Hi folks! Welcome to season three of the Official, One and Only Clear Eyes, Full Shelves Podcast!
Apologies for the long hiatus, but we had reasons. We've both done a lot of reading and watching television/movies during our time off, and we kept circling back to the idea of the way family relationships are portrayed. More often than not, it's hard for both of us to see familiar patterns and resolutions that feel "real." Obviously, as we mention in this episode, we only have our own experiences to draw on, but we also know we can't be alone.
Remember, if you want to get your new episodes early, subscribe in iTunes, the show drops there about a day earlier than it does here.
Well, I got a bit behind on, like, life, so I thought I'd bundle a few months of our recommended reads for you, rather than trying to catch up month-by-month.
I did a bit of re-reading over the last few months, which has been pretty fun. I think I will continue to revisit my favorites as a matter of course, because there's something enjoyable in revisiting a beloved story. We all read The Carnival at Bray for book club right before it was a Printz honoree and we all loved it so much, so if you haven't snagged that brilliant little book, do so!
As always, click on the cover for more information. If we have a review available, it will be noted.
Recommendation Tuesday started as a joke and is now an official thing. Basically, this is my way of making Tuesday a little more awesome. If you've got a book to recommend on this or any Tuesday, tweet me at @FullShelves and I'll help spread the word.
The uncertainty of my own experience is crushing. I am drowning in an infinite sea. Sinking slowly, the weight of the lightless depths forcing me down, forcing the air from my lungs, squeezing the blood from my heart.
I feel kind of ridiculous recommending a big book with a big publicity push behind it, but it's a rare sequel that enthralls me as much as the original.
The Fifth Wave was one of my favorite books last year, thanks to its editor literally shoving it in my hands and I clicked preorder on the follow up, The Infinite Sea, before it even had a title. The sophisticated plot, overwhelmingly ominous tone and captivatingly complex characters stood out in the sea of lookalike post-apocalyptic novels
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I really, really try to not read too far before books come out. It's tempting because I do have access to early review copies (though I don't request/receive at the rate of a lot of folks--that would simply overwhelm me), and sometimes I simply cannot resist and read waaaaaaay before a book's release date.
The following are three that I highly recommend you keep your eyes out for in a couple of months when they're released. (And, I promise, I'll write more about each once they're real books you can buy or snag at your library.)
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner Disney Hyperion | Dec. 10, 2013
Were you a fan a Lost? Because These Broken Stars is perfect for Lost fans, with its twisty blend of science fiction, weird paranormalcy and reality-bending conspiracy. The romance is unusual and emotion-filled, particularly in its confrontation of class differences.
Ink is Thicker Than Water by Amy Spalding Entangled Teen | Dec. 3, 2013
Do you ever complain that there aren't enough complex family relationships in young adult fiction? Then Amy Spalding's second novel, Ink is Thicker Than Water will definitely satisfy you. Lots of family stickiness are explored in this novel, and the messiness is absolutely fabulous.
Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott Harlequin Teen | Jan. 28, 2014
Elizabeth Scott's upcoming Heartbeat is another novel which explores the complexity of family. In this book's case, loss, what-ifs and the tension between teenage disenfranchisement while at the same time being on the cusp of adulthood. It's so, so emotional and, at the same time, rather restrained.
I’ve been trying to pin down exactly why I enjoyed All Our Yesterdays so much, beyond that I’m a sucker for time travel stories. What I’ve come up with is that Cristin Terrill’s debut novel uses the time travel narrative to its fullest potential, exploring the nature of love, sacrifice and the consequences of both.
All Our Yesterdays opens with Em, who is imprisoned in a secret facility, finding a list of instructions taped inside a drain in her cell. The instructions are written in her handwriting, but she’s never seen them before. Together with the boy in the cell next to hers, Finn, she escapes her imprisonment and travel back in time four years in attempt to stop the evil “doctor” who built the time travel machine that was used to disrupt the course of history and create a totalitarian-type government. In order for the machine to be destroyed, the doctor must be eliminated.
Except, the “doctor” is someone from Em and Finn’s past, their close friend and someone they both loved in their past. Killing him and stopping the time machine will also irrevocably alter their own lives.
Four years in the past, Marina pines for her neighbor and friend James. Both are privileged and sheltered, and it seems like James might be beginning to see Marina as something more than a friend. Then, a tragedy strikes James’ family and he’s changed. Marina feels like she’s losing her beloved friend, but her loyalty endures.
These two stories intersect from both Marina and Em’s points-of-view, as each is faced with big questions, the answers to which mean big consequences and require difficult sacrifices.
How is it a week into September already? Can someone please provide me with a time machine, because I have some unfinished business from last month to take care of. Or maybe a freeze-ray to just stop everything around me so I can get caught up?
Anyway... on to our recommended reads we enjoyed in August. As I promised Racquel in our podcast, I read Blue-Eyed Devil and really liked it! (I may write up my thoughts on this one, if I can find some extra time to bang it out.)