Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is a meme created by Marcia of To Be Continued, you can find the dedicated blog here.

 

5F579145-E11A-48CA-9177-F2E756EC1B4E.JPG

Instagram // @readwithkatie

 

Like a House on Fire by Cate Kennedy

From prize-winning short-story writer Cate Kennedy comes a new collection to rival her highly acclaimed Dark Roots. In Like a House on Fire, Kennedy once again takes ordinary lives and dissects their ironies, injustices and pleasures with her humane eye and wry sense of humour. In ‘Laminex and Mirrors’, a young woman working as a cleaner in a hospital helps an elderly patient defy doctor’s orders. In ‘Cross-Country’, a jilted lover manages to misinterpret her ex’s new life. And in ‘Ashes’, a son accompanies his mother on a journey to scatter his father’s remains, while lifelong resentments simmer in the background. Cate Kennedy’s poignant short stories find the beauty and tragedy in illness and mortality, life and love.

 

The Friday 56 (3)

 

 

Advertisements

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare review

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson
Published by Walker Books on November 11 2014
Genres: fantasy, young adult, short stories
Pages: 528
Goodreads

Ever wanted to know why Magnus Bane is banned from Peru? Or what he got up to during the French Revolution? Or what he bought Shadowhunter Alec Lightwood as a birthday present? Read this book and find out! Originally released as individual e-only short stories by bestselling YA authors Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson and Sarah Rees Brennan, this gorgeous hardback brings all ten together in print for the first time and includes a never-before-seen eleventh tale, as well as new illustrated material. 

REVIEW

The Bane Chronicles are a collection of short stories revolving around Magnus Bane and his various adventures throughout his lifetime. This book should be read after The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare, if you have not read both those series beware as my review will contain spoilers.

I really enjoyed reading The Bane Chronicles, Magnus is a hilarious character and although he loves playing tricks and delving into debauchery he is a good-hearted person and has much wisdom to share as he is hundreds of years old. I loved the writing style, it was quirky and entertaining, I think it perfectly complemented Magnus’s character. The Bane Chronicles is a great companion to TMI and TID as we get to learn more about the history of the Shadowhunters and Downworlders, everything seems to intertwine one way or another and it’s fascinating!

My favourite story was The Midnight Heir as we get to revisit Tessa, Jem, Will and James Herondale. Seeing these three reunited and Tessa and Will’s son was so heartwarming, these characters will forever have a special place in my heart! Other stories I thought were fantastic were Vampires, Scones and Edmund Herondale, What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything, The Last Stand of the New York Institute and The Course of True Love and First Dates. Seeing the Herondale line through the ages was so delightful, also seeing Jocelyn bringing Clary to Magnus and Tessa was so special. And of course, how could I forget the moments with Magnus and Alec? These two are just so adorable, my heart couldn’t handle the cuteness!

The lowest rating I gave to any story was 3 stars, I didn’t hate one story from the entire collection! My least favourite stories were Saving Raphael Santiago and The fall of the Hotel Dumort. Although it might just be me who didn’t completely love these stories, vampires weren’t my favourite part of TMI.

Individual story ratings:

What Happened In Peru – 4/5
The Runaway Queen – 4/5
Vampires, Scones and Edmund Herondale – 4/5
The Midnight Heir – 5/5
The Rise of Hotel Dumort – 4/5
Saving Raphael Santiago – 3/5
The Fall of the Hotel Dumort – 3/5
What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything – 4/5
The Last Stand of the New York Institute – 4/5
The Course of True Love – 4/5
The Voice Mail of Magnus Bane – 3/5

★★★★

The Friday 56 (3)

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is a meme created by Marcia of To Be Continued, you can find the dedicated blog here.

I was kindly sent a copy of Ballardvale Blues from the author, so thank you very much Rachel!

Ballardvale blues by Rachel Vezaian

Addie Dalca dances on the line between what her life is and what it could be. Anchored by family expectations and those who pledge undying fealty to the Ballardvale lifestyle of booze-fueled nights followed by hangover filled days, Addie feels complacent with the familiar faces of Jessica Sukkel and Danny Boivin. The recent return of her childhood friends Sam and Kate Kern provide an attempt at retracing the plans laid out for her long before. Friendships intertwined in a messy web splinter and slowly break as the warring belief systems of those in their early twenties come to lure the five friends into separate offshoots, leaving Addie wishing she had a life plan as clear as those who surrounded her.

 

Tithe by Holly Black

Welcome to the realm of very scary faeries!

Sixteen-year-old Kaye is a modern nomad. Fierce and independent, she travels from city to city with her mother’s rock band until an ominous attack forces Kaye back to her childhood home. There, amid the industrial, blue-collar New Jersey backdrop, Kaye soon finds herself an unwilling pawn in an ancient power struggle between two rival faerie kingdoms – a struggle that could very well mean her death.

 

The Friday 56 (3)

 

January 2018 TBR

Hello everyone! I am finally back from my very long holiday, so here is my (late) january TBR.

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare

Fans of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices can get to know warlock Magnus Bane like never before in this collection of New York Times bestselling tales, in print for the first time with an exclusive new story and illustrated material.

This collection of eleven short stories illuminates the life of the enigmatic Magnus Bane, whose alluring personality, flamboyant style, and sharp wit populate the pages of the #1 New York Times bestselling series, The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices.

Originally released one-by-one as e-only short stories by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, and Sarah Rees Brennan, this compilation presents all ten together in print for the first time and includes a never-before-seen eleventh tale, as well as new illustrated material.

Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare

Simon Lewis has been a human and a vampire, and now he is becoming a Shadowhunter. But the events of City of Heavenly Fireleft him stripped of his memories, and Simon isn’t sure who he is anymore. He knows he was friends with Clary, and that he convinced the total goddess Isabelle Lightwood to go out with him…but he doesn’t know how. And when Clary and Isabelle look at him, expecting him to be a man he doesn’t remember…Simon can’t take it.

