The Friday 56: Blanca & Roja

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!**

“The ache bloomed into pain.

I tried to get out of the room before I doubled over.

‘You okay?’ Yearling called after me.

I stumbled to the kitchen window.

A thick slice of moon hung in the sky, the outer edge hard and solid, the inner light translucent, like an orange segment. Halfway between last quarter and crescent.

Es la luna, mija, my grandmother said every month when this happened. It pulls at you.”

Anna-Marie McLemore’s Blanca & Roja, is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read. It combines two of my favorite kinds of stories: magical realism and fairy tale retellings. One of the most unique aspects of this novel is McLemore introduces a character who has really bad periods (as shown in this excerpt) and I loved how open and honest this portrayal is. You can read my review of this one here. Cover is linked to Goodreads. Excerpt from page 156.

From the Goodreads Synopsis:

      “The biggest lie of all is the story you think you already know.
      The del Cisne girls have never just been sisters; they’re also rivals, Blanca as obedient and graceful as Roja is vicious and manipulative. They know that, because of a generations-old spell, their family is bound to a bevy of swans deep in the woods. They know that, one day, the swans will pull them into a dangerous game that will leave one of them a girl, and trap the other in the body of a swan.
      But when two local boys become drawn into the game, the swans’ spell intertwines with the strange and unpredictable magic lacing the woods, and all four of their fates depend on facing truths that could either save or destroy them. Blanca & Roja is the captivating story of sisters, friendship, love, hatred, and the price we pay to protect our hearts.”

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Can’t-Wait Wednesday: The Resolutions by Mia Garcia


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.

I feel like we don’t get enough contemporary novels that focus on friend groups and even less that focus on diverse ones. This is why I am so excited for Mia Garcia’s sophomore novel The Resolutions. I cannot be the only one in love with this cover.

 width=Title: The Resolutions
Author: Mia Garcia
Series: N/A
Pages: 416
Publisher: HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: November 13, 2018

      “New Years are for fresh starts, but Jess just wants everything to go back to the way it was.
      From hiking trips, to four-person birthday parties, to never-ending group texts, Jess, Lee, Ryan, and Nora have always been inseparable—and unstoppable. But now, with senior year on the horizon, they’ve been splintering off and growing apart. And so, as always, Jess makes a plan.
      Reinstating their usual tradition of making resolutions together on New Year’s Eve, Jess adds a new twist: instead of making their own resolutions, the four friends assign them for each other—dares like kiss someone you know is wrong for you, show your paintings, learn Spanish, say yes to everything.
      But not even the best laid plans can take into account the uncertainties of life. As the year unfolds, Jess, Ryan, Nora, and Lee each test the bonds that hold them together. And amid first loves, heart breaks, and life-changing decisions, beginning again is never as simple as it seems.”

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: Ten Bookstores I Want to Visit

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 “Ten Bookstores I’d Like to Visit.” This topic was both easy and hard. On one hand, it was easy to find ten bookstores for this list and on the other, it was difficult to only name ten. I haven’t been to any of these and probably won’t get a chance to visit most, but a girl can dream.

1. Libreria Acqua Alta (Venice, Italy) – This bookstore has accepted the losing battle with nature and as a result has learned to adapt. Books can be found in tubs and boats and stacked high in order to preserve them from the rising water in Venice, Italy.

2. Livraria Lello (Porto, Portugal) – It’s rumored that JKR found inspiration for HP from this bookstore and and it’s not surprising. I’m inexplicably drawn to this red staircase. How can you look at it and not think there’s something magical about it?

3. Underground Books (Coober Pedy, Australia) – This bookstore is literally underground. How…groundbreaking. In all seriousness, I think I might end up feeling a little claustrophobic being here, but I’d like to at least visit it once anyway.

4. The Last Bookstore (Los Angeles, California) – I really need to carve out some time and take a trip here. It’s within driving distance from where I live, but ugh, traffic. Also, weddings can happen here? Ransom Riggs and Tahereh Mafi got married here. Can you imagine?

5. El Ateneo Grand Splendid (Buenos Aires, Argentina) – Do you even need to ask why I’d want to go here? Just look at the place. It’s a former theatre and then cinema and now houses a bookstore. I just want to stare at this picture for a while.

6. Polare Maastricht (Maastricht, Netherlands) – This one is apparently closed now, but if it wasn’t I’d want to visit it. Books are housed in a former church that was built way back in 1294. It looks so grand and so appropriate for those of us who revere books.

8. Strand Bookstore (New York, New York) – I’ve actually been to New York, but somehow missed visiting this famous bookstore. If I ever go back, it’s at the top of my list.

6. El Péndulo (Mexico City, Mexico) – I’ve always been fond of the combination of books and nature and this one looks like a place where I’d instantly feel at home.

8. The Gladstone Library (Flintshire, North Wales) – This is not a bookstore, but a library at a B&B. If dreams come true not only would I get to visit this place but my own personally library would be modeled after it.

9. Zhongshuge Book Store (Chengdu, China) – I don’t even know where to start with this one. If you haven’t googled this bookstore, do it now. I picked this children’s section because I’m so enamored with the structure and art pieces, but there are several rooms/floors that are equally as gorgeous.

