Posted in Blogmas, TBR

December TBR

I’ve been in some mysterious pain which has slowed me down a bit reading wise. But I’m still doing the best I can to make it to 75 before the end of the year. Here are some of my picks for end of November into December.

1)

Soulswift by [Megan Bannen]

Summary

Gelya is a Vessel, a girl who channels the word of the One True God through song. Cloistered with the other Vessels of her faith, she believes—as all Ovinists do—that a saint imprisoned Elath the Great Demon centuries ago, saving humanity from earthly temptation.

When Gelya stumbles into a deadly cover-up by the Ovinists’ military, she reluctantly teams up with Tavik, an enemy soldier, to survive. Tavik believes that Elath is actually a mother goddess who must be set free, but while he succeeds in opening Her prison, he inadvertently turns Gelya into Elath’s unwilling human vessel.

Now the church that raised Gelya considers her a threat. In a race against the clock, she and Tavik must find a way to exorcise Elath’s presence from her body. But will this release stop the countdown to the end of the world, or will it be the cause of the earth’s destruction?

And as Tavik and Gelya grow closer, another question lingers between them: What will become of Gelya?

Notes

So I’m about half way through this book and it’s super interesting I love the way the different interpretation of faiths is desplayed and how they are fighting. I also really like Gelya as a character, she’s a perfect introduction to the world having spent her whole life in a convent. Tavik is too but in a different way beacause I feel like he’s spent his whole life doing something that hasn’t really given him time to see the world.

I’d like to learn more about Gelya’s background hopefully this book covers it, if not I hope there is more than one book. I’d also like to say I like the interaction between Tavik and Gelya. I’m not a fan of romance and while they hit at the edges of being romancey mostly they just show a good friendship.

2)Ghost Squad

Summary

Shortly before Halloween, Lucely and her best friend, Syd, cast a spell that accidentally awakens malicious spirits, wreaking havoc throughout St. Augustine. Together, they must join forces with Syd’s witch grandmother, Babette, and her tubby tabby, Chunk, to fight the haunting head-on and reverse the curse to save the town and Lucely’s firefly spirits before it’s too late.

With the family dynamics of Coco and action-packed adventure of Ghostbusters, Claribel A. Ortega delivers both a thrillingly spooky and delightfully sweet debut novel.

Notes

I’ve actually seen Claribel A. Ortega speak twice about the book it’s just been idling on my TBR. Now is the time to get to it.

3)The Dragon Warrior

Summary

As a member of the Jade Society, twelve-year-old Faryn Liu dreams of honoring her family and the gods by becoming a warrior. But the Society has shunned Faryn and her brother Alex ever since their father disappeared years ago, forcing them to train in secret.

Then, during an errand into San Francisco, Faryn stumbles into a battle with a demon–and helps defeat it. She just might be the fabled Heaven Breaker, a powerful warrior meant to work for the all-mighty deity, the Jade Emperor, by commanding an army of dragons to defeat the demons. That is, if she can prove her worth and find the island of the immortals before the Lunar New Year.

With Alex and other unlikely allies at her side, Faryn sets off on a daring quest across Chinatowns. But becoming the Heaven Breaker will require more sacrifices than she first realized. . . What will Faryn be willing to give up to claim her destiny?

Notes

I really like Faryn as a hero so far, there have also been some scenes that made me tear up already. I’m maybe a third of the way through, I can’t wait to see where this goes or where the sequel is going. I also love the way the gods just show up randomly as they like it, I know it’s Chinese New Year so they have extra power, but the scene where the one god just showed up at the table during the big dinner to announce the Heaven Breaker was one of my favorites.

4) This is Not a Ghost Story

Summary

I am not welcome. Somehow I know that. Something doesn’t want me here.

Daffodil Franklin has plans for a quiet summer before her freshman year at college, and luckily, she’s found the job that can give her just that: housesitting a mansionfor a wealthy couple.

But as the summer progresses and shadows lengthen, Daffodil comes to realize the house is more than it appears. The spacious home seems to close in on her, and as she takes the long road into town, she feels eyes on her the entire way, and something tugging her back.

What Daffodil doesn’t yet realize is that her job comes with a steep price. The house has a long-ago grudge it needs to settle . . . and Daffodil is the key to settling it.

Notes

This creepy book has a unique voice that draws me in especially after watching the Haunting of Bly Manor earlier in the year. Also don’t read this book if you want a reliable narrator, to be exactly sure what happened or like linear narratives. The book is perfect for me as I like fiction with none of those things, but it might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Is Daffodil crazy is the house messing with her, do we know? Whose real? What’s real? All questions the book is still examining about halfway in.

5) Once Upon an Eid: Stories of Hope and Joy by 15 Muslim Voices

Summary

Once Upon an Eid is a collection of short stories that showcases the most brilliant Muslim voices writing today, all about the most joyful holiday of the year: Eid! Eid: The short, single-syllable word conjures up a variety of feelings and memories for Muslims. Maybe it’s waking up to the sound of frying samosas or the comfort of bean pie, maybe it’s the pleasure of putting on a new outfit for Eid prayers, or maybe it’s the gift giving and holiday parties to come that day. Whatever it may be, for those who cherish this day of celebration, the emotional responses may be summed up in another short and sweet word: joy. The anthology will also include a poem, graphic-novel chapter, and spot illustrations.

