Book Scoop July 24-July 31 2015

July 31, 2015
InToriLex, Book Scoop, Feature

 Book Industry News and Links to Sift Through When Your Face Isn't buried in a Book

HEADLINES

Booker Prise Finalist, InToriLex, BookScoop
~156 Books were considered and narrowed down to 13 for the LongList. This is also only the second year, the contest has been"open to writers of any nationality, writing originally in English and published in the UK."
~The Man Booker Podcast launched on July 24th. It will air alternate Fridays until October when the Winner is announced. The Host will be Joe Haddow, producer of the BBC's Radio 2 Book Club.

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
Some Girls Are

~Amazon~
Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers, InToriLex

This book has been taken off of the Summer Reading List at a high school in South Carolina. The book includes discussions of sex and drug use, which many high school students partake in.The move came after a vocal parent took issue with the subject matter.

Hugo Award Controversy- Right wing Puppies publicly campaign for titles that futher their own agenda. But at what cost?

What Pet Should I Get?- Old/ Newly Published Dr. Seuss book hit stands July 28. It was found in 2013 in a box full of things, I'm buying it ASAP.

Boy flooded with Books- His neighbor sent a plea out to facebook, asking for books, after this 12 year old boy explained how he couldn't go to the library

LINKS TO CLICK


#TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter- Authors had lots of fun with this hashTag on Twitter. Buzzfeed's Article on it also includes some gems.

New Words- How are new words formed and how do they travel, a fascinating journey

Adult Coloring Book For Stoners- Check out the Kickstarter, super creative and colorful. I'm a huge fan of coloring books and this took a unique approach.

Intersectionality For All- Suggestions for enlightenment of race and feminist ideology, directed toward Taylor Swift, but everyone should read and learn more about it

Adventure Time Cartoon Title Cards Vol #2- Awesome behind the scene look into adventure time.

Some Realness on Go Set A Watchmen- A great piece on how the uncomfortable discussion of racism from the novel, is very different from To Kill a Mocking Bird
6 comments

End of Days (Penryn and the End of Days #3) by Susan Ee

July 28, 2015

End of Days by Susan Ee, InToriLex, Book Review
THREE STARS
End of Days (Penryn & the End of Days, #3)

~Amazon~

SYNOPSIS:

After a daring escape from the angels, Penryn and Raffe are on the run. They’re both desperate to find a doctor who can reverse the twisted changes inflicted by the angels on Raffe and Penryn’s sister. As they set off in search of answers, a startling revelation about Raffe’s past unleashes dark forces that threaten them all.

When the angels release an apocalyptic nightmare onto humans, both sides are set on a path toward war. As unlikely alliances form and strategies shift, who will emerge victorious? Forced to pick sides in the fight for control of the earthly realm, Raffe and Penryn must choose: Their own kind, or each other?


REVIEW:

 

I almost made this a two star review, because it was not a cohesive conclusion to the series and left way too much unexplained and unanswered. There were butt loads of potential for this series to continue to be  great, but along the way something didn't work.  If you care about the plot that you've dutifully read through for two books before this, expect to be disappointed. Entire explanations of monsters and situations that propel the plot are only a few sentences long, and the same questions you had after reading book one continue to go unanswered.

Penryn and Raffe are involved in this romantic conflict, but the reason that Raffe feels conflicted about them being together becomes flimsy. The entire book  Raffe and Penryn, kept conveniently being welcomed and helped by people who previously hated them, all in the name of survival. I really don't enjoy things working out conveniently just because, so that induced many eye rolls. This book was action packed, and the short chapter format keeps you engaged. But this book could almost work as a stand alone, because while new environments are introduced, nothing is ever fully explained.
“You seem to bring out new and unimagined dimensions from both me and Kooky Bear.” 
I don't know how demons and Angels co-exist and interact. I don't know why the Earth became open season for the Angels rather than other places they could fight. I don't know why Penryn's little sister was modified to be special. I don't know why Penryn's mother has a mental illness that allows her to survive and know things about this apocalyptic world to use for her advantage.

