Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Pair It With: Saints and Misfits and That Thing We Call a Heart

In this Pair It With I've brought together two books that feature Muslim-American teens. Both books are own voices and feature main characters who fall in very different places on the faith spectrum. I really loved both.

 Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali

Publisher / Year: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - June 13, 2017

Genre: YA Contemporary

Source: ARC from Publisher via NetGalley

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble 

Janna Yusuf is not sure she fits in anywhere. As an Arab Indian-American hijabi teenager she definitely stands out at school. And her divorced parents, Flannery O'Connor obsession, and crush on a non-Muslim friend from school, make her wonder about her place in her tight-knit Muslim community as well. One thing she does know is that her best friend's cousin is a monster masquerading as a saint, but will she have the courage to say something? Will anyone believe her when he seems so perfect on the outside?

I loved this debut from S.K. Ali. Saints and Misfits is a classic coming-of-age story. Anyone can relate to Janna's tale because her struggles over who she is and who she wants to be are a universal part of growing up. At the same time, I really enjoyed reading a story set within a Muslim community. S.K. Ali so effortlessly brings the reader into Janna's world. The contemporary YA scene is branching out more and more with diverse characters and viewpoints, and this story is such a lovely addition to that direction and an important one as well. I'm always happy when I find a book that treats faith and faith communities with realism and respect.

Janna's story works so well because she is so honestly herself.She's a fantastic narrator with a strong voice and a distinct personality. Saints and Misfits is populated with side characters who the reader can't help but love. And I really enjoyed watching Janna reassess her initial impressions of many of them.

Also, I absolutely love the cover of this book. The ombre and the script are gorgeous, and I am so happy that they put a hijabi teen on the cover. 


That Thing We Call a Heart by Sheba Karim

Publisher / Year: HarperTeen - May 9, 2017

Genres: YA Contemporary

Source: ARC from Publisher via Edelweiss

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble 

Shabnam Qureshi is a Pakistani-American teen growing up in New Jersey. As the story begins, Shabnam's relationship with her best friend Farah is rocky. The reason is that Farah started wearing hijabi without discussing it with Shabnam. Shabnam, who is Muslim but not particularly religious, is worried that this means that she and Farah might be growing apart, and she struggles to understand why Farah would make such a big decision without discussing it with her first. Does this mean they aren't as close of friends as Shabnam thought?

Shabnam then begins a relationship with Jamie, a boy who scores her a job at his aunt's pie shack. Jamie finds Shabnam fascinating, and Shabnam falls for him pretty hard, but Farah is less certain about Jamie's intentions.

That Thing We Call a Heart is a complicated book in the best way. Shabnam is not a wholly likeable character. She makes some pretty hurtful decisions and can be self-centered. Farah can be judgmental and lack understanding, and Jamie has suspicious motives. These flaws make Sheba Karim's characters feel like real people who are making real mistakes.

The complications in That Thing We Call a Heart also have to do with Shabnam's position when it comes to faith and culture. Shabnam is very disconnected from Islam and Pakistan. The theme of The Partition of India and refugees that runs through the book is one way that Shabnam begins to open her mind up to her heritage (albeit with lots of starts and stops and missteps).

I love that Sheba Karim tells the story of a girl like Shabnam. People are all over the map when it comes to faith of any kind, and Shabnam's voice is one I appreciated.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Reading on a Theme: Teens on the Internet

There are all sorts of creative things you can do on the internet, like run a book blog, for instance. Today we've rounded up five books about teens with large online followings. Check out what these teens have created, how they navigate fame on the internet, and come to grips with the way their online persona bleeds into their daily life.

Beauty Vlogger:
YouTuber Lacey Robbins' dream is to get a sponsor, and she seems closer to her dream than ever when she lands an internship with On Trend Magazine in New York City. As driven as she is, Lacey is not thrilled when she learns the celebrity contributor for her issue is Tyler Lance of former boy band and bad boy fame. As work gets more complicated, Lacey begins to question her assumptions about Tyler and sponsorship. At First Blush is so much fun. If you like makeup, YouTube, or celebrity romances, this is definitely the book for you. Although light and fun, Beth Ellyn Summer really made me think about self-made celebrity. At First Blush is out April 4th, 2017. Review copy from NetGalley.

