September 2018 Reading Tracker

Books I Read:

  1. Everything All at Once by Katrina Leno
  2. Dare You to Lie by Amber Lynn Natusch
  3. The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle
  4. The Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stroud
  5. A Blade So Black by L. L. McKinney
  6. 500 Words or Less by Juleah del Rosario
  7. From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon
  8. Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
  9. Rule by Ellen Goodlett
  10. Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West
  11. Impostors by Scott Westerfeld
  12. Give the Dark My Love by Beth Revis
  13. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
  14. Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton
  15. A Room Away from the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma
  16. Bonnie and Clyde: The Making of a Legend by Karen Blumenthal

Books I Had Planned to Read:

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What are you hoping to read this September? 📚 Do you read books as they come out? 📚 Every year I tell myself I’ll be more on top of Fall releases post #BookExpo and every year this happens. So this planned to read stack is probably too ambitious. But these are the books I’ll be pulling from for the rest of the month. 📚 The Queen of Sorrow is long overdue but I’ve been nervous to see how the Queen’s of Renthia series ends! I started Everything All at Once last month but it got pushed to the wayside for my book a day challenge. 📚 #instabooks #currentlyreading #amreading #instareads #bookgram #bookworm #bookblogging #bookblogger #bookstagrammer #bibliophile #booklove #bookphotography #instabook #reading #reader #booktography #bookstagram #igreads #booksofinstagram #goodreads #bookaholic #bookish #bookishfeature #bookstafeatures #bookstagramfeature #readersofinstagram #unitedbookstagram #toread #shelfiesunday

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Then here are the books I forgot I also had planned to read:

Books Bought:

  1. Uppercase
  2. Shelflove Crate (resold)
  3. owlcrate Vengeful (resold)
  4. Illumicrate Vengeful

ARCs Received:

  1. Mend: A Story of Divorce (not requested)
  2. Click: A Story of Cyberbullying (not requested)

You can also see what I read in August.

Week in Review: September 29

missprintweekreviewThis week on the blog you can check out:

This week I’ve been confronting the fact that I am spending too much money on book subscription boxes. In one respect I don’t regret that because they are fun. But at the same time, I bought two this month that were total disappointments and I am trying to sell almost everything from them. I plan on sharing pictures and maybe even review posts soon BUT bookstagram has no chill and got very upset when I posted photos early (but only at me, not at anyone else) so I’m holding off for a while before sharing.

I got my new glasses this week and adjusting to them is taking longer (and leaving me dizzier) than expected. Also on Sunday I will be seeing My Neighbor Totoro for the first time. I’m excited!

Here is my favorite post that I shared on Instagram this week:

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“You can find me anywhere.” ▪️ Sited near Eighth Avenue and West Fourteenth Street, New York City. ▪️ Several people were very annoyed with the original photo I shared today so here’s some street art instead. ▪️ In case you missed it (as I think most people did because let’s face it my account isn’t that big), I originally wanted to share a picture of the Owlcrate box for Vengeful and got chided for it. Which is fine except a lot of people posted photos in the same way I did and even earlier than mine and with a much larger follower base than me making the photo much more visible. In other words: I think the ship has sailed for anyone trying to use social media and avoid spoilers about it. ▪️ Anyway I deleted that photo. I’m not going to apologize for wanting to post right away since I was excited for some items and wanted to talk about them and (shame on me, I guess) thought I might get some new likes/follows by posting early about it. Lesson learned and I’ll never discuss it again. No shade on anyone who chided me I just don’t have the bandwidth for it today. ▪️ #ny #newyork #newyorkcity #nyc #manhattan #lowermanhattan #ny1pic #latergram #nofilter #citylove #concretejungle #cityphotography #nycphotographer #iloveny #cityview #streetlife #streetview #streetart #phoebenewyork #collageart #greenwichvillage #chelsea #westvillage #lowerwestside #youcanfindmeanywhere #collage #art #yellow #makeityellow #8thavenue

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How was your week? What are you reading?

