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March 23, 2018 • Cee • Reviews

The Radical Element: 12 Stories of Daredevils, Debutantes, & Other Dauntless Girls edited by Jessica Spotswood • March 13, 2018 • Candlewick Press
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In an anthology of revolution and resistance, a sisterhood of YA writers shines a light on a century and a half of heroines on the margins and in the intersections.

To respect yourself, to love yourself—should not have to be a radical decision. And yet it remains as challenging for an American girl to make today as it was in 1927 on the steps of the Supreme Court. It’s a decision that must be faced whether you’re balancing on the tightrope of neurodivergence, finding your way as a second-generation immigrant, or facing down American racism even while loving America. And it’s the only decision when you’ve weighed society’s expectations and found them wanting. In The Radical Element, twelve of the most talented writers working in young adult literature today tell the stories of the girls of all colors and creeds standing up for themselves and their beliefs—whether that means secretly learning Hebrew in early Savannah, using the family magic to pass as white in 1920s Hollywood, or singing in a feminist punk band in 1980s Boston. And they’re asking you to join them..

myreview

I received this book for free from Candlewick Press for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “Rebekah threaded in.”

Twelve girls. Twelve stories about girls from all walks of life in different time periods in the United States who stand up for their beliefs and challenge what is expected of them because of their gender, race, culture, and religion. Twelve authors weaving these beautiful tales.

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April 14, 2017 • Cee • Letters

Dear Mackenzi Lee & The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue,

An unforgettable tale of two friends on their Grand Tour of 18th-century Europe who stumble upon a magical artifact that leads them from Paris to Venice in a dangerous manhunt, fighting pirates, highwaymen, and their feelings for each other along the way.

Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.Goodreads

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September 25, 2015 • Cee • Reviews

This Monstrous Thing

This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee •  September 22, 2015 • Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins)
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In 1818 Geneva, men built with clockwork parts live hidden away from society, cared for only by illegal mechanics called Shadow Boys. Two years ago, Shadow Boy Alasdair Finch’s life shattered to bits.

His brother, Oliver—dead.

His sweetheart, Mary—gone.

His chance to break free of Geneva—lost.

Heart-broken and desperate, Alasdair does the unthinkable: He brings Oliver back from the dead.

But putting back together a broken life is more difficult than mending bones and adding clockwork pieces. Oliver returns more monster than man, and Alasdair’s horror further damages the already troubled relationship.

Then comes the publication of Frankenstein and the city intensifies its search for Shadow Boys, aiming to discover the real life doctor and his monster. Alasdair finds refuge with his idol, the brilliant Dr. Geisler, who may offer him a way to escape the dangerous present and his guilt-ridden past, but at a horrible price only Oliver can pay…

myreview

I received this book for free from HarperCollins in exchange for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “My brother’s heart was heavy in my hands.”

The first time I ever read Frankenstein was in a required British Literature course for my major, and I absolutely fell in love with the story. When I heard about This Monstrous Thing, my heart nearly leaped out of my chest because I never knew how much I wanted this book.

This Monstrous Thing takes place in 1818 Geneva, where Alasdair Finch has to deal with his guilt for his brother’s death as well as navigate the constant threats against Clockwork men (people who have clock parts as body parts) and Shadow Boys (mechanics who help them) that have been more rampant since a new book called Frankenstein was published, which seems to detail the events of the resurrection of his brother, Oliver. Not only does Alasdair have to deal these, he has to deal with Dr. Geisler, his idol, who has nefarious plans for Alasdair and his brother.

Doesn’t that sound interesting?

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