Sunday Sum~Up

Sunday Sum_Up (1)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer that I am linking my Sunday Sum-Ups with. Stop by and say hello!

This is my first weekly recap in a few weeks due to a Small Health Break and then an unexpected back injury that has left me with nerve damage. I am currently on a heavy round of medications to combat pain and inflammation while I await my next follow up appointment to reassess where I am at with it all. Needless to say, my return has been slower than expected and my writing subpar. I am quite honestly, a bit of a train wreck lately 😉

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But on the plus side, the restrictions and bedrest have meant plenty of fantastic reads! The blog should pick up more once I start to feel better and I am looking forward to sharing some of my recent reads.


Recent Reviews

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Currently Reading

I have made the difficult decision to shelf 1Q84 for now. Between the increased meds and my current mood, I just cannot muster the appropriate attention for this book (and I feel like it deserves more from me). But I will be returning to it!

the_thiefThe Thief
By Megan Whalen Turner

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The king’s scholar, the magus, believes he knows the site of an ancient treasure. To attain it for his king, he needs a skillful thief, and he selects Gen from the king’s prison. The magus is interested only in the thief’s abilities.

What Gen is interested in is anyone’s guess. Their journey toward the treasure is both dangerous and difficult, lightened only imperceptibly by the tales they tell of the old gods and goddesses.


Other Happenings

“The unread story is not a story; it is little black marks on wood pulp. The reader, reading it, makes it live: a live thing, a story.”
~Ursula K. Le Guin

What are you reading this week? Drop me a line with a recommendation or a title you recently enjoyed!

Cheers,
Danielle ❤

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You Choose, I Read: The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed

28096541The Nowhere Girls
By Amy Reed
Publisher: Simon Pulse
ISBN: 9781481481731
Pages: 408
Genre: YA Contemporary/Feminism

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Three misfits come together to avenge the rape of a fellow classmate and in the process trigger a change in the misogynist culture at their high school transforming the lives of everyone around them in this searing and timely story.

Who are the Nowhere Girls?

They’re everygirl. But they start with just three:

Grace Salter is the new girl in town, whose family was run out of their former community after her southern Baptist preacher mom turned into a radical liberal after falling off a horse and bumping her head.

Rosina Suarez is the queer punk girl in a conservative Mexican immigrant family, who dreams of a life playing music instead of babysitting her gaggle of cousins and waitressing at her uncle’s restaurant.

Erin Delillo is obsessed with two things: marine biology and Star Trek: The Next Generation, but they aren’t enough to distract her from her suspicion that she may in fact be an android.

When Grace learns that Lucy Moynihan, the former occupant of her new home, was run out of town for having accused the popular guys at school of gang rape, she’s incensed that Lucy never had justice. For their own personal reasons, Rosina and Erin feel equally deeply about Lucy’s tragedy, so they form an anonymous group of girls at Prescott High to resist the sexist culture at their school, which includes boycotting sex of any kind with the male students.

Told in alternating perspectives, this groundbreaking novel is an indictment of rape culture and explores with bold honesty the deepest questions about teen girls and sexuality.


My Thoughts

I have so many! The Nowhere Girls was selected by LiaLost in a Story as part of my You Choose, I Read feature. And I have spent every day since I picked it up thanking my lucky stars that Lia’s selection was drawn! I devoured this book with my heart and soul! I want to sing its praise from the rooftop and quote about 50% of it (I have over 20 tabs in this book). Of course, I will try to leave most of the actual book for your own discovery, but I think you get the idea here. Books like this are the reason I read outside of my comfort zone!

*Trigger Warnings: Rape, sexual assault & violence.

The skinny..

This is the story of what happens when outcasted and fed up young girls decide they have had enough! When the rape of a fellow high school student is wrongfully swept under the rug, three young women decide it is time to set matters right and stand up against the misogynistic culture in their town and high school. What starts as an idea to lend support to fellow female students, quickly evolves into something much more empowering as The Nowhere Girls band together and find strength, a voice, and self-worth through one another and their common cause. (Feel free to read the synopsis for more details, but I cannot recommend exploring this one enough).

“So often, the key to survival is mutation, change, and most of the time that change is nothing more than an accident. Sometimes it’s the freaks of nature who end up being the strongest.”

What I appreciated..

  • Characters, characters, characters! This book is brimming with a diverse and beautiful cast of female protagonists that come from very different walks of life. And we are given a first-hand look into each through alternating point of views.
  • The varying cast allows a more in-depth exploration of family dynamics and struggles within the setting and how they impact each girls emotions and actions.
  • The author utilizes all cards fully exploring not only rape culture but many other relevant and heavy topics such as sexism, discrimination, victim blaming, the list goes on and on. She covers so much! And she does so while exploring the challenges young adult face in society and among each other as they mature and evolve.
  • This book continually provokes thought and solicits discussion.
  • This book’s message is important and needs to be heard. It is moving and empowering! And Reed’s writing is fluid and intelligent, delivering it with finesse and success.

“Silence does not mean yes. No can be thought and felt but never said. It can be screamed silently on the inside. It can be in the wordless stone of a clenched fist, fingernails digging into palms. Her lips sealed. Her eyes closed.”

