Scarlet’s true identity has been revealed, but her future is uncertain. Her forced marriage to Lord Gisbourne threatens Robin and Scarlet’s love, and as the royal court descends upon Nottingham for the appointment of a new Sheriff, the people of Nottingham hope that Prince John will appoint their beloved Robin Hood. But Prince John has different plans for Nottingham that revolve around a fateful secret from Scarlet’s past even she isn’t yet aware of. Forced to participate at court alongside her ruthless husband, Scarlet must bide her time and act the part of a noblewoman—a worthy sacrifice if it means helping Robin’s cause and a chance at a future with the man she loves. With a fresh line of intrigue and as much passion as ever, the next chapter in Scarlet’s tale will have readers talking once again. – Goodreads
Thanks to twitter I have lucked out in finding friends who “get” me. One of these friends is Erica and although she works for a publishing house most of our talks include Lisa Frank and Aaron Rodger’s face. No really, we have an email exchange with very little book talk. It’s nice. You would think a librarian and a book marketer would talk more about books. You’d be mistaken. However Lady Thief is one of the few books I remember her discussing. To be honest, there are a few more which you will see throughout the next year. But she is one of the reasons that I devoured the first book and then had a small moment because IT ENDED AND HOW COULD THAT HAPPEN. And then I went to ALA and there were ARCs and I was thrilled because MY HEART COULD GO ON.
But oh, ho, ho, how it couldn’t. Because Gaughen. MY HEART SHALL NOT GO ON. She took that knife and made it burn again. If I cried at books, I would have cried at this. Lady Thief starts off right were Scarlet ends. Scarlet is married to the evil man, Lord Gisbourne, and Rob is suffering some major PTSD and Scarlet can’t pull him through it. And she’s trying, but she herself is only so strong. Although married to Gisbourne, her heart clearly belongs with Rob, even Gisbourne knows this.
Gisbourne knows this so well he holds an annulment over her head, essentially threatening sex which would equal said annulment not happening. I told you! He is a lovely human being and Scarlet is, she refuses to commit adultery. So, while Scarlet runs back and forth between Gisbourne’s house and Rob’s location because she knows, she is to be with Rob. She feels complete with Rob. But, there is something more important than the heart and that is rumors start to spread through Nottingham. Prince John is coming to appoint a new sheriff, and the word on the street is that it will be Lord Gisbourne. When Gisbourne asks to meet with Robin Hood, Scarlet accompanies him, because lets be real, she trusts no one. Gisbourne has an excellent proposition for Scarlet (and Rob.) If she will play the part of his wife while the Prince is in town, then Gisbourne will grant her an annulment.
We know he is up to something, because we know he’s an ass and he’s always up to something but at the same time Scarlet it desperate to be free. Will Gisbourne grant Scarlet her freedom? And that is essiently the novel, will Gisbourne let her free? Will Rob work with his friends and “family” and figure out his PTSD? WILL THERE BE THE HAPPY ENDING?!
Let me say this, Gaughen packs a punch with the ending. The last paragraph gave me all the feelings I didn’t know and set it up in a genius way for the third book. I cannot wait.
Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance.
Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in.
It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for. – Goodreads
This book gave me all the feels. ALL of them. Scarlet is essentially the story of Will Scarlet, Robin Hood, John Little and March. These four steal from the rich and feed the poor so people don’t starve because of heavy taxation a la Robin Hood, which makes sense, because one of the characters is Robin Hood. That being said this is not the story of Robin Hood. This is the story of Will Scarlet, who is actually a girl, acting as a boy.
Important parts of the story! Scarlet is on the run from her past. The town sheriff has decided that Lord Gisbourne, a man from Scarlet’s past, has to find Robin Hood’s group of misfits. When it seems all is in the clear, it’s not. A townie betrays the misfits and Gisbourne catches, and arrests, Robin, who of course was protecting Scarlet. Throughout the novel, Gaughen, weaves together a beautiful story that generally hurts your heart and when you think your heart can’t hurt anymore, it does because she sticks the knife in just a little harder and it continues to be beautiful.
I devoured this book. I haven’t devoured a book in quite sometime, but I could not stop reading this. And while it has action and adventure, there is a bit of a love story weaved in. Scarlet is very self-sufficient and doesn’t like to lean, or depend on anyone. Of course Rob gets through this hard shell of hers, but so does John, who is also in the group, which leads to much tension and awkwardness. What also adds to the madness (fine, beauty) of this novel is Scarlet’s backstory and how Gaughen, has clearly spent a lot of time weaving things into the story, that while they don’t make sense at the time, come to light and make everything hurt because you know what she is going to do, and oh, oh how you really wish she wouldn’t. (But she has to. And she does.)
