Review: Bones & All by Camille DeAngelis

This is one of the first truly enjoyable books I have read this year. I mean, I have read books that I liked, but I simply devoured Bones & All. Yep. I went there. Not entirely intentionally, but the pun has been made, and it shall remain.

The prose is just stunningly beautiful. We follow Maren, a sixteen year old cannibal, as she tries to find a place for herself in the world. The observations she makes, the way DeAngelis pulls you into the world of Bones & All (even though it isn’t that different from our own) and the melancholy of being a person who doesn’t quite fit in. The prose sings. It isn’t always a happy song.

This is, after all, a book about a cannibal. And while I wouldn’t recommend it for much younger than 16 and up, I have come to terms with the fact that beneath the story of a girl who eats people is that fundamental search for self. And that is a story that can be related to in one’s teen years, as well as in the older years. My initial thought was that this was in no way suitable for young adults, because it was so tense and creepy and sad, but a lot of the world is like that. So I amended my opinion to recommend this book to the older young adults out there.

So, I seem to have loved Bones & All, right? Why did it lose a star? There were some plot points that were a little strange, and I would have enjoyed the story more if they were written differently. The ending was wholly unsatisfying, and Mr. Blue can attest to the fact that I finished the book and went “THIS CAN’T BE IT?!”. Another sad fact of the lost star was that Maren didn’t seem to grow as much as I would have liked her to in a “coming of age” story. It is a very short 304 pages.

Finally, and probably selfishly, when I read the author information at the back and found that Camille DeAngelis is  vegan, I felt a little like I had been cheated. I didn’t want to read the book again so soon, as it is quite unsettling. But now I am left wondering… Did I actually read the book that she wrote? Or was Bones & All meant to have some deeper societal meaning about veganism. I mean, I am personally not a vegan or a vegetarian because I can’t afford it. I have looked at a variety of lifestyles such as veganism because of my health problems, and I have no fundamental problems with the lifestyle or the people who live them. What I do have a problem with is being misdirected. And that is how I felt at the end reading the little blurb about Camille DeAngelis‘ choice to be vegan, and her opinions that we need to “take a closer look at the consumption of flesh”.

Bones & All will be released tomorrow, March 10, 2015. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and was definitely left wanting more. I will be seeking out more of the author’s work with an eager eye. If you enjoy coming-of-age stories with a twist, horror, or just a touch of the unusual (I wouldn’t go so far as to say “magical realism”) then I encourage you to take a look for Bones & All.

Posted by The Bluestocking Bookworm in Books, Books I've Read, Reading, Reviews, 0 comments

Excerpt Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

This will be a very short review, because I only read a short excerpt of the book. But this book was released today and therefore, I felt it was important to let you know just how I feel about it.

I only read about a hundred pages of A Darker Shade of Magic, but I fell in love. In those hundred pages, I was introduced to Kell, a very complex character who’s struggles and tasks were clear. I was enveloped in Schwab’s world, which is intricate and very well-written without suffering from an info dump. In that short little bit of book, I was introduced to the main plot point, which was going to drive the rest of the book. But then my preview ended and I was heartbroken. Because I read this in January. And it just came out today.

Also, A Darker Shade of Magic is the first a series, which probably means the ending is deliciously cliff-hangered.  But I don’t know for sure, because I haven’t had the money to purchase the book yet. But I did request that the library purchase it. Because I need to know what happens! And honestly, if I were stronger willed, I would advise you to wait until all of the books are published to indulge in this gem. But I am not! I think that even though it was just published today, and even though you are going to have to wait a while for the sequel, A Darker Shade of Magic is worth it. It is worth that bookish pain we all know so well.

If I had the money available, I would have definitely pre-ordered this one. Sadly, I didn’t, and I still don’t, but it will be one of the first books I grab when I do have some dollars to my name.

So, did you grab A Darker Shade of Magic today? Are you enjoying it so far?

Posted by The Bluestocking Bookworm in Books, Books I've Read, Reading, Reviews, 0 comments

Top Ten Tuesday: I Can’t Believe I Haven’t Read It!

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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!

OK, OK, OK. I know it is not still Tuesday. Please forgive me for that itty bitty fact. I mean… one second.

POOF IT IS TOTALLY TUESDAY AGAIN!

