Monday Reading (March 16th, 2015)

monday reading

In this weekly event hosted by One Persons Journey Through a World Of Books where we discuss what we’ve been reading this week (and, occasionally, what we haven’t).

As I’ve only just returned from a long international trip, my reading schedule has been in a bit of disarray. I have not kept up with my Deal me in! challenge and so have a fair amount of short story reading to catch up on. Book-wise, I’m also a bit behind (at least, according to Goodreads).

That being said, I have been reading! Here’s what I’ve recently finished:

  • The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling – Started this collection of stories with my Deal me in! challenge, and decided to keep on reading on! Some of the tales I absolutely adored, but others I found rather… indicative of the time, shall we say.
  • One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean – This was a fun book, but the premise was all kinds of unbelievable. I managed to suspend that disbelief for the first, oh, 300 pages? But it got to be a bit much by the end.

Currently Reading:

  • The Boy with the Porcelain Blade by Den Patrick – I am only 23 pages into this, so it is still far too soon to judge! The only think I can say for certain? Patrick sure likes to describe clothing.

Deal Me In! update: Weeks 7-12

Since my last update, I’ve been drawing cards a plenty – but not always reading the books! Here’s what I’ve drawn and what I’ve read (in bold):

  • Week 7: Ace ♣ – IV League by Margaret Stohl
  • Week 8: Queen ♦ – Shoulders of giants by Robert J. Sawyer
  • Week 9: Eight ♥ – Mowgli’s Brothers by Rudyard Kipling
  • Week 10: King ♣ – Red Run by Kami Garcia
  • Week 11: Nine ♠ – The Adventure of the Speckled Band by ACD
  • Week 12 (this week): Four ♥ – Thistle & Thorne by Ann Aguirre

Stacking the Spring Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual.

marchhaul

Getting books in the mail is always a joy – even when you bought them yourself, they feel a bit like getting a gift. Here’s what I’ve received recently (one of which is already on my “currently-reading” shelf!):

  • Fairest by Marissa Meyer – Of course I bought this! I really liked Cinder, absolutely adored Scarlet, and loved Cress.
  • The Boy with the Porcelain Blade and The Boy who Wept Blood by Den Patrick – I received these two for review and was really interested in the idea of a world where people with disfigurements or disabilities are placed in high social positions. I am not too far into the first book (Porcelain Blade) but am enjoying it so far.

If you’ve read any of these, let me know what you thought!

Waiting on Wednesday: Uprooted by Naomi Novik

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that are being eagerly anticipated.

Uprooted by Naomi NovikUprooted by Naomi Novik

Fantasy – May 21st 2015 by Macmillan

goodreads

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, ambitious wizard, known only as the Dragon, to keep the wood’s powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman must be handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as being lost to the wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows – everyone knows – that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia – all the things Agnieszka isn’t – and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But no one can predict how or why the Dragon chooses a girl. And when he comes, it is not Kasia he will take with him.

From the author of the Temeraire series comes this hugely imaginative, engrossing and vivid fantasy novel, inspired by folk and fairy tales. It is perfect reading for fans of Robin Hobb and Trudi Canavan.

This is a Naomi Novik book, so of course it instantly went onto my wishlist. Before even knowing what it was about, I wanted it! The blurb made me all the more excited, though – it is not often we see series authors we adore branch out into stand-alone novels. I am looking forward to having something… complete. 🙂

Review: United We Spy by Ally Carter

Review: United We Spy by Ally CarterUnited We Spy by Ally Carter
Series: Gallagher Girls #6
Published by Hyperion on 2013-09-05
Pages: 304
Genres: Contemporary YA, Young Adult
Source: Purchased myself
Add to Goodreads
Rating:
Also in this series: Only the Good Spy Young, Out of Sight, Out of Time

Cammie Morgan has lost her father and her memory, but in the heart-pounding conclusion to the best-selling Gallagher Girls series, she finds her greatest mission yet. Cammie and her friends finally know why the terrorist organization called the Circle of Cavan has been hunting her. Now the spy girls and Zach must track down the Circle’s elite members to stop them before they implement a master plan that will change Cammie—and her country—forever.

When I started the Gallagher Girls books, I never thought it would end with this – with its young girls developing into gloriously three-dimensional characters who have found their place in the world. They’ve gone through so much and are going to kick serious butt as adults.

United We Spy is exactly what you want from a last-in-the-series. Ally Carter doesn’t do a complete 180 and change everything; she doesn’t start killing everyone off left and right; she doesn’t leave over half the questions you had unanswered; and – most importantly – she doesn’t contain the character too tightly at the end. Writing a far-in-the-future epilogue can be done well (see the Razorland series by Ann Aguirre for a great example of that) but usually it just comes off as cheesy. At worst, it can really make people angry! None of that was here and the Gallagher Girls wrap up their books the way they were taught: super-secret and super-awesome.

I won’t say anything more than that, to avoid spoiling plot points for those of you who haven’t read any of the books. If that’s you, just know this: these superficially light reads have more heart, more depth and more meaning than most novels I read. I wouldn’t have believed this based off the first book but it is 100% the case. I teared up like a nut as United We Spy came to a close – and I’ll bet you you will too.

Bottom line? A supremely satisfying end to a surprisingly fantastic series.

Waiting on Wednesday: Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that are being eagerly anticipated.

Nowhere but here by Katie McGarryNowhere But Here (Thunder Road #1) by Katie McGarry

Goodreads – Contemporary YA -May 26th 2015 by Harlequin Teen

An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible.

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she’s curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn’t mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They’re the good guys. They protect people. They’re…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club’s most respected member—is in town, he’s gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it’s his shot at his dream. What he doesn’t count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.

I am not usually a YA romance fan, but for Katie McGarry? All my reservations disappear! I adored her novels Dare You To and Crash Into You and, while I wish we were getting another book in that series, I am very excited to see where she goes next.

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