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Completely Justified: The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron

Welcome back!

I love it when you’ve been excited to read a book for years and when you finally get to that book you were completely justified in your excitement! Well, that’s what happened with The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron.

When Katharine Tulman’s inheritance is called into question by the rumor that her eccentric uncle is squandering away the family fortune, she is sent to his estate to have him committed to an asylum. The Dark Unwinding by Sharon CameronBut instead of a lunatic, Katharine discovers a genius inventor with his own set of rules, who employs a village of nine hundred people rescued from the workhouses of London.

Katharine is now torn between protecting her own inheritance and preserving the peculiar community she grows to care for deeply. And her choices are made even more complicated by a handsome apprentice, a secretive student, and fears for her own sanity. As the mysteries of the estate begin to unravel, it is clear that not only is her uncle’s world at stake, but also the state of England as Katharine knows it.

I don’t know why The Dark Unwinding isn’t talked about more by bloggers (maybe it was when it first came out?) but I think this is one of most underrated books I’ve read. There is just so much that I’m naturally drawn to in a story; romance, historical British setting, and mystery! It’s all here and it’s all combined to create a beautiful atmospheric read. The plot itself is abundantly creepy with it’s abandoned English manor house full of strange waxen models and perplexing house staff, and Catherine’s odd uncle with his strange preferences, but placing the story on an already bizarre historical setting makes it that much more unsettling!

We see Katherine, our narrator, as innocent, honest, yet conflicted and absolutely reminiscent of Catherine Morland in Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey.  She is sent to Uncle Tully’s estate, Stranwyne Keep, with what seems like a pretty straight forward task, only to be faced with an inexplicable situation; an uncle who clearly has what we now know to be autism, and two entire towns completely dependent on him for their livelihoods. Katherine wants to do what’s right, but feels stuck in an impossible situation and needs the help of other supporting characters. These supporting characters are all so bright and vivid that you begin to fall in love with them just as Katherine does (with one in particular!!).

The story has a slight steampunk edge woven into the real life historical setting. If you haven’t yet heard of the strange history of Welbeck Abbey (Nottinghamshire, England), once you’ve read this book you’ll rush to your laptop to learn more about this weird estate where every room was painted pink!

The Dark Unwinding is the first book in a series and I can’t wait to get my hands on the second book, A Spark Unseen. Middle grade readers and up who are interested in a light steampunk read will find The Dark Unwinding mesmerizing.

Author: Sharon Cameron

Publisher: Scholastic Press (August 27, 2012)

Format: paperback

Length: 318 pages

Series: First book in The Dark Unwinding series

YA/MG: MG/YA

Buy the Book:

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Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books Read in 2014 (So Far)

Hello!

Pat me on the back because I’ve been super organized! All of the posts for this week were pre scheduled because I am currently on a field trip! That’s right folks! For my first week of summer I am chaperoning a 5 day field trip to Disney in Orlando with around 60 6th graders! So that’s where I am today…Disney!

Insane? Yes! Fun? Yes!

The theme for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and Bookish) is the best books I’ve read so far in 2014. I’ve already read 43 books this year so it was difficult to narrow it down to the 10 titles I’ve enjoyed the most. So, after a good hard look at all the books I’ve read already in 2014, here are my favorites.

  The Crossover by Kwame AlexanderThe Diviners by Libba Bray 

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

The Diviners by Libba Bray (my review)

Airborn by Kenneth Oppel Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg

Airborn by Kenneth Oppel (my review)

Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg (my review)

Cress by Marissa Meyer The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron

Cress by Marissa Meyer (my review)

The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers Alanna by Tamora Pierce

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers (my review)

Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge Serafina's Promise by Ann E Burg

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Serafina’s Promise by Ann E. Burg

So there you have it! Which titles made it onto your favorites of 2014 (so far) list?

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Top Ten Tuesday: YA Reads for Fans of Period Dramas

Hi there!

Who likes loosing themselves in a good old fashioned historical drama?  Downton Abbey perhaps? Reign? Pride and Prejudice? The Tudors? North & South perhaps?!

YES PLEASE!

In my world historical dramas are always a positive! No wonder then why I tend to be drawn towards historical fiction when choosing books! Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about YA titles for fans of the wonderful world of period dramas!

Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

  • Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross. Takes place in Paris in 1889 at the height of France’s beautiful era.
  • The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron. Historical fiction inspired by the mystery surrounding Welbeck Abbey in Nottinghamshire, England and the 5th Duke of Portland.
  • Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers. Historical fantasy set in a medieval Brittany. There are assassin nuns. Yup.

