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Showing posts from September, 2013

New Adult Pretties

Within the next few months, two writers I adore are coming out with New Adult titles written under their brand spanking new NA pseudonyms. I was kind of charmed at how well these two covers go together, and while I remain two parts skeptical/one part intrigued by the current massive explosion of NA titles, when it's done right, I love it. And so given my stellar track record with these authors, I will definitely be checking them out just as soon as I can.

Deeperby Robin York (aka Ruthie Knox)
So. I give you shady boys who work in bakeries, disillusioned girls who cannot sleep, and the tragic consequences of betrayal in a digital world. As always with Knox, this is gonna be good.
Due out January 28th

One & Onlyby Viv Daniels (aka Diana Peterfreund)
Here we have secret half-sisters, dastardly businessmen, geeky bespectacled scientists, and a whole lotta angst. Peterfreund was writing top-notch New Adult novels long before it was a thing. I just know this one's going to hit th…

This Time You've Outdone Yourself, Or Angie's Top Ten Best Sequels EVER

Top Ten Tuesday is a bookish meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish
"Sequel" is just one of the best words ever coined, isn't it? That one word has been sending chills down my spine for time immemorial it seems. So when asked to come up with ten of the best ones out there, I decided to pull the reins in tight so to speak. We're going with direct sequels here, number two in the series every time. In most cases, I didn't think the first book could be topped. In a few select ones, the first book and I were casual acquaintances and then the author just went all in with the second, leaving me gobsmacked (I'm looking at you The Queen of Attolia). I look at this list and I'm looking at home. At falling in love. At every good thing. 

The Kestrelby Lloyd Alexander - Stuff gets real in this book. Dark nights of the soul, man. Dark nights of the soul.
The Hero and the Crownby Robin McKinley - McKinley doesn't "do" sequels. Except when she totally does…

Books Save Lives

I always enjoy highlighting Banned Books Week when it rolls around each year. This year, I came across a set of videos of authors talking about censorship, reading, and the importance of books in the lives of children, young adults, families, and communities. I particularly enjoyed these two from Laurie Halse Anderson and Sherman Alexie, both authors I have read and loved and who have insightful comments on these ever-present issues. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. I've included a couple of my favorite observations from each of them.

Censorship is the child of fear and the father of ignorance.

They need us to be brave enough to give them great books so that they can learn how to grow into the strong women and men that we need them to be.
It makes me hope that my book becomes their gateway into other books.

I know there are kids who need these books. And I know there are kids like me who aren't frightened by these books but who, you know, dream of them.

Interview with Ruthie Knox + Prize Pack Giveaway!

Those of you who follow me on Twitter know that my latest obsession is Ruthie Knox's serial novel Truly. For those of you who haven't heard, Truly is a contemporary romance available in serialized form for free right now via Wattpad. A handful of new chapters are uploaded every Monday, between September 3rd and November 4th. The whole thing is very wonderful and agonizing what with the story being mesmerizing and involving (among other things) one cantankerous rooftop beekeeper, one gal who stabs her fiancĂ© in the hand with a fork, and one surprisingly sensuous taco dinner. The first 16 chapters are already up and waiting for you to devour them. In the meantime, please welcome one of my favorite discoveries of the year—Ruthie Knox! First things first: I am accustomed  to being able to devour your latest book in a single night if I so choose. This having to wait a week in between installments of Truly is killing me by inches. What sadistic urge made you opt to release it as a s…

On Again, Off Again: My Relationship with May-December Romances

The other day I ran across a Flavorwire piece on 12 Genuinely Great Books About May-December Romances. For the record, my own list shares just one book with the Flavorwire list (Jane Eyre, naturally). But I confess, I dissolved into giggles at their Middlemarch commentary: "Do not go into the Casaubon house, Dorothea!" Amen to that, my friend. And might I add, "Why, Jo? WHY?" Scarred as a youth by the whole Jo & Laurie tragedy, May-December romances just did not work for me for a very long time. Truthfully, I think the first one that did was Jane and Rochester. In that instance, the depiction of kindred spirits finding one another across the barriers of age, station, and experience made a little home in my soul. And so I became a choosy partaker of such relationships, rather than an outright avoider. But it's still been rather hit and miss since. My inability to buy into them likely stems from a few of the usual suspects, something to do with the uneven nat…

