You're Not Good Enough Book Tag

Monday, October 23, 2017


This tag was created by ReadLikeWildfire and Beccathebookreviewer, and I grabbed it from Weezie at Weezie's Whimsical Writings. The premise of the tag is this: Write down 30 character names on a individual slips of paper and toss them in a bowl (hat, dish, whatever). For each of the 15 question, select two names. From the two names selected, pick who you would keep and who you would say “You’re not good enough” to! Since we're a team, Jess picked 15 characters and I picked 15 and then I tossed them into a random number generator since I couldn't find a hat big enough to span between Phoenix and Toledo.

1. You only have one more spot on your Spelling Bee team. Who would you pick to complete your team?

Sandor "The Hound" Clegane (A Song of Ice and Fire) vs. Lord Akeldama (Parasol Protectorate)

Jess: Sandor can't even spell 'Lommy' so yell, my chances are not good on this. I love you Ser Not a Knight but you're DOA for this.

 https://68.media.tumblr.com/33221b653be94acd2c7b938817d48fc6/tumblr_o9x97tHKwy1ukf98oo1_250.gif


Dani: Bless Sandor, you're not good enough. Lord Akeldama is a highly cultured, infinitely old vampire. Sandor, as he's so quick to tell us, is no Ser. There's no contest.

2. Both characters want to kill you, which one do you kill first to have a better chance of surviving?

Patroclus (The Song of Achilles) vs Lady Julia Stuart Beaufort MacKenzie (Code Name Verity)
Dani: My tragic dead bi babes. I'm dead either way, but I'm killing Julie because if I kill Patroclus, I also have Achilles to contend with.

Jess: I love you Julie, but I can get away from Maddie. Like Dani said, there's no way you're surviving Achilles wrath over his cousin. Totally his cousin. In short, cousins.

3. You’re on the bachelor/bachelorette an you’re down to these two characters, which one are you going to give your rose too?

Sansa Stark (A Song of Ice and Fire) vs. Georgia Mason (Newsflesh)
Jess: SANSA FOREVER. No one, ever, is good enough. THAT INCLUDES YOU, JOE JONAS.

Dani: Sorry Georgia, but for spoiler reasons involving canon love interests, you are not good enough.

4. You’ve been chosen for the Hunger Games, who would most likely volunteer in your place?

Melanie (The Girl with All the Gifts) vs. Hermione Granger (Harry Potter)
Dani: Melanie would volunteer. And win.

Jess: Hermione, you are highly logical and v observant but you are just not bloodthirsty enough. Who literally is? Oh right, Melanie.

5. You’re stranded on an island. Which character would you sacrifice to engage in cannibalism?

AIDEN (The Illuminae Files) vs Alanna Trebond (Song of the Lioness)
Jess: Alanna, you had a good run but I would team up with AIDAN to defeat you. No way I am going down to a deranged AI and not-even-Daine.

Dani: I sacrifice myself. AIDEN's not an actual physical entity and Alanna's far better suited to get off the island. Plus I could never take her out.

6. You’re the next DC/Marvel superhero (with your own tv show of course), who is your sidekick?

Starr Carter (The Hate U Give) vs Karou (Daughter of Smoke and Bone)
Dani: Sorry Starr, you're not good enough. Karou has necklaces of magic wishes.

Jess: Sorry Starr, I love your shoes but Karou has the blue hair of my dreams.

7. You’re a manager of an Avocado admiring company, who would you fire for lack of communication skills?

Jonah Griggs (On the Jelicoe Road) vs Sir Samuel Vimes, Duke of Ankh Morpork (Discworld)
Jess: BYE SAM VIMES YOU ARE NOT THE PERFECTION THAT IS JONAH GRIGGS

Dani: Both of them.

8. You’ve just finished a book in which your favorite character dies, which character is most likely to comfort you?

Sirantha Jax (Sirantha Jax) vs Yukio (The Lotus Wars)
Dani: ...neither of you is good enough

Jess: Yukiko doesn't do emotions and Jax literally runs away from them. This ends in tears and delusional headcanons.