The full list of Once Upon an Eid contributors include: G. Willow Wilson (Alif the Unseen, Ms. Marvel), Hena Khan (Amina’s Voice, Under My Hijab), N. H. Senzai (Shooting Kabul, Escape from Aleppo), Hanna Alkaf (The Weight of Our Sky), Rukhsana Khan (Big Red Lollipop), Randa Abdel-Fattah (Does My Head Look Big in This?), Ashley Franklin (Not Quite Snow White), Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow (Mommy’s Khimar), Candice Montgomery (Home and Away, By Any Means Necessary), Huda Al-Marashi (First Comes Marriage), Ayesha Mattu, Asmaa Hussein, and Sara Alfageeh.

Notes 

Oh my goodness this book! You would think with stories so diverse I couldn’t like them all, but somehow I’ve liked every single one I’ve read. It’s the sweetest book I’ve read recently, this book tells the story of all kinds of Muslims from newly converted to refugees, to some with different family situations. Each story is a little gem of happiness, even if their is sadness they are right to sum it up with the word joy. A beautiful work so far, I’m about halfway through and I can wait to keep reading.

Image by Igor Ovsyannykov from Pixabay

Posted in Blogmas, new releases, YARC

December New Releases Middle Grade

Never After: The Thirteenth Fairy (The Chronicles of Never After, 1)

North Pasadena, is the perfect town. The sun shines every day, the grass is always the perfect green, there even isn’t any bullying at Filomena Jefferson-Cho progressive school. Still she feels a little down an out about her sleepy suburban town. Until one day when she is walking home something strange happens.

Filomena is being followed by a character from her favorite book series, Jack Stalker. He’s one of the heroes in the Thirteenth Fairy series, a book series that Filomena loves about a brave girl with her ragtag group of friends who save the world from an evil enchantress.

Filomena figures she must be dreaming or something, but Jack insists he’s real and he also needs Filomena to follow him at once. Filomena soon finds herself in a magical world of evil fairies and and beautiful princesses. But Filomena must find the truth behind the fairy tales if she wants to save herself and the kingdom of Westphalia from an evil queen and her armies.

MELISSA DE LA CRUZ is the #1 New York Times, #1 Publisher’s Weekly and #1 Indie Bound bestselling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for readers of all ages, and edited the inspiring anthology of true stories, Because I Was a Girl. She grew up in Manila and moved to San Francisco with her family, where she graduated high school salutatorian from The Convent of the Sacred Heart. At Columbia University, she majored in art history and English. Melissa de la Cruz lives in West Hollywood with her husband and daughter.

Amazon

Brilliant Books

This book is due out on December 1st.

A Wolf for a Spell

Zima’s wolf family has long feared humans–especially witches–but when her family is threatened Zima must seek the help of the infamous Baba Yaga.

But Baba Yaga’s help never comes for free, and it just so happens she need a wolf keen nose for the plan she’s brewing. Before Zima knows what’s happened the witch has cast a body switching spell and run off into the wood in her body, leaving her in Baba Yaga’s.

Just as Zima’s getting this all sorted out a young village girl named Nadya is also seeking Baba Yaga’s help, and when she meet Zima (as Baba Yaga) the two realize they have a common enemy. But with danger closing in Zima must unite the wolves, the witches and the villagers against an evil that seeks to threaten them all.

Karah Sutton has loved Baba Yaga, ballet, and blini ever since she had to do a research project on her Russian heritage in the third grade. Her hunger for adventure inspired her to move from Kentucky to New Zealand, where it was rumored she would find talking trees and the occasional wood elf. Karah spent four years as a bookseller before she turned to writing her own fiction. A Wolf For a A Spell is her first novel.

Visit her online at KarahSutton.com or follow her on Twitter @Karahdactyl

Pauliina Hannuniemi is a Finnish illustrator with her Bachelor of Arts from Metropolia UoAS. This is her first book.

Amazon

Brilliant Books

This book will be released December 1st.

Girl Giant and the Monkey King

Eleven-year-old Thom Ngho just wants to fit in at her middle school. It’s kind of hard to do that when you’re keeping a secret. Thom secret is big she’s strong like super duper strong. Freakishly strong.

Soon Thom finds herself swept up in an ancient and fantastical world of demon and dragons. But magic can’t cure everything and when she tries to make a deal with the trickster god the Monkey King to get rid of her super strength, she might realize she’s in over her head.

Van Hoang earned her bachelor’s degree in English at the University of New Mexico and her master’s in Library Information Science at San Jose State University. Girl Giant and the Monkey King was her debut novel. She was born in Vietnam, grew in up Orange County, California, and now resides in Los Angeles with her husband and two dogs.

Amazon

Brilliant Books

This book will be released December 1st.

A special thanks to Brilliant Books for helping me find these titles and extra information.

Posted in Blogmas, Challenges, Memes

Blogmas

As many of you already know I’m a fan of Jenniely. I did her Blogtober challenge and am working on Blogmas as well. I’ve been trying to post more consistently this season, and challenges like these really help a lot. At the time of the post-Jenniely hasn’t put up a blog about Blogmas 2019, so here are the prompts from 2018.

25 Post Ideas for Blogmas

I’m really looking forward to doing some of these prompts, especially the ones on Christmas gifts and holiday stress. I’m also looking forward to doing my 2019 wrap up.

What about you all are you taking part in Blogmas?