Night Broken Cover

Today, Tor.com revealed the cover of the next Mercy Thompson novel, Night Broken. As has become tradition here, I like to post the new cover and dish about it. This is a much-beloved series, and I'm always eager to see how Dan Dos Santos chooses to depict Mercy next. Tor's cover reveal includes some fascinating comments from Dos Santos on his painting process, as well as some awesome preliminary sketches. Apparently the Ace art director and editor weren't too keen on the hooded trench he initially worked up, but I have to say I'm a fan of it. Wish he'd been allowed to keep that element. Even without it, though, this is probably my favorite Mercy cover since Blood Bound. I love her face and hair. And, guys, just look at what she's holding! Can't wait.

Review: Unraveled by Courtney Milan

So I realized that while I spend rather a lot of time lauding the genuine charms of Courtney Milan's writing, I have only reviewed one of her books. And that one a novella. Personally, I think she's elevated the novella into an art form, but her novels are incredibly entertaining as well. It's high time I went back in the stacks and reviewed possibly my favorite of her full-length novels. Rose Lerner recommended this book to me early last year and, as it is the third in Milan's Turner Brothers series, I immediately checked out the first from my local library. I made short work of all three books and, while I do love Ash (the eldest brother and hero of the first book, Unveiled) with a warm, fuzzy sort of love, I do believe this third and final book (and brother) is my favorite. It helps when the author keeps a secret for an entire series, waiting patiently to reveal it all in good time. Smite Turner was that secret. And it was a decided pleasure accompanying Miranda an…

Brontë Redux

So last month's Austen redux naturally set me brooding on my favorite BrontĂ« retellings/adaptations and how I feel differently about them. Which is to say that, for some reason, I'm more . . . open to them? I'm more often up for them? I'm not sure. I've certainly had my fair share of abysmal failures and, in fact, there are fewer total items on this list than on my Austen one. But. The ones that are on this list are so well done they just resonatewith me on a deep enough level that they are never far from my thoughts. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that for a long time I remained by and large unsatisfied with onscreen renditions of Mr. Rochester. Until Michael Fassbender came along (not perfect, mind you, but awfully good). And before you ask, yes, yes, I adore Toby Stephens (see The Tenant of Wildfell Hall below), but he just wasn't quite dark enough for me as Rochester. Whereas on the Pride and Prejudice side of things, Colin Firth did such a fin…

Tuesday Giggles: Death by Dickens Version

Melissa over at Dear Mr. Dickens created this little gem of an infographic, and I simply had to share. Anyone who's ever read or loved a Dickens novel will understand. Bleak House is bleak, man. Thanks to Leila for the heads up.

Rippling Pretties

Something about these covers makes me instantly fond of the girls they feature. Their hair rippling away on the wind, their stances both hesitant and purposeful. I like them. I think they're likely strong, and perhaps a bit mercurial. I think I shall endeavor to make their acquaintance.

Mistwalkerby Saundra Mitchell
I'll admit, I haven't read anything by Saundra Mitchell despite many resounding reviews in her favor. I'm not sure what's kept me from picking her up, but this one might be the one to do it. Set in small-town Maine and featuring a haunted lighthouse and a spirit who collects souls, it sounds like lovely, lovely reading and it is officially on my list.
Due out February 4th

Black Springby Alison Croggon
This one is (shockingly) already out, but that cover has been under my skin for awhile now. I read the first couple entries in Ms. Croggon's Books of Pellinor series and enjoyed the writing well enough. This time she turns her hand to retelling Wutherin…

Review: The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas

In a somewhat amusing turn of events, I actually picked up a copy of Sherry Thomas' debut young adult fantasy The Burning Skybecause I read one of her adult historical romances several months back and really loved it. How's that for a commentary on the state of affairs in my neck of the woods these days? And while I really do love the cover after having read it (and for blessedly not featuring any actual human beings or, worse, a young boy reaching out to a young girl in space), I really don't know if I would have picked it up on its own. In my experience, when an author transitions from adult to YA, it is often (sadly) an absolute train wreck. As though the writing has been . . . sanitized or lobotomized . . . and all I want to do is wipe my mind clean of the lost chance. This is not always the case, of course, and there are instances of the exact opposite. And when that happens, everything is beautiful and nothing hurts. But. I do tend to hold my breath. Especially when…