Tag: young adult

Beneath the Sugar Sky – Seanan McGuire Review

Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children, #3)Title: Beneath the Sugar Sky

Author: Seanan McGuire

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Series: Wayward Children #3

Goodreads Rating: 4.09/5

Goodreads Link

Synopsis: Beneath the Sugar Sky returns to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. At this magical boarding school, children who have experienced fantasy adventures are reintroduced to the “real” world.

Sumi died years before her prophesied daughter Rini could be born. Rini was born anyway, and now she’s trying to bring her mother back from a world without magic.

Beaneath the Sugar Sky Seanan McGuire Elaine Howlin Literary Blog
Instagram @elainehowlin_ & @elaine_reads_romance

What I thought about the book:  I think this one would be 3.5 stars (probably the lowest rating I’ve ever given a Seanan McGuire book). I just didn’t find the story as interesting as the others but it was still very enjoyable.

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository 

Image result for amazon audible banner

“Children have always tumbled down rabbit holes, fallen through mirrors, been swept away by unseasonal floods or carried off by tornadoes. Children have always traveled, and because they are young and bright and full of contradictions, they haven’t always restricted their travel to the possible.”

― Seanan McGuire, Beneath the Sugar Sky

Wayward Children Series

 Every Heart a Doorway

Down Among the Sticks and Bones Down Among the Sticks and Bones

Beneath the Sugar Sky Beneath the Sugar Sky

In an Absent Dream In an Absent Dream

Synopsis from Goodreads. Photos from my Instagram @elainehowlin_

Uprooted by Naomi Novik Review

UprootedTitle: Uprooted
 
Author: Naomi Novik
 
Genre: Fantasy
 
Series: N/A
 
Goodreads Rating: 4.11/5
 
 

Synopsis: “Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik Review Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

 
✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯ 
 

What I thought about the book:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

This wonderful book centres on a village close to an (evil) enchanted wood that is protected from said wood by a wizard known as The Dragon (are you feeling all excited for the fairytale magic yet?). Every 10 years he visits the village and takes a girl back with him to his castle. No one in the village knows what he does with the girls just that when they return after the 10 years they are different and never stay in the village. This year he takes Agnie despite everyone believing he will take her more beautiful and skilled best friend, Kasia. But Agnie does something at the Choosing Ceremony that makes him feel he must take her.

Based on that much you’re probably expecting a Beauty and the Beast style fairytale romance but you ain’t getting it!

That wood I mentioned at the beginning is the real centre of this story. Its power is growing and it wants to consume as much of its surroundings as possible. Including people! There are creatures living inside it that torment and steal villagers from all areas around the wood. It separates one province from another and attempts to incite war between them which Agnie and the Dragon try to prevent. If you like magic and fantastical battles then this one is for you.

 
✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯
 
My Rating: 5 star review

May New Releases Part 1

The Surface BreaksThe Surface Breaks

by 

Louise O’Neill

Deep beneath the sea, off the cold Irish coast, Gaia is a young mermaid who dreams of freedom from her controlling father. On her first swim to the surface, she is drawn towards a human boy. She longs to join his carefree world, but how much will she have to sacrifice? What will it take for the little mermaid to find her voice? Hans Christian Andersen’s original fairy tale is reimagined through a searing feminist lens, with the stunning, scalpel-sharp writing and world building that has won Louise her legions of devoted fans. A book with the darkest of undercurrents, full of rage and rallying cries: storytelling at its most spellbinding.

Released May 3rd

The World of All Souls: A Complete Guide to A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and the Book of LifeThe World of All Souls: A Complete Guide to A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and the Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy Companion)

by 

Deborah Harkness

A fully illustrated guide to Deborah Harkness’s #1 New York Times bestselling All Souls trilogy–“an irresistible . . . wonderfully imaginative grown-up fantasy” (People)

A Discovery of Witches introduced Diana Bishop, Oxford scholar and reluctant witch, and vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont. Shadow of Night and The Book of Life carried Deborah Harkness’s series to its spellbinding conclusion.

In The World of All Souls, Harkness shares the rich sources of inspiration behind her bewitching novels. She draws together synopses, character bios, maps, recipes, and even the science behind creatures, magic, and alchemy–all with her signature historian’s touch. Bursting with fascinating facts and dazzling artwork, this essential handbook is a must-have for longtime fans and eager newcomers alike.

Released May 8th

Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape CultureNot That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture

by 

Roxane Gay

Edited and with an introduction by Roxane Gay, the New York Times bestselling and deeply beloved author of Bad Feminist and Hunger, this anthology of first-person essays tackles rape, assault, and harassment head-on.

