Top Ten Tuesday was started by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday there’s a different topic. This week’s Top Ten is 2016 debuts I’m most excited about/looking forward to.
Release date: January 26th 2016
An alternate history story of World War 2 where women are eligible to be drafted after a court ruling. Front Lines follows three young women as they enlist, each for her own reasons, rather than wait to see if they get drafted: Rio Richlin, Frangie Marr, and Rainy Schultermann. Rio fights for her sister, Frangie’s family needs to money she can send back to them, and Rainy wants to put her intelligence to use killing Germans. It won’t be an easy road for any of them but they will show the world that women can fight.
I’m a really big fan of historical novels and of alternate history plots so I was really excited for this one to come out. The plot sounded really interesting and I was curious to see how women would be added to the war in regards to the plotline. Would they actually get to fight or was it more of a ‘women are here because the courts ordered us to allow them but don’t let them fight’ type of story. I was happy to see these girls and the other female volunteers would be fighting, right alongside the men. There were, of course, people who still didn’t think the girls belonged even after they’d proven themselves.
The book was told in three major parts. The beginning had each girl’s story of how they came to enlist, their reasoning, their backstories, their family life. Each girl was well developed before she even set foot into a recruiting station. We saw Rio’s sense of duty and desire to not be left behind, we saw Frangie’s compassion with her sick animals and need to help her family, we saw Rainy’s bond with her brother and her ability to problem solve. The second part was their basic training. Each girl was at a different location and we saw them struggle and succeed and bond with their unit. The third part was the war and we saw how unprepared they were, even with all the training, because now it was real.
The plot was slow moving at first, not in a boring way, but there was a lot of get through with each character before she could start training and then fight in the war. It was done so we cared about these girls before they even stepped foot inside their barracks and we cared about them making it through their training. It didn’t shy away from the situations the girls had to deal with as female soldiers who weren’t wanted there by everyone. It made you care about the other girls and the guys in the girls’ units and it hurt because the chances of all the characters I liked surviving was slim, and I knew that going into the book.
I found that I most enjoyed Rio’s POV of the three. There seemed to be more action and more characters during her POV, which meant more dynamics between the soldiers in her unit. Frangie and Rainy’s POVs were great as well but they spent more time solo than with other people so there was less connection with other people. It was easy to get sucked into each POV though and it made me glad to learn this book was the first in a series because I can’t wait to see more of Rio, Frangie, Rainy, and the whole ensemble of characters that make up their units.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I am notorious for being very, very particular about where my books go on my shelves. I have reasons why they’re placed where they are. They might not make sense to anyone else but they make sense to me, so that’s all that matters. Every now and then my reasons will change or there will be an influx of new books(looking at you April/May/September) that will make it necessary for the system to be tweaked. Every Friday(hopefully) I’ll be posting a picture of one shelf and explaining the reasoning behind it. By the time I’ve posted every shelf section, it’ll be time to re-arrange and start all over again.
Court of Fives – Kate Elliot
Sylo – DJ McHale
Storm – DJ McHale
Strike – DJ McHale
Of Poseidon – Anna Banks
Of Triton – Anna Banks
Of Neptune – Anna Banks
Messenger of Fear – Michael Grant
The Tattooed Heart – Michael Grant
Belzhar – Meg Wolitzer
Arclight – Josin L McQuien
Meridian – Josin L McQuien
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer – Michelle Hodkin
The Evolution of Mara Dyer – Michelle Hodkin
The Retribution of Mara Dyer – Michelle Hodkin
Illusions of Fate – Kiersten White
Landry Park – Bethany Hagen
This shelf is a bit of a mismash of books. It’s actually the same shelf as my two vampire series(Morganville and Chicagoland) but in behind them. Easiest way for a series to land in the second shelf slot is to have covers that don’t match. There’s also unfinished series and completed series that didn’t make my favourites shelves.
“It’s a retellings of The House of Usher. I’m sold. Plus the cover is creepy and this seems like a perfect book for Halloween.”
After reading it, this was one that I never reviewed but always meant to go back and write my thoughts on it. I would say it was definitely a good choice for a Halloween creepy read and it held up nicely against the original House of Usher, even though there were of course changes. It was dark and creepy and I enjoyed it.
This is a feature started on Breaking the Spine that puts the spotlight on upcoming books.
This week’s pick is:
Release date: January 26th 2016
Goodreads: Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves.
Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start… until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.
That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.
Emily Henry’s stunning debut novel is Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife, and perfectly captures those bittersweet months after high school, when we dream not only of the future, but of all the roads and paths we’ve left untaken.
Why I’m Excited: It compares itself to Friday Night Lights and The Time Traveler’s Wife. I don’t even need to know more to be excited for it! I like that the description is pretty vague to exactly what’s going on and lets the reader draw their own conclusions to the comparison the synopsis is making. It’s intriguing me.
