Thursday, January 31, 2013

Silver Threads by Jade Kennedy

Title: Silver Threads
Author: Jade Kennedy

Genre: Fiction (Poetry / Mythic / Virginia Woolf / Mothers / Holidays)
Publisher/Publication Date: Valley Press (5/31/2012)
Source: The author.

Rating: Liked a great deal.
Did I finish?: I did, in one evening, sucked in.
One-sentence summary: Twenty-one poems touching on childhood, Halloween, fairy tale landscapes, history, and favored books.
Reading Challenges: Dive Into Poetry, E-book

Do I like the cover?: I do -- I wish it was a print I could frame on my walls! It reminds me of the opening of her poem 'Silver Threads': When those silver threads weave/as soft and tender as white starlight/curling in tendrils through and within...

First line: Once upon a barren night/when the starless sky was as black as black had always been/and the sea was restless, forever listless/the trees breathed within the dark/their branches stretching and twisting/growing and snapping/searching for the amber moon, always elusive. -- from 'Darkness'

Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?: Buy if you can -- it's only available on Kindle at the moment -- or, if you're interested and would consider reviewing it, Jade Kennedy has said she would welcome any reader's request for a PDF version. (You can reach her at jadelizzie85 at hotmail.com)

Why did I get this book?: I was intrigued by the poem Kennedy included with her review request.

Review: I picked up this volume of poetry one night after work, intending to just thumb through the offerings and see what the vibe was like; and then it was bedtime, and I had devoured the entire volume.

Suffering through this everlasting respiratory and sinus infection, I haven't been feeling the most clear-headed and focused.  Sometimes, I admit, poetry can feel a bit obscure for my tastes -- I worry I'm 'missing' something -- but what I love about poetry is the snapshot of sensory detail, magic, and emotion that comes through with a finely crafted poem.

On her website, Kennedy describes this volume as "a blend of dark, light, spiritual and a hint of madness," and that's precisely what she offers.  Kennedy's volume had the kind of dreamy language and moody, almost fairy tale-like elements that I'm drawn to -- without being unmoored by wild fantasy.  Touching upon the experiences of childhood, first love, favorite holidays and books, the inspiration from a historic landscape, and the stressors of every day life, Kennedy's poems are brief breaths of experiences familiar and alien.

The lies I told my Mother

Last Tuesday
                 whilst rummaging
I found a box of lies I told my Mother,
                                         one lost summer
Bright and golden August sunshine
spilled across the wooden floorboards.

White wild flowers sprung up between the cracks.
The smell of orange juice was almost tangible.

The lies laid before me,
                              scattered like stars
small and innocent, childlike.
The shame that lay beside them
                              had engulfed and consumed.

I heard my Mother's voice whisper,

'Leave that which scars the spirit to fade beneath the dust'

While I enjoyed all the poems, there were some standouts, like 'Orlando', which was inspired by Woolf's novel and the film; 'Yorvik', about the area of northern England once controlled by Danish Vikings; and 'The Crows', which felt like the opening of a deliciously creepy movie I really want to see.  (It didn't hurt that it ended with the phrase my wife and I have on our wedding rings, 'Vous et nul autre'.)

Since my initial inhalation of this volume, I've gone back to it twice, trying the poems on a little more slowly, and they stand up to rereading and mulling and chewing and reading-aloud-to-my-wife-while-she-brushes-her-teeth well. They're grounded enough that I feel like I 'get' them, but with enough imaginative twists of language that I can invent my own deeper meanings.

For those curious, and willing to post a review somewhere, Kennedy will send readers a PDF of this volume. You can contact her through her website.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Interview with D.L. Bogdan

While I'm not a Tudor fan, I took a risk and picked up D.L. Bogdan's The Forgotten Queen, a novel of Henry VII's sister Margaret. To my surprise and delight, I enjoyed this novel and Bogdan's sympathetic take on this queen. I'm thrilled to share my interview with Bogdan, so read on to learn more about her, her book, and what she does when she's not writing. Be sure to enter the giveaway!

D.L. Bogdan
What was the plot of your very first piece of fiction?

The plot was based on a wall hanging at my grandma’s house of animals in winter. I wrote that they were conferring on the impending hunting season and were figuring out places to hide!

Do you have any writing rituals or routines?

