Wayfarer: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

*Wayfarer is the conclusion to Bracken’s Passenger duology. It contains major spoilers for book one. If you’re new to the series, start at the beginning with Passenger*

“All of us have had to come to terms with the fact that our loyalty is to time itself. It’s our inheritance, our nation, our history.”

“We can live in the past, but we cannot dwell there.”

Wayfarer by Alexandra BrackenEtta’s preparations for her debut as a concert violinist feel distant in the wake of revelations that she and her mother are part of a long line of time travelers who have drawn Etta into the center of a dangerous battle for power.

Etta has gone around the world and through time searching for a coveted astrolabe that can control and manipulate the timeline itself. She knows the astrolabe has to be destroyed. But she also knows she will need it herself if she hopes to save her mother.

Orphaned by a disastrous change to the timeline, Etta wakes up alone in another place and time separated from Nicholas, her partner throughout this journey. The future that she knows no longer exists. In this new timeline Etta finds unexpected help from Julian Ironwood–Cyrus’s heir, long presumed dead–and an unlikely ally from Etta’s own past.

Nicholas could do nothing to keep Etta with him when she was Orphaned. Now he and Sophia are following every lead–every passage–that they can to find the astrolabe and Etta. Their uneasy alliance is tested by the pursuers far too close behind and the mercenary who may be trying to help Nicholas and Sophia–or stop them.

Separated by time itself Nicholas and Etta will have to face impossible odds, familiar enemies, and a dangerous new power if they hope to reunite and keep the timeline safe in Wayfarer (2017) by Alexandra Bracken.

Wayfarer is the conclusion to Bracken’s latest duology which begins with Passenger. It contains major spoilers for book one. If you’re new to the series, start at the beginning.

Wayfarer picks up shortly after the dramatic conclusion of Passenger. Etta is injured and alone after she is Orphaned while Nicholas is left behind in Nassau where he is forced to rely on Sophia’s knowledge of the passages to hopefully find Etta and the astrolabe before time runs out.

This novel once again alternates close third person narration between Etta and Nicholas (possibly with slightly more time given to Nicholas). Although they are separated at the start of the novel both Etta and Nicholas remain true to each other and confident in each other amidst rampant mistrust and doubts from their allies. The steadfastness of their belief in each other is heartening as almost everything else these characters hold true is thrown into doubt over the course of the story as all of the characters face difficult choices once the full threat of the astrolabe becomes clear.

Bracken expands the world of the travelers in Wayfarer with new characters (be sure to watch out for mercenary Li Min), and new backstory about the origins of the travelers and the four families. Sophia, happily, also plays a bigger role in this story after previously being an antagonist to both Nicholas and Etta. Sophia remains ambitious, angry, and delightfully unapologetic even as she begins to make new choices. The focus of this story also shifts from romance to relationships of a different sort as friendships, partnerships, and other alliances form.

One of the constant themes in this series is trust. In Passenger Etta and Nicholas have to learn how to trust each other and, to some extent, their abilities as travelers (albeit inexperienced ones). Wayfarer, meanwhile, finds both Etta and Nicholas having to form new bonds in order to survive. These changing relationships lend depth and substance to a story that is already rich with historical detail and fully developed characters.

Wayfarer is a brilliant novel about trust, choices, and time travel (of course) filled with romance, action, and more than a few memorable moments. This series is a great introduction to time travel and also ideal for fans of the sub-genre. The perfect conclusion to one of my favorite duologies. Highly recommended.

Possible Pairings: Loop by Karen Akins, Until We Meet Again by Renee Collins, The Infinity of You & Me by J. Q. Coyle, Truthwitch by Susan Dennard, Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly, Chasing Power by Sarah Beth Durst, The Glass Sentence by S. E. Grove, The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig, Hourglass by Myra McEntire, The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski, Passenger by Alexandra Bracken, Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor, All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill, Pivot Point by Kasie West

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

Week in Review: January 1 and 2017 Resolutions

missprintweekreviewThis week on the blog you can check out:

We made it guys. I know it was a hard year for a lot of people and I know that a lot of things are uncertain but the earth kept spinning, we kept moving, and if you’re reading this, you made it all the way through. That, if nothing else, is something worth celebrating.

You still have time to enter my giveaway for a copy of Pick Me Up by Adam J. Kurtz which is a great book to fill out to find ways to encourage yourself and move forward.

