Thursday, November 16, 2017

All Rights Reserved ~ Gregory Scott Katsoulis review [@HarlequinTeen ]

All Rights Reserved (Word$ #1)
Harlequin Teen
August 29, 2017
400 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon


In a world where every word and gesture is copyrighted, patented or trademarked, one girl elects to remain silent rather than pay to speak, and her defiant and unexpected silence threatens to unravel the very fabric of society.

Speth Jime is anxious to deliver her Last Day speech and celebrate her transition into adulthood. The moment she turns fifteen, Speth must pay for every word she speaks ("Sorry" is a flat ten dollars and a legal admission of guilt), for every nod ($0.99/sec), for every scream ($0.99/sec) and even every gesture of affection. She's been raised to know the consequences of falling into debt, and can't begin to imagine the pain of having her eyes shocked for speaking words that she's unable to afford.

But when Speth's friend Beecher commits suicide rather than work off his family's crippling debt, she can't express her shock and dismay without breaking her Last Day contract and sending her family into Collection. Backed into a corner, Speth finds a loophole: rather than read her speech - rather than say anything at all - she closes her mouth and vows never to speak again. Speth's unexpected defiance of tradition sparks a media frenzy, inspiring others to follow in her footsteps, and threatens to destroy her, her family and the entire city around them.

All Rights Reserved is a book that will make you think, if not about what you say, then about your ability to say it. Or the different movements and gestures you make throughout the say.

In Speth Jime's world it is absolutely astounding how many things, how many little aspects of daily life have been monetized. Nearly everything - every word or gesture is trademarked, ads are everywhere and everything from buzzing someone's apartment to medical procedures requires agreeing to Terms of Service.- is a transaction. It's not a fair economy either.

People like Speth and her family have to pay for every word they say, trying to live a life while avoiding Collection.

Ordinarily, I want background on dystopian worlds, to know how things devolved from what we know now - or can foresee - and what the characters are experiencing. It was one hundred percent for the better, though, that we don't get that in All Rights Reserved. The story is told by Speth, which is necessary given that she doesn't speak, and to her the world is what it is. Those in Speth's world don't have a US history class that teaches them about freedom of speech, so they can't wonder, let alone know how things got so bad.

Having the characters not aware of how different their world is from ours, really allows readers to experience their world and lives. We don't get that objective view point saying, "Well this is wrong," or, "Here's how this came to be," Instead you get things from Speth's view point. And it's that much more rewarding and exciting as her knowledge and view evolve and grow.

I am really eager to see what the sequel Access Restricted holds for Speth and the others and if we get more of that background information.





Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday [@kris10writes @torteen]

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

My pick for this week:



PACIFICA by Kristen Simmons

Marin is cosario royalty, a pirate like her father and his father before him. Sailing the ocean to chase adventure is in her blood. But these days no one cares that the island town her people call home is named after her grandfather. They have a new leader, one who promises an end to their hunger – and one who thinks that girls are meant for the kitchen or the brothel. Marin knows she's meant for more than that, and with the sudden influx of weapons on the island, and rumors of a pending deal with the enemy oil nation in her wake, she knows a big score to gain the council's favor is the only way to save her people, and herself.

Ross lives a life of privilege. As the president's son he wants for nothing, but he longs for a life of adventure. On a dare, he convinces his best friend Adam to sneak out to the Docks, the site of local race riots between the poor Shorlings and the upper class. But when Adam is arrested along with the other Shorlings, and not even the president is willing to find him, Ross finds himself taking matters into his own hands. He journeys back into the Docks, ready to make deals with anyone, even a beautiful pirate, if it means Adam's safe return.

When Marin and Ross meet in dangerous Shoreling territory he sees a way to get his friend back and she sees her ticket home. The ransom a president’s son would command could feed her people for years and restore her family’s legacy. But somewhere in the middle of the ocean, Marin must decide if her heart can handle handing over the only person who has ever seen her as more than a pirate.



published March 06th by Tor Teen

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


Why?


I love pirates - at least the fictional ones - and really love tough, female pirates. I am especially intrigued by how Pacifica seems to be a mix of pirates, politics, family, friendship and maybe romance.

With both the inclusion of pirates and a presidents's son, 'oil nation,' I am very curious to see where and when Pacifica is set. (And how that affects gender roles and stereotypes, how Marin was raised and what's expected of her,  if it makes life for her as a pirate different from an ordinary young woman, etc.)

(Plus, I loved Article 5 and the the world and characters Kristen Simmons created there.)

