STRANGE THE DREAMER by Laini Taylor: 5 Point Review


Welcome to the Weep!! Where monsters and dreamers combine and transcend time and space to be together. Thank you for joining me today. This time I'm going over STRANGE THE DREAMER by Laini Taylor and I cannot even begin to explain how so very happy I was to read this book. It has been a while since Laini's words have graced my eyes and passed over my lips and I eagerly devoured each word, letting them swim in my conscience to let them be savored. 

WHAT I LOVED ABOUT STRANGE THE DREAMER

How do I love thee, Let me count the 5 ways.


  1. LAZLO STRANGE: How can one not help but fall for his character. He begins as this overly curious orphan who evolves into this knowledgeable Librarian. Who acquires a crooked nose because book landed on him during his time in the library. His love of books and ververent dreams make your heart skip a beat, but it is his inherently good nature and humble quiet strength that ultimately draws you to him. He is more than willing help anyone even though they may not deserve it. 
  2. WEEP: The entire concept of a place ceasing to exist because it has been masterfully erased. Where a word replaces another forgotten one, can truly blow your mind. And for Lazlo, he has spent his entire life studying the world of Weep and to witness it come alive is magical. As if your favorite story came to life and played itself out before your very eyes. The world of Weep is not only magical but it is dangerous as the goddess and heroes that live in it.
  3. SARAI: She is but one of the Mesarthim gods and goddesses that have survived the atrocities of Weep. Each with their own distinct mystical powers...but it's the blue-skinned goddess, the muse of nightmares, Sarai who is able to use her power to destroy humans but uses that gift to learn more about them.  This is when she and Lazlo, meet for the first time. In the land of dreams. It is romantic and mesmerizing and  you are drawn into the storyline even deeper because you want them together.
  4. THE COVER: Oh sweet mercy, does this cover grab me. Both the US and UK covers are gorgeous. But I must admit that the UK cover is just a tad bit more  special simply because it has blue sprayed edges that give it a slight edge over the US cover. 
  5. LAINI'S WRITING: Although the cadence of this story is slower than I would have preferred. Only the goddess of writing herself, Laini Taylor, can weave this masterful tale of a goddess and Librarian and everything in between in a manner that will leave you breathless. It is a story for all readers and dreamers alike, revealing the darker side of dreams and how little they differ from reality.




STRANGE THE DREAMER
by Laini Taylor


The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Welcome to Weep.




THE HEARTBEATS OF WING JONES REVIEW: When Tragedy Strikes, Wing Runs



Hello lovely readers and thank you for stopping by for my review of HEARTBEATS OF WING JONES by Katherine Webber.  I picked up this book once I knew Katherine was visiting the SF Bay Area and practically kicked myself for not reading it sooner. I fell in love with the story and it's main character Wing, so much so that I contacted Katherine to interview her because I had to know more about this story.  You can watch that interview directly below and then read my thoughts on this story that I think is quite fabulous.



My Thoughts

When I sat down to read HEARTBEAT OF WING JONES I was immediately taken in by it's main character Wing Jones, her earnest voice had an intensity and depth of emotion that shone through on each page. Her vulnerability makes your heart ache for her because she feels as if doesn't fit in anywhere, not at home or at school. And definitely not the dizzying heights of  popularity and respect her brother has achieved through his spot on the high school football team. The love that she has for her family, especially her big brother is the only thing she is sure of, content to live on the fringes.  Then tragedy strikes and the only thing that has grounded her is gone and she is left adrift, navigating through an environment that she already feels out of place in and has to find herself on her own.

Wing and her family try their best to manage in a world that her brother is not actively participating in but the stress takes it's toll on everyone, especially Wing. Then one night she is guided by mysterious forces in the form of a tigress and dragon that lead her to take her pent up frustration and energy onto the track and run. This is where I feel the need to put on my heels and run like the wind because Katherine is able to make Wing's running sound as swift as it is graceful. Thus begins Wing's journey to stand up for herself and take control of her own path and not be content to stand by in the shadows any longer.

