Monthly Archives: September 2015

Blog Tour – Silver Tongue

Silver Tongue

Title: Silver Tongue

Author: AshleyRose Sullivan

2015 – Historical Fiction

Rating: 4/5

Source: TLC Book Tours

The Story: After the colonies lose the Revolutionary War, the land is divided into three territories – New Britannia, Nueva Espana, and Nouvelle France. Now it’s 1839, which is going to prove a year of upheaval and change for Claire Poissant and her friends Phileas and Sam. First, there’s Claire’s magical gift of persuasion, which can cause others to follow her will. Then there’s Phileas, who opposes his family’s expectations and is bullied because of his sexuality. And Sam is cursed, an inherited curse that changed the very course of history. The three friends embark on a journey of adventure and revenge, meeting new friends and allies along the way that will change them forever.

Thoughts: Anyone interested in reading this novel should realize that this isn’t your standard historical fiction. This is alternative history, set in a world where the United States never existed. It’s in this divided world that our main characters must navigate an assortment of challenges, personal setbacks, and more. Although the alternative history isn’t played up as often as in other books of the same type, the subtleness of it all was just right.

I really loved the characters, main and otherwise. Our three main characters each have completely unique personalities and challenges to overcome, and there are events that definitely test their friendship. So it was completely realistic in that aspect. In fact, it was super relatable – it made me think about the fights I have with my roommates, who are my best friends. Even when we have a bad argument, I know that our friendship will emerge all the stronger for it. So I loved the depictions of their friendship. The other characters were all strong as well. Whether an ally or villain, the characters were dynamic and believable.

Speaking of those supporting characters, there were a number of cameos from some famous names throughout history. Claire and friends meet P.T. Barnum on their journey, where he tries to convince Claire to join his traveling show. She declines of course, having her own personal agenda to deal with. The group also befriends William Frankenstein, who struggles with the definition of what it means to be “human.”

I read the book pretty quickly and enjoyed it all the way through. For fans of YA historical fiction with just a touch of the supernatural, this book should fit the bill nicely!

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! is a weekly meme hosted over at Book Journey that allows bloggers to post a sort of wrap-up of the past week while also looking to the week ahead. Without further ado…

Last Week: We got my sister moved in on Saturday without too much fuss. The process went quickly, and she’s settled in nicely for now. I’m still a little nervous – you know, new person to adapt to, a little dog that will have to get used to our cat, new routines. But so far, so good.

I’m steadily making progress through Lovecraft’s Tales as part of a roomie reading challenge with Katie – the stories are a bit dense and we haven’t had much time to dedicate to the challenge, but we’ll get there eventually. Same with The Winter People – I’m listening on my extremely short commutes, so it’s taking a while. So it’s a relief to have other shorter, lighter reads that I can zoom through as my “regular” reading.

Posts:

Maplecroft by Cherie Priest The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie

Currently Reading:

  • Tales – H.P. Lovecraft
  • The Winter People – Jennifer McMahon (audio)
  • The WikiLeaks Files: The World According to US Empire – Julian Assange

Tales The Winter People The WikiLeaks Files: The World According to US Empire

Looking Ahead: More of the same. Work. Game night. Reading. Catching up on reality TV. Getting in the Halloween spirit with movies and decorating. Maybe some naps or early nights, if this exhaustion keeps me feeling the way I feel right now.

Ghostlight Straight to Hell: True Tales of Deviance, Debauchery, and Billion-Dollar Deals The Indifferent Stars Above: The Harrowing Saga of a Donner Party Bride

 

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Doing Dewey’s Nonfiction Book Club – The Sixth Extinction Part 2

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One of my favorite things about being part of this community is joining with other bloggers to participate in a challenge or read-along or some other sort of bookish project. I especially love read-alongs because they often expand my reading horizons and I get to answer discussion questions. I love discussion questions! This month over at Doing Dewey, we’re reading Elizabeth Kolbert’s The Sixth Extinction.

If you want to read my discussion answers for the first half of the book, check those out here.

Did you learn anything from this book that surprised you?

I learned a ton! I had never heard of ocean acidification, I apparently had a huge knowledge gap regarding the Neanderthals, and I didn’t know that all of this science was quite so recent! I was really impressed by all of the facts that she managed to cram into each chapter – history, science, geography!

Have you ever participated in any citizen-science projects, such as bird counts?

I haven’t. To be honest, I’m not sure these things existed. And even if I knew about them, I’m not sure that I thought regular, everyday people could participate. I think I would want to help out, but I would be scared to screw everything up. It’s like, what they’re doing is so important, what if I do something wrong?

Still, this is something people should know about. I feel like if you could form a good partnership between schools and community organizations, projects like this would be great hands-on type activities to get kids interested in science!

Are human-driven extinctions inherently bad or unnatural? As Kelly asked in our discussion, should this be considered natural selection?

I think human-drive extinctions go way beyond natural selection. I think natural selection is we win in a fight, so we get to survive. We use resources to eat and survive. You know, primal needs. Instead, we dominate. We kill things because we can. We expand because of greed. We are driven by what we want now, instead of what we need.

Do you think that programs attempting to keep otherwise extinct or nearly extinct animals alive in zoos are worthwhile?

I want to believe so. I want to believe that we can successfully build populations and reintroduce animals to the wild. The truth is though, after growing up in such an environment, it’s gotta be hard for animals to adapt into an environment where they suddenly have to take care of themselves. I know in some cases, these projects are super effective. Others are not. So I’ll go with yes. It’s better to at least try than just stand by and watch.

Were you surprised the author’s conclusion was so bleak?

By the time I got to the end, no. The book is fairly bleak from the beginning. Chapter after chapter, I was growing a bit more hopeless, to be honest. Especially because she didn’t really offer up any suggestions as to how to change things.

What did you think of the book overall?

It was a bit dry. Honestly, the more I read, the more bogged down I got. But I’m glad I read the whole thing. I think the book is important, even if it could use some humor or a more narrative tone. I also wish the book was better structured and had a chapter at the end on some things we can do to change our future into a more positive one. But I don’t regret reading this book at all.

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