Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie StiefvaterBlue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3) by Maggie Stiefvater
Published by Scholastic Press on October 21st 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Magic, Young Adult
Pages: 391
Goodreads
five-stars

There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.
Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.
The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.
Friends can betray. Mothers can disappear. Visions can mislead. Certainties can unravel.

If you haven’t read the first two books…STOP HERE. SPOILERS AHEAD.

The book begins right where we left off, or at least close enough. The boys (Gansey, Ronan, Adam and Noah) along with Blue Sargent are still on the hunt for the lost king Glendower. Blue’s mother is still missing. The Gray man’s ex-boss Greenmantle is now in Henrietta seeking his revenge on the Gray man and all he holds dear.

Like the first two books that came before, this one does not disappoint. If anything it leaves you with the WTF??? and looking for the rest of the pages because Maggie did not just stop writing and leave us with this crazy OMG,OMG, OMG  cliffhanger….but yes…yes she does. The magic and wonder are still there. The sweetness that is Noah is still there, ever more endearing, and so very sad. Please Maggie let something nice happen to Noah in the next book. Pretty please with sugar on top?

And let me just say you will laugh, and yell and cry…possibly all at once at some point while reading this book, and the previous two as well.

Simply put it was brilliant! As magical and whimsical as I expected it to be and more.  I don’t think I am yet able to put down in words how much I have fallen in love with this series. The fact that I am deeply devoted to every single character in the series says wonders. Maggie Stiefvater has developed them fully and they each have their own story and background. I just love that!

(tiny Spoiler ahead about a scene from the book)

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My newest obsession is Ronan and Adam…not sure where she is going with them, but how sweet was it that Ronan not only made Adam a mix tape but also left hand cream for Adam’s chapped hands on the seat of Adam’s car? It was freaking ADORABLE, yup…that is what it was.

Then of course there is the secret phone calls between Blue and Gansey, and god I hope that the prophecy about what will happen to Blue’s true love if she kisses him does not come to pass, because I will be so very heartbroken about it.

If you haven’t read this series yet….GO DO IT NOW! 🙂

I leave you with …

“Squash one, Squash two, Squash three….”

Do you plan on reading Blue Lily, Lily Blue? Have you finished it already? Share with us what you thought of it, or let’s just fangirl/boy together over The Raven Cycle series together.

**This review was originally posted on Reading In The Tardis**

five-stars

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2014

 

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. Here are my “New-to-Me” top 10 Authors of 2014. This list is not in any particular order and there is still one book I am currently reading on it.

1. Leslye Walton– The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

(I LOVED LOVED LOVED this book! I can’t wait to read the next book from this author.  You can read my review here. )

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2. Markus Zusak – The Book Thief (Absolutely brilliant, funny and sad and just amazingly written, especially love that Death was the narrator).

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3. Sarah Waters -Tipping the Velvet (I’m a sucker for historical fiction, but this was particularly interesting. It’s takes you into the world of being a lesbian in Victorian times, but it’s not just about that.  Lot’s of juicy tidbits you don’t learn about in history class.

TIPPNG THE VELVET
4. Maggie Stiefvater– The Raven Boys Cycle Book 1-3 (Thanks to my friend  Vania, I came upon Maggie Stiefvater. Thank goodness I did! Everything she writes is just fantastic and I love this series).

THE RAVEN BOYS
5. Lauren Beukes– The Shining Girls (A book about a serial killer with a time traveling house and the Shining Girl that survived. A very fast read, that is slightly disturbing but you can’t help reading on. You can read my review here. )THE SHINING GIRLS

6. J.A. White– The Thickety (Probably one of my favorite books out for kids between the ages of 9-13 right now. I got to meet the author at BEA14 and he was such a sweetheart. I look forward to the continuation of the series.) You can read my review here.

The Thickety - A Path Begins

7. Donna Tartt– The Goldfinch (This book had some extraordinary writing in it, and yes sometimes it goes on too long about drug use, Theo’s depression/anxiety and not many of the characters are likable, it’s the painting that lures you back and holds you captive.  You can read my review here.

