I’ve read quite a few books since Christmas. My loved ones were under strict orders to get me MATCHED and ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, and they didn’t disappoint. Then I made the mistake of requesting all the books I hadn’t wanted to request before Christmas right after Christmas, and they all came at once. So here’s a reading roundup of all the stuff I’ve read in the rough order I read it, with a few thoughts on each.
1. ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins I thought this book was more than worthy of all the buzz it’s gotten. The only reason I didn’t officially recommend it is because the characters engage in some activities that I would never want, say, my kids to do, and I didn’t want somebody picking up the book on my recommendation and then coming back and saying, “But these kids drank beer! And they kissed a lot!” So the kids drink. And they kiss a lot. But other than that, ANNA was a great read.
2. BEHEMOTH by Scott Westerfeld I think I meant to recommend this book and just never got around to it. Like LEVIATHAN, the first book in the series (which I did recommend about this time last year), BEHEMOTH took some time to get going, but the world and characters were as lush and well-developed as I remembered.
3. THREE RIVERS RISING by Jame Richards I wrote a recommendation for this book last month, right after I finished it. In sum, I thought Ms. Richards nailed the flood itself, but I didn’t see the reason for the verse in this novel-in-verse.
4. TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson This is the latest in the acclaimed Wheel of Time series, a set of sprawling epic fantasies that manage to pay homage to J.R.R. Tolkien without completely plagiarizing him. Robert Jordan passed away before he finished it, so his wife commissioned Brandon Sanderson to do just that. I enjoyed TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT, but probably not quite as much as THE GATHERING STORM, the previous book in the series and the first written by Sanderson. Only one more book to go!
5. THE CLOCKWORK THREE by Matthew Kirby I picked up this book after reading Myrna’s recommendation and after remembering that the agent who sold it, Stephen Fraser, was one of the agents I interviewed last year. Although I kept waiting for the plot to develop into something bigger than it did, I enjoyed the world Mr. Kirby created and his cast of characters.
6. THE CANDIDATES by Inara Scott This is another one of those boarding-school-for-kids-with-superpowers kinds of books. I found it perfectly adequate. If you enjoy that sort of thing, you’ll probably like this one.
7. PLAIN KATE by Erin Bow Plain Kate is the daughter of a woodcarver, and her unearthly skill in that craft leads several of the townspeople to believe she is, in fact, a witch. The world, which reminded me of nineteenth-century Eastern Europe, was both vivid and a little sickening. PLAIN KATE was beautiful in its prose, but haunting and slightly disturbing in some of its subject matter (which, again, is the only reason I didn’t recommend it).
8. DEAD BEAUTIFUL by Yvonne Woon And here we have another boarding-school-for-kids-with-weird-things-going-on book. I thought both the boarding school and the romance in this story were more fully fleshed out, but in spite of that (or maybe because of it), DEAD BEAUTIFUL felt too derivative for me, too Harry Potter meets Twilight (right down to some of the descriptions of the male lead).
9. THE REPLACEMENT by Brenna Yovanoff If someone ever makes this book into a movie, it better be Tim Burton. Ms. Yovanoff’s imagery and description were just so Burtonesque, but not in a bad way. That said, this was the only book of the ten I didn’t finish. Although the writing was quite good, it just wasn’t my cup of tea.
10. MATCHED by Ally Condie Oh, the long-awaited MATCHED. I saved this one for last because I was so excited for it, and in some ways, it didn’t disappoint--but in other ways, it did. Honey Bear actually read this one first, and he didn’t like it much at all. I liked it more than he did, but I could sympathize with his major gripe: There’s not a lot of plot in this book. If you’re expecting things to happen, you should probably just read the SparkNotes and hunker down to wait for CROSSED.
Well, there you have it. Ten books in a little more than six weeks. I’m exhausted, but in a good way:)
What have you been reading lately?