Archive for December, 2011

To celebrate finishing my YA/Sci Fi project (and turning it over to my wonderful agent!), I treated myself to a reading binge over Thanksgiving break. That delicious read-a-thon inspired me to compile a list of great books, just in time for the holidays.

I give you my list!

Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Six Second Summary: Emerson’s visions aren’t hallucinations. She isn’t seeing ghosts, either.  Does the mysterious Hourglass organization have all the answers? Michael and Kaleb need her help to untangle the past, present, and future.

I loved it because: McEntire gives Em a voice full of humor, heartbreak and longing. Hourglass is a bittersweet, twisty tale that’s sure to enchant Young Adult readers and anyone craving swoon-worthy(!) romance.

Shelve it between: Falling Under by Gwen Hayes and Paranormalcy by Kiersten White, two equally engaging YA paranormals.

All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin

Six Second Summary: Anya Balanchine, the daughter of a dead mafia boss, is out of options. In a bleak future where resources are running out and chocolate and coffee are banned, she’s torn between loyalty to her family and her heart, which just happens to belong to the assistant DA’s son.

I loved it because: Zevin captivates with splashes of noir and honest, unforgettable characters. Anya is one of my favorite new heroines and All These Things I’ve Done is anything but your typical dystopian.

Shelve it between: Ship Breaker by  Paolo Bacigalupi and Black Cat by Holly Black, alternate worlds with dark, sparkling heroes and villains.

Stolen by Lucy Christopher

Six Second Summary: When Ty, a handsome yet troubled young man, kidnaps Gemma, the wildlands of Australia become her home and her prison. After stalking Gemma for years, Ty is determined to capture her heart, but his obsession threatens to destroy them both.

I loved it because: This book nearly destroyed me. I repeat, DESTROYED ME. The stellar writing, the terrifying arc, the devastating yet inexorable conclusion gripped me like a brain boiling fever. Stockholm Syndrome, thy name is Stolen. Bravo, Lucy Christopher.

Shelve it next to: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher and You by Charles Benoit, two more books that absolutely shattered me.

Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George

Six Second Summary: More than anyone else, Princess Celie understands Castle Glower. Something mysterious and magic holds the key to its shifting rooms and disappearing passageways. When Celie’s parents vanish after an attack, she and her siblings must rely on the castle to help them put things to right.

I loved it because: Celie’s story pushed back the years and whisked me back to a place where wardrobes lead to other lands and knights become friends with reluctant dragons. Tuesdays at the Castle is destined to be a classic, not only for middle grader readers, but for magic bean buyers of all ages.

Shelve it between: Howl’s Moving Castle by Diane Wynne Jones and Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Five Second Summary: Strangers gasp at the creatures sketched in Karou’s notebook. They smile at her beautiful lies. Turns out there are secrets beyond even her own spellbinding reach. Brimstone never told her the truth about herself–about war torn Elsewhere, magic wishes or dangerous angels.

I loved it because: Smoke and Bone hooked me with an amazing premise, and kept me furiously turning pages with elegant prose and complex, expertly woven twists. And the romance! The star-crossed loves of Smoke and Bone are divinely wrought, as surely as Romeo and Juliet.

Shelve it between: Stardust by Neil Gaiman and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, two more of my all time favorite reads.

Hungry for more? Try this recipe for Creamy, Dreamy No Fail Fudge. Another sure bet for this season!