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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

My Life in November: OBB Meetup, Reading Slump, and the Announcement of a Hiatus

November was a relatively quiet month for me. Unfortunately, I experienced something of a reading slump this month (I blame Allegiant). It also didn't help that it felt like there was a perpetual cloud hanging over my head due to the death of my grandfather. He was my last remaining grandparent and the one I was the closest to, so I took it quite hard. He was 94 years old, but his death was still very unexpected as he was in excellent shape. It was not too long ago that he beat me at Wii Bowling! Christmas won't be the same without him... but life goes on.

November started off with the annual Ontario Book Bloggers Meetup! Unfortunately, I got lost on my way there and was quite late, so I didn't get to meet nearly as many people as I would have liked. But I still managed to have a good time thankfully!
So apparently I only took one picture the entire time I was there because I suck. Instead, picture a restaurant with four long tables full of book bloggers from across Ontario! It was crazy how many people were there! My only regret is that I only got to meet a fraction of the people there. There's always next year though!

(Pssst... Are you an Ontario Book Blogger? Then you are welcome to join the closed Facebook group for Ontario Book Bloggers!)

Gift bag with books!
I also picked up a copy of Inaccurate Realities (Volume 1: Fear), a compilation of YA speculative fiction short stories edited by Christa of More Than Just Magic, Andrea of Cozy Up With A Good Read, and Sara of Geek Girl's Book Blog!
Ermagherd! I just think it is SO COOL that these ladies came together to create a literary magazine. Not only does it have short stories, but also author interviews and book reviews. I plan on reading it just as soon as I deal with my reading slump problem. Check it out here!

Like everyone else, I made my way to the movie theatre on opening night to see Catching Fire. And like everyone else, I thought it was FANTASTIC! I liked it even more than The Hunger Games. It was a remarkably loyal adaptation of the book and was made all the better for it. As with The Hunger Games, I loved the inclusion of President Snow and the Head Gamekeeper's scenes in Catching Fire - it added a whole new element to the story! And I was so impressed with the acting. All the new actors were great additions to the cast... but I think Jena Malone as Johanna stole the show for me!

Finally, as mentioned in the title of this post, I have decided to go on hiatus for most of the month of December. I think I need some time to recharge and get over my reading slump, and I think a break from blogging is the best way to accomplish that. I will be back near the end of December to talk about my favourite books of the year. And of course you can always find me on the social networking sites linked in the sidebar! Happy Holidays, everyone!

Blog Posts in November:

My Life in October: Ferrets, Rainbow Rowell, and Stress-Induced Illness
Muggle Monday: Harry Potter Minimalist Cover Redesigns
Top Ten Sequels I Can't Wait To Get My Hands On
Waiting On Wednesday: Macmillan Winter 2014 Catalog
Waiting On Wednesday: Penguin Winter 2014 Catalog
Review: Across A Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund - 4.5 Stars
Review: Allegiant by Veronica Roth - 3 Stars
Review: Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger - 4 Stars
Review: This Wicked Game by Michelle Zink - 2 Stars
Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner - 4.5 Stars

Best Book Read in November:
Looooved this one!! It's not often that I get to read sci fi that I truly enjoy, so I was beyond thrilled to dive into These Broken Stars. The plot twists made this book exciting and the solid characterization made it memorable. This one is a MUST read, even for reluctant sci fi readers! Especially for reluctant sci fi readers, I say.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Review: These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Published: December 10, 2013
Pages: 384
Source: Hachette Book Group Canada
Rating: 4.5 Stars

It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.
Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.
Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?
Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

In short: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner combines an absorbing plot, solid characterization, and a swoony romance to create an outstanding sci fi novel.
Two star-crossed lovers - one, a wealthy young lady of station and the other, a poor soldier that gets thrust into the upper class spotlight - are instantly attracted to each other upon first meeting, but then disaster strikes: their luxury spaceship is pulled out of hyperspace causing a massive catastrophic disaster. In this way, These Broken Stars fits the descriptor of "Titanic in space" very well. But that's only the very beginning of an epic adventure story. What follows the crash is a tale of survival, an emotional character-driven plot, and a whole bunch of crazy plot twists.

Holy crap. I'm writing down my thoughts just after I ploughed through the last third of These Broken Stars at a sprint and "holy crap" sums up my feelings pretty well. I haven't been this blown away by plot twists and surprise reveals since Across the Universe. The enigma of the anonymous planet on which the majority of the novel takes place reaches Lost levels of WTF twists and I just couldn't read fast enough to unravel the mysteries of the alien world. I'm still kind of reeling after the biggest WTF moment of These Broken Stars.