Black Friday is almost here. Can I resist the sales? Do I want to?
What this means for my challenges:
- Added 7 books overall: currently at 329 books read
- Added 6 paranormal/fantasy: currently standing at 188 books read
- Added 1 male authors: currently standing at 32 books read
They’re Zeroes, not heroes. Six teens from California have powers that make them different from everyone else. Ethan, also known as Scam, has The Voice inside him and The Voice knows what you want to hear, or have to hear, in order to give Ethan what he wants. Which could come in handy if The Voice didn’t start talking in the middle of a bank robbery. The only way out for Scam is to call his former friends. Bellwether, Flicker, Crash, and Anon don’t really have a choice. They have to get Scam out or else The Voice could expose them all. In the middle of it all, they find Kelsie, another teen with the power to take a crowd of people and tame them or let them go wild.
Being almost 550 pages long, I was a bit hesitant to start this book as I was worried it would end up being a long read that would seem to take forever to finish. Thankfully it turned out to be quite an easy book to read, lots of action, good pacing, and before I knew it, I was on the last few pages.
I liked that the book kept jumping POVs from character to character. Scam and Kelsie seemed to get the most focus and their story was where the action really started and stayed, but I enjoyed getting to know the other Zeroes and how having their power affected their lives positively or negatively. My favourites ended up being Anon and Flicker. Their POVs were the ones I felt the most absorbed in and stuck with me.
The book could have easily gone sideways into a story full of tropes and a read-that-before feel but it managed to stay enjoyable and put twists into the story to help it feel new. They were a group of teenagers who found each other, who had powers, who formed missions to learn more about their powers, but they weren’t heroes. There was never a time in the book where I found myself wishing for any of their powers because I could see the cost it had on them. Another plus of the book was all the focus on friendships. These kids were friends once before their falling out and they were working their way back to maybe being friends again. There was romance but when it was present, it was slow and didn’t take away from the friendships and overall story.
As much as I did enjoy reading it, I did find it to be a little over the top at times. Also, there wasn’t much explaining done about certain subjects but that could come later in the series and I’m excited to find out more about them.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The families of the Palomas and Corbeaus have been enemies for twenty years and every year the two families of traveling performers attend the same festival. The Palomas perform as mermaids, swimming and amazing their audience. The Corbeaus fly high in the trees as tightrope walkers. Lace Paloma is in her first year of performing in her family’s show and she knows to stay away from the Corbeaus and their black magic. But when disaster strikes the town, Lace is saved by none other than Cluck Corbeau. His touch banishes her from her family and he allows her into his. As they begin to fall for each other, they have to be sure no one else finds out who she is or else both their lives will be in danger.
This book had such an interesting concept that when I first heard about it, it immediately was highly ranked on my TBR list. I was excited to lose myself to the magical realism and the feud between the Palomas and the Corbeaus, and the forbidden love between Lace and Cluck. The story was told in the alternating POVs of Lace and Cluck, which helped add to the feud between to the families since the reader got to see both sides and their beliefs. Each chapter, depending on which character’s POV it was, was headed by a saying either in Spanish or French.
Lace was a rookie at performing in shows and was always trying to prove herself to her grandmother, who ran everything. All she wanted was to be a part of it and to show her grandmother and the others that she could contribute to their show. She did everything she was supposed to do so when she was cast out for allowing a Corbeau to touch her, in order to save her life, I was angry for her. Cluck was almost the opposite. He wasn’t a performer in his family’s show but fixed the wings they used in the performance. He was an outcast in his own family because of the colour of his feathers. He was bullied by the others, especially his brother Dax, but as much as he might have wanted to leave, no one truly left the family.
Their paths crossed when Cluck saved Lace, without knowing who she was, and his touch marked her for all her family to see. For their protection, they believed they must cast her out and Lace believed she needed to seek Cluck’s forgiveness to erase her mark and rejoin her family. She ended up getting pulled into his family’s performance and learning that maybe all their beliefs weren’t true. The star-crossed, forbidden lovers tale has been done many times but I still enjoyed their spin on it. It wasn’t an insta-love connection, though there did always seem to be something between them right away, even before they knew it.
The magical realism was mostly subtle. There were mentions of feathers and scales(or birthmarks) on the performers’ bodies and dark magic but it was never at the forefront of the story. The main story focused on the relationship between Lace and Cluck, the feud between the families, and the growth of the two main characters.
The writing was beautiful. There were many quotable passages and it made the book a quick read because of the way the words flowed together. Stopping at any point felt like stopping in the middle of an important part because they all felt so connected. The only real complaint I had was that the ending felt a little fast and I had to purposely slow down in reading it so to not miss anything. Having to do that disrupting the reading flow a little and made it less enjoyable.