Review: Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin

You might be wandering wether Riley Cavanaugh is a boy or a girl. Well the answer is both, and neither. Riley is genderfuid, which means sometimes they identify as more masculine, and sometimes they identify as more feminine. Unfortunately, Riley hasn’t out yet, and isn’t planning to any time soon. Riley’s dad, congressman Cavanaugh, is running for re-elecetion, and in their conservative county Riley’s coming out would just turn into a huge scandal.

Riley’s therapist suggests starting an online blog, as an anonymous way to vent their feelings. Soon, Riley finds themselves passing out advice to other LGBT+ teens under the Alix. But when the blog goes viral, Riley becomes the victim of an anonymous commenter who knows who they really are, and is threatening to bring Riley’s world crashing down around them.

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Jeff Garvin’s debut novel is a heartwarming book about self acceptance. It’s one of my new favorite LGBT novels. Of course, I’m incredibly cis, so I can’t be sure how accurate the book would be to a genderfulid person. I really love how Garvin purposely wrote the book without stating Riley’s sex. Because, as Riley says in the book, “It’s none of their damn business.” Whats on the outside has nothing to do with whats on the inside, and I really think Garvin captures that message very well.

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Six Wonderful Contemporary Reads

There’s nothing I love more than a great fantasy novel, but every once in a while I read a contemporary novel that I absolutely adore. From sappy romance, to feminist rage, here are six of my favorite contemporary novels of all time.

1. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

Andie Walker is fully aware of the importance of a good plan. Growing up with a congressman for a father she’s learned to always be prepared, which is why she’s got her summer all planned out with an exciting new internship. Unfortunately, a scandal involving her father causes her plans to fall completely apart, leaving Andie forced to scramble to make a new one.

The Unexpected Everything is the perfect summer romance read. It’s got everything from ice cream, to scavenger hunts, to adorably nerdy guys you wish weren’t fictional so you could date them yourself. And of course there’s dogs. Lots of dogs.

2. Let It Snow by John Green, Lauren Myracle, and Maureen Johnson.

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Let It Snow is my absolute favorite book to read during the winter. It’s a collection of three short romances, each written by a different author, all set around Christmastime.

I love all three of the stories so much that I can’t decide which one is my favorite. They’re all heartwarming and hilarious. Nothing gets me more into the Christmas spirit.

3. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

For years Cath’s life has revolved around the Simon Snow series. After their mother walked out on them, reading Simon Snow helped Cath and her twin sister Wren get through their childhood. They’ve spent years reading the books, watching the movies, and even writing fan fiction together. In fact, Cath is one of the most well known Simon Snow fanfic authors.

Aside from Wren, Simon Snow is the most constant thing in Cath’s life.

Except Wren has decided that she doesn’t want to be Cath’s roommate for their freshman year of college. Wren think’s they’re too old for Simon Snow.

Cath’s whole world is changing, and she’s very unprepared for it. Especially if it means having to give up Simon Snow.

I really loved reading Fangirl because of how much I relate to Cath. While her anxiety might be a lot worse than mine, we both turned to books as for refuge from our problems. As a person who has read and written tons of fan fiction in the past few years, I really appreciated how accurate the depiction of being in a fandom was.

When it comes to Fan Fiction the rule of thumb is: The fluffier the better. Fangirl is one of the only books that has given me the same “butterflies in my stomach” feeling that reading a good fanfic can. I ship Levi and Cath like nobody’s business.

4. The Statistical Improbability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

This is one of the cutest romance novels I’ve ever read. It’s about a girl named Hadley who meets a really cute guy on a plane. It’s totally improbable which makes it a thrill to read. It’s the perfect short read when you need a little romantic pick me up.

5. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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This is one of the most wonderful, inspiring books I’ve ever read. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s the story of a girl named Starr who witnesses he best friend being shot and killed by a policeman, and how her life changes because of it.

It’s a wonderful story about family, and fighting for what you believe in, and it made me cry like four times. I can’t wait to read Angie’s next novel.

6. Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

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Vivian’s mom used to be a Riot Grrrl in the 90s, but those days are long gone, the remnants of her “Misspent Youth” shoved in a back in the back of her closet. Viv is far from the rebellious teen that her mother was, but after witnessing a series of sexist incidents at her school she’s inspired to take a stand by her mom’s Riot Grrrl past.

