When the Moon was Ours

To the boys who get called girls,
the girls who get called boys,
and those who live outside these words.
To those called names,
and those searching for names of their own.
To those who live on the edges,
and in the spaces in between
I wish for you ever light in the sky.

Do you ever have those books that you draw you in with their beautifully written words? Those books that seem lush and eloquent and absolutely breathtaking in their prose? When the Moon was Ours is definitely one of those books.

IMG-1975From a boy who hangs moons in the trees to a girl who grows roses from her wrist, When the Moon was Ours is a tale of two best friends and the strangeness that bonds them. Sam and Miel are inseparable and strange in their own ways, but even as the town spreads rumors about their oddities, they all know to keep their distance from the Bonner sisters. Four girls who run the town and who are now convinced Miel’s roses will give them more power. Using every secret to bribe her to hand over the roses, Sam and Miel must face each other’s darkest secrets and see if they can knock the Bonner sisters down a peg or two.

While Anna-Marie McLemore writes beautifully, I found myself wishing there was a plot to the story…or any plot at all. I felt as if McLemore was covering for the lack of story with her well-written words and her apt for creating a fantasy world. It was hard to pick out absolute truths from the story amidst all the metaphors McLemore filled the pages with. That being said, the story itself is absolutely wonderful. I just wish a little more thought had been put into the plot of it all.

The Beauty

“We move, we surge, we dash and we flow, and we think that our furious beating upon the far shores of the universe means we are powerful. But we are only the crest of an uncontrollable surge in the tide.”

IMG-1956I had no idea what to expect when I started reading The Beauty. Honestly, I’m still not sure how I feel about it. Aliya Whiteley has written an intriguing tale. The women are all dead, killed off by a strange disease, and men are all that is left. The age of humanity is coming to an end. But a young storyteller in a group of men, Nathan, has found what he believes to be their saving grace.

What follows is a story that is reminiscent of H.P. Lovecraft’s works. After finishing The Beauty, I felt as if my brain and been taken out and played with. While I thoroughly enjoyed Whiteley’s writing style and poetic prose, I was left wanting. I wanted more details on the downfall of humanity, a more complete ending, just more. That being said, I was kept on the edge of my seat. The Beauty is indeed a unique story, unlike anything I’ve ever read. It will keep you thinking and you won’t be able to put it down.

#FictionFriday: The Age of Miracles

Welcome book lovers to the second installment of #FictionFriday!!!!

Coming-of-age novels have never really been my thing but I always manage to read at least one each year. I’m always surprised by how much they stick with me. But this one in particular really stuck with me. Perhaps it’s because there’s a bit of sci-fi mixed in.

age-of-miraclesThe Age of Miracles follows young Julia and her family as they face catastrophe, survival, and growth. One Saturday morning, Julia wakes to find that the world has suddenly stopped its rotation. Days and nights become longer, gravity is affected, everything is in disarray. In true coming-of-age style, Julia deals with distance between her parents and herself, first loves, betrayal, friends acting strangely. All of this on top of the changes happening in the world.

Karen Thompson Walker creates a beautiful story of a young girl facing the truth of life goes on even when the world has literally stopped.

I highly encourage you to add this to your reading list. I was blown away by Walker’s writing style with beautiful prose. This is a book that will stick with you long after you’ve read it. I find myself wanting to pick it up again and again.

#FictionFriday: New Beginnings

Hey book lovers!

So I’m starting something new this month with #FictionFriday (waits for applause). Basically, every Friday I’ll be posting about a fiction book I think should be on your bookshelf. Maybe even give you a nudge to go out and buy it over the weekend. Who knows?

Starting out our #FictionFriday, I’d like to talk about A Man Called Ove. Y’all, this book hit me hard. It made me feel and you guys know how much I love a book that makes me feel.

81EQHE097eLA Man Called Ove is all about a curmudgeon (how fun is that word?) who’s world is suddenly invaded by new next door neighbors: a young couple and their two chatty daughters. Told through the budding relationship between Ove and the two girls, we see a man who has felt heartache and had a rough life.

Fredrik Backman fills these pages with sadness and comedy, making it easy to fall in love with the characters. By the end of the book, you’ll look at all the grumpy old men in the world differently.

If you haven’t picked this one up yet, I highly encourage you to check it out! It’s a fast read with a great story.

If you have any recommendations for #FictionFriday, feel free to suggest them here.

S.T.A.G.S.

IMG-1694“I am not a murderer.”

Welcome to St. Aiden the Great School, better known as S.T.A.G.S. and run by a group of prefects known as the Medievals. A cruel group that doesn’t believe in the latest technology and is filled with old money. Greer MacDonald is privy to their punishments until one day she receives an invitation to spend a weekend with them at Longcross, Henry de Warlencourt’s palatial home. As she falls head over heels for the stunningly handsome Henry, she must also find her way out of a deadly game that is centuries old.

Filled with intrigue and mystery, S.T.A.G.S.  took me by surprise. I did not expect such a well thought out story. Bennett had me staying up late just to see what happens next. I love a book that can keep me on my toes and S.T.A.G.S.  did just that. I never knew what would come next for our protagonist or the two friends she finds along the way. And the ending left me wanting more in the best way possible. I hope M. A. Bennett gives us more from this world!

And Then There Were Crows

IMG-1675Never look for a roommate on Craigslist!  I repeat, NEVER look for a roommate on Craigslist.