THE GOLDFINCH
8. Diane Setterfield– Bellman and Black (Such an odd book, I’m still trying to decide on what I liked or hated about it. It’s just a very strange story, that I got completely caught up in. )

BELLMAN AND BLACK
9. Hannah Kent– Burial Rites (Not on of my favorite books I’ve read this year, but the author has lots of potential. This story was just too slow and too depressing. I guess I just wanted something a little more upbeat at the time. You can read my review here. )

Burial Rites- Hardcover
Burial Rites- Hardcover

10. Holly Black-The Darkest Part of the Forest 10(Currently Reading and really enjoying it so far)

Darkest Part of The Forest

I did lots of re-readings of books from my youth this year and also focused on some other personal things (such as planning my wedding). So even though I have a huge stack of many more new authors, these are the ones I was able to actually get to when. I am looking forward to 2015, to getting to know more authors, and to having more spare time for reading.

What new authors did you enjoy in 2014?

What are some of the upcoming new books and authors you are looking forward to in 2015?

Book Review: The Slow Regard of Silent Things (Tales from Temerant) by Patrick Rothfuss

Book Review: The Slow Regard of Silent Things (Tales from Temerant) by Patrick RothfussThe Slow Regard of Silent Things (The Kingkiller Chronicle #2.5) by Patrick Rothfuss, Nate Taylor
Published by DAW Books on October 28th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Lyrical
Pages: 159
Goodreads
five-stars

Deep below the University, there is a dark place. Few people know of it: a broken web of ancient passageways and abandoned rooms. A young woman lives there, tucked among the sprawling tunnels of the Underthing, snug in the heart of this forgotten place.
Her name is Auri, and she is full of mysteries.
The Slow Regard of Silent Things is a brief, bittersweet glimpse of Auri’s life, a small adventure all her own. At once joyous and haunting, this story offers a chance to see the world through Auri’s eyes. And it gives the reader a chance to learn things that only Auri knows...
In this book, Patrick Rothfuss brings us into the world of one of The Kingkiller Chronicle’s most enigmatic characters. Full of secrets and mysteries, The Slow Regard of Silent Things is the story of a broken girl trying to live in a broken world.
AUTHOR’S FOREWORD
You might not want to buy this book.
I know, that’s not the sort of thing an author is supposed to say. The marketing people aren’t going to like this. My editor is going to have a fit. But I’d rather be honest with you right out of the gate.
First, if you haven’t read my other books, you don’t want to start here.
My first two books are The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear. If you’re curious to try my writing, start there. They’re the best introduction to my world. This book deals with Auri, one of the characters from that series. Without the context of those books, you’re probably going to feel pretty lost.
Second, even if you have read my other books, I think it’s only fair to warn you that this is a bit of a strange story. I don’t go in for spoilers, but suffice to say that this one is ... different. It doesn’t do a lot of the things a classic story is supposed to do. And if you’re looking for a continuation of Kvothe’s storyline, you’re not going to find it here.
On the other hand, if you’d like to learn more about Auri, this story has a lot to offer. If you love words and mysteries and secrets. If you’re curious about the Underthing and alchemy. If you want to know more about the hidden turnings of my world...
Well, then this book might be for you.

I am just going to gush and gush about how much I LOVED this little book. First of all, Auri is one of my favorite characters from The Kingkiller Chronicles. There is no way anyone can read about her and not simply fall in love with her.

If you do not like her, I suggest you have your head examined and be checked to see if your heart is beating, because there is something SERIOUSLY wrong with you (like you are dead inside or you are The Chandrian) if you dislike Auri in any way, shape or form….Period.

With that being said, this book is all Auri, every single line, word, punctuation. It’s filled with her sweetness, her cleverness, her mirth. It is like a perfect dew-speckled garden, as the sun rises and cloaks every single flower with its warm golden rays…that is Auri…that is this book. I could never do it justice with my words. Patrick Rothfuss on the other hand, has basically put down on paper his complete and total love for his Auri. It is poetic, and grand without being over powering. It is light, but deep, and filled with joy. I just smiled from ear to ear as I read listened to Patrick himself on the audiobook reading his words of pure adoration and devotion for Auri. Even his forward was entertaining and every so endearing. Yes, this is not a “normal” book, heck its barely “bookshaped” except for its physical appearance. As the author warns us, it does not do what a book or even a story should do.

