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Review: Every Heart a Doorway

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Every Heart a Doorway
Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There’s no way I can review this objectively because it hit me in such a deep place. This story is so very Seanan McGuire; it reminded me of her song Wicked Girls Saving Themselves.

I’ve always wanted to go through a magical doorway to a place that was just right for me. Haven’t you? What if you did, and what if you had to leave and come back to this world? Would you ever stop trying to return?

1 star off because I felt the whodunnit was a little easy to figure out, but basically I smiled the entire time I read this book so it’s a winner with me.

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Written by tldegray

April 9, 2016 at 11:21 am

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Hidden Huntress by Danielle L. Jensen & The Rose Society by Marie Lu

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Hidden Huntress (The Malediction Trilogy, #2)Hidden Huntress by Danielle L. Jensen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cécile, free from Trollus now lives with her mother in Trianon. She’s living her dream of singing in the opera, even though her mother is not at all the kind woman she thought. But Tristan is still imprisoned and tortured in Trollus and Cécile would do anything to save him. Including swear an oath to the Troll King that she will find Anushka, the witch who cursed the trolls.

While Cécile searches in vain and struggles with her mother’s strange cruelties, Tristan faces a harsh awakening as he tries to help fix problems he had a hand in creating, all the while trying to stay alive.

This book is about betrayals and impostors and the terrible, terrible things family will do. It’s also about integrity and cleverness and sacrifice. I quite like this series and am really looking forward to more.

(Why is this book 4 stars instead of 5? There were obvious clues that I felt were ignored by characters in a way that seemed contrived to draw out the secret.)

See review of Book #1 in this series Stolen Songbird.

 

The Rose Society (The Young Elites, #2)The Rose Society by Marie Lu

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I remain fascinated with this series and with Adelina. She can’t fully control her powers and she loses more control after she kills. I’m not sure how I feel about “the voices.” I can’t decide if the author is suggesting mental illness or if this somehow ties to [redacted]. (For spoilers please see my full review on Goodreads.)

Violetta also fascinates me. She is loyal to her sister, but she is aware of Adelina’s loss of control. I particularly liked how that played out at the ending of this book.

Teren is also a fascinating character, with his self-hatred and how he wants to kill all malfettos, except for the one’s he considers useful to his cause. His relationship with Giulietta is fascinating, too, in a creepy sort of way.

This series captures me in an emotional and intellectual way. I highly recommend it.

See review of Book #1 in this series The Young Elites.

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Written by tldegray

February 11, 2016 at 9:30 am

Dark Orbit by Carolyn Ives Gilman & Planetfall by Emma Newman

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Dark OrbitDark Orbit by Carolyn Ives Gilman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I expected this book to be a story about scientific space exploration, maybe about alien contact. What I got was an enthralling book about time and travel and possibly time travel. This book always had me pausing to think about the idea it was currently presenting. I fell into it and didn’t climb out until I was finished.

PlanetfallPlanetfall by Emma Newman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Enthralling and intriguing. It’s a story about colonizing a new planet, sustainable living, grief, desperation, mental illness, and the nature of humanity, aliens, and gods.

I was absorbed by this book. All of the clues were there, but it was so subtle that I didn’t quite pick up on it–I kept denying it to myself.

This book was wonderful.

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Written by tldegray

February 10, 2016 at 9:30 am

The Core of the Sun by Johanna Sinisalo

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The Core of the SunThe Core of the Sun by Johanna Sinisalo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So this is “Finnish weird,” huh? I like it and I want more, especially from Johanna Sinisalo.

This book is… well, it’s a suspenseful mystery set in a horrifying and plausible dystopian now with some magical realism woven between it all.

Vanna is an addict. A chile addict. In Finland in 2016 chiles, along with other dangerous and addictive substances like alcohol and drugs, are banned. Vanna is also a “morlock”–a woman who doesn’t meet societal standards and isn’t allowed to breed–except Vanna is also an “eloi,” or at least she was raised pretending to be one. Her sister, Manna, is an eloi, the type of “femiwoman” Finland has been selectively breeding for for generations. Vanna is also Vera, and Manna is Mira, because soft elois can’t have hard Rs in their names. Rs and other special things–like independence and nearly Stepford-like wives–are saved for mascos.