Fantasy Podcaster:
Frances, known online as Toulouse, is thrilled when she is invited to do an art segment for her favorite podcast, Universe City. The creator of the show is a complete mystery, but she has been a fan since it's inception. As she becomes involved with the show, a friendship with Aled Last begins and many mysteries begin to unfold. Radio Silence--the name of the narrator of Universe City--is a book about dreams, and friendship, and finding your own way. The tone of the book is subdued, but intense, and I felt it mirrored the tone of Universe City. I enjoyed the transcript excerpts and they way they lined up with the story of Frances and Aled. Alice Oseman created a haunting story of friendship and strength. Radio Silence was out March 28, 2017 in the U.S. Review copy from Edelweiss. 

Photoshopping Instagrammer:
With severe social anxiety, being unseen is often the only way for Vicky to get through the day. Lonely after her best friend moves away, Vicky invents Vicurious (herself in disguise) and photoshops her into scenes she wishes she were a part of. As she uses Vicurious to reach out to the lonely of the internet, her followers skyrocket and she realizes no one is truly alone. I really enjoyed following Vicky's journey in How to Disappear. She learned a lot of things as Vicurious, my favorite being that no one has a perfect life, and it was very satisfying to learn along with her. I was amazed at how Sharon Huss Roat's novel really stuck with me. How to Disappear is out August 15, 2017. Review copy from Edelweiss.

Web Comic Creator:
Eliza Mirk is the anonymous creator of the hugely popular webcomic, Monstrous Sea. She may be famous online, but in real life she's a nobody. Misunderstood by her athletic family and uncomfortable with social interaction, most of Eliza's friends are online. That begins to change when she meets Wallace, an outsider who loves Monstrous Sea as much as she does. The biggest problem is that he doesn't know she's the creator. I loved Francesca Zappia's debut, and I thought that Eliza and her Monsters was every bit as good. Eliza's difficulties navigating her life online and in-person felt so true to life. Also, I really thought Monstrous Sea sounded really interesting. I'd love to read it. Eliza and Her Monsters is out May 30th, 2017. Review copy from Edelweiss.

Fashion Blogger:
Alterations is a retelling of the movie Sabrina. Stephanie Scott's Sabrina character, Amelia Blanco, is an aspiring fashion designer with a huge online following. She lives with her mother and grandmother in the service apartment of the wealthy Laurenti family. Amelia's longtime crush, Ethan Laurenti, doesn't notice Amelia until he sees how much she's changed after a summer internship in New York. By this time, Amelia has agreed to help Ethan's twin brother, Liam, with a fashion app. Cue lots of confused feelings. I really enjoyed the Miami setting and all the fashion in this book. Liam was really sweet. The crazy reality TV show was amusing. This is such a cute read.

At First Blush, Eliza and Her Monsters, and Alterations reviewed by JoLee.
Radio Silence and How to Disappear reviewed by Paige.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Reading on a Theme: Dreams and Dreamers

The common thread in this Reading on a Theme is that all of these books contain characters who can enter dreams. In this mix, we've got a highly anticipated new book by a beloved author, some old favorites, and a couple of great debuts. There's a dream for every mood.

Librarians and Gods:
Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone series is one of my favorite trilogies, and I've been eagerly anticipating her next book ever since I finished it. Strange the Dreamer is what everyone calls Lazlo Strange, an orphan who works in a library and dreams of seeing the hidden city of Weep. A second perspective, focusing on a child of Weep, also involves dreaming. Ms. Taylor writes the loveliest slow-burn fantasy. I'm absolutely fascinated by the world that she created in this book, from the Medieval Monastic feel to the god-slayers of Weep. The book has some similar themes to The Daughter of Smoke and Bone--gods and monsters and which is which and the collision of cultures.

Dream Catcher:
When near someone dreaming, Janie becomes a witness to the dream. She doesn't know how or why, and it makes for some very uncomfortable moments. In Wake, Janie, with the help of a few very special people, starts to figure out what her dream walking is all about, how she can control her abilities, and what she can give to the dreamer. Lisa McMann's Wake trilogy is a great choice for fans of crime thrillers who also a love a little bit of the supernatural. I found this series so compulsively readable. I thought the writing style with its terse language and the dark and gritty atmosphere really added to the suspense of the books.