I love to listen to classical music and scores from films as I write. I have an extensive playlist that is designated as my “Writing Mix.” It features Bach and Mozart, along with songs from the soundtracks of Dances with Wolves, Marie Antoinette, and Memoirs of a Geisha, among many more. Music like that inspires me as I think about the scenes before me; they accompany the movie in my mind and help bring them forth.

Was The Forgotten Queen the original title of your book?

It actually was. This was the first title that was mine and I’m very grateful Kensington went with it.

As you were writing The Forgotten Queen, was there a particular scene or character that surprised you?

Margaret herself often surprised me. She was a very complex woman, written off by history as flakey. Trying to understand some of her decisions proved challenging, but I found her far from flighty. She was vulnerable, used, and had no constant to cling to—most who advised her did so out of their own self-interest. There seemed very few who truly loved her. She was my first character who had to be her own constant throughout the novel.

According to your bio, you're a classically trained musician. Are there any similarities between performing music and writing a novel?

The emotion writing and playing music provoke make them twin outlets for me. There are very few things that can bring on emotion so quickly the way a powerful scene or song can. I think that’s why I listen to classical music and film scores while I write. I can’t even begin to picture one art form without the other.

When you’re not writing, what do you like to do?

I love to read (I suppose that’s a given!), play keys and sing, watch classic movies and inflict them on unsuspecting family members, long walks, swimming, and anything related to summer.

Read any good books recently?

I was recently introduced to Phillip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and found to my surprise that I couldn’t put it down.


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GIVEAWAY!

I'm thrilled to offer a copy of The Forgotten Queen to one lucky reader! To enter, fill out this brief form. Open to US and international readers, ends 2/8.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Tainted Dawn by B.N. Peacock

Title: A Tainted Dawn
Author: B.N. Peacock

Genre: Fiction (Historical / 18th Century / Nautical / British Navy / Merchant Ships / French Revolution / Caribbean)
Publisher/Publication Date: Fireship Press (3/1/2012)
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour

Rating: Liked.
Did I finish?: I did.
One-sentence summary: The lives of three men are touched by revolution, war, the sea, and their own desire to go out in the world on their own.
Reading Challenges: Historical Fiction

Do I like the cover?: I have no strong feelings one way or the other.

First line: Even in August, London streets could be clogged.

Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?: Borrow if you like gritty novels that don't gloss over the harder/darker parts of history -- especially life in the British navy.

Why did I get this book?: I like nautical fic now and then -- I don't know much about ships, but I fancy sailors!

Review: This first novel is a promising start to a nautical-based series set in the tumultuous late 18th century.

While the opening chapter offers a rather clunky introduction of our three leads (to us and each other), Peacock's story smooths out and things feel less contrived and awkward. Noble born Edward Deveare runs off to sea to avoid being shipped off to sea by his hostile and greedy paternal grandfather. Country carpenter Jemmy Sweetman runs off to sea because he hates his gin-drunk father. Wealthy French radical Louis Saulnier ends up at sea after his radical views get him in trouble at home.

Once at sea, all three young men grow up fast, and inevitably, their separate stories eventually connect -- but not after some serious agony and pain. The secondary cast of this book is large, but all rather intriguing, from Edward's dramatic mother to Louis' lace maker mistress to the cruel captain drives Jemmy to desert. I rather wished some of the secondary characters got more time in the book -- but then again I'm always partial to the stories of women.

The best parts of the book are when Peacock paints life at sea. Her descriptions are wonderfully vivid and often shocking, from the pungent scent of life below deck to the horrifying cruelties of Naval discipline and punishment. I often found myself pausing to chew over a scene that was visceral or gave me a historical 'oh, fascinating!' moment. (This whole book made me randomly curious about the development of the modern navy as I was horrified at how the British Navy worked in the 18th century. Paying for meals on a ship?! One's own uniforms?! Laundry?! Everyone drunk?!)

My edition came with a two-page supplement offering family trees of the three main leads as well as a crew list for the ships featured in the story. It was nice to have, although I will say, I had Wiki open so I could ascertain where on the ship people were -- that was more baffling to me than anything else!

