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Jersey Shore, United States
In case any of my friends or family members actually read this Blog, please consider all Names, Characters, Places and Incidents to be the product of the author's imagination and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales are entirely COINCIDENTAL...Muaaah!! Now, really, about me: I bring the crazy wherever I go, so I've been told...I make fun of myself more than anyone else ever could. I hate: the awkward silence in elevators, watches with no numbers, picky eaters, Cancer and legalism. I love: coffee, stalking Hugh Jackman, my Spanx, COMMENTS, sarcasm and writing: Middle Grade, NA, YA Paranormal and Urban Fantasy.

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Friday, June 28, 2013

Cephalopod Coffeehouse Meeting

Good Morning! I'm still working my way around the blog roll, trying to catch up with everyone and what they have been up to. And as I promised, I will be posting some of those Gettysburg pictures in the  very near future, but today's post has already been reserved for The Armchair Squid's Cephalopod Coffeehouse. If you want more info go check out his blog and click on the link for more details!
Behold: the best shot of a cephalopod I have. It has attached itself to The Husband's face :)

By far, the best book I've read this month was a YA high fantasy called Girl of Fire and Thorns, by Rae Carson. It's something  I picked up for my two older daughters to read and I always pre-read what I pass along to them. I can't tell you how many times I am so pleasantly surprised at how good the YA selections are and I wind up liking what I choose for them more than what I selected for myself!! Well, this was definitely one of those times.

Girl of  Fire and Thorns first caught my attention because the main character and heroine of this gripping YA high fantasy is fat. Not chubby, not pleasantly plump, but FAT. And I loved her.  I loved Elisa from page one when she didn't fit into her hastily sewn wedding dress. I was immediately pulled into her struggles with food and weight as it panned out across the pages. Her struggles as a fat princess are so believable and heart-breaking I knew my girls would relate well to her too. But don't expect Elisa to be riddled with the usual self-deprecating fat humor, because that is not the case. Her struggles are related by her stark candor and raw pain. Her battle with weight is honest, real and very well done.

If I had to compare this novel to another, I'd liken it to a mini-sized, teenage-like Game of Thrones. (Major Spoiler Alert Here) - Characters you really like die. The pacing is quick and the setting is ever-changing and vast. Overall, Rae Carson is a new author to look out for. I can't wait to see what else she has up her sleeve for the sequel.

The reviews of this book have been all over the place. The only negative comment I have to say about it was that the initial cover chosen for this book was wildly inappropriate for it. It showed a skinny white girl and clearly, Elisa is none of those things. Apparently  after protests began to appear the publisher wised up and quickly changed it to the cover they have now, which is much more fitting.  

There you have it. Best book I've  read this month so far. What's the best  book you've read so far this month? Tell me about it!!

52 comments:

  1. Character you really like die. Sounds like Game of Thrones. (And The Walking Dead.)

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    1. I wondered how my girls were going to take that- but they loved it.

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  2. Haven't read either series

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    1. Game of Thrones is WAY more complicated and involved and ADULT. Girl of Fire and Thorns is geared way lower, and it a whole lot less complicated. More like a teenage type of high fantasy. But I found both to be very, very good.

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  3. Sounds really good! I don't normally like high fantasy but I did love Game of Thrones. And I love her brave choice to have a fat protagonist -- it's crazily rare to see that.

    If you read a lot of speculative YA, have you tried Daughter of Smoke & Bone? It seems to have come from the same Shop of YA Titles your selection did. :) But it's also a very good book, the first of a series. Laini Taylor is the author.

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    1. Hey Stephanie- I loved the fact that she had a fat protagonist!! It drew me in from page one. And I could really relate.

      Thank you for the great recommendation but I am already well acquainted with Daughter of Smoke and Bone. It is one of my all time FAVORITES!! I want to marry that book. I love, love, love that series. LOL

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    2. I'm so glad to hear that! Nobody else I mention it to has ever heard of it. I keep trying to make my teenager read it but she's too busy reading nonfiction on designing robots. Not sure how I ended up with this child—changeling? Anyway ... did you like Days of Blood & Starlight, too? I cannot wait for the next installment.

