Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Divider

May 15

Can’t Wait Wednesday #4 – The Wise and the Wicked

Books/Writing 0

I’m joining in the fun with a Can’t-Wait Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Usually the books are ones yet to be released. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Divider

Can’t Wait Wednesday #4 – The Wise and the WickedThe Wise and the Wicked by Rebecca Podos
Published by Balzer + Bray on May 28, 2019
Pages: 368
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World WideBuy on Amazon
Goodreads

Ruby Chernyavsky has been told the stories since she was a child: The women in her family, once possessed of great magical abilities to remake lives and stave off death itself, were forced to flee their Russian home for America in order to escape the fearful men who sought to destroy them. Such has it always been, Ruby’s been told, for powerful women. Today, these stories seem no more real to Ruby than folktales, except for the smallest bit of power left in their blood: when each of them comes of age, she will have a vision of who she will be when she dies—a destiny as inescapable as it is inevitable. Ruby is no exception, and neither is her mother, although she ran from her fate years ago, abandoning Ruby and her sisters. It’s a fool’s errand, because they all know the truth: there is no escaping one’s Time.

Until Ruby’s great-aunt Polina passes away, and, for the first time, a Chernyavsky’s death does not match her vision. Suddenly, things Ruby never thought she’d be allowed to hope for—life, love, time—seem possible. But as she and her cousin Cece begin to dig into the family’s history to find out whether they, too, can change their fates, they learn that nothing comes without a cost. Especially not hope.

This just sounds delightful. There’s nothing I can say to describe it better than the blurb – I’m just so excited! I didn’t get an ARC of this so I’m going to have to wait until the end of the month with the rest of the world…hehe. If you’ve read it let me know what you think!

Divider

        
If you really enjoyed reading and would like to show your support for future content and help keep the blog running (my goal is to make the blog self-supporting), consider using the affiliate links on this page to buy your next book, or donate to the blog using one of the links below!

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 705 other subscribers

Divider

Nov 08

Review of Dread Nation

Book Reviews 0 ★★★★

I read this book MONTHS ago, and despite my best intentions am only now getting around to writing the review. Shame, shame!

Review of Dread NationDread Nation (Dread Nation, #1) by Justina Ireland
Published by Balzer + Bray on April 3, 2018
Pages: 455
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World WideBuy on Amazon
Goodreads four-stars

Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.

But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.

Dread Nation takes two genres and turns them both on their respective heads. Historical fiction? Check. Paranormal? Check. African-american heroine in a world populated with zombies? CHECK. This book is so unusual and is such a needed addition in a world of all-white fantasy and paranormal casts.

“I am surrounded by nothing but suicidal muttonheads.”

I love it when a book can make me laugh, even when it isn’t a FUNNY book. Jane has such a dry wit and all the nerve in the world, I loved her. I also thoroughly enjoyed the historical elements of narrative. While set in the post-Civil War era South, there have been some rather large changes…such as the Civil War being spurred on by a zombie epidemic, and the use of former and freed slaves as the front line soldiers against zombies…whether they want to be, or not. As Jane points out on more than one occasion, what kind of freedom is this?

“Sometimes you have to live down to people’s expectations, Kate. If you can do that, you’ll get much further in life.”

Characters:

Mainly Jane. Because, to be honest, Jane was the only character that truly stood out to me. Everyone else was sort of in the background and not fleshed out very much. I think that was acceptable because it really did accent Jane’s outlook on life – she tries not to get TOO attached to anyone, because the likelihood of them dying or at least being ripped out of her life is all too real.

Plot:

It was well-paced and interesting. I never felt bored. I’m afraid of giving too much away so I don’t want to say much more than that…but there are lots of zombies. And kickass girls and women.

Worldbuilding:

The description was fantastic! I loved the alternate history styling of the antebellum south. You don’t really need much history background to still be immersed in this world, which makes it appeal to more people, I think.

Issues:

I really did enjoy this book, but I still had a couple of issues. First of all, Jane is a rather…cool character. Not quite frigid, but cool. While I love her no-holds-barred attitude and almost total lack of fear, it was hard to feel like I really knew her. Second, before I read this book, I read in many places that it was good for bisexual rep. I was pretty disappointed on that count, because there is literally one mention of Jane’s bisexuality and it was like a fly-by…”Oh BTW I’m bisexual” – and then nothing else. Ever. It felt like it was just stuffed in there to have one more talking point for diversity, instead of actually being a part of Jane and her identity. I am ALL FOR representation, but I don’t think drive-by labeling does anyone ANY favors, and that is really what it felt like.