Besides having a main character  that one cannot help but admire and cheer on. HEARTBEATS OF WING JONES also has an amazing supporting cast of characters. Okay!! can we take a moment to talk about the comedic relief that one gets from her two grandmothers, Granny Dee and LaoLao (one Chinese and one Ghanaian). Their cultural differences and spirited ways made me laugh so hard my belly heart. Then we have Aaron, her brother's best friend that has spots her running and gives her the push that is needed and did if forgot to say that she has had a crush on for years....ahhh yes....there are kissing scenes my friends and it is very good. Besides all that goodness there is also a mentor (go girl power) Eliza, who's friendship helps further push Wing into the lime light. Initially I felt that she would prove to be more of a nemesis but things totally didn't run in that direction and I was so happy because of it.

I went into reading HEARTBEAT OF WING JONES by Katherine Webber, knowing very little but the basics. I was geared up for a hard hitting read and was rewarded with a literary treat that was full of heart and laughter interwoven with touches of magical realism. I highly recommend this feel good read about finding yourself in the midst of a tragedy and making your place in the world. I will be looking for more from Katherine Webber in the future.

Nancy





THE HEARTBEATS OF WING JONES

by Katherine Webber

Published: March 14th 2017 
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Series: No Standalone 

Wing Jones, like everyone else in her town, has worshipped her older brother, Marcus, for as long as she can remember. Good-looking, popular, and the star of the football team, Marcus is everything his sister is not, and Wing is all too aware of this.


Until the night when everything changes. Marcus, drunk at the wheel after a party, kills two people and barely survives himself. With Marcus now in a coma, Wing is crushed, confused, and angry—could Marcus, the golden boy, really have done something so irresponsible, so reckless? She is tormented at school for Marcus’s mistake, haunted at home by her mother’s and grandmothers’ grief. To make matters worse, the bank is threatening to repossess her family’s house because all their money is going to pay her brother’s mounting medical bills.

Every night, unable to sleep, Wing finds herself sneaking out to go to the school’s empty track. With the breeze in her hair and her feet pounding the dirt for hours and hours, she can imagine she is keeping Marcus’s heart beating. If she runs hard enough, maybe he’ll wake up. Maybe she’ll free her family.

When Aaron, Marcus’s best friend, sees her running one night, he recognizes that her speed, skill, and agility could get her spot on the track team—and better still, a shot at a coveted sponsorship from a major athletic gear company. Wing can’t pass up the opportunity to train with her longtime crush and to help her struggling family, but can she handle being thrust out of Marcus’s shadow and into the spotlight?


US
Available now from:

Bringing The Doctor to the Next Gen

Whovians - WHERE YOU AT? We have something fun to share with you today. 


You've seen the Mr. Men series. You have, even if you don't know it. They look a little like this. 


If you're nerdy, you probably appreciate a good mashup. Buffy and the musical. TMNT and Batman (yes, it's a thing). Well, LOOK 👀 at these cuties! 



That's right, there's a whole series of the Doctor(s) coming! And they are adorable. You need them. They're based on fan art, which is pretty dang cool. Fandoms are awesome.

What fandoms would you want? Of course, Christy is all about Supernatural. How adorable would a Cas book be? 😍


We Love Our Indies! - Indie Bookstore Day (April 29th)

WOOOOO You know what Saturday is? Ok, besides YallWest...



Independent Bookstore Day is a one-day national party that takes place at indie bookstores across the country on the last Saturday in April. Every store is unique and independent, and every party is different. But in addition to authors, live music, cupcakes, scavenger hunts, kids events, art tables, readings, barbecues, contests, and other fun stuff, there are exclusive books and literary items that you can only get on that day. Not before. Not after. Not online.

You all know we have THE BEST indies in the world here in the Bay Area and it pains us to be away from them (BUT for all you YW attendees...There will be indie presence at the festival so check it out) so we thought we'd share them and some of the YA related fun they're doing.


All of the participating stores have special things happening...Including the most awesome surprise ever.



A few years back, Rainbow released Kindred Spirits, a special novella for World Book Day. Unfortunately it was only available in the UK, leaving the US fans hungry for this story. Oh, and did I mention it's a geeky story set outside a movie theater on the release day for the latest Star Wars movie. Yes, I've read it. Yes, it's ADORABLE. So get out to your indie early because they only have around a dozen copies each!

With that, here are two of our favorite indies and their special YA celebrations!




Let us know if you get a copy of Kindred Spirits or if your indie is doing something special!

