Thursday, March 21, 2013

Books for Breakfast

So, my blog has been quiet for over a month and I have a very good reason.

Revisions. (Most of January and February)
And recovery from revisions. (March)
And prepping more queries. (The last two weeks)

And also, because after the intense revisions, I allowed myself to read a few books. 
(I'd given myself a book ban when I wasn't keeping on task writing-wise.) So when March rolled around, I ordered a bunch of books from my library and waited for them to show up and DEVOURED them. 

And they were sooooo Good!

A few highlights for all those who are YA fans:

I'd ordered both these books from my library and by fluke, got Scarlet before Cinder ever showed. I couldn't wait!!!! I started reading the second book first. I'd read a review of Cinder and knew the general idea of the story, so I jumped right into Scarlet's story and tried to keep up with her temper and her search for her missing grandmother. Wonderful world-building that mixed futuristic earth/moon/space travel, cyborg technology & mag-lev trains with old-world France, woods and farmland and the Paris opera house. I would have doubted these all could have been mixed so seamlessly and believably unless I'd read it myself. Amazing! I loved how fierce Scarlet and mysterious Wolf circled and prodded each other as their relationship blossomed. Then nibbled my nails over Cinder and Kai's star-crossed future. Will they ever get together??? I will be lining up for the third installment, you can bet on it. So many good things yet to come!!!

I loved the original book in this series, Princess of the Midnight Ball. The author developed a hero that was self-sufficient and bone weary at such a young age. And he KNITS! So very cool and such an underused plot device... knitting weapons to bind the badguys! The twelve dancing princesses has always been a favorite story of mine, and Midnight Ball was one of my top two faves. The following story, Princess of Glass was really well done. But this one, Princess of the Silver Woods was even more enjoyable, bringing us back to the original setting (or close enough) and bringing all the sisters back into the story and finishing off with the youngest's romance with the outlaw wolf who is actually rather noble and swoon-worthy. This tale takes all the loose ends and unexplained bits of the original (regarding King Understone and his 12 half-human sons). All the magic, magical tools, common sense and true love are needed to defeat the baddies all over again. And this is pulled off in such a satisfying way. Princess of the Midnight Ball was great for 12 and up. This one has some mild swearing in it (those princesses really have some awful luck and they're tired of magic messing up their lives). So caveat lector for you mommas of tweenies out there.

This swoony love story revolves around Vane Weston, the sole survivor of a freak tornado ten years ago, and the dark-haired girl that haunts his dreams every night. When his dream-girl materializes before him in the middle of a blind date, Vane recklessly pursues her and soon discovers Audra knows who and what he really is...and why he cannot remember his family that was killed by violent winds ten years ago. Loved Audra's brokeness and dedication and lapped up every snarky word from seventeen-year-old Vane.  Lots of tension in the romance department, cool wind-related mythology and fabulous world-building layered on contemporary realities. And the wind battles were epic and awesome! Thumbs way up!

Steampunk novel set in a Victorianesque/Wild West mash-up. To the north of the civilized counties lies the land of Scree, occupied by goblins, ne'er-do-wells and other Peculiars. Lena inherited from her father unusually long fingers and toes that others expect are the result of goblin blood. When Lena turns 18 and inherits a bit of money as well from her long-gone father, she decides to travel to Scree to find answers and perhaps her father as well. But when too many truths are discovered, a too-slick lawman and an awkwardly sweet librarian vie for her loyalties. Which fellow will help her the most and who will she betray?
Such a fun read and some great questions are asked about prejudices.
Can't wait for the next one. 
Will Jimson Quigley come back for Lena????

After seeing the sequel on the shelves of my library for several month, I finally ordered Hourglass. Wow! Mental illness/breakdowns, trippy time travel and intense love story make you gasp for air when you finally put the book down. Can't give any spoilers so I'll shush now. 
I'd definitely recommended for older teens.