Showing posts with label book blog. Show all posts
Showing posts with label book blog. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Forgot I Wanted to Read

Top Ten Tuesday is weekly book blog meme hosted by the lovely girls over at The Broke and the Bookish.

If you're a bookworm, then you are probably aware of a problem that all us have: having so many books to read that you simply forget about a lot of them. It's a true challenge, but at the same time it's exciting to realize that look, there are tons of books out there that you still want to read! I have a TBR shelf on Goodreads, but I don't keep a legitimate TBR list, so I just sort of have books floating loosely around in my head -- this is very dangerous, I do not recommend it -- and thus when I look at my Goodreads to-read, there are so many books that I forgot I wanted to read. Here are (only) ten of them!
(*all synopsis excerpts taken from Goodreads summaries*)

The Neverending Story
"The story begins with a lonely boy named Bastian and the strange book that draws him into the beautiful but doomed world of Fantastica. Only a human can save this enchanted place--by giving its ruler, the Childlike Empress, a new name. But the journey to her tower leads through lands of dragons, giants, monsters, and magic--and once Bastian begins his quest, he may never return. As he is drawn deeper into Fantastica, he must find the courage to face unspeakable foes and the mysteries of his own heart."

The Pelican Fables
"The provocative novel The Pelican Fables is a coming-of-age story about a young man who learns to confront his sexuality in a conservative all-boys prep school. Carter Moran is a handsome new faculty member at Melbourne Prep, the Melbourne Preparatory School for Boys. After obtaining his master's degree, Carter has accepted a one-year teaching position at Melbourne before he is to begin a fellowship at Harvard University. But amidst the conservatively charged atmosphere of the Melbourne School, Carter begins to come to terms with his sexual identity - an awakening made more difficult by the close relationship that develops between Carter and Adam Proffit, one of the school's most promising students whom Carter suspects may be secretly attracted to him. While Carter tries in earnest to keep his relationship with Adam at arm's length, this is complicated by Adam's increasingly bold advances."

The Book of Flying
"In Keith Miller's debut novel, our hero is Pico, a poet and librarian who is forbidden to pursue the girl of his dreams - for she has wings, and Pico does not. When he discovers an ancient letter in his library telling of the mythical Morning Town where the flightless may gain their wings, he sets off on a quest. It's a magical journey and coming-of-age story in which he meets a robber queen, a lonely minotaur, a cannibal, an immortal beauty, and a dream seller. Each has a story, and a lesson, for Pico - about learning to love, to persevere, and, of course, to fly. A gorgeously poetic tale of fantasy for adults, The Book of Flying is a beautiful modern fable and daring new take on the quest narrative."

In the Night Garden (The Orphan's Tales, #1)
"Secreted away in a garden, a lonely girl spins stories to warm a curious prince: peculiar feats and unspeakable fates that loop through each other and back again to meet in the tapestry of her voice. Inked on her eyelids, each twisting, tattooed tale is a piece in the puzzle of the girl's own hidden history." 

Da Vinci's Tiger
"The young and beautiful daughter of a wealthy family, Ginevra longs to share her poetry and participate in the artistic ferment of Renaissance Florence but is trapped in an arranged marriage in a society dictated by men. The arrival of the charismatic Venetian ambassador, Bernardo Bembo, introduces Ginevra to a dazzling circle of patrons, artists, and philosophers. Bembo chooses Ginevra as his Platonic muse and commissions a portrait of her by a young Leonardo da Vinci. Posing for the brilliant painter inspires an intimate connection between them, one Ginevra only begins to understand. In a rich and vivid world of exquisite art with a dangerous underbelly of deadly political feuds, Ginevra faces many challenges to discover her voice and artistic companionship—and to find love."

The Marlowe Papers
"On May 30th, 1593, a celebrated young playwright was killed in a tavern brawl in London. That, at least, was the official version. Now let Christopher Marlowe tell you the truth: that his 'death' was an elaborate ruse to avoid his being hanged for heresy; that he was spirited across the channel to live on in lonely exile, longing for his true love and pining for the damp streets of London; that he continued to write plays and poetry, hiding behind the name of a colourless man from Stratford — one William Shakespeare." 

