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.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Damaged ~ Lisa Scottoline (earc) review [@LisaScottoline @StMartinsPress]

Damaged (Rosato & DiNunzio #4)
St Martin's Press
August 16, 2016
405 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

From the New York Times bestselling author comes the much-anticipated fourth book in the Rosato & DiNunzio thriller series.

Damaged finds Mary DiNunzio, partner at the all-female law firm of Rosato & DiNunzio, embroiled in one of her most heartbreaking cases yet. Suing the Philadelphia school district to get help for a middle school boy with emotional issues, Mary ends up becoming the guardian ad litem of her minor client. As she goes up against Nick Machiavelli, her opposing counsel and the dark prince of South Philly lawyers who will use any means necessary to defeat her, she becomes more and more invested in the case—and puts everything, including her engagement to her longtime boyfriend, on the line.

Damaged is the second Rosato and DiNunzio series book, after 2013's Accused to feature Mary DiNunzio as the main character. The books in this series have mostly self contained stories and don't need to be read in order, but it's probably better to read Accused before Damaged. What we know about Mary's personal life - her past, her relationship with Anthony, her parents, the Tonys, etc - definitely builds on what was in Accused and is a pretty significant part of both books.

Though the attention given to Mary's relationships and family can sometimes keep this feeling too nice to really be a thriller, I do like the inclusion. Both of her cases (from the two books) have involved children and their families, how those relationships function or don't and any legal repercussions and the parallels between Mary and her relationships works well.

I thought that the area of the legal system Mary has to discover in this book (it may be spoilery to actually say which area that is) was more believable and fit better than with Book 2, Betrayed and what Judy learned. It made sense here for Mary to not be familiar with the workings of that part of the system and the way she was educated about it, along with the readers, didn't seem strange. (When Judy had to be told thinks like ICE was Immigration and  Customs Enforcement, it made her seem ignorant. Definitions and distinctions Mary was told about were understandable.)

Parts of the ending of Damaged do seem to wrap up very neatly and can feel almost too sweet and fairy tale like, yet at the same time, they somehow still fit with the story and aren't actually too much. The way the story unfolded, with several unexpected occurrences, some with legal reasons, some not, along with the characters and the relationships they were developing kept me reading right to the end.

This series is a bit 'lighter' than many thrillers, but it is a good series and I'll be looking for Book 5 to read next year.

digital review copy received, via NetGalley, from publisher

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Waiting On Wednesday [@ebain @hmhkids]

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

My pick for this week:


What if the ordinary things in life suddenly…disappeared?

Aila Quinn’s mother, Juliet, has always been a mystery: vibrant yet guarded, she keeps her secrets beyond Aila’s reach. When Juliet dies, Aila and her younger brother Miles are sent to live in Sterling, a rural town far from home--and the place where Juliet grew up.

Sterling is a place with mysteries of its own. A place where the experiences that weave life together--scents of flowers and food, reflections from mirrors and lakes, even the ability to dream--vanish every seven years.

No one knows what caused these “Disappearances,” or what will slip away next. But Sterling always suspected that Juliet Quinn was somehow responsible--and Aila must bear the brunt of their blame while she follows the chain of literary clues her mother left behind.

As the next Disappearance nears, Aila begins to unravel the dual mystery of why the Disappearances happen and who her mother truly was. One thing is clear: Sterling isn’t going to hold on to anyone's secrets for long before it starts giving them up.

published July 04, 2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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


First I loved the cover. (So much.) Then I loved the first line and the next paragraph . . . and then it got even better because the question, "What if the ordinary things in life suddenly…disappeared?" is meant so much more literally than I was anticipating! I thought it was about her mother dying and having to move to an unknown town, leaving her old life behind . . .

But things actually disappear for a whole town. Every seven years.

I love the whole concept of the Disappearances, of Aila having to try to figure things out - that there are literary clues is just that much more fun - and really cannot wait to read this one!

(Also, lots of points to whomever wrote that book description.)

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

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I'm Thankful For

This week's Ten:
Thanksgiving Freebie!
10 Books I'm Thankful I Read in 2016

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

Kick Kennedy: The Charmed Life and Tragic Death of the Favorite Kennedy Daughter by Barbara Leaming

Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

Where You'll Find Me by Natasha Friend

These Vicious Masks by Kelly Zekas & Tarun Shanker

Into the Dim by Janet B Taylor

Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family by Amy Ellis Nutt

These were all books that I thought looked and/or sounded appealing but they each surprised me with must how much I enjoyed them. I really am glad that I read every one of these books this year! (I may still review Becoming Nicole in the future.)

Please leave a comment and let me know what your Top 10 is for this week or what books you've been thankful for in 2016!

Monday, November 21, 2016

In Their Shoes: Fairy Tales & Folktales (earc) review [@PushkinPress]

In Their Shoes: Fairy Tales and Folktales
Anne-Laure Mercier & Julia Nicholson, compilers; Lucy Arnoux, illustrator
Pushkin Children's Books
October 04, 2016
128 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

To coincide with a major V&A exhibition: the best shoe stories from around the world

Red shoes, golden slippers, seven-league boots... Just step into the shoes of princes and princesses, ogres and orphans, cats and rabbits, and discover a fascinating fairy-tale world of footwear.

Did you know that long ago Cinderella lived in China? That dogs in America wear boots? And that a small pair of shoes in France can fall in love?

With original illustrations by Lucie Arnoux, this is a timeless and captivating collection of fairy tales and folktales, whose footprints have lasted through the generations, over the centuries, and all around the world.
Many of the days I stayed home from school sick, I would watch an old copy of Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre - usually Rapunzel or maybe Hansel and Gretel - so I knew that Disney wasn't giving us quite everything. Still, the animated tales of the princesses with great hair and singing mice/teacups/etc are what most of us think about when it comes to fairy tales.

In Their Shoes: Fairy Tales and Folktales is here to remind us that the real versions of those stories - those that are original or close to it - weren't nearly as sweet or cute. In fact, this collection caused me to realize, once again, how glad I am not to have been a woman, or child, or animal, or really anyone at all in these stories- or the times they were written. From eating your cat to cutting off toes to killing children (those you mean to or others), there is a lot of blood, death and trickery in really all of the stories.

I liked that, at the end of each tale, we got a bit about who was believed to have written the tale and where and when it originated. It's nice to have that bit of background and to know where the tales (most of which) we know so well came from.

The illustrations that I have seen (through online previews of the book as they weren't included with the review copy) are very well done and fit the tone of the book rather well. (The black and white drawings are sweet and cute which wouldn't fit these versions of the stories.)

I enjoyed reading older versions of stories I thought I knew and reading a few that I was not familiar with. In Their Shoes has an interesting focal point (stories about shoes/feet) but it works well for this collection and is an enjoyable read.

digital copy received for review, from publisher, via NetGalley

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday

This week's Ten:
Movie Freebie
my Ten:
10 Times I Loved the Book and the Movie

The Martian
IMDb // Goodreads

To Kill a Mockingbird
IMDb // Goodreads

Warm Bodies
IMDb // Goodreads

Water for Elephants
IMDb // Goodreads

Where the Heart IS
IMDb // Goodreads

IMDb // Goodreads

Romeo and Juliet
IMDb // Goodreads

Bridge to Terabithia
IMDb // Goodreads

If I Stay
IMDb // Goodreads

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2
IMDb // Goodreads

There are other books that have been made into movies I loved and movies that were books I loved but these were ten where I enjoyed both the book and the movie they made!

Please leave a comment and let me know you what book-into-movies you loved as both books and movies!
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