Monday, February 16, 2015

Review: The Kiss of Deception by Mary Pearson

The Kiss of Deception by Mary Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles, #1
Published: 2014, Henry Holt and Company
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library


It can take years to mold a dream. It takes only a fraction of a second for it to be shattered.

Princess Arabella Celestine Idris Jezelia, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan - called Lia - has no desire to further her country’s political gains through marriage to the prince of Dalbreck. She’s grown up with brothers and has seen each of them take their relationships into their own hands and wants the same for herself. So on the eve of her wedding, Lia and her maid Pauline flee the nation’s capital and settle down in the seaside village of Terravin. There Lia works at an inn and plans to create a life of her own choosing.

But choosing to forsake her own duty as a First Daughter doesn’t mean that others are content to let Lia ruin this potential alliance. Her father’s soldiers are out searching for her, there’s a bounty set for her capture, and two outsiders from very different backgrounds are also seeking out Lia: the jilted prince of Dalbreck wants to see just who Lia is, to think that she could run away from their marriage, and the northern Kingdom of Venda has sent an assassin after Lia, because a potential alliance between Morrighan and Dalbreck is the last thing they want.

Friday, February 13, 2015

ALA Midwinter 2015 Recap

The other weekend I was fortunate enough to get a ride down to visit the exhibit hall of Chicago's ALA Midwinter meeting. It was the closest the event will ever be held to me, and sounded like a good opportunity for some professional development (and for the acquisition of some new books).

Readers familiar with my blog will know that I'm not one to request many books for review; they come with the pressure of reading on a deadline and ensuring a review is written. And, honestly, there are so many books being published that I kind of want to wait and read reviews prior to my decision of whether or not to read certain books. As you can see from my photos and list below, the publishing representatives at ALA Midwinter were difficult to resist. The vast majority of these books I was either handed while walking down the aisles, or else received from attending a panel.

I had the opportunity to attend a few fantastic panels on my visit. Diverse Debuts was moderated by author Danielle Paige (Dorothy Must Die) and debut authors in attendance included Sona Charaipotra (Tiny Pretty Things), I.W. Gregorio (None of the Above), Fonda Lee (Zeroboxer), Miranda Paul (One Plastic Bag), Adam Silvera (More Happy Than Not), Sabaa Tahir (An Ember in the Ashes), Nicola Yoon (Everything, Everything), and Francesca Zappia (Made You Up). In a lively discussion, the authors spoke about books that acted as mirrors and windows for them growing up, and also about the importance of the #weneeddiversebooks campaign. 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Review: The Glass Sentence by S.E. Grove

The Glass Sentence by S.E. Grove
Series: The Mapmakers Trilogy, #1
Published: 2014, Viking
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library


“Memory is a tricky thing, Sophia,” he had said to her. “It doesn’t just recall the past, it makes the past. If you remember our trip as a few minutes, it will be a few minutes. If you make it something else, it will be something else.”

Sophia Tims’ world is one that should not exist. While for her the year is 1891, that year is not consistent across her world; some places are separated by hundreds of years and do not even have the same number of hours in a day. This is all due to the Great Disruption of 1799, when inexplicable circumstances caused the world to fracture into different eras.

Almost 100 years later, the world is still a fractured, uncertain place to be. In Sophia’s world, there exist cartologers (essentially mapmakers who possess a touch of magic), and it is through their efforts that humanity has the greatest chance of discovering the cause of the Great Disruption, as well as a possible solution. Sophia’s uncle Shadrack is one of the most respected cartologers, and he has promised to start teaching her his craft, so that she not only may better understand their world, but perhaps gain some valuable skills that may help her discover what happened to her missing parents. Almost as soon as their lessons start, however, Shadrack is captured by those who believe he knows where to find the Carta Mayor - a mythic map that apparently contains information about the Great Disruption. And now Sophia is the only one who can save him.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Top Ten Classic Young Adult Books I Can't Believe I Haven't Read Yet

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week we're listing books from a certain genre that we can't believe we haven't read yet. My current class on young adult literature has got me thinking about the origins of books marketed specifically for teens (which really hasn't been a thing for more than about half a century), so this week I thought I'd pick out some books that have essentially become classics of young adult literature that I haven't read yet (but plan to soon!).

Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block
Forever by Judy Blume
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
Crank by Ellen Hopkins
The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
Monster by Walter Dean Myers
Jacob I Have Loved by Katherine Paterson
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
Are there any other young adult literature classics that I should read?

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Showcase Sunday #22

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicki at Books, Biscuits and Tea. Its aim is to showcase our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders this week.

The Inheritance Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin  
Christmas present from my parents! I read The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms back in 2012 (my first review on here, actually!) and I've been meaning to return to this trilogy. This edition includes a bonus novella and holding it up will be a major workout in and of itself.  
The World of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin
This was a Christmas present from my brother. It looks like it discusses the history and physical lands and is accompanied by beautiful images. Seriously, those images alone make this the perfect coffee table book.  
All the Rage by Courtney Summers 
Thank you, thank you, St. Martin's Press and Netgalley! I haven't met a Courtney Summers book I haven't liked, and I'm so eager to give her newest a chance, especially as it's been said it examines rape culture in much the same way that Speak examines sexual assault.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Monthly Digest: January 2015

Welcome back to The Monthly Digest here at Late Nights with Good Books. With these posts I hope to recap everything reading- and blogging-related for the past month.

Books I Read

Favorite Read from January:
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Notable Quote from January:
They grew up on the outside of society. They weren't looking for a fight. They were looking to belong.
―S.E. Hinton, The Outsiders
January Features:

In My Life
1. I participated in this year's Mock Awards held by my library system. Our winners were: Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett (Caldecott), The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier (Newbury), and The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton (Printz).

2. Classes started up again for me. This semester I'm taking classes on the public library, collection development, and young adult literature. The good news is that I'm excited for all three of my classes. The bad news is that I will have a ton of reading and writing for the next few months. I'm just hoping I can find a way to balance everything so I don't end up with another blogging hiatus.

3. I attended a Summer Library Program workshop through my job that was so inspirational. It helped me to think about new ways to encourage literacy in children and ways to make kids want to come to the library. Plus, I met a few awesome people there.

4. I started listening to the Serial podcast and I'm hooked. It's much easier to and it makes the time go by much faster than just watching TV does (I'm checking the clock every few minutes now, rather than every few seconds). Though I'm not sure what I'll do once I finish Serial...

5. As this posts, I'll be on my way to ALA-Midwinter. Prior plans fell through, so now I'm only attending for the day, but I'm still excited about it. I'll have a recap up within a week or two.

How was your January?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Review: The Young Elites by Marie Lu

The Young Elites by Marie Lu
Series: The Young Elites, #1
Published: 2014,
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

Energy courses through me in relentless waves, feeding me even as I try to ignore the flood of power in my veins. In spite of everything, I feel a strange sense of glee.
All this chaos is of my own creation.

Although she survived the blood fever that crippled her country’s population, Adelina Amouteru is still suffering from its effects. Of everyone who became infected from the plague, only children survived, but their survival came at a price: physical disfigurements that has left them objects of pity and fear, and given them the collective name of Malfettos. Adelina herself is now silver-haired and missing an eye. A byproduct of the disease also gave some Malfettos supernatural powers, and those special Malfettos are referred to as the Young Elites.

The stigma surrounding Malfettos has ensured that they’re now essentially second-class citizens, even within their own families. Adelina has spent most of her life watching her father favor her younger, beautiful sister Violetta, who is everything that Adelina was supposed to be. She’s unwillingly put up with her family until she learns that she’s to be given away as a mistress to an older wealthy man - her status as a Malfetto ensures that she could never be properly married. Deciding that she can no longer bear this treatment, Adelina runs away and eventually finds herself under the protection of the Dagger Society, a small group of Young Elites. From them she learns that she possesses powers beyond reckoning. Enzo Valenciano, the leader of the Dagger Society, is none other than the dethroned heir of the throne, who gives his fellow society members the chance to retaliate against all those who have wronged them in the past.