Viv creates an anonymous zine called Moxie to vent her frustrations about the sexist boys in her class. Before she knows it, girls across her school have banded together in the name of Moxie, and it appears that Viv has accidentally begun a feminist revolution.

Moxie won’t be released until September 19th, but I was lucky enough to get my hands on an arc of it. It’s such an inspiring book, and I encourage you all to snatch up a copy as soon as it’s released.

Book Review: Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

I recently finished Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi, so I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on it with you guys.

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Let’s start with what it’s about:

Nobody thinks Alice Alexis Queensmeadow will amount to much of anything. In her home of Ferenwood, color is a sign of magic. The more color you have the more magic you have, and the more magic you have the more important you are.

Alice was born without color, and when her father, the only person who really believed in her, goes missing, she becomes an outcast in her own home. Alice is determined to prove her worth by traveling to the magical and dangerous land of Furthermore to rescue him.

There were some things I really loved about the book.

I absolutely enjoyed reading this story because of the lovely voice. Tahereh Mafi has one of the most distinct writing styles I’ve ever read. The idea of Furthermore is incredibly unique, and I totally enjoyed the weird whimsical elements of the world.

I also really liked Alice’s character development. I’m always a sucker for a girl realizing how great she really is. However, I felt like there wasn’t much to the actual story aside from character development and whimsy.

I felt like the book spent a lot of time setting up this great, wonderful adventure story. And then it never really delivered. It seemed like at some points the story only progressed because of something that happened on accident to the characters, and the end of the story seemed incredibly rushed.

Still, I really loved the idea of Furthermore, and the writing style was wonderful. If you’re more interested in character development than plot then this is definitely a good book for you.

Here’s Why I Think Rick Riordan Gets Diversity Right

I’ve been wanting to talk about this for a long time, so bear with me here folks.

It’s time to talk about Uncle Rick.

There will be spoilers (duh)

Just in case you didn’t know, Rick Riordan, one of my favorite authors of all time, is best known for writing the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. It’s a wildly popular book series based on classic Greek mythology. It’s so popular that he’s written TWO spinoff series, The Heroes of Olympus and Trials of Apollo series, along with two other series Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard and The Kane Chronicles, all based on different mythologies. (Greek, Roman, Norse, and Egyptian)

This has gotten mixed reviews from audiences. Some people criticize Riordan’s writing, saying that he’s beating a dead horse, while others praise him for managing to get an entire generation interested in mythology. Recently, he’s been getting lots of attention because of the diversity of the characters he’s writing.

Some people are upset by his inclusion of openly LGBTQIA+ characters in his recent books. Others are offended by a muslim main character who wears a hijab. People have stopped reading his books, claiming he’s becoming “Too political.” I don’t understand that. Having a diverse cast of characters in a book isn’t political, it’s an accurate representation of real life.

Then there’s the group of people who, although they are excited about the diversity in Rick’s books, criticize him because they feel like he’s jumping on the band wagon. They accuse him of adding diverse representation into his books to get more readers.

All I can think is that these people must not have read his earlier series, because for as long as I’ve been reading his books (And I’ve been reading them for a while now) Rick has always been wonderful at representation.

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Here’s why I think Rick Riordan gets diversity right.

Let’s start with Percy Jackson shall we?

The idea for the Percy Jackson series came from the bedtime stories that Rick used to tell his son Hayley. He started out with actual greek myths, but when he ran out of those, Hayley suggested he make up his own. Thus Percy Jackson was born.

Because Hayley had recently been diagnosed with ADHD and Dyslexia, and was struggling with them, Riordan made Percy struggle with them too. In the series, most of the demigods have ADHD and Dyslexia because of their godly blood. They didn’t succeed despite of those things, they were able to fight monsters because they were different.

Although it dealt with things like learning disabilities, bullying, mental illness, and abuse, The original Percy Jackson series was, admittedly, not very racially diverse. Rick got lots criticism for that. He also gets criticism for adding racially diverse characters to his Heroes of Olympus series because it felt “Too Forced”

It kind of makes me want to scream.

Four out of seven of the main characters the Heroes of Olympus series are POC characters.

Leo Valdez is a Hispanic son of Hephaestus, Piper McLean, daughter of Aphrodite, is half Cherokee, Frank Zhang is a Chinese Canadian son of Mars, and Hazel Levesque, daughter of Hades, is black.