Vogue, “10 of the Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2018” *Harper’s Bazaar, “10 New Books to Add to Your Reading List in 2018” * Elle, “21 Books We’re Most Excited to Read in 2018” * Boston Globe, “25 books we can’t wait to read in 2018” *Huffington Post, “60 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2018” * Hello Giggles, “19 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2018” * Buzzfeed, “33 Most Exciting New Books of 2018″

In this valuable and revealing anthology, cultural critic and bestselling author Roxane Gay collects original and previously published pieces that address what it means to live in a world where women have to measure the harassment, violence, and aggression they face, and where they are “routinely second-guessed, blown off, discredited, denigrated, besmirched, belittled, patronized, mocked, shamed, gaslit, insulted, bullied” for speaking out. Contributions include essays from established and up-and-coming writers, performers, and critics, including actors Ally Sheedy and Gabrielle Union and writers Amy Jo Burns, Lyz Lenz, and Claire Schwartz. Covering a wide range of topics and experiences, from an exploration of the rape epidemic embedded in the refugee crisis to first-person accounts of child molestation, this collection is often deeply personal and is always unflinchingly honest. Like Rebecca Solnit’s Men Explain Things to MeNot That Bad will resonate with every reader, saying “something in totality that we cannot say alone.”

Searing and heartbreakingly candid, this provocative collection both reflects the world we live in and offers a call to arms insisting that “not that bad” must no longer be good enough.

Released May 1st

buy now on Book Depository

The PiscesThe Pisces

by 

Melissa Broder

An original, imaginative, and hilarious debut novel about love, anxiety, and sea creatures, from the author of So Sad Today

Lucy has been writing her dissertation about Sappho for thirteen years when she and Jamie break up. After she hits rock bottom in Phoenix, her Los Angeles-based sister insists Lucy housesit for the summer—her only tasks caring for a beloved diabetic dog and trying to learn to care for herself. Annika’s home is a gorgeous glass cube atop Venice Beach, but Lucy can find no peace from her misery and anxiety—not in her love addiction group therapy meetings, not in frequent Tinder meetups, not in Dominic the foxhound’s easy affection, not in ruminating on the ancient Greeks. Yet everything changes when Lucy becomes entranced by an eerily attractive swimmer one night while sitting alone on the beach rocks.

Whip-smart, neurotically funny, sexy, and above all, fearless, The Pisces is built on a premise both sirenic and incredibly real—what happens when you think love will save you but are afraid it might also kill you.

Released May 1st

The Mars RoomThe Mars Room

by 

Rachel Kushner

It’s 2003 and Romy Hall is at the start of two consecutive life sentences at Stanville Women’s Correctional Facility, deep in California’s Central Valley. Outside is the world from which she has been severed: the San Francisco of her youth and her young son, Jackson. Inside is a new reality: thousands of women hustling for the bare essentials needed to survive; the bluffing and pageantry and casual acts of violence by guards and prisoners alike; and the deadpan absurdities of institutional living, which Kushner evokes with great humor and precision.

Released May 1st

Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo"Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo”

by 

Zora Neale Hurston

A major literary event: a never-before-published work from the author of the American classic, Their Eyes Were Watching Godwhich brilliantly illuminates the horror and injustices of slavery as it tells the true story of the last known survivor of the Atlantic slave trade—illegally smuggled from Africa on the last “Black Cargo” ship to arrive in the United States.

In 1927, Zora Neale Hurston went to Plateau, Alabama, to interview ninety-five-year-old Cudjo Lewis. Of the millions of men, women, and children transported from Africa to America as slaves, Cudjo was then the only person alive to tell the story of this integral part of the nation’s history. Hurston was there to record Cudjo’s firsthand account of the raid that led to his capture and bondage fifty years after the Atlantic slave trade was outlawed in the United States.

In 1931, Hurston returned to Plateau, the African-centric community three miles from Mobile founded by Cudjo and other former slaves from his ship. Spending more than three months there, she talked in depth with Cudjo about the details of his life. During those weeks, the young writer and the elderly formerly enslaved man ate peaches and watermelon that grew in the backyard and talked about Cudjo’s past—memories from his childhood in Africa, the horrors of being captured and held in a barracoon for selection by American slavers, the harrowing experience of the Middle Passage packed with more than 100 other souls aboard the Clotilde, and the years he spent in slavery until the end of the Civil War.

Based on those interviews, featuring Cudjo’s unique vernacular, and written from Hurston’s perspective with the compassion and singular style that have made her one of the preeminent American authors of the twentieth-century, Barracoon brilliantly illuminates the tragedy of slavery and one life forever defined by it. Offering insight into the pernicious legacy that continues to haunt us all, black and white, this poignant and powerful work is an invaluable contribution to our shared history and culture.

Released May 8th

Furyborn (Empirium, #1)Furyborn (Empirium #1)

by

Claire Legrand

Follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world…or doom it.

When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.

