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bookish posts reviews

TBR Readathon: Update the last

tbr readathon

So, I was doing really well, and then the last week or so happened. I only managed to finish one of the books on my list, although I started several others.

Golden Girl by Sarah Zettel: Second in the American Fairies trilogy, this book follows Callie and Jack as they make their way to Hollywood. I liked this one a lot, although the cover is quite misleading–Callie and Jack aren’t in a glamorous situation at all. They’re working, not acting, and the people around them aren’t who they seem. I called one twist, but I could also understand why the characters didn’t see it, so it was more an awareness-of-the-shape-of-narrative thing than a too obvious thing.

Final count:
DNF–4
finished–10
started–5 (three of which I’m still working on)

Not super great numbers, but not too shabby either! This was a lot of fun. Thank you, Nancy, for organizing it!

My (ambitious) List:
Poems by Akhmatova
The Last Academy by Anne Applegate
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood–DNF
Pure by Julianna Baggott–finished
Phoenix Rising by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris–DNF
Flip by Martyn Bedford–DNF
Echo by Alicia Brewster
Tortilla Sun by Jennifer Cervantes–finished
Savage Fortress by Sarwat Chadda
Rusalka by CJ Cherryh–finished
The Pirate’s Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke–finished
The Lost Sun by Tessa Gratton
The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell–finished
The Lost Kingdom by Matthew Kirby–finished!
The Wig in the Window by Kristen Kittscher
The Caged Graves by Dianne Salemi
The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow–finished
Poetry of Vernon Watkins
The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White–finished
P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia–finished
In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters–DNF
Golden Girl by Sarah Zettel–finished

Categories
bookish posts reviews

TBR Readathon: Update 3

tbr readathon

Phoenix Rising by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris: I DNF’d this one–I’m not super wild about the genre (steampunk) to begin with, and the characterization at the beginning did nothing to hold my attention. Too many other books to read.

Rusalka by C.J. Cherry: Finished this one and posted a review.

The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell: So, my deep dark secret is that a few years ago, I was writing a Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling, and then I frogged* it for several reasons. But during that time, I didn’t read any of the multitude of TDP retellings that were being published. The Princess Curse is the first I’ve picked up since then, and I really liked it. It weaves in the Persephone myth at the end as well, and I was JUST THINKING how much I want more Persephone retellings. Anyway, I liked it, although I was sort of wilfully ignoring Reveka’s age because of reasons. I also think the cover skews the book a bit too young–I would love a beautiful Kinuko Crafty cover that reflects the mythological richness of the book a little more.

* This is a knitting term, and I’m sure there’s an equivalent writing version, but I don’t know it.

Flip by Martyn Bedford: I DNF’d this one as well. It’s a fascinating concept, but I didn’t feel like the book was ever going to get beyond the cool concept. In particular, Alex never became a real character to me, which partly makes sense but was also frustrating. I got a good way through the book, but felt no compulsion to finish it.

In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters: I also DNF’d one. There’s nothing wrong with the book or the writing, but it’s pretty heavily focused on spiritualism, which is one of my turn-offs in books. If this is not your problem, try this one! It’s nicely written and atmospheric, with an interesting historical background.

My (ambitious) List:
Poems by Akhmatova
The Last Academy by Anne Applegate
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood–DNF
Pure by Julianna Baggott–finished
Phoenix Rising by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris–DNF
Flip by Martyn Bedford–DNF
Echo by Alicia Brewster
Tortilla Sun by Jennifer Cervantes–finished
Savage Fortress by Sarwat Chadda
Rusalka by CJ Cherryh–finished
The Pirate’s Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke–finished
The Lost Sun by Tessa Gratton
The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell–finished
The Lost Kingdom by Matthew Kirby–finished!
The Wig in the Window by Kristen Kittscher
The Caged Graves by Dianne Salemi
The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow–finished
Poetry of Vernon Watkins
The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White–finished
P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia–finished
In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters–DNF
Golden Girl by Sarah Zettel

Categories
bookish posts reviews

TBR Readathon: Update 2

tbr readathon

I actually got quite a bit read this week! I’m not sure what was different, except that I read several books in a row that I really enjoyed, which might have gotten me back in the reading groove.

Pure by Julianna Baggott: I really liked this adult SF–you could put a dystopian label on it, but it’s quite different in feel from most of the YA dystopias out there these days. The characters were well developed, and the world was both interesting and believable, at least for the space of the novel.

Tortilla Sun by Jennifer Cervantes: The family parts of this were lovely, as was Izzy’s coming of age and the different cultural aspects. As an outsider, I found them lovingly and carefully depicted. I really appreciated the range of experiences that Cervantes manages to show. I wasn’t quite as much a fan of the magical elements, which didn’t seem to ever quite coalesce. But that’s less important in this story, so I wasn’t hugely bothered.

The Pirate’s Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke: Sequel to The Assassin’s Curse. I wish I had gone back to re-read the first book, as I was a bit fuzzy as to timing. However, once I got over that initial disorientation, I really really liked this one! A nice romance, plus pirates. In some ways it was a little muted, but I didn’t dislike that; it’s really about Ananna and her journey.