Here are four things I’m going to work on in 2017:

  1. I want to be intentional with my actions. In 2016 I was mindful. This year I want to focus on intentions. I want to be kind and thoughtful. I also want to make smart decisions and continue to be the best version of myself. On a very small scale that is manifesting in a plan to shift to cruelty free cosmetics which is still in the early stages. Other plans to come.
  2. I want to use what I already have. I buy too many books and too many things. I want 2017 to be the year I really take stock of what I have and appreciate it. It’s been a while since I first turned to KonMari for organizing my life and I think it’s time to start again. I think my BEA days are over (my shoulders are already thanking me) and I want to continue drilling down through the books I own and getting my to read pile back to a pile instead of a bookcase.
  3. I want to create. This is a holdover from last year but I was thinking about when I stopped really making art or drawing in high school (after my art teacher refused to let me into her AP Art class–yes, I’m still angry) and I don’t want anyone to have that power over me. Also I miss it. I want 2017 to be the year that I work on making something every day whether that’s a thoughtful Instagram post, a poem, a sentence in my novel, or a drawing.
  4. In 2017 you might hear a lot about my idea for a bestselling organization book. It’s going to be 100 pages and every page is going to say the same thing: Put things away once you are finished with them. I have been trying to be intentional (see what I did there?) about doing that since December started and plan to continue in this new year.

Now that I’m done sharing Christmas displays, you might also start seeing more Bookstagram on my Instagram again. Right now I’m super excited about Wayfarer–watch for my review next week.

"All of us have had to come to terms with the fact that our loyalty is to time itself. It's our inheritance, our nation, our history." 🔮 🔮 🔮 "We can live in the past, but we cannot dwell there." 🔮 🔮 🔮 Thanks to @alexbracken I was lucky enough to read Wayfarer early as an arc. My review will be posting on release day next week but it was too pretty to not take a photo for Instagram. 🔮 🔮 🔮 Nicholas and Etta have faced impossible odds and the unique problems of time travel before. But now they are separated across time and continents with the hunt for the astrolabe becoming more urgent. As they search for each other both Etta and Nicholas will have to grapple with the implications of destroying the astrolabe–or using it themselves. As the hunt becomes more urgent Etta, Nicholas, their allies, and even their foes will realize that even travelers never seem to have enough time. Wayfarer is a sensational conclusion to an excellent time travel duology. Start with Passenger and watch for Wayfarer next week! #bookstagram #bookishfeatures #goodreads #instabook #instareads #igreads #booknerd #bibliophile #books #reading #currentlyreading #amreading #bookworm #bookish #bookgram #bookaddict #readwayfarer #wayfarer

A photo posted by Emma (@missprint_) on

If you you want to see how my month in reading is shaking out be sure to check out my January Reading Tracker and my 2016 Reading Tracker Year in Review.

How was your week? What are some good things that happened in 2016? What are your hopes and dreams for 2017? Let’s talk in the comments.

January 2017 Reading Tracker

You can also see what I read in 2016

Books Read:

  1. Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Vol. 3
  2. Saint Death by Marcus Sedgwick
  3. Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Vol. 4
  4. Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Vol. 5
  5. The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett
  6. Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Vol. 6
  7. Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Vol. 7
  8. Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Vol. 8
  9. The Careful Undressing of Love by Corey Ann Haydu

Books On Deck:

  1. Frostblood by Elly Blake (Jan. 17)
  2. Caraval by Stephanie Garber (Jan. 31)

Books Bought:

  1. Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken (signing/ARC upgrade)

ARCs Received:

  1. The Last Harvest by Kim Liggett (not requested, thanks Tor–I have a bad track record with horror so . . .)
  2. Artemis by George O’Connor (not requested, thanks First:Second)
  3. Gilded Cage by Vic James (Amazon Vine)
  4. The Life Fantastic by Liza Ketchum (unrequested, Merit Press)
  5. If You Were Here by Jennie Yarbroff (unrequested, Merit Press)
  6. Snowbirds by Crissa-Jean Chappell (unrequested, Merit Press)

January 1: I’m not doing a big resolution post this year because I just don’t feel like that’s where I need to be right now and I still just want to be more intentional with things (trying to go cruelty free with cosmetics, trying to use what I have–no new bags or accessories, etc.). I’m trying a new thing where I keep track of ARCs to read in this post. I don’t care about reading ahead of time because I like posting book reviews a bit after books are available so I’m just tracking books I have in hand that are out this month to read. We’ll see how long that lasts.

