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.

Advertisements

14 responses to “Books In Review

  1. Wow Cate, you have been busy reading. I’m in the same mode now, minus the editing. I’ve just been working and reading. Hmmm, I might have to look at The Graveyard Book for my kiddo. He might like it.

  2. Just added The Pact to my reading list! 🙂

  3. jmartinlibrarian

    Phew, I’m totally impressed at how many good reads you’ve taken on lately.

    I love The Graveyard Book. Neil Gaiman is my favorite author and GB ranks right up there with his best tales.

  4. I am also impressed by your reading prowess. I don’t have anything to recommend at the moment because I’m reading books that are so bad they’re good. ^_^

    • Barbara,

      I left the not so great books off my list. I only passed along the ones I enjoyed, as I don’t ever want to bad mouth an author. I would hate how that feels and want no part in doing it to someone else.

      Enjoy your reads ^_ —

  5. Oh man, do I need to get back in the habit of reading before bed again! I’m obviously missing out on some great books!

    • Christina,

      You may be missing out on reading some great books, but you have a very important hand in putting some great books on the shelves. I would love even a fraction of your artistic ability.

  6. Interesting. I’m also currently reading a Neil Gaiman novel by the name of Neverwhere. I’m loving it. It is bringing me back to the unbelievable world of fantasy & sci-fi. A much needed dose, I might add, during a quite recent trend toward more real-world believable paranormal stories.

  7. Wow – those are some great books. My daughter loves Picoult’s books!

    I just finished Catching Fire (Hunger Games #2) last night and loved it. Can’t wait for Mocking Jay now.

    • The Pact was great–made me cry. What I love about her books is that she tackles such controversial, but potentially possible, issues that you can’t help but look around your perfect little life and wonder…

      Don’t you love Suzanne Collins? I have been waiting–rather impatiently I might add–for Mocking Jay since last fall. Time can’t go fast enough before her third book comes out. My DD, her bestie and I are thinking about becoming professional stalkers. We might track Suzanne down for a nearby book signing if it’s ever possible. She is da bomb!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s