Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-Me Authors I Read in 2015

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Top Ten New-To-Me Favorite Authors I Read For The First Time In 2015

I’ve decided to exclude 2015 debut authors for this list because they’d make up more than half of it. I’m going with authors who’ve written several books, but I read them for the first time this year. Titles either linked to my review or to Goodreads.

Kirsty Logan
What I’ve read: The Gracekeepers | A Portable Shelter | The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales

Marissa Meyer
What I’ve read: Cinder | Scarlet | Cress | Fairest | Currently reading: Winter

Andrew Smith
What I’ve read: The Alex Crow | 100 Sideways Miles

Sarah J. Maas
What I’ve read: Throne of Glass | A Court of Thorns and Roses

William Ritter
What I’ve read: Jackaby | Beastly Bones

Holly Black
What I’ve read: Doll Bones | The Darkest Part of the Forest | The Iron Trial

Emily Winfield Martin
What I’ve read: The Wonderful Things You’ll Be | Dream Animals | Day Dreamers

Authors who’ve written more than one book, but I’ve only read one SO FAR

Leigh Bardugo
What I’ve read: Shadow and Bone

V.E. Schwab
What I’ve read: A Darker Shade of Magic

Jandy Nelson
What I’ve read: I’ll Give You the Sun

What new-to-you authors did you read this year?

Book Review: The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith

The Alex Crow by Andrew SmithAuthor:  Andrew Smith

Genre: young adult, sci-fi, contemporary

Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: March 10, 2015

336 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

The Alex Crow was my first Andrew Smith book, and I was pretty blown away. This book is nuts, you guys. It’s remarkably strange and different and weird, and I loved it. I’m not even really sure how to review it because of how weird it was, but I’ll try.

Andrew Smith expertly weaves together three seemingly separate story lines about a melting man who was told by Joseph Stalin to build a bomb and travel hundreds of miles to set it off, an exploratory ship from the 1880s (called The Alex Crow) on its way to the North Pole, and a Middle Eastern boy named Ariel (AH-riel, get it straight) who is the lone survivor of his village being murdered by a terrorist group and is now living in the US. It’s surprisingly hard to go into much detail about the plot of this book without giving anything away, but I was completely enthralled and shocked with how it all came together.

I loved the focus on friendship in this book. Ariel, his adoptive brother Max (aka he of the innumerable euphemisms for masturbation), and Cobie, the only other sane kid at the camp where the three of them are sent, bond over the uncontrollable situation they’ve been thrown into. They go through a lot of crazy stuff, and it brings them closer.

This is a layered, complicated story that actually goes a lot deeper than what meets the eye. It brings up a lot of hard issues like morality, race, gender, friendship, and kindness. It’s not always the easiest book to read nor is it like anything else you’ve ever read (or at least anything I’ve ever read). This book is messy and complicated and just so so good.

The bottom line: I honestly cannot wait to read another of Andrew Smith’s books. The Alex Crow was disturbing, weird, awkward, hilarious, and absolutely wonderful.

Rating: 8 – freaking fantastic

Stacking the Shelves: Decatur Book Festival and some new comics!

This past weekend I went to the Decatur Book Festival (check out my recap of the weekend here). I had the awesome opportunity to meet several of my favorite authors and get my books signed. I already owned most of the books I got signed, but I bought a few new ones. 🙂
Here are the ones I already owned that I got signed!

IMG_4107

Anna dedication     IMG_4113 IMG_4118
Here are three books I didn’t already own but bought at the festival and the ARC I got at the festival!
(This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, 100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith; ARC of Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli)

IMG_4109 IMG_4111I also bought several new comics this week:
(The Wicked and the Divine Issue #3, Bodies Issue #2, Batman and Robin Issue #34, Trees Issue #1)

(IMG_4124

Did you get any new books or comics this week? Let me know what you got so I can check it out!