#DiverseAThon January 2017 – TBR

What’s Diverse-A-Thon? In short: a community celebration of diverse books that’s open to everyone. The dates to remember are January 22-29.

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Book Review: “Gilded Cage,” Vic James

from Tor.com

I burn, not shine.

I did not expect to love this book, but god DAMN. Vic James has slain me. “Gilded Cage” — in defiance of its bland title and uninspiring cover — exceeded all my expectations. It’s one of those gems that reminds me of why I like YA lit so much in the first place.

The premise: In an alternate universe version of the modern-day UK, a “Skilled” (magical) ruling class presides over the un-Skilled, who are required to spend ten years of their lives as slaves. When the Hadley family decides to begin their slavedays, intending to spend those long years together, things go awry. Their teenage son, Luke, is assigned to the dreary and soul-crushing slave town of Millmoor, while his family goes to the luxurious Kyneston estate, tasked with serving the most powerful family in the country. But which is worse — open brutality, or beautifully adorned and concealed cruelty? Risking everything for the sake of struggle and resistance, or obedience in exchange for comfort?

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Book Review: “Up to this Pointe,” Jennifer Longo

This review is spoiler-free and can also be found on goodreads.

The Plan. It has been in place since sixth grade. Kate and I have followed it religiously — devoted to dance and to each other.

uttpThis book is an unexpected gem: fun, hopeful, a little bittersweet. Anyone who’s ever felt like their life has no direction, or who has been confused and anxious about their future, will respond to Harper’s story. Anyone who’s had to give up on a lifelong dream, or who’s felt drawn to nontraditional paths, will connect.

The plot: Harper has spent her entire life training to be a ballerina. She has no Plan B. When her dream is shattered, she flees to Antarctica to do some soul-searching. The story alternates between the present-day, following Harper’s six months in Antarctica, and the past, set in San Francisco and showing the events that led to Harper’s decision to leave.

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Book Review: “Uprooted,” Naomi Novik


uprooted coverThis review is spoiler-free and can also be found on goodreads.

It’s true what people say, that old ideas can become fresh and new in the hands of a good storyteller, and Uprooted is proof. This is a unique and unforgettable execution of a familiar premise. It’s as captivating as any of the best fantasies, and there’s a lot going on in terms of character and world building. It deserves all the hype it’s gotten.

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