Friday, January 26, 2018

Spinning Pages (40): Tokoyo, the Samurai's Daughter


Oftentimes, while I'm reading a song will pop into my head because the book makes me think of it; sometimes the reverse happens and a random song will make me think of a book I have readSpinning Pages is a combination of my love for books and music. More often than not, the inspiration for these posts strikes while I have music thumping in my ears while exercising (kind of like how this feature came to be). 





This week on Spinning Pages to 14th century Japan where Tokoyo strives to be reunited with her father and faces many hardships during her trials. 

Karate by BabyMetal
[Ossu.] Even if tears spill from our eyes,[Ossu.] let’s confront it!
Single-mindedly, seiya soiya, let’s fight onwith our fists more… with our spirits more…with making all sharper.[Wo’oh wo’oh wo’oh.]
Still more, seiya soiya, let’s fight oneven if we get sad and unable to stand up.[Ah ossu ossu.]
(English translation is taken from BabyMetal)




Even though I am not super familiar with Babymetal's music, I really like their song Karate, and the video is really cool (just so you know). But when I saw the lyrics in English, I knew that this was the song I wanted to use for Tokoyo, the Samurai's Daughter. Why, because they remind me how Tokoyo went from numbly moving along to making a decision as to what she would do; that and it fits the determination that she found during her journey.

You can see my full thoughts on Tokoyo, the Samurai's Daughter by Faith L. Justice by hopping over to my review.

Don't forget to check out Babymetal's music video for Karate!!


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

I Want to Read It (87): Weave a Circle Round



I Want to Read It, a hybrid between WLW (or WOW) and what's on my to-be-read pile. Well, instead of focusing just on books I would like to acquire, I will be using it to feature books that I just want to read. From the ones, I want to buy to the one's sitting on my TBR at home.



Weave a Circle Round by Kari Maaren, November 28, 2017. Published by Tor Books. 
Freddy wants desperately to not be noticed. She doesn't want to be seen as different or unusual, but her step-brother Roland gets attention because he's deaf, and her little sister Mel thinks she's a private detective. All Freddy wants to do is navigate high school with as little trouble as possible.

Then someone moves into the house on Grosvenor Street. Two extremely odd someones.

Cuerva Lachance and Josiah aren't . . . normal. When they move in next door, the house begins to exhibit some decidedly strange tendencies, like not obeying the laws of physics or reality. Just as Freddy thinks she's had enough of Josiah following her around, she's plunged into an adventure millennia in the making and discovers the truth about the new neighbors.
Why

Short version......It sounds weird and entertaining. I don't know why I'm only just now hearing about this book (by accident) because the synopsis definitely has piqued my interest.


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Teaser Tuesday: Tokoyo, the Samurai's Daughter


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

All About Middle Grade Review: Tokoyo, the Samurai's Daughter


Tokoyo, the Samurai's Daughter by Faith L. Justice with illustrations by Kayla Gilliam, May 28, 2017. Published by Raggedy Moon Books. Source: Publisher for review.
An adventurous girl! Most noble-born girls of Tokoyo's age learn to sing, paint, and write poetry. Not Tokoyo. She's the daughter of a samurai in fourteenth-century Japan. Tokoyo's father trains her in the martial arts. When he is away, she escapes to the sea where she works with the Ama-a society of women and girls who dive in the deep waters for food and treasure. But disaster strikes her family. Can Tokoyo save her father using the lessons she learned and the skills she mastered to overcome corrupt officials, her own doubts, and a nasty sea demon?
First Sentence
I put the last oyster in the net bag attached to my belt and clasped my knife between my teeth.



As you can tell, this week's review is two days late. I was having trouble deciding which book to talk about this week on the blog, so my writing the posts kept getting delayed (until today).