The Boy in Her Dreams:
Every night Alice meets Max in her dreams. He is wonderful and funny, and they have had a lifetime of adventures together in her dreams. And she thought that's all he was. A Dream. When Alice moves back to her family's home in Boston, she meets Max at her school. He's real, but he's not quite the same as the Max in her dreams. Or is he? Dreamology is all about the crossover between dreams and reality. And sometimes it's difficult to tell where one ends and the other begins. Lucy Keating's debut is so light and quirky. Little details, like how Alice's dog always shows up in the dreams, are what made this book so cute.

Dreams and Monsters:
Odea Donahue can enter dreams. She must. She grows sick and weak if she doesn't. She has always carefully followed the dreamwalking rules set by her mother, never entering the same person's dreams more than once and never letting the dreamer see her. That is until she falls for Connor. She wants to be close to him, so she enters his dreams night after night even though she knows she shouldn't. And that's why the monsters find her. Dreamland is suspenseful and exciting. Robert L. Anderson's book kept taking turns that I was not expecting. I really liked Dea's narration, and I loved that this book is part horror story, part crime fiction, and part fantasy. This book is perfect for Halloween.

The Boys in Her Dreams:
Liv and her sister just moved to another country. Again. In Dream a Little Dream, Liv finds herself having very strange dreams. It's getting difficult to distinguish the difference between dreams and reality. Liv's dreams always involve a group of boys from her new school. What's the weirdest part is the boys seem to know things they could only know if they had been in her dreams. Liv, who loves Sherlock Holmes, is more than happy to try and find out why. Follow Liv as she uses her detective skills to uncover why she's having the same dreams as the four boys from her school. Kerstin Gier's book is an interesting read. I really liked the interactions between the boys and Liv. Definitely not my typical genre but I enjoyed the plot.

Strange the Dreamer, Wake, Dreamology, and Dreamland reviewed by JoLee.
Dream a Little Dream reviewed by Sarah. 

Friday, May 26, 2017

Reading on a Theme: Alice in Wonderland

If you love Alice in Wonderland you have come to the right place. Today we are featuring five YA books that take a different spin on Wonderland.

Steampunk Duchess:
Last year we featured the first book in Wendy Spinale's series in our tribute to Peter Pan. The second book is a retelling of Alice in Wonderland. Pete, Gwen, and the lost kids have found shelter at Castle Alnwick under the care of the young Duchess Alyssa, but the horrors of the Horologia virus continue. Alyssa journeys through a dangerous labyrinth with the help of the castle's wild gardener, Maddox Hadder, to find the final ingredient for the cure. Umberland combines steampunk and World War II with Alice. I'm curious to see which story will be the inspiration for the final tale. Any guesses? Mine is Snow White. Umberland is out May 9, 2016. Review copy from Edelweiss.

Reluctant Queen:
Marissa Meyer, of Lunar Chronicles fame, sets her Wonderland tale before Alice's adventures. Heartless is an origin story that tells how Catherine became the Queen of Hearts. Heartless is a tragedy. You know it must be going in because you know Catherine's destiny. But, despite my knowledge of what was to come, I still desperately wanted Catherine to be happy and to live her dreams. I wanted her to be with Jest, however impossible that might be. And, I think the fact that I was so invested in her happiness, even knowing it could never be, says a lot about how well this story is told. I loved what Ms. Meyer did with the Wonderland source material. This book is a stand-alone, but I would read a sequel in a heartbeat. 

Mad Granddaughter:
Alyssa Gardner is a descendant of the Alice who fell down the rabbit hole. All the women in her family are cursed with madness, and Alyssa is worried she too will succumb. She already hears the whisperings of bugs and flowers. Then Alyssa learns that Wonderland is not a fairy tale after all and that all the troubles suffered by her family are the result of the problems caused by Alice. It's Alyssa's job to fix her great-great-great grandmother's mistakes. With Splintered, A.G. Howard does a fantastic job with the creepy, weird, mad atmosphere of Wonderland. I love the clever ways that Alyssa fixes Alice's mistakes. They fit in perfectly with the original tale.

Unloved Princess:
Colleen Oakes's Queen of Hearts is the story of Dinah, princess and heir to the throne of Wonderland. With her coronation approaching, Dinah hopes that she will be able to make a real impact on Wonderland, but her father is reluctant to relinquish his throne. I really enjoyed seeing how Colleen Oakes adapted Lewis Carroll's world. Ms. Oakes's Cards, Cheshire, Mad Hatter, White Rabbit, and Queen of Hearts are brilliantly connected to Carroll's originals and simultaneously unexpected. I loved that with this story, Dinah, the future Queen of Hearts, gets some life and nuance beyond Carroll's "off with her head" creation. And Ms. Oakes's descriptions of Wonderland absolutely do justice to this fantastical world.  

