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Not Your Mother's Book Club Blog

Books Inc., the West’s oldest independent bookstore, started Not Your Mother’s Book Club with one big idea: to bring the best writers in the world to the best readers in the world. And we're not REALLY a club. That's just our name, and really, what's in a name? We're actually just an inclusive bunch of PASSIONATE readers who get to hang out with the coolest authors on the scene!
We throw parties, eat snacks and read, read, read, read, read...
 We also have a lot of fun ... and we invite you to join us.  
Yay books!

NYMBC's blog

Guest Review: Literary Exploration takes on THRONE OF GLASS

I recently finished the first season of Game of Thrones which immediately put me on a high fantasy kick. I then devoured Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes and after meeting Sarah at Comic-Con (who is absolutely amazing!!) I knew it was time to pick up Throne of Glass. Throne of Glass is an epic high fantasy adventure set in a dystopian-like atmosphere that has been abandoned by ancient magic. Not only is the story fast-paced and intriguing, but there is a love triangle... that works. The characters are all amazing and individual and Celaena is a fantastic female protagonist. If you're looking for a great high fantasy read while waiting for the next season of Game of Thrones this is definitely one you'll want to pick up.

Celaena may be an assassin, but she's also compassionate, strong, smart, and funny! Her personality isn't limited to a killing-machine and despite her deadly flaws she's an amazing female protagonist. Her relationships with Choal and Dorian are stressed most of the time, due to the fact that she is an assassin, but the way the triangle develops is a rarity in YA these days. I may have liked one more than the other, but there isn't a battle between the two men. In fact, I'm not sure they realize they're in love with her at all most of the time. If I could highlight a great love triangle, this would be it. And Celaena is funny. Like, laugh out loud funny. She's amazingly level-headed, and her ability to be witty and sarcastic while her life is in danger is just wonderful!

Throne of Glass is filled with mystery, intrigue, and murder! Maas's writing style is just so elegant and real. There isn't an overabundance of fancy words or a condescending tone, it's just honest and passionate. The pace is really fast, but not so fast that I couldn't understand what was going on. I was always interested in what was happening and I had a hard time putting the book down at all. The world-building is magnificent; it's so real I felt like I was actually within Celaena's world. It's a fantastical setting filled with romance, murder, and magic which are three of my favorite things!

If you're struggling to find an awesome fantastical read Throne of Glass is one you won't want to miss out on. The world-building is fun and creative, and the characters are intensely real. Choal and Dorian are swoon-worthy in their own ways and Celaena's kick butt attitude constantly had me cheering her on. Sarah J. Maas is a force to be reckoned with, and her debut novel had me gripping the edge of my seat. Despite the many prequels she's penned, I'm eagerly awaiting the sequel! Fans of Game of Thrones, Hunger Games, and all high fantasy will want to pick this one up!

 -Reviewed by Anna of Literary Exploration

Every Day by David Levithan

I am a huge, huge fan of almost everything David does. And he’s done it again. This book has a fascinating premise. The main character exists as a human entity but has no body to call its own. Every morning A. wakes up within a new outer shell be it male, female, gay, straight, white, black, fat, thin, functional or addicted. All is good and well until A. falls in love and has a reason to want to stop jumping.

David Levithan's writing is so, so good I could have read a book twice its length. And that is really my only gripe with the book. I needed a bit more time. Levithan has definitely touched me again, but this time more my head than my heart, which is not a bad thing. Very excited to get people of all ages reading this one.

--Summer from Books Inc. Laurel Village

 

With a conceit as mind-boggling, logic-defying, face-explodingly-original as that in David Levithan's newest, one cannot help but wonder... is David Levithan... a robot? Or a god? Point being, he can't be human. Humans just aren't that good.

But then, he HAS to be human. Because in the pages of Every Day is a story of stunning emotional acuity-- as sentimental as it is unflinching-- that could only be born from the inimitable human experience.

I read this book on a sunny day in San Francisco. I sat in Dolores Park and read it all the way through. Around me, people played frisbee, smoked, chatted, cuddled. They came and left. And as I read I felt a mounting curiousity and empathy-- because as strange and distant as we were, I could not help but feel that they, like me, would feel a kinship with Every Day's narrator, A. That they, just like me, would read A's story and think, "that's me, that's my life too, I thought I was the only one," which is the real feat of this novel.

--Maggie, NYMBC lady and Children's Department Director


You can preorder a copy here and meet David at our October 12th event!

You can also read this INDIE EXCLUSIVE extra Every Day story here!

 

Dust City by Robert Paul Weston

Here is another fairytale world that has evolved into a modern industrial society. Once upon a time everything ran on fairydust, but the fairies disappeared from their floating cities; factories crank out synthetic substitutes that support industries and on the street it is used as a drug. Henry Whelp is a wolf, a despised minority, living in a boarding school for troubled youth because his old man is the actual Big Bad Wolf in the slammer for killing Little red Riding Hood and her grandmother. This novel is all about the seedy underworld of this fantasy city and the plot twists and turns looking for the truth behind fairydust. There is a hard-boiled noir feel here, heavy enough to be nominated for the 2011 Edgar Award, usually reserved for serious adult crime novels. (Ages 13+)

Reviewd by Chris from Compass Books SFO

Guest Review: Once by Anna Carey

 

I absolutely hated the cliffhanger ending of Eve, so when I didn’t have to wait long to find out what was going to happen next I pretty much jumped for joy. Once starts right where Eve left off, with Eve in Califia mourning over her loss of Caleb. As much as I loved Eve, Once really sucked me in while Anna Carey twisted the plot into so many different shapes I felt like there was no way I could predict what would happen next!