January 1: Tracking my BEA books from last year has turned into a bit of a fail just because I’m not feeling very committed to reading through them (despite paying an obscene amount of money to ship them home from Chicago). Whatever.

2016 Reading Tracker Year in Review

It’s time for my annual break down of my reading tracker posts for the year.

January:

  • Read: 11
  • Bought: 2
  • ARCs: 21

February:

  • Read: 8
  • Bought: 1
  • ARCs: 4

March:

  • Read: 10
  • Bought: 3
  • ARCs: 7

April:

  • Read: 10
  • Bought: 0
  • ARCs: 4

May:

  • Read: 8
  • Bought: 2
  • ARCs: 6 (these are outside of BEA ARCs which I tracked in a separate post)

June:

  • Read: 9
  • Bought: 5 (I ordered from BookOutlet twice this year and legit forgot!)
  • ARCs: 0

July:

  • Read: 14
  • Bought: 2
  • ARCs: 1

August:

  • Read: 15
  • Bought: 9 (Book Outlet rears its head)
  • ARCs: 5

September:

  • Read: 16
  • Bought: 1
  • ARCs: 4

October:

  • Read: 10
  • Bought: 2
  • ARCs: 4

November:

  • Read: 8
  • Bought: 1
  • ARCs: 1

December:

  • Read: 18
  • Bought: 0
  • ARCs: 2

Yearly Totals:

  • Read: 137
  • Bought: 28
  • ARCs: 55

Details:

According to Goodreads I read 239 books but that includes a lot of picture books. I’ve started tracking comics/graphic novels/manga in my tracker on here and comparing the numbers that jives with my reading in general: 137 books/comics and 102 picture books.

I’m happy with these numbers. I read more books in general but I also read a lot of longer books. This year on Goodreads I read the most pages since I actually started tracking books meticulously. I’m floored by the volume of books I read some months. I think partly that’s a result of really not wanting to waste time on books I know do not work for me once I know enough to determine whether or not I can recommend it professionally or here on the blog.

I had been feeling major guilt about all of the books that I bought but it turns out I only bought 5 more than last year (granted, nowhere near my goal of 12 for the year). It also doesn’t reflect the immense work I’ve been doing in giving away my owned books.This year I gave away a lot of books at work (I lost count), and donated 30 to Toys for Tots in December. I still have a lot of books at home and should definitely go through my shelves again soon. But it’s progress!

ARCs this year (and actually bought books too) got a little weird because I wound up with a lot of duplicates so I think my real ARC number might be more like 48 but I’ll continue breaking down with the 55 listed in my tracker.

Here’s how I got those 55 ARCs:

  • Unrequested from publishers: 8
  • Amazon Vine: 14
  • Requested: 26
  • Gifts from friends (Nicole from ALA especially): 10

I’m pretty happy with those numbers because taking out the gifts/unsolicited books that brings me down to 35 (not counting BEA) which is much more reasonable and I think I’ll be able to cut that down even more going forward because looking at what I requested it definitely wound up including some titles I didn’t read or books I got elsewhere.

So that’s my year in reading according to the blog. You can also see my year in books on Goodreads. And check out my Top Ten list for 2016.

Wild Swans: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

Wild Swans by Jessica SpotswoodThe Milbourn legacy started with Ivy’s great grandmother–a talented painter who killed herself and two of her children by driving in front of a train. Dorothea survived the crash and went on to meticulously journal her life, win a Pulitzer for her poetry, and be murdered by her lover’s wife. Ivy’s mother fled her responsibilities as a mother and a Milbourn when Ivy was two-years-old. Ivy hasn’t seen her mother since.

Now Ivy is seventeen and looking forward to a summer free of the responsibilities of being a Milbourn and the numerous enrichment classes that Granddad usually encourages in his efforts to support Ivy and find her latent Milbourn talent. Those plans fall apart when her mother comes home unexpectedly with two daughters who have never met, or even heard, about Ivy.

Confronted with the reality of her mother’s indifference and her family’s broken edges, Ivy begins to crack under the pressures of her unexpected summer. Ivy finds solace in poetry, swimming, and a beautiful tattooed boy but she isn’t sure any of that will be enough to help her determine her own legacy in Wild Swans (2016) by Jessica Spotswood.

