Netgalley November Update

Netgalley November

So for the past two weeks I’ve been working on my e-galleys and I’ve actually reached my goal of 4 books, so I’m going to see if I can get to 7 by the end of the month, though I won’t have them all reviewed by that time.

For now though, here are the books that I’ve read so far.

Damselfly

Damselfly by Jennie Bates Bozic

I really enjoyed this one. It was fun and sweet but not shallow, and I smiled a lot. You can read my official review here.

The Curse Keepers

The Curse Keepers by Denise Grover Swank (thanks @47North)

I had a great time with this one. Great chemistry between the main characters, and I loved the Native American mythology incorporated in the plot. It was right up my alley.

My official review will be up on Monday, and the novel’s release is on Tuesday, November 19, so take a look!

Endless

Endless by Amanda Gray (thanks @ Month9Books)

I really liked Endless for the time travel element and the Russian history, even if I’m kind of disappointed that Nikolai is still very much an enigma.

My official review is coming soon!

Counting Shadows

Counting Shadows by Olivia Rivers

I’m still deciding how I feel about this one, but I’ll let you know when I figure it out.

A Dance of Cloaks

A Dance of Cloaks by David Dalglish (thanks @ Orbit)

I’m currently reading this and it’s pretty good so far, even if I’m not flailing about with excitement or anything.

What's Next

Witch Finder

Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton (thanks @ Hodder Children’s Books)

I’m soooo excited to read this one. It looks so good, and the cover is gorgeous, and asdkfjasd.

Defy

Defy by Sara B. Larson (thanks @ Scholastic Press)

Girl dresses as boy, kicks ass, evil guy kidnaps her along with two fine fellows. Uh, hell yes. Don’t mind if I do.

That should be plenty for this month, especially since I’ve got other books on my shelf needing my attention. How’s your reading going?

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ARC Review: Damselfly by Jennie Bates Bozic

How did I get it? Netgalley

Genre: Science fiction, dystopian, YA

Synopsis: In 2065, the Lilliput Project created Lina – the first six-inch-tall winged girl – as the solution to a worldwide energy and food crisis. Isolated in a compound amidst the forests of Denmark, Lina has grown up aware of only one purpose: learn how to survive in a world filled with hawks, bumblebees, and loneliness. However, on the eve of her sixteenth birthday, she discovers that she’s not the only teenager her size. Six ‘Toms’ were created shortly after Lina, and now her creators need to prove to the world that tiny people are the next logical step in human evolution. In other words, they need to prove that reproduction is possible.
Um. No thanks. Lina’s already fallen in love with a boy she met online named Jack. Only he has no idea that thumbelina1847 could literally fit inside his heart.
When her creators threaten to hurt Jack unless she chooses a husband from among the ‘Toms’, Lina agrees to star in a reality TV series. Once the episodes begin to air, the secret of her size is out. Cut off from any contact with the outside world, Lina assumes Jack is no longer interested. After all, what guy would want to date a girl he can’t even kiss?
Slowly, very slowly, she befriends the six young men who see her as their only ticket to happiness. Perhaps she can make just one guy’s dream of love and companionship come true. But her creators have a few more twists in store for her that she never thought possible.
She’s not the only one playing to the cameras.

Review: This was one of those books I just had to have. I have a love of fairy tales and I couldn’t wait to see what the author did with her world and her characters. The combination of fairies, Bachelorette-style reality TV, and a dystopian setting where starvation is looming, had me intrigued and I was curious to know how it all fit together.

I read Damselfly in one sitting, and although it wasn’t addictive at first, by the time I’d gotten halfway through, I was hooked. The author has a way of writing in a way that’s very simple and straightforward while still managing to confront difficult topics with maturity. Her main character, Lina, is likeable but still with some serious flaws and personal obstacles that she has to learn to overcome as the story progresses. Her love interest, Jack, is absolutely wonderful and I love how unique he is as a person; he’s certainly not perfect, but he’s a lovely, rounded character with a good deal of depth to him. I liked him almost instantly, and he actually made me tear up at one point, which I was really not expecting.

I will admit that the reality TV plotline didn’t grab me. Bozic introduced these six “Toms”—little male fairies engineered to reproduce with Lina—and I was really looking forward to getting to know them, but in the end only three or four were actually near memorable. Most of them were given potential room to grow and develop as characters, but that potential was sort of left hanging. I felt a bit cheated because I would have loved to have more attention given to the five other Toms, especially Blue and Shrike, but they were just left waiting in the wings instead.

