ARC Review: Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan

Written by: Sarah Rees Brennan
Release Date: April 5, 2016
Pages: 368, Hardcover
Series: Standalone
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Thank you to HMH Kids and Edelweiss for the ARC!

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Tell the Wind & Fire is about a young girl called Lucie who lives in a New York very different from the New York we know: the city is torn between two very different kinds of magic, and Lucie’s own family was torn apart years ago by that conflict. Lucie wears magic rings and carries a burden of guilt she can’t share with anyone.

The light in her life is her sweetheart boyfriend Ethan, but it turns out Ethan has a secret too: a soulless doppelganger created by dark magic, who has to conceal the face identical to Ethan’s with a hood fastened by a collar nobody but a Light magician with magical rings can take off… and who introduces himself to both of them by, for reasons nobody can understand, saving Ethan’s life…

LetsTalk

In freshman year Modern World, I was assigned a book called A Tale of Two Cities, and it ruined my life. (No, seriously. I remember sitting in the bathtub crying about Sydney Carton.)

Five years later, I picked up a book called Unspoken at the library, mostly because it had a cool cover, and it ruined my life. (I’ve already talked about this multiple times. I love Sarah Rees Brennan, but she makes no secret of how much she enjoys our pain).

Soon after finishing the Lynburn Legacy, I went through Sarah Rees Brennan’s tumblr and found, to my delight, that she was writing a retelling of A Tale of Two Cities, with magic rings and doppelgangers and a heroine with a dark secret. For obvious reasons, I immediately began counting down the days until the book’s release. As it turned out, I didn’t have to count as long as I expected, because I got approved for an ARC on Edelweiss.

Predictably, I loved Tell the Wind and Fire. It didn’t attach itself to my heart quite as much as her other series, which I’m chalking it up to being a standalone, but it still made me laugh and cry so much. The combination of the original story and Sarah Rees Brennan’s characters and world was just perfect–there was enough of the original to make me feel like I was revisiting the story that I love, and enough new stuff for it to feel like its own thing. As always, Sarah Rees Brennan’s greatest strengths are her characters and dialogue–Lucie is up there with Kami Glass and Sin Davies for me, and Carwyn’s snarky comments are just a delight–and then the end of the book happens and he hits me in the feelings.

Which reminds me–I cried harder over the end of this book than I have over almost any other book this year, which is particularly impressive since I pretty much already knew how it was going to end.

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Reread Challenge: The Demon’s Lexicon Trilogy by Sarah Rees Brennan

The 2015 Re-Read Challenge
WHEN I First Read: April 2014
 
WHAT I Remember: Demons! Evil magicians! Siblings who love each other! Some awesome ladies! Alan Ryves, ruiner of lives! All the main characters being willing to do anything for their siblings! Lots of tears! Getting emotional about the phrase “in two worlds”! Nick’s character arc being amazing! Sin being an amazing performer whose many different identies are a part of her and who handles a ridiculous amount of responsibility on her own and does it well! Mae being brave and confident and having pink hair and wearing cool t-shirts! Jamie being a beautiful cinnamon roll! SIBLINGS WHO MAKE ME CRY WITH HOW MUCH THEY LOVE EACH OTHER! I’m sorry, this book brings out all the exclamation marks in me!
 
WHY I Wanted to Re-Read: I reread the first book last March for YAReadalong. I kept meaning to reread books 2 and 3 and putting them off because I had so many unread books on my list, but this months two of my friends started reading the series for the first time and I decided to join them in their pain.
 
HOW I Felt After Re-Reading: I love it just as much as I did the first time. Even though the story has some flawed elements (Jamie’s character development in book 3 being mostly off-screen, the way Mae and Sin’s rivalry for the Goblin Market is resolved, Jamie/Seb), I love the story as a whole, the amazing characters and relationships, the piles and piles and piles of sibling feelings. Sarah Rees Brennan is my favorite author for a reason, you guys. Also, rereading with friends who were reading for the first time and watching them have emotional breakdowns on Twitter greatly enhanced my reading experience.

WOULD I Re-Read Again: Yes, yes, a million times yes.

Waiting on Wednesday: Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan

WoWHosted by Breaking the Spine

Tell The Wind and Fire

Written by: Sarah Rees Brennan
Release Date: April 5, 2016
Pages: HOPEFULLY A LOT
Series: Standalone 
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Synopsis:

Tell the Wind & Fire is about a young girl called Lucie who lives in a New York very different from the New York we know: the city is torn between two very different kinds of magic, and Lucie’s own family was torn apart years ago by that conflict. Lucie wears magic rings and carries a burden of guilt she can’t share with anyone.

