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Sneakybea

“The way he looks at her makes her feel like a stranger in her own body. The rage persists even when she prays Zohr; she pours her heart out to her Creator and yet...
Does the rajkumar think she ought to feel flattered by his attentions? Or does he think she will automatically reciprocate his dubious affections?”
You tell ‘em, Fatima Ghazala.

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Sneakybea
Peter Pan: A Fantasy in Five Acts | James Matthew Barrie
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This is my problematic favorite. And hey! I found this beautiful version illustrated by one of my favorite artists, Trina Schart Hyman! #bookishtreasures

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Sneakybea
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Always working on my craft. #writing

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Sneakybea
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Mehso-so

Billed as a “feminist” reimagining of The Little Mermaid, this take offers interesting world building & a terrific ending, but it‘s not enough to make up for the underwhelming rest of the novel. While “feminist” in critiquing the patriarchy, the patriarchy it portrayed was broadly drawn & cartoonish. The heroine showed little agency until the end, & I couldn‘t get over the fact she was 15 & her crush 21. The rusalkas & Sea Witch rocked, though.

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Sneakybea
Picture Us In The Light | Kelly Loy Gilbert

“Really? I‘ll miss driving down the street and seeing nothing but tutoring centers? I‘ll miss everyone‘s parents knowing exactly what I got on my SATs and teachers having to commute from like Morgan Hill because Cupertino is full of rich NIMBYs who refuse to build more housing?” (33-34)

3 likes1 stack add
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Sneakybea
Circe | Madeline Miller
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The prose is luminous & manages to evoke the Homeric source material in an accessible way. The gods & monsters of myth no longer feel remote & distant but live & breathe on the page.

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Sneakybea
The Changeling | Zilpha K Snyder

Revisiting this today as an exercise in the writing book I‘m reading. I loved this as a kid. Such a beautiful, bittersweet story of friendship and discovering who you are. If you haven‘t read it, invent a time machine, go back and give it to your misfit ten-year-old self, then come back and read it again. It‘s that good.

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Sneakybea
Panpan

A deeply dissatisfying read. Faced with an arranged marriage to someone he hates, Prince Nolan has himself turned into a frog so he can find out if she‘s really that bad (spoiler alert: she‘s not). But this twist actually robs the story of its tension, because we‘re never worried what will become of Nolan (who loses sympathy points for spying on his betrothed). Add in the shallow characterization & stilted dialogue, & this was a big miss for me.

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Sneakybea

“It‘s not as though we‘re an imposition—we‘ve brought the damn box back to them, after all, and at great personal risk, I‘d like to add. They should be throwing gratitude and kindness and cream puffs at us, though I‘d settle for just the cream puffs.” (220)

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Sneakybea
Rosemarked | Livia Blackburne
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Pickpick

A healer marked by a fatal disease & a warrior traumatized by torture join forces to infiltrate the despotic empire that oppresses both their people. Told in two alternating viewpoints—or would that be three?—this book takes what would ordinarily be a straightforward adventure story & turns it into a meditation on mortality & the role of memory in identity. It made me think, it made me feel—what more could I ask for?

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Sneakybea
The Speaker | Traci Chee
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These books are so pretty!

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Sneakybea
An Enchantment of Ravens | Margaret Rogerson
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Sometimes I just need a romantic faery story.

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Sneakybea
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But no matter what choices we make—solo or together—our finish line remains the same. It doesn‘t matter how many times we look both ways. It doesn‘t matter if we don‘t go skydiving to play it safe, even though it means we‘ll never get to fly like my favorite superheroes do. It doesn‘t matter if we keep our heads low when passing a gang in a bad neighborhood. No matter how we choose to live, we both die at the end (79).

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Sneakybea
Mask of Shadows | Linsey Miller
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Mehso-so

Fast-paced with great world building & an intriguing gender fluid protagonist. The romance was pretty sweet, too. But the plot was extremely similar to Throne of Glass, with some Hunger Games thrown in. Sal's need for vengeance was amply explained, but so much of their motivation was hidden in a past we don't see. It's hard to build sympathy for a murderous character & simultaneously keep them distant that way. I'm very conflicted about this book.

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Sneakybea
Alchemists of Loom | Elise Kova
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Pickpick

This book was so bloody, & the world-building so complex I had to reread sections to follow it, but dang, if I didn't love it in the end. A creative blend of steampunk & fantasy, set in a fascinating stratified society with a cast of intriguing & well-developed characters. I loved the prickly Arianna, her devoted pupil Florence, & the enigmatic Dragon Cvareh, and enjoyed following their complicated relationships. A bit different but recommended.

5 likes2 stack adds
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Sneakybea
Anna and the French Kiss | Stephanie Perkins
Pickpick

Contemporary YA is not usually my thing, but this novel was just so cute. Anna and Etienne were a swoonworthy couple and while the attraction was there from the beginning, it wasn't instalove but a relationship that had to overcome realistic obstacles and develop over time. I loved the Paris setting and how the romance was essential to the story but it was also about blooming in a new environment and discovering who you are. A sweet romantic read.

