Down Among the Sticks and Bones Review

There is something about Seanan McGuire’s writing that is both whimsical and compelling. I found myself lost in the story and enraptured by the world of the moors.

Jacqueline was her mother’s perfect daughter—polite and quiet, always dressed as a princess. If her mother was sometimes a little strict, it’s because crafting the perfect daughter takes discipline. Jillian was her father’s perfect daughter—adventurous, thrill-seeking, and a bit of a tom-boy. He really would have preferred a son, but you work with what you’ve got. They were twelve when they walked down the impossible staircase and discovered that the pretense of love can never be enough to prepare you a life filled with magic in a land filled with mad scientists and death and choices.

Jack and Jill just aren’t my favourite protagonists. They just grated my nerves which makes me unable to connect with them. I mean they were only 12 when they stumbled into the moors and they had to adapt to survive but I just found them both to be unlikeable. It was interesting to see their choices about who they wanted to stay with and how they reacted to each other’s choice and the subsequent way their lives devolved.

There is a discussion to be had about their parents and the dismal childhood they had to endure, being regimented into the roles they deemed where appropriate and being unable to grow, change or evolve out of those roles. They cared more about how they were perceived by their peers rather than catering to their children’s needs first and that really made me dislike them.

These novellas I don’t think are going to gel with me as a reader simply because I need more substance. I want to learn all about the world and find out what actual creatures and monsters inhabit the moors. I want to know how everyone came to be here and the way the Vampires took over. Is there a magic system and how does it work, what is the history? Whereas I think these books are just supposed to touch on the individual characters experiences in their worlds and how it changes them before coming back to the real world where they are supposed to readjust.

Overall it was an interesting reading experience.

⭐️3/5 stars I just want to know more!!

5 Books I want to Read in 2020 Update

In January I posted the 5 books I wanted to Read in 2020 and now that we are at the end of the year and I have indeed completed all 5 books I wanted to do a little wrap up and give my thoughts on each books!

Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett – I really loved the setting of this book, the atmosphere and the conditions of the city really added a layer of depth to the storyline and set the tone for the book. The dark, grittiness of the commons was heavily described and the almost hopelessness Sancia felt whilst living there really captured my attention. The fantastic element of the story with the scrivers was really unique and interesting. I love that its based on lore and legends and the fact that there is still so much to be discovered makes me excited for the rest of the series. ⭐️4/5 stars

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas – Brianna seemed very believable as a sixteen year old. A lot of times in YA the main protagonists would act a lot older than what they really were but this was very realistic. She has had to deal with a lot over the course of her life and I think that definitely came across in how she holds herself and acts around others.  These kinds of books frustrate me. I can appreciate how we see the evolution of Bri as she tries to save her family and not feel like a burden to them but at the same time watching her make all of these decisions that are questionable and all the angst involved just isn’t all that entertaining to me personally. ⭐️3/5 stars

Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw – I absolutely loved the overall premise and atmosphere of this book. I think it is definitely one of Shea Ernshaw’s strengths in her writing, I felt like I was actually there on the mountain experiencing the freezing cold along with Nora. The history of the Walker women was super fascinating and I absolutely loved the fact that we got inserts from their history and their recipes they’ve come up with over the years. It added much needed depth and a sense of history that really reinforced the whimsical nature of these women and how each of their stories impacted Nora throughout the plot. ⭐️4/5 stars

Middlegame by Seanan McGuire – I will say the pacing was quite fast and the countdown of the timeframe is what initially kept me invested and eager to read on. I just felt like a lot of the alchemy jargon mixed with the all of the talk about the impossible city just went right over my head. Theres a whole lot of complex language and equations and things that didn’t really make sense to me and I felt like the majority of the book I was just treading water trying to keep up with what was going on. I think overall it was just a little too repetitive for me as well. We see Roger and Dodger come together and forced apart multiple times throughout the course of the storyline and nothing was really revealed until right at the end. By that time I was just kind of reading to finish the book, I wasn’t all that invested in what what going to happen to them. ⭐️2/5 stars

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon – Culture really means a lot to both Dimple and Rishi and I loved that it was explored throughout the course of the plot line. Their beliefs had an impact upon every decision that they made and we see them both reflecting a lot on what their parents would think and how they would be perceived in their community. I just thought the relationship progressed too quickly and felt a little rushed to me. I would have liked if they would have more time to cultivate their friendship before jumping straight into a quite serious relationship in the course of a month. Even though they met when they were younger it wasn’t as if they were ever friends.  Just a tad too insta-lovey for me personally! ⭐️3/5 stars

May Wrap Up

I’ve had a pretty good reading month! I participated in the Tome Topple readathon that went for about two weeks of the month and I did manage to finish 4 tomes during that time. One book in particular I have been meaning to read for over two years now so I was stoked I managed to get to it and LOVE it as well! Though reading these long books did kind of stall my usual pace for the month. I realise 12 books is still a massive achievement, I just feel like I didn’t read as much as I wanted to.

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco⭐️3/5 stars

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan⭐️4/5 stars

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo⭐️3/5 stars

The Black Prism by Brent Weeks – ⭐️5/5 stars

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling – ⭐️5/5 stars

Middlegame by Seanan McGuire⭐️2/5 stars

Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett⭐️4/5 stars

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara⭐️5/5 stars

Love from A to Z by S.K. Ali ⭐️5/5 stars

Beach Read by Emily Henry ⭐️5/5 stars

A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos⭐️4/5 stars

Dear Ava by Ilsa Madden-Mills⭐️3/5 stars

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Tome Topple Wrap Up

This wasn’t my most read couple of weeks during the Tome Topple. I had family visiting and I moved so there wasn’t really a lot of time for me just to dedicate to reading! However, I did manage to complete 4 books during this round of the Tome Topple and I ended up ticking off most of the prompts which makes me a Scholar!! The only prompt I didn’t really get to was to read an audio-book tome, I don’t like audio-books so I just skipped this one!

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The tome that has been on your TBR the longest & The tome on your TBR with the most pages

The Black Prism by Brent Weeks

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 A standalone tome & Read 1 tome

Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

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A tome featuring a AAPI main character and/or written by a AAPI author (for Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month)  & Tome from a genre you don’t usually read

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

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An adult tome & Tome that’s part of a series

Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett

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