The ending hurt this angst hater reviewer so much, that if I didn’t have the next book, The Lady Thief in my possession, I would have thought about crying.
“Dead girl walking,” the boys say in the halls.
“Tell us your secret,” the girls whisper, one toilet to another.
I am that girl.
I am the space between my thighs, daylight shining through.
I am the bones they want, wired on a porcelain frame.
Lia and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the skinniest. But what comes after size zero and size double-zero? When Cassie succumbs to the demons within, Lia feels she is being haunted by her friend’s restless spirit.
In her most emotionally wrenching, lyrically written book since the multiple-award-winning Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson explores Lia’s descent into the powerful vortex of anorexia, and her painful path toward recovery.
There will be spoilers for the end of the novel in this review.
So with this novel, I’m continuing my education as to contemporary novels. Laurie Halse Anderson had the longest line by far at ALA in Chicago, and it seems everyone loves her books. I thought I’d love this one too, in the beginning, but that ended up not being so. Disclaimer: I have never had an eating disorder, nor do I know anyone who has, at least not personally. And at first, I sympathized with Lia, caught in a storm of self-hatred, cut off from her family and her best friend. And in the case of the latter, Lia is cut off forever, because Cassie is dead, done in by bulimia. Lia is anorexic and somewhat high and mighty about her ability to abstain from food, while Cassie chose to binge and purge. At the beginning of this novel, Lia is just out of recovery, but she is not recovered. She is living with her permissive father and his new frazzled wife. She constantly considers the calories in things she’s eating and sometimes gives pretty gross detail to the distortions she’s seeing in food and in her body. Lia does a lot of describing what it was like before her disorder, how her friendship with Cassie progressed then ended, and how Lia’s relationship with her parents deteriorated. The beginning hooked me, and I thought Anderson did a good job presenting the material.
After that, though, I started to get tired of the writing style. It’s almost lyrical sometimes, kind of poetic, and that’s generally not for me. I skimmed near the end due to wordiness. I was also very frustrated because being in Lia’s head made it harder and harder to sympathize with her. In the end, she considers everyone the enemy, is wasting away, and no one even notices. Her father failed really badly here. I found myself really pissed at him throughout the novel and identifying more with her mother. The methods in this book of trying to force Lia to eat seemed suspect too. Yelling at her and shoving food in her face is almost guaranteed to not help, and it doesn’t. Lia only gets worse. There is also a vague romantic storyline that I won’t even detail because I found it extraneous and forced. In the end, it means nothing anyway. And in the end, Lia is carted off again, not because she recognizes that she has a real problem, but because she almost bled out in front of her stepsister. Any time a person is forced to better themselves for the sake of others, it does not work. You have to recognize your problem and fix it because you want to, otherwise you will rationalize yourself right back into your problem. I might not know eating disorders, but I know addiction, and Lia’s thought processes were similar.
I had a hard time identifying with and sympathizing with Lia, and this affected my enjoyment of the book. I wish we’d been in Cassie’s head, who seemed more interesting, personality-wise. I thought the basis of Lia’s recovery was shaky at best. However, I do think this is a defining novel, because at least someone is talking about it, and at least people living with ED have voices in the mainstream, even if those voices must be facilitated by those who only know their pain through research.
Life can change in a split second.
Addie hardly recognizes her life since her parents divorced. Her boyfriend used her. Her best friend betrayed her. She can’t believe this is the future she chose. On top of that, her ability is acting up. She’s always been able to Search the future when presented with a choice. Now she can manipulate and slow down time, too . . . but not without a price.
When Addie’s dad invites her to spend her winter break with him, she jumps at the chance to escape into the Norm world of Dallas, Texas. There she meets the handsome and achingly familiar Trevor. He’s a virtual stranger to her, so why does her heart do a funny flip every time she sees him? But after witnessing secrets that were supposed to stay hidden, Trevor quickly seems more suspicious of Addie than interested in her. And she has an inexplicable desire to change that.
Meanwhile, her best friend, Laila, has a secret of her own: she can restore Addie’s memories . . . once she learns how. But there are powerful people who don’t want to see this happen. Desperate, Laila tries to manipulate Connor, a brooding bad boy from school—but he seems to be the only boy in the Compound immune to her charms. And the only one who can help her.
