Friday, January 30, 2015

2015 book 30

Jane Casey's How to Fall
Soooo this is a YA mystery about a teenage girl who goes with her mom to her mom's small hometown for the first time ever (her mother left under mildly mysterious circumstances), a year after one of her cousins died, also mysteriously. She, of course, looks EXACTLY like her dead cousin (their moms /are/ identical twins) and gets very curious about how she died, uncovering all sorts of unsavory details and teen drama. There is a super creepy adult male (I actually said "GROSS" out loud at one point after an especially creepy moment) and some cute teen boys, not to mention her other cousins (who, surprisingly, don't really come into play--the youngest one, Tom, is only mentioned like twice) and a lot of vintage clothing. She IS a dumb teenage amateur investigator, so many of the things she does are annoyingly dumb, but Casey makes work pretty well. Great atmosphere, too. B+.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

2015 book 29

Rose Lerner's True Pretenses
Yes--this is it--I have found THE HOLY GRAIL--a historical romance that actually has A JEWISH MAIN CHARACTER. I mean, ok, sure, he's a con man, trying for one last big score so he can buy an army commission for his brother (who wants to get out of the con man game), but so what, he's JEWISH. (His childhood is straight out of Dickens, I swear.) (Lerner is also the only historical romance author I've read who has characters being historical accurately casually anti-Semitic.) Anyway, his plan involves marrying his brother off to a local woman whose money is tied up in her dowry, and she wants it for various political/charitable things to honor her dead Tory father and keep helping out the town (this is a sequel to the one I read yesterday, local politics are a big deal! It was nice to see those characters again, too). Obviously they fall for each other instead. BUT, I mean, there are so many complications and secrets and class and religious issues! Really strong writing and great characters and realistic-ish dilemmas and good stuff all around. A/A-.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

2015 book 28

Rose Lerner's Sweet Disorder
Well, this was a super cute (and super sexy) historical romance, involving a weird British law wherein a woman whose father can vote can, if he dies without sons, pass her vote to her husband (things are so much simpler with universal suffrage). So both the Whigs and the Tories are determined to marry off the young widow of the local newspaperman to get an additional vote for a tight race. (She's willing to go along with this as part of an effort to keep her sister--a pregnant teenager--safe.) Too bad she's much more interested in the Whig candidate's brother, who's trying to convince her to marry the local pastry-shop owner. He's got a whole interesting backstory too, with a terrible war wound and an overbearing family of wealthy politicians. It did take WAYYYYY too long for the woman to realize which local scumball knocked up/raped her sister, but things build to an especially satisfying conclusion once she does. A-.

Monday, January 26, 2015

2015 book 27

Courtney Milan's Trade Me
Contemporary romance is not a genre I'm super into, but Milan has written so many great and funny historical romances that I decided to check her latest book out. And it was also great and funny! It's about a couple of college students--Blake, the super rich son of a Steve-Jobs-type, who is way into Tina, a Chinese girl who is from a decidedly un-rich family. When she calls out his privilege in a class discussion, saying that he couldn't live her life for two weeks, he is like "hell yeah, I want to escape my life and my problem that I'm afraid to tell anyone about and also spend more time with you" and so they trade lives (more or less). The romance here is super cute and builds believably, there's a nicely diverse cast of characters and complicated families, and Milan does not flinch from discussion of race/class issues. It looks like the next book in this series will focus on Tina's best (trans) friend, and then the third will come back to these two. And I will definitely read it. A-.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

2015 book 26

Judith Flanders' A Murder of Magpies
Oh man, I really hope this is the first book in a series, because it's super charming and slyly funny and right up my alley. Our protagonist is an editor at a publishing house in London, working with an author friend who's written a major-league takedown of a big fashion company, showing that they've been doing some seriously illegal fraud stuff. A lot of people are pissed off about this book. And then . . . he disappears, and she's determined to find out what happened, with the help of a cute cop and her hardcore lawyer mom (there are lots of other great characters too--her hilarious assistant, eccentric neighbors, various other friends and coworkers . . . ). It's a really funny look not just the publishing industry, but lawyers, fashionistas, and more. A couple of plot points are easy to guess, but I really liked how things proceeded and especially how things wrapped up. Flanders is a really strong writer with a really nice fun and breezy tone--I definitely would recommend this to fellow book nerds and to cozy (and non-cozy) mystery readers. A/A-.

