Waiting on Wednesday – July 19

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released. The original meme was hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine.

What book am I eagerly awaiting this week, bookworms?

Well, it is a book by an author I have read a lot of, though under a pen name. It is post-apocalyptic and magic and romance.

The tag line? “The end has come. The beginning comes next.”

And it isn’t coming out until December of this year. Why do I always find these books that I have to wait so long to read?!

Want to know what book it is?

Waiting on Wednesday – July 19Year One by Nora Roberts
on December 5th 2017
Pages: 432

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

Buy from Book Depository | Buy from Amazon
Goodreads
Synopsis

It began on New Year’s Eve.

The sickness came on suddenly, and spread quickly. The fear spread even faster. Within weeks, everything people counted on began to fail them. The electrical grid sputtered; law and government collapsed—and more than half of the world’s population was decimated.

Where there had been order, there was now chaos. And as the power of science and technology receded, magic rose up in its place. Some of it is good, like the witchcraft worked by Lana Bingham, practicing in the loft apartment she shares with her lover, Max. Some of it is unimaginably evil, and it can lurk anywhere, around a corner, in fetid tunnels beneath the river—or in the ones you know and love the most.

As word spreads that neither the immune nor the gifted are safe from the authorities who patrol the ravaged streets, and with nothing left to count on but each other, Lana and Max make their way out of a wrecked New York City. At the same time, other travelers are heading west too, into a new frontier. Chuck, a tech genius trying to hack his way through a world gone offline. Arlys, a journalist who has lost her audience but uses pen and paper to record the truth. Fred, her young colleague, possessed of burgeoning abilities and an optimism that seems out of place in this bleak landscape. And Rachel and Jonah, a resourceful doctor and a paramedic who fend off despair with their determination to keep a young mother and three infants in their care alive.

In a world of survivors where every stranger encountered could be either a savage or a savior, none of them knows exactly where they are heading, or why. But a purpose awaits them that will shape their lives and the lives of all those who remain.

The end has come. The beginning comes next.

Why am I so excited for this book?

I have read a lot of the In Death series (which is Nora Roberts writing at J.D. Robb), but until now nothing under her actual name has called to me. But I love books about the end of the world, and I love books about the apocalypse, and I already know that I like Nora Roberts’ writing style. Especially the way she writes characters!


What book are you eagerly anticipating this week? Comment below, or link me up to your Waiting On Wednesday post!

Stay bookish, lovelies!

Posted by The Bluestocking Bookworm in Books, Reading, 2 comments

Medical Stuff – An Update

In June, I wrote a post about my medical costs and how they are a lot higher than anticipated and that I had lost my insurance. You are all lovely people and I received a lot of love and support following my post, for which I am eternally grateful.

In the time since that post (about a month) I have had a few new developments.

First is that we found some new insurance. It will cover all of my medicine anywhere from 50%-80% which is less than the 100% I had before, but it is a heck of a lot better than nothing. Also, all of my medicine is covered (as well as dental, glasses, etc.) which is pretty cool.

So my medical costs have dropped to just under half of what I was paying before. Hooray for that! $150 seems like a much more manageable number than $375 a month.


The other thing I have done is expand my affiliate network. The earnings from the affiliate links I post are small, but every little bit helps. If I can use the $12 in my PayPal account towards my phone bill, it helps.

I know a lot of people don’t like Amazon, and I would really rather you support your local independent bookstore myself. However, if you are going to be buying from Amazon anyways, I am now an affiliate in Canada, the US, and the UK. This also includes Audible and Kindle!

I am an affiliate for Chapters, which is an amazing option for Canadian customers who are buying physical books. I am also an affiliate for Book Depository, who ships almost everywhere international for free.

For e-books, I am a Kobo affiliate. You can purchase Kobo books anywhere in the world.

There are links for Book Depository and Chapters on the sidebar of my blog. I will be adding Kobo and Amazon soon (ish?). Otherwise, the purchase links in my book reviews are affiliate links.

Thank you everyone for your support. It means the world to me.

Stay bookish and be well, lovelies!

Posted by The Bluestocking Bookworm in Personal, Random Thoughts, 1 comment

500 Twitter Followers – A Giveaway!

Back in February of this year, I deleted my Twitter due to harassment. I re-made it in late March to take part in Canada Reads with CBC, but I didn’t really start using it again until the middle of April.