I’ve seen people online who claim that characters like Piper and Frank have very little characterization outside of their race. They even claimed that Piper being Native American is unrealistic because of how “rare” Native American people are. (Obviously this person doesn’t live anywhere near Oklahoma, the state where Piper was born.) While these characters do often mention their cultures, I don’t see it as Rick’s way of reminding everybody “Look at these diverse characters!”

Culture is something that is very important to some people. The values of your culture can help define who you are, as is the case for Reyna Arellano, or it can connect you to family, as is the case for Piper and Frank. The two of them are both dealing with the whole “Woah Greek/Roman gods are real!” situation. It makes perfect sense to me that they would relate this new world back to the cultures they grew up with/around.

And then there’s Nico DiAngelo.

Rick has gotten such backlash because of his decision to have Nico DiAngelo come out as gay during the Heroes of Olympus series. I think many of the people who were upset were probably fangirls who considered Nico to be their fictional boyfriend.

Throughout the PJO and HoO series Nico DiAngelo has had such an important redemption arc. We’ve watched him struggle to come to terms with himself,  trying find a place to belong after the death of his sister. We’ve seen him tempted by darkness, but eventually pulling through in order to help his friends. Don’t even get me started on how wonderful his relationship with his half sister Hazel is. It makes me indescribably happy to see him happy again in the ToA series.

Rick has stuck with the LGBT+ inclusion in the Trials of Apollo series, which features an openly bisexual main character. There are also two happy, loving same sex couples featured in the series.

Riordan’s Magnus Chase series has been getting tons of praise for it’s inclusion of:

  1. Magnus himself, who is homeless at the beginning of the series.
  2. Samirah Al Abbas, an Arab American Valkyrie, who wears a hijab throughout the series and is generally badass.
  3. Blitzen, a male dwarf with a passion for fashion.
  4. Hearthstone, a deaf elf who communicates through sign language. Throughout the series other characters are shown learning sign language so that they can easily communicate with him.
  5. And of course Alex Fierro, who is not only transgender/gender-fluid, but is also the main love interest in the series. I could write a whole separate post on how well I think Alex’s sexuality and pronoun use are addressed. While I myself do not identify as trans, I do believe that Riordan did a great job of explaining what it means to be trans/gender fluid, while still clarifying that everyone’s experiences are different.

Then there’s the Kane Chronicles, a.k.a the series that everyone always forgets about.

This series is the reason I get confused when people are surprised by the racially diverse characters in Rick’s newer books. Like, how can anyone be surprised by that when the Kane Chronicles exists?

You see, unlike pretty much every Hollywood movie about Egypt ever created, Rick acknowledges the fact that Egyptians are POC. This means that a majority of the main characters in The Kane Chronicles are either POC, or an Egyptian god with an animal for a head.

The two main characters, Carter and Sadie Kane, are siblings from a mixed race family. Despite the fact that they we’re raised in separate households, they still have one of the best brother sister relationships I’ve ever read about. They argue a lot, but Sadie, who inherited their mother’s blonde hair and fair skin, actually gets incredibly offended whenever people assume they aren’t related.

I find it really puzzling that The Kane Chronicles is so unpopular compared to Rick’s other series. I recently reread the series and I loved it just as much as the PJO and HoO books. Naturally, I did what I usually do when I love a book series. I made a Kane Chronicles playlist. Unlike my Lunar Chronicles playlist, this playlist is actually designed to follow the storyline of The Kane Chronicles. Meaning that it’s totally composed of songs that remind me of different scenes in the trilogy.

Link Here: https://play.spotify.com/user/evalyn4200/playlist/0q4fppNVFig4Wk9JXRByj9

Want to share your thoughts on Rick Riordan’s writing? Do you agree that The Kane Chronicles is underrated? Have a guess at which songs correspond to which scenes? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

-Eva

Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag

Shoutout to Elena from Sweaters and Storms for tagging me in this! Her blog is absolutely lovely, so go check it out.

Prepare for a lot of rambling about books I’ve already rambled about. 🙂

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Me, freaking out about books.

  1. Best Book You’ve Read This Year So Far

Thats a tough one. There’s not a stand out book because I’ve read so many books wonderful so far this year. Some of them leapt instantly onto my favorites list.  Some of the best books I’ve read this year are: My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows, Heartstone by Elle Katherine White, and The Raven Boys by Leigh Bardugo.

