased—a centuries-old, devouring hatred rising up to eviscerate humankind. Waiting, feeding, surviving. It’s unstoppable. And its time has come.
  3. GAME CHANGE by Joseph Monninger. Seventeen-year-old Zeb Holloway is happy to work in his uncle’s auto repair shop and cruise through school without much effort. He’s a quarterback on his high school’s undefeated football team, but he never plays. Why would he when T.T. Munroe—a walking, talking highlight real— is around? That is, until T.T’s injured a week before the state championships. Now Zeb is starting. As he assumes the role of QB and team leader, the entire town is watching him. And when a college recruiter says Zeb could have a future beyond his small New Hampshire town, he realizes there’s a bigger life out there for him . . . if he can play his heart out.
  4. PODKIN ONE-EAR by Kieran Larwood. Podkin One-Ear is a legend: a fearsome warrior rabbit whose reputation for cunning and triumph in battle has travelled the ages. But how did he become such a mighty fighter? The answer may surprise you… When a travelling bard arrives at Thornwood Warren on Midwinter night, he is warmly welcomed. In return for food and lodging, he settles down to tell of how Podkin One-Ear – and soon the rabbits are enthralled to hear the story of how one lost little rabbit overcame the cruellest enemy imaginable, and became the greatest warrior their land has ever know.  
  5. THE WONDERLING by Mira Bartok. 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.

 

 

 

All of these are part of my YallFest Prep! These are books I haven’t read by authors I want to meet at YallFest!

  1. THE GAUNTLET by Karuna Riazi. A trio of friends from New York City find themselves trapped inside a mechanical board game that they must dismantle in order to save themselves and generations of other children in this action-packed debut that’s a steampunk Jumanji with a Middle Eastern flair. When twelve-year-old Farah and her two best friends get sucked into a mechanical board game called The Gauntlet of Blood and Sand—a puzzle game akin to a large Rubik’s cube—they know it’s up to them to defeat the game’s diabolical architect in order to save themselves and those who are trapped inside, including her baby brother Ahmed. But first they have to figure out how. Under the tutelage of a lizard guide named Henrietta Peel and an aeronaut Vijay, the Farah and her friends battle camel spiders, red scorpions, grease monkeys, and sand cats as they prepare to face off with the maniacal Lord Amari, the man behind the machine. Can they defeat Amari at his own game…or will they, like the children who came before them, become cogs in the machine?
  2. STEALING SNOW by Danielle Paige. Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent her life locked in Whittaker Psychiatric—but she isn’t crazy. And that’s not the worst of it. Her very first kiss proves anything but innocent…when Bale, her only love, turns violent. Despite Snow knowing that Bale would never truly hurt her, he is taken away—dashing her last hope for any sort of future in the mental ward she calls home. With nowhere else to turn, Snow finds herself drawn to a strange new orderly who whispers secrets in the night about a mysterious past and a kingdom that’s hers for the taking—if only she can find her way past the iron gates to the Tree that has been haunting her dreams. Beyond the Tree lies Algid, a land far away from the real world, frozen by a ruthless king. And there too await the River Witch, a village boy named Kai, the charming thief Jagger, and a prophecy that Snow will save them all.
  3. FLAME IN THE MIST by Renee Ahdieh. The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished alchemist. Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath. So, at just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a man she did not choose, for the very first time. But the journey is cut short when Mariko’s convoy is viciously attacked by the Black Clan, a dangerous group of bandits who’ve been hired to kill Mariko before she reaches the palace. The lone survivor, Mariko narrowly escapes to the woods, where she plots her revenge. Dressed as a peasant boy, she sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and hunt down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.
  4. THIS MONSTROUS THING by Mackenzi Lee. In 1818 Geneva, men built with clockwork parts live hidden away from society, cared for only by illegal mechanics called Shadow Boys. Two years ago, Shadow Boy Alasdair Finch’s life shattered to bits. His brother, Oliver—dead. His sweetheart, Mary—gone. His chance to break free of Geneva—lost. Heart-broken and desperate, Alasdair does the unthinkable: He brings Oliver back from the dead. But putting back together a broken life is more difficult than mending bones and adding clockwork pieces. Oliver returns more monster than man, and Alasdair’s horror further damages the already troubled relationship. Then comes the publication of Frankenstein and the city intensifies its search for Shadow Boys, aiming to discover the real life doctor and his monster. Alasdair finds refuge with his idol, the brilliant Dr. Geisler, who may offer him a way to escape the dangerous present and his guilt-ridden past, but at a horrible price only Oliver can pay…
  5. THE DIVINERS by Libba Bray. Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult. Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer. As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened

And that’s my September TBR! I really, really, really hope I’m not biting off more than I can chew with this one! THE DIVINERS is pretty huge book and September is already panning out to be a super busy month for me. I’ll be having surgery on the 5th, I’m planning on attending a Leigh Bardugo signing on the 25th, and I have a TON of Halloween projects to start planning. Hopefully I will have time to finish all the books I picked out this month.

Wish me luck!

 

Uncategorized

#ARCAugust: How Did I Do?

arc-august2

I had some lofty goals for #ARCAugust.

