Monday, July 17, 2017

Review: Mad Miss Mimic by Sarah Henstra

Release date: January 3, 2017
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Razorbill Canada
Pages: 272
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided for review through Netgalley
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
There are things I cannot say in any voice.

London, 1872. Seventeen-year-old heiress Leonora Somerville is preparing to be presented to upper-class society—again. She’s strikingly beautiful and going to be very rich, but Leo has a problem money can’t solve. A curious speech disorder causes her to stutter but allows her to imitate other people’s voices flawlessly. Servants and ladies alike call her “Mad Miss Mimic” behind her back…and watch as Leo unintentionally scares off one potential husband after another.

London is also a city gripped by opium fever. Leo’s brother-in-law, Dr. Dewhurst, and his new business partner, Francis Thornfax, are front-runners in the race to patent an injectable formula of the drug. Friendly, forthright, and devastatingly handsome, Thornfax seems immune to the gossip about Leo’s “madness.” But their courtship is endangered from the start. The mysterious Black Glove opium gang is setting off explosions across the city. The street urchins Dr. Dewhurst treats are dying of overdoses. And then there is Tom Rampling, the working-class boy Leo can’t seem to get off her mind.

As the violence closes in around her, Leo must find the links among the Black Glove’s attacks, Tom’s criminal past, the doctor’s dangerous cure, and Thornfax’s political ambitions. But first she must find her voice.
Weeeeeell. I was so excited to see that Mad Miss Mimic was going to be released in the US, after falling in love with the cover and the premise prior to its release in Canada.  I quickly requested it on Netgalley and read it. And it's taken me this long to write a review. So.

I suppose there's nothing overtly wrong with Mad Miss Mimic. When I finished (after rather laboriously making my way through), I was left mostly with boredom and sadness that I'd been so bored. Leo is a character who mostly just lets things happen around her, and gets lucky in the things that happen. Her speech impediment is a huge part of who she is, and that's done well, but a disability does not a book make.

 Not only all of that, but it's pretty obvious who our bad guy is going to be and the climax is not all that climactic. It's like there's a lot of interesting things, yet nothing has the punch it needs. Everything just left me feeling meh, and pretty sad I'd spent the hours to read the book, short as it is.

And, finally, I hate a lot of the ending. Any kind of power Leo has gained for herself is lost in the wallowing she does just before the ending, and it becomes so...simple. Somehow everything is made right (including Leo's speech impediment) and it's just not compelling.

Honestly, my advice is to skip this one. It's got so much that pushes my "love" buttons, but it just doesn't pay off. There are plenty more YA historical fiction novels you could read otherwise, and most would be a better use of your time. I'm sad to say it, but it's true.


About the author:

Sarah Henstra is the author of Mad Miss Mimic (Razorbill, 2015), an historical novel for young adults. She is a professor of English literature at Ryerson University, where she teaches courses in Gothic Horror, Fairy Tales & Fantasies, Psychoanalysis & Literature, and Creative Writing. She grew up on the wild, wet coast of British Columbia, but now she lives in Toronto, Ontario with her two sons.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Best of 2017... So Far

Six months of the year are over, so it's time for me to count down my top books of 2017 so far! This is one of my favorite posts to do every year, because it's a lot of fun to look over what I've read this year so far and see what I've loved. So far, I've read over 60 books this year, so I've got a few to pick from--and, especially in the last month or so, I've been reading some good books. This is gonna be hard!

So, in no particular order, my favorite books of the year so far:





So these are my favorites! I've given each five stars. I really wanted to keep it to ten, but I couldn't actually bear to cut one of these, so I went with eleven. Don't even let me think of the end of the year, when I really try to keep it to ten. 

I didn't include ACOWAR, even though I loved it, largely because it was the end of the series and I didn't love it as much as ACOMAF. It's a similar story with Devil in Spring, simply because it couldn't live up to Devil in Winter!

Three sequels, two contemporaries, and even something non-fiction! I'm actually surprised at my own variety, because I am such a fantasy reader. 

So, what are your favorite reads of the year so far? Let me know, or if you've written a post, link me to it! :)

Sunday, July 2, 2017

June Recap

Hiiii! I'm heeeeeere! I really thought I'd get better with the posting in June, but I failed. I've got a bunch of reviews nearly done, so hopefully I can get some out this month. I swear.

What books did I get?


A Million Junes by Emily Henry
Time and Time Again: A Collection by Tamara Ireland Stone
Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller
What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum
The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari
Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray
The Knowing by Sharon Cameron

Give me a high five--I only bought two books! (That's because I bought a lot of candles...) This is the kind of month-long haul I like, because I definitely read more books than I got! Improvement! I got Mask of Shadows, What to Say Next, and The Best Kind of Magic for review (also an improvement!), and Lair of Dreams and The Knowing from trades! I'm especially excited to have The Knowing, because that keeps my Sharon Cameron ARC collection up to date, and I'm super curious to see how she's continuing the story.

Egalleys for review:


Just Another Viscount in Love by Vivienne Lorret
Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody


A Daring Arrangement by Joanna Shupe
Pacifica by Kristen Simmons

What did I post?

What did I read?

The Girl With the Make-Believe Husband by Julia Quinn
Duke of Shadows by Elizabeth Hoyt
Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray
The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone
What To Say Next by Julie Buxbaum
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Mass (audiobook reread)
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean

Currently reading: I actually just finished a book, so I'm rather undecided. I'm thinking of Want by Cindy Pon. Any other suggestions?
Favorite of the month: SIX OF CROWS. Oh my lord, this book.

What will I read?


I did such a bad job keeping to my TBR for last month (I read a grand total of two books from the fifteen I put on there), so I went with low expectations for myself. I know I'll get to Crooked Kingdom because I adored SoC so much, so there's that! At least a higher percentage than last month.

What am I doing?

Well, y'all know I was taking a summer class for grad school, and it seriously kicked my butt. It was a lot of reading entire books and then writing little essays on them. Then, in the course of about a week, I had three huge projects due. Each took me at least eight hours to complete, with a least one of them taking more like twelve. Needless to say, finishing was a relief.

Also, if you're familiar with the blog, it's looking a little different, no? I logged on the other day to get some posts written, only to find that all the images hosted with the person I bought my template from were over their usage, so none were showing up any more. So, I went ahead and got a new one! It looks pretty similar to what I had before, just a bit different. I'm still working out some kinks with it, but I think I'll ultimately be happy with it!

And I talked a lot about work last month. The cafe shifts are gone, because they hired several more people who are all trained up, so that's nice. However now, the company is mandating that we have "no task" hours every day, so times where we can't do anything but help customers. Problem is, we're short on hours, so we're behind on pretty much everything. It's one of those things where you just have to shrug your shoulders and get whatever you can done--which I am not good at. I'm handling it so far, but we'll see.

I'm still obsessed with bookish candles, though! I haven't gotten anymore, but I have a couple of orders on the way... I love them and I want them for everything!

Anyway, farewell! Cheers to a wonderful July!