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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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.

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…”

The Friday 56: Always and Forever, Lara Jean

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!**

Putting my head on his shoulder, I yawn and say, “I wish we could go to Levain Bakery so I could try their cookie. It’s supposed to be like no chocolate chip cookie you’ve had before. I want to go to Jacques Torres’s chocolate shop too. His chocolate chip cookie is the definitive chocolate chip cookie, you know. It’s truly legendary.   .   .   .”

I finally picked up Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han because I wanted to read the last book in the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series before the Netflix movie came out (which I loved). I really enjoyed this final book as Lara Jean prepares to go away to college. It really felt like a bittersweet book, but an appropriate farewell to a really beloved character. You can read my review here. Cover is linked to Goodreads.

From the Goodreads Synopsis:

      “Lara Jean is having the best senior year. And there’s still so much to look forward to: a class trip to New York City, prom with her boyfriend Peter, Beach Week after graduation, and her dad’s wedding to Ms. Rothschild. Then she’ll be off to college with Peter, at a school close enough for her to come home and bake chocolate chip cookies on the weekends.
      Life couldn’t be more perfect!
      At least, that’s what Lara Jean thinks…until she gets some unexpected news.
      Now the girl who dreads change must rethink all her plans—but when your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?.”

The Friday 56: Every Heart a Doorway

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!**

“I don’t know if the place I went was wicked or not,” she said. “It never seemed wicked to me. It always seemed…kind, at the root of things. Yes, there are rules, and yes, there were punishments if you broke them, but they were never unfair, and the Lord of the Dead took good care of everyone who served in his hall. I don’t think it was wicked at all.”

I was completely enamored with Seanan McGuire’s Every Heart a Doorway. I loved how unique this story is, exploring what happens to all those children who fall down rabbit holes and then have to return to the real world. You can read my mini-review of this one hereCover is linked to Goodreads.

From the Goodreads Synopsis:

      “Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
      No Solicitations
      No Visitors
      No Quests
      Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.
      But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.
      Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.
       But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.
      No matter the cost.”

The Friday 56: Daughter of the Siren Queen

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!**

“If you’re looking for sympathy, go find Mandsy.”

He glares at me. “Sympathy is not what I want from you, Alosa.”

Tricia Levenseller’s Daughter of the Siren Queen had some really fun moments, but I did want more in terms of world-building. You can read my mini-review of this one here. You can read my review of this one here. Cover is linked to Goodreads.

From the Goodreads Synopsis:

      “Alosa’s mission is finally complete. Not only has she recovered all three pieces of the map to a legendary hidden treasure, but the pirates who originally took her captive are now prisoners on her ship. Still unfairly attractive and unexpectedly loyal, first mate Riden is a constant distraction, but now he’s under her orders. And she takes great comfort in knowing that the villainous Vordan will soon be facing her father’s justice.
      When Vordan exposes a secret her father has kept for years, Alosa and her crew find themselves in a deadly race with the feared Pirate King. Despite the danger, Alosa knows they will recover the treasure first . . . after all, she is the daughter of the Siren Queen.”