Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Teaser Tuesday: Show Me How & Occupied Earth

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature, hosted by Jenn at Books and a Beat.

I didn't care that I would be dead on my feet for my shift the next morning. Who needed sleep when there were other worlds to get lost in? Made-up lives that you wished could be your own? 

~ Show Me How (Thatch #3) by Molly McAdams, Kindle Location 833 (ARC)

Down, but not defeated. Resistance is all.

~ Occupied Earth edited by Richard Brewer & Gary Phillips, Kindle Location 53

Monday, August 22, 2016

Book Review: Three Dark Crowns

Three Dark Crowns
By: Kendare Blake
Published by: HarperTeen
Release date: 9/20/16
Genre: YA fantasy
416 pages
Buy it at Amazon, IndieBound, Book Depository, or Barnes & Noble
Source: galley kindly provided by publisher

There is a lot going on in this book, with three main characters in three different cultures. It's a lot to keep track of, but it's certainly worth the trouble.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Magic Lamp Sunday 8/21/16

We discovered this feature at Ya-Aholic, where it ran on Fridays. It sounded like a fun addition to our lineup, but fits better here on Sundays. It's based on the basic Magic Lamp = 3 wishes idea. Since there are so many of us, though, we're just taking one wish each per week. 

If we had a Magic Lamp, we'd wish:  

Paula: I wish I had the powers of a Naturalist, able to spur plant growth and influence animal behavior. Inspired by Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake.

Aimee: I wish I could meet an alien. Inspired by Occupied Earth, edited by Richard Brewer and Gary Phillips.

Andrea: I wish I could live in Scotland. Inspired by Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Book Review: The Girl From the Savoy

The Girl From the Savoy
Published By: William Morrow
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Page Count: 448
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via Edelweiss
Audience: Adult - Historical Fiction

Hazel Gaynor is one of my favorite historical fiction writers. I love immersing myself in her characters. She tends to focus on the early half of the 20th century which always leads me down new paths of knowledge. This novel is no exception and focuses on multiple narrators who are living in the aftermaths of World War I. While the war ended prior to the novel's beginning, the experiences of that tragic event left their traces on the souls of the characters. Each one of them has been changed as a result and is trying to figure out how to live in their post-war reality.

Dolly Lane works as a maid in the famous Savoy hotel in London. She's close enough to the lights and glitz of the theaters to taste stardom on her tongue. Catering to the needs of the world's richest clientele also don't do much to dampen her dreams. Dolly can only hope that one day she can make her dreams a reality. On the other hand, Loretta May, has already made it in showbiz, but her life isn't the posh exterior she shows her fans. Her makeup and smile hide grief and secrets. I loved watching as post-war life unfolded for both of these ladies. Lastly, we get to see the perspective of an injured soldier as Teddy takes charge of the narrative from time to time. Teddy was Dolly's sweetheart before the war, but they have been torn apart and Teddy has no memories of their love to help stitch the pair back together. 

The Shopping Lark #228

Each Friday, Reading Lark is going to feature some new releases each week to help give you some ideas of what to buy next. This is not an exhaustive list of this week's releases - just some novels that caught our eye. Feel free to share what books you're excited about that came out this week in our comments section.

YA Releases for the week of 8/15-8/21:

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Book Review: Occupied Earth

Occupied Earth
Edited By: Richard Brewer and Gary Phillips 
Published by: Polis Books
Release date: October 13, 2015
Genre: Adult Science Fiction
352 pages
Source: galley kindly provided by publisher

There are plenty of first contact stories in science fiction, and there are plenty of alien invasion stories too.  But I’ve never seen a book quite like Occupied Earth which is a collection of short stories by different authors about humanity living as a conquered race under the alien Mahk-Ra.  I chose to review this book because I was intrigued to see how the different authors would envision life moving on under such an occupation.  This multi-faceted collection has it all: “fighting, chases, escapes, revenge, true love…”  Okay, so it’s not at all like The Princess Bride, but Occupied Earth does have all that plus collaborators, resistance fighters, traitors, and regular working people just trying to get by. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Our Chemical Hearts

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where she spotlights upcoming releases.

This week I am waiting on. . . 

Our Chemical Hearts
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Release Date: September 6, 2016

John Green meets Rainbow Rowell in this irresistible story of first love, broken hearts, and the golden seams that put them back together again.

Henry Page has never been in love. He fancies himself a hopeless romantic, but the slo-mo, heart palpitating, can't-eat-can't-sleep kind of love that he's been hoping for just hasn't been in the cards for him—at least not yet. Instead, he's been happy to focus on his grades, on getting into a semi-decent college and finally becoming editor of his school newspaper. Then Grace Town walks into his first period class on the third Tuesday of senior year and he knows everything's about to change.

Grace isn't who Henry pictured as his dream girl—she walks with a cane, wears oversized boys' clothes, and rarely seems to shower. But when Grace and Henry are both chosen to edit the school paper, he quickly finds himself falling for her. It's obvious there's something broken about Grace, but it seems to make her even more beautiful to Henry, and he wants nothing more than to help her put the pieces back together again. And yet, this isn't your average story of boy meets girl. Krystal Sutherland's brilliant debut is equal parts wit and heartbreak, a potent reminder of the bittersweet bliss that is first love.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter #2)
Published By: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: May 1999
Page Count: 251
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Middle Grades/Young Adult - Fantasy

I decided to reread the entire Harry Potter series as the next instalment in the series, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, is coming to the Palace Theatre in London this summer and I am ecstatic to be in possession of tickets! The movies have, to a larger extent, replaced some of the details from the books in my mind and I wanted a refresher course to make sure I hadn't missed anything! 

 To be fair to the movies, I feel like the Chamber of Secrets was quite faithfully recreated. Having said that, all the accessory scenes and small touches like Peeves really add to the feeling that made Hogwarts a home in the first place. I absolutely love all the flouncing of the completely incompetent Lockhart and how basically everyone can't stand him! Delicious writing!! Even better is Snape blowing him away in the Duelling Club. 

Teaser Tuesday: The Girl From the Savoy, The Invisible Man, The Practical Navigator, & Shield

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature, hosted by Jenn at Books and a Beat.

I sip my cup of Earl Gray as I watch raindrops slip down the windowpanes. Mother always insists that tea tastes better when it rains, something to do with precipitation and dampness bringing out the flavor in the leaves.

~ The Girl From the Savoy by Hazel Gaynor, Kindle Location 435 (ARC)

Such children as saw him at nightfall dreamt of bogies...

~ The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells, pg. 17

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