Guest Review by CHRISTY: OUTRUN THE MOON by Stacey Lee

OUTRUN THE MOON
by Stacey Lee
Release Date: May 24th 2016 
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Source: ARC via Goodreads Giveaway
Rating:  ♥♥♥♥♥

ABOUT THE BOOK:

San Francisco, 1906: Fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong is determined to break from the poverty in Chinatown, and an education at St. Clare’s School for Girls is her best hope. Although St. Clare’s is off-limits to all but the wealthiest white girls, Mercy gains admittance through a mix of cunning and a little bribery, only to discover that getting in was the easiest part. Not to be undone by a bunch of spoiled heiresses, Mercy stands strong—until disaster strikes.

On April 18, a historic earthquake rocks San Francisco, destroying Mercy’s home and school. Now she’s forced to wait with her classmates for their families in a temporary park encampment. Though fires might rage, and the city may be in shambles, Mercy can’t sit by while they wait for the army to bring help—she still has the “bossy” cheeks that mark her as someone who gets things done. But what can one teenage girl do to heal so many suffering in her broken city?

Breakout author Stacey Lee masterfully crafts another remarkable novel set against a unique historical backdrop. Strong-willed Mercy Wong leads a cast of diverse characters in this extraordinary tale of survival.

My Thoughts:

"[Our perspective] is like the moon. We can see it differently by climbing a mountain, but we can not outrun it."

The last two sentences will absolutely break you. I completely lost it. It's like I was holding Mercy's journey and could finally let go. 

Lee's command of historical fiction and diversity here and in her other works remain consistently wonderful. This book took me far longer to read because I continuously looked up events or cultural references that intrigued me. Even though I live right outside of San Francisco, I still have so much to learn about the city's diverse population and deep culture. Outrun the Moon kept me going down the Google hole, learning more than I ever could in any history class. 

Mercy Wong is one of the strongest female character's you'll ever have the pleasure of meeting. She's determined but not stubborn, setting her own course in order to better her situation as well as her family's. She meets and surrounds herded with a group of people who each have their own strengths and she helps them develop into the people I imagine they later become. 

Outrun the Moon is a story of hope in a time of extreme adversity. There's racial tension and discrimination which isn't thrown to the wayside or unfairly represented. History is not ignored but rather this is a story of what could be.

Waiting on Wednesday: A CONJURING OF LIGHT by V.E. Schwab

Jill over at Breaking the Spine started this and I believe that it's awesome" This blog post is to alert those that visit about "the" book that we cannot wait to get our hands on.

Holy Magic Eightball, Batman!! My WoW for this week is none other than A CONJURING OF LIGHT by V.E. SCHWAB. Ahhh!! the cover was just revealed recently and it was too gorgeous not to just sit and stare at for hours! I have needed to read this book since i finished the last word in A GATHERING OF SHADOWS and now I will surely implode If I don't read this soon. The torturous wait is pure agony.

A CONGURING OF LIGHT
by V.E. SCHWAB
February 21st 2017 by Tor Books  
 


The battle between four magical Londons comes to a head in this stunning finale to the New York Times bestselling Shades of Magic trilogy by rising star V. E. Schwab

Londons fall and kingdoms rise while darkness sweeps the Maresh Empire—and the fraught balance of magic blossoms into dangerous territory while heroes and foes struggle alike. The direct sequel to A Gathering of Shadows, and the final book in the Shades of Magic epic fantasy series, A Conjuring of Light sees Schwab reach a thrilling culmination concerning the fate of beloved protagonists—and old enemies.

Guest Review: GLITTERING KINGDOMS by Richelle Mead

THE GLITTERING COURT
by Richelle Mead
Release Date: April 5th 2016
Publisher: Razorbill 
Source: Purchased
Rating:  ♥♥♥♥

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Big and sweeping, spanning from the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and then when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands…

My Thoughts:

Set in a world that is an amazing mix of Colonial and Medieval elements, this is tale of a countess trapped in a society that has so many limits it’s hard to not feel as trapped as she is while reading! The world building surprisingly works, which has been a consistent strength across all of Mead’s works.

Lady Elizabeth, aka Adelaide, manages to get herself into quite a bit of trouble while trying to get out of marrying her cousin. Awesome adventures ensue, not without a lot of nail biting!  Adelaide is likable and manages to keep her privilege in check in light of her want to be free. Going through the book, you’ll develop multiple OTPs but just as Adelaide chooses, you will, too. 

The Glittering Court is one of three books but it’s perfect for those of us with series burnout. The two companion books are their own self contained stories about two of the characters in The Glittering Court. They’re not a retelling, either, as the characters are missing for much of the book. It’s a great premise, where we get to spend more time in the world without the same story over and over.