Wild Swans is Spotswood’s first foray into contemporary fiction and demonstrates her range as an author. This novel is grounded in the creativity and madness of the Milbourn women whose shadows haunt Ivy even as she struggles to find her own place among her talented ancestors.

This character-driven story is a charming and effective book. The story is quiet in terms of action, a fact that is balanced well with Spotswood’s characterization and ensemble cast. This relatively slim slice-of-life story touches on poetry, feminism, family, and even transgender identity.

Wild Swans is an introspective and evocative story about family, inspiration, and choice. Highly recommended for fans of contemporary fiction, readers (and writers of poetry), and feminists (or proto-feminists) of all ages.

Possible Pairings: The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen, Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier, We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, Even in Paradise by Chelsey Philpot, What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones, The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma, Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson, The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

You can also read Jessica’s guest post for Poetically Speaking about this novel and the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay!

Top Ten: 2016

This is my annual list of favorite books that I read and reviewed this year.

Break Me Like a Promise and This Raging Light were the two books that were most impactful to me and the two I most desperately needed to read this year. I haven’t stopped thinking about The Star-Touched Queen and In Some Other World, Maybe since I finished them. Passenger has become a defining book of key moments of this year and last (which is why I have three copies of it). Bookishly Ever After, Iron Cast, Tell Me Three Things, Three Dark Crowns, My Lady Jane, and The Museum of Heartbreak were all delightful surprises this year. Hands down, The Anatomy of Curiosity is one of the most inspiring books I have read. Ever.

You can click the cover photos to read my reviews. Since it’s 2016, I’m giving myself ten slots plus up to six honorable mentions. Alphabetical by author because picking favorites any more specifically is too hard.

Top Ten:

Bookishly Ever After by Isabel BandeiraPassenger by Alexandra BrackenTell Me Three Things by Julie BuxbaumThe Star-Touched Queen by Roshani ChokshiIn Some Other World, Maybe by Shari Goldhagen

  • Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira
  • Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
  • Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
  • The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
  • In Some Other World, Maybe by Shari Goldhagen

This Raging Light by Estelle LaureThe Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter HapgoodBreak Me Like a Promise by Tiffany SchmidtIron Cast by Destiny SoriaThe Anatomy of Curiosity by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, Brenna Yovanoff

  • This Raging Light by Estelle Laure
  • The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood
  • Break Me Like a Promise by Tiffany Schmidt
  • Iron Cast by Destiny Soria
  • The Anatomy of Curiosity by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, Brenna Yovanoff

Honorable Mentions:

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh BardugoThree Dark Crowns by Kendare BlakeMy Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows

  • Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
  • Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
  • My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi HeiligThe Museum of Heartbreak by Meg LederThis Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

  • The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
  • The Museum of Heartbreak by Meg Leder
  • This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

 

This list is also a Pinterest board.

End of Year Giveaway: Pick Me Up by Adam J. Kurtz

Pick Me Up by Adam J. KurtzI heard about Pick Me Up by Adam J. Kurtz in one of the most inventive pitch emails I’ve received as a blogger. My interested immediately piqued, I requested a review copy which I’m currently working with and planning to review in January (for the new year). And I also have a copy to giveaway to one reader.

To explain exactly what Pick Me Up is (and why it ties so well with my resolution to be more mindful this year) let me quote the summary from Kurtz’s website:

PICK ME UP: A Pep Talk For Now & Later is a new interactive book-journal-guide-thing from the artist/author of 1 Page at a Time that will help you write and draw your own way through the dark parts.

This weird, optimistic book pushes you along with unexpected prompts, “existential activities,” some dark humor, and pages that keep you #connected, even when you feel alone. More than anything, you’ll build your own guide now for figuring shit out later – because someone telling you to “cheer up” is infuriating, but a pep talk from yourself might just work.

Pick it up and leave your mark. When you come back, leave a little more. Watch yourself change as you record and reflect on where you are and where you’re going.

Thanks to the publisher, I am excited to have a copy to giveaway to a US reader.

The giveaway will run from today through January 3.

TO ENTER: Leave a comment on this post with one good thing that happened in 2016 (there has to be something, right?) OR one way you’re hoping to pick yourself up in 2017.

(No need to follow me or promote this giveaway but it would be appreciated.)