What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy BlundellManor of Secrets by Katherine Longshore The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

  • What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell. This coming of age drama is set in South Florida post World War II…intrigue and seductions abound!
  • Manor of Secrets by Katherine Longshore.  An upstairs/downstairs drama set in a 1911 England.
  • The Luxe by Anna Godbersen. It’s Manhattan 1889 and this is a historical drama full of gossip, fashion, wealth, and romance.

Changeling by Philippa GregoryThe Diviners by Libba Bray

  • Changeling by Philippa Gregory. Picture it…Italy 1453! (ha!) The Goodreads summary says that “dark myths, medieval secrets, intrigue, and romance” populate this one! It was surprisingly fun!
  • The Diviners by Libba Bray. This supernatural drama is set in New York City at the height of the Roaring Twenties!

Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba BrayCross My Heart by Sasha Gould 2

  • A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. Another supernatural period drama only this time we’re in a Victorian English boarding school!
  • Cross My Heart by Sasha Gould. A mysterious secret society of women handle things their own way in a 1580s Venice.

Clearly I have a type. Pretty period costume? Check. *nods in approval*

So, what do you think? Are there any other YA period dramas you’d recommend to those of us who love them?

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Top Ten Tuesday: My Spring TBR List

Hi there!

For a few days I thought spring had sprung, but it seems South Carolina disagreed with me. The past few days have been very “Seattle-like” as it’s been cold and rainy down here in the South! I’m not complaining because I really do prefer these actual seasons to Florida’s never-ending summer and rain just means that I get to wear my awesome pink wellies!

Although it quite been springtime weather, I do still have my spring reading all planned out!  If you haven’t checked out Reading Queue, the meme I host with the awesome Jen at  Books A True Story, you’ll be interested to know that today’s TTT is what we do every month in our Reading Queue. We talk about the books we read the previous month and plan our our TBR pile, or Reading Queue. You can participate too if you’re interested!

So, today’s list is going to be made up of my March Reading Queue, as well as titles I’s like to get to in April and May. You’ll notice a ton of middle grade titles as I try to focus on that level since I am a middle school librarian who sometimes gets sucked into more YA…not that its a bad thing! haha

The Shadow Throne by Jennifer A. NielsenThe Shadow Throne by Jennifer A. Neilsen (MG/YA)

Jinx by Sage BlackwoodJinx by Sage Blackwood (MG)

Icons by Margaret StohlIcons by Margaret Stohl (YA)

The Flame in the Mist by Kit GrindstaffThe Flame in the Mist by Kit Grindstaff (MG)

The Time Fetch by Amy HerrickThe Time Fetch by Amy Herrick (MG)

The Moon and More by Sarah DessenThe Moon and More by Sarah Dessen (YA)

Manorof Secrets by Katherine LongshoreManor of Secrets by Katherine Longshore (YA)

Half a Chance by Cynthia LordHalf a Chance by Cynthia Lord (MG)

A Spark Unseen by Sharon CameronA Spark Unseen by Sharon Cameron (MG/YA)

    Better to Wish by Ann M. MartinBetter to Wish by Ann M. Martin (MG)

The Boy Problem by Kami KinardThe Boy Problem by Kami Kinard (MG)

I am sooo looking forward to all these fun spring reading titles I have planned out! And yes, I know my list includes eleven titles instead of just ten..whoopsie!  I’ve actually already started The Shadow Throne and The Boy Problem, but only a little bit so far. Are you also planning on reading any of these books this spring?

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Reading Queue: February

The Reading QueueWell hi there!

What is the Reading Queue?  Well, the Reading Queue is a monthly meme, hosted by Book Tasty (hiya!) and Books: A true story , where we share our reading plans for the month. You can hop to other blogs and see what others are reading and maybe find someone reading the same thing as you! Or you can ask for people to vote on what you should read next if you can’t decide. Please feel free to contact me in the comments if you’d like to join and/or if you have questions!

How I Did Last Month

January is such a great month! I’m always so motivated to do stuff…you know, the whole New Year Effect! haha So, I managed to read seven books in January, three of which were on my Reading Queue! I just feel so accomplished!

Runaway King by Jennifer A. NeilsenThe Runaway King (The Ascendance Trilogy #2) by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Fever Crumb by Philip ReeveFever Crumb by Philip Reeve

The Elite by Kiera CassThe Elite (The Selection #2) by Keira Cass

Under the Never Sky by Veronica RossiUnder the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Airborn by Kenneth OppelAirborn by Kenneth Oppel

Cress by Marissa MeyerCress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer (ARC)

The Dark Unwinding by Sharon CameronThe Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron

My February Reading Queue

Oh hai February! You’re already here! Wow! Well, my hope is to continue my motivation and read the heck out of some books this month! I was just talking with Alexa Loves Books on twitter last night about how there are just so many books to I want to read!  She said:

Oh so very, very true! hahaha Considering that deep thought, let me share my Reading Queue with you!

