Friday, August 28, 2015

A Girl Called Fearless by Catherine Linka

YA Friday! Today I have a review of a release from St. Martin's Griffin, A Girl Called Fearless by Catherine Linka. The second book in the series, A Girl Undone, was just released June 23, 2015.

The Story-
10 years ago a synthetic beef hormone killed fifty million American women. Only young women, old women, vegetarians, men and boys survived. Avie lives the life of a wealthy privileged teen growing up in Los Angeles. She goes to a private school where she learns how to be a good wife and mother, but that's not all Avie wants to be. She wants to go to college and explore the world. She wants to date who she wants and fall in love. However, in this new world, the Paternalists keep girls in a gilded cage, selling them off to the highest bidder.

When Avie's father sells her, she wants to escape to Canada with Yates, a boy whom she has budding feelings about. However, security is tight, as she's been sold to one of the wealthiest men in America. Running away is dangerous. Staying is not in her plans.

My Thoughts-
This book is very thought provoking. At first I chaffed at the way these young girls were treated, but then I saw the reality, that this could be possible. Just like a government that has no checks or balance system, these Paternalists ruled the roost and were able to pass any law they favored with little opposition. The rights of women where overlooked for their own "safety". And with the dominate voting group being male, women now could make no changes in government. It was an absolute abuse of power, and it made me mad as I read. Yes, a book that made me think and feel.

I also loved that the book headed in a direction I didn't think of. When I picked it up I thought it would be an adventure about Avie's escape into Canada. Boy, was I wrong. This book delves deeper into the injustices occurring and the rights of the few who are trying to stop an overwhelming majority. I also at first questioned the title. Avie is in no ways fearless in the book. In fact, it is only in the last sentence where the reader sees the change in Avie  and understands that it is not about fear, but about her standing up for what's right while being afraid. A thought provoking and interesting read. 4 stars!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Fan Art Thursday! Here is art from The Maze Runner by James Dashner. This rendering is of Newt and the artist is Argentwolfsbane. Check her out on Tumblr!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Anna Banana, and the Friendship Slip by Anica Mrose Rissi

*Don't forget there is only 1 week left to enter The Glass Sentence Giveaway!

Once again Middle Grade Monday is upon us and I am happy to share with everyone a review of a really cute read, Anna Banana, and the Friendship Split by Anica Mrose Rissi, illustrated by Meg Park.

The Story-
 It is Anna's birthday and her best friend Sadie is over to celebrate. When Anna goes to blow out her candles and make a wish, Sadie convinces her to wish for a pony. Going against what she personally wants, Anna listens to Sadie, and later is surprised when she opens up a present with a beautiful pony necklace. Her wish came true!

Instead of being happy for Anna, Sadie turns mean and wants to steal Anna's dog, Banana. When that doesn't work, she takes Anna's new necklace claiming it is half hers anyway because she came up with the wish in the first place. Anna doesn't know what to do, and tries her very best to make up with Sadie, even saying sorry when things weren't her fault. Nothing seems to work until Anna decides to stiffen her spine and be mean right back. It makes her feel awful, but it works, and Sadie realizes she still wants to be friends.

My Thoughts-
This story rang true to me. I can remember well the angst of childhood and the cat fights between us young girls. This book is dead on as it addresses childhood behavior. Sadie's behavior is awful and poor Anna will do anything to win back her best friend. As an adult I couldn't help but think Anna would be better off without Sadie, but for a child, they would only feel as if they'd done something wrong and try to fix things.

I like that the parents and teacher are portrayed as trusted and intelligent individuals. The school setting will be familiar to children as well as the different events that take place. My only issue was that we never find out why Sadie is suddenly so mean and hateful. There is no satisfaction for the reader about Sadie. Anna just thinks that thinks are A Okay as soon as Sadie starts playing with her again. For that reason, I'm giving this read 4 stars!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Great Expectations Fan Art

Fan Art Thursday! Today I have a really cool sketch from Great Expectations that I found on Tumbler. The artist is an art student and this is one of her studies. Amazing. Feel free to follow.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Decline in Publishing Sales and what it means for Authors

Welcome to Inside the Publishing World Wednesday! Well, stats are out from publishers and things are not looking good. Usually the adult market is seen as slow, but now even Children's books are taking a hit. What does this mean for authors? It means it will be even harder to hook that agent or editor. They will be slimming the already narrow pool of potential hits, to certain hits. Yikes.

 PW says, "Financial results released by three major trade publishers within the last 10 days reflect the challenges publishers are facing in a market that is seeing little, if any, top-line growth. The most recent results from the Association of American Publishers StatShot program (see p. 5) showed that through April, combined sales of the adult and children’s/young adult segments were down 1.4% compared to the first four months of 2014. The lack of industry growth has made it more important for publishers to continually find big hits or else risk a sales decline. The inability to match major bestsellers released in the fist half of 2014 in this year’s fist six months was cited as a key factor in the drops in revenue at Hachette Book Group and Simon & Schuster."

For the full article go HERE.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Book Review and Giveaway- The Glass Sentence by S.E. Grove

It's been a few hectic weeks here, but I am happy to have a post for Middle Grade Monday :) Today I have a review of The Glass Sentence by S.E. Grove. I have my review copies to give away of both books 1 and 2 in this series! Just fill out the rafflecopter form below to enter. Good Luck!

The Story-
 Sophia Tims lives in a world turned upside down and inside out. Sometime at the beginning of the 19th century, the world timeline was disrubted and now the earth is divided into different time periods that range from the prehistoric tundra to the far future. Sophia lives in Boston 1891, a part of the twelve colonies now known as New Occident. She lives with her mapmaker Uncle, Shadrack Elli, because her mom and dad disappeared years earlier on an expedition.

Troubled times are upon New Occident, where politicians want to seal off their land to all other time lines and kick out anyone not a native. Shadrack is against this ruling, and due to his outspoken voice (and map making knowledge) he is kidnapped. Only Sophia can save him, but it will take her on a journey of danger through the ages.

My Thoughts-
What an amazing story! I felt blown away by the originality of the plot and the creativity of the author's details. A book for older middle graders, this story will take some thoughtful insight to delve into. The most magical creation is with the use of maps. Shadrack is able to make and read maps built from wood, water, paper and fabric. Maps that actually transplant the map reader into the physical, emotional or sensory images of the original map maker. A wondrous idea.

Then there are the faceless creatures that stalk the Bad Lands. I have to admit that these wailing lost souls gave me the creeps. I couldn't figure out what they were, and the author does an amazing job keeping it a secret until the end of the book. There is great tension as the story builds, memories are stolen, and parts of the world are seemingly erased.

Another great ending twist is the revelation of a map that Sophia believes hides the secrets to the demise of a previous world. As this map's history unfolds the reader is filled with mystery and when the secret is revealed, it is a surprise. I always feel that a book that surprises me should get extra points.

So, if you are looking for something new, try this book. The first in a series, book 2, The Golden Specific was just released in May 2015. 5 stars!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Summer Rush

Sorry I haven't been around. This summer has been busier than usual. Things should be back up to speed next week with new book reviews, fan art and a giveaway! Until then, enjoy the sun��