The Friday 56: The Ship Beyond Time

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!**

“What’s better than a triple scoop with rainbow sprinkles?”

Now Nix swatted at me, but instead of slipping away, I caught her fingers in mine. “She helped throw me a party for my theft day,” she said. “It’s important.”

I’ve never been a huge fan of time-traveling books, but I’ve really enjoyed Heidi Heilig’s The Girl From Everywhere duology. This final book, The Ship Beyond Time, was such a pleasure to read and I hope if you haven’t picked these books up, you do so soon. You can read my full review here. Cover is linked to Goodreads.

From the Goodreads Synopsis:

      “Nix has spent her whole life journeying to places both real and imagined aboard her time-traveling father’s ship. And now it’s finally time for her to take the helm. Her father has given up his obsession to save her mother—and possibly erase Nix’s existence—and Nix’s future lies bright before her. Until she learns that she is destined to lose the one she loves. But her relationship with Kash—best friend, thief, charmer extraordinaire—is only just beginning. How can she bear to lose him? How can she bear to become as adrift and alone as her father?
      Desperate to change her fate, Nix takes her crew to a mythical utopia to meet another Navigator who promises to teach her how to manipulate time. But everything in this utopia is constantly changing, and nothing is what it seems—not even her relationship with Kash. Nix must grapple with whether anyone can escape her destiny, her history, her choices.

Top Ten Tuesday: Fictional Mothers and Mother-Figures I Love

Top Ten TuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is “Mother’s Day related Freebie: favorite moms in literature, books about motherhood, best mother/daughter or son relationships, books to buy your mom, worst moms in literature, etc. etc.” Having just written for last week’s Top Ten Tuesday post that I’d like to see more mothers in books (and specifically YA fiction), this week I had a hard time coming up with enough literary mothers to fill my list, so I’ve elected to include mother-figures as well and a few non-literary ones just to shake things up a bit.

1. Molly Weasley – Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

I expect Molly Weasley to be on nearly everyone’s list this week. Besides being an amazing mother to her kids, Molly was also a wonderful mother-figure to Harry.

2. Lisa Carter – The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

I’d really like to see more parents in contemporary YA novels. Starr’s parents are so supportive and are among my favorite literary parents.

3. Maura Sargent – The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

Blue never knew her father, but her mother Maura gave her more than enough love.

4. Marilla Cuthbert – Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Marilla was never exactly motherly, but bless this woman for having to put up with Anne Shirley and all her drama.

5. Ari’s Mother – Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

I’m totally drawing a blank on Ari’s mother’s name. Is she given one? Someone tell me! Ari and his mother’s scenes were some of my very favorites in this novel.

6. Rachel Morgan – Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter

Cammie Morgan’s mother is all kinds of awesome. She’s a former CIA agent and current headmistress of a secret spy school for girls. What’s not to love?

7. Peg Boggs – Edward Scissorhands

This is one of my favorite movies and Peg has got to be one of the sweetest onscreen mothers ever.

8. Sally Jackson – Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

I’ve only read the first two books in this series, so I don’t know where this character’s arc goes throughout the series, but she used Medusa’s head to turn her good-for-nothing husband into a statue, so you got to respect her.

9. Claire Glass – The Lynburn Legacy by Sarah Rees Brennan

You know what I like? Flawed characters and Kami’s mother Claire makes a lot of mistakes, but she loves her family and it’s hard to blame her for trying to keep them safe.

10. The Widow – Into the Badlands

I wasn’t sure how I felt about The Widow in the beginning of the first season, but we’re now into season two and I love her so much!!! All the mothers-nay, all the women on this show are incredible in their own way. Why aren’t you watching it?

Who is your favorite literary mother? Do you have a favorite fictional mother from television or the movies? Let me know in the comments and be sure leave a link to your own TTT post, so I can visit.

If you’re looking for a fun challenge to take part in this summer, consider joining the Summer 2017 Comment Challenge. Each month (June-August), we’ll be pairing bloggers and encouraging them to comment on each other’s blogs all month long. Sign-ups for June are open through May 27th. Click the image to the left for all the info!

American Street by Ibi Zoboi

Title: American Street
Author: Ibi Zoboi
Series: N/A
Pages: 336
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: February 14th 2017

      “On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life.
      But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own.
      Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?”

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“This is the opposite of an earthquake, where things were falling apart and the ground was shifting beneath my small feet. Here, the walls, the air, the buildings, the people all seem to have already fallen. And there is nothing else left to do but to shrink and squeeze until everything has turned to dust and disappeared.

