Animal Crossing New Horizons Book Tag

Animal Crossing is great, and the love of it sparked this cute tag by Angharad & Becky from Two Book Thieves. So of course I had to do it!

If you do want to take part, please tag them in the post or on Twitter etc so they can see your answers too!

Past VillagerWho is a character you found when you were younger that still has a place in your heart?

This is probably a tie between Menolly from HarperHall trilogy by Anne McCaffrey, Meg Murray from A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle and Aerin from The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley. I think they all three helped me feel less odd, and that being sometimes angry (like Meg), or still attempting to do things you love (like Menolly) or that finding your interests and finding a way to help when you know there’s some other way (like Aerin) weren’t so bad and you could be a heroine.

Blather’s Blatherings – Recommend a historical fiction book that you think everybody should read

I am torn between Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein or Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. Both are set during the Second World War, and in both the characters deal with camps and being prisoners. I was already interested in WWII history but they somehow sparked a further interest into concentration camps and gulags, plus the role of women in both world wars.

Celeste’s Wish – What is a future book release you wish you could read now?

The next book in the Wilde Investigations series by Laura Laasko. The first three have been amazing and I just want the next one now!

Timmy & Tommy – What is your favourite sibling relationship in a book?

There is something about Charles Wallace and Meg in Madeleine L’Engle’s books and how they are siblings and communicate and care for each other.

The Easter Bunny – A popular book character that you’re not a big fan of

Aelin form the Throne of Glass series (and the series as a whole)

Nook’s Loans – An author you’d give all your money to

So far I have a few authors who are instant buys. Tom Pollock, Sebastien de Castell, Laura Laasko, Stephanie Burgis, to be fair this list may get too long if I keep going and I will miss some.

The Sisters Able – What is your favourite fictional family (found or otherwise)?

Hum, not sure. I can’t really think of many, but I do love the relationships in Redwall series, so maybe that?

It’s a C+  – What is a book trope you don’t like that keeps popping up? 

I am not big on love triangles where the main character has to choose between two of them and they both fight it between them like Twilight or Mortal Instruments or Hunger Games. It is boring when you know that the characters will be fawning over her forever and at the end she chooses one. I prefer more complex shapes of love or relationships, and pasisng feelings. Specially as teens. Heck, I had deep crushes and sometimes long, but they also were quick to fade and something new would come. And in most cases, there’s ample time for new to show up but it doesn’t…

The Wandering Camel – What is your favourite book set in a land far away from yours?

A relatively recent one is In the Vanishers’ Palace by Aliette de Bodard, or Empire of Sand and Real of Ash by Tasha Suri. Absolutely love them (I mean I can aslo think Daevad/City of Brass)…

What Would Dodos Do?  – A fictional land you wish you could fly away to at any moment?

Oh, I think this is a very tricky question. Most of the magical lands have perils I’d prefer not to deal with, so not entirely sure I’d be happier somewhere else. Maybe Yannia’s world in Wilde Investigations or a bit of the magic in Gods of Jade and Shadow.


Enjoyed that a lot! I am terrible at tagging on blogs, but I will happily tag on Twitter 🙂

#Februwitchy TBR

It is with great trepidation that I am saying this, but I joined a readathon! I have tried joining them before but have basically been unable to stick to them. Either they’re too constrictive (one book that has a title of three letters and a unicorn in it) or they just feel like I need to read too many books or I just don’t know.

As much as I am a person that likes the security of rules and all that, I also knee jerk at them and in reading I do not like being told what to read/do (I am the one person who before school even started they would’ve read all the school books and end up reading something else during class).

Anyway, this time I have decided to join because it is hosted by Asha, and it is a topic I actually have enough books for without having to make an effort. They’re already in my shelves, or it gives me the excuse to treat myself to some books.

So without further ado, I am joining Februwitchy, which is all about witch main characters and magic. You can find the full post about it here.