So when the Shadowhunter Academy reopens, Simon throws himself into this new world of demon-hunting, determined to find himself again. His new self. Whomever this new Simon might be.

But the Academy is a Shadowhunter institution, which means it has some problems. Like the fact that non-Shadowhunter students have to live in the basement. And that differences—like being a former vampire—are greatly looked down upon. At least Simon is trained in weaponry—even if it’s only from hours of playing D&D.

Join Simon on his journey to become a Shadowhunter, and learn about the Academy’s illustrious history along the way, through guest lecturers such as Jace Herondale, Tessa Gray, and Magnus Bane. These ten short stories give an epilogue to the Mortal Instruments series and provide glimpses of what’s in store in the Dark Artifices.

The Shadowhunters Codex by Cassandra Clare

The Clave is pleased to announce the newest edition of the Nephilim’s oldest and most famous training manual: the Shadowhunter’s Codex. Since the thirteenth century, the Codex has been the young Shadowhunter’s best friend. When you’re being swarmed by demons it can be easy to forget the finer points of obscure demon languages or the fastest way to stop an attack of Raum demons. With the Codex by your side, you never have to worry.

Now in its twenty-seventh edition, the Codex covers it all: the history and the laws of our world; how to identify, interact with, and if necessary, kill that world’s many colorful denizens; which end of the stele is the end you write with. No more will your attempt to fight off rogue vampires and warlocks be slowed by the need to answer endless questions from your new recruits: What is a Pyxis? Why don’t we use guns? If I can’t see a warlock’s mark, is there a polite way to ask him where it is? Where do we get all our holy water? Geography, History, Magic, and Zoology textbook all rolled into one, the Codex is here to help new Shadowhunters navigate the beautiful, often brutal world that we inhabit.

Do not let it be said that the Clave is outdated or, as the younger Shadowhunters say, “uncool”: this new edition of the Codex will be available not only in the usual magically-sealed demonskin binding, but also in a smart, modern edition using all of today’s most exciting printing techniques, including such new features as a sturdy clothbound cover, a protective dust jacket, and information about title, author, publisher, and so on conveniently available right on the cover. You’ll be pleased to know that it fits neatly into most satchels, and unlike previous editions, it rarely sets off alarm wards.

The old woodcuts and engravings have been replaced as well: instead, you’ll find lavish modern illustrations by some of the brightest luminaries of the fantastic. Creatures, weapons, people, and places have been carefully and accurately rendered by the likes of Rebecca Guay, Charles Vess, Jim Nelson, Theo Black, Elisabeth Alba, and Cassandra Jean. Chapters are beautifully introduced by the drawings of Michael Kaluta, and along with our condensation of the classic 2,450-page tome, A History of the Nephilim, you will find a selection of the best of the lovely illustrations of that volume by John Dollar.

This edition of the Codex will be available in Institute libraries and what mundanes sometimes call “book stores” in October 2013.

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

In a kingdom by the sea…

In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word.

parabatai is your partner in battle. A parabatai is your best friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other—but they can never fall in love.

Emma Carstairs is a warrior, a Shadowhunter, and the best in her generation. She lives for battle. Shoulder to shoulder with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols the streets of Los Angeles, where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries—the most powerful of supernatural creatures—teeter on the edge of open war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries turn up murdered in the same way Emma’s parents were when she was a child, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge—and Julian’s chance to get back his brother Mark, who is being held prisoner by the faerie Courts. All Emma, Mark, and Julian have to do is solve the murders within two weeks…and before the murderer targets them.

Their search takes Emma from sea caves full of sorcery to a dark lottery where death is dispensed. And each clue she unravels uncovers more secrets. What has Julian been hiding from her all these years? Why does Shadowhunter Law forbid parabatai to fall in love? Who really killed her parents—and can she bear to know the truth?

The darkly magical world of Shadowhunters has captured the imaginations of millions of readers across the globe. Join the adventure in Lady Midnight, the long-awaited first volume of a new trilogy from Cassandra Clare.

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

Would you trade your soul mate for your soul?

A Shadowhunter’s life is bound by duty. Constrained by honor. The word of a Shadowhunter is a solemn pledge, and no vow is more sacred than the vow that binds parabatai, warrior partners—sworn to fight together, die together, but never to fall in love.

Emma Carstairs has learned that the love she shares with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, isn’t just forbidden—it could destroy them both. She knows she should run from Julian. But how can she when the Blackthorns are threatened by enemies on all sides?

Their only hope is the Black Volume of the Dead, a spell book of terrible power. Everyone wants it. Only the Blackthorns can find it. Spurred on by a dark bargain with the Seelie Queen, Emma; her best friend, Cristina; and Mark and Julian Blackthorn journey into the Courts of Faerie, where glittering revels hide bloody danger and no promise can be trusted. Meanwhile, rising tension between Shadowhunters and Downworlders has produced the Cohort, an extremist group of Shadowhunters dedicated to registering Downworlders and “unsuitable” Nephilim. They’ll do anything in their power to expose Julian’s secrets and take the Los Angeles Institute for their own.

When Downworlders turn against the Clave, a new threat rises in the form of the Lord of Shadows—the Unseelie King, who sends his greatest warriors to slaughter those with Blackthorn blood and seize the Black Volume. As dangers close in, Julian devises a risky scheme that depends on the cooperation of an unpredictable enemy. But success may come with a price he and Emma cannot even imagine, one that will bring with it a reckoning of blood that could have repercussions for everyone and everything they hold dear.

Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp

Best friends Corey and Kyra were inseparable in their snow-covered town of Lost Creek, Alaska. When Corey moves away, she makes Kyra promise to stay strong during the long, dark winter, and wait for her return.

