Kernels of Nonsense: Five Books I’d Love to Reread

Yes, it’s been months since I put together a Kernels of Nonsense post, but the end of the year is fast approaching, so I wanted to make sure I got at least one more of these posts in. There is no denying it any longer, I am officially in a reading slump. While I do think this is the best time to be in a slump (I completed my Goodreads goal and all but accepted meeting the Debut Author Challenge to be out of reach), it is the worst time because although the stress of meeting certain goals is gone, there are still a number of books I wanted to get to by the end of the year. Instead I am just sitting here staring at said books and wondering where the heck my motivation disappeared to. About a week ago I tweeted that I had the urge to just drop everything and reread old favorites and now that this slump has set in, I’m starting to think that’s not a bad idea. So bearing in mind my slump doesn’t extend into rereading territory, here are five (technically six) books I’m seriously considering rereading to close out 2018.

1. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

I think it’s safe to say that Holly Black’s The Wicked King is one of the most anticipated 2019 reads in this community. I loved The Cruel Prince and have already preordered the sequel. This was one of my earlier 2018 reads and it feels like I need to a refresher before the sequel’s release. I’ve been itching to do a reread of this one for the last couple of months and there is no time like the present.

2. Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho is one of my very favorite books and one I’d like to see get more attention in the community. It feels like I’ve been waiting forever for the sequel and now that we finally have a date (The True Queen, March 12th 2019), I want to experience everything I loved about this first book again before the next one is out.

3. Truthwitch & Windwitch by Susan Dennard

Another highly anticipated sequel of mine is Bloodwitch. I feel like this series found its perfect pacing and balance between plot and characters in the second novel. But it has been almost two years since I read Windwitch and I want to go into the third without scratching my head trying to remember what happened in the previous novels. February cannot come fast enough.

4. Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Do you ever feel like you just want to reread something that wows you? Well, Naomi Novik’s Uprooted did just that and with Spinning Silver sitting on my shelf, I sort of feel like I need to revisit this one. I also have a feeling I’ll end up adjusting my rating on this one from four stars to five with a reread.

5. The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

I think ending the year with a reread of one of your favorite books is the best way to go out. I read Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s The Beautiful Ones way back in February and all those warm and fuzzy feelings are still there. I keep saying it but this is one of those rare instances where a novel felt truly perfect to me.

Do you do a lot of rereading throughout the year? What’s the last book you reread? A book you’d like to revisit if you could? Let’s talk in the comments!

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The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

Title: The Wicked Deep
Author: Shea Ernshaw
Series: N/A
Pages: 308
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: March 6th 2018

      “Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…
      Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.
      Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.
      Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.
      Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.
      But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.”

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“Once a Swan sister has whispered into your ear, promised the touch of her skin, you can’t resist her. She will lure you into the water then pull you under until the life spills out of you.”

When the town of Sparrow drowned the Swan sisters, convinced they were witches, they set upon themselves a curse that has plagued the small town for two centuries. Penny Talbot hasn’t had a normal life since her father disappeared three summers ago, but in a place like Sparrow, it’s hard for anyone to have a normal life. Each year the Swan sisters return, inhabiting the bodies of young women and lure young men to their deaths. Every year the families of Sparrow are devastated by the loss of their sons, but are powerless to stop it. When Bo, an outsider, wanders into Sparrow with no knowledge of the town curse, Penny befriends him despite the warnings in her head. But soon the sisters begin their killing spree and Penny becomes desperate to keep Bo from danger, but secrets from both their pass threaten not only their new bond, but their lives.

Shea Ernshaw’s The Wicked Deep beguiles with its eerie setting, transporting readers to a place where the town’s transgressions are a tourist attraction to outsiders, but an inescapable curse upon generations of inhabitants. The most interesting part of this book is by far the town itself. Not only its history of executing young women suspected of witchcraft, but how it has both embraced and feared the consequences of its actions. The young people of Sparrow throw parties when the summer solstice rolls around perhaps because most of them don’t quite believe in the curse. But it’s enough to keep many of them away from the water where it’s said the sisters claim their host bodies and where their victims are eventually led to drown. It isn’t surprising that this uncertain and deadly time brings about a level of paranoia. Just because the town’s curse hasn’t been broken doesn’t mean it can’t be and for a few desperate individuals hunting down the sisters and killing them before they can do more harm is the only way to stop them. But with no way of knowing who has been possessed, the town becomes the center of a witch hunt and history often repeats itself.

Penny has never quite gotten over how her town treated her father. As an outsider, he was never fully embraced and when he disappeared, Sparrow found little time to care. For the last three years it has been Penny who maintains the lighthouse on the little island just outside of Sparrow. Her mother is no more than a shadow of her old self and with no other occupants on the island, Penny feels both its isolation and comfort at once. Bo, who carries his own losses close to his chest becomes a kind of mirror for Penny. Their connection represents the part of herself that longs to escape Sparrow, but which inevitably knows Sparrow is both her beginning and end. Bo is a tricky character to really get a handle on. Ernshaw relies on belated reveals to shock the reader and while I will say I enjoyed most of her twists, this method made Bo’s character in particular feel inconsistent. What we discover later didn’t mesh well with the Bo we meet at the beginning. I felt little sympathy for him and found myself actively rooting against him at times. The ending as a result of all the plot twists also didn’t sit well with me and kind of left me feeling that Penny really got the short end of the stick in the end.

Shea Ernshaw’s The Wicked Deep is atmospheric and eerie. The mystery of the town’s curse and romance between Penny and Bo will have many readers enthralled. The ending however left a bad aftertaste in my mouth.

3/5

★★★

The Friday 56: Pride

The Friday 56The Friday 56 is a weekly blog meme hosted by Freda’s Voice. Join us every Friday and share an excerpt from a book you’ve been reading.

