The Whimsical Mama

<3 Such is the life of a stay at home mommy and Army wife (:

Waiting on Wednesday #76: Caraval by Stephanie Garber January 18, 2017

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Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine. It showcases upcoming releases we’re anticipating!

My pick of the week is:

*****UPDATE LATER*****

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Caraval (Untitled #1)

By: Stephanie Garber

Coming: 31 January 2017

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Summary:

Before you enter the world of Caraval, you must remember that it’s all a game . . .

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their ruthless father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the legendary, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

Then, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation to Caraval finally arrives. So, Tella enlists a mysterious sailor’s help to whisk Scarlett away to this year’s show. But as soon as the trio arrives, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nonetheless soon becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with her sister, with Legend, and with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

Why I’m excited:

 

Why I need you to be excited:

 

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Waiting on Wednesday #75: Wires and Nerves by Marissa Meyer January 11, 2017

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Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine. It showcases upcoming releases we’re anticipating!

My pick of the week is:

 

****** UPDATE/EDIT WHEN COVER AND SUMMARY ARE RELEASED*****

Wires & Nerves (The Lunar Chronicles #4.1)

By: Marissa Meyer

Coming: 31 January 2017

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Summary:

The first of two graphic novels in the world of the Lunar Chronicles.

Set after the events of the “Lunar Chronicles,” (but before the Stars Above epilogue) it will feature many of the same characters with Iko as the main protagonist… along with a brand-new villain, and maybe a certain Lunar guard as well.

Why I’m excited:

 

Why I need you to be excited:

 

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Waiting on Wednesday #74: Empire’s End by Chuck Wendig January 4, 2017

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Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine. It showcases upcoming releases we’re anticipating!

My pick of the week is:

***** EDIT ONCE COVER AND SUMMARY ARE RELEASED*****

Empire’s End (Aftermath #3)

By: Chuck Wendig

Coming: 17 January 2017

Publisher: Del Rey Books

Summary:

 

Why I’m excited:

Back in the summer, I featured Life Debt on Waiting on Wednesday.

Why I need you to be excited:

 

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Waiting on Wednesday #73: Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth December 28, 2016

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Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine. It showcases upcoming releases we’re anticipating!

My pick of the week is:

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Carve the Mark (Untitled Duology #1)

By: Veronica Roth

Coming: 17 January 2017

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Summary:

On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not — their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power — something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuve, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive — no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive — or to destroy one another.

Why I’m excited:

I’m fairly excited for this new book from Veronica Roth even after the immense disappointment of Allegiant. My reviews of Divergent, Insurgent, and Allegiant.

Why I need you to be excited:

I’m hoping Veronica Roth can redeem herself in my eyes with a great new series after the appalling take in Allegiant.

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Waiting on Wednesday #72: RoseBlood by A.G. Howard December 21, 2016

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Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine. It showcases upcoming releases we’re anticipating!

My pick of the week is:

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RoseBlood

By: A.G. Howard

Coming: 10 January 2017

Publisher: Amulet Books

Summary:

In this modern day spinoff of Leroux’s gothic tale of unrequited love turned to madness, seventeen-year-old Rune Germain has a mysterious affliction linked to her operatic talent, and a horrifying mistake she’s trying to hide. Hoping creative direction will help her, Rune’s mother sends her to a French arts conservatory for her senior year, located in an opera house rumored to have ties to The Phantom of the Opera.

At RoseBlood, Rune secretly befriends the masked Thorn—an elusive violinist who not only guides her musical transformation through dreams that seem more real than reality itself, but somehow knows who she is behind her own masks. As the two discover an otherworldly connection and a soul-deep romance blossoms, Thorn’s dark agenda comes to light and he’s forced to make a deadly choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or face the wrath of the phantom who has haunted the opera house for a century, and is the only father he’s ever known.

A. G. Howard brings the romantic storytelling that Splintered fans adore to France—and an entirely new world filled with lavish romance and intrigue—in a retelling inspired by a story that has captivated generations. Fans of both the Phantom of the Opera musical and novel, as well as YA retellings such as Marissa Meyer’s Cinder, will devour RoseBlood.

Why I’m excited:

I have long loved The Phantom of the Opera. I saw it on Broadway in 2005 and fell even deeper in love. When I heard that there was a new retelling coming out, I knew I would have to get my hands on it!

Why I need you to be excited:

I’ve heard great things about A.G. Howard’s Alice in Wonderland series, Splintered. If she has done great things with Alice in Wonderland, I can’t wait to see what she can do with The Phantom of the Opera!

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Waiting on Wednesday #71: Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken December 14, 2016

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Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine. It showcases upcoming releases we’re anticipating!

My pick of the week is:

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Wayfarer (Passenger #2)

By: Alexandra Bracken

Coming: 3 January 2017

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Summary:

All Etta Spencer wanted was to make her violin debut when she was thrust into a treacherous world where the struggle for power could alter history. After losing the one thing that would have allowed her to protect the Timeline, and the one person worth fighting for, Etta awakens alone in an unknown place and time, exposed to the threat of the two groups who would rather see her dead than succeed. When help arrives, it comes from the last person Etta ever expected—Julian Ironwood, the Grand Master’s heir who has long been presumed dead, and whose dangerous alliance with a man from Etta’s past could put them both at risk.

