Becky Chambers book signing

While in Edinburgh we took a train to Glasgow so I could attend a talk and book signing by Becky Chambers. Getting there was a bit more stress than we first though, firstly with the trains confusing us and then by getting lost once there. I had intended to do a little book shopping, for us to find a park to sit in and eat our dinner but as it turned out we arrived with barely ten minutes to spare before it started! We ended up wandering around the town for at least an hour and a half and Nem resorted to eating his dinner while we walked. We were both very tired by this point but it soon got better once we had a drink and were seated waiting for the event to start.

As we were seeing her on the actual release day of Record of a Spaceborn Few I sent my pre-ordered copy to the shop so I wouldn’t miss out on getting it signed. I also brought A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet and the ARC of Spaceborn Few that I won a month or so ago. I’m so glad I brought the ARC as when packing I was debating between that or Closed and Common Orbit. I couldn’t fit both in my hand luggage and have space to bring back my pre-order! In the end I made the right choice as the ARC is the first I’ve ever had and now it’s even more special because its dedicated and signed.

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Before the signing there was a talk which was really interesting, especially hearing about her love of science and how she tries to stick to reality concerning it as much as possible. She also explained how many of the alien species began by her picking traits she loves in nature and building a social structure around them. Nem was impressed by how much non-fiction she reads as he also tends to gravitate to that genre as opposed to fiction. Space is not something I know very much about so I really enjoyed listening to her talk about it, her love of all things to do with it really shone through. Many of the best questions came from the crowd though I was too shy to ask her about her newly announced Tor novellas.

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As there were so many of us, they staggered the signing but it didn’t take long until it was our turn. by that point I had found my voice and I prattled on about how soothing and comforting I find her books. I likened them to literary blankets which she really loved. As with most signings it was over quickly but still amazing. She was so sweet and pardon the pun, down to earth.

Afterwards Nem found a quicker route to the train station and luckily one was heading back to Edinburgh not long after we arrived. Once on it I could finally eat my dinner! Pasta is not great to be consumed while walking so it had been in my bag the whole event! Needless to say I was starving by this point but it was a nice end to the day at least, munching and staring out the train window.

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The Wild: Edinburgh writing holiday

Me and Nem are recently back from our first writing holiday! It was a great success as we wrote 20,393 words of our story The Wild and explored nine cemeteries and graveyards combined for inspiration along with much of the city. Although The Wild isn’t set in Edinburgh it is heavily inspired by the city and it was wonderful to be able to add in elements of it’s history and streets while being there. I’ll write more about The Wild once the first draft is finished but for now have some photos from our trip.

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Favourite books of the year part 01

So, unsurprisingly, I’m a little late with this as it’s just past the middle of the year BUT I thought I would try splitting my favourite books of the year into two halves for a change.  At first I thought it would make it easier for me as I’m always rushing to write reviews over Yule, but as I’ll be writing perhaps double the amount of reviews its unlikely to work out that way. Never mind though, I’m committed to trialling it! At least it’ll mean I can talk about more books instead of having to narrow it down so much like last year.

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The Illumination of Ursula Flight by Anne-Marie Crowhurst

This book follows the first 19 years of Ursula Flight’s life as she struggles to correlate her intelligent and feisty personality with what society expects of her. Despite the slow pace, I was pulled into the era by the use of language and writing style, along with the clever use of letters, lists and scripts throughout. I really enjoyed that aspect as I had not been expecting it and haven’t read anything with that sort of format before. Ursula’s humour and wit shone through! Even when faced with tragedy, she managed to find some aspect to look upon with mirth. She was so likeable and sweet too that by the end of the book I was incredibly fond of her. My only complaint is that certain sections seemed too long and others too rushed but overall I adored it.

Her Body And Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

This short story collection took me by surprise, thrilling me with the dark tales that were still in my thoughts long after I finished the book. While not every story was perfect, as a whole they were modern faerie tales, thoughtful and cautionary. Each one focused on women, their sexualities, their trials in society and the expectations placed upon them. The writing was wonderful, so many sentences struck a chord with me and much like Angela Carter’s work, I feel Machado’s will be talked about for years to come.