Challenges some may encounter..

  • The author does not attempt to soften the content and themes contained within. So while I admired this, it is a graphic read that will not be for everyone. Please consider that before making your decision. I am always happy to answers any questions.
  • The ending while gratifying, felt slightly unrealistic.

The Nowhere Girls was an unexpected read that I feel better for having experienced. I learned more about myself during my time spent between its pages and feel that we all could. It doesn’t promise an easy feel-good read (nor should it), but it delivers something of incredible value during a time I feel it is most needed. I cannot recommend it enough. If you pick it up, drop me a line, I want to talk about this book!

tea cupPair with your favorite green tea blend because this one will have you thinking.

Grab a Copy: Amazon.com Book Depository

*Disclosure: I use affiliate links and may earn a small commission for purchases made through them. Click here for details.


Meet The Blogger Who Selected This Book

lia-profileLia @ Lost in a Story’s Bio

I’m Lia, I’m 21 and from the Netherlands. I blog on Lost In A Story about books and writing, which are two of my favourite things. I read a lot of YA and love books about feminism, which is why I picked The Nowhere Girls for Danielle. My hobbies include drawing and staring at the void called my laptop and letting it suck up all my time.

I picked The Nowhere Girls because it is such a powerful and empowering story about three girls coming together and fighting sexism. It features an amazing female friendship and diverse characters, and it’s beautifully written. I just adored it!

Follow Lia: Twitter  Instagram  Blog  Goodreads


Happy Reading,

Danielle ❤

Connect With Me: FacebookTwitterTumblr and Instagram

Bannerless by Carrie Vaughn

bannerlessBannerless (The Coast Road #1)
By Carrie Vaughn
Publisher: Mariner Books
ISBN: 9780544947306
Pages: 274
Genre: Science Fiction/Dystopian

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Decades after economic and environmental collapse destroys much of civilization in the United States, the Coast Road region isn’t just surviving but thriving by some accounts, building something new on the ruins of what came before. A culture of population control has developed in which people, organized into households, must earn the children they bear by proving they can take care of them and are awarded symbolic banners to demonstrate this privilege. In the meantime, birth control is mandatory.

Enid of Haven is an Investigator, called on to mediate disputes and examine transgressions against the community. She’s young for the job and hasn’t yet handled a serious case. Now, though, a suspicious death requires her attention. The victim was an outcast, but might someone have taken dislike a step further and murdered him?

In a world defined by the disasters that happened a century before, the past is always present. But this investigation may reveal the cracks in Enid’s world and make her question what she really stands for.


My Thoughts

The dystopian theme is one of my absolute favorites. You simply mention it and you have my undivided attention. How it is that Bannerless escaped my clutches is beyond me. I only recently learned of this series when I received an advanced copy of the upcoming sequel. So while I was excited at the prospect of a new dystopian saga, I had little expectations as I jumped in nearly blind.

The skinny..

Due to epidemics and economic collapse, the United States is now an almost barren land with small surviving settlements that have regressed in many ways. However, the Coast Road offers hope to many in the forms of a possible future and rebuilt civilization. In efforts to thrive and avoid outgrowing the land, this remaining culture has implemented a regulated form of population control where each homestead must earn the right to expand their families and bear children. That right is signified with awarded banners. For everyone else, birth control is not optional.  When Coast Road citizen, Enid, an investigator from Haven is summoned to another settlement in regards to a mysterious death, she uncovers a possible murder that just might not only upend the whole town but the world as she understands it.

“On the wall above the kitchen door hung a piece of woven cloth, a foot square on each side, a red-and-green-checked pattern for blood and life: their banner, which the four of them had earned.” 

What I appreciated..

  • Beautifully executed world construction that immerses the reader in life along the Coast Road.
  • A unique twist on a classic concept. This is a dystopian story enshrouding a murder mystery with a true element of whodunnit.
  • Enid is a patient and well-defined character who’s portrayal offers readers a rewarding glimpse into the beginning of a new civilization and era.
  • The author offers viable aspects to man’s approach to rebuild, reclaim and even preserve some of what was.
  • An alternating timeline of our protagonist’s childhood and the present adds a nice layer of depth to her character.

“The worst storms were the ones that changed you. The ones you remembered not for how bad they objectively were, but for how much damage they did to your own world. Banners, planted in memory.”

Challenges some may encounter..

  • At times, the slow and steady pacing can feel almost sobering or emotionless.
  • Secondary characters remain almost undemonstrative and disconnected in comparison to Edin.
  • This is not a complex story with high revelations.

What Bannerless lacks in complexity it easily makes up for in a well-executed story, solid writing and the promise of something grand to come. It offers a dose of optimism in the midst of a desperate time which is often rare in this genre. I appreciated Vaughn’s decision to introduce a civilization that was making honest attempt to regain a worthwhile and constructive life. I am excited to see what direction she will take with this series and look forward to The Wild Dead.

tea cupPairs well with a nice mint and ginger tea.

Grab a Copy: Amazon.com Book Depository

*Disclosure: I use affiliate links and may earn a small commission for purchases made through them. Click here for details.

Happy Reading,

Danielle ❤

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