BEA Week Break!

WHOO! This is the week! This. Is. The. Week.

The bookish world is descending upon NYC—MY CITY—for Book Expo America. Over the next couple days, dozens of my favorite bookish people will drive, fly, and train(?) in to the Javitz Center. BOOK TALK EVERYWHERE.

There are going to be author signings! And buzz panels! And publisher parties! And galley drops! And spontaneous mass shopping trips to The Strand and Books of Wonder with people who ACTUALLY KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!

It’s going to be freaking rad. It’s also going to be a ridiculously busy time, so this blog is going on hiatus until next week. I’ll likely being blowing up your internetz enough through Instagram and Twitter anyways. So y’all enjoy the break, and I’ll be back next with with fresh posts and hopefully a coherent BEA recap!

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Rewind & Review (93)

Rewind & Review

Blog Posts You Might Have Missed

Stuff I Received

Again, nothing! Yay me! Not that I don’t love new things (I do), but with BEA coming up, simplicity is my byword.

What I Read

Made You Up by Francesca Zappia – Nnngh. So pretty. So wonderful. So stressful. Review to come.

Emancipated by M.G. Reyes – DNF because I wasn’t in the right mood. Hope to try again later.

Charlie, Presumed Dead by Anne Hetzel – Weird. Very weird. This could either end stunningly or laughably. Only time shall tell.

3 full internship MSs

Added To My TBR

Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie – Girl can feel and absorb the emotions of the people around her, so she’s forced into the service of the emperor to sniff out assassins. I am here for this.

Terra by A.C. Gaughen – A.C. writing a fantasy about a girl with Elemental powers that kiiiinda sounds like it could have Esther flavors? I want. Gimme.

The Last Place on Earth by Carol Snow – Ooooh. I do love disappearing friends and hidden identities. I’m thinking Witness Protection, but I’ll have to read to find out.

Event Of The Week

BEA is literally just around the corner, but the people are starting to trickle in! I got to hang out with Gillian, Christina, and Gaby this weekend, and it was excellent.

 

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Kids Comics Q&A Blog Tour – DRAGONS BEWARE!

Hey all! I don’t know if you know, but a couple weeks ago (May 4th through the 10th, to be exact) was Children’s Book Week, an annual celebration that’s also the longest running initiative in the U.S.! This year was its 96th year, which is pretty incredible.

For their part, Macmillan put together this Q&A blog tour that started at the end of April and will run through the end of May. (You can see the full schedule here.) Comics are lots of fun and a great way to hook kids on reading, so I am thoroughly pumped about this idea. All of the interviews are conducted by Rafael Rosado and Jorge Aguirre, the authors of Dragons Beware, and it just so happened that my slot on the tour is Jorge’s interview of Rafael! Check it out. Continue Reading →

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Cover Love #97

CoverLove1

1888. A little girl called Mirror and her shape-shifting guardian Goliath Honeyflower are washed up on the shores of Victorian England. Something has been wrong with Mirror since the day her grandfather locked her inside a mysterious clock that was painted all over with ladybirds. Mirror does not know what she is, but she knows she is no longer human.

John Loveheart, meanwhile, was not born wicked. But after the sinister death of his parents, he was taken by Mr Fingers, the demon lord of the underworld. Some say he is mad. John would be inclined to agree.

Now Mr Fingers is determined to find the little girl called Mirror, whose flesh he intends to eat, and whose soul is the key to his eternal reign. And John Loveheart has been called by his otherworldly father to help him track Mirror down…

Oh my gosh, I can’t handle this cover. I can’t remember the last time I saw something so beautifully textured on a flat jpg image. The crackle of the background, the shiny gloss of the gilt, the way the blue, purple, and gold play off each other… And the details! Look at that border! The moon! The FONT! The tiny ladybugs! The manor house! Goliath’s tail!

I. NEED. THIS. BOOK.

What do you think of this cover? I won’t take less than pure awe.

 

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If You Give a Nerd a Computer…

Found on Pinterest. If you made this, wave so I can credit you!

I’m gonna be straight with you; y’all are just here to indulge me today, okay? Because I know I’ve talked before about how much I love The 100, but I really, REALLY love The 100. If you don’t remember my eight very solid reasons for loving this show, you should check out this post, but today I’ve come to add one more reason.