The Children's Book
"When Olive Wellwood’s oldest son discovers a runaway named Philip sketching in the basement of the new Victoria and Albert Museum—a talented working-class boy who could be a character out of one of Olive’s magical tales—she takes him into the storybook world of her family and friends."

"Sarah has always been on the move. Her mother hates the cold, so every few months her parents pack their bags and drag her off after the sun. She’s grown up lonely and longing for magic. 

When Sarah’s mother walks out on their family, all the strange old magic they have tried to hide from comes rising into their mundane world. Her father begins to change into something wild and beastly, but before his transformation is complete, he takes Sarah to her grandparents—people she has never met, didn’t even know were still alive. 

Deep in the forest, in a crumbling ruin of a castle, Sarah begins to untangle the layers of curses affecting her family bloodlines, until she discovers that the curse has carried over to her, too. The day she falls in love for the first time, Sarah will transform into a beast . . . unless she can figure out a way to break the curse forever."

The Goblin Emperor
"The youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an "accident," he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir."

Jamaica Inn
"Her mother's dying request takes Mary Yellan on a sad journey across the bleak moorland of Cornwall to reach Jamaica Inn, the home of her Aunt Patience. With the coachman's warning echoing in her memory, Mary arrives at a dismal place to find Patience a changed woman, cowering from her overbearing husband, Joss Merlyn. 

Affected by the Inn's brooding power, Mary is thwarted in her attention to reform her aunt, and unwillingly drawn into the dark deeds of Joss and his accomplices. And, as she struggles with events beyond her control, Mary is further thrown by her feelings for a man she dare not trust..."

What books have you forgotten are on your TBR? Have you ready any of these? Let me know!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Tell Me Something Tuesday: Do You Give One-Star Reviews?

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings where a wide range of topics from books to blogging are discussed. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog.

This week's discussion question is:

Do you give one-star reviews?

Personally, I absolutely give one-star reviews. I don't give one-stars often, but I have no problem giving out a one-star review if I disliked a book that much.

Looking at my Goodreads account, I've given about ten one-star reviews, but that's probably not an accurate reflection. (And one of those one-star reviews is an extremely well-loved book, so it just goes to show you that people's opinions vary greatly).

I don't give a lot of one-stars, however, for a couple reasons. One of these reasons is that I have to really, really dislike a book to give it one star, and if I really dislike a book, I'm probably not going to finish it and it will end up as a DNF. There are a few exceptions to this, and that's usually when I either have to read the book for an assignment and dislike it or because it's one of those that I just feel obliged to finish. This is also the case if I am reading a review copy that I promised to read and review, although I'm not entirely sure if that has actually happened. I'll also sometimes finish a book and give it one-star if it's because I want to specifically share my opinions regarding a certain book - for instance, it might be beneficial to share a one-star for books that promote unhealthy relationships or things of that nature so that others can be warned and aware That's not necessarily to get them to not read the book, but moreso to just be aware of what's going on with the book.

Suffice to say, I will absolutely give a one-star if the situation requires it, but one-stars are often rare because I'm more likely to simply DNF the book.

So now I pose the same question to you: Do you give one-star reviews?

Friday, July 28, 2017

Anticipated August 2017 Releases!

August is almost here, which means new releases!
Personally, the arrival of August means that I'm trying not to freak out about how close we are to September when I move, so instead I'm trying to focus all of my nervous energy on books - has to be healthy, right? There are some fantastic new releases in August, and I can't wait to dive into some of these!

The Half-Drowned KingReincarnation BluesSipThe ArsonistThe Grip of It: A NovelThe ListSee What I Have DoneThe Tiger's Watch (Ashes of Gold, #1)The Heart's Invisible FuriesGolden Age and Other StoriesThe WoodThe Cosmic Machine: The Science That Runs Our Universe and the Story Behind It
Bibliomysteries: Stories of Crime in the World of Books and BookstoresSpellbook of the Lost and FoundThe Sworn VirginMask of Shadows (Untitled, #1)

The Half-Drowned King by Linnea Hartsuyker || August 1st
Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore || August 22nd
Sip by Brian Allen Carr || August 29th
The Arsonist by Stephanie Oakes || August 22nd
The Grip of It by Jac Jemc || August 1st
The List by Patricia Forde || August 8th
See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt || August 1st
The Tiger's Watch by Julia Ember || August 22nd (ARC review coming soon!)
The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne || August 22nd (ARC review coming soon!)
Golden Age and Other Stories by Naomi Novik || August 31st
The Wood by Chelsea Bobulski || August 1st
The Cosmic Machine by Scott Bebenek || August 15th
Bibiomysteries: Short Tales about Deadly Books by Otto Penzler || August 8th
Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moira Fowley-Doyle || August 8th
The Sworn Virgin by Kristopher Dukes || August 8th
Mask of Shadows By Linsey Miller || August 9th

What are your anticipated August releases?