That being said, there were a lot of great things going on in this book. I adored the characters and my friends can tell you how much I was fangirling because I had to stop after every chapter to share my emotions and do a little dance-jig thing that made my dog run away in terror. The glimpses of the dystopian world Bozic built were fascinating and I loved the way she threaded hints of the state of society into conversations and plotlines. It felt very authentic and unique.

I’m just really hoping that the author isn’t planning on leaving us with that ending. I’m not sure what her companion novelette is going to contribute, but I will track her down and demand a sequel if I have to, because I’m not ready to let this story or these characters go just yet.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Other Books By the Author: Ms. Bozic has also written a companion novelette for Damselfly called Sugar Plum which has not yet been released, but I am definitely going to be waiting in line to get it. And bonus: it’s free! To keep up with the release, you can check out her website here.

The Sunday Post #1

The Sunday Post
The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news, recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received, and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

 “Cat, this is Finn. He’s going to be your tutor.”

Finn looks and acts human, though he has no desire to be. He was programmed to assist his owners, and performs his duties to perfection. A billion-dollar construct, his primary task is now to tutor Cat. As she grows into a beautiful young woman, Finn is her guardian, her constant companion…and more. But when the government grants rights to the ever-increasing robot population, however, Finn struggles to find his place in the world, and in Cat’s heart.

Read my full review of The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke here.

Top Ten Tuesday #2: Come see my Top Ten Books to Read for Halloween!
In this post, I offered up three questions that I personally think are really important to think about when you’re working on a novel no matter where you are in the process. These questions can also be applied to short stories, poems, screenplays, etc.
You can find that post here.
I’m participating in Netgalley November! This month I’m going to do my best to get my Netgalley feedback to 80% and get those ARCs read and reviewed. Find the announcement here.
Stacking the Shelves #3: A post sharing the books I bought, borrowed, and received last week.
Review: Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff that Made Me Famous by Kathryn Williams
Can a spot on a teen reality show really lead to a scholarship at an elite cooking school AND a summer romance?
Sixteen-year-old Sophie Nicolaides was practically raised in the kitchen of her family’s Italian-Greek restaurant, Taverna Ristorante. When her best friend, Alex, tries to convince her to audition for a new reality show, Teen Test Kitchen, Sophie is reluctant. But the prize includes a full scholarship to one of America’s finest culinary schools and a summer in Napa, California, not to mention fame. 
Once on-set, Sophie immediately finds herself in the thick of the drama—including a secret burn book, cutthroat celebrity judges, and a very cute French chef. Sophie must figure out a way to survive all the heat and still stay true to herself. A terrific YA offering–fresh, fun, and sprinkled with romance.
Check out my review of Kathryn Williams’s YA novel Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff that Made Me Famous, coming this Tuesday!
ARC Review: Damselfly by Jennie Bates Bozic
In 2065, the Lilliput Project created Lina – the first six-inch-tall winged girl – as the solution to a worldwide energy and food crisis. Isolated in a compound amidst the forests of Denmark, Lina has grown up aware of only one purpose: learn how to survive in a world filled with hawks, bumblebees, and loneliness. However, on the eve of her sixteenth birthday, she discovers that she’s not the only teenager her size. Six ‘Toms’ were created shortly after Lina, and now her creators need to prove to the world that tiny people are the next logical step in human evolution. In other words, they need to prove that reproduction is possible.
Um. No thanks. Lina’s already fallen in love with a boy she met online named Jack. Only he has no idea that thumbelina1847 could literally fit inside his heart…more
Check out my review of Jennie Bates Bozic’s YA novel Damselfly, coming this Thursday!
Stacking the Shelves #4: A post sharing the books I buy, borrow, and receive this week.
What I’m Reading
The wall between our world and that of vengeful spirits has protected humanity for more than 400 years. It’s about to come crashing down.
Ellie Lancaster has lived her whole life by the site of the mysterious Lost Colony of Roanoke, the Virginia settlement that vanished without a trace around 1590. Only the descendants of the two men who banished the spirits of an enemy tribe from the material realm know what really happened to the colony. Ellie is one of those descendants—a Curse Keeper. Her father took pains to teach her what he knew of the curse and the responsibilities of its guardians. He taught her that if the two Curse Keepers ever meet, the curse will be lifted, the gate will open, and the raging Native American spirits will be unleashed to seek their revenge…more
My review should be up on Monday, November 18!
Dear Anthony:
I appreciate your recent interest, but I’m not accepting applications at this time. Your letter will be kept in our files and someone will get back to you if there is an opening. Thank you for thinking of me.
Respectfully,
Alejandra Perez
P.S. It’s not Allie. It’s Alé.