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Sneakybea
The Assassin's Blade | Sarah J. Maas
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When your book and your bookmark clearly have the same tailor...

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Sneakybea
Eliza and Her Monsters | Francesca Zappia
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There is a small monster in my brain that controls my doubt,
The doubt itself is a stupid thing, without sense or feeling, blind and straining at the end of a long chain. The monster, though, is smart. It's always watching, and when I am completely sure of myself, it unchains the doubt and lets it run wild. Even when I know it's coming, I can't stop it (p. 88).

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Sneakybea

Both of them knew kids who were the way they were supposed to be, girls who loved pretty dresses & sitting still, or who loved mud & shouting & kicking a ball. But they also knew girls who wore dresses while they terrorized the tetherball courts, & girls who wore sneakers & jeans & came to school with backpacks full of dolls in gowns of glittering gauze.

7 likes1 stack add
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Sneakybea
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Showing off my new book sleeve.

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Sneakybea
Briar Queen | Katherine Harbour
Pickpick

If you love folklore, poetry, & pretty, pretty girls & boys, these books are like candy. If not, something with less tangly world building might satisfy more. The Briar Queen is like a modern Goblin Market meets Orpheus. Christy & Sylvie get more to do than in Thorn Jack, & I welcomed the introduction of Moth, richer in character than most of the series' enigmatic young men (and there's a ton). But I wish Finn & Jack's love had more time to bloom.

6 likes1 stack add
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Sneakybea
Carry On | Rainbow Rowell
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Autographed! It's so pretty and helped improve a hard day.

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Sneakybea
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Pickpick

Reasons why you should read this book: 1. Snarky footnotes 2. Lizzie 3. Airships, dueling, and a most congenial devil 4. Simmons 5. However you deal with writers' block, it must be better than this! Just a fun, fun read.

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Sneakybea
Pickpick

A very pretty retelling of Tam Lin that captures the sinister nature of the fey in traditional folklore, rather than the watered down fairies of the Victorian and modern eras. I loved the sensuous description and use of poetry but did wish Harbour spent more time developing the relationship between Jack and Finn instead of introducing quite so many gorgeous but menacing characters. Harbour did her research, but we didn't need to see all of it.

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Sneakybea

I'm digging it. Not quite on par with Dean's Tam Lin or Fire and Hemlock, but maybe on the same level as The Perilous Gard or An Earthly Knight. It is also a book in which college students improbably quote Shakespeare & Keats, which should be its own genre.

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Sneakybea
Foul Is Fair | Jeffrey Cook, Katherine Perkins
Pickpick

This is a fun read that reminds me of The War for the Oaks for teens. Well grounded in fairy folklore, the book is also filled with fascinating characters but does suffer from too much expository dialogue at the beginning. However, it is the first book in a series, and now that the world has been set up, I have high hopes that the others will have more room for plot.

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Sneakybea
Flame in the Mist | Rene Ahdieh
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I won an ARC! Two, actually, since I got an e-ARC, too. And itty bitty Jesper is holding my place.

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Sneakybea
Caraval | Stephanie Garber
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Because Tella's fantasy of being a mermaid gave Scarlett hope--that despite their mother's abandonment, and their father's lack of love, her sister could still dream, and that was something Scarlett never wanted to destroy (p. 136).

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Sneakybea
Roses and Rot | Kat Howard
Pickpick

I wanted to read this because it is a Tam Lin retelling, and so I built it up too much in my head. It turns out Roses and Rot is only an okay Tam Lin story, but an excellent story about sisters, the power of story, and what we will give up for art. As an older sister I related to the supportive yet sometimes fraught relationship between Imogen & Marin, and as a writer I could relate to the dilemma between guaranteed success & trusting your talent.

thegirlwiththelibrarybag Have you read Fire and Hemlock? It was my introduction to Tam Lin... I was so excited when it came back in print (I was always worried that it would be withdrawn from the library) 3y
Sneakybea It's my favorite book! I have read it 15 times! 3y
5 likes2 comments
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Sneakybea
Roses and Rot | Kat Howard

I knew what it was I wanted. It wouldn't be difficult to remember it, no matter what the circumstances. But it was a want that was divided in two. To save Marin. To be better than her. Maybe the fairy tales were right to warn about the dark-haired older sister. P. 225

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Sneakybea
Wintersong | S Jae-Jones
Pickpick

It's lush and lovely, Labyrinth meets The Goblin Market. When Liesl, an innkeeper's daughter and frustrated composer, loses her sister to the beautiful but dangerous Erlkonig, she must journey to the Underground to fetch her back. A surprisingly sensual YA that explores the link between creativity & passion & uses both Classical music & Germanic folklore to tremendous effect.

