The Reading Week from Feb. 7

Classic Love Poems read by Richard Armitage24893051

$4 on Amazon for audio of Richard Armitage is SO worth it.  Whether you’re into Valentine’s Day, the poems are lovely and Armitage does a great job reading them, and he has a distinctive and lovely voice.  

I think poetry does so well when read aloud, it connects with me a lot more.  Two of my new loves from this audio edition are: “Annabel Lee” by Edgar Allen Poe and “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” by Christopher Marlowe.

I have listened to this three times over already this week.  So nice!

22328559The Diabolical Miss Hyde by Viola Carr

I found this book after having a bit of withdrawal after rereading my beloved London Steampunk series by Bec McMaster.  I like steampunk, but a lot of the stories seem to be, ahem, not so great.  McMaster herself recommended this one so I tried it out to feed the steampunk-shaped hole in my heart. (Probably a cog-shaped hole, right?)  

Eliza Jekyll is a police doctor, inspecting dead bodies.  She has to deal with her messed up family life, her shadow self Lizzie Hyde, getting out a being naughty, the Royal Society out there persecuting anyone who was too magical or different, and don’t forget good old misogyny.  It draws off of the popular images of gothic novels, such as Frankenstein and (obvi) Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  The atmosphere is spooky, creepy, and if I’m honest, a little too gritty for me.  I did however, enjoy it despite the grit.  Actually, it was kind of what I wanted when I picked up The Girl in the Steel Corset (which just did not work for me).

The tug of war between Jekyll and Hyde was great, the way they kind of love/hate each other.  I’m conflicted about which one I would prefer if they are battling it out.

The plot was dense and active.  Viola Carr certainly knows her way around writing a book!  A few of the surprises were obvious, some were a surprise.  And sometimes Eliza Jekyll was too shortsighted with her speculation, but I could deal with it.  Although, I can NOT get a read on that whole Mr. Todd situation.

In short, I liked it.  I need a break (re: dense and gritty), but I have put The Devious Dr. Jekyll on my “For Later Shelf” on my library account.

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken10576365

I am super duper late to this party and I know it.  I got this audiobook from Half Price Books over the summer, and it sat looking at me for months.  I started it up in December, but with everything going on that month, I didn’t end up really focused on the story until last week.  And boy howdy does it deliver! (Boy howdy?)

Bracken is a good writer, the story, world, and characters all make sense and hold together, which is not always the case in YA dystopian.  (Looking at you, Divergent.)

I’m not sure this series needs much summary, as I am the second to last person on the planet to read it.  Basically, Ruby survived an illness that gave all the kids in the US psychic powers.  Or killed them.  She escapes from one of the camps where the surviving kids are kept, hooks up with some other runaways, and basically tries to stay alive and uncaptured in rural West Virginia.

I am totally taken with Bracken as a writer.  I’ve got plans to nab Never Fade and In the Afterlight from the library tomorrow.  I wish I’d read these a little sooner when I wasn’t feeling so tapped out on dytopians (and first person—geez publishers!), but I totally get the hype now.  Bracken is GOOOOOOD.

21947304The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy by Alexandra Bracken

This hold came in while I was listening to The Darkest Minds, and being the Star Wars: A New Hope fangirl I am, I HAD to read it.  Bracken gives great depth and background to scenes that happened off camera.  Leia was my favorite, maybe because she’s not given a lot of background in the movie.  This Princess Leia would TOTALLY strangle Jabba, steal a speeder bike thing, bark orders to help her people as the walls fall down around her, and tartly sass an Imperial general.  I would like to read lots of things from the perspective of badass-yet-conflicted-human Leia.  Please, Ms. Bracken?

Among my other favorite parts were when Han and Luke put on the stolen Stormtrooper outfits.  Those things were DEFO stinky and I am so glad that Bracken grounded us with that.  I actually even laughed outright at that part.  Final thought, why yes, this will be going onto my shelves.

Currently Reading:

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige 

and Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein (audio)

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