Thursday, July 13, 2017

June Book Haul

Hey, everyone! Here today to share what I read & received in June.

1. Because You Love to Hate Me edited by Ameriie (for more details, see other posts: discussing villains, chatting with Ameriie, the pre-order promo, back cover reveal & anthology pairing, front cover reveal, original book blog post announcing the anthology, original EW cover reveal post (read Ameriie's introduction)).

2. Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore

3. All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

A friend who went to BEA sent me Jane, Unlimited and All the Crooked Saints because she knows how much I love Kristin Cashore & Maggie Stiefvater. (THANKS CAROLINA!!!).

Jane, Unlimited is unlike anything else out there in YA right now. It is an incredible genre bender. It does also have signature Kristin Cashore aspects: the MC exploring her sexuality and coming into her own without the guidance of a parent figure; the multi-layered plot; the large character cast; the research that shows in the little details of actions that are described (e.g., umbrella making), etc. Also, the ambition. It has all the ambition of a Cashore book. If you liked Bitterblue, I think you will like Jane, Unlimited.

You might not know too much of what it's about, based off the summary, but basically there's a main narrative for like 80 pages or so, and then the main character has to make a choice about which of the characters she chooses to talk/attend to, and that choice shapes the rest of the narrative to follow. So there are five narratives branching from that choice, and that's what allows the narrative to be such an incredible gender bender. But because you get the initial narrative, it works; even though there are horror, sci-fi, fantasy elements, it all comes together to tell the story of Jane, in different circumstances. The narratives are all arranged too so that they build on top of each other; you know the reasons for why a character acts a certain way in a different narrative, even if that's not *this* narrative's focus. In other words, you get all the character depths: their motivations, desires, etc. It's such a clever way of plotting the narrative. In some ways, it feels less character-oriented than the Graceling Realm books, but it's not. Jane, Unlimited is a multilayered, genre-bending beauty, showing one girl's growth across a variety of scenarios that only make us love her even more.

I have yet to read All the Crooked Saints, but I'm so excited for it. You want mood, atmosphere, and character-focused fantasy, you go to Maggie Stiefvater. Yes, please.

AND BECAUSE YOU LOVE TO HATE ME!!! The YA villain-themed anthology, in which booktubers provide prompts for author stories and write commentaries on those stories, has been finally released into the world. If any of you have copies or see it in bookstores please send me a pic. Tweet, email, etc. The book launch yesterday with Ameriie, Andrew Smith, Soman Chainani, Cindy Pon, Nicola Yoon, Sarah Enni, Christine Riccio, and me was so, so great. I loved meeting folks, and I loved seeing the enthusiasm!! Check out my tweet here with everyone reporting on their favorite villains. (YA Maleficent retelling anyone???!). 

Have any of you read any of these books? Are you looking forward to any of them? What did you get in June or July or what are you planning to buy/borrow/etc.? Let's chat!

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