Zombie Slayer:
Alice in Zombieland is a loose take on Alice in Wonderland with, well zombies. The night Ali's family died was the first night she saw them. Now she knows that the monsters her father always feared are real. Ali finds herself drawn to a group of troublemakers at school and soon learns the reason is because they too can see the monsters. Gena Showalter's mash-up of Alice in Wonderland and Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a lot of fun. This book has all the typical paranormal tropes, and it reminded me why that genre can be so much fun. Alice with a dash of zombie is a pretty fun romp.

All books reviewed by JoLee.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Young Adult Beauty and the Beast Retellings

So you've seen Disney's new live-action Beauty and the Beast, and you need more Belle and Beast in your life. Never fear, we've gathered ten YA adaptations of your current favorite fairy tale so that you can stave off the Beauty and the Beast withdrawal.

Hunted by Meagan Spooner
This brand new fairy tale retelling by one-half of the These Broken Stars author duo, is about a girl who longs for the quiet and solitude of the hunt and the forest. When her father falls into financial ruin, her desire is realized and it leads to her destiny.

Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly
I hadn't read any of Disney's new novels inspired by their classic films, but this one seemed like a good place to start. I love Jennifer Donnelly's writing, and the Beast's library is one of my favorite parts of the story.

Roses by Rose Mannering
This is the classic story set in a rich world cloaked in political turmoil. In a kingdom where magic is feared, a young girl is born with pale skin and silver hair. Cruelly given the misnomer Beauty, the girl grows into a woman who is inseparably connected to the fate of her world.

Belle by Cameron Dokey
This retelling was first published in 2008, but it got a whole new package design just in time for the Beauty and the Beast fervor. Belle, feeling her name is a misnomer, devotes her time to wood carving. When she faces the Beast, this talent unlocks their future.

Beauty by Robin McKinley
Robin McKinley's book is the retelling classic of this bunch. First published in 1993, I feel like Beauty set the standard for fairy tale retellings over the several decades.

Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay
This is the science fiction retelling of the bunch. Set on a futuristic, distant planet, Stacey Jay created a dark fairy tale about a dying world, the monsters that inhabit it, and the princess meant to save it.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Sarah J. Maas's Beauty and the Beast retelling is a fairy tale with feral faeries. Feyre is imprisoned by Tamlin, the High Lord of the Spring Court, when she kills a faerie. This dark faerie tale is hugely beloved by many YA readers.

Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley
Twenty years after she published Beauty, Robin McKinley returned to the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale in Rose Daughter. I love seeing what an author can do with a fairy tale, and Robin McKinley's ability to write two gorgeous retellings of this tale is remarkable.

Beastly by Alex Flinn
Alex Flinn is the queen of contemporary fairy tale retellings. Beastly is set in New York City and told from the Beast's perspective as he struggles to break the curse cast on him by a witch in his English class. 

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Cruel Beauty is Beauty and the Beast meets Greek mythology. Set in the cursed kingdom of Arcadia, Nyx was raised knowing she must marry The Gentle Lord and then assassinate him and free the land. The Gentle Lord, however, is not what Nyx expected.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Long-Distance Book Club: The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares

This whole blog is kind of like a long-distance book club, but sometimes we like to take it a step further by reading the same book at the same time. This time we read Ann Brashares's newest novel, The Whole Thing Together.

Our review was developed from our discussion of The Whole Thing Together. Below the review,  we've provided a list of questions that you can use to discuss this book in your book club, long-distance or otherwise. And, let me tell you, this book is what book club dreams are made of.

Finally, before we get to the review, I want to issue a general spoiler alert for the discussion questions. A good book club, after all, involves people who have actually read the book.

The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares

Publisher / Year: Delacorte Press - April 2017

Genres: YA Contemporary - Family Drama

Source: Review copy from the publisher via NetGalley

Goodreads | Amazon

I read the publisher's summary for The Whole Thing Together several months ago and instantly knew I wanted to read this book. I don't do this too often, but I went into the book hoping for a certain type of thing in terms of both story and style. My very particular expectations could have led to a complete disaster, but, for the most part, this book was just what I wanted it to be.