 I usually say finish a series if you enjoyed the other books. But if you did enjoy the series, you will likely be disappointed in how little is explained in this last book in series. This was an OK read, it had some great action sequences, and quirky elements like Tweedle Dee and Dum. Overall it was a let down, it seemed rushed and unfinished.
10 comments

Top Ten Tuesday:Books That Celebrate Diversity

July 21, 2015
InToriLex, Top Ten Tuesday, Broke and Bookish

This weeks Top Ten Tuesday is all about diversity in books. Lack of Diversity continues to be a problem in the book world today.  As you can see in my side bar, I definitely believe we need more diverse books for the many readers out there, check out WeNeedDiverseBooks to get involved with the campaign. I'm going to highlight five of my favorites I've read and enjoyed.  The next five will be books that come highly recommended from friends, that I hope to read soon. The books highlighted feature diversity in a variety of ways.

InToriLex, Top Ten Tuesday


1. Unwind (Unwind Dystology #1) by Neal Shusterman 
There are a significant amount of racial minorities featured throughout the entire series. This is an awesome sci-fi series, that makes you think about how we value bodies in our society. 

Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.


The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state, is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.


2.  Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler 
This involves a bad ass black girl trying to survive the end of the world who manages to gain a following and start a cult, yeah that good

When unattended environmental and economic crises lead to social chaos, not even gated communities are safe. In a night of fire and death Lauren Olamina, a minister's young daughter, loses her family and home and ventures out into the unprotected American landscape. But what begins as a flight for survival soon leads to something much more: a startling vision of human destiny... and the birth of a new faith. 

3. After the End by Amy Plum 
This is an awesome story about Juneau a teenager  from the Alaskan Wilderness, who knows magic and has psychic connections. Lots of action, humor and fun. 

She’s searching for answers to her past. They’re hunting her to save their future.

World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They've survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding from whoever else might still be out there.
At least, this is what Juneau has been told her entire life.
When Juneau returns from a hunting trip to discover that everyone in her clan has vanished, she sets off to find them. Leaving the boundaries of their land for the very first time, she learns something horrifying: There never was a war. Cities were never destroyed. The world is intact. Everything was a lie.
Now Juneau is adrift in a modern-day world she never knew existed. But while she's trying to find a way to rescue her friends and family, someone else is looking for her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about the secrets of her past.
4. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
Ruby has to survive the end of civilization, and along the way befriends a awesome black nerd named Chubs. This book is about children with superpowers who are imprisoned and hunted out of fear. The series features more characters as it goes along. 

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.


Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.



When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.



When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.


5.Cinder by Marissa Meyers

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. 



Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

InToriLex, Top Ten Tuesday

6. Akata Witch (Akata Witch #1) by Nnedi Okorafor
Twelve-year-old Sunny lives in Nigeria, but she was born American. Her features are African, but she’s albino. She’s a terrific athlete, but can’t go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits. And then she discovers something amazing—she is a “free agent,” with latent magical power. Soon she’s part of a quartet of magic students, studying the visible and invisible, learning to change reality. But will it be enough to help them when they are asked to catch a career criminal who knows magic too? 

7. The Chaos by Nalo Hopkinson
Sixteen-year-old Scotch struggles to fit in: at home she's the perfect daughter, at school she's provocatively sassy, and thanks to her mixed heritage, she doesn't feel she belongs with the Caribbeans, whites, orblacks. And even more troubling, lately her skin is becoming covered in a sticky black substance that can't be removed. While trying to cope with this creepiness, she goes out with her brother— and he disappears. A mysterious bubble of light just swallows him up, and Scotch has no idea how to find him. Soon, the Chaos that has claimed her brother affects the city at large, until it seems like everyone is turning into crazy creatures. Scotch needs to get to the bottom of this supernatural situation ASAP before the Chaos consumes everything she's ever known, and she knows that the black shadowy entity that's begun trailing her every move is probably not going to help.

A blend of fantasy and Caribbean folklore, at its heart this tale is about identity and self acceptance—because only by acknowledging her imperfections can Scotch hope to save her brother.

8. The Three Body Problem by Liu Cixin
With the scope of Dune and the commercial action of Independence Day,Three-Body Problem is the first chance for English-speaking readers to experience this multiple-award-winning phenomenon from  China’s most beloved science fiction author, Liu Cixin.

Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion. The result is a science fiction masterpiece of enormous scope and vision.

Matteo Alacran was not born; he was harvested with the DNA from El Patron, lord of a country called Opium. Can a boy who was bred to guarantee another’s survival find his own purpose in life? And can he ever be free?

10. The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna
Eva's life is not her own. She is a creation, an abomination—an echo. She was made by the Weavers as a copy of someone else, expected to replace a girl named Amarra, her "other," if she ever died. Eva spends every day studying that girl from far away, learning what Amarra does, what she eats, what it's like to kiss her boyfriend, Ray. So when Amarra is killed in a car crash, Eva should be ready.

But sixteen years of studying never prepared her for this.

Now she must abandon everything and everyone she's ever known—the guardians who raised her, the boy she's forbidden to love—to move to India and convince the world that Amarra is still alive.

What Eva finds is a grief-stricken family; parents unsure how to handle this echo they thought they wanted; and Ray, who knew every detail, every contour of Amarra. And when Eva is unexpectedly dealt a fatal blow that will change her existence forever, she is forced to choose: Stay and live out her years as a copy or leave and risk it all for the freedom to be an original. To be Eva.

From debut novelist Sangu Mandanna comes the dazzling story of a girl who was always told what she had to be—until she found the strength to decide for herself.
 

Let me know if you read any of the books mentioned below!!
82 comments

Magonia (Magonia #1) by Maria Dahvana Headley

July 20, 2015
Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley, InToriLex, Book Review
FIVE FEATHERY STARS
Magonia (Magonia, #1)
~Amazon~

SYNOPSIS:

Aza Ray is drowning in thin air.

Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live.

So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn't think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.

Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who’s always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia.

Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—and as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war is coming. Magonia and Earth are on the cusp of a reckoning. And in Aza’s hands lies the fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?


REVIEW:

 I found these awesome Hybride illustrations by Antoine Helbert his portfolio can be found on his website These are the kind of people I imagine populate Magonia. I enjoyed this book immensely. It not only engrossed me into a very imaginative place in the sky, it made me care about the characters involved. Aza and Jason are best friends, bound by their bond and love for one another, they play well off of each-other. Although their nerdy adorableness could get cheesy, it never does and is actually sweet. (3.14159265359....)

"I'm an edited version of a real live girl, or at least that's what I say when I want to tell you something and I'd rather not talk about it but have to get it out of the way so we can move on to better topics."

A few chapters in and I was sobbing on my commute to work, caught up in emotion about characters by page 61. In Magonia I was taken in by the rich imagery, people that were half Owls, birds that bonded with you through a door in your body and squalwhales that create storms in the sky. Aza has to deal with an entire world that she is completely new to, while accepting that she has a role to play in it. She never seems overly whiny, but definitely unsure of herself and who to trust in Magonia. Birds come to life, and try to help Aza discover what she is, and what role she should play on her ship in the sky. There is a mention of a bird of paradise human looking character, but every time I think of that bird, I can't help but think of it's mating dance gif.

“Life and death aren’t as different from each other as I thought they were. This isn’t like walking into a new country. This is like walking into a new room in the same house. This is like sharing a hallway and the same row of framed family pictures, but there’s a glass wall between.”
The action described was awesome, and the plot moved along at a great pace. The world in the book did stem from actual research and some sources in the book are real. That makes me think that beyond this fictional tale, the author is getting the word out about people in history who may have see how awe inspiring the world could be. The originality was awesome, but the humor, the emotional moments and unforced romance makes this a rare gem, that everyone can enjoy. I didn't know this was going to be a series, but I'm happy it is. The book gives you a great conclusion but doesn't answer the many questions involved in Aza and Jason's future. Worth the read, this is a refreshing tale that will pleasantly surprise you.
4 comments

In the Afterlight (The Darkest Mind #3) by Alexandra Bracken

July 13, 2015
In the Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken, InToriLex
THREE STARS
In The Afterlight (The Darkest Minds, #3)
~Amazon~

SYNOPSIS:

Ruby can't look back. Fractured by an unbearable loss, she and the kids who survived the government's attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup. With them is a prisoner: Clancy Gray, son of the president, and one of the few people Ruby has encountered with abilities like hers. Only Ruby has any power over him, and just one slip could lead to Clancy wreaking havoc on their minds.

