I read 27 books this month (the 48 Hour Challenge helped…), which is nearly double my “usual” monthly total. Sometimes, I feel like I’m insane for reading SO much (not as many as some… I know that…). Other times — like this past weekend, when I was talking to the wife of one of Hubby’s friends (she’s an aspiring YA writer) — I realize how much I don’t know, how many books I haven’t read, and I wonder if there will ever be time enough to read them all.
Am I the only one who feels this way? (Probably not.)
Starting with the one worst:
Wintersmith (HarperTempest): “At 9, Tiffany Aching defeated the cruel Queen of Fairyland. At 11, she battled an ancient body-stealing evil. At 13, Tiffany faces a new challenge: a boy. And boys can be a bit of a problem when you’re thirteen. . . . But the Wintersmith isn’t exactly a boy. He is Winter itself—snow, gales, icicles—all of it. When he has a crush on Tiffany, he may make her roses out of ice, but his nature is blizzards and avalanches. And he wants Tiffany to stay in his gleaming, frozen world. Forever. Tiffany will need all her cunning to make it to Spring. She’ll also need her friends, from junior witches to the legendary Granny Weatherwax. They—Crivens! Tiffany will need the Wee Free Men too! She’ll have the help of the bravest, toughest, smelliest pictsies ever to be banished from Fairyland—whether she wants it or not. It’s going to be a cold, cold season, because if Tiffany doesn’t survive until Spring— —Spring won’t come.”
It’s not so bad, but it doesn’t really draw the reader in. It’s more dorky than anything, and this book is anything but dorky.
Whales on Stilts! (Harcourt, Inc.): “Monstrous Thrills! (Startling teeth! Cellos in fast cars! Photocopy repair!) Gruesome Chills! (Okay, maybe not that gruesome, but we’re trying to sell a book here.) Sidesplitting laughs! (Ouch. This is why my friend Bill wears a girdle). Swaying above them, outlined against the fresh morning sky, were the ominous shapes of the whales. They towered thirty feet high, their eyes glowing. They had spread their flukes. They drooled from their wet baleen. Lily stopped on her bike and stood for a second at the crest of a hill. She stared with horror at the scene of destruction down in the valley before her. The whales stepped on used car dealerships and a putt-putt golf course. They burned down trees in a trice with their laser-beam eyes. They stalked on rows through the countryside. They had to be stopped.”
I didn’t do this justice: the jacket flap cracked me up. Like the book.
Poison Study (Luna): “Choose: A quick death and hell or slow poison and hell. About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia. And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly’s Dust and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison. As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear.”
This is one of those books that, had I been browsing, I would have picked up because the jacket-flap copy is really intriguing. A good balance between being enticing and not revealing too much.
Wicked Lovely (HarperTeen): “Rule #3: Don’t stare at invisible faeries. Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in the mortal world. Aislinn fears their cruelty-especially if they learn of her Sight-and wishes she were as blind to their presence as other teens. Rule #2: Don’t speak to invisible faeries. Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer. Rule #1: Don’t ever attract their attention. But it’s too late. Keenan is the Summer King, who has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. His is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost-regardless of her plans or desires. Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working anymore, and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; everything. Faery intrigue, mortal love, and the clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in Melissa Marr’s stunning twenty-first-century faery tale.”
Again, a good balance of intriguing and not giving too much away.
Other books read this month:
Magickeepers: The Eternal Hourglass
Don’t Call Me a Crook!
How Not to be Popular
The Painter from Shangahi
The Chosen One
Here Lies Arthur
Hat Full of Sky
Manga Shakespeare: The Tempest
The Talented Clementine
Keturah and Lord Death
Tales from Outer Suburbia
Girl at Sea
The Talisman Ring
Alcatraz versus the Scrivener’s Bones