  1. Best Sequel You’ve Read In 2017

The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan. It’s the second book in the Trials of Apollo series. I was very skeptical about the Trials of Apollo series begin with, and it’s not my favorite Rick Riordan series, but I am really enjoying it. It’s got oodles of that “Rick Riordan” voice that I love. I mean, all the chapter titles are Haikus, enough said. There’s a lot of representation happening and I’m not mad at it. (Some people are. Some people are very mad.) More about that soon probably.

  1. Must Read New Release

I am dying to read Geekerella. I don’t read much contemporary, but it seems right up my alley. It’s one of the books that is making me seriously question my “Read it then buy it” policy, because I want to read it so bad but my library still hasn’t gotten it. Basically I’m dying.

  1. Most Anticipated Release

The Speaker by Traci Chee. I read The Reader, the first book in the Sea of Ink and Gold series, back in February and I absolutely loved it. It’s got such a creative premise that I go sucked into right away. For all my thoughts on The Reader check out the BNTEEN Young Adults post from March.

Link Here: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/teen/teen-readers-share-last-book-loved/

  1. Biggest Disappointment

Alex and Eliza by Melissa De La Cruz. I got this book for my birthday because, at the time, I was at the height of my Hamilton obsession. I liked the story okay, but I had a hard time connecting the characters in the book to the characters I’d fallen in love with from the musical. Their characterization was just incredibly different. I think I wold’ve liked the story itself if I had been able to separate it from the musical, or if it had been about different people.

6. Biggest Surprise

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows. I’ve talked about this book before on multiple occasions because I love it so much. It was certainly the most surprising read I’ve picked up this year, probably because the only thing I knew about it before reading it was that a reviewer on the back had described it as “Monty Python meets The Tudors.” I remember thinking “How the heck does that work?” I just had to see for myself. It’s such a uniquely hilarious book, with some of the strongest voice I’ve ever read, and I love it to bits.

7. New Favorite Author

Hands down Elle Kathrine White. I read her debut novel, Heartstone, back in April and I haven’t shut up about it since. It’s on this list more than once because I have no self control. To find out exactly why I loved it so much you can check out the review I wrote for BNTEEN or pop down to question 11.

On a whim I followed her on twitter and I have not regretted it. She does this thing called #TuesdayNightTales and it’s absolutely hilarious.

(Get ready for me to freak out about The Raven Boys just a lil bit)

8. Newest Fictional Crush

At the moment I’m basically in love with the main group from The Raven Boys. (We call them The Gangesy right? Is that information correct?)

9. New Favorite Character

I’ve only read the first book in Leigh Burdugo’s Raven Cycle, but like I said I love all of the characters so far. I just want to be friends with all of them. I’m going to be devastated if I don’t end up liking the rest of the series, because I absolutely adored the first book.

10. A Book That Made You Cry

Stranger than Fanfiction by Chris Colfer. It’s a book about four friends who are planning a road trip together before they all head off to different colleges. As a joke they invite the lead actor of their favorite TV series to come along with them, because it’s his show that brought them together as friends. They’re not at all prepared for what happens when he actually shows up.

It’s a story about friendship, fame, and finding yourself. I laughed, I cried, it was wonderful.

11. A Book That Made You Happy

Heartstone by Elle Katherine White. Honestly, I was destined to love this book from the start because it had dragons in it, and I love dragons. Elle Katherine White took one of my all time favorite books, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, stuck it in a beautiful fantasy world, and somehow made me love the characters even more than I did before. I can’t read this book without grinning like an idiot.

I reviewed it for BNTEEN. Link here: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/teen/teen-readers-share-last-book-loved-summer-love-magicproblems-twist-tropes/

12. Most Beautiful Book

Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Colhurst. I picked this book up because of how much I liked the cover, and was pleasantly surprised to discover that I liked the story just as much. It’s on of the few LGBT+ books I’ve read thats not a contemperary. (Carry on by Rainbow Rowell and Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova also come to mind, both of which have really nice covers as well.) I liked the world, the magic, and the characters, but what I really loved was the fact that the reason the main couple couldn’t be together had nothing to do with the fact that they were both girls.

13. TBR for the rest of 2017

Here’s what I’m hoping to read by the end of the year:

-The rest of the Raven Cycle!

