Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Top 10 Favorite Book Covers

Top Ten Favorite Book Covers

So I discovered one of life's not-so-important questions...do I like the cover because I like the cover?  Or do I like the cover because I like the book?  I couldn't figure that out, so I decided to just stay away from favorites titles if at all possible.  This led to a realization that I have been tricked by many a pretty cover into thinking I was going to like the book.  Shame on you shiny cover.

I'm not sure if these are my FAVORITE covers, but they are definitely a few I like a whole lot.  Sometimes it's the artwork.  Sometimes it's a feeling it exudes.  Sometimes it the use of quotes and text.  Sometimes it's quirkiness.  It takes a little something to attract my attention and there was just something about these particular titles that led to me checking them out and reading them.

What are some of your favorite book covers?

The Diviners (The Diviners, #1)
1) The Diviners by Libba Bray

The Dust of 100 Dogs
2) The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King

Mothership (Ever-Expanding Universe, #1)
3) Mothership by Martin Leicht

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

4) Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School, #1)
5) Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carrier

Avalon (Avalon, #1)
6) Avalon by Mindee Arnett

Descender, Vol. 1: Tin Stars
7) Descender Vol. 1 by Jeff Lemire

The Girl from Everywhere (The Girl from Everywhere, #1)
8) The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heeling

Moon Over Manifest
9) Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool

My Lady Jane (The Lady Janies, #1)
10) My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, and Brodi Ashton

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Ramona Blue

Author: Julie Murphy
Info: Balzer & Bray, copyright 2017, 432 pages

Ramona was only five years old when Hurricane Katrina changed her life forever.

Since then, it’s been Ramona and her family against the world. Standing over six feet tall with unmistakable blue hair, Ramona is sure of three things: she likes girls, she’s fiercely devoted to her family, and she knows she’s destined for something bigger than the trailer she calls home in Eulogy, Mississippi. But juggling multiple jobs, her flaky mom, and her well-meaning but ineffectual dad forces her to be the adult of the family. Now, with her sister, Hattie, pregnant, responsibility weighs more heavily than ever.

The return of her childhood friend Freddie brings a welcome distraction. Ramona’s friendship with the former competitive swimmer picks up exactly where it left off, and soon he’s talked her into joining him for laps at the pool. But as Ramona falls in love with swimming, her feelings for Freddie begin to shift too, which is the last thing she expected. With her growing affection for Freddie making her question her sexual identity, Ramona begins to wonder if perhaps she likes girls and guys or if this new attraction is just a fluke. Either way, Ramona will discover that, for her, life and love are more fluid than they seem.

~Goodreads Description

Hmm...apparently this book is controversial.  I somehow failed to hear any of the initial problems with the book or the fallout after its release which makes me realize that I need to make time to follow book press more often.

The thing is - I don't have strong feelings for this book either way.  I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it.  In fact, it was a book I kind of forgot about as soon as I was done with it.  I ADORED Dumplin' and was hoping that Murphy's newest would have the same witty dialogue and flawed yet lovable characters, but I never really connected with Ramona and her life.

Ramona lives in a trailer park in Eulogy, Mississippi.  It was supposed to be a short term living situation after Hurricane Katrina destroyed the family home, but years later she's still there with her father and sister making the best of things.  That part of the story I enjoyed (well, enjoyed is a strong word.  I appreciated that particular storyline) - Ramona's interactions with her friends and family, especially her sister, despite the dysfunction.  Besides the absentee mother, it seemed like a group of people who genuinely liked and cared about each other even if they struggled with showing it or made horrible choices on occasion.

But this was an "issues" book, and I've discovered that "issues" books are just not my cup of tea (and was apparently the violently contentious plotline that led to hurt feelings and fallout).  I hate soap boxes and lectures, especially when it's obvious what point an author is trying to make.  Tell your story and trust that your characters, with their own actions, will get across the point.  Please don't beat me over the head with it.  Murphy doesn't get into quite that territory like some other young adult authors have, but any direct conversation about sexuality seems to walk that very fine line.  I don't care who your characters love, just write them as genuine individuals and the story will do its work.

I've also discovered that I have never ever gotten so worked up about something that I have come even close to wanting to send someone death threats.  Perhaps I'm just not an overly passionate person.  I think it's more likely that I'm just an optimistic individual who believes, for the most part, that other individuals are not intentionally trying to offend me so I don't take it personally.

I don't know - either way, this book wasn't great but it also wasn't awful, and that's all I really have to say about that.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Top 10 Titles that Made Me Hungry

Ask, and you shall receive.  While Top Ten Tuesday with The Broke and the Bookish is still on hiatus, I was craving a book list.  So Jessica at Book Plots and Polka Dots kindly came up with a topic for this week.  Titles that made me hungry...which was harder than I thought it would be.

What books have made you hungry?

1) Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
Gelato.  ALL the gelato.

2) Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Feasts.  ALL the feasts.

3) Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
Magic food.  ALL the magic food.

4) Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
Waffles and catering.  ALL the waffles and catering.

5) Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Peaches.  ALL the peaches.

6) The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Carnival food.  ALL the carnival food.

7) Soulless by Gail Carriger
Tea and biscuits.  ALL the tea and biscuits.

8) Tantalize by Cynthia Leicht Smith
Italian food.  ALL the Italian food.

9) Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Tarts.  ALL the tarts.

10) Bang by Barry Lyga
Pizza.  ALL the pizza.
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