One of the more fascinating things to me over the past two seasons of The 100 is the different alliances, groups, and found families within the universe. Though we start with one group (the people living aboard the Ark, a floating space station and humanity’s supposed last hope), we soon learn of other groups out there. Also, within all of the groups are subgroups that overlap in interesting ways. Being the nerd that I am, I decided to use Venn diagrams to graphically categorize every single named, onscreen character within The 100 universe through the finale of Season Two. Because I can. Continue Reading →

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Top 10 Tuesday – Literary Cat Names

Today is a freebie topic slot on TTT, and I want to talk about pet names. Sure, thinking about naming hypothetical children after favorite characters and authors is fun, but who’s to say we’d ever have the guts to do it? But pets? Pets are fair game. Pets are supposed to be named cool, dorky, nerdy, and/or hilarious things.

Actually, as much as I like the idea of pets, they’re an awful lot of work. (Probably) not surprisingly, I’ve found I do well with cats. I am very much a dog person, but cats are equally cuddly and take less work. There is practically 0% chance I will ever devolve into a crazy cat lady, but since we’re dealing in hypotheticals, if I were in charge of naming ten cats, here’s what I would pick. Continue Reading →

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DNF Review: LOVE FORTUNES AND OTHER DISASTERS by Kimberly Karalius

Love is real in the town of Grimbaud, and Fallon Dupree has dreamed of attending high school there for years. After all, generations of Duprees have successfully followed the (100% accurate!) love fortunes from Zita’s famous Love Charms Shop to happily marry their high school sweethearts. It’s a tradition. So she is both stunned and devastated when her fortune states that she will NEVER find love.

Fortunately, Fallon isn’t the only student with a terrible love fortune, and a rebellion is brewing. Fallon is determined to take control of her own fate—even if it means working with a notorious heartbreaker like Sebastian.

Will Fallon and Sebastian be able to overthrow Zita’s tyranny and fall in love?

I had such high hopes for this book. The synopsis was cute and the cover was cuter. The story opened with Love herself, physically personified as a thirteen-year-old girl. Apparently, Love wanders the world, helping couples out, but can only be seen and remembered by brides on their wedding days. (You’d think they’d need her help before the actual wedding.) Love is completely fed up with people ignoring her help and getting themselves into messes, so she teams up with a fortune-teller so that she can speak directly to the populace, and that’s how Grimbaud’s reputation for 100% accurate love charms comes to be.

It’s a really interesting and fluffy idea in theory. The main character, Fallon, is told she will never fall in love, a horrific thing to learn in a town that is obsessed with love and marriage. I do mean obsessed. Fallon’s parents, knowing she went to get her fortune told, call her and literally start planning her wedding over the phone. Did I mention that Fallon is FIFTEEN?! Fallon and her best friend Martin join a secret club looking to overthrow Zita’s stranglehold on the charms market, and that’s how Fallon teams up with her playboy neighbor, Sebastian.

First, I thought the concept of the club was interesting and I’m sad I couldn’t stick around to see how the plot fought the idea of romantic relationships being the be-all-to-end-all. On Fallon’s first day of school, she’s slipped a brochure to a home for spinsters. Again, SHE’S FIFTEEN. I was really looking forward to seeing how the club dismantled the town’s assumption that single people are somehow broken or lacking.

I also really wanted the romance to work out. Sebastian is an awful, heartbreaking cad, but he’s so awful that you can tell it ties in to his own (secret) fortune somehow. He’s also a bit like a poor man’s Bellamy Blake—handsome, charming, arrogant, calls the main character “Princess” a lot. Since Fallon, as his neighbor, is privy to all of his exploits, I kept my fingers crossed for a bit of a Pillow Talk arc between the two of them.

Unfortunately, there was too much I didn’t like to stick around for the stuff that I did. The writing is… not the best. I was fairly drowning in unnecessary physical description. For the love of poptarts, don’t stop the story to describe every single person from head to toe. Work in physical descriptions as necessitated by the plot or not at all. I also don’t need to know what outfit the main character is wearing every single time. And oh boy, was Fallon a drag. She’s an uptight, colorless little priss, and not in a way that made me root for her to change, either. She was just… boring. And annoying. And bland. If I had to hear one more time about how her perfect hair parted perfectly down her perfect scalp, I was going to barf.