-Geekerella

-Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

-Eleanor and Park

-Nora and Kettle

-The Night Circus

-Spare and Found Parts

-Why We Broke Up

-The Hate You Give

-The rest of the Grisha trilogy

Which ones should I read first? Do you have any other recommendations? Like any of the books on this list? Leave a comment and let me know!

 

Rebel of the Sands Review (+The Perfect Roadtrip Playlist)

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I recently finished Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton, and I loved it. It’s the story of a girl named Amani, who’s lived her entire life in a rough desert town called Dustwalk. She spends her days dreaming of crossing the legendary desert and finding a new home in the city of Izman. She’s a self taught gunslinger who never misses a shot, but as an orphaned female there’s no way her skill will ever get her out of Dustwalk.

That is until she meets a mysterious foreigner named Jin at a shooting contest and rides with him into the dangers of the desert. Swept up into an adventure she never wanted, Armani is set to discover just how many secrets the desert holds.

Alwyn Hamilton has created a rich, beautifully written world full Middle Eastern culture with just a hint of Wild West adventure. It’s one that I cannot wait to dive back into.

In Rebel of the Sands, Armani goes on a pretty epic journey. Although I won’t be shooting soldiers or battling any mystical beings I am going to be going on a sort of adventure of my own. For the next few weeks I’m looking at spending pretty much every day in the backseat of my parent’s car. This isn’t a new experience for me. We travel long distances by car all the time, so I’m pretty used being crammed back there with only my books for company.

Most of the time we’re traveling for my dad’s work, so my mom is the one who drives. My dad sits in the passenger seat where he gives directions and freaks out about my mom’s driving.

I don’t have any siblings, so I’m the lone ruler of the back seat. This usually means I get to lounge in the back and read, occasionally passing water and snacks up to the front seat. The back seat is also where we keep the CDs, which means I get to be in charge of the music.

I take this job very seriously, because to me the music sets the mood of the whole trip. It’s easy for moods to turn foul when you’re stuck in an enclosed space with the same people for several hours. You can start to resent the sound of each other breathing. To me the perfect music should keep everybody’s spirits lifted.

I’ve complied a playlist of some of my favorite songs to listen to in the car. It’s got everything from The Beatles, to Hamilton, to George Gershwin. I think it’s perfect for long road trips, or long hours of reading, dreaming about going on awesome adventures. Whatever floats your boat.

Playlist here: https://play.spotify.com/user/evalyn4200/playlist/7kxwqMb1UVfDdxa4vcqOb4

 

Books for the Modern Princess

Practically every little girl dreams of being a princess at some point in their life, but recently princess have gotten a lot of slack for not being good, strong role models for young girls. People are tired of the same old ‘damsel in distress’ routine. So I’ve complied a list of  middle grade and YA books featuring badass princesses (and other assorted royalty) who I think could help rehabilitate the princess image. Because these ladies rule.

The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede

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There are plenty of strong female characters in the magical world of Patricia C. Wrede, from no-nonsense witches to super awesome dragons, but none of them is as wonderful as the fiercely independent Princess Cimorene.

Cimorene is the youngest daughter of the King and Queen of the kingdom of Linderwall. Unlike her six older sisters, who are all blonde, polite, and interested in proper princess hobbies, Cimorene wears her long black hair in braids, and she’d rather learn how to cook, or fence, or speak Latin than do nay of the things deemed proper by her parents. She has no interest in embroidery or etiquette or marrying the incredibly boring Prince Therandil like her parents want. So, on the advice of a talking frog, Cimorene runs away to become the dragon Kazul’s princess.

This leads to a series of exciting adventures for Cimorene. The Mountains of Morning are packed full of interesting characters and mysterious magic. Any other princess might be in over her head, but Cimorene isn’t just any princess. She’s clever, and she faces challenges head on. From evil wizards to enchanted princes, she’s always ready for a little adventure.

This series has been one of my favorites since before I can remember. I first read this story when I was a little girl, and to this day I still want to be like Princess Cimorene. Wrede’s witty characters and charming writing style appeal to readers of all ages.

Pretty much any E. D. Baker book.

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I love a good fairy tale adaptation and E. D. Baker is an adaptation master. I grew up devouring books from both the Tales of the Frog Princess and Tales of the Wide Awake Princess series.

To anyone who’s seen Disney’s The Princess and the Frog, the plot of Baker’s The Frog Princess might seem somewhat familiar. That’s because the movie was based very loosely on the book.

