“Why be the sheep when you can be the wolf?” Assassin nuns in medieval France. No, this isn’t some cheap ploy, this is the fascinating world of Robin LaFevers’ new young adult novel, Grave Mercy, in the His Fair Assassin trilogy. At first, I wasn’t sure if this was supposed to be pure fantasy or historical fiction; however, it wasn’t until I did a little research that the puzzle pieces came together. Maybe it was my fault for assuming before I started reading, but, either way, a brief introductory chapter explaining the history would’ve been helpful. In the end, the overarching storyline is based on actual events surrounding Anne, the Duchess of Brittany, in 1485, with, obviously, fantasy elements. Sorry, as far as we know there wasn’t a convent dedicated to training assassins. Historical background Brittany, a small country bordering the northwestern portion of France surrounded by the English Channel,… Read more »
Dear reader, you’ve already devoured Angelfall, right? If you haven’t yet, do it. Do it while there’s still time. Even though it’s *technically* YA, Susan Ee’s “Penryn & the End of Days” series has the same any-level appeal as THG, but perhaps with a bit more darkness. More darkness than children killing each other? Why, yes, more. World After is the second installation of the saga of Penryn and her impossibly macabre family. We find our main character reunited with her psychotically savant mother and her baby sister Paige, who, in addition to a set of wicked scars, sports a set of razor-blade teeth. The three are living with other refugees from the angel apocalypse, and not long after their arrival, a group captures Paige because she’s terrifying, frankly. Paige escapes and flees the area – Penryn is again on the hunt to find her sister and keep her family… Read more »
I’ve reviewed books before, and sure, they weren’t always really formal reviews, but it never was as hard to put thoughts to paper as it is now that I am trying to sum up Helene Wecker’s The Golem and the Jinni. It’s much easier to write a review on a bad book than it is a magnificent one, and Wecker’s debut novel completely knocks it out of the park on multiple levels. If you aren’t familiar with the plot, The Golem and The Jinni centers around its two titular creatures and their separate but converging lives in 1899 New York. The Golem, a creature made of clay, begins her life on a ship bound to America, only to be abandoned by her master after his death while they are at sea. Our Jinni is released from a copper flask after two centuries of captivity and bristles against being trapped in… Read more »
I recently wrote a review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire for a good friend of mine and fellow blogger over at FlixChatter. If you haven’t seen this epic movie – put it on your “to-do” list! To make a long story short, I loved it! Wired.com is calling The Hunger Games: Catching Fire the The Dark Knight of young adult films. Let me liken it in a different way. Catching Fire is to The Hunger Games as Deathly Hallows Part 1 & 2 were to the Harry Potter films. This is the point in the series were the themes, actions and motivations of the characters make the “young” in young adult, disappear. Gone are the poignant heartfelt scenes (e.g. Katniss singing Prim to sleep after a nightmare, Katniss volunteering in Prim’s stead and Katniss’ reaction to Rue’s death). This film means business. It’s darker, grittier, and meatier. Now that… Read more »
I’ll admit that I love giving a good gift. It is the best feeling when someone opens their present and you can tell that you just nailed it. So with Christmas rolling around soon, I pulled together some of my favorites from Etsy (who isn’t obsessed with Etsy?) that would be perfect for any bibliophile. Best bookmarks Some of us like to kick it old school and read from actual books. Get us a bookmark, we’ll love that you knew that about us. Bacon Bookmark – jadewink, $10 Who doesn’t love bacon? Jane Austen Bookmarks – CastleOnTheHill, $9.50 Can’t live without Jane Austen. Just can’t. Funky Art Dolls – CUTandTEAR, $28.57 These are GORGEOUS. Copper Feathers – FindingBox, $2.87 I’ll admit, I am preferential to birds and feathers. But these are just class. Best Accessories This way, you can show how obsessed you are when you go out in public… Read more »
YOU CAN CALL ME CRITICAL. The first novel I read as a preteen was Kurt Vonnegut’s Bluebeard – it was a worn copy on the shelf at my parent’s home, plucked out at random for its vibrant blue cover. To say I devoured it would be an understatement. After such a profound introduction to “adult” books, I began eschewing the regular “age-appropriate” stacks at my school library for the grittier stories. But I quickly discovered that many of the books I desired were labeled as too mature for my age. I can still remember waiting to reach high school, if only to read the books on that shelf. Eventually, I read all those books, and was looking for more. In college, I studied English, specializing in writing and rhetoric. There my true critical nature blossomed; encouraged to tear apart time-tested works while also honing the skills of persuasion and argumentation…. Read more »
You might ask yourself, what is a character polygamist? Flashes of bad Lifetime movies about polygamist Mormon colonies might come to mind; however, I assure you, that’s not it. Hi. My name is Ashley and I’ve been a character polygamist since I could read. I’ve entered into several (one-sided) fictitious relationships with characters from my favorite novels, movies and television shows. I live for charming characters and stupendous storylines. To me the mark of a great novel is one that stays with me for days. And whether or not I get butterflies when the main characters finally kiss! I want to be completely engulfed by my novel. Where, at two in the morning, on a work-night, I keep telling myself I’ll quit after I just finish this chapter, but never do. Growing up I had a vivid imagination. I enjoyed playing dress-up (more often than not by myself), but started… Read more »
One day, two lovely ladies shared their darkest secret with each other. Each was sure the other would laugh, but when the first went ahead and divulged, they were amazed to find out they had the same desire – to write a book. Both complete and utter bibliophiles, they started a writing journey together, sharing the stories in their heads as well as their opinions on books already published. Sometimes their thoughts on the same books or characters were markedly different, and sometimes they were in full agreement (Pride & Prejudice FOR LIFE!). Wanting to share their own passion for everything bookish, they started a blog, Lovely Literature. Here you’ll find honest reviews on books old and new, writing exercises for sparking inspiration, perfectly pin-able ideas and more. Stay tuned for lots of reviews and book love.