Hamilton The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter

Title: Hamilton The Revolution

Author: Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter

Publisher: Grand Central 2016

Genre: Nonfiction – Theater

Pages: 288

Rating: 5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Popsguar –  Bestseller from 2016; I Love Libraries

HAMILTON: THE REVOLUTION gives readers an unprecedented view of both revolutions, from the only two writers able to provide it. Miranda, along with Jeremy McCarter, a cultural critic and theater artist who was involved in the project from its earliest stages–“since before this was even a show,” according to Miranda–traces its development from an improbable perfor­mance at the White House to its landmark opening night on Broadway six years later. In addition, Miranda has written more than 200 funny, revealing footnotes for his award-winning libretto, the full text of which is published here.

Finally got this from the library! And it was so worth the wait! For three days, I was completely engrossed in this book. Reading and rereading the libretto and essays. I loved catching the little nuances in the lines of the songs. Things I never noticed just listening to the cast recording. And it was great to hear the story of how the show came together over many years and many different iterations. My favorite essay was the one discussing the staging and progression of the four songs in Act II dealing with Hamilton’s affair with Maria Reynolds. Fascinating! My stagecraft background definitely came into play while reading that essay. Such a great book for fans of the show.


Monstress Volume 1

Title: Monstress Vol. 1: Awakening

Author: Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda

Publisher: Image 2016

Genre: Comics

Pages: 192

Rating: 5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: New to Me; Graphic Novel; I Love Libraries

Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900’s Asia, in a richly imagined world of art deco-inflected steampunk, MONSTRESS tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, a connection that will transform them both. Entertainment Weekly praised MONSTRESS as “one of Image Comics’ most imaginative and daring new series” and dubbed it the “Best New Original Series” in their year-end “Best Comics of 2015” list. Collects MONSTRESS #1-6

Picked this one up from the library after hearing great things from other bloggers. I was very impressed by the story and the art. The cells are all very dark, but each one has such detail. I loved the look of the world as well as the costumes on the characters. The intricate costumes are amazing. Very well drawn! As for the storyline, I loved the twist on history and mythology. It took me a minute to get my bearings on time and and place, but it’s not a negative. I just like to place all the stories I read in history. Maika is great main character with a mysterious past and motivations. I can’t wait to find Volume 2 and continue the story.

The Lunar Chronicles Stores – Part 2

Title: Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky (The Lunar Chronicles #2.5); After Sunshine Passes By; The Princess and the Guard; Something Old Something New

Author: Marissa Meyer

Publisher: Felwel andFriends 2016

Genre: YA Scifi

Pages: 39; 21; 61; 56

Rating: 5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Fairytale Retelling

The enchantment continues. . . .
The universe of the Lunar Chronicles holds stories – and secrets – that are wondrous, vicious, and romantic. How did Cinder first arrive in New Beijing? How did the brooding soldier Wolf transform from young man to killer? When did Princess Winter and the palace guard Jacin realize their destinies?
With six stories – two of which have never before been published – and an exclusive never-before-seen excerpt from Marissa Meyer’s novel, Heartless, about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, Stars Above is essential for fans of the bestselling and beloved Lunar Chronicles.

“Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky” — A cute little story featuring Thorne’s childhood. I loved reading about the expansion of a story Cress learned in her research.

“After Sunshine Passes By” — More insight into the history of the various characters. This time we get to learn more about Cress and her childhood. Sibyl Mira is as scary as ever in this story…

“The Princess and the Guard” — My favorite story of the entire book. I loved learning more about the relationship between Winter and Jacin. The story shows us the depth of their relationship and sheds some light onto where their character’s are at when we meet Jacin aboard Sibyl Mira’s ships. A great short story!

“Something Old Something New” — A nice epilogue story for the series. It was great seeing all the main characters again. Plus we get some development in their stories. My only disappointment was not enough Winter and Jacin in this story. They were my favorites!

The Lunar Chronicles

Winter by Marissa Meyer

Title: Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4)

Author: Marissa Meyer

Publisher: Feiwel andFriends 2015

Genre: YA Scifi

Pages: 827

Rating: 5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Fairytale Retelling; I Love Libraries

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

A fitting conclusion to The Lunar Chronicles. While I really enjoyed the previous books, this one really caught my attention. I was drawn into the story on page one. Winter is hands down my favorite character of the entire series. I loved the chapters that were from her point of view. The other chapters were good, but Winter stole the show. I was on pins and needles waiting to see if Winter survived and if she and Jacin finally got together. I was riveted by the build up to the confrontation between CInder and Levana. Oh my it was so stressful! But it was such a great ending. While the last chapter was a bit rushed, I still really really enjoyed it.

The Lunar Chronicles

Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton

Title: Hark! A Vagrant

Author: Kate Beaton

Publisher: Drawn and Quarterly 2011

Genre: Graphic Novel

Pages: 166

Rating: 5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Graphic Novel

Hark! A Vagrant is an uproarious romp through history and literature seen through the sharp, contemporary lens of New Yorker cartoonist and comics sensation Kate Beaton. No era or tome emerges unscathed as Beaton rightly skewers the Western world’s revolutionaries, leaders, sycophants, and suffragists while equally honing her wit on the hapless heroes, heroines, and villains of the best-loved fiction.

Oh my! History, literature, and jokes are wrapped into one? I am so into this volume of comics! Multiple times I found myself chucking out loud, much to the dismay of my husband. The panels about the suffragettes had me laughing out loud. I read this book cover to cover in about a day. It was great. I was sucked into every frame. Such a great collection of comics.

