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review 2016-05-05 15:20
A Tryanny of Petticoats
A Tyranny of Petticoats: 15 Stories of Belles, Bank Robbers & Other Badass Girls - Jessica Spotswood

 What great variety!  I was pleasantly surprised at the variety inside this novel, at the authors and at the subject matter.  From all fifteen stories, I only found one that didn’t thrill me but the other ones, what a ride.  From the Pulse of the Panthers where I thought Sandy was sitting right beside me as the Black Panthers rode down her lane to the Garnett Girls where Soapy got a gift that he will always remember.     


I have to tell you about the Pulse of the Panthers as that story ramped me up.  I felt as if I were with Sandy as she experienced firsthand the Black Panthers as they stayed on her farm with her father and her granny.  Her granny knew what her father was up to but Sandy didn’t realize the full extent of what being a Black Panthers meant.  Her father told her that she would be cooking for the men but as they stepped out of their vehicles she realized that some of them were just boys, boys her age and Sandy wanted to know more.  Her father wanted her to keep away from them as they talked and did their business on the farm but Sandy found her way amongst them and got an education those few days that they were there.  An education that Sandy would not get in a classroom.  I loved how the author made me feel a part of Sandy’s life and I loved how much of an education I obtained reading that short passage.    There was The Journey, another story that I enjoyed except for the ending.  The ending seemed too short and blunt.   Yakone wants to learn to hunt and deliver maktuk like his father.  Turmoil hits his village before his father can teach him and Yakone must cross the frozen tundra on his own.  I love Yakone journey, his ability to find strength within himself to face what lies ahead of him.   In the El Destino, the three sisters have a duty but just how far will they take their responsibilities?  I really enjoyed the creativity of this short story.  In The Raven Ball, a mother is looking for a suitor for her granddaughter while the granddaughter is looking for a spy.  I really loved the twists that were inside this short story.  In the Gold in the Roots, this was definitely a 5 star read as it dealt with spirits.   I let my imagination run wild with this one.  I cannot forget Bonnie and Clyde.  I love old bank robberies and this story is definitely worth mentioning.  The first robbery started at the age of 13 and they haven’t been able to catch this bank thief yet.  It’s only started because the parents didn’t have the money to pay on the loans that the bank was calling up to be paid that the idea formed.  Now, the parents just needed the money.  Why can’t they catch the thief?

I could tell you about each short story that is contained inside this novel but I think you understand now that each of these stories is unique and they each represent a specific time period.   I wanted to just read a few of the stories at a time but once I started on them, I couldn’t put the novel down.  I’ve found myself some new authors to read and I am appreciative of that and I’m got myself some new short stories to tell, and I am happy about that also.  This is definitely a great novel to look into. 
Thanks Candlewick Press for the novel.  This is my own opinion of this novel. 

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review 2016-04-12 16:44
Review: Wild Swans
Wild Swans - Jessica Spotswood

I received a copy from Netgalley.


A very enjoyable, well written coming of age YA novel with a theme of summer and family. Tells the story of 17 year old Ivy Milbourne who lives with her well known and respected in town grandpa. The Milbourne family is an old family which goes back for many generations and has sparked a legacy of brilliant women who all seem to be exceptionally talented and have something heartbreakingly tragic happen to them.


Ivy doesn’t quite know where she fits into this legacy. Her mom left when she was a baby and never came back. Ivy’s tried many different things but can’t seem to find a particular “gift” that she excels at. She’s pretty good at poetry and swimming but not to epic standards. She’s very middle of the road and trying to find a way to make her grandpa proud of her. Her plans for the summer are relaxing and having fun with her friends before senior year starts.


Until her mom shows up again with two younger children – bratty 15 year old Isobel and sweet and innocent 6 year old Gracie. Erica the mother pretty much moves to the top of my list in the Worst YA Parent award. She’s horrible and a gigantic bitch from the moment she appears – even introducing Ivy to her new children as their aunt rather than their older sister. She does of course, have REASONS for this. She’s beyond selfish, she yells, she swears and she drinks like a fish.


The grandfather is a very well respected professor and a calming presence, but can be quite demanding in a not even realising he’s doing it way. Ivy finds herself in the middle of all this drama. She’s got new responsibilities of handling her younger sisters. And to top it all off, the grandad says one of his students will be working with them this summer, transcribing some journals from the Milbourne famous and tragic grandmother who also wrote great poetry and something from her collection is about to be published or commemorated. In comes gorgeous poetry mad Conner. And Ivy falls head over heels.


It’s very realistic and a beautiful portrayal of growing up in a tiny town with a family legacy to uphold. Ivy shows some remarkable restraint in dealing with all this new drama thrown her way. New sisters to deal with, her struggles to understand her mom and her behaviour and why she left, one of her best friends starts behaving like a total asshole when she starts to get closer to Conner, and then there’s her feelings for him. While all at the same time she’s screaming inwardly and barely seems to know how to handle it all. Ivy shows some remarkable character growth throughout the novel.


The family drama is moving and the arguments which in one terrible incident spill out in public making things all the worse. It can be very uncomfortable to read, the mother’s piss poor attitude towards Ivy and her grandpa particularly.  The siblings find their way towards each other, Gracie is adorable, Isobel is fifteen and away from everything she knows and she acts like a stroppy brat. But even Isobel by the end grows tremendously as a character. Ivy’s romance with Conner is sweet and believable. A tad more insta-lust than insta-love but it’s interesting to see how they work together with the family drama and Ivy’s friends and Connor’s friends and their different circumstances. Very maturely handled.


A very good, very enjoyable read.


Thank you to Netgalley and Sourcefire Books for approving my request to view the title.

