Monday, August 7, 2017

July Reads // Math & Mermaids

Happy Monday! I hope you're excited for the week ahead. I've been just off my blogging game by a mile... not scheduling posts or getting them published in a consistent way, sorry guys, I'll get a new rhythm eventually... 

I know some of you read TONS during the summer, but for me... at least this year, it's not been a good season for reading. Oh well, I am still on top of my goal for the year! But it's a shorter list (for me) this month. :) 

*note* I cannot resist buying second-hand books about mermaids, or anything related... even if they have a silly cover, or sound like they are going to be really young... so there's a lot of that this month! :P 

Zenn Diagram by Wendy Brant

4 Stars - I recommend if you enjoy contemporary YA, and stories that show how lives intersect in unexpected ways. This wasn't overly heavy or overly fluffy (after the first several chapters).

Eva is good at two things: math and "seeing" people's problems when she touches them. While this makes her an excellent math tutor, it makes her socially weird. She doesn't touch anyone or their belongings unless she has to. When she meets Zenn, her new student and accidentally touches his jacket, she's hit with intense feelings of pain, loss, anger, and violence. She's never felt a vision that strongly before. Despite her best efforts, and their differences, she's drawn to Zenn. What happens when you can't touch the one you're with? Why are his problems so violent? Is there any hope that two people so different could find a common ground?

This book started out pretty fluffy, I was a little worried that it was going to be saccharine... but it quickly gained quite a bit of depth and character development. You find out more about Eva's and Zenn's past, and their current struggles. Despite their differences, it turns out that their lives overlap in some pretty big ways. I really appreciated the "realness" the book had despite the fantastical premise. The characters felt real, most of their problems felt real, their relationship seemed pretty real. It wasn't all sugar coated or all depressing. I liked the balance a lot. I also appreciated that while her parents are religious, and the beginning of the book starts out a bit too "pastor's kid," there is some balance there as well. I appreciate books that deal with tough issues and religious perspectives on them, but it's not OVERLY religious. Does this even make sense? It made me glad that all of the characters were very multi-dimensional, and experienced change. This book isn't earth shattering, but I really ended up liking it quite a lot. I also like that their relationship kind of mirrors Rory & Jess in GG. Though Zenn is definitely less angry. - which I obviously like! #teamjess

20 points - Erin's 7.0

Between the Sea and Sky by Jaclyn Delamore

3 - 3.5 Stars - I recommend if you enjoy fantasy, especially related to mermaids or winged creatures.

This book follows Esmerine, a mermaid who is about to become a siren like her older sister Dosinia. Becoming a siren is a high honor, and reserved for the brightest mermaids who have a love of land as well as the sea. One day Dosinia dissappears leaving Esmerine as one of the few who could venture after her on land. Walking on land is hard for a mermaid and so Esmerine seeks the help of her old friend Alander, who is from a winged race. Together they journey across the world to find Dosinia.

This book had a really cool concept. I like the idea of the world that Delamore built, but I definitely wanted more from it. It was a shorter book, so maybe I just need longer fantasy books haha. I love the idea of mermaids, so it was fun to read how Delamore wove different types of mermaid myth into her characters (siren belts, walking hurts though they have feet, etc.). I liked the idea as well of the winged race of people. There was a bit of the politics within the world building, but I wanted to know more about each race, world, and their interactions. Overall it was fun to read, and it was cute, a little bit romantic. I read it quickly in just one day. I would recommend, but only if it sounds like your thing.

10 points - Erin's 7.0

Tides by Betsy Cornwell

3.5 - 4 Stars - I recommend if you enjoy YA fantasy, especially ones filled with mythology and folktales. This one deals with coastal myths of selkies (similar to mermaids).

This book follows Noah and his sister Lo as they spend a summer with their grandmother on a remote island in coastal New Hampshire. Noah has a dream internship with a marine biology center and his idol, a renowned professor from a university. Lo is recovering from her eating disorder, and trying to get a break from her parents. When Noah mistakenly saves a girl from drowning one day, he can't get her out of his head... or his grandmother's stories about selkies. Mysterious creatures who shed their seal skins and come ashore as humans. 

I think I picked this one up at a booksale (a discarded library version, noless) and said, "hmm... this looks really young... but it's about selkies! uuughhh" .. so it came home with me. I hand't read anything about selkies before, and it was very interesting. They're basically nicer versions of sirens or mermaids, who are therefore often taken advantage of by humans. I thought it was interesting how the generational aspect of Noah's family was woven into their connection to the sea, and to the selkies. I thought the mystery was very easy to guess, but that's ok. This book was quite easy to read, a tad bit too easy I suppose, but it was very fun. It varies POV by chapter, which was mostly ok, but I felt like a few of the chapters were from POVs that don't get developed very much by the end of the story, yet I don't know that there are more books or anything. Nothing really wrong with this one, sweet, and fun. I appreciated that there was a bit of diversity in this book as well!

15 points - Erin's 7.0

Currently Reading:

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
A Fork in the Road edited by James Oseland
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Be Your Own Fairytale: Working with Storytelling for Positive Life Chaneg by Alison Davies*

Books on Deck:

Everything for Erin's Challenge!!

Shotgun Love Songs by Nikolas Butler
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
East by Edith Pattou
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Looking for Alaska by John Green
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

Point Total: 45
Linking up with Jana and Steph for Show Us Your Books tomorrow. :) 

What have you been reading? What do you hope to read this month?! 

Let's be friends on Goodreads!



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Thank you for reading! I love seeing your sweet comments and visiting your lovely blogs! XO