Waiting on Wednesday #5

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly book meme hosted by Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: A Drop of Night

Author: Stefan Bachmann
Genre: YA, Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Release Date: March 15, 2016
Pages: 384
Five gifted teenagers are selected out of hundreds of other candidates to fly to France and help with the excavation of a vast, underground palace buried a hundred feet below the suburbs of Paris. Built in the 1780's to hide an aristocratic family and a mad duke during the French Revolution, the palace was sealed after the aristocrats fled there. No one has set foot in it for over two centuries.

Now, in the present day, the teenagers enter with cutting-edge technology, state-of-the-art security, scientists and chaperones. And then a brutal accident occurs. No way out. Caught in the dark.

They will have to fight to survive. But are they really alone in the depths?

Why I'm Waiting

Excavation of an underground palace with no way out? Not going to lie: I actually had a dream just like that once...except it was under my grandma's ranch instead of in France. But I'm pretty sure A Drop of Night sounds cooler than my dream. The idea of exploring an underground palace and things going not too right sounds intense and mysterious and I seriously want to read it! 

Are you excited about A Drop of Night? What are you waiting on this week?

Review: A History of Glitter and Blood

Monday, August 10, 2015

Title: A History of Glitter and Blood
Author: Hannah Moskowitz
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance, LGBTQIA
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Release Date: August 18, 2015

I received an eARC of A History of Glitter and Blood from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Summary (via Goodreads)
Sixteen-year-old Beckan and her friends are the only fairies brave enough to stay in Ferrum when war breaks out. Now there is tension between the immortal fairies, the subterranean gnomes, and the mysterious tightropers who arrived to liberate the fairies.
But when Beckan's clan is forced to venture into the gnome underworld to survive, they find themselves tentatively forming unlikely friendships and making sacrifices they couldn't have imagined. As danger mounts, Beckan finds herself caught between her loyalty to her friends, her desire for peace, and a love she never expected. 
This stunning, lyrical fantasy is a powerful exploration of what makes a family, what justifies a war, and what it means to truly love.
I wish I knew how I felt about this book. Even days after I finished, I am still a whole mix of emotions. Part of me is confused, frustrated, and a little bored with it, but then there is another part of me that enjoys the characters that were slowly revealed, the societal questions the book highlights by using fairytale creatures, and the way it is a little grotesque in an almost postmodern Brothers Grimm sort of way (if that even makes sense). Yeah, it is a weird book that probably won't be for everyone.

A History in Glitter and Blood has a rocky start. The beginning is confusing and out of order and very, very difficult to follow. There is no slow introduction to this book or easing into the world. You get thrown in the pool and are forced to either sink or swim in a world that is not really explained.  If I didn't feel so guilty about DNFing a book, I probably would have given up very quickly . Really it wasn't until I was whole 45% into it before I actually started to understand what was going on and get into it.

The story follows a group of four fairies--Beckan, Scrap, Josha, and Cricket--who are caught in a war between fairies, gnomes, and tightropers. When the rest of the fairies leave the city, these fairies do what they have to do to survive, and some of them don't. The characters are very complex and damaged, and because of the jumbled nature of the writing, it takes a while to really get to know them. However, after sticking through it, I ended up really appreciating characters that I wasn't even a fan of in the beginning, such as Scrap.

The world is created very slowly, which is part of why it is difficult to get into the book. For the first half, it feels like not a whole lot really happens. It is in some form of introduction to the fairies' situation and flashbacks to the other events before and during the war. So it is all feels like a very long set up for the events happening in the second half. Also I feel like I only got bits and pieces about the different races and never really got the full picture. Honestly I wish that more of the world was explained. But I guess that is part of the history that this book tries to imitate, that no one knows everything and that history is just one person or race's point of view. 

This book tries to do a lot. The book is a commentary on history using the races of mainly fairies, gnomes, and tightropers. (Also don't ask me what a tightroper is. From what I get, they have two toes, spit ropes from their mouths, and apparently spin taffy in their mouths? I don't even know.) The book is written by an unreliable narrator, a fairy named Scrap. Throughout the book, we learn just how much of an unreliable narrator he is, and it is all done in a very unique way of writing a history book. So even though I thought "why is there someone saying they need to add a map or take this part out" at first, this strange writing style becomes clearer. Eventually. It takes a while.

Okay so fair warning, this book is weird. Like really weird. But I kind of like how strange it was. Many stories with fairies and such are too sparkles and good feelings for me. A History of Glitter and Blood is not. Most fairies have bits that have been eaten by gnomes (and even more creepy is that the fairies are so nonchalant about it), three of the main characters work as prostitutes for the gnomes, and racism of these fairytale creatures is a huge part of the story. This is not a happy little story about fairies. It is gritty and grotesque, and I enjoyed that. Though not going to lie, I really am still a little creeped out by the fact that fairies still feel their body parts after they have been cut off or eaten by gnomes. So gross! Mad respect for the idea process that crafted that, but still it gives me the heeby-geebies.

