Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews is a weekly meme where you show what books you’ve purchased, gotten from the library, received from giveaway, as gifts or for review.

The Books

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What an excellent week in book mail! I was so excited to get an arc of Scarlet to add to my collection. It is stunning! I also love these Harper books. I don’t know a ton about any of them besides The Girl From Everywhere but I’m excited to give them a go. Have you read any? Pearl is from SkyScape and by an author I read for the first time this last year. I loved her book Sugar so I’m really excited to read this latest from her.

Last Week’s Posts

I actually posted a good amount this week! WHOOHOO. I think my blog slump has come to an end! So happy about that. I also did some reading this week. I read The Dark Days Club which I LOVED (and I’ll be on the tour so look out for that). I am nearly done with The Imposter Queen which has been a really quick read that I’ve loved. So yay to good books!

How was your week?

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews is a weekly meme where you show what books you’ve purchased, gotten from the library, received from giveaway, as gifts or for review. So excited about this book haul:

Won (thank you Josin McQuein for the giveaway!):

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ARC of Meridian, Arclight and Premeditated all signed by Josin

I have read Arclight (my review) and loved it–I found McQuein to be so creative and loved the world she created. You can see more details in my interview with her. I am so excited to have a physical arc of Meridian to read and add to my collection. Premeditated isn’t my typical genre but I’ve read really positive reviews and it’s written by Josin so that’s a winner. So excited about all of these!

For Review (sent from the publisher):

Haze (The Rephaim, #2)
Haze (Rephain #2) by Paula Weston

Last year I was on the blog tour for the first book in this series, Shadows (interview with Paula Weston). I loved it and have been crazy eager to be able to read the second book. I am so thrilled I was able to get an arc. Thank you!

For Review (via Netgalley):

 Plus OneHungryWhere Silence Gathers (Some Quiet Place, #2)

Plus One by Elizabeth Fama, Hungry by H.A. Swain and Where Silence Gathers by Kelsey Sutton

I have heard amazing things about Plus One and had a very good friend (looking at you Jen) tell me she thought I’d enjoy it. I had to request it right away and have already started reading (about 15% in) Loving it so far. Hungry sounds….sort of silly to be honest. But for some reason I felt the need to read it anyway. I loved Some Quiet Place, I felt Sutton wrote so beautifully and I love her personified emotions. You can read my interview with her here.

Purchased:

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Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi, Scarlet and Cress by Marissa Meyer and Landry Park by Bethany Hagen

This week was stellar in new releases. I had to run out and purchase (and read) Ignite Me immediately. I have read it already and liked it though I had a couple things I would have enjoyed more of. I don’t actually know if I’ll review this one on here or not. I had to buy the paperback of Scarlet because my blog is mentioned! So exciting. I’ve heard great things about Landry Park so had to get that one as well. Trust me, I could have purchased a lot more books but tried to limit myself.

I can’t believe we are a week into February already. I’ve already strayed from my reading schedule for this month but I hope to be able to read all the books I hoped as well as the ones I’ve slipped in (Ignite Me and Plus One). This week I was able to finish Vicious by Victoria Schwab (amazing as expected) as well as Death Sworn by Leah Cypess.

Posts from the week:

  • Interview with Michael O-the artist behind the Lunar Chronicles books. Be sure to enter to win one of the 3 books (winner chooses, INT). You can enter here.
  • Review of Archetype by M.D. Waters
  • Release Day Launch of Alienated + Nook Simple touch giveaway
  • Review of Death Sworn by Leah Cypess

Next week I am thrilled to be on The Winner’s Curse Blog Tour (tour schedule). My blog will kick the tour off this Sunday (tomorrow) with some really beautiful insights from Marie Rutkoski as well as a giveaway. Be sure to stop back by!

How was your week?

Review of Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

Scarlet (Scarlet #1)Scarlet
By: A.C. Gaughen
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Release Date: February 14th 2012

My Rating:
star

Summary:
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.

My Thoughts:
I admit that I actually didn’t bother reading the summary before purchasing this book. I had heard from countless trusted bloggers how amazing this story was so knew I needed to read it sooner than later.

Upon reading the first chapter I was excited to learn that I was about to embark upon a retelling of Robin Hood. I’ve always had a special place for the Prince of Thieves. I honestly can’t think of a version of the classic I’ve not enjoyed to some degree (even the movie remake with Kevin Costner). There is something so romantic, mesmerizing and engaging about this story.

