Wednesday, August 31, 2016

waiting on wednesday: like a river glorious

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted over at Breaking the Spine!


This week's pick:
Like A River Glorious (The Gold Seer #2) 
Rae Carson

release date: September 27 by Greenwillow

blurb: (SPOILERS for book 1): After a harrowing journey across the country, Leah Westfall and her friends have finally arrived in California and are ready to make their fortunes in the Gold Rush. Lee has a special advantage over the other new arrivals in California—she has the ability to sense gold, a secret known only by her handsome best friend Jefferson and her murdering uncle Hiram.

Lee and her friends have the chance to be the most prosperous settlers in California, but Hiram hasn’t given up trying to control Lee and her power. Sabotage and kidnapping are the least of what he’ll do to make sure Lee is his own. His mine is the deepest and darkest in the territory, and there Lee learns the full extent of her magical gift, the worst of her uncle, and the true strength of her friendships. To save everyone, she vows to destroy her uncle and the empire he is building—even at the cost of her own freedom.

The second epic historical fantasy in the Gold Seer trilogy by Rae Carson, the acclaimed author of The Girl of Fire and Thorns.


~~~
Why I'm waiting: 
 I really enjoyed the first book in this series! I am not usually a huge fan of Gold Rush-era historical fiction, and I find westerns quite boring, but the first book in this series, Walk on Earth a Stranger, was the exception to that rule! I really loved it, and I remember most of the major plot points, even a year later, which is the sign of something really great to me. I can't wait to see what happens in the next book :) 

what are you waiting on this week?

xx
Caroline

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

august wrap up

Hi everyone! Welcome to another monthly wrap up here at Stardust and Words. It has been a super busy month for me outside of reading, and also the olympics being on put a major dent in the time that I would normally spend with a book, but I love the olympics so much that I didn't even care. I did manage 11 books, which is pretty good, but only three reviews, which is less so. I hope you guys had a good August. I feel like I kind of hate August because it tends to be the absolute worst in terms of humidity... but FALL IS COMING GUYS!! SOON!!

1. Daughter of the Forest (Sevenwaters #1) – Juliet Marillier (4)

Lovely Sorcha is the seventh child and only daughter of Lord Colum of Sevenwaters. Bereft of a mother, she is comforted by her six brothers who love and protect her. Sorcha is the light in their lives, they are determined that she know only contentment.

But Sorcha's joy is shattered when her father is bewitched by his new wife, an evil enchantress who binds her brothers with a terrible spell, a spell which only Sorcha can lift-by staying silent. If she speaks before she completes the quest set to her by the Fair Folk and their queen, the Lady of the Forest, she will lose her brothers forever.

When Sorcha is kidnapped by the enemies of Sevenwaters and taken to a foreign land, she is torn between the desire to save her beloved brothers, and a love that comes only once. Sorcha despairs at ever being able to complete her task, but the magic of the Fair Folk knows no boundaries, and love is the strongest magic of them all...
 

2. Lunch Poems – Frank O'Hara (5)

Important poems by the late New York poet published in The New American Poetry, Evergreen Review, Floating Bear and stranger places.

Often this poet, strolling through the noisy splintered glare of a Manhattan noon, has paused at a sample Olivetti to type up thirty or forty lines of ruminations, or pondering more deeply has withdrawn to a darkened ware- or firehouse to limn his computed misunderstandings of the eternal questions of life, coexistence, and depth, while never forgetting to eat lunch, his favorite meal.
 





3. Mansfield Park – Jane Austen (5)*  

'We have all been more or less to blame ...
every one of us, excepting Fanny'


Taken from the poverty of her parents' home, Fanny Price is brought up with her rich cousins at Mansfield Park, acutely aware of her humble rank and with only her cousin Edmund as an ally. When Fanny's uncle is absent in Antigua, Mary Crawford and her brother Henry arrive in the neighbourhood, bringing with them London glamour and a reckless taste for flirtation. As her female cousins vie for Henry's attention, and even Edmund falls for Mary's dazzling charms, only Fanny remains doubtful about the Crawfords' influence and finds herself more isolated than ever. A subtle examination of social position and moral integrity, Mansfield Park is one of Jane Austen's most profound works.


4. Saving Francesca – Melina Marchetta (4) 

Francesca is stuck at St. Sebastian’s, a boys' school that pretends it's coed by giving the girls their own bathroom. Her only female companions are an ultra-feminist, a rumored slut, and an impossibly dorky accordion player. The boys are no better, from Thomas, who specializes in musical burping, to Will, the perpetually frowning, smug moron that Francesca can't seem to stop thinking about.

Then there's Francesca's mother, who always thinks she knows what's best for Francesca—until she is suddenly stricken with acute depression, leaving Francesca lost, alone, and without an inkling of who she really is. Simultaneously humorous, poignant, and impossible to put down, this is the story of a girl who must summon the strength to save her family, her social life and—hardest of all—herself.

A compelling story of romance, family, and friendship with humor and heart, perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Lauren Myracle.
 

5. Princess Academy (Princess Academy #1) – Shannon Hale (5)*

Miri lives on a mountain where, for generations, her ancestors have quarried stone and lived a simple life. Then word comes that the king's priests have divined her small village the home of the future princess. In a year's time, the prince himself will come and choose his bride from among the girls of the village.

The king's ministers set up an academy on the mountain, and every teenage girl must attend and learn how to become a princess. Soon Miri finds herself confronted with a harsh academy mistress, bitter competition among the girls, and her own conflicting desires.





 
6. I'll Love You When You're More Like Me – M.E. Kerr (3)

