The Library of Lost Things by Laura Taylor Namey — A Review

The Library of Lost ThingsThe Library of Lost Things by Laura Taylor Namey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed The Library of Lost Things. In fact, it’s my first five-star rating in a long while. It had everything that makes great books great. It was funny and pithy, and it was honest.

The Library of Lost Things follows Darcy, an almost-eighteen-year-old literary savant, as she struggles to balance her secret life at home and her public life as a high school student, book store clerk, and girl with her first real crush. Her hoarder mother obviously makes things like fitting in difficult for Darcy, but as the story progresses, Darcy recognizes a couple of painful truths about herself and how hoarding has affected more than just her social life.

Laura Taylor Namey does an excellent job of presenting a remarkable, yet flawed main character. With each chapter, more of Darcy’s personality and character are revealed. Until, by the very end, we’re presented with a wonderfully complex young adult character.

I really enjoyed the interplay between Darcy and her best friend Marisol. I think everyone needs a Marisol in their lives. She was the epitome of what it means to be a best friend. I wish more young women were able to find Marisols for themselves. I also really enjoyed the developing relationship between Darcy and Asher, her crush. It showcased Darcy’s empathetic and understanding nature, qualities we could all use a little more of.

Overall, this was just an excellent young adult (nearly new adult) read. I would call it romance-light. To me, the focus really was on Darcy’s personal growth and development. A coming-of-age story, a story about true friendship, a story about family. Highly recommend.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a review copy.

View all my reviews
Advertisements

Fortuna Sworn by K.J. Sutton — A Review

Fortuna Sworn was a fantastic little read.

Fortuna is a Nightmare on a quest to find and save her brother. Along the way she finds allies who might be enemies. Everything is so foreign and uncertain in the Unseelie court, it’s difficult to tell who is on her side and who isn’t.

Was it fresh and new? Yes, and no. Set mostly in the Unseelie court of the fae, the book is full of familiar faerie tropes. That said, I’ve never read a book from a Nightmare’s perspective. What is a Nightmare? Think: manipulates fear. Normally, I would have said a Nightmare feeds on fear, but that doesn’t seem to be the direction this author takes.

I found myself riveted by this story; I didn’t want to put it down. And as it turns out, it was just the first book in a series, so I’m very excited to read the second book when it comes out.

I particularly liked Fortuna’s spunky, spitfire nature in the face of trials and the depth of character displayed by her mate and the character called Laurie. I’m eager to find out what happens next in Fortuna’s saga.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a review copy.

View all my reviews on Goodreads.

How the Internet Happened: From Netscape to the iPhone by Brian McCullough — A Review


How the Internet Happened: From Netscape to the iPhone by Brian McCullough

RaeleighReads rating: love--coffee-png-image-52236love--coffee-png-image-52236love--coffee-png-image-52236love--coffee-png-image-52236

I never know how I’m going to feel about non-fiction books when I pick them up, whether I enjoy the subject or not. They can often be dry, boring, slog-of-a-reads. That wasn’t the case for me with Brian McCullough’s How the Internet Happened.

McCullough takes us through the history of the internet from the founding of Netscape by Marc Andreessen and Jim Clark all the way to the present day and the ubiquity of smart phones, which didn’t hit their stride until 2007 with Apple’s iPhone.

McCullough’s voice is conversational, almost peppy. I moved through each chapter with ease, often smiling at his analysis of some of the events I experienced personally as a young person in the early aughts. I still remember when Facebook first made its way through my dorm in 2005. It was an odd feeling knowing I could stay connected to all of the people I had gone to high school with, and it was even odder to recognize that we were able to keep up with each other without ever having to interact at all, without ever having to have a conversation. Go ahead and roll your eyes at me younger people. I know you want to. At that time though, the idea of an online social network was extraordinary.

I enjoyed being able to read about some of the big names behind companies I take for granted today – Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Jerry Yang and David Filo – the yahoos who started Yahoo!, Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google. And not only that, but it was really interesting to read about the dot-com bubble and eventual burst. I was about 10 when the dot-coms were having their heyday, and about 15 when that bubble burst. Of course, as a kid I had no idea what that internet thing was or the impact it would eventually have on my life.

Overall, this was a very enjoyable and informative read. It has certainly sparked my interest in reading even more accounts of this time period and the phenomenon known as the internet.

Thanks to NetGalley and W. W. Norton & Company for my review copy.

Expected publication: October 23rd 2018 by Liveright

View all my reviews on Goodreads.

The Proving by Ken Brosky — A Review


The Proving by Ken Brosky

RaeleighReads rating: love--coffee-png-image-52236love--coffee-png-image-52236love--coffee-png-image-52236love--coffee-png-image-52236

A post-apocalyptic YA series in the same vein as Veronica Roth’s Divergent, but with a science fiction angle.

