Wednesday, March 1, 2017

February Reads

Success! Another month, another blog post, which means you get to read up on the books I read in February. Spoiler: They were awesome.

I can't even begin to tell you how excited I was for the second book in the Witchlands series, and it did not disappoint. While I read and love a lot of YA fantasy, no one keeps me saying "just one more chapter" like Susan Dennard. Out of the Safi/Iseult friendship, Iseult's for sure my favorite, and her growth arc in this book was wonderful. I kept wanting to get back to her scenes (even though I loved the others!). I also very much enjoyed the dynamic of Merrick and Vivia (though I won't say more, because spoilers), and the Vivia/Stix friendship. 

Here's a gratuitous picture of me (with uncharacteristically poofy hair) and Susan (with a halo).
What amazes me about this series is that the characters and relationships are so very rich, but the world/plot/magic doesn't suffer at all for it. If you love YA fantasy, pick up this series. 

Next up: Allegedly by Tiffany Jackson. You guys: This book. I didn't really know what I was getting into, but I'm so glad I got into it. This story is so, so raw. From the main character, Mary, to each girl in the group home she's been put in, to the adults in her life. And the relationship Mary has with her mother? I get it. God, do I get it. I don't want to give too much away about this book, but I will say it's not for the faint of heart. If you're looking for an intense, emotional read, pick up this book.

I picked up this book at the recommendation of Tracey Neithercott and Rebekah Faubion, and I'm so glad I did. The Hating Game is a step outside of the typical YA that I read. It's not that I don't enjoy adult fiction, it's just that I really enjoy the pace and voice in YA. Well, this book definitely delivered on both. It was smart, funny, and sexy. I read it in two days because I couldn't put it down. If you're looking for a fun read that will make you laugh out and loud while also checking to make sure no one is looking over you shoulder, then this is the book for you.

Yes, I do still have a lot of older books on my TBR, but now that I work for me, I'm finally starting to have time to read them. And this book? If you like beautiful writing with magic-as-life, then you need to do what I did and finally read this book. Of course, I'm also a sucker for sibling stories. While I'm not a twin and wasn't super close to my brothers growing up, my sister and I are only 18 months apart, so I totally get into the dynamics of what it means to be a sibling. Also, I'll Give You the Sun has ghosts, and you know how much I love ghosts.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

January Reads (and the return of the dead)

It's January, which means its time to resurrect my blog, like I do after I give up on it every fall. Though perhaps this year I'll manage to make it to December. We can dream, can't we? For those of you who don't know (are any of you still out there reading this thing?) I became self-employed in December. I have a little more free time now (having no commute is a wonderful thing). I'm trying to read more. Initially my goal is three books a month, which may sound like pennies to some of you. But that's an increase for me!

So here we go.

Over the past few years, I've been writing historical fantasy, so it only seemed appropriate to start the year with one. I've had GRAVE MERCY on my list for a while now, and I finally read it. Obviously I'm now wishing I read it sooner. All I knew going into this one was that it had assassin nuns (but really...what more do you need to know?). I highly recommend this read if you like badass leading ladies who are still trying to figure out who they are. 

So, Leigh Bardugo is one of my all-time favs. At a party last year, someone asked me what my favorite book was, and I said the SHADOW AND BONE series. Well, this series has now outranked it, and the sequel is just as good--if not better--than the first. YA heist? Diverse cast? Broken teens trying to make their way in the world? Magic? Yes. Absolutely. I'm in. Take my money.

We get Wylan's perspective in this book (missing from book one), and Leigh does some interesting things with what we think we knew about Grisha magic. Plus some cameos from SHADOW AND BONE. Just a note, you DO NOT have to read SHADOW AND BONE in order to read this book. Also, here's a picture of me with Leigh Bardugo, because you know you wanted to see it.

And yes, all those books on the table were the ones I brought. When your favs come to town, you get some signed for your friends.

I read a historical fantasy and a fantasy, this one is pure historical. Katy Upperman recommended it to me, and her recs never disappointed. I read BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY the summer before last, so I knew I had to get emotionally prepared for it, and what an interesting month to be reading about refugees. This novel follows the journey of four teenagers fleeing for safety in the midst of the Soviet advance--including one who is beyond unlikeable. It's a hard read, but very much worth it, especially if you enjoy historical fiction.

What did you read in January?