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The Harpie’s Reading Madness March Plan

So… due to real life I manage to read…. ONE book in January and ONE book in February.

This.

Stops.

Now.

Well I managed to finish a book already this month – And I read almost 70% yesterday – so yey me! Maybe this last sentence will be more than wishful thinking.

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I’ll present to you…

The Harpie’s Reading Madness March Plan:

NetGalley
Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson, #10) by Patricia Briggs Magic for Nothing (InCryptid, #6) by Seanan McGuire

UF Wednesdays
Mercy Blade (Jane Yellowrock, #3) by Faith Hunter Raven Cursed (Jane Yellowrock, #4) by Faith Hunter Death's Rival (Jane Yellowrock, #5) by Faith Hunter Blood Trade (Jane Yellowrock, #6) by Faith Hunter Black Arts (Jane Yellowrock, #7) by Faith Hunter Broken Soul (Jane Yellowrock, #8) by Faith Hunter

yes, I’m well aware that there’s more books in there than Wednesdays in March… remember the ONE book read in February? That’s the result.

NBRC
Caraval (Caraval, #1) by Stephanie Garber The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

And because there’s not such thing as too many books in the reading plan
Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, #1) by Neal Shusterman Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1) by Laini Taylor Final Girls by Mira Grant

I think I’m forgetting something… I’m pretty sure I’m forgetting something… oh well…

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The Harpie Wants To Know

So.. Anything on your March Reading Plan you want to share?

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Curse on the Land by Faith Hunter

28953491Rating: ✪✪✪✪✪

Book Info:
328 pages
Published November 1st 2016 by Roc
Available on mass market paperback, kindle, ebook and audio

Series: Souldwood #2

Genres: Urban Fantasy

Source: I received a free ARC from the Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis:

Set in the same world as Faith Hunter’s New York Timesbestselling Jane Yellowrock novels, the second Soulwood novel tells the story of a woman whose power comes from deep within the earth…
 
Before Nell Ingram met skinwalker Jane Yellowrock, she had no one to rely on, finding strength only in in her arcane connection to the dark woods around her. But now she has friends in the newly-formed PsyLED team to keep her grounded—even if being part of the agency responsible for policing paranormals presents dangers of its own…

After training at the PsyLED academy, Nell returns home to her woods to find the land feeling sick and restless. And that sickness is spreading. With the help of her team, under the leadership of agent Rick LaFleur, Nell tries to determine the cause. But nothing can prepare them for the evil that awaits: an entity that feeds on death itself. And it wants more…

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Being stuck in a reading slump sucks. Specially when so many good titles were released this year and I have them, right there, and don’t feel the pull to grab them. When I first got approved for Curse on the Land on NetGalley, I didn’t just think *happy dances* No. I literally started dancing… and jumping up and down on my tiptoes… and did some geekly sounds and moves… And before someone asks, there are no photos or videos… so… it may or may not be true *winks* … And then the book stayed there… untouched… making me feel guilty for not being able to read it… until now. And I simply loved it. To pieces. Remember me saying book #1 was the best read of the year? Well.. it was… till now. Curse on the Land takes the cherry on top of the cake.
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Goodreads updates:

12/05 – marked as currently reading
12/05 – 51%
“What to do when you want to do some anti-stress coloring and noisy family is all around you? You get one of your Most Wanted in audio format plug in your earphones, grab your pencils and the world just. stops. #bestideaever”
12/06 – 72%
“No matter how many times it is referred that Occam is blond, for me, he looks like Morgan from Criminal Minds. And there is no turning back!!!
I love Faith Hunter. Picking a sweet character to go to all dark… unexpected and ultra cool!!!!”
12/07 – Marked as read
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Reasons you should read Curse on the Land:

1. You want to try a Faith Hunter’s book but are intimidated by the amount of books on  the Jane Yellowrock’s series. (I do recommend read Soulwood #1 first though, because the series needs to be read in order). Also, reading this one may cause the desire to read Jane. Specially with one little development that will have you want to know what happen to get there.
2. You are a Urban Fantasy fan – yes, if you don’t like paranormal elements, this is not the series for you. But if you do, what are you doing there reading this instead of rushing to the bookstore/library?
3. You like your main characters to be strong and independent under a layer of sweetness and calm. You know, the time that doesn’t scream bad ass but still have sass and can surprise you to the core. Yes, Nell needs to be saved from time to time. But, in her case it’s on purpose. She lived her live oppressed and trusts no one. Now, she’s learned that she will never be alone again, and has friends and people she can depend on. Her journey is so enjoyable to read that my heart was breaking to know it would be a trilogy only. Good thing that little detail is now on the verge of changing. Because Nell is a force to recon with
4. You like to see cult raised members to break free and set a live for themselves. There’s two things I love about this: One, seeing Nell finding a place on the world, and learn a new life full of possibilities after all she has been through. And two: Her relationship with her family, that still abide by the cult’s rules. They understand each other, and they respect their choices without trying to convince the other party they’re wrong and that they should change. I also liked to see Sam. He’s a mix. he belongs to the cult, but he agreed on some outside rules, and make both work. AMAZING.
5. You like to see sweet characters go dark. And doubts raised.
6. You like stabbing and betrayal. Read this book. You will love it.
7. And finally, you like romance but despise insta-lust. The romantic hints are so sweet. Also, I want a Occam for myself. I’ll even rub his belly when he goes all furry on full moon… assuming I don’t become dinner, that is.