9. Ugh, it’s high school. Who would most likely be part of the popular clique?

Minnow Bly (The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly) vs Flynn Doherty (Last Seen Leaving)
Jess: Neither? Minnow and Flynn would make their own willingly-outcast group. High school is not good enough for them.

Dani: Both of these books are about how Minnow and Flynn don't really fit in, but I guess I'll go with Flynn? He has hands and didn't kill a cult leader, two things which seem very socially ostracizing.

10. The day has arrived; you’re finally a year older! Who would have the nerve to forget your birthday?

Cricket Bell (Lola and the Boy Next Door) vs Hana Donnelly (Gemina)

Dani: Cricket Bell would not only never forget my birthday, he would arrive with a meaningful gift and stay after to clean up.

Jess: HANNA DONNELLY DAMNIT. I even got a Danae Matresco jumpsuit and bitch didn't even show up and compliment it.

11. You’ve just found an upcoming booktube star? Who would most likely be?

Nehemia Ytger (Throne of Glass) vs Mat Cauthon (The Wheel of Time)
Jess: Nehemia would be and excellent motivational coach and maybe makeup tutorial-persion. Mat is not good enough unless he can stab things or make terrible jokes.

Dani: Nehemia would give beautiful, impassioned monologues on upcoming diverse books, but Mat would be hot and make dick jokes, so...

Nehemia, you're not good enough.

12. Sleepover time! Unfortunately you can only invite one person, who would you invite?

Lila Bard (Shades of Magic) vs Numair Salmalin (The Immortals)
Dani: A pirate thief guaranteed to get up to trouble and laughs or my childhood crush?

Lila, sorry boo.

Jess: LILA YOU NEVER EVEN HAD A CHANCE. You are noooot goooood enooooough. Numair, come through.

13. Bam, you’re pregnant. Who’s the father/mother?

Yael (Wolf by Wolf) vs Kiaran (The Falconer)
Jess: KIIIIIIARAAAAAAAAAAAN

Dani: Hey Kiaran, heeeey

14. You’ve just written a super important text. Who would ‘see’ it, but not reply?

Inej Ghafa (Six of Crows) vs Ignifex, the Gentle Lord (Cruel Beauty)
Dani: Ignifex has very little use for human affairs, unless they're about making deals for your soul, so
it's probably still Inej.

Jess: bahaha Inej, because she's embarrassed FOR me because I love her too much

15. You’ve just woken up and it’s time for breakfast. Your mum’s been replaced by..who?!

Kaz Brekker (Six of Crows) vs Kaladin Stormblessed (The Stormlight Archive)

Jess: ..... I will be very good at killing people.

Dani: I'm moving out.

 &

Waiting on Wednesday: Tess of the Road

Wednesday, October 18, 2017




I've loved Rachel Hartman since Seraphina came out. Her ideas for fantasy and dragons are fun, unique, and her characters are real and memorable.






In the medieval kingdom of Goredd, women are expected to be ladies, men are their protectors, and dragons get to be whomever they want. Tess, stubbornly, is a troublemaker. You can't make a scene at your sister's wedding and break a relative's nose with one punch (no matter how pompous he is) and not suffer the consequences. As her family plans to send her to a nunnery, Tess yanks on her boots and sets out on a journey across the Southlands, alone and pretending to be a boy.

Where Tess is headed is a mystery, even to her. So when she runs into an old friend, it's a stroke of luck. This friend is a quigutl--a subspecies of dragon--who gives her both a purpose and protection on the road. But Tess is guarding a troubling secret. Her tumultuous past is a heavy burden to carry, and the memories she's tried to forget threaten to expose her to the world in more ways than one.



Publication Date: February 2018
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Pages: 544






Seraphina (Seraphina #1)
Shadowscale (Seraphina #2)













Waiting on Wednesday: The Hazel Wood

Wednesday, September 27, 2017





This has sounded interesting since the synopsis dropped but that cover is an undeniable lure. The static image is lovely but this is one that looks even better in person.




Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother's stories are set. Alice's only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother's tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.



Expected Publication: January 2018
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Pages: 368





UK Cover:








September Book Haul

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
ARCs and review copies:

When Light Left Us by Leah Thomas

When the Vasquez siblings’ father left, it seemed nothing could remedy the absence in their lives . . . until a shimmering figure named Luz appeared in the canyon behind their house.

Luz filled the void. He shot hoops with seventeen-year-old Hank’s hands. He showed fourteen-year-old Ana cinematic beauty behind her eyelids. He spoke kindly to eight-year-old Milo. But then Luz left, too, and he took something from each of them. As a new school year begins, Ana, Hank, and Milo must carry on as if an alien presence never altered them. But how can they ever feel close to other people again when Luz changed everything about how they see the world and themselves?

In an imaginative and heartfelt exploration of human—and non-human—nature, Leah Thomas champions the unyielding bonds between family and true friends.

I suuper love that cover.







The Traitor Prince by C.J. Redwine (Ravenspire #3)
Winter Glass by Lexa Hillyer (Spindle Fire #2)
Inkmistress by Audrey Coulthurst
A Conspiracy of Stars by Olivia A. Cole





Beyond a Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake
Blood of the Four by Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon
A Thousand Paper Birds by Tor Udall
The Midnights by Sarah Nicole Smetana





Love and Other Train Wrecks by Leah Konen
White Rabbit by Caleb Roehrig
Elementals: Ice Wolves by Amie Kaufman
More than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer



Creators, Conquerors, Citizens by Robin A.H. Waterfield


"We Greeks are one in blood and one in language; we have temples to the gods and religious rites in common, and a common way of life." So the fifth-century historian Herodotus has some Athenians declare, in explanation of why they would never betray their fellow Greeks to the enemy, the "barbarian" Persians. And he might have added further common features, such as clothing, foodways, and political institutions. But if the Greeks knew that they were kin, why did many of them side with the Persians against fellow Greeks, and why, more generally, is ancient Greek history so often the history of internecine wars and other forms of competition with one another? This is the question acclaimed historian Robin Waterfield sets out to explore in this magisterial history of ancient Greece. 

With more information, more engagingly presented, than any similar work, this is the best single-volume account of ancient Greece in more than a generation. Waterfield gives a comprehensive narrative of seven hundred years of history, from the emergence of the Greeks around 750 BCE to the Roman conquest of the last of the Greco-Macedonian kingdoms in 30 BCE. Equal weight is given to all phases of Greek history-the Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic periods. But history is not just facts; it is also a matter of how we interpret the evidence. 

Without compromising the readability of the book, Waterfield incorporates the most recent scholarship by classical historians and archaeologists and asks his readers to think critically about Greek history. A brilliant, up-to-date account of ancient Greece, suitable for history buffs and university students alike, Creators, Conquerors, and Citizens presents a compelling and comprehensive story of this remarkable civilization's disunity, underlying cultural solidarity, and eventual political unification.




Bought:
 
Snowspelled by Stephanie Burgis (The Harwood Spellbook #1)

In nineteenth-century Angland, magic is reserved for gentlemen while ladies attend to the more practical business of politics. But Cassandra Harwood has never followed the rules...

Four months ago, Cassandra Harwood was the first woman magician in Angland, and she was betrothed to the brilliant, intense love of her life.

Now Cassandra is trapped in a snowbound house party deep in the elven dales, surrounded by bickering gentleman magicians, manipulative lady politicians, her own interfering family members, and, worst of all, her infuriatingly stubborn ex-fiancĂ©, who refuses to understand that she’s given him up for his own good.

But the greatest danger of all lies outside the manor in the falling snow, where a powerful and malevolent elf-lord lurks...and Cassandra lost all of her own magic four months ago.