But what is an enthralling plot without the characters to back it up? Thankfully, These Broken Stars also excels at complex characterization and slow-burn romance. Written in alternating first person point of views, Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner do a tremendous job at keeping the protagonists' voices distinct so there is no confusion in differentiating them (which is something of a rarity). Lilac and Tarver are easily likeable - if not in the beginning, then over the course of the novel - with well developed character arcs. And the unresolved tension between them!! Le swoon.

I wasn't completely sold on some of the explanations and science presented in These Broken Stars, but that is a small complaint when I take into account how well it was written and how enthralled I was with the intriguing plot. If you are a reluctant sci fi reader, then These Broken Stars is the book for you! With a completely absorbing sci fi plot, solid characterization, and a swoony romance, These Broken Stars is recommended to sci fi and romance lovers alike.

Other Reviews:
Books and Other Happy Ever Afters
Christina Reads YA
Musings of a YA Reader

Author Links:
Amie Kaufman Website
Amie Kaufman Blog
Amie Kaufman Twitter
Amie Kaufman Facebook
Amie Kaufman Goodreads
Meagan Spooner Website
Meagan Spooner Blog
Meagan Spooner Twitter
Meagan Spooner Facebook
Meagan Spooner Goodreads

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Review: This Wicked Game by Michelle Zink

Publisher: Dial
Published: November 14, 2013
Pages: 368
Source: For Review from Penguin Canada
Rating: 2 Stars

Claire Kincaid’s family has been in business for over fifty years.
The voodoo business.
Part of the International Guild of High Priests and Priestesses, a secret society that have practiced voodoo for generations, the Kincaid’s run an underground supply house for authentic voodoo supplies. Claire plays along, filling orders for powders, oils and other bizarre ingredients in the family store, but she has a secret.
She doesn’t believe.
Struggling to reconcile her modern sensibilities with a completely unscientific craft based on suspicion, Claire can’t wait to escape New Orleans – and voodoo – when she goes to college, a desire that creates almost constant conflict in her secret affair with Xander Toussaint, son of the Guild’s powerful founding family.
But when a mysterious customer places an order for a deadly ingredient, Claire begins to realize that there’s more to voodoo – and the families that make up the Guild – than meets the eye.
Including her own.
As she bands together with the other firstborns of the Guild, she comes face to face with a deadly enemy – and the disbelief that may very well kill her.

In short: This Wicked Game by Michelle Zink had the potential to be original and special, but instead was an insipid, whitewashed version of what it could have been.
One mention of voodoo was all it took to have me chomping at the bit for This Wicked Game. The history and culture of voodoo is SO intriguing to me and I was curious to read a YA story revolving around it. To say I was disappointed with This Wicked Game is a bit of an understatement. As far as I can tell, the subject of voodoo is wide open in YA and thus so much can be done with it to create an original and provocative story. This potential was squandered in This Wicked Game.

The protagonist, Claire, somehow managed to be both a Mary Sue and TSTL. She decides to play teen detective without approaching her parents or any of the other higher-ups in the Guild and miraculously and inexplicably makes it through dangerous circumstances she never thinks through. The other characters are similarly two-dimensional and bland. There is nothing in This Wicked Game for romance-lovers either: Claire's relationship with Xander develops before the start of the story and is completely lacking in tension or passion.

But even the flat characters and romance were not as hard to take as the lifeless plot and setting. I was excited to read a book set in New Orleans, but very little effort was put into bringing such a unique and rich cultural centre to life. It could have been any other city. And I'm frankly at a loss as to how the traditional African voodoo culture could have possibly been translated to rich, white families in control of the "voodoo business." Way to take away all the culture and essence out of voodoo! I wanted to see traditional raw and gritty voodoo, not this whitewashed, insipid counterpart.

Though I found fault with much of This Wicked Game, it is to Michelle Zink's credit that she at least wrote a fast-paced plot with easy language that made the reading experience fly by. Without that, the dull story surely would have bored me to tears long before the ending. But even then the plot was far beyond saving. By far the biggest issue I have with This Wicked Game was that it had the potential to be fresh and special, but instead was a dummed-down, whitewashed version of what it could have been. Very disappointed.

