Five books I read this week and one movie!
1) The new book by the author of the Artemis Fowl series totally blew me away.* Airman has this late nineteenth century/era of new innovations kind of a thing going on. Airman is so so good! It’s got swashbuckling, a princess, science, and a great main character. It’s way different than Artemis Fowl — it’s much more grounded in reality and less stylistic. And it is a little bit dark at times, but it’s worth it for the good stuff. It reminds me a little bit of Airborn by Kenneth Opel with it’s focus on flight, although with a kingdom off the coast of Ireland to save kind of twist.
2) Avi’s new book The Seer of Shadows is a ghost story and with two writers in my group writing stories with ghosts in them I’ve been drawn to read this kind of thing. I enjoyed this one — it has a nice classic ghost story feel to me. Set in the 1870’s when mysticism was all the rage, the main character is a logical thinker which was fun — you were right there with him not believing and than being convinced that ghosts really do exist.
3) I also read Better Off Famous? by Jane Mendlewhich which was just as super light and chick-lity as the premise would suggest — the main character gets discovered on the streets while visiting her aunt in New York to be on the new hot teen drama. It was a super quick read and had enough going on to keep me engaged, but I did wish there had been just a little bit more, you know? Like a scene would have this great exciting thing about to happen or a relationship starting to develop and the chapter would just end and the next chapter would pick up well after the event had taken place. I think it’s easy to do this, especially in early drafts, and I may have done it once or twice myself — it was helpful to read a book full of them to remind me how important it is to give the reader the full experience. So they don’t throw the book across the room in frustration (not that I did, I swear! it will get back to the library COMPLETELY pristine).
4) I’m reading City of Bones by Cassandra Clare right now. It’s SO good! I first saw it at Powell’s in Portland and I went back to re-look at it like four times (the blurbs by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier didn’t hurt), but I decided not to get it. As soon as I got home, I ordered it from the library just in case it was as good as I’d hoped it would be and feared it wasn’t going to be. I’m really picky about teen fantasy/magic realism/vampire type books nowadays because the market is so flooded with them. It isn’t like before where it had to be a pretty good book to be published since it wasn’t a super hot genre. You really have to dig through the junk to find the gems now. And this is one of them. The world is unique — it takes place in modern day New York, fairies etc exist, demons exist and Shadowhunters are special humans whose job it is to keep demons under control. See, it doesn’t sound super unique, which is probably why I didn’t pick it up right away, but the way the author has done it is. The world feels real and distinct. The added bonus is that there are, at current count, two super hot guys. Yes, it is a great book! There has already been some butt kicking too and lots of funny banter. I would highly highly recommend it to Twilight fans as well as fans of Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier (it’s no coincidence that they blurbed it). It’s different enough to feel like it’s own book, but similar enough to appeal to the same fans.
5) A friend and I bought The Year It Rained by Crescent Dragonwagon together and she read it first and loved it. It’s an older book, 1985 I think. I’ve been nibbling away at it this week, but haven’t gotten into it yet. It’s written by the daughter of Charlotte Zolotow and word on the street is that it’s semi-autobiographical. It’s hard not to be somewhat fascinated by Charlotte Zolotow living in Madison, WI. She has both an award and a lecture here, so you hear her talked about at least twice a year if not more. Since she isn’t here herself, she’s like this legend, larger than life. I first heard about the book on a blog and I’ve heard it’s heavily criticized, but I’m looking forward to diving into it.
6) And finally the best movie I saw this week (which is really sad since it was the WI Film Fest this week, and I was even in one of the movies that was shown, and I didn’t make it to any of them — but I had bronchitis!) was Kinky Boots! It was so funny. Maybe it’s my boot obsession, I don’t know, but it cracked me up. The boots were so over the top and I fell in love with the two main characters — how can you not love the two men who devoted themselves to making such fabulous boots?
Have a great weekend!
*apparently, it blew someone else in this house away too since he was up all night last night reading it!