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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

September TBR pile + Linky

Here is my TBR (to be read) stack for September.  I know, I know.  I need help.  I'm not going to lie, I probably won't make it through all of these.  But this is the stack I'm pulling from, and I hope to make it through as many as I can.

Anywhoodle, if you blog or vlog a September TBR of your own, make sure you link it up below so everyone can see what you're taking on this month!
(Psst!  You can see how I did last month, with a thumbs up/thumbs down play-by-play here!)

The Stack:
The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff (read this one early)
Tuesdays at the Castle (read this early, too)
Lunch Wars by Amy Kalafa (carry over from Aug)
7 Kinds of Ordinary Catastrophes by Amber Kizer (carry over)
Perchance to Dream by Lisa Mantchev (which I forgot to mention)
The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook (which I forgot to mention)
Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver
Between the Sea and Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore
Mercy by Rebecca Lim
Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Level Up by Gene Luen Yang
The Eternal Smile by Gene Luen Yang
Robot Dreams by Sara Varon
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst
Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Clarity by Kim Harrington
Putting Makeup on Dead People by Jen Violi
Fat Vampire by Adam Rex (I would just like to point out that the hardcover of this is less than $7 on Amazon at the moment...)
Hourglass by Myra McEntire

The Maybes:
All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin
Without Tess by Marcella Pixley
more Helluva Halloween goodies!

Wishlist Wednesday: Liar's Moon

Liar's Moon by Elizabeth C Bunce
Fantasy, 400 pages
Expected publication: November 1st 2011 
from Arthur A. Levine Books

Prisons, poisons, and passions combine in a gorgeously written fantasy noir.

As a pickpocket, Digger expects to spend a night in jail every now and then. But she doesn't expect to find Lord Durrel Decath there as well--or to hear he's soon to be executed for killing his wife.

Durrel once saved Digger's life, and when she goes free, she decides to use her skills as a thief, forger, and spy to return the favor. But each new clue only opens up new mysteries. Durrel's late wife had an illegal business on the wrong side of the civil war raging just outside the city gates. Digger keeps finding forbidden magic in places it has no reason to be.

And for a thief in a town full of liars, sometimes it doesn't pay to know the truth.

I just reviewed the first book in the Thief Errant series, StarCrossed, a few days ago.  I also named it one of my favorite recent reads, so needless to say, I am eager for its sequel.  Bunce is a very skilled world-builder (as StarCrossed and her debut, A Curse Dark as Gold, can attest to), and I'm eager to get back into Digger's world.  And have her voice back in my head.  And see what trouble she gets into next.
Anyone else eager for this one?  

What's on your wishlist?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

TBR Tuesday: The Humming Room

Most of us have books we've bought with all intentions of reading (or maybe just because it was cheap!), only to have them fade away on a shelf or disappear into a stack of books, never to be seen or thought of again.
TBR Tuesday is a way to talk about the books we own but haven't read, see what other people think about them, and help us decide whether to bump it up our list or knock it off completely.

On my TBR

The Humming Room by Ellen Potter
Middle grade literary, 288 pages
Expected publication: February 28th 2012
by Feiwel & Friends

Hiding is Roo Fanshaw’s special skill.
Living in a frighteningly unstable family, she often needs to disappear at a moment’s notice. When her parents are murdered, it’s her special hiding place under the trailer that saves her life.
As it turns out, Roo, much to her surprise, has a wealthy if eccentric uncle, who has agreed to take her into his home on Cough Rock Island. Once a tuberculosis sanitarium for children of the rich, the strange house is teeming with ghost stories and secrets. Roo doesn’t believe in ghosts or fairy stories, but what are those eerie noises she keeps hearing? And who is that strange wild boy who lives on the river?
People are lying to her, and Roo becomes determined to find the truth.
Despite the best efforts of her uncle’s assistants, Roo discovers the house’s hidden room—a garden with a tragic secret.
Inspired by The Secret Garden, this tale full of unusual characters and mysterious secrets is a story that only Ellen Potter could write.

As I mentioned last week, I got a surprise book of goodies from the ever-awesome Ksenia, and this was one of them.  It doesn't come out until February, and though I may save my review for closer to then, I doubt I'll be able to wait anywhere near that long to read it.  I mean, I have Potter's other book, The Kneebone Boy, on my reading pile too, and intended to read it soon, but this may actually take precedence.  Why?  The Secret Effing Garden, that's why.  And a character named Roo.  Already this is made of win.  
Anyone else super excited about this?

What's lurking in your tbr pile?
Leave us a comment or a link below!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Witch Song by Amber Argyle

Witch Song by Amber Argyle
Fantasy: 305 pages
Expected publication: September 1st 2011
from Rhemalda Publishing

The world is changing. Once, Witch Song controlled everything from the winds to the shifting of the seasons--but not anymore. All the Witches are gone, taken captive by a traitor. All but Brusenna. As the echo of their songs fade, the traitor grows stronger. Now she is coming for Brusenna. Her guardian has sworn to protect her, but even he can't stop the Dark Witch. Somehow, Brusenna has to succeed where every other Witch has failed. Find the traitor. Fight her. Defeat her. Because if Brusenna doesn't, there won't be anything left to save.