Five Reasons to Read Give the Dark My Love This Fall (Blog Tour Post)

Greetings everyone! I’m here today as part of the blog tour for Give the Dark My Love by Beth Revis with five reasons you need to move this book to the top of your fall to read list:

  1. Badass Heroine: I won’t say Nedra is going to be your new best friend (she’s a little intimidating for that) BUT Nedra is driven, smart, and she is not afraid to go after what she wants. Whether that will make her the hero of her story or the villain remains to be seen but that doesn’t make her story any less fascinating.
  2. That Cover: I love the vibe of this cover from the colors to the framing of the model. Plus a lot of the details factor into the story–but you’ll have to read the book yourself to find out which ones!
  3. The Atmosphere: Nedra’s world is moody, dark, and danger lurks everywhere since no one knows where the plague might strike next. In other words this atmospheric setting is everything you’d want to read this fall.
  4. One Word: Necromancers: The magic system in this book focuses heavily on alchemy and, in the case of alchemist gone wrong, necromancy. I don’t know about you but nothing says ready for fall like reading about necromancers who can raise the dead.
  5. It’s Spooky: In case the presence of necromancers didn’t tip you off: Give the Dark My Love is one spooky read. If you are ready for some good scares in advance of Halloween, look no further.

Give the Dark My Love publishes on September 25 so be sure to request it from your local bookstore or library soon.

Want to know more? Check out the synopsis below:

cover art Give the Dark My Love by Beth RevisWhen seventeen-year-old Nedra Brysstain leaves her home in the rural, northern territories of Lunar Island to attend the prestigious Yugen Academy, she has only one goal in mind: learn the trade of medicinal alchemy. A scholarship student matriculating with the children of Lunar Island’s wealthiest and most powerful families, Nedra doesn’t quite fit in with the other kids at Yugen, who all look down on her.

All, except for Greggori “Grey” Astor. Grey is immediately taken by the brilliant and stubborn Nedra, who he notices is especially invested in her studies. And that’s for a good reason: a deadly plague has been sweeping through the North, and it’s making its way toward the cities. With her family’s life–and the lives of all of Lunar Island’s citizens–on the line, Nedra is determined to find a cure for the plague.

Grey and Nedra continue to grow closer, but as the sickness spreads and the body count rises, Nedra becomes desperate to find a cure. Soon, she finds herself diving into alchemy’s most dangerous corners–and when she turns to the most forbidden practice of all, necromancy, even Grey might not be able to pull her from the darkness.

Want to know more? Be sure to check out the other stops on the Blog Tour!

Children of Blood and Bone: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

Eleven years ago magic disappeared. Maji throughout Orïsha were brutally killed, their magic torn away before it could save them. Zélie Adebola remembers the night of the Raid when her mother was murdered and her father broken.

Now the children of the maji, Divîners, and the magicless Kosidán now live at the mercy of King Saran who has Orïsha unrecognizable as the wondrous land it once was.

It’s been a long time since Zélie‘s people had any reason to hope. But after a chance encounter in the marketplace, Zélie crosses paths with Amari–a princess and now a fugitive. Amari has stolen a that could bring magic back. But only if Zélie and her brother Tzain can help Amari outwit their pursuers led by Amari’s brother the crown prince and retrieve the other items needed for a ritual to correct the damage of the Raid eleven years ago in Children of Blood and Bone (2018) by Tomi Adeyemi.

Children of Blood and Bone is Adeyemi’s debut novel. This fantasy is inspired by Nigerian culture and is the blockbuster start to a high fantasy trilogy.

Readers need more books inspired by African cultures, readers need more books with  characters of color in leading roles. Children of Blood and Bone is a huge leap in both areas and helping to the lay the groundwork for more to come. I loved a lot of the characters, I loved the rich settings, and I loved the fast-pacing for the first half of the story.

I was less impressed with some of the plotting and world building–both of which often came across as slapdash.

Children of Blood and Bone fits nicely into what I typically refer to as “fantasy lite”–a subgenre where stories take place in a fantasy setting with high action, some romance, and lots of adventure. These stories sometimes lack a cohesive internal logic particularly when it comes to world building and magic systems. Every time Zélie runs into a problem that her magic can’t solve, the rules change so that she suddenly can. Similarly when circumstances conspire to stop Zélie and Amari in their tracks a deux ex machina appears to help them along.

The dialogue in this novel is snappy and fun but often anachronistic. Interestingly, the novel includes first person narration chapters from Zélie, Amari, and Inan–the crown prince determined to destroy magic even as he fights his growing attraction to Zélie.

Character motivations, particularly in the final act, become muddled as Zélie and readers have to decide once and for all who can be called an ally and who is truly an enemy. Adeyemi populates this story with a vibrant cast of characters in everything from skin tone and body type to personality.

Children of Blood and Bone is an engrossing if overly long fantasy. Excellent characters and action balance out a sloppy ending and underdeveloped world building. Recommended for fantasy readers looking for their next splashy adventure.

Possible Pairings: Roar by Cora Carmack, Truthwitch by Susan Dennard, The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green, For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig, Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi, Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian, Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor, Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser

Witch Born: A Review

cover art for Witch Born by Nicolas BowlingEngland, 1577: Alyce can’t trust anyone after her mother is burned at the stake for practicing witchcraft. With only the barest instructions and a mommet doll to guide her, Alyce heads to London. She hopes it will be easy to follow her mother’s instructions to find the hangman.

