Monday Memories: Blackfin Sky

Monday Memories is a weekly feature hosted by Miss Print and the Book Bandit. Monday Memories will be ending today on December 29 after which this weekly feature will no longer be active.

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This week for Monday Memories I’m talking about Blackfin Sky by Kat Ellis

Blackfin Sky by Kat Ellis

At first I wasn’t sure what book I should talk about for this last Monday Memories. But then I realized Blackfin Sky was the just right choice because I almost never read (or even heard of) this book.

I’m a member of the YALSA’s 2015 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults committee. Because of that I have been getting a not-insignificant number of books in the mail. Some are books that are not eligible or books I don’t need to read for my sub-lists. Some are books I’ve already read.

Then some of them are gems like this one.

It’s easy as a blogger (and librarian) to think you must be finding all of the books worth seeing. But aside from being physically impossible, that also misses the point sometimes. As a blogger and librarian reading can often feel like work. Because it is work. I read for professional development and collection development and to do my job better. I read so that I’ll have things to talk about on this blog.

But I also read because I love it.

There was something magical about this strange supernatural mystery landing in my hands and there is something magical about finding those just-right books.

Even if I won’t be sharing more memories here on Mondays, I hope everyone makes time for a little whimsy in their reading lives.

If you want to join the fun one last time, just add your link below.

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Monday Memories: The Winner’s Curse

Monday Memories is a weekly feature hosted by Miss Print and the Book Bandit. Monday Memories will be ending on December 29 after which this weekly feature will no longer be active.

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This week for Monday Memories I’m talking about The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski.

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about this book before Monday Memories came to a close. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this books so I was able to read it early and had ample time to harass people to read it (even interviewing Marie on the blog tour which was a thrill).

It’s no exaggeration to say that this is one of my favorite books not only of 2014 but of all time. I am usually one of those horrible people who doesn’t buy books and instead holds onto ARCs (I just don’t have that much coin to spend on books, sorry) but this one I made an exception and bought a hardcover (something I plan to do with the rest of the series).

It’s thrilling to see a series I love so much getting so much attention with best of lists and good sales and I’m beyond excited to see how it all comes together by the end of the series.

The Winner’s Curse also reminds me a lot of Megan Whalen Turner’s glorious Queen’s Thief series so this one has the bonus of filling a Eugenides shaped hole in my heart now that I’m caught up with that series.

If you want to join the fun (until Monday Memories shuts down at the end of December), just add your link below.

Monday Memories: Dearest

Monday Memories is a weekly feature hosted by Miss Print and the Book Bandit. Monday Memories will be ending on December 29 after which this weekly feature will no longer be active.

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This week for Monday Memories I’m talking about Dearest by Alethea Kontis.

Dearest by Alethea Kontis

I’m a big fan of Alethea’s Woodcutter Sisters series and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the publishing stars align to get all seven books published. Enchanted and Hero are both delightfully madcap fairy tale remixes and this one is no different.

When Nicole and I headed to BEA back in May, I had a couple of must-meet authors at different signings. I also had two books that I knew would be at BEA as ARCs which I warned Nicole I had to find. In fact, I warned her I might cry and be otherwise inconsolable if I didn’t get them. Those books were Mortal Heart and Dearest.

I even (insanely) suggested we head to a book signing after a FULL DAY at BEA so that I could get this among other book signed. As you can see above Alethea has basically the best signature in the entire world.

I’m waiting to review this one closer to the release date (which is why it took me so many months to read it to begin with!) but Dearest was very enjoyable. Friday is a very different kind of heroine from her two younger sisters. She is also a bit different in the world of YA lit because she is largely content. A lot happens and changes for her in the book but before that Friday’s life is full and she is happy. Even after the book her life is full and she is happy. And that’s a beautiful thing to see.

So I hope you all consider picking up this series, and this volume in particular, some time soon.

If you want to join the fun (until Monday Memories shuts down at the end of December), just add your link below.

Monday Memories: My True Love Gave to Me

Monday Memories is a weekly feature hosted by Miss Print and the Book Bandit. Just take a photo of a book from your personal library (or a library book that’s significant to you, etc.) and talk about why it matters. Is it your first ever signed book? The first book you reviewed on your blog? Whatever it is, write it up in a Monday Memories post and share it. Just please link back if you decide to join!

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This week for Monday Memories I’m talking about My True Love Gave to Me, a collection of holiday short stories edited by Stephanie Perkins.

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I’ve been excited about this book since I heard about it earlier this year. Christmas is my favorite holiday and this collection includes stories from some of my favorite authors–what’s not to love?

I’ve had some good experiences with short story anthologies and some bad ones. Happily, this was a good one where I enjoyed all of the stories with a couple that even made me tear up a bit. In particular I was completely enchanted with Jenny Han’s story. The real surprise here, however, was when Kiersten White’s story made me cry (in a good way). I was so taken with her story that I went out and read Illusions of Fate soon after. I might even be a White fan now.

