Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Silkworm (4.5), Robert Galbraith

If you know anything about me (besides that I read, I guess) it’s that I am not a morning person. I say this because it is important to the further understanding of this review. When I wake up, I am a demon Jana from another planet. I might bite your head off for asking me how my morning’s going. I’ve burst into tears just because I didn’t want to be awake. I’m basically a four-year-old until I’ve had coffee.

On Monday at 5am I woke up with a start. A few weeks ago I slept through my alarm and missed an hour and a half of class so and I’m still a little nervous every time I wake up that I’ve forgotten something very important. But after a quick glance at my phone’s calendar, I fall back asleep no problem. Except on the 17th I woke up and went, “Crap! I fell asleep! The Silkworm’s due today. Did they take it off my Kindle already?” and in a panic I unlocked my Kindle. And instead of going back to sleep, I finished reading the book. I just had to know who did it!

“The whole world’s writing novels, but nobody’s reading them.”
- The Silkworm

The Silkworm is the second in the Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith/J.K.Rowling. Feel free to go read about book one, TheCuckoo’s Calling if you want to hear more about that and don’t want me to spoil a couple things. I liked this book infinitely more than the first one, probably because I finally let go of Strike being grown up muggle Harry Potter. It was hard.

Strike's more like Mad Eye, really.
In The Silkworm, Strike’s rise to fame after solving Lula Landry’s murder in The Cuckoo’s Calling is finally starting to ebb, and so is his patience with his endless stream of rich, spoiled clients hiring him to spy on their spouses and lovers. When Leonora Quine, the mousy, frazzled wife of author Owen Quine, asks Strike to find her wandering husband, he accepts gladly. Owen Quine is a reclusive and eccentric author, and has been known to disappear for days on end to work on a novel or shack up with a mistress, but he has been gone for an exceptional amount of time and Mrs. Quine is beginning to run out of money.

If you haven’t hopped on the Robert Galbraith/J. K. Rowling bandwagon, you probably should. There are only two books now, but you can bet there are going to be dozens more. Knowing how Rowling likes to write, you can bet that there’s some little details in books 1 and 2 that are going to make all the difference and have a huge payout in like book 16 because that’s what she does.

SOS There is no news that she is writing a third book. Where is my third book Jo? I may not wait five years like I did for Order of the Phoenix. I may find a new favorite author. Jk I will read everything Rowling writes because I’m obsessed.

Harry Potter forever

More Books

fans of Harry
fans of Galbraith
something old
something new

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

This is the creepiest cover ever...

This is seriously the creepiest f-ing cover in the world. I promise there is not some terrifying monster under there...oh wait that's probably exactly what it is.

I'm just writing to warn you that the 3.5th book in The Lunar Chronicles is coming out January 27th, so you should get started reading and catch up. Book one is Cinder and it's about Cinderella in the year 3000 or something and she's a cyborg. This is usually the point where people look at me like I'm a crazy YA fantasy reader who has no idea what a good book is. And there is absolutely zero way I can convince you otherwise and still talk about these books, because they are absolutely YA fantasy but they are also absolutely amazing and I'm more obsessed than I should be.

I keep telling myself that they aren't that great. I tried to not be excited about this book, in fact I was quite angry when I found out that instead of Winter (Book 4) we were getting Levana's origin story (Book 3.5??), but I'm a sucker for this series and I'm excited and I'm going to assume that we need this story to properly enjoy Winter when it comes out...supposedly November 24, 2015 which is in over a year. 


Sunday, November 16, 2014

American Gods (5), Neil Gaiman

Shadow is days away from being released from prison. Days away from seeing his beloved wife Laura when he gets the phone call. His wife has died in a car crash with is best friend at the wheel. But time ticks on and Shadow is still released from prison, but where to go? What’s the point anymore? Enter Mr. Wednesday, who hires Shadow to do…odd jobs. Like, really odd jobs.

