What’s Up

Hey, chums!

I made it through the school year! Finals are done and the weather is sunny (at least once in a while) and it’s summertime.

I’ve been busy figuring out what my summer is going to look like – I can probably plan on a whole lot of readin’ and writin’ (we need to handle our financial situation, are we a nation of states? What’s the state of our nation?).

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What’s up in March?

In Wisconsin we’ve been alternating between crazy-warm weather (in the 40s!) and blizzards. But as soon as March hits, it’s officially spring in my book. This may be partly because after 4 months of snow and wind, I’m craving sunlight like Toucan Sam craves Froot Loops.

actual photo of me

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September Reading List

September is here! I’m going back to school, in a flurry of moving boxes and new eraser smell and tears over how much my textbooks cost. There are so many books I’d rather buy. It’s fine, though. I’m over it.

My reading (and writing) might slow down a bit, but I’m still feeling pretty ambitious. There are several books on my TBR pile that I’m ready to tackle once and for all, and of course there will always be random books that I pick up. I’ve got several books on hold through my online library system (if you’re not connected to yours, definitely check it out!), and my birthday was in August, which means I have some gift cards to spend. *devilish smile*

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Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Cruel BeautyI’ve read a couple of Beauty and the Beast retellings, but Cruel Beauty still manages to stand out. I’m a big Greek/Roman mythology nerd, so that aspect of the book really appealed to me. The basic premise is this: Nyx’s father bargained with the Gentle Lord, the prince of demons, so that he and his wife could have two daughters. The price was one of his daughters once she turned seventeen. Nyx’s father accepted.

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Review: Serafina and the Black Cloak, by Robert Beatty

SerafinaSerafina lives in the basement of the Biltmore with her Pa, who keeps the Biltmore’s machines up and running. Her entire existence is a secret from the “folks upstairs”, for fear they’ll be thrown out if anyone found out. It’s not so bad, though: Serafina naps all day in the sunshine, then prowls the halls at night as the Biltmore’s Chief Rat Catcher. One night, though, she witnesses a sinister man in a black cloak snatch away a young girl. Desperate to know who he is, and to prevent future disappearances, Serafina teams up with Braeden Vanderbilt (one of the aforementioned “folks upstairs”) to track down and stop the man in the black cloak.

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Bruiser, by Neal Shusterman, and Sharing the Pain

BruiserA few days ago I read a book called Bruiser, by Neal Shusterman. The main character, a boy named Brewster, has the involuntary ability to take others’ injuries and pain onto himself… including their emotional pain. (Bruiser, get it??) As if absorbing everybody’s skinned knuckles and twisted ankles wasn’t enough, Brewster also takes on their rage, their grief, their worry. But there’s a defense mechanism: Brewster only absorbs people’s pain if he cares about them. The story follows Brewster as he meets twins Brontë and Tennyson, and begins to let both of them into his heart. Life is suddenly richer and fuller, but also more difficult and more painful.

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Review: Memories of Ash, by Intisar Khanani

Memories of AshI received an early review copy from the author in return for an honest review. This has not in any way influenced my review.

I’m thrilled to be reviewing an advance copy of Memories of Ash! I love Intisar Khanani’s writing so much: I feel like she’s someone similar to me, who got fed up with the clichés and stereotypes plaguing YA. So she up and wrote the book she (we) wanted to read.

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Review: Perdido Street Station, by China Miéville

Perdido Street StationOne of the most astonishing books I’ve ever read, with so much I loved, and a few things that I hated. The worldbuilding was incredible: women with beetles for heads, where the males of the species are just mindless bugs; monsters that steal memories and whose dung allows people to relive those memories; desert bird-people whose only crime is stealing another’s choice; a gigantic, powerful spider who collects scissors… I’m in awe of Miéville. He’s my new writing hero.

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