Well, I couldn't keep my mouth shut about this glorious reading fortune, and so Paige said, "Hey, I want to read this book too." She read the book and then immediately read it again. This is how much we adored this book, folks. And so, it only seemed fitting to do a Long-Distance Book Club. Not only was I excited about talking with Paige about the book, but I really think that this book is book club gold. Paige and I clearly loved the book, but readers seem to be very divided over it, and, let's face it, don't strong feelings on both sides make for the best book club discussions?

The Whole Thing Together is about a complicated family. Sasha and Ray's parents used to be married. They had three daughters before a very messy divorce divided the family. Their parents remarried and Sasha and Ray were born. Although they've never met, Sasha and Ray have shared the same bedroom for all of their lives. It's a bedroom in the Long Island beach house that both Sasha's dad and Ray's mom refuse to give up. And so, despite all the bitter feelings and completely avoiding each other, the families have been sharing the beach house for all these years alternating weeks so that the parents would never have to see other. The three older sisters, Emma, Quinn, and Mattie are the bridge in all this mess, navigating between the two sides of their complicated family.

Paige and I really enjoyed the complicated family dynamics in this book. We really liked reading about a big family--one with a lot of kids and a lot of sisters. And we appreciated the sibling interaction.

We also loved the ensemble cast. No one character is really the star in this book. It's about the whole family, and the story floats from sibling to sibling. Also, this style of story telling is episodic in its nature, and we really enjoyed seeing how the various elements came together.

I think what I liked most about this book is the quiet atmosphere. It's a type of writing style that I really enjoy. It reminded me a bit of The Bone Gap or We Were Liars, and I know this style isn't to everyone's taste, but it just really works for me. I love a fast-paced story as much as anyone, but I really love to slow it down every once in awhile too.

Discussion Questions for The Whole Thing Together

Topic: The Ensemble Cast

Did you have a favorite sibling or one that you could most easily relate to? Whose story did you most enjoy? Did you enjoy the ensemble cast? If so, what about it worked for you, and if not, what did you dislike?

Topic: The Beach House

The beach house is the center of all the interactions between the two sides of this divided family. In what ways is the beach house a symbol of the family's life?

Topic: The Summer Jobs

All the siblings have summer jobs near the beach house. What is the significance of the summer jobs?
How do they kick off the big changes that are in store for this family?

Topic: The Second Marriages

Are Robert and Lila's second marriages any healthier than their first? Do you feel like Ray and Sasha's relationships with their parents are stunted because everyone is still so hung up on the first marriage?

Topic: The Parent-Child Relationships

How did the family dynamics get to this point? Discuss how Robert and Lila are passing their problems down to their children.

Topic: Race

Robert was a Bangladeshi orphan who was adopted by a Canadian couple. Lila is white. I have seen several reviewers who raise some good points about the way diversity was handled in this book. How did you feel about the way that race and diversity was handled in this book?

Topic: Ray and Sasha

How did you feel about Ray and Sasha's relationship? (We are divided on this topic. Lots of pros, but also some weirdness as well.)

Topic: Emma's Engagement

How did Emma's new relationship and the idea of adding another person into these already strained family dynamics bring this situation to a tipping point? What did you think about Jamie's relationship with his family? Why didn't Jamie prepare Emma better (or at all) for his family's dysfunction?

Topic: Mattie

Discuss Mattie's identity crisis and how it effects her relationship with her siblings, her mother, her father, and her co-worker, Matt.

Topic: Quinn

How was Quinn a healing force for her family? Did you have any premonitions about Quinn's destiny?

Topic: Healing and Hope

How do you think this family will do going forward? Is there hope and healing in their future?

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Story Continues: A Crown of Wishes, Wayfarer, and The Ship Beyond Time

So many excellent sequels have come out this year, and the three we have for you today are all just divine. Have you read any of the books in these series? What did you think of the sequels?

You can find our feature of the first book in these series here and here.

A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

Publisher / Year: St. Martin's Griffin - March 2017

Genres: Young Adult Fantasy - Romance

Source: Review copy from the publisher via NetGalley

Goodreads | Amazon

The Star-Touched Queen was one of my favorite reads of 2016. The story was intricate, the setting rich, and prose beautiful.When I heard about the sequel, I was a little confused. Where was she going to take our characters now? But when I learned A Crown of Wishes was a companion novel that followed Gauri, that's when I got excited.