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 14, 2017

Artemis ~ Andy Weir (earc) review [@andyweirauthor @CrownPublishing]

Artemis
Crown Publishing Group
November 14, 2017
384 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon


Jazz Bashara is a criminal.

Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you're not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you've got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she's stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.


If humans ever had to colonize the moon - or simply really wanted to - I think Andy Weir might be able to tell us what to do.  His imagining of Artemis, the first city on the moon actually makes sense and, at least seems like, it could work.

This book gives me answers to questions I didn't even know to ask. (But I am sure someone reading it would have.) So, while I couldn't have known to questions those elments of how living on the moon works, knowing how makes it that much


There were definitely bits I did not understand - though Jazz or other characters explained them, somewhat - but it didn't really matter. It all makes sense once it's done and as a part of the bigger picture.

I love that Jazz is a (sort of) criminal who grew up on the moon, who needs money, and who is incredibly smart and resourceful.If The Martian's Mark Watney was a, "nerdy MacGvyer in space," then Jazz is a slightly less nerdy, but probably just as smart one with fancier tolls. And welding abilities. (Though duct tape does still come into play. ) 

It is especially rewarding the way Jazz's history, her friendships or alliances, those she's had failings out with and people who have given her trouble all play a role in what happens to Jazz. And what she needs to do. The mix of personal relationships, past mistakes, Jazz's desire for more money and a more comfortable life, the politics of Artemis and the lovely, lovely science make for sch a great, captivating and exciting read. Jazz runs into problems, thanks to her unique location, that I never anticipated and it made me both anxious and curious as to how she would solve them.

Jazz is smart, she's funny, she holds grudges, she isn't fantastic with friendships, and (as she admits) she makes bad life decisions  but it all makes her a fantastic character. Even as she's doing some things you might not want her to do, you're amazed at how she thinks to accomplish them . . . and you want it to work. Despite yourself, you want her to succeed.

I love Andy Weir, his funny, maybe even sardonic, characters, the problems they run into and the inventive, brilliant solutions they devise. His science fiction can feel more like science fact and I want more, more, more.






review copy received thanks to publisher, via NetGalley

Monday, November 13, 2017

Doctor Who: Myths & Legends ~ Richard Dinnick (earc) review [@richarddinnick @bbcdoctorwho]

Adrian Salmon, illustrator
Doctor Who: Myths and Legends
BBC Books/Penguin Group UK
September 12, 2017 (International)/June 29, 2017 (UK)
288 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon


For thousands of years, epic stories have been passed down from Time Lord to student, generation to generation. The truth of these tales was lost millennia ago, but the myths and legends themselves are timeless.

These are the most enduring of those tales. From the princess Manussa and her giant snake Mara, to the Vardon Horse of Xeriphin, these stories shed light on the universe around us and the beings from other worlds that we meet. Myths hold up a mirror to our past, present and future, explaining our culture, our history, our hopes and fears.

A collection of epic adventures from the Time Lords’ mist-covered past, Myths and Legends is an unforgettable gallery of heroes and villains, gods and monsters.


Earlier this year when a hurricane knocked the power out for several days and I realized how many more stars you could see*. Looking at all of those stars, it was hard not to wonder what could be on or around them.  Doctor Who: Myths and Legends presents some possibility.

Some of the myths and legends re-imagined to involve Time Lords were ones I was familiar with:  including Medusa, King Midas; and those I was not: stories with the Argonauts, the Cumaean Sibyl. Interestingly, I think I more enjoyed those stories where they myth was already known to me. I liked seeing how the author changed things up, where Doctor Who characters and/or ideas were inserted into these well known tales.

The more you know of Doctor Who, the different Doctors and all of the different alien planets and species they've encountered, the more you will recognize in Myths and Legends. These are not all sttories where the Doctor comes in, obvious in who they are and saves the day. Some give us more insight into Gallifrey, its past and attempts to extend its reach.l while others show us how certain beings go to be where they were when viewers encountered them (like, say, a Soviet sub in 1983).

Some of the stories did fall a bit short for me, seeming to not really resolve themselves or have satisfactory endings. (Though it could have been that I was unfamiliar with what Doctor Who episode/character/story they were involved in .) Others though, were fun, imaginative and did a great job both re-imagining the myths and legends we already know and including Whovian characters, lore, facts and ideas.

This collection is likely more enjoyable for Doctor Who fans  (and more so the more of it you've retrained) but fans of re-imaginings and science fiction may also find it a fun read, as well.