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier

After reading Rebecca last year and adoring it, I’ve been on a bit of a Du Maurier binge this year! While loving all of the ones I’ve read so far, this one is the only that compares to Rebecca in sheer brilliance in terms of tension and writing. The first chapter alone was absolutely stunning for its metaphors and foreshadowing. Du Maurier was the master of slow building tension, the uncomfortable feeling growing almost without me noticing until I was as tangled between the half truths and lies as much as Philip as he tries to uncover Rachel’s true intentions. The last couple of sentences left me stunned, mumbling ‘fuck’ to myself as they were so full of meaning and I immediately went and read that first chapter again! That rarely happens! I will say this for Du Maurier too, she knew how to write an ending!

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

I’ve been waiting so long for this book and it did not disappoint! Uprooted is one of my favourite books and this sister book stands beside it perfectly, combining everything I love, folk lore, history and faerie tales. If I could read books like this all year long I would be a very happy lady! I’d previously read the short story that spawned this novel in the anthology The Starlit Wood and perhaps due to this, and the preconceived perception of where the story would go, I was so pleasantly delighted by the twists the plot took. I was never quite able to guess what was going to happen next. I adored the theme of winter that ran through, from the Staryks ice realm to the heavy sense of loss and hardship that was part of each storyline. It was incredibly vivid, weaving the setting with Polish and Jewish traditions and folklore. Instead of one lady to love like in Uprooted, in this Novik has created three, all incredibly strong ladies at that. Miryem and Irina are the focus of the plot but Wanda still shines despite this. I find it hard to pick a favourite as they are all determined and wonderful in there own right. I’m crossing all my fingers and toes that Novik writes another faerie tale retelling at some point because I need more!

The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gower

This one is very similar to Ursula Flight in regards to the immersive tone though this doesn’t have as much humour. In it’s place is the hint of the fantastical, always teasingly just out of reach as it weaves a tale of two people, Mr Hancock and Angelica Neal, that are brought together by a mermaid. Whether mermaids truly exist or if it’s all false isn’t explored until the end so don’t be mistaken and expect them to be the main focus in that regard. At its heart it’s about unlikely characters learning to bear with each other as they struggle with the paths set before them and ultimately realising that it might not be too late to change. Despite its length I was pulled into Georgian London, adoring the slow pace and all the glittering details, especially the scenes within the brothels!

So there you have it, five books that delighted me and have stayed in my mind this first half of the year. I’ll be posting Part 02 at the usual time over Yule!

 

 

Just a little writing update

So first things first Magic Teeth has been finished and sent off in hopes of it being published! I wont say to who in case I get rejected but I’m rather proud of it. I hope to write more novella’s soon as it was a perfect break for my brain. The editing was so easy for starters!

Secondly my Cake Brothel novella has grown legs and become a fully fledged novel. I could of kept it shorter but I’ve been having so much fun exploring the world that I just let it do what it would. I’ve really let my bizarre nature have it’s way with this story and it’s making me so happy. I’m roughly half way through the first draft which I hope to finish soon so I can start editing before the end of the year.

I’m a rather slow writer (especially when compared with Nem!) what with working full time and my dyslexia but I really want to get this ready to submit by the middle of next year. I’m so excited to share it with my beta readers!

Other than that me and Nem are off on a writing holiday soon and need to finish planning that little project. I’m more than ready for a break from work and all the cemetery walks we have planned.

 

Current Projects!

So I promised in my goals to talk more about my current project and in the space of time between posting that and this I’ve started two more projects! All these projects only have working titles at the moment.

Battle Grounds

This is the project I mentioned before. It’s a stand alone fantasy novel which follows three soldiers that have defected from a centuries long war against beasts set on tropical islands known as Solace. Instead they start fighting for each other and uncover the root of the war in the process. It’s got three switching first person points of view because apparently writing two wasn’t hard enough so I had to add in a third. It’s been really refreshing to write just fantasy after getting lost in all the historical details The Jaded King entailed. For Battle Grounds I’ve pulled inspiration from Chinese, Mayan and British history to name just a few and thrown them all into a big mixing pot. Though thinking of names for all these invented places and things has not been so fun!

