Posts By: Words For Worms

Sep 03

Words for Worms Rewind: Road Trip

Audio Books, Rewind 2

Well Hello Bookworms!

I’m resurrecting another old post today that was devoured by the evil spirits of the internet. It’s ginormous and about audio books. I’ve updated it with the occasional aside in bold parentheses, because I simply cannot leave well enough alone.

If you’re anything like me the idea of a road trip is made more pleasant by the sheer joy of having so many uninterrupted reading hours. Unfortunately, that isn’t really an option if you happen to be the driver. Or is it? That’s right, my friends. Today we shall explore the glories of the audio book!

My BFF (we can use that terminology because we’ve been BFF since middle school) gave birth to one of the greatest human beings to ever grace the planet roughly 4 ½ years ago (UPDATE: Jack is now 7 ½. And he has a super cute baby sister named Junie who’s creeping up on 1 ½. I Seriously can’t even.) Unfortunately, my BFF has lived in a different state than I have for the past 15 years (Now 18. Holy smokes.) As an honorary aunt, I vowed I’d never miss one of Jack’s birthday parties (at least, until he’s old enough to decide he doesn’t want his weird Aunt Katie hanging around… At which point I’ll show up anyway and be EXCEPTIONALLY embarrassing. “Hey Jack, remember that time you accused me of pooping in your diaper? No?”) (<— That’s a true story, BTW.) And thus, every year around the Ides of March (I seriously never get tired of the Julius Caesar joke) I make the trek to… Whatever state or city Jack and Heather happen to be residing in.

road trip

The first couple of trips I made to visit Jack after he was born I made in the first vehicle I’d purchased for myself. A 2002 Oldsmobile Alero with crank windows and a broken radio. I fed my CD player hour after hour of music, but 5-7 hours of driving (each way), even with musical accompaniment, is tedious. Then I got smart. I had discovered that even on my 20 minute morning commute, I felt more alert listening to NPR than listening to morning music radio. I assumed the same principal- someone talking to me to keep my mind occupied- would hold true for road trips as well. I was right.

Do audio books count as reading? Umm, yeah they do! At least in my opinion. You hear the whole story, experience all of the description- it’s still theater of the mind. It’s just that you can safely drive while you enjoy it. I would also highly recommend audio books for anyone with a learning disability that makes it difficult to enjoy reading. Put a book on in the car instead of listening Rhianna. I can guarantee an audio book will make you smarter than Rhianna’s lyrics. (Still true.) Without further ado (Seriously 2012 Katie? That was so much ado. SO MUCH), I shall tell you a bit about the audio books I’ve enjoyed over my past several road trips…

herfearfulsymmetryHer Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger was my first foray into road trip reading. I wanted to read it because I’d loved The Time Traveler’s Wife (book is infinitely superior to the movie, no matter how handsome Eric Bana is). Her Fearful Symmetry started out promising, but then started taking turns for the bizarre, and then the REALLY bizarre. Once the book ended I was really quite surprised it had gone the way it did. Part of what I’d loved about The Time Traveler’s Wife was that Niffenegger took an unbelievable situation and turned it into a realistic view of what life would be like to live with and love a man who could at any moment disappear into another time. Symmetry was the opposite- it started out with a realistic presence then steadily got stranger and stranger. And not in the way I like my strange.

Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant was my next selection. As I’ve previously professed, I adore historical fiction. I had read other Dunant novels (The Birth of Venus, In the Company of the Courtesan) that were set in Renaissance Italy, and enjoyed them. Sacred Hearts was set in a convent during the same time period. It gave me more insight into the life of a Catholic nun in the Renaissance period, as well as insight into the few options available to women at the time. That part wasn’t exactly new to me (Hello, Women’s Studies Minor!) but I always like to read things that make situations come to life. This centered on a very reluctant novice who had been sent to the convent by her family to keep her from marrying an “inappropriate” suitor and the nun who took her under her wing. The supervisory nun was also the convent physician of sorts, so you’ll pick up all sorts of useful tidbits about old school diseases and treatments. Fascinating, if I do say so myself.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot was this year’s Jack-spedition selection. I really enjoyed this as an audio book, but I think it might be harder to get through reading in print. This book is non-fiction, and it is about the woman who (unwittingly) donated the first “immortal” henriettalackshuman cells that could be used in laboratory work. I’m not nearly scientific enough to explain how that’s really possible, other than to say that Henrietta Lacks had a very unique and aggressive form of cervical cancer. The cancer ended her life, but took on a laboratory life of its own. The cells were so important that they were the basis of research for countless medical breakthroughs. What’s most interesting about this book is reading about the abject poverty of her descendents and their corner of Baltimore. It’s a long story, but I found it very interesting, and since I was listening as opposed to reading, I didn’t get too bogged down in the scientific jargon. I highly recommend this book. (I really need to come up with a ratings system). (No you don’t, 2012 Katie.)