The light in her life is her sweetheart boyfriend Ethan, but it turns out Ethan has a secret too: a soulless doppelganger created by dark magic, who has to conceal the face identical to Ethan’s with a hood fastened by a collar nobody but a Light magician with magical rings can take off… and who introduces himself to both of them by, for reasons nobody can understand, saving Ethan’s life…

WIWLet’s be honest–anyone who know how much I love Sarah Rees Brennan (a topic I have discussed at length) will probably not be surprised to see that I made this Waiting on Wednesday as soon as the cover was revealed.

This is actually a retelling of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. I read A Tale of Two Cities in my freshman year of high school and have been in love with Sydney Carton ever since. (“…think now and then that there is a man who would give his life, to keep a life you love beside you!” *dreamy sighs*). So obviously, I cannot wait to be introduced to the dark-doppelganger version of him in this book.

And…yeah. It’s Sarah Rees Brennan. She’s already talked on Tumblr about her plans for the world (light and dark and magic rings) and the heroine (how she wants to make Lucie Manette a driving force in the story instead of the passive character she was in the original) and everything she’s revealed so far sounds absolutely intriguing.

This book will ruin my life. Again. And I welcome it.

Polina

So what are you waiting to read? Sound off in the comments!

Book Review: The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan

Written by: Sarah Rees Brennan
Release Date: June 2, 2009
Pages: 336, Hardback
Series: The Demon’s Lexicon #1
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Sixteen-year-old Nick and his brother, Alan, are always ready to run. Their father is dead, and their mother is crazy—she screams if Nick gets near her. She’s no help in protecting any of them from the deadly magicians who use demons to work their magic. The magicians want a charm that Nick’s mother stole—and they want it badly enough to kill. Alan is Nick’s partner in demon slaying and the only person he trusts in the world. So things get very scary and very complicated when Nick begins to suspect that everything Alan has told him about their father, their mother, their past, and what they are doing is a complete lie. . . .

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I’ll admit it…when I found out The Demon’s Lexicon was this month’s #YAReadAlong book I screamed a little. As I’m sure all of you know by now, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Sarah Rees Brennan’s writing. Here’s the thing…I read the Lynburn Legacy before The Demon’s Lexicon and loved it, and if you asked me now I wouldn’t be able to say which series I liked better, but it wasn’t until I read The Demon’s Lexicon that I completely fell of the edge into Sarah Rees Brennan love. I blame my weakness for sibling relationships. Also, SRB’s dialogue and characterization are a breath of fresh air, and the book ends with one of my favorite plot twists ever.

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Fangirl Friday: The Lynburn Legacy – Round 2

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Welcome back to the second Fangirl Friday!! This time is is your loving host Sondra! Also known as the girl who rambles, and probably more so known as the girl who makes the graphics. Since we’re spending this month talking about the ever so amazing Lynburn Legacy I figured it was time that a post was dedicated to my [Sometimes second] favorite part of pretty much any novel, characters. Yes sometimes characters are second to world building, but since the Lynburn Legacy takes place in modern age? That’s when the characters really have to shine. And boy do they ever. Let’s have a little chat about our cast of characters shall we?

Kami

Kami Glass is the main character of The Lynburn Legacy. She’s not a super strong fighter like some of characters that earn my love. However,she is smart and witty, even if she does sometimes hide feelings behind her sarcastic nature. She cares deeply, and once you are one of her people? Watch out. Because now you’re protected for life. Her family always comes first, which is a nice change in a lot of YA books the boyfriend tends to override the family. Kami never lets that happen, in fact all she really wants is for the two sides of her life to merge together, so she can have her brothers and have her boyfriend and sve the town. When she needs to get something done, no amount of terrifying sorcerers can stand in her way.

Favorite Quote: “What do you need the ducks for?”
“I´m going to put a whole bunch of them in a giant catapult and launch them over Aurimere,” Kami said. “This will create a distraction. My message will be: Look at all the ducks I give.”

 

Jared

Jared Lynburn. Also known as the resident jerk-with-a-heart-of-gold trope. Yes, I know I’ve complained about guys like this being all the same, but Jared isn’t. Or at least, if he is, he’s wormed his way into my heart and has refused to leave. Out of all my book boyfriends, and all my book OTPs, Jared just holds a special place in my heart. More likely than not, it’s because Sarah is one of the most amazing authors when it comes to her characters; they’re all really realistic, which is something I just love. I think probably my favorite thing about Jared however is the fact that since he’s had this connection to Kami for his entire life, you can actually watch his rough edges smooth over when she’s around. He stops hiding who he is because Kami already knows who he is.

Favorite Quote: “Aren’t you trying a little too hard to play into certain bad boy clichés?”
“Nah”, said Jared. “You’re thinking of black leather. Black leather’s for bad boys. It’s all in the color. You wouldn’t think I was a bad boy if I was wearing a pink leather jacket.”

