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Leah's affair with reading began even before she realized boys in books are so much better than boys in real life — ever since, she's never found without a book. She takes pleasure in everything from Shakespeare to Steampunk, Austen to Aussie fiction. But when she's not reading, she can be found making chainmaille, gardening, writing for her blog, or traveling to fabulous places all around the world. Don't worry, along her travels she'll be sure to document when she's found the door to Middle Earth.
There has to be something notable to draw me toward 500-page psychology books, and though I can't pinpoint it, this one has it. I found the numerous case histories compelling; it fed my need to know more about autism and just how much it can differ from person to person. Reading this opened up my mind to the sobering history of diagnosis and early treatments, and wonder at the talent which has emerged.There are many ways of experiencing this world, and in here Silberman brings autism to the limelight for us to better understand the wide range of these unique and beautiful minds. I especially recommend Neurotribes if you like Oliver Sacks' psychology books, or want to learn more about autism and neurodiversity.
Agatha Christie is one of my favorite mystery writers. Yet despite years of reading her work, I recently realized I knew next to nothing about her as a person. Unfortunately, due to the ridiculous amount of fiction I prefer to read, I don't usually have the time (or attention span) for written biographies. When I saw this appear on our shelves, the life of Agatha Christie in graphic novel form, I snagged it right away. This biography is engaging, it shows all the major events in her life in a creative and page-turner way. Going in blind, I learned so much about her; she was a pretty badass woman for her time. Even though she married a couple times, her writing and career were her most prominent passions throughout her long life. This biography appeals to long-time Christie fans with mental narrative appearances by Poirot and Marple, but it will also capture the attention of people who have yet to read her brilliant work.
If I'm being honest, I was initially wary in learning there would be a sequel to An Ember in the Ashes. I was satisfied with its slightly open-ended conclusion. That being said, once I had this in my hands, the excitement caught up with me and I was sucked back in to Tahir's ever expanding desert fantasy world. Helene's point of view is introduced, showing her reluctant quest to assassinate the "traitor" Elias, her former best friend. Laia's mysterious powers are manifesting more every day, causing new issues on her journey to retrieve her imprisoned brother. On top of everything else, with the recent crowning of a new emperor the Empire is on the brink of a civil war. And with events ending as they did, there absolutely has to be a third book.
Cecil: "Greetings, Night Vale visitors. In this book are many words, and the words, as collective words usually have a tendency to do, create a story. This story may have to do with a well known podcast, and it may not--that really depends on the weather. Within, there is a lot of plot regarding a man in a tan jacket holding a deerskin suitcase, but I'm afraid I can't remember more than that. If you decide to read this book, prepare yourself for the normal day-to-day experiences of Night Vale residents which include: life-threatening visits to the Public Library, heated debates on the existence of mountains, a number of meals of invisible pie (a town favorite!) and the exploration of complex relationships of parents and their children. Carlos, the handsome scientist, is in here as well. (He is doing well, thank you for asking)." For the audio version of this review, as usual, remove your shoe, lift it up to your ear, and whistle those five notes.
Amanda just wants a normal life as a teenage girl, because that’s what she knows she’s always been, even if it wasn’t on her birth certificate. Now in a new town, she’s falling for a boy, but in every new stage of their relationship, she becomes more worried about how he would feel if he knew her history. It was heart-wrenching to read about simple daily things most of us take for granted that Amanda justifiably finds nerve-wracking. This is a beautifully told love story that needs to be read, and I didn’t expect the deep effect it would have on me; it reached into my soul and brought me to tears.
When someone uttered to me the phrase "Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Jane Austen" I immediately stole the copy out of their hands and ran toward a comfy chair, refusing all social calls until completion. Okay, some of that may be a little exaggerated, but my enthusiasm ran (and still runs) that deep and anyway, it turns out to be the most apt description for the novel. The Regency era setting feels meticulously researched down to every minute detail. And the paranormal aspect felt wholly unique, which is hard to come by these days. Just imagine if you lived in Jane Austen's time, a proper Lady with no choice but to be wed off to a boring life of cross stitching....yawn...and then found out you had inherited badass powers to battle the forces of evil in the world!? If you're like me, in no universe would you refuse that calling, and in here, lucky Lady Helen receives it. Though it begins a series, The Dark Days Club stands strong by itself, and you will no doubt wish for more when it's over.
After the untimely demise of beloved Captain Malcolm Ren--I mean Matt Spartan from the latest Starveil movie, fans across the world are in mourning, and desperate AU fan fiction is appearing by the hour. As Liz struggles to balance college life with her Starveil fandom passion, she decides she must do the impossible. With the help of her perpetually cosplayed friend, Xander, together they learn the depths of fandom friendships and the support power of a nerdy community…and possibly bring a certain captain back to life. There will be many opportunities for laughing and geeking out while reading, from everyday cosplay, to a trip to Dragon Con. So grab a bowl of popcorn for this fun weekend read because you’ll definitely...what's the phrase? Feel all the feels.