I’ve since expanded my audio book indulgence to any road trip I take, not just the epic ones. This includes the 2 hour each way drive to visit my parents. I had been meaning to read Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland for years. It was one of the books handed out at the graduation party for my Women’s Studies group. (I got Pope Joan by Diana Woolfolk Cross, which may just merit its own entry *UPDATE* Pope Joan review HERE.) Anyway, I’d been meaning to read this for a long time, and finally decided to get on with it. The story girlinhyacinthbluefollows a (fictional) Vermeer painting from the present day back through time to its inception. Throughout the ages the painting had a profound impact on a number of lives and went through many adventures itself. I’ve always had a soft spot for historical fiction that revolves around works of art (Girl with a Pearl Earring, Burning Bright, and The Virgin Blue all by Tracy Chevalier are worth mentioning) so this was right up by alley. (UPDATE: I made a list of Hist-Art-Ical Fiction. You can read it HERE.) I also learned more about the Netherlands that I’d ever known before, thanks to this book. I rather enjoyed that part, since, if the family lineage I’ve been told is accurate, I’m approximately 25% Dutch. Fun Fact: The Netherlands are mostly below sea level and flood a LOT. Also, horses can swim.

Finally! This has been an epic blog post. Last review, I promise. I just finished Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith in the car this morning. I’m technologically impaired, so I actually listened to the second half of the book before the first due to a downloading error, but aside from being a bit of a banana head, I enjoyed this book. I was shocked at how well researched this was. I mean, the vampire bits were obviously creative license, but the documented facts of Lincoln’s life and the chronology were spot on. I felt like I’d learned some useful American history by the end. A movie was just released. I will probably see it at some point, but I’m sure I won’t much care for it. What I liked most about this book was the historical accuracy and the filling in of life’s plot holes with fantastic farfetched theories. Judging by the movie’s trailer, it’s just a lot of Abe Lincoln killing vampires and crazy action sequences. I think there will be a lot lost in translation, but since I haven’t yet seen it, I can’t say for sure. (Who are we kidding? Of course I can say it for sure. The book is ALWAYS better than the movie!)

Congratulations for finishing this post, and many thanks. Until next time, my wormy worms!

Holy guacamole, 2012 Katie was VERY chatty, wasn’t she? I’m sorry, guys. I probably should have broken this post into pieces but I’m so very lazy. Also, if you buy anything from one of the 8 zillion links in this post, I’ll get a small commission. Yay for that.

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Sep 01

Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, Scribd

Audio Books 32

Dear Scribd,

When we first met, I adored you. I wrote you love letters (seriously, read it!) Your $8.99 monthly fee for unlimited access to audio books was the best thing in the history of ever. I was over the moon and wallowing in a glut of fabulous literature being piped directly into my earholes. And then? Then I found out that you’re changing your system. My heart is breaking.

scribdheartbreak

I’m too upset to keep this going in letter style, so I’m switching back to third person. Scribd is moving to an Audible-style credit model at the end of September. They’re claiming they will still have “plenty” of audio books available for unlimited listening, but everything else will be credit based. The $8.99 subscription fee gets you one audio book credit a month and $8.99 for each credit thereafter. It’s still less expensive than Audible which charges $14.95 a month, but unlike Audible‘s model, you don’t get to keep anything with Scribd, it’s just a rental. You can re-listen to audio books you’ve used credits on at any time, but you must have an active subscription to access anything, whereas with Audible, you can cancel and still listen to what you’ve purchased.

Needless to say (again) but I’m disheartened. Still, I’m a realist. I understand that companies need to make money and publishing rights are complicated and all that jazz. And there’s still that unlimited section, right? With “plenty” of titles? I scoped out my library of audio books. EVERY SINGLE TITLE I saved is either expiring or will be a credit-only book. I’ll tell you what, it’s going to be a listen fest to try and get through as many of these titles as I can before Scribd turns into a pumpkin. 

scribdscreenshot

All the gray “expired” bars and blue exclamation points? Yeah. That’s my whole library.

