The Life of Elves

Welp. I read it. It was no Elegance of the Hedgehog but it did have a lot of pretty words. But, The Life of Elves just wasn’t amazing like I wanted it to be. (And, it read like the first book in a darn series… no idea if Barbery plans/planned a sequel but I’m pretty sure I won’t read it.)

3 More Cybils

Now, all that’s left are poetry, early readers, some non-fiction and… yea. A whole lot of books. Anyway, on with the tracking of the ones I have read…

Bone Gap was not the book I expected it to be. Which is impossible for me to explain (I’ve tried, TW doesn’t get it, lol) so I didn’t quite love it. I did like it, though. I think.

I did like Inheritance of Ashes but not as much as I expected to. I found both sisters to be a little… annoying, which made it hard for me to really care whether they could sort out their relationship.

Shadowshaper is the one I had heard almost nothing about (shocked, not shocked, sigh) and had no expectations about. I loved it. Even when I was cursing the damn #patriarchy (which was all the way through it.) Loved this one because I loved Sierra (and her grandmother, even if we only got to know her toward the end.)

2 Cybils Shortlist, Middle Grade SciFi/Fantasy

I wasn’t really looking forward to either of these books but ended up enjoying both, though one more than the other…

I really loved The Dungeoneers. Some of the characters were really complex and that’s something I like in middle grade fiction. The good guy was a bad guy who maybe was also a good guy except he wasn’t. And, that was hard. I hope I can read the next one in the series. Someone remind me…

Mars Evacuees was the book I was saving for last because I wasn’t enthusiastic about it at all. I don’t really like “space fiction” all that much. (Don’t hold it against me, y’all.) And, true to form, TW liked this one more than I did. Something about the tone didn’t feel like it was middle grade. TW disagreed. I don’t know — it took me a long, long time to care at all about any of the characters and the ones I cared most about were not the “Mars Evacuees.”

The Fog Diver

My expectations for The Fog Diver were low. Another post-apocalyptic/middlegrade/ya/adventure book. Ho hum? OK not ho hum, because I LIKE this genre but still… turns out, this was one of the better ones.

Really clever cultural references gone wrong, gone very very wrong. Likable characters. A plot that moved fairly quickly. Mostly it was the cultural references that got me.


Off-topic but not really: I’m considering not doing the Cybils Challenge next year. Or ever again. It’s not that I don’t love these books, I do. But, so many of them are series’ books and I just can’t keep up with the series’ while also reading a bunch of newly introduced series. When I try, I find myself reading nothing but YA and Middle Grade fiction/scifi/fantasy. I need to find some sort of balance. So… stay tuned, this may be the last full shortlist challenge I attempt. Figures, since odds are high that I’m not going to successfully complete it, for the first time – ever.

Cuckoo Song

I’ve read some pretty weird books because of the Cybils Shortlist but this might have been one of the weirdest.

Cuckoo Song is dark, complex, deeply troubling in places and downright weird in others. TW didn’t finish it because it weirded her out. And, it’s middle grade. I would love to find some middle grade kids who have read this so that I can hear their take.

The Mermaid’s Mirror

I needed something easy to read in the days right before everyone came to visit, so I picked up The Mermaid’s Mirror. It was easy to read but it was also a little slow. And, I felt like I might have already read it.

It was pretty good, not great. I wonder if there’s a sequel involving Lena and Nix… it would seem like there should be.


I love The Custard Protocol books almost as much as the Soulless books. Really. Imprudence was awesome. I’d been wondering about Pru’s father and how the transfer of his pack to a new alpha might go. Now I know. Also, FLOOTE is awesome. So is Miss Sekhmet, heh.

I also want to point out that pages 92/93 were the saddest thing ever. (The pack! Biffy! Pru! Really??? REALLY?)

Bewitching: The Kendra Chronicles

I have no idea how Bewitching: The Kendra Chronicles landed in our library stacks but it did. When I realized it was a sequel to a book I hadn’t read, I almost didn’t read it. But, TW said I didn’t need the first one and I believed her. She was right. It was a perfectly fine book to read without having read the first one.

It started a little slowly but I ended up enjoying it. I didn’t absolutely love the insertion of “fairy tales” from Kendra’s life but I didn’t hate it either. I may even some day read another book from this series.

The Six

The Six was a good Cybils choice. Computers scary. Computers taking over the world. Computers saving the world. People becoming computers.

Should it ever be an option, I do not want my brain transferred to a really big (though really kind of cool) computerized/brain-driven robot, kthnxbai.

Also, I need to read the sequel. Sooner rather than later.

Serafina and the Black Cloak

Serafina and the Black Cloak is another book I have a love/hate thing with.

It was on my TBR list FOREVER and TW ended up getting it during one of our recent library visits, which is good since my list is long and I may never have managed to check it out. I liked it a lot but I didn’t want Serafina to be a magical creature. I wanted her to just be a little girl. (which is probably a spoiler? maybe? oops!)