When I read the first page of this, I got kind of excited.  The MC, Brusenna, is simply trying to buy something from the village market and is being harassed by a vendor without having actually done anything.  I love a good outsider/underdog story, and the initial setup gave me flashbacks to Plain Kate, which I loved.  I had high hopes.  And though that Otherness, that outsider-ness is a part of the story, it turned out to be a sort of minimal part of the story.  Which is fine: it's not the story's fault that I didn't get what I thought I was going to get.

But what I did get...I don't have much to say about.  I don't know how to make this not sound like a really negative review, because in truth, it's not.  I didn't hate this book.  I didn't even really dislike this book.  But I didn't really love it or like it all that much either.  I experienced the typical "Oh I like that, eww that not so much"s that one does while reading, but it never really went one way or the other for me.  It was a wash, and in the end I was left feeling a little indifferent.

How do I explain this...

It's like soup.
You can make soup from a can and it's good, it's serviceable.  But it's one note, usually kinda salty and a bit mushy.  Or you can spend hours making soup from scratch, layering the flavors and creating something complex and savory, that bursts with flavor on your tongue.  Both are soup.  Both can be satisfying in their own soup-way.  But I'm not really a canned soup kinda girl.  I will spend hours making a frakking bowl of soup, so that when I sit down to eat it I can savor it.  I can taste all of those different ingredients in every bite, and the way they play off of each other to make something more.
soup vs Soup.
You eat soup for sustenance; you eat Soup because it warms your soul.
So this was like eating a bowl of soup when what I wanted was a bowl of Soup.  Not bad, but not something that's going to leave much of an impression.

If that much-generalized, utterly ridiculous metaphor doesn't do it for you, here are some of the specifics:

Things I liked:
  • The sort of adventure story, with the traveling and the procuring of horses and boats and whatnot.
  • The visual aspects of the writing.  I was really able to see the world Argyle created and picture how it looked, how it worked, etc.
  • Brusenna's personal story of growth.  It was not quite a coming of age story, but in some ways it kind of was.  It was nice to see her open up and let people in after the sheltered life she's led - and it was nice to see her stop pushing people away, which sounds like what I just said, but is different.  I was thankful for the time she finally stopped actively pushing people away and being self-pitying.
  •  Gollum Pogg.
  • Joshen.  I really liked Joshen.
Things I liked not so much:
  • The names.  Like, basically any of them.
  • I felt like the writing could have used a bit less Tell and a lot more Show.  It felt like surface writing, like we never got to really dig down deep and discover the world.  What makes Brusenna so special?  What turned Espen into the Dark Witch? I don't want to be told these things, I want to discover them, and be shown these things and fit them together into solid world-building.
  • The big BA witches fought with seeds.  Like, they had seed pods in their belts and they would throw them at each other like 4th of July snappers.  Yes, toxic vapors and killer thorns would come out of the seeds, which is coolish, and yes, the whole seeds and greenery and nature thing is very earthy and Wiccan, and I think what Argyle was going for.  But I just kept picturing this Gotta-Save-The-Earth showdown as Gotta-Catchem-All Pok√© balls being thrown around...
  • And speaking of the duel, it was...anti-climactic.  There was a LOT of buildup, but instead of being really tense during the showdown, I found myself on the verge of giggling.  And then it went on for another 50 pages, with a 2nd Big Bad, which I both liked and disliked.
  • And speaking of ↑↑, I hate even a whiff of deus ex machina, so this...  

I have a feeling I am going to end up in the minority on this one.  It's getting very high ratings and a lot of praise, so obviously people are connecting with it.  And maybe at a different time in my life, when I was younger perhaps, I would have liked this more and connected with Brusenna and her world, and would have cared a bit more.  As it is, I neither recommend nor discourage the reading of this.  It was middle of the road for me, and will likely fade from mind pretty quickly, but I am sure it will find its audience and ardent supporters.
And it's pretty.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

In My Mailbox: 8/28/11

Make sure to leave a link to your IMM in the comments, so I can see what goodies you got!  And if you've read any of my goodies, let me know what you thought of them. :)
And as always, In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren.

So....this is a super long IMM.  I mean, there was just an absolute shitton of books in my mailbox this week (and yes, all of them actually did come in my mailbox...)  If you want to watch the short version that shows just the books and none of the details and hoopla, there is a link you can click on about 50 seconds in that will take you to the short version.  :)


When the Sea is Rising Red  by Cat Hellisen
So Silver Bright by Lisa Mantchev
The Humming Room by Ellen Potter
Level Up by Gene Luen Yang
Bake Sale by Sara Varon
Without Tess by Marcella Pixley
An Elephant in the Garden by Michael Morpurgo
Toads and Diamonds by Heather Tomlinson
The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff
Masques and Wolfsbane by Patricia Briggs (includes Masques and Wolfsbane - obviously)
Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund
Aurelia by Anne Osterlund
The Rose and the Beast by Francesca Lia Block
Wish by Alexandra Bullen
Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers
Sisters in Sanity by Gayle Forman
Echoes by Melinda Metz (includes Echoes, Haunted and Trust)
Truancy by Isamu Fukui
Bowery Girl by Kim Taylor

Also Awesome:
(and you!)


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