Monday, 29 May 2017

Discussion: Using a Female Protag's Insecurities Against Her To Create Conflict is Not OK

Discussion: Using a Female Protag's Insecurities Against Her To Create Conflict is Not OK

There's a trope I've seen come up a number of times - from what I remember, only in YA novels with a fantasy element, though I'm sure it's something that it could work, given some tweaking, in any other genre - that troubles. I've not seen anyone else talk about it, so I thought I would bring it up.

It's the trope where a girl's insecurities and self-doubt are used against her for the sole purpose of creating conflict. She doubts, and then everything goes wrong. (This is a trope that could be used on boys, too, but I'm talking about girls because girls are the protags in the books I can remember that use this.)

Sunday, 28 May 2017

A Diversified Bookcase with Simon James Green

A Diversified Bookcase is a feature where authors of diverse YA recommend other diverse YA novels by other authors - sometimes to us, sometimes to their characters. Today, Simon James Green, debut author of UKYA novel Noah Can't Even, is stopping by to recommend some books to his main characters, Noah and Harry.

Simon James Green

There’s nothing I enjoy more than recommending some great books to people – and what better people to recommend them to than my own characters from Noah Can’t Even! Noah and Harry both love to read, and I’ve got some fab diverse books lined up for them today, that I think they’ll both appreciate!

Friday, 26 May 2017

Review: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani ChokshiThe Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi (bought) - Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.
From Goodreads.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Discussion: Why Do I Find it Difficult to Call Myself a Diverse Book Blogger?

Discussion: Why Do I Find it Difficult to Call Myself a Diverse Book Blogger?

As you may have noticed from some of my previous reviews on the subject, I have a mental illness - anxiety. In general, I have no problem admitting it, no problem talking about it. Specific to book blogging, I have no problem reviewing books with characters who have anxiety and discussing the representation and how I relate (or not - I've yet to read a book featuring a character who has anxiety that I thought had bad rep, but I've not always related to certain specifics of a characters mental illness; not everyone who has anxiety - or any mental illness - experiences it in exactly the same way).

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Review: Assassin's Fate by Robin Hobb

Assassin's Fate by Robin HobbAssassin's Fate by Robin Hobb (borrowed) - WARNING! I cannot review this book without spoiling the others in the series, and the series that come before. Read no further if you're planning on reading this series/the other series set in The Realm of the Elderlings and don't want it spoilt for you.

The final book in the Fitz and the Fool trilogy.

Prince FitzChivalry Farseer’s daughter Bee was violently abducted from Withywoods by Servants of the Four in their search for the Unexpected Son, foretold to wield great power. With Fitz in pursuit, the Servants fled through a Skill-pillar, leaving no trace. It seems certain that they and their young hostage have perished in the Skill-river.

Clerres, where White Prophets were trained by the Servants to set the world on a better path, has been corrupted by greed. Fitz is determined to reach the city and take vengeance on the Four, not only for the loss of Bee but also for their torture of the Fool. Accompanied by FitzVigilant, son of the assassin Chade, Chade’s protégé Spark and the stableboy Perseverance, Bee's only friend, their journey will take them from the Elderling city of Kelsingra, down the perilous Rain Wild River, and on to the Pirate Isles.

Their mission for revenge will become a voyage of discovery, as well as of reunions, transformations and heartrending shocks. Startling answers to old mysteries are revealed. What became of the liveships Paragon and Vivacia and their crews? What is the origin of the Others and their eerie beach? How are liveships and dragons connected?

But Fitz and his followers are not the only ones with a deadly grudge against the Four. An ancient wrong will bring them unlikely and dangerous allies in their quest. And if the corrupt society of Clerres is to be brought down, Fitz and the Fool will have to make a series of profound and fateful sacrifices.

ASSASSIN’S FATE is a magnificent tour de force and with it Robin Hobb demonstrates yet again that she is the reigning queen of epic fantasy.
From Goodreads.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

The Ramadan Readathon - Why It's Important & What I Plan to Read

Ramadan Readathon

Something exciting is happening in June! Nadia of Words Beneath the Wings and Zoya of We Are All Critics have joined together to create the Ramadan Readathon - readathon dedicated to reading books by Muslim authors throughout June, coinciding with Ramadan.

I thought this was such a great idea! It's only very recently that I've found, through Twitter, just how few YA books by Muslim authors there are. A small number have come out recently/will be coming out this year in the US, but not all of those are coming out in the UK. This thread on Twitter from author of MG debut The Gauntlet, Karuna Riazi, shows how few are being published in the US through 2017 - 2018, and the numbers are not anywhere near enough. Thinking back over my own reading, I think I've only read one book by a Muslim author. Just one. And this isn't ok.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Review: The Seafarer's Kiss by Julia Ember

The Seafarer's Kiss by Julia EmberThe Seafarer's Kiss by Julia Ember (review copy) - Having long-wondered what lives beyond the ice shelf, nineteen-year-old mermaid Ersel learns of the life she wants when she rescues and befriends Ragna, a shield-maiden stranded on the mermen’s glacier. But when Ersel’s childhood friend and suitor catches them together, he gives Ersel a choice: say goodbye to Ragna or face justice at the hands of the glacier’s brutal king.

Determined to forge a different fate, Ersel seeks help from Loki. But such deals are never as one expects, and the outcome sees her exiled from the only home and protection she’s known. To save herself from perishing in the barren, underwater wasteland and be reunited with the human she’s come to love, Ersel must try to outsmart the God of Lies.
From Goodreads.