(Spoiler alert?) Mr. Wednesday is old. Like, centuries old. Like, used to be a god worshipped by thousands. When settlers came to America, they brought their gods with them. Now, these abandoned gods are left to live as best they can, hunted by the new gods.

This book was crazy. I don’t even feel like I can rate it because I feel like if I give it less than a five it means I didn’t “get it” the way everyone else did. It was also super weird to read after The Ocean at the End of the Lane which feels so innocent and simple by comparison. American Gods is dense and awesome. If you’re ready to hibernate for the winter with a giant, creepy book, this one’s for you.

Fun fact, Neil Gaiman was on NPR's Ask Me Another last week. It was hilarious and reminded me about how adorable his British accent is. I wish he read all of the audiobooks I listen to. He also mentioned that, when people ask him what American Gods is about, he replies, "oh, it's a big book," because he doesn't really know how to explain it. Which makes me feel a lot better. 

This is a super belated post, this is the book I read before The Bloodletter's Daughter, I'm trying to play catch up! 

Previous Reads 
Eleanor & Park
The Bloodletter's Daughter

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Eleanor & Park (5), Rainbow Rowell

WARNING: Some swearing. Loads of swearing in the book, so if you're not into that, move along and read Cinder or something. 
Oh my God, you know when you finish a book and then all other books are ruined for you forever and you just have to lay there and wish there was someone else who had just finished being in this world so you could talk to them because why is this book over? Where will you go now? That was Eleanor & Park for me.

Eleanor is a chubby redheaded misfit who has just moved in with her mother, stepfather, and younger siblings after spending some time kicked out by her stepfather and living with her mother’s friends.
Park is a gangly half-Korean kid who manages to fit in with the other kids on the bus because his dad’s a vet and they’ve always been part of the neighborhood.

On Eleanor’s first day, the back of the bus kids immediately smell the scene of fresh meat. She has nowhere to sit on the bus until Park takes pity on her and whispers, “Jesus, fuck, just sit down.” They don’t talk. They never talk. But Park begins to catch her reading his comic books out of the corner of her eye. And then he begins to turn the pages more slowly, to make sure she has a chance to finish the page. And then he’s giving her comic books to read and she’s giving them back and before you know it they can’t stop talking to each other.

love is listening to a mixtape he made
You guys, I tried so hard to pretend this book was overrated. But I was so in love with it by like the third chapter. It dresses up as a love story, but it talks about bullying and abuse and all sorts of real stuff. Even the love story feels so real, you can feel them sneaking up on each other, you can feel them fall in love. And the end? The end is so smart. I tried to write a book once that began on the premise this book ended on and she sums up what I tried to say in 50,000 words in one sentence.
I’m not going to tell you what that sentence is because I don’t believe in spoilers.

So I finished this book at like 11:30 on a Wednesday and had no one to talk to so I went on twitter which was a mistake because all the teenyboppers who read it were like “sigh. SO IN LOVE. SO ROMEO. SO JULIET.” And I was like, “omg. Shut up. You understand nothing,” which is really the sign of a good book that it speaks to everyone on the level they’re on. Me? I’m in grad school and studying middle schoolers. Them? They’re in middle school dreaming about falling in love one day. And yet this book speaks to both of us.

But I have to admit, the love story was so cute.  I think I literally said “aww” out loud. More than once. In that really squeaking "squee" way like I saw a puppy or a unicorn. And now I’m ruined and can’t read anything else. It’s like playing a really pathetic game of Duck, Duck, Goose.

fine, I guess
Stay tuned to see what I actually finish.

I can’t even go back to Hunger Games because I literally just finished rereading the series after I finished Outlander

If you like this, read The Perks of Being a Wallflower, more Rainbow Rowell, or something. I need to go read something that is a complete 180 because I can't even.

Up Next:
American Gods

Friday, November 7, 2014

Netflix + Series of Unfortunate Events = The Best?

A Series of Unfortunate Events is coming to Netflix?


