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The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley {3.5 Stars}

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley {3.5 Stars}

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley
Published by Bloomsbury on July 14th, 2015
Genres: Adult, Historical Fantasy, Literary
Page Length: 318 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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1883. Thaniel Steepleton returns home to his tiny London apartment to find a gold pocket watch on his pillow. Six months later, the mysterious timepiece saves his life, drawing him away from a blast that destroys Scotland Yard. At last, he goes in search of its maker, Keita Mori, a kind, lonely immigrant from Japan. Although Mori seems harmless, a chain of unexplainable events soon suggests he must be hiding something. When Grace Carrow, an Oxford physicist, unwittingly interferes, Thaniel is torn between opposing loyalties.

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street is a sweeping, atmospheric narrative that takes the reader on an unexpected journey through Victorian London, Japan as its civil war crumbles long-standing traditions, and beyond. Blending historical events with dazzling flights of fancy, it opens doors to a strange and magical past.

3.5 Stars

Thoughts:
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Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand eARC {5 Stars}

Things You Should Know About Some Kind of Happiness:

  • It is not a fantasy story.
  • The protagonist is a very realistically written young girl dealing with many issues in her life.
  • There are many secrets hidden in and around Hart House.
  • Not all of these secrets are nice.
  • The tale starts off slowly but will soon have readers flipping through pages, to discover if they have deduced some of the secrets … and afraid that they will be right.

Note: I received an advanced copy of SOME KIND OF HAPPINESS from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand eARC {5 Stars}

Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand
Published by Simon & Schuster on May 17, 2016
Genres: Genre-bender, Literary, MG, Mystery
Page Length: 374 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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THINGS FINLEY HART DOESN’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT

• Her parents, who are having problems. (But they pretend like they’re not.)
• Being sent to her grandparents’ house for the summer.
• Never having met said grandparents.
• Her blue days—when life feels overwhelming, and it’s hard to keep her head up. (This happens a lot.)

Finley’s only retreat is the Everwood, a forest kingdom that exists in the pages of her notebook. Until she discovers the endless woods behind her grandparents’ house and realizes the Everwood is real--and holds more mysteries than she'd ever imagined, including a family of pirates that she isn’t allowed to talk to, trees covered in ash, and a strange old wizard living in a house made of bones.

With the help of her cousins, Finley sets out on a mission to save the dying Everwood and uncover its secrets. But as the mysteries pile up and the frightening sadness inside her grows, Finley realizes that if she wants to save the Everwood, she’ll first have to save herself.

Reality and fantasy collide in this powerful, heartfelt novel about family, depression, and the power of imagination.

5 Stars

Strengths:
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Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel Audiobook {4.5 Stars}

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel is a literary post-apocalyptic story that really shines as an audiobook and absolutely mesmerized me. I was a bit nervous going in, but also in the mood for something different and Station Eleven is definitely different. Most post-apocalyptic stories I’ve read lately have been solidly YA, and Station Eleven takes basically the opposite approach: it isn’t about who’s going to survive the apocalypse, it’s about who these people were before it happened and who they are 20 years afterward.

Note: I listened to Station Eleven on audio. Listening to a book strongly impacts my reading experience.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel Audiobook {4.5 Stars}

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Narrated by Kirsten Potter

Published by Knopf on Sept. 9th, 2014
Genres: Adult, Literary, Post Apocalyptic
Page Length: 336 pages
How I got my copy: Gift
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An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization's collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

One snowy night Arthur Leander, a famous actor, has a heart attack onstage during a production of King Lear. Jeevan Chaudhary, a paparazzo-turned-EMT, is in the audience and leaps to his aid. A child actress named Kirsten Raymonde watches in horror as Jeevan performs CPR, pumping Arthur's chest as the curtain drops, but Arthur is dead. That same night, as Jeevan walks home from the theater, a terrible flu begins to spread. Hospitals are flooded and Jeevan and his brother barricade themselves inside an apartment, watching out the window as cars clog the highways, gunshots ring out, and life disintegrates around them.

Fifteen years later, Kirsten is an actress with the Traveling Symphony. Together, this small troupe moves between the settlements of an altered world, performing Shakespeare and music for scattered communities of survivors. Written on their caravan, and tattooed on Kirsten's arm is a line from Star Trek: "Because survival is insufficient." But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who digs graves for anyone who dares to leave.

Spanning decades, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, this suspenseful, elegiac novel is rife with beauty. As Arthur falls in and out of love, as Jeevan watches the newscasters say their final good-byes, and as Kirsten finds herself caught in the crosshairs of the prophet, we see the strange twists of fate that connect them all. A novel of art, memory, and ambition, Station Eleventells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.

4.5 Stars

Strengths:
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