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Curious Cat Q&A

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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!

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OCTOBER TBR

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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!

 

 

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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!

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September TBR

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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!

 

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#ARCAugust: How Did I Do?

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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?

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Talking Tuesday: Why Did I Become Vegan?

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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!

 

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Spooky Saturday: IT Update

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Remember when I started IT by Stephen King all those months ago and I was like “Yeah, I’m going to read 100 pages every day so I can finish it fast!”

And then I said “I’m going to read it exclusively on the weekends but it shouldn’t take me long!”

And now I’m like, “I’m scared. This book haunts me. I still have 600 pages to go. I hate clowns. Send help.”

C99O54SUMAAxzp9Last weekend, I dove back into IT. I only read 40 pages before I tapped out (it was dark outside, I was scared). This isn’t a normal horror novel. This isn’t a “scary, not scary, not scary, scary” book.

No, IT is a horror novel that you’re terrified of from the start. I don’t think I’ve gone more than 2 pages without something absolutely terrifying happening.

My last update left us with the Loser Gang, now adults, meeting back in Derry. They’ve come together to try and end Pennywise… for good this time. After a terrifying lunch (I will never look at fortune cookies the same), the gang splits up to explore their old stomping grounds. Each of them is drawn to a certain place and they face Pennywise. I find it pretty strange that Pennywise offers each of them a chance to leave town, almost as if IT is scared of them.

The gang is also starting to get pieces of their memories back. If you haven’t read the book, none of them really remember what happened that summer or how they defeated Pennywise. But as they’ve come back to Derry, little memories have started pushing their way up.

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A Very Personal Book Post

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Today would have been Mama’s 63rd birthday.

It has been 10 years since she passed, but every year on her birthday, I think of all the things that we’ve missed doing together. It’s a very bittersweet day for me. Any day I get to celebrate the person she was is a special day, but it hurts deeply because it’s also a reminder that I’ll never get to know who she would have finished growing into.

Mama was an artist. She liked painting lakes and forests and rivers because that’s where she preferred to be. She was an crocheter, the yard sale Queen of our family, and had the longest losing streak at cards of anyone I knew. She wasn’t above tipping over the Monopoly board when she was losing or just bored of the games. She had a patience with animals and babies and flowers, and could make three flourish and grow with little effort. She raised children who were not her own, baked cakes for all my friends on their birthdays, and once called my high school principal a dick (to his face) when he tried to suspend for skipping class because I was in the bathroom having a panic attack.

She was also my best friend. The very best friend I will ever have. She covered my back to keep my out of trouble, held my secrets safe, gave me a soft place to land, and for many, many years kept me from harming myself.

I miss her. Sometimes it’s a dull miss. A forever tingle in the back of my mind that something just isn’t right with my world. Sometimes it’s a terrible miss. Some days I feel like the weight of her being gone is going to suffocate me. But I always miss her. Every day, every hour, every minute, every second. I miss her. I miss her. I miss her.

Mama wasn’t a reader but she turned me into one. From the time I was just a little thing, she was buying and reading books to me. Every summer we spend hours at the library. She encouraged me to pursue this thing that gave me such an escape when I was a sickly child.

So this post is for her.

Books that remind me of Mama.

 

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This one has a funny story attached to it that Mama loved to tell… much to my embarrassment.

We had watched The Color Purple at my Grandma’s house one Friday night and I loved it. The next morning, Mama and I went to a church sale and I saw the book for sale. After whining about wanting it, Mom agreed to buy it for me to shut me up but had planned to put it up when we got home… I was like 7 at the time and it definitely was not an age appropriate book. I, however, would not relinquish the book and when we got back in the car, I started reading it out loud. To this day, I still remember getting to the part where Celie is describing having sex for the first time (“He put his thing in my…”) and Mama screeched “AMANDA LEANN!” which I knew meant I was in serious trouble. After she recovered from the shock of it, she started laughing… and I started bawling. She ended up taking the book and buying me a different one at the next yard sale. I still can’t read this book without hearing her horrified voice in my ear.

 

 

frThis was another one that we loved as a movie first.

When Grandma went through her Kathy Bates phase, we got sucked in, too. It wasn’t until years later that I realized this was a book and checked it out of the library.