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It’s Nell Day!! A Most Wanted Release Date

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Curse on the Land aka the most wanted one of the second half of 2016 is OUT!!!!

Set in the same world as Faith Hunter’s New York Timesbestselling Jane Yellowrock novels, the second Soulwood novel tells the story of a woman whose power comes from deep within the earth…
 
Before Nell Ingram met skinwalker Jane Yellowrock, she had no one to rely on, finding strength only in in her arcane connection to the dark woods around her. But now she has friends in the newly-formed PsyLED team to keep her grounded—even if being part of the agency responsible for policing paranormals presents dangers of its own…

After training at the PsyLED academy, Nell returns home to her woods to find the land feeling sick and restless. And that sickness is spreading. With the help of her team, under the leadership of agent Rick LaFleur, Nell tries to determine the cause. But nothing can prepare them for the evil that awaits: an entity that feeds on death itself. And it wants more…

Review to be posted soon

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Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine

25890355  26804473

Rating: ✪✪✪✪

Book Info:
357 pages
Published July 5th 2016 by  NAL
Available on hardcover, paperback, kindle, ebook and audio

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopian

Source: I received a free ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

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Synopsis:
Ink and Bone introduced a world where knowledge is power, and power corrupts absolutely. Now, the story of those who dare to defy the Great Library—and rewrite history—continues. . . .

With an iron fist, The Great Library controls the knowledge of the world, ruthlessly stamping out all rebellion, forbidding the personal ownership of books in the name of the greater good.

Jess Brightwell has survived his introduction to the sinister, seductive world of the Library, but serving in its army is nothing like he envisioned. His life and the lives of those he cares for have been altered forever. His best friend is lost, and Morgan, the girl he loves, is locked away in the Iron Tower and doomed to a life apart.

Embarking on a mission to save one of their own, Jess and his band of allies make one wrong move and suddenly find themselves hunted by the Library’s deadly automata and forced to flee Alexandria, all the way to London.

But Jess’s home isn’t safe anymore. The Welsh army is coming, London is burning, and soon, Jess must choose between his friends, his family, or the Library willing to sacrifice anything and anyone in the search for ultimate control. . . .

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I was really excited when I was approved for the eARC. Then life happened and I couldn’t read it before release time or archiving date. heck, it took me a whole month to be able to finish it – And no. It isn’t the book fault. I actually read it in THREE sittings. The time between each was too long. It also helped me to keep emotions in check. More or less. Because I finished it little more than an hour ago and the only thing I can think of is WHAT. THE. HELL. JUST. HAPPENED?!

Minor spoilers ahead because it is near impossible to take it all from my system without them.

The book is crazy good. It has everything. Twists. Plots. Conspiracy. Back stabbing. Tears and smiles and death and mayhem and every bookworm nightmare that involves fire.

Yes, the books ends up with no end in sight. Same as last one. That, is not a cliffhanger – well I guess technically, it is – having one of the main characters grabbed by motorcycle men and a stake driven into his heart while his friends scream, that my friends, is a cliffhanger… and the only reason I survived it was because I had next book on hand.

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What I Loved

Jess. It is impossible not to love Jess. He has so many flaws and qualities that mix up in a very enjoyable package. His background and his loyalties never cease to amaze me. He was a little naive though. I shouted a few times that smugglers would prefer rare volumes to press… but hey. he will find out that eventually, right? right? His family still confuses me… Brandon specially. I still can’t figure him out, maybe in next book.1

Glain, Santi, Wolfe, Morgan and the rest of the gang – yes, even Dario, although sometimes I would love a good punch at him. They are complex characters with LOTS of layers. But their friendship is the high point on all this. The way they throw their believes away and risk hopes, dreams and future, heck, their own life to save one of their own is a thing to behold. This books shows us a completely different side of Wolfe. I’m still not sure what to think… but, it fits what he been through.