In her book, A.C. Gaughen puts her own twist on the classic by changing Will Scarlet’s gender. Throughout the history of the Robin Hood story many versions of Will have existed. Some have him loving finery and being of noble birth, some have him as brooding. A couple of factors typically stayed the same and that was the he was always younger than the other Merry Men and had a close relationship with Robin.

My favorite depictions of him were those where he was mysterious and quiet. I was more than pleased that Gaughen took some of my favorite elements of this character while also portraying a strong, passionate woman. Since Will’s character has always been a bit elusive I loved the idea that he was really a she (I’m not sure I can ever get tired of the gender bending trope). Gaughen’s Scarlet is fierce without losing her femininity. I loved how brave she was but also her own internal struggles that gave her character vulnerability. I loved reading from the point of view of someone other than Robin Hood since he is always the character we follow in other interpretations.

I did run into one slight problem that eased as I continued to read–Scarlet speaks (and thinks) in the common tongue which used ‘were’ instead of ‘was’ and other grammatical mistakes. Of course, this was done on purpose to not only help the reader experience the book as a commoner but also to setup the historical date the book takes place in. Each time I came upon a ‘misplaced’ were I was thrown out of the story and had to force myself to not change it to ‘was’ in my head. This might just be me but it did cause a bit of disconnect at first. As I stated though, this issue eased and soon enough I was reading with no issues.

Scarlet was fast paced and the action scenes were written beautifully. I could see the action playing out in my mind which is always a wonderful touch. Not only did Gaughen excel at creating tension in the fighting she was also able to create an emotional pull within her character’s interactions. There is a love triangle but I would say it was written so well I wasn’t bothered by it.

Both relationships felt genuine and relatable. I felt that in Scarlet’s circumstances she would truly have encountered the attention of both men. To me, love triangles feel like a device to keep the two intended apart and to cause tension that otherwise would not exist. In this novel, the tension is ever present without the love triangle being needed. It wasn’t devised to keep anyone apart as much as to show the strain of Scarlet’s life and choices.

The villain of this novel, Gisbourne, was fairly elusive and spoken of more often than seen. I could feel Scarlet’s real fear of him but he fell just short of scaring me or convincing me he would really pose the threat alluded to. I felt that the story itself was fairly obvious as it unfolded but was still gripping to read.

Final Thoughts:
I loved Gaughen’s vision of Robin Hood and characterization of ‘Will’ Scarlet. I felt that she was not only capable of creating tense action scenes but also heartfelt emotional moments. Though I was able to see where the story was going I still enjoyed the journey.

Extras:
Look for book 2, Lady Thief out February 11 by Walker Childrens
Scarlet Book Trailer

Stacking the Shelves

Midway through January already! Amazing how fast time flies. I got some great book mail this week: a surprise package from HarperTeen and books I’d ordered from Amazon. So excited to read, read, read.

Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews is a weekly meme where you show what books you’ve purchased, gotten from the library, received from giveaway, as gifts or for review. So excited about this book haul!

For Review (via NetGalley):

 Lady Thief (Scarlet, #2)
Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen

For Review (via HarperTeen):

 Harper packageHarper Books

 Death Sworn (Death Sworn, #1)Perfect Lies (Mind Games, #2)Pretty Sly (Pretty Crooked, #2)

 Ruins (Partials Sequence, #3)Tremor (Pulse, #2)Steadfast (Spellcaster, #2)

Death Sworn by Leah Cypress , Perfect Lies by Kiersten White, Pretty Sly by Elisa Ludwig, Ruins by Dan Wells, Tremor by Patrick Carman and Steadfast by Claudia Gray

Sadly, I’ve not read ANY of the first books in any of these series. I am very interested in the Partials and Spellcaster series. Anybody read these series? You recommend them?

Purchased:

 Scarlet (Scarlet #1)The Shadow SocietyA Darkness Strange and Lovely (Something Strange and Deadly, #2)

Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen, The Shadow Society by Marie Rukoski and A Darkness Strange and Lovely by Susan Dennard

Upon receiving Scarlet I immediately read and loved this book. I’ll try to get my review posted next week. I loved The Winner’s Curse so much that I decided that I’ll read anything Rutkoski writes.

Posts from last week:

  • Review of Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott
  • Discussion on how bloggers rate books (emotional connection, construction and execution of story, or mix of both) I had some amazing comments to this post.

This next week I hope to review Scarlet, The Unbound as well as being part of The Unbound blog tour (might just have Legos involved).