*This needs to be a thing everywhere






review copy received from publisher, via NetGalley

Friday, November 10, 2017

Book Trailer Friday [@katejaneneal @simonkids_UK] #wordsandyourheart

It's Friday so it's time for another book trailer. This week I picked Words and Your Heart by Kate Jane Neal:



Your words are amazing! This book is about your heart. The little bit inside of you that makes you, you!

A very timely book about the power of words – and how we use them. Told through the eyes of Pip and Cat, this book beautifully demonstrates the importance of what we say – both positive and negative. Thoughtful, warm-hearted and completely non-preachy, this is a book that has already resonated with large numbers of children, whose teachers report a sea of change in the culture of their classroom after reading it.

A universal message, for a world that always needs a little more kindness.

'A beautiful book that tells a strong story that spans all generations' – Donna J
'Truly beautiful and effective' – Jo E
'Possibly the most beautiful present I have ever received' – Lisa W



Simon & Schuster Children's Books // November 01, 2017 // 32 pages  // Book Depository // Publisher // Amazon

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

There's Someone Inside Your House ~ Stephanie Perkins review [@DuttonYR @naturallysteph] #TheresSomeoneInsideYourHouse

There's Someone Inside Your House
Dutton Books for Young Readers
September 26, 2017
289 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

Love hurts...

Makani Young thought she'd left her dark past behind her in Hawaii, settling in with her grandmother in landlocked Nebraska. She's found new friends and has even started to fall for mysterious outsider Ollie Larsson. But her past isn't far behind.

Then, one by one, the students of Osborne Hugh begin to die in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasingly grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and her feelings for Ollie intensify, Makani is forced to confront her own dark secrets.


Somehow, There's Someone Inside Your House was both sweet and creepy. It seems like it shouldn't work: let's be honest, in a horror movie, you might like characters and be pulling for them to come out of it all alive, you might even want them to get a happily ever after together. But the relationships aren't really the focus of the story.

In There's Someone Inside Your House, though, I really liked the characters and they had well written, real relationships. From Makani and her grandmother (and the lack of her parents) to Makani and Alex and Darby - and Makani and Ollie, they are characters you care about, their bonds seem real and you want them to figure out what's happening but to stay safe while doing so.

The novel managed to be unsettling and anxiety inducing through some small occurrences/more so than big, dramatic ones. Even after students had been murdered, it was some of those small things that set you on edge. It was hard to know who was truly safe . . . or for how long.

The answers we get by the end of the novel are almost more dramatic for their lack of being something big, showy or over the top. It is something that seems so absurd, yet also makes a lot of sense.

I really appreciated the way that why Makani was sent to live in Nebraska, what had really happened, worked into the story. It was both completely separate from the killings and not at all, at least for her. Her struggling with that secret, the relationships she was trying to build, and the horror and fear around a killer all worked together better than I anticipated. This is a sweet, cute story that will also set your nerves on edge and have you watching the shadows.



Waiting On Wednesday [@gwendoclare @ImprintReads #fiercereads]

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

My pick for this week:



INK, IRON, AND GLASS by Gwendolyn Clare

Can she write a world gone wrong?

A certain pen, a certain book, and a certain person can craft entirely new worlds through a branch of science called scriptology. Elsa comes from one such world that was written into creation by her mother—a noted scriptologist.

But when her home is attacked and her mother abducted, Elsa must cross into the real world and use her own scriptology gifts to find her. In an alternative 19th-century Italy, Elsa finds a secret society of pazzerellones—young people with a gift for mechanics, alchemy or scriptology—and meets Leo, a gorgeous mechanist with a smart mouth and a tragic past. She recruits the help of these fellow geniuses just as an assassin arrives on their doorstep.

In this thrilling debut, worlds collide as Elsa unveils a deep political conspiracy seeking to unlock the most dangerous weapon ever created—and only she can stop it.


published February 20th by Imprint

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


Why?

I love that Ink, Iron, and Glass is fantasy and sort of historical fiction - especially that Elsa, the main character, knows that it is a 'alternative' version of 19th-century Italy. I am really curious to see if she will know the ways that it is different from the real 19th-century Italy and if that historical reality for her is the same as ours. The idea of scriptology presents so many possibilities.

The mix of historical fiction, fantasy, and time travel, along with Elsa's desire to rescue her mother have me very much looking forward to reading Ink, Iron, and Glass.



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

Monday, November 6, 2017

Dividing Eden ~ Joelle Charbonneau review [@jcharbonneau @epicreads @harperteen[

Dividing Eden
Harper Teen
June 06, 2017
336 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon


Twins Carys and Andreus were never destined to rule Eden. With their older brother next in line to inherit the throne, the future of the kingdom was secure.

