Thursday, July 2, 2015

Recent Reads

How is that 52 Book Challenge going? Having luck with your summer reads? Perhaps you need a few new books for your shelf? Here are a few I enjoyed.

GOTHAM ACADEMY Volume 1 by Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher, Karl Kerschl (Illustrations)

This one was a hit at our house. Perfect fit for me and the kids. I had to steal it back from girlchild so that I could finish it. Set in the Batman universe with a teen POV, we follow Olive, a student at Gotham Academy. Something bad happened to her last summer, something she can't really remember. While checking out a ghostly presence at school, she discovers answers for her own personal problems (and tons more questions too, of course). Diverse cast, the illustrations are fantastic, and there was just the right amount of tension and danger.

Amazon | B&NBAM | Powell's | Indiebound

TRADE ME by Courtney Milan

Contemporary romance that did not rely on an alpha-hole billionaire, big misunderstanding, or any of the other common tropes that generally make me yearn for a alien or monster to pop out and try to eat the happy couple. Yes, there is a billionaire, but he's not a bad boy. He's actually very nice. He has his issues, of course, and comes from a place of lofty privilege, but he is not an asshole. Tina Chen, our heroine, is smart, struggling to get through school so that she can take care of her family, wracked by guilt and also exasperated by her mother. Very sweet romance that I had no trouble believing. A must for romance fans.

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | BAM | Powell's 

THE CLOCKWORK DAGGER by Beth Cato

I read this one just in time for book 2 (CLOCKWORK CROWN). Excellent world, characters and action. Much of the story takes place on an airship, which made me happy. Octavia is a very powerful healer on her way to help a remote village. Ever since her village was destroyed in an attack in the seemingly never-ending war between her country and the Wasters, she's never really belonged anywhere. Soon she is contending with assassination attempts, an attraction to a helpful Steward with his own mysteries, and a realization that her powers are greater than she knew. Many questions on whom to trust, this is definitely a set the stage book. Can't wait to read the next.

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | BAM | Powell's | Indiebound

ACCEPTANCE (Southern Reach #3) by Jeff VanderMeer

I have to recommend the entire Southern Reach trilogy (ANNIHILATION, CONTROL, and ACCEPTANCE). I found it creepy, engrossing, many times unsure whether to believe our narrators or not, and in the end, definitely accepting that we would never get a concrete, absolute ending (nor would one have worked). An exploration of themes of what it means to be human, to be a part of nature while also trying to control it, what happens when we fail, and what would we choose in our own Area X. Yep, this is a purposefully vague review. It's a series that just has to be experienced. I am so glad I was along for the ride.

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | BAM | Powell's | Indiebound

SLICE OF LIFE: A Multimedia Fairy Tale by Ellie Ann (Author), Lance Schaubert (Author), Gary Morgan (Illustrator), Biaka Zaidarhzauva (Illustrator), Emma Lang(Illustrator), Theo Love (Illustrator), Hezekiah Jones (Illustrator)

This short tale is different in that it incorporates prose, pictures, poetry, illustration, audio scenes, and music to give us this slice of a very dark fairytale. We start with Princess Aura awakening to a very bad scene. She is in chains, unable to use her powers, and the evil Queen is attempting to destroy the lifeforce of earth. Aura will need to make impossible bargains, trust an ex-lover and more to save the day. This fairy tale hearkens back to the very Grimm-est of tales. Gory, bloody, and not terribly happy most of the time. I really enjoyed this peek into Aura's adventures. It made me want more.

Amazon | B&N | BAM | Powell's



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