ARC Review: “Risuko” by David Kudler

risuko-v2b-medium-circleRisuko: A Kunoichi Tale (Seasons of the Sword #1) by David Kudler

Goodreads | Amazon

Can one girl win a war?

My name is Kano Murasaki, but most people call me Risuko. Squirrel.

I am from Serenity Province, though I was not born there.

My nation has been at war for a hundred years, Serenity is under attack, my family is in disgrace, but some people think that I can bring victory. That I can be a very special kind of woman.

All I want to do is climb.

My name is Kano Murasaki, but everyone calls me Squirrel.

Risuko.

Though Japan has been devastated by a century of civil war, Risuko just wants to climb trees. Growing up far from the battlefields and court intrigues, the fatherless girl finds herself pulled into a plot that may reunite Japan — or may destroy it. She is torn from her home and what is left of her family, but finds new friends at a school that may not be what it seems.

Magical but historical, Risuko follows her along the first dangerous steps to discovering who she truly is.

Kano Murasaki, called Risuko (Squirrel) is a young, fatherless girl, more comfortable climbing trees than down on the ground. Yet she finds herself enmeshed in a game where the board is the whole nation of Japan, where the pieces are armies, moved by scheming lords, and a single girl couldn’t possibly have the power to change the outcome. Or could she?

Two and a half stars

Thanks to NetGalley and Stillpoint Digital Press for this eARC! This title will be available on June 15th, 2016.

If you read that blurb, like I did, you might be under the impression that a lot happens in this book. It doesn’t. This book was a constant push and pull for me, where I really wanted to like it … but nothing ever really happened. While Risuko was an interesting character, the cast around her fell flat and the overall plot seemed underdone. I was intrigued by the world and the overall politics, but they were never dealt with overmuch. All in all, this book had all the elements–it just didn’t use them.

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THE WEEKLY WRAP UPS THAT NEVER WERE!

Okay, these are still late. But you know what, these exist. We’re wrapping up the last two weeks in a weird, timey-wimey video that shows that we really did try to have these out on time. The editing just never happened because Michaela and I are struggling to find a new rhythm in our new post-grad lives. Please love us while we fix this kinks!

Monday, May 23

Tuesday, May 24

Wednesday, May 25

Thursday, May 26

Friday, May 27

Monday, May 30

Tuesday, May 31

Wednesday, June 1

Friday, June 3

 

ARC Review: “The Vanishing Throne” by Elizabeth May

Wow, what a trippy experience. I filmed this review back in February, and I haven’t even watched it since then. I am very, very enthusiastic about this book. Like a lot. How cute of past Gretchen. Anyways! Let’s just get started. In case you missed my long and storied history with this series, here’s my videos on the first book, The Falconer:

Thanks to NetGalley and Chronicle Books for this eARC!

30 Seconds to Disagree: “The Vanishing Throne” by Elizabeth May

Hey guys! This week, I’m getting really sneaky and trying to convince Michaela to read a book that hasn’t even come out yet. As you may know, Bibliomancy for Beginners did an episode on Elizabeth May’s first book in this series, The Falconer, a while ago and … Michaela and Taylor didn’t like it. I revisited the series when The Vanishing Throne came to me as an ARC and my opinion of the series changed so much that I re-reviewed The Falconer! Here’s a quick sneak peek as to why!

Don’t forget, we always do these in twos so don’t miss Michaela trying to convince me to read TWO books this week!

Weekly Wrap Up + What We Read 4/3/16

Better late than never! The weeks are only getting crazier for Michaela and me, but never fear! We will never abandon you. This week we managed to be very impressive with the blogs, but not so much with the reading. This is fine. Next week we might even manage to read something!

Monday:

Tuesday:

Wednesday:

Thursday:

Friday:

ARC Review: “Tell the Wind and Fire” by Sarah Rees Brennan

16221851Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan

Goodreads | Amazon

In a city divided between opulent luxury in the Light and fierce privations in the Dark, a determined young woman survives by guarding her secrets.

Lucie Manette was born in the Dark half of the city, but careful manipulations won her a home in the Light, celebrity status, and a rich, loving boyfriend. Now she just wants to keep her head down, but her boyfriend has a dark secret of his own—one involving an apparent stranger who is destitute and despised. Lucie alone knows the young men’s deadly connection, and even as the knowledge leads her to make a grave mistake, she can trust no one with the truth.

