Booked til Tuesday

Life, Law & Libros

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo ARC (2 stars)

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I haven't read Bardugo's Grisha trilogy, but I was really excited for Six of Crows, particularly with its Ocean's Eleven heist elements. Much of the book delivered, but, for me, it stumbled at the end.


This ARC was provided by the publisher for review. Some things may have changed in the final version.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Series: Six of Crows #1
Genres: YA, Fantasy
Published on September 29, 2015
Published by Henry Holt and Company
Final Rating: 2 stars
Synopsis:
Game of Thrones meets Ocean's Eleven in this brand-new book in the world of the Grisha by New York Times-bestselling author Leigh Bardugo.

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.

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Top 10 Books on My YA Historical Fantasy 101 Syllabus

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I took some interesting classes back in college, although not too many literature courses--that was more an English major thing. Writing Arts tied in more closely with the Communications and Journalism departments. Still, there was some interesting reading in there, including a class on female detectives in literature where I first learned about the original Nancy Drew. Fun stuff. :)

Anyway, if I were teaching a class, these 10 would be required reading on my syllabus.

YA Historical Fantasy 101


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Updraft by Fran Wilde ARC (2 stars)

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My rating system is far from perfect. Some books get 2 stars because they had significant failings that prevented me from liking them. Some books get 2 stars, not because there's anything horribly wrong with them, but just because I never fully connected. Like watching a horse race or baseball game, but without caring who wins. You watch, but you're not invested. On the bright side, since I didn't find anything horribly bad in this book, I'm confident plenty of readers will really enjoy it. :)


This ARC was provided by the publisher for review. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Updraft by Fran Wilde
Series: 1 of ? (it does have a sequel)
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Published on September 1, 2015
Published by Tor Books
Final Rating: 2 stars
Synopsis:
In a city of living bone rising high above the clouds, where danger hides in the wind and the ground is lost to legend, a young woman must expose a dangerous secret to save everyone she loves.

Welcome to a world of wind and bone, songs and silence, betrayal and courage.

Kirit Densira cannot wait to pass her wingtest and begin flying as a trader by her mother's side, being in service to her beloved home tower and exploring the skies beyond. When Kirit inadvertently breaks Tower Law, the city's secretive governing body, the Singers, demand that she become one of them instead. In an attempt to save her family from greater censure, Kirit must give up her dreams to throw herself into the dangerous training at the Spire, the tallest, most forbidding tower, deep at the heart of the City.

As she grows in knowledge and power, she starts to uncover the depths of Spire secrets. Kirit begins to doubt her world and its unassailable Laws, setting in motion a chain of events that will lead to a haunting choice, and may well change the city forever—if it isn't destroyed outright.

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Updates: The Short Version

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I've been dogsitting at my house, dogsitting at another house, catsitting at another house, tomorrow and Friday are orientation, class starts Monday, and a professor just changed the required text TODAY. (He's going to post the reading for Monday online, thank goodness.)

I'm still stalled on Black Widow. I might try to finish it this weekend...or it will be pushed to the side because I have a ton of reading homework already. I grabbed a couple of graphic novels from the library in the meantime. Lumberjanes was okay; yay for friendship and adventure, but a few little things that marred the experience and the art seemed inconsistent. The new Ms. Marvel (volumes 1 and 2) wasn't bad. I wasn't jumping up and down, but it was enjoyable enough.

And that's it. Yep. Like I said, short. :) Thanks for stopping in and check back tomorrow for my review of Updraft by Fran Wilde! In which people fly and die and fly some more. :)

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Top 10 Authors to Buy

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This week's topic is "Top 10 Auto-Buy Authors." I don't normally do "auto-buy" on anything, especially with books. Even if I've loved an author's work before, I may hate the latest release. I may even have loved the first book of a series and disliked the second. All that to say, I take everything on a book by book basis. Which means copious amounts of investigating and review reading and sometimes reading the book first before I'll buy it for my collection.