Just days before Corey is to return home to visit, Kyra dies. Corey is devastated―and confused. The entire Lost community speaks in hushed tones about the town’s lost daughter, saying her death was meant to be. And they push Corey away like she’s a stranger.

Corey knows something is wrong. With every hour, her suspicion grows. Lost is keeping secrets―chilling secrets. But piecing together the truth about what happened to her best friend may prove as difficult as lighting the sky in an Alaskan winter…

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Little Women is one of the best loved books of all time. Lovely Meg, talented Jo, frail Beth, spoiled Amy: these are hard lessons of poverty and of growing up in New England during the Civil War.

Through their dreams, plays, pranks, letters, illnesses, and courtships, women of all ages have become a part of this remarkable family and have felt the deep sadness when Meg leaves the circle of sisters to be married at the end of Part I. Part II, chronicles Meg’s joys and mishaps as a young wife and mother, Jo’s struggle to become a writer, Beth’s tragedy, and Amy’s artistic pursuits and unexpected romance.

 

Going Underground by Susan Vaught

Del’s not a bad guy. He’s just a misunderstood criminal.

Seventeen-year-old Del is a good kid, but one mimro mistake three years ago was all it took to turn him into a social outcast. Now, with a criminal record, the only job he can get is digging graves-not exactly your typical after-school gig. But it’s in the graveyard that Del meets the beautiful yet sad Livia, who doesn’t know anything about him. She gives him reason to be hopeful again. Except that Del’s crush comes with a sea of complications and he’s not sure he is ready to reveal his past. Will the truth set him free..or will it dig him in even deeper?

 

Like a House on Fire by Cate Kennedy

From prize-winning short-story writer Cate Kennedy comes a new collection to rival her highly acclaimed Dark Roots. In Like a House on Fire, Kennedy once again takes ordinary lives and dissects their ironies, injustices and pleasures with her humane eye and wry sense of humour. In ‘Laminex and Mirrors’, a young woman working as a cleaner in a hospital helps an elderly patient defy doctor’s orders. In ‘Cross-Country’, a jilted lover manages to misinterpret her ex’s new life. And in ‘Ashes’, a son accompanies his mother on a journey to scatter his father’s remains, while lifelong resentments simmer in the background. Cate Kennedy’s poignant short stories find the beauty and tragedy in illness and mortality, life and love.

 

The Friday 56 (3)

Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Meet Cute by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on January 2nd, 2018
Genres: young adult, short stories, anthologies, romance
Pages: 224
Goodreads

Whether or not you believe in fate, or luck, or love at first sight, every romance has to start somewhere. MEET CUTE is an anthology of original short stories featuring tales of “how they first met” from some of today’s most popular YA authors. 

Readers will experience Nina LaCour’s beautifully written piece about two Bay Area girls meeting via a cranky customer service Tweet, Sara Shepard’s glossy tale about a magazine intern and a young rock star, Nicola Yoon’s imaginative take on break-ups and make-ups, Katie Cotugno’s story of two teens hiding out from the police at a house party, and Huntley Fitzpatrick’s charming love story that begins over iced teas at a diner. There’s futuristic flirting from Kass Morgan and Katharine McGee, a riveting transgender heroine from Meredith Russo, a subway missed connection moment from Jocelyn Davies, and a girl determined to get out of her small town from Ibi Zoboi. Jennifer Armentrout writes a sweet story about finding love from a missing library book, Emery Lord has a heartwarming and funny tale of two girls stuck in an airport, Dhonielle Clayton takes a thoughtful, speculate approach to pre-destined love, and Julie Murphy dreams up a fun twist on reality dating show contestants. 

This incredibly talented group of authors brings us a collection of stories that are at turns romantic and witty, epic and everyday, heartbreaking and real.

I was kindly sent an e-arc of this book in exchange for an honest review

REVIEW

Recently I have been reading more anthologies, but I always find there to be one or two stories that I end up not liking, but that didn’t happen at all with Meet Cute!

All the stories were 3-5/5 stars and I didn’t dislike a single one of them, they were all adorable, fluffy and of course CUTE! I appreciated that there was some diversity within the stories, including f/f romances, an African American MC and a transgender MC. The majority of the stories were contemporary but there were a couple with sci-fi/otherworldly elements which was exciting!

My absolute favourite stories were Click by Katharine McGee, The Way We Love Here by Dhonielle Clayton, Oomph by Emery Lord, The Dictionary of You and Me by Jennifer l. Armentrout and The Unlikely Likelihood of Falling in Love by Jocelyn Davies. These stories made my heart sing, they were completely charming, I was “awing” out-loud and some of them even had me tear up!

Overall, Meet Cute is now one of my favourites anthologies if you’re looking for a quick pick me up I would highly recommend this one!

Individual story ratings:

Siege Etiquette by Katie Cotugno: 4/5
The Print Shop by Nina Lacour: 3/5
Hourglass by Ibi Zoboi: 3/5
Click by Katharine McGee: 5/5
The Intern by Sara Shepard: 4/5
Somewhere That’s Green by Meredith Russo: 3/5
The Way We Love Here By Dhonielle Clayton: 5/5
Oomph by Emery Lord: 5/5
The Dictionary or You and Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout: 4/5
The Unlikely Likelihood Of Falling in Love By Jocelyn Davies: 5/5
259 Million Miles By Kass Morgan: 4/5
Something Real by Julie Murphy: 3/5
Say Everything by Huntley Fitzpatrick: 3/5
The Department Of Dead Love By Nicola Yoon: 3/5

★★★★

my overall rating is an average of all the short story ratings

The Friday 56 (3)

 

 

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare review

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
Published by Magaret K. McElderry Books on March 25th, 2008
Genres: fantasy, young adult, romance
Pages: 453
Goodreads

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what’s normal when you’re a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who’s becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn’t ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary’s only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City’s Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation. 