Based on true events of the time, this story follows the harrowing journey of four teenagers toward the end of World War II as they flee danger from all sides, and toward their last hope, the ship Wilhelm Gustloff. Along with ten thousand other passengers, they soon find themselves fighting for their own lives on one fateful, icy voyage. As with Between Shades of Grey, Ruta Sepetys crafts another lesser known tragedy from history into a resonating tale. It is unassuming, yet powerful; a story that will be remembered and, like The Book Thief, will be relished by teens and adults alike.
I didn't mean to read this book. I only intended to read the first page, but I suddenly found I couldn't stop, and accidentally finished the whole book in just over a day. Kell, one of two magicians left in the worlds, and Lila, a crossdressing thief with aspirations of captaining a pirate ship one day, find themselves swept up into an adventure of the most unexpected kind, and of course with danger around every corner. This book is immediately getting shelved next to my two similarly favorite fantasy books, The Night Circus, and Neverwhere. A Darker Shade of Magic transported me to an enchanting and dangerous set of worlds, and I fell utterly under its spell. Schwab writes magic as a beautiful and frightening force, and the kind that makes you pause and think…that it could all very well be possible.
I’ll be the first one to admit it, the striking cover caught my eye. Then, the fact that this book is about giant alien robot parts buried across the globe…there was no way I’d pass on it. Epistolary novels have never been my favorite, but with the promise of giant robots, I abated my prejudices and quickly devoured the scientist’s journal entries and interviews that make up the story, and I am very glad I did. Neuvel carries a strong new voice into literary sci-fi, creating a story that blends the speculative elements that blew our minds in VanderMeer’s Area X trilogy, with the hard core science nerd factor of The Martian.
Villain backstory? Yes. I loved this extended look at Levana's childhood/pre-Cinder-era. She is pretty much still an insane, power-hungry psychopath, but she's not as bad as her older sister Channary, if you can imagine that. My heart ached for her troubles as much as I wanted her to keep suffering, and that is a hard balance to achieve. We are even shown a little backstory on many secondary characters from the first three books, which makes me want to read them all over to see everything in a different light.
I don’t come across an epic historical fantasy book as often as I’d like. In my experience, “epic fantasy” and “historical” are not usually in the same description. Yet here is a vibrant story about Alexander the Great’s little-mentioned teenage years, exhibiting his development into one of the world’s greatest conquerors in history. Every page’s description came across saturated in historical authenticity; I felt I was truly in 340BC along with Alex and his comrades (and a little dark magic). Although there are many points of view, each person has their role and whether or not they realize it yet, their fates are inevitably intertwined. This is a compelling read for any older teen, especially for fans of An Ember in the Ashes. Like me, you will run out of pages much faster than you realize—and it is just the beginning.
Here's a story that's as beautiful and layered as its cover. The pacing is spot on, you never know what awaits in the dimension Marguerite will jump into next, and betrayals lurk in every unsuspecting corner of the universe. I loved seeing Marguerite growing up as I turned the pages into the night. A very supportive sequel, and I can't wait to see how the series will end.
This is a funny little book, and one that makes you think. I didn't expect all these little thought experiments to be so entertaining and even philosophical in its own weird way. It’s an good read that will be fun on a road trip with friends, or for solitary contemplation on a rainy afternoon. It gets your brain working, and I found myself caught on many of the questions longer than I thought I would. Flip through it for a second and you'll get what I mean, there are even spaces to pencil in some answers. The Jottery has certainly changed my perspective on a lot of every day quandaries. What do you think real trees are thinking of telephone poles dressed up as one of their own?
I’ve never been one much for movie tie-ins, but Black Widow? Say no more. This reaches for that small part in all of us Marvel nerds that wish Natasha Romanov herself would appear on your doorstop and whisk you away on a dangerous SHIELD mission. Unsuspecting teens Ava and Alex experience just that, and what follows is an non-stop adventure with the usual firefights and government conspiracies spanning the globe. Redacted files and long-forgotten projects are revealed, and along the way Black Widow learns as much about herself as Ava and Alex do. The one and only Tony Stark is also present with his signature never-ending wisecracks throughout the story. I truly hope Marvel continues these books to hold me over until the next movie release. More, please!
This is a great book for any young creative mind or aspiring inventor. The illustrations are wild and expressive, and Rosie’s story is one of persistence and believing in yourself while embracing all your mistakes along with achievements. I recommend it to readers of all ages.
Seeking wild adventure outside their small ordinary town, Archer, Oliver, and Adelaide tested the bounds of the imagination, and brought me along in their journey. The oddness and subtle humor is reminiscent of The Series of Unfortunate Events minus the gloomy atmosphere. And contrary to it's 'doldrum' title, it’s rather uplifting. The full color illustrations scattered throughout are resplendent, and really help visualizing all of the unpredictable events that take place. I can’t wait for the next adventure with this group of friends.