Author Links:

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Review: Curtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School #2) by Gail Carriger

Publisher: Little, Brown Books For Young Readers
Published: November 5, 2013
Pages: 320
Source: For Review from Hachette Book Group Canada
Rating: 4 Stars

Does one need four fully grown foxgloves for decorating a dinner table for six guests? Or is it six foxgloves to kill four fully grown guests?
Sophronia's first year at Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality has certainly been rousing! For one thing, finishing school is training her to be a spy (won't Mumsy be surprised?). Furthermore, Sophronia got mixed up in an intrigue over a stolen device and had a cheese pie thrown at her in a most horrid display of poor manners.
Now, as she sneaks around the dirigible school, eavesdropping on the teachers' quarters and making clandestine climbs to the ship's boiler room, she learns that there may be more to a school trip to London than is apparent at first. A conspiracy is afoot--one with dire implications for both supernaturals and humans. Sophronia must rely on her training to discover who is behind the dangerous plot-and survive the London Season with a full dance card.

In short: Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger is a strong and inventive sequel to a brilliantly quirky series.
When I read Etiquette & Espionage earlier this year, I was instantly smitten. And how could I not be? With hilariously clever writing, memorably vibrant characters, and a refreshingly whimsical tone, Etiquette & Espionage was simply a joy to read! I was so impressed at Gail Carriger's talent for humorous scenes and fast paced entertaining plots that I couldn't wait to return to Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality to read more about Sophronia and her adventures with her ragtag group of friends in Curtsies & Conspiracies.

And thankfully, the fun continues in Curtsies & Conspiracies! The stakes are raised a bit as well as Sophronia becomes entangled in numerous conspiracies and gets to practice her ever-broadening intelligencer skills. Gail Carriger somehow manages to weave these multiple storylines into one tightly paced and expertly plotted book that culminates in a chaotic climax. The cast of characters - both main and supporting - are as vibrant and fun as ever. A bit of a love triangle is introduced in Curtsies & Conspiracies and while I remain firmly Team Soap, neither gentleman is a viable option for a lady of Sophronia's position so I'm curious how that will play out.

Curtsies & Conspiracies is capital entertainment. It is perhaps a bit fluffy, but I welcomed it. Gail Carriger combines the paranormal and steampunk genres to create a fresh and inventive plot in a hilariously exaggerated Victorian setting. Curtsies & Conspiracies is a strong sequel to a brilliantly quirky series. Highly recommended.

Previously, my review of Etiquette & Espionage.

Other Reviews:
Megan Likes Books
The Nocturnal Library

Author Links:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday: Penguin Winter 2014 Catalog

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking The Spine in which upcoming, eagerly anticipated releases are highlighted on the blog.

This week, I've chosen to feature a few picks from the Penguin Winter 2014 Catalog:

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson
Date: January 7, 2014
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For the past five years, Hayley Kincaid and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own.
Will being back home help Andy’s PTSD, or will his terrible memories drag him to the edge of hell, and drugs push him over? The Impossible Knife of Memory is Laurie Halse Anderson at her finest: compelling, surprising, and impossible to put down.

Laurie Halse Anderson is one of those authors that I have been meaning to read for a long time, but I have been putting off because I need to be in a very particular mood to read her intense issue books. The Impossible Knife of Memory is the latest issue book of Anderson's and it promises to be a good one.

A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller
Date: January 23, 2014
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Welcome to the world of the fabulously wealthy in London, 1909, where dresses and houses are overwhelmingly opulent, social class means everything, and women are taught to be nothing more than wives and mothers. Into this world comes seventeen-year-old Victoria Darling, who wants only to be an artist—a nearly impossible dream for a girl.
After Vicky poses nude for her illicit art class, she is expelled from her French finishing school. Shamed and scandalized, her parents try to marry her off to the wealthy Edmund Carrick-Humphrey. But Vicky has other things on her mind: her clandestine application to the Royal College of Art; her participation in the suffragette movement; and her growing attraction to a working-class boy who may be her muse—or may be the love of her life. As the world of debutante balls, corsets, and high society obligations closes in around her, Vicky must figure out: just how much is she willing to sacrifice to pursue her dreams?

I have been obsessed with the early 1900s ever since blowing through the first few seasons of Downton Abbey this summer. A Mad, Wicked Folly sounds like it would satisfy my hunger for early 1900s historical fiction. And with quite the scandalous premise, too!