My interest in nautical fiction comes from liking Master and Commander (the movie) and having a hot crush on Austen's Captain Wentworth. So needless to say, my knowledge of this genre is thin. I can't say whether the ship-speak and boat bits were accurate or not. As when I read super science-y scifi, I glossed over the super technical bits, but I still enjoyed the ambiance Peacock created and it satisfied my snapping-sails-blue-ocean-wool-uniforms-gritty-realism craving. For those who want hist fic that isn't heavy on romance, this is one for you.

From the end of the story, I'd guess this is the first in a series, and I'm curious to see where our boys end up. This is my second Fireship Press book and I'm impressed with their offerings. If you like nautical fic, take a look at this and their other offerings!

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GIVEAWAY!

I'm thrilled to offer a copy of A Tainted Dawn to one lucky reader! To enter, fill out this brief form. Open to US and international readers, ends 2/8.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Mailbox Monday, Jan 28

Ohemgee, what is up with this winter weather?!  Despite my best efforts, I spent a good chunk of last night in the cold and it was miserable.  Thankfully, I had books to make it better.  Another wonderfully full Mailbox Monday this week.  Hosted in January at Lori's Reading Corner, my arrivals look pretty amazing.

To learn more, click on the cover. A new tab/window will open.

Most excitingly: I'm the host of Mailbox Monday in February!! I'm a great hostess, I promise! I hope to see you all next week!

So, what did you get this week?

For Review























Gifted


Sweetly gifted to my wife (!) by the author, after I commented that my wife is an enormous Katherine Parr fangirl. How sweet is that?! Thank you, Ms. Byrd!!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Winners!


First winners post of 2013!  Two giveaways ended this week!

The winner of Wanderers is ... Meghan S.!

The winner of The Midwife's Tale is ... Charity U!

Congrats to the winners!  Everyone has been emailed and has about 48-hours to reply. 

If you didn't win, be sure to check out my open giveaways -- there are two for international folks! -- and more to come, including another opportunity to win the Passing Bells trilogy!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Interview with Sam Thomas

My 2013 opened with a bang, thanks to Sam Thomas' The Midwife's Tale, a wonderful historical novel with a great plot, characters, and setting. I'm excited to share my interview with Sam Thomas -- read on to learn about his writing process, more about this book, and what he does when he's not reading. Be sure to enter the giveaway -- it ends today!

What was the plot of your very first piece of fiction?

Actually, you’ve just read it! I wrote a lot of history before trying a novel, but this was my first time with fiction.

Do you have any writing rituals or routines?

Nothing too weird. I get up at 5:00, grab a cup of coffee, and get started. Now that Cuties are in season, I start with one of those…I’m not sure what I’ll when they’re no longer around!

Was The Midwife's Tale the original title of your book?

Gosh no. Initially it was Statute of Treasons, because the crime at the center of the book is the murder of a husband by his wife. Under English law (the Statute of Treasons), this was not murder, but treason, and the culprits were burned rather than hanged.

Then I tried, Bloody News From York. I was going for the feel of a early modern murder pamphlet and wanted a title page that looked like an old book. That didn’t happen, and my editor suggested The Midwife's Tale.

As you were writing The Midwife's Tale, was there a particular scene or character that surprised you?

Not as much as in the sequel. As I was working on a scene in the second book in the series (The Harlot's Tale), I realized that one of the characters – one I thought would be around for some time to come! – was about to die. I watched in horror as it actually happened, but there wasn’t much I could do about it. She (or he!) never had a chance.

When you’re not writing, what do you like to do?

Between my job as a high school teacher and spending time with my family – both of which are things I love – there isn’t much time left. I’m not complaining, just busy!

Read any good books recently?

Right now I’m reading Jean Zimmerman’s The Orphanmaster. So far it is beyond fantastic. I just hope she can stick the landing! If there is something harder than finishing a great book on a satisfying note, I don’t know what it is.

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GIVEAWAY!

I'm thrilled to offer a copy of The Midwife's Tale to one lucky reader! To enter, fill out this brief form. Open to US/CA readers, ends 1/25.

Weekend Reads and it is still freezing...

I'm working from home today as my office has a terrible draft and iffy heat at the moment, and it is something like negative one million outside.

It's also my wife's birthday (Happy Birthday, sweetheart!), so I got up early to make croissants (Trader Joe's rise-overnight kind, they just baked for, like, 10 minutes) and tea.  Obviously, I had to show off for this post, and I am noshing on the croissants while reading this morning before I get to work.