REVIEW

Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy City of Ashes as much as City of Bones but it was still a fantastic read and I adore all the characters!

City of Ashes was significantly different compared to the first book, many of the character dynamics had shifted and it formed a new atmosphere. Due to the events in City of Bones Jace was acting unlike his usual upbeat sarcastic self, he was a lot more reserved and irritable which I found displeasing. However, at the same time, I appreciated getting to see the Jace underneath his customary cocky veneer. I also found his interactions with Clary very awkward and cumbersome, and while it was understandable, I didn’t enjoy the drastic change. Also the incident at the Seelie Court, ummm why?! The newfound relationship between Clary and Simon didn’t make up for this shift, I found it strange and unsuited. Talking about Simon, the “situation” that occurred with him was just so bizarre, I wasn’t into it. A lot of odd events took place in this book, I wasn’t enjoying it fully but the ending definitely made up for it!

Overall, City of Ashes contained many unexpected situations and it was a huge dynamic shift from the first book. It was an enjoyable read, but I’m hoping City of Glass picks the story back up!

The Friday 56 (3)

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is a meme created by Marcia of To Be Continued, you can find the dedicated blog here.

The Arabian Nights

They are ancient stories, but they still enchant our imaginations today. Ali Baba and the Forty ThievesSinbad the SailorAladdin. These and the other Middle Eastern stories collected in Arabian Nights are delightful, fascinating, and fun for fans and first-time readers alike.

This beautiful, leather-bound edition collects the classic tales of Arabian Nights in a new, redesigned format. Specially designed end papers, gilded edges, a ribbon bookmark, and other decorative elements enhance the reading experience, while an expert introduction provides new information and context for these well-known stories.

Arabian Nights is a compelling look at a long-gone culture—and the perfect addition to any home library.

The Black Prism by Brent Weeks

Guile is the Prism, the most powerful man in the world. He is high priest and emperor, a man whose power, wit, and charm are all that preserves a tenuous peace. Yet Prisms never last, and Guile knows exactly how long he has left to live.

When Guile discovers he has a son, born in a far kingdom after the war that put him in power, he must decide how much he’s willing to pay to protect a secret that could tear his world apart.

 

 

 

The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Tim Mason was The Boy Most Likely To find the drinks cabinet blindfolded, need a liver transplant, and drive his car into a house.

Alice Garrett was The Girl Most Likely To . . . well, not date her little brother’s baggage-burdened best friend, for starters.

For Tim, it wouldn’t be smart to fall for Alice. For Alice, nothing could be scarier than falling for Tim. But Tim has never been known for making the smart choice, and Alice is starting to wonder if the “smart” choice is always the right one. When these two crash into each other, they crash hard . . .

 

This Savage Song by V. E Schwab

Kate Harker and August Flynn’s families rule opposite ends of Verity, a grisly metropolis where violent acts summon real monsters: bloodsucking Malchai; clawing Corsai; and soul-stealing Sunai. The truce that keeps the families at peace is crumbling, and August is sent to spy on Kate. But when Harker’s men try to kill her and pin it on the Flynns, August and Kate find themselves running from both sides, in a city where monsters are real…

 

 

 

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with colour once more?
In Brandon Sanderson’s intriguing tale of love, loss, despair and hope, a new kind of magic enters the stage— Allomancy, a magic of the metals.

 

 

 

 

The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

From Rupi Kaur, the top ten Sunday Times bestselling author of milk and honey, comes her long-awaited second collection of poetry. Illustrated by Kaur, the sun and her flowers is a journey of wilting, falling, rooting, rising and blooming. It is a celebration of love in all its forms.

this is the recipe of life
said my mother
as she held me in her arms as i wept
think of those flowers you plant
in the garden each year 
they will teach you
that people too
must wilt
fall
root
rise
in order to bloom

Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman

Britt-Marie is an acquired taste. It’s not that she’s judgemental, or fussy, or difficult – she just expects things to be done in a certain way. A cutlery drawer should be arranged in the right order, for example (forks, knives, then spoons). We’re not animals, are we?

But behind the pedantic, passive-aggressive busybody is a woman with imagination, bigger dreams and a warmer heart than anyone around her realizes.

So when Britt-Marie finds herself unemployed, separated from her husband of twenty years, left to fend for herself in the miserable provincial backwater of Borg – of which the kindest thing one can say is that it has a road going through it – and somehow tasked with running the local children’s football team, she is a little unprepared.

Blending heartbreak and humour as only Fredrik Backman can, Britt-Marie Was Here is the finest novel yet by a modern master of storytelling.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She has only one function: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire – neither Offred’s nor that of the two men on which her future hangs.

Brilliantly conceived and executed, this powerful evocation of twenty-first century America explores a world in which oppression of women, and repression of the truth, have become justified.

 

 

My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologies by Fredrik Backman

EVERYONE REMEMBERS THE SMELL OF THEIR GRANDMOTHER’ HOUSE

Everyone remembers the stories their grandmother told them. But does everyone remember their grandmother flirting with policemen? Driving illegally? Breaking into a zoo in the middle of the night? Firing a paintball gun from a balcony in her dressing gown? Seven-year-old Elsa does.

Some might call Elsa’s granny ‘eccentric’, or even ‘crazy’. Elsa calls her a superhero. And granny’s stories, of knights and princesses and dragons and castles, are her superpower. Because, as Elsa is starting to learn, heroes and villains don’t always exist in imaginary kingdoms; they could live just down the hallway.

As Christmas draws near, even the best superhero grandmothers may have one or two things they’d like to apologise for. And, in the process, Elsa can have some breath-taking adventures of her own …

Heartbreaking and hilarious in equal measure, the new novel by the author of the internationally bestselling phenomenon A Man Called Ove will charm and delight anyone who has ever had a grandmother.