Ibi Zoboi delivers a truly emotional story in her debut novel, American Street. Though born in America, Fabiola Toussaint has only known one home–Haiti. Upon entering the U.S., Fabiola’s mother is detained by immigration and Fabiola is sent ahead to her aunt and cousins in Detroit. Desperate to get her mother back and struggling to adjust to this new world, Fabiola learns that America is not everything it’s promised to be. She finds herself in morally ambiguous situations that might cost her the only good things she has found since coming to America. Stuck between two impossible choices, Fabiola must decide how far she is willing to go to be reunited with her mother.

Fabiola spends the first few months in America pulled in different directions. Her cousins all have different ideas on how she can adjust to this new land while Fabiola tries to hold on to both her language and religion, both foreign and strange to outsiders. America demands a lot from those who immigrate to the country. A common theme throughout the novel is how people and America itself talk out of both sides of their mouths. Ideally, American is a melting pot, but in reality assimilation is necessary. The Creole language is part of Fabiola’s cultural identity and like her aunt before her, there is tremendous pressure for her to shed this part of who she is in order to fit in and feel more accepted. This new country comes with new rules for how to maneuver through the world and while there are aspects that Fabiola has encountered before, the line between right and wrong becomes more and more blurred as the story goes on.

Family is the most important aspect of Fabiola’s story. The absence of her mother is a weight she continually carries around. Any happiness she feels getting to know her cousins or falling in love for the first time is counterbalanced with the hole in her heart left behind by her mother. Though it is only briefly touched on, the possibility that Fabiola’s mother knew what would happen after the two of them entered the U.S. is something I continue to wonder about. We are not given a definitive answer, but I believe Fabiola’s mother isn’t a stranger to sacrifice and if she believed telling her daughter they were both meant to start over in America was the only way to get her to leave Haiti, I believe she would have done it. Fabiola’s loyalty to her family is tested throughout the novel. She loves her aunt and cousins, but they don’t always make good decisions. She wants to protect them, but this isn’t always easy when they don’t want her protection or when other people with more power than her can easily throw a wrench in her plans.

I do wish we could have spent more time individually with Fabiola’s cousins Chantel, Primadonna, and Princess, but I still think Zoboi did a good enough job defining who they are individually. A nice touch were the different character-driven sections sprinkled throughout the book that gave readers a little more insight into minor characters’ stories. With an engaging protagonist and an heart-stopping ending, American Street is a debut not to be missed.

4/5

★★★★

The Friday 56: When the Moon Was Ours

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!**

“And when their hands all fell on her, she knew it was true, that they were one animal in many bodies. When one set of fingers lost its grip, another tightened. When Miel threw her weight against one of them, another pulled back so the force dissipated and did not land.”

There are few books that truly sink their teeth into me and Anna-Marie McLemore’s magical realism novel When the Moon Was Ours is one of them. I’ve never fallen faster in love with a book. It’s one of the most beautifully written books I’ve ever read and I’d recommend it to everyone. You can read my mini review here. Excerpt is from page 65. Cover is linked to Goodreads.

From the Goodreads Synopsis:

      “To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town. But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.

If you’re looking for a fun challenge to take part in this summer, consider joining the Summer 2017 Comment Challenge. Each month (June-August), we’ll be pairing bloggers and encouraging them to comment on each other’s blogs all month long. Sign-ups for June are open through May 27th. Click the image to the left for all the info!

If you haven’t already, be sure to enter the giveaway on my blog. I’m taking part in the May Book of Choice Giveaway Hop which ends the 15th of this month. It’s open to the US and INT, so be sure to enter. Click on the image on the right to enter and be sure to check out all the other participants’ giveaways.

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

Title: We Are Okay
Author: Nina LaCour
Series: N/A
Pages: 234
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Release Date: February 14th 2017

      “Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.

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“I wonder if there’s a secret current that connects people who have lost something. Not in the way that everyone loses something, but in the way that undoes your life, undoes your self, so that when you look at your face it isn’t yours anymore.”

Nina LaCour’s We Are Okay explores one girl’s emotional journey as she grapples with loss, grief, and ultimately the first steps toward closure. It’s been months since Marin’s grandfather passed away, since she lost the only family she had left. Months since she walked away from her old life, leaving behind a best friend who had only begun to be something more. Now at school in New York City, Marin has been trying to forget her past, but one visit from her former best friend Mabel will change everything.