I'm reading A Tainted Dawn: The Great War by B.N. Peacock and after that, the second book in the Passing Bells trilogy, Circles of Time

That's an ambitious reading plan, as it is The Birthday Weekend. I'm taking my wife to a funky cute little Vietnamese fusion-y place tonight, then we're going to see Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (in 3-D which I know everyone else hates but I luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurve) sometime tomorrow.  It will be such fun!

Anyway....what are you reading this weekend??

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Forgotten Queen by D.L. Bogdan

Title: The Forgotten Queen
Author: D.L. Bogdan

Genre: Fiction (Historical / Tudor / 16th Century / Royals / Scotland / Intrigue / Motherhood / Marriage / Henry VIII)
Publisher/Publication Date: Kensington Publishing (1/29/2013)
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour

Rating: Liked.
Did I finish?: I did!
One-sentence summary: The life of Margaret Tudor, princess and queen, who battles for love, her family, and her happiness in 16th century Scotland.
Reading Challenges: E-book, Historical Fiction, What's in a Name

Do I like the cover?: I have no strong feelings. I don't know if the dress is accurate, but the model has the reddish hair our heroine is noted for, so that's a perk!

First line: It began with smoke.

Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?: Borrow or buy, especially if you like Tudor-fic.

Why did I get this book?: I enjoyed Bogdan's other novel and was curious to see how she would handle this Tudor.

Review: I'm no fan of the Tudors but having enjoyed Bogdan's previous novel, I decided to give this one -- with its focus on Margaret Tudor, sister of Henry VIII -- a go, and I'm glad.

This is a wonderfully readable hist fic that hits the elements of what I like in a read: historical ambiance that feels real, a main character I like, historical relationships articulated in a way that seems believable, and enough drama and emotion to make me care.

The Margaret of this novel is Margaret Tudor, sister of Henry VIII. Raised by her father Henry VII to embrace her God-given sovereignty, she is a girl who wants love after so much loss -- her brother Arthur, her mother, her other siblings who died as infants.

Margaret is married at 13 to James IV, King of Scotland, told to keep peace between the two kingdoms.  Her new husband is 30, an experienced lover of women, and father to five bastards.  Margaret drowns herself in fripperies and fetes, basking in her husband's sweet attentions.  But tragedy strikes -- thanks to her brother, Henry, now king -- and suddenly the sweet girl yearning for love finds herself struggling for so much more.  Her infant son is crowned King and she risks losing her position as regent if she marries.  And yet, on her mind, always, is the desire to be loved for herself, and that motivates her decisions as much as her passion to defend her son's birthright.

Bogdan handled well the historical issues that always give me the squicks, like 13-year old brides, and I liked her characterizations.  (I'm not a Henry VIII fan so that he shows up like a jerk in this book is fine with me.)  I was taken with Margaret, who could potentially be cloying to some readers: she's so desperately needy for love, she'll take affection at any turn, and hungers for it in almost all her interactions.  (It means she also makes some frustrating life choices.)

In her author's note, Bogdan expressly states this novel is "a dramatic interpretation meant to entertain".  As I'm not wedded to this era, that was just fine for me, and I was deeply entertained by this book.  Moved, amused, saddened, gladdened, this was a quick read of a less-known royal that I enjoyed.  Very much worth breaking my Tudor ban!

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GIVEAWAY!


I'm thrilled to offer a copy of The Forgotten Queen to one lucky reader! To enter, fill out this brief form. Open to US and international readers, ends 2/8. Be sure to check back for my interview with the author on 1/30 for another chance to enter!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

India Black and the Rajah's Ruby by Carol K. Carr

Title: India Black and the Rajah's Ruby
Author: Carol K. Carr

Genre: Fiction (Historical / early 20th Century / London / UK / Sex Worker / Victoriana / Mystery)
Publisher/Publication Date: Berkley (12/31/2012)
Source: NetGalley

Rating: Looved!
Did I finish?: In one night!
One-sentence summary: India Black, a foxy young courtesan, reflects on the circumstances that lead to her being able to afford her own brothel.
Reading Challenges: E-book, Historical Fiction

Do I like the cover?: I like it but I'm rather fond of the covers for all the India Black novels -- even though they commit the cardinal sin of slicing off half her face in this one. (In the other two novels, our model keeps her face!) The gown is so pretty, however, I forgive them...