When I deleted I was close to 2000 followers. I had industry professionals, publishers, authors, and fellow book bloggers. It was heartbreaking to delete, but it was necessary for my mental health and well-being.

Fast forward to today. I got back to 500 followers and I am just so thankful and amazed and flabbergasted that I have hit this milestone again. I honestly never thought I would. I thought the bullying meant I would never have followers again.

So thank you. Thank you so much for following me. Thank you for showing me that I am worth so much more than what those people think of me.

In celebration, I am hosting a giveaway!

You can win either $20 CAD worth of books from Book Depository OR $15 CAD worth of eBooks from a retailer of your choice. The giveaway runs until midnight July 18, 2017.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted by The Bluestocking Bookworm in Books, Personal, Reading, 4 comments

[Great Debates] Volume 1: Trigger Warnings, Problematic Content, YA Books and More

Hello, bookish lovelies! Welcome to Great Debates, a new and original feature on Bluestocking Bookworm! In this column, I will be tackling issues and opinions that are prevalent in the bookish community.

Today’s post was sparked by something that happened on my Twitter. It may get long and I may ramble a bit, but I have a lot of thoughts about this, so please bear with me.

I saw a list of books shared and billed as “Crucial Feminist YA Novels”. On this list were a lot of great books, as well as a few books that other bloggers have named as problematic. So, I did what I thought was the responsible thing and retweeted the list, with a small disclaimer that some of the books were problematic, and to please be safe. I got some snark for it, and got lumped into a group of people on bookish Twitter that I have actually actively been working against, because I don’t agree with their process.

So, I think that first it is important to have a small educational session.

It is really important to note that I am not an expert on anything, and am merely presenting my thoughts. I welcome respectful discourse, and please let me know if I have presented something in a way that is harmful.

What a Trigger ACTUALLY Is

A trigger is some form of stimuli that forces a traumatized person relive their trauma. This can be in the form of a flashback, or an intense emotional response (like panic). Not all people who experienced the same trauma will have the same triggers, or any triggers. But as the science behind developing triggers is not understood, it is important to know that this is not a blame game, or anything to do with people without triggers being “stronger”. So don’t go there.

It has nothing to do with taking offense or personal opinions. It has everything to do with psychology and mental health.

So, What is a Trigger Warning?

A trigger warning (TW) is a line of text before media is presented that alerts the audience to the presence of scenes, themes, etc. that may trigger them to that past trauma. While some triggers are common and can be warned against (things like depictions of rape, kidnapping, child abuse, etc.) some are very obscure, like the color purple or a specific phrase. No one expects trigger warnings to cover all potential triggers, just the big, glaring, obvious ones.

A trigger warning is not the same as a content warning.

OK, OK, OK… What The Heck is a Content Warning?

A content warning (CW) is similar to a trigger warning, but is for the things that might offend you, rather than the things that might trigger you. These things are a little more of a gray area, and I don’t really want to say what is or isn’t a trigger for everyone, because that isn’t my place at all.

I am personally offended by sexism, but I am not triggered by it. Others may be triggered, though, and no one should belittle them for that.

Problematic Content – A Broad Overview

I don’t really want to get into the specifics of problematic content, but rather give a broad and personal overview as to what this term means to me.

Problematic content is anything that promotes harmful ideas such as racism, homophobia, ableism, etc. – there are too many isms to list them all – OR sends a negative message to teens about things like body image. It isn’t these things alone that make a book problematic. It is when these issues are presented on the page as being OK, and we never see the character being reprimanded for their actions or words. It is the perpetuation of institutionalized prejudice and hatred that makes something problematic.

Triggering content does not mean a book is problematic.

Problematic books can also be helpful for some people to work through their traumas.

I don’t always talk about what other people find problematic, because I don’t always personally agree. But I do always sit back and take notice when I see it. It is part of being a responsible, adult, book blogger. To be informed and respectful, even when you disagree.


Why Does This Matter?

OK, so we covered some basic educational notes about what a trigger actually is and whatnot. And I bet you are sitting there, maybe rolling your eyes and wondering why I am bothering, and why any of this matters.

The thing is, young adult literature is not for us, the adults who love it. Don’t get me wrong — I really enjoy YA books, and I don’t believe in shaming people because of what they read… especially if people are calling down adults for reading YA. That isn’t cool. At all.