One detail about A History in Glitter and Blood was how surprisingly open it was with sexuality. In fact, sexuality doesn't even seem to be an issue at all! It was actually quite refreshing, and I loved the way it was handled in the book. Relationships between both genders seemed normal, and there was no issue with characters being intimate with both genders. It was very interesting how this was incorporated into the story seamlessly. 

Rating: 3 out of 5. A History in Glitter and Blood is a book that you have to muscle through to really understand. You may want to give up on it because it is weird as hell at first, but when you start to understand it's weirdness, you learn to appreciate it. So while I still feel a bit confused and a bit weirded out by the book, I am glad that I kept reading.

Monthly Rewind: June/ July

Monday, August 3, 2015

Monthly Rewind is a monthly blog feature that looks back on each month, including a bit about each month for me, blog posts, books I've read over the month, my five monthly favorites, and my monthly TBR list.

Long time no talk, lovelies. It's been quite a few busy months. I have read quite a bit but blogged barely any. Lots to working on VISA and school stuff, helping my mom by proofreading her PhD paper,  and traveling to New Mexico and San Diego. Spent my third very tiring and fun week at SDCC! I came back with signed posters from The 100 and DC Legend's of Tomorrow, collectable Skottie Young Marvel pins and Daredevil shirt, and a 62 signed and free books. It's been busy but great!

Books read these two months: 11
June: The Material Girls, Nimona, Ink and Bone, The Memory Hit, Lois Lane: Fallout
July: Silver in the Blood, Golden Son (Red Rising Trilogy #2), Illuminae, Everything Everything, Armada, Blood and Salt
Book reviews: 3
Favorite book of the months: June: Nimona   July: Illuminae

TV: Sense8 and Avatar: The Last Airbender
Have you watched this masterpiece yet?! Sense8 is ah-maz-ing! It is a little slow and confusing to start because there are 8 main characters, but by the 3rd episode, I was hooked. I loved all of the characters especially Capheus, Nomi, Sun, and Lito (and Will, Riley, Wolfgang, and Kala. Damn it that's all of them...) I just love all of the representation in the show, and the way that all the characters are there for each other to listen to and comfort but also to protect and kickass. If you need something to watch, watch this!

This July I have been doing an Avatar: The Last Airbender rewatch (and somehow haven't watched any new episodes of my favorite show Teen Wolf, oops). I haven't watched the show in a while and I just turned it on one day and then I just couldn't stop! It is such a fun but complicated show that is just timeless. Plus I feel that Sokka and I are pretty much the same person.

Food: New Mexican Green Chile
Oh boy, it makes me hungry just thinking about it. I only get green chile maybe twice a year when I visit my grandma in New Mexico, and it is really rough because it is my favorite food EVER. It is pretty much just roasted and chopped green chiles, a little flour, a little meat, and water, and I can eat bowls of that gorgeous spicy food. I honestly wish that I didn't bring it up because now I can't eat it!

Beauty/ Fashion: La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 Mineral Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid
Other than being a mouthful to say, this product is amazing. I am a super pale person, add that to the fact that I spend most of my time inside reading, and it all equals that I get sunburned very easily. For example, yesterday I went on a walk to the mailbox to mail a letter and back which was about 15 minutes of sun time without sunscreen, and I woke up with a little sunburn. Yeah, welcome to my life. So I always need a good sunscreen that goes with my sensitive skin. But I hate the thick sunscreen-smelling sunscreens! So this one is absolute perfection! It is super light and it doesn't have that gross smell. It doesn't feel like I am wearing anything and is super protecting for my skin. This has saved my skin!

Music: SDCC15 End of the Line playlist
Lines at every convention, especially SDCC, are epically long. Like time it takes to read War and Peace long. So for that, I decided to make playlist to keep me pumped up for the day's adventures. It features music that reminds me of different fandoms and lots of I Fight Dragons. Because you can't have a nerdy playlist without I Fight Dragons?!

Person/Thing: Noelle Stevenson
Guess who I got to meet at SDCC? That's right! The amazing talented Noelle Stevenson! In case you weren't aware, I have been a huge fan of her art and writing for a long long time. I have been following her blog Gingerhaze for years, I own a few of her prints (both Hipster Hobbits and Broship of the Rings), I adore and collect the comics she writes for, I have most of her variant covers that she has drawn (still need to snag the Runaways one!), and of course I have read Nimona online and in the book. Yeah, not obsessed at all. Completely midlevel fangirl right here. So this month I was lucky enough to meet her at Comic Con and get her to sign a Nimona book and a few Lumberjanes comics. I didn't make a total fool out of myself, thank goodness, and it was so great to meet her!

Actually this month's TBR is in my 3rd Annual ARC August post! I am so excited to be doing this challenge and try to read more of my ARCs!

How was June/July for you all? Any favorite that you want to share or have you read any of the books that I have read this month?