ARC Review- Yvain: The Knight of the Lion

Yvain
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Title: Yvain: The Knight of the Lion
Author: M. T. Anderson
Illustrator: Andrea Offermann
Type: Graphic Novel
Genre: Fantasy and/or Historical Fistion
Length: 144 pgs
Published by: Candlewick Press
Pub date: March 14th, 2017
Format: Paperback ARC
Source: I won this ARC via a raffle at Rochester Teen Book Fest

My Rating: ★★★★☆

See other ratings and reviews at Goodreads, then check out the author’s and illustrator’s websites!


The short version: This was a fun, easy read. If you’re looking to break into graphic novels or Arthurian Tales for the first time, this is a great place to start.Read More »

Mixed Feeling About This Historical Gender-Bend

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Title: And I Darken
Author: Kiersten White
Type: Fiction
Genre: Goodreads has it listed as a YA Fantasy, but it seems more like a gender-swapped Historical Fiction
Length: 475 pgs
Published by: Delacorte Press
Pub date: June 28th, 2016
Format: Hard cover
Source: I purchased this book from Amazon.

My Rating: ★★★★☆

See other ratings and reviews on Goodreads, then, checkout the author’s website!


The short version: For the most part, I enjoyed Kiersten White’s book. A sort of gender swap historical fiction, And I Darken kept me wanting more from beginning to end.Read More »

Another Great Addition to a Great Series

28260587
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Title: Empire of Storms
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Type: Fiction
Genre: YA Fantasy
Length: 693 pages
Published by: Bloomsbury Publishing
Pub Date: Sept 6th, 2016
Format: Harcover
Source: I purchased this book for myself via Amazon.

See other ratings and reviews on Goodreads, then checkout the author’s website!


*This review will contain unmarked spoilers for the rest of the series (otherwise, everything would be a spoiler)

**One quick disclaimer: I would definitely recommend reading the novellas before this book. A lot of the favors called in and many of the people visited are introduced in the novellas, and having read them will definitely make this book more enjoyable.**

The short version:
I LOVED this book. There are very few things I would change, and I think it makes a great addition to the Throne of Glass family.Read More »

“Wow” Doesn’t Begin to Cover It

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Title: Filthy Labors
Author: Lauren Marie Schmidt
Type: Poetry
Length: 104 pages
Published by: Northwestern University Press
Pub Date: Apr 15, 2017
Format: PDF
Source: A digital copy was provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

See other ratings and reviews at Goodreads, then check out the author’s website!

 


The short version: If you only read one book of poetry this year, let it be this one. As someone who loves poetry, I cannot recommend it highly enough. It was beautifully written, and provides incredible insight to those who feel most forgotten in the course of humanity.

The long version: Let me first say, I am in awe of this book. The last poetry book that I read, I finished in a day. It was a quick, easy read that left me feeling pretty good about myself afterward. But Lauren Schmidt’s Filthy Labors, with its poems on family, religion, and the Haven House for Women and Children, didn’t allow me to do that.

Despite the fact that this book had less than a hundred pages of poetry, it took me four days to read it. It wasn’t that it was difficult to read or unenjoyable. The reason I read so much slower than usual was because so many of the poems were so beautifully written, that I was afraid of reading this book too fast; I didn’t want any of the poems to get lost amidst the rest.

When I say these poems are some of the most well-written poems I’ve read, there’s a lot that comes into play. Each section of poetry is prefaced by a quote from Walt Whitman, which sets up the perfect framework for the following poems. The lines are full of musicality and lyricism; there’s so much rhythm and internal rhyme and assonance that I actually had to read many of them out loud, because I just wanted so desperately to hear them instead of just read them. The structure of the poems is involved, too. There’s a healthy balance between free-form poems and poems that are more traditionally structured; you’ll see a smattering of villanelles, pantoums, and other poem formats. Line and stanza breaks are in the perfect places to imply double meanings, or to set the speed and tone of the poem. Even the order in which the poems are printed worked its magic on me, pushing me to read more right up to the end.

Despite how amazingly well-written these poems are, this is not a book to read if you’re looking for something that will allow you to sit there and feel good about yourself afterward. This is much more a call to action and, at the very least, contemplation. Schmidt doesn’t come across as preachy or judgmental, but in her explorations of her own dealings with family members and other people in her life, she challenges her readers to question how they themselves have treated and thought about their fellow humans. (There were several times when I was just sitting there thinking something like, “I can’t believe you would say that about your own grandfa– Listen, I may have thought it before, but YOU’RE the one who wrote it down and published it!!” But, of course, that’s pretty much what she’s getting at.) She also questions why we sometimes think of helping others as a sort of filthy chore, and what we are doing to change those thoughts.

Long story short, this was an amazing collection of poetry, and I can’t wait for its publication date so I can buy a hardcopy to keep on my poetry shelf. If you have any interest in reading poetry, I would definitely find a copy of Filthy Labors for yourself!

Overall, I gave Filthy Labors 5 stars:

5-stars


Thanks for reading! If you plan on reading this book, let me know why, or, if you’ve already read it, let me know what you think in the comments below!

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