To save herself, Cassandra will have to discover exactly what inner powers she still possesses – and risk everything to win a new kind of happiness.







When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore
Hidden Bodies by Carolyn Kepnes (You #2)
Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
The Nature of a Pirate by A.M. Dellamonica (Hidden Sea Tales #3)



The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo


Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid's voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy's bidding but only for a terrible price.

Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.



It was a pretty good month,book-wise.


Cover Reveal: Dark of the West by Joanna Hathaway

Tuesday, September 19, 2017




Dark of the West by Joanna Hathaway

Publisher: Tor Teen

Expected: 2018



A YA fantasy called Dark of the West is the first in a planned series set in a realm similar to 20th-century Europe. Told from dueling points of view, Dark of the West follows a pair of star-crossed lovers: an idealistic princess trying to suppress an impending uprising, and a young fighter pilot who has been given the job of spying on her.








 And finally... the gorgeous cover:











I can't wait to read this when it comes out in 2018!







Review: Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

Monday, September 18, 2017
Title: Wallbanger
Author: Alice Clayton
Genre: romance, New Adult
Series: Cocktail #1
Pages: 358
Published: November 27, 2012
Source: borrowed library
Rating: 1/5


Caroline Reynolds has a fantastic new apartment in San Francisco, a Kitchen Aid mixer to die for, and no O (and we’re not talking Oprah here, folks). She has a flourishing design career, an office overlooking the bay, a killer zucchini bread recipe, and no O. She has Clive (the best cat ever), great friends, a great rack, and no O. Adding insult to O-less, she also has an oversexed neighbor with the loudest late-night wallbanging she’s ever heard. Every moan, spank, and—was that a meow?—punctuates the fact that not only is she losing sleep, she still has—yep, you guessed it—no O. Enter Simon Parker. When the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. Their late-night hallway encounter has…well…mixed results. Because with walls this thin, the tension’s gonna be thick. A delicious mix of silly and steamy, this is an irresistible tale of exasperation at first sight.

I heard really good things about this book, so while I didn't love Nuts by the author, I decided to give Wallbanger a try anyway. The gist, a young designer moves in next door to a playboy and hears his sexual conquests through the wall sounded like it could be really funny. But, like Nuts, I'm left wondering if Alice Clayton has ever actually had a sexual experience.

First issue. Wallbanger is 358 pages long and there is no plot. No conflict. Our heroes meet. They're instantly attracted to each other. They faff about in California and Tahoe and make a lot of meatball related puns. They take a sexy trip to Spain together, declare their love, and have a lot of sex. In the last 100 pages, the author tries to force Caroline's sexual dissatisfaction as a big plot point, but it's literally resolved with one good tupping. There are five books in this series, three of them about Caroline and Simon. What could there possibly be to say about these characters for another 800 pages? There wasn't enough to say for the first 200.

Second, this book only vaguely makes sense if it was finished in 2002 and put on a shelf until 2012*. It's completely dated. It's essentially Sex in the City fanfiction. I can actually hear Sarah Jessica Parker in my head every time Caroline laments the loss of O, the physical manifestation of her orgasm. Her masturbation session is one of the most bizarre and out of touch chapters in the history of modern literature. First, she dons a pink babydoll negligee, the sexy nightie of the 1980s. She turns on INXS, because Michael Hutchence does it for her (1983 - 97). She then begins her first fantasy, kissing Jordan Catalano (My So-Called Life 1994). This then morphs to running away with Jason Bourne (2002). Finally, she pulls out "the big guns". She goes Clooney. Danny Ocean (2001), George from Facts of Life (1985), and then, the big finish, Dr. Ross from ER (1994 - 98). Again, this book was released in two thousand and twelve. Caroline would have been thirteen when Clooney left ER and eight when My So-Called Life came out. Where's the Spiderman kiss, Adam Brody, Legolas/Aragorn (personal preference here)? And the music choices. Neither character listens to anything more modern than Prince the entire book. It's not timeless, it's weird.