They are armed only with a volatile secret: proof of a government conspiracy to cover up the real cause of IAAN, the disease that has killed most of America's children and left Ruby and others like her with powers the government will kill to keep contained. But internal strife may destroy their only chance to free the "rehabilitation camps" housing thousands of other Psi kids.

Meanwhile, reunited with Liam, the boy she would-and did-sacrifice everything for to keep alive, Ruby must face the painful repercussions of having tampered with his memories of her. She turns to Cole, his older brother, to provide the intense training she knows she will need to take down Gray and the government. But Cole has demons of his own, and one fatal mistake may be the spark that sets the world on fire.

REVIEW:

I took a very long time reading this book, I completed two other books before I finished reading it. I couldn't really get into it until about a third of the way through. We get answers but its wrapped in a lot of emotional baggage that wasn't necessary. There was also a lot of explanation about how things were planned, but little describing how it was all executed outside of the main characters participation. Without the descriptions of Ruby wanting to save everyone at the cost of herself every chapter, it could have been much shorter and more enjoyable.

The plot and action however was good, and the story wraps up all the lose ends of the series. Ruby, Liam, Chubs, Zu and Vida all come together and create lasting bonds by revealing themselves to each other fully. The characters continue to be well flushed out, but the spark of the first book in series hasn't resurfaced. There's really great writing here but the story didn't connect with me as well as it did earlier in the series, partly because it felt like a chore to finish.
“Thing is, though, fear is worthless. It stops you when you need to keep moving most. And it only exists inside of your head.”

It was an ok read, but things were fleshed out that didn't need to be. I finished it, just so I could complete the series. If your a fan of  the first two books, its worthwhile to see how this alternative America turns out. If your on the fence about whether you'll read it, I would actually skip it. This was a great exploration into how the characters mature and come into themselves, but that takes away from how the story itself is told.

"You should be changing the world to accept you. To let you exist as you are, without being cut open and damaged.”

My Review for Other Books in Series:
Never Fade (The Darkest Mind #2)
Sparks Rise (The Darkest Mind#2.5) 
4 comments

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

July 8, 2015
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, InToriLex, Book Review
THREE POINT FIVE STARS
The Girl on the Train
~Amazon~

SYNOPSIS:

Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough.

Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar.

Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…

REVIEW: 

This book has been compared over and over to Gone Girl but I find it very different. Rachel is very sad and a self destructive character, her plans are driven by obsession. Gone Girl focused on a sociopath determined to get revenge on her husband. There both good thrillers, but in The Girl on a Train you go through many circumstances where characters act out of anger and emotion but none carry out well planned actions.
"I have never understood how people can blithely disregard the damage they do by following their hearts. Who was it that said following your heart is a good thing? It is pure egotism, a selfishness to conquer all.”
These people are broken in this book. Ms. Hawkins does a great job of exploring characters and making you feel that they are real people, making real decisions.  I do think that some parts of this book was drawn out and the build up towards the climax took too long. While I enjoyed reading the book and progressing with the plot, some of it read like filler and came off as boring because of it.

Bad relationships can really mess a person up.  I think many people don't empathize with those ending relationships, until they feel it in their own lives. All three of the women who narrate the book, are dealing with relationships where they are trying to find happiness. Unfortunately they all lose pieces of themselves while trying to create perfect relstionships. I could really identify with how sometimes you can feel overwhelmed in relationships and have to fight to take care of yourself first.
“It’s impossible to resist the kindness of strangers. Someone who looks at you, who doesn’t know you, who tells you it’s OK, whatever you did, whatever you’ve done: you suffered, you hurt, you deserve forgiveness.” 

If you enjoy thrillers this was definitely a good one, that has a fast moving plot. This gives great insight into how people can morph and manipulate.  If you think somethings off, your probably right. I did not see the ending coming, but it was definitely a satisfying conclusion.
5 comments
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