I don’t know any YA author who thinks anything about their adult readers while they write. They are writing for teens. They are writing stories that teens need. Finding yourself is not exclusive to one kind of literature — teens can do it with adult books, and adults can do it with teen books. So, we can love our YA books as adults, but we need to recognize that they aren’t for us. They are for teenagers.

Teenagers are smart. They are critical thinkers. But they are also impressionable. They are going through some really formative stuff. Some of them are dealing with some really heavy stuff. Some of them aren’t. Some of them have great support systems to talk with about what they read. And some of them don’t.

It matters, especially in the scope of YA literature. I had my parents and an excellent English teacher I could talk to about books. I look at teenagers today who are dealing with so much stuff, and yeah I want to protect them. Or rather, I want to help them protect themselves. I don’t want to dictate what they can or can’t read, but I do want to give as much information as I can and let them decide.

The trigger warnings and warnings of problematic content on YA books? Pro-tip: You can ignore them if you want to, especially as an adult reader. Unless you have triggers, or you are responsible for putting books into hands of teens (as a librarian, a blogger, etc.) then you go ahead and just ignore those things. They aren’t for you, anyways. They take nothing away from your reading experience by existing.


A Few More Personal Notes

I will always choose to be kind and respectful. I will always choose to be cautious when I promote books to certain audiences. Words are powerful.

I am not a blind follower of anything. I don’t blindly love all of an author’s work, and I don’t blindly discredit everything an author wrote because someone somewhere said it was problematic. I do not attack authors or publishers if they have books I don’t like or agree with.

I don’t review books I haven’t read.

I have been bullied, harassed, and chased off of all sorts of social media for sharing opinions like this before. So, this post? Hard for me.

OK, that is all I have in me for today, lovelies! Reminder that I am very cool with friendly and respectful discussion, even if you disagree.

Stay bookish ♥

Posted by The Bluestocking Bookworm in Books, Books I've Read, Great Debates, Personal, Random Thoughts, 3 comments

[Review] Lost Boy by Christina Henry


I have to beg your forgiveness, lovelies. This is the first review I have actually written up in a while, and I am a little bit rusty. However, I couldn’t have picked a better book to be my first after a bit of a hiatus from reviewing due to health issues. Lost Boy by Christina Henry is a real gem!

So, a bit of a disclaimer. I have never actually read the J.M. Barrie original. I know, I know! Bad bookworm. But I find that I get a little overwhelmed when I read classics and originals. So, for now I have skipped it. But, I really love fairy tales, and I have a lot of fond memories of spending time at my grandparents’ house, reading many different treasuries of classic fairy tales. Back when Christina Henry wrote Alice and Red Queen, I jumped on the opportunity to read a dark re-imagining of the stories I loved as a kid. And when I saw she was writing Lost Boy, I had to read it, too! Not to mention, look how amazing that cover is. And the UK version is even more so.

Because all I know of Peter Pan is the Disney story, and a little bit of the stage musical, I had no serious attachments to the story or the characters as they were. If you do, and you don’t want those attachments ruined, I recommend steering clear of Lost Boy. You won’t feel the same about Peter and his boys after you read it!

Characters:

We see some real growth and change in a few of the characters. While the main characters (namely Jamie and Peter) are very well fleshed out, the other characters were a little one-dimensional for me. I love sweeping casts, and especially with how things went in Part III onward, I would have loved to know a little bit more about the supporting cast of boys.

Plot and Pacing:

Lost Boy started out a little slow for me, but by Part II (of IV), it was really picking up, and I didn’t want to put it down. The core plot of Lost Boy is really magnificent, as it tells a story that isn’t often explored – the origin of the villain. And if the villain has just cause for becoming a villain, is he truly a villain?

Lost Boy was billed as a horror story on NetGalley, but I feel like it sits more comfortably in the dark fantasy genre. Where Henry’s previous two retellings had a very prevalent core of fear and suspense, I feel like Lost Boy was lacking in that department. However, it did keep the graphic violence that Henry writes so very well.

Setting and Worldbuilding:

The interesting thing about derivative works is that some of the work is done for you, while you get to reinterpret other aspects completely. While Henry’s Neverland (or as she calls it, Peter’s island) is not as lush and full as the world she created in Alice and Red Queen, it was still a lovely setting for the story. The one thing I was really missing was any mention of Tiger Lily and her “Picaninny” tribe. It would have infused some much-needed diversity into the story, as all of the boys Peter brings to his island (as well as the pirates) were described as being white.