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review 2016-04-01 18:13
Wild Swans
Wild Swans - Jessica Spotswood

I really felt sorry for Ivy as it seemed that her grandfather was continually pushing her to do better. There was no celebration for those moments where she achieved success or happiness for it was always time to march forward to what was next or what was the next hurdle to attack, leaving her no time to enjoy the moment. That really is no life to lead, for what is the purpose? There will always be something to strive for no matter where you are or what age you are; Ivy will never be able to rest with grandfather around her. Ivy was learning to be happy by herself and I was hoping that she could learn to take some small breaks and enjoy her life.   Ivy’s mother left town when she couldn’t handle the pressure and Ivy has been living with grandfather for many years. I liked how her true emotions rose to the surface when her mother came back to town with Ivy’s estranged siblings in tow.    The tension, the lies and the emotions were more than the house could handle as these individuals danced around each other.   She tries to find comfort in Alex, but Alex is changing and he is looking at Ivy with new eyes. They have been friends for years and Ivy doesn’t want that to change.  Her relationship with one of grandfather’s students has Alex seeing Ivy as more than just a close friend and he wants more from Ivy.   Working with Connor, Ivy becomes attracted to him.  Connor feels the same way towards her and they start a relationship.   This is a secret that they must keep from grandfather. This was not an intense read but a great coming-of- age novel. Ivy must understand and cope with my many facets that make up her life and understand how they will affect her. She is now longer a little girl who lives and must obey everything her grandfather says but she is also not an adult who can make major decisions on her own.

I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire in exchange for an honest opinion. Thank you.

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review 2016-02-15 01:14
Wild Swans
Wild Swans - Jessica Spotswood

Instead of taking summer classes like her granddad would like her to do Ivy Milbourn is going to spend the summer before her senior year with her best friends having barbecues and bonfires and just plain enjoying herself. But things don't go as planned when Ivy's mother shows up with her two daughters.

Milbourn women have always lead extraordinary (albeit short) lives. Ivy's granddad takes great pride in the name and legacy. But Ivy doesn't see it as a legacy she sees it as a curse - why else would her mother abandon her as a child and go fifteen years without speaking to her?

Underneath that gorgeous front cover is a well-written story with lots of goodies: morals, diversity, a transgender, a biracial guy with tattoos who's interested in poetry, loving your body and who you are, strong friendships/relationships. Ivy and her feminist friend Claire were great! Ivy's mom.. not so much.

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text 2015-11-08 16:09
Töchter des Mondes - Cate - Jessica Spotswood

Nach 86 Seiten, 4 Kapitel und eine Video-Rezension, die mir verraten hat, dass es keine großen Spannungspunkte gibt, werde ich dieses Buch abbrechen. (Und weil es 'mal wieder eine Art Dreiecksbeziehung geben wird und ach, man kennt es doch eigentlich schon alles.) 

Ich breche es nicht ab, weil mir die Hauptprotagonist nicht zusagt, sondern weil es nicht meine Zeit ist. Das ganze Geschehen spielt gegen Ende des 19. Jhd., Anfang des 20. Jhd.. Ich hatte das Buch schon einmal begonnen und nach den ersten zwei Seiten gemerkt, dass es nichts für mich ist. Vielleicht lag es einfach nur an meiner Laune, weil wie es so ist hat jedes Buch so seine Zeit, wann es gelesen werden will und wann nicht. Aber ich glaube mein Unterbewusstsein wollte mich nur schon vorwarnen. (Hätte es das doch auch 'mal nur beim Kauf gemacht ... und ich finde es eine Frechheit, dass nirgends im Klappentext oder irgendwo auf dem Buch eine kleine Erwähnung steht in welcher Zeit das alles spielt.)
Was ich also eigentlich sagen will ist, dass ich schon über die Bruderschaft in dem Buch hätte mich aufregen können und ich so etwas einfach nicht lesen will. Ja, es ist damals so zu der Zeit gewesen, aber ich bin mehr als froh, dass dem eben nicht mehr so ist. Zitat: "Unterwerfung", verkündet er. "Ihr müsst euch unserer Führung unterwerfen. Dann wird euch die Bruderschaft auf den richtigen Weg führen und euch reinhalten von den Sünden der Welt. Wir wissen, ihr WOLLT gute Mädchen sein. Wir wissen, es ist bloß weibliche Schwäche, die euch irreführt. Wir vergeben euch dafür."
Ich möchte auch nichts davon lesen, dass die Mädchen gezwungen werden mit Anfang 17 schon verheiratet sein zu müssen und darüber, ob sie eine "gute Partie" abgeben würden. Wer allerdings Fan - und ich sehe das als nicht negativ an, jedem dem seinen - von dieser Zeit ist, der sollte sich das Buch mal genauer anschauen. Und was ich bis zur 86. Seite sagen kann ist: Magie kommt auch nicht wirklich bis dato vor. Es ist wohl einfach von der Autorin "ein kleiner Nebeneffekt", damit sich die Bücher besser verkaufen lassen. Es tut mir leid, aber das ist meine Ansicht zu dem Buch und ich möchte einfach nicht weiter darüber nachdenken, weil ich mich zu sehr aufregen würde.


P.S.: Vom Schreibstil ist man schnell im Geschehen drin, wenn man sich auf die Story einlässt und die Seiten können dann schon mal so dahin fliegen. Allerdings muss man eben wirklich Fan dafür sein, um das Buch an einem Tag durchlesen zu können.


P.P.S: Dank der Video-Rezension habe ich auch erfahren, dass es ein relativ offenes Ende hat und ja ... nur so eine kleine Info nebenbei.

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