When I contacted Scribd regarding the lack of available unlimited titles, they assured me that once the program goes live, users will at least be able to filter titles and view the unlimited titles in their entirety. I’m skeptical, but not throwing in the towel quite yet. I think it’s safe to say that the honeymoon is over, though, Scribd. Our relationship is on life support, yo.

Grumpily Yours,

Katie

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Aug 31

A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan

Contemporary Fiction, Family 14

Happy Monday, Bookworms!

For those of you back in the office today, I’m pleased to bring you a book about someone who is probably having a crappier day at the office than you are! A few weeks ago I was itching for something new to read when I saw A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan on NetGalley. The cover art was pretty and it was marketed toward fans of Where’d You Go, Bernadette (review) so I decided to give it a whirl. *I received a complimentary copy of this novel for review consideration.*

awindowopensAlice Pearse is a happily married mother of three living in New Jersey. She works part time for a magazine as the books editor and keeps her household running with the help of a crackerjack babysitter. Alice’s life is chugging along at a smooth clip until a major upheaval in her lawyer husband’s career path sends her back into the workforce full-time. She thinks she’s landed the job of her dreams when she is hired by fancy pants startup Scroll, an e-book retailer promising swanky cafe style reading space as well as first edition novels. Of course, things are rarely as miraculous as they seem, especially when it comes to jobs. At the same time her new career is taking flight, Alice’s dad gets sick, her marriage hits some speed bumps, and her world devolves into general chaos. When it seems like “having it all” isn’t working out the way she planned, Alice is forced to take stock and decide what it is she really wants. 

As someone who works full time but does not (yet, hopefully) have children, sometimes this type of novel falls a little flat for me. I suppose I just get frustrated many women’s reality; the fact that a work-life balance seems nearly impossible to achieve. The majority of novels I’ve read in this vein definitely tend toward favoring women scaling back their careers and focusing on their families. While I think focusing on one’s family is awesome, it bugs me that women are always the ones who are expected to scale back, a sentiment I find perpetuated in this type of novel. That’s part of why I found A Window Opens refreshing. It was very honest in its exploration of Alice’s situation and doesn’t present a super clear cut answer. It doesn’t end exactly the way I’d have liked, but at least it doesn’t preach the value of a particular lifestyle. Alice focuses on what Alice wants and what will make Alice happiest. I can get behind a story like that.

What do you think, Bookworms? When you’re reading books about working moms, do you feel that a certain solution is presented as ideal? Do you ever wonder why there are so few books about men’s work-life balance? (Look at me getting all feminist up in here today. Whew.)

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Aug 27

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Audio Books, Dystopian, Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction 13

Hidey Ho, Bookworms!

I know I’m constantly shoving book recommendations in your faces, but I like to think we have a symbiotic relationship. I mean, when one of my friends says “OMG Katie, read this book right now” I’ll do it… Eventually. Case in point! My friend Ash told me that I needed to read Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard and I totally did. Seriously, it was in a timely fashion and everything. Let’s talk about it, shall we?

theredqueenMare Barrow is a 17 year old “Red” girl from a poor working class background. She lives in a society where there are two classes of people. Reds like Mare and her family are ordinary folks. They put their pants on one leg at a time and bleed red. They’re also second class citizens because some quirk of evolution has created a group of people with superhuman powers who actually bleed silver. They’re called “Silvers,” natch, and they got a little drunk on their god-like powers and subjugated all the normal folk. The Reds think this sucks, because it does, but it’s pretty tough to win a fight against someone who can manipulate metal or hop into your brain and take over. Mare and her fellow Reds can only look forward to a life of poverty- if they live long enough, that is. All Reds are conscripted to fight in an endless war on behalf of the Silvers once they turn 18, assuming they aren’t already doing something useful for society (ie sewing fancy clothes for the Silvers. Silvers like pretty things.) After a chance encounter, Mare finds herself employed in the Silver Palace, surrounded by demi-gods and with an unexplained power of her own. Let’s just say that being Mare gets a whole heck of a lot more complicated from there.

Alright you guys. This book is the start of yet another trilogy in the glut of YA dystopias on the market. It combined a number of elements I recognized from Leigh Bardugo’s The Grisha Trilogy (review of book 1, as I didn’t finish the series) and The Hunger Games Trilogy. That said, Red Queen was different enough to catch my attention, and not in an eye-roll-y way. Well, except for this love quadrangle thing that was going on, but I feel like that’s par for the course in these sorts of books so I’m willing to overlook it for a hot minute. The book got under my skin and the characters stuck with me. Maybe it’s because I listened to the audio narration and it was excellent? Perhaps I’d have been less engaged if I’d done a strict eyeball read, I don’t know. Still, I think I might give book 2 a whirl and see where it takes me. If YA dystopias are your jam, Red Queen is definitely not to be missed. It may have thawed the heart of even this cranky skeptic.