“Never fear quarrels, but seek hazardous adventures,” so says the great author Alexandre Dumas, and that’s exactly what Zach Lightman does. This is his classic Call to Adventure in video game form. When it is revealed that everything from the classic arcade games to the numerous sci-fi films released over the last forty years have been a government cover up to prepare humanity for an impending alien attack…there’s no hesitation in Zach’s agreement to enlist on the front lines. After all, it must be his destiny, he’s one of the highest ranked Armada gamers in the world. I had way too much fun reading this book, and I’m sure I spent an embarrassing amount of my reading time with a huge goofy nerd-grin on my face. This is not a sequel or companion to Ready Player One but a story more adrenaline fueled, and just as engaging. Strap yourself in for one geek-fest thrill of a ride, this is the most exciting space conflict I’ve experienced since the Battle of Wolf 359.
Along Calvin's journey I caught myself hoping Hobbes was actually there for him, to help him through this sudden change in his life. The lines of reality quickly blur: from snowball fights to the classic philosophical afternoon contemplations, and even a few Spaceman Spiff vignettes, here's a sweet story of friendship, maybe a little off the track, and the perfect nostalgic read for any Calvin and Hobbes fan.
Even after seeing it win five of the biggest fantasy book awards last year, I’m not sure why I hesitated to start this book. Maybe that was precisely it. With so many stars, my expectations were set incredibly high; it was too daunting. But when I finally got around to reading the summary and learned what the plot was about, and that the main character is a spaceship…I picked it up the next day. I haven’t felt this empathetic toward an AI since watching Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation throughout my childhood. Justice of Toren One Esk’s history and plotting of revenge spanning over a thousand years is just plain exciting to experience. So hailing all hardcore sci-fi fans, here’s the erudite, complex novel with a narrative of avant-garde gender usage a la Ursula le Guin we’ve all been waiting for. And now I’m left scrambling for the next one.
When Frances survives the wreck of Persephone by assuming the identity of her dead shipmate and friend, Libby, she delves deeply into this charade. Now, after four years of pretending, she practically develops a split personality. Returning to Libby’s home to face both of their pasts, she finally has her carefully calculated plan in motion to uncover what really happened on the Persephone, and why the only other two survivors of the ship are lying. Ultimately, she seeks closure for the horrific murder of her parents she witnessed that night. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough in this cold story of vengeance, couldn’t wait to see how it all played out. I was not disappointed.
I read a lot of fairytale retellings; it’s one of my favorite genres. When I first heard this book was a Princess and the Pea reimagining, it sounded too benign for my tastes. But when the rest of the description went on to say “illegal organ trafficking” well, color me intrigued. Penelope is one of the physically weakest characters I’ve read. If she receives hugs, or handshakes, the smallest thing, because of a rare platelet disorder, she’ll bruise, and the situation can quickly become life threatening for her. So when I say Penelope’s a tough heroine to root for, I mean it in the truest, old fashioned sense, and she’s not as delicate as she seems. Penelope’s road to independence is a hard one, and full of betrayals at every turn. This is not the fairytale you remember, it is much more.
Fallen actress Pagan Jones was once a great star, but after getting her whole family killed while she was drinking behind the wheel, she’s sent to a girls reformatory. After nine months of imprisonment, she’s suddenly offered a possibly career-saving role in a movie filming in Berlin. Here she is given a second chance to get her addiction under control, and the opportunity to deal with her restless inner demons. This is a glamorous novel full of facades and espionage, and manages a smooth balance of the sparkling 1960’s Hollywood atmosphere, with East Germany as the backdrop. I couldn’t put this book down, it was an incredibly fun read.
There was a time when I finally finished all of Jane Austen's books (twice) and I suddenly didn't know where to turn next. I loved reading about dances, and witty banter, and most importantly, Society with a capital S. After getting stuck in a long reading rut, I stumbled upon North and South, and despite the lack of dances, I found beautiful writing, memorable friendships, and a fair amount of tempestuous romance. This book is more political and industrial than my Austen-norm, but it was just the right book for my fix. I found myself sucked into the troubling world of cotton factories, and unjust class prejudices. Margaret Hale has now become one of my favorite heroines. She's pulled out of her comfortable country lifestyle and thrown into this busy working environment, and we are reminded that there are two sides to every story.
George is a sweet and unassuming story about a kid who just wants to be accepted and known openly for who they are. It shows the strength of true friendship, and the importance of loving yourself no matter what other people think of you. I love this little book, and ten-year-old George's experiences immediately pulled at all my heartstrings. It's sincere, unique, and I couldn't help but read it in one sitting.
This reimagining of The Scarlet Pimpernel is a thrilling, Robin Hood-esque standalone about Sophia Bellamy, a girl in the Sunken City whose arranged marriage is her family's only way out from ruin. The post-apocalyptic world Cameron creates mixes French Revolution gloom with a dystopian and sci-fi feel that is completely her own. The immersing atmosphere, combined with Sophia's exciting journey told through a wide cast of character's POVs, make Rook a satisfying story that will blow you away.