Thursday, January 26, 2023

Review | Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

Source: personal purchase. This is a review of my reading experience.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones is the second book in the Wayward Children series by Seanan McGuire.


Twin sisters Jack and Jill were seventeen when they found their way home and were packed off to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.

This is the story of what happened first…

Jacqueline was her mother’s perfect daughter—polite and quiet, always dressed as a princess. If her mother was sometimes a little strict, it’s because crafting the perfect daughter takes discipline.

Jillian was her father’s perfect daughter—adventurous, thrill-seeking, and a bit of a tom-boy. He really would have preferred a son, but you work with what you've got.

They were five when they learned that grown-ups can’t be trusted.

They were twelve when they walked down the impossible staircase and discovered that the pretense of love can never be enough to prepare you a life filled with magic in a land filled with mad scientists and death and choices.
I didn't write a review the first time I read Down Among the Sticks and Bones, and I'm having the same struggle after rereading it. It's hard to put into words the things that Seanan McGuire is able to capture in the Wayward Children series.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones tells the story of Jacqueline and Jillian, twins who eventually find their doorway to the Moors after being born from horrible, self-serving parents and raised by their grandmother. We first meet Jack and Jill in Every Heart a Doorway (book #1 of the series), and Down Among the Sticks and Bones is their backstory.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones is a dark story in the dark world of the Moors, but the true beauty of Down Among the Sticks and Bones is the portrayal of gender roles. It's so heartbreakingly relatable. If you aren't reading this series, I really can't recommend it enough.

4/5 stars
⭐⭐⭐⭐★ 

Update: Turns out I did post some quick thoughts here after reading it the first time.

Jennifer

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Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Bookish Goals for 2023

My goals this year are short, but below is an honest look at my 2023 reading plans.


Read Books When They Arrive


Hell Bent by Leigh Bardugo Lost in the Moment and Found by Seanan McGuire Our Share of Night by Mariana EnrĂ­quez, Megan McDowell (Translator)

I always fail at this goal, but it's probably my #1 goal for 2023. If I preorder a book or request it from my library, that means I want to read it above all else. So why do they go unread? (This goal is going to be in direct conflict with my next goal.)


Mood Read


The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang Jade City by Fonda Lee

I've been doing a lot of mood reading lately, and it's the best. I really wouldn't have it any other way, but like most of us, I commit myself to book clubs and readalongs and against my better judgment review copies. I want to commit to continued mood reading in 2023.


Reread


Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch The Princess Bride by William Goldman

I've also been rereading a lot lately, and I want to keep rereading old favorites especially via audio when I'm super busy.


Library


The Justice of Kings by Richard Swan We Spread by Ian Reid The First Binding by R.R. Virdi

I am already a big library user, but I have a tendency to use my library for digital copies of the books I have purchased. I love going back and forth between audio and print. I'd like to go just digital more this year, but that's a big struggle for me so we'll see how this one goes.

That's it! I'm just hoping to read the books I'm most excited about in 2023.



Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Jennifer

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Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Most Anticipated Books Releasing in the First Half of 2023

I love reading TBR lists, and I can't wait to see what everyone is looking forward to reading in 2023. Below you will find the books I'm most excited to read in the first half of 2023! I didn't include Brandon Sanderson's secret project novels because they are trying to keep the covers, titles, blurbs, etc. a secret so just know I'm very excited for those as well.

Hell Bent by Leigh Bardugo Lost in the Moment and Found by Seanan McGuire What Lies in the Woods by Kate Alice Marshall

Hell Bent by Leigh Bardugo - I loved Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. I'm excited to see what happens next.

Lost in the Moment and Found by Seanan McGuire - This is the 8th book in the Wayward Children series. I love this series so these books are always a highlight for me.

What Lies in the Woods by Kate Alice Marshall - Not only is this a new Kate Alice Marshall book, it's an adult thriller!


Our Share of Night by Mariana EnrĂ­quez, Megan McDowell (Translator) A Day of Fallen Night by Samantha Shannon The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi by S.A. Chakraborty

Our Share of Night by Mariana EnrĂ­quez, Megan McDowell (Translator) - I can't wait to get my hands on this chunky epic horror.

A Day of Fallen Night by Samantha Shannon - Speaking of chunky books - I haven't read The Priory of the Orange Tree, but I might read this prequel anyway.

The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi by S.A. Chakraborty - Pirates on the high seas?! Yes, please!


American Mermaid by Julia Langbein A House With Good Bones by T. Kingfisher In the Lives of Puppets by T.J. Klune

American Mermaid by Julia Langbein - This is a debut novel that sounds like a wonderful read.

A House With Good Bones by T. Kingfisher - I want to read everything T. Kingfisher releases.

In the Lives of Puppets by T.J. Klune - The same goes for T.J. Klune. I need feel good fantasy in my life at all times.


The Ferryman by Justin Cronin The Only One Left by Riley Sager The Reformatory by Tananarive Due

The Ferryman by Justin Cronin - I loved The Passage, and I'm super curious about this one.

The Only One Left by Riley Sager - I can't help it. I'm a sucker for Riley Sager releases.

The Reformatory by Tananarive Due - Yay! A new Tananarive Due!


Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Jennifer

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Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Favorite Books of 2022

It's the best time of the year when we get to share our favorite books! Below are my absolute favorite books of 2022 in reverse order of when I read them.

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke These Fleeting Shadows by Kate Alice Marshall Just Like Home by Sarah Gailey

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke - Piranesi was my favorite book of the year. It took almost the entire book for me to fall in love with it, but it turned out to be an absolute favorite.

These Fleeting Shadows by Kate Alice Marshall - Another gem from Kate Alice Marshall! These Fleeting Shadows was weird and romantic and heartbreaking, and I loved it.

Just Like Home by Sarah Gailey - Just Like Home was such a surprise! Now I need to read everything Sarah Gailey has ever written.


What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher Sundial by Catriona Ward White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson

What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher - I had so much fun with this creepy retelling of Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher.

Sundial by Catriona Ward - Sundial has solidified Catriona Ward as an autobuy must read author for me!

White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson - I need to read more by Tiffany D. Jackson because I loved White Smoke.


Our Last Echoes by Kate Alice Marshall Bad Witch Burning by Jessica Lewis Ghost Girl by Ally Malinenko

Our Last Echoes by Kate Alice Marshall - It's no surprise to me that Kate Alice Marshall landed on my list twice!

Bad Witch Burning by Jessica Lewis - By far my favorite YA horror of the year! I LOVED THIS BOOK.

Ghost Girl by Ally Malinenko - Ghost Girl was my favorite MG horror of the year. I highly recommend it!


Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Jennifer

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