But appearances—and rivals—can be deceiving. When Eden’s king and crown prince are killed by assassins, Eden desperately needs a monarch, but the line of succession is no longer clear. With a ruling council scheming to gain power, Carys and Andreus are faced with only one option—to take part in a Trial of Succession that will determine which one of them is worthy of ruling the kingdom.

As sister and brother, Carys and Andreus have always kept each other safe—from their secrets, from the court, and from the monsters lurking in the mountains beyond the kingdom’s wall. But the Trial of Succession will test the bonds of trust and family.

With their country and their hearts divided, Carys and Andreus will discover exactly what each will do to win the crown. How long before suspicion takes hold and the thirst for power leads to the ultimate betrayal?

In Dividing Eden author Joelle Charbonneau shows us a complicated sibling relationship made all the more complicated by the fact that the siblings are twins -and royalty.  Carys has been protecting her brother Andreus for nearly her whole life. Putting herself in harm's way (sometimes quite literally) so that he can keep his secret. He knew it and loved and appreciated her for it.

Or, at least, he used to. Now? Things are not so certain.

Admittedly, I did read Dividing Eden at a time when I was able to identify with Carys much more than I would have liked but I think the author did a great job with their relationship. We see not only what things were like for them in the past - both those things others knew about and the things kept hidden - but we then how things change as well. They are no longer the children of the kind and the younger siblings of the crown prince. Now there is the possibility of ruling. Of one of them ruling.

The opportunity for power, to rule Eden, what that could mean for them, the different people with stakes (apparent or hidden) in the Trial of Succession's outcome, alliances, love and betrayal will test them in ways they never expected.

There were characters in Dividing Eden that I loved, some that frustrated me, ones that made me curious to know more about them and  maybe some I wanted to fall off the battlements. I am really looking forward to the second book, Eden Conquered, hopefully finding out more about some characters - who they are, what they want - and what happens between Carys and Andreus and to Eden.





Another Book You May Also Enjoy: Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis (They both have royal families, some magic or magical beliefs, threats to the kingdom - and threats within their families.(



Friday, November 3, 2017

Book Trailer Friday [@PeterBognanni @penguinteen]

Things I'm Seeing Without You by Peter Bognanni was released last month. Here is the novel's book trailer:


Seventeen-year-old Tess Fowler has just dropped out of high school. She can barely function after learning of Jonah’s death. Jonah, the boy she’d traded banter with over texts and heartfelt e-mails.

Jonah, the first boy she'd told she loved and the first boy to say it back.

Jonah, the boy whose suicide she never saw coming.

Tess continues to write to Jonah, as a way of processing her grief and confusion. But for now she finds solace in perhaps the unlikeliest of ways: by helping her father with his new alternative funeral business, where his biggest client is . . . a prized racehorse?

As Tess’s involvement in her father’s business grows, both find comfort in the clients they serve and in each other. But love, loss, and life are so much more complicated than Tess ever thought. Especially after she receives a message that turns her life upside down.



Dial Books // October 03, 2017 // 336 pages // Goodreads // Book Depository // Amazon

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Two Nights ~ Kathy Reichs (earc) review [@KathyReichs @penguinrandom]

Two Nights
Bantam
July 11, 2017
336 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

Meet Sunday Night, a woman with physical and psychological scars, and a killer instinct...

Sunnie has spent years running from her past, burying secrets and building a life in which she needs no one and feels nothing. But a girl has gone missing, lost in the chaos of a bomb explosion, and the family needs Sunnie's help.

Is the girl dead? Did someone take her? If she is out there, why doesn't she want to be found? It's time for Sunnie to face her own demons because they just might lead her to the truth about what really happened all those years ago.


So first thing: Sunday Night? Yes, it sounds like a very cheesy name but do not judge Two Nights on that - really, please, please don't.  There is a reason that is her name (it'd be spoilery to explain) and it works. Plus, Sunday can be Sunnie, to.

I really enjoyed Sunday's character. There was something about her that felt more like the male characters I have read in mystery/thriller/crime novels. I still am not sure if it was her personality or if it was because she did not fall into any of the slots we think of for female cops/investigators. She isn't married, she isn't dating or looking to, she doesn't have kids, there isn't a close (or strained but there) relationship with her parents, she doesn't have pets. (Or doesn't exactly have a pet.) 