The story. It was a action packed book. It has tender moments. It has angst, peril, death, treason and unexpected allies. The book has it all. And it is written in a way that makes us swallow all and not think as too much.

The automata. Scary, killer machines, that can also be like pets. LOOOOOOOOVED the purring lion.

The new destination. I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE HOW THE STORY UNFOLDS. And I need the next book like no tomorrow.

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What makes me itchy

The inconsistency. So. Jess finds out that the message to go to the warehouse was a fluke. And then what does Brandon tell him? The rendez-vous point was the warehouse. Come again? But wasn’t it a ruse? Who send that message and why isn’t that person there? And how on earth did his father lose his codex but manages to be unscathed?

Jess’s apparently immortality. I lost count how many times he bled on this book. Or suffered injured. He banged his head so many times that an excessive number of concussions would be caused. He actually feels the aches and pains at the moment at hand. But one solid nap after and he’s good to go, unlike his friends that actually need recovering time. Which is annoying at least (*)

(*) Cait @ paper fury has an awesome post on this strange phenomena, aka the snowflake factor

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Quotes:
“Hard habit to break, friendship.”
Rachel Caine, Paper and Fire

“One thing you learn early growing up a girl—people always talk, whatever you do,” Glain said.”
Rachel Caine, Paper and Fire

“Anything is possible. The impossible just takes longer.’” “Stupid”
Rachel Caine, Paper and Fire

 

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Blood of the Earth by Faith Hunter

24452922Rating: ✪✪✪✪✪

Book Info:
352 pages
Expected publication: August 2nd 2016 by Roc
Available on paperback and kindle

Genres: Urban Fantasy


Source: I received an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis:
Set in the same world as the New York Times bestselling Jane Yellowrock novels, an all-new series starring Nell Ingram, who wields powers as old as the earth.

When Nell Ingram met skinwalker Jane Yellowrock, she was almost alone in the world, exiled by both choice and fear from the cult she was raised in, defending herself with the magic she drew from her deep connection to the forest that surrounds her.

Now, Jane has referred Nell to PsyLED, a Homeland Security agency policing paranormals, and agent Rick LaFleur has shown up at Nell’s doorstep. His appearance forces her out of her isolated life into an investigation that leads to the vampire Blood Master of Nashville.

Nell has a team—and a mission. But to find the Master’s kidnapped vassal, Nell and the PsyLED team will be forced to go deep into the heart of the very cult Nell fears, infiltrating the cult and a humans-only terrorist group before time runs out…

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So much to say about this book. But first things first. When I saw the book was at NetGalley, I only saw Faith Hunter and New Series before hitting the request button. Only AFTER being approved did I realized that 1)It was a spin-off and 2)There was a character development I would miss and being spoiled about if I read it before being up to date.

Sadly, I only managed to read Skinwalker before diving in into this one – yep, Steven is still disappointed with me – but, I must confess that after three or four pages all my guilty thoughts vanished. Why?

Because I TOTALLY LOVED THE BOOK. Omigosh Nell is such a great character. She has layers and layers, and is the living proof that we CAN LEARN THINGS BY READING FICTION BOOKS.

The support cast is also great. I loved how different they where and how well they mesh together. Even Rick. I don’t know how his story developed to make him how he is  (and now I’m dyyying to know more) but his distance and distrust felt real and I totally ate everything the author sent my way.

Plus it has a cult. And someone breaking free of it. We don’t have those around here in Portugal – at least to my knowledge – and I’m always sucked in by those stories. Not the cult mentality, that is a cultural shock I can’t see past it, but, what does it take to brainwash people to accept that kind of mentality.

My favorite thing on the book? Nell’s magic. If my childhood wishes of being a witch came through I’d be something like Nell. Earth Magic Rocks. And it has darkness too and it craves blood and it can turn alive. Seriously, a vampire tree? All kinds of awesome.

There isn’t a single negative thing I can thing about this book. It was borderline perfect. The villains are complex and twisted and the story revolves in a way that keeps the reader unable to set it down till the very end.

I always complain about how Sookie’s tasks were depicted on her books but Nell’s are refreshing, not over the top and have always little details we enjoy learning. And  her sense of humor rocks. Her catnip use is even better than Kate Daniel’s and that’s something I never thought I’d be saying.

In a nutshell: I LOVED IT! It has layers and layers and delicious moments. It has sass. It has funny moments. It has surprises. It even has a hint of a love interest. Sweet and deserved. And I want the next one like no tomorrow.