This story is told with letters Vanna/Vera writes to Manna/Mira, which tells their life stories from the beginning when their parents died and they moved to Finland to live with their only relative to the end where Vanna finds out what happened to her missing sister; in excerpts from fictional (and occasionally real!) books and articles about the history of Finland, which explain the history and realities of modern Finland; and through Vanna (and occasionally her masco friend Jare’s) present-day actions from Vanna’s chile highs and confused grief to Jare’s future plans and their shared chile-dealing business with a bit of capsaicin-spirituality over and above it all.

I loved this book. I was shocked by Vanna, I pitied her, her sister, and everyone trapped as they were, I was frightened by the very plausible history of Finnish society the author created, and I was always, always entertained. Also, I really want some spicy peppers now, but Vanna can keep the core of the sun for herself.

[I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.]

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Written by tldegray

January 14, 2016 at 6:55 pm

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

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Ink and Bone (The Great Library, #1)Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book quite a bit. The general premise is that the library at Alexandria was never destroyed. Instead, it thrived and became The Library, a world power unto itself. It began as a shining ideal, to preserve all knowledge and make it available to everyone, through “blanks” (books) they supply. Over the years The Library began to care more for preserving and expanding its own power than its original mission.

Jess is a book smuggler. He’s part of the underground that sells illegal original books to anyone who can pay. He fears The Library because they’d kill him if they caught him. Then he gets the chance–or the curse–to enter Library training.

There’s a huge theme about paper books vs ebooks running through this story, with The Library’s blanks taking the part of ebooks. Now, I was reading this as an ebook and didn’t find it to be just “words on a page” that didn’t move me, as Jess thinks about blanks. But that theme isn’t alone; it’s accompanied by that of who controls the knowledge. And that’s where I really felt The Library’s evil. (To sum up: all books good; suppressing knowledge bad.)

There’s one piece of knowledge in particular The Library suppresses. A piece of knowledge that crops up in different places and times by different people, no matter how hard they try to erase it. It’s the absolute perfect thing for The Library to suppress and it had me thinking about the tremendous changes the lack of this would have wrought on the world. Loved it.

Chapters of ephemera are interspersed with chapters of action, and that’s a style choice that worked very well for this book. The ephemera is knowledge, of course, communications, books, etc. And it’s there, underpinning the story even though our characters don’t (yet) know it. It’s also the foundation of The Library, and that foundation is rotten. It was a nice touch.

I’m in for this series. I love thinking and reading about communication and knowledge and stories, and this is right up my alley.

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Written by tldegray

January 4, 2016 at 10:16 am

Posted in Book Reviews

#mmjinfo

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#mmjinfo I want to tell you about my experiences with #medicalmarijuana in #MA and at a #ME dispensary. #spoonie #MultipleSclerosis

#mmjinfo You have to have a “qualifying condition” to be eligible for mmj. Leafly has links & info http://tinyurl.com/nlzsgat #mmjinfo

#mmjinfo @Leafly is a great resource, btw. Everything you could need to know about #medicalmarijuana on one site.

#mmjinfo I qualify for medical marijuana because I have #MultipleSclerosis & spasticity.

#mmjinfo My hospital does not allow its doctors to prescribe #medicalmarijuana. So for pain mgmt I go to a doctor that specializes in mmj.

#mmjinfo In MA doctors must have certain type & duration of training before being allowed to prescribe #medicalmarijuana

#mmjinfo You must also have a relationship with your prescribing doctor. They are a real part of your health team & renew your Rx annually.

#mmjinfo Speciality #medicalmarijuana doctors usually don’t accept ins. But you can submit a “super bill” to your ins as “out of network.”

#mmjinfo YMMV sending the bill to your insurance company. I don’t get reimbursed, but the $ amt is credited to annual out of pocket $ spent.

#mmjinfo #MA also charges you $50/year to get your #medicalmarijuana registration card. Signing up online is so easy & your doctor can help.

#mmjinfo My pain mgmt #medicalmarijuana doctor always forwards my records to my Neurologist. It was my choice, but it’s a thing they offer.

#mmjinfo In #MA I see a doctor at Integr8mass.com. Their website also has a lot of information about #medicalmarijuana.

#mmjinfo Both my Neurologist and my Primary Care Physician are supportive of my taking #medicalmarijuana and are interested in the results.

#mmjinfo See? Legal, prescription medicine, overseen by multiple doctors. #medicalmarijuana is a real, helpful, legitimate thing.

#mmjinfo Here’s how you figure out your #medicalmarijuana dosage: Use your chosen strain until you get high. Then cut that amount in half.

#mmjinfo It’s important to check your dosage for different strains because they effect you differently. (Why is a big topic; more later.)

