Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September Wrap Up and October TBR

Read in September: Mystery
This fall has so many anticipated reads for me and September is no exception. From the debuts, to the sequels, there were so many books I read this month that I couldn't wait to get my hands on and many of them did not disappoint. I had at two 10 star review and a few of these may make my top books of the year list. A few of them even surprised me with how much I liked them.

I'm also still doing really well on my challenges. I am up to 99 books for the the year which is a substantially ahead of my goal of reading 120 books this year. I'm also way ahead of the goal for the Debut Author Challenge and have set my sights on reading 24 debuts. I read five debuts this month alone and I am now up to 22 debuts for the year. I'm also doing well on the Netgalley/Edelweiss Challenge having read five books for that challenge as well. I've reached my goal of reading 25 books and I don't think I will reach 50 so my new goal is to get my NG percentage to 80% because I've been so close for so long. And finally I dropped the ball on the TBR Pile Challenge. I am still at 17 and I need to read 4 more books to reach my goal. October will also be a bad month for that but I have plans for November and December that will get me there.

The Books
1.) Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman Rating: 9 out of 10 [My Review]
2.) Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas Rating: 10 out of 10 [My Review]
3.) Lock and Mori by Heather W. Perry Rating: 7.5 out of 10 [My Review]
4.) The Scam by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg 
Rating: 8.5 out of 10 [My Review]
5.) The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich Rating: 9.5 out of 10 [My Review]
6.) The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore 
Rating: 9 out of 10 [My Review]
7.) Blood and Salt by Kim Liggett Rating: 9.5 out of 10 [My Review]
8.) Beastly Bones by William Ritter Rating: 10 out of 10 [My Review]
9.) The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow Rating: 9 out of 10 [My Review]
10.) Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Rating: 9.5 out of 10 [My Review]
11.) This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee Rating: [My Review to Come]

12.) Jackaby by William Ritter - [Original Review]
13.) The Young Elites by Marie Lu - [Original Review]
14.) The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson - [Original Review]

Other Posts
Waiting on Wednesday: See How They Run by Ally Carter

To Be Read in October: High Fantasy

1.) Menagerie by Rachel Vincent - Add to Goodreads
I started this a few weeks ago and it's interesting but it hasn't hooked me. We'll see how I feel about the second half.

2.) The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness - Add to Goodreads
I'm so excited about this one. I love the concept of putting into focus the characters who would usually be secondary. Plus it's my first Patrick Ness. *runs away*

3.) Nimona by Noelle Stevenson - Add to Goodreads
My secret sister got me this book in August. It is the perfect read for high fantasy month and I thought it'd be a good palette cleanse between all these highly anticipated sequels.

4.) Carry On by Rainbow Rowell - Add to Goodreads
Rainbow Rowell wrote an fantasy. How very exciting is that? Plus it's based on the character from Fangirl, which I loved. I'm meeting Rainbow in a week and I can't wait!

5.) Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson - Add to Goodreads
What everyone needs in their life is more Mistborn, right? Thanks to Sanderson we get 3 more books within the next year, this being the first. I can't wait to return to this world.

6.) Newt's Emerald by Garth Nix - Add to Goodreads
This seems like a quick and interesting historical fantasy, which I love, and I am also hoping it will be a good palette cleanse after some of these other serious high fantasy stuff. Plus it's my first Garth Nix *runs away*

7.) The Rose Society by Marie Lu - Add to Goodreads
Just thinking about this book has me hyperventilating. I love The Young Elites and the dark and dramatic world. I can't wait to see Adelina descend into madness.

8.) Ice Like Fire by Sarah Raasch - Add to Goodreads
I read Snow Like Ashes a little later than most people but I liked it. I especially liked the world. I'm excited to explore it some more.

9.) City of Thirst by Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis - Add to Goodreads
And another palette cleanser. If I'm doing a high fantasy month I need some fun reads to balance out the action packed epics. This is MG and I liked the first book so I'm excited for the sequel

10.) Illuminae by Aime Kaufman and Jay Kristoff - Add to Goodreads
Basically everyone is talking about this book. I got an ARC of BEA and I was going to wait until November to read it because it fits that theme but I can't wait anymore.

11.) After Alice by Gregory Maguire - Add to Goodreads
I'm a big Gregory Maguire fan so I'm really excited to read his Alice and Wonderland retelling/sequel and see his take on the classic. It's a total me book.


