Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
The Folk of the Air, book one
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2018
ARC owned in personal collection from BEA 2017

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Oh, how do I love my dark faeries. And no one does dark faeries quite as well as Holly Black.

For about six months this book was lost in a pile of books I'd gotten at the Book Expo. Just lingering on the floor in my "library room" forgotten. I cannot believe it took until the book was actually published for me to remember exactly how excited I was that Holly Black was going back to writing the dark fae that I LOVED so much in her earliest books!! (If you haven't read her Modern Faerie Tales series, start with Tithe)

After so much hype online in the last few months as bookstagrammers have been absolutely lauding this book I finally convinced myself that since I owned the ARC I was not stepping outside of my reading challenge parameters and allowed myself to dive in. *happy sigh*

Jude is the type of strong/fragile female character I love the most. She is weak, technically, in the land of the Fae. She recognizes her weakness and works to overcome it in whatever ways she possibly can, using all of the tools - smarts, manipulations, physical strength - that she can pull into her arsenal. AND SHE LARGELY SUCCEEDS. Seeing a character who has tremendous odds to overcome gain even the smallest victories just makes my heart sing. And Holly Black is a master at weaving from a scene where she is bullied and made small right into one where she outmaneuvers whatever foe she faces just then.

I cannot wait for the second book, The Wicked King, due out in 2019.
Recommended for readers who like dark fantasy and especially dark fae.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
Wayward Children, book one, 2016 - audio book owned in personal collection

What a stellar concept for a book! McGuire asks the question - what would it be like to be a child who journeys to another world then has to return and try to reintegrate into our society? When your entire worldview has changed, can you just go back to pretending it never happened?

The answer for Nancy and the other Wayward Children in her "boarding school" is a resounding no.  They want nothing more than to return to the otherworlds they visited. The ones that accepted them as they truly were in their hearts. Others (think similar to Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz) are more than happy to forget and move on, but Nancy simply can't.  She finds both comfort and friendship with the only people who can understand, even partially, what has happened to tear her life apart.  Not going to a foreign world... but having to COME BACK. 

This novel is short, but absolutely stellar.  Dark, mysterious, heart-wrenching, and lyrical. I cannot wait to delve back into this world with the next book in the series. Definitely a recommended read for fans of dark fantasies.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

April Challenge Reading "Plan"

2018 Books I Already Own Challenge
So, it's April 10th.  And it's snowing. I feel like Mother Nature has abandoned us, and the prolonged winter is making me a little depressed.  It's sapping all my energy... and all my nicely made plans and goals have sort of fallen to the wayside. *sigh*

Well, not completely.  So, as everyone knows by now, I have been working fairly diligently at reading books off of my own overstuffed bookshelves.  Books that have been sitting unread for years.  I have been good and set up a reading plan each month, and stacked the books by my bed, and tried not to deviate (too much) from those very strict plans.

And I'm about to pull my own hair out and abandon the whole project. WHICH I REFUSE TO DO.  Even if it seems winter will never end and I will never see a nice sunny day again and oh, god, I think I have seasonal affective disorder... Okay, refocusing.

Sorry about that.  Anyway, so... after much thought towards the end of March and then the first few days of April, I decided to change things up a little. I have always been a mood reader and I'm feeling severely stifled by how strict a TBR pile I've been trying to stick to each month.  So, for April my plan is to actually NOT make a written plan.  I have a loose idea of what books I might read from my shelves, but I'm not going to pull them ahead of time.  I am going to give myself the freedom to walk among my shelves and just pull something that I haven't read before that seems like what I'm in the mood for, and hopefully enjoy it!

I'm hoping that by loosening the reins, but still maintaining the focus of books I already own, I can stay within the bounds of my challenge... Keep your fingers crossed for me! I'll let you all know how I made out at the end of the month.  😊