We don't know a lot about her past - only things that are alluded to, that she had some bad, rough, violent, painful experiences. That past plays a lot into how she works now and how determined she can be. I liked not knowing how far she would go and what lines Sunnie would cross. It also made me want to know just what had happened. Sunnie is a fantastic, unique, complex character that was so much fun to read about.

The way Two Nights and Sunnie's quest to find the girl unfolded was full of some real shocks and great locations. More than once I was very surprised by a character or who they were or their role in the story. The author seemed to do a great job really putting Sunnie in each location, in a way that felt like you were there and not that she had looked things up on Google Maps. (Both of those things - the character surprises and locations - did end up leaving me unsure about one aspect based on my personal knowledge but it isn't something you would otherwise question.)

Two Nights is a satisfying mystery with a fresh, unique character. I am sorry we won't see more of Sunday Night but I liked how Two Nights ended.








digital review copy received from publisher, via NetGalley

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday [@bloomsburykids @sarahcrossan]

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

My pick for this week:



MOONRISE by Sarah Crossan

With little money or support, Joe Moon, seventeen, travels to Texas to help the older brother he barely knows through his last few weeks before being executed for murder.


published May 08th* by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

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


Why?

I really loved Sarah Crossan's novels One (review) and Apple and Rain (♡ ♡ review ♡ ♡) . I adored the characters - especially in Apple and Rain - and their relationships. The author did a fantastic job showing readers these complicated, sometimes troubled, not-quite-the-norm families and their dynamics and made them seem beyond real.

Given all of that, I am very, very eager to read Moonrise and find out who Joe is, who is brother is, why his brother is being executed, why they don't know each other, why Joe was the one going to Texas -- and what happens between the brothers once he reaches his destination. I have high hopes for this novel and cannot wait until its (the US edition, UK is already out) released.


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



*I have also seen a February publication date, but the Bloomsbury site says May

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Ghost Stories


This week's Ten:

this week it's a Halloween Freebie so my top ten is . . .

10 Ghost Stories




Sisters of Blood and Spirit (#1) by Kady Cross

Dead and Buried by Kim Harington

Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell

The Unquiet by Jeannine Garsee



Texas Gothic (#1) by Rosemary Clement-Moore
Goodreads

The Girl from the Well (#1) by Rin Chupeco

Into the Grey by Celine Kiernan

The Restorer (#1) by Amanda Stevens

Silence (#1) by Michelle Sagara



Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire

Also? You should watch the Casper movie today. (Or any day really.)


Please leave a comment and let me know your favorite ghost stories - or ghost characters!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Lie to Me ~ JT Ellison (earc) review [@thrillerchick @MIRAEditors ‏ @HarlequinBooks]

Lie to Me
Mira Books
September 05, 2017
426 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon


They built a life on lies

Sutton and Ethan Montclair’s idyllic life is not as it appears. The couple seems made for each other, but the truth is ugly. Consumed by professional and personal betrayals and financial woes, the two both love and hate each other. As tensions mount, Sutton disappears, leaving behind a note saying not to look for her.

Ethan finds himself the target of vicious gossip as friends, family and the media speculate on what really happened to Sutton Montclair. As the police investigate, the lies the couple have been spinning for years quickly unravel. Is Ethan a killer? Is he being set up? Did Sutton hate him enough to kill the child she never wanted and then herself? The path to the answers is full of twists that will leave the reader breathless.

J.T. Ellison's Lie to Me leaves readers unsure of who - if anyone - they can trust . The way the story is told from who is narrating it to the jumps between the past and present not only add to the uncertainty of just what is really the truth but serve to increase the tension, as well. It is hard to even be sure which characters you like because no one seems to have quite the same view of anyone else. This person thinks that person is nice and sweet and naive while this second person thinks they're calculating and manipulative.

Some may be lying, some may be trying to implicate (or exonerate) someone else, but some are also telling the truth as they see it. In Lie to Me the author does a fantastic job using all of the different sides of her characters - the different parts of themselves they share with different people - as well as the different way people see each other; the things one person notices and latches on to versus what a different person focuses on.  It makes the characters that much more believable and easier to relate to - while also leaving you less sure of, well, anything.

The narration changes made the story even better. Those different first person insights really show us what the characters is thinking, as opposed to what another narrator attributed to them.