And now that we've further established I'm a picky cheapskate, here's a slight tweak to the topic. ;)

Top 10 Authors/Particular Books to Buy:

Robin McKinley - Pegasus series
This is an actual auto-buy. The first book came out in 2010. Something went wrong, and the second book never came out. If it ever sees the light of day, I'm snatching it up.

Ilona Andrews - Kate Daniels series
Library doesn't have it and doesn't seem to be getting it any time soon. And I already have the first two books. Might as well keep going. ;)

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Disney Princess Tag

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I found this tag on Love at First Page (thank you, Danielle!).
Tag created by Soudha @ Of Stacks and Cups


My Favorite Disney Movies:
Hmm, this is really hard, but since the princesses are already in the list, I'm going to say The Emperor's New Groove, One Hundred and One Dalmations, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Treasure Planet, and Meet the Robinsons.


1. Snow White - Name your favorite classic


The classic revenge story.

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Random Amusement: Fairy Tale Movies

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Disney has the lion's share of this market, usually for good reason. Has anyone else managed to perfect that combination of public domain stories with catchy songs and talking animals and/or inanimate objects that results in ridiculous amounts of money? And then successfully merchandise the heck out of it?

But that doesn't mean there aren't other entertaining movies out there based on our favorite Grimm, Anderson and Lang tales. Some of them entertain us for the wrong reasons, but we're all allowed our guilty pleasures. ;) With that, I give you some fairy tale inspired movies I enjoyed.

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The Drafter by Kim Harrison ARC (2 stars)

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I was looking for some adult urban fantasy/sci-fi at BEA in May and ran across Kim Harrison's The Drafter. I haven't read anything else by Harrison, and I can't say I'm jumping at the idea after the issues I had with this one. It reminded me very strongly of a YA book I read last year, ACID by Emma Pass; and that wasn't a good thing.


This ARC was provided by the publisher for review. Some things may have changed in the final version.
The Drafter by Kim Harrison
Series: The Peri Reed Chronicles #1
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy/Sci-fi
Published on September 1, 2015
Published by Gallery Books
Final Rating: 2 stars
Synopsis:
Detroit 2030. Double-crossed by the person she loved and betrayed by the covert government organization that trained her to use her body as a weapon, Peri Reed is a renegade on the run.

Don’t forgive and never forget has always been Peri’s creed. But her day job makes it difficult: she is a drafter, possessed of a rare, invaluable skill for altering time, yet destined to forget both the history she changed and the history she rewrote.

When Peri discovers her name on a list of corrupt operatives, she realizes that her own life has been manipulated by the agency. She joins forces with a mysterious rogue soldier in a deadly race to piece together the truth about her final task, unable to trust even herself.

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Updates: BookitCon Recap

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One week to go until orientation. Start praying. A lot. Summer is officially over.

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And in other news, this Sunday was the first ever BookitCon! Which was pretty fun, and I met someone else with my same first/last name! I don't know the numbers, but the turnout seemed decent and there was a Starbucks right around the corner when I required caffeine. ;)

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Top 10 Authors I've Read the Most

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This should be an easy topic. Open up the Goodreads stats, find who's at the top, easy peasy. So I did that and realized some of those names were from long, long ago. Like elementary school and high school. And now I feel old. :) So I weeded them out and what's left are authors I've read (at least one book from) recently.


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Discussion: Cutting Out Cable

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I watch a lot of TV. Not as much as I used to, but still a lot. In my house, we eat dinner in the living room while watching the news, and the TV is pretty much on all evening, even if some of us are on computers or reading books for part of it. But someone suggested cutting back the cable the other day--possibly getting rid of it entirely.

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This isn't necessarily a bad idea. Would it be a major change in our daily lives? Oh yeah. We'd probably still get plenty of screen time, just more of it through computers and free or subscription streaming. We might become more productive: more reading, more writing, more cleaning, more exercising! (Don't hold your breath on that last one.) Sure, there would be lots of long silences and more work involved in finding something silly to watch when you need a brain break, but we would adapt eventually. Or crack and bring back the cable. ;)

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The Hidden Masters of Marandur by Jack Campbell (2 stars)

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This is the second book in Campbell's Pillars of Reality series. If you haven't read the first and don't want to be spoiled, feel free to check out my review of The Dragons of Dorcastle instead.

