Saturday, August 12, 2017

Me on This Week's Book Week (271)

This Week's Book Week is rather similar to Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews only with far more rambling and a less witty title. ;)

It's still warm out there but it's not as smoky anymore! The air's been so stale and dry out there, everyone's really wanting some rain to come in to clear all the dust and smoke away.

No reviews next week! I'll be doing my usual volunteering in Vancouver at the kids writing and book camp all of next week. Reviews will be back the week of the 21st. :)
Bought/borrowed/received:
Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp (e-galley from Sourcebooks through NetGalley)
The Winnowing by Vikki VanSickle (physical copy from Scholastic Canada)

Friday, August 11, 2017

Me on Wicked Like a Wildfire

Title: Wicked Like a Wildfire
Author: Lana Popović
Release Date: August 15, 2017
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins imprint)

All the women in Iris and Malina's family have the unique magical ability or "gleam" to manipulate beauty. Iris sees flowers as fractals and turns her kaleidoscope visions into glasswork, while Malina interprets moods as music. But their mother has strict rules to keep their gifts a secret, even in their secluded sea-side town. Iris and Malina are not allowed to share their magic with anyone, and above all, they are forbidden from falling in love. But when their mother is mysteriously attacked, the sisters will have to unearth the truth behind the quiet lives their mother has built for them. They will discover a wicked curse that haunts their family line—but will they find that the very magic that bonds them together is destined to tear them apart forever?

Wicked Like a Wildfire is deeply, darkly magical, lush and sinister. It's about the secrets we keep, the family that claims us, and what lurks, waiting for us to fall in love.

Iris is bold and rough, bright and full of thorns. She's the rough sandpaper to her twin Malina's soft glide of silk. She argues with their mother, constantly butts heads with her, and continuously heads out at night to do her own thing. She doesn't understand why, when they were younger and their mother used to encourage their little bursts of magic, now they can't do anything. The lack of using her gleam has it waning in Iris, only appearing in fractal flowers. She doesn't understand their mother anymore. But then she's attacked, then she's taken, then whispers and wants weave their way through Iris, and she and Malina slowly discover the reason why their mother left her family so many years ago.

There's something so visual and expressive about this book. It's the descriptions of Iris' flowers and fractals and glasswork, the descriptions of Malina's songs. It's the emotions and sensations they impart on those around them, the feelings they stir up. The shivers and the shudders, the quakes, the laughter and the tears. This book is full of sisters and magic, of Eastern European and Romany folklore and myth, of secrets. Of fate and purpose and death. Of the power we hold when we fall in love, and the lengths some will go to to grab hold of that power. I would recommend this to those who enjoy contemporary fantasy with layers of family and mystery, something slightly similar to Jennifer Bosworth's The Killing Jar or AnnaMarie McLemore's The Weight of Feathers, but know that this is the first book in a duology so there will be some waiting to read the second book.

(I downloaded an e-galley of this title from HarperCollins through Edelweiss.)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Me on Waiting on Wednesday (343)

Waiting on Wednesday is a bunch of weekly fun hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. :)

Title: The Witch Boy
Author: Molly Knox Ostertag
Release Date: October 31, 2017
Publisher: Scholastic Press

From Goodreads:

In thirteen-year-old Aster's family, all the girls are raised to be witches, while boys grow up to be shapeshifters. Anyone who dares cross those lines is exiled. Unfortunately for Aster, he still hasn't shifted . . . and he's still fascinated by witchery, no matter how forbidden it might be.

When a mysterious danger threatens the other boys, Aster knows he can help -- as a witch. It will take the encouragement of a new friend, the non-magical and non-conforming Charlie, to convince Aster to try practicing his skills. And it will require even more courage to save his family . . . and be truly himself.

The cover is great and this sounds sweet and complicated and I just want to read it so much. :)

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Me on The Hearts We Sold

Title: The Hearts We Sold
Author: Emily Lloyd-Jones
Release Date: August 8, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (Hachette Book Group imprint)

When Dee Moreno makes a deal with a demon—her heart in exchange for an escape from a disastrous home life—she finds the trade may have been more than she bargained for. And becoming "heartless" is only the beginning. What lies ahead is a nightmare far bigger, far more monstrous than anything she could have ever imagined. With reality turned on its head, Dee has only a group of other deal-making teens to keep her grounded, including the charming but secretive James Lancer. And as something grows between them amid an otherworldly ordeal, Dee begins to wonder: Can she give someone her heart when it's no longer hers to give?

The Hearts We Sold is eerie, serious and dangerous. It's as much about consequences when we make a deal with the devil as it is about what makes us human, what we want and what pushes us. The places we want to escape and the places we end up, the people we end up with.

Dee is mixture of things. She's smart and practical, she's serious. She's lonely and afraid, worried about the future and afraid of her past. She's looking to get out of a bad situation, looking at high school and hopefully college as a way to get free. When things go south, when the situation is dire, she's looking to make a deal. Dee doesn't take the decision, her deal with the demon, lightly, but it certainly isn't what she expected. Others who've made deals have lost fingers or toes, arms or legs. Losing her heart? A little different, especially considering the condition that comes with it. But it's the choice she made, and she has to live with it.

This book is part monsters, part consequences, part humanity, and part lonely people cobbling together a family. Dee's home life is terrible, she wants her parents to be better, to accept her for who she is and what she wants to do, but they don't. But there are people who do, people she meets along the way, before and after her deal with the demon. What this book shows is that in so many ways, you both can and can't choose your family. But when you can, when it's people who understand you and are willing to support you, you'll do anything to keep them safe. I would definitely recommend this to those looking for complicated stories and complicated motives, fans of Brenna Yovanoff's first few books.

(I received an advance copy of this title to review from Hachette Book Group Canada.)

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Me on This Week's Book Week (270)

This Week's Book Week is rather similar to Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews only with far more rambling and a less witty title. ;)

Hello. I'd say the weather's been nice, but for the past few days the sky's been full of smoke and haze. It's all coming from the wildfires up in the interior, the winds shifted and the smoke's drifting down. Which means it's a little gritty and kind of muggy and really warm out there. Hopefully the winds will shift and blow it away, and hopefully the winds will die down and some rain will come for the interior to help with the wildfires.

Reviews going up this week will feature The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones (Tuesday) and Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popović (Friday). :)
Bought/borrowed/received:
The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill (e-galley from Oni Press through NetGalley)