Mundie Moms

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER by Rae Carson / Book Review

By: Rae Carson
Published by: Greenwillow Books
Released on: 9.22.15 - TODAY
Rating: 4 stars - I Enjoyed It
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Source: arc/book from publisher to review in exchange for my honest review

Lee Westfall has a secret. She can sense the presence of gold in the world around her. Veins deep beneath the earth, pebbles in the river, nuggets dug up from the forest floor. The buzz of gold means warmth and life and home—until everything is ripped away by a man who wants to control her. Left with nothing, Lee disguises herself as a boy and takes to the trail across the country. Gold was discovered in California, and where else could such a magical girl find herself, find safety? 

Walk on Earth a Stranger, the first book in this new trilogy, introduces—as only Rae Carson can—a strong heroine, a perilous road, a fantastical twist, and a slow-burning romance. Includes a map and author’s note on historical research.

Be prepared to be taken back to the Wild Frontier in Rae Carson's newest release. With her trade mark engaging storytelling, fantastic world building, and characters you wish you could be friends with in real life, this is one historical fiction I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Though this book is not at all like her debut series, The Girl of Fire and Thorns series, which I absolutely loved, this story has all the makings of a Rae Carson classic. Including that slow burning romance, and those heart pounding action scenes I have come to except in Rae's books. 

Lee Westfall is I really liked getting to know. She's one tough character. Which she has to be. She's not scared to get her hands dirty, and in a time period where men did the handy work, she does it too. Yep, Lee is my kind of girls. Leah (yes there's reason why I'm spelling it different and when you read the book you'll know why), is a strong character who faces her fears head on, and does what she has to do in order to honor her parents, and keep both herself and her secret safe. She's also a character who knows heartbreak, danger (both of the human kind, and of the natural kind), and does what's necessary in order to protect herself. 

I liked that Rae allowed me to get to know Leah both as Leah, and also as her disguise, Lee. There's a difference in who she is when she's Leah, and when she's Lee. I liked seeing that difference. I also liked how she allowed Leah/Lee to handle the differences in how she acts when she's herself and when she's her disguise. Regardless of who she is, she always remains a fearless, intelligent women whom does what she has to in order to survive. Without giving too much away, there's a point on her journey out West, that I loved. That's when she really embraces herself for who she is.

In true Rae form, she has created a romance in this book that is slow burning. It's the kind of romance were you want to shove the characters together and tell them to kiss it out already. Jefferson is one of my favorite characters from this book. He comes with his own set of problems, and I loved the way he and Leah/Lee just got each other. They have a long history together, and just get each other. That's not to say they don't have their own set of problems they have to deal with. They do. I liked that some things weren't easy between them, and they both had to learn to trust each other with some secrets they held close. One of the things I love about Jefferson is his heritage. I have a feeling there's more to when we got in this story, though it does play a role later on the story. Even though I get it's a period thing, it still made me mad what is said and done.

I loved the historical factor. There's so much to this period in time, and Rae tackled it all in such a way that it felt like I was literally reading a story right out of 1849, the year this story is set. I felt like it was a little bit of a mesh up of what I loved as a kid in playing The Oregon Trail game, to reading The Little House on The Prairie books, and watching the tv series. I've always been fascinated with this time in our history, and I loved how Rae brought it all to life. It's evident in her writing, that she took the time to research and really know what life was like back in the mid 1800's. From the way of life, to how people talked, social classes, roles and expectations women and men had, down to the dangers crossing the prairie and following the wagon trails out West. 

This period in history was one that was fighting for progress and change during a time that also fought to keep things as they were. Women had no rights, slavery was allowed in the south, Native Americans (called Indians during this time period) were seen as a threat to those crossing the plains, many immigrants were arriving to the US and traveling west, disease was rampant, and many other things. Each of these things are a huge part of Leah's story. Everything that Rae included in her historical fiction was authentic. It brought her story to life, and gave it a voice from the past for modern day to enjoy. I loved it. 

Lastly, I liked the magical element of Leah's ability. With the way this book ended, I have a feeling things are going to get much more dangerous for fearless Leah, and her new found family. There are so many great characters in this story, and some not so much. I for one can not wait to jump back into Leah's world, and find out what happens to her quest for gold in California's Gold Rush. If you're a fan of Rae Carson, the Wild West, and historical YA books, pick this book up! Oh, and it has a map.... you guys know how much we love our book maps. 