Blood and secrets alike spill out when revolution erupts. With both halves of the city burning, and mercy nowhere to be found, can Lucie save either boy—or herself?

Two and a half stars

Thank you to NetGalley and Clarion Books for this eARC! This title will be released on April 5th, 2016.

I wish this was an April Fools joke. I wish I could say that I did not really rate a SRB book this low. Especially a book with this much potential and thought behind it – which is honestly the reason it’s rated as high as it is. But as much as I desperately wanted to love this book, it was impossible.

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March Wrap Up + PopSugar Challenge Update

Wasn’t it kind of March to end on a Thesis Thursday day? Especially because I don’t have a thing for a Thesis Thursday as of yet? Yes, yes it was. Unlike my February wrap up, I’m doing this one as a post because this is about the amount of time I have right now. GO COLLEGE!

I read 9 books in March. This is two down from last month, which is super depressing because February is so much shorter than March. Whatever. Spring break got in my way, if you remember.

51kgfanbhal-_sx322_bo1204203200_The first three books I read in March were all for my thesis. By Goodreads’ match, the first one I finished was Judging a Book By Its Cover: Fans, Publishers, Designers and the Marketing of Fiction edited by Nicole Matthews and Nikkianne Moody. While I originally picked this up for it’s section on book cover design, it will also be very helpful in my last chapter that talks about marketing and publishing books for young adults.

Then, I finished By Its Cover: Modern American Book Cover Design by41pqsnz4ttl-_sx258_bo1204203200_ Ned Drew and Paul Sternberger. This book was not at all what I expected, as it was a coffee table sized book with almost more pictures than words. It spanned decades of American cover design, but often only for the most “literati” books for the most popular of designers. I still managed to quote it though!

413benup3el-_sx324_bo1204203200_Wrapping up this month’s thesis work, I read Theodor Adorno’s The Culture Industry. If you are into theory about the mass production of culture, this is very interesting and I was so happy that one of my professors lent it to me. However, while the previous two books are nice reading for the lay-reader … this one is not. Don’t pick it up unless you want a headache.

In actually exciting news, Taylor and I both finally finished Mermaidsmermaids-600
and Other Mysteries of the Deep
, a short story anthology edited by Paula Guran
. We had been promising this video since we did our review of After: 19 Stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia, but it took us FOREVER to finally get done. While it is a longer video, we both found this anthology better than After. Very worth the watch and read!

27353499I re-read three books while I was on spring break, two of which were by Tellulah Darling. I read the 2nd and 3rd books in her Blooming Goddess trilogy, My Date From Hell and then My Life From Hell. When I came back, I did a series review of all three because I wanted to talk about them all so much. While these are hardly the best books I’ve ever read, they’re the kind of fluffy mind candy that you just NEED to read sometimes. I also enjoy a new take on the Hades and Persephone myth any day.

The last book that I re-read on break was Aimee Carter’s Goddess12637490 Interrupted. This is the 2nd book in her Goddess Test series (another Hades and Persephone retelling) and my favorite. I fully plan on doing a series review of this very soon because re-reading this reminded me just how much I love AND hate this series.

16221851I got through one single ARC read this month, which was Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan. This is a standalone novel that is far darker than anything you might expect by SRB. I don’t want to say too much, because the review is coming out tomorrow, but … oh dear guys. I really, really didn’t enjoy this one at all. I was so disappointed.

Last but not least, I read Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. This51-qq2tbipl-_sy344_bo1204203200_ was for our spectacular March Imbibliomancy episode, in which me, Taylor and Michaela get drunk and talk about themes–or try to. I am so angry, but I really like this one. Like, a lot. I almost gave it five stars. You should really, really check out that video for more on that and also serious hilarity!

For my PopSugar update, I only ticked off two more boxes. I decided to count Tell the Wind and Fire as my “book published in 2016” because I was so proud that I didn’t DNF it. Station Eleven also counted as my “book from the library.” That makes it 10/40!

Here’s to more reading in April! Or at least attacking the “currently reading” list on my Goodreads that is 7 books long right now. YIKES!