Get to Know How to Make a Wish's Grace Glasser



How to Make a Wish

by Ashley Herring Blake
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 2nd 2017
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Synopsis:

All seventeen year-old Grace Glasser wants is her own life. A normal life in which she sleeps in the same bed for longer than three months and doesn't have to scrounge for spare change to make sure the electric bill is paid. Emotionally trapped by her unreliable mother, Maggie, and the tiny cape on which she lives, she focuses on her best friend, her upcoming audition for a top music school in New York, and surviving Maggie’s latest boyfriend—who happens to be Grace’s own ex-boyfriend’s father.

Her attempts to lay low until she graduates are disrupted when she meets Eva, a girl with her own share of ghosts she’s trying to outrun. Grief-stricken and lonely, Eva pulls Grace into midnight adventures and feelings Grace never planned on. When Eva tells Grace she likes girls, both of their worlds open up. But, united by loss, Eva also shares a connection with Maggie. As Grace's mother spirals downward, both girls must figure out how to love and how to move on.
Three Things to Know about How to Make a Wish's Grace Glasser

Hey, I’m Grace Glasser and I’m a character that this lady named Ashley Blake made up in her head and stuck me in a book. It’s lots of fun, let me tell you. Now, there are a few things you should know about me, so I’m just going to get right to it.

Number one: It’s…complicated. And that’s the truth. See, I have a really interesting relationship with my mom. When I was two, my dad died and it’s just been her and me ever since. Maggie, that’s her name, is an amazing woman. She’s fun, creative, beautiful. She could be the world’s greatest mom. But she’s not. Because she also drinks a lot and she can’t seem to hold down a job and, generally, she puts herself before me. Every time. I’ve cleaned up more of her messes than I can count. Probably more than she’s ever cleaned up for me and I’m including my food-throwing, potty-training toddler days here. But, I love her. She’s my mom. At the end of the day, she’s all I really have. A lot of people probably want me to write her off, leave and never look back. But again…she’s my mom. And it’s…complicated.

Number two: I’m bisexual. Now, don’t get all giggly and wide-eyed. It’s a thing. If you’re a dude reading this, it doesn’t mean I want to jump into bed with you and another girl. If you’re, well, anyone reading this, It doesn’t mean that I’m obsessed with sex. It doesn’t mean that I can’t make up my mind. It simply means I’m attracted to and could possibly fall in love with more than one gender. That’s it. I’ve had boyfriends. And good lord, I’m really hoping for a girlfriend, one girl in particular, a gorgeous, sad-eyed ballet dancer named Eva. You’ll meet her. Read Ashley’s book. But, anyway, yeah, I’m bisexual. I know it. I’m proud of it. Moving on.

Number three: Luca is my best friend and I would take a bullet for him. And he’d take one for me. Now, before you ask, no, I’ve never kissed him. He’s never kissed me. We’ve never even tried it or thought about it, ew, gross, no. It is possible for a guy and a girl to be best friends without anything sexual ever happening between them. Are you attracted to every [insert whatever gender or genders or non genders it is that you’re attracted to] you see on the street? Doubt it. I’ve never been attracted to Luca that way and vice versa. BUT, he is my person. He will always be my person and I think he’s pretty damn delightful. Again, you’ll meet him. In Ashley’s book. Go read it.




Ashley Herring Blake isa reader, writer, and mom to two boisterous boys. She holds a Master’s degree in teaching and loves coffee, arranging her books by color, and watching Buffy over and over again on Netflix with her friends. She's the author of the young adult novels SUFFER LOVE and HOW TO MAKE A WISH.




TOUR SCHEDULE

April 27

Becca @ Lost in Lit- Review + Favorite Quotes
Tales of a Ravenous Reader- Guest Post
Collector of Book Boyfriends- Promo

April 28

A Thousand Words A Million Books- Review
T's Stuff- Q&A
Boricuan Bookworms- Guest Post
Next Page Please!- Promo

April 29

Here's to Happy Endings- Review
Never Too Many to Read- Review
Reading to Unwind- Review

April 30

What the Log Said- Review
The Broke Book Bank- Review
Afire Pages- Guest Post
The Bookkeepers' Secret- Q&A

May 1

Vicarious Bookworm- Review + Favorite Quotes
Reads and Thoughts- Review
Boricuan Bookworms- Review
The Bibliophile Confessions- Review

May 2

Daffodilsreads- Review + Favorite Quotes
The Book Return- Review
A Daydreamer's Thoughts- Review