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Catch Rae On Tour!

September 22
Kepler's – 7 PM
In-conversation with Stacey Lee / Under the Painted Sky (Penguin Random House)
San Francisco

September 23
The Woodlands B&N – 7 PM
In-conversation with Sophie Jordan / the Uninvited series (HarperTeen)

September 24
Parnassus – 6:30 PM 
In-conversation with Victoria Schwab / The Archived series (Disney/Hyperion)

September 25
Anderson's Bookshop (La Grange) – 7 PM
In-conversation with Joelle Charbonneau / The Testing trilogy (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) and Sarah Prineas / Ash & Bramble (HarperTeen)

September 28
Changing Hands – 7 PM
In-conversation with Erin Bowman / Vengeance Road (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) & the Taken series (HarperTeen)

Sirens Conference – October 10-11, 2015

Tucson Book Festival – March 12 & 13, 2016
Tucson, AZ

Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR List / Top Ten Tuesday #38

Hello & welcome to this week's Top Ten Tuesday. This week's topic is Ten Books On My Fall TBR List. My last Top Ten Tuesday post was, Ten Series I've Not Finished Yet.

I LOVE FALL! The weather gets cooler, the leaves change colors, it's football season, and there are a TON of epic new releases! There are so many YA books coming this fall, that I want to read them all. Which is impossible since I'm a mom to two active kids, and I'm a substitute teacher. I can't lay around and read all day. I mean, who doesn't want to spend THE ENTIRE day reading? I know I do! This Fall there are a lot of fabulous EPIC releases. 

Today's post is mostly made up of upcoming releases, with a couple of recent releases included. Judging by my post I'm going to really busy reading around October 13th, since the majority of the books featured today are being released then. I may have to take a vacation from life that week, and do nothing but read... KIDDING.... 

Check out the Top Ten Books On My FALL TBR List:

  1. Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch, on sale 10.13.15 from Balzer & Bray
  2. Frozen Tides by Morgan Rhodes, on sale 12.15.15 from Razorbill
  3. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, on sale 9.29.15 from Feiwel & Friends
  4. The Immortal Heights by Sherry Thomas, on sale 10.13.15 from Balzer & Bray
  5. Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl, on sale 10.13.15 from Marvel Press
  6. The Rose Society by Marie Lu, on sale 10.13.15 from G.P. Putnam & Sons
  7. Nameless by Jennifer Jenkins, on sale 10.6.15 from Month9Books
  8. Persuasion by Martina Boone, on sale 10.27.15 from Simon Pulse
  9. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas, released on 9.1.15 from Bloomsbury
  10. Dumplin' by Julie Murphy, released on 9.15.15 from Balzer and Bray
What are some new and/or upcoming YA releases that are on your Fall TBR list? 

OUT TODAY! Tuesday 9.22.15

Hello Readers! There are a lot of fabulous YA books hitting bookstore shelves today. Check out today's new releases:

To find out more about each title, click on the book's title, and you'll be taken to it's Goodreads page. Which books are you looking forward to picking up today?

Shadowhunters TV Series: Ask Harry Shum Jr aka Magnus Bane Your Questions TODAY! #AskHarry

Shadowhunters, today's @ShadowhuntersTV chat is with Harry Shum Jr, aka MAGNUS! Be sure to send in your questions this morning to #AskHarry, so that he can answer it! I'm so excited about today's chat. I've been waiting for a Magnus chat since ShadowhuntersTV started hosting these chats. 
For fans who are just joining the chats, ShadowhuntersTV has been hosting weekly chats with one cast member from the upcoming series, Shadowhunters TV.  This is the week I've been waiting for, as I adore Magnus's characters. 

Twitter Tuesday: Cassandra Clare Answers Fan Questions on Twitter

Yesterday Cassie took to Twitter to answer a few fan questions about Lady Midnight, Welcome To Shadowhunter Academy, and a few of our favorite Shadowhunters. She also confirmed she WILL BE SIGNING AT THE NYC COMIC CON!! Please note, that these are Cassie's responses to fan questions, and not all the fan tweets appear here (for some reason blogger isn't working with me on sharing the tweets). Please click on the highlighted links to see the full Twitter conversation.