I was half-way through when Mama realized what I was reading… and demanded I start over and read it to her, too.

When we finished, she said “It’s not the same as the movie… but it’s still good.”

 

 

 

CaptureAnne of Green Gables was the first book I truly remember Mama reading to me and this is where my love of Anne, Gilbert, and the Cuthberts began.

We only read the first one together which might be why it’s my favorite. I can’t read this book without hearing that slow Southern drawl I miss so much.

 

 

 

 

hpI’ve told this story before, but for the sake of this post (and in honor of my mom’s badassery) I’ll tell it again.

When I was very young, we were at my Dad’s parents house for Christmas Eve dinner. All of the grandkids received a gift from his parents… except for me. Their excuse was that they couldn’t find a doll who “looked like” me. The real reason was because they didn’t like me because I’m biracial.

I just remember my parents storming out. I was just a little kid, but I knew that I had been shunned by my grandparents yet again. Mom demanded that Dad stop “anywhere” to find me a gift to make up for what my grandparents had done (we all knew it wouldn’t make it better but it was something tangible that would take the edge off of everyone). The only store open in town was the newly built Books-A-Million and they were about to close. Mom went in by herself, pleaded with them to give her two minutes, and came out with two presents for me: a stuffed animal and Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone (a title that raised the eyebrows of my Pentecostal minister father). That bookish decision started my lifelong love for Harry Potter and really started my lifelong love of reading. I had enjoyed it before but Harry Potter was what really cemented me as reader.

 

 

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She’s Come Undone is a hard book for me to talk about.

When Mama died in May 2007, I didn’t leave the house after the funeral for months. Even after my senior year started, I only went to school and then hid out in my room the rest of the time.

One weekend Grandma convinced me to go to a library sale with her and I found this book on a $.50 book shelf. It was a tattered copy with a torn cover, and the librarian actually let me have it for free. I started the book that night.

In the book, the main character loses her mother suddenly in an accident. While my mom died of natural causes, her death was sudden and seeing this character go through the same emotions, the same breakdown, I was going through broke something inside of me. I cried the entire time I read this book and then I immediately started it again. And again. And again. I read nothing but this book for an entire month, crying every time. But with each passing read, I felt stronger. All of the crying, all of the brokenness I felt, was cathartic. This book helped me get past some of the worst part of my grief and helped me break out of my isolation. So while Mama and I never enjoyed this book together, this book pulled me out of the worst slump of my life… something she used to do. I don’t care what anyone says, I believe finding this book was divine interference- a last gift from Mama to help me find my way out of the dark.

 

Happy Birthday, Mama.

 

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#ARCAugust

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I am SO excited to be joining Read.Sleep.Repeat’s ARC August readathon! I’ve been wanting to clear out my NetGalley and ARC list… but just never seem to find the time to do it, so this is the perfect month to get those out of the way before I start my Fall reading!

You can check out the link above for all the rules and fun stuff that’s going to be happening during #ARCAugust.

And this is what I’ll be reading this month for the challenge:

 

1. THE CROWNS OF CROSWALD by D.E. Night.

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 NIGHT CHILD by Anne Quinn.

All Nora Brown wants is to teach high school English and live a quiet life in Seattle with her husband and six-year-old daughter. But one November day, moments after dismissing her class, a girl’s face appears above the students’ desks—a wild numinous face with startling blue eyes, a face floating on top of shapeless drapes of purples and blues where arms and legs should have been. Terror rushes through Nora’s body—the kind of raw terror you feel when there’s no way out, when every cell in your body, your entire body, is on fire—when you think you might die. Twenty-four hours later, while on Thanksgiving vacation, the face appears again. This time, it whispers, Remember the Valentine’s dress. Shaken once again, Nora meets with neurologists and eventually, a psychiatrist. As the story progresses, a terrible secret is discovered—a secret that pushes Nora toward an even deeper psychological breakdown.