Finishing School Series by Gail Carriger: Etiquette and EspionageCurtsies and Conspiracies, Weapons and Waistcoats 

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer: CinderScarlet, Cress

So I probably won't get to all of these books but this is my plan for the next six weeks. The last book in the Finishing School series is out November 3rd and the final book in The Lunar Chronicles comes out November 10th. I have all the audiobooks on hold at the library but they may come in a weird order so I'll just have to play it by ear. HA! Get it? It's an unintentional audiobook pun! Are you even reading this? Leave a comment that you read my pun and you'll be my new best friend!

What are you reading in October? Are there any of the same books on your list? Have you read any of these? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Top Ten Books for Fans of Gone Girl

A weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

I seriously wracked my brain trying to find a super popular book or author. I was going to do Harry Potter but that seemed too obvious. Then I thought Game of Thrones because I love those books but I realized that so many books are already compared to them.

So because mystery month here on My Thoughts Lit is winding to a close and because I finally watched the Gone Girl movie this weekend, I thought I would do that. Which if you haven't read is the kind of mystery and thriller that really messes with your head thanks to the character who are super terrible characters and a he said she said kind of format. If you haven't read it, here's my review.

1.) The Good Girl by Mary Kubica - My Review
The Good Girl is one of the most creative mysteries I've read in a long time. It gives the reader a really well-rounded look at a kidnapping and many of the characters aren't the most likeable but that's what makes them interesting

2.) Dear Daughter by Elizabeth LittleMy Review
This was an interesting and engaging mystery with quirky characters who are more than meets the eye. The story unfolded in a really good way and when it was all over I was left reeling. Plus just like in Gone Girl the character has to find out the truth to show that their not guilty.

3.) The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma - My Review
And another book that left me reeling and confused when it was all over. The mystery wasn't really hard to solve but the way the clues were unveiled was fantastic and it totally messed with my head thanks to the narrators.

4.) All Fall Down by Ally Carter - My Review
All Fall Down is on the list because the main character is an unreliable narrator and isn't the most likable person at times. But it's also similar to Gone Girl in that the main character has to prove their innocence to people who don't really believe her.

5.) We Were Liars by E. LockhartMy Review
We Were Liars wasn't a very difficult mystery but the characters and the fact that there is an unreliable narrator it reminded me a lot of Gone Girl.

6.) The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich - My Review
Like a lot of the books on this list, The Dead House has an unreliable narrator. It is also really dark and has you guessing about what and who to believe. And it also ended with a way that made sense and yet I still needed to flail about it.

7.) Blackbird by Anna CareyMy Review
Blackbird is told in second person and the format sort of messes with your head and takes you into the mind of someone who doesn't really remember it completely. And like Gone Girl the mystery wasn't a huge shock but it was really creative.

8.) Blood and Salt by Kim Liggett - My Review
I finished less than a week ago and I seriously loved it and just really wanted to put it on this list because it's so great and mysterious. No but it's also a book that will have you questioning the characters motives and who to trust just like Gone Girl.

9.) Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy - My Review
Did this surprise you? It's not a mystery or a thriller. But it does have an unlikable main character and is told in a he said/she said kind of format that includes flashbacks that give you knowledge to round out a complicated plot and characters.

10.) The Young Elites by Marie LuMy Review
Even more surprised? If you have read Gone Girl you know how ruthless and devious the characters are. And I'm just saying the ones in The Young Elites kind of make them look demure.

Honorable Mention to Some I Need to Read:
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins - Add to Goodreads
In the Woods by Tana French - Add to Goodreads
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn - Add to Goodreads
Dangerous Girls by Abigain Haas - Add to Goodreads

Have you read Gone Girl? Any books you would recommend to fans of the book? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING.

Monday, September 28, 2015

ARC Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Six of Crows
Series: The Dregs #1
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Published: September 29, 2015 by Henry Holt (Macmillian)
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone... 

A convict with a thirst for revenge. 
A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager. 
A runaway with a privileged past. 
A spy known as the Wraith. 
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. 
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes. 

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.

**** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher at BEA in exchange for an honest review. This fact has not changed my opinion. ****

I absolutely loved the Grisha trilogy. I found it a fantastic YA fantasy with a great world, dubious characters, and a plot full of mystery. So when I heard she was writing a new series, set in the same universe but with new characters and a heist-style plot I was absolutely on board. It was one of my must have books to get at BEA and I couldn't have been more ecstatic to get a copy. And once again I fell in love with the world, the characters, and the plot. But Six of Crows is a very different story from the Grisha trilogy. It's somehow darker and more dramatic which was pretty fantastic.