There are books you walk your way through and ones you feel your way through. We Are Okay falls into the latter category. LaCour’s novel focuses heavily on internal conflict as readers follow Marin as she copes with seeing Mabel for the first time in months. At first Marin is desperate to hide how she is, but her relationship with Mabel makes it impossible for her to put up a convincing front. Using various flashbacks, LaCour pieces together the protagonist’s past, giving context to not only her relationship with her grandfather but to Mabel. There’s an underlining tension to every interaction between the two old friends. More important than what is said is what isn’t. When Marin skipped town without a word to anyone, she left Mabel hurt and confused. Their romantic relationship was just in its beginning stages, they hadn’t yet defined what they were, but it’s clear they were in love with each other. These past feelings are made even more complicated by Mabel’s new relationship and the fact that Marin herself hasn’t been able to move on.

Marin’s relationship with her grandfather was unconventional at best. Though she remembers his lectures fondly, there was always something missing between the two of them. The only true link she had with her mother, Marin’s grandfather has never been very open about his daughter. Marin lost her mother at a very young age and her memories of her are not concrete. It’s clear that many people loved her, but these are strangers and Marin would rather hear about her mother from someone close. Marin and her grandfather function more like roommates and though their separate lives may seem unusual to everyone else, it’s all Marin has ever known.

Nina LaCour’s We Are Okay is an emotionally gripping novel: quiet in its intensity, but still manages to pack a punch.

Rating: 4/5

★★★★

Top Ten Tuesday: Reading Wishlist for Female Characters

Top Ten TuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is “Ten Things On Our Reading Wishlist…things you want to see more of in books — tropes, a time period, a specific type of character, an issue tackled, a certain plot, etc. All those things that make you think I WANT MORE OF THIS IN BOOKS!” I’m really looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with for this week’s topic. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, but then realized that I have many wants when it comes to female characters.

1. More Fantasies Featuring More Than One Relevant Female Character – Can we please have more than one strong, capable female character in our fantasy novels? I’ve become less tolerant of reading fantasy novels where the protagonist is surrounded by male characters and she is just oh-so strong and special. Authors, I need you to spend more time developing multiple female characters. If you can juggle multiple male characters, you can juggle multiple female.

2. Female Characters Who Are Strong In Different Ways – One of my favorite things about Kestrel from The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski is that she doesn’t wield a weapon, but instead uses her intelligence to outwit her enemies. I’d like to see more female characters be strong in different ways that don’t necessarily involve swords.

3. Unlikable Female Characters – If I’m honest, I definitely prefer that I like the characters I’m reading about, but I think there’s something to be said about having unlikable female characters in a novel, especially the protagonist. Sometimes it’s necessarily to be unlikable.

4. Female Characters That Build Each Other Up – I’m really tired of the girl hate trope. I want to read more books where the female characters are there for each other, where they can rely on one another, and where they aren’t pitted against each other, especially if it’s over a guy.

5. Sisters – I’ve always wanted a sister growing up and I never got one, but I live vicariously through books. Give me all the books about sisters, please.

6. Delicate Female Characters – Strong female characters are awesome. I love when a character can really take control and get things done; however, better than the strong female character is the complex one. A female character does not have to be strong in order for her to be well-rounded. I’d like to read more books where the female characters are allowed to make mistakes and be weak.

7. Hard Female Characters – It isn’t often that I come across female characters who get to play the brooding, hard to crack kind. I think I need more of these in my life.

8. Morally Grey Female Characters – I love morally grey characters and if we can get more antihero female characters or complex female villains with interesting back stories, the more the merrier.

9. Mothers – I can’t be the only one to notice that mothers seem to be extra expendable in stories. Take a look at all the Disney princess movies and how often mothers are not in the picture. I’d love to see more books where the protagonist’s relationship with their mother is important.

10. Books Populated By Women – I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve picked up a book and it ended up leaving me wondering where all the women in these worlds were. Men seem to abound, but the women seem to be missing in action. I’d love to see novels where women are the ones with all the prominent roles.

Would you like to see any of these things as well? What would be on your wishlist for female characters? Let me know in the comments and be sure leave a link to your own TTT post, so I can visit.

If you’re looking for a fun challenge to take part in this summer, consider joining the Summer 2017 Comment Challenge. Each month (June-August), we’ll be pairing bloggers and encouraging them to comment on each other’s blogs all month long. Sign-ups for June are open through May 27th. Click the image to the left for all the info!

If you haven’t already, be sure to enter the giveaway on my blog. I’m taking part in the May Book of Choice Giveaway Hop which ends the 15th of this month. It’s open to the US and INT, so be sure to enter. Click on the image on the right to enter and be sure to check out all the other participants’ giveaways.