Obviously, me being me, I completely forgot I needed a TBR or to look at my shelves (I knew I had the books, Compendium of Witches has been next to my laptop for ages), so on the 1st of February I haphazardly pulled witchy books out of my shelves and this (plus a couple more I have found over the last few days) is my TBR:

  • Wish for a Witch by Kaye Umanksy (they are either Stephanie’s fault or Asha’s)
  • Witch for a Week by Kaye Umansky
  • A Most Magical Girl by Karen Foxlee (this one is one of those that somehow ended up in my shelves, preorder or Waterstones shelves most probably)
  • Picklewitch & Jack by Claire Barker (this one is totally Asha’s fault)
  • The Price Guide of the Occult by Leslie Walton (preorder done way way back that I just hadn’t felt like reading)
  • The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco (this was one of those “oh, might as well treat myself to it because it is for the readthon and has been in my wishlist for a long time”)
  • These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling (preorder)
  • Witchy by Ariel Slamet Ries (I like graphic novels, follow artists on Twitter, this happened)
  • Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and illustrated by Wendy Xu (preordered because it sounded great then wanted it more after following Wendy on Twitter)
  • Compendium of Witches by Nataša Ilinčić(I stumbled upon this one, managed to get a signed sketched on edition, it was a treat I bought for myself last year).

I think it is a decent list and I may add more as I go, depending on my speed. We shall see. I am hoping this goes well and I stick to it (so far so good).

Shadow Review

Shadow by Lucy Christopher and Anastasia Suvorova

In our old house, Ma told me there was nothing to be scared of. No monsters hiding behind doors, or in wardrobes, or under beds. She said there were no dark places at all. But, in the new house, under my new bed, that’s where I found Shadow.

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I like having a stack of illustrated books to go through when I am not feeling well enough or in the mood for a big read. That isn’t to say they aren’t as wrothy, but rather, this type of books are very powerful in a small number of pages, and Shadow is one of those. [This review contains “spoilers”]

Shadow takes us on a journey into depression and “shadows”. How grief and fear can stop the world and sometimes put the ones we love into the shadows and push them away. The little girl has a good life and then they move to a new place and Ma isn’t the same so she finds a new friend to play with, Shadow.

The book is quite powerful, the artwork is very fitting in a limited palette that hints at darkness and more, but it is a good book, with lots of detail in the artwork and the wording. Good for children who would read a fun story about an imaginary friend and a daughter and mother, or for older ones who know grief, anxiety and depression.

Nevernight Review

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Mia Corvere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.
Destined to destroy empires, the child raised in shadows made a promise on the day she lost everything: to avenge herself on those that shattered her world.
But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, and Mia must become a weapon without equal. Before she seeks vengeance, she must seek training among the infamous assassins of the Red Church of Itreya.
Inside the Church’s halls, Mia must prove herself against the deadliest of opponents and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and daemons at the heart of a murder cult.
The Red Church is no ordinary school, but Mia is no ordinary student.
The shadows love her.
And they drink her fear.

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I pondered what to put up today, but I felt that this was a good choice (I am getting married).

I read Illuminae before I read Nevernight, and this is a re-read to catch up for Darkdawn. I just hadn’t reviewed it, as I had first got the hardcover from Illumicrate and that was quite a while back. Anyway, this book is an interesting choice. But it is definitely my kind of book.

One of my favourite things is the way it describes how bodies work after someone dies or just as they die. (Yes, I know, I sound morbid, but a) I am Mexican and we celebrate Day of the Dead, plus we have La Santa Muerte, and b) I worked for two years in palliative care and saw people die a few times while I was caring for them). This automatically made me love the book, because I rarely ever see death displayed this way and even though here technically death is revered, it is also different to the ways I have seen it celebrated and revered.

Mia is an interesting character and probably one of the best anti-heroes I’ve read (my other favourite is Vin from Mistborn). She is selfish and has her own motives but also navigates her own moral compass and chooses t keep it despite what the Red Church requires.

The whole academia setitng is fun but this is definitely an adult book, and as such has no filters in the way it presents the information. There is sex, abuse, violence and gore and lots of swearing, including the c word.

I enjoyed it thoroughly, including the foot notes and it was worth reading, however I can understand others not liking it and the topics are quite heavy and there is a lot of death and potential death in it.

Why did I choose it for today, because it is a stellar book.