Back in July I was lucky enough to land an ARC from Amazon’s Vine program so I also got to read this book fairly early. Even though it came out in October, I’ve waited until now to review it because I wanted it to be in season.

Last month when Nicole told me many of the authors in this collection were going to be in NYC on December 4 for a big signing event, you can bet I was excited. Hearing about the event led to several days of back and forth planning as Nicole and I coordinated for the event. We also decided it would be a perfect Dash and Lily Day adventure (something we do every year to celebrate another Christmas favorite Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares).

Here’s how excited we were:

 

If you want to join the Meme fun, just add your link below.

Monday Memories: The Time-Traveling Fashionista On Board the Titanic

Monday Memories is a weekly feature hosted by Miss Print and the Book Bandit. Just take a photo of a book from your personal library (or a library book that’s significant to you, etc.) and talk about why it matters. Is it your first ever signed book? The first book you reviewed on your blog? Whatever it is, write it up in a Monday Memories post and share it. Just please link back if you decide to join!

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This week for Monday Memories I’m talking about The Time-Traveling Fashionista On Board the Titanic by Bianca Turetsky as part of a multi-day celebration of this delightful series. You can check back on Wednesday for my review of the book and on Thursday I’ll have an interview with Bianca.

timetravelfashionistatitanicI first heard about this series before it was officially a series. Back in 2011 I trekked to a bookstore, alone, to go to an event because Sarah Rees Brennan and Gail Carson Levine were both part of a panel. These authors almost never do signings and I am a huge fan of both so this was a big deal.

It was a really fun panel and Bianca was a part of it talking about her first novel which was then called The Time-Traveling Fashionista and just recently published. The series sounded great and looked beautiful with its vibrant illustrations but it wasn’t an immediate priority to read.

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Fast forward to 2010. I’m working as a bookseller at that same bookstore and find Bianca’s books on the shelves. I am pleasantly surprised to see the book is now part of a series with a new cover (shown above) and a more appropriate title of The Time-Traveling Fashionista on Board the Titanic. But still, because I’m silly, I didn’t sit down to read the book.

Fast forward again to September 2014. I’ve been at my job as a YA librarian for a few months and I am scheduled to introduce an author next month as a school visit event. Who would the author be but Bianca Turetsky? Finally, I sit down and read this book in almost one sitting. It is an absolutely perfect middle grade (or YA on the younger end of the spectrum) with a great blend of fashion and history. I was enchanted.

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Almost immediately after finishing the book I hunted Bianca down online and inquired about an interview. Bianca said yes. I introduced her at the author visit where she was fantastic–she even brought along the vintage dress that inspired the book!

And the rest, as they say, is history.

If you want to join the Meme fun, just add your link below.

Monday Memories: And We Stay

Monday Memories is a weekly feature hosted by Miss Print and the Book Bandit. Just take a photo of a book from your personal library (or a library book that’s significant to you, etc.) and talk about why it matters. Is it your first ever signed book? The first book you reviewed on your blog? Whatever it is, write it up in a Monday Memories post and share it. Just please link back if you decide to join!

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This week for Monday Memories I’m talking about And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard.

And We Stay by Jenny HubbardI read And We Stay in January right after it published. I got a copy through Amazon Vine when I was taken by the cover and intrigued by the premise. When I saw that Elizabeth Wein also blurbed this book, I knew that this one would be a winner.

It did not disappoint. In the intervening months I have found myself thinking about this book often as I return again and again to the smart things Hubbard, through her characters, had to say about feminism and friendship in this story. The integration of poetry is also stunningly done.

This is a quiet book. Maybe even what could be called a slow burn. But it is also an exceedingly satisfying read whether you are a poetry lover or not.

If you want to join the Meme fun, just add your link below.

Monday Memories: The Birthright Series

Monday Memories is a weekly feature hosted by Miss Print and the Book Bandit. Just take a photo of a book from your personal library (or a library book that’s significant to you, etc.) and talk about why it matters. Is it your first ever signed book? The first book you reviewed on your blog? Whatever it is, write it up in a Monday Memories post and share it. Just please link back if you decide to join!

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Today for Monday Memories I’m talking about three books: All These Things I’ve Done, Because It Is My Blood and In the Age of Love and Chocolate.

All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle ZevinBecause It Is My Blood by Gabrielle ZevinIn the Age of Love and Chocolate by Gabrielle Zevin

These books are special to me for lots of reasons. I’ve followed these books from the first ARCs were out for book one. I’ve interviewed Gabrielle about all of them. And, amazingly, my reviews have appeared in the paperbacks of books 1 and 2.

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These books also got me through an incredibly hard time not once but twice as I read them while my mom was in the hospital. Which is around the time I received a set of the books from Gabrielle in the mail with this postcard:

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In a really rough period, this one package made my month and reminded me that even when things get awful, there can be bright spots.

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It’s hard to sum up how much love I have to this series and its heroine in words but I really hope you’ll read them (and love them) too.