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    3. LOVED it! I think Laini Taylor is the absolute SHIZ.

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  4. Man it's really nice to have a main character who is fat and has those struggles. I could totally relate to that.

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    1. Hi Ash!! It is so refreshing to see a less than perfect MC. I related to her from the get go and routed for her the whole way through. It was awesome.

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  5. Oh wow, your Hubby is brave. I'd totally freak if I had a cephalopod on my face! >_<

    From everything you've said about Girl of Fire and Thorns, it sounds amazing and just like my type of book; adding it to my TBR list now. Thanks for the recommendation Jen! :D

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    1. Clare! How are you? Yes, I freaked and got out of the water. He came up and was so excited he couldn't even talk...LOL

      I loved Girl of Fire and Thorns and so did both my girls. I thought it was awesome that the MC was fat. Really brought me into the story. Hope you like it too!!

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  6. That sounds so good! We're off to Powell's to stock up on some summer reading today so I'm going to write it down and look for it.

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    1. Hi Johanna- Let me know how you like it. My girls devoured this book. Farrah read it in three days! She loved it. We all really enjoyed it. Hope you do too.

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  7. Love that pic....lol.

    Sounds like a great book, especially for the YA crowd. Even though it's not "Hollywood Correct", I like seeing stories with 'regular' looking protagonists. I think it makes things more 'real'...at least for me.

    Have a great weekend Mrs. Bird :)

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    1. Hi Mark- it was such a good book. I was glad to pick it up for my girls and I really was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved it myself. So good. Having a fat MC really got me. I loved that. And of course, I could relate. :) You have a good weekend too!!

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  8. Glad you enjoyed the book and the best book caters to the story not just the readers.

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    1. It was wonderfully done. I really did enjoy it.

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  9. Death to favorite characters? Ugh. Not a fan. But I love the idea of an unusual heroine...unless she dies. So torn!

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    1. Spoiler alert- The MC DOESN'T DIE. I wouldn't have loved it if she did. But other good characters go, and it was still good. I like not knowing what's going to happen next. I did not see some of it coming. And that's a good thing, to me.

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  10. I've heard such good things about this novel from a lot of different sources. It looks like I'm going to have to bump it up on my TBR list.

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    1. Hey MJ! Yes- it is really good. I hope you like it. The reviews I read were mixed, but honestly my girls and I loved it.

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  11. It is nice to see realistic heroines: good choice.

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    1. It is so refreshing. Who do we know that's perfect anyway? I'd rather hear about someone I can relate to and connect with. She was a great MC.

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  12. I too have heard good things about this book. I'll have to pick it up for myself.

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    1. My girls and I loved it. If it can please all three of us (and we are very diverse) I think that's pretty darn good.

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  13. I think that's strange that the book cover doesn't match up to the actual story. During that final phase didn't somebody speak up and say "Um, the character doesn't look one bit like this." Ha!

    I'm not one for high fantasy or YA, but I'm glad you liked it. Plus, I think it's great that the author changed it up a bit and had a bigger girl for the MC!

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    1. Hi Mary- Great big welcome to the Bird's Nest! Thanks for the follow.

      I'm not sure who was responsible for that poor initial cover choice, but I am sure glad they changed it. It would be so dumb to have a skinny light-skinned girl on the cover representing the MC when she was clearly none of those. Her size was one of my favorite things about her too!

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  14. My (scant) YA experience in recent years is boy-oriented because I have sons. But I so want to read this one! I think I will indulge my inner teen in the very near future.

