Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Waiting On Wednesday [@betsy_cornwell @HMHCo]

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

My pick for this week:

VENTURESS (Mechanica #2) by Betsy Cornwell

Young inventor Nicolette Lampton is living her own fairy tale happy ending. She's free of her horrible step-family, running a successful business, and is uninterested in marrying the handsome prince, Fin. Instead, she, Fin, and their friend Caro venture to the lush land of Faerie, where they seek to put an end to the bloody war their kingdom is waging. Mechanical armies and dark magic await them as they uncover devastating secrets about the past and fight for a real, lasting happily-ever-after for two troubled countries—and for themselves.

Smart and unconventional, this novel will appeal to readers of romance and adventure alike.

published August 01st by Clarion Books

add to your Goodreads shelf // pre-order from Book Depo // or Amazon


I enjoyed Mechanica, its characters and the wold that was created. The description of Venturess sounds like a lot of fun and I am really looking forward to seeing Faerie, what happens between the characters and if this second bok will push things even more than Mechanica did.

Betsy Cornwell told a great story in Mechanica and I can't wait to see where things go in this second book!

That's my pick for this week, what's yours? Tell me in the comments and/or link me to your own post!

Small Great Things ~ Jodi Picoult (earc) review [@HodderBooks @jodipicoult @randomhouse]

Small Great Things
Hodder & Stoughton
November 22, 2016
512 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon UK

(US publication)
Ballatine Books
October 11, 2016
470 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

When a newborn baby dies after a routine hospital procedure, there is no doubt about who will be held responsible: the nurse who had been banned from looking after him by his father.

What the nurse, her lawyer and the father of the child cannot know is how this death will irrevocably change all of their lives, in ways both expected and not.

Small Great Things is about prejudice and power; it is about that which divides and unites us.

It is about opening your eyes.

'It's hard to exaggerate how well Picoult writes' Financial Times

When I requested and started reading Small Great Things, I did not know that it was called Small Great Things, that it was written by Jodi Picoult or even what it was about. This was all thanks to Hodder & Stoughton's brilliant #readwithoutprejudice campaign.
I can't know how different my experience with the beginning of the book (until I read enough of the description of Small Great Things to know they were the same) was not knowing any of the book's details, but I know that it was different. Whether it's intentional or not, we do make judgments about books based on the author (their name, past work, age, gender, race, sexuality, etc).I liked having that removed. (Though, honestly, it did make me a bit anxious at first.)

US Cover
Small Great Things is uncomfortable in places, enlightening in (some of the same) places and a really compelling story. It asks us questions that many may not have asked themselves,  at least not in such a forthright and unflinching way. It also provides some answers to questions you may not want to ask or may not like.

The author does a really nice job making this a story about race, racism, privilege and power not making it a 'message' book. It is about the characters - Ruth, Kennedy, Turk, Brittany, Edison, etc - and how those things impact and shape their lives. I didn't like Turk, I wasn't even sure I always liked Ruth or Kennedy, and Brittany did whatever the opposite of growing on me was, but they all played pivotal roles in a very compelling read.

There was a section of the book that felt like its inclusion/depiction of racism and prejudice was too concentrated (it was each character, seemingly every scene) but things were otherwise well spaced and well paced and seemed to do a good job illustrating what the other characters faced, how they felt, or why they made the choices they did.

I don't want to be too specific about anything because I really liked reading this book and not knowing what it was about or what to expect. It is a book I know that I will think about for a long time to come and hope to talk to people about, as well.

There's also "Shine" a prequel short story (reviewed here)

review copy received, thanks to Hodder & Stoughton, via NetGalley

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Shine ~ Jodi Picoult reivew [@jodipicoult @randomhouse]

Ballatine Books
September 13, 2016
42 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from B&N/or Amazon

Jodi Picoult tackles issues of race and privilege in this ebook original short story, a prequel to her upcoming novel Small Great Things. In “Shine,” the master storyteller and #1 New York Times bestselling author of Leaving Time and My Sister’s Keeper introduces readers to the unforgettable Ruth Brooks.

Today is Ruth’s first day of third grade at Dalton. The prestigious institution on New York’s Upper East Side couldn’t be more different from her old school in Harlem. Despite being the smartest girl in her grade, Ruth suspects that her classmates and teachers only see her dark skin. She also notices that Christina, the daughter of her mother’s employer, treats Ruth very differently when they’re hanging out with the popular girls rather than playing together. Ruth must navigate between two worlds, never losing sight of the dreams she has for herself—in hopes that someday, someone will see her for who she really is.

Includes a preview of Jodi Picoult’s highly anticipated new novel, Small Great Things!
"Shine" is an ebook short story prequel to Small Great Things (which I will be reviewing tomorrow). A lot of ebook prequels seem to have spoilers for the books they're supposed to come before but this short story does not and can be read before or after reading the novel.

I read "Shine" after reading Small Great Things so I already knew who Ruth was, about her family and a little bit about her schooling. This short story expands on the bits we learn in the novel and lets us see what the start of school at Dalton was like for Ruth.

This short story really keeps a similar tone to the novel, while maybe being a bit nicer as it's focused on an eight-year-old and the novel is centered on adults. It still deals with race, racism, money and privilege, only through a child's eyes and not an adults. It really is a nice introduction (if you haven't already read Small Great Things) to the character and some of what the book addresses.

I liked seeing some of the actual events that are remembered or alluded to in Small Great Things - Ruth attending Dalton, her childhood relationship with Christina and with her sister Rachel, and seeing the start of some things - decisions, actions, beliefs - that would impact her right through Small Great Things.

(There is also a preview of Small Great Things, with the first chapter included at the end of "Shine.")

Top Ten Tuesday: Supernatural Book Gift Guide

This week's Ten: is a Holiday Gift Guide freebie so my Top 10 is . . .

10 Books for Supernatural Fans

I have someone I'm forever trying to get to read more and they love the TV show Supernatural so I usually to re to them (or give to them) books that remind me somehow of that show, its characters or whatever. Here are ten of them:

Riders (Riders #1) by Veronica Rossi
Goodreads // review

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater
Goodreads // review

American Gods (American Gods #1) by Neil Gaiman

White Cat (Curse Workers #1) by Holly Black
Goodreads // review

Storm Front (The Dresden Files #1) by Jim Butcher

Paranormalcy (Paranormalcy #1) by Kiersten White

Lailiah (The Styclar Saga #1) by Nikki Kelly

Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy #1) by Mira Grant

Altered (Altered #1) by Jennifer Rush
Goodreads // review

Unbreakable (The Legion #1)
Unmarked (The Legion #2) by Kami Garcia
Goodreads // review

All of these books have something paranormal, supernatural about them. With ones like RidersThe Raven Boys, Altered and Unbreakable something about the way the group of characters worked together - especially, in many of them, a few male characters - reminded me some of Sam and Dean's relationship.

In Feed the premise is quite a bit different (with the zombie-like virus taking over) but Georgia and Shaun are siblings who are fighting against it (and blogging) and, though they're a brother and sister, the way they work together so often, travel together, etc has some similarities to Supernatural.

Riders, Unbreakable (and Unmarked) - and maybe Altered - would be the three that I think would be my top If You Like Supernatural, Read This . . . picks.

This is a list I plan to implement so if you have any suggestions, I would love them! And let me know what your Top 10 was this week.
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