Thursday, January 30, 2014

Book Review | The Twelve-Fingered Boy by John Hornor Jacobs

The Twelve-Fingered Boy is a YA fantasy novel by John Hornor Jacobs.

Book Description

Fifteen-year-old fast-talking Shreve doesn’t mind juvie. He’s good at dealing contraband candy, and three meals a day is more than his drunk mother provided. In juvie, the rules never change and everyone is the same. In juvie, Shreve has life figured out.

So when he’s assigned a strangely silent and vulnerable new cellmate, Jack, Shreve takes the younger boy under his wing. But all Shreve’s plans and schemes unravel when he discovers Jack is different. For one thing, Jack has six fingers per hand. For another thing, he just might have superpowers.

Soon Jack has drawn the attention of the cellblock bullies as well as the mysterious and chilling Mr. Quincrux—who claims to be from the Department of Health and Human Services. But when Shreve feels Quincrux invade his mind and shuffle through his darkest memories, he knows Quincrux’s interest in Jack is far more sinister. Mr. Quincrux means to take Jack away. For what purposes, no one knows.

But Shreve has another plan: escape.

Why did I read The Twelve-Fingered Boy?

I'm a fan of John Hornor Jacobs. His debut novel Southern Gods blew me away. (You can check out my review of Southern Gods here.) The Twelve-Fingered Boy is Jacobs's first YA novel, and it sounded like an awesome read.

The Strengths

I have a strong affection for coming of age stories, and I don't find myself reading male POV YA books very often. The Twelve-Fingered Boy was able to fill that spot in my heart and make me a very happy reader.

I love the friendship between Shreve and Jack. This is something I look forward to reading more of in the rest of the series.

Superpowers! Can a YA fantasy get better than the main characters having special abilities? I'm not sure that it can for me. If you love books like the Lorien Legacies (I Am Number Four, etc.) then you should check out The Twelve-Fingered Boy as well.

I'm very happy to report The Twelve-Fingered Boy is a full story. I bitch A LOT around here about series books not giving a full story in each volume. I firmly believe that any and every book should be able to stand on its own. Even though there is a larger story arch and questions left unanswered, The Twelve-Fingered Boy is completely capable of standing on its own.

The design of the physical book is fantastic. I'm very blessed to have a hard copy. It's a great read so I certainly recommend downloading the ebook if that is your thing, but bibliophiles, keep in mind this is a stunning book.

The front and back matter are printed on dark paper.

The Weakness

When the big baddie Mr. Quincrux forcibly enters Shreve's mind (not a spoiler/in the book blurb), Shreve has a very strong reaction to how he's been violated. I was uncomfortable with the extent to which Shreve was equating this violation especially given the fact that (this part is a spoiler) Shreve goes on to do the exact same thing to others.

Would I recommend The Twelve-Fingered Boy to others?

Yes! It was a really great read. The Shibboleth comes out in March so I will definitely be reading that one soon as well.

8/10: Great Read



Review copy provided by author via publisher

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Monday, January 20, 2014

January 20 | Currently Reading

Thank you so much to those of you who shared suggestions to help me through my reading funk last week. I tried each and every one of them. Eventually I pulled the first book alphabetically (3:59 by Gretchen McNeil) and would you believe that's the one that broke my funk? The beginning of 3:59 really pulled me in, but overall it's not a book I would recommend. It had way too many plot holes, and it just didn't work for me.

The rest of my reading week was fantastic. I read The Twelve-Fingered Boy by John Hornor Jacobs. I will try to get my review out this week, but it was a great YA read. I look forward to more of the Incarcerado series. I also finished reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. This reread has been nothing short of amazing. I can't believe after one more book Harry Potter will end all over for me again.

I also posted a review of Fortune's Pawn if you want to check that out.


This week I'm planning to read Snowblind by Christopher Golden, and I will also start reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.


My kids and I started reading the Magic Treehouse series last week. I somehow missed this series as a kid so I'm excited to experience it along with them. We are also still making our way through the Frog and Toad books.


I hope everyone has an excellent day today. I'm off for MLK day, and I'm looking forward to checking out what everyone is reading this week. Be sure to let me know what you are reading in the comments or leave me a link!


This post is being shared as part of Book Journey's It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Teach Mentor Text's It's Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA.

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Book Review | Fortune's Pawn by Rachel Bach


Fortune's Pawn is the first book in the Paradox trilogy by Rachel Bach.

Book Description

Devi Morris isn't your average mercenary. She has plans. Big ones. And a ton of ambition. It's a combination that's going to get her killed one day - but not just yet.

That is, until she just gets a job on a tiny trade ship with a nasty reputation for surprises. The Glorious Fool isn't misnamed: it likes to get into trouble, so much so that one year of security work under its captain is equal to five years everywhere else. With odds like that, Devi knows she's found the perfect way to get the jump on the next part of her Plan. But the Fool doesn't give up its secrets without a fight, and one year on this ship might be more than even Devi can handle.