So, the topic for this week is “Ten Books I Can’t Believe I Haven’t Read Yet!” and let me tell you, I had ten within about five minutes of browsing my (almost 2300 books long) TBR pile. But these ones stuck out. So, without further rambling, and as always in no particular order, my books!

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  • Wicked as They Come by Delilah S. Dawson
    This is a book by someone I know via the perfume oil community I sometimes frequent. (Is that an oxymoron? “Sometimes frequent”) She is a lovely person, and seeing her books in the store here always makes me smile, because it means she is doing well! But I still haven’t read her first one, and seriously it sounds perfect for me so what the frick is wrong with me?
  • Solitaire by Alice Oseman
    This is another I-kind-of know-the-author books, and I really want to support the authors I even kind of know. Alice, I kind-of-know from Tumblr, and she is totally awesome.
  • The Reincarnationist by M.J. Rose
    I was turned on to this series by the name of the fourth book. I love historical fiction, and this series just… sings to me. But I haven’t even picked it up yet.
  • Shift by Hugh Howey
    I READ WOOL AND I LOVED IT SO MUCH AND WHY HAVEN’T I READ THE SECOND PART YET?!
  • The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
    This was recommended to me many times by a friend of mine who I don’t talk to anymore. She probably thinks I was ignoring her, but I truly never did get around to it and I do want to read it. But really. I HAVE A TBR PILE THAT IS 2300 BOOKS LONG. Things are bound to get shuffled. We ended our friendship on bad terms, but I still want to read this book, especially for her.

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  • Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman
    I came across this book one afternoon when I was at the bookstore with Mr. Blue. I was drawn to the cover, and then to the blurb. This is the only book I have bought on my tablet at full price, because it seemed worth it. Yet, I haven’t read it yet.
  • Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente
    I loved The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland, and have thus decided I need to read everything else ever written by Valente. Palimpsest seems like a good place to start!
  • A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson
    This is the final book in the Wheel of Time series. This series was one of my favorites in high school, and truth be told I haven’t read any of the books since Robert Jordan passed away. I go long stretches without reading and then I have to re-read, so I am currently starting over, again.
  • The Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko
    I have heard from many different people that this is a book worth reading. I found it at the book sale a few years back, and I still haven’t read it. Silly me.
  • The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
    I have always been very interested in all things Holocaust. I want to read all the books and see all the movies and just immerse myself in as much knowledge as I can about everything surrounding the Holocaust. And yet, I haven’t read this quintessential book.

So, lovely bookworms! Have you read any of my 10? Any suggestions for where to start? What do your ten look like? Comment here with the list, or link me to your Top Ten Tuesday post.