There is a whole segment completely devoted to the making of soap, which I loved. I felt like this part really showed us who Auri is, her beliefs, how she “sees”. It showed us the care she has with all that is around her, the goodness and innocence deep in her heart. It is an odd story, and there are more inanimate objects as “characters” than actual living beings…to be frank there is ONE character in this and it is Auri. This matters not, because of the perfection that is what Rothfuss wrote here is this lovely tiny book, with a very big heart.

You can read this in one sitting, but I would recommend that you take your time, and enjoy every morsel of deliciousness that Patrick Rothfuss presents to us. It is strange, its quirky and it might not be for everyone, but there is no way anyone can say it’s not absolutely true to itself, and true to Auri.

Please give it a chance, especially if you have read The Name of the Wind and A Wise Man’s Fear. If you have not, go to the bookstore or to your kindle, or to Audible and download it right way and start reading them. You will be so happy you did, and then read this book.

Patrick Rothfuss has become one of my favorite authors. I would love to hear your feedback on his latest book. Let me know what you thought of The Slow Regard of Silent Things or his other books. Are you as eagerly awaiting the continuation of Kvothe’s story as we are? 

**This review was originally posted on Reading In The Tardis**

five-stars

Book Review: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

Book Review: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye WaltonThe Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
Published by Candlewick Press on March 27th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Lyrical, Magical Realism
Pages: 301
Goodreads
five-stars

Magical realism, lyrical prose, and the pain and passion of human love haunt this hypnotic generational saga.
Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava—in all other ways a normal girl—is born with the wings of a bird.
In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naïve to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the Summer Solstice celebration.
That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo.
First-time author Leslye Walton has constructed a layered and unforgettable mythology of what it means to be born with hearts that are tragically, exquisitely human.

I came upon this book quite by accident, or maybe it found its way to me. I was visiting my local bookstore and there it was just waiting for me. Shiny and gorgeous (I mean just look at that cover…what a glorious beauty!) it sat on that bookshelf summoning me like a moth to a flame. I walked with it cradled in my arms as I explored the bookstore (it was my first time there, and definitely not my last, though they really should have a cafe). I wanted to refrain myself from buying it right there and then because I was on a book budget and had recently just arrived home a few months before from Book Expo America with a suitcase filled with new books to read and review, but I could not stay away from it for long. It beckoned to me as if it were a siren’s song and I just HAD to read it.

This book is exquisitely written, and it broke my heart into a million pieces. I finished it months ago, but could not write a review for it because I did not have and still don’t quite have all the words and ways I want to express my love for this story, especially for Ava.

Walton writes a story soaked with emotion and atmosphere. As you read it you “feel” with every inch of your being what the characters are going through and this allows you to connect with even the most minor of them.  It’s a story about the history of a family that spans generations, it’s about new love, old love, tragic love. It’s a story about the scars left by love. It’s a quirky and very odd story, and it definitely is quite strange through most of it.

It’s not all unhappiness and gloom either, I promise!

Many might not think it’s a story that has hope, but I believe that hope is there, but first you must heal the wounds left by love before you can move forward.

It is an exceptional and memorable book that lingers within you even after you have long finished reading it. From the moment I opened and read the first few lines I was completely enthralled with it and I haven’t yet quite let it go from my mind.

“To many, I was myth incarnate, the embodiment of a most superb legend, a fairy tale. Some considered me a monster, a mutation. To my great misfortune, I was once mistaken for an angel. To my mother, I was everything. To my father, nothing at all. To my grandmother, I was a daily reminder of loves long lost. But I knew the truth — deep down, I always did. I was just a girl.”