Meet T.C., who is valiantly attempting to get Alejandra to fall in love with him; Aléjandra, who is playing hard to get and is busy trying to sashay out from under the responsibilities of being a diplomat’s daughter; and T.C.’s brother Augie, who is gay and in love and everyone knows it but him.

Review coming soon!
My Bookcase’s Heroic Journey:
So originally I kept my bookcase in the guest room because there wasn’t enough room in my bedroom for it, but over the weekend my mom and I moved some furniture and did some math and now I have a 6-foot bookcase in all its glory within my cave. I also did a bit of a reaping session and gathered about 60 books that I didn’t want and 50 or so more that I wanted to store at a family member’s house, which left me with…well, not much wiggle room, but a teensy bit. I’m really excited because having shelves and shelves of books mere feet away from my bed leaves me no excuse not to read.
Have I mentioned my obsession with Reign? Because seriously, I AM OBSESSED. It’s like all my actor babies joined the same Club Awesome and said “Let’s make Sam fangirl” and boom, a TV show was born.
My favorite season is here!!!
I’ll be going to Philadelphia next week, which I’m super excited about because a) I’ve never been, b) Philadelphia is one of America’s most historic cities and I’m going to be having all kinds of nerdgasms, and c) I’ll get like 6 hours of flight time, aka reading time.

That’s all for now! I hope you had a great week, and I’d love to know what you’re up to this week, so let me know in the comments! See you on Tuesday!

Netgalley November and NaNoWriMo

Happy November 1!

This is just a quick post to let you guys know that I’ve signed up for Netgalley November! This event is hosted by A Daydreamer’s Thoughts, K-Books, and Bookish Treasures, with the idea being to make a dent in your pile of TBR Netgalley books this month. There are five levels ranging from Easy (1-4) to Netgalley Superstar (21+). I’m doing the Easy level because I have other things on my plate that are hogging my time, so I just have to decide which book to read first!

I’m going to do my best to post some sort of update once a week or so on my progress and the books I’m reading, and there should be some ARC reviews going up as well, so if you’d like to know more about Damselfly or The Curse Keepers, keep an eye out!

Also beginning today is the fabulous/masochistic NaNoWriMo, which I for the sake of my sanity and preferred sleeping pattern will not be participating in this year around, however much I wish I had the time to. But honestly, I’m happy with the pace I’m going at for the moment, though I’m doing a bit of a mini NaNoWriMo myself just to keep on track. I do, however, wish all of you participating in the writing festivities the best of luck. Just keep going and writing and believing, and even if you don’t make it all the way, something is better than nothing, so be proud of yourself no matter what happens. Work hard and, most importantly, have fun!

 

Stacking the Shelves #2

***Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. It’s a chance to share any books you’ve bought, borrowed, or received in the past 7 days. All of the books on this list are linked to Goodreads.
I’ve recently sold my soul to Netgalley, so I’ve got a few new additions to my shelf to share, though fortunately (at least for my wallet) not as many as last time. Although I don’t plan to review all of these books (except the ARCs of course), if you see anything in particular you’d like me to review, let me know in the comments and I’ll see what I can do!




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Mafia Girl by Deborah Blumenthal (thanks @ Albert Whitman & Company)

Endless by Amanda Gray (thanks @ Month9Books)

The Curse Keepers by Denise Grover Swank (thanks @ 47North)

Through the Door by Jodi McIsaac (thanks @ 47North)

The Hazel Tree by Julia Debski* (thanks @ Julia Debski)

Mind Bond by Julie Haydon (thanks  @ Feather in Cap Publishing)

Damselfly by Jennie Bates Bozic (thanks @ Patchwork Press)

The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke** (thanks @ Angry Robot)

A Dance of Cloaks by David Dalglish (thanks @ Orbit Books)

*If you’ve seen my update post, you probably already know that Julia is a very good friend of mine who just self-published her first novel, The Hazel Tree. From what I’ve seen, it looks like a pretty fabulous book. I’ll be reviewing it most likely in early November, so stay tuned for that as well.

**I’ve actually already read this gorgeous novel, so if you’d like to know my thoughts on it, check back on Monday for my official review.

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Emma by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

The Art of Uncertainty: How to Live in the Mystery of Life and Love It by Dennis Merritt Jones

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright

Hopefully, the gods will grant me the self-control not to go book-hunting for a little while considering the sheer size of my TBR pile at the moment. I would offer you a picture of said pile, but I don’t want to frighten you so I’ll refrain.

See you Monday!