Did You Know?

Erin L. Schneider is native to the Pacific Northwest, attended college in Honolulu - and although Hawaiian - should never be allowed on a surfboard. With more than twenty years in corporate merchandising, she’s now a full-time writer living in Seattle with her husband, Neal; their baby boy, Kellan; a rowdy German shepherd named Ronin; and two crazy cats, Ono and Poke. She’s a member of both the Pacific Northwest Writers Association and SCBWI, and is also co-founder of the YA Buccaneers.

SUMMER OF SLOANE is her debut novel, out May 3, 2016 from Disney-Hyperion.

Erin is represented by literary agent Lisa Grubka of Fletcher & Company.

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Entries in Graceling (2)

Wednesday
Jun062012

RTW: Best May Read!

It's Road Trip Wednesday time - which is great news, as I feel myself slacking in the blogging department now that April A to Z and Blog Me MAYbe are done!!!

And today's topic:

What was the best book you read in May?

Well, I have three, actually!

1. GRACELING by Kristin Cashore

I don't know why it took me so long to read this series, but I have to admit - I'm so glad that it did, because I got to read all three books in the series back-to-back-to-back!!!

I adored this book - and I loved Katsa and Po, even more! 

For more details, see my review here.

2. FIRE by Kristin Cashore

If it's at all possible, I finally found a sequel that I loved even more than the first book! Don't get me wrong, as I mentioned above, I loved GRACELING - and I definitely can say it has been a long time since I've read a book that I didn't want to put down, or kept going back to re-read pages! But...I have to say the relationship between Fire and Brigan in this title, really won me over! Maybe it was the horses. Maybe it was the whole knight in shining armour thing...I dunno. But I love me some Brigan.

Stay tuned for my review!

3. BITTERBLUE by Kristin Cashore

Third book in the series, this one picks up right after GRACELING - but ties all three books in so nicely, with a great big bow! 

While there wasn't nearly enough romance in this book - and I totally get that wasn't the point - I still found that I missed the relationships so evident in both GRACELING and FIRE. This title was the darkest of the three, filling in almost all of the blanks behind Bitterblue's treacherous father, King Leck. And it ended, leaving the reader to wonder, will there be a fourth book? 

Well, I sure hope so!

Stay tuned for my review on this one, as well!

Net / net: May was a good month of reads for me! I love when I come across a book - or better yet, an entire series - where I just can't put them down!

Sadly though, I'm now suffering to find something good to read - and have started 5-6 other books (UNRAVELING, PANDEMONIUM, ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, and DITCHED to name a few!), but can't seem to get past the first few chapters!

So with that, I leave you to answer (enter my selfish way of finding great new books to read!):

What was your favorite read in May?

Monday
May142012

My Revew: GRACELING by Kristin Cashore

Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)Graceling by Kristin Cashore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug. When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

With elegant, evocative prose and a cast of unforgettable characters, debut author Kristin Cashore creates a mesmerizing world, a death-defying adventure, and a heart-racing romance that will consume you, hold you captive, and leave you wanting more.

My Review:

How in the world did it take me so long to read this one!!! I ordered all three books in the series just before BITTERBLUE was about to be released, in hopes of having something good once I finished INSURGENT. And let me tell you, I was NOT disappointed!

I flew through GRACELING and would've read it much faster, had there not been so many pages that I had to re-read, then read again, because I loved the interaction between Katsa and Po! It's been a loooooong time since I've done that.

The world building that Kristin Cashore invites us into, I thought was brilliant. Reminiscent of Narnia, everything about the seven kingdoms unfolds around you - begging you to smell the dirt and the trees, feel the cold and the snowflakes, or get sick on the high seas with Bitterblue.

And then there's Katsa.

Katsa is exactly the heroine I've been waiting for. Don't get me wrong, I love, love, love Katniss - and Tris is right up there for me, too...but there's something about how raw and explosive Katsa is, that I completely relate to. She's strong and determined, yet stubborn and short-fused. Everything about her made the perfect lead character, and her flaws made her that much stronger.

And Po. Oh, Po. I loved this character from the very first page he showed up - and I just knew he was going to turn Katsa's world upside down. Not only was he laid-back and observant, but he was also incredibly humble...something which helped to ground Katsa, whether she wanted it or not.

All of the other characters in the book were well-written, focused, and rounded out the story completely: Bitterblue who offered her youth with charm and charisma, Raffin, with his fierce loyalty, Randa - Katsa's last blood relative - who deserved more punishment than he got, for how he used her...and of course, King Leck. This character was written so well, I wanted to kill him myself - and his cruelty to animals and children alone, made him the ultimate villain.

If I had to come up with any criticism for GRACELING, I'd say maybe it was a little slow at the beginning, but that's stretching to come up with something. I really enjoyed this book and the journey it took me on - and I'm very much looking forward to what comes next, with FIRE and BITTERBLUE. Stay tuned for my reviews!

View all my reviews