The relationship between Eve and Caleb is as passionate as ever and it really broke my heart whenever they were forced to separate. I won’t spoil anything for you, but I will let you know that I cried on way more than one occasion during this book! And the King! We finally get to meet him and he is as evil and manipulative as I ever imagined! I know a lot of people have been asking me what he wants with Eve, but there’s no way I’m telling, it’s way too good!!

I absolutely loved the way Carey continued Eve’s story. Sometimes, when I read the second book in a series or trilogy I end up with that “bridge novel” feeling, where nothing really happens in the book but the character moves from one point to another, only to set up the next book. Once was far from that! Every other chapter held a major twist or plot turn, and I was absolutely amazed by what was happening!

I loved Once way more than Eve, and I’m so happy I didn’t have to wait long! Sadly, now I have to wait twice as long to find out what else is going to happen!! Not once did I even think I knew what was going to happen next, and the story moved so quickly I was able to finish it in one sitting. I could not put it down!! If you loved Eve, you’re going to love Once even more! If you didn’t love Eve, or you haven’t read it, then here’s your chance to fall in love with Anna Carey and all of her wonderful characters! Lovers of dystopias, romances, mysteries, thrillers, and adventures will want to get their hands on this one! 

 

--Anna of Literary Exploration 

An EVERYDAY Exclustive Story, by David Levithan

Author’s Note

Every morning, A wakes up in a different body and a different life. The novel EveryDay starts on Day 5994 of A’s life. For this story, I wanted to go back to a day in A’s life before Every Day. Think of this as A recounting a few passing moments from his past.

Day 2919

As a child, I am baffled by inconsistency. Not my own inconsistency—I am used to waking up in a different body and a different life every morning. This makes sense to me. It is everyone else’s inconsistency that throws me.

It is a Saturday morning, and I am seven years old. I know it’s a Saturday from the quiet of the morning, from the fact that it’s nine in the morning and nobody is rushing me off to school or to church. I like Saturday mornings because that is when I am allowed to watch cartoons. Even in houses that don’t have all the channels, I can still find cartoons.

I stumble from room to room, looking for the TV. At this age, I don’t bother to access any memories of the house. I am happy to discover everything by wandering through. My mother is in the kitchen, talking on the phone. My father might be outside, or still asleep. The TV is in the den, which has a shaggy rug and wood walls. I am late for my nine o’clock show, but I can watch the end and then see the whole nine-thirty show. This is what I did last week, and the week before. I was in different houses, but once the TV was on, it was almost like they were the same place. Last week I had brothers and sisters, but this week I don’t think I do.

I switch on the TV and it’s too loud. I find the volume control and turn it down. It’s a commercial. I don’t really care about commercials, because even if I get things, I don’t have them for very long.

I sit on the shaggy rug and lean against the couch. This show has talking animals, and when it comes back on, the moose is arguing with the aardvark about the price of a ferry ride. The parrot keeps repeating the things they’re saying in a really funny voice, and I laugh.

What are you doing?”

I have only been watching for five minutes, but already I’m so absorbed in what’s happening that I don’t hear her at first. Then she grabs my arm and pulls me up, and I know right away I am in trouble, big trouble, and I don’t know what for. Was I laughing too loud? Was I not supposed to sit on the carpet?

Now that I’m up, she lets go and slaps the TV off. The room is suddenly silent, and there’s nowhere to hide in that silence.

“How many times have I told you not to touch that? Did I even say you could leave your room? You are not allowed to watch such garbage.”

I have so few words at age seven. I don’t know stern or enraged or sanctimonious. All I know is mad. My mother is mad at me. Her face is mad. Her posture is mad. The sound of her words is mad.

“Go back to your room.”

I don’t hesitate. I don’t want to be in the presence of her anger one moment longer. I go back to my room and sit on the bed, waiting for her to come by, to tell me what my punishment is. But all she does is come by and shut the door. There is enough light coming in through the window to make everything in the room seeable, but the air still seems tinged in shadow.

I sit there and sit there. Time feels horizonless.

Feeling someone else’s anger is bad; being left alone is worse.

At first I am too afraid to move. But eventually I have to. There are very few books in my room, and all of them are for little kids. So I pick up the dictionary, because it is the longest book in the room, and I know it’s going to be a long day.

I learn a few words. I would rather be outside the room, using them.

There’s no reprieve until lunchtime. When my mother opens the door, she eyes the dictionary in my lap with suspicion. I’ve had time to close it, but not the time to put it on the shelf. At the very least, I don’t look comfortable.

“Have you learned your lesson?” she asks.

I nod.

“Well,” she says, “we’ll see about that.”

I don’t know where my father is. His things are all around the house, so I know he has to be somewhere. He’s just not here right now.

I don’t feel I can ask where he is.

She gives me a chicken sandwich—leftovers from dinner last night, put between bread. I know to eat it all, and not to ask for more. Not because I access the thoughts of the life I’m in, but because my mother is so easy to read.

We don’t talk. We stare at other parts of the kitchen. I try to find things to read. Buttons on the microwave. The brand of the refrigerator.

I rarely feel like I’m a prisoner in a body, but I have felt like a prisoner in a house. I definitely feel like I’m a prisoner here. And I am a prisoner because, as my mother’s expression makes clear, she feels she is a prisoner to me, too.

I am not allowed television. I am not allowed to go outside. I am not given conversation. Eventually I am given dinner, but that is silent, too. My father never comes home.

The only thing I am allowed, the only thing I am given, is myself. It is enough, but only barely.

Some days are like this. And the only way to get through them is to remember that they are only one day, and that every day ends.

Text © 2012 by David Levithan.

YOU CAN MEET DAVID ON OCTOBER 12th, ALONG WITH MAGGIE STIEFVATER and ELLEN HOPKINS at BOOKS INC. OPERA PLAZA! This event will be in conjunction with TEEN QUAKE, SF's Favorite Literary Festival!

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