  • I thought this was actually a pretty solid book for being so short. The only thing I really found myself disliking in Tokoyo, the samurai's Daughter was that it was so short. Even though I thought the author did a great job bringing Tokoyo's story to life, in the short span of the book, it would have been nice to have had just a little more added to her story. 
  • While there is no way that I can vouch for the accuracy of anything contained within the book in regards to historical context, I found it an enjoyable read simply because all of the things that Tokoyo was permitted to learn, martial arts and diving, where not things that were commonly taught to women during that period, and yet, it was those things that would help her overcome so many of the trials that plagued her throughout the book. 
  • There were a couple reasons that I enjoyed reading about Tokoyo and her story. Example- before her world was turned upside down when disaster struck, she had every chance to hold her position in life above those beneath her station, and yet, yet she chose to treat them with the respect they deserved. Now, I thought that was an interesting element to the story as you do not often see privileged characters treating those less fortunate with either scorn or pity, you know. I also liked the character arc that happened that slowly lead her from despair to gaining that small piece of hope that would push her forward.
Final Verdict: Tokoyo, the Samurai's Daughter- A short yet fascinating book that captures that spirit of a young girl in 14th century Japan. I really enjoyed the character development and overall story.

Tokoyo, the Samurai's Daughter earns

A copy of this book was received for review consideration. All thoughts are my own.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Spinning Pages (39): Children of Exile & Children of Refuge

Oftentimes, while I'm reading a song will pop into my head because the book makes me think of it; sometimes the reverse happens and a random song will make me think of a book I have readSpinning Pages is a combination of my love for books and music. More often than not, the inspiration for these posts strikes while I have music thumping in my ears while exercising (kind of like how this feature came to be). 




This week on Spinning Pages will feature two books, both from the same series, paired with one song. It may sound lazy, but I'm a little out of practice as I haven't written many blog posts since October.

The month may be half over, but how about the first Spinning Pages of the year! I am really excited to be pairing Margaret Peterson Haddix's Children of Exile and Children of Refuge with a song to share with y'all


Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen-
Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide
No escape from reality
Open your eyes
Look up to the skies and see




When I think of Rosi and Edwy and how much their world changed after they returned home, I cannot help but feel that the opening lines of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody are more than perfect. If you have read the books, then you know that not everything was how it seemed at first glance; not even the assumptions that they made about those who raised them and the real families that they were taken away from. So, yes, I do feel that the above lines really work for the story and characters.

You can see my full thoughts on Margaret Peterson Haddix's Children of Exile and Children of Refuge, both of which I highly recommend checking out, by zipping over to my reviews of both books! Me, well now I'm stuck waiting for the next installment to see how they'll make it out of the jam they're currently in!!

Don't forget, you can watch the original music video for the song below...*though their hair is somewhat frightful*


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

I Want to Read It (86): Goldeline



I Want to Read It, a hybrid between WLW (or WOW) and what's on my to-be-read pile. Well, instead of focusing just on books I would like to acquire, I will be using it to feature books that I just want to read. From the ones, I want to buy to the one's sitting on my TBR at home.



Goldeline by Jimmy Cajoleas, November 14, 2017. Published by HarperCollins.
In the wild, free woods of the Hinterlands, where magic is as real as stories are, there lives a girl named Goldeline. Goldeline has hair as white as summer snow and gold-flecked eyes, and she travels from camp to camp with Gruff and his bandits, getting by on the things they steal from carriages that pass through the woods.

But someone is after Goldeline. The Preacher—the man who wants to cleanse the Hinterlands of anyone who’s different, the man who turned the Townies against Goldeline’s momma for being a witch—thinks that Goldeline must be a witch, too.

Now Goldeline will have to summon all the courage and magic she got from her momma to escape the Preacher, save her friends, and, maybe, if she’s lucky, find a place to call home.
Why

Considering this book came out in November, I am surprised that the first I heard about it was when I was browsing Goodreads looking for a book to feature this week. To me, it sounds like it could be quite the promising read. 

Alright, have any of you read Goldeline bu Jimmy Cajoleas? If so, what did you think of it?