Friday, June 9, 2017

Books that Conquered the Sequel Slump

Sequels: equally the most loved and hated by book lovers everywhere. Sometimes they are a fantastic, mindblowing addition, and sometimes it'd be better off if they weren't ever made. Today I thought I would look through some of my favorite sequels and share them with you all, so below I present to you just a few of the sequel that I felt were just as good - if not better! - than the first book. (And in the next month or so I plan to feature some of my least favorites... so stay tuned!)

The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2)The Doll's House (The Sandman #2)Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive, #2)

The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss: I loved The Name of the Wind and I thought that the sequel, The Wise Man's Fear, continued on this trilogy beautifully! I am still patiently awaiting the third installment, though I don't mind when authors take their time with a series -- I'd rather the book be exactly what they want it to be than rushed to a finish because fans are breathing down their necks.

The Sandman Vol. 2: Technically this came out as a comic initially, but since I read the Sandman graphic novels as individual volumes, I have to say that volume two was even more exciting than the first one, Preludes and Nocturnes. The Sandman series was the first graphic novel series I ever read, and to this day it remains my favorite; it is incredibly inventive and impossible to put down.

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson: I'm not quite if this one needs an explanation! Sanderson is a master at world-building and character-development, and his expansion on his world and the plot of this series was astounding. I can't wait for Oathbringer (#3) this fall!

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2)Lair of Dreams (The Diviners, #2)

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo: I love these characters. ❤  I love the dynamics, the story, everything. Crooked Kingdom was such a fantastic addition. As much as I would love to have more in this world, I am incredibly satisfied with this duology. Review.

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab: So I liked A Darker Shade of Magic, but I wasn't quite on board. I didn't like Lilah that much in the first book - I actually found her quite annoying - but the second book is when I fell in love. The characters became stronger, the world became more wide-ranging and complex, and the magic system flourished. Definitely stick around for book two. Review

Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray: The Diviners was fantastic, Lair of Dreams was also fantastic. That's all I have to say. (Also, the third book is coming this fall!)

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)Gemina (The Illuminae Files, #2)Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2)

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas: I really loved ACOTAR when I first read it. I had been going throw a pretty rough patch in my life and it really helped me through things and helped me have an outlet for all my difficulties. I wasn't sure if future books could be as good as I hoped ...and then I read ACOMAF, and I realized that the first book was nothing compared to this one. Review

Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman: Illuminae was brilliant and fortunately Gemina completely lived up to all expectations!

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer: I went into Cinder, book one, extremely skeptical because nothing about it seemed that interesting to me... and I ended up really enjoying it! I then decided to dive into Scarlet and found it to be a solid addition.

What do you think of these sequels? What are some of your favorites?

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Monday, December 12, 2016

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Scythe by Neal Shusterman. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2016. Hardcover. 433 pages.

Oh man, this book. I don't even know where to start talking about the crazy, incredible content of this book. If, like me, you have been hearing amazing things about Scythe, then I just want you to know that every word of praise is absolutely deserved. Neal Shusterman is truly a genius and I am always immensely impressed with his books. The ideas that he plays with and the moral quandaries that are debated in this book are insane and wonderful. I can easily say that this is one of the most thought-provoking books that I have read this year.

The most prominent theme and subject that Scythe deals with is, of course, death. But this isn't done in an overly morbid way. Don't get me wrong, the subject itself is inherently morbid and dark, but this book doesn't treat is as such - necessarily. It's more along the lines of questioning what death means, and also what immortality means, endless aging. Would you want to live forever, or is there a point in which you wouldn't want to keep living, even if you could continuously reset your body to younger ages? Would you want to live in a world knowing that you or anyone around you could be randomly chosen and gleaned (aka: killed) at any time? But then, how is that any different from random deaths from accidents and disease that occur around us everyday, anyway? Or would you want to become a scythe in order to ensure you and your family's immunity from death, when you would then have to be the bringers of death to millions. There are honestly just too many questions to ponder, and the way in which Shusterman brings these topics into the story are incredibly fluid and momentous.