As Addie and Laila frantically attempt to retrieve the lost memories, Addie must piece together a world she thought she knew before she loses the love she nearly forgot . . . and a future that could change everything– Goodreads
Review: Please Note. While West and the blogger are friends this has no relation on the review. Because West would not approve of that madness.
Last year I read, and reviewed, Pivot Point and later in the year I had the chance to meet West and fall in love with her as a person and a friend and not just as an author, and I’m not saying this because she’s my friend, but I will read anything she writes. And the likelihood is I will devour it. She’s one of the few authors that can make me cry. I’m an easy crier. I cry at the drop of a hat, but books generally don’t make me cry. That is the power that West can convey via the written word. That is a powerful tool, in my opinion.
I loved Split Second. I was shocked to find out I loved it as much as I did. While Pivot Point was amazing, I found it to be a standalone to the point I was shocked find out there would be a second book. Even with the shock, I was not disappointed. Split Second is everything I expect from a Kasie West novel, and more.
Told from dual point of views: Addie, who we know and love and her BFF Laila. Dual POV does not always work. To me, it rarely works. But it was fascinating to see Addie learn things that we already knew about her and those around her. But West never once info dumped us. She made it nice and refreshing while rehashing information that was in the first book. It was also fascinating to see Laila and learn more about her. In Pivot Point we only ever see Laila from Addie’s point of view and we know how skewed that can be. My BFF and I can go to an event and have two very different views on what happened. Her’s usually involves her having a blast and me having a panic attack because omg a lot of people.
Although I am a big, big, big Addie fan, I was super fascinated by Laila’s side. Her life wasn’t picture perfect or easy and a lot of aspects sucked. Heck, I wouldn’t even mind more from Laila. But let’s talk about the important part of this novel. Trevor.
Trevor. Hearts in my eyes. Trevor. He’s snarky and he doesn’t always know what’s going on but oh did I fall in love with him again. My heart died a bit when him and Addie fell in love with each other again, because it was heartbreaking and lovely and made me sigh multiple times. This book even did that thing where it I want more. I want to know more about the Compound and their abilities and I JUST WANT MORE.
“I’ve been single for my entire life. Not one boyfriend. Not one short-term dating situation. Not one person with whom I regularly hung out and kissed on the face.”
So begins Katie Heaney’s memoir of her years spent looking for love, but never quite finding it. By age 25, equipped with a college degree, a load of friends, and a happy family life, she still has never had a boyfriend … and she’s barely even been on a second date.
Throughout this laugh-out-loud funny book, you will meet Katie’s loyal group of girlfriends, including flirtatious and outgoing Rylee, the wild child to Katie’s shrinking violet, as well as a whole roster of Katie’s ill-fated crushes. And you will get to know Katie herself — a smart, modern heroine relaying truths about everything from the subtleties of a Facebook message exchange to the fact that “Everybody who works in a coffee shop is at least a little bit hot.”
Funny, relatable, and inspiring, this is a memoir for anyone who has ever struggled to find love, but has also had a lot of fun in the process. – Goodreads
Honesty time: I have never been on a date. And I turn 26 in May. And I don’t care.
This helped me relate to Heaney on a level that many seem to have issue with. It’s not that I’m purposely out there going I DON’T WANT TO DATE. But I’m also okay staying at home with no pants on and massive amounts of TV. I’m also not against marriage. My parents have been married for 30 years later this month. Most of my friends are married or engaged and I like most of their significant others. There is one I want to poke in the eyes, but that is probably more me than him. (It’s totally him.)
I had crushes like Heaney, and have a best friend like Rylee. Well not exactly like Rylee, because there can only be one Rylee. But I have that best friend who I could be 2,000 miles away from and still feel like I’m sitting in her living room, at home. I’m actually lucky, I have a few in my core group that mean the world to me.
All of that being said, I understand that Heaney is not relatable to everyone. They aren’t going to understand her need for lists and overthinking and the sarcasm. It’s hard though for me to review this book without bringing up the face when I posted a photo on instagram the comments I got where interesting. Most times I post what I read and no one says anything because, well, I read “normal” books. It’s very interesting for me to read a hot button topic. It then became harder for me when I related to the book as much as I did. That being said, I understand that this book is far from perfect. If you aren’t around my age a lot of the references won’t touch your heart the same way. Looking at you N’SYNC reference, JTT and Teen Beat. Oh the gel roll pens. I’m not saying people older or younger won’t get it, as Heaney is 2/3 years older than me. But I can get the gap growing and the side eye that occurs.