Along the way Alyce has to dodge dangerous witch hunters and learn how to trust new friends and allies. But Alyce isn’t the only one in London with a mission. Queen Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots are both searching intently for Alyce. Both queens want to use her, but only one of them for good in Witch Born (2018) by Nicholas Bowling.

Witch Born is a thoroughly researched historical fantasy. Bowling brings the squalor and wonder of the sixteenth century to life along with the near-constant terror of witchcraft. Genuinely frightening witch hunters and evocative settings make this slim novel a page turner.

Because of Alyce’s young age, this novel is also ideal for readers of all ages. Alyce is a winsome heroine sure to endear herself to readers in this gripping debut. Recommended for readers of both fantasy and historical fiction.

Possible Pairings: Tumble and Blue by Cassie Beasley, Savvy by Ingrid Law, Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

*An advance copy of this title was provided by the publisher for review consideration*

Week in Review: September 22

missprintweekreviewThis week on the blog you can check out:

I’m 90% sure no one even reads these updates which might go a long way to explaining why I’m chronically late in posting them.I’m considering moving them to another day but I’m not sure which one–maybe Sunday?

I had a great weekend with a street fair on Saturday and writing group on Sunday.

Here is my favorite post that I shared on Instagram this week:

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A long time ago a witch fell in love with a devil. ▪️ The witch gave the devil her heart and a pact was made in Three Graces. Nothing is bad and nothing changes. The crops don’t fail and no one dies. Everything is good and every seven year the town’s best boy is anointed as a saint to run through the forest to renew the bargain. ▪️ That’s the story Three Graces has always known and always told. But can the story be trusted at all? ▪️ When the bargain needs to be renewed early, Arthur, Mairwen, and Rhun aren’t so sure. An angry boy, a witch, and a saint run into the forest together. They’ll need each other if they hope to change the shape of the bargain and Three Graces before the next Slaughter Moon. ▪️ #instabooks #currentlyreading #amreading #instareads #bookgram #bookworm #bookblogging #bookblogger #bookstagrammer #bibliophile #booklove #bookphotography #instabook #reading #reader #booktography #bookstagram #igreads #booksofinstagram #goodreads #bookaholic #bookish #bookishfeature #bookstafeatures #bookstagramfeature #readersofinstagram #unitedbookstagram #strangegrace #tessagratton #bookinthewoods

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How was your week? What are you reading?

Author Interview: Jen Doll on Unclaimed Baggage

author photo of Jen Doll, credit: Sarah ShatzUnclaimed Baggage follows three teens–outspoken feminist Doris, new girl Nell, and football star Grant–over the course of the summer as they each find an unlikely job sorting and selling other people’s lost luggage at Unclaimed Baggage. It’s the breezy, funny, and ultimately moving unlikely friends story you’ve been waiting for. Today I’m very happy to have Jen Doll on the blog talking a bit more about her debut YA novel.

Miss Print (MP): Can you tell me a bit about your path as a writer? How did you get to this point?

Jen Doll (JD): I was one of those kids who always wanted to be a writer. Like, ALWAYS. When I was little I would create books out of paper that I’d staple together and draw on. Eventually I moved up to spiral-bound notebooks, where I’d write stories, generally with kind of a magical bent. (I wrote a lot about an inch-tall human who could spy on people and get away with everything; I loved books like The Borrowers and The Littles, so, whoops, I kinda stole the concept! Uncool, young me.)

At one point, I told my dad I wanted to be a writer (it was kind of obvious). He’s very practical and was worried about me making a living, and I listened to his concerns and then was like, OK, I’ll be a librarian! Of course, being a librarian is a very important job and it takes a lot of training, and what I really wanted was simply to be surrounded by books, and to write them myself. Which, after going to college and then working in magazine publishing, I started to do again, first just as a hobby. I wrote fiction in my writers’ groups as I transitioned to journalism as a career. I worked at the Village Voice and The Atlantic as a staff writer, and in 2014 I published my memoir about going to weddings, Save the Date. But all along I wanted to write fiction, in particular, a YA novel; I read so much YA, I truly loved it, and I even started writing about it for The Atlantic. I started Unclaimed Baggage back in 2015, I think?… Books take a while! Which is a really good thing, because good things take time.

MP: What was the inspiration for Unclaimed Baggage? How did growing up in Alabama inform your writing of this novel?