Princess Emerelda (or Emma as she prefers to be called) isn’t any good at being a princess. She’s clumsy, awkward, and would rather spend time in a swamp than with Prince Jorge, the obnoxious prince her mother wants her to marry.

It’s when she’s hiding out in the swamp that she meets Eadric, a frog who claims to be a prince under a spell. He convinces Emma to kiss him, insisting the only way to break the spell is for him to be kissed by a princess. Unfortunately, the kiss backfires and leaving Emma stuck in the swamp as a frog.

Now she must work with Eadric to find a way out of the swamp, facing obstacles like angry witches, greedy otters, and a very disgruntled swamp fairy, and into the castle where her Aunt Grassina can help them become human again.

Baker somehow managed to fit even more fairy tale madness into her Tales of the Wide Awake Princess Series.

After their elder daughter, Princess Gwen, is cursed by an evil fairy, Queen Karolina and King Halbert of Treecrest are willing to go to drastic measures to make sure their second daughter, Princess Annabelle, is safe from harmful magic. Usually when princess are christened they are blessed with many magical gift from fairies. Gifts of beauty, and song, and all sorts of other talents befitting a princess. Princess Annie received only one gift, the guarantee that no magic, good or bad, would ever be able to touch her.

That’s why, when on Gwen’s sixteenth birthday she pricks her finger on a spinning wheel, sending the entire castle into an enchanted sleep, Annie is the only one who stays awake. Now it’s up to her to find her sister’s true love so he can kiss her and break the curse.

Accompanied by Liam, one of her father’s guards, Annie travels through a land of fairy tales, running into all sorts of trouble, from enchanted princes, to witches in gingerbread houses, to really tall stacks of mattresses. Annie is willing to do anything to wake her sister and save her kingdom.

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows.

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Lady Jane Grey was the Queen of England for nine days after her cousin King Edward died. Her reign was cut short when her other cousin, Queen Mary, took over and had her executed.

Now you might be thinking- “Eva, why are we getting this history lesson? Jane wasn’t even a princess.”

Yes, Lady Jane Grey was not a princess, but she also didn’t live in a world where people were able to turn into animals. That is, unless you believe Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows’s version of the story.

My Lady Jane is the story of Lady Jane Grey, with a pinch of humor and a dash of magic aded to make it more interesting.

When King Edward learns that he’s dying he knows he’s going to need a successor. in an attempt to keep the throne away from his sister Mary, he changes to line of succession so that crown will go to his cousin Jane and her male heirs, she just needs to get married first. The solution: Arrange for her to be married to Gifford Dudley, the younger son of his most trusted advisor.

This raises even more problems. Firstly, Jane has no interest in getting married, and would rather be reading than running a country. Secondly, Gifford is a horse.

No, literally, he turns into a horse when the sun rises and stays that way all day.

But Edward doesn’t have much times to worry about little things like that.

When Jane is forced to take the throne after Edward’s apparent death, she’s dropped into the middle of a dangerous political war. Tensions in the kingdom are rising, and with Mary threatening her crown, it seems like Jane’ll have her work cut out for her.

I picked this book up because a review on the back described it as “Monty Python meets The Tudors” and I wanted to know how that could possibly work. What I found was an absolutely charming and hilarious story that made it straight onto my list of favorite reads.

 

 

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

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I’ve been slightly obsessed with this series for a while. It’s one I always recommend to friends looking for a new read. You’ll probably be hearing a lot about Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter (and Throne. You can’t forget Throne.) on this blog.

When you think Cinderella what comes to mind? It’s probably not the words Cyborg mechanic and revolutionary, unless you’ve read the Lunar Chronicles. That’s because Cinder, the main character of Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series, isn’t your typical Cinderella character. Meyer does a flawless job of blending the plots of classic fairy tales into her futuristic society. In fact, this four book series has pretty much everything you could ask for: An interesting and diverse cast of characters, an extremely well developed world, and romantic subplots that are free of awkward love triangles.

When the Queen Levana, the evil Queen of Luna, who, like all lunars happens to have the power to control people, starts threatening the earth with war, it’s up to Cinder to defeat her. She’s certainly not alone though. She’s got her friends to help her. Readers can’t help but fall in love with this misfit band of fairy tale characters turned revolutionaries. After all, who doesn’t love ex-convicts, mutant wolf soldiers, eccentric androids, and slightly crazy princesses?