After an asteroid enters Earth’s orbit, covered in creatures called Specters, life for humans is drastically altered. The specters, sort of like ghosts, sort of like large insects or animals, can kill by simply passing through you. In an effort to combat these creatures, humanity has walled itself off from them with something called Xenoshields, and they’ve divided themselves into Clans and free citizens.

The clans:  Spartans are tough, military people trained to shoot, kill, and wield machinery. Clan Athens is made up of healers, biologists, and the like. Clan Persia is full of tech geeks. Parliament is exactly what it sounds like. These are the government folks. Then there are Historians, those tasked with objectively recording (and memorizing) everything they see.

At ages 13 and 18, the Young Adults and New Adults of Earth, respectively, must go through something called the Proving. Normally, everyone stays behind the Xenoshields in their cities, but during the Proving, the New and Young Adults must go outside the walls.

In this first book, we follow Skye (Spartan), Cleo (Persian), Ben (Athenian), Gabriel (Parliament), and Seamus (Historian) along with Skye, Cleo, Ben, and Gabriel’s younger siblings as they complete the Proving. The characters are three-dimensional, complex, and at times surprising. So, I thought they were really well done. I personally felt myself drawn to Skye. She’s incredibly tough, but you can tell that she’s got one of those soft, gooey, caramel centers. I can’t wait to see how her arc plays out in the next book.

When the group first gets together they seem to be a bit of a motley crew. They don’t really mesh well and they have a tendency to argue or boast. But then, all too soon, they are outside of the walls and taking on the Proving. What follows after they pass through the Xenoshield is a hair-raising, action-packed thrill ride. And that ending! Oh my god, I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book in this series and find out what the heck has happened to our group!

Now, just one complaint because overall I enjoyed this very, very much. The story is told from alternating perspectives, and at times, they aren’t handled well. I often found myself confused at who was speaking or from whose perspective the story was being told. That was really frustrating because it caused the action and the fast pace of the story to stutter. If the alternating perspectives had been tightened up a bit more or been made clearer, this probably would have been a five-coffee-cup read for me.

I’m not sure when book two of the Earth-X Triology will be out, but I can’t wait to read it!

Happy reading, lovelies!

I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

The Gift of the Quoxxel by Richard Titus — A Review


The Gift of the Quoxxel by Richard Titus

RaeleighReads rating: love--coffee-png-image-52236love--coffee-png-image-52236love--coffee-png-image-52236love--coffee-png-image-52236

This one is a bit of an odd ball, but I kinda liked it!

Summary from Goodreads:

King Norr was not content. He longed to know the world beyond his tiny, island kingdom of Nibb. The Nibbians, however, were not a seafaring people and had no desire to travel elsewhere. Why bother, they said. What could be as perfect as Nibb?

Even so, Norr watched foreign ships come and go. They approached, hesitated, then sailed away without ever coming ashore. Why was that?

And that wasn’t the only mystery.

Who was the prankster who had set the palace afloat?

Was there a sea monster skulking the waters along shore?

Who was the little girl who sang but would not speak?

Had the Minister of Science been eaten by migrating drumbkins?

This was not the average Nibbian day. King Norr was unprepared and only hoped to get through it with as few “haddocks” as possible.

Set sail on this armchair adventure of wit and riddle. It’s an imaginative voyage to
the Isle of Nibb whose only flaw is being a little too perfect — or, at least, it was
until today.

So, King Norr is basically a bumbling idiot, but you can’t help but smile at his ridiculousness. He wants so badly to know what else is out there in the world, and why the heck people don’t ever come to the Island of Nibb?!

There are so many moving parts to this little story — Nibb and the Nibbians, pirates sailing the open ocean, a giant sea monster who is perhaps not so monsterish?, and of course, the drumbkins! What are those you ask? Well, you’ll have to read to find out. I’m not spoiling that here.

Gift of the Quoxxel is definitely bizarre. It makes me think: there was someone who fell asleep on the beach of a beautiful island (maybe after one too many piña coladas), and this was the fever dream they had. Can you see those hazy lines they use in TV and film to let you know you’re entering dream world? Squint your eyes… There they are! *ripple ripple*

This book is perfect for summer reading and beach reading (or any-time-of-year reading). It’s cute and quirky, and it’s quick. It’s also great for either children, middle grade readers, young adults, or adults — anyone can enjoy this! Now, I know school may be starting back up for some of you soon, so while you’ve got the time, take a chance on this unexpected delight.

I totally stole this gif off another review on Goodreads, but it’s just so perfect — whimsical and funny!

description

Happy reading, lovelies!