Minders by Michele Jaffe
Date: January 30, 2014
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Q: If the boy you love commits a crime, would you turn him in?
Sadie Ames is a type-A teenager from the wealthy suburbs. She's been accepted to the prestigious Mind Corps Fellowship program, where she'll spend six weeks as an observer inside the head of Ford, a troubled boy with a passion for the crumbling architecture of the inner city. There's just one problem: Sadie's fallen in love with him.

Q: What if the crime is murder?
Ford Winters is haunted by the murder of his older brother, James. As Sadie falls deeper into his world, dazzled by the shimmering pinpricks of color that form images in his mind, she begins to think she knows him. Then Ford does something unthinkable.

Q: What if you saw it happen from inside his mind?
Back in her own body, Sadie is faced with the ultimate dilemma. With Ford's life in her hands, she must decide what is right and what is wrong. And how well she can really ever know someone, even someone she loves.

There's a lot to love about Minders: first, the cool cover; second, the cool premise written up in a creative blurb. I only hope the romance doesn't end up being as insta-love-y as it comes across in the synopsis!

Tsarina by J. Nelle Patrick
Date: March 4, 2014
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Natalya knows a secret.

A magical Faberge egg glows within the walls of Russia's Winter Palace.

It holds a power rooted in the land and stolen from the mystics.

A power that promises a life of love for her and Alexei Romanov.

Power, that, in the right hands, can save her way of life.

But it's not in the right hands.

Absolutely gorgeous cover. J. Nelle Patrick is a pseudonym for Jackson Pierce, an author I have never read, but have always wanted to. And out of all her novels, I'm probably most eager to read the incredibly intriguing Tsarina!

How about you? Are you waiting on any of these Penguin Winter 2014 reads? Are there any upcoming books from the Penguin Winter 2014 Catalog that I didn't include here that you feel I should add to my list?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Review: Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth

Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: October 22, 2013
Pages: 526
Source: Bought
Rating: 3 Stars

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.
But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love. 

This review is spoiler-free

In short: Allegiant by Veronica Roth was a letdown, but still a passable finale to a memorable series.
I'm having a hard time putting my thoughts about Allegiant into words, probably because they're all over the place. And I'm not entirely sure how genuine my feelings are as I experienced something of a reading slump while reading Allegiant. It took me three weeks to read it. THREE WEEKS! And this was a book that I had been dying to read for over a year. I am unsure whether I fell into this slump prior to reading Allegiant or whether it was Allegiant that started it off, but either way, I am disappointed that I experienced one during this eagerly anticipated read and I was disappointed with Allegiant on a whole.

Divergent and Insurgent were such exciting and completely enthralling reads for me. I was plunged into this dystopian world with a totally fascinating faction system and it was like I could just never get enough of the story and the characters. Allegiant, on the other hand, was a discordant note; it felt like it didn't belong with the first two books in the series. A good portion of Allegiant was slow and weighed down with exposition. It was only maybe the last 100 pages or so that returned to the level of excitement prominent in Divergent and Insurgent. I was happy to finally get an explanation into the faction system, but I was a bit disappointed with the weakness of said explanation and the pseudoscience that was supposed to support it.

Tris and Four continue to be incredibly flawed characters, but while I used to love that about them in Divergent, it has gotten increasingly frustrating over the course of the series. I used to love their strength and confidence, but at some point I became a bit weary of their condescension and irrationality. I understand why the dual point of view was introduced, but I can't say I was a huge fan of it; Tris and Four have virtually indistinguishable voices. I also wasn't really into their stolen make-out sessions scattered throughout a largely depressing story. Mmm, nothing like sexy times among the death and grief of an entire city. Not.

And then there is the ending that has everyone in an uproar. While I applaud Veronica Roth for the brave ending and while I believe she means it when she says she didn't write it for shock value, I still wasn't a fan. I suppose it could be that I missed the point completely, but I don't feel that that is the case. Rather, I see what Veronica Roth was going for and I recognize that it was meant to be a satisfying and meaningful end to the story, but I feel like she missed the mark. She tried for meaningful, but instead delivered an ending that really didn't need to happen (the plot holes in Allegiant were numerous, by the way). I can accept less than happy endings, but there needs to be a good reason for them.

I realize that I've had a lot of negative things to say about Allegiant and while it's true that I was definitely disappointed, I did like it enough to be glad that I read it. It didn't ruin the entire series for me like it supposedly did for lots of people. I admire Veronica Roth as she is a good writer with good ideas, but I think she maybe took on too much for Allegiant. She had too many things to wrap up and only one book to do so. The end result was only somewhat satisfying because while we got the answers we'd been wanting, some of them seemed too convenient and some of them a bit insubstantial. Overall, Allegiant was a letdown, but still a passable finale to a memorable series.