Talk to me, Bookworms! If you could have the power to manipulate an earthly element, what would you pick? (I’m torn between water nymph skills and the power to do lots of back flips. I bet there’s a Silver whose only talent is doing back flips and their parents are terribly disappointed by it, but I think it would be awesome.)

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Aug 25

Apocalyptic Fiction 101

Post-Apocalyptic Fiction, Top Ten Tuesday 31

Greetings Bookworms!

Today I’m putting on the professor hat I will likely never wear otherwise and curating a list of books for my pretend syllabus. This is all the fault of The Broke and the Bookish who prompted the book blogosphere to create a syllabus for their imaginary master class in a certain genre. Or something like that. Let’s go back to school with some apocalyptic fiction, y’all. It’s Top Ten Tuesday!

Now, before I get to the listing, I would like to point out that this list of books has to do with apocalypse scenarios and the immediate aftermath. This DOES NOT include dystopian societies. All the scary government rules, policed reproduction, oppression, and death sports will be covered next semester.

apocalyptic fiction

1. Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank (review): This book is the perfect primer. It was written during the Cold War and deals (unsurprisingly) with the aftermath of a nuclear war. A poignant view of the human condition, Frank’s classic totally holds up. A lack of electricity is truly the great equalizer.

2. The Road by Cormac McCarthy (review): I’m toting out the big guns early in the semester because this level of bleakness explored after daylight savings time ends is a recipe for severe Seasonal Affective Disorder. We never really learn what disaster befell humanity, but McCarthy’s stark portrayal of the aftermath is haunting.

3. The Stand by Stephen King (review): Any list of apocalyptic novels that doesn’t include The Stand will get the side eye from me, I’ll tell you what. Far and away my favorite King novel, the story of Captain Tripps and what lies beyond is masterful. Even if it does stray a little into the supernatural. A lot of apocalypse tales do. Stay tuned, folks.

4. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (review): This book was the darling of the literary world for good reason. In case you needed more of a reason to stock up on hand sanitizer, another flu pandemic decimates the world’s population. Mandel’s novel takes a fascinating look at the role of art in rebuilding society.

5. California by Eden Lepucki (review): Just when you think it’s a good idea to go completely off the grid and fend for yourself in the woods, California offers a troubling portrayal of societal breakdown and the fact that it’s nearly impossible to escape.

apocalypse1

6. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson (review): I know it’s fully supernatural. Vampires happen and ONE DUDE is left. There’s a reason this book has been around for as long as it has, you guys! And seriously, don’t judge the book based on the movie in this case. I mean, I love Will Smith as an action hero as much as the next gal, but it wasn’t a great adaptation.

7. The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker (review): It’s not the flu and it’s not a monster that takes aim at humanity this time. It’s Earth. The rotation of the planet decides to slow the heck down which wreaks utter havoc on the fabric of society. Told from the perspective of a 12 year old girl, this novel will hit you in the feels.

8. The Girl With All the Gifts by MR Carey (review): Yes, more supernatural stuff. But only because it’s AMAZING. Zombies and evolution and science and disease and WHOA.

9. MaddAddam Trilogy by Margaret Atwood (review): You didn’t think this list would be without Atwood, did you?! This trilogy is insanely good what with the human foibles ultimately leading to their own destruction. This is a wee bit of a hybrid because the society pre-breakdown was traipsing into dystopia territory, but the aftermath was pure apocalypse. Seriously, check it out.

10. World War Z by Max Brooks (review): I know I talk about zombies and this book in particular a lot, but it’s simply one of the best of its kind. When your friends and neighbors suddenly think it’s a good idea to feast upon your flesh, crazy shiznit is bound to go down.

apocalypse2Tell me, dear Bookworms, did I leave anything excellent and apocalyptic out of my syllabus? Also, what haven’t I read in this genre that I should? 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Aug 24

Armada by Ernest Cline

Audio Books, Science Fiction 11

Hello Bookworms!

