In The Stacks (20)

What I added to my stacks (and stacks and stacks) this week. I am linking up with Stacking The Shelves by Tynga’s Reviews.

Keeping it low key on the book buying front. I went crazy requesting review titles on NetGalley but have not heard anything. Oh well, I really need to tackle my bookshelf of shame.

Purchased

The Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman

The Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman

Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

This one is at the top of my TBR stack. Once I get through a review book (that is very long and very boring), this one will be in my hands. It is short enough to read in a sitting and has gotten such wonderful reviews.

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Isn’t that what they say? But how close is too close when they may be one in the same?

The Seven Stages War left much of the planet a charred wasteland. The future belongs to the next generation’s chosen few who must rebuild it. But to enter this elite group, candidates must first pass The Testing—their one chance at a college education and a rewarding career.

Cia Vale is honored to be chosen as a Testing candidate; eager to prove her worthiness as a University student and future leader of the United Commonwealth. But on the eve of her departure, her father’s advice hints at a darker side to her upcoming studies–trust no one.

But surely she can trust Tomas, her handsome childhood friend who offers an alliance? Tomas, who seems to care more about her with the passing of every grueling (and deadly) day of the Testing. To survive, Cia must choose: love without truth or life without trust.

I was approved for this one on NetGalley but never got around to downloading it. It is popping up on some best-of lists and the premise is really interesting.

Kindle

 

The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

The Princess Diaries (The Princess Diaries #1) by Meg Cabot

She’s just a New York City girl living with her artist mom…

News Flash: Dad is prince of Genovia. (So that’s why a limo meets her at the airport!)

Downer: Dad can’t have any more kids. (So no heir to the throne.)

Shock of the Century: Like it or not, Mia Thermopolis is prime princess material.

Mia must take princess lessons from her dreaded grandmére, the dowager princess of Genovia, who thinks Mia has a thing or two to learn before she steps up to the throne.

Well, her father can lecture her until he’s royal-blue in the face about her princessly duty–no way is she moving to Genovia and leaving Manhattan behind. But what’s a girl to do when her name is Princess Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo?

I have read very little Meg Cabot, which is kind of sad. My library always has the other books in this series but never book one. So I had to take matters into my own hands, so I can read this series.

Scott Pilgrim Precious Little Life 1 by Bryan Lee O'Malley

Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life (Scott Pilgrim #1) by Bryan Lee O’Malley

Just when you thought you knew all there was to know about Scott Pilgrim comes Scott Pilgrim Color Hardcover Volume 1: Precious Little Life! The first in a series of brand-new hardcover editions, this remastered, 6″x9″ hardcover presents Scott’s first “evil ex” battle as you’ve never seen it before – in full-color! Plus, previously unpublished extras and bonus materials make this mighty tome one that’s required reading for Scottaholics everywhere!

I am so not a graphic novel reader but really wanted to try one. I loved the Scott Pilgrim movie, so I decided to give it a shot.

What did you add to your shelves this week?

In The Stacks (9)

What I added to my stacks (and stacks and stacks) this week. I am linking up with Stacking The Shelves by Tynga’s Reviews.

ARC

Gameboard Of The Gods (Age Of X #1) by Richelle Mead

Gameboard Of The Gods by Richelle Mead

In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills.When

Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.

Gameboard of the Gods, the first installment of Richelle Mead’s Age of X series, will have all the elements that have made her YA Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series such mega successes: sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; and relentless action and suspense.

I am starting to feel like the only person in the world that has never read a book by Richelle Mead. I am attempting to remedy that.

Trash Can Days: A Middle School Saga by Teddy Steinkellner

Trash Can Days A Middle School Saga by Teddy Steinkellner

Jake Schwartz is not looking forward to middle school. Puberty feels light-years away; he’s not keen on the cool clothes or lingo; and he has the added pressure of preparing for his bar mitzvah. The only saving grace is that Danny Uribe, his lifelong best friend, will be by his side…

Or will he? Since Danny’s summer growth spurt, there’s been a growing distance between him and Jake. Danny is excited to explore all that junior high has to offer…especially the girls (and most notably Hannah, Jake’s older sister). But gang life has its allure, too, and he soon finds himself in over his head.

