Reading · Reviews

Book Review: Ivory and Bone

Ivory and Bone is a young adult novel set during the Ice Age. It’s the first of a series with the next book in the series, Obsidian and Stars, already out. Overall I give this book 4 stars out of 5. I’ve been craving books set during the Ice Age and I wish there were more of them, but I admit I had a few hangups with this book while reading. However I still look forward to reading Obsidian and Stars.

Ivory and Bone is about a teenager named Kol who is searching for a bride while finding his clan caught up in a war between two other clans. First off this book does a great job of bringing to light some of the struggles teenagers during the Ice Age would have dealt with, like the main character Kol searching for a bride amongst other clans because there aren’t enough girls in his clan. This book also tackles the issue of the number of mammoths dwindling, making survival a struggle for those who relied on them. The setting of this book is what made the story was the books biggest strength in my opinion. Continue reading “Book Review: Ivory and Bone”

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history · Reading · Writing

Modern Women in Historical Fiction

Historical fiction has always been one of my favorite genres right behind fantasy. While I love all kinds of historical fiction, I enjoy reading about the lives of women since their experiences can be so different from my experiences today. However, I’ve noticed historical women being modernized too much in ways that don’t match their time periods. Making a main character relatable without too much modernization can be difficult, but I love seeing historically accurate representations of women.

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Sometimes I pick up a historical and think, “Wow, this main character reads as though she stepped right out of the current day and into history.” Looking at you in particular here historical fantasy novels. It’s true that some women were ahead of their day, but often the modernizing of women in regards to their views and attitudes aren’t always historically accurate. I’ve noticed a trend of historical and historical fantasy gravitating around women who don’t want to get married, usually for reasons that wouldn’t fly in their time period. Views about their own place in society are often modern as well. While I appreciate the women who fight against society to make progress or refuse to accept the double standards placed on them, I also find myself longing for stories about the average woman and how she navigated the social mores cast upon her. While women who were ahead of their time can be easier for a modern author to write about, reading about the average woman helps me appreciate the progress made since their era and how different my life has been from theirs. Continue reading “Modern Women in Historical Fiction”

Reading · Reviews

Book Review: Reincarnation Blues

I’ve always loved stories dealing with reincarnation. There’s something romantic about the idea of living multiple lives and becoming a better person through each experience. Add a love story to the mix and I couldn’t say no to reading Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore. This book had such a unique take on reincarnation and I adored the love story. I give the book 4 stars out of 5 and recommend this to anyone looking for a good reincarnation tale.

The story is about Milo, a man who has lived almost 10,000 lives in a world where you get 10,000 lives to reach Perfection and become part of the oversoul to be at one with the universe. Milo has fallen in love with Suzie, the incarnation of Death. He doesn’t want to reach Perfection, he just wants to be with Suzie. But if Milo doesn’t reach Perfection in time, his soul will be destroyed. Continue reading “Book Review: Reincarnation Blues”

Reading

The Never-Ending Reading List

I feel like this is something every reader experiences at some point. You get busy with life and other hobbies and before you know it your planned reading list is growing out of control and books are piling up. The best thing about switching to ebooks was that it made it easier to contain all those piles. I read a lot, but I still experience an uncontrollable reading list way too often because I’m addicted to looking for new books. I finally had to stop and realize I will probably always feel behind on my reading no matter how many books I get through I always feel hopelessly behind. I’m working on enjoying the journey and not rushing to the finish line. Continue reading “The Never-Ending Reading List”

Reading

Why I Love Fantasy and Historical Fiction

I read in many genres, but the two genres I read the most in are fantasy and historical fiction in adult and young adult. At first those may seem like an odd combination, after all one focuses on what could be and the other what was, but for those very reasons they go together so well. I love contemporary now and again, especially contemporary that deals with tough issues like breakups, mental illness, and other struggles, but when reading for myself I like to escape into fiction that is different than reality. Both fantasy and historical fiction fill that gap for me. At times I often wish historical fiction got as much attention as fantasy. Continue reading “Why I Love Fantasy and Historical Fiction”

history · Reading

Historical Fiction Roundup 2017

I got in the mood for historical fiction this year after devouring a bunch of fantasy last year and read one historical after another. I discovered I read a lot of books based on real women, which seems to be one of my favorite topics in historical fiction. With how many books I read, I decided to do a roundup of my top five favorite historical reads this year. Most of these have been published in the last few years and many of the authors have written other historical books, so if you like a book by one of them do yourself a favor and see what else they have.

Now here is the list in no particular order. I chose the books that sucked me in from the first chapter with stories that fascinated me. Below you will find fascinating stories with great voices that are often based on real historical women. Continue reading “Historical Fiction Roundup 2017”

Reading · Reviews

Caraval

I finally got around to reading Caraval by Stephani Garber and I can see why it became a bestseller. I loved the book. I had some misgivings when I first started reading, but I got hooked and didn’t want to put the book down. I loved how I couldn’t predict the book with the twists and turns thrown at me. It made for an exciting read and a breath of fresh air since I love an unpredictable book but read so few. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this book and in fact hope to get one of my friends to read it.CaravalNormally I don’t pay attention when books are heralded as the next whatever one of the latest bestsellers have been, in Caraval’s case The Night Circus, but this is definitely a book that would appeal to Night Circus fans although the writing styles are vastly different. Still, they are both about a magical world hidden away in the normal world with a sprinkling of love thrown in. I found Caraval enchanting and if it were real, you’d better belief I’d be trying to get myself a ticket every year. I’d probably try to be a performer. And while there is a romance thread, I appreciated how in the end the focus was on the love between the sisters winning at the end of the day.

Why did I have misgivings at first? Well the father in this book was abusive and I’ve noticed a tendency toward terrible parents in books lately as an excuse in fantasy for characters to leave to go exploring, which was also true in Caraval’s case. However once the sisters left their island, I couldn’t put the book down. I wanted to know more about Caraval and just exactly who the mysterious sailor known as Julian was. And once the game of Caraval started, there was no way I could walk away from the book.

I find books boring when I can predict the ending, and even if I enjoy the reading an ending I predicted can at times disappoint me. On the flip side I hate when authors go with unbelievable twists in an attempt to be unpredictable. I definitely didn’t predict the way the game ended in Caraval. As soon as I thought I understood the infamous Legend and his Caraval, another twist made me feel like I knew nothing. But that didn’t frustrate me, it just made me eager to know the which truth was right. After all, you can’t trust anyone in Caraval. The twists and turns fit in with the Caraval game well and made for some mind blowing endings.

The first thing I did when I finished reading was hop online to see if there would be a sequel–and there is one! The sequel is coming May 2018 and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. I’m curious to have a story from Tella’s perspective since Caraval was from Scarlett’s. I want to know more about her and if the way her sister views her as being rash is true. But more than any other character I want the chance to meet Legend and learn more about the enigmatic man.

So if you haven’t read Caraval yet, you definitely should grab a copy and dive in. But be warned by the end you might want a ticket to next year’s game.