Monday, April 6, 2015

On My Nightstand - Feb/Mar

For a variety of reasons I'm reading a little more Middle Grade fiction, this year.  It does feel strange to stare at my TBR pile and see titles that even my nieces are too old for now, but so far it's been v. rewarding.  Some MG fiction is just so classic, it's really no effort to dive in, even if picking up an unknown-to-me MG text can feel a little challenging.

I had nooooo difficulty with this one.  A page in and I was totally hooked.  
  • The voices are so authentic, and 
  • the (historical) setting is so interesting.  
  • I adored the three sisters and watching the slow playing out of their relationship with Cecile was bittersweet and pretty beautiful.  
  • This powerful little novel packs a punch.
  • I was disappointed to finish and found myself wishing this were a series.  And then I discovered IT IS!  Yusssss!!  I'm especially looking forward to the third book, due for release later this month.  Boom!

  • This took me a long time to read, but not because I didn't enjoy it, I did!  
  • The pacing is slow and deliberate, which partially accounts for it (it was also a v. busy time, settling into work etc).  
  • As a reader you really watch Juno grow, and the narrative grows and changes with her.  
  • Beale is a skilled writer which makes for relaxing reading, you know you are in safe hands.
  • Few of the characters felt really relatable to me, though this didn't detract, much. 
  • The setting was interesting, even if I didn't entirely get how it worked, or why it was needed.  This was probably actually explained at some point :-/ I can be pretty inattentive at times...
  • Overall I enjoyed it but I didn't looooove it.  I'd def recommend it to those who enjoy a slower burning YA dystopian.

  • My favourite bits were set in space.  SPACE!  I need to read more space-y books (yes, I am aware of the correct title of this genre :-P), but really I think they will be disappointing after this.  Space without Meyer's quirk and humour and adorable characters?  It could never be an equal experience.
  • Quirk and humour and adorable characters.  The title characters in this series are so easy to buy in to, right from the outset.  Cress's initial description, alone in her spaceship, so great.  And the side characters are just as fun (I'm looking at you, Iko).  
  • I could've done without the chapters from Kai's viewpoint.  I guess I just found the others more interesting. 
  • I got lost in the sand dunes.  Mid-points can be difficult for me, and this one meant a very long break from the book.
  • But when I picked it back up, BAM!  I couldn't understand why I'd stopped reading.
  • I'd recommend this series to anyone who enjoys YA.  I know it fits a genre (or three), but far more than that this is just a great story, well-executed.  


  • I started this with no knowledge of the story, just a recommendation for THE Angela. Oh man.  So. Worth it.  
  • The initial few chapters didn't hook me, at all.  I began to think this one wasn't gonna be my cup of tea.  I had no idea what was going on, who was who, or where any of it was going.
  • I persevered (thank goodness!) and it quickly got good.  REALLY good.  
  • I heard someone describe this as the adult version of Harry Potter.  Having said that, they then admitted they'd never read Harry Potter - but I still like it.  There are some common elements, though this is a far more mature text (I'm trying to suggest that HP fans give this one a go).
  • The writing is intelligent, poetic, and with smatterings of feminist commentary #fistpump Edit: Now well into book two - I take this back, I take it back, I take it back.  Sexist, NOT feminist :-(.
  • Kvothe is a worthy hero, but not perfect, which is perfect.
  • There is a lot of detail.  I think some of it could have been left out, but whatevs. 
  • I reaaaaaally loved the section describing Kvothe's childhood.  Painful and beautiful and a little scary.  It felt a little Dickens-y, which I loved. 
  • Highly recommended - esp. for fantasy fans.  
I'm a few books behind my goal for the year, but the Rothfuss tome set me back a little (huuuuge).  All good, plenty of MG coming up ;-).  And still no duds!  Yuss!

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