One aspect of the world created in Scythe was the  notion that society had reached an area where every urge and necessity is met. If we are guaranteed food, shelter, the basic necessities of life, will we have any motivation to continue doing things and making advancements. Are there any advancements to work towards? Or is it more likely that life will become routine and monotonous with such a lack of motivation? I mean, death itself is even eradicated. People can be revived after be rendered 'deadish' (essentially, one dies, but not permanently because they can just be taken to a 'revival center' and be brought back to life, good as new in a few days), so where is the motivation in this world? I think all of these observations and topics are timely considering the many advancement we have made, and it is interesting to take a look through Shusterman's world that displays both the numerous benefits and consequences that arise.

There is also no "good" and "bad" in this book. Even the 'villainous' characters have legitimate arguments and thought processes. This book makes you question everything. It makes you realize that even institutions and advancements created with the most good-willed, positive intentions are susceptible to horrible corruption.

Moving away from the bigger themes of this book, I want to briefly discuss the two main characters, Citra and Rowan. I really enjoyed getting to know both of these characters and experiencing the many changes and feelings that they both experienced. As much as I would like to go into more detail regarding their character development, I am going  to refrain from doing so, solely because it will give away some important plot elements that I really do not want to spoil. All I can say is that Shusterman really took some time in crafting his characters and determining how they would react to various environments, which made this an even more fascinating read in regards to the psychology of being taught to kill.

Shusterman has an incredibly accessible writing style that is both mature and simple at the same time. It is easy to follow along with his writing, and I can imagine a wide variety of people enjoying his style. The premise of Scythe may be heavy, but Shusterman incorporates humor in a meaningful way that adds so much enjoyment to the story. Most of his characters are full of wit and sass, so if you are drawn to that, then you will definitely like these characters.

I want so much more from this world, but I'm also fearful of what could happen in this world. Where does the corruption end, or will it? It's not really fathomable to imagine that corruption can be permanently ended. It will always sneak its way back in, and I think that that is the beauty of this book. Where do things end, if not even death can bring an end to things?

Overall, I am giving Scythe five stars - and I'll be adding it to my favorites!

You might also like:
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
And I Darken by Kiersten White

Friday, December 9, 2016

Author Guest Post: Airwoman by Zara Quentin

I am excited to share with all of you a wonderful guest post written by Zara Quentin, author of Airwoman! A summary of her novel is provided below, followed by the guest post, in which Quentin discusses what it is like to write a winged character.

I will also be posting my review for Airwoman on December 29th, so stay tuned!

Airwoman by Zara Quentin
Publication Date: October 25, 2016


Jade Gariq is the daughter of a respected Taraqan leader, and the heiress to Gariq Industries—a large, cross-Portal trading company. Her future appears to be set. 

Except for one thing: It’s a life that she doesn’t want.
Jade has always dreamed of joining the Traveller Force—the elite Taraqans who traverse the Betwixt, filled with terrifying beasts, and who protect and patrol the Dragonverse. Despite having been Travellers themselves once, Jade’s parents remain vehemently against risking their only daughter’s life. When Jade’s father dies suddenly, she inherits Gariq Industries, its assets, trade deals and social responsibilities.

It seems as though her fate has once again been decided.

Meanwhile, Axel—her close friend and secret crush—disappears without a trace. Then Jade discovers the circumstances surrounding her father's death are not what they seem—her uncle Zorman suspects foul play. To find the truth and avenge her father's death, Jade travels to an uncharted world, where she will learn more about her family, herself, loyalty, and betrayal than she ever imagined.  

Write what you know—this is typical advice given to aspiring authors. Of course, it’s not meant to be taken literally. Authors aren’t restricted to writing memoirs, after all. Certainly, when it comes to the fantasy genre, that advice is stretched to its limits.

All stories at their essence are about characters. Even if those characters aren’t human, they have human characteristics or traits. Stories about animals are often humanised—the technical term is “anthropomorphism”—when we attribute human traits, emotions and intentions to non-humans. So, for fantasy writers, when we write what we know, we are taking our experience as human beings and imbuing it into our characters, human or otherwise.

