Saturday, January 31, 2015
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
Buy the Book
Blessed with—or doomed to—eternal life after drinking from a magic spring, the Tuck family wanders about trying to live as inconspicuously and comfortably as they can. When ten-year-old Winnie Foster stumbles on their secret, the Tucks take her home and explain why living forever at one age is less of a blessing than it might seem. Complications arise when Winnie is followed by a stranger who wants to market the spring water for a fortune.
A brand-new introduction from Gregory Maguire, the author of Wicked, and additional bonus materials make this special edition of Natalie Babbitt's Tuck Everlasting a must-have for lovers of the book and a great way to introduce a new generation to a classic.
I first read Tuck Everlasting in my fifth grade classroom. It's one of those books that's stuck around through the generations for a reason--namely, that it's flipping fantastic, and mostly because the main question posed in it is one that will resonate forever (heh):
What if you could live forever?
Sometimes it's really hard for me to keep track of what comes out what month, especially while juggling early reviews and publisher catalogues and all the other confusing bookish things bloggers deal with. It's just a LOT OF BOOKS ALL THE TIME. How do you ever keep them straight?! So on the last day of the month, I post a guide to what books I'm most looking forward to in the following month and that you should keep an eye on. So, since it's the last day in January, here are the February releases most tempting me:
Friday, January 30, 2015
AHHHHH! it's Thursday, which mean it's the day I fly to Chicago for ALA Midwinter at the buttcrack of the buttcrack of dawn! I have no idea what to expect, as I've never been to ALA before, but I'll be staying with the wonderful Gaby from Bookish Broads who HAS and can hopefully keep me from being utterly overwhelmed. (For those who don't know, ALA is a convention held by the American Library Association for librarians (duh) and it's all about books and libraries and...library books? Clearly I know exactly what I'm doing here).
I hear it's a lot more chill than BEA, which I've gone to twice. literally, since it's in Chicago in January, which...I want the name of the person who decided THAT and we shall have WORDS. But anyway, preparing for ALA is part of the reason the blog's been mostly quiet this week, and ATTENDING ALA is the reason it will continue to be quiet this weekend. Regularly scheduled irregularly scheduled blogging shall commence on Monday.
IF YOU'RE GOING, HIT ME UP! Tweet me or comment here or shout at me fromacross the conference hall. I don't know. Whatever's your style, man. I'd love to meet up or have somebody who actually knows what they're doing keep me from making a total fool of myself!
Monday, January 26, 2015
Review: Geek Girl by Holly Smale
Release date: January 27th, 2015
Length: 384 (?? felt like a much shorter book to me)
Source: eARC via Edelweiss
Rating: If Meg Cabot and Georgia Nicolson had a baby (after writing this I realized that the blurb LITERALLY SAYS THIS so there you go)
Geek + runway = a hilarious runaway hit! This bestselling UK debut is full of humor and high-fashion hijinks—and now it’s coming to America.
Harriet Manners is tired of being labeled a geek. So when she’s discovered by a modeling agent, she seizes the chance to reinvent herself. There’s only one problem: Harriet is the definition of awkward. Does she have what it takes to transform from geek to chic?Geek Girl is the first book in a hilarious new trilogy. It was also the #1 bestselling YA debut of 2013 in the UK, where it was shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize and won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize for Best Book for Teens. With all the humor and fabulous shenanigans of Louise Rennison’s Confessions of Georgia Nicolson and Meg Cabot’s The Princess Diaries, Geek Girl is about to become an international superstar.
I liked this! It was cute, fluffy, and EXTREMELY FUNNY. it was a super fast read and kept me highly entertained, both despite of and because of its absurd premise. I wonder why it took so long for this UK sensation to make it all the way across the pond.
Thursday, January 22, 2015
Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Release date: February 10th, 2015
Source: eARC via Edelweiss
Rating: Total crackbook.
Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood—those with red and those with silver. Mare and her family are lowly Reds, destined to serve the Silver elite whose supernatural abilities make them nearly gods. Mare steals what she can to help her family survive, but when her best friend is conscripted into the army she gambles everything to win his freedom. A twist of fate leads her to the royal palace itself, where, in front of the king and all his nobles, she discovers a power of her own—an ability she didn't know she had. Except . . . her blood is Red.
To hide this impossibility, the king forces her into the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks her new position to aid the Scarlet Guard—the leaders of a Red rebellion. Her actions put into motion a deadly and violent dance, pitting prince against prince—and Mare against her own heart.