Meanwhile, Nicholas and Sophia are racing through time in order to locate Etta and the missing astrolabe with Ironwood travelers hot on their trail. They cross paths with a mercenary-for-hire, a cheeky girl named Li Min who quickly develops a flirtation with Sophia. But as the three of them attempt to evade their pursuers, Nicholas soon realizes that one of his companions may have ulterior motives.

As Etta and Nicholas fight to make their way back to one another, from Imperial Russia to the Vatican catacombs, time is rapidly shifting and changing into something unrecognizable… and might just run out on both of them.

Why I’m excited:

I absolutely loved Alexandra Bracken’s writing style in A New Hope: The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farmboy. I immediately developed the desire to read everything Alexandra Bracken has written. I haven’t gotten to Passenger yet, but I’m definitely excited to read it and Wayfarer.

Why I need you to be excited:

It’s a time travel adventure!

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Waiting on Wednesday #70: Windwitch by Susan Dennard December 7, 2016

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Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine. It showcases upcoming releases we’re anticipating!

My pick of the week is:

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Windwitch (The Witchlands #2)

By: Susan Dennard

Coming: 3 January 2017

Publisher: Tor Teen

Summary:

The follow-up to New York Times bestselling Truthwitch, next in a breathtaking YA fantasy series hailed by Alexandra Bracken as “a world you will want to inhabit forever.”

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery,” a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In this follow-up to New York Times bestselling Truthwitch, a shadow man haunts the Nubrevnan streets, leaving corpses in his wake—and then raising those corpses from the dead. Windwitch continues the tale of Merik—cunning privateer, prince, and windwitch.

Why I’m excited:

I’m really intrigued by this new series by Susan Dennard. I haven’t read anything by her yet, but I think the first two books of The Witchlands series will be amazing.

Why I need you to be excited:

I’ve heard great things about Truthwitch and can’t wait to read it and the sequel!

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Waiting on Wednesday #69: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story November 30, 2016

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Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine. It showcases upcoming releases we’re anticipating!

My pick of the week is:

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

By: Ballantine/unannounced

Coming: 3 January 2016

Publisher: Del Rey Books

Summary:

The official novelization of the upcoming film “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, ” starring a band of rebels on a daring mission to steal the Death Star plans

Why I’m excited:

Continuing on the quietness front of Star Wars secrets, not much is known about Rogue One other than it takes place before A New Hope and is about stealing the plans of the Death Star. I think it will be fascinating to have another bridge into the original trilogy.

Why I need you to be excited:

STAR WARS!

 

Top Ten Tuesday #67: Spring 2015 TBR March 17, 2015

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Each week, the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish think up a fun theme for the week and participating bloggers around the net join in. The theme for this week is:

Top Ten Books on My 2015 Spring TBR

 Previous TBR posts (Winter 2013 6/10 Fall2013 3/10 Spring TBR 2014 6/11 Summer 2014 3/10  Fall 2014 2/10) After not doing well at all with my Fall 2014 TBR, I did much better with my Winter 2014. I read 6/10. True enough, I did have an extra month! Now for the books I plan to read this spring!

affiliate links used

1. Gilt by Katherine Longshore

2. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

3. Artemis Fowl The Last Guardian by Eoin Colfer

4. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

5. The Archived by Victoria Schwab

6. Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel

7. Forged by Erin Bowman

8. Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

9. The Body Electric by Beth Revis

10. Chronicles of Faerie: The Hunter’s Moon by O.R. Melling

What are you planning to read this Spring? Anything I should take note of for this summer?

HAPPY SAINT PATRICK’S DAY!! (:

 

*Review* The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson May 18, 2014

***As always mild spoilers may follow***

Rating: 5stars
Pub date: 7 January 2014
Publisher:Viking Juvenile
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Realistic
Format: personal copy, hardcover, signed
Status: standalone

Summary:

For the past five years, Hayley Kincain and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own.

Will being back home help Andy’s PTSD, or will his terrible memories drag him to the edge of hell, and drugs push him over? The Impossible Knife of Memory is Laurie Halse Anderson at her finest: compelling, surprising, and impossible to put down.

My thoughts:

I was very nervous the first time I read the synopsis of The Impossible Knife of Memory. As a military spouse, I live in a precarious world. I am fiercely loyal to our troops. I will call out military BS and that is a frequent subject of conversation between my husband and I. I don’t mind when civilians call out military BS. Some families do mind. One thing that I will get up in arms about is trash talking or poorly representing our veterans. I could rage forever on that, but I won’t because I don’t need to with The Impossible Knife of Memory.

PTSD. It’s a great fear of mine and probably a fear of a lot of military families. PTSD is also known as shell shock. When my Grandaddy came home with it at the end of WWII, he was simply told to suck it up and be a man. Today, we know it’s not just something you can wish or will away. If only it were that simple.