Gauri has enemies everywhere. The ruler of Bharata, her brother, wants her dead and so do the leaders of Ujijain, where she is imprisoned. When she is called for an audience with Vikram, the prince of Ujijain, however, things change. Together, Gauri and Vikram embark on an adventure to compete in the Tournament of Wishes and win the hearts of their people.

Once again, Roshani Chokshi captured me with the amazing places our characters encounter. The magical realms are rich, vast, and somewhat terrifying, as are the magical beings that inhabit them. I loved the way the stories of magic wove together and the unexpected twists they created in the end of the story.

Gauri and Vikram were both well-crafted, interesting characters. I loved Vikram's sense of humor and was simply delighted to see who Gauri became after losing her sister in the first book. We were introduced to many new characters in this book. The Lord of Wealth and Treasure keeps you on your toes. Aasha was my favorite new character. She was a true fighter.

This book had many themes that really resonated with me, including stories, hopes, dreams, desires, and wishes. A Crown of Wishes is as lovely a read as its predecessor.

Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken

Publisher / Year: Disney-Hyperion - January 2017

Genres: Young Adult Fantasy - Time Travel

Source: Audible

Goodreads | Amazon

Wayfarer is the sequel to Alexandra Bracken's highly anticipated  Passenger of last year. I love time travel novels, so it was an easy sell for me.

In Passenger, Etta Spencer learns that she is a member of a time-traveling family and because of her genetics, capable of time travel. She and fellow time traveler Nicolas Carter are compelled to travel through time in order to find a stolen and powerful time-traveling artifact. 

I thought that Passenger was a lot of fun, but it definitely has a slow start. There is quite a bit of explanation and background that has to be established before Etta can even begin her time traveling adventures. After all, she didn't even know that time travelers exist. It also had a crazy anxiety-producing cliffhanger. 

Wayfarer begins not too long after the conclusion of Passenger, and the reader is thrown directly back into the world. I actually really loved Wayfarer. I liked it more than the first in the series. This second book is a bit more fast-paced because all the groundwork has already been laid. It does, however, see our two main characters split up for most of the book. I wondered if for certain readers who are very invested in Etta and Nicolas's romance the distance was too much. 

I love so many of the secondary characters that I didn't miss the interaction between Nicholas and Etta too much. Spending more time with Sophia was an absolute ball, and Julian Ironwood was an unexpected treat.

Another thing I liked about Wayfarer was the realization that Etta and Nicholas are up against a more insidious force than the Ironwood family. This upped the stakes in a much appreciated way. 

Much like the first book, Wayfarer takes our characters all over the world as they travel through time--from the Vatican catacomb of Old St. Peters, to a besieged Carthage, and a early 20th-century San Francisco. 

The Passenger series is not as mind-boggling as some other time travel series I've read. Personally, mind-boggling time-travel conundrums have never turned me off of a book, but, because this series is light on headache-inducing paradoxes, I'd recommend it even if you don't have a proclivity for time travel.

The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig

Publisher / Year: Greenwillow Books - February 2017

Genres: Young Adult Fantasy - Time Travel

Source: Review copy from the publisher through Edelweiss

Goodreads | Amazon

Last year we featured Passenger and Heidi Heilig's debut, The Girl from Everywhere in the same post. It seems only fitting to bring these two time travel tales together again.

I love the way time travel works in Ms. Heilig's series. To travel, the crew must obtain an original, hand-drawn map. Using that map to navigate allows the travelers to journey to the year the map was made. 

After their adventures and misfortunes in Hawaii in book one, Nix is ready to take the helm as a full-fledged Navigator. Until, that is, she learns that she is destine to lose the one she loves to the sea. Some strange run-ins during a stop in her father's native time in New York City, set Nix on a course that she hopes will change her fate.

In The Ship Beyond Time, the crew travels to a mythical island off the coast of Brittany. I absolutely love this element of Ms. Heilig's world--because time travel is done through maps, a Navigator can take his or her ship to a land of fantasy provided the original mapmaker believed that place existed.

I absolutely devoured The Ship Beyond Time, and, once again, I liked it better than the first book in the the series. I loved seeing how the myth and reality mingled and how the fairy tale story continually bubbled to the surface despite all attempts to thwart it. 

The Ship Beyond Time does have quite a bit of the mind-boggling time-travel paradoxes that I love, and it was so fun to see how the author brought history and mythology together. 

A Crown of Wishes reviewed by Paige.
Wayfarer and The Ship Beyond Time reviewed by JoLee.

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