Stay bookish ♥

Posted by The Bluestocking Bookworm in Books, Reading, 3 comments

2014 Reading Roundup – Part 1

The Ship of Brides The Accidental Alchemist Every Ugly Word The Night Before Christmas: The Classic Account of the Visit from St. Nicholas Witness in Death (In Death, #10) The Red Magician Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1) The Martian Horrorstör The Vines Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy #1) The Name of This Book Is Secret (Secret, #1) How to Train Your Dragon (How to Train Your Dragon, #1) The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce, #1) The Merciless The Mime Order (The Bone Season, #2) Texts from Dog Lock In How Green This Land, How Blue This Sea (Newsflesh Trilogy, #3.2) The Girl in 6E (Deanna Madden, #1) The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1) The Paper Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy, #1) Redeployment The Slow Regard of Silent Things Soppy: A Love Story The Riddle-Master of Hed (Riddle-Master, #1) The Secret Garden Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe Frostbite (Vampire Academy, #2) Girl on a Wire A Night in the Lonesome October My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories Tabula Rasa To Kill a Mockingbird Atlantia A Sudden Light Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #3) You We Were Liars Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3) Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss, #3) We Are Not Ourselves I'll Give You the Sun Anna e o Beijo Francês (Anna e o Beijo Francês, #1) Rooms Say What You Will Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2) The Museum of Intangible Things Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #2) Bird Box This is Where I Leave You The House of the Four Winds (One Dozen Daughters, #1) The Hundred-Year House The Good Girl Boy Meets Boy Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1) Beauty Queens The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry I Am the Messenger To This Day: For the Bullied and Beautiful One Plus One Loyalty in Death (In Death, #9) The Cherry On  Top (Vegas Firsts #1) Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die, #1) The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #1) Ruins (Partials Sequence, #3) The Summer Tree (The Fionavar Tapestry, #1) Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1) The Forever Song (Blood of Eden, #3) Rebel Belle (Rebel Belle, #1) Grasshopper Jungle The Impossible Knife of Memory Witch & Wizard (Witch & Wizard, #1) That Summer Annihilation (Southern Reach Trilogy, #1) Countdown (Newsflesh Trilogy, #0.5) Just One Night (Just One Day, #2.5) This is Not a Test (This is Not a Test #1) Setting Lake Sun Isolation (Partials Sequence #0.5) Fragments (Partials, #2) Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1) The Lost God Save the Queen (The Immortal Empire, #1) The Butcher Paper Towns The Girl with All the Gifts Champion (Legend, #3) Prodigy (Legend, #2) The Last Little Blue Envelope (Little Blue Envelope, #2) Legend (Legend, #1) Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging (Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, #1) Look Behind You Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins, #1) The First Rule of Swimming: A Novel Delia's Shadow (Delia Martin, #1) The Ghost Bride Withering Tights (Misadventures of Tallulah Casey, #1) A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain Just One Year (Just One Day, #2) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket, #1) The Girl from the Well A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, #1) So You Want to Be a Wizard (Young Wizards, #1) The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake The Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew, #1) Partials (Partials, #1) (Re)Visions: Alice Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1) The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Oz, #1) Amity If I Stay (If I Stay, #1) Princess of the Midnight Ball (Princess, #1) The Truth About Alice The Book Thief Reconstructing Amelia The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B The Face on the Milk Carton (Janie Johnson, #1) Sea of Shadows (Age of Legends, #1) Wonder Ash 13 Little Blue Envelopes (Little Blue Envelope, #1) Old Yeller (Old Yeller, #1) Horowitz Horror: Stories You'll Wish You Never Read Matilda Mothership (Ever-Expanding Universe, #1) The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden, #2) Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1) Eleanor & Park Wildwood (Wildwood Chronicles, #1) Speak Code Name Verity (Code Name Verity, #1) Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1) The Princess Diaries (The Princess Diaries, #1) The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking, #2) It's Kind of a Funny Story Allegiant (Divergent, #3) Confessions of a Shopaholic (Shopaholic, #1) Fangirl The Ocean at the End of the Lane The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, #1) Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2) A Face Like Glass A Tale for the Time Being Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School, #1) The Bone Season (The Bone Season, #1) Conspiracy in Death (In Death, #8) Insurgent (Divergent, #2) Divergent (Divergent, #1) The Enchantment Emporium (Gale Women, #1) The Strange Power (Dark Visions, #1) The Peach Keeper Apocalypse Scenario #683: The Box Succubus Blues (Georgina Kincaid, #1) Beautiful Ruins
Look at all those beautiful books! In 2014, I surpassed my previous record and read a whopping 155 books. Woohoo! I thought it might be fun to take a look at what I read and see where the divide lies, to see if there is anything I need to work on in the new year to round out my reading.
  • 44 books were authored (wholly or in part) by men. 111 were authored (wholly or in part) by women.
  • I finished 8 series last year (I think)
  • I either started or continued reading way too many series to count. I tried. It gave me a headache. But I think there are about 15 series there that I plan on continuing.
  • I read 49 books that were published in 2014 (or later, as some ARCs aren’t due out for a bit)
  • I read 31 books that were published before 2005.
  • Only one book got the dreaded one-star rating.
  • My longest book was not very long. It clocked in at 620 pages. I still read over 50,000 pages though! (50,519 to be exact)
  • I reread 14 books.
  • Of 155, 30 books were NetGalley reads. YAY NETGALLEY. (Of those… I need to review about 75%. Whoops. Please still give me books!)
  • I only owned about 20 of the books. The rest I borrowed from the library (aside from NetGalley). I HAVE A PROBLEM!
  • I read a short story anthology for the first time this year. I quite enjoy them from time to time.

Tomorrow, I will talk about my favorite books of 2014! Yes, they need their own post.

So, other than classics, is there anything I should look to work on reading-wise? Anything you want to know more about my 2014 reads? Drop me a comment below!

Stay bookish, awesome lovelies.