10. Shakespeare and Company (Paris, France) – I get teary eyed just thinking about this place. I don’t know if you can still do it, but they’ve allowed people to sleep here and work on their writing/other art as long as they work at the bookstore a couple of hours a day. I think I could die happy here.

Have you had the pleasure of visiting any of these places? Any of these bookstores also on your bucket list? Let’s talk in the comments and be sure to leave a link to your own TTT post, so I can visit!

The Friday 56: Gabi, a Girl in Pieces

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!**

“Wait. You kissed him?” asked Cindy.

“Yes!” I said, super excited.

But then she went on and on about how that made me seem desperate and easy and blah blah blah. I wanted to say, “Let’s not talk about desperate and easy,” but that would have made her cry, and I would have felt like shit afterwards.

Isabel Quintero’s Gabi, a Girl in Pieces made me both laugh and cry. Told in diary entries, Gabi has such a clear voice and I loved that poetry was used as a way for the protagonist to both express and embrace herself. You can read my mini-review here. Cover is linked to Goodreads.

From the Goodreads Synopsis:

      “Gabi Hernandez chronicles her last year in high school in her diary: college applications, Cindy’s pregnancy, Sebastian’s coming out, the cute boys, her father’s meth habit, and the food she craves. And best of all, the poetry that helps forge her identity.
      July 24
      My mother named me Gabriella, after my grandmother who, coincidentally, didn’t want to meet me when I was born because my mother was unmarried, and therefore living in sin. My mom has told me the story many, many, MANY, times of how, when she confessed to my grandmother that she was pregnant with me, her mother beat her. BEAT HER! She was twenty-five. That story is the basis of my sexual education and has reiterated why it’s important to wait until you’re married to give it up. So now, every time I go out with a guy, my mom says, ‘Ojos abiertos, piernas cerradas.’ Eyes open, legs closed. That’s as far as the birds and the bees talk has gone. And I don’t mind it. I don’t necessarily agree with that whole wait until you’re married crap, though. I mean, this is America and the 21st century; not Mexico one hundred years ago. But, of course, I can’t tell my mom that because she will think I’m bad. Or worse: trying to be White.

Top Ten Tuesday: Longest Books I’ve Ever Read

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 “Longest Books I’ve Ever Read.” I feel like I don’t pick up as many big books as I used to and I think being a book blogger is partially to blame for this. It’s hard to justify spending a week or two on one book when there are so many books to get to. Here are ten of the longest books I’ve read according to Goodreads. To ensure some variation, I limited myself to mentioning only one book in the same series. Example, several HP books would make this list, but I’m only listing Order of the Phoenix since it’s the longest. Covers are linked to Goodreads.

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1. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke – Number of Pages: 1,056 – This book was so long that I literally paused in the middle of it, read another book, and then returned to finish it. Still impressed that I read this gigantic book.

2. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling – Number of Pages: 870 – This and Prisoner of Azkaban are my favorite HP books. Pretty sure I got through this in only a few days. I didn’t need sleep back then.

3. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – Number of Pages: 850 – I did a buddy read for this one and thankful I did because I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been able to get through it otherwise. It wasn’t a bad book, just wasn’t really for me.

4. Winter by Marissa Meyer – Number of Pages: 827 – I’m surprised to find this one on the list, but yes, it was a big book. I wish I remembered it more vividly.

5. Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke – Number of Pages: 699 – I do remember how big this one was because I took the whole series with me when I spent some time overseas and it wasn’t the best idea when I had to pack up and come back.

6. To Darkness Fled by Jill Williamson – Number of Pages: 681 – I read this series years and years ago. Don’t remember much, but they are all paperback, thick, and heavy. Couldn’t take them anywhere.

7. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas – Number of Pages: 648 – I always felt that SJM’s books never really needed to be as long as they were. Is that just me?

8. Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick – Number of Pages: 640 – I almost didn’t put this one on my list because this novel includes illustrations, but hey, those count too.

9. A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab – Number of Pages: 624 – This is one of those big books that I loved partially because it was so long. It meant I got to spend more time with these particular characters.

10. Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier – Number of Pages: 608 – I’m so glad this one made it onto my list. I love Juliet Marillier’s books and this one is one of my favorites. I should totally reread this one soon.

What’s the longest book you’ve ever read? Have you picked any of these up? Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave me a link to your own TTT post, so I can visit.

The Friday 56: The City of Brass

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!**

“No.” He dropped beside her on the rug, his voice firm. “I saved your life. I’m escorting you to the city of my enemies. That’s enough. You can find someone in Daevabad to bother with your questions.” He sighed. “I suspect this journey will already be long enough.”

S.A. Chakraborty’s The City of Brass impresses with its vibrant world-building, taking readers on a dangerous journey full of demons, treachery, and civil unrest. You can read my mini-review of this one hereCover is linked to Goodreads.

From the Goodreads Synopsis:

      “Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles.
      But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass, a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.
      In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.
      After all, there is a reason they say be careful what you wish for…”