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Teaser Tuesday: Children of Refuge


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, January 15, 2018

All About Middle Grade Review: Children of Refuge


Children of Refuge (Children of Exile, 2) by Margaret Peterson Haddix, September 12, 2017. 272 pages. Published by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers. Source: Publisher.
It’s been barely a day since Edwy left Fredtown to be with his parents and, already, he is being sent away. He’s smuggled off to boarding school in Refuge City, where he will be with his brother and sister, who don’t even like him very much. The boarding school is nothing like the school that he knew, there’s no one around looking up to him now, and he’s still not allowed to ask questions!

Alone and confused, Edwy seeks out other children brought back from Fredtown and soon discovers that Rosi and the others—still stuck in the Cursed Town—might be in danger. Can Edwy find his way back to his friends before it’s too late? 

First Sentence
The man lunged out of the darkness to grab me as I ran by.



After the surprise twist at the end of Children of Exile, I could not wait to read the next one. Lucky for me, I just so happened to have a copy that I was fortunate enough to receive for review consideration.

  • It has taken me longer than planned to get my thoughts in order to discuss Children of Refuge. It was a great book, but one that requires some 'unpacking' to really delve into why it was such a fascinating book. Bear with me as I try to explain, without spoiling it, why it left such an impact on me as a reader and why I think y'all should be interested in checking out the series as a whole (p.s. there's still one more book after this one [not released yet *cries*]).
  • First off, I really enjoyed that this book was told from Edwy's perspective as it gave the story a new angle to see things from. Even though Edwy and Rosi are quote different from one another, they have more in common then you think when it comes to their respective story lines. Not just in that they were the oldest in the Fred-Town that they were taken to as young children; but in that they both had different prejudices to work through to gain an understanding of the world that they were returned to and their what role they would choose to play in it. 
  • Now onto the aspects of the book that have caused me problems (hence the delay on this post) in putting this post together. There are many reasons that I thought it was interesting to include certain aspects of the the city of Refuge in the book; like how the citizens there went about insulated in a world of their own without really taking note of those around them...except if they were 'someone'.I know I am not putting this well, but it spoke so much to our times and how everyone is so absorbed in their phones that there is no real communication anymore. You know that feeling  of everyone's only in it for themselves, I thought Margaret Peterson Haddix did an excellent job showing how that mentality is so destructive. It was done in a boldly yet subtle way.
Final Verdict: Children of Refuge- Wonderful character development and progress of the overall plot makes this a great follow-up to Children of Exile. I will now impatiently await to see what will happen next (that end, of my gosh!!)!!


A copy of this book was received for review consideration. All thoughts are my own.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

I Want to Read It (85): Children of Refuge



I Want to Read It, a hybrid between WLW (or WOW) and what's on my to-be-read pile. Well, instead of focusing just on books I would like to acquire, I will be using it to feature books that I just want to read. From the ones, I want to buy to the one's sitting on my TBR at home.



Children of Refuge (Children of Exile, 2) by Margaret Peterson Haddix, September 12, 2017. Published by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers. 
It’s been barely a day since Edwy left Fredtown to be with his parents and, already, he is being sent away. He’s smuggled off to boarding school in Refuge City, where he will be with his brother and sister, who don’t even like him very much. The boarding school is nothing like the school that he knew, there’s no one around looking up to him now, and he’s still not allowed to ask questions!

Alone and confused, Edwy seeks out other children brought back from Fredtown and soon discovers that Rosi and the others—still stuck in the Cursed Town—might be in danger. Can Edwy find his way back to his friends before it’s too late?
Why


In case you missed it, I shared my thoughts on Children of Exile earlier this week and, well, now I need to know what will happen next. That ending, oh my gosh, what a fascinating plot twist! I really just need to know what will happen next in the story and for the characters.