Overall, The Glittering Court is a great self-contained story with elements that will remind you of world, US, and current political/historical concerns. 


When Christy isn’t devouring YA novels like the world is ending, she spends her time with her fur balls, husband, and fangirling over everything.)

SF Bay Area YA Book Event: 5/22 - 5/28

NYMBC - Launch Party with STACEY LEE at Books Inc. Palo Alto!


Thursday, May 26, 2016 - 7:00pm
Books Inc.
74 Town & Country Village
Palo Alto, CA

 

 

Review: THE BIRD AND THE SWORD by Amy Harmon

THE BIRD AND THE SWORD
by Amy Harmon
Published: May 11th 2016
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Purchase: AMAZON / INDIE / KINDLE
ISBN:  1533134138
Rating:  ♥♥♥♥♥

ABOUT THE BOOK

Swallow, Daughter, pull them in, those words that sit upon your lips. Lock them deep inside your soul, hide them ‘til they’ve time to grow. Close your mouth upon the power, curse not, cure not, ‘til the hour. You won’t speak and you won’t tell, you won’t call on heav’n or hell. You will learn and you will thrive. Silence, Daughter. Stay alive.

The day my mother was killed, she told my father I wouldn’t speak again, and she told him if I died, he would die too. Then she predicted the king would trade his soul and lose his son to the sky.

My father has a claim to the throne, and he is waiting in the shadows for all of my mother’s words to come to pass. He wants desperately to be king, and I just want to be free.

But freedom will require escape, and I’m a prisoner of my mother’s curse and my father’s greed. I can’t speak or make a sound, and I can’t wield a sword or beguile a king. In a land purged of enchantment, love might be the only magic left, and who could ever love . . . a bird?
 

MY THOUGHTS: 

It has been a long while since a book has completely commanded my attention and rendered me enamored of such a world and it's characters.  This book is THE BIRD AND THE SWORD by Amy Harmon and it is a romantic fantasy read that has everything your passionate heart could desire.

From the start I was drawn to Lark, a girl whose voice was taken away the day her mother died, sealing her fate. Although she is a wisp of a girl, ignored by many and feared by her father. Lark refuses to be confined by the prison that is her home. One day her strong will and kind nature provide her a chance encounter that will alter her destiny. The day when someone finally notices her.

Right from the get go I was drawn into this enchanting world that Amy Harmon has carefully crafted. THE BIRD AND THE SWORD is smart, intriguing and blissfully romantic. By the end of the prologue I was trying to negotiate with myself the lack of work that was going to get down around the house. Yes, it's that good. 

The pacing on this book is well done, fast but not tripping up on itself. The world building is introduced from the beginning and reinforced to keep the story flowing. I was completely on board for what this new world had to offer and I enjoyed the twists and turns the story took as it went on.  Another win for me are the characters for they are quite memorable. Tiras and Lark are my new favorite couple. Their scenes together are so well done, the dialogue sharp, witty and bewitching and their romance is slow building until it reaches a fiery pitch that is sigh worthy.

"You chose me because I am of use. But I chose you because I wanted you. All I ever wanted was for you to love me in return." 

See what I mean. How can you not succumb to the words. You may wonder how this is accomplished when the main character does not verbally speak but you need not work. The story works and you will totally understand when you read it. So, if you are a fan of fantasy and intrigue with a good dose of romance. Then you must read THE BIRD AND THE SWORD.

Jill over at Breaking the Spine started this and I believe that it's awesome" This blog post is to alert those that visit about "the" book that we cannot wait to get our hands on.

My WoW for this week is THE ARCHITECT OF SONG by A.G. Howard. I am a fan of some of her other novels and I am intrigued as to how she is going to present this New Adult genre books. It sounds gorgeous and the cover is beautiful so I cannot wait to read it.

The Architect of Song 
Haunted Hearts Legacy, Book One
by A.G. Howard 
Pages: 420
Available for pre-order soon!
Goodreads
 
-----------------------
A lady imprisoned by deafness, an architect imprisoned by his past, and a ghost imprisoned within the petals of a flower -- intertwine in this love story that transcends life and death. 

For most of her life, nineteen-year-old Juliet Emerline has subsisted – isolated by deafness – making hats in the solitude of her home. Now, she’s at risk to lose her sanctuary to Lord Nicolas Thornton, a twenty-seven-year-old mysterious and eccentric architect with designs on her humble estate. When she secretly witnesses him raging beside a grave, Juliet investigates, finding the name “Hawk” on the headstone and an unusual flower at the base. The moment Juliet touches the petals, a young English nobleman appears in ghostly form, singing a song only her deaf ears can hear. The ghost remembers nothing of his identity or death, other than the one name that haunts his afterlife: Thornton. 