Posted by The Bluestocking Bookworm in Books, Books I've Read, Reading, 0 comments

Review: Lovers and Beloveds by MeiLin Miranda

My Opinion:

This is the first book I read in 2015, and it is the first book I reviewed in 2015. I have a very special reason for that.

I know MeiLin Miranda through a mutual obsession we have; perfume oil collecting. We have both been members on a forum for years and we connected in an author’s topic. She told me about her book and I had to read it. It was even free! Then, the life of a bookworm happened, and I wound up leaving it stashed at the bottom of my TBR pile. Every time we interacted, I had a renewed sense of “gotta read that” and then something else new and shiny would come along. It was literally the first book I ever put on my Kindle account.

MeiLin and her family have come on some hard times recently, which is why I decided to read the book and review it. Even if I decided I didn’t like it, I would hopefully garner some interest and some support through book sales. Well, I needn’t have worried about not liking the book. I loved it.

You might be wondering what kind of hard times might be happening. I have spoken to MeiLin’s husband and received permission to tell you. In early November, their house burned down. The family made it out OK, but sadly one beloved pet and about a third of their possessions were lost in the fire. The house will have to be gutted back to the studs and rebuilt. Thankfully, the family has really good insurance, so they have been set up with a temporary house until theirs can be rebuilt. But when it rains, it tends to pour. A few weeks before Christmas, MeiLin Miranda had a stroke.

I don’t know the details of how severe it was, but I know that in the course of her recovery, MeiLin has been suffering from some severe aphasia. Imagine being so passionate about words, and then having their use taken away from you. I have spent a lot of time sending healing energy across the miles to MeiLin, as I don’t live close enough to visit her.

But the great news is that she is getting better. It is a slow process, but since the event in December, she has had some incredible moments of lucidity. I am so proud of her and so happy for her family when I hear she is doing well. And I have hope that someday she will write again. Because holy bananas, she needs to be able to write again!

Now that I have given the full story about the author and why I chose this book as my first for 2015, I think it is time to… you know… actually review the book.

Review:

The first thing I thought of while reading was that Lovers and Beloveds is very heavily influenced by the Kushiel books as written by Jacqueline Carey. Which is really interesting, because according to Goodreads, she’s never read them.

MeiLin’s writing style is fantastic. She writes very readable and elegant prose. The few minor nitpicky things I found with the book were more on the editing side of things. Being an editor and proofreader myself, I tend to notice things more often, and it also tends to irk me more. An example is that Whithorse and Whitehorse are both used to describe the same spot.

The erotica in Lovers and Beloveds is tastefully written, and works well within the story. When it comes to explicit sex scenes in literature, my personal preference is that it not come from nowhere. I like it to have a purpose other than to be explicitly sexual. MeiLin Miranda achieved that balance, and while the erotica is very expansive (F/M, M/M, F/F, kink, sibling incest, rape, implied pedophilia) it never made me feel uncomfortable, or like the negative aspects were glorified. Bonus? No weird euphemisms for penis.

The book follows the newly come-of-age Temmin quite closely, however there is quite a cast of characters. As this was originally a serialized publication on MeiLin’s website, I can see how that might have worked. However, when reading it all in one go as a novel, it is very overwhelming. You don’t learn much about any of the characters. You see Temmin being a bratty teenager, you see that some characters are hiding something, and you want to know more… but there isn’t enough to sate even the most basic of questions about the central characters.

Scott Westerfield, whom I am not a fan of, has a quote floating around about how bad readers want everything answered. But I feel that doesn’t reflect the other half of the equation. Bad books and bad authors leave everything unanswered. I am not saying that Lovers and Beloveds is a bad book by ANY stretch, but it left me with more questions than it answered.

The ending of the book was so very abrupt, yet undramatic, I was left feeling unsatisfied. Again, looking at it as a work of serial fiction, it would have been great. But when you put it all together it read as very lackluster. That said, I am invested enough in the story that I really want the second book now.

The world is very similar to ours, but just different enough to take you out of the feeling of reading something realistic. The days are named differently, and a month is renamed to a “spoke” and lasts about 10-15 days longer. These differences, as well as pronunciation of the names, are detailed at the back of the book. The one aspect I was wishing for was a map, especially with the political ramifications. A map helps me envision borders and distances much better.