#mmjinfo For example, I use only one puff of a particular strain because two puffs gets me high. One puff. So this is sensitive. YMMV.

#mmjinfo I use a vaporizer to take my #medical marijuana. It’s personal preference. I don’t like to smoke. I also think it tastes better.

#mmjinfo Yes, tastes better. In my experience, smoking #medicalmarijuana tastes like burnt leaves, but vaping allows you to taste flavors.

#mmjinfo The United Patients Group has information on ways to consume #medicalmarijuana here http://tinyurl.com/ax4cda2

#mmjinfo Vaporizers vary in cost and quality so do your research. I’ve used both the Magic Flight Launch Box and the more expensive Pax.

#mmjinfo You’re also going to need a grinder for your #medicalmarijuana. I have hand & joint pain so I use a larger grinder with a handle.

#mmjinfo My grinder also has multiple levels and a “pollen catcher” to collect kief. (What is kief: http://tinyurl.com/jqh3ntg)

#mmjinfo Grinders about the size of a quarter are fine for grinding a small amount at a time & fit great with the Launch Box.

#mmjinfo This is all up to you. I grind in advance so I’m not cursing my painful hands and a grinder in the middle of the night.

#mmjinfo I like to grind some #medicalmarijuana in advance and store it in small, airtight glass jars like these http://tinyurl.com/j8d45aa

#mmjinfo Storage is important to keep your #medicalmarijuana fresh. Zipped baggies, airtight containers, whatever you like. I use both.

#mmjinfo Where to get your supplies? Your dispensary, your specialty doctor’s office, even amazon. It’s all out there and easy to find.

#mmjinfo Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning your vaporizer, pipe, whatever. You’ll need alcohol, pipe cleaners, q-tips.

#mmjinfo And do clean it often because the build-up tastes gross and it clogs the vape/pipe letting less vapor/smoke get to you.

#mmjinfo Earlier I linked you to different ways to consume #medicalmarijuana. Vaporizing is my personal preference, but I also like edibles.

#mmjinfo One of the differences in consumption methods is how long it takes for the #medicalmarijuana to affect you.

#mmjinfo Vaporizing works almost immediately, while edibles take some time to work (30-40 mins). Vaped effects wear off faster than edibles.

#mmjinfo For pain management purposes, vaporizing (smoking) deals with your pain right away, while edibles require you to plan ahead.

#mmjinfo By using #medicalmarijuana I was able to stop taking Vicodin, Baclofen, and Gabapentin. It deals with all the pain and spasticity.

#mmjinfo Getting rid of all those meds (some which upset my stomach, some which damage my liver, some which mess with my mood) was great.

#mmjinfo For me, #medicalmarijuana does all the things those drugs did, and does them faster, more effectively, with less side-effects. YMMV

#mmjinfo #MA has been slow in the legalization process. We’re just now getting dispensaries in our state. I’ve been going to Maine.

#mmjinfo To find a dispensary in your state, Google is your friend, as is Leafly, and your state’s Department of Public Health.

#mmjinfo In my experience with dispensaries, they are concerned about your privacy and are there to help educate you. So ask them questions!

#mmjinfo Okay, that’s about an hour’s worth of information. Enough for now. I’ll do this again sometime, and answer any questions I can.

Written by tldegray

November 30, 2015 at 9:30 am

Weekly Reading Meme

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What I’ve just finished
The Paladin Caper (Rogues of the Republic #3) by Patrick Weekes [ARC]
Alpha Unleashed (Alpha Girl #5) by Aileen Erin [ARC]
Both of these books were ending books (though the Alpha Girl world will go on, I believe) and both wrapped things up very well. The Paladin Caper, especially, tied up things that had been in play since book 1. (Longer reviews will be on Goodreads when I have the spoons.)

What I’m reading now
Fool’s Quest (The Fitz & The Fool #2) by Robin Hobb: I love this series. I smile while I read it, I think the writing is gorgeous. I’ll be lost in this to the exclusion of all else until I’m done.

What I’m planning to read next
Reap the Wind (Cassandra Palmer #7) by Karen Chance [ARC]: I’ve been with this series from the beginning and I’m in it for the long haul. I don’t love the vampire stuff, but I like Cassie and Pritkin, so this book should be good.
How to Live Well with Chronic Pain and Illness by Toni Bernhard: Toni is pretty well known in the chronic illness community. I like her blog, I’m excited to check out her book.

[ARC: I received these books free from NetGalley in exchange for unbiased reviews.]

Written by tldegray

September 17, 2015 at 2:50 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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