The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey

Title: The Girl with All the Gifts

Author: M.R. Carey

Publisher: Orbit Books 2014

Genre: Fiction

Pages: 409

Rating: 5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Popsugar – Pseudonym; I Love Libraries

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her “our little genius.”

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh.
Our book club selection for March and it was my pick! The main character is a zombie, or is she? The central question is very intriguing. I love books that raise interesting questions and this one centers on a big one. What does it take to be human? My favorite parts of the book were the interactions between Melanie and Ms. Justineau. Their conversations add so much to the book. Instead of just a zombie book, we get an interesting examination of the human condition. Plus I loved the explanation of what caused the zombies. The reasoning was much more plausible than most zombie origin stories. Overall I really enjoyed the book.

A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor

Title: A Symphony of Echoes (The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #2)

Author: Jodi Taylor

Publisher: Night Shade Books 2013

Genre: Science Fiction

Pages: 307

Rating: 5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Popsugar – Involving travel; I Love Libraries

In the sequel to Just One Damned Thing After Another, Max and company visit Victorian London in search of Jack the Ripper, witness the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral, and discover that dodos make a grockling noise when eating cucumber sandwiches. But they must also confront an enemy intent on destroying St. Mary’s—an enemy willing, if necessary, to destroy history itself to do it.

Another great installment of the Chronicles of St. Mary’s, although I must say I was worried with the first 25 pages. The entire sequence with Jack the Ripper was extremely unsettling and very open-ended. I hope they revisit the unanswered questions later in the series. Beyond that, I really dove into the book and didn’t come up for air until I had finished. Max is just a great main character: flawed yet likable. I couldn’t wait to see where the historians visited next. The sequence dealing with the Hanging Gardens of Babylon was perfect! Can’t wait to pick up the next volume.

The Chronicles of St. Mary’s:

  • #0.5 The Very First Damned Thing
  • #1 Just One Damned Thing After Another
  • #2 A Symphony of Echoes
  • #2.5 When A Child is Born
  • #3 A Second Chance
  • #3.5 Roman Holiday
  • #4 A Trail Through Time
  • #4.5 Christmas Present
  • #5 No Time Like the Past
  • #6 What Could Possibly Go Wrong
  • #6.5 Ships and Stings and Wedding Rings
  • #7 Lies, Damned Lies, and History
  • #7.5 The Great St. Mary’s Day Out
  • #7.6 My Name is Markham
  • #8 And the Rest is History

Cress by Marissa Meyer

Title: Cress (Lunar Chronicles #3)

Author: Marissa Meyer

Publisher: Felwel andFriends 2014

Genre: YA Scifi

Pages: 552

Rating: 5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Perpetual (365 Days of YA); Fairytale Retelling; I Love Libraries

Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker; unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.

This may be my favorite book of the series. I loved the continuation of Cinder and Thorne and Wolf and Scarlet and Kai. But even more I loved Cress’s story and growth. And we get to see more from Sybil and Levana, an appearance from Dr. Erland, and an introduction to Jacin and Princess Winter. So many characters in this one! If felt like the story was finally coming together. Plus we get some real movement in the plot to overthrow Queen Levana. I sped through this volume in a matter of three days. Can’t wait to get to the library and pick up the next volume!

The Lunar Chronicles

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Title: Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2)

Author: Marissa Meyer

Publisher: Felwel andFriends 2013

Genre: YA Scifi

Pages: 454

Rating: 5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Perpetual (365 Days of YA #49); Fairytale Retellings; I Love Libraries

Cinder is back and trying to break out of prison―even though she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive if she does. Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother, or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana.

Sped through this volume in just a few days. I love how on-the-go this story is. there’s hardly a quiet moment. Sometimes the breakneck pace can get old, but I really enjoyed racing throughout the world with Cinder and Scarlet. Plus we get to finally see Queen Levana’s plan to take over Earth. Loving the new developments and characters. Thorne is a great foil to Cinder and it’s nice to see Wolf after reading The Queen’s Army. Definitely need to pick up the third book soon and re-checkout the short story collection to read Thorne’s story.

The Lunar Chronicles

A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas

Title: A Study in Scarlet Women (Lady Sherlock #1)

Author: Sherry Thomas

Publisher: Berkley 2016

Genre: Mystery

Pages: 323

Rating: 5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Popsugar – First in a series; I Love Libraries

With her inquisitive mind, Charlotte Holmes has never felt comfortable with the demureness expected of the fairer sex in upper class society. But even she never thought that she would become a social pariah, an outcast fending for herself on the mean streets of London.

When the city is struck by a trio of unexpected deaths and suspicion falls on her sister and her father, Charlotte is desperate to find the true culprits and clear the family name. She’ll have help from friends new and old—a kind-hearted widow, a police inspector, and a man who has long loved her.

But in the end, it will be up to Charlotte, under the assumed name Sherlock Holmes, to challenge society’s expectations and match wits against an unseen mastermind.

A delightful retelling of the classic Sherlock Holmes stories. I love how Thomas turned the character on it’s head and made Holmes a disgraced society woman. Mrs. Watson is great as Holmes’ partner and in some ways benefactor. Plus we get an interesting array of side characters. I’m excited for the next book in the series to be released this fall. Best of all we get a tantalizing mention of Moriarty… I can’t wait to see where this all leads!

Lady Sherlock

  • #1 A Study in Scarlet Women
  • #2 (Fall 2017)