The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow: This is a hard book for me to assess. On one hand, it tells what feels like a very important story. On the other, I felt that the writing style was not my favorite–the sentence level writing was fairly weak, IMO. On the third hand, I suspect it would be possible to sell this to reluctant readers, or readers who are wary of historical fiction, because of the sports aspect.

The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White: This was a really quick, fun read. And the design is absolutely gorgeous, inside and out. However, I really felt that a lot of the worldbuilding aspects didn’t quite make sense, and Isadora was occasionally very inconsistent in terms of what she knew about the outside world. It’s a great popcorn book, and that’s about it.

P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia: The sequel to One Crazy Summer. I liked a lot of it, especially the range of different attitudes and experiences that are portrayed (anytime the idea of a monolithic culture gets broken down, I am happy). However, I was really surprised at the ending, which felt abrupt and unfinished–not so much open as simply cut off.

I’ve also started Rusalka, by CJ Cherryh. Her books often take a bit to get off the ground, and I’m just getting to what looks like the main plot. So, we’ll see! I like the Russian-inspired setting, and her descriptions are always so lovely and vivid. And yet, the whole effect is somewhat muted, or distant, or something. It’s work to read one of her books, despite the fact that they’re not conventionally difficult.

My (ambitious) List:
Poems by Akhmatova
The Last Academy by Anne Applegate
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood–DNF
Pure by Julianna Baggott–finished
Phoenix Rising by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris
Flip by Martyn Bedford
Echo by Alicia Brewster
Tortilla Sun by Jennifer Cervantes–finished
Savage Fortress by Sarwat Chadda
Rusalka by CJ Cherryh
The Pirate’s Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke–finished
The Lost Sun by Tessa Gratton
The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell
The Lost Kingdom by Matthew Kirby–finished!
The Wig in the Window by Kristen Kittscher
The Caged Graves by Dianne Salemi
The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow–finished
Poetry of Vernon Watkins
The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White–finished
P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia–finished
In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters
Golden Girl by Sarah Zettel

Categories
bookish posts reviews

TBR Readathon: Update 1

tbr readathon

Weeellll, the first five days of August have gone by, and my TBR list depletion has not progressed at a wonderfully great rate. Here’s the situation right now:

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood: I, regretfully, DNF’d this one (did not finish, for those of you not fluent in Book Blogger). There were two main reasons: I felt myself getting more and more depressed, and I felt very preached at. I know this is a classic of modern SF, and I appreciate it being in the world, but I didn’t force myself to finish.

The Janus Affair by Pip Ballantine: It turns out this is the second book of a series, and since I haven’t read the first, that’s a problem! I’ve requested the first one and if it comes in quickly enough I’ll just substitute it for the second book.

The Lost Kingdom by Matthew Kirby: The only one I’ve actually managed to finish! And it’s an ARC that’s out in September, so I don’t want to say too much about it. But I will say that the concept is really interesting, and I thought it was well executed.

My (ambitious) List:
Poems by Akhmatova
The Last Academy by Anne Applegate
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood–DNF
Pure by Juliana Baggott
The Janus Affair by Pip Ballantine–hopefully my hold will come in
Flip by Martyn Bedford
Echo by Alicia Brewster
Tortilla Sun by Jennifer Cervantes
Savage Fortress by Sarwat Chadda
Rusalka by CJ Cherryh
The Pirate’s Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke
The Lost Sun by Tessa Gratton
The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell
The Lost Kingdom by Matthew Kirby–finished!
The Wig in the Window by Kristen Kittscher
The Caged Graves by Dianne Salemi
The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow
Poetry of Vernon Watkins
The Chaos of Stars by Kierstin White
P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia
In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters
Golden Girl by Sarah Zettel

Also, while I’m not doing Top Ten Tuesday this week, you should check out everyone else’s posts here.

Categories
bookish posts

August TBR Readathon sign-up

tbr readathon
Nancy Kelley, who is a Twitter friend of mine, is hosting a TBR Readathon during the month of August. I have accepted that the state of my TBR is hopeless. (I have almost 450 lines in the spreadsheet, and that is not books. It is authors.) However, I would like to whittle it down a bit, and since I had a lot of fun with the ReReadathon challenge in July, I thought this might be a good way to go. So, I’ll be focusing on books which are on my TBR list, starting with just the ones that I have checked out at the moment (sob).

I’m not necessarily intending to finish all of these, but I’m hoping that I will manage to either read them or decide I don’t want to read them and be able to cross them off the list.

My (ambitious) List:
Poems by Akhmatova
The Last Academy by Anne Applegate
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Pure by Juliana Baggott
The Janus Affair by Pip Ballantine
Flip by Martyn Bedford
Echo by Alicia Brewster
Tortilla Sun by Jennifer Cervantes
Savage Fortress by Sarwat Chadda
Rusalka by CJ Cherryh
The Pirate’s Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke
The Lost Sun by Tessa Gratton
The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell
The Lost Kingdom by Matthew Kirby
The Wig in the Window by Kristen Kittscher
The Caged Graves by Dianne Salemi
The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow
Poetry of Vernon Watkins
The Chaos of Stars by Kierstin White
P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia
In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters
Golden Girl by Sarah Zettel