Also, so much just did not make sense. Fallon keeps talking about how she doesn’t want to stay in the spinsters’ home, but she also doesn’t want to leave Grimbaud because it’s soooo wonderful. Why? What’s so wonderful about it? FLEE, CHILD! LIVE YOUR LIFE! At one point, Sebastian crunches a leaf… and expects it to scare her? I… what? Fallon has zero grasp of figurative language, because these are her literal thoughts after Sebastian accuses her of being a princess:

Nothing about her was princesslike. Nothing at all. Fallon lacked classic beauty, an affinity for animals, and was not, as Sebastian had insisted, delicate, no matter how well she cared for herself.

No, dear. He’s saying you’re a snooty priss. Whyyyyy are you being so literal? It’s not funny. Of course, this is the same girl who also thinks things like:

The plastic-covered library books at Grimbaud High had wrinkled pages and were tattooed with illegible margin notes. They smelled like sadness and temptation, drenched in dust motes that drifted like tiny stars.

Mmmm, because there’s nothing more tempting that plastic, sadness, and tiny floating flecks made out of other people’s dandruff, nosiree.

And Sebastian, my Bellamy/Rock Hudson mashup, turned out to be (surprise) a good-hearted soul whose big secret is that he… likes to record silence. (And don’t suggest that he just listen to blank tapes, because that’s “too artificial.”) That has to be the most pretentious thing I’ve ever heard, especially since he actually “records” the silence ON TAPES.

I… just… can’t.

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Rewind & Review (92)

Rewind & Review

Blog Posts You Might Have Missed

Stuff I Received

Nothing! I wouldn’t have been opposed to surprise packages, but I’m pleased that I didn’t request or buy anything this week. Baby steps.

What I Read

2 partial internship MSs

3 full internship MSs

The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas – I started rereading this series so that I could be bad and dive straight into the final book rather than read actual May/June books that I should be reading. No shame.

The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas – I hope to have this one finished by the time this post goes live on Sunday, but I’m having tons of fun with my beautiful ship.

Added To My TBR

The Art of Language Invention: From Horse-Lords to Dark Elves, The Words Behind World-Building by David Peterson – A book about constructed language from the guy who created Trigedasleng for The 100. YES PLEASE.

Aaaaaand that’s the only book I’ve added this week. The lack of Cover Snark in my inbox is really killing me.

Event of the Week

This week has been boringly busy. Nothing major has happened. My future roommate and I have started apartment hunting while I’m job hunting, so that’s stressful. I’m more a strolling gatherer than a hunter. Oh, and it was time for all the TV finales, so all the lovely shows that usually bring me great joy instead brought great pain. (LOOKING AT YOU, AGENTS OF SHIELD AND IZOMBIE!)

 

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Review: THE PERILOUS PRINCESS PLOT by Sarah Courtauld

This is the story of two very different sisters–Eliza, who longs to ride into battle against villains and dragons, and Lavender, who would give anything to be a pampered princess. Before the end of the story both of them have had a chance to fulfill their dreams, though not quite in the way they intended…

Accompanied by their depressed goat, Gertrude, with their granny’s warnings about the Black Death ringing in their ears, they head out into the forest and come face to face with an evil count who definitely does not have their best interests at heart.

Most of the time when I read books, I just enjoy the book. I don’t think about target audiences or age ranges or anything like that. A good book is a good book. But then sometimes I pick up a book like this one and get thwacked between the eyes with the fact that I am not, in fact, the intended audience. And you know what? That’s okay, because kids are going to love this book. Continue Reading →

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Cover Love #96

CoverLove1

How many times can you lose the person you love?

A powerful and epic debut novel for teenagers about reincarnation and the timelessness of first love from a talented young writer.

Teenagers Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again. Each time their presence changes history for the better, and each time, they fall hopelessly in love, only to be tragically separated.

But why do they keep coming back? What else must they achieve before they can be left to live and love in peace?

Maybe the next together will be different…

Wow. More than anything, I really like the concept of this cover. If you’re going to try to capture the idea of repeating stories, using a bunch of covers only makes sense. Also, if you look, the covers clearly change from left to right. The cover strip on the far left is old, vintage, and the strips become progressively more modern until you reach the crisp, teal-ish cover on the far right, decorated with modern, cutesy chemical diagrams. AND though the font is uniform across all the strips, you can see that the letters are pieced together from the different covers as well. Add in the nice color combinations, and boom. Sold.

What do you think of this cover?

 

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