A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom

In the vein of It’s Kind of a Funny Story and All the Bright Places, comes a captivating, immersive exploration of life with mental illness.

For sixteen-year-old Mel Hannigan, bipolar disorder makes life unpredictable. Her latest struggle is balancing her growing feelings in a new relationship with her instinct to keep everyone at arm’s length. And when a former friend confronts Mel with the truth about the way their relationship ended, deeply buried secrets threaten to come out and upend her shaky equilibrium.

As the walls of Mel’s compartmentalized world crumble, she fears the worst–that her friends will abandon her if they learn the truth about what she’s been hiding. Can Mel bring herself to risk everything to find out?

In A Tragic Kind of Wonderful, Eric Lindstrom, author of the critically acclaimed Not If I See You First, examines the fear that keeps us from exposing our true selves, and the courage it takes to be loved for who we really are.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E Schwab

Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

Cress by Marissa Meyer

In this third book in Marissa Meyer’s bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and prevent her army from invading Earth.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl trapped on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s being forced to work for Queen Levana, and she’s just received orders to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is splintered. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price than she’d ever expected. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai, especially the cyborg mechanic. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

Winter by Marissa Meyer

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mark her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters? Fans will not want to miss this thrilling conclusion to Marissa Meyer’s national bestselling Lunar Chronicles series.

Dirty Pretty Things by Michael Faudet

Dirty Pretty Things is the international bestseller by Michael Faudet. A finalist in the 2015 Goodreads Readers Choice Awards, his whimsical and often erotic writing has already captured the hearts and minds of literally thousands of readers from around the world.

He paints vivid pictures with intricate words and explores the compelling themes of love, loss, relationships, and sex. All beautifully captured in poetry, prose, quotes, and little short stories.

 

 

 

Bitter Sweet Love by Michael Faudet

Bitter Sweet Love is the much-anticipated second collection of internationally best-selling poet Michael Faudet, author of “Dirty Pretty Things,” a finalist in the 2015 Goodreads Readers Choice Awards. Michael Faudet’s whimsical and often erotic writing has captured the hearts and minds of literally thousands of readers from around the world. He paints vivid pictures with intricate words and explores the compelling themes of love, loss, relationships, and sex. All beautifully captured in poetry, prose, quotes, and little short stories.

 

 

 

A Semi-definitive List of Worst Nightmares

Ever since Esther Solar’s grandfather was cursed by Death, everyone in her family has been doomed to suffer one great fear in their lifetime. Esther’s father is agoraphobic and hasn’t left the basement in six years, her twin brother can t be in the dark without a light on, and her mother is terrified of bad luck.

The Solars are consumed by their fears and, according to the legend of the curse, destined to die from them.

Esther doesn’t know what her great fear is yet (nor does she want to), a feat achieved by avoiding pretty much everything. Elevators, small spaces, and crowds are all off-limits. So are haircuts, spiders, dolls, mirrors and three dozen other phobias she keeps a record of in her semi-definitive list of worst nightmares.

Then Esther is pickpocketed by Jonah Smallwood, an old elementary school classmate. Along with her phone, money and a fruit roll-up she d been saving, Jonah also steals her list of fears. Despite the theft, Esther and Jonah become friends, and he sets a challenge for them: in an effort to break the curse that has crippled her family, they will meet every Sunday of senior year to work their way through the list, facing one terrifying fear at a time, including one that Esther hadn’t counted on: love.

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, every time Harry dies, he always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life lived a dozen times before.

Nothing ever changes – until now.

As Harry nears the end of his eleventh life, a little girl appears at his bedside. ‘I nearly missed you, Doctor August,’she says. ‘I need to send a message.’

This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass–and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.

 

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena’s world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie… and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Celaena has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak―but at an unspeakable cost. Now, she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth . . . a truth about her heritage that could change her life―and her future―forever. Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. Will Celaena find the strength to not only fight her inner demons, but to take on the evil that is about to be unleashed?

The bestselling series that has captured readers all over the world reaches new heights in this sequel to the New York Timesbest-selling Crown of Midnight. Packed with heart-pounding action, fierce new characters, and swoon-worthy romance, this third book will enthrall readers from start to finish.

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

The queen has returned.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past…

She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

The fourth volume in the New York Times bestselling series continues Celaena’s epic journey and builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

KINGDOMS WILL COLLIDE.

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius as war looms on the horizon. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don’t.

With her heart sworn to the warrior-prince by her side, and her fealty pledged to the people she is determined to save, Aelin will delve into the depths of her power to protect those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

In this breathtaking fifth installment of the New York Timesbestselling Throne of Glass series, Aelin will have to choose what—and who—to sacrifice if she’s to keep the world of Erilea from breaking apart.

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.

Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.

Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she’s a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden – lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult’s true powers are hidden even from herself.

In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls’ heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Bailey “Mink” Rydell has met the boy of her dreams. They share a love of films and talk all day – Alex is perfect. Well, apart from the fact that they’ve never actually met . . . and neither of them knows the other’s real name.

When Bailey moves to sunny California to live with her dad, who happens to live in the same town as Alex, she decides to track him down. But finding someone based on online conversations alone proves harder than Bailey thought, and with her irritating but charismatic (and potentially attractive?) colleague Porter Roth distracting her at every turn, will she ever get to meet the mysterious Alex?

From the author of Night Owls comes a story of summer, first love and hidden identities . . .

Vicious by V. E Schwab

A masterful tale of ambition, jealousy, desire, and superpowers.

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.
Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn’t automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.

The Messenger by Marcus Zusak

Ed Kennedy – cab driving prodigy, pathetic card player, useless at sex – shares coffee with his dog and is in nervous-love with Audrey. His life is one of suburban routine and incompetence, until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery.

That’s when the first ace turns up and Ed becomes the messenger.