The Power of the Masses, and of the Internet …

Heartstream

Heartstream by Tom Pollock

Amy is trapped in the house in which her mother died, and from which she’s been streaming the progress of her illness for all the world to see and feel. Now she’s all alone, even with millions of followers, and she’s on the brink of an emotional breakdown when, on the day of her mother’s funeral, things take an unexpected turn; Amy suddenly finds herself sitting in the kitchen, and drinking tea with a stranger, who’s literally about to blow her whole existence into pieces.

Cat is a superfan of the boyband Everlasting, and she lives for the fandom, a community largely run by her older friend Evie, and built around the assumption that the front figures Nick and Ryan are secretly in love with each other. But when a large group of fans starts to believe differently, and Cat finds herself in a potentially life changing situation, things rapidly starts spinning out of hers, and Evie’s, control.

When Amy’s and Cat’s stories eventually intertwine, one thing becomes unpleasantly clear: the power of the masses, and the internet, should never be underestimated.

Rating: 🐖🐖🐖🐖🐖

Heartstream has been said to be a “psychological thriller about obsession, fame and betrayal, for fans of Black Mirror”, and to my utmost pleasure I found that depiction to be utterly true. I’ve always been a big fan of Black Mirror, and of other sci-fi stories focusing on how near-future technical solutions could be used to do both harm and good; often at the same time. This novel by Tom Pollock plays around the very same themes as many of the Black Mirror episodes, and it is as interesting as it is frightening.

Without spoiling anything, I can reveal that this is a fast paced and thrilling read that was very hard to put down (you all know that “just one more chapter”-feeling), and that I was shockingly surprised with the twists and turns it took at the end of every. single. chapter. If you’re in for a gripping story that keeps throwing surprises in your face, go read Heartstream at once. But if you’re looking for clear and easy distinctions between bad and good, this may not be for you. The moral is more grey than black and white, just as it is with life (and the power of the internet) in general.

Dr. Bea approves

If you liked this book but are yet to watch Black Mirror, than what are you waiting for? Go do it already! As for books, I think Warcross, though it’s a totally different kind of story, can be said to revolve around similar dilemmas. Or, if you’re here for the puzzling parallel stories, Before We Were Yours might be the next read for you.

Lost Princesses and Weird Magic

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Romanov by Nadine Brandes

1918, Tobolsk, Russia. The revolution is rapidly moving towards its peak. The Bolsheviks have taken over from Lenin, and the Romanov Czar family are living their last months as prisoners in exile. While the hope that the White Army finally will set them free is fading, Anastasia, the youngest princess, a shadow of her former self, is secretly trying to keep her critically ill brother alive by using forbidden spell magic, the kind that got Rasputin killed. At the same time, she’s starting to connect with Zash, one of the family’s guards. But is he to be trusted? And what will happen to the family members that suddenly gets moved? As the slow days move by, Anastasia realises that she’s gotta move quick in order to save the last drops of both the magic ink and the Romanov blood. The question is just how.

Rating:🐖🐖🐖

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I received this book in May’s Seize the Crown-themed BBC box, so I didn’t have any special expectations on it prior to getting it, except that I knew it would be a re-telling, and I do LOVE re-tellings. As soon as I opened the (oh so gorgeous) package with the book, I realised it was gonna be a retelling of the Anastasia legend. I remember liking the movie, but even more so the mysteries surrounding this presumed lost princess, as a child, but it wasn’t my favourite ever and I don’t, as opposed to my buddy read comrades, recall all the songs. So, all in all, I was excited to read it because mysteries, but also not overly thrilled by the historical fiction and fantasy parts.

Romanov is a slow book. It’s sometimes thrilling, but in a VERY low key way. The whole story pretty much felt like a long prologue up until the last hundred pages, and even then, when it finally kicked off, it isn’t a book I’d stay up all night reading. I found the magic to be a bit … unbelievable? It didn’t really make sense. My biggest issue with this book though, is how it totally lacks all nuances and perspectives regarding the Russian revolution and the Bolsheviks. The Czar family are the good guys who have nothing but the people’s best interest in mind, and the Bolsheviks, or just the politically aware and engaged public, are wrong and don’t understand what’s best for them. The end. Kind of.

