Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Remnant Chronicles

Kiss of Deception, The Heart of Betrayal, They Beauty of Darkness

Mary E. Pearson

What an amazing and satisfying trilogy. Each book was good. The plot wrapping up in the perfect way.


Will try to update with more details when not headed out the door.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Six of Crows

By Leigh Bardugo
462 pages

What a super pretty book. I love the cover and the black edged pages.

It's set in the same universe as a previous trilogy by the same author. I know that some people had trouble getting into the world or understanding what was happening because of that, but I had no such problems.

I found the world lush and interesting and easy to grasp. The characters were original and fascinating. The story was engaging.

So- what happens is that a 17 year old mastermind plots to break into an impenetrable fortress to kidnap a prisoner and return him for a bounty.

This goes super according to plan. Oh wait, no it doesn't.

I need the second book now! Yes, the plot did wrap up - but there are some unresolved (major!) things.

Great book!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

A Court of Thorns and Roses

By Sarah J. Maas
416 pages

People in my life have been raving about these books.
It is good.
It is totally readable.
I didn't expect it to be such a retelling. Beauty and the Beast with strains of Cinderella and Rumplestilskin thrown in. Not what I expected.
I think that made me like it less. Or maybe my expectations had just been too high.
I liked it, but I didn't think it was amazing.

The Looking Glass Wars

By Frank Beddor
358 pages

This book was super readable and interesting. It wasn't what I expected - a more literal retailing of Alice in Wonderland - and I think that was a strength.

Alyss Heart, 9 year old heir to the Wonderland throne, is violently deposed. The world struggles for peace and freedom as she grows into someone who could oppose the ruling Redd regime.

The book also has neat pictures and is super pretty.

Friday, November 18, 2016

November Owlcrate

The book is Heartless with an exclusive cover - no signed book plate.
The theme was Wonderland.

Book with letter and card, tea, a magnet, a bookmark, the pin, a copy of Alice in Wonderland, and another bookmark.


Sunday, November 13, 2016


This book was a great novelization of the play! There were differences, but it was very well done.
The pace was a lot slower than the ya lit I've been reading, so it took some time for me to get through it.

Thursday, October 20, 2016


By Carrie Jones
249 pages

Young Adult Sci Fi

I borrowed this one from the library after the author came and spoke at my school.
Basic premise: a high school cheerleader witnesses an alien abduction. Then she heads home to find her mom missing and the bad guys waiting for her.
It was fun, a light, quick read.

Monday, October 10, 2016


By AJ Hartley
334 pages

What a weirdly swooping narrative. I felt that some plot elements took me by surprise, and others were expected. The characters were realistic and engaging. It was a good book!

Ang is a steeplejack - someone who fixed chimneys and towers. In short succession she discovers a theft and a murder, is assaulted, deals with family drama, and begins to look into these happenings.

The setting (inspired by South Africa?) is a mix of city and rural. Racial tensions are high. It is horse and carriage technology. The world itself is beautiful and compelling.

It doesn't require a sequel, but I would read one!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Three Dark Crowns

By Kendare Blake
398 pages
September 2016 Owlcrate

Oh my gosh. Can I have the next book now? Please?

Okay, so, three protagonists, all teenage girls. All Queens. When they come of age, they will have to determine who has the strongest gift and will rule.

It's an interesting world - the gifts in the world are poisoner, naturalist, elemental, war, and sight. The protagonists each have one of the first three.

The characters are fascinating and I found myself rooting for all of them. 

Saturday, September 24, 2016


By Madeleine Roux
310 pages

So I've looked at this book for a while now, but I've always felt like it would be just a weird rip off of the Miss Peregrine books.
It's not really.
I mean, part of the premise is the same in that it is a narrative arranged around weird images.
The pictures for this book- all presented in black and white - are a mix of vintage and staged images.
The protagonist, Daniel Crawford, is staying at a summer camp and the dorms are located in a former asylum. He and his friends find some old records and photographs; quickly thereafter a body is found and their summer program becomes dangerous.
It was a better book than I thought it would be - and creepier too!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Jane and the Damned

By Janet Mullany

Jane Austen, vampire. I didn't get into it at first, but then I was caught up in the charm and exuberance of the story. It didn't feel like Austen to me - the character didn't - but I did enjoy the subtle allusions that were laid throughout the book. I disliked the ending.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016


By Cecelia Ahern
321 pages

So first off, what a thoughtful use of a first jacket. This is a really well designed book. It is also a strikingly well written book. There were at least two times that the book almost brought me to tears!
It avoids a lot of tropes that are becoming staples in YA dystopian novels. The characters are varied and honest and the plot is engaging.

Warning! I really really really hope she writes the sequel! The ending is really left with another book in mind!

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Time Machine

By H.G. Wells
148 pages

I had never actually read this before! Which I didn't really realize until I opened the book.

None of the characters have actual names, but are referred to as things such as "The Time Traveller" and "The Psychologist."

The setting is Victorian England - what a perfect excuse for a steam punk party - and nominally all in the Time Traveller's house. He returns in the middle of a dinner party and regales the company with the tale of his adventures through time.