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

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    1. Maybe that's why I like reading YA so much. I never grew up! LOL

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  15. Oh, man, now I feel kinda bad. You came over to my blog looking for my book review, didn't you? Um... well, at least you enjoyed the post that was up. My book review is now up, though. You know, if you want to go back to my blog for it. It's not a YA book, though.
    I'm glad to hear of a book with a fat kid MC. Mostly, the fat kids are all Chets or Chunks.
    Now, who's going to do the truffle shuffle?

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    1. Hey Andrew! No worries. I enjoyed your post and will definitely be back for the book review!

      OK I've got to admit this- when my brother was little he looked a whole lot like Chunk. My sisters and I used to beg him to do the Truffle Shuffle with his chubby stomach for us and our friends. You would never know that kid was a chub now. He's so thin and freaking fit. But I can't think of Chunk without thinking of my bro. :)

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  16. Mini-sized, teenage-like Game of Thrones is a great description. Gives people a quick, clear idea.

    That is some pic of your husband!

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    1. SUZE- Thanks! I posted this pic of The Husband before, but it never gets old for me to look at. He is crazy! I wouldn't go near the octopus I'm such a chicken.

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  17. At our house, we're always on the lookout for strong female protagonists. The ones I generally like are the ones who seem like real people, not idealized. Elisa sounds like a keeper.

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    1. Hey Squid! Me too. I love good role models for my girls and I liked how Elisa was able to transform herself and grab onto her destiny. It is a great read.

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  18. It sounds good. I'll have to check it out. And now I want to see both covers, too. ;)

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    1. It is weird why they would entertain the first cover at all- I'm not sure how that mistake happened. But I am glad they changed it.

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  19. I love YA books. Every now and then I'll read one, and I'm always amazed that at my age I can relate to them. But I guess you never forget what it's like to be in your teens and twenties. That book sounds fabulous, I'll have to check it out.

    And, ugh, the squid on his face! Did he put it there? Why would he do that??? Boys.

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    1. I think I like YA because I never grew up! LOL I still feel like I'm sixteen I'm so stinking naïve sometimes.

      I love to pick out good books for the girls, so we can discuss them later. It makes for great teaching moments! I also like to get the girls' friends to read the same books so we can have a book party later. It makes everything that much more fun for everyone-plus, I'm such a literacy nut I love to get kids involved in reading any way I can.

      The Husband is a crazy bastard. This is a stunning example of why I don't swim with "things". The octopus swam up and attached itself to his mask on his own-apparently they are very curious creatures. But he, obviously, wasn't in the least bit worried and didn't do a damn thing to stop it. He thought is was awesome!

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  20. It sounds like a book I would enjoy very much. Thanks for the review. :D

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    1. YA is such an amazing genre- able to capture my attention and my girls. I really enjoyed it much, much more than the "adult" book I chose for myself.

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  21. Oh I want to read this. I've struggled with my weight for a long, long time. Thanks for the recommendation!

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  22. Hey Sam! Me too I have had my own struggles with weight and I totally related to the MC because of this.

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  23. You have been nominated for a Liebster Award (it's not spam, it's for real :)
    visit http://kenowinsky.blogspot.com/2013/06/honors-of-being-nominated.html
    Congrats!
    BTW - my book "Going off Dreams" is FREE on the 4th of July (promo "Free Nation") check it out <3

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    1. Thanks! I appreciate the nomination.

      Good luck with your book launch!!

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  24. Sounds like an awesome book, and it's good to see more chubby (or even FAT) characters out there in the world of YA!

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    1. Hey Trish! It was such a good read. I love strong heroines. She was great.

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  25. Wow, a fat heroine? Very cool! It's so rare to see a character like that in YA, or even in books in general. This definitely seems like a welcomed change!

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    1. Hi Heath! Yes, she was amazing. She went on quite a journey- and I loved it.

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  26. I love when main characters are fair game for being killed. Does that mean there's something wrong with me?

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    1. Most definitely. Ha! Just kidding. I love it when I don't see some things coming. A lot of books are predictable but I love to be caught off guard and surprised by plot from time to time.

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