All in all this was a great read and I am definitely on board for Book 2!

Divider


         
If you really enjoyed reading and would like to show your support for future content and help keep the blog running (my goal is to make the blog self-supporting), consider using the affiliate links on this page to buy your next book, or donate to the blog using one of the links below!

four-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 705 other subscribers

Divider

Aug 06

Review of the Upside of Unrequited

Book Reviews 0 ★★★½

I was looking forward to this book SOOO much! I had such high expectations and hopes…some of which panned out, some of which didn’t. Regardless, I hope you enjoy my review of The Upside of Unrequited.

Review of the Upside of UnrequitedThe Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
Published by Balzer + Bray on April 11, 2017
Pages: 336
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Goodreads three-half-stars
one-flame

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?

Molly is a mess. A shy, self-conscious, boy-obsessed mess. She’s seventeen, has never had a boyfriend or even kissed a boy, and she hates it. She has had twenty-six crushes, none of which panned out for her. She thinks and worries (and people often comment along the same lines) that she is fat, too fat to be attractive to any boys.

First of all – geez louise! I know I was definitely more relationship and (in my case) boy obsessed when I was sixteen, seventeen, or eighteen years old than I am now or have ever been since, but DEAR GOD ALMIGHTY it is literally all this girl thinks about. She has a couple of other interests, but appears to have never given even a slight thought to what she wants to do with those interests after high school. College is mentioned, but only as an annoyance, because of adults asking what colleges she has applied to. Goals? What are goals? It seems so odd to have little to no interest in one’s future. I also remember that four years felt like an eternity at seventeen, or even at twenty-two. So I get some of that – but not all. Molly just seems so extremely focused on boys, their attractiveness, their potential to be boyfriend or hookup material…it seems excessive and concerned me. If she was a friend of mine I would be staging an intervention, not trying to goad her on or set her up with whatever eligible guy I could find.

That said, of course most people want to be a relationship of some kind, with another person or people. There are many different kinds of relationships – MANY of which are modeled in this book, hurray! Everyone deserves to be happy and to be loved. However, I think it’s very unhealthy to look to a relationship for one’s happiness. Another person can never make you happy if you are unhappy with yourself – as Molly definitely seems to be, despite her moms and other friends constantly trying to build up her self worth. However, Molly tends to be very selfish and focused inward, only looking at situations from the point of view of how they effect HER.

Molly especially struggles with her twin sister’s new relationship. She becomes jealous of Cassie’s girlfriend and all the time they spend together. Just like we have all had the friend who started dating someone new and fell off the face of the earth. Eventually she does realize that this is a season, and that things will change throughout their lives, and she comes more to terms with her sister having a life separate from her.

We might see each other every day. We might see each other once a year. Maybe it will ebb and flow and change with the decades. Maybe we’ll never pin it down. I think every relationship is actually a million relationships.

^Best quote of the book, there. Not that Cassie is an angel, by any means. While Molly clearly adores her twin, Cassie also takes advantage of her in a lot of ways and is rather insensitive to her feelings.

GOOD STUFF:

Lots, and lots of diverse representation – LOTS! Molly has two moms, one of which is bisexual, there are gay, lesbian, and pansexual characters, as well as people of all different ethnic backgrounds. It made my heart happy.

Mental health treatment. Molly takes medication for her mental health. It’s not made a big deal of, it is just NORMAL, and I think that is so important.

Excellent writing – the style was entertaining and easy to read. I read this in less than 3 hours, not counting breaks. Will definitely pick up another of Albertalli’s books.

I just could not get on board with Molly, even while I did understand that some of what seemed to be selfishness was really anxiety. Anxiety can sometimes makes people appear to be selfish when really what they’re worried about is taking care of someone, or worried they will offend or hurt someone. I felt bad for her, but I was horrified by the implications of the conclusion, even if it was sweet and made me say “Awwwww!” for a few seconds. The content and conclusion are what really made me lower my rating, the writing itself was quite excellent. So, I’ll give the author another try and see.

Divider


         
If you really enjoyed reading and would like to show your support for future content and help keep the blog running (my goal is to make the blog self-supporting), consider using the affiliate links on this page to buy your next book, or donate to the blog using one of the links below!

three-half-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 705 other subscribers

Divider