During the read, Anastasia did however grow on me (or maybe she just finally got to my brain). Romanov is a story about living in exile, and if you like historical portraits of royal families with a tint of magic, you should really read this book. After all, it’s beautifully epic, and it surely makes you think.

Dr. Bea approves

If you’re in for more fairytale re-tellings, check out The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Less complicated fantasy, more fast paced sci-fi, and definietly more interesting and badass princesses!

Magic warriors and transgender thoughts

Mulan

The Hand, the Eye and the Heart by Zoë Marriott

[TW: deadnaming and misgendering]

When the Chinese empire is under the threat of the cunning Leopard and his merciless men, every man and boy able to contribute to the protection of the realm are called into duty. Zhilan’s father Hua Zhou, also known as the Wild Tiger, is a retired man with a bad leg, who was severely injured during his time serving as an high ranked officer. Still, the army calls him once more. Zhilan’s mum and younger siblings are devastated, and Zhilan is fearing for both of her parents lives. In a bold move, she uses her very special gifts to transform herself into Hua Zhi, the Wild Tiger’s oldest boy, now ready to fight in his fathers place. From that on, the story is rapidly spinning into a carousel of lies and deception, but also that of a new understanding of oneself and others. And when the war is over, it’s not that sure that Zhilan will ever return.

Rating: 🐖🐖🐖

I’m a cis-woman, and I can only take on this book from my own, sometimes very narrow, experiences and understandings of gender. With that disclaimer put out there, I do feel like this is a very sensitive depiction about the fluidity of gender identity, rolls and norms; a story that tries to explore different perspective on sex and the perception of belonging, rather than trying to explain or “own” a certain point of view. It’s also a very emotional journey, that makes me relate to and feel for Hua Zhi in a way that I normally wouldn’t with a typical soldier and hero figure in this kind of tale.

The Hand, the Eye and the Heart is a retelling of the legend behind Mulan but, as described above, with a hundred more layers, dimensions and complications. The war, that has to be said to be at least one of the novel’s main conflicts, isn’t action-packed or filled with the kind of one-liners that usually makes me page forward until the word “sword” isn’t appearing twenty times in every sentence. It’s still a thrilling and exciting story, but the focus on identity and relationships makes it deeper and more low-key than other fantasy retellings of the like. However, it took me a long time to get through the book. It’s still a bit too epic for my taste, and even though it’s interesting and thought provoking, it’s not brilliant or especially outstanding.

Dr. Bea approves

If you’re in for more mythical retellings, have a look at A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston. Totally different story, but similar in style and feels.

Dream team adventures and time travelling paradoxes

StolenTimeStolen Time by Danielle Rollins

It all starts as an accident, when Ash unexpectedly crashes with his time travelling space ship in Seattle the year of 1913, on just the same day as Dorothy escapes from her own arranged marriage. Without Ash’s knowledge (or approval) she sneaks on board the shuttle, and soon after lands in Ash’s and his best friend Zora’s workshop, which is located in New Seattle year 2077. Unwillingly, but also excitedly, Dorothy becomes a part of the team that are looking for the lost Professor who can hopefully save them all, before the Black Circus, the escalating earhtquakes, or some tricky paradox kills off the entire Earth’s populations.

Rating: 🐖🐖🐖🐖

This is yet another book that I got from BookBox Club, that I was initially felt sceptical towards and probably never had picked out myself, but ended up very much enjoying. I was fearing this to be a mix of all the genres from my Big NoNo-list: historical fiction, space adventures and great life saving quests. But even though Stolen Time contains a good portion of the latter, it’s still dystopian in a very down to earth-kind of way that makes like it. There’s a bit too much action, and the book is a bit too predictable, but it’s still so thrilling that I’m really happy it’s just the first in a series.

Without spoiling anything, I also dare to say that the intrigue, on both the characters, the quests and the societal level, have much potential to develop and grow deeper in the coming sequels. But until that, this is just an exciting dream team adventure that I’ll recommend to anyone that enjoys a bit of time travelling paradoxes.

Dr. Bea approves

For more time travelling adventures, have a look at Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children-series. And if you’re searching for more sci-fi space drama, look no further than to This Splintered Silence.