One of the things that makes Six of Crows darker and more dramatic is the world. I thought Ravka was a scary and dark place but Ketterdam makes it look downright demure. I mean, not really but it's still darker. Ketterdam is center of trade but it's also a center for underworld. It feels almost Dickensian with it's pickpockets and brothels, along with it's sharply dressed dandies in suits and women in elaborate gowns. Leigh's descriptions of dark alleys and dingy streets set the tone and atmosphere for the book while providing a compelling and elaborate setting. But it's more than that. In The Grisha trilogy we got to know all about Grisha powers. In Six of Crows there isn't much use of Grisha powers despite the fact that they are very much still a part of the world and the plot. But they are treated very differently in this book. They're not viewed as heroes and soldiers in this part of the world and as a reader who has grown to see them that way, it makes things seems darker and more treacherous even. The darker setting and their view on Grisha also added a lot on conflict to the book.

The characters of Six of Crows are also much darker and more dramatic. Because Ketterdam is a place with a thriving underworld, our characters are dubious underworld types. The book is told from five different perspectives and each one of them is a thief and/or a rogue. I personally love those kinds of characters. I love unlikable characters that do devious and morally grey things. No one is more devious than Kaz Brekker who is the leader leader of the gang. Kaz is pretty hard to love but his intellect, resourcefulness, and loyalty to his crew makes him a compelling and complex character and someone I love to read about. But each character was just as complex, compelling, and just as memorable. My personal favorite was probably Inej who is Kaz's spy, right hand woman, and arguably his moral compass. She has tons of vulnerability and badass fighting skills. I also really enjoyed Jesper who is great comic relief and a reckless gambler, as well as Nina a Grisha heartrender who doesn't think twice about using her powers and still has a heart of gold. But all the characters are also full of secrets. Throughout the book we get a little bit of their backstories which informs us how they got to be the way they are and where they are. Plus there are some truly magnificent ships (this from someone who just did a post about how they are romancephobic).

But the characters are not the only thing that is full of secrets, so is the plot. I don't want to give too much away because while this isn't really a mystery, the real story of the book comes to you in pieces as it develops. The general plot here is a heist type of story. The characters are trying to break into a place that is impossible to break into. But this reckless crew is perfect for the job and yet things still don't go well. I mean of course it's going to be a challenge. What fun would it be if things didn't go a little wrong? There are so many twists, twists that may or not have all been part of the plan to begin with but had me on the edge of my seat wondering just how the characters were going to get out of one scrap after another. The schemes are elaborate and interesting and it gave the book a real high stakes adventure feel which I totally loved.

But because it is about scheming and plotting a crime the plot here was a little bit slow. We had to meet and get attached to the characters so when they were put in trouble we would be invested in their success and when they were thrown twists from within the group and without we would be shocked and concerned. That kind of took awhile and for someone like me who is more of a plot driven reader I was waiting to get to the more action-packed moments. There were a few moments of action towards the beginning of the book but it did take a little bit for things to really get interesting. Despite the fact that the pacing was a little slower than I usually like, it was incredibly entertaining and I stayed up much later than I expected reading it and I really had to force myself to go to sleep a few nights because I was furiously turning pages and needing to know what happens next.

On the whole Six of Crows was a dark and dramatic read with an interesting setting and world, complex and devious characters, and a plot full of mystery and action. And even though the pacing was a little slower than I usually like I was hooked from the very beginning and when it was all over I was in desperate need of the next book in the series.

I give Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo 9.5 out of 10

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy. Leigh Bardugo has done it again. She has taken a world that I already was a fan of and relocated us to a place that is just as much if not more interesting, with dark and complex characters who you can't help but love, and given us a plot that will keep you reading through all 460 amazing pages. Another fantastic series that fans of the Grisha trilogy will love and even if you haven't read that series and you enjoy fantasy heist books or books about thieves, check this one out.

Have you read Six of Crows? What did you think? Leave a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Five Stages of Bookish Grief: Being Romance Phobic

So I am once again behind in my reading for the week. I wanted to have a review ready but I don't. So I was originally not going to post anything for the second Friday in a row but then I figured I can do a discussion post. And after drafting three different ideas, it hit me. There is something I talk about all the time on the blog and on twitter but I have never really explained it in a way that maybe makes sense.

I talk all the time about how I find romance superfluous, I hate romance, and how I am romancephobic. But I have never really explained what I mean by that or what goes through my head when I read books where there is romance I don't like or if romance is a big role in the plot or character development. So awhile ago I did a post about the Five Stages of Bookish Grief when it comes to solving twists and I thought, what better way to explain my thoughts about romance then by telling you the five stages of grief.