Remember when Ready Player One (review) got me hooked on audio books? It was an AWESOME book and Wil Wheaton as narrator SLAYED. I’ve been waiting on baited breath for Ernest Cline’s followup novel and keeping my fingers and toes crossed that Wil Wheaton would be narrating again. I can’t tell you how excited I was to find out that Armada was being released WITH Wil Wheaton narrating AND it was available on Scribd. The “Hallelujah Chorus” sang, y’all.

armadaArmada begins with high school senior Zack Lightman. He’s a video game geek to the core and constantly pines for more adventure in his mundane suburban life… And then a flying saucer shows up outside the window of his math class.

As it turns out, the Earth is being invaded by aliens, and the government has been slowly conditioning the world’s population to defend itself through science fiction culture and video game simulations. Giant conspiracy. Dun dun duuuuuuuuuun!

Because Ready Player One was so utterly fantastic, it was inevitable that Ernest Cline’s followup wouldn’t live up to everyone’s expectations. I read several reviews that were disappointed in Armada, so I went in with my expectations tempered. I’m not sure they really needed tempering, though, because I thought Armada was great fun! I mean, Wil Wheaton does a Carl Sagan impression that is spot freaking on. I cannot recommend the audio book highly enough. My word. Wil Wheaton needs to read all the things. Well. All the things that Neil Gaiman isn’t reading, anyway.

If you liked Ready Player One I recommend giving Armada a try. It’s not the same, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a darn good time. Video games and aliens and conspiracies, y’all. It’s a whole lot of fun. And you can totally make “pew pew pew” noises the whole time you’re reading it. Because lasers.

Talk to me Bookworms! Do you think it’s detrimental to have your debut novel be TOO good?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Aug 21

Questioning Katie: Book Universe

Q&A, Questioning Katie 9

Hidey Ho Bookworms!

Aren’t discussions fun? I realize I’ve been abysmal at replying to comments lately, but I am SO loving reading all your thoughts on these crowd sourced interview questions. Let’s continue, shall we? Today’s question comes from Jancee at Jancee’s Reading Journal (thank you darling!) If you had to live in the universe of one book or series, but it was a permanent move, which universe would you choose? 

questioningkatie

 

My answer to this question is super obvious and cliche. It’s also honest because if the Harry Potter universe actually existed, I would want to go to there. I’m not entirely sure how this whole transfer thing would work, but I’m going to operate under the assumption that I would have magical powers if I were to enter this universe. I don’t know if Hogwarts offers classes for recently discovered 32 year old witches, but if they did, I’d be sorted into Ravenclaw and suffer the shame. This is MAGIC we’re talking about, guys! Any sacrifices would be worth it. On the off chance I got no powers, I’d hop into the HP universe anyway. As long as I could get a job at the Ministry in muggle relations I’d be cool. I think Arthur Weasley and I would get along like a house on fire. It would be a little awkward explaining to him that I named my car after his wife, but I’m sure he’d be okay with it once I showed him all the buttons and things. At least my house could get hooked up to the floo network for my commute. How amazing would that be? Free travel to London any time I felt like it? Access to wizard sweets and pranks? The chance to meet Hermione?! Yes indeedy, I am so in.

What’s your book universe of choice, Bookworms? Inquiring minds want to know!

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Aug 20

We Never Asked for Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Contemporary Fiction 3

Hello My Darling Bookworms,

One of the very first books I ever reviewed on Words for Worms was The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh (which you can read HERE if you’re so inclined.) I loved that book. Adored it, even. That’s why I was so extra super excited when I saw that Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s sophomore novel We Never Asked for Wings was available on NetGalley. I snapped that puppy up faster than you can say “Mexican feather art.” Not that that’s a thing you would ordinarily say, but it makes sense within the context of this book so I’m going with it. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration through NetGalley. I was not compensated in any way and all the opinions expressed are my own. They’re also honest as heck because I have no filter.*

weneveraskedforwingsWe Never Asked for Wings revolves around the Espinosa family. Letty Espinosa has been working three jobs for 14 years in the San Francisco area to help support her family. Her parents are undocumented Mexican immigrants and when Letty found herself pregnant as a teenager, her parents stepped in to raise her son, Alex, and later her daughter, Luna. When her parents decide to move back to Mexico, Letty is left trying to navigate life assuming full responsibility for her children and her role as sole breadwinner.

Alex and Luna are struggling with the implications of their grandparents’ move as well. They are as unaccustomed to Letty as she is to them. Alex funnels his frustration into schoolwork and a budding romance. Luna responds with the sort of clinginess only a 6 year old can offer. When Letty comes up with a plan to improve the family’s situation and get her children out of their dangerous school district, one wrong move could send their whole world spinning out of control.