First line: Having acquired a reputation as one of London's most successful madams, I'm frequently asked by young tarts for advice on plunging into the cutthroat world of brothel ownership.

Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?: Buy, buy, buy -- it's inexpensive and so delightfully fun.

Why did I get this book?: India Black is my literary girlfriend.

Review: It is no secret I adore Carol K. Carr's India Black series. The first book made my top ten of 2010 and the second book was a welcome return to a character I adored.

This is a prequel, of sorts, to the India Black books, set during her days as a prostitute (and not the madam she is in books one, two, and three). About 40 pages long, it details the incident that launched India into her madam-ship, so to speak, and as with the previous India books, has the cheeky humor, droll sexiness, and the brazen escapades I've come to associate with Carr's novels.

For those unfamiliar with this series, while India is a madam, this isn't historical erotica or even really historical romance.  Carr  intimates what India has done, what happens in India's brothel, without being gratuitous, gross, or clinically detailed.  India's profession makes for a wonderfully unique heroine and her world an intriguing, unusual setting for a Victorian mystery series.  While not a 'clean' novel technically, this isn't salacious in the slightest, and if you like Victorian settings, rowdy heroines, and snark married with action, give India a chance.

This e-short is an excellent introduction to India Black and Carr's wonderfully droll writing style if you're unfamiliar with this series; and if you're already a fan, you're going to love this naughty, wicked slice from India's past.

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GIVEAWAY!

I'm thrilled to offer a copy of India Black and the Rajah's Ruby! My gift to one lucky reader! As this is an e-special, it is only available as an e-book. To enter, fill out this brief form. Open to US/international readers, ends 2/1.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Expats by Chris Pavone

Title: The Expats
Author: Chris Pavone

Genre: Fiction (Contemporary / Marriage / Domestic Thriller / Luxembourg / Europe / American Expat)
Publisher/Publication Date: Broadway (1/22/2013)
Source: TLC Book Tours

Rating: Meh.
Did I finish?: I didn't.
One-sentence summary: Kate Moore, American expat in Luxembourg, has to deal with a professional mistake while hoping to make sense of her husband's changing behavior.
Reading Challenges: Immigrant Stories, 7 Continents, 7 Billion People, 7 Books

Do I like the cover?: I do -- it matches the genre and the focus of the story,

First line: "Kate?"

Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?: Borrow if you like thrillers featuring women and deceptive marriages.

Why did I get this book?: I'm envious of expats!

Review: I suppose it's inevitable that my streak of winning reads comes to an end. Sadly, this thriller just didn't catch my interest and I DNF'd at 103 pages after many fits and starts.

Essentially, American Kate moves to Luxembourg when her husband gets a lucrative job working with the banks there. As she is having professional angst, the move gives her an out. In Luxembourg, however, things aren't as they should be, stuff from the past shows up, secrets secrets secrets, etc. (I'm fuzzy on what the end is, of course, having not finished this book. But that's my guess.)

For me, the problem was our heroine, Kate Moore. And it's not her fault, I think -- I just really hated how Pavone wrote her. What late 30ish woman giggles when her husband scratches her palm to indicate his desire for sex? (And why can't he just flirt or make a pass like any other person? Every time Pavone had him hold Kate's hand, I wanted to shake it off to avoid weird palm scratching.) A woman who asserts constantly how much her husband needs her (lady doth protest too much, of course!), she makes a big deal about taking her husband's surname and giving herself a cute nickname when they move. If anyone is needy in this marriage, my bet is on Kate.

Despite her professional background (and we learn pretty quickly she's supposed to be a bad ass), Kate walks around oddly insecure, pathetic at moments. Pavone trots out the existential angst how-did-I-get-here housewife trope, which I'm so very sick of in commercial fiction. (I get waking up some mornings and wishing one was 25 again and all that jazz, but when our heroine moves in this fog every day and I'm not reading Betty Friedan or Sylvia Plath, I want her on antidepressants and at talk therapy.)  In the interest of avoiding spoiling any of the story, I won't say more than this: I really hate it when characters are all, 'oh, I can't do X because it will reveal all the truths about me' when X is saving one's self, acting competently, and/or have a rational response.

