Song of Blood & Stone (Earthsinger Chronicles, #1) by L. Penelope (with Q & A!)

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Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Published: May 1st 2018 by St. Martin’s Press

Genre(s): Fiction; Fantasy; Young Adult; New Adult; Romance

Pages: 384 (eARC – Kindle)

A treacherous, thrilling, epic fantasy about an outcast drawn into a war between two powerful rulers.

Orphaned and alone, Jasminda lives in a land where cold whispers of invasion and war linger on the wind. Jasminda herself is an outcast in her homeland of Elsira, where her gift of Earthsong is feared. When ruthless soldiers seek refuge in her isolated cabin, they bring with them a captive–an injured spy who threatens to steal her heart.

Jack’s mission behind enemy lines to prove that the Mantle between Elsira and Lagrimar is about to fall nearly cost him his life, but he is saved by the healing Song of a mysterious young woman. Now he must do whatever it takes to save Elsira and its people from the True Father and he needs Jasminda’s Earthsong to do it. They escape their vicious captors and together embark on a perilous journey to save Elsira and to uncover the secrets of The Queen Who Sleeps.

Thrust into a hostile society, Jasminda and Jack must rely on one another even as secrets jeopardize their bond. As an ancient evil gains power, Jasminda races to unlock a mystery that promises salvation.

The fates of two nations hang in thebalance as Jasminda and Jack must choose between love and duty to fulfill their destinies and end the war.

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Developing Minds: An American Ghost Story by Jonathan LaPoma

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Rating: 4/5 stars

Genre(s): Fiction; Contemporary Fiction; New Adult; Satire

Published: September 14th 2015 by Laughing Fire Press

“Developing Minds: An American Ghost Story follows a group of recent college graduates who struggle with feelings of alienation and their addictions as they try to survive a year of teaching at two dysfunctional Miami public schools.

A poetic and insightful coming-of-age novel, Developing Minds is centered on 24-year-old Luke Entelechy, an aspiring writer who sees his creative output suffer when he begins teaching at one of Miami’s most challenging middle schools. As the year progresses, however, Luke begins to relate to the neglect and abuse his students suffer, and is faced with a “haunting” decision: continue to let his dark past destroy him, or rise above the struggle to realize his potential as an artist and a “real” human being.

Equal parts disturbing and humorous, Developing Minds offers a brutally honest look at the American public school system and the extreme measures many teachers take to cope with working in it.”

This book reveals plenty about the American educational institution and how it’s not designed to be the most appropriate system for troubled young minds from a troubled neighbourhood. The narrator, Luke and his friend, BillyRead More »

‘The Summer of Crud’ by Jonathan LaPoma

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Rating: 4/5 stars

“The summer after graduating from college, 22-year-old Danny Wolinski takes a cross-country US road trip with his friend, Ian Perez, hoping to find the inspiration to reach his songwriting potential, start a band, and avoid student teaching in the fall.

Danny is tormented by intense physical and psychological pain and sees music as his only relief, but the more he searches for this inspiration in an America filled with endless parties, heavy drugs, and lost souls, the more he questions whether it exists.

The Summer of Crud is disturbingly deep, hypnotising. I suspect this is the sort of writing that is book club worthy. I couldn’t stop reading it even if I wanted. It details the road-trip of a 22-year old, soon to be a teacher,Read More »