Dead Men Tell no Tales, They Just Like to Sing Songs: BLACK SOULS by Nicole Castroman Blog Tour


Hello everyone, and thank you for stopping by on our Blog Tour stop for BLACK SOULS by FFBC. I am a huge fan of all things pirates....arrrrrg, matey....ye be walking the plank. See, I cannot stop myself and I blame it all on Nicole Castroman and her pirate tales of BLACKHEARTS and now BLACKSOULS that has captured my very heart and dares I say it....Soul!!!! I was so inspired that I created a play list that is quite jaunty and entertaining and I would hope that you would feel inspired to read the series if you already haven't and if you have then you can remember it during those times that you need a little more swashbuckling adventure in your day. For Blackbeard seemed to have been a canny strategist, a master of improvisation, a showman, a natural leader and an extraordinary risk taker. And that I can admire with a huge smile.

Please check out the other stops on this tour and remember that Dead Men Tell No Tales...


BLACK SOULS

Nicole Castroman brings the dangerous pirate ports of the Caribbean to life in this vibrant sequel to Blackhearts—the reimagined origin story of history’s most infamous pirate, Blackbeard.


Edward “Teach” Drummond is setting sail to the Caribbean as first mate on the most celebrated merchant ship in the British fleet—until he rebels against his captain. Mutiny is a capital offense and Teach knows it could cost him his life, but he believes it worth the risk in order to save his crew from the attacking Spanish ships.



Sailing on the same blue waters, Anne barely avoids the Spanish attack, making it safely to Nassau. But lawless criminals, corrupt politics, and dangerous intentions fill the crowded streets of this Caribbean port. Soon, Anne discovers that the man entrusted to keep the peace is quite possibly the most treacherous of them all—and he just happens to hold Teach’s fate in his terrifying hands.



Life and death hang in the balance when Teach and Anne are given a dangerous mission. It’s a mission that will test their love, loyalty and devotion, forcing them down a path neither one could have ever imagined. 





BLACKSOULS Playlist as interpreted by The Ravenous Reader







ABOUT NICOLE


Nicole was lucky enough to come with her very own best friend…she has a twin sister who can read her mind and finish her sentences for her.

At the age of 13, she went to Europe for the first time and it changed her life. She loves learning about different people, languages and cultures and speaks fluent German. She knows enough Spanish to get herself into trouble and can still read the Cyrillic alphabet from when she studied Russian.

She received her B.A. from Brigham Young University and has lived in Germany, Austria and two different places called Georgia. One is the country located on the Black Sea. The other is the state of Georgia where she now lives with her handsome husband and two beautiful children who continue to amaze her.



Hiver et Cafe - Review
Vicarious Bookworm - Review + Favourite Quotes

A Thousand Words A Million Books - Review + Favourite Quotes


Library of a Book Witch - Review + Playlist
BookCrushin - Review + Favourite Quotes

Never Too Many To Read - Review + Favourite Quotes

The book Return - Review
Reading for the Stars and Moon - Promotional Post



FREE AUDIOBOOKS Through AudiobooksSYNC - Get Ready!



We have the BEST opportunity for all you audiobook readers out there (and for those of you wanting to take a risk-free chance on them)...


FREE AUDIOBOOKS ALL SUMMER

What is SYNC?


What?


SYNC is a free summer audiobook program for teens 13+ (and you adult YA readers, too). Returning April 27, 2017 SYNC will give away two complete audiobook downloads a week - pairs of high interest titles, based on weekly themes. In 2016, 30 titles were given away over 15 weeks.


Why?


SYNC is dedicated to introducing the listening experience to the teen audience and demonstrates that Required Reading can be completed by listening.


Who?


SYNC is sponsored by AudioFile Magazine and titles are delivered through the OverDrive app. Download the app in advance to whichever device you anticipate listening on and be ready to go!


How?


Simply sign-up to get notifications of when the FREE audiobook downloads are available. You can receive alerts by text message, email newsletter, or by visiting www.audiobooksync.com. Titles change every Thursday at 7am ET when the program is running.

Please Note: Signing up for these alerts will not send you the titles. The alerts will simply tell you when and where the title is available to download.

And look at some of these titles (just a FEW this summer). Full list available here.


Personally, we can't wait for Shadowshaper and Between Shades of Gray! What's on the list that you can't wait for?