JD: It informs it hugely, which is not to say that the town in Unclaimed is the same exact town I grew up in. I took bits and pieces of things, like the Unclaimed Baggage store outpost we had there when I was growing up (in Decatur; the main one is still in Scottsboro), and the great barbecue, and the wave pool and waterpark and balloon festival. But the town in Unclaimed is a lot smaller than Decatur, and the people aren’t based on anyone I knew … except maybe myself.

When I was in fifth grade, my parents moved us from Downers Grove, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, to Decatur. It was a huge social and cultural transition, and for a long time I struggled to fit in. That feeling, and how we all possess it in some way — no matter whether you’ve grown up in a place or just moved to it, no matter where you are in life — is what informs each of my characters and the book itself. We’re all trying to find our place. Friendships, letting in other humans, and being there for them in return, help you get there.

MP: Unclaimed Baggage alternates chapters between Doris, Nell, and Grant’s first person narration. How did you go about creating their three different voices? Did you have a favorite character to write in this novel? What about one you most resemble (or wish you did)? Anyone you’re especially excited for readers to meet?

JD: They were all there from the beginning, which is the sort of thing writers say I think but it’s TRUE. Doris was such a strong voice, she was the one I started with: I had this idea of a character in a small town who just felt like she wasn’t like all the rest. (That definitely comes from me.) Grant is the football star who suddenly isn’t, and I wanted to explore what that means, how it feels to have a fall from grace, and also what it feels like to have a problem—with Grant, it’s drinking—that you don’t know how to cope with. While I’ve never played football, I’ve certainly been in Grant’s place of feeling like the insides and outsides don’t exactly match. And Nell is the new girl in town, straight from the suburbs of Chicago. She’s had to leave her pretty great life and friends and boyfriend behind back North, and she’s annoyed that parents get to make those sorts of calls that totally disrupt teenage lives, without even really asking. (Been there, too!) I loved writing all three of them, as well as secondary characters, even Chassie, the mean girl. Real people are complicated, neither one thing nor the other, and I wanted to show this in all of my characters, who aren’t stereotypes or archetypes but, hopefully, people you can relate to and understand and recognize. (Except maybe one or two of the really rotten ones.)

I wish I was as smart and resourceful as Doris. I don’t know how to put up a tent, either.

I can’t wait for readers to meet a character who comes at the end of the book, who might himself not be YA, but who has a kind of YA heart.

MP: Do you have a favorite scene or a scene you are excited for readers to discover?

JD: There is a particular scene when Grant, Doris, and Nell first really start to let their guards down around each other and become friends. I think it’s hilarious, and I hope readers do, too!

I also really loved writing the suitcase secret. I will leave that at that!

MP: In addition to writing this novel you have published a memoir (Save the Date: The Occasional Mortifications of a Serial Wedding Guest) and written for written for The Atlantic, The New York Times Book Review, and The Week among others. What was it like shifting from writing nonfiction to fiction? What is your writing process like?

JD: My writing process varies day to day and depends on what my first priority is, like if I have a big freelance deadline, that’s what I’m working on, and maybe that’s all I’m working on. Or, if I have a novel or book deadline, that’s what I’m going to have to do then. I’m always changing gears and distracting myself because when something’s due I’ll get really inspired about another project.

I dream of a time when I can get up and work 4 hours on a book, have a nice lunch and walk with the dog, and then do journalistic writing in the afternoon, or something like that. But there is never enough time, and I’m just not organized enough, so really I’m just like WHAT DO I NEED TO DO NEXT, OK, GO! The thing is, I think having all of these varied projects keeps them all interesting and exciting. If I’ve had a break from one, I can’t wait to go back to it! And they all inform each other. Writing is writing.

MP: Can you tell me anything about your next project?

JD: I have another YA novel that’s in the works, also with FSG … it’s too early to talk much about, but it definitely involves friendship between two characters who you might not think have much in common but actually do. And it’s set in a coastal town during the summer, so think beachy/watery/sunshiney vibes. Thematically, it’s about what we see—and what we think we see—and how those things aren’t always the same.

MP: Do you have any advice to offer aspiring authors?

JD: Keep writing. The only way to not write a book is to not write. The rest … well, if you keep going, it’s the only way it can come. Even published authors struggle, and think what they’re doing is silly or stupid and that no one is going to read it. Keep going! Also listen to the voices and think about the stories you keep hearing over and over again (even and especially the ones in your own head)… they’re trying to tell you something. Put it on a page.

Thanks again to Jen for for taking the time to answer some of my questions.

You can see more about Jen on her website.

You can also read my review of Unclaimed Baggage here on the blog.