Books and Things – Quick Reviews

*peeks in*

I can explain!

I have had the pleasure of reading a few interesting books lately. Some were pretty good, some were, well… Understand and respect that these are my personal opinions and in no way reflect anyone or anything else.

Currently Reading:

The Hawley Book of the Dead: A Novel

The Hawley Book of the Dead, by Chrysler Szarlan

(I received this via NetGalley.) I’m about 35% done with this book. It has been compared to A Discovery of Witches, and I can sort of see where that comparison is coming from.  Both books are about a lineage of female witches, and a special book that different factions are hunting for. In the case of “Hawley”, the story begins the day the Revelation Maskelyne, one -half of a husband/wife magic duo, shoots and kills her husband during a routine magic act. It is discovered that the bullets in the gun were switched, and that the party responsible is some sort of evil…something. Reve takes her 3 children, and returns to the town of her childhood. Interesting enough so far. I’ll let you know when I’m done.



This Song Will Save Your Life

This Song Will Save Your Life, by Leila Sales

What do you do when you want to be popular, but you’ve been branded as the uncool one ever since the 4th grade? If you’re Elise Dembowski, you sneak out of the house, lie to your parents, gain entrance to an underground dance club, and become a DJ. Thanks to a joint custody agreement, she splits her time between 2 houses, but her parents become suspicious when she starts to request more time at one home over the other. Add in a malicious fake blog with her name on it that announces she’s going to kill herself, an older boy/man who teachers her the fine points of DJing, and a final blowup in which she hurts her younger sister’s feelings in the name of “protecting” her, and Elise successfully become popular, but for entirely different reasons.

I was sort of on board with this book, but the final chapter, and her parent’s reactions seemed so…contrived and unrealistic to me. Oh, well. Still a decent read, one full of teenage angst and explorations of “why is this happening to me?” moments.


Eleanor & Park

Eleanor and Park, by Rainbow Rowell

A sweet, nostalgic, angsty portrayal of first love, high school, and being the odd one out. Eleanor is the new girl, with the wrong clothes, the wrong hair, and the wrong life. Park is the punk-loving kid who gives her a chance. Together, they discover a mutual reason to live: each other. Some typical teenage issues, like being bullied for being different, falling in love for the first time, and the classic “parents just don’t understand.” In Eleanor’s case, they don’t understand. Her mother is married to some abusive douchebag who “allows” Eleanor to return “home” but refuses to provide anything for her, and untimely (spoiler alert!), she runs away, with the help of Park, who hates to let her go, but completely understands her need to flee. I admit it, I got a little teary-eyes in places.
 Prosperity (Prosperity, #1)
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley for review.Welcome to Prosperity, a skytown run by the overload, Milord. Our hero, Piccadilly, a sometime prostitute, oftentime card sharp, manages to cheat in a card game against the famed Milord. Faced with the prospect of death, he runs, gets shot, and lands on deck of the Shadowless, an aethership piloted by Byron Kae. An adventure awaits Dil once he recovers. Learning to read, falling in lust, mining the clouds for phlogiston, and discovering the meaning of “home” fill his days.

“Prosperity” is an enjoyable yarn. I had some difficulty in the beginning with the dialect. Once I grew used to it, the reading was smooth. Warnings for profanity and two, somewhat graphic, homosexual sex scenes. In all, I’d look forward to reading a sequel, especially if it contained more about Dil and the mysterious Byron Kae.

Wow, this ended up being longer than I thought.

Happy reading!



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