He sees the decay of civilization and the fall of man.

It's a very readable book, but for some reason I expected more from it. I did enjoy it - and it's such a pretty edition!

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Love That Split the World

By Emily Henry
390 pages

This was my first OwlCrate book - but I only just got to reading it.

Natalie is a strange girl in a small town. She was adopted, and has been searching for answers about who she is. Added to that, she has recurring nightmares and hallucinations.
But one day, the hallucinations take place out in public and she sees other people and other versions of her own world. Is she going crazy? Her new counselor doesn't think so...

I really enjoyed this book. I liked both plot and characters- I won't say that I couldn't put it down, but I did find myself eager for the next page, the next chapter, the next piece of the puzzle.

Saturday, August 6, 2016


By Wendy Spinale
312 pages

This book is a reimagining of Peter Pan. It changes tons of elements, but characters and concepts are recognizable. The setting - Everland - is a bombed out London. The characters are predominantly children. A disease is ravaging the population and there is a race against time to find the cure.

It was a neat retelling and I really enjoyed reading the book.

The Serpent King

By Jeff Zentner
369 pages
Realistic Fiction

This novel came in one of my previous Owlcrates.

The three protagonists, living in a small southern town, are all social outcasts to various degrees. Travis is tall and weird; he reads fantasy, wears a dragon necklace, and would carry a staff everywhere if he could. Dill is the son of a preacher who was arrested and the grandson of a mechanic who went crazy. Lydia doesn't fit the common perceptions of beauty in the town, plus she has a snarky mouth and an attitude of condescension about her classmates.

All of them have personal challenges and struggles that they have to overcome. They need to figure out what they want from life and whether (and how) to get of of town and escape their destiny.

The characters are well written and the plot is easy to follow while containing a few surprises.

I liked the book although I found it initially hard to get into on the heels of all of the fantasy I've been reading lately. It even made me tear up!

Friday, July 29, 2016

My Lady Jane

By Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
491 pages
2 days

This is a funny and irreverent rewriting of the history of England. In this world, people can magically change into an animal form of they have the magic in their blood.
This forms a political tension between those who use magic and those who can't. This compounds the normal court room intrigue and provides some fun opportunities for creative problem solving.
The book is playful and fun, sometimes the narrator breaks out and interrupts the action; sometimes they allude to, parody, or quote various lines from diverse sources such as Shakespeare or Monty Python.
It is an enjoyable book and I very much enjoyed reading it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

This Savage Song

By Victoria Schwab
427 pages

I received this book in my July Owlcrate. Oh my, I enjoyed it so much. It is YA Lit- however, although the protagonists were boy and girl (August and Kate) there was not a lick of romance in the entire story, which I appreciated.
It also felt like a very fresh take on the classic monsters- at least an uncommon one.
There was a tension and a mystery to the plot which was well maintained and satisfyingly wrapped up.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Magic Knight Rayearth

By Clamp

This is a beautifully drawn story with quite an interesting plotline. The 3 protagonists are drawn into another world in order to save that world from chaos and destruction. These schoolgirls discover a potential to fight, and put their extracurricular talents (such as fencing and archery) to good use.

There is a satisfying ending to this volume, and there is also a second volume in the series.

Friday, July 8, 2016

The Dreamcatcher

By Stephen King

A very long and strange book about aliens, telepathy, and weasels.

I didn't really enjoy it very much.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures

By Jackson Pearce and Maggie Stiefvater
184 pages

A charming book full of magic, strange and interesting creatures, and smart, likable characters. One of my favorite characters is Bubbles.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

A Long Walk to Water

By Linda Sue Park
117 pages

This was a short and swift read.
In sparse and child friendly prose, Park conveys the effects of war on the civilian population of Sudan. The characters are completely relatable while still being outside of my frame of experience. There are two intertwined stories that come together beautifully, and I really enjoyed this book.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A is for Alibi

By Sue Grafton
(A Kinsey Millhone novel)
Paperback 308 pages

This was a fairly enjoyable mystery! There were enough clues to keep me guessing and enough reasonable red herrings to keep me from solving the crime.

It begins because a woman was imprisoned for a murder she says she didn't commit. She has done her time, been released, and hired investigator Kinsey Millhone to solve the murder she was convicted of.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Owl Crate - Feb 2016: Sci-Fi Love

I got my first Owl Crate today and I'm so happy that I signed up for it.
What is it? A subscription box that sends YA Lit stuff every month.
How much is it? About $30 per box plus shipping.
When do I get it? They shipped out on the 20th and I got mine today, February 22.
Their website:
What's in the box? I got a very pretty paperback copy of The Time Machine by Wells from Rick Paper Books, a coupon for 15% off at, a high quality pink shopping/tote bag with the names of couples from the Lunar Chronicles on it, a copy of Emily Henry's The Love the Split the World with a note from the author and a signed book plate, and a nifty wooden laser cut magnetic TARDIS pin.
Do I feel like I got my money's worth? Heck yes! And I'm so glad that I'm already signed up for next month too.

Did they pay me to say all this or send me free stuff? I wish! But no.