Thursday Quotables: Unthinkable

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Welcome back to Thursday Quotables! This weekly feature is the place to highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.  Whether it’s something funny, startling, gut-wrenching, or just really beautifully written, Thursday Quotables is where my favorite lines of the week will be, and you’re invited to join in!

“It was so frustrating for Minnie in Faerie,” Fenella said. “I couldn’t understand her at first, but she said it was like being intellectually starved. She even asked Padraig for books. She couldn’t help herself.”

“I’m sure he didn’t get her any books,” said Lucy tightly.

“But he did,” said Fenella. “Everything from poetry to scientific treatises to philosophy and literature. Something new every single week, for eighteen years.”

“Really? I’m surprised he –”

“Just for the pleasure of keeping them where Minnie could see them. Where she could read their titles, but nothing more. Often, he would read a page or two aloud to her. He always knew what she’d find particularly involving or fascinating or moving. Then he’d stop at the best part, rip out that page, and burn it.”

Source: Unthinkable
Author: Nancy Werlin
Dial Books, 2013

Shudder. Can you think of anything more dastardly? Most. Horrible. Villain. Ever.

If you want to know more about Unthinkable, you can read my review here.

What lines made you laugh, cry, or gasp this week? Do tell!

If you’d like to participate in Thursday Quotables, it’s really simple:

  • Write a Thursday Quotables post on your blog. Try to pick something from whatever you’re reading now. And please be sure to include a link back to Bookshelf Fantasies in your post (http://www.bookshelffantasies.com), if you’d be so kind!
  • Click below (next to the cute froggy face) to link up your post! And be sure to visit other linked blogs to view their Thursday Quotables too.
  • Have a quote to share but not a blog post? Leave your quote in the comments.
  • Have fun!

The Monday Agenda 11/18/2013

MondayAgendaNot a lofty, ambitious to-be-read list consisting of 100+ book titles. Just a simple plan for the upcoming week — what I’m reading now, what I plan to read next, and what I’m hoping to squeeze in among the nooks and crannies.

How did I do with last week’s agenda?
The Rosie Project12842134

Picture Me Gone

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. Finished at the end of last week, posted my review this week. This book just makes me happy. 🙂

Just One Year by Gayle Forman: Done! My review is here.

Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff: Done! I chose not to write a review for this book, as I found myself in the unusual (for me) position of just not really having anything to say. This book is well-written, and I’ve loved some of the previous books by this author, but Picture Me Gone simply didn’t work for me. The story was kind of flat, not much happened, and I didn’t find the characters’ actions and motivations terribly compelling.

Unthinkable by Nancy Werlin: Done! My review is here.

Hoot by Carl Hiaasen: Moving right along! My son and  I are really enjoying Hoot, and hope to wrap it up within the next two weeks.

And in book news… Outlander fans were saddened to learn that the March publication of book #8 in the series (Written In My Own Heart’s Blood) would be delayed… but all heaved a big sigh of relief when a new release date was announced a couple of days later. So who else is counting the days until June 10, 2014??

Fresh Catch:

Three new books this week:

The Lover's DictionarySinful FolkDamn' Rebel Bitches: The Women of the '45

The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan: Borrowed from the library. After reading so many of the author’s young adult novels, I’ve been wanting to check this out too — I’ve heard great things!

Sinful Folk by Ned Hayes: Just received a review copy, looking forward to reading and reviewing this one closer to its January publication date.

Damn Rebel Bitches by Maggie Craig: I treated myself to this history book focusing on the women of the Jacobite rising of 1745 — a gift for my inner Outlander fanatic!

What’s on my reading agenda for the coming week?

ShadowsThe Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic

First up, I’m really looking forward to reading Shadows by Robin McKinley.

Next, I’d like to start The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker. Guilty confession: I’ve had this ARC sitting on my Kindle for a long time now… but I haven’t forgotten about it!

I think these two will take up the whole week, but if there’s time, I’ll dig into The Lover’s Dictionary as well.

So many book, so little time…

That’s my agenda. What’s yours? Add your comments to share your bookish agenda for the week.

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Book Review: Unthinkable

Book Review: Unthinkable by Nancy Werlin

In this young adult novel, faerie curses have a huge impact on the lives of a human family. But will human love triumph over faerie tricks?

Unthinkable takes place in the same world as Nancy Werlin’s previous novels Impossible and Extraordinary. Given how much I loved those two books, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised to have enjoyed Unthinkable as much as I did.

