Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Me on Waiting on Wednesday (293)

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

Title: Journey's End
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Release Date: October 25, 2016
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (Penguin imprint)

From Goodreads:

New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins brings us a riveting middle grade fantasy-adventure, perfect for fans of Lisa Graff.

The town of Journey's End may not literally be at the end of the world, but it sure feels like it to Nolie Stanhope. Spending the summer with her scientist father in the tiny Scottish village isn't exactly Nolie's idea of a good time, but she soon finds a friend: native Journey's Ender Bel McKissick. 

While Nolie's father came to Journey's End to study the Boundary--a mysterious fog bank offshore--Bel's family  can’t afford to consider it a threat.  The McKissick’s livelihood depends on the tourists drawn by legends of a curse. Still, whether you believe in magic or science, going into the Boundary means you'll never come back. 

…Unless you do. Albert Etheridge, a boy who disappeared into the Boundary in 1914, suddenly returns--without having aged a day and with no memory of the past hundred years. Then the Boundary starts creeping closer to the town, threatening to consume everyone within.

While Nolie's father wants to have the village evacuated, Bel's parents lead the charge to stay in Journey's End. Meanwhile, Albert and the girls look for ways to stop the encroaching boundary, coming across an ancient Scottish spell that requires magic, a quest, and a sacrifice.

Oh, magical, fantastical middle grade. How I love you. This sounds super sweet, too. I love the idea here, the little Scottish village and the fog bank and the mystery surrounding it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Me on Been Here All Along

Title: Been Here All Along
Author: Sandy Hall
Release Date: August 30, 2016
Publisher: Swoon Reads (Macmillan imprint)

Gideon always has a plan. His plans include running for class president, becoming head of the yearbook committee, and having his choice of colleges. They do NOT include falling head over heels for his best friend and next door neighbor, Kyle. It's a distraction. It's pointless, as Kyle is already dating the gorgeous and popular head cheerleader, Ruby. And Gideon doesn't know what to do. Kyle finally feels like he has a handle on life. He has a wonderful girlfriend, a best friend willing to debate the finer points of Lord of the Rings, and social acceptance as captain of the basketball team. Then, both Ruby and Gideon start acting really weird, just as his spot on the team is threatened, and Kyle can't quite figure out what he did wrong.

Been Here All Along is a sweet, fast-paced story about friendships, relationships, changes, and being willing to trust those close to you with the truth, even when it descended into cliché and shallowness.

Gideon is the over-achiever, the super smart and super dedicated teen boy ready to take on the world and lead his peers as class president. He's a little awkward, he's a little short, and after some serious pondering and being honest with himself, he's nursing a major crush on his next-door neighbour and best friend. Now, how to hide it from everyone when he's a little obvious whenever he looks at him. Kyle is the sociable athlete with the cheerleader girlfriend, the sort of openly bisexual athlete. He's happy with Gideon at his side, with Ruby as his girlfriend, with basketball. But when there's a change in English teachers, things aren't as easy as they used to be. He's trying his hardest, putting in all the extra hours he can, but he's still not getting it. He needs Gideon to help him more than ever now, if things weren't a little awkward between them.

A fair amount of this book takes place in the high school both boys and Ruby attend, but it might as well be an empty building full of people. Days pass, time moves on, and there is character development, but I got nothing, felt nothing, from the setting. There was talk of classwork and teachers, a lot of Kyle's struggles center around school, but it was like a non-entity. Kyle is captain of the basketball team, but the important game was barely mentioned. Gideon wants to be class president, but where's all the planning and the campaigning?

This is a good book to pick up if you're looking for something quick, sweet, and a little silly. Gideon and Kyle are characters that are complicated when they're alone, supportive when they're together. There were some other characters, like Ruby, that felt like stereotypes and clichés, that felt flat and only there to serve a purpose as a vague nemesis/misunderstood character. A cute and fluffy book about two teen boys realizing they like each other more than friends, yes, but I was lost looking for something deeper.

