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.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

A Diversified Bookcase with Penny Joelson

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 Penny Joelson, debut author of UKYA novel I Have No Secrets, is stopping by to recommend some books to protagonist, Jemma.

Penny Joelson

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and in particular the way it made me think about how much we rely on our memories (even though mine is terrible!) and how hard it is to make sense of life when you can’t remember the past. I think my character Jemma, who has cerebral palsy, would enjoy it too as Flora’s experience is so different to her own but still disabling in another way. Jemma relies so much on her memory and observations that she would find it hard to imagine life with amnesia. The book also made me think about memory in relation to communication – how hard it is to communicate with others when you can’t remember what has happened. The one memory Flora has – of being kissed - is powerfully symbolic and the catalyst for an exciting adventure. One other link with Jemma’s experience in ‘I Have No Secrets’ is being treated like a much younger child. For Flora it is her mother who is infantilising her while for Jemma it is other people. The frustration of this for Flora comes across very strongly. I loved the twists and turns of the story and Flora’s unreliability as a narrator. We know about her amnesia so we can’t be sure she is seeing things correctly. A thought-provoking and entertaining read.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

A Diversified Bookcase with Allan Stratton

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 Allan Stratton, author of The Way Back Home, is stopping by to recommend two of his recent favourite diverse reads.

Allan Stratton

Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen and The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas (#OwnVoices) are two books that hit my head and heart. Nielsen’s is the story of a once-happy teen who blames herself for the death of her infant sister. Lucas’ is the story of a girl with Asperger’s and a complicated family life.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Review: Noteworthy by Riley Redgate

Noteworthy by Riley RedgateNetGalleyNoteworthy by Riley Redgate (eProof) - It’s the start of Jordan Sun’s junior year at the Kensington-Blaine Boarding School for the Performing Arts. Unfortunately, she’s an Alto 2, which—in the musical theatre world—is sort of like being a vulture in the wild: She has a spot in the ecosystem, but nobody’s falling over themselves to express their appreciation. So it’s no surprise when she gets shut out of the fall musical for the third year straight.

Then the school gets a mass email: A spot has opened up in the Sharpshooters, Kensington’s elite a cappella octet. Worshipped ... revered ... all male. Desperate to prove herself, Jordan auditions in her most convincing drag, and it turns out that Jordan Sun, Tenor 1, is exactly what the Sharps are looking for.
From Goodreads.