Sunday, May 19, 2013

Ramblings and the Week to Come 19MAY13

Comment of the Week:
I am so lucky to get to read your thoughts every day (also I am all caught up on replying to comments!) and I really appreciate every one who takes the time to stop by and say hi to me. This week, I got this insightful comment from the ladies at We Heart YA on my review of the much-discussed novel September Girls by Bennett Madison:
This book... is an interesting case study, we think. As you say, it's more literary than commercial, but the marketing hasn't really explained it well, so readers go in with different expectations. Furthermore, what is the target audience for a book like this? Not the typical YA readers, it would seem. And yet so many YA authors have praised it, so... where's the disconnect? We don't necessarily have the answers, but we feel like someone should. And perhaps the fact that no one seems to be really clear on it is the reason it's such a polarizing read.
I originally requested the book because I saw that Maggie Stiefvater praised it. The book also got starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly. But it has been largely eviscerated by the YA book blogging community. What is going on here? Personally this was a great lesson to me to trust my instincts and to wait on the opinions of people I trust more because the bloggers who did write about this are ones who I have a connection with and whose views on books I implicitly trust.

Received:
I've stopped requesting so many books as I'm trying to cut back on that but I do have two to mention this week. First up is The Sword Dancer by Jeannie Lin, received for review from the author actually a while ago but I forgot to spotlight it. Review is coming in June. I really enjoy Lin's writing so I have high expectations for this one.


The other is Tumble and Fall by Alexandra Coutts. I'm so surprised to have been approved for this on Netgalley! This is one I've seen on a ton of WOW posts and while I have serious love for the cover, I'm not entirely sure it matches the plot summary; we'll see. This is scheduled to release September 17 so a review will be posted closer to the release date.

Reading:
I hit a bit of a wall this week and responded by reading non-review books: Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg (the facebook COO), Mr. Monk Gets Even by Lee Goldberg (the fifteenth and the last one he will write), and Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist. None of these books are YA and I don't feel like I have much to write about them but I can tell you that I enjoyed reading them immensely. I think I gave them all 5 stars and I've talked about them with people in real life actually. If you have any thoughts or would like to know more, leave me a comment. I have two more books I plan to read without necessarily reviewing: Quiet by Susan Cain about introverts and Without a Summer by Mary Robinette Kowal, the third book in her fantasy series that draws a bit from Jane Austen but is also increasingly standing on its own. I believe I reviewed the first two books but I may or may not review this third.

Week to Come:
Dare You To by Katie McGarry-although Pushing the Limits wasn't a fave of mine, I was still invested enough to check out this second book; did I like it more?
The Flame in the Mist by Kit Grindstaff appears to be a standalone fantasy-worth checking out just for that!
The Tell-Tale Start by Gordon McAlpine is the first book in a new MG series featuring a brilliant set of twins
Once Upon a Prince by Rachel Hauck features a killer concept about an ordinary American falling in love with a prince-how could I resist?
The Girl with the Iron Touch by Kady Cross is the third book in the Steampunk Chronicles-I have been eagerly anticipating it!
The S Word by Chelsea Pitcher or Without a Summer by Mary Robinette Kowal-not sure which I'll have the motivation to read and blog about

18 comments:

  1. Tumble looks good, hope you enjoy.
    Brandi’s mailbox

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    1. Doesn't it? I was so jazzed to get the email about approval!

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  2. Very curious to see what you think of Dare You To. I liked PTL more, but other people have felt the opposite.

    Hope you have a great week. And Hawaii -- I'm SO jealous!

    You can find me here: Jen @ YA Romantics

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    1. I'm surprised you preferred PTL as I did like Dare You To more. I have so much to get done before we leave but it's going to be so good!

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  3. I am looking forward to your reviews coming up this week. I hope you have a great week.

    Thanks for stopping by
    Jenea @ Books Live Forever's Sunday Post

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    1. Thank you for stopping by-hope your week rocks!

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  4. I'm excited to see all your upcoming reviews! I, too, received Tumble & Fall, and I'm wary to read it until I see some reviews from my favourite bloggers. I trust the recommendations of certain bloggers, and I know that if something doesn't work for them, it likely won't work for me. I guess we'll see!

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    1. I really am hoping for good things from T&F-it just looks so good!

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  5. I liked Dare You To much more than Pushing the Limits. I wasn't expecting that and I liked that the author and the book surprised me.

    I need to read The Girl with the Iron Touch. I meant to start it this weekend but decided to put it off for awhile till I am in the mood for it.

    Sometimes I wish I didn't have to write reviews for the books I read :) I kind of miss my pre-blogging days because reading was just for fun and there was less pressure about it!

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    1. I am considering possibly only reviewing 5 books a week instead of 6 to give myself more grace in what I do and do not review. It's hard for me to predict which books I will actually want to review ahead of time though as sometimes I have so much to say and other times I'm mute.

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  6. I love the Mr. Monk books. I'm sad that will be the last one.

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    1. It might not be the last one but it will be the last one from Goldberg-not sure if they'll try to find another author.

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  7. Tumble and Fall sounds so wonderful. Yes you should definitely always trust just those people you know who's likes/dislikes align with yours. That's why I don't really read read the reviews til after I've read the book. I look at their rating and usually skim the last paragraph because that's usually where I notice reviewers put their overall thoughts.

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    1. It's just been such a surprise how much the professional critical reviews can lead me astray but a good reminder to trust those who I trust-there's a reason for that trust!

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  8. I've had September Girls for awhile, and after seeing so many crazy negative reactions to it, I'm really scared of starting it. But I don't always agree with the reviewers who have hated it, and I do like Maggie Stiefvater, so....I think I just need to find out for myself!

    I just got T&F, too. Will be good to compare notes. :)

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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    1. I would love to see your review of September Girls-you write great reviews and if you like it, it would help me reconsider my reaction to it.

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  9. Tumble & Fall looks good and I can't wait to read it. Hope you enjoy your books this week!

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    1. I love the cover for T&F so much-I know I said that already but it bears repeating. Hope your week is great!

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