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Sneakybea
Wintersong | S Jae-Jones

My sister had a gift for turning the extraordinary into the ordinary. Unlike my brother and me--who lived in the ether of magic and music--Kathe lived in the world of the real, the tangible, the mundane. Unlike us, she never had faith (p.40).

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Sneakybea
Star-Touched Queen | Roshani Chokshi

This is such a surprising book. Some familiar elements (I've been reminded of the world of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, and of East of the Sun, West of the Moon, along with Greek myth), some less familiar, wrapped up into a very unexpected story. I like it!

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Sneakybea
Star-Touched Queen | Roshani Chokshi

The week before I had lost myself in the folktales of Bharata. Stories of elephants who spun clouds, shaking tremors loose from ancient trunks gnarled with the rime of lost cyclones, whirlwinds and thunderstorms. Myths of frank-eyed naga women twisting serpentine, flashing smiles of uncut gemstones (p. 11).

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Sneakybea
The Shadow Queen | CJ Redwine

Despite the witty dialogue, I was struggling to get into it. Then the villain did something super creepy and now I'm totally on board.
There may be something wrong with me.

Linear Lol sometimes its the villains that make life more interesting. Without the chaos, who enjoys order ^_^ 2y
7 likes1 comment
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Sneakybea
Abyss Surrounds Us | Emily Skrutskie

"Reckoners aren't meant to be aggressive creatures. They only become aggressive if triggered by an attack. It's right there in the name. They're the reckoning that comes crashing down on anyone who attacks their imprint ship, the retribution that deters attacks in the first place." (168)

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Sneakybea
Six of Crows | Leigh Bardugo
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Just wanted to show off these Dregs by NerdyGrlDesigns. Cutie pies, aren't they? I love these books!

8 likes1 stack add
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Sneakybea
Ruin and Rising | Leigh Bardugo

"No he doesn't," said Tolya. "He watches her the way Harshaw watches fire. Like he'll never have enough of her. Like he's trying to capture what he can before she's gone." (p. 290.)

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Sneakybea
We Should All Be Feminists | Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

"Feminism is, of course, part of human rights in general--but to use the vague expression human rights is to deny the specific and particular problem of gender." (41)

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Sneakybea
Ruin and Rising | Leigh Bardugo
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My fifth Leigh Bardugo book and I'm thinking "What is she going to do to my heart this time?" ????

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Sneakybea
Swordspoint | Ellen Kushner

Listening to the audiobook. I read it years ago and remember being dismayed at the lack of magic but really enjoying The Fall of the Kings.

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Sneakybea
Siege and Storm | Leigh Bardugo
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"What exactly is the point of teeny tiny fruit?"
"It's for people with teeny tiny hands. Makes them feel better about themselves." (p. 199)

7 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Sneakybea
Goblin Market | Christina Rossetti
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Not the same edition but look at the beautiful book I helped kickstart!

Joybishoptx Oh wow! I love this! How do I get one? 3y
5 likes2 comments
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Sneakybea
Siege and Storm | Leigh Bardugo

They are consuming me, these books. I am really on a Leigh Bardugo kick right now.

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Sneakybea
Girl of Nightmares | Kendare Blake

This book was scary, but not scarier than waiting 2 more hours to be pulled for jury duty with no book!

8 likes1 stack add
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Sneakybea
Shadow and Bone | Leigh Bardugo
Pickpick

In some ways the story is familiar-a plain orphan develops unexpected powers that can save the world or destroy it. However, the Russian-inspired setting, rich magic system, and Bardugo's terrific eat for dialogue set it apart. Plus it has some great "country bumpkin goes to court" moments, and gave me plenty of "feels." ❤️?

5 likes1 stack add
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Sneakybea
Shadow and Bone | Leigh Bardugo

I just started it today and it's due back at the library on Friday! But I have jury duty this week so all the waiting will help.

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Sneakybea
The Vicious Deep | Zoraida Cordova
Pickpick

This is a fun book about a teenager who finds out he is the sea king's grandson & heir. Tristan is brash & funny & sounds like an authentic teenager caught up in a fairy tale world he didn't ask for. At times the story is a bit soapy, a testimonial to how well Cordova intertwines teen drama & her world of undersea fey. I've read a lot of heartbreakers lately & I love them, but this is a good palate cleanser when you just want fun.

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Sneakybea
Heartless | Marissa Meyer
Pickpick

Oh, it was so good! And it broke my heart. ❤️😥Even knowing what becomes of her I was still rooting for Cath all the way. It was kind of like Wicked or Maleficent wrapped up with a Regency novel. My first Marissa Meyer but it won't be my last!

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Sneakybea
Ingo | Helen Dunmore
Pickpick

This was a charming fantasy adventure for young readers (9-12, maybe?) that I would have loved at that age. It reminded me of books by Susan Cooper and T.A. Barron, with its creative use of folklore and curious heroine, and there's a bit of an environmental message too. If you have a young mermaid-lover in your life, or (like me!) you are one yourself, there is plenty of wonder to be found here.