Have you read Margaret Peterson Haddix's Children of Exile? 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Teaser Tuesday: Children of Exile


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, January 8, 2018

All About Middle Grade Review: Children of Exile



Children of Exile (Children of Exile, 1) by Margaret Peterson Haddix, September 13, 2016. 304 pages. Published by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers. Source: Publisher for review.
For the past twelve years, adults called “Freds” have raised Rosi, her younger brother Bobo, and the other children of their town, saying it is too dangerous for them to stay with their parents, but now they are all being sent back. Since Rosi is the oldest, all the younger kids are looking to her with questions she doesn’t have the answers to. She’d always trusted the Freds completely, but now she’s not so sure.

And their home is nothing like she’d expected, like nothing the Freds had prepared them for. Will Rosi and the other kids be able to adjust to their new reality?
First Sentence
We weren't orphans after all.

Long time no post, I know! I ran out of scheduled posts about halfway through December and with one of the dog's needing surgery (he's fine now) I just never had the time to sit down to get more posts up and ready. Till now!

  • Originally, I had thought that Children of Exile was my first Margaret Peterson Haddix book, I was mistaken. Which explains why there was something about her writing in this one that kept tugging at my memory; it was that I was mildly familiar with it. While I would not consider myself to be an expert on her writing, I did find myself enjoying the way the plot took a sharp turn for the odd near the end of the book. 
  • Even though I really enjoyed the second half of the book, the first half was really, well, not too great. In the moment, the beginning of the book really bothered me; it felt like the watering down of, well, everything that has pervaded society, yet, the more I think back over it, it seems more like a covert jab at that mentality. I honestly cannot explain it any better than that. 
  • I really liked the way the characters, mainly Rosi as the first book focuses mostly on her, slowly developed throughout the book. It was interesting to see how their viewpoints shifted the more they learned about what led to them growing up with Fred-Parents and not their biological parents; I really loved how well the author captured the emotions that sparked off as Rosi started learning the truth. 
  • Children of Exile was quite fascinating, while it took me some time to get into the story itself, it was really something to see all the various layers of the story as they came together. Like I said, very fascinating. I am definitely hoping that the context, like a broader scope of what set of the events leading up to the children being taken away, will be addressed in the next book. 

  • As far as I know, I have only read (counting this one) three books by Margaret Peterson Haddix; all of which have been vastly different from one another. I must say, her writing and storytelling, from the three I've read, is both vast and varied. Yet, she easily writes stories, from sci-fi/Dystopian to historical fiction, with such ease. 

Final Verdict: Children of Exile- I really loved how well she handled the story. It did a great job of illustrating that things are not always as clear-cut as most people assume; definitely fascinating to see Rosi deal with the two sides of the story (yes, I'm being vague *spoilers*)


A copy of this book was received for review consideration. All thoughts are my own.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Beat the Backlist Reading Challenge 2018 (Sign-UP)



I'll keep this short! I was not planning on participating in any challenges this year, but Austine's (NovelKnight) Beat the Backlist Reading Challenge sounds enjoyable! Learn more about the challenge and how to participate by visiting NovelKnight!

I am not making a list of what I'll be reading during the challenge because I have absolutely NO IDEA...I just want to read down my TBR somewhat this year! I made a sizeable dent in it last year and am hoping to continue the trend.

If I remember, I will share the title I read during the course of the year, or you can find out what I have read by checking out my Goodreads shelf for the challenge.

Books Read


  1. Children of Refuge by Margaret Peterson Haddix (my review)
  2. The World's Greatest Detective by Caroline Carlson
  3. Snow White- a Graphic Novel by Matt Phelan
  4. Thor vol 1 by Jason Aaron
  5. Thor vol 2 by Jason Aaron
  6. Thor vol 3 by Jason Aaron
  7. Thor vol 4 by Jason Aaron
  8. Thor vol 5 by Jason Aaron
  9. Thor vol 6 by Jason Aaron
  10. Thor vol 7 by Jason Aaron
  11. Thor vol 8 by Jason Aaron
  12. Thor Annual 1 by Jason Aaron
  13. Tokoyo, the Samurai's Daughter by Faith L. Justice (my review)
  14. There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins



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