 

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Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet by Charlie N. Holmberg

magic bitter magic sweet

Rating: ✪✪✪✪

Book Info:
304 pages
Expected Publication June 28th 2016 by 47North
Available on paperback, audio and kindle

Book Genres: Fantasy

Source: I received this book as an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:
Maire is a baker with an extraordinary gift: she can infuse her treats with emotions and abilities, which are then passed on to those who eat them. She doesn’t know why she can do this and remembers nothing of who she is or where she came from.

When marauders raid her town, Maire is captured and sold to the eccentric Allemas, who enslaves her and demands that she produce sinister confections, including a witch’s gingerbread cottage, a living cookie boy, and size-altering cakes.

During her captivity, Maire is visited by Fyel, a ghostly being who is reluctant to reveal his connection to her. The more often they meet, the more her memories return, and she begins to piece together who and what she really is—as well as past mistakes that yield cosmic consequences.

From the author of The Paper Magician series comes a haunting and otherworldly tale of folly and consequence, forgiveness and redemption.

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First Thoughts:
Baking and Magic? Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!

What I Loved:

  • The characters. From the sweet and strong Maire, to her weird captor, characters felt real and I could connect with them.
  • The Baking. The way she infused the emotions, feelings and desires into baking made me almost taste it. And the crossover with the fairytales that have baking? A very good job done there
  • The little details. The way Maire changed every time she remembered something. The way her dreams and memories. The way the characters changed with the story. The consequences of the actions.
  • The worldbuilding & plot. The author did a fantastic job and created for us a magical world, with a very interesting concept. It had me trying to guess a lot of things and I never do that. And the reason she lost her memories was a very original one. Also, the way the story connected from head to toe. Loved the little detail of the gingerbread house visiting.
  • The Epilogue. How it gave us a desire fulfilled and how it hinted of a possibility.
  • The way it left me craving cookies, rolls and any sweet baked goodies I can think of in the end

Things I wasn’t a fan:

  • The pacing. It was a bit slow. It also turned from magical to just okay and then to just plain weird. It did composed at the end, but it almost made me give up in the middle.
  • Maire/Allemas dynamics. There was a lot of suffering that sounded gratuitous at the time, and their relationship was plain weird. It was explained at the end, and looking back it made sense, but not when we read it.

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I Wish My Teacher Knew by Kyle Schwartz

28369599Pages:272
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by Da Capo Lifelong Books
Genre: Nonfiction
Available on: hardcover and ebook
Purchase: Amazon|Book Depository|B&N


Rating: ✪✪✪✪

Synopsis:
One day, third-grade teacher Kyle Schwartz asked her students to fill–in–the–blank in this sentence: “I wish my teacher knew _____.” The results astounded her. Some answers were humorous, others were heartbreaking–all were profoundly moving and enlightening. The results opened her eyes to the need for educators to understand the unique realities their students face in order to create an open, safe and supportive place in the classroom. When Schwartz shared her experience online, #IWishMyTeacherKnew became an immediate worldwide viral phenomenon. Schwartz’s book tells the story of #IWishMyTeacherKnew, including many students’ emotional and insightful responses, and ultimately provides an invaluable guide for teachers, parents, and communities.

First Thoughts:
As a proud aunt of a vivacious almost 4 year old girl, I know how unexpected each day is and how surprising can be kids, so I when I saw the opportunity of reading the kids’ answers to such a brilliant question I couldn’t resist the request button and prepared myself to be amazed and to shed some tears.

Review:
Reading some of the answers broke my heart.

Others made me smile. Specially the little kid that loved Nachos. I hear you kid, I hear you.

What I wasn’t expecting was the amount of research behind it. Or the wake up call. This books shows us the reality of schools all over America, why some behaviors are wrongly looked at, and what the teachers and all personal involved in children education must look for. And also that sometimes we need to think before act. Because good intentions are not enough. And doing a good action without thinking all variables that can exist may do more harm than good.

Who should read this book?

Well, my first answer would be ANYBODY. Which will be the ideal good answer but it would also be very wrong. Why? Because it is focused on schools. How to deal with kids and learn how to really look behind the barriers that kids learn to project.

Parents know their reality, they don’t need to look at their children and translate that their lack of attention is caused by hunger, or that they can’t afford pencils to do their homework. They already know that.

Now, teachers, educators, school nurses are another matter. They need to learn how to deal with children, how to build community, how to teach children to be children and to grow into responsible adults that will know how to face adversity and conquer it. And for those, this book is a must read. The experiences related, the answers and the questions are a powerful tool that needs to be read, shared and applied. Ignoring this book is ignoring what children wish their teacher knew.

ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Read as part of the Clean Sweep ARC Challenge hosted by Kimberly @Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Kristin @ Addicted to Happily Ever After