Daily Archives: March 10, 2010

Books In Review

I haven’t done much writing lately–okay, virtually none at all–but I have been reading.  I’m in between manuscripts and have a heavy edit to do on one.  This is the time I like to read.  And read I have.  I’ll highlight a few of my recent favorites.  Please check out the links for in-depth summaries or more info.

Currently, I am reading Jodi Picoult’s The Pact.   I started yesterday and could barely put it down last night before bed.  When I finally fell asleep, the characters haunted my dreams.  If you haven’t read Miss Picoult, I highly recommend you do.  Her books are amazing.  As I am not finished yet, I can’t give you a full run-down, but I will say this: the characters are fully fleshed out, each with their own gripping story, voice and reactions to the devestating events.  In a nutshell, it is a story of two families twined together over eighteen years and how the unresolved death of one of the children blows them apart. 

Beautiful Creatures is a YA paranormal romance that differs from many of the other books on the shelf in this genre.  It is a love story like no other, with a male protagonist, a grisly future and an impossible mystery that needs to be solved and resolved.  I really enjoyed the social aspect of this book regarding the repurcussions of stepping outside the box in high school.  Small towns, small minds, ancient history and a plethora of paranormal characters combine to create a satisfying read.

If you’re in the mood for some light reading, turn to Never After, a Kindle anthology of fractured fairy tales.  I read this book between some of my others, savoring each new story and delighting in the lyrical romps found within.  Like all fairy tales, love is the central theme.  What’s different?  The non-traditional telling of them.  The only drawback of this book: there weren’t enough stories.  I could have read a dozen more.

Michael Crichton’s posthumous Pirate Latitudes: A Novel delivered everything you would expect and more.  I love how Mr. Crichton weaves fact and fiction together.  Whenever I finish one of his novels, I am always left wondering just how much is real.  Especially neat for me was that this book took place in the Caribbean, my newest vacation spot, so I could really feel the setting.  It also made me want to go back and dig for the treasure I am sure is still there…

Another YA that caught my attention and held it to the very end was The Maze RunnerLike many of the newer books in this genre, it encompassed a dystopian world, children fighting for their survival and their race against time and authority.  The setting of this novel was unique, the premise unsettling.  If you choose to read this book by James Dashner, strap on your tennies: you’re in for a fast paced adventure.

Serial is an ebook I don’t outright recommend to just anyone.  It is gritty and dirty in the classic sense of a horror novel.  Written by two experienced authors in the horror genre, this collaboration between Jack Kilborn and Blake Crouch was the buzz in the writing community for a while.  This three part novella is unique in every way.  For the first two sections, each author wrote from the POV of their character.  The final section was a tit for tat–writing that took place over the net with each author responding to the other and no insight into how they were thinking–as if the drama was unfolding in real time.  If you can stomach some murder and mayhem, it is well worth the read. 

And lastly, Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, a MG/YA tells the story of an orphan living with the dead.  Raised from toddlerhood to adulthood by ghostly creatures, the MC struggles to make sense of his life in regard to the real world.  Unique, satisfying and provacative (as in thought provoking, not sexual), this PG novel is a great book to share with boys.  Particularly upper middle graders reluctant to read. 

What books do you think should grace the night stands of your fellow readers?  Tell us about your recent reads and why they should be ours.