Magic Teeth

I’ve decided to try and get a novella out into the world in the midst of all this querying and Magic Teeth is one of the two I’ll possibly be self publishing. It follows Angora, a young man who is attacked and ostracized from society in the wake of it. Due to his skill at painting he becomes an apprentice to a master that makes the magical sets of teeth the city are known for. Me being me though, obviously things are not as they seem and everything gets very dark.

Cake Brothel

And this is the second novella which features a currently unnamed baker that creates cake to be sold and relished at parties. It’s inspired by vore, Rococo fashion and black work tattoos.  This one is in it’s very early stages but I’m really excited about writing something so weird. Despite the strangeness entailed at it’s heart it’s a sweet romance between ladies.

I’m switching between all these projects at the moment, mostly taking breaks from the more intricate Battle Grounds with my novellas. I think three projects is the limit my brain can handle so if I start talking about others before finishing at least the first drafts of these three then tell me off!

I hope to have at least one novella finished in the next couple of months so it can start being read by you guys. Which one that’ll be has yet to be decided.

Writing goals 2018

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These are my new goals for this year. Although I didn’t actively keep an eye on my goals last year it was nice to come back and see how I did so for now I’ll keep doing them.

Find an agent!

This one is largely out of my hands but it’s still a big goal of mine for this year. So far I’ve had only rejections which is obviously disheartening but I intend to keep trying. I’ve read that you should be rejected by at least 80 agents before rethinking things and I’m no where near that number yet.

Finish first draft of new story

I’d really like to finish the first draft of my new project this year, perhaps even start editing too. I intend to make a post talking more about this project soon and if The Jaded King doesn’t get me anywhere with agents then this project will be the next story I start querying.

Continue writing Lovelorn 2

I’m hopeful that along with the goal above I can also keep writing the next Lovelorn book as I’ll likely self publish the whole series if The Jaded King doesn’t get picked up by an agent. I wont say I’ll finish it as working full time along with writing is not an easy feat but I hope to get at least half way through the first draft.

Writing holiday with Nem

Thats right, we’ve booked a writing holiday! We’ll be going to Edinburgh for a week in July to soak up all the inspiration the city offers and co write a novella together. We’ve already started thinking on the project but planning will start in earnest a month or two before we go. We visited Edinburgh last year for a short break to meet Juliet Marillier at a book signing and fell in love with the city, especially its graveyards! I cant wait to go back and explore more.

Of all the goals on this list the one I’d really love to be able to achieve is the one least in my control! Typical! At least I can focus on the other goals while I keep my fingers and toes crossed that I find an agent.

Favourite books of 2017

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The Welsh weather has been particularly bad the last month and try as I might, I couldn’t get any decent photos of the books barring this one so it’ll have to do. Also one of my books isn’t in this pile because I don’t own a copy yet.

It’s come to that time again where I struggle to narrow down my favourite books of the past year. To help me I decided to only feature books that elicited strong feelings in me whether it be sorrow, delight or comfort. It really helped me from keeping this list from getting out of hand as I’d read many wonderful books!

Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly

Welcome to Amberlough City, the illustrious but corrupt cosmopolitan beacon of Gedda. The radical One State Party—nicknamed the Ospies—is gaining popular support to unite Gedda’s four municipal governments under an ironclad, socially conservative vision. Not everyone agrees with the Ospies’ philosophy, including master spy Cyril DePaul and his lover Aristide Makricosta, smuggler and emcee at the popular Bumble Bee Cabaret. When Cyril’s cover is blown on a mission, however, he must become a turncoat in exchange for his life. Returning to Amberlough under the Ospies’ watchful eye, Cyril enters a complex game of deception. One of his concerns is safeguarding Aristide, who refuses to let anyone—the crooked city police or the homophobic Ospies—dictate his life. Enter streetwise Cordelia Lehane, top dancer at the Bee and Aristide’s runner, who could be the key to Cyril’s plans—if she can be trusted. As the twinkling lights of nightclub marquees yield to the rising flames of a fascist revolution, these three will struggle to survive using whatever means—and people—necessary. Including each other.

