Top 10 Tuesday – New YA

It’s Tuesday and I thought I would do a list of 10 new or new-ish YA books I’m looking forward to reading. I don’t read as much YA as a lot of bloggers do, but I do like some, so here goes!

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The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo. This sounds like a fun book with an #ownvoices author and diverse characters. It’s not available until May, but the reviews are really positive, so I think this one will be worth reading.

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Tiffany Sly Lives Here Now by Dana L. Davis. Again, a YA contemporary with #ownvoices representation. I was sold on this because the description, a girl moving in with an estranged parent into a religious household. This one also releases in May.

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Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed. I love the cover on this one! I follow this author on Twitter and this story of a Pakistani girl forced into servitude sounds really compelling. I think this one will get a lot of attention. Out in May.

A Blade So Black by L L McKinney. This one has been getting a lot of buzz, not all of it positive, because of some controversial statements by author about race. However, I’m intrigued enough by the idea of Alice in Wonderland as a POC that I’m willing to wait until the September release and then decide for myself.

Veins of Gold by Charlie N. Holmberg. This one comes out in July, and it sounds like a Western fairy tale kind of thing. I like this author enough to put this on my list right away, without waiting for reviews.

The Wicked Deep by Shea Earnshaw. Finally we come to a book that is actually available now! A stand alone book about three sisters who are witches and some creepy stuff going on. Reviews are good and it sounds like a cool setting.

Last Dragon Standing by Rachel Aaron. Unlike the others, this one is the final book in a series that I’ve already read and enjoyed. Set in a future or parallel world where dragons live among humans and basically rule the world, I really hope this wraps up all the conflicts and has a satisfying ending. Also available now, but I haven’t downloaded it yet.

The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton. I am a sucker for Shakespeare retelling and this one sounds promising. Add magic in, give the sisters more of a personality than in the play, and then a creepy poison ritual (according to the book description) and it’s no surprise that this goes onto my list.

The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson. This one came out last month and the reviews are a little mixed, but I think it sounds interesting enough that I want to give it a try. I haven’t read all the descriptions, because everyone says it’s better to just jump in with this one, so that’s what I’m going to do.

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young. A Viking- inspired story with a female MC. How cool is that? She’s fierce, and she’s angry, and there’s an girl holding an ax on the cover! OK, shallow maybe, but I’m still going to read it.

And one more, because I’m excited about this one and I just barely heard it was coming out!

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Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. I loved Uprooted, and it sounds like this one is set in the same world, although with different characters. I can’t tell for sure, but it sounds like there’s a Jewish MC, which you don’t see a lot (like ever?) in fantasy, and I think that’s really cool. But even if I’m wrong, I can’t wait to read it. But I have to, because it’s not out until July.

Wow, I’m kind of surprised that I was able to come up with 10 books for this list; I was afraid I would only have 4 or 5. But it looks like I will have plenty of YA to keep me happy, not to mention all the hundreds of other books on my list and the books I have piled up literally in every room of my house. What new books are you looking forward to reading? Let me know! Happy reading!

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2-to-Read

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This is not me. Just FYI.

I just read two fun books in a row, both YA, both ones I would recommend.

The first is The Plastic Magician by Charlie M Holmberg. I’ve blogged about her before, even did a giveaway of one of her books. (Speaking of which, I should do another giveaway soon!) So it’s no secret that I enjoy her writing. This book is an add-on to her Paper Magician series, but introduces an entirely new main character. Here’s the synopsis.

Wall Street Journal bestselling author Charlie N. Holmberg returns to the enchanting world of The Paper Magician.

Alvie Brechenmacher has arrived in London to begin her training in Polymaking—the magical discipline of bespelling plastic. Polymaking is the newest form of magic, and in a field where there is so much left to learn, every Polymaker dreams of making the next big discovery.

Even though she is only an apprentice, Alvie is an inventor at heart, and she is determined to make as many discoveries—in as short a time frame—as she can. Luckily for her, she’s studying under the world-renowned magician Marion Praff, who is just as dedicated as Alvie is.

Alvie’s enthusiasm reinvigorates her mentor’s work, and together they create a device that could forever change Polymaking—and the world. But when a rival learns of their plans, he conspires to steal their invention and take the credit for it himself.

