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!

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ARC Review: The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke

How did I get it? Netgalley

Genre: Science fiction, dystopian

Synopsis: “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.

Review: Okay, so first things first. This? This was beautifully written. Like, crack-your-heart-open-and-make-you-bleed kind of beautiful. Every word had thought behind it, every character was real and complex and emotive. This is a book that you have to take a break from every once in a while to just lay there while your brain takes it all in. It’s powerful and poignant and deep, and it’s like reading something vast and tiny at the same time, a small story that feels big.

The main character, Cat, is someone with a plethora of faults, which in my case made her more relatable, although I can see how she might grate on some people’s nerves. Her journey through life is very tumultuous and she makes a ton of mistakes, but I liked that about her, and she certainly isn’t the only one with issues in this book. Her parents, her friends, and the other people around her have their own flaws, and I really enjoyed how much thought Ms. Clarke put into every single character. I grew especially fond of Finn, which is probably due in part to my love of the awkward-male-turtle role, but Finn really did make my heart ache. Reading about Finn’s struggle to understand his surroundings and his own capacity to feel made me think about human nature and emotions, and how powerful they really are. How ironic that a robot should be the one to teach readers about humanity.

***SPOILER***

One thing that I didn’t care for was the plotline concerning Cat’s marriage. For one, a lot of Cat’s interactions with Richard made her seem, well, catty. And also, while I understand this part of the story is crucial, I didn’t like the way it was done. Richard’s character was horrid, yes, but it didn’t feel authentic. His violence and mistreatment of Cat were done in a way that made me feel like the author was just saying her lines, and there was nothing raw or cutting in their final interactions. Cat’s behavior toward Richard seemed like a shallow effort by the author to show her strength of character, as though by publicly embarrassing him or saying “You hit me, so I’m divorcing you” automatically makes her a woman of steel when in reality, it felt like there was very little thought behind Cat’s actions, like the author was shoving words in her mouth and situating her just how she liked.

***END SPOILER***

I don’t read books like this very often simply because I end up walking around for the next week with a hangover. It’s a lot to take in, and it’s very draining, especially in my case since I read it in a day. But at the same time, this book was completely and totally worth the energy. The author put such care into it, and it’s so stunning both stylistically and thematically that even if I didn’t like the story, I would love the book anyway for the writing.

Rating: 5 stars

Recommend it? Yes

Other Books By the Author: Cassandra Rose Clarke has also written a YA series called The Assassin’s Curse, which from what I can tell looks pretty awesome.

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!