 

Everdark Review

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Everdark by Abi Elphinstone

It is midnight in Crackledawn – a midnight full of magic. Sea dragons stir in the depths of the ocean, silver whales surface beneath the moon and sand goblins line the shores. Everyone is waiting for the phoenix, the guardian of the kingdom’s magic, to rise up from the forests of Everdark.

But there is no sign of the phoenix tonight. Something else surges up out of Everdark instead: a harpy bent on stealing Crackledawn’s magic.

It is up to an eleven-year-old girl called Smudge and an eccentric monkey called Bartholomew to set sail beyond the legendary Northswirl and stop the harpy before it’s too late.

So, grab your compass and roll down your sail – the first adventure in THE UNMAPPED CHRONICLES is about to begin…

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I enjoyed this little book so much and it made me want to read Rumblestar even more (I already wanted to).

We meet Smudge, who isn’t the very best at, well, anything. She struggles to be a good student, and isn’t sure she fits the potential careers she can have. We also meet her monkey companion, Bartholomew, and well, poor Smudge has no choice but to save the world because she is the only one that wasn’t cursed.

So she sets off to try to sort this out, with just her courage, and her unusual view of the world and ideas.

I enjoyed reading it very much. It is a good reminder of why I still love to read Middle Grade books even if I have no children myself and I am most definitely not a child myself.

The quest keeps moving forward, and the book does a good job at pointing out that being different and not fitting the status quo isn’t always bad, but rather, gives you an opportunity to be something else. Here it is an adventurer, but in our world we would potentially consider them to be the creatives, the innovators.

There’s a lot of magic, a lot of happy accidents that somehow help them out and a lot of courage from Smudge.

Magic Potions Book Box Club Unboxing

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I love the aesthetic feel of this box. And funnily enough, as you may have seen already, I have had a proof of Shadowscent and it was a book I loved the concept for, but wasn;t completely sold on the whole book. But now unto the box contents, let’s start with the book and go clockwise:

  • Shadowscent. The Darkest Bloom by P. M. Freestone. Heck I love the concept, this is the first book and I am curious about the next one. The finished copy is gorgeous!
  • A tumbler/reusable cup. It has a quote from the book and I loved this, in blue and it was perfect to keep at work where we get a discount on coffee/tea if we bring our own mug
  • Hot chocolate spoon. Of course, you can’t have a tumbler without having something to put in it, right? I love the hot chocolate spoons the girls add to their boxes when they do, so this is an absolute win to me (plus most chocolate spoons work in hot water and don’t require milk, which makes it work for me)
  • On the come up pin
  • Magic Potions theme card, the artwork is super cute and magical.
  • A Drink Me potion from Literary Galaxy. I like it however I don’t wear many necklaces so this isn’t going to be used much, but it is still gorgeous.
  • Clubhouse invite.
  • A roll on perfume that captures the scent of the “Darkest Bloom”, which is probably my favourite item from the box (and it was hard to choose a favourite), it smells amazing!
  • Two Can Keep a Secret pin, I am so happy for this book, it’s in my TBR.
  • Gorgeous Ex Libris stickers. They’re adorable, may not be used much because I would struggle to choose which book to use them on (I wish we had a whole booklet or many more of these).

I really enjoyed the whole coordination of the contents of the box and there is only one item I wouldn’t really use, so that was quite a surprise for me, and is always a bonus. I also love that a lot of it is centered on the book and the theme of the box, and it isn’t just to fill fandoms but rather unique items that you can enjoy if you’re bookish, but also if you are not bookish (meaning it makes for a nice gift to someone if you had bought it, even if they aren’t into all the fandoms). So very happy with this box, and looking forward to the March box!

Raven Child and the Snow Witch Review

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Raven Child and the Snow Witch by Linda Sunderland and Daniel Egneus

Anya lives with her mother and father in the shadow of the icy glacier where the Snow-Witch reigns. Every spring, Anya’s mother journeys to the glacier to pick the blue gentian flowers that grow there. But this time, she does not return. She has been captured by the Snow-Witch and imprisoned in the ice. Anya and her father set off with the ravens to rescue her. It’s a treacherous journey, and there is no knowing what they will find…

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You can see it, but the snow is all glittery and delightful and all through the book there is glittery snow in it and it is gorgeous and just made my heart happy (even though in general I am not a fan of glitter, but somehow it fit so well in here). And of course, there is a fox in this story, which is probably a big part of why I got it, but also the title sounded great and the story seemed sweet.