3. AS YOU WISH by Chelsea Sedoti.

In the sandy Mojave Desert, Madison is a small town on the road between nothing and nowhere. But Eldon wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, because in Madison, everyone gets one wish—and that wish always comes true. Some people wish for money, some people wish for love, but Eldon has seen how wishes have broken the people around him. And with the lives of his family and friends in chaos, he’s left with more questions than answers. Can he make their lives better? How can he be happy if the people around him aren’t? And what hope is there for any of them if happiness isn’t an achievable dream? Doubts build, leading Eldon to a more outlandish and scary thought: maybe you can’t wish for happiness…maybe, just maybe, you have to make it for yourself.

4. THE PRINCE AND THE DRESSMAKER by Jen Wang.

The Prince and the Dressmaker is about a young 19th Century prince named Sebastian who secretly loves to wear dresses. He hires an ambitious young seamstress named Frances to make dresses for him and as their collaboration grows, so do their feelings for one another. Sebastian and Frances must find a way to balance their inner desires with the strict expectations of the royal family – or risk exposing Sebastian’s secret to the world.

5. STARSWEPT by Mary Fan.

In 2157, the Adryil—an advanced race of telepathic humanoids—contacted Earth. A century later, 15-year-old violist Iris Lei considers herself lucky to attend Papilio, a prestigious performing arts school powered by their technology. Born penniless, Iris’s one shot at a better life is to attract an Adryil patron. But only the best get hired, and competition is fierce. A sudden encounter with an Adryil boy upends her world. Iris longs to learn about him and his faraway realm, but after the authorities arrest him for trespassing, the only evidence she has of his existence is the mysterious alien device he slipped to her. When she starts hearing his voice in her head, she wonders if her world of backstabbing artists and pressure for perfection is driving her insane. Then, she discovers that her visions of him are real—by way of telepathy—and soon finds herself lost in the kind of impossible love she depicts in her music. But even as their bond deepens, Iris realizes that he’s hiding something from her—and it’s dangerous. Her quest for answers leads her past her sheltered world to a strange planet lightyears away, where she uncovers secrets about Earth’s alien allies that shatter everything she knows.

6. MEET CUTE by various authors (Anthology)

Whether or not you believe in fate, or luck, or love at first sight, every romance has to start somewhere. MEET CUTE is an anthology of original short stories featuring tales of “how they first met” from some of today’s most popular YA authors.  Readers will experience Nina LaCour’s beautifully written piece about two Bay Area girls meeting via a cranky customer service Tweet, Sara Shepard’s glossy tale about a magazine intern and a young rock star, Nicola Yoon’s imaginative take on break-ups and make-ups, Katie Cotugno’s story of two teens hiding out from the police at a house party, and Huntley Fitzpatrick’s charming love story that begins over iced teas at a diner. There’s futuristic flirting from Kass Morgan and Katharine McGee, a riveting transgender heroine from Meredith Russo, a subway missed connection moment from Jocelyn Davies, and a girl determined to get out of her small town from Ibi Zoboi. Jennifer Armentrout writes a sweet story about finding love from a missing library book, Emery Lord has a heartwarming and funny tale of two girls stuck in an airport, Dhonielle Clayton takes a thoughtful, speculate approach to pre-destined love, and Julie Murphy dreams up a fun twist on reality dating show contestants. This incredibly talented group of authors brings us a collection of stories that are at turns romantic and witty, epic and everyday, heartbreaking and real.

7. NICE TRY, JANE SINNER by Lianne Oelke.

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.

8. STARFISH by Akemi Dawn Bowman.

Kiko Himura has always had a hard time saying exactly what she’s thinking. With a mother who makes her feel unremarkable and a half-Japanese heritage she doesn’t quite understand, Kiko prefers to keep her head down, certain that once she makes it into her dream art school, Prism, her real life will begin. But then Kiko doesn’t get into Prism, at the same time her abusive uncle moves back in with her family. So when she receives an invitation from her childhood friend to leave her small town and tour art schools on the west coast, Kiko jumps at the opportunity in spite of the anxieties and fears that attempt to hold her back. And now that she is finally free to be her own person outside the constricting walls of her home life, Kiko learns life-changing truths about herself, her past, and how to be brave.

9. 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.

And that’s my TBR for August! Since I’m participating in #ARCAugust, I won’t be doing my normal TBR Beatdown this month and with September/October fast approaching, I probably won’t bring the TBR Beatdown back until 2018.

 

Are any of you participating in #ARCAugust? What’s your TBR? Let me know in the comments section!