In Impossible, we meet Lucy, the latest in a long line of women in the Scarborough family, doomed by a faerie curse that’s been passed down over the generations for four hundred years. The Scarborough curse binds each daughter of the family to a cruel faerie lord, Padraig, and each generation repeats the cycle of bearing a daughter, abandoning the daughter in the human world as she is condemned to Faerie, and then witnessing the enslavement of that daughter 18 years later. The curse can be broken only by the completion of three impossible tasks. Is Lucy the one who finally stands a chance at ending her family’s curse?

In Unthinkable, the focus of the story shifts to Fenella, the first of the Scarborough women to be ensnared by the faerie curse. We learn of the curse’s origins, and how the Scarborough women first fell under Padraig’s power. Now, Fenella has yet another challenge in front of her, and in order to succeed and finally eliminate Padraig’s influence for good, she may have to destroy what she values most: her own family.

Fenella is a strong but vulnerable main character. Having lived in Faerie for 400 years, she is human but sensitive to magic, and fated to live in limbo, neither fully a part of the human world nor able to die a normal, mortal death. As Fenella finds her way back to her family, she has to decide what she is willing to do in order to accomplish her goals, and just how much of a sacrifice she’s willing to make. She’s a fascinating character: The author doesn’t portray her as perfect, and we see her struggles with fear, selfishness and doubt battling with her growing urge to protect her family and shield them from pain. The more she experiences life among her human family, the more she realizes that the bargain that she’s made may have been her biggest mistake yet.

Meanwhile, Fenella’s story intersects with Lucy and the other characters we met in Impossible. I’m trying to avoid spoilers for all three books, so I won’t say much about the how or why of Fenella’s involvement with Lucy and her family. Suffice it to say, Fenella has choices to make, and her choices may impact Lucy and the rest of her family — forever.

Short version of a review? I loved Impossible and Extraordinary (which is only obliquely related, but does influence parts of this story), and I definitely was not disappointed by Unthinkable. The plot is emotionally involving and fast-moving, and I was kept guessing throughout as Fenella faces a series of obstacles and tasks to complete. Overall, I’d say Unthinkable is a terrific addition to this loosely-connected series, as well as just a really great young adult book that’s sure to appeal to readers who like a bit of magic and other-worldliness in their family dramas and love stories.

Do you need to read Impossible and Extraordinary before reading Unthinkable? This is one of those rare occasions where I think you could jump right into the most recent book and still have it make sense… but why would you want to? Impossible always makes my lists of most recommended YA fiction, and I’m happy to say that Extraordinary and Unthinkable belong on that list too.  For a haunting, compelling, and magical read, don’t miss any of these three books by Nancy Werlin.

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The details:

Title: Unthinkable
Author: Nancy Werlin
Publisher: Dial
Publication date: 2013
Genre: Young adult
Source: Purchased

Wishlist Wednesday

Welcome to Wishlist Wednesday!

The concept is to post about one book from our wish lists that we can’t wait to read. Want to play? Here’s how:

  • Follow Pen to Paper as host of the meme.
  • Do a post about one book from your wishlist and why you want to read it.
  • Add your blog to the linky at the bottom of the post at Pen to Paper.
  • Put a link back to Pen to Paper somewhere in your post.
  • Visit the other blogs and enjoy!

My Wishlist Wednesday book is:

 Unthinkable

Unthinkable by Nancy Werlin
(to be released September 2013)

From Goodreads:

Fenella was the first Scarborough girl to be cursed, hundreds of years ago, and she has been trapped in the faerie realm ever since, forced to watch generations of daughters try to break this same faerie curse that has enslaved them all. [SNIP! A bit of the synopsis has been deleted to spare y’all from spoilers related to the previous book!]

In her desperation, Fenella makes a deal with the faerie queen: If she can accomplish three acts of destruction, she will be free, at last, to die.  What she doesn’t realize is that these acts must be aimed at her own family and if she fails, the consequences will be dire, for all of the Scarborough girls.

How can she possibly choose to hurt her own cherished family not to mention the new man whom she’s surprised to find herself falling in love with? But if she doesn’t go through with the tasks, how will she manage to save her dear ones?

Why do I want to read this?

BECAUSE IT’S THE SEQUEL TO IMPOSSIBLE!

Okay, I’ll calm down now. I loved Impossible. The story of the Scarborough curse is haunting and beautiful, and I loved how the author constructed the story using the old Scarborough Fair song — but altered to fit the faerie-curse storyline. I am so excited that the author has written a follow-up novel, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Meanwhile, between now and September, check out Impossible — and I also highly recommend Nancy Werlin’s more recent faerie-world book, Extraordinary.

Quick note to Wishlist Wednesday bloggers: Come on back to Bookshelf Fantasies for Flashback Friday! Join me in celebrating the older gems hidden away on our bookshelves. See the introductory post for more details, and come back this Friday to add your flashback favorites!