To thwart him, Alvie will need to think one step ahead. For in the high-stakes world of magical discovery, not everyone plays fair…

My take:

Alvie is a young German American woman who can’t wait to learn magic. She’s even chosen her field – The newly emerging study of plastics. She gets chosen for a very prestigious apprenticeship in England and sets off. Not a lot of plot going on here, but Alvie was so much fun as a character and the world was so engrossing that it didn’t bother me that the villain was really obvious. There was a light romance – very light – but it was a sweet one. I would recommend it to lovers of light fantasy.

Which brings me to my second book, The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman. I saw this recommended by a Good Reads friend, so when I saw a copy at the library, I had to grab it. It’s based on this extra-dimensional library that maintains the language and literature of the worlds. Cool, right? Here’s a synopsis.

Collecting books can be a dangerous prospect in this fun, time-traveling, fantasy adventure from a spectacular debut author. One thing any Librarian will tell you: the truth is much stranger than fiction…

Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, a shadowy organization that collects important works of fiction from all of the different realities. Most recently, she and her enigmatic assistant Kai have been sent to an alternative London. Their mission: Retrieve a particularly dangerous book. The problem: By the time they arrive, it’s already been stolen.

London’s underground factions are prepared to fight to the death to find the tome before Irene and Kai do, a problem compounded by the fact that this world is chaos-infested–the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic to run rampant. To make matters worse, Kai is hiding something–secrets that could be just as volatile as the chaos-filled world itself. Now Irene is caught in a puzzling web of deadly danger, conflicting clues, and sinister secret societies. And failure is not an option–because it isn’t just Irene’s reputation at stake, it’s the nature of reality itself.

My verdict:

A fun romp that goes completely over the top. Vampires and airships and far and alternate worlds all combine in this crazy little book. I’m sure it’s not for everyone, but I was in the mood for slightly goofy fun and this book was just what I needed. Irene and Kai are great characters and there’s still plenty of mystery left for the next book. It’s the first in a series, and I’m looking forward to reading the rest.

Reviews to come!

I’ve gotten a little behind on my reviews. Sorry about that! I’ve still been reading lots, but sometimes I just don’t know where to start with a review because I have so much to say. Instead, I just put that one aside until later.

I need some help! Tell me which one to review next and I’ll get onto that one:

Conspiracy and Blood & Betrayal, both by Lindsay Buroker – both steampunk

Assassin’s Fate by Robin Hobb – fantasy

Sixth of the Dusk by Brandon Sanderson – fantasy-ish

Matters Arising from the Identification of the Body by Simon Petrie – mystery/sci-fi

Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis – non-fiction

The Innocent Flower by Charlotte Armstrong – mystery

The Fifth Doll by Charlie N. Holmberg – YA fantasy

A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen – MG historical fiction

 

If no one votes, I’ll probably review the Simon Petrie book next. Now maybe I need some help on what to read next! My review pile is mounting up and I’m getting kinda stressed about it.

Contest 🏆 Winner!

51zdhuggq6lWe have a winner! Using random number generator, I plugged in my number of followers and came up with ……

Susandyer1962.

Susan, if you send me your address I will get this in the mail this week. Congrats on winning! I’ll be doing another giveaway next month, so if you didn’t win, stay tuned for your next chance.

Contest Reminder!

Just 3 days left to enter my contest. As a reminder, I’m doing a drawing for a signed copy of The Fifth Doll by Charlie N. Holmberg.

How To Win

  1. You must follow my blog.
  2. You must like this post.
  3. You must follow me on twitter – @Cindy_Bohn
  4. Ages 16 & Up, United States and Canada only (sorry, but I can’t afford Intl Shipping)

 

I finished the book and let me say it was so much fun! I loved the setting and the idea. I really liked Matrona, the main character. If you like your YA with some fairy tale/folk tale elements, you would definitely enjoy this. Good luck on entering!

Contest Reminder!

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Charlie Holmberg at the AF Library

Hey, just a reminder for all of you — you have about 2 weeks to enter to win a copy of  Charlie N. Holmberg’s newest book, The Fifth Doll. I’ve just started it and it’s amazing so far. If you read YA, you’re going to want to get your hands on a copy of this book, and I can help you with that.

Here’s a link to the contest rules:

The Fifth Doll Giveaway

Reminder, you must be following my blog to win. Good luck!

About the book …. Oops

I just realized that I forgot to tell you about the book! So let me fix that. Here’s what the book is all about!