I’m not one for politically heavy books especially ones dealing with fascism so the fact that this one made it onto this list is a testament to Donnelly’s fabulous characters and writing. The city and it inhabitants leap off the page, bustling and vibrant from the government offices to the Bumble Bee cabaret. I found myself wrapped up in the characters lives almost from the start, especially the often fraught relationship between Cyril and Aristide. Cordelia too was a delight, full of sass and determination. I loved how diversity was seamlessly woven through the plot, from drag queens to polyamorous relationships. Obviously due to the political climate in the book some see these relationships in a negative light but that opinion isn’t shared by the characters and many actively fight against it. It was evident early on that this is not the sort of book where everyone is going to have a happy ending and my heart was pounding throughout as I was so caught up in how perilous things were for them as they attempted to escape the Ospies. The ending left me ruined and I’m so pleased this is becoming a series so Donelley can continue to torture my heart.

A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers

Lovelace was once merely a ship’s artificial intelligence. When she wakes up in an new body, following a total system shut-down and reboot, she has no memory of what came before. As Lovelace learns to negotiate the universe and discover who she is, she makes friends with Pepper, an excitable engineer, who’s determined to help her learn and grow. Together, Pepper and Lovey will discover that no matter how vast space is, two people can fill it together.

Becky Chambers is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. Her books are just so insightful and comforting that often while reading this I found myself simultaneously beaming and tearing up.  I adored how Pepper and Lovelace mirrored each other, like sides of a coin. Both learning to live, exploring themselves and their environment while trying to understand where they fit in the world but for completely different reasons. There are so many little details I loved in this from the diverse characters to the bustling grimy world. I especially loved how Lovelace referred to her body as a kit throughout, it was such a subtle way of showing the discontent she felt within herself. Another aspect that I loved was the discussions on tattoos between Lovelace and Tak. As a heavily tattooed person I often find myself reading either badly researched examples of tattooing or people that have tattoos portrayed in a negative way. It was refreshing to see it portrayed in such a thoughtful and lovely way. As with Angry Planet I was left wishing for more from these characters. This book could have been double the length and I wouldn’t have complained one bit.

Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier

Healer Blackthorn knows all too well the rules of her bond to the fey: seek no vengeance, help any who ask, do only good. But after the recent ordeal she and her companion, Grim, have suffered, she knows she cannot let go of her quest to bring justice to the man who ruined her life. Despite her personal struggles, Blackthorn agrees to help the princess of Dalriada in taking care of a troubled young girl who has recently been brought to court, while Grim is sent to the girl’s home at Wolf Glen to aid her wealthy father with a strange task—repairing a broken-down house deep in the woods. It doesn’t take Grim long to realize that everything in Wolf Glen is not as it seems—the place is full of perilous secrets and deadly lies. Back at Winterfalls, the evil touch of Blackthorn’s sworn enemy reopens old wounds and fuels her long-simmering passion for justice. With danger on two fronts, Blackthorn and Grim are faced with a heartbreaking choice—to stand once again by each other’s side or to fight their battles alone.

I’m not normally the type to put off reading a book I’m excited for but I found myself unwilling to start this as I knew it was the last one in the series! I’ve grown so fond of Blackthorn and Grim throughout each book that I’m reluctant to say goodbye to them. Thankfully though, this book perfectly wraps up all loose threads, including the romantic element that has been slowly building in the past two books and gives a satisfactory if unwanted end to the series. As with the previous books this one deals with a different mystery, the theme of which centres on parents, children and their love for each other which was heartbreaking at times. One of the things I love most about this series and Marillier books in general is how she often has folk tales told within the story that give clues to the overall plot. Those stories were used to great effect in this and really added to the depth of the story. I was already aware that this series was set within the same area as the Sevenwaters series but in this book we are given more than a few hints to that by a new generation of Swan Island warriors joining the fray. That really made me beam as I wasn’t expecting it at all! Although I’m so sad to say goodbye to these characters I really look forward to what Juliet Marillier is going to write next and who knows, they might make cameos in future books.