A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable–until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world–and of each other.

Released May 22nd


Social Media Icon Facebook howlin booksSocial Media Icon Instagram howlin booksSocial Media Icon PinterestSocial Media Icon Twitter howlin booksSocial Media Icon YouTube howlin books

March Wrap Up

So I read a fair bit this month and some pretty good books too. I kind of got a bit obsessed with a series I started reading last month. I wasn’t very impressed with it then but after reading the second book this month I was hooked!

Tempt the Stars (Cassandra Palmer, #6)Wild Fire (Leopard People, #4)A Local Habitation (October Daye, #2)SaloméShe Stoops to ConquerAn Artificial Night (October Daye, #3)Late Eclipses (October Daye, #4)One Salt Sea (October Daye, #5)Mammy Walsh's A-Z of the Walsh Family (Walsh Family, #6)Herding Cats (Sarah's Scribbles, #3)Ashes of Honor (October Daye, #6)Tall, Dark & Hungry (Argeneau #4)Asking For It

Tempt the Stars by Karen Chance book photography Tempt the Stars by Karen Chance

The 6th book in the Cassie Palmer series. Love it though not as much as previous books. Maybe 4.5 stars. I felt like some of the action scenes were a bit lengthy and the lack of Pritkin annoyed me 😉 Love the introduction of witches and the Pythian court.

howlin books youtube channel

A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire book photography A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire

I read the first book in the October Daye series in February and, honestly, couldn’t see why everyone loves the series so much. I listened to the audiobook and the narrator pronounced Irish words wrong and has a terrible Irish accent. At least I think it’s meant to be Irish… Anyway, I was much more impressed with the next book and every book that followed. The narrator is still pronouncing Tuath de Dannan wrong and her Irish accent is still useless but I don’t care. The series follows October Daye, a fae halfling who has returned to fae society after a 15-year gap as a mystery-solving knight.

Tall, Dark and Hungry by Lynsay Sands book photography Tall, Dark & Hungry by Lynsay Sands

A total fluffy read. Great for reading after something heavy or when you’re feeling stressed out. It’s a straightforward vampire romance.

Asking for It by Louise O'Neill Asking For It by Louise O’Neill

Amazing book. So haunting. I have a feeling it will stay with me forever. You can read my full review of this book here.

buy now on Book Depository
All of the above books are available from Book Depository with free worldwide shipping

 

Buy me a coffee with Ko-fi

Social Media Icon Facebook howlin booksSocial Media Icon Instagram howlin booksSocial Media Icon PinterestSocial Media Icon Twitter howlin booksSocial Media Icon YouTube howlin books

Newsletter Sign UpJoin the Howlin Books mailing list and get updates on book reviews, articles, events and videos. Sign up here

 

Forever Living aloe shave
advertisement

 

Asking For It by Louise O’Neill Full Review

Asking For It
Title: Asking For It
 
Author: Louise O’Neill
 
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
 
Series: n/a
 
Goodreads Rating: 4/5
 
 

Synopsis: It’s the beginning of the summer in a small town in Ireland. Emma O’Donovan is eighteen years old, beautiful, happy, confident. One night, there’s a party. Everyone is there. All eyes are on Emma.

The next morning, she wakes on the front porch of her house. She can’t remember what happened, she doesn’t know how she got there. She doesn’t know why she’s in pain. But everyone else does.

Photographs taken at the party show, in explicit detail, what happened to Emma that night. But sometimes people don’t want to believe what is right in front of them, especially when the truth concerns the town’s heroes…

 
✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯ 
 
What I thought about the book: Amazing book. So haunting. I have a feeling it will stay with me forever. Watch my full review below.
Buy me a coffee with Ko-fi
 
✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯     ✯
 
My Rating: 5 star review

Discussion Questions:
Emma’s Beauty is very important to her. She thinks it makes her the most remarkable girl in Ballinatoom. In what way does it inform her identity? Hoe does it affect her relationships?

Emma observes the women around her extremely closely. How does she see other women? Do you think she is sexist?

What values has Emma learned from her mother? What do you think of them?

They’re good boys really. This all just got out of hand.
What does Nora mean by this? How does this statement impact on Emma?

What do you think of Emma’s father? How would you describe his relationship with Emma before the rape and afterwards?

Bryan plays a pivotal role in the novel. Would you agree that he is one of the few characters who treats Emma with respect while at the same time not putting up with her more selfish behaviour?
Do you think Bryan will forgive Emma for not going through with the trial, or is it important for him to see her as a victim?

Why did the boys put the images of their attack on Emma online? Why weren’t they afraid of the consequences of showing what they had done?


Social Media Links

howlinbooks1 instagram elainemirl snapchat link  elaine howlin twitterelaine howlin goodreadshowlin books youtubehowlin books tumblr