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~Review: The Whole Stupid Way We Are
~Review: The Tragedy Paper
~Review: The Killing Woods
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Posted by ~The Book Pixie at 1/21/2014 09:11:00 PM
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Danielle L. Jensen
April 1st, 2014
The Malediction Trilogy, #1
Synopsis via Goodreads
For those who have loved Seraphina and Graceling comes another truly fabulous fantasy...
For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.
Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.
But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.
As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.
So, trolls. That's pretty new. I like new. The premise definitely has grabbed my attention, though the name for the city, Trollus, bugs me. This story has the potential for some amazing and unique world building that I look forward to experiencing. What do you think?
Posted by ~The Book Pixie at 1/15/2014 07:30:00 AM
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Kathy Dawson Books
March 25th, 2014
Synopsis via Goodreads
Bones meets Fringe in a big, dark, scary, brilliantly-plotted urban thriller that will leave you guessing until the very end.
Nearly Boswell knows how to keep secrets. Living in a DC trailer park, she knows better than to share anything that would make her a target with her classmates. Like her mother's job as an exotic dancer, her obsession with the personal ads, and especially the emotions she can taste when she brushes against someone's skin. But when a serial killer goes on a killing spree and starts attacking students, leaving cryptic ads in the newspaper that only Nearly can decipher, she confides in the one person she shouldn't trust: the new guy at school—a reformed bad boy working undercover for the police, doing surveillance. . . on her.
Nearly might be the one person who can put all the clues together, and if she doesn't figure it all out soon—she'll be next.
This book had me at "Bone meets Fringe"; they're only two of the best shows ever! Of course, that also sets quite a high standard in my mind for this book to live up to. Can't wait to get my hands on this one and see just how good it really is.
Posted by ~The Book Pixie at 1/08/2014 09:30:00 AM
Friday, December 27, 2013
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
February 5th, 2013
Unsolicited For Review
Synopsis via Goodreads
What happens when everything you’ve got to give isn’t enough to save someone you love?
It’s Maine. It’s winter. And it’s FREEZING STINKIN’ COLD! Dinah is wildly worried about her best friend, Skint. He won’t wear a coat. Refuses to wear a coat. It’s twelve degrees out, and he won’t wear a coat. So Dinah’s going to figure out how to help. That’s what Dinah does—she helps. But she’s too busy trying to help to notice that sometimes, she’s doing more harm than good. Seeing the trees instead of the forest? That’s Dinah.
And Skint isn’t going to be the one to tell her. He’s got his own problems. He’s worried about a little boy whose dad won’t let him visit his mom. He’s worried about an elderly couple in a too-cold house down the street.
But the wedge between what drives Dinah and what concerns Skint is wide enough for a big old slab of ice. Because Skint’s own father is in trouble. Because Skint’s mother refuses to ask for help even though she’s at her breaking point. And because Dinah might just decide to…help. She thinks she’s cracking through a sheet of ice, but what’s actually there is an entire iceberg.
There is a wall in my dorm room, and on it exists an image of a girl standing in the snow, the words 'The Whole Stupid Way We Are' marked in the paint. Why? Because that is how hard I threw this frikin' book at the wall. True story. Not really. Don't get me wrong, it is a good book, great even, but it often had me wanting to pull my hair out. So. Exasperating. XD
Our protagonists, Dinah and Skint, bless their little hearts, are headed to no place good rather quickly. The two are pretty much all each other has and yet they manage to be both their own, and each other's, worst enemy. While Dinah has a pretty stable home life, Skint's couldn't be any further from that. They both seemed way too young to handle the gravity of Skint's situation, but then, I kept forgetting that they were actually well in there teens. Dinah is constantly trying to help, but in all the wrong ways, while Skint never asks for the help that he so desperately needs. He's stubborn. Angry. Cynical. Depressed by the crimes of the world. She's naive. Well-meaning. Fanciful. Blind to the harsh realities of the here and now. Watching these two together was like watching a train headed towards a disastrous crash. I knew I was helpless to do anything and found myself wishing I could protect them. Wishing for a miracle. My heart ached for them. My brain was mentally face-palming at Dinah's futile attempts. Neither character experiences a lot of development. In fact, Skint stays pretty static throughout, though I felt this was handled quite realistically. Dinah, on the other hand, didn't experience her pivotal turning point until right at the end. I often found myself wanting to reach into the book and slap her back into the real world.
The Whole Stupid Way We Are is very much a character-driven novel. The families in this book are so messed up, specifically Skint's. There are times when the reader is given a very close-up, personal look into Skint's family life and these glimpses often had me feeling disgusted, outraged, and helpless. The tension and conflict was so painfully palpable at times; it was overwhelmingly real. The relationship between Dinah and Skint is strictly platonic, which I appreciated. Romance was the last thing this book needed, so if you are a reader that craves that in a book, along with serious action, this isn't for you. That said, the family, friend, and community relationships are strong, well fleshed out elements.
I must say, I loved the writing. Griffin's style was beautifully sparse and to the point, though perhaps a bit bizarre. Despite being in third-person, the narrative was surprisingly charged emotionally. It took some getting used to at first; however it quickly grew on me, and it ended up being my favorite thing about the book.
At first, I thought about calling the ending sad, or maybe even heartbreaking. But honestly, I find the word tragic much more accurate. To be heartbreaking, I would have needed to be at least a little surprised by the ending. That said, I pretty much knew from the start that this book was not going to end well, therefor giving me the entire novel to resign myself to not getting a nice big happily-ever-after bow to tie things up. This didn't make the ending any less sad, though.
Characters: Frustrating, child-like (not -ish), overburdened. A great array of supporting characters.
Writing: Beautiful and unique!
Plot: Emotionally evocative and often gut-wrenching.
Ending: Tragic, suitable.
Enjoyment/Likability: Well it was sad and incredibly frustrating, so not enjoyable, but I did like the book.
Recommendable: Probably not everyone's cup of tea. Definitely on the quirky side of books.
Overall: The Whole Stupid Way We Are, in my opinion, is in many ways a tragedy. (For clarity, in the Romeo and Juliet sense. Not in the...let's say...Miley Cyrus sense.) At times, this book left me so irritated, which it couldn't have done without having me seriously emotionally invested in it. If you prefer plot driven novels, this isn't for you. However, fans of character-driven contemporary YA should definitely give this book a try. It is a bit odd in its expression, but that's part of what made it so special and unique.
Cover: Very pretty and real feeling, if that makes sense.
Buy The Whole Stupid Way We Are
Amazon / B&N / Book Depository
Posted by ~The Book Pixie at 12/27/2013 07:52:00 AM