United we Spy by Ally CarterUnited We Spy by Ally Carter (print)

Fangirl by Rainbow RowellFangirl by Rainbow Rowell (print)

Defy by Sara B. LarsonDefy by Sara B.. Larson (e-galley)

The Shadow Throne by Jennifer A. NielsenThe Shadow Throne (The Ascension Trilogy #3) by Jennifer E. Nielsen (e-galley)

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFeversDark Triumph (His Fair Assassin #2) by Robin LaFevers (audiobook)

The Diviners by Libba BrayThe Diviners by Libba Bray (audiobook)

Eye of Minds by James DashnerThe Eye of Minds by James Dashner (print)

I did pretty good with six last month, so let’s try one more! Have you ready any of the titles on my Reading Queue for February? If so, which ones should I make top priority?  Also, don’t forget to join up with us this month!

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Reading Queue: January

The Reading QueueHappy New Year!

Welcome to the first Reading Queue of 2014!

The Reading Queue is a monthly meme, hosted by Book Tasty (howdy!) and Books: A true story , where we share our reading plans for the month. You can hop to other blogs and see what others are reading and maybe find someone reading the same thing as you! Or you can ask for people to vote on what you should read next if you can’t decide. Please feel free to contact me in the comments if you’d like to join and/or if you have questions!

How I Did Last Month

Okay…so I didn’t read any of the books on my queue for December 2013! WHAT?! I know! I DID read, just not any books that I had planned to. That is a great example of how I was feeling in December! haha Okay, so here are the titles I actually did read last month:

Changeling by Philippa Gregory Changeling (Order of Darkness #1) by Philippa Gregory (print)

Prodigy by Marie LuProdigy (Legend #2) by Marie Lu (audiobook)

Days of Blood and Starlight by Lani TurnerDays of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2) by Laini Taylor (audiobook)

The Humming Room by Ellen PotterThe Humming Room by Ellen Potter (print)

My January Reading Queue

I have high hopes of starting 2014 off right! I hope to read all of these this upcoming month. I think I can! I think I can! Which should I make a priority?

United we Spy by Ally CarterUnited We Spy by Ally Carter

Fangirl by Rainbow RowellFangirl by Rainbow Rowell

The Dark Unwinding by Sharon CameronThe Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron

Fever Crumb by Philip ReeveFever Crumb by Philip Reeve

Under the Never Sky by Veronica RossiUnder the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

The Elite by Kiera CassThe Elite by Kiera Cass

What books are you planning on starting the year off right with? If you’re interested in joining up, please add your Reading Queue post to the linky below! We’re happy to have you!

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Reading Queue: December

The Reading QueueWelcome to my December Reading Queue!

The Reading Queue is a monthly meme, hosted by Book Tasty (hi there!) and Books: A true story , where we share our reading plans  for the month. You can hop to other blogs and see what others are reading and maybe find someone reading the same thing as you! Or you can ask for people to vote on what you should read next if you can’t decide. Please feel free to contact me in the comments if you’d like to join and/or if you have questions!

Each month I love getting the chance to visit the other blogs who participate, it’s just fun to see what everyone else is reading!

How I Did Last Month

Okay, so November turned out to be pretty crazy what with all the traveling through Europe I did!

Belgium 2013

Here we are in Bruges! (Max, me, Greg the Husband, and Steve)

So, I only made it to four books and only two of them were on my original November Reading Queue. And here they are!

The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas

The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas (audiobook)

I absolutely adored this fantasy!

Icefall by Matthew J. KirbyIcefall by Matthew J. Kirby

This was such a surprise for me! I did not expect to enjoy this one as much as I did!

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Allegiant by Veronica Roth (print)

So, I really, really thought this was a great ending to the series! I can’t wait for the Divergent movie!

Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail CarrigerCurtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger

Seriously, this series is hands down one of my favorite newish series right now. I can’t even begin to explain to you how much I love these books.

My December Reading Queue

Fangirl by Rainbow RowellFangirl by Rainbow Rowell

The Boy on the Bridge by Natalie StandifordThe Boy on the Bridge by Natalie Standiford

The Dark Unwinding by Sharon CameronThe Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron

Runaway King by Jennifer A. NeilsenThe Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Okay! Well, these are my reading plans for the upcoming month.  What are you planning to read during December? Have you read any of the titles on my Reading Queue? Do you have any suggestions on which I should start with?