Meanwhile, Hannah is dealing with her own problems–being queen bee is not easy. The other girls are out for blood, and boys are so…exhausting. Danny surprises her with his maturity, but can Hannah’s reputation survive if she’s linked to a sevvy? And what would Jake think about her hooking up with his best friend?

Dorothy Wu could not care less about junior-high drama. She is content to stay in her bedroom and write epic stories of her adventures as a warrior mermaid maiden. But that changes when she discovers the school’s writing club. There, she meets a young lad with heroic potential and decides that life outside her fantasy world just might have some appeal.

In the course of one year at San Paulo Junior High, these four lives will intersect in unique and hilarious ways. Friendships will grow and change. Reputations will be transformed. And maybe someone will become a man.

I am such a sucker for a good Middle Grade plus I have yet to read anything published by Disney-Hyperion that I didn’t love.

Purchased

 Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1) by Richelle Mead

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger…

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.

As I said above, I will be reading at least one Richelle Mead books soon.

Partials (Partials Sequence #1) by Dan Wells

Partials by Dan Wells

The human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials–engineered organic beings identical to humans–has decimated the population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by RM, a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island while the Partials have mysteriously retreated. The threat of the Partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to RM in more than a decade. Our time is running out.

Kira, a sixteen-year-old medic-in-training, is on the front lines of this battle, seeing RM ravage the community while mandatory pregnancy laws have pushed what’s left of humanity to the brink of civil war, and she’s not content to stand by and watch. But as she makes a desperate decision to save the last of her race, she will find that the survival of humans and Partials alike rests in her attempts to uncover the connections between them–connections that humanity has forgotten, or perhaps never even knew were there.

Book two (Fragments) came out recently and is getting really good reviews. I spotted Partials in paperback and couldn’t say no.

Kindle

God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut

God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut

Eliot Rosewater—drunk, volunteer fireman, and President of the fabulously rich Rosewater Foundation—is about to attempt a noble experiment with human nature . . . with a little help from writer Kilgore Trout. God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater is Kurt Vonnegut’s funniest satire, an etched-in-acid portrayal of the greed, hypocrisy, and follies of the flesh we are all heir to.

Do you have any authors that you wish you had read more of their books? Thank you Kindle Daily Deal for reminding me how I should be reading more Vonnegut.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Days before his release from prison, Shadows wife, Laura, dies in a mysterious car crash. Numbly, he makes his way back home. On the plane, he encounters the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who claims to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America.
Together they embark on a profoundly strange journey across the heart of the USA, whilst all around them a storm or preternatural and epic proportions threatens to break.

Scary, gripping and deeply unsettling, AMERICAN GODS takes a long, hard look into the soul of America. You’ll be surprised by what and who it finds there…

Why have I never read this book? Also, why did I accidentally read Anansi Boys because I grabbed it from the library and thought it was a stand-alone? Regardless, this is being made into a TV show and I have to read it before I see it.

Chains (Seeds Of America #1) by Laurie Halse Anderson

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson

As the Revolutionary War begins, thirteen-year-old Isabel wages her own fight…for freedom. Promised freedom upon the death of their owner, she and her sister, Ruth, in a cruel twist of fate become the property of a malicious New York City couple, the Locktons, who have no sympathy for the American Revolution and even less for Ruth and Isabel. When Isabel meets Curzon, a slave with ties to the Patriots, he encourages her to spy on her owners, who know details of British plans for invasion. She is reluctant at first, but when the unthinkable happens to Ruth, Isabel realizes her loyalty is available to the bidder who can provide her with freedom.

Does Laurie Halse Anderson write any bad books? Spotted this one as a daily deal and had to buy it.

Wicked: The Life And Times Of The Wicked Witch Of The West (The Wicked Years #1) by Gregory Maguire

Wicked The Life And Times Of tHe Wicked Witch Of The West by Gregory Maguire

In Baum’s land of Oz, animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens, Munchkinlanders seek the comfort of middle-class stability and the Tin Man becomes a victim of domestic violence. Green-skinned Elphaba, future Wicked Witch of the West, is smart, prickly and misunderstood; she challenges our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil.