When your first novel is a showstopper, it can be tough to follow up, but Vanessa Diffenbaugh does it with aplomb. We Never Asked for Wings visited some of the themes and tones that made The Language of Flowers such a great book while still differentiating itself as a great stand alone novel. If you’re in the mood for an emotionally wrenching yet ultimately heartwarming read, you need to check out We Never Asked for Wings!

Let’s chat, Bookworms! What are some of your favorite sophomore novels? What are some that have disappointed you? (Because I always answer myself, my biggest disappointment in a sophomore novel to date was Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield… Review here if you dare.)

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Aug 18

Bite Size Reviews

Bite Size Reviews 14

Happy Tuesday Bookworms!

You know how sometimes you read a book and you don’t have a ton to say about it? It seemed like a good time to catch up on some of my latest reads with some bite size reviews. Also, I made a graphic with a cookie on it. A cookie, you guys! This is how much I love you. I hope the cookie helps make up for the whiny pants post in which everything is “meh” and I love nothing. Just focus on the cookie, okay?

bitesizereviews

1. Plan B by Jonathan Tropper- My IRL book club chose this as a recent read because This Is Where I Leave You (review) was a pretty big hit with the group. Plan B was just okay for me, I mean, I guess I have a low tolerance for movie star kidnappings or something? That and that fact that I’m 32 and the characters made me feel extra old when they were all “OMG I AM 30. WHAT HAPPENED TO MY LIFE?!” I am two years OLDER than you, fictional people. IT DOESN’T GET BETTER. Sorry. Minor existential crisis there. Moving on…

2. Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire- This wasn’t quite what I had expected. It was Cinderella turned on its head making the “ugly” stepsisters less villainous. It also made Cinderella significantly less mentally balanced and she totally couldn’t charm forest creatures into doing her housework… I liked it better than I liked Mirror Mirror (review) but it lacked that Wicked zing. Unlike most of Maguire’s work it didn’t really have any weird mystical elements and stuck pretty closely to the historical fiction angle. It was enjoyable, but again, not my favorite.

3. Paper Towns by John Green- I’m afraid I’ll never love any John Green book the way I did The Fault in Our Stars (review). After the Paper Towns movie came out I thought it was time I picked up this highly rated John Green novel. The top John Green novels according to the universe are The Fault in Our Stars (obvi), Looking for Alaska (review), and Paper Towns… Am I too old for YA? Why can’t I empathize with these characters? I wanted to shake the resident manic pixie dream girl and tell her to quit taking herself so seriously. College is for reinvention, MARGO, there is no need for these insane “adventures” of yours! Now GET OFF MY LAWN!

Sooooo Bookworms. Do you like cookies? What’s your favorite kind of cookie? Focus on the cookie…

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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Aug 17

The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine

Fairy Tales, Roaring 20s 4

What’s the word, Bookworms?

The word as in the secret password. To the speakeasy. We’re gonna rouge our knees and pull our stockings down and all that jazz fairy tale style! I love a good fairy tale retelling, don’t you? A few weeks back I was in the mood for a good trip into “once upon a time” and I came across The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine.

thegirlsatthekingfisherclubThe Girls at the Kingfisher Club takes the classic tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses and injects an infectious dose of 1920s flair. Truth be told, I wasn’t familiar with The Twelve Dancing Princesses before I read this book, so if you live under that rock with me, I’ll paraphrase. Once upon a time there were twelve princesses sequestered in a castle. They seem to live a sheltered life but every morning their dancing shoes are worn through as they secretly sneak out to dance every night. Move that scenario to New York City in the 1920s and you’ve got The Girls at the Kingfisher Club. The twelve Hamilton girls live their lives in the captivity of a brownstone. Their tyrannical father keeps them at home because he’s a big jerk and he’s ashamed that he has twelve daughters and no sons. Did I mention he’s a big jerk?

Jo and her sisters have a single rebellion in that they sneak out to speakeasies and dance the nights away. Foxtrots, waltzes, and Charlestons, these gals know how to cut a rug. This wildly entertaining novel seamlessly blends fairy tale magic with historical fiction. I absolutely adored the 1920s fun and the rebellious “princesses.” If you’re in the mood for a fairy tale retelling OR a jaunt that’s the cat’s pajamas, pick up a copy of The Girls at the Kingfisher Club

Talk to me Bookworms! Is there a fairy tale that you feel like you missed somewhere along the way? 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*

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