If you’re interested in joining up, add your Reading Queue post to the linky below! We’re happy to have you!

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Reading Queue: November

the-reading-queueHi there!

Welcome to my November Reading Queue!

The Reading Queue is a monthly meme, hosted by Book Tasty (hi there!) and Books: A true story , where we share our reading plans  for the month. You can hop to other blogs and see what others are reading and maybe find someone reading the same thing as you! Or you can ask for people to vote on what you should read next if you can’t decide. Please feel free to contact me in the comments if you’d like to join and/or if you have questions!

Each month we’ve had a few more people join up with us which is pretty exciting! I love visiting the other blogs who participate, it’s just fun to see what everyone else is reading!

How I Did Last Month

Guys, I completely sucked with reading in general during October! And when I did read I didn’t keep to my Reading Queue! LAME. Plus, I didn’t even read anything in print this past month, I only listened to audiobooks, which is not a bad thing (because I love audiobooks), just odd.

Chime by Franny BillingsleyChime by Franny Billingsley (audiobook)
I loved this strange supernatural read. It reminded me a lot of The Gemma Doyle trilogy.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. LockhartThe Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart (audiobook)

Okay, so I liked parts of this book a lot, but the end left me feeling “meh”.

Legend by Marie LuLegend by Marie Lu (audiobook)

My husband and I started and finished this on the drive to and from my little brother’s wedding.

Pandemonium by Lauren OliverPandemonium by Lauren Oliver (audiobook)

Requiem by Lauren OliverRequiem by Lauren Oliver (audiobook)

I really enjoyed this series, but wanted more at the end.

My November Reading Queue

Again, I have high hopes for my reading this coming month. Hopefully I can actually stay on track because I REALLY want to read all the books I have listed here. I’ll be on a plane to and from the UK later this month, so that will be a big help!

Fangirl by Rainbow RowellFangirl by Rainbow Rowell (ebook)

City of a Thousand Dolly by Miriam ForsterCity of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster (print)

The Burning Sky by Sherry ThomasThe Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas (audiobook)

I just started this one and I’m really liking it a lot so far!

United we Spy by Ally CarterUnited We Spy by Ally Carter (print)

Allegiant by Veronica RothAllegiant by Veronica Roth (print)

AHHHHH!

The Dark Unwinding by Sharon CameronThe Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron (print)

Some steampunk to brighten my month!

Days of Blood and Starlight by Lani TurnerDays of Blood & Starlight by Lani Taylor (audiobook)

 There you have it! What are you planning to read during November? Have you read any of the titles on my Reading Queue? Do you have any suggestions on which I should start with?

If you’re interested in joining up, add your Reading Queue post to the linky below! We’re happy to have you!

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September New Releases

Autumn is my favorite season.

There is just so much to love about it. The crisp, cool air. The leaves changing colors. The start of college football season. Getting into the swing of things with school. Long sleeves. Pumpkin flavored everything.

And on top of all that awesomeness there are always new books!

So, it’s officially September! Which means it’s technically fall! Yay!

Let’s take a look at some new titles that will be released during this first month of autumn.

Risked by Margaret Peterson HaddixRisked (The Missing #6) by Margaret Peterson Haddix (Sept. 3)

Jessica Darling's It List by Megan McCaffertyJessica Darling’s It List #1: The (Totally Not) Guaranteed Guide to Popularity, Prettiness & Perfection by Megan McCafferty (Sept. 3)

Fangirl by Rainbow RowellFangirl by Rainbow Rowell (Sept. 10)

The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten WhiteThe Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White (Sept. 10)

United we Spy by Ally CarterUnited We Spy (Gallagher Girls #6) by Ally Carter (Sept. 17)

OMG! OMG!

The Burning Sky by Sherry ThomasThe Burning Sky (The Elemental Trilogy #1) by Sherry Thomas (Sept. 17)

The Dream Thieves by Maggie StiefvaterThe Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie Stiefvater (Sept. 17)

OMG! OMG!

The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen GleasonThe Clockwork Scarab (Stoker & Holmes #1) by Colleen Gleason (Sept. 17)

Tumble & Fall by Alexandra CouttsTumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts (Sept. 17)

Chupacabra by Roland SmithChupacabra (Cryptid Hunters #3) by Roland Smith (Sept. 24)

A Spark Unseen by Sharon CameronA Spark Unseen (The Dark Unwinding #2) by Sharon Cameron (Sept. 24)

I feel like doing a happy dance right now because it’s autumn AND so many of these books sound soooo awesome. I seriously can’t wait to get my grubby little hands on them! Which are you the most excited for?