M.E. Kerr's beloved 1977 young adult classic tells the story of two very different teenagers, both struggling to stand up to their parents. Whether it's going to college instead of taking over the family funeral parlor, coming out in a town where homosexuality is considered akin to demonic possession, or choosing between a life of fame or normalcy, the young characters in I'll Love You When You're More Like Me bravely struggle to become who they want to be—even when they don't yet know themselves.

M. E. Kerr was a winner of the American Library Association's Margaret A. Edwards Award for Lifetime Achievement and the ALAN award from the National Council of Teachers of English. She has been described by the New York Times Book Review as "one of the grand masters of young adult fiction."


 
7. As You Like It – William Shakespeare (3)  

As You Like It is a pastoral comedy by William Shakespeare believed to have been written in 1599 or early 1600 and first published in the First Folio, 1623. The play's first performance is uncertain, though a performance at Wilton House in 1603 has been suggested as a possibility. As You Like It follows its heroine Rosalind as she flees persecution in her uncle's court, accompanied by her cousin Celia and Touchstone the court jester, to find safety and, eventually, love, in the Forest of Arden. Historically, critical response has varied, with some critics finding the work of lesser quality than other Shakespearean works and some finding the play a work of great merit. The play features one of Shakespeare's most famous and oft-quoted speeches, "All the world's a stage", and is the origin of the phrase "too much of a good thing". The play remains a favourite among audiences and has been adapted for radio, film, and musical theatre.

8. Nevernight – Jay Kristoff (4)

The first in a new fantasy series from the New York Times bestselling author.

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?

 
9. Along For the Ride – Sarah Dessen (4)*

It’s been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents’ divorce—or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live.

A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she’s been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend.

In her signature pitch-perfect style, Sarah Dessen explores the hearts of two lonely people learning to connect.

 
10. And This is Laura – Ellen Conford (2)

Twelve-year old Laura is an ordinary person in a family of superstars. Her beautiful older sister is a talented actress, her older brother writes and performs music, and her little brother can recite every commercial on television from memory. Her parents are gifted, too—her mother is a famous author, her father a brilliant scientist. However, everything changes for Laura when she discovers that she has the ability to see the future. Suddenly, she has popularity, attention from her parents, even media coverage. It’s all new and so great—until her visions grow dark, and Laura realizes that her gift could turn out to be a curse!





 
11. Lock and Key – Sarah Dessen (3)

Ruby, where is your mother?
Ruby knows that the game is up. For the past few months, she's been on her own in the yellow house, managing somehow, knowing that her mother will probably never return.
That's how she comes to live with Cora, the sister she hasn't seen in ten years, and Cora's husband Jamie, whose down-to-earth demeanor makes it hard for Ruby to believe he founded the most popular networking Web site around. A luxurious house, fancy private school, a new wardrobe, the promise of college and a future; it's a dream come true. So why is Ruby such a reluctant Cinderella, wary and defensive? And why is Nate, the genial boy next door with some secrets of his own, unable to accept the help that Ruby is just learning to give?
Best-selling author Sarah Dessen explores the heart of a gutsy, complex girl dealing with unforeseen circumstances and learning to trust again.


what did all of you read and love in August?
xx
Caroline

nevernight: stardust reviews

Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1)
Jay Kristoff

☆☆☆☆

goodreads/b&n/amazon

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?


full review under the cut!

Friday, August 26, 2016

saving francesca: stardust reviews

Saving Francesca
Melina Marchetta

☆☆☆☆☆

goodreads

Francesca is stuck at St. Sebastian’s, a boys' school that pretends it's coed by giving the girls their own bathroom. Her only female companions are an ultra-feminist, a rumored slut, and an impossibly dorky accordion player. The boys are no better, from Thomas, who specializes in musical burping, to Will, the perpetually frowning, smug moron that Francesca can't seem to stop thinking about.

Then there's Francesca's mother, who always thinks she knows what's best for Francesca—until she is suddenly stricken with acute depression, leaving Francesca lost, alone, and without an inkling of who she really is. Simultaneously humorous, poignant, and impossible to put down, this is the story of a girl who must summon the strength to save her family, her social life and—hardest of all—herself.

A compelling story of romance, family, and friendship with humor and heart, perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Lauren Myracle.


full review under the cut!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

waiting on wednesday: vassa in the night

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted over at Breaking the Spine!

This week's pick:
Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter

release date: September 20 by Tor Teen

In the enchanted kingdom of Brooklyn, the fashionable people put on cute shoes, go to parties in warehouses, drink on rooftops at sunset, and tell themselves they’ve arrived. A whole lot of Brooklyn is like that now—but not Vassa’s working-class neighborhood.

In Vassa’s neighborhood, where she lives with her stepmother and bickering stepsisters, one might stumble onto magic, but stumbling out again could become an issue. Babs Yagg, the owner of the local convenience store, has a policy of beheading shoplifters—and sometimes innocent shoppers as well. So when Vassa’s stepsister sends her out for light bulbs in the middle of night, she knows it could easily become a suicide mission.

But Vassa has a bit of luck hidden in her pocket, a gift from her dead mother. Erg is a tough-talking wooden doll with sticky fingers, a bottomless stomach, and a ferocious cunning. With Erg’s help, Vassa just might be able to break the witch’s curse and free her Brooklyn neighborhood. But Babs won’t be playing fair. . . .

Inspired by the Russian folktale Vassilissa the Beautiful and Sarah Porter’s years of experience teaching creative writing to New York City students.