Ash

Ash is the spoiled heir of Aurimere and most times he acts like it. Throughout the series, Ash probably makes the most mistakes; however, he also makes the most attempts to fix it. He’s torn between being the person he was quite literally raised to be and actually being a good guy, between who the people around him want him to be and who he wants to be. But over the series he grows and he changes. He becomes a character that… well you’ll, have to read it for yourself. 😛

Favorite Quote: “He punched me in the face,” Ash said, who understandably did not seem to find the situation humorous at all. “And then he yelled at me for sleeping with our personal trainer!”
“I was told breakup scenes were a good way to distract people.”

Angela

Angela is loved by so many of the readers of Lynburn Legacy, and I completely get why. She’s a great secondary character who doesn’t feel secondary. Angela has her own problems, her own love interest, her own motives and life. This is what always makes for a strong character, but often times the secondary character’s development is ignored in favor of the main character.. Despite her love, almost worship, of being lazy, Angela kicks butt and takes names without any pause. If she doesn’t like you, she will let you know in no uncertain terms, and she hardly ever likes anyone. However, she is wonderfully, fiercely loyal, and her friendship with Kami will melt your heart.

Favorite Quote: Angela spared a glare for Kami, and then resumed her marathon glaring session at Jared. ‘It’s too weird. I’m going to call you Carl.’
Jared scowled. ‘I don’t want you to call me Carl.’
‘That’s interesting, Carl,’ said Angela, cheering up.

Holly

Holly grows so much through the series. She’s a great loving character. Everything she knows about herself, about her life, about her family, is thrown on it’s head at some point or another. She stands up for what she believes in and she fights back for everything she loves.  Holly is also bisexual, and part of her arc (but not all of it) has to do with her coming to terms with her bisexuality and feelings for another girl. I adore that Sarah Rees Brennan wrote a character like Holly for so many people out there. The series also explores the flirty-attractive-blonde-girl stereotype; because Holly fits the stereotype, a lot of people, including Holly herself, initially assume there isn’t much more to her than that; by the end of the serious, they are proven wrong. Holly is brave and smart and more than capable of holding her own. Watching her grow in confidence and realize her own worth is amazing.

Favorite Quote: “I can try to wheedle information out of people,” Holly offered. “For which I’ll need a lower-cut top.”

Rusty

Rusty. Ahh Rusty. (Polina would like to interject that Rusty is currently her #1 book boyfriend). Rusty is Angela’s older brother, and just as wonderfully lazy as she is. He’d much rather take a nap than join in any fight or argument, or pretty much life truthfully. But when the situation concerns people he loves (specifically Angela and Kami), Rusty does things. Things I won’t speak about, things you have to read about to understand, things that will hurt very much. But Rusty works his lazy way into your heart and pretty much stays there for the entire series. Trust me, it happens with all of the characters. You don’t know how or why you love them so much, but you do. You just do. But Rusty will always hold a special little nook in my heart because of the choices he makes in the third book. Ones that make perfect sense when you look back at them, but ones I also can’t speak about because spoilers, sweetie.

Favorite Quote: “Where are the others? The Prescott girl and the good-looking one?”
“Baby,” said Rusty, “I’m right here.”

Jon

In so many YA books the parents are just simply ignored, or the kids run away from home, or the parents are mind-numbingly oblivious to their children’s actions. The Lynburn Legacy isn’t like that. Kami’s father Jon is involved in his kids lives, and as much as he wants to stop his daughter from running into danger, he knows he can’t,  so instead he supports her. He gives her anything and everything she needs. He tries to stop her from getting herself killed, and he tries protects her, but he still trust her to be able to handle herself and helps her in any way he can. Also, he is freaking hilarious, particularly in his interactions with a certain blonde lady… (Forever and always, though I have a ship for Jon and I’ve spoken to Sarah about this. I won’t spoil but I’m putting it here in writing: it’s totally canon, Sarah.)

Favorite Quote: “Is this true, Kami? Are you going out on a date?” Dad asked tragically. “Wearing that? Wouldn’t you fancy a shapeless cardigan instead? You rock a shapeless cardigan, honey.”

Lilian

Now when you first pick up these books thanks to our glowing recommendations, you’re gonna wonder why Lillian is here. Wait. That’s what I really have to say. Because Lillian edges out quite a few characters here on this list in my battle of the favorites. But there’s also a reason why her icon is half in color, half in black and white. Lillian struggles with what she knows to be true, what she wants to be true, and what she can make true. I should also point out here that she is another parent that is involved in the world, and the story, and she realizes so much about herself and about the Lynburns. And I just love Lillian.