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

In Regency London, Zacharias Wythe is England’s first African Sorcerer Royal. And that’s only the first of his problems. He must juggle the conflicting demands of a wayward Royal Society of Unnatural Philosophers, where a faction schemes to remove him from his position by fair means or foul. He must cope with the Fairy Court refusing to grant Britain the magical resources it needs. And now the British Government is avid to deploy this increasingly scare magic in its war with France. He must also contend with rumors that he murdered his predecessor and guardian, Sir Stephen Wythe. But this task would be easier if Sir Stephen’s ghost would just stop following him around. And now he has to deal with something even more outrageous than any of these things: a female magical prodigy. Ambitious orphan Prunella Gentleman is desperate to escape the school where she has drudged all her life, and a visit by the Sorcerer Royal seems the perfect opportunity. For Prunella has just stumbled upon English magic’s greatest discovery in centuries – and she intends to make the most of it.

I’d heard about this book awhile ago but I finally picked it up because it came highly praised from my friend Lucille and she wasn’t wrong in saying it was wonderful! I wish I had read it when it first came out! Both charming and witty it blends magic and faeries with serious issues like racism and gender inequality. It strikes a balance of throwing light on these problems while being amusing and fast-paced which I loved. I really liked that though Zacharias himself has suffered from prejudices all his life due to being black he still finds himself holding them against women in the beginning. I though it was very realistic and true to the Regency era it’s set in. Thankfully he soon overcomes these though! Compared to Zacharias who is reserved and shy, Prunella was so fierce and determined as she threw herself into magic and the world of Sorcerers and familiars. They made a perfect team, their differences complementing each other as they struggled to return magic to the world. I hear that another book is being written though its unsure when it will be released and I’m very excited to get to continue reading the adventures of this pair!

Gentlemans Guide to Vice and Virture by Mackenzi Lee

Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men. But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy. Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

Very much like Sorcerer to the Crown this book manages to explore important topics such as homophobia, racism and abuse while remaining humorous and heartwarming. Along with tackling this subjects it also manages to keep true to the historical sentiments of the 17th century which is no easy feat! I couldn’t help but fall for the trio as Monty drags them through continually dangerous and ridiculous events across Europe. Percy and Felicity are long suffering and in the case of the latter unwilling companions as Monty finds himself facing not only his love for his best friend but his demons and prejudices. The adorable brewing romance between him and Percy pulled at my heart strings even though Monty continually puts his foot in his mouth and causes it to falter! Not once did the plot slow down and the banter between them all had me chuckling out loud so many times. It was such a delightful romp across continents that I happened to picked up just when I needed cheering up. I’m really excited to read more historical fiction by Mackenzi Lee in the futre.

The Fox Woman by Kij Johnson

Yoshifuji is a man fascinated by foxes, a man discontented and troubled by the meaning of life. A misstep at court forces him to retire to his long-deserted country estate, to rethink his plans and contemplate the next move that might return him to favor and guarantee his family’s prosperity. Kitsune is a young fox who is fascinated by the large creatures that have suddenly invaded her world. She is drawn to them and to Yoshifuji. She comes to love him and will do anything to become a human woman to be with him. Shikujo is Yoshifuji’s wife, ashamed of her husband, yet in love with him and uncertain of her role in his world. She is confused by his fascination with the creatures of the wood, and especially the foxes that she knows in her heart are harbingers of danger. She sees him slipping away and is determined to win him back from the wild … for all that she has her own fox-related secret. Magic binds them all. And in the making (and breaking) of oaths and honors, the patterns of their lives will be changed forever.