If Sigouney Weaver in Alien met Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica, you'd get Deviana Morris -- a hot new mercenary earning her stripes to join an elite fighting force. Until one alien bite throws her whole future into jeopardy.

If you are like me and you spend most of your year pining for the next badass book chick to enter your life, FORTUNE'S PAWN.

Devi is a mercenary who wants to become a Devestator for the King. In order to gain enough qualified experience in a short amount of time she takes a job on a notoriously active ship called The Glorious Fool. As promised, Devi faces a lot of action, but she also stumbles upon secrets she was never meant to discover.

Devi is such an awesome character. She has an ambitious goal that keeps her driven to consistently level up her badassery. Her job is dangerous so she makes it a point to live her life. She doesn't always make the best decisions, but I love her.

Another thing Devi has going for her on top of her mercenary skills is her armored suit. I had no idea how badly I could want a suit of armor until I read Fortune's Pawn. Devi's suit and her guns are practically characters themselves. Devi spent two years' salary on her suit, and it is awesome. Her weapons have their own names which totally solidifies their status with me. I was just as worried about the fate of her suit and weapons as the fate of the real characters.

There's a huge romance element in Fortune's Pawn. It's a bit insta-love, but there are so many layers, secrets, and OMGs to the romance and all of the characters in Fortune's Pawn, I can almost overlook the insta-love.

The only thing I'm going to bitch and moan about is the ending. Fortune's Pawn is the first book of the Paradox trilogy and it is no exception to the series trend of leaving the reader abso-fucking-lutely hanging at the end. A huge saving grace is Orbit is publishing these books pretty much back to back with only two months in between each release so we won't have to wait long for more Paradox.

The last thing I want to say is you do not need to be a reader of science fiction to enjoy Fortune's Pawn. A lot of folks are making strong comparisons to Urban Fantasy even though Fortune's Pawn is set in space. Maybe we can call this a Space Fantasy? If you love strong characters and a lot of action, Fortune's Pawn is a really great read.

8/10: Great Read



Have you read Fortune's Pawn yet? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to leave me a link in the comments if you've written a review.

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Monday, January 13, 2014

January 13 | Currently Reading

READING FUNK. Nothing I'm picking up right now is doing it for me. I DNF'ed books all weekend long.

Last week I finished reading I Am Malala. It was a really great read. I also read Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis. I wasn't a big fan of that one.


This week I'm reading Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson. This book has a lot of KA-POW and not much else right now.


My kids and I finished reading 5 Minute Marvel Stories. It was fantastic. If you have a young reader you want to introduce to all of the Marvel heroes and villians, this book is excellent. We also started reading the first A to Z Mysteries book The Absent Author by Ron Roy.


I'd love to hear what you are reading this week. Let me know in the comments or leave me a link!


This post is being shared as part of Book Journey's It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Teach Mentor Text's It's Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA.

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Monday, January 6, 2014

January 6 | Currently Reading

Ugh. Today is my first day back at work after having two weeks off with my kids. Now they are back at school, and it's back to the grind. RESPONSIBILITIES. I hates 'em.

Last week I finished reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix which was awesome as always. I also read Fortune's Pawn by Rachel Bach and YAY! It was awesome, too.


I've started reading Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince which I've already torn halfway through. I also started reading I Am Malala last night which made me stay up way too late. This is going to be a great read.


This week my kids and I read/are currently reading:


Bunnicula was one of my childhood favorites. I loved sharing it with my boys.

I'd love to hear what you are reading this week. Let me know in the comments or leave me a link!


This post is being shared as part of Book Journey's It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Teach Mentor Text's It's Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA.





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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Reading Resolutions | 2014

Happy New Year! Each year on the blog I set my reading goals for the year. Last year my plan was to have no plan (aka to read what I wanted when I wanted). I'm a big fan of no pressure reading so I will continue that plan this year as well, but I do have a few hopes for this year.

Non-fiction

I love reading non-fiction, and I don't read nearly enough of it. I was beating myself up last year until I looked at my stats and realized I had read 9 non-fiction books. This year my goal is to diversify the types of non-fiction books I read and hopefully even read a little more than last year.

New Releases

I hope to read more new releases this year. I'm actually on the fence about this goal because I don't want to get sucked into only reviewing the new things, but I'd like to see more current year books end up on my favorites list at the end of the year.

Horror

I need more horror in my life - be it new horror, old horror, I don't care. If you read any outstanding new horror at any time this year, please send me a recommendation via comment, email, twitter, goodreads, whatever.

Children's Books

I'm awful at tracking the books I read with my kids. I want to do much better this year.

50 Books


As always, my Goodreads Challenge is set to 50 books. I hope to smash that goal, but as long as I'm reading roughly a book a week, I'm accomplishing what I want to accomplish.

Blogging

As for the blog, I'll continue posting as inconsistently as ever.  I hope to continue only doing what I love to do. I'd like to find my blogging voice in a way I haven't in the past, and I hope to spend 2014 discussing good books with good people.

Do you have any reading or blogging goals set for the year?

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