Posts Tagged: 2014

The Midnight Garden’s Favorite Books of 2014

The Midnight Garden’s Favorite Books of 2014

If you’ve been paying attention to year-end Best of Young Adult Fiction lists, it’s interesting to note how many contemporary books wind up taking home the biggest prizes. Where’s the love for science fiction and fantasy? It’s a little baffling–and frustrating–that these genres remain largely unappreciated outside of the book community until some sort of crossover/commercial appeal suddenly deems them worthy of attention. While we’re certainly fans of well-written realistic fiction, we do think these kinds of results are a good reminder of why book blogs continue to be valuable resources for prolific readers. So regardless of genre, if you’re a reviewer, please continue to champion the books you love to fellow booklovers, and try to do your best with people who might not otherwise give YA a chance. There’s an incredible amount of challenging and moving young adult literature outside of the few that are recognized by mainstream media… Read more »

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Classic Readalong Discussion: Little Women

Classic Readalong Discussion: Little Women

It’s our very last classics discussion of the year! And what a long book it was, my GOODNESS. Thank you to everyone who read it with us–it’s been so fun chatting with everyone on Twitter, and we look forward to a lively discussion with you below as well! IT’S ALSO RECKONING TIME. Below you’ll find directions on how you may prove you completed/participated in the challenge this year. We have two giveaways, plus a little thing for some additional participants.     Kim: Okay, due to my most inconveniently timed illness I was only able to make it halfway through this book. Terrible! But I have been long familiar with the story ever since I saw the 1994 film adaptation as a wee one. (Also my first ever introduction to Little Women was this anime I had as a kid. It it very dear to teeny tiny Kim’s heart )… Read more »

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Nice Dragons Finish Last: Review

Nice Dragons Finish Last: Review

  A soul sucking ghost cat. This book has one. I do like to hook you into reviews with mentions of mystical cats, don’t I? Well, besides the cat this is an incredibly enjoyable futuristic urban fantasy romp. Add in one seriously lovable protagonist and in the beginnings of what is sure to be one epically cute romance and what more could I need? Oh, that’s right. Dragons. In the America of the not too distant future, a meteor crash has reawakened magic for humans and unleashed dragons back into our world. I really loved that this is a futuristic urban fantasy with lots of cool sci fi touches and even a distinctly dystopian feel. In the newly created Detroit Free Zone, US law does not apply and dragons are expressly forbidden. Which makes it really a shame that our hero, Julius, a dragon, finds himself exiled to the DFZ… Read more »

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Love Letters to the Dead: review

Love Letters to the Dead: review

Months ago, I had to put Love Letters to the Dead down because it was making me so desperately sad. Almost a full year later, I read the last half of it with a lump in my throat and tears dripping down my face. This is a profoundly moving meditation on grief, written with rare sensitivity and the kind of prose that nearly stops your heart with moments of quiet, anguished beauty. I cried throughout the book because there are so many small moments that so keenly observed bewilderment and pain, as well as anger and recklessness in the face of abandonment. This is a slow, contemplative, and occasionally blurry book, but it so skillfully weaves past and present together that when a devastating moment comes late in the story, it took me a minute to realize what was actually happening. My heart aches for this kind of intense, complicated… Read more »

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Conversion: Review

Conversion: Review

I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this book. I didn’t know much of anything about this book when I started it, except that it had to do with the Salem Witch Trials. I like Salem. I like witches. I figured I would like this. Well, this was not what I expected, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t like it. Conversion is a story about friendship and the nature of the truth in both the present day and the past of Salem. It tackles a lot of stuff, and I think is for the most part successful. One thing I didn’t know going in is that there are two stories told in alternating chapters. The main one is set in a present-day private school for girls where a mysterious illness—called, catchily enough, the Mysterious Illness—has quickly spread. The story follows Colleen and her circle of friends as they navigate the… Read more »

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This Shattered World: Meet the Characters + giveaway

This Shattered World: Meet the Characters + giveaway

If you’re a fan of Tarver and Lilac from These Broken Stars, I don’t even know how to explain how much you’re going to love the new characters in This Shattered World! This companion story set in the same universe follows the awesome Jubilee Chase and the guy she absolutely, positively should not get involved with, Flynn Cormac. And, well…you know how that goes. ;) I thought Tarver was going to be hard to live up to, but Flynn’s going to win you over fast–but not as fast as Jubilee does, because she’s kickass from page 1. I have a serious girl crush on her and I’m not afraid to admit it. There is so much to say about how the Starbound universe has deepened and expanded in this second book, but the characters are a great place to introduce you to this fantastic story. To kick off the official… Read more »

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Beware the Wild: Review

Beware the Wild: Review

    Well, this book was one deliciously creepy treat. It’s the sort of book that wholly transports from the first pages and ensnares the reader into its darkly magical web. At its best, the  gothic aspects of this story reminded me of Strange Sweet Song and its dark fairy tale feel brought to mind Cuckoo Song. Those are two of my favorite books of 2014 and I do not make the comparison lightly! Sterling Saucier (what a tremendous name, btw) is dealing with loss on several fronts. Immediately, her brother has disappeared into the town’s mystical swamp. Years earlier her alcoholic and abusive father left their family. Of course, his departure was not without significant scarring itself for both Sterling and Phineas. And the repercussions of that departure echo throughout the story. I was quite struck, actually, by how this was both a paranormal novel and a contemporary “issue”… Read more »

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