“I can’t believe it,” Snicket said from an undisclosed location. "After years of providing top-quality entertainment on demand, Netflix is risking its reputation and its success by associating itself with my dismaying and upsetting books."

I am so happy. If this is not real I am going to go cry. The worst thing about growing up was that, unlike J.K. Rowling, who wrote the Harry Potter series to grow up with us, Lemony Snicket wrote all 13 of his books for the same age group, so I grew out of them mid-series. Don't get me wrong, I eventually read all of them, but it is not the same to read A Series of Unfortunate Events as a 5th grader than it is after you've just read The Bell Jar in 9th grade. And you know it.

Lemony Snicket is the pen name of author Daniel Handler, who begins the series like this:

Dear Reader,

I'm sorry to say that the book you are holding in your hands is extremely unpleasant. It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children. Even though they are charming and clever, the Baudelaire siblings lead lives filled with misery and woe. From the very first page of this book when the children are at the beach and receive terrible news, continuing on through the entire story, disaster lurks at their heels. One might say they are magnets for misfortune.

In this short book alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, and cold porridge for breakfast.

It is my sad duty to write down these unpleasant tales, but there is nothing stopping you from putting this book down at once and reading something happy, if you prefer that sort of thing.

With all due respect,

Lemony Snicket

The series is deliciously smart and dark and funny. You should read them. The movie was pretty horrible which was sad because Jim Carey and Meryl Streep and a bunch of other fabulous people were in it. It's a testament to the books and my laziness that I sometimes still watch it, as I no longer own the books. I did, however, read a picture book by Lemony Snicket awhile ago.

Hopefully your reading will go better than the last time I picked up a book just because they made a TV show out of it, "so it must be good." 

Found the news here/on the facebook.
Or you can read about it on NPR, where I found out that they don't even have a director yet so don't get too excited!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Bloodletter’s Daughter (4) – Linda Lafferty

Right now I'm doing a weird backwards/forwards thing where I'm currently reading books, which I'll hopefully continue to post about, but I also read a half dozen books that I haven't posted about because I was in grad school and doing plays and didn't have time to think about anything else. So, if you're curious, this is the book I read before Outlander 

Marketa is a young woman living in a remote corner of Bohemia. Much of her time is spent with her mother working in their family’s bathhouse, where her mother is preparing Marketa to become a full-fledged bathmaid, preparing her to auction her virginity to the highest bidder. But what Marketa wants is to apprentice with her father the bloodletter. She often is brought along to help with his bloodlettings, and loves to study medicine and how to best balance the humors. If you think that’s juicy – just wait. The emporer decides to cloister away his insane bastard son, Don Julius in Marketa’s village. Where, you guessed it, he needs a bloodletter. He can see Marketa from his window and swears that he will not let anyone but her draw blood from his veins. As the prince’s obsession with Marketa grows, so does his ability to hide his insanity from her, and she finds herself drawn to him.

Bathhouse, circa sometime in history
Based on a true story, but one I’d never heard of, which is my favorite kind of historical fiction. This book really got interesting once Don Julius showed up in town. Before that I was a little confused about where it was going. But Lafferty hit the trifecta when she introduced a like-minded scientist love interest, dangled the threat of the bathhouse, and brought in a creepy obsessive lover who Marketa’s mother wants to sell her too because FAME AND FORTUNE. Obviously. All Marketa wants is to be a doctor/bloodletter, but even that throws her into her mother’s crazy schemes.

This book snuck up on me. I don’t know how I found this book exactly, I think Amazon told me I could buy it for a dollar so I did. And then Audible was like, “but wait! For just $2.99 you could have the audiobook as well!” so I bought it too. Oh impulse buys…sometimes actually the best buys? There’s nothing better than browsing a book store or library and just picking up the prettiest most you-est looking book. That’s how I found The Creation of Eve which is also great historical fiction but less creepy and I loved it just as much.