Rules:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader.
*Find any sentence (or a few, just don’t spoil it) that grab you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post here in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url. It’s that simple.

**Be sure to leave a link to your Friday 56 post in the comments!**

“These spirits and unseen things, as Madrina calls them, don’t make sense to me. Of course they don’t. I can’t see them. But it’s Madrina’s wisdom that unties the tight knots of my life…”

Ibi Zoboi’s Pride is a fresh retelling of Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice. I fell in love with the community in this one and love how important Zuri’s family was to her. You can read my review of this one hereCover is linked to Goodreads.

From the Goodreads Synopsis:

      “Zuri Benitez has pride. Brooklyn pride, family pride, and pride in her Afro-Latino roots. But pride might not be enough to save her rapidly gentrifying neighborhood from becoming unrecognizable.
      When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, Zuri wants nothing to do with their two teenage sons, even as her older sister, Janae, starts to fall for the charming Ainsley. She especially can’t stand the judgmental and arrogant Darius. Yet as Zuri and Darius are forced to find common ground, their initial dislike shifts into an unexpected understanding.
      But with four wild sisters pulling her in different directions, cute boy Warren vying for her attention, and college applications hovering on the horizon, Zuri fights to find her place in Bushwick’s changing landscape, or lose it all.
      In a timely update of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, critically acclaimed author Ibi Zoboi skillfully balances cultural identity, class, and gentrification against the heady magic of first love in her vibrant reimagining of this beloved classic.”

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: The Wicked King by Holly Black


Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa @ Wishful Endings where bloggers share which upcoming releases they’re most looking forward to. Join us every Wednesday and watch your TBR list multiply. Cover is linked to Goodreads.

Holly Black’s The Cruel Prince was a truly fascinating read. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it, but the hype ended up being too much for me to resist. I ended up really taking to the protagonist, Jude, and loved that she got to be the bad guy in this twisted world of fairies. I feel like I’ve been counting down the days until The Wicked King‘s release and over Black Friday weekend, I ended up preordering the sequel. Now if only time would move faster.

 width=Title: The Wicked King
Author: Holly Black
Series: The Folk of the Air, #2
Pages: 336
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: January 8, 2019

      “You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.
      The first lesson is to make yourself strong.
      After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.
      When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.”

Are you participating in Can’t-Wait Wednesday or Waiting on Wednesday? Is this book on your TBR? Be sure to leave a link to your post in the comments and I’ll visit!

Top Ten Tuesday: Fantasy Reads Perfect for Winter

Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. and is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is “Cozy/Wintry Reads.I always associate contemporary books with spring and summer and mysteries/horror with fall. For winter, the kind of books I think are perfect are thick fantasy books. I imagine curling up by the fire on a cold night and falling deeply into the fantasy world I’m reading. Here are ten (mostly) thick fantasy reads for anyone who also likes to reach for these kind of reads during the winter months. Covers are linked to Goodreads.

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1. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

2. Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

3. Uprooted by Naomi Novik

4. The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

5. Grave Mercy by Robin LeFevers

6. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

7. The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

8. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

9. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

10. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

Which kind of books do you associate with the winter? Which fantasy reads would you recommend this upcoming season? Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave me a link to your own TTT post, so I can visit.

Monthly Wrap-Up: November ’18

MonthlyWrap-UPI’m officially back from hiatus! I will be catching up on comments both today and tomorrow, particularly ones left on my Top Ten Tuesday post I put up this last week. If I have time today, I will also be doing a little blog hopping. I missed my blog, but I also missed all of yours as well.

I cannot believe that it is already December. Where did 2018 go? My November was defined by the most part by the aforementioned hiatus I took in the middle of the month. I didn’t work on my blog for a whole two and a half weeks. I wish I could say I picked up an absurd number of books while away from the blog, but it was more of the same. I read 6 novels in November, only bought a couple of books for myself (here’s to self-control!), and feel really confident going into December. There are a few books I really want to get to as we say goodbye to 2018 and a couple of blog posts I’ve been thinking about that I at least want to start on. We’ll see how it goes.

(Book covers below are linked to my reviews, unless otherwise specified.) 

Favorite Book This Month:

Rebecca Roanhouse’s Trail of Lightning is the book I’m going to be screaming about for the rest of the year into next year. I kid you not, the day after I finished my library copy, I was on the hunt for my own copy. It was that good. The world-building was top-notch, the characters hard not to root for, and the action took my breath away. I cannot wait to share my review with you. Cover is linked to Goodreads.

Least Favorite Book This Month:

No book received less than three stars from me this month.

Reviews Posted This Month:

 

Read, Review Coming Soon:

(covers linked to Goodreads)

Notable Blog Posts This Month:

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi – I am already salivating over this release. Chokshi is one of my favorite writers and you can bet that this is at the top of my preorder list (I preordered this while on hiatus).

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Sibling Relationships – I “broke” my hiatus so I could do this topic because I love sibling relationships in books and had to share this list with everyone.

Reading Challenges:

Aside from the Goodreads challenge, I’m only participating in one reading challenge this year. I close the second to last month accepting that I am not going to meet my goal. I’m okay with that.

1. The 2018 Debut Author Challenge is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. I read one debut in November and that was Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed.

  • Challenge Goal: 12 books; Current Count: 9 books

I have no December releases on my TBR, so instead here are a few books I’m hoping to pick up before the end of 2018:

 

Month in Review

Do you take a break from your blog during the busy holiday season? How was your November? Did you have an enjoyable Thanksgiving? Any books you need to get to before we end 2018? Let me know in the comments and feel free to leave me a link to your own wrap-up post and I’ll be sure to visit.