I don’t want to say much more about it. I think this is the kind of story you should jump into without knowing too much and explore its beauty. It should be experienced in the “raw” and felt in the deepest of ways possible.

**This review was originally posted on Reading In The Tardis**

five-stars

Book Review: Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

Book Review: Anansi Boys by Neil GaimanAnansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
Published by William Morrow on September 20th 2005
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Mythology
Pages: 336
Goodreads
four-stars

One of fiction's most audaciously original talents, Neil Gaiman now gives us a mythology for a modern age -- complete with dark prophecy, family dysfunction, mystical deceptions, and killer birds. Not to mention a lime.
Anansi BoysGod is dead. Meet the kids.
When Fat Charlie's dad named something, it stuck. Like calling Fat Charlie "Fat Charlie." Even now, twenty years later, Charlie Nancy can't shake that name, one of the many embarrassing "gifts" his father bestowed -- before he dropped dead on a karaoke stage and ruined Fat Charlie's life.
Mr. Nancy left Fat Charlie things. Things like the tall, good-looking stranger who appears on Charlie's doorstep, who appears to be the brother he never knew. A brother as different from Charlie as night is from day, a brother who's going to show Charlie how to lighten up and have a little fun ... just like Dear Old Dad. And all of a sudden, life starts getting very interesting for Fat Charlie.
Because, you see, Charlie's dad wasn't just any dad. He was Anansi, a trickster god, the spider-god. Anansi is the spirit of rebellion, able to overturn the social order, create wealth out of thin air, and baffle the devil. Some said he could cheat even Death himself.
Returning to the territory he so brilliantly explored in his masterful New York Times bestseller, American Gods, the incomparable Neil Gaiman offers up a work of dazzling ingenuity, a kaleidoscopic journey deep into myth that is at once startling, terrifying, exhilarating, and fiercely funny -- a true wonder of a novel that confirms Stephen King's glowing assessment of the author as "a treasure-house of story, and we are lucky to have him."

Hi everyone! Marci here…and as many of you may or may not know I am a HUGE Neil Gaiman fan. I’ve pretty much read all of his more well-known novels, as well as some of his more obscure works. I plan on doing a whole series based on some of my favorite Gaiman books when I start re-reading them a little down the road. For some reason, I never read Anansi Boys until very recently. I owned the book, and actually tried starting it a few times, but just never quite settled into the story (usually because I was either reading another of Neil’s books on the side or re-reading one of his short stories…which are absolutely fantastic by the way).  When searching for a book to download to listen on my way into work and back home again I decided to try the audiobook version of Anansi Boys. I love that Neil Gaiman usually reads his own audio books. First because he is the author and knows how the tone and voice of the character should “sound” and be like, but also because he has an amazing voice (::sigh:: be still my heart). I am however glad that the reader for the Anansi Boys audio book was Lenny Henry who is a Brit of Caribbean descent, and his voice really made the characters come to life.

Anansi boys is about Fat Charlie Nancy, whose father turns out to be  a god, and who has a brother named Spider he has never met. Charlie’s life begins to turn upside down when his father dies suddenly while singing at a karaoke bar and he has to go back home for his funeral. The story goes into how he gets reunited with his brother and the chaos that ensues from being investigated for fraud, as well as going to ” the beginning of the world” to save his family. There are also some interesting little side stories with some of the minor characters in the book too. You get a good insight into African folklore gods, and an analysis of how stories are told and get passed on. The book is actually quite a fast “listen” and there are moments where it is very funny indeed.

I would recommend this book to those that have read American Gods (as it deals with gods and goddesses). I also recommend that you read other of Mr. Gaiman’s books before coming over to this one. It is not a typical Gaiman story, at least not fully, but you can sense him in it if you already know what a Gaiman story should “feel” like. I know some readers that did not like the book because it wasn’t “Gaiman-esque” enough for them, and some love it because it’s slightly different from what you have seen from Gaiman before. I’ll let you be the judge. As for myself, I really enjoyed it. I was taken to new places, learned new things and had quite a few good laughs throughout the book.

**This review was originally posted on Reading In The Tardis**

four-stars