I was cautiously optimistic with The Impossible Knife of Memory. I’ve loved everything I’ve ever read by Laurie Halse Anderson, but as a military wife and it covering a topic close to my hear, I was concerned. I hoped she wouldn’t take the situation of a PTSD family lightly. I had no need to be concerned!

Right from the beginning Laurie had me hooked. Hayley was such a relatable character for me on so many different levels and I absolutely loved it. I could relate to teenager Hayley because she reminded me so much of myself in high school. I didn’t blow off homework or land in detention, but her snarky personality is what screamed at me.

In chapter one, she’s in detention for telling off a teacher for calling her ‘missy.’ Oh, hello, freshman year biology! I had a teacher who ALWAYS called the girls ‘girly-girl.’ One day, I’d had enough and much like Hayley, gave him a piece of my mind. I told him he could call me by my name or not address me in such a sexist and demeaning way. (No, I didn’t get put in detention. Yes, he went out of his way not to address me the rest of the year unless he HAD to address me. No, he didn’t use any ‘nicknames’ for the boys. Yes, that’s what pissed me off enough to speak up.) Wow. I’m still disgusted by this memory years later. UGH.

By page three, I was reminded all over again just how much I love Laurie Halse Anderson’s writing. It really makes me sad/jealous of Mary for getting to meet her at TLA. It also makes me sad that I can’t jump into a re-read of Speak or Fever 1793 either! (Two of my favs and currently with Mary cause she got them SIGNED for me!!)

A flashback in chapter five had me in tears. Her dad reflects on a situation when he feared he wouldn’t come hme to her. Obviously,that is another big fear of mine as a military wife. (Hubby and I have been through one deployment together and that was before/right after we were married in 2010. Then, he would’ve left behind me and our dog. Now, if something happens in a future deployment, it would impact our two children as well.) Hayley’s dad remarks that he would leave her behind and that she was only a little girl. Hubby’s worst fear is leaving us behind and the kids not knowing their daddy or forgetting him while he’s deployed. It’s obvious to see how this scene ripped me to shreds.

As bad as the struggle against PTSD is, Hayley finds solace in friends. Gracie remembers when Hayley lived in town when they were little. Hayley has blocked things out and refuses to remember happy times, but she’s grateful to have Gracie . Gracie goes from having a perfect family to it being destroyed by parental issues. She doesn’t choose the best things in how to cope with the situation. She and Hayley really lean on each other a lot for support and are great friends to each other.

Hayley also finds Finn. I absolutely loved Finn. I think Laurie Halse Anderson did a fantastic job with him. He has some family issues of his own, but still manages to mellow Hayley out. I really swooned over a certain stargazing scene, because that was mine and hubby’s first not a date, but really a date,date. Then snarky  comments and pseudo fights made them feel even more realistic.

While it was hard to stomach some of the flashbacks Hayley’s dad had, it was amazing to see how well Laurie Halse Anderson did with adding every layer to this broken soldier. More often than not, I wept with him near the end.

I also loved the conflict and eventual acceptance of the runoff stepmom who returns. It added a level of showing just how difficult things can be for veteran families, but also shows that there is help out there for those who need it.

I was very happy to see not a single hint of a soldier is weak if he seeks help in The Impossible Knife of Memory. I passionately believe it takes a great deal of courage to seek help. I appreciated that she also showed how difficult the VA system can be. It definitely could have lengthened the book if more than a glimpse was shown. That’s another can of worms though. I believe that will eventually be taken care of. It has to be. Our veterans DESERVE better treatment than the VA is currently doing. *huffs*

I’m still so blownaway by the magnificence of The Impossible Knife of Memory. Hayley’s voice is strong and so beautifully done. Gracie shows that even a normal teen from a normal family can have everything fall apart. Finn shows that passion and determination are a huge help in achieving your goals.

Laurie Halse Anderson does an incredible job with such an important topic. PTSD and military family suicide is something that needs more focus on it. Hubby may disagree because of all the suicide prevention death by power point briefs he has to go through after a suicide in their regiment, but I think with more help, it wouldn’t be such a pressing issue.

I’m so thankful Laurie Halse Anderson wrote The Impossible Knife of Memory. It portrays a subject close to my heart so well. The Impossible Knife of Memory is a book civilian or military can appreciate. I highly, HIGHLY recommend it. It’s definitely taken its place as my favourite 2014 publication read and will be hard to unseat.

About the author:

 Laurie Halse Anderson is the New York Times-bestselling author who writes for kids of all ages. Known for tackling tough subjects with humor and sensitivity, her work has earned numerous ALA and state awards. Two of her books, Speak and Chains, were National Book Award finalists.

Mother of four and wife of one, Laurie lives in Northern New York, where she likes to watch the snow fall as she writes. You can follow her adventures on Twitter, http://twitter.com/halseanderson and on her tumblr http://lauriehalseanderson.tumblr.com/

Check out Laurie’s website, http://madwomanintheforest.com/

 

 
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