Previously, my reviews for Divergent and Insurgent.

Other Reviews:
Alison Can Read
Burning Impossibly Bright
Late Nights with Good Books

Author Links:

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday: Macmillan Winter 2014 Catalog

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking The Spine in which upcoming, eagerly anticipated releases are highlighted on the blog.

This week, I've chosen to feature a few picks from the Macmillan Winter 2014 Catalog:

A Breath of Frost by Alyxandra Harvey
Date: January 7, 2014
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In 1814, three cousins-Gretchen, Emma, and Penelope-discover their unknown family lineage of witchcraft. Beyond the familiar manicured gardens and ballrooms of Regency London, a dangerous, alluring new underworld visible only to those with power is now open to the cousins.
But unbeknownst to them, by claiming their power, the three cousins have inadvertently opened the gates to the Underworld.
Now the dead, ghouls, hellhounds-and the most terrifying of all: the spirits of dark witches known as the Greymalkin Sisters-are hunting and killing young debutante witches for their powers.
And, somehow, Emma is connected to the murders...because she keeps finding the bodies.
Can the cousins unravel the clues and mystery behind their heritage and power before their gifts are stripped away ...or even worse, another witch is killed?

Oh, how I love me some magic and witchcraft! I also happen to love books that take place in the 1800s and books that have a focus on familial relationships, so that's a bonus. A Breath of Frost sounds like my kind of book!

Cress by Marissa Meyer
Date: February 4, 2014
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In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.
Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker—unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.
When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.

So, I haven't actually read Scarlet yet (eeep, I know!), but I'm still excited for Cress! And hopefully I can have Scarlet read just in time for February 4 so that I can run out to the bookstore to buy and read Cress right away with no waiting!

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
Date: March 4, 2014
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Seventeen-year-old Kestrel is an aristocratic citizen of Valoria, a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers. Here, a girl like Kestrel has two choices: join the military or get married. Despite her skills in military strategy, Kestrel’s real passion is music. Which is why she feels compelled to buy Arin, a slave with a talent for singing, at auction. It’s not long before she finds herself falling in love with Arin, and he seems to feel the same for her. But Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for Arin is much higher than she ever could have imagined.
Set in a new world, The Winner’s Curse is a story of wicked rumors, dirty secrets, and games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

I'm not usually very taken with "girl-with-a-pretty-dress" covers, but I have to say this one is absolutely captivating! And though The Winner's Curse seems a bit heavy on the romance for my tastes, I adore high fantasy and I hope this one will be a good one!

The Riverman by Aaron Starmer
Date: March 18, 2014
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Fiona Loomis is Alice, back from Wonderland. She is Lucy, returned from Narnia. She is Coraline, home from the Other World. She is the girl we read about in storybooks, but here's the difference: She is real.
Twelve-year-old Alistair Cleary is her neighbor in a town where everyone knows each other. One afternoon, Fiona shows up at Alistair's doorstep with a strange proposition. She wants him to write her biography. What begins as an odd vanity project gradually turns into a frightening glimpse into a clearly troubled mind. For Fiona tells Alistair a secret. In her basement there's a gateway and it leads to the magical world of Aquavania, the place where stories are born. In Aquavania, there's a creature called the Riverman and he's stealing the souls of children. Fiona's soul could be next.
Alistair has a choice. He can believe her, or he can believe something else...something even more terrifying.

This is exactly the type of Middle Grade read I am into: magical world, enigmatic story line, cute cover. I haven't heard anything about The Riverman yet, which makes me all the more curious about it!

How about you? Are you waiting on any of these Macmillan Winter 2014 reads? Are there any upcoming books from the Macmillan Winter 2014 Catalog that I didn't include here that you feel I should add to my list?

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Muggle Monday: Harry Potter Minimalist Cover Redesigns

It's time for Muggle Monday, in which I highlight a piece from the Harry Potter franchise. This is somewhat inspired by the Mundane Monday posts by The Mundie Moms.

But let's be real as to why I made up this feature: I just want the opportunity to post something about Harry Potter.

This week, I thought I would feature some great minimalist cover redesigns I've found around the web. I like these because they're simplistic, but still graphic and striking. It's interesting to see what each artist has chosen as the image for each cover and which ideas resemble each other between artists.

(redesigned to look like the classic Penguin book covers)