The most important part of this advice, of course, is making it believable. How do we do that, when we’ve writing about something we’ve never experienced?

This was something I faced when writing Airwoman, since my main character is a young woman—Jade Gariq—who has wings and can fly. For Jade, though, flying isn’t strange or unusual. Everyone from her world has wings. I wanted to write Jade in a way that was relatable and believable for readers, without making flying a big deal for Jade, since it’s part of her everyday experience.

It was a challenge, but not an impossible one. This is how I approached it.

Dream First…

I’ve always wanted to be able to fly.

A few years ago, when I mentioned this to a family member, they laughed and told me to take a trip in a glider (for those that don’t know, a glider is a plane without an engine. And yes, I have done it.) I had to explain that I don’t dream of flying in a plane—I dream of flying under the power of my own wings.

Flying is such a graceful and powerful activity. It seems so effortless to watch, like floating in the sky. Would it be as effortless as it seems? Maybe when conditions are perfect, though I’m willing to bet it wouldn’t be effortless all the time. Imagine flying in strong winds, or through the rain, or over long distances. Flying probably isn’t nearly as beautiful and graceful in the experience as it seems from the ground. It’s important to imagine that too.

Then Observe…

Recently, on a family holiday to Noosa, Australia, I visited Australia Zoo, the wildlife park founded by Steve Irwin (for those that don’t know, Steve Irwin was an Australian wildlife activist, better known as The Crocodile Hunter). While we were there, I was lucky enough to see an amazing bird show. They had several different species of birds—some unbelievably fast as they circled the stadium, some which glided on incredibly wide wingspans, some brightly and beautifully coloured. The keepers had interesting facts about each of the birds and they set the show to music which increased the dramatic effect. For me, though, the best part was just watching these birds fly. I was mesmerised by it.

I’ve always liked to watch nature documentaries, as I find them so interesting and beautifully filmed. I also like watching birds in the sky. Over the years, my observations of birds in flight—whether it be on television or in real life—has given me a bank of experiences to draw on when I started to write from Jade’s perspective.

And Ask Lots of Questions…

Of course, I don’t actually know anyone who has wings, but in the absence of someone else to ask, I ask myself some basic questions. Why? What? How?

My main character, Jade Gariq, came to me in a flash of inspiration in the middle of the night. She appeared with wings and a tail—more dragon-like than angel-like—and before I knew anything else about her, I knew she could fly. This fact set off a series of questions, starting with:

How would the fact of her wings make Jade’s life different to my experience?

A person with wings has a defining physical difference to a human-being. It would naturally affect the way she lives, dresses and behaves. Why? She has wings sprouting from her shoulder-blades, so that makes wearing traditionally tailored shirts difficult, for example. Also, a tail makes it hard to find a pair of jeans to fit. Why would Jade wear shoes when she never walks anywhere? And sitting in chairs? Forget it.

If you could fly, how would you wear your hair? Tied back, at the very least, but even then, the wind would probably flick stray hairs into your eyes. As someone with long hair, it’s bad enough on a windy day. If I could fly, long hair would probably be unbearable.  I decided that Travelers, even the women, would wear their hair short for practicality.

How would you carry a bag while flying? A backpack would hamper the wings, but something that hung from around the neck or waist would be a drag. Bags would probably be specifically designed for flight, probably either fitted to a harness or slung diagonally across the chest and between the wing-joints at the back. Maybe one kind of bag would be used for short flights, while a harness might be more practical for longer trips?

Why would you build your house on the ground if you can approach the doorway by air? Would you put your doorway in the roof? Or perhaps built your house up high? In a tree, perhaps? Or at the top of an otherwise inaccessible cliff?

Each of these questions helped me to examine the details of what it would be like to live as Jade—as a winged person. Then, as I was writing, I sprinkled some of those details throughout the prose, to make it a more believable experience for the reader too.

Then Use Your Imagination (AKA Dream A Little More)

To write from the perspective of a character with wings, I took all the research I’d done and spent time imagining myself as Jade. While drafting—then revising—Airwoman, I spent plenty of time in front of my laptop with my eyes closed, immersing myself in what it would feel like to have air beneath my wings as I soared through the sky, to see the land and sea stretch out underneath me in every direction, to be tossed around by the gusts of air currents, to battle my way through a strong headwind or to steer using my tail.

