Monday, December 12, 2011

Still Catching Up

I'm nearing the home stretch. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can catch up by the end of the week.

'The Invisible Tower' by Nils Johnson Shelton--Another good but not great book for younger readers. And I had such high hopes. I mean, any book where Merlin is still alive and is the proprietor of a comic book shop is going to pique my interest. Sadly, it felt like it was trying to hard to be nerd-cool at the expense of being fun. Of course, I'm far outside it's target audience and there are probably hordes of ten-year-olds who will really get into it.

'The Garden Intrigue' by Lauren Willig--Another charming installment in her Pink Carnation series. I keep waiting for there to be a clunker in this series (it seems to happen to even the best authors), but there has yet to be one. I dread the day when she decides to tell Jane's story because I'm pretty sure she's holding that one back for the very last. Until then, I look forward to every new book.

'Bloodrose' by Andrea Cremer--This is the final volume of her Nightshade trilogy and it was an excellent ending. The action never let up, there were a couple of heartbreaking deaths, and the resolution was one that I should have suspected might be coming, but didn't. And, although it left me wanting to read more from this author, I am perfectly satisfied to leave this world she created just as it is.

'Unclaimed' by Courtney Milan--A really, really lovely historical romance which will join the list of those titles to be placed in the hands of those who claim the genre is nothing but fluff. If reading novels like this one doesn't change their minds, then they're just stubborn.

'Sex, Gossip, and Rock & Roll' by Nicola Marsh--A contemporary series romance, which I rarely read mostly because they're too short. I quite enjoyed it, but wished it had a few more pages to further develop some of the supporting characters and their stories.

'Night Hawk' by Beverly Jenkins--I used to read Beverly Jenkins fairly regularly, but haven't read any of her books for a few years and I'm not sure why. Reading this one reminded me of all the things I enjoyed about her work and I've since picked up a couple of her older titles to add to my TBR pile. I love not just that she writes about non-white heroes and heroines (which is huge), but that her research is thorough and exposes me to historical events that I probably wouldn't otherwise have learned about.

'The Snow Child' by Eowyn Ivey--Oh, how I loved this book. It's just simply beautiful. I picked it up because I love fairy tale re-tellings and grew up reading books about frontier days. This is a re-telling of a Russian folktale set in Alaska in the '20s and it was just so, so wonderful. I think this is likely to make my Best of 2012 list, even though it will publish in February and there are ten months more of books that may knock it from its perch. Oh, just, wow. Read this. Please.

'Pure' by Julianna Baggott--This is being marketed as an adult book, but is clearly YA dystopic fiction. It's true that there is a segment of the adult reading audience who misses out on a lot of great fiction because it's shelved in the "Kids" section, but this maybe isn't the book to try crossing over. It's okay, and to an adult reader who hasn't read a lot of YA dystopic fiction it'll probably seem fresh and unique. I just don't think it's worth the extra seven or eight dollars the publisher is going to be able to charge by marketing it to an adult audience.

'Fever' by Lauren DeStefano--This is the second volume in her Chemical Garden trilogy and I think I liked it ever better than the first volume. Usually, the middle books in trilogies feel like "bridge" books and are weaker than the first and third volumes. This one bucked the trend. It's still very much a bridge book, but it also added new elements to the story and has gotten me really excited for the third volume.

'The Mirage' by Matt Ruff--I really liked this topsy-turvy look at the events of 9/11. In Ruff's world, the attacks take place on 11/9 and it's American extremists who take down the twin towers in Baghdad. It's clever and smart and has an interesting take on who some of the central players would have become if things had played out differently. Oh, and Rummy got his, so extra super bonus points to Ruff for pulling that off.

'Incarnate' by Jodi Meadows--Another book that I absolutely loved. It's a YA paranormal, but there's not a werewolf or vampire or fallen angel to be found. It has a wholly unique mythology and a heroine who is so broken that you can't help but ache for her. An absolutely wonderful book.

'Cinder' by Marissa Meyer--Another fairy tale re-telling, this being a Cinderella (natch) story set in the future and featuring a cyborg Cinderella. It took me a while to get into, but, as soon as it started clicking with me, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.

The rest of the catch-up list is now less than 20 titles, so I feel like I've made some progress. I probably won't be able to post tomorrow, but I won't have a lot of time for reading either, so I shouldn't get myself further behind.

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