The illustrations aren’t over defined, they’re more “blocky” but that gives it a very personal flavour and it also goes well with the whole snowy crafty theme of the book and it is good.

Anya loves where she lives and loves her mother and father, but when her mother goes out to pick flowers, she has a dream and suddenly wakes up. She feels like her mother spoke to her through the dream about being imprisoned by the Snow Witch.

So both Anya and her father set off (this made me fall for this book, the father was involved, he was part of the adventure!) and as they make their way towards the town closer to where mother has gone and disappeared, Anya rescues a Raven and a Fox.

It is a lovely adventure and there’s an IT vs Meg Murray kind of moment (and I liked that) and in general I liked it. When it came to an end I wished for a little more but it still was a good short read.

Moon recommends

Definitely try this one out as it is gorgeous and will make you smile as you read it. I would also recommend (for older readers, but still MG) The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell.

Getting Lost and Finding Oneself

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The Other Side of Lost by Jessi Kirby

Bri and Mari are cousins, and growing up, also best friends and soul mates. But over the teenage years they lose touch, and their lives develop in somewhat opposite directions. While Bri travels the world, hikes crazy mountains and make new friends, Mari chooses a more shallow path; that of a social media influencer. Cooking pretend (photo suitable) meals, dating a pretend (social media hot-shot) boyfriend, she’s lost touch not only with Bri, but also with their common dreams of future adventures. But then suddenly, everything changes. Bri loosing her step on a steep climb, and Mari receiving her diary and backpack on what would’ve been their shared eighteenth birthday, sets Mari off in a new direction. One of hiking, exploring, and in a way recapturing the relationship with her now gone cousin. This is a story about getting lost on trails, and finding oneself when trying to get on the right way back.

Rating 🐖🐖🐖

Starting this book, I really thought I was going to love it. The cousin friendship, the growing apart, the mountain climbing and cute illustrations and handwritten passages from Bri’s diary – I just knew I was in for a treat. The story set off well, with Mari taking on the erratic landscape, while leaving everything she knew behind.

Then, however, nothing much happened. Sure, she climbed some more mountains. Made some friends (and there’s a love story in there too). Found out some things about Bri. But pretty fast, there was nothing more to the story than depictions of blisters, beautiful sunsets and quotes about finding oneself.

I really liked the concept of this book, but ironically enough, Mari’s journey towards finding her true self is plotted with the typical kind of shallow quotes that she wanted to get away from when leaving the influencer life behind. It is however a cute, easy read and pleasant feel good story, and if that’s what you’re looking for, The Other Side of Lost is a good option.

Dr. Bea approves

If you’re in for more wild life adventures, Wild by Cheryl Strayed or Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer might be your next read.

The Boneless Mercies Review

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The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke

A dark standalone YA fantasy about a band of mercenary girls in search of female glory.

Frey, Ovie, Juniper, and Runa are the Boneless Mercies—girls hired to kill quickly, quietly, and mercifully. But Frey is weary of the death trade and, having been raised on the heroic sagas of her people, dreams of a bigger life.

When she hears of an unstoppable monster ravaging a nearby town, Frey decides this is the Mercies’ one chance out. The fame and fortune of bringing down such a beast would ensure a new future for all the Mercies. In fact, her actions may change the story arc of women everywhere.

Rating:

It took me a little to get into this book. Mostly because it starts with a death and that is an interesting way of starting (it reminded me a little of palliative care). However, once I got more familiar with the world and what being a Mercy meant, then it became easier to follow.

It is like a lyrical epic quest story and there was beauty about that, as it was also intriguing to learn about all the ways of seeing the world that each “group” had. A witches war, the quicks, and so many others that made me want to know more about each of them.

Another interesting thing was the way relationships exist here and how things just flow and happen. There’s a lack of judgement that was strange and magical to read, and it was interesting to see that woven intot he tale. You never know for sure what is going on.