Favorite Quote: “What do any of us want power for?” Lillian demanded, “To rule and be feared, so your rule will be long.”
“Now there’s a campaign slogan.”

Lynburn3(Click for full size version. And as always ask me @RunYouCleverBoy if you need another size!)

 

#YAReadAlong – March: The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan

Every month, we choose a book to discuss over on Twitter with the hasthag #YAReadAlong. All month long, we fangirl, post favorite quotes, and then on the third Friday of the month we have a spoilery chat where we discuss all kinds of things together.

This month, by popular vote, we will be reding The Demons Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan! I’m so excitedddd. The #YAReadAlong is going back to it’s roots! We’re back to Sarah Rees Brennan and we’re gonna have a blast!!!

So be sure you grab a copy of the book, track the #YAReadAlong tag, and tweet out your favorite parts of the book. Then, of course, join in on the spoiler chat on February 20th!!

Add the book on GoodReads, and get your own copy at Barnes & Noble, or Amazon.

Feel free to share our graphic!

DemonsLexicon
(Click to Enlarge)

Fangirl Friday: The Lynburn Legacy

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Hello, friends! Sondra and I have decided to add a new feature to our blog: Fangirl Friday, in which we pick a book or series to fangirl over every month, and devote our Fridays to our limitless enthusiasm. This month, we’ve chosen the Lynburn Legacy by Sarah Rees Brennan, and Sondra asked me to say a few words about why I love it so much.

As you may have gathered from some of my previous posts, Sarah Rees Brennan is one of my favorite authors of all time. Her voice and dialogue always feel very distinct, her characters are fun, memorable, and human, and she clearly takes a lot of delight in subverting and playing with common literary tropes. In addition, her interactions with fandom (particularly her tendency to laugh at her readers’ pain on Twitter and her hilarious livetweeting of television shows) always brings a smile to my face. The Lynburn Legacy wasn’t the first thing by Sarah Rees Brennan that I read, but it was the start of my investment in her writing, and it continues to be deeply important to me.

The Lynburn Legacy has three books: Unspoken, Untold, and Unmade. (Sarah Rees Brennan has mentioned that her original plan for the series was nine books…fingers crossed!) The story focuses on a teenage girl reporter named Kami Glass, who is brave and hilarious and determined to learn the truth. All her life, Kami has heard a voice in her head, belonging to a boy named Jared. Meanwhile, The Lynburns, who have for all intents and purposes ruled the town where Kami lives, return to their creepy gothic mansion. Soon afterward, things get very strange, and Kami and her friends must try to figure out what’s been going on.

Even though Sarah Rees Brennan describes the Lynburn Legacy as her more romance-focused series, family and friend relationships get a lot of page time as well. Kami’s friendship with Angela, a grumpy, nap-loving, people-hating teenage girl who is seemingly Kami’s polar opposite but will still do unspeakable things like [gasp] wake up early for her best friend’s sake, is a thing of beauty. And no one writes family relationships quite like Sarah Rees Brennan–in The Lynburn Legacy, the parents are mostly flawed and human and complex and actively trying to take a role in their children’s lives.

  • Other things to be found in the Lynburn legacy include:
  • subverted tropes, and lots of them
  • wonderful outfit descriptions courtesy of our heroine
  • (sidenote: Kami, Angela, and Holly, the main ladies, all take very different and complex attitudes to their appearance, a detail which I love)
  • a romance between two girls
  • a scene where a guy makes a joke-y comment about how ‘hot’ girl/girl romance is, and Kami proceeds to tell him off by describing a sex scene between him and his half-brother. Naked. Entwined.
  • writing that flawlessly alternates between snappy one-liners and absolutely beautiful descriptions
  • Kami is part Japanese, and it is always portrayed as an important part of who she is
  • all the characters and dynamics are a gift, but I can’t talk about them too much here because we have a whole other post planned for that

Basically, the Lynburn Legacy is the kind of series that lures you in with fun and adventures and lines like “It is the east, and Juliet is a jerk!” and “I hear girls like bad boys. I hope that’s true, because baby, I’m bad at practically everything,” and “Anyone who jogs should be shot at midday, [because] there is no need to ever get up at dawn, not even to shoot joggers,” and then before you know it, all the characters are your children and there are tears running down your face. Good times.

Sondra: Another fun thing we want to do these Fangirl Fridays is bring you an awesome Wallpaper for your desktop! Then you can celebrate with us all month! We’ll see if I can get one done every week or just once per series we choose. But enough of my rambling, here’s the first Lynburn Legacy wallpaper!

Lynburn1Click for full size (Also if you need a different size for your computer monitor feel free to ask me @RunYouCleverBoy)