Teaser Tuesdays 9.27.11

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser: 

“Father says you’re mad,” I said. “Are you Mama?”

~page 8.

On Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children

One of my tasks at the public library is to “finish processing books” which is a fancy way of saying I take a new book, glue in its pocket, make sure the spine label matches the pocket information, stamp it twice with our library’s name and release it to the public. Of course I also read the jackets of the books that look interesting and check out the ones I like most before they reach the shelves. Good times.

A few months ago, I finished processing Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children. It’s one of the most uniquely designed novels I’ve ever seen.  I wanted to read it immediately, but I put it on the shelves because I didn’t want to hoard it while I was in the midst of another thick novel. A patron checked it out, and I snagged it when it was returned.

The story turned out to be a strange and lovely as the physical design. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children reminded me of a vintage X-men–a wise woman provides safety and instruction to Peculiars from all over the world, helping them understand and use their special gifts. Miss Peregrine’s orphanage exists in Wales in the 1940s, in the midst of WWII.

It’s difficult to review this novel without giving away its secrets. The novel takes place in the present…sort of.  The narrator Jacob is a rich but socially awkward sixteen-year-old who seeks to learn more about his grandfather, a Jewish orphan who lived at Miss Peregrine’s orphanage as a teen. Jacob learns that he isn’t just suffering delusions; instead, the world is a darker more magical place than he realized.

For me the highlights of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children were:

  • The vintage photographs. They are real, gathered from several collectors. Ransom Riggs fashioned his story around these bizarre photographs.
  • Jacob’s voice. He’s an honest, intelligent but flawed character.
  • The descriptions and metaphors. They are far from cliché.

I wonder if there will be a sequel. I feel like the novel is strong on its own, and that somehow the story might suffer if continued. However, I’d love to read any other story by this author. I hope he is working on something new.



On The Iron King

I finally finished The Iron King by Julie Kagawa last week.  It took me a long time to read this novel just because my life got busy. The Iron King is by no means slow-paced; this novel actually manages to be both fast-paced and descriptive.  I was frustrated that I couldn’t find more time to read.

In The Iron King, Meghan Chase travels to the Nevernever to rescue her kidnapped younger brother Ethan. Meghan chases possesses many of the qualities I like in a heroine: loyalty, uncertainty, hidden strength and kindness.  For most of her journey, she is accompanied by Puck, Ash the Winter Prince and Grimalkin.

Grimalkin was my favorite character. This cait sidhe is a contemporary Cheshire cat, providing comic relief with his sarcastic observations, and often a rescue just in the nick of time. I hope he remains a central character in the rest of the trilogy.

In this first installment of the trilogy, Kagawa hints at a love triangle between Meghan, Ash and Puck. I have to say, I’m Team Puck. I don’t hate Ash, but I’d chose mischief and lightheartedness over brooding any day. I’m not sure Meghan will ultimately make the same choice.

There were many aspects of this novel that I loved. (My only complaint was that I thought there was too much “hissing” and “snarling” happening. I don’t like to be too critical in my reviews, however. When it comes to reading and writing, I try to follow the adage “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”)

Back to the positives. I found the concept of the Iron Fey really interesting. In this novel, our technological progress breeds new mythological creatures that threaten to destroy and replace the ancient fey figures. Julie Kagawa has truly modernized the fairy tale, breathing new life into the characters Puck, Oberon, Titania and Queen Mab.

I am a fairy tale junkie, so this was a perfect read for me.

On Green Angel and Green Witch

I’ve never read Alice Hoffman before. I picked up her YA novella Green Angel lured by the physical beauty of the book. My library owns a small hardcover copy that is just so pretty.

I was not disappointed by her writing. Hoffman’s prose is lyrical, reminding me at first of Robin Mckinley’s Chalice, later of Franscesca Lia Block with less sex and drugs.

Green Angel is a fairytale about a girl named Green who loses her entire family to a fire that burned the city they visited without her. Green struggles with her grief, isolating herself, renaming herself “Ash,” and tattooing every inch of her skin. Eventually, she begins to heal by healing others, discovering love and her own magic. Green Angel explores the power of naming, the unlikely friendships that form after tragedy, and how grief shapes identity.

I liked the sequel, Green Witch, better than Green Angel, though I would recommend reading both.  Green Witch continues the fairytale. Green lives in a cottage with a magical garden that she wills to prosper. She also gathers stories from the villagers, writing them down on special paper that she creates to suit each story. (To the baker’s story she adds cinammon, to another she adds ashes and salt).

One day, Green discovers the true identity of the Finder, a tinker that provides the villagers with mechanisms. He asks her to find his sister, and Green decides to look for her and the boy that she loved and lost.

For guidance, she seeks out The Enchanted, women labeled witches by the villagers. The novella is divided into sections about each of these witches: The Sky Witch, The Rose Witch and The River Witch. Green records their sad stories, and they reward her with items to help her on her quest.

I think that you have to love fairytales to enjoy Green Angel and Green Witch. I do. I’ve read a few reviews by readers that didn’t care for some of the descriptions. Some people don’t want to read about transforming ink or magical stones.  For a fairytale lover, however, these books were a find.

A quote I’ll keep: “When you are the sole survivor of anything, do you have the right to be alive? Is the future a betrayal of everyone you ever loved and lost, or is it a way to praise them” (pgs. 88-89).

An aside: The dark force in this book is called “The Horde.” I couldn’t help but think of She-ra! I loved that show. Yeah, I’m a product of the 80s.

Wednesday 2.2.11

Today is sort of a snow day. My daughter and husband have an official snow day, and my boss gave me the option to stay home. I am. I like starting the day with some memes, drinking coffee and wearing pajamas.


To play along visit Should Be Reading and answer the following three questions:

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

My answers:

I’m currently reading Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. I just finished The Hunger Games, and I’m sure I’ll read Mockingjay next. So far, I love this trilogy. I like Peeta better than Gale. In the words of Oscar Wilde: “This suspense is terrible. I hope it will last.”


Writing on Wednesday is a weekly meme, created at Bookish Ardour.

This Week’s Question: Do you read what you write?  If you don’t would you consider it? And if you do, did you read it first or write it first?

I read the genres that I write. I also read more genres than I write. I read historical fiction and “grownup” fiction, but I haven’t written any of my own yet. I write YA fantasy, and I’ve definitely been inspired by authors like Juliet Marillier, Holly Black and Libba Bray. Lately, I’ve been trying my hand at some steampunk. We’ll see what comes of it! I’ve read Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker, and I really enjoyed Kenneth Oppel’s Airborn series. I intend to read more steampunk this year.


  • Chloe at YA Booklover Blog reviewed my novel. Check out her review and her giveways/contests.
  • Enter this Goodreads Giveaway for a chance to win a free copy of Behind Green Glass.