“…the guy waiting on the other side of my door was about to bring the whole thing to another level. A screw up of literal biblical proportions.”

Amanda Grey can tell you just how much of a bad idea it is. Living in NYC with her parents in a small apartment, Amanda is left to take care of things while her parents are traveling. But suddenly she’s run out of funds and decides to find a roommate to help pay for rent until her parents return. But who would’ve expected her roommate to be a demon?

And Then There Were Crows is filled with demons, angels, the usual fight between good and evil, and Mordor nachos. With biting sarcasm and surprisingly relatable characters, Alcy Leyva’s book will have you dying of laughter with every page. Following Amanda’s struggles as she tries to save the world (which yeah, is kinda sucky) with the help of her demon roommate, Leyva walks us through New York at the mercy of ethereal beings.

I could not put this book down. Every bit of it was perfectly executed. Fair warning: your sides will hurt but it’s so worth it. I can’t wait to see what’s next from The Shades of Hell series.

Becoming The Dragon

IMG-1643Step into a world of orc, elves, gnomes, and dragons with Alex Sapegin’s Becoming the Dragon. Andrew is a normal sixteen-year-old who isn’t so normal after his electrifying accident two years prior. Suddenly, technology doesn’t really like his presence. He hasn’t really felt himself. And fate is about to make that even worse as he is suddenly thrown into an entirely different world. Even in this new world, he’s unique.

While I enjoyed Sapegin’s storytelling, I had a difficult time being pulled into this book until the very end. The writing was very choppy and had little flow. Among the choppiness, I was distracted by the many repetitive sentences as well as some misspellings. However, I’m chalking this up to the translation process. Becoming the Dragon was first published in Russian and has since been brought over to the U.S. in order to allow American readers to enjoy some modern Russian literature. Fantasy lovers will thoroughly fall in love with this story, if they can overlook some of the technical problems.

I received this book from Smith Publicity, Inc. for review.

Lullaby Road

IMG_1630I have never read any of James Anderson’s novels. But I was sent Lullaby Road for review and was a little disconcerted finding out that it was a sequel. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to follow the story having nothing to go on from the previous book. However, that worry was unfounded.

Lullaby Road stands well on its own. Following Ben Jones in his truck along highway 117 in Utah made for some interesting adventures. The desert can do some strange things to a person’s mind as we are shown time and time again. Ben himself even has to contend with what the desert has made of him. From the very beginning we are thrown into a strange situation. Ben has stopped by his transport station to pick up a load but also winds up taking a child and a dog that won’t leave its side. As he struggles to make his run with the child, the dog, and his neighbor’s infant, he must also solve a major mystery and a web of lies that has entwined most of the small towns linked by his truck route.

James Anderson has a way of pulling the reader into the story and making them comfortable. Like a warm bed on a cold winter morning, Lullaby Road was hard to get out of. While I wasn’t particularly happy with the ending, I can’t help but applaud Anderson’s ability to weave a tale of intrigue, suspense, and sarcasm.

I was given this book from Blogging for Books for review.

The Bear and The Nightingale

25489134._UY1000_SS1000_This book has intrigued me for quite some time. I’ve heard some good things about it and was excited to finally add it to my list.

Katherine Arden’s The Bear and the Nightingale is the first book in the Winternight Trilogy. The Bear and The Nightingale is set in Russia, where winters are hard and household demons run rampant. Vasilisa is the last born of her mother, and just like her mother she carries magic in her blood. She can see and speak with the wood spirits, the river goddess and even the vazila in the horsestables. But her stepmother is a Christian woman who fears the old gods and tries to bring her husband’s lands under a Christian rule. But in doing so, she puts everyone in danger. It’s up to Vasya to save her people and discover who she really is with the help of an unlikely alliance.

Arden weaves a tale of literary beauty and fantasy. While each character has about four different names, which can make it a bit difficult to keep track of them all, the story itself is beautifully written. Perfect for a winter read. I easily fell in love with the characters and the flow of the story had me staying up way past bedtime in order to finish another chapter. I highly recommend picking up The Bear and The Nightingale and I’m excited to read the second installment of the Winternight Trilogy.

Time’s a Thief

512g7Rgn-sL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_B.G. Firmani’s Time’s a Thief takes place in 1980s New York, and early 2000s New York. We follow Francesca “Chess” Varani through her years at Barnard. Coincidentally also where Firmani attended. Immediately we meet Kendra Marr-Lowenstein, a wild child from a high class family.  Chess is instantly taken with Kendra and her crazy ways. Throughout Firmani’s novel, we follow the ups and downs of Chess and Kendra’s friendship as well as just how deeply Chess finds herself in the Marr-Lowenstein family and the number they do on her.

While Time’s a Thief was easy to fall into and very easy to read, I found myself annoyed with the incessant lists of poets, composers, and literaries that seemed to add nothing to the story other than to flaunt Firmani’s knowledge. Beyond that, the novel read like a stream of consciousness writing. Very Bohemian and Kerouac-esque. I didn’t love the book but I didn’t hate it. I won’t give anything away but the ending seemed very bland to me as if nothing had actually happened through the entire story.

Still, if you’re looking for a novel to kill the time then Time’s a Thief is a good choice. As Firmani’s first novel it could use some work.

I received a copy of Time’s a Thief from NetGalley for review.