(I received an advance copy of this title to review from Raincoast Books.)

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Me on This Week's Book Week (220)

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. ;)

Cripes, it sure has been hot here this past week. And the heat is sticking around for another few days. *melts into a puddle* And because it's nice and breezy, and because things are still blooming and seeding, I've been so tired and stuffed up.

I have a review buffer! It's been ages since I've had one, and one that goes on for a few weeks! This comes from me having time on public transit to read last week and I'd end up going through a book a day. Which I've missed. I love speeding through books.

So I picked up The Beauty of Darkness from the library the other day. Would you like to see a review of it? I was thinking about it, considering I reviewed the other 2 in the trilogy, but because of all the books that are coming out in September and October, it might not be posted until late October. Would that be okay?

Reviews going up this coming week will feature Been Here All Along by Sandy Hall (Tuesday) and Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke (Friday). :)
Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter (ARC from Raincoast Books)
The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson (e-book borrowed from the library)

Friday, August 19, 2016

Me on The Shadow Hour

Title: The Shadow Hour
Author: Melissa Grey
Release Date: July 12, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press (Random House imprint)

Everything in Echo's life changed in a blinding flash when she learned the startling truth: she is the firebird, the creature of light that is said to bring peace. The firebird has come into the world, but it has not come alone. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and Echo can feel a great and terrible darkness rising in the distance. Cosmic forces threaten to tear the world apart. Echo has already lost her home, her family, and her boyfriend. Now, as the firebird, her path is filled with even greater dangers than the ones she's already overcome. She knows the Dragon Prince will not fall without a fight. Echo must decide: can she wield the power of her true nature—or will it prove too strong for her, and burn what's left of her world to the ground?

The Shadow Hour is a continuation, a mad dash to hide and a madder dash in search of answers, of allies and survivors and knowledge. A race to stay alive and out of the shadows.

Echo is now full of power, full of fire. Full of whispers of past vessels long dead. She's still focused, still determined to protect those she cares for, those she loves and holds close. Like Caius. Like Rowan. Like Ivy. It's admirable, but she could get herself seriously hurt, or killed. Then who will be there to fight back against the darkness? Because when she woke up, when the firebird rose, something followed. Something deadly and full of shadows. Something ready to consume.

Caius' search for the firebird is now over but his draw to Echo is still there, combined with the new need to hide and survive. But he can't let go of his sister. There's a desire to save Tanith from herself, from her fury and need to rule. She's too blind with power and rage to save herself, and perhaps he's too blind with affection to see the danger in front of him.

I love the supporting characters, Ivy and Dorian and Jasper. They have their own struggles, their own missions. Their own lost feelings, their secrets and searches for places to belong to. For Ivy, it's a desire to continue being next to Echo. A desire for a continued purpose. For Jasper, after an appearance by someone fro his past, it's about his own value and self-worth. His own strength to say yes and to say no. And for Dorian, it's about a lifelong soldier being torn between his commanding officer, someone he swore he would never leave, and someone he could be willing to give up everything for.

A prophecy is fulfilled, the firebird has been found, but it's not over. There is no darkness without light, and no light without something to cast shadow. The eternal battle between light and darkness continues, striking down at safe spaces, drawing blood and claiming victims. I'm very curious as to how this trilogy will end.

(I borrowed an e-book copy of this title from the library.)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Me on Waiting on Wednesday (292)

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

Title: Timekeeper
Author: Tara Sim
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Publisher: Sky Pony Press

From Goodreads:

Two o’clock was missing. 

In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors.

And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve.

But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to Stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he’ll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever.

The stunning first novel in a new trilogy by debut author Tara Sim, Timekeeper is perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare and Victoria Schwab.

Ooooo, time travel. And it's complicated time travel. And the characters aren't straight! More gay and lesbian main characters in fantasy and genre fiction! I'm really looking forward to reading this, seeing how the time travel goes and what the deal is with clock spirits and how everything goes wrong. Because it's bound to go wrong.