From debut author Victoria Aveyard comes a lush, vivid fantasy series where loyalty and desire can tear you apart and the only certainty is betrayal.
I read this book in less than a day, but I've been putting off my review of it for well over a month because I'm seriously struggling with putting into words WHY. Was it a perfect book? No, definitely not. Do I want the sequel with the fire of a thousand dragons? Pretty please with extra dragons on top.
Sunday, January 18, 2015
Review: The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
Release date: January 13th, 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown
Source: ARC from BEA15
Rating: A dark faerie tale that shimmers with imagination. I LURVED IT.
Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.
Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.
At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.
Until one day, he does…
As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?
Fae books and Gillian can be a tricky mix. When I was a wee Gillian, I remember loving Black's Spiderwick Chronicles (and trying to draw my own versions of all of Tony DiTerlizzi's UHMAYZING illustrations, but that's another story), which deal with faerie-like beasts and trolls and whatnot. But I've not had much success with all the Fae books I've tried in the twelve year interim, so it was with some wariness that I picked up The Darkest Part of the Forest. (I've also not read any other Black books besides Spiderwick.)
Obviously, I needn't have worried.
Saturday, January 17, 2015
Thursday, January 15, 2015
Monday, January 12, 2015
I try to be a really positive person online. I like to gush, I like exclamation points, I like gifs and fangirling and fictional people making out and puppies and rainbows and cupcakes. But clearly nobody is that positve ALL the time, and sometimes negative things happen in your life or in the blogging community that affect you. I'm not really a Debbie Downer in person, either, unless you're trying to force me onto a treadmill (don't), I'm out of coffee, or I'm REALLY fucking hungry.
(I also swear like a sailor in real life but I think this just, um, adds to my class and charm and WHIMSY.)
Saturday, January 10, 2015
Friday, January 9, 2015
Mini DNF reviews for Woven by Michael Jensen and David Powers King, The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall, and The Boy Next Door by Katie Van Ark. Two I'll pick up again sometime in the future, and one has had its LAST CHANCE WITH ME. Dun dun dunnnnn
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Review: The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima
Release date: October 6th, 2009--October 23rd, 2012
Rating: Fantasy at its finest.
I already did a review for book one in this series, The Demon King, but I wanted to dicuss the last three in one because 1) the synopses for the later books are SO SPOILERY that I don't dare display them for your virgin eyes 2) I read them all in the space of a few days so they kind of blur together in the best way 3) I want to make you all read this series, and only those of you who've already ready the early books could read my later reviews, and that's just NOT ACCEPTABLE. Ergo, big massive group rave of a review.
Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Soooo if you have eyes and are using those eyes to read this you can probably tell I went over ten juuuust the slightest bit. I did ONLY of books I haven't read (which clearly narrowed it down SOOOOO much) but, you know, I like to pimp debuts! Yay for debuts!
Monday, January 5, 2015
Review: All Fall Down by Ally Carter
Release date: January 27th, 2014
Series: Yes, #1 in the Embassy Row series
Length: 320 pages
Rating:While I get the feeling this won't be my fave Ally Carter book (it's surprisingly heavy), it's a start to what could be a great series
Grace can best be described as a daredevil, an Army brat, and a rebel. She is also the only granddaughter of perhaps the most powerful ambassador in the world and Grace has spent every summer of her childhood running across the roofs of Embassy Row.
Now, at age sixteen, she's come back to stay - in order to solve the mystery of her mother's death. In the process, she uncovers an international conspiracy of unsettling proportions, and must choose her friends and watch her foes carefully if she and the world are to be saved.
This is my first Ally Carter book, and while I can tell it's probably not as fun as her usual books, I also know that I very much want to read the others. Her style is really fun and funny full of intrigue. This wasn't a standout to me, but I'm definitely a Carter fan in the making. (Also... WHOA does the book end right before all the answers and just when things are getting super twisty! NO FAIR.)
I was expecting lightness and fun-ness and spy-ness from this book, going off what I know about her others. This probably colored my expectations (I wasn't really in the mood for trauma and darkness and psychological thrillery bits), so while I was surprised by how dark this book was, I do think Carter pulled it off. Was it my favorite ever thing? No. Does the (way too short!) book leave off in a place that is oh-so-very intriguing? Yes!
Saturday, January 3, 2015
I just want to start off by saying I love reading challenges. Flights of Fantasy and Bookish Bingo are two of my favorite 2015 challenges, but there are great ones you can participate in that encourage you to read more debuts or more diversity or more anything you want. Yay for reading challenges!
And now I'll explain why I don't ever do them.