I would also love to have seen a little more description of the Other Place, maybe via what the boys were wearing when they were brought to the island. We know Jamie has been there a long time, but if the new boys were wearing jeans and neon windbreakers as opposed to Jamie’s more 1800’s inspired wear, it would give a better sense of time passing. I understand why she didn’t do so, as it might have damaged the fantasy aspects of the book… but it would still have been interesting.

Final Notes:

Christina Henry is a glorious wordsmith, and Lost Boy is no exception. My few beefs with it are that it lacks a diverse narrative, the supporting characters could have used some extra love, and the worldbuilding was not as striking as in her previous work. That said, this re-telling of Peter Pan is sure to stand the test of time as a dark fantasy favorite.

Content/Trigger Warnings:

Lost Boy contains some graphic violence and gore, specifically against children. As such, it may be triggering to some readers.
Furthermore, this is not a Young Adult book, though the main cast is of a younger age.

Who Should Read This Book:

Readers who are a fan of bloody battles, fairy tale re-imaginings, and dark fantasy are likely to love Lost Boy by Christina Henry.


Have you read Lost Boy by Christina Henry? I would love to hear what you think of it! What are some other retellings or re-imaginings that you love? Link me to your review, or leave a comment.

Keep your eyes peeled here, because later this week I will be posting a Q&A with Christina herself – and you will have a chance to win a copy of Lost Boy!
(Contest will be open to US and Canada only, sorry overseas lovelies!)

Posted by The Bluestocking Bookworm in Books, Books I've Read, Reviews, 5 comments

Let’s Talk About Freading!

My local library has some really great resources when it comes to online borrowing. A lot of us are aware of the Overdrive system, as it is the one most widely used by libraries all around the world.

A few years back, I became interested in reading graphic novels. Being a creature of habit, I wanted to stick with the electronic copies. Overdrive had nothing. (Sidebar that there are now graphic novels available on Overdrive. Yay!) While looking at the website for my local library, I saw they had another site I could access called Freading. This was where all of the graphic novels were. So I logged in.

Freading has an app on both Android and iOS. I haven’t personally tried it yet, because it is a newer addition. Back when I started using Freading, it was all done through Adobe Digital Editions. But now there is even a handy dandy app!

The last time I logged onto Freading (excluding last night) I logged right back out. The covers made me feel really anxious. What was I looking at? At first, I felt like the Freading catalogue was comparable to the NetGalley “Read Now” section. Some good titles. A lot of unknown authors and publishers. A lot of bad covers that are really hard to see past.

Last night, I decided to check it out again, and I want to revise my opinion. It isn’t so much like the NetGalley “Read Now” section (though a lot of the titles in my library’s selection are also on my NetGalley awaiting reviews… go figure!) but more like a used bookstore. There are some really great titles hiding in there, but you might have to dig a bit.

Essentially, if you are looking for any of the Big 5 publishers, or their imprints, look at Overdrive first. But if you are looking for something a little more niche, something local, something that might be an e-book of an older book, etc.? Look at Freading. You might need to dig a bit, but it will be well worth it in the end!

Some of my most anticipated books of the year are on Freading, and not on Overdrive. Some of the books I was having a really hard time finding in the library system in general are hiding right there, in plain sight.

What kind of non-Overdrive electronic borrowing resources does your local library have?

Stay bookish, lovelies!

Posted by The Bluestocking Bookworm in Books, Reading, 1 comment

The Psychology of Buying Books When You Are Poor

Hello awesome nerds,

I thought I might take you a little ways into my mind today. Hold my hand, mind the gap, and don’t poke anything and we will be fine.

As a person without a lot of money for frivolities (which unfortunately includes books) I tend to buy my books used. As such, I can generally get books for anywhere from $0.50 to $2.00 each. Yes, they are used, but they are also generally in good condition. The only time I get a little grumpy is when I have ex libris copies I can’t clean up. But I digress.

My birthday was a few weeks ago, and I received a lovely gift card for Chapters as a gift. Cue my excitement! I was going to get to buy a new book for myself! As I have become more active on Twitter lately, I have been seeing so many awesome new releases coming out. And I was so excited.