But first there is one distinction I want to make. You can not ship the ship and not be romancephobic but still go through the stages of grief. I'm sure everyone has come across a romantic pairing that the didn't like or a romantic trope they don't like. That is often when you go through these stages of grief. But if you are generally romancephobic, you go through these stages regularly and they are even more heightened. But I'm sure we have all been through this at some point if you didn't like that particular relationship. Right? Anyway, the stages.

1.) Denial

We all know what denial is, but when it comes to romance I think you can infer what I mean when I say that I like to start every single book in this phase. Maybe there won't be any romance. Maybe I'll like the romance. Maybe it won't overshadow the plot development. This will be great, I'm ready. As someone who doesn't usually like romance I am always kind of hoping that there won't be romance at all. And then I start reading, I'm meeting the characters things are going well and then BAM, enter romantic lead. And I'm still kind of in denial. I'm like no, but it's still okay I'll become invested in their relationship. It'll be good.

What To Do Next: Just keep reading. If you're "romancephobic" then denial is a really great place to be. Pretending that this isn't a big deal will help prevent you from moving on to different stages of grief where you don't want to live.

2.) Anger

When you reach the anger phase it's because you can no longer talk yourself into thinking the romance won't be happening or won't be a big part of the book. At this point you are actively rooting against the characters getting together. You kind of wish there were a love triangle because then you could throw your shipping feels into a different basket. Or you are thinking that the main character is an idiot because they picked this clearly terrible person to be in love with. And didn't they just meet them? Do you even know the meaning of the word love? Take a cold shower because the world is about to end and you are more concerned about making out! Geez, I'm getting fired up just writing this.

What to Do Next: Take a cold shower yourself. So maybe your ship didn't sail or maybe the character is more concerned about romance but you getting all worked up about it is not going to solve anything. Here is where I like to think about the things I do like within the book. Really anything to not think about how much I hate the romance. And then I like to compartmentalize and move right back to denial.

3.) Betrayal

In the betrayal phase you're now longer angry at the characters you're annoyed at the writer. I know it's not fair to them but that's what you're thinking. There's a lot of comparisons that happen here. You're starting to think all about tropes and how ridiculous it is that there is another love triangle or another example of instalove or another good girl loving a bad boy. How cliche! Eye roll. You're annoyed that author for not being more creative. Don't they know you hate instalove? Why didn't they give you a slowburn you could get behind? Why did they even need to have romance? You wouldn't have missed it if there was no romance.

What to Do Next: Stop whining and keep reading. Just because it didn't work out the way you were thinking doesn't mean that you should feel so betrayed. Tropes exist and are popular for a reason. It didn't work for you but it's not over sometimes these things work themselves out. Trust the writer to make a good story. Otherwise you're going to have to compartmentalize and return to denial.

4.) Depression

It didn't work itself out, it only got worse. And now you're not angry or annoyed, you're sad.  At the depression phase you have officially realized that you don't ship it, you're not going to ship it, and the romance is going to be a thorn in your side for the rest of your reading and you're super bummed about it. A lot of times when I reach the depression phase it is because I realize that the romance I'm not enjoying is having a larger impact on my like or dislike of the book.  This is when I find myself whining and shouting "WHYYYYY!!!!" at the book or into the heavens. Or I'll want to skip whole sections because I want the action not the romance. You'll find yourself groaning when the characters are making goo-goo eyes at each other and when they're kissing or doing more than kissing are described you make a lot of frowny faces and disapproving noises.

What to Do Next: Suck it up and keep reading. I know that right now it feels like the biggest travesty that you don't like the fact that there is romance or who the character chose but again, there is nothing you can do about it. Just like when you were in anger you are going to need to focus on the things you did like about the book. Or focus on other ships. I sometimes ignore the main ship for secondary characters whose relationships I do support. Or maybe try to compartmentalize and return to denial.

5.) Acceptance

Okay so maybe in the end you really did like or not hate the romance. That is really the best case scenario here. If you go through all the stages and you're like "well I kind do like them" or even if you get through it and think that you aren't actively rooteing against them I call that a win. But mostly it like... Yeah, you didn't like that romance. You didn't ship, you'll never ship it, and that's okay. You can't win them all. At this point maybe you've just succeeded in compartmentalizing and you don't even notice that the MC ended up with the character you didn't like. Or maybe you've just realized you didn't like the romance but there are other really great things about the book so there is no use getting all upset over it. Or maybe you're still in denial and will live there forever because ignorance is bliss.

