Top Ten Tuesdays : Top 10 Summer TBR Picks

Top Ten Tuesdays is a set of top ten posts hosted by The Broke and Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Books On My Summer TBR List.

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Birthday Book Buy!

It was my birthday this weekend, and I got a couple of gift cards to Barnes and Noble and Thriftbooks. Together with a judicious application of coupons, these netted me a grand total of twelve books (five new, seven used)!

Books (and why I’m so excited to finally have/order them) behind the cut!

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Review: These Broken Stars

Title: These Broken Stars
Author: Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Format: Hardcover

The Plot: Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen are from different worlds. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the galaxy, while Tarver, a recently-promoted war hero, hails from humbler origins. Nothing would normally come of their chance meeting on the starship Icarus, but when the Icarus crashes on a mysterious planet, Lilac and Tarver must learn to rely on each other in order to survive.

The Verdict: This book is awesome. I’m not hugely into YA science fiction, but this novel managed to overcome any misgivings I might have had and catapult its way onto my favorites list. Although the worldbuilding could have been better, the intriguing storyline, fantastic characters, and the wonderfully believable relationship that blooms between Tarver and Lilac more than make up for that.

The Rating: 9/10

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Review: The Grendel Affair

Title: The Grendel Affair
Author: Lisa Shearin
Format: Mass Market Paperback

The Plot: Makenna Fraser, a seer, loves her new job at SPI (Supernatural Protection & Investigations), an organization that protects humans and supernatural beings from each other while keeping humans unaware of the paranormal, but when she discovers a plot to set grendels loose in New York City on New Year’s Eve, her job description suddenly gets a lot more dangerous.

The Verdict: Although light, Lisa Shearin’s debut is a great little (literally; it doesn’t hit 300 pages) urban fantasy, with an engaging protagonist and plenty of action.

The Rating: 7/10

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The Weekend Rec

Just in time for the weekend, have a book rec!

Today’s rec is Going Postal by Terry Pratchett. If you’re not familiar with the Discworld, the verse which Pratchett has used as the setting for several dozen novels, Going Postal is an excellent (and hilarious) entry point.

A light fantasy about a con artist named Moist von Lipwig (yes, really!), Going Postal’s plot revolves around Moist’s attempts to rehabilitate the postal service in exchange for not being executed for his crimes. Moist’s flailing flounders at this difficult task, as well as his wooing of a chain-smoking cynic named Adora Belle Dearheart (yes. Really.) are hilarious, and Moist’s growth is as cute as it is well-written.

Perfect for those seeking some amusing escapism from the work drudge.

On YA and #PromoteaYAInstead

I’m still kind of a newb at the whole YA fandom thing. I know about the most popular titles and could give you plot summaries of the biggest series, but I’ve only a small percentage of these YA titles since I got into the genre late last year.

One thing I can tell you about YA, though, is why I like reading it so much and why, though I’m nearer thirty than twenty, I don’t feel even remotely embarrassed to admit it. Simply put, I started reading YA for the women.

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Reading: Books I’m Looking Forward To

Done for the Bout of Books challenge on River City Reading, here are some books I’m really looking forward to reading this year, all of which are slated to be released later this year.

Coming out this year:

1. Will the Real Prince Charming Please Stand Up?–Ella Martin. Admittedly, I first heard of this book due to a slight twitter-acquaintance with Martin. However, early reviews look good, and the premise (a contemporary, YA take on Snow White set *after* Prince Charming rides in on his white horse) has me hooked and waiting impatiently for this July 1st release.

2. Dashing–Elliot James. Charming, James’ first book in the Pax Arcana series, was a light but hugely entertaining urban fantasy starring a ridiculous werewolf who teamed up with a Valkyrie and a lesbian priest and featured chapter titles that often had puns in them. I think it’s fair to say Dashing is one of the books I’m most looking forward to this year. Release date is September 2nd.

3. Skin Game–Jim Butcher If you’re any sort of urban fantasy fan and haven’t heard of the Dresden Files, I have no idea where you’ve been. If you have heard of it but haven’t read it, I highly suggest you do. While the first one or two books aren’t the strongest, the series really picks up quickly, and–well, I don’t want to say anything spoilery, so I’ll just say that Dang, you do not see some of those series-changing plot twists coming. Skin Game comes out May 27th.

4. The Shadow Throne–Django Wexler. The second in the Shadow Campaigns series, The Shadow Throne comes out July 1st. The first novel in the series, The Thousand Names, was one of my favorite reads of 2013: the series is a gunpowder fantasy which has both some of the best-choreographed battles and interesting characters I’ve seen in a fantasy novel in quite a while.

5. Raising Steam–Terry Pratchett. Raising Steam, the 40th Discworld novel and the third featuring Moist von Lipwig actually came out this March (having been released last November in the UK), but I am still waiting to buy it. Moist von Lipwig, an unpredictable con artist with a heart of–well, if not gold, at least some semi-precious metal–is one of my favorite Discworld characters, and if his newest adventure is even half as funny as Going Postal, I’m in.

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