As I said, I gave up at about 100 pages in (of a 300 page book), still wondering where the thriller tension would kick in.  I had an idea about what the plot points were going to be based on all the hints Pavone was laying out, although 100 pages in, things were still pretty fuzzy. His narrative style is jumpy: the story is split between now and two years ago, and buried in the two-year old sections are memories and events from Kate's past. It felt a bit jumbled and confusing.

I suppose I was warned: The New York Times blurb includes this telling tidbit: "The tireless scheming of all four principals truly exceeds all sane expectations." I didn't get that far, but what I saw felt pretty nonsensical.

My GoodReads feed has a number of three to five star ratings for this book, so don't take my opinion solely; be sure to check out the others on the tour as well for more opinions!

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GIVEAWAY!

I'm thrilled to offer a copy of The Expats to one lucky reader! To enter, fill out this brief form. Open to US/Canadian readers, ends 2/1.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell

Title: The Death of Bees
Author: Lisa O’Donnell

Genre: Fiction (Contemporary / Glasgow / Sisters / Orphans / Multiple Narrators / Mystery / Teenage Heroine - Not YA )
Publisher/Publication Date: Harper (1/2/2013)
Source: TLC Book Tours

Rating: Loved! Adored!
Did I finish?: I inhaled this one!
One-sentence summary: Sisters Marnie and Nelly are alone after their parents die, and their everyday life is a struggle -- to survive, to not be found out, to keep away from those who want to harm them.

Do I like the cover?: It's gorgeous -- love the colors, the silhouette-y style, the font -- perfect.

I'm reminded of...: Jane Harris, Sadie Jones

First line: Today is Christmas Eve.

Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?: Borrow or buy -- read this stat!

Why did I get this book?: I couldn't say -- the cover probably. I am *so* glad I did!

Review: This is me gesticulating wildly as I try to express to you how great this book is. This also means this review is going to be kind of meaningless because I'm still gasping for words.

Let me share the first page:
Today is Christmas Eve. Today is my birthday. Today I am fifteen. Today I buried my parents in the backyard.

Neither of them were beloved.
Awesome, right?

That is Marnie speaking, and the story is split between her and her younger sister Nelly (who is 11ish, I think, at the start). Those first three or four sections almost undid me but I couldn't stop. They were dark, gross, grim, horrible, and deeply fascinating.

Frightening, too: O’Donnell isn't painting a world of demon children or dystopic society; she's portraying contemporary Glasgow and the hard realities many children face. Marnie's parents are criminally negligent; they're drug addicts, alcoholics. Abusive in a variety of ways. Utterly unconcerned for their children, right up to their deaths. Marnie, well aware of what will happen to them if it gets out that their parents are dead, does what she can to care for her sister, Nelly, who is odd, speaks with an archaic kind of speech, and plays the violin like a prodigy.

Eventually a third voice joins in, that of their elderly neighbor Lennie, observing from the sidelines -- a welcome adult voice for me, at least, since I kept biting my nails and sweating what might happen to Marnie and Nelly. (I fell in love with those girls from that first page. Marnie is rough and hard and damaged, and I just want to give her a hug and Nelly is so super odd and weird, and I just want to give her a hug. No matter their choices, I understood them and related to them and really really really cared for them.)

Speaking of rough, hard, and damaged, this book might need a trigger warning, especially for those who are uncomfortable with implied sexual abuse, adults having sex with underage girls, and drug use. (Or, if you're the parent of a young teen, this might give you the jibblies.) Still, I never felt O’Donnell was being gratuitous or shocking for the sake of the shock -- Marnie's world is all-too real for many children.

I will admit, there was one moment in my marathon reading when I thought 'I just can't take any more misery' but O’Donnell holds the story together and pushes the boundary of misery without breaking it, and the end wrapped up neatly and satisfactorily.

I can't stop talking about this book and woe be anyone who makes eye-contact with me over the next few days, because I'll be babbling about it non-stop. Give this one a read as I think it is worth the buzz and then come back and tell me what you think!

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GIVEAWAY!

I'm thrilled to offer a copy of The Death of Bees to one lucky reader! To enter, fill out this brief form. Open to US/CA readers, ends 2/1.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Mailbox Monday, Jan 21

Mailbox Monday is hosted in January at Lori's Reading Corner. Another eclectic week of arrivals, including more than one I've been sweating for.  Super excited to dig in!

To learn more about a title, click on the cover -- it'll open up in a new tab/window.

What did you get this week?

For Review