Lie to Me was a thriller that kept me guessing right up to the very last sentence and was full of multifaceted characters and complicated histories. This novel really used all of who each character was, their pasts, their secrets, their hopes and their fears, their relationships with each other to build a mystery that is satisfying and unexpected.







digital review copy received from publisher, via NetGalley

Friday, October 27, 2017

Book Trailer Friday {@penguinteen jessicafreeburg @jayasherguy @JeffStokely]

A graphic novel reimagining of the Pied Piper tale, Piper by Jay Asher and Jessica Freeburg, illustrated by Jeff Stokely, will be published by Razorbill next week. Here is the book trailer:


about Piper:

Long ago, in a small village in the middle of a deep, dark forest, there lived a lonely, deaf girl named Maggie. Shunned by her village because of her disability, her only comfort comes from her vivid imagination. Maggie has a gift for inventing stories and dreams of one day finding her fairy-tale love.

When Maggie meets the mysterious Piper, it seems that all her wishes are coming true. Spellbound, Maggie falls hard for him and plunges headfirst into his magical world. But as she grows closer to the Piper, Maggie discovers that he has a dark side.

The boy of Maggie's dreams might just turn out to be her worst nightmare..




Razorbill // October 31, 2017 // 140 pages // Goodreads // Book Depository // Amazon

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday [@exrpan @LittleBrownYR]

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

My pick for this week:



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

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.


published March 20th by Little Brown Books for Young Readers

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


Why?

The first part of this book's description had me intrigued: why was Leigh certain that her mother became a bird? And how is that certainty connected to her travelling to Taiwan?

Then, once there was more said about not only what she discovers in her search but also about what Leigh was doing when her mother died, I really wanted to read The Astonishing Color of After. I love that this is a book about family secrets and history and ghosts (be they metaphorical or literal)  but it's also a book about a girl grieving the loss of her mother (not to mention whatever kissing her best friend throws into the mix).

"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." That right there? Sounds so much like a book I should read.

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

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Hanging Girl ~ Eileen Cook (earc) review [@HMHKids @eileenwriter]

The Hanging Girl
HMH Books for Young Readers
October 03, 2017
320 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

Skye Thorn has given tarot card readings for years, and now her psychic visions are helping the police find the town’s missing golden girl. It’s no challenge—her readings have always been faked, but this time she has some insider knowledge. The kidnapping was supposed to be easy—no one would get hurt and she’d get the money she needs to start a new life. But a seemingly harmless prank has turned dark, and Skye realizes the people she’s involved with are willing to kill to get what they want and she must discover their true identity before it’s too late.

The Hanging Girl was another one of those books where I had forgotten what it was supposed to be about by the time I started reading it. Not knowing what was to come for Skye - and not knowing what it was she was getting herself involved in, was a lot of fun.

I liked the setup of a girl who makes money from tarot card readings but who does not believe, at all, that she has some sort of psychic ability. Rather, he readings rely on her ability to read people, to keep things enough open to interpretation to please people - and using any other knowledge she has of them.

It works really well that we get to see not only what Skye does (her tarot card readings, charging for them) but also her financial situation and how desperate she is to get out after graduation before finding out what she's involved in. Though you don't know at first just what it is Skye got into (and maybe she doesn't, either) or why exactly, you can still understand her acquiescence.

Life is not awesome for Skye and this is her way to fix that. Somehow. Maybe.

When things started to go wrong, I both wanted Skye to tell someone- and really be honest, not tell them more of her 'psychic visions' - but I could also understand her hesitancy to do so. Skye was not someone who seemed to make great choices (even aside from the big, obvious one) and I did not think she had really thought through oa lot of the logistics or facts of how things were supposed to go. Still, trying to piece together the mystery, of what Skye should do and what would happen if she did (or didn't) was a thrilling read.

The Hanging Girl definitely, definitely had some surprising and shocking twists and turns. Even the pieces that seemed simple were not and the pieces I was able to guess still added to the mystery because I had no idea how the characters would react if (or when) they put things together. The Hanging Girl is an original, thrilling tread that will keep you guessing right to the last page.






digital review copy received from publisher, via NetGalley

Top Ten Tuesday: Unique Book Titles


This week's Ten:
Top 10 Unique Book Titles


The Sky Always Hears Me: And the Hills Don't Mind by Kirstin Cronn-Mills



The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock



Bad Girls With Perfect Faces by Lynn Weingarten



The Girl Who Circumvented Fiairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente  & Ana Juan (Illustrator)



Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust



Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson



My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Anmabel Pitcher



The Patron Saint of Butterflies by Cecilia Galante



How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford



Love (and Other Uses for Duct Tape) (Belle #2) by Carrie Jones





Please leave a comment and let me know your picks for unique book titles!!
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