Happy Last Monday of March! I don’t know you guys, but here in Cleveland March came in like a lion and went out like one too! I did not appreciate that random blizzard on Saturday. Lots of exciting things are going on these days. Last week I added another dog to the mix and I officially have a pack. Maggie was reunited with her big brother Murphy. These two are my sister’s dogs and they are hanging with me for a while. They make my dog Kevin normal (I don’t mean make him look normal, they actually make him BE normal). It’s weird. In exciting book news, it’s time to sign up for another Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon! YES! Time to start a Readathon TBR pile for April 26th. Finally, I managed to bust out of my reading slump. So here is a quick check in:
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Book Journey and Teach Mentor Texts.
- Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys was my Random Reads pick for March. I loved this book so much. I already posted a full review, so please check it out if you are interested.
- The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa is another one that has been on my TBR list for a long time. She brings back the soulless predator vampires and I am a fan.
- Twisted Sisters by Jen Lancaster was a random audio pick. This is my first book by this author. It seems that her fans seriously disliked this one. I found it strange, but entertaining. It’s the story of the Bishop sisters. Middle sister Reagan is a snobby, judgmental, stick in the mud, until a bizarre thing happens and she gets some much-needed perspective.
- Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo is the 2014 Newbery Award winner. It is the illustrated adventures of a lonely girl and a squirrel with super powers. Quite adorable!
I am working my way through some series! Currently I have two book twos: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo and A Million Suns by Beth Revis.
Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith is the current IT book. Far From You by Tess Sharpe is my current e-galley. The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence is my current Teen’s Choice selection and Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein is a reread for my high school book club.
Posted in Book Lists, Book Reviews, Mondays with Megan, Read-a-Thon
Tagged ARC, audiobooks, Beth Revis, Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon, It's Monday! What Are You Reading?, Julie Kagawa, Kate DiCamillo, Leigh Bardugo, Ruta Sepetys
Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
February 12, 2013
Hardcover, 346 pgs
What it’s about:
It’s 1950 and life in the French Quarter of New Orleans (aka, The Big Easy) is harder than ever for 17-year-old Josie Moraine. The locals know her as the daughter of the Louise, a prostitute in Madam Willie’s brothel. But Josie is more than that. She works in a bookshop and dreams of leaving New Orleans for college and a respectable life. After a chance encounter with a young lady who attends Smith College, Josie begins to believe that her dreams could become a reality. But the seedy side of the city doesn’t seem to want to let her go. When a tourist turns up dead things start to get complicated. As the investigation deepens Josie’s loyalty to her mother, Willie, and her friends are all challenged. Can Josie make her dreams come true or is she destined to be just a prostitute’s daughter living in the Big Easy?
Why you might like it:
If you enjoy historical fiction you might be interested in this book about life in the 1950s. Do you like your historical fiction to have a murder and ties to the mob? You’ll find that here too. How about tough heroines who know what they want and aren’t afraid to stand up for themselves? You’ll love Josie! Do you love a book full of rich and colorful characters who win you over from the start? You might want to get to know Patrick, Cokie, Jesse, Willie, and Sadie. Or are you more of a despicable villain type? No worries, Josie encounters plenty of bad guys. Do you always cheer for the underdog? You will definitely find yourself rooting for Josie! You’ll also find unlikely friendships, heartbreaking injustices, and a touch of romance. Finally, you really can’t go wrong with a book set in a dreamy old bookshop (or brothel, for that matter!).
Want more like this?
I definitely recommend Ruta Sepetys first novel, Between Shades of Grey. If you like a scrappy heroine who overcomes great odd you might like the tales of Jackie Faber. Start with Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer. For more historical fiction featuring a murder try A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly. If you want historical fiction starring strong female characters try Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.
I loved this book and look forward to more from Ruta Sepetys!
Hello! I am so excited to have a guest reviewer here today. Sarah is an MLIS student at Kent State. She has been working on her practicum with me and I have been trying to keep her busy with all sorts of library and bookish activities. This book is coming out soon and is on-order for the library.
Camelot Burning (A Metal & Lace Novel #1) by Kathryn Rose
May 8, 2014
Paperback, 409 pages
What it’s about:
Vivienne is a lady-in-waiting for Guinevere, the future queen of Camelot by day; at night, however, she works as a secret apprentice to Merlin (who hides away in the clock tower battling as a recovering magic addict). An intelligent, curious eighteen-year old, she feels confined by conventional life in Camelot, and being stuck as a handmaiden, and wishes that she was free to study science and alchemy without fear of punishment or worse. As Merlin uses his new-found discovery of alchemy and the “mechanical arts” to create steampunk-esque contraptions, Arthur’s sister Morgan La Fay returns to Camelot to exact revenge on the kingdom by declaring war. And in the midst of it all Vivienne meets (and falls in love with) Marcus, a young man who will one day become a knight of Arthur’s round table.
Why you might like it:
If you’re a fan of the King Arthur story and Steampunk, but you’ve never thought about how the two could possibly work together, you’ll want to read this. If you’re a fan of the TV show Merlin, just imagine those characters (slightly older) and throw in some steampunk mixed with a little alchemy to make things even more interesting. And if you like independent, strong female leads who are not afraid to be downright sassy at times, you’ll love Vivienne. She has a great personality that mixes really well with the other characters in the story (especially Merlin) – and her love interest, Marcus, is pretty easy on the (figurative) eyes, too! If you’re a history buff, you’ll appreciate the effort that went into making this historically accurate mixed with just the right amount of fantasy to keep you on your toes. It’s definitely a good debut novel that kept me interested enough to want to see what happens in the next book!