Also, heads up that Campbell writes this series for audio. Audio is the intended format. I read the ebook version, and the reading medium definitely impacts the review; so I encourage you to also read a review of the audiobook if you like the sound of this. :)

This e-book was provided through NetGalley for review. Some things may have changed in the final version.
The Hidden Masters of Marandur by Jack Campbell
Series: The Pillars of Reality #2
Genres: YA/Adult, Fantasy
Published on June 10, 2015
Published by Jabberwocky Literary Agency, Inc.
Final Rating: 2 stars
Synopsis:
The second book of the exciting The Pillars of Reality epic fantasy series, by New York Times best-selling author Jack Campbell!

Someone wants to kill Mari, a young steam mechanic in the guild that controls all technology. She has learned that her world of Dematr is headed for a catastrophe that will destroy civilization and that mages really can alter reality for short periods. Someone also wants to kill Alain, a young mage who has learned that mechanics are not frauds, as his guild teaches, and that mechanic Mari is the only person who can prevent the oncoming disaster.

Narrowly escaping death, the mechanic and the mage stay alive thanks to their combined skills, an alliance never before seen. But it becomes clear that both of their guilds, the most powerful forces in the world, are trying to destroy them. Other powers, like the great empire and a mysterious secret order, also seek to kill or capture them using every weapon from imperial legions to mage-created trolls, dragons, and rocs.

Trying to survive and learn the truth about their world so they will know how to save it, Mari and Alain realize the answers they seek may lie in the dead city of Marandur. But Marandur is guarded by the legions that have sealed it off from the rest of the world for more than a century. Mari and Alain's only hope may rest with the unseen masters of Marandur.

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Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson eARC (3 stars)

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I don't usually think of myself as a fan of westerns, but I had a lot of fun with this Gold Rush, pioneer trail adventure! Lee has a lot going for her as a protagonist, and several levels of conflict and tension keep the story engaging throughout.


This eARC was provided through Edelweiss for review. Some things may have changed in the final version.
Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson
Series: The Gold Seer Trilogy #1
Genres: YA, Historical, Fantasy
Published on September 22, 2015
Published by Greenwillow Books
Final Rating: 3 stars
Synopsis:
The first book in a new trilogy from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Rae Carson. A young woman with the magical ability to sense the presence of gold must flee her home, taking her on a sweeping and dangerous journey across Gold Rush–era America.

Lee Westfall has a secret. She can sense the presence of gold in the world around her. Veins deep beneath the earth, pebbles in the river, nuggets dug up from the forest floor. The buzz of gold means warmth and life and home—until everything is ripped away by a man who wants to control her. Left with nothing, Lee disguises herself as a boy and takes to the trail across the country. Gold was discovered in California, and where else could such a magical girl find herself, find safety? Rae Carson, author of the acclaimed Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy, dazzles with this new fantasy that subverts both our own history and familiar fantasy tropes.

Walk on Earth a Stranger, the first book in this new trilogy, introduces—as only Rae Carson can—a strong heroine, a perilous road, a fantastical twist, and a slow-burning romance. Includes a map and author’s note on historical research.

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Updates: Law & Summer

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I officially have two weeks until school starts, and I'm pushing like crazy to get ready and to fit in some summery stuff before my free time evaporates. I just got my schedule and bill yesterday. It's going to be a busy semester. That's for sure.

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10 Fairy Tale Retellings I Want to Read

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I made a list of Top 10 Books for Readers Who Like Fairy Tale Retellings (which I recommend checking out) back in March, and there haven't been many changes to that list since. (Except for Uprooted, which was very good.) I could easily find "10 Retellings That Didn't Work for Me but Might for You," but that's a little negative...and depressing. ;) So instead, I give you 10 fairy tale retellings I haven't tried yet, but want to read!





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