I said in Nuts, the sex was garbage. That was after Clayton had had nine years to hone her craft.

"His hi-there against my hoohah". Read that again with your own eyeballs and tell me how I can get a job as an editor, because clearly this world is lacking. Plus the idiom is "sweating like a whore in church". Why would the church whore be moaning, Caroline?

As I felt I had to give a disclaimer against The Rabbit in my last Clayton review, so must I urge all people with vaginas to not pour honey on their crotches. I'm not sure about the health and safety of flour and raisins down there either, but absolutely no sugar darlings. It will only end in tears and Monistat.

Simon's previous lovers all have one weird quirk that Caroline nicknames them for. Spanx, likes to be spanked. Ok, a little judgy, it's not that weird. The Giggler laughs as she orgasms, which again, real thing, not that big of a deal. (Though it's written, like "Simon, hehehehe. Don't hahahaha. Stop heehehee." Which...not really, and I'm always irrationally annoyed by sex scenes where characters yell their partners names a hundred times.) And then there's Purina. Oh my god, where do I start. First, she meows in bed. Like a cat. So like a cat that Caroline's cat climbs the plaster and attempts to mate with her through the walls. So like a cat that, months later, the real cat escapes from Caroline's apartment and chases Purina through the halls, into Simon's apartment, and trees her on top of a dresser in his attempt to stick his cat penis in a human woman who, assumedly, does not emit cat pheromones. This is a real scene in a real romance novel. Worse, the last chapter of the book is told from the cat's POV. His last thought before the acknowledgements is of Purina, the one that got away. The author thought this idea was so funny it's literally the final line of the book.

Clayton tries a few different writing styles. The majority of the book is first person past. There are a few epistolary sections, consisting of text messages between the MCs and their BFFs. There's the car scene, which alternates between interconnected first person present inner monologues of Caroline, Simon, Mimi, and Ryan. (Caroline: I hope this gas station has Gardetto's. Simon: I hope this gas station has Gardetto's. Mimi: I hope this gas station has bubble gum! Ryan: I hope this gas station has condoms. See it's funny because the two who aren't dating want the same snack and Ryan just wants to have sex with Mimi!) And of course, as I mentioned, the book ends with the cat's POV. It feels disjointed and unpolished.

I cannot explain how this book has an average rating of 4.1 on Goodreads. It's horrible. One of the worst books I've ever read. It's not even funny bad, just pointless.



*so in the course of writing this review, I asked my Books and Murder crew to proofread a paragraph. In so doing, we discovered Wallbanger is a P2P fanfiction, originally entitled Edward Wallbanger. So while it was commercially published in 2012, the story was written in 2008, which makes the references the tiniest bit more acceptable. It also raises significantly more questions, such as why Alice and Rose have morphed into Samantha and Charlotte from SitC.


Waiting on Wednesday: City of Brass

Wednesday, September 6, 2017






I was already interested in this fantasy - of course - but then I saw the UK cover and knew it had to be mine ASAP.




Step into The City of Brass, the spellbinding debut from S. A. Chakraborty—an imaginative alchemy of The Golem and the Jinni, The Grace of Kings, and One Thousand and One Nights, in which the future of a magical Middle Eastern kingdom rests in the hands of a clever and defiant young con artist with miraculous healing gifts

Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles.

But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass--a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.

In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.

After all, there is a reason they say be careful what you wish for . . .






Publication Date: November 14 2017
Publishers: Harper Voyager
Pages: 528





Top Ten Books For My Coblogger

Tuesday, September 5, 2017



Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday, where the prompts are made up and the schedule doesn't matter! Jessie came up with this idea while Jamie was on hiatus, but frankly I think all coblogging teams should do this one. Because now I have five birthday/Christmases sorted.



1. The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen

Why won't you let me love you, Jessie? This book is amazing. Jamie McKelvie's art will blow your mind. You're going to love Lucifer as David Bowie and Sekhmet as Rihanna. You love mythology and mythological retellings and sassy teen girls in London. Plus there's a spinoff set in 455 about the second sacking of Rome. We love Rome.

2. Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

This is the book of my heart. It's weird and funny and relatable and I think it's must read for anyone with or who loves someone with mental illness and I want Jenny to be our best friend so you should read this to be prepared when I build some sort of Ohio/Arizona/Texas teleportation system.

3. Saga by Brian K. Vaughan

Best graphic novel. Best sci-fi series. Best space opera. Ever. Including movies. Yes. Don't @ me.

A sweeping love story of two soldiers on the opposite side of an intergalactic war and their efforts to find peace and freedom to raise their child. And the entire plot turns on a supermarket romance novel.

Plus there are robots with TV heads, a cat that can tell if you're lying, and the main character breastfeeding like a boss right on the front cover.(And a fuck ton of frank, realistic depictions of mental illness, PTSD, drug dependency, racism, jingoism, sexism, so many isms.)

4. Written in Red by Anne Bishop

I want you to read this, but I'm also nervous because Rohini from wotmania just read it and voted it the worst series she's read this year and she's much smarter than me. But I think this is such an interesting take on the standard supernatural creature UF and I like Meg so much.

5. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

I NEED to talk about this book with you. What happens to Susan when she's too old to return to Narnia? How did Alice cope after Wonderland? (She didn't, see Looking-Glass.) It's such an interesting premise and then, in typical Seanan fashion, she puts a bunch of teenagers with tenuous grasps on reality into a murder mystery. Did you guess the killer???

BONUS:
Why is she biting his cheek?????????????????
6. Anne & Henry by Dawn Ius

Misery loves company.






1. Skullsworn by Brian Staveley

Yes I am also already making you finish his original fantasy series - but I am perpetually bemoaning you about the awesomeness of those particular books; let's switch it up a bit this time. Instead, let me tell you this standalone: it stars a deadly, irreverent assassin who must kill 10 people in 10 days. So she incites a rebellion in a simmering city. It's magnificent and Pyrre is a perfect Dani character. I mean... there is murder by spider.

2. The Tiger's Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera (Their Bright Ascendancy #1)




The queer fantasy book of your dreams! I know how much you look for rep in our favorite genre and... don't often find a mirror. I know that while one book can't fix that problem or erase it, reading this lush fantasy centered on two utterly badass (in different ways!) badass nonhet ladies will hopefully make you smile. And also cry, because I'm me and this book also hurts. I know you're tired of "[usually male noun]'s daughter" titles but don't worry -- that's not what this title references.

3. The Long Way to A Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers (Wayfarers #1)





I'm half way there with you on this book -- I've gotten you to buy it at least. I just need to get you to put eyeballs on paper and READ IT. If I tell you it's all about gays in space and new cultures and creatures and ALIENS and SPAAAACE -- will that help? There are big ships and tiny ships (both the space and relation variety) and so many fun, memorable characters.

4. Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge (Bright Smoke #1)




Yes most of the blogging world and our friends hated or DNF'd it. But I loved it and I also know how much you love Hodge's writing and imagination. It's by far the most I have ever liked the story of Romeo and Juliet -- they were teens who knew each other for days before dying IT'S NOT A REAL ROMANCE -- so maybe it's the inclusion of the zombies? Maybe it's the stone-cold badass that is the Juliet, full of life and passion and agency? Or maybe it's Romeo and Paris, the unlikeliest of detective duos, acting like CSI investigators with a psychic mind link? Maybe it's Hodge's unique and creative worldbuilding? Or maybe it's all the gay headcanons this book seems to beg for. I dunno. I just really, really dug this. I think you would, too.

5. Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust






We both love a good fantasy/fairy tale retelling. We are both pretty stridently and unapologetically feminist persons. This is the kind of story tailor-made for us. There are rich characters, creative interpretations of a familiar story, and villains that are complexly-drawn rather than just being simply eeevil or, say, hating a stepdaughter just for existing. It's fun and clever and original.








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