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review 2018-05-11 20:11
Waiting Is Not Easy! (An Elephant and Piggie Book) - Mo Willems,Mo Willems

For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

A wonderful book with a beautiful surprise at the end. This book perfectly summarizes how difficult it is to wait for something you are excited for. Gerald has a really hard time waiting. He almost gives up and loses his patience. But he sticks it out and is rewarded with a splendid surprise (and an important lesson). 

A gorgeous books that will be a hit with any Elephant & Piggie fan and instantly relatable to kids and adults alike.

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review 2018-04-06 17:45
Someone Is Trying To Kill Me. I Think It's The Man I Love.
Nine Coaches Waiting (Rediscovered Classics) - Mary Stewart

I know, I know, that post title could apply to basically every single gothic romance ever. In fact, as Linda Hilton knows, as I actually cribbed the title from an essay she discusses in this post (which is well worth reading, so you should read it!).

 

Nine Coaches Waiting centers around Linda Martin, a young French woman who is hired as the English speaking governess for Count Philippe Valmy, the nine year old heir to the Valmy estate and fortune. There are a couple of "accidents" where Philippe is nearly killed, at which point Linda begins to wonder if they were really "accidents" at all, or if someone really is trying to get rid of the young count.

 

As always, Mary Stewart's descriptions are truly lovely and evocative. Linda meets Raoul Valmy, Philippe's much older cousin, who is dashing and handsome and oh so mysterious. He doesn't live at Chateau Valmy, rather he lives at one of the lesser Valmy family properties near by. As the conspiracy unfolds, Linda falls head over heels in love with the enigmatic Raoul, which she realizes after possibly the most epic first date ever set down in fiction.

 

I am not going to describe that evening in detail though, as it happens, it was desperately important. It was then, simply, one of those wonderful evenings … We stopped in Thonon beside a stall where jonquils and wallflowers blazed under the gas-jets, and he bought me freesias which smelt like the Fortunate Isles and those red anemones that were once called the lilies of the field. Then we drove along in a clear night with stars as warm and a waxing moon staring pale behind the poplars. By the time we reached Geneva – a city of fabulous glitter and strung lights whose reflections swayed and bobbed in the dark waters of the Lake – my spirits were rocketing sky-high; shock, loneliness, the breath of danger all forgotten.

 

OMG, can Mary Stewart turn a phrase or what? 

 

Linda realizes the truth about the so-called accidents and takes flight from the Chateau with young Philippe, and what follows is several chapters of suspense where the two of them are being chased, hiding, escaping and trying to make their way to safety, without really knowing who is behind the attempts to murder Philippe. As was true of This Rough Magic, Stewart has a definite talent for ratcheting up the reader's anxiety. As is de riguer with romantic suspense, there is a happy ending.

 

This is my fifth Mary Stewart, each one more delicious than the last. At some point, I assume, I will have to hit a clunker. 

 

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review 2018-02-23 05:36
Waiting On You Spoiler Free Review
Waiting On You - Joey Paul

If you’ve ever been on the internet then you’ve probably met some very diverse people, people that you would have never met IRL (in real life). Waiting On You by Joey Paul is about two people wishing to escape the world around them and the harmony they find in an online chat room. 

I gave this book a five star review for two reasons: it was a really amazing read and it spoke to me. It’s not often I can find myself really relating with characters but these pages captured something that was really important to me: online life. People warn you about talking to strangers online but hey, it’s where I found my people as a shy, awkward teenager, just like Zach and Angelina in this book. 

This novel was a fast read. In fact I finished the last 150 pages or so in one sitting when I had only planned to read one chapter. I just couldn’t put it down. 

I’ve already said that I related to the characters but I love them for so much more than that. I like that they’re dynamic, changing characters with plenty of development. A story is good when you can feel a character’s pain. My heart bled for Angelina. My blood also boiled.

The thing I love the most about this story it's believable (and it makes me sad about the world because of that). Real problems are brought up and faced in Waiting On You and the outcomes of those...well you know if you’ve read it and if not, what are you waiting for! 

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed Waiting On You and I recommend it to anyone who’s found an escape in online life or anyone who wants a quick, wonderful read. 

Disclaimer: I received an ebook of this novel in exchange for an honest review. 

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text 2018-01-20 19:19
2017 Year in Review: Stats
Shadowhouse Fall - Daniel José Older
Ninefox Gambit - Yoon Ha Lee
A Conspiracy in Belgravia (The Lady Sherlock Series) - Sherry Thomas
Food of the Gods: A Rupert Wong Novel - Cassandra Khaw
The Ballad of Black Tom - Victor LaValle
The Stars Are Legion - Kameron Hurley
The Heiress Effect - Courtney Milan
An Extraordinary Union - Alyssa Cole
The Stone Sky (The Broken Earth) - N.K. Jemisin
Clean Room Vol. 3: Waiting for the Stars to Fall - Gail Simone,Jon Davis-Hunt
Did anyone else end up with a broken counter on the Goodreads stats page? I know they had an issue with the date read field earlier in the year. While that eventually worked itself out, my total for 2017 is way off. The states page claims over 100, but the list is really only 79.
 
My breakdown of the 79 "books" I finished in 2017:

anthologies: 0
collections: 0
Adult novels: 50
YA novels: 8
MG novels: 0
graphic novels: 1
art book: 0
comic omnibus: 15
magazine issues: 0
children's books: 2
nonfiction: 3
 
I make a demographics list every year as a way of giving myself the opportunity to think about who I've read and how I can do better.
 
Across all categories:
  Written by Women: 53 (67%, down from 72% in 2016)
  Written by POC: 29 (37%, up from 17% in 2016)
  Written by Transgender authors: 5 (6%, up from 1% in 2016) 
  Written by Non-binary authors: 2 (3%, up from 1% in 2016)
 
While this looks like a large improvement from last year, I should note that this is not unique authors, but total across all my reading. I went on Cassandra Khaw and Daniel José Older benders this fall that account for a lot of my non-white reading. I also went on a Courtney Milan bender in January that is helping inflate the written by women category. 
 
My favorite book from 2017 were really hard to select! It was a great reading year, but I narrowed it down to 10. Please don't ask me to order them as that's clearly an impossible task. They should all appear in the banner at the top, but here's a list, alphabetically:
 
 
I reviewed all 79 titles read in 2017, which is really more than I expected. Not all those reviews are great, but in terms of quantity, I beat my expectations. 
 
My favorite new-to-me author of 2017 is Cassandra Khaw. She's talented and her range includes (nay, celebrates!) splatterpunk. 
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url 2018-01-15 21:36
Forty new books in series releasing tomorrow
Binti: The Night Masquerade - Nnedi Okorafor
Iron Gold - Pierce Brown
Grilled Cheese and Dragons #1 (Princess Pulverizer) - Nancy E. Krulik,William F. Balistreri
Out of the Darkness - Heather Graham
Warrior of the Void - M.R. Mathias
January in Atlantis - Alyssa Day
Waiting for Spring 4 - Anashin
Almost Paradise (Book 4) - Christie Ridgway
An Engagement for Two - Marie Ferrarella

See Fictfact.com's book release calendar for full list and series info.

Source: www.fictfact.com/BookReleaseCalendar
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