PROTECT THE DIAMONDS
SURVIVE THE CLUBS
DIG DEEP THROUGH SPADES
FEEL THE HEARTS

Chosen to care, he travels through town, helping and hurting, until only one question remains. Where are the messages coming from?

Six of Crows by Leigh bardugo

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)

Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)

Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh bardugo

When you can’t beat the odds, change the game.

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Gwen Castle has never so badly wanted to say good-bye to her island home till now: the summer her Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, takes a job there as the local yard boy. He’s a rich kid from across the bridge in Stony Bay, and she hails from a family of fishermen and housecleaners who keep the island’s summer people happy. Gwen worries a life of cleaning houses will be her fate too, but just when it looks like she’ll never escape her past—or the island—Gwen’s dad gives her some shocking advice. Sparks fly and secret histories unspool as Gwen spends a gorgeous, restless summer struggling to resolve what she thought was true—about the place she lives, the people she loves, and even herself—with what really is.

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At eighteen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget it. The thick glass of a mason jar cuts deep and the pain washes out the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the bridge. Your best friend who is gone forever. Or your mother who has nothing left to give you.

Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen to find your way back from the edge.

 

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Destined to destroy empires Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.

Six years later, the child raised in the shadows takes her first steps towards keeping the promise she made on the day that she lost everything.

But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, so if she is to have her revenge, Mia must become a weapon without equal. She must prove herself against the deadliest of friends and enemies, and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and demons at the heart of a murder cult.

The Red Church is no Hogwarts, but Mia is no ordinary student. The shadows loves her. And they drink her fear.

Genuine fraud by e. Lockhart

How far would you go to become someone else? A masterful young adult thriller from the author of blockbuster bestseller We Were Liars.

Imogen is an heiress, a runaway, and a cheat.
Jule is a fighter, a chameleon, and a liar.

Imogen is done pretending to be perfect, and Jule refuses to go back to the person she once was. Somewhere between the mansions of Martha’s Vineyard and the shores of Cabo San Lucas, their intense friendship takes a dark turn.

A masterful thriller from the author of the unforgettable We Were Liars.

 

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

“It’s the difference between surviving life and living life. It’s the difference between taking a shower and teaching your monkey butler how to shampoo your hair.”

Jenny Lawson – aka The Bloggess – returns with the follow-up to her bestselling memoir Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, recounting stories from everyday family life in her inimitably frank, hilarious, bizarre and endearing way. She describes her battles with depression and anxiety and her quest to overcome them by saying yes to even the absurdist opportunities and making the good times gloriously good. For as Jenny says: ‘You can’t experience pain without also experiencing the baffling and ridiculous moments of being fiercely, unapologetically, intensely and (above all) furiously happy…’ It’s a philosophy that has – quite literally – saved her life.

First & Then by Emma Mills

Devon Tennyson wouldn’t change a thing. She’s happy watching Friday night games from the bleachers, silently crushing on best friend Cas, and blissfully ignoring the future after high school. But the universe has other plans. It delivers Devon’s cousin Foster, an unrepentant social outlier with a surprising talent for football, and the obnoxiously superior and maddeningly attractive star running back, Ezra, right where she doesn’t want them: first into her P.E. class and then into every other aspect of her life.

Pride and Prejudice meets Friday Night Lights in this contemporary novel about falling in love with the unexpected boy, with a new brother, and with yourself.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

Memories by Lang Leav

Best-selling poet Lang Leav presents a gorgeous hardcover gift book featuring the best of Lullabies and Love & Misadventure plus thirty-five new poems for fans to discover, along with original color illustrations by the author.

For fans of Lang Leav, this beautiful gift book is a must-have! Beloved pieces from Lullabies and Love & Misadventure are collected together in this illustrated treasury. In addition, 35 new poems that have not been published in any Lang Leav collection offer something new to discover. The author’s original art is presented in lovely four-color illustrations.

Lang Leav’s evocative poetry in a gorgeous package with ribbon marker and cloth spine is an irresistible gift for any poetry lover!

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

The masterpiece of one of the greatest American writers of all time. East of Eden is an epic tale of good vs. evil with many biblical references and parallels. The story is ultimately that of good’s triumph over evil and the human will’s ability to make that happen.

 

 

 

 

 

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Dante can swim. Ari can’t. Dante is articulate and self-assured. Ari has a hard time with words and suffers from self-doubt. Dante gets lost in poetry and art. Ari gets lost in thoughts of his older brother who is in prison. Dante is fair skinned. Ari’s features are much darker. It seems that a boy like Dante, with his open and unique perspective on life, would be the last person to break down the walls that Ari has built around himself.

But against all odds, when Ari and Dante meet, they develop a special bond that will teach them the most important truths of their lives, and help define the people they want to be. But there are big hurdles in their way, and only by believing in each other―and the power of their friendship―can Ari and Dante emerge stronger on the other side.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around – and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries – including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

What if your future was the past?

1946, and Claire Randall goes to the Scottish Highlands with her husband Frank. It’s a second honeymoon, a chance to learn how war has changed them and to re-establish their loving marriage.
But one afternoon, Claire walks through a circle of standing stones and vanishes into 1743, where the first person she meets is a British army officer – her husband’s six-times great-grandfather.

Unfortunately, Black Jack Randall is not the man his descendant is, and while trying to escape him, Claire falls into the hands of a gang of Scottish outlaws, and finds herself a Sassenach – an outlander – in danger from both Jacobites and Redcoats.

Marooned amid danger, passion and violence, her only chance of safety lies in Jamie Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior. What begins in compulsion becomes urgent need, and Claire finds herself torn between two very different men, in two irreconcilable lives.

Highly Illogical Behaviour by John Corey Whaley

Sixteen year old Solomon has agoraphobia. He hasn’t left his house in three years, which is fine by him. At home, he is the master of his own kingdom–even if his kingdom doesn’t extend outside of the house.

