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review 2017-09-25 00:00
Buzz Books 2017 Young Adult Fall/Winter
Buzz Books 2017 Young Adult Fall/Winter - Publishers Lunch I am a little late to the party with this one (it's September and this sampler came out in May for these Fall books), but I thought I'd check out this sampler from NetGalley as I enjoyed getting a preview with another similar excerpt round-up. Plus I'm a new reviewer so it was something I could get my hands on!
There are so many great books coming out in the YA category at the moment, so some of these books are already getting buzz (even without sending out samplers) and for some, it may be easy to get lost in the fray. There's a pretty broad range of books here (13 in all!) so there's something for everyone. Here are some standouts:

'Solo' (Kwame Alexander) - This obviously will not be the right book for everyone, and you can tell that immediately when you start reading the poetic verse. It's a coming-of-age story, written in song, about a teenager called Blade Morrison and from seeing the buzz around this book, this might be one I would actually prefer to go the audio route; it's narrated by the author, which is something I love, and would help with any struggle with the fact that it's verse/poetry. Actually reading along at the SAME TIME as hearing it would be amazing too, because I think this might just be a groundbreaker, and it may be easy to dismiss this one based on it being verse. Perfect for music and poetry lovers. Fascinating.

'Girls Made of Snow & Glass' (Melissa Bashardoust) - This is one of those that has had a lot of buzz around it; for me, I was initially drawn in by the simplicity of that beautiful monochromatic cover design of the icicles! Stunning. 'Snow & Glass' is described as a 'feminist fantasy reimagining of the Snow White Fairytale'; although we've had quite a few retellings of fairytales of late, what I hear is that this is a complex and magical look at the relationship between stepdaughter/stepmother and this is NOT a damsel-in-distress story (thank goodness). The excerpt is a slow introduction into the story but I would love to read this one in its entirety.

'All Rights Reserved' (Gregory Scott Katsoulis) - The title sticks with me right away (I'm a photographer), and it's honestly genius with respect to the premise of the book. Set in a world where every word and gesture is copyrighted (are we that far off?), a girl called Speth chooses to stay silent in protest, and refuses to speak, rather than to pay every time she opens her mouth. When I read this synopsis I immediately began to think about the current day's debates over the right to protest, and THEN the excerpt immediately starts with references to suicide (so trigger warning right away); I know pretty quickly this is not going to be the book for everyone either. Quite a bit of controversial content and lots to talk about. I want to keep reading this dystopian novel as I'd love to see how Speth navigates this frustrating world.

'Warcross' (Marie Lu) - Without a doubt, this was/would have been/is the highlight for me, and by this point, I'm happy to say I've read the book. I read a sampler ahead of time, and preordered the book; after picking it up, I had read it by the next night. Had I not had photos to go take, a dog to walk, and my child to keep alive, I expect I would have read it quicker! Needless to say, I devoured Warcross faster than just about anything I've read of late. While this is about a teenage hacker and a virtual-reality game that has taken over the world, which before this, wouldn't sound like anything I would read, this book is amazing. The imagery and plot take you to a colorful and exciting world very quickly and you become so immersed in it that suddenly Marie Lu has you wanting Book 2 (and she says it's in the works) immediately upon finishing. LOVED it. And all because I read the sampler.

'Beasts Made of Night' (Tochi Onyebuchi) - The short excerpt that I read in this sampler was one that I had been looking forward to reading for a while (the book, which is about dark magic, appropriately debuts on Halloween). The book is set the city of Kos, where a young sin-eater called Taj wrestles with his livelihood and his desires; this novel immediately throws you into the Taj's world, and you can just sense this will be a book filled with rich imagery, complex world-building, and I have high expectations for vivid fantasy and great characters. I hope the buzz delivers!

*Thanks for making my book list even longer!

Note: The whole of this excerpt edition can be found at buzz.publishersmarketplace.com


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video 2017-08-17 13:24

Give your child more than just another fictional story or a Harry Potter story. Here is a book by Christopher Conroy that will empower your child. Anzard, is the best gift that you could give your child and impress them.

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review 2017-06-06 02:24
(Audiobook) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Book 7 - J.K. Rowling,Jim Dale

I'm so sad that I've come to the end of the audiobooks. :( I drew this one out as long as I possibly could. Jim Dale is a fantastic narrator.

