Saturday, May 6, 2017

A Bit of Catching Up....

Hello, everyone! How are y'all doing?

I didn't mean to take as long of a break as I did, but I have quite a bit of catch up to do. I have several review debts, and Lord willing, those will be flowing through in the next few days. I've been reading tons of non-review books, too, so I hope to mix those in, just so I can keep a record in some way or another. It has drove me insane that I've let so many books float by without writing down any sort of thoughts at all. Most of all, I hope to add my Feedly back into my days, so I can keep up with all of you. I know I can't be the only one that struggles with time management. ;)

Here's a few books I think are worth the reading time, in one way or another.

A Branch of Silver, A Branch of Gold by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

I bought this one for my kindle awhile back, and forgot about it. I hate to admit that, because Anne Elisabeth is one my most favorite authors ever. The Twelve Dancing Princesses is probably my favorite fairy tale, and to say I was excited about seeing her take on it would be putting it mildly. Children, as lovely as they are, will do that to your mind, though. ;)

I actually had to start this book twice, just to be honest. Based on my experience, I'd recommend some quiet time to really get into the book before putting it down, if you must. Once I got well into the book, I flew through it and enjoyed it greatly. As I've come to expect from Anne Elisabeth, the characters were flawed, yet likable. Romance is only hinted at, ever so slightly, and it never comes quickly. Best of all, the story is pretty amazing, and I was thrilled with it. It made me want to visit all the other books from Goldstone Wood again. (This one is perfectly fine as a standalone from the other books in the series. It's only slightly tied in.) I can't wait to read more from her! It only reminded me why I like her writing so, so much.

Deerskin by Robin McKinley

This one won't be for everyone. Parts of it are disturbing, parts of it are incredibly weird, and parts of it are confusing. If you're willing to look past those parts, it's such a beautiful story. When I first left the last page, I didn't think it'd be a story I'd ever want to read again, but it's stuck with me and wrapped itself around my brain. I now think I would be willing to read it again, especially to get a bit more of an understanding of the confusing parts. My first time through a book, I tend to rush to see what happens. With each rereading, I always see little details I missed the previous times through. Plus, my mind is looking past the odd parts more and more and remembering little details that give the story its beauty.

Deerskin is a retelling of the fairy tale, Donkeyskin. Apparently, it's pretty difficult to find Donkeyskin in its original form. Most of the revisions have made it more tolerable. I feel like this book(Deerskin) could be such an encouragement for those that have had a painful past similar to the main character. It seems written with that purpose in mind, and I greatly appreciate it, especially for that reason. That said, I could also see how this could be a painful book for those that have went through something similar, at least through certain parts. It's an empowering read if read all the way through. Again, though, it won't be for everyone.

Though difficult at times, I think it's worth reading!

I think I recall a couple mild words of profanity, but I know it wasn't bad.

There's a rape scene and a miscarriage scene. The rape scene and afterwards is emotional and disturbing. The miscarriage scene was confusing and I was only sure that's what it was when it says so at the end.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

I'd consider this story in the magical realism realm, which is a category I happen to love. It's hard to find good, clean ones, though. I managed to get my name on the e-book library's wait list early, and got to read it before I really knew what I was getting into. I was surprised at just how much I liked it.

I actually read this book because of the author's name. Many years ago, when I was in 4th grade, an older girl by the same name did something super sweet. I didn't even know her that well, which made her kindness especially memorable. At my class's Christmas party, I ended up with Barbie doll clothes. I didn't have a Barbie doll. This sweet girl rode the same bus as me briefly, and when she found out, she brought me a Barbie doll from her collection, tucked away inside a shoe box. So, so sweet, y'all! I still remember this 26 years later. Though that really doesn't matter in connection with this book, it's a memory worth writing down. ;) When I saw the author's name, I wondered if it was her, and decided to read it. It's not her, but I am super glad I read the book anyway.

The story is full of mystery and I was guessing until the end about what is real and what's not. I flew through it, so I recommend starting it when you have a little time to give to flipping rapidly through the pages. I was a little disappointed at the end, until I discovered there will be at least one more book to go with it. I got a satisfying end to the story, but a bit more is added to bring us into the next one, which I can't wait for.

Read this one for pure entertainment!

Content: Religious exclamations. I don't remember any profanity, otherwise. (This is the disadvantage to not immediately writing my thoughts down.) There's some touching/kissing(though nothing I'd consider overly graphic). There's also some violence.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

There's a bit of content(sex scene) that would keep me from completely recommending this book, but otherwise it's a gorgeous book. It's also one that kept me rapidly turning the pages, and kept me up well past when I should have already been asleep. It's a bit of a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I can't say I was overly fond of the leading man. He takes his role as Beast seriously, apparently. I love the old fashioned feel to it, though. It's violent at times and very dark, but there's still such beauty in it. I do hate that the sexual parts were there, and it seems like they were just thrown into an otherwise clean and lovely book just to make it more "adult". If you think you can skip over those parts, and borrow it from the library, it's otherwise a worthy read.

An almost sex scene and a full out sex scene. Mild profanity. Violence.

*Library E-book

The Beast is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale

I greatly enjoyed this book. It has an old fashioned fairy tale feel to it. It's dark, and the romance portion was minimal. Many times, the story felt more historical than fairy tale-ish, and for many I think it will be slow moving, but it was perfect for me. Also, I love that there are plenty of thought provoking ideas touched on within the story, but it's done so in a way that's not obnoxious. It has wonderful re-read potential!

My only semi-complaint is the ending. I felt like there was this great build up for something truly horrifying, and I flew through the book, curious to see what would happen. Unfortunately, the ending felt a bit too easy. Still, I enjoyed reading it, otherwise.

I'd definitely recommend it to those that enjoy darker, old fashioned fairy tales. I can't wait to read more from this author, since these types of books are treasures for me.

The only profanity is used as a word for "poop", so you can decide if you even want to consider that profanity or not. The romance portion is very mild, and only a small part of the story. It's a dark book, but even the violence is not bad at all. I'd label it as mature, in general, but it's very clean for YA, in my little old opinion.

*I got this one from Amazon Vine.

What have you been reading lately?


  1. I think Caraval will have to go on my list. Sounds good! :)

  2. Looks like you've been doing some great reading. There are so many fairy-tale re-tellings nowadays.