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This whole reviewing books thing

October 2, 2014
Crown of Embers - Kindle Mistborn: The Final Empire - Audio The Dream Thieves - Print

I tried.  I really, really tried.

The first pre-release NetGalley I got was Bathing the Lion by Jonathan Carroll. It started off okay, but I kept wondering how it was going to get around to resembling the publisher’s description. When it “took off”, the action felt very stilted and just…I don’t know. I couldn’t get into it. Reading it felt like a chore, and that’s when I was I got stolen away by delicious YA awesomeness.

I later didn’t feel so bad, when I read a review on Goodreads that basically said if you’re new to Jonathan Carroll (which I am), you should read his other stuff before attempting to Bathe the Lion. So there we go.

I generally read at least three books at a time, and the only way I can accomplish this is by having the three books in three different formats. One is an audiobook on CD, which I listen to in the car during my 60-minute-total commute each day. I’ve tried using the Overdrive app for this, which works okay, but I’m bad at remembering to pause the book before I shut off the car. The second book is on my Kindle, usually checked out from the library via Overdrive. The majority of my Kindle-reading is done on my lunch break. The third, when there is a third, is print. This one gets read before bed, but only if the Kindle isn’t charged or is isn’t particularly engaging at the moment.

So while I was avoiding Bathing the Lion, I picked up Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo, after which I immediately purchased Ruin and Rising for my Kindle because I had to know how it ended. That’s the sign of a good series, people. If you are compelled to go immediately from book x to book y in order to appease the weevils in your brain, the series author has done their job.

I love the Grisha Trilogy. I love the folklore Bardugo has written for the world. I love the world-building. I love how she could have ended it any number of ways, but she chose a happy one (I would have been fine with a different ending too, but the one written is written well). I love her characters. I love their development. I would be more articulate, but the whole series turns me into a big pile of gushy lovemeat. It’s just amazing. And amazing in such a way that, if Bardugo gives us no more stories from Ravka – historic folklore or “current” events – I’d be okay. I’m satiated.

I bounced from Bardugo to Rae Carson’s A Girl of Fire and Thorns because it was late, I wanted something else to read, and Overdrive recommended it based on my appreciation of the Grisha Trilogy. Elisa’s story isn’t nearly as compelling and transporting as Alina’s, but I’m still interested in it. The romance takes a more central role, but I have to say I like Elisa a lot more when she isn’t pining after someone. Still, when she does pine, it feels like real 16/17 year-old female pining. While the Grisha Trilogy is one that I am more than happy to recommended to my husband, I won’t do the same for the Fire and Thorns series.  While he loved Garth Nix’s Abhorsen series, Sabriel and Lireal are a different sort of heroine than Elisa. Not bad-different, just different like how peas are different than broccoli. Some people like both. Some people like one more than the other.

I found myself without an audiobook, so I went to one of our Youth Service libraries for help. I wanted something YA, but I didn’t know what. I had tried to read Hollow City by Ransom Riggs, but it had been so long since I read Ms. Peregrine that I found myself disconnected from the characters and the events. My colleague handed me The Raven Boysby Maggie Stiefvater, and I fell in love again. It’s paranormal YA that puts the plot and friendship above any romantic element. Also, Noah is the best. Ever. All love for Noah.

Seriously, there were points where I was mentally collapsing to my knees in the rain, lifting my head to the sky and shouting, “Noooooooaaaaaaaaah!”

I’m more and more impressed and excited by YA authors capturing the subtleties of teen behavior. When we’re experiencing the world through Blue’s limited 3rd POV, the brief, off-hand reference to the fact that their shoulders/knees/hips were almost touching when sitting someplace rings with so much truth. Blue, who doesn’t know who she likes and who has way bigger things to think about and deal with than romance, still takes note of when the boy who makes her woogy/mad is that close.

So I’m not too terribly upset with myself for failing at the whole Net Galley thing. Maybe it just isn’t my thing. But that doesn’t mean I can’t start writing about the books I’m reading.

How does this look?

Crown of Embers - Kindle Mistborn: The Final Empire - Audio The Dream Thieves - Print

Pretty spiffy, eh? Yeah, I knew you’d like it. (Wow, I’m really on a fantasy kick right now…)

I got the idea for the trio image after doing a series of read-alike images for work:

Boardwalk Empire Read-Alikes Divergent Read-Alikes Goldfinch Read-Alikes

Leave a comment if you want the template (Publisher file) – I’m happy to share!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 2, 2014 8:51 pm

    Follow my Blog? I do reviews on Rock n Roll Autobiographies and True Crime Books

    therealrene.wordpress.com

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