 

I'll give them all a re-listen in the near future.

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review 2017-06-02 23:58
Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia | READ THIS NOW!

This past Tuesday, Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia was released into the world, and you all need to get a copy. Now.

I was an Eliza beta reader about a year and a half ago, and I finished reading my hardback yesterday. All the praise that I had already given the beta version? Oh, wow. Magnify that by a hundred. This book is fantastic. Here are my 5 reasons for why you need NEED to read it.

 


1) Fantastic Characters--

It's a well known fact that Chessie makes amazing, multi-layered characters, the type to delight fans of all ages (cc: Made You Up). Her characters feel flesh and blood. They make you want to cry and scream, and you get frustrated on their behalf. Chessie's attention to detail makes her characters come alive, with their own little habits and phrases. And with such fantastic characters, you're guaranteed to be engaged in the story, even if you don't always agree with what the characters do.

Eliza and Her Monsters - Francesca Zappia
2) Breaking Gender Norms--

The romantic interest in this book is a hulk, former football player and now fanfiction writer and a selective mute, with a soft voice. The main character is a girl with greasy hair and social anxiety, and she's this super popular creator of a webcomic. Society tends to portray female creators as being Nice, Polite Women - women need to comprise, to smile more often, etc. Here, we have another story to rival that. And many of the side characters also break gender norms. I don't know about you, but I'm very pleased to have a story where the characters aren't in these flat cardboard boxes of what we expect (e.g., alpha male). This also makes the characters feel more real to me.

3) The Unique Formatting--

You can look at several of the Goodreads reviews that mention the photos - here, for instance. Or just at look at the EpicReads post of the first two chapters. You can see the inclusion of the Monstrous Sea webcomic pages, and the prose transcription beneath. You can see private messages between the characters - the moderators of the webcomic and Eliza, the romantic interest and Eliza. You can see forum interactions and forum profiles. Most of the YA books out right now don't have this amount of layering within their stories. Horror YA sometimes includes pictures, and other fandom related books might have some stories, some fanfiction--not to this extent, not to this level of metaness. See point below.

4) Unlike Anything Else You've Read--

This book has been compared to Fangirl and Afterworlds and Nimona, because every book needs to be compared to something, so you have an idea of its marketing. It's a fact of life that you build on schemas that people already have of the world. But this book is unlike anything else that you've read. You only get Cath's fanfiction in Fangirl, some of the story from the main character in Afterworlds. Nimona started off as a comic. None of these is quite the same as Eliza and Her Monsters. Here, you get the main character's creation and see how she interacts with her fans, and you see how fanfic writers interact with the creator and the fandom. You also get to hear about a series of books that she loves, too. Chessie has posted this online - the Children of Hypnos story. The main character has a drive to create after the fandom that she loves no longer exists. You have access to that story too. There's this amazing level of metaness in this story that ties so well into the themes of creation, fandoms, etc. I repeat: unlike anything else you've read.

5) So Easy to Relate to--

If you're reading this book, there is a good likelihood that you will relate to SOMETHING in this book. Whether it's the main character's social anxiety, the need to create, the desire to interact with the fandom, or just loving how the fandom interacts-- there is something for everyone. And you know that Chessie has interacted with or been a part of fandoms, because it shows in her writing. It shows in how fandoms a portrayed. Marieke Nijkamp wrote the blurb, "A love letter to fandom, friendship, and the stories that shape us, Eliza and Her Monsters is absolutely magical." Yes, yes, yes. A love letter to fandom and friendship and stories. Yes. 100% true.

READ THIS BOOK!

PS - This wonderful novel got a starred review from Kirkus, Publisher's Weekly, Booklist, and School Library Journal.

PPS - Here is my original pre-review: I read a manuscript of this book about one year ago to date. If you like Made You Up, you will most certainly love Eliza! Chessie brings back her trademark endearing humor in another wonderful mix of adorable romance, quirky characters, and multilayered plotting (plus the cool formatting here, which is typically reserved for YA horror, but hey, Eliza is just that awesome). I would also recommend this book to fans of Fangirl and Afterworlds.

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text 2017-05-29 01:12
Reading progress update: I've read 90%.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Book 7 - J.K. Rowling,Jim Dale
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