What to Do Next: Compartmentalize and live in denial. Honestly that's usually how I reach acceptance if I didn't like the romance. It's going to happen, it happened, I'm not going to like it but if I pay any attention to it at all I will let it ruin a perfectly great book for me. Whatever, I'm romancephobic and I'm okay with that.

So This is Bad, Right?

I mean, I have in fact accepted that this is just how I am. But one of the things I will say about being romancephobic is that when I do find a ship that I like, boy will I fall hard for it. It's not very common for me to be so on-board with a romance that I want to talk about it, give it a ship name, or find fan art  but when that does happen I am ecstatic. Like it's almost annoying to people probably because I won't shut up about how much I ship it. For me it's about quality over quantity and I'm okay with that.

How about you? Are you romancephobic? Or are you romancephilic? How do you deal with it when you don't ship something in a book? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

ARC Review: The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow

Title: The Scorpion Rules
Series: Prisoners of Peace #1
Author: Erin Bow
Published: September 22, 2015 by Algonquin Young Readers
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: A world battered by climate shift and war turns to an ancient method of keeping peace: the exchange of hostages. The Children of Peace - sons and daughters of kings and presidents and generals - are raised together in small, isolated schools called Preceptures. There, they learn history and political theory, and are taught to gracefully accept what may well be their fate: to die if their countries declare war. 

Greta Gustafsen Stuart, Duchess of Halifax and Crown Princess of the Pan-Polar Confederation, is the pride of the North American Precepture. Learned and disciplined, Greta is proud of her role in keeping the global peace, even though, with her country controlling two-thirds of the world’s most war-worthy resource — water — she has little chance of reaching adulthood alive. 

Enter Elián Palnik, the Precepture’s newest hostage and biggest problem. Greta’s world begins to tilt the moment she sees Elián dragged into the school in chains. The Precepture’s insidious surveillance, its small punishments and rewards, can make no dent in Elián, who is not interested in dignity and tradition, and doesn’t even accept the right of the UN to keep hostages. 

What will happen to Elián and Greta as their two nations inch closer to war?

**** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher at BEA in exchange for an honest review. This fact has not changed my opinion. ****

The Scorpion Rules is not a book that was on my radar until I went to BEA. It was pretty popular there so I figured I would look into it. It came at a time where I was feeling a little burnt out from dystopia and I wasn't totally sure about it but I heard some good things so I picked up a copy and I am so glad I did. This book is so much more than meets the eye.

One of the things that makes this book so creative is the world. The Scorpion Rules is the kind of book that reminds me that dystopia is a subgenre of science fiction. If you are going into this book expecting a run-of-the-mill dystopian read you may be disappointed. If you're expecting a more classic hard science fiction post-apocalyspe story, you may also be disappointed. But for me, Erin Bow effortlessly combined the two. Yes, the end of the world has come and gone leaving us with a central power who is dubious at best. But that central power is an AI (or robot if you didn't know) and technology plays a big part in the world and plot development. What I liked so much about this world and the blend of the two is that you can almost forget that we're dealing with an AI or an advanced society to begin with. It's so perfectly developed that it feels natural and that's what makes it so interesting. It's like science realism. The world is both lush and subtle at the same time. It's fully-formed and Erin's world-building is the perfect kind of show style that you can totally immerse yourself it.

But Erin Bow continues to break the traditional tropes of dystopia and science fiction with the characters in The Scorpion Rules. The book is full of a diverse cast of characters that balance out the book. Many of them are interesting but they don't jump off the page like the main characters. Our main character is Greta, she is a "Prison of Peace" kidnapped to prevent her country from declaring war. But she's not your typical revolutionary hero. In the years she has spent in her role she has come to terms with her position. She's not trying to fight it even when she starts to doubt that it is doing what it set out to do. And yet she is still a really compelling protagonist. For a lot of the book she is a pawn in someone else's game but as her character develops that begins to change. She's smart and logic. But this makes her constantly question and doubt. Her strengths and weaknesses make her relatable and really interesting. But my favorite character was probably Talis, the AI who is essentially the antagonist. But he's not your typical sinister overlord. He's trying way to hard to be liked and to blend in. He's almost ridiculous but in the best possible way. The characters are unique and it makes them so interesting.

