Sunday, May 15, 2016

New Releases: May 15-21

Release of the Week

A Ghost Trapped in a Tower. A Peasant Girl. A Curse Six Hundred Years Old . . .

For six hundred years I have dwelt in this prison. Trapped. Helpless. Unliving and undying.

For six hundred years I have watched as cursebreakers come and go. Brave young women all, gifted with powers beyond mortal understanding.

I have watched them die. I have watched them wish to die.

Once again the Family of Night invades this country to claim its dues, and this generation’s cursebreaker has her chance to break the endless chain of torment. To save me. To save her sisters.

But how can a peasant child scarcely fourteen years of age discover the three-part key and liberate the captives? Will she too be doomed to join the Death Dance binding us all to the Family of Night?
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Saturday, May 14, 2016

Review: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
Published: April 26, 2016
Publisher:
Scholastic Press
Pages:
438 (Hardcover)
Series:
The Raven Cycle #4
Source:
Bought
My Rating:
5 of 5 stars

Nothing living is safe. Nothing dead is to be trusted.

For years, Gansey has been on a quest to find a lost king. One by one, he’s drawn others into this quest: Ronan, who steals from dreams; Adam, whose life is no longer his own; Noah, whose life is no longer a lie; and Blue, who loves Gansey…and is certain she is destined to kill him.

Now the endgame has begun. Dreams and nightmares are converging. Love and loss are inseparable. And the quest refuses to be pinned to a path.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Thoughts for Thursday: Female Characters

Thoughts for Thursday is a discussion post mainly about book related things. It isn't every week, but we try to do it as often as possible.

Erika

Most Young Adult books have a female protagonist, but how many of those books have a heroine worth reading about? Honestly, not many in my opinion. I have a very specific idea of what makes a good heroine and you're all probably thinking that I'm going to say that the best are the badass ones that don't need anyone to save them. While I do love these characters, I find that a lot of the time they fall flat in another area.

A lot of the time I see people praising the strong female characters and bashing the ones that show any sort of weakness. But I don't think that a female character needs to be badass or strong to be a good character. There are plenty of female characters that aren't like Celaena from Throne of Glass and they are still good characters. Do you really only want to read about women that could kill a man? After awhile wouldn't that get a little boring? I'm not saying don't write those characters. I love them, but I also love heroines that show weakness and emotion. 

On the flip side, I find it very irritating when a female character is reduced to one thing like I believe Natasha Romanoff was in the latest Avengers movie. I loved Black Widow in the previous movies, but her character seemed so off in the new movie and it was really disappointing. Her character served the purpose of being a love interest and when her tragic back story was revealed it was used to further a connection between her and her love interest.

I feel like a female character shouldn't be valued or defined by a specific characteristic because that isn't realistic. They should have depth and a wide range of what kind of character they are, rather than just defined as strong or weak.

Nikki

This might sound rather boring but I yet again agree with Erika here. I think that the YA genre has gotten swamped with "badass" "feminist" characters that aren't all what they appear to be. For example, the bestselling series at the moment are The Hunger Games, Divergent, Legend, The Mortal Instruments, and The Maze Runner. What do they all have in common? The "uniquely strong female who surprises the male with how unfeminine they are and ends up having a romantic relationship with said male". 

Not only do I need diversity, I need pop culture to accept masculine and feminine features as equal. I need female characters who aren't put down for being flawed. I need a well-written book that isn't all about the girl finding romance. I need female characters who aren't bashed for the same characteristics men are praised for. A novel is not the place for a shallow character who can't decide which boy she should date (what makes it worse is that my description can be about several different popular books in the YA genre). The Young Adult book target audience shouldn't look at these  female characters and think that they are perfect role models and that they need to be like them. As Erika said, having specific characteristics isn't realistic. Being labeled so easily shouldn't be what's imprinted on a young girl/boy's mind. I would say the Percy Jackson and the Olympians/Heroes of Olympus does an 'alright' job with female diversity. I also think the new Ms. Marvel comics have great potential (I've only read the first issue as of now). I think it shows just what a sorry state the genre is in that I can't think of any more right now off the top of my head.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Review: Reboot by Amy Tintera

Reboot by Amy Tintera
Published: May 7, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 365 (Paperback)
Series: Reboot #1
Source: Bought
My Rating: 3 of 5 stars
Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, but also less emotional. The longer Reboots are under, the less human they are when they return- making Wren 178 the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, her favorite part of her job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she's ever seen.

 As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically still human. His reflexes are too slow, he's always asking pesky questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking Wren out. And yet... he's still her newbie. When Callum falls short of Reboot standards, Wren is told to eliminate him. 

But the perfect soldier is done taking orders. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Review: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
Published: October 6, 2015
Publisher: Disney Hyperion Books
Pages: 491 (Hardcover)
Series: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #1
Source: Bought
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother's mysterious death, he's lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.

One day, he's tracked down by a man he's never met- a man his mother claimed was dangerous. The man tell shim an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.

The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die...

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Review: The Ring of Solomon by Jonathan Stroud

The Ring of Solomon by Jonathan Stroud
Published: November 2, 2010
Publisher: 
Hyperion
Pages:
 398 (Hardcover)
Series: 
Bartimaeus #0.5
Source: 
Bought at a Book Tour
My Rating:
 5 of 5 stars
The setting is an alternate version of biblical times during the reign of King solomon, where magicians command djinni and Solomon rides herd over the known world due to his possession of an all-powerful ring that causes everyone to cower before him. The Queen of Sheba, aware that Solomon is preparing to disrupt her country's frankincense trade due to her refusal of his multiple marriage proposals, sends her most trusted guard, Asmira, to kill Solomon and steal the ring.&nbspOur beloved friend Bartimaeus encounters Asmira traveling to Jerusalem while out hunting creatures in the desert for King Solomon. How Bartimaeus ends up her servant  and what they discover about the truth of Solomon's power, makes this a delightful and fascinating book, and it's likely to bring new fans to the original series. 

Bartimaeus is a wonderful creation, but the new character, Asmira, is equally well rendered, with her keen ability with daggers providing her with much-needed self-defense.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

New Releases: May 10-16

Release of the Week

End of Days is the explosive conclusion to Susan Ee’s bestselling Penryn & the End of Days trilogy.

After a daring escape from the angels, Penryn and Raffe are on the run. They’re both desperate to find a doctor who can reverse the twisted changes inflicted by the angels on Raffe and Penryn’s sister. As they set off in search of answers, a startling revelation about Raffe’s past unleashes dark forces that threaten them all.

When the angels release an apocalyptic nightmare onto humans, both sides are set on a path toward war. As unlikely alliances form and strategies shift, who will emerge victorious? Forced to pick sides in the fight for control of the earthly realm, Raffe and Penryn must choose: Their own kind, or each other?

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