Focusing on Jade’s experience of flight helped me to write from her perspective. As a character who is physically different to me, it was an exercise in the imagination. A challenge, but not an impossible one.

What do you think it would be like to fly? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Zara Quentin is the author of Airwoman, the first book in an exciting new young adult fantasy series. She was raised in Adelaide, Australia, with one younger sister. Zara grew up with a strong sense of adventure, which she inherited from her parents, who took her and her sister on trips to the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Zara has lived in France, London, and Auckland, New Zealand. She is always determined to fit in as much travel as possible, spending time in Europe, the United States, southern Africa, Morocco, Peru, the Pacific and south-east Asia.

Zara now resides in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and three children. She is currently working on the next instalment in the Airwoman series. You can get a free preview of Airwoman by signing up to her email list at You can also connect with Zara on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Goodreads.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

First Chapter Tuesday is hosted every Tuesday by Diane over at Bibiophile by the Sea. Join the fun by making your own post and linking up over at Diane's blog, or simple check it out to find more new books to read!

Alright, so I was already working on my Top Ten Tuesday blog post (hosted by The Broke and Bookish), when I realized that I was just way too excited about my current read to not do a First Chapter Tuesday post and share it. You may be seeing this book everywhere lately, but that is only because it just as amazing as everyone says! So without further ado, my First Chapter Tuesday is...

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)

Chapter 1

"Retvenko leaned against the bar and tucked his nose into his dirty shot glass. The whiskey had failed to warm him. Nothing could get you warm in this Saintsforsaken city. And there was no escaping the smell, the throat-choking stew of bilge, clams, and wet stone that seemed to have seeped into his pores as if he’d been steeping in the city’s essence like the world’s worst cup of tea."

(and a bonus intro excerpt from the second chapter because we love Wylan):
Chapter 2

"'What am I doing here?'"

That thought had run through Wylan’s head at least six times a day since he’d met Kaz Brekker. But on a night like this, a night when they were “working,” it rose and fell in his head like a nervous tenor practicing his scales: WhatamIdoingherewhatamIdoingherewhatamIdoinghere."

Find an excerpt of the first four chapters here.

What do you think? Would you keep reading? (And feel free to join in and make your own post!) 
If you're enticed by this chapter, be sure to check out the full synopsis on Goodreads!

*Excerpt taken from the novel itself; I do not claim to own any part of the excerpt.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin

*When the Sea Turned to Silver was released Tuesday, October 4th and is now available!*

When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2016. Paperback. 384 pages.

*I received a physical ARC of When the Sea Turned to Silver courtesy of Little, Brown in exchange for an honest review.*

When the Sea Turned to Silver is a beautiful, magical story filled with adventure and a wonderful fairy tale-like storytelling atmosphere. It was only after reading this that I discovered that it is in fact a companion novel to Lin's When the Mountain Meets the Moon, but fortunately this has no bearing on following or understanding this book.

Lin's story starts with Pinmei, granddaughter of her small village's beloved storyteller. The peace that currently inhabits her village is destroyed, however, when her grandmother is taken by the Emperor's soldiers and Pinmei takes it upon herself to embark upon a journey to save her. Pinmei herself is an extremely endearing and relatable character, and her friend Yishan brings even more color and excitement to the story.

Along the journey, the author has both Pinmei and her grandmother intersperse the story with many short tales about much of the myths and lore of their culture. I loved these stories, and they blended in well with the current action of the plot, as well as truly brought the culture of the setting alive.

I found Pinmei to be a wonderfully complex and intriguing character. She not only discovers her own gifts and strengths, but she also makes deep, lasting relationships with many of the other characters. I actually felt as though all of the characters in this book were complex and underwent a variety of dynamic changes, whether big or small.

Lin writes with a poetic, almost lyrical prose that makes it just about impossible to not to keep turning pages. When the Sea Turned to Silver is a truly a magical story, and I don't know how else to describe it. It is exciting and filled with delightful characters.

Overall, I am giving When the Sea Turned to Silver four stars!

You might also like:
The Dreadwillow Carse by Brian Farrey
Over the Underworld by Adam Shaughnessy
The Adventurer's Guide to Successful Escapes by Wade Albert White