Ambitious Lisa desperately wants to go to a top tier psychiatry program. She’ll do anything to get in.

When Lisa finds out about Solomon’s solitary existence, she comes up with a plan sure to net her a scholarship: befriend Solomon. Treat his condition. And write a paper on her findings. To earn Solomon’s trust, Lisa begins letting him into her life, introducing him to her boyfriend Clark, and telling him her secrets. Soon, Solomon begins to open up and expand his universe. But all three teens have grown uncomfortably close, and when their facades fall down, their friendships threaten to collapse as well.

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.

Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.

As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love.

Jane Austen: Seven Novels

In a publishing career that spanned less than a decade, Jane Austen revolutionized the literary romance, using it as a stage from which to address issues of gender politics and class-consciousness rarely expressed in her day. The novels included in this beautiful Collectible Edition–Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, and Lady Susan–represent all of Austen’s mature work as a novelist, and provide the reader with an introduction to the world she and her memorable characters inhabited.

Jane Austen: Seven Novels is part of Barnes & Noble’s Collectible Editions series. Each title in the series presents a classic work in an attractively designed edition bound in genuine bonded leather. These books make elegant additions to any home library.

Beauty and the beast and other classic fairy tales

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Call me Ishmael.

So begins Moby-Dick, Herman Melville’s epic account of the last voyage of the ill-fated whaling ship Pequod, and its captain’s obsessive pursuit of the legendary white whale thaty maimed him years before. Melville’s classic novel has given American literature some of its most iconic characters: Ishmael, the everyman sailor who narrates the novel; Queequeg, the South Sea island cannibal who becomes the Pequod’s harpooner; and Captain Ahab, a stern and stormy force of nature as formidable as the titanic whale that he hunts.

Inspired by the real-life ordeal of the crew of the whaling ship Essex–who, in 1819, were set adrift in the heart of the sea for eighty-nine days, after the whale they were hunting stove in their ship’s hull–and steeped in the lore and legendry of whaling as it pertained to the fledgling nation of America, Melville’s novel is widely regarded as one of the greatest American novels. More than a rousing tale of adventure on the high seas, Moby-Dick is acknowledged today as a fundamental exploration of the ideas and interests that shaped the American experience in the nineteenth century.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Other Stories by Lewis Carroll

Witty, whimsical, and often nonsensical, the fiction of Lewis Carroll has been popular with both children and adults for over 150 years. The newest edition to the Leatherbound Classics series from Canterbury Classics, Lewis Carroll takes readers on a trip down the rabbit hole in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, where height is dynamic, animals talk, and the best solutions to drying off are a dry lecture on William the Conqueror and a Caucus Race in which everyone runs in circles and there is no clear winner.

Through the Looking Glass begins the adventure anew when Alice steps through a mirror into another magical world where she can instantly be made queen if she can only get to the other side of the colossal chessboard. Fans of Carroll will also delight in the inclusion of Alice’s Adventures Underground, the original unpublished manuscript written for the three daughters of a family friend that would later be transformed into Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Complete with the original drawings by John Tenniel, this luxurious leather-bound edition is a steal for new readers and Carroll fans alike.

The Little Mermaid and Other Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Anderson

Hans Christian Andersen is one of the world’s most popular storytellers, and his fairy tales are among the best-loved works of literature. Readers the world over know his poignant tale of “The Little Mermaid,” who sacrifices everything for love, and “Thumbelina,” the miniscule maiden who captures the heart of many members of the animal kingdom. Several of Andersen’s stories are so well known—among them “The Emperor’s New Clothes” and “The Ugly Duckling”—that their titles alone have become meaningful figures of speech.

The Little Mermaid and Other Fairy Tales collects seventeen of Andersen’s incomparable stories, among them “The Princess and the Pea,” “The Red Shoes,” “The Wild Swans,” and his fantasy masterpiece, “The Snow-Queen.” The book is illustrated in full color by W. Heath Robinson.

December 2017 TBR

So I’m only going to be home for a week this month since I’m going on two holidays and I won’t be back until the new year! Hopefully, I can still get some reading done, I’ve got 8 flights so lots of opportunities to read!

Meet Cute by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Whether or not you believe in fate, or luck, or love at first sight, every romance has to start somewhere. MEET CUTE is an anthology of original short stories featuring tales of “how they first met” from some of today’s most popular YA authors.

Readers will experience Nina LaCour’s beautifully written piece about two Bay Area girls meeting via a cranky customer service Tweet, Sara Shepard’s glossy tale about a magazine intern and a young rock star, Nicola Yoon’s imaginative take on break-ups and make-ups, Katie Cotugno’s story of two teens hiding out from the police at a house party, and Huntley Fitzpatrick’s charming love story that begins over iced teas at a diner. There’s futuristic flirting from Kass Morgan and Katharine McGee, a riveting transgender heroine from Meredith Russo, a subway missed connection moment from Jocelyn Davies, and a girl determined to get out of her small town from Ibi Zoboi. Jennifer Armentrout writes a sweet story about finding love from a missing library book, Emery Lord has a heartwarming and funny tale of two girls stuck in an airport, Dhonielle Clayton takes a thoughtful, speculate approach to pre-destined love, and Julie Murphy dreams up a fun twist on reality dating show contestants.

This incredibly talented group of authors brings us a collection of stories that are at turns romantic and witty, epic and everyday, heartbreaking and real.

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

To save her mother’s life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters – never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

As Clary uncovers more about her family’s past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he’s willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City – whatever the cost?

Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the third installment of the New York Times bestselling series The Mortal Instruments.

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She’s training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most importantly of all—she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering Shadowhunters, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second, bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her—his mother just found out that he’s a vampire, and now he’s homeless. When Jace begins to pull away from her without explaining why, Clary is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: she herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

The New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments continues—and so do the thrills and danger for Jace, Clary, and Simon.