I would like to say that I read every book I put on my TBR, but I didn’t. This month was a pretty huge month ARC wise and I was super blessed to get a lot of books that I’ve been dying to read! So, while everything I read this month was an ARC, not all of them were on my TBR.

ORIGINAL #ARCAUGUST TBR:

  • THE CROWNS OF CROSWALD by D.E. Night
  • THE NIGHT CHILD by Anna Quinn
  • AS YOU WISH by Chelsea Sedoti
  • THE PRINCE AND THE DRESSMAKER by Jen Wang
  • STARSWEPT by Mary Fan
  • MEET CUTE by Various Authors
  • NICE TRY, JANE SINNER by Lianne Oelke
  • STARFISH by Akemi Dawn Bowman
  • THE WONDERLING by Mira Bartok

WHAT I ACTUALLY READ:

  • THE NIGHT CHILD by Anna Quinn
  • THE PRINCE AND THE DRESSMAKER by Jen Wang
  • NICE TRY, JANE SINNER by Lianne Oelke
  • AS YOU WISH by Chelsea Sedoti
  • THE EPIC CRUSH OF GENIE LO by F.C. Yee
  • I’M THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY by Andrea Jarrell
  • PRINCE IN DISGUISE by Stephanie Kate Strohm
  • IN REAL LIFE by Cory Doctorow
  • WILD BEAUTY by Anna-Marie McLemore
  • T IS FOR TREE by Greg Fowler
  • THE DAYBREAK BOND by Megan Blakemore (DNF)
  • THE CROWNS OF CROSWALD by D.E. Night
  • STARSWEPT by Mary Fan (DNF)

The main goal for me during #ARCAugust was to clear my NetGalley. Which I almost did… until I apparently requested 12 more titles (and was approved for all of them) in my sleep. So, I’m kind of back at square one on that front.

However, I had a lot of fun blazing through 13 ARCs this month and it did make me feel a lot better about my impending NetGalley doom.

Did you participate in #ARCAugust? How did you do?

Uncategorized

Talking Tuesday: Why Did I Become Vegan?

tt

Since I posted this thread over the weekend, I’ve gotten a lot of DMs/comments asking why I became vegan and if I’m part of the zero waste or minimalist communities (because most YouTube vegans are). I would like to start this like I did my thread: I don’t think veganism is possible for everyone. I understand health issues, food deserts, multiple people sharing one small food budget. This is just my experience with veganism and it isn’t meant to shame anyone.

I was a vegetarian during high school and was an on/off vegan all through college. At some point, I stopped being a vegan and I justified it to myself by saying “Oh, I’m so tired and I’m sick so I don’t have enough energy to fix the sort of food I need to stay on a vegan diet.” Because that’s how I viewed veganism at the time- as a diet.

For the next few years, I was off and on veganism again. Last year I started watching vegan YouTubers and I really got into the idea of the raw food movement… but I quickly learned that’s just not for me. I also tried being a fruitarian but, again, not for me. I really felt like I didn’t have a place in the vegan community because all of the vegans I saw were vegan for health reasons. There were a few that were more planet oriented but at the end of the day, they were preaching exercise and that’s not helping the planet. While I want to be healthy, I feel like I could do the same thing eating a standard American diet. My reasons for being vegan are pretty simple- I don’t think a living creature should have to die so I can eat. I don’t think animals should be subjected to inhumane conditions so that I can drink milk or eat cheese or eggs. I don’t think I’m so above animals that their suffering doesn’t matter so long as I get what I want.

I always said that I would never “shock” myself back into veganism but I ended up doing that by watching Earthlings, a documentary that I have staunchly avoided since I found out about it. It is graphic and horrible and after watching it, I will never go back to eating meat or consuming animal products. Part of me wishes I had never watched it but part of me knows that I had to. I’ve always known that animals were treated cruelly but seeing it made it more concrete.

Honestly, the transition back into veganism hasn’t been hard. I feel a lot better mentally and physically, and meal prepping is so easy. Make a pot of beans on Sunday and a crockpot meal on Wednesday, and I am pretty much set for lunches or dinners the rest of the week. That helps out a lot since I take care of my Dad and he’s on a specialized diet. I don’t have to worry about making two meals.

As for minimalism, I try. I’m definitely not as hardcore about it as most people are but I am trying to declutter my house/not bring more junk in. It’s an ongoing process because my mind tells me that I need things to make me happy but I also know that having so much stuff makes me anxious because it has to be cleaned and stored or put to use.

As for Zero Waste… I think it’s a noble cause. I also don’t think it’s feasible. Even if you’re buying in bulk, there’s still waste being made.. it’s just being left at the store. I firmly believe in recycling when possible, using reusable containers and shopping bags, and trying to produce as little waste as possible, but I’m also not going to stop eating tofurkey or daiya cheese because they come in their own packaging. If you live that way and feel comfortable with it, more power to you. It’s not for me.

So, that’s all I have to say on that today! Next week I will post about what I generally eat in a week as a vegan/how much I spend on groceries.

Questions? Let me know in the comments below!