The basis of this is an old Japanese folk tale that I was familiar with but I wasn’t expecting it to be so thoughtful and beautiful. It’s told in alternating dairy entries by a husband, wife and kitsune. Each one has a different point of view along with tone that builds the story slowly. I loved so much of the wonderful imagery throughout this. The decaying house with it’s ornamental garden gone wild from neglect. Yoshifuji trapped within a perfect palace created by foxes, at once a beggar in rags and a handsome husband in splendor. Kij Johnson uses a tangle of history and folk traditions to examine what it means to be human and compare Japanese society at that time to that of the instinct of animals. It’s a question that seeps throughout the book, the characters trying to answer which life is worth living, the wider brighter human world burdened by rituals or the simpler freeing world of foxes. In particular she emphasizes a woman’s place in that era. Grand and alluring from the outside but as Kitsune discovers, it is a life fraught with rules. It’s a slow stream of a book that left me contemplating the issues within it long after I had finished it.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever. What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?
The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

I was a little nervous about starting this as I have been eagerly awaiting a new book by Laini Taylor for a long while and was concerned that now I had one it might disappoint me. I needn’t have worried though as her beautiful prose and vivid imagination captivated me within the first chapter. I was swept up in the wonders of Weep and the vivid tapestry of ideas she has crafted together, from mountains made of bones to streets covered in windfall plums. Don’t let the fact that the world is lush and welcoming in all it’s whimsy fool you into thinking the people populating it are so too. In direct contrast to the setting, they are people shaped heavily by their pasts. Struggling to do what they believe is right despite the bloodshed. Hungry for revenge despite the cost and at a detriment to themselves. Neither the citizens of Weep or the Godspawn are inherently good or inherently bad and I loved seeing the mysterious problem from both sides. At its heart it’s a story about the aftermath of war and broken people trying to fix the world before they have even fixed themselves. Thrust amongst them is Lazlo, learning himself the difference between a bright dream and its tarnished, flawed reality. It was heartbreakingly beautiful and poignant and though there were characters I wasn’t fond of, I found I couldn’t blame them for their actions, having seen the events that lead to them reacting so. Another thing I loved were all the hints to her Daughter of Smoke and Bone series and how though not set in the same world, they are closely linked. Each hint was a wonderful little tidbit that made me grin fondly. I ended up reading this much slower than I normally would as I wanted to savour every scene and I can’t wait for Muse Of Nightmares next year. Also I would really love a short story about the centaur and his lady that feature in Lazlo’s dream Weep. They were really intriguing!

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

As the daughter of a meth dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. Struggling to raise her little brother, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible “adult” around. She finds peace in the starry Midwestern night sky above the fields behind her house. One night everything changes when she witnesses one of her father’s thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold, wreck his motorcycle. What follows is a powerful and shocking love story between two unlikely people that asks tough questions, reminding us of all the ugly and wonderful things that life has to offer.

Of all the books on this list this was the only one that made me cry and they were ugly tears in public at that. In fact I felt so overwhelmed and drained after finishing this that I needed a day or two to process it before moving onto another book.  Initially I picked it up because I enjoy reading books with taboo subjects and this one is incredibly controversial due to its portrayal of an underage relationship. I was completely caught off guard by how heart wrenching it was and while I can understand why the pedophilia aspects are the most mentioned, it is so much more than simply that. It’s a harrowing look at how children are shaped by their upbringing, largely abuse but also from society’s expectations. It shows the damage done by people making decisions for others both well intended and not. Every character is flawed and wounded, lashing out, attempting to destroy each other or condense them into a box with a label of what they should be. So many times I find myself wishing someone would simply talk to Wavy, to ask her what she wished for, to see the breadcrumbs she left for them as clues to her actions. While I didn’t agree with many of the decisions Kellen made I couldn’t condemn him and Wavy their relationship as it was the only understanding and love either of them had in their dire lives. This book was brutal, raw and completely realistic of some children’s lives. I know Wavy and Kellen will stay with me for a long time to come.

There are already many books I’m looking forward this year including some sequels to the books above. Fingers crossed 2018 is a great reading year.