To avenge her ghostly companion and save her estate, Juliet pushes aside her fear of society and travels to Lord Thornton’s secluded holiday resort, posing as a hat maker in one of his boutiques. There, she finds herself questioning who to trust: the architect of flesh and bones who can relate to her through romantic gestures, heartfelt notes, and sensual touches … or the specter who serenades her with beautiful songs and ardent words, touching her mind and soul like no other man ever can. As sinister truths behind Lord Thornton’s interest in her estate and his tie to Hawk come to light, Juliet is lured into a web of secrets. But it’s too late for escape, and the tragic love taking seed in her heart will alter her silent world forever.

NYT bestselling author, A.G. Howard, brings her darkly magical and visual/visceral storytelling to Victorian England. The Architect of Song is the first installment in her lush and romantic Haunted Hearts Legacy series, a four book gothic saga following the generations of one family as -- haunted by both literal and figurative ghosts -- they search for self-acceptance, love, and happiness. 

SF Bay Area YA Book Events: 5/15 -5/21




EVELYN SKYE in conversation with SABAA TAHIR
Kepler's in Menlo Park
Tuesday, May 17 @ 7pm


WENDY SPINALE
Hickelbee's in San Jose
Friday, May 20 @7pm

LILY ANDERSON
Great Good Place for Books
Saturday, May 21 @ 7pm

“Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I've accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it's a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it's a way of making contact with someone else's imagination after a day that's all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.”

Nora Ephron, I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman

Tales of a Ravenous Reader

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I am an avid reader from Northern California and if you are a publisher and would like to have your YOUNG or NEW ADULT book reviewed, please email me. I accept ARCs, as well as books that have already been released. I am also more than happy to do author interviews, guest posts, and contests to promote your book as long as they are in the Young and New Adult genre. Please check my review policy prior to sending me an email, thank you. curlyshoe(at)gmail(dot)com

2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge
nancy has read 29 books toward her goal of 125 books.
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Upcoming YA Bay Area Book Events

I have compiled all the SF, bay area YA events in this section. If you know of any events that I have failed to post, please let me know. Also, please keep in mind that some events may change and it is always best to verify any event prior to attendance.


MAY


STACEY LEE Launch Party
Books Inc. in Palo Alto
Thursday, May 26 @ 7pm


JUNE

BAY AREA BOOK FESTIVAL
June 4&5 in downtown Berkeley
Julie Buxbaum
Gail Carriger
Veronica Rossi
Daniel Handler
Stephanie Keuhn
Stacey Lee
Caroline Paul
Wendy MacNaughton
Lauren Myracle
Alyson Noel
Yvonne Prinz
Jason Reynolds
Evelyn Skye
Wendy Spinale
V.E. Schwab
Nicola Yoon

NINA LaCour and DAVID LEVITHAN
Books Inc. in SF OPERA PLAZA
Tuesday, June 7 @ 7pm

BRODI ASHTON, CYNTHIA HAND, and JODI MEADOWS (My Lady Jane)
Kepler's in Menlo Park
Wednesday, June 8 @ 7pm

JENNIFER LYNN BARNES, TIFFANY SCHMIDT and TARA ALTEBRANDO
Kepler's in Menlo Park
Thursday, June 9 @ 7pm RSVP Here

STACEY LEE with JANDY NELSON

Barnes and Noble in El Cerrito
Friday, June 10 @ 7pm

WENDY SPINALE

Linden Tree Books in Los Altos
Friday, June 10 @ 6pm

LILY ANDERSON a B-FEST Event

Barnes and Noble in Emeryville
Friday, June 10 @ 7pm

AASHNA AVACHAT
Barnes and Noble in Dublin
Saturday, June 11 @ 12 NOON

LILY ANDERSON
Barnes and Noble in Roseville
Saturday, June 11 @ 12 NOON

JENNIVER NIVEN a B-FEST Event

Barnes and Noble in Dublin
Saturday, June 11 @ 2pm

WENDY SPINALE a B-FEST Event

Barnes and Noble in El Cerrito
Saturday, June 11 @ 4pm

B-FEST Book Festival Panel(s) with
Hannah Jayne, Gayle Parness, Jane George and Wendy Spinale

Barnes and Noble in Dublin
Sunday, June 12 @ 12 Noon and 2:00pm

ANN JACOBUS
Barnes and Nobel in Corte Madera
Sunday, June 12 @ 2pm

WENDY SPINALE
Book Passage in Corte Madera
Friday, June 17 @ 6pm

STACEY LEE
Mrs. Dalloway's in Berkeley
Thursday, June 30 @ 7:30pm

JULY

SONYA MUKHERJEE
Kepler's in Menlo Park
Thursday, July 28 @ 7pm

AUGUST


...and lots more events are coming. I am so excited but cannot share them yet :) Stay Tuned!!

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