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Review Round-Up: August 2014

A reference post for myself, to keep track of the books I read and review per month.  Here are August’s books:

August 5th: Ruins by Dan Wells | 3 stars

August 16th: More Than This by Patrick Ness | 5 stars

August 18th: Doll Bones by Holly Black | 2.5 stars

August 28th: The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski | 5 stars

Books read: 8

Books reviewed: 4

stardustgathered:

Karou (from Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor)

Weekly YA Spotlight: A selection of the most anticipated new YA novels released this week (31/08 - 06/08)

Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J. Maas ✤ September 2nd

The Secret Sky by Atia Abawi ✤ September 2nd

Blackfin Sky by Kat Ellis ✤ September 2nd

The Memory Keepers by Natasha Ngan ✤ September 4th

Zac & Mia by A.J. Betts ✤ September 2nd

Shattered (Scorched #2) by Mari Mancusi ✤ September 2nd

Check out the rest of this month’s new YA releases here!

MYBOOKTOPIA’S FOLLOW FOREVER

mybooktopia:

So, as I’ve previously mentioned, I recently reached 1,000 followers, which is one of the coolest things, and I’m so, so grateful. I did say I was going to do a follow forever, so here it is! I originally planned to make a cute banner or graphic to go with this, but I’m the definition of lazy, so nah. Let’s go!

So to start off, I’m aiming at three people – troyelikesboys, readerwithablog and jeremysrenner, aka the squad. You all know how much you mean to me, even if we bully one another on a daily basis, you’re all to precious for me to lose. a-noveltea we’ve been talking for quite some time now – I’m not too sure how long, but I remember we first started talking about the signings you got to go to, and then we just continued to talk. And yesterday I spammed the heck out of your ask box, which I’m terribly sorry for. nerdpunzel I’ve been talking for about 2 weeks, but you’re so cool, and I love seeing you in my ask box, and on my dash! neverendingnovels we’ve also spoken a bit, and talking to you definitely brightened up my time on here, so thank you!

Okay, now I’m doing the long bit, with all those I follow, and I don’t particularly want to spam you all, so I’m just putting it under a read more! Those bolded are the blogs I especially like, and seriously love seeing on my dash/talking to!

Read More

What a great list of book blogs! Thank you for including me and congrats on your follower milestone!

(Source: annaolphant)

ronanczernys:

lit meme » quotes [6/11]

↳ daughter of smoke and bone laini taylor

entertainmentweekly:

Lois Lane to star in a new YA novel. 

My apologies for reporting that Black Dove, White Raven would be released this week! Wein’s U.K. publishers Electric Monkey rescheduled the release date yesterday to September 4th 2014 but that appears to also be incorrect. [x]

Book review: The Winner’s Curse (The Winner’s Curse #1) by Marie Rutkoski

A beautifully written, gripping series starter.  As one of the most anticipated and highly praised new releases of this spring, I’ve had my eye on The Winner’s Curse for a while.  When I finally got my hands on a copy, I read the first half of the novel at snail’s pace, before falling head over heels in love with Rutkoski’s characters and devouring the last half in less than a day.

Rutkoski’s world isn’t as complex or creative as one might expect from a high fantasy novel - The Winner’s Curse is high fantasy only in the most basic sense of the genre’s definition: it is set in an imaginary world. The Valorian Empire is vaguely Greco-Roman, but it is populated by ordinary human beings possessing no magical powers.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing - although I would have liked to see a little more worldbuilding, I feel sure that Rutkoski will develop her world further in the sequels, and I think The Winner’s Curse will appeal to fantasy and historical fiction fans alike.

The high fantasy genre is strewn with innumerable fantastical worlds which borrow elements of Greco-Roman culture and history, but I’ve come across surprisingly few which focus on the imperialism of that era.  Through the greed of the Valorian Empire and their dependence upon slavery, Rutkoski delivers a thought-provoking, biting commentary on human rights, bodily autonomy, and racial tension which is (unfortunately) just as relevant today as it was 2,000 years ago.

The Winner’s Curse starts slow and gradually builds tension, before culminating in a whirlwind of events.  Although I liked the slow burn of the first few chapters as much as the fast paced scenes that followed, I did find that the pacing dragged at times during the first half of the novel.

Rutkoski’s protagonists, Kestrel and Arin, are two of my favourite new young adult characters. Their slowly-developing romantic relationship, which had the potential to be extremely problematic (as one was the slave of the other), was instead handled carefully and thoughtfully, with both characters aware of the imbalance of power between them and the problems it could cause. Kestrel and Arin were the highlight of The Winner’s Curse, both individually and together, and I look forward to seeing more of them in The Winner’s Crime.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Books
Rating: 4 stars | ★★★★✰
Review cross-posted to Goodreads

Buy on Amazon: US | UK

Waiting on Wednesday: The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave #2) by Rick Yancey

Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.

Publisher: Putnam Juvenile/Penguin

Publication date: September 16th 2014

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