Bottom Line:
A very racy and readable coming-of-age fantasy novel. Definitely recommended for anyone who’s tastes tend towards erotica.
This book is available for free from all major ebook websites.

Posted by The Bluestocking Bookworm in Books, Books I've Read, Reading, Reviews, 0 comments

Another 2015 Reading Goal

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Popsugar released this list in late 2014, and I decided I wanted to tackle it. This will be within my other three goals 🙂

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

2015 Reading Goals

I have several goals for my reading in 2015. The first is the easiest to iterate.

I would like to read a total of 200 books.

Over the past several years, my goals on Goodreads have been as such:
In 2011, I read 40/40. But I also started tracking part-way through the year.
In 2012, I read 72/70.
In 2013, I read 127/110.
And in 2014, I read a whopping 155/100.

So this year, I am aiming high! Wish me luck!


The second part of my challenge to myself is the LoveYourShelf challenge I started with a friend of mine on Tumblr. The whole point of LoveYourShelf is to read books that you own, versus new books bought or books from the library.

I would like to read a minimum of 50 books towards this goal.


The final part of my reading challenge to myself is that I would like to read more classics. When asking around about the things that people would be interested in seeing on my blog, a common answer was classics.

I would like to read one classic book each month, for a total of 12 classics.

I even have some idea of which classics I might want to read. In no particular order:

  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

And that is all I have so far. I am very open to suggestions on this front!


I would also like to try and finish up some of the series I have on the go right now… but I need to do some more looking at my shelves and see what that might entail before I make it an official goal.

So! Those are my reading goals for 2015. Do you have any reading goals for the year?

Stay Bookish!

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

Please don’t mind the mess! I am just doing some work on the layout. Hopefully the website will be good by the new year!

Oh gosh. I have so many goodies for you guys!!!

Posted by The Bluestocking Bookworm in Personal, 0 comments

Holiday Greetings

Bluestocking Bookworm would like to wish you a safe and happy Holiday Season, and a very Merry Bookmas!

Posted by The Bluestocking Bookworm in Personal, 0 comments

Top Ten Characters Who I Would Totally Want To Be For Halloween

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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 there was a choice, and I wanted to do Top Ten Characters Who I Would Totally Want To Be For Halloween because I don’t get to dress up, as I have nowhere to go… so I tend to fantasize a lot about costumes. Please note that these aren’t characters I necessarily love or know a lot about, but I think the costume potential is AMAZEBALLS! And, I am going to do them in an order this time!

10. Alexia Tarabotti as created by by Gail Carriger
A highly fashionable lady in an alternative Victorian-era England who is adept at using a parasol as a weapon? COUNT ME IN!

9. Sherlock Holmes as created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
A genderbent Sherlock Holmes would be so amazing! I could dress in sexy tweed with killer shoes and a magnifying glass. Armed with wit and my skills of deduction, I would be good to go! Also, a cape. I would get to wear a cape.

8. The Rainbow Fish as created by Marcus Pfister
A multicolored dress with sparkly bits. Maybe some fin armbands… Tres cute, no?

7. Bellatrix Lestrange as created by J.K. Rowling
Crazy hair? Tattered outfit? Maniacal expression? Wand? All combined = one great costume!

6. Manon Blackbeak as created by Sarah J. Maas
I fell madly in love with this character as soon as I read her first chapter in Heir of Fire. The iron teeth would be tough, but other than that, this would be a pretty simple costume!

5. The Mad Hatter as created by Lewis Carroll
A genderbent Mad Hatter would be super awesome, especially if the costume was more on the feminine side. For reals. I want this.

4. Madrigal as created by Laini Taylor
A very intense and intricate costume, what with fur, horns, wings and hooves. But it would be amazingly worth it in the end!

3. Effie Trinket as created by Suzanne Collins
The crazy colors, the amazing makeup, the wigs, the clothes? Effie Trinket would be easy and FUN to do!

2. Daisy Buchanan as created by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Who doesn’t want to be 1920’s flapper-chic?

1. A Night Circus performer as created by Erin Morgenstern
Red, black, white, maybe some sparkle. An air of mystery… so easy and so elegant. I think this will be my next costume!

So, what are your top ten bookish costumes? Leave a comment or link me to your Top Ten Tuesday post!

Stay bookish!

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