Want more like this?
For more steampunk and fantasy goodness, I’d recommend the Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld, The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross, and Blood in the Skies by G.D. Falksen.
Did you say sassy heroine and steampunk? I’m sold! Thanks Sarah for a great review. I will be watching for this one.
∼Megan and Sarah
“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.
This week I am so excited about this one:
The Doubt Factory by Paolo Bacigalupi, October 14, 2014
From an interview with the author, found here:
“I’ve got a young adult novel called The Doubt Factory, which will be a present day political thriller/crime caper story. Mostly that one’s about our modern PR industries, and especially the firms that specialize in product defense and crisis communications.”
“A YA thriller about a teenage girl who discovers that her father is at the helm of an organization providing dangerous false messaging to society about global warming and other issues.”
I loved Ship Breaker and Drowned Citiesand I am sure that this will be another fantastic offering!
What are you excited for?
The Broke and The Bookish are asking for out Bookish Bucket List. I am not sure I have 10 items, but I’ll give it a go!
1. My dream home has my dream library! Walls and walls of books!
2. Reread Game of Thrones. The minute there is an official publication date for book 6, I am diving back into book 1 and plowing through them again. I can’t wait!
3. Attend an ALA Midwinter Conference. Someday this Teen Librarian will see all the Teen book awards announced. Someday…
4. Take a bookish vacation. Who doesn’t want to visit literary spots and awesome libraries? Joyce’s Dublin, anyone? Closer to home, how about a Carnegie Library tour?
5. Reread Harry Potter with my nephews. I kind of want to own this special collection editions as well.
6. Attend more author events. I have met so many awesome authors, but I want more, more, more! I want the majority of the books on my shelves to be signed! I think Libba Bray is the last signature I collected.
7. Read all of the books on my Spring TBR list! I can do it!
8. Continue my winning streak with gifting books to my nephews. So far one is hooked on The Ranger’s Apprentice and the other two are loving Percy Jackson. Win!
9. Do more bookish arts and crafts. I want to be artsy and crafty, but it’s so hard…
10. Start a Little Free Library. Such a cool idea! This beauty is only $800. Sigh. Someday.
Happy Monday! Did everyone have a good weekend? I managed to jam in a bunch of stuff. Friday evening I saw two of the current exhibitions at The Cleveland Museum of Art. The Van Gogh Repetitions was my favorite, but I found plenty of cool stuff in the Modern Art of Japan collection as well. The real highlight of the trip was the poster I bought from the sale bin. Without knowing what it was, I splurged and bought a $1.00 poster. I was thrilled to unroll it and discover giraffes! Score! Saturday I worked and then had a mini Game of Thrones season 3 marathon with my friends. Sunday was family fun day and featured a waffle bar brunch, a puppy, and many rounds of Clue and Apples to Apples. So, it should come as no surprise when I report that I only finished one book last week!
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
- Across the Universe by Beth Revis has been on my TBR list for a long time. Seventeen-year-old Amy is frozen, along with her parents, and put aboard the ship Godspeed. They are meant to be the first to colonize a new planet that will take more than 300 years to reach. When Amy is unfrozen early she quickly realizes that it was no accident. Things aboard the ship are strange and dangerous. Despite some flaws, I enjoyed this one. The cover screams space romance, but it’s really more of a space who dunnit? I am interested enough to see what happens next in A Million Suns.
In my car I am savoring every minute of Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo. I decided to abandon the audio version of Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa when I got a part where new characters were introduced and the reader gave them all hideously fake Southern accents. For no apparent reason. Ugh. While I wait for A Million Suns to come in on Playaway I am listening to Twisted Sisters by Jen Lancaster.
This list is a real problem. I NEED to finish something!
I need to focus and get some reading done! What are you working on this week?
Steelheart (Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderson
September 24, 2013
Hardcover, 386 pgs
What it’s about:
Ten years ago Calamity happened. With a burst of blinding light, ordinary humans began developing super-human powers. Ordinary people began calling these extraordinary individuals Epics. Gifted with incredible power, the Epics succumbed to the desire to control and rule those weaker than themselves. The world became a place terrorized by super villains with no superheroes to save the day. The only people crazy enough to stand up to the Epics is an underground group ordinary humans who are dedicated to studying the Epics, learning their weakness, and assassinating them. They call themselves the Reckoners, and David wants in. He will stop at nothing to exact revenge on the Epic who killed his father. Steelheart has a weakness and David intents to find it.
Why you might like it:
Can I just say that you might like it because it is so completely awesome? Is that enough for you? No? Fine. If you like crazy unexplained events that alter the course of human history, you’ll probably like this. Are you a fan of the underdog going up against impossible odd because it is the right thing to do, then you might want to check this out. Do you like totally epic battles? You’ll love Steelheart. Do you love a crazy twist? Good, because this book has one. So let’s add up all the pluses: horrible villains with superpowers, ordinary humans as the heroes, intense battles, and crazy plot twists. That’s all the convincing I need! Have I sold you on Steelheart yet? Because I cannot stress enough how much fun this book is. I am desperate for the sequel, Firefight.
Want more like this?
I recommend checking out Avalon by Mindee Arnett, Eye of the Minds by James Dashner, Vicious by V.E. Schwab, and Legend by Marie Lu.