What price is too high to pay, even for love? When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost?

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

In this dazzling and long-awaited conclusion to the acclaimed Mortal Instruments series, Clary and her friends fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary’s own brother.

Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures out of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell.

The embattled Shadowhunters withdraw to Idris – but not even the famed demon towers of Alicante can keep Sebastian at bay. And with the Nephilim trapped in Idris, who will guard the world against demons?

When one of the greatest betrayals the Nephilim have ever known is revealed, Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, and Alec must flee – even if their journey takes them deep into the demon realms, where no Shadowhunter has set foot before, and from which no human being has ever returned…

Love will be sacrificed and lives lost in the terrible battle for the fate of the word in the thrilling final installment of the classic urban fantasy series The Mortal Instruments!

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.

Animal Farm by George Orwell

As ferociously fresh as it was more than a half century ago, this remarkable allegory of a downtrodden society of overworked, mistreated animals, and their quest to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality is one of the most scathing satires ever published. As we witness the rise and bloody fall of the revolutionary animals, we begin to recognize the seeds of totalitarianism in the most idealistic organization; and in our most charismatic leaders, the souls of our cruelest oppressors.

 

 

Tlaes from the Shadowhunter Academy

Simon Lewis has been a human and a vampire, and now he is becoming a Shadowhunter. But the events of City of Heavenly Fireleft him stripped of his memories, and Simon isn’t sure who he is anymore. He knows he was friends with Clary, and that he convinced the total goddess Isabelle Lightwood to go out with him…but he doesn’t know how. And when Clary and Isabelle look at him, expecting him to be a man he doesn’t remember…Simon can’t take it.

So when the Shadowhunter Academy reopens, Simon throws himself into this new world of demon-hunting, determined to find himself again. His new self. Whomever this new Simon might be.

But the Academy is a Shadowhunter institution, which means it has some problems. Like the fact that non-Shadowhunter students have to live in the basement. And that differences—like being a former vampire—are greatly looked down upon. At least Simon is trained in weaponry—even if it’s only from hours of playing D&D.

Join Simon on his journey to become a Shadowhunter, and learn about the Academy’s illustrious history along the way, through guest lecturers such as Jace Herondale, Tessa Gray, and Magnus Bane. These ten short stories give an epilogue to the Mortal Instruments series and provide glimpses of what’s in store in the Dark Artifices.

The Friday 56 (3)

November 2017 Wrap UP

 

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

 ★★★★

Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. One of his fellow passengers must be the murderer.

Isolated by the storm and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer amongst a dozen of the dead man’s enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again…

 

Neu Opus by Kimberly Chakona

My review

Neu Opus offers a compelling look at societal issues facing women of colour.

The poems within focus on fostering self-love and acceptance by acknowledging your flaws, reclaiming your identity, and empowering yourself and others to live confidently. The reader is encouraged to face their painful histories and challenge negative stereotypes and the status quo by being true to themselves and drawing attention to their innate sempiternal sovereignty.

Neu Opus contains unique artwork created by female artists, inspired by these poems on race, spirituality, and kinship.

You are not in the struggle alone. You are your own heroine.
You are evolving into something great. Even the butterfly was once a caterpillar.
The same wind that uproots towering trees is the gentle breeze that will help you soar.
Still, black will be,
black was,
and black is
divine.

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

 My review   ★★★

An East Asian fantasy reimagining of The Evil Queen legend about one peasant girl’s quest to become Empress–and the darkness she must unleash to achieve her destiny.

Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng’s majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high?

Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins–sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.

Gregory and the Grimbockle by Melanie Schubert

 My review

Ten-year-old Gregory is about to find out that the enormous mole stuck straight beneath his nose is not just a mole, but is actually a humpy crumpy portal of skin that hides a creature called the Grimbockle.

What’s more? The Grimbockle is just one of the many strange little creatures called Bockles tending to the mysterious threads that connect all humans from one to the other. It is a very important job and one that has long been carried out with incredible secrecy…

…that is, before tonight.

Wonder by R. J Palacio

(reread) My review ★★★★

I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He’s about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?

R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels.

City of Bones by Cassandras Clare

 (reread) My review ★★★★1/2

When Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder. Much less a murder commited by three teenagers covered with odd markings. This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons–and keeping the odd werewolves and vampires in line. It’s also her first meeting with gorgeous, golden-haired Jace. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in an ordinary mundane like Clary? And how did she suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know….

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

 ★★★★

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what’s normal when you’re a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who’s becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn’t ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary’s only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City’s Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.

The Friday 56 (3)

Wonder by R. J Palacio review

Wonder by R. J Palacio
Published by Knopf on February 14, 2012
Genres: middle grade, contemporary, realistic fiction
Pages: 316
Goodreads

I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He’s about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?

R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels.

REVIEW

I’ve read Wonder twice now and the second time around I appreciated the story even more. The takeaway from the novel is timeless––choose kind, this is a book many people will applaud, children and adults alike.

The writing style and way the story is laid out makes Wonder a highly accessible novel, R. J Palacio tells the story in a simple yet impactful manner that people will appreciate.

One of the reasons Wonder stood out to me was it’s real and relatable characters. Auggie’s character is one that will stay with you long after finishing the book, and I really admired his growth throughout the novel. I also loved the multiple POV’s, as we better understand the other characters. We see why they act in a certain way and how they’re not horrible people after all but they each have their own struggles that they’re dealing with.

The plot is interesting and we watch Auggie face real life issues that relate to middle graders. We follow Auggie as the new kid and how he eventually finds his place in the school. This wasn’t a five-star book for me as I felt that I couldn’t fully relate to the middle-grade setting, but I’m sure that if I read this book as a child I would’ve loved it even more!

Overall, Wonder was a heartwarming story with an important message that I believe everyone should read!