Furthermore, the romance in this book is so unique and compelling. It may appear on the outset that this is a typical kind of romance. A badboy type character comes in, shakes things up, and the MC falls for him. And yes there are some elements of that but if you think that is all there is to it, you would be wrong. There's not a lot of instalove here in fact the real romance is a slowburn and doesn't involved Elian at all. But there isn't even really a love triangle and if there is it works. The true romance of the story grows, changes, and evolves with the character and her knowledge of herself and feelings toward others. This made it all feel so realistic and mature so when it finally happened I was so committed and invested. The key romance in this book was different, it was unexpected, and it was fantastic.

But the thing that made the biggest impression on me was the plot development. I could see the progression of the book. It's not that I solved a twist or anything, I just knew that's the way it was heading. And I didn't want it to go that way and yet I was still so entertained. By the point we reached the climax I was so invested in the characters and their struggle. It was a slow build to a conclusion that had me riveted at the same time it had me reeling. When it was all over I was left emotionally raw and with a huge desire to process what has happened because it was so complex.  But part of that complexity lead to some issues with the pacing for me. It was a bit slow in the beginning and the book shifted and changed with relatively little segue. And then it ended on a cliffhanger which was just a little too frustrating after they cranked my adrenaline up in such a short span of time.

A lot of what made the plot and world of The Scorpion Rules so good were some of the themes it addressed. Once again with these themes Erin Bow played with the traditional tropes of dystopia and science fiction. I'm used to an analysis of power and control when it comes to dystopia. Of course it was there. The whole premise of taking hostages of rulers to prevent war addresses that. But it was so not typical. Maybe that was because of the antagonist. Talis' ridiculousness made you wonder about if this was a good idea but Greta's feelings were so different. Same thing with the themes about technology and whether or not they solve or create problems, a very common Sci-Fi theme. Talis makes you wonder sometimes but Greta offers some interesting counter-arguments. It is the kind of book that really makes you think and that is one of the main reasons that I was left so entertained and yet unsettled when it was all done.

On the whole, The Scorpion Rules was a fantastic and engaging read. It had a science fiction world that combined elements of dystopia in a way that played with tropes, interesting characters, and a plot that made you think with tons of suspense and action.

I give The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow 9 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy/Borrow. If you are looking for something a little different that combines elements of science fiction and plays with the traditional tropes of dystopia then pick this book up. If you are looking for a book that will make you think with lots of suspense then pick this book up.

Have you read The Scorpion Rules? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Crossing Over: Back to School Edition

It's time for this month's edition of Crossing Over. If you're not familiar with Crossing Over it's a feature where I recommend an adult book with crossover appeal based on a YA book that is similar. It's basically an if you liked, then try but for crossover books. I'm trying to make this a more regular thing where I pick the books based on that month's theme but I couldn't think of anything for mystery month. Instead I decided to do a back to school edition. If you didn't see my Instagram photo last weekend I posted a few of my favorite magical boarding schools which got me thinking about these books.

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss 
Read My Review / Add to Goodreads

The Name of the Wind takes readers to the fictional land of where Kvothe, the most notorious wizard in the world is telling his story about how he got to be so notorious. We first meet him at a young age when he is orphaned from his loving family and forced to live on the streets, which is dangerous and not very ideal. It's all very Harry Potter. But then he enters a university where he learns all kinds of different kinds of magic including alchemy and naming, makes enemies and friends with a diverse and quirky cast of characters, and goes on adventures. The whole book is incredibly atmospheric with a pretty dark world that I just loved.

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
Read My Review / Add to Goodreads

Ink and Bone takes readers to the a revisionist future where the Library of Alexandria has maintained power and controls knowledge. We first meet our protagonist at a young age when he is forced by his family to do things that help them get by, which is dangerous and not very ideal. It's all very Harry Potter. But then he enters a boarding school where he learns all kinds of different kinds of magic including alchemy and steampunk technology, makes enemies and friends with a diverse and quirky cast of characters, and goes on adventures. The whole book is incredibly atmospheric with a pretty dark world that I just loved.

When I read Ink and Bone a lot of it reminded me of The Name of the Wind but in a great way. They're very different stories but the worlds are so similar and atmospheric and these are two of my favorite magical schools. They are both really dark and have pretty intricate plots that keep you reading and through all kinds of surprises at you. They not only have crossover feel in the way that they will appeal to fans of both YA and genre fiction but they also cross genres so they're good books if you are trying to explore a type of book you don't often read.

Have you read The Name of the and/or Ink and Bone? What did you think? What historical fiction crossovers do you like? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!