I also loved the actual monster fight, but not a lot to say since I do not want to spoil it, but it had a thing I liked and didn’t like and it was refreshing to see.

Moon recommends

Reading The Boneless Mercies. I haven’t read such a lyrical feminist adventure in a while (combined, I have read one or the other) and it was good to read. I am not entirely sure what kind of book fits with it so hard to suggest something else.  Maybe Fallible Justice, even if it is a little different in style (it is urban fantasy rather than just fantasy).

 

A Sky Painted Gold Review

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A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood

Growing up in her sleepy Cornish village dreaming of being a writer, sixteen-year-old Lou has always wondered about the grand Cardew house which has stood empty for years. And when the owners arrive for the summer – a handsome, dashing brother and sister – Lou is quite swept off her feet and into a world of moonlit cocktail parties and glamour beyond her wildest dreams.

But, as she grows closer to the Cardews, is she abandoning her own ambitions… And is there something darker lurking at the heart of the Cardew family?

A gorgeously dreamy coming-of-age romance set against a stunning Gatsby-esque backdrop, this is perfect for fans of I Capture the Castle and Eva Ibbotson.

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Reader, I have a confession to make.

I do not like The Great Gatsby.

And with that preamble, let me tell you that despite being labelled as a The Great Gatsby for teenagers/young adults, this book is not to be compared with Gatsby. Why? Because it is SO much better.

There is a lot of focus on family, familiar love, specially between siblings, and each relationship is written with care. It shows and it is part of what shines in this book. The characters are endearing even if they aren’t always good.

And as much as there is romance in the book, it isn’t the only thing. The story flows, and it makes you swing and dance with it, it takes you on a journey that you don’t want to stop. And when you reach the end you want to cry of joy.

Moon recommends

Read this book, regardless of your love/hate/neutral for The Great Gatsby. I also recommend trying some of Eva Ibbotson’s books. They’re the same kind of lovely.

YALC 2018 Wrap up

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YALC (Young Adult Literature Convention) was a treat. I am still (a week later) very happy and full of books!

I’ll do a quick wrap up (or attempt to) as the pictures will speak for themselves (so many books).

  • I brought back 108 books. Some I had taken with me to get signed (about 30 of them which still means I managed to acquire 78 books during 3 days).
  • Several authors remember me, I also seem to be quite good at being found.
  • I shocked publishers with my Waterstones receipt (it had to be unfolded for a few times, and had SO many books!)
  • There were a lot of goodies, and I was very happy with all the posts. (Someone suggested an artists alley and I have to say I’d love that!)
  • Our book squad is the very best and I love them all to pieces. There were a lot of times when they managed to get books signed for me, or reminded me of something or simple saved me in some way. I can’t thank you all lovely ladies enough.
  • I said “Oh, sorry, I am dead” while laying spread out on my back on the floor to Jason Momoa (it was Sunday and I was exhausted, hypermobility was NOT happy with me).
  • I also managed to walk in between Jason and his bodyguard and be completely oblivious to that (everyone later went like “but like didn’t you notice?! you did it!”).
  • Managed to meet so many lovely people, thanks to all you lovelies that stopped me and introduced yourselves!
  • Queue strangers to friends is the best of the best. Specially after you keep meeting the same people on different queues.
  • Talking of queueing, I still don’t get the British and their love for queues. Several times I asked “what are you queueing for” and the reply was “I don’t know”.
  • Suitcases and totebags for the win!
  • The moon dress (which is actually Knit Anele’s dress) got a lot of compliments, but also, it was SO comfortable (same with the boots, custom made and I loved them, like walking on clouds).

Have a look at all the books (bought, ARCs/proofs won, free books, signed books)

Last but not least, a big shout out to the Book Box Club girls. It is through their idea of having a Clubhouse to chat about the book, that I met my best friend. But not only that, from it our book squad was born.

I had always dreamed of having a group of friends that understood me, that were there in the thick and the thin, that had my back (and for whom I could be there when they needed me), and it was just a dream.

Kate and Libby, through Book Box Club, made that dream become reality and I have no words to say how grateful I am for this, for the box, for the books, for the friendships, for our squad. Each lady in the picture below is worth infinity times their weight in gold.

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