Son Of A Witch (The Wicked Years #2) by Gregory Maguire

Son Of A Witch by Gregory Maguire

Liir hid in the shadows of the castle after Dorothy did in the Witch. Left for dead in a gully, the teen is shattered in spirit and body. But silent novice Candle tends him at the Cloister of Saint Glinda, and wills him back to life with her music.

What dark force left Liir in this condition? Is he really Elphaba’s son? He has her broom and her cape – but what of her powers? Can he find his supposed half-sister, Nor, last seen in the forbidding prison Southstairs? Can he fulfill the last wishes of a dying princess? In an Oz under new and dangerous management, can Liir keep his head down long enough to grow up?

Out Of Oz (Wicked Years #4) by Gregory Maguire

Out Of Oz by Gregory Maguire

Oz is knotted with social unrest: The Emerald City is mounting an invasion of Munchkinland, Glinda is under house arrest, the Cowardly Lion is on the run from the law, and Dorothy is back. Amid chaos and war, Elphaba’s green granddaughter born at the end of “Son of a Witch”, comes of age. Rain will take up her broom, and bring the series to a close.

I read Wicked and Son Of A Witch when they first came out ten plus years ago and really enjoyed them. I never finished the series but picked up a discounted copy of book three a few months ago. When I was the series on sale, it was the perfect excuse to restart this series and finally know how it all ends.

What did you add to your stacks this week?

 

All cover images and summaries from goodreads.

Neverwhere By Neil Gaiman A Review

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Title: Neverwhere

Author: Neil Gaiman

Publisher:William Morrow Paperbacks

Publishing Date: 1996

Goodreads

Summary

Richard Mayhew is an unassuming young businessman living in London, with a dull job and a pretty but demanding fiancée. Then one night he stumbles across a girl bleeding on the sidewalk. He stops to help her – and the life he knows vanishes like smoke. Several hours later, the girl is gone too. And by the following morning Richard Mayhew has been erased from his world. His bank cards no longer work, taxi drivers won’t stop for him, his landlord rents his apartment out to strangers. He has become invisible, and inexplicably consigned to a London of shadows and darkness – to a city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, that exists entirely in a subterranean labyrinth of sewer canals and abandoned subway stations. He has fallen through the cracks of reality and has landed somewhere different, somewhere that is Neverwhere. For this is the home of Door, the mysterious girl whom Richard rescued in the London Above. A personage of great power and nobility in this murky, candlelit realm, she is on a mission to discovery the cause of her family’s slaughter, and in doing so preserve this strange underworld kingdom from the malevolence that means to destroy it. And with nowhere else to turn, Richard Mayhew must now join the Lady Door’s entourage in their determined – and possibly fatal – quest. For the dread journey ever-downward – through bizarre anachronisms and dangerous incongruities, and into dusty corners of stalled time – is Richard’s final hope, his last road back to a “real” world that is growing disturbingly less real by the minute.

I am so glad that I randomly pulled this book off the shelf of the library. Until I got home, I was unaware of this gem of a book or its starting off as a mini-series in the UK. Having read only one other Neil Gaiman book, Anansi Boys, I am familiarizing myself with his work and wondering what took me so long to do so.

The world created in Neverwhere is rich and expansive. You can nearly smell the sewers and feel the grittiness of London Below. It is such an interesting idea to have a fantastical realm and characters that are adjacent and aware of our modern world. They are us with a twist. The way in which Neil Gaiman uses the London underground stations to become something more literal and an integral part of the plot, was so much fun. As a plot device, I found it to be very inventive. 

Richard Mayhew, who is the most regular everyman, is a character that you cannot help but root for. He is a good person who tries to do the right thing but is utterly average in every regard. Until he has a fantastical adventure that leads to becoming a warrior and learning to live in a place of adventure.  

I loved nearly everything about Neverwhere. If you are looking for a well-written fantasy novel filled with interesting characters, Neverwhere should be moved to the top of your to be read pile.

Images and summary from goodreads.