~~~~
Okay, number one, I am obsessed with this cover. Number two, I am also obsessed with Russian folklore. Number three, I love that it is like magical urban fantasy?? In any case, I absolutely cannot wait for this one to come out! 

what are you waiting on this week?

xx
Caroline

Saturday, August 13, 2016

princess academy: stardust reviews

Princess Academy (Princess Academy #1)
Shannon Hale

☆☆☆☆☆

goodreads/b&n/amazon

Miri lives on a mountain where, for generations, her ancestors have quarried stone and lived a simple life. Then word comes that the king's priests have divined her small village the home of the future princess. In a year's time, the prince himself will come and choose his bride from among the girls of the village.

The king's ministers set up an academy on the mountain, and every teenage girl must attend and learn how to become a princess. Soon Miri finds herself confronted with a harsh academy mistress, bitter competition among the girls, and her own conflicting desires.




Full review of this wonderful story under the cut!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

waiting on wednesday: kids of appetite

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted over at Breaking the Spine!

This week's pick: Kids of Appetite
by David Arnold

release date: September 20th


The bestselling author of Mosquitoland brings us another batch of unforgettable characters in this tragicomedy about first love and devastating loss.

Victor Benucci and Madeline Falco have a story to tell.
It begins with the death of Vic’s father.
It ends with the murder of Mad’s uncle.
The Hackensack Police Department would very much like to hear it.
But in order to tell their story, Vic and Mad must focus on all the chapters in between.

This is a story about:

1. A coded mission to scatter ashes across New Jersey.
2. The momentous nature of the Palisades in winter.
3. One dormant submarine.
4. Two songs about flowers.
5. Being cool in the traditional sense.
6. Sunsets & ice cream & orchards & graveyards.
7. Simultaneous extreme opposites.
8. A narrow escape from a war-torn country.
9. A story collector.
10. How to listen to someone who does not talk.
11. Falling in love with a painting.
12. Falling in love with a song.
13. Falling in love.


~~~
  
I absolutely loved David's debut novel, Mosquitoland, SO MUCH, it made me cry in all the best ways. (you can find my review here) So naturally, I have been waiting super (im)patiently for his next book to come out! I think that this one sounds incredible, and I especially love anything having to do with lists and codes and mysteries. CAN'T WAIT!

what are y'all waiting on this week?

xx
Caroline
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