 

The bestselling author of The Paper Magician Series transports readers to a darkly whimsical world where strange magic threatens a quiet village that only a courageous woman can save.

Matrona lives in an isolated village, where her life is centered on pleasing her parents. She’s diligent in her chores and has agreed to marry a man of their choosing. But a visit to Slava, the local tradesman, threatens to upend her entire life.

Entering his empty house, Matrona discovers a strange collection of painted nesting dolls—one for every villager. Fascinated, she can’t resist the urge to open the doll with her father’s face. But when her father begins acting strangely, she realizes Slava’s dolls are much more than they seem.

When he learns what she’s done, Slava seizes the opportunity to give Matrona stewardship over the dolls—whether she wants it or not. Forced to open one of her own dolls every three days, she falls deeper into the grim power of Slava’s creations. But nothing can prepare her for the profound secret hiding inside the fifth doll.

 

Now are you excited? It sounds cool and creepy to me. I can’t wait to read it.

The Fifth Doll!

Ta-Da! I just realized that I sorta spilled the beans a couple weeks ago (oops) so it wasn’t as much of a mystery what the book was as I wanted it to be, but I hope it’s been fun anyway! Here is your big giveaway! All signed by the author, Charlie N. Holmberg, as promised.

So the book signing was lots of fun, mostly friends and family (and me, who is neither), all squeezed into the little American Fork Library. Charlie bubbled around, greeting everyone. There was a table with Matryoshka dolls set up and cool stuff like that. And EVENTUALLY the books showed up.

Anyhow, Charlie was great, the book sounds great, and I snagged a copy to share. First I will give you a brief Q & A I put together based on the event, then I’ll tell you how to win a SIGNED COPY of this awesome book!

Questions and Answers

charlieeditedweb.jpgWhere did you get your inspiration for this book?

I was doing a class for the BYU Worldbuilders thing on magic systems and had an idea for how you can build a magic system around anything, like salt, or thread, or Matroyshka dolls, and then I thought, “Nope, I’m keeping that one.”

Where did you get the name for the main character? 

Her name is Matrona, which means woman in Russian and it’s also the root for the Matroyshka dolls, which I thought was really interesting.

How many projects are you working on right now?

About 6 different things.

What book do you wish you had written?

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. I love the magic system.

How To Win

  1. You must follow my blog.
  2. You must like this post.
  3. You must follow me on twitter – @Cindy_Bohn
  4. Ages 16 & Up, United States and Canada only (sorry, but I can’t afford Intl Shipping)

That’s it! Pretty simple! I will draw a winner on August 14th. Feel free to share this anywhere you like, tell anyone you like, and good luck to all!

 

<a href=”http://www.juliesfreebies.com/” target=blank>Julie’s Freebies & Sweepstakes</a>

 

 

New Giveaway!

I’ve decided to do a signed book for my next giveaway and I’m sure you’ll be thrilled when you here more about what I’ve chosen. Local author Charlie N. Holmberg is doing a book release party at the American Fork Library to celebrate her new book, The Fifth Doll. There will be a reading, a signing, giveaways, Matryoshka displays, and a little bird tells me crafts for the kiddos.

About The book

Matrona lives in an isolated village, where her life is centered on pleasing her parents. She’s diligent in her chores and has agreed to marry a man of their choosing. But a visit to Slava, the local tradesman, threatens to upend her entire life.

Entering his empty house, Matrona discovers a strange collection of painted nesting dolls—one for every villager. Fascinated, she can’t resist the urge to open the doll with her father’s face. But when her father begins acting strangely, she realizes Slava’s dolls are much more than they seem.

When he learns what she’s done, Slava seizes the opportunity to give Matrona stewardship over the dolls—whether she wants it or not. Forced to open one of her own dolls every three days, she falls deeper into the grim power of Slava’s creations. But nothing can prepare her for the profound secret hiding inside the fifth doll.

About the author

Charlie is a local Utah author, Author of The Paper Magician series; Followed by Frost; and Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet. Amazon and Wall Street Journal bestseller. I think – but I’m not certain – that all her books are available from Kindle Unlimited. They are each creative and original. And she’s a sweetheart, going to all the writer’s events. Really warm and friendly.

Anyhow, the event is

Tuesday, July 25 at 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
American Fork Public Library
I will be there AND get a signed copy of her book to Giveaway. As before, you’ll have to follow my blog if you want to win.