I’m also not telling you about the fact I haven’t dated anyone and the fact I more or less don’t care because does part of me? Probably. Do I care enough to put more effort into my dating life? HAHAH. No. And that’s part of why I liked Heaney. She did care to put effort into online dating websites, but she didn’t care that she didn’t find her dream man, because she knows she’s going to be okay in the end because she’s surrounded by a good group of friends who also don’t care that she has never dated.
Annie and Fia are ready to fight back.
The sisters have been manipulated and controlled by the Keane Foundation for years, trapped in a never ending battle for survival. Now they have found allies who can help them truly escape. After faking her own death, Annie has joined a group that is plotting to destroy the Foundation. And Fia is working with James Keane to bring his father down from the inside.
But Annie’s visions of the future can’t show her who to trust in the present. And though James is Fia’s first love, Fia knows he’s hiding something. The sisters can rely only on each other – but that may not be enough to save them. – Goodreads
I happliy reviewed the first book in this series here. Which is why it will come to no surprise when I saw this on Edelweiss I knew I had to read it. This book picks up very quickly after the first one ends. It has the same narrators, Annie and Fia, and has the same dual timeline. While the dual timeline got old for me after awhile, the dual point of view didn’t. I enjoyed Fia’s sarcasm, and Annie continuously being Annie. White even through in a Hunger Games reference which was spot on for this year of pop culture.
There is a heavier mention of boys in this book, with James for Fia and Adam for Annie, but I spent the whole book questioning both of them. Which is weird for me. I tend to trust White’s love interests ASAP, but these two sent off my DANGER WILL ROBINSON vibe for most of the book. Particularly when James called Fia “pet.” It made me shudder, every. single. time. Hint for men out there, call me “Pet” I will bitch face you. Not even lovingly. Just a flat out bitch face.
This story seemed all about Annie and Fia becoming more confident in who they are. Which was a nice change from the first book, where they were clearly, and understandably not sure. This book also showed a side of both characters where it was better to be content with who you are than who you should be.
This book is much, much stronger than the first. There is absolutely no question about that. I am still a firm believer that this duology should have been one book. It would have worked and flowed easier if it was one book, but it is a solid sequel. I continue to look forward to what White has to bring to the YA table.
The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson
Release Date: January 7, 2014
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Source: Reblogbookclub on Tumblr, via the publisher.
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound
For the past five years, Hayley Kincaid and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own.
Will being back home help Andy’s PTSD, or will his terrible memories drag him to the edge of hell, and drugs push him over? The Impossible Knife of Memory is Laurie Halse Anderson at her finest: compelling, surprising, and impossible to put down. – Goodreads
I was lucky enough to read this book for reblogbookclub, on tumblr. Which is genius and I could not recommend more. That being said, even after talking about the book on tumblr, I still wanted to talk about the book. This is the story of Hayley, who has not had an easy life. Her father, is a solider, who returned from Iraq quite different than he was before Iraq, understandably. Andy has PTSD, there is an argument going around tumblr and goodreads if this was a textbook case of PTSD, or a downplayed version of PTSD. As someone who does not live with PTSD, or have a relative who has PTSD, I found it easy to understand. I was able to see why Hayley had to grow up fast and why Andy was having problems getting up in the morning. I found it to be very telling and it broke my heart in multiple places, because I wanted both of them to be okay, and real life does not always work that way.
Hayley deals with her home life by putting up massive walls that no one is able to work their way through. She has one best friend and everyone else, to Hayley, is a zombie. Just going through the motions of living without really living. The irony is throughout the novel, I started to question, is Hayley just a zombie herself? A girl, just going through the motions of living?
Throughout the story, there are a cast of other characters. From Hayley’s BFF, to Finn, the boy who tries to get through the hard exterior. Both of whom, are fighting their own demons at home.
I found The Impossible Knife of Memory to be an interesting read in the fact it is so not my normal read. I am a light! fluffy! reader. I have never hidden this. So this got me to go outside my normal boundaries and enjoy something I would have normally not enjoyed. But that being said, it was not a pleasant read for me. It made me cringe, made me want to shake things and made me look outside of my normal world.