Monday, March 28, 2011

Book Read in 2011

  1. The Naming - Alison Croggon
  2. The Riddle - Alison Croggon
  3. The Princetta - Anne-Laure Bondoux
  4. Sea Change - Aimee Friedman
  5. Daring Chloe - Laura Jensen Walker
  6. Tyger Tyger - Kersten Hamilton
  7. The Sugar Queen - Sarah Addison Allen
  8. My Double Life - Janette Rallison
  9. Savvy - Ingrid Law
  10. Magic Study - Maria V. Snyder
  11. Fire Study - Maria V. Snyder
  12. Jane - April Lindner (re-read)
  13. These is My Words - Nancy Turner (re-read)
  14. Restoree - Anne McCaffery (re-read)
  15. Wicked Becomes You - Meredith Durans
  16. Along for the Ride - Sarah Dessen
  17. When You Reach Me - Rebecca Stead
  18. 84, Charing Cross Road - Helene Hanff
  19. Snow - Tracy Lynn
  20. Bright Blue Miracle - Becca Wilhite
  21. The Replacement - Brenna Yovanoff
  22. The Ruins of Gorlan - John Flanagan
  23. Mistwood - Leah Cypress
  24. Spindle's End - Robin McKinley
  25. Alanna: the First Adventure - Tamora Pierce
  26. In the Hand of the Goddess - Tamora Pierce
  27. The Woman who Rides like a Man - Tamora Pierce
  28. Lioness Rampart - Tamora Pierce 
  29. The Dark Divine - Bree Despain
  30. Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone - Dene Low
  31. You Bet - Jennifer Crusie (re-read)
  32. By the Light of the Moon - Luanne Rice (re-read)
  33. The Crow - Alison Croggon
  34. The Singing - Alison Croggon
  35. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie - Alan Bradley
  36. The Last Aprentice: Revenge of the Witch - Joseph Delaney
  37. Poison Study - Maria V. Snyder (re-read)
  38. The Wizard of Earthsea - Ursula K. Le Guin

Listful Monday: Why I Really Want to Blog Again

Why I Really Want to Blog Again or Reasons I Miss Book Blogging
(In no particular order)
  1. I miss sharing the books I've read.
  2. I miss reading reviews and getting excited about the new books coming out.
  3. Writing keeps me sane. I am so currently not sane.
  4. I miss comments and community. My world is rather myopic sometimes.
  5. I hate giving up, especially if it's something I don't actually want to give up.
  6. I've been reading awesome stuff.
  7. I actually have things to say and ideas to post about.
  8. I want to take more pictures of my chair and fix up my background.
  9. I love the sound of the keys as my fingers fly across them.
  10. I write reviews in my head while I'm in the shower or driving the car or waiting for kids or cooking dinner. AND REVIEWS ARE MUCH BETTER OUT OF MY HEAD. I need to set them free....
I miss you blogging. Things are a bit smoother here at home and I'm redoubling my efforts. The ice is cracked. I hope I'm back.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Review: Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton

Tyger Tyger
by Kersten Hamilton
YA Fantasy
322 pages
published: 2010
5 of 5 stars 


Teagan Wylltson's best friend, Abby, dreams that horrifying creatures--goblins, shape-shifters, and beings of unearthly beauty but terrible cruelty--are hunting Teagan. Abby is always coming up with crazy stuff, though, so Teagan isn't worried. Her life isn't in danger. In fact, it's perfect. She's on track for a college scholarship. She has a great job. She's focused on school, work, and her future. No boys, no heartaches, no problems.
     Until Finn Mac Cumhaill arrives. Finn's a bit on the unearthly beautiful side himself. He has a killer accent and a knee-weakening smile. And either he's crazy or he's been haunting Abby's dreams, because he's talking about goblins, too . . . and about being The Mac Cumhaill, born to fight all goblin-kind. Finn knows a thing or two about fighting. Which is a very good thing, because this time, Abby's right. The goblins are coming. 
- from Goodreads 


I love the name Finn. It's on my list. And here is another Finn to drool over. You want adjectives? Here you go: brave, strong, self-assured, kind, 'feral,' clever, handsome. But he gets knocked down a peg or two...we wouldn't want anybody too flawless. 

But really, this a book review, not a Finn review. I loved the whole book. I loved all the secondary characters. This book made me laugh out loud. (I'm not really a laugh-out-loud-er. I takes a lot.) The dialogue was so witty and real to me. I would read a scene and then immediately read it again, out loud to whoever would listen. I loved the myths and history. I loved the gruesome and scary. I loved the magic and plot twists. There is heartache. There is romance. There is dumpster diving, goblin maggots, music, darkness, and hope. This book is not a wimp. Like a friend said to me, I'm just mad I'm NOT a goblin. 

Setting fantasy in our world is a hard thing to do right. Sometimes I won't even read a book once I find out it fits into that category. BUT, when it is done right it rocks. Many of my favorites follow this pattern. And for me, Tyger Tyger is done right. I want the next book yesterday.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Review: The Naming by Alison Croggon

The Naming
by Alison Croggon
published: 2001
528 pages
4 of 5 stars


Maerad is a slave in a desperate and unforgiving settlement, taken there as a child when her family is destroyed in war. She doesn't yet know she has inherited a powerful gift, one that marks her as a member of the noble School of Pellinor and enables her to see the world as no other can. It is only when she is discovered by Cadvan, one of the great Bards of Lirigon, that her true identity and extraordinary destiny unfold. Now, she and her mysterious teacher must embark on a treacherous, uncertain journey through a time and place where the forces of darkness wield an otherworldly terror.  - from Goodreads


I loved the ride. It feels like it has been a while since I sank my teeth into a good epic fantasy. There was meat here. I loved the world, the history, the descriptions, and the characters. I've been reading a lot of YA (which is usually sparing on description) and found myself salivating over the passages that fully described a room, a forest, or a fight. I love the paintings the words create in my head. I was submerged in that world. The world building wasn't overdone to me. I was never overly confused, and certainly not bored. I especially loved the relationship of the two main character, the former slave girl and her inadvertent rescuer. They liked each other, usually, trusted each other, but didn't, and loved each other, but refused to show it.

Now, for the record, no one is going to hand you this book and say, "Here! You've never read anything like this!" This book is archetypal fantasy to its core. It's all there: light vs dark, endless journeys, prophesied savior, apprenticeship, magic, hidden kingdoms, ambushes, secret identities.... But it is what I love about epic fantasies. World building. Escapism. Seeing how far you can take a human character. 

I am heading to the library today to pick up the next book. Can't wait.