My Year in Reading: Cassie-la’s February 2015 Wrap Up

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The Boy in the Smoke: A Shades of London Book by Maureen Johnson

This prequel to Maureen Johnson’s supernatural/paranormal series Shades of London is a must read. Especially for fans of Stephen Dene. Bonus: it’s available on Wattpad for free!

Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky by Marissa Meyer

Apparently I was big on my prequel stories last month — this adorable short from Marissa Meyer’s fractured fairy tale series The Lunar Chronicles features the always confident and sassy Carswell Thorne.

The Boy Who Drew Monsters by Keith Donohue

Part monster, part ghost story, Keith Donohue’s frightening and shocking tome is suspenseful right up until the very end. And what an ending.

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Hot Off the Proverbial Presses: September 16, 2014

Stone MattressStone Mattress by Margaret Atwood

A collection of highly imaginative short pieces that speak to our times with deadly accuracy. Vintage Atwood creativity, intelligence, and humor: think Alias Grace.

Margaret Atwood turns to short fiction for the first time since her 2006 collection, Moral Disorder, with nine tales of acute psychological insight and turbulent relationships bringing to mind her award-winning 1996 novel, Alias Grace. A recently widowed fantasy writer is guided through a stormy winter evening by the voice of her late husband in “Alphinland,” the first of three loosely linked stories about the romantic geometries of a group of writers and artists. In “The Freeze-Dried Bridegroom,” a man who bids on an auctioned storage space has a surprise. In “Lusus Naturae,” a woman born with a genetic abnormality is mistaken for a vampire. In “Torching the Dusties,” an elderly lady with Charles Bonnet syndrome comes to terms with the little people she keeps seeing, while a newly formed populist group gathers to burn down her retirement residence. And in “Stone Mattress,” a long-ago crime is avenged in the Arctic via a 1.9 billion-year-old stromatolite. In these nine tales, Margaret Atwood is at the top of her darkly humorous and seriously playful game.

WHY WE’RE EXCITED: We’ve already read this short story collection (review to be posted tomorrow!) and we can confirm that it is Margaret Atwood at her darkly comedic best!

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Hot Off the Proverbial Presses: January 7, 2014

The Impossible Knife Laurie Halse AndersonThe Impossible Knife by Laurie Halse Anderson

For the past five years, Hayley Kincaid and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own.

Will being back home help Andy’s PTSD, or will his terrible memories drag him to the edge of hell, and drugs push him over? The Impossible Knife of Memory is Laurie Halse Anderson at her finest: compelling, surprising, and impossible to put down.

WHY WE’RE EXCITED: Like all Laurie Halse Anderson novels we’re sure this one is depressing but still manages to tell a gripping tale of human nature and what it means to love. Because.

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