Until I got to the book store. New releases (meaning hardcover for the most part) were running over $25 each. One of them was under 100 pages long. And I sat there, dumbfounded, staring at the books I had been so excited to get. The gift card, which I thought was going to get me maybe two books, was not even going to cover one.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Books are worth it. I want nothing more than to support authors. But when you are trying to make your money stretch, it is so frustrating to come across these books you want that are so out of reach. $25+ is enough for one of my monthly medications! Even with a gift card, can I honestly justify that kind of cost?

Ebooks are an option. And it is funny, because I actually prefer to read ebooks. But for the money, I would rather have something physical in my hands than a series of ones and zeroes.

How do you feel about the “convenience tax” associated with buying brand new books? Do you think it is justified? Or do you think we should be working to make books more accessible to all?

Stay bookish, lovelies!

 

Posted by The Bluestocking Bookworm in Books, Personal, Random Thoughts, 2 comments

Bluestocking Bookworm’s Posting Schedule

I figure if I put it down on paper, I will be more accountable to it. I hope, anyways.

Reviews: Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays
Top Ten Tuesdays: On, well… Tuesdays!
Book Blogging 101: The second Wednesday of the month
Representation Matters: Fridays, frequency TBD
Great Debates: Sundays, frequency TBD

That is all I have for now. What do you think?

Posted by The Bluestocking Bookworm in Books, Reading, 0 comments

Top Ten Tuesday: Getting Serious About Series

 toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the fine folks over at The Broke and the Bookish. They totally rock, so check them out!

This week’s topic is Top Ten Series I Have Been Meaning to Start, But Haven’t — but I am going to do a little twist since I did a similar topic a few weeks ago. I am going to get Serious About Series and list five series I need to finish, and five that I will probably never touch again. So, without further adieu, and in no particular order…

Five Series I Need To Finish

The Wheel of Time Series by Robert Jordan
I have read 11 of the 14 books in this series, but I need to reread the entire thing. There is a lot of intricate worldbuilding and a lot of character arcs to keep straight in these books, so going longer than 6 months between is not recommended if you are like me and can’t remember anything.

The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon
I have read 5 of the 8 books in this series. I really like them, but I have to be in the right mind-frame to tackle one, as they top out over 1000 pages.

The In Death Series by J.D. Robb
I have read 25 of the (currently) 46 novels in this series. There are also a handful of short stories and I have read some of those. These are what I call my candy books. They are a light and fun read that I can knock out in a day or two.

The Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J Maas
I have read 4 of the 7 planned novels in this series, but will need to reread them all. For some reason I didn’t jump on Empire of Storms when it came out last year.

The Sin du Jour Series by Matt Wallace
I have read 3 of the 6 planned novellas in this series and while they have some potentially triggering content, I am a big fan.

Five Series I Have No Intention of Finishing

The Uglies Series by Scott Westerfield
I read book 1 a while back, and really disliked the message it was sending to young girls. The only reason I would read the rest is if my niece decided she wanted to read them. So I could be informed and able to fight the whole “You have to be perfect” message it seemed to send.

The Ashfall Series by Mike Mullin
In my early days of book blogging, I gave this book a scathing review, I hated it SO MUCH. Zero desire to finish out the series or to give it another chance, though the premise really intrigued me.

The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare
I was not a fan of City of Bones, and I am not a fan of Clare as a person. I was gifted all of the books, so it is not completely off the table, but I would have to be really desperate, I think.

The Maze Runner Series by James Dashner
I read book one before the movie was announced, and I was really unimpressed. I felt like it was a lot of telling instead of showing. And it was just… boring. So I will not be continuing with it.

The Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi
I was super excited to read this one, because Tumblr had hyped it up so much. Except that it was a big let down. I found it to be so cliche. I adore Mafi as a person, and I want to read some of her other work, but Shatter Me just wasn’t for me.


What series are you currently in the middle of? What series are you dying to binge-read? What series did you start and just can’t bring yourself to bother to finish? Comment below, and link me up to your TTT!

Stay bookish, lovelies!

Posted by The Bluestocking Bookworm in Books, Books I've Read, Reading, 4 comments

A Note About Book Blogging 101

So, I wanted to make Book Blogging 101 a weekly feature, but I think it is going to have to be a little less frequent than that. The simple reason is I will run out of content before to long if I post every week.

From now on, Book Blogging 101 will be on the second Wednesday of the month.

Stay bookish, lovelies!

Posted by The Bluestocking Bookworm in Book Blogging 101, 0 comments
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