Book Review: The Wonder of All Things by Jason Mott

Book Review: The Wonder of All Things by Jason MottThe Wonder of All Things by Jason Mott
Published by Mira on September 30th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Magical Realism, Romance
Pages: 304
Goodreads
three-stars

From critically acclaimed and New York Times bestselling author Jason Mott comes a spellbinding tale of love, sacrifice and the power of miracles.
On an ordinary day, at an air show like that in any small town across the country, a plane crashes into a crowd of spectators, killing and injuring dozens. But when the dust clears, a thirteen-year-old girl named Ava is found huddled beneath a pocket of rubble with her best friend, Wash. He is injured and bleeding, and when Ava places her hands over him, his wounds miraculously disappear. Ava has a unique gift: she can heal others of their physical ailments. Until the air show tragedy, her gift was a secret. But now the whole world knows, and suddenly Ava is thrust into the spotlight. People from all over the globe begin flocking to her small town, looking for healing and eager to glimpse the wonder of a miracle. But Ava's unusual ability comes at a great cost, her own health, and as she grows weaker with each healing, Ava begins searching for an escape. Wash agrees to help Ava, but little does she know he has his own secret he's been harboring, and soon Ava finds herself having to decide just how much she's willing to sacrifice in order to save the one she loves most.

The Wonder of All Things by Jason Mott is  set in a small town of Stone Temple. Like most small towns everyone knows everyone else, and they generally spend their entire lives there without any need or want to go anyplace else. Things begin to change for this little town when during an airplane stunt show, one of the airplane crashes and almost kills Ava Campbell’s best friend Wash. The reason Wash does not die, is because Ava has a special ability that allows her to heal people.

The news starts getting out about “The Miracle Child” and soon the town is flooded with all sorts of people who want a little piece of Ava. From reports, churches, doctors and people seeking to be cured or to have their loved ones cured Ava is in high demand. The catch is that every time thirteen year old Ava heals someone, she becomes weaker.

Ava’s father is the sheriff of the town and he is struggling with potentially using his daughter’s gift to better their family’s life. Ava is also struggling with how much she should say about what the costs of using her power means. She feels guilty because she can only do so much, without completely destroying herself in the process.  Does she “have” to help others? What about just for her family? What gives people the right to “expect” you to help them just because they think you owe it to them? Should she sacrifice herself? Is she being selfish if she chooses to not save/heal someone so that she can stay alive and healthy?
I think Jason Mott has a beautiful story here, it is well written and the depictions of the town,  the people and the surroundings pull you right into the story.  I enjoyed reading this book, it was very poetic in places though I felt it seemed a bit rushed as things came to an end. In the end though, I am still thinking fondly of Ava and Wash and about all the questions that were raised in this book, and how I would handle them if I were ever in a similar situation.

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

three-stars

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Read In 2014

 

www

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. Today we answer the question of what our Top Ten Books of 2014 were.

2014 was a super busy year for us. Especially for me, with all the preparations for my wedding in September, the family gatherings and getting my new home ready to be moved into it was tough having free time to read as much as I wanted. I generally stuck with re-reading some classics such from Jane Austen such as  Pride and Prejudice (because you can never read it enough), Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus ( only my 10th or 11th time reading it)  and some short stories by Neil Gaiman. My TBR stack and list for 2014 is going to collapse over to 2015, but that’s okay. So I am keeping the below list to only NEW not yet best books I read in 2014.

1. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

18166936

2.The Slow Regard of Silent Things

Untitled-14

3. The Silkworm

silk

4. The Fault in Our Stars

stars

5. The Book Thief

bea

6. The Raven Boys

THE RAVEN BOYS

7. The Dream Thief

dream

8. Blue Lily, Lily Blue

Blue-Lily-Lily-Blue

9. The Shining GirlsThe Shining Girls

10. The Thirteenth Tale

13

Hopefully 2015 will bring more new titles and stories my way, and also a bit more free time to enjoy the pleasure of reading. I already have a full list of 2015 releases that I can’t wait for. What are some of your favorite reads of 2014? What books are you looking forward to reading in 2015?

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)

.

.

.

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

 

www

 

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. )

18166936

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

bea

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