A review copy was provided by the publisher. This book will be released in February

2015 book 25

Rachel Hartman's Shadow Scale
YAYYYYY the sequel to Seraphina (and the conclusion to her story--this is the rare non-trilogy in YA fantasy) is here!! And it totally lives up to its predecessor! I want to avoid spoilers, so will just say that, as hinted in the first one, we start to meet other half-dragons--and find out more about the mysterious Jannoula. The romance stuff is once again on the back-burner because of various war and political issues, much to my relief, but I one hundred percent LOVED the way it turned out. Absolutely amazing. And the story here is pretty great--lots of history/information about the world is revealed, the writing is stellar, there's plenty of diversity of all kinds, several of my favorite characters from the Amy Unbounded graphic novel play a big part, and I cannot wait to read it again. I had some mixed feelings about the villain, but I think Hartman handles things well. Although this little series is wrapped up, it seems that Hartman is writing another book set in this world, and you can bet I'll be eagerly awaiting it. A/A-.

A review copy was provided by the publisher. This book will be released in March.

Friday, January 23, 2015

2015 book 24

Rachel Hartman's Seraphina
I HAD to reread this, because the sequel comes out soon and I need to properly appreciate it! Not that rereading it was a hardship or anything--I straight up love this story of a half-dragon girl dealing with her mixed heritage, falling for a prince, getting involved in politics, trying to stop a war, learning to use her talents, etc etc. I especially love that she and her love interest are SENSIBLE: crisis now, romance later. Plus the world-building here is just so good. I am so so excited the second book is finally coming out.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

2015 book 23

Lila Perl's Isabel's War
This is an interesting counterpoint to the Annika Thor books I read a couple weeks ago, since it also involves a Jewish girl fleeing Europe (in this case, Germany), heading to England on the Kindertransport and then to relatives in America. Unfortunately, that girl isn't the main character here--the titular Isabel is, and she's the WORST. All she does is whine about how WWII is inconveniencing her personally--and yes, I know that surely not all people were thrilled about making sacrifices, but come on, she is an unbearable and unrealistic brat. When she meets the refugee girl, she's initially jealous of her and, even though the girl becomes the lens through which she finds out about the horrors perpetrated by the Nazis, never really seems to care about her much (and is even fairly bratty about her towards the end). And the end just feels really abrupt. This is the first original Lizzie Skurnick book (the others are reissues), and it's good to have Lila Perl's last book in the world, but I found it a little disappointing. B.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

2015 book 22

MarcyKate Connolly's Monstrous
I'm not even sure where to start with this one, because the plot is kind of complicated. Basically, our protagonist is a girl--or was a girl, once, until she and her mother were killed by a wizard, and her father has now brought her back to life to seek revenge on said wizard. She's not quite the same, though--she's been given a venomous tail, raven wings, and cat's eyes and claws. Her mission is to protect the girls of the kingdom by stealing them back from the evil wizard. Of course, it becomes clear pretty early on to the reader that things are not quite right here, and things really get going once she figures that out herself. There's also a cute boy, a friendly dragon, and some nice girl-power moments. It's miiiiiiildly cheesy, but it is aimed at middle graders, so I can't really complain about that. Either way, it ends on a really nice note. B/B+.

A review copy was provided by the publisher. This book will be released in February.

2015 book 21

Tessa Dare's Say Yes to the Marquess
I've been trying to space out my historical romance reading to avoid burnout on the genre, but sometimes you don't have a choice about when library e-books become available! Anyway, in this one--second in Dare's latest series (which involves a guy leaving his many goddaughters each a castle when he dies), after Romancing the Duke--a young woman who's been engaged to a prominent young diplomat for EIGHT YEARS is fed up with waiting for him (and with all the jokes and gossip) and decides to call the marriage off (since she has a castle now, she doesn't need him). Too bad his younger brother is sick of being all responsible (he's much more interested in bare-knuckle boxing) and wants them to get married so his brother can come home and take over estate stuff. Which leads to an inevitable attraction between him and his brother's fiance as he tries to convince her to go ahead with things. Meanwhile, there's a younger sister of the brainiac variety--she's similar to other smart sisters of historical romance, but it feels like she's on the autism spectrum--and another (married) younger sister who is basically a Lydia. It's all very amusing. Plus, we learn pretty quickly that part of the reason the girl wants to cancel her wedding is so she can use her dowry to START A BREWERY. That is so awesome. This book also contains the line "Had someone attached a thread to one corner of his mouth, then secured the other end to her nipple, the effect of that smile could not have been more direct" which is both absolutely hilarious and evocative. (Tessa Dare can write a sexy scene, for sure.) There is also a charming elderly bulldog, so high marks all around. A-.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

2015 book 20

Mary Balogh's Only Enchanting
The fourth book in Balogh's Survivor's Club series is pretty charming--it centers on the guy who has a head injury in the war, and subsequently lost many of his memories (and gained a stammer). He's full of ironic good humor though, so of course he appreciates the practical young widow/artist he meets while visiting friends (the couple from the last book). I think what I most liked about this one is that a large portion takes place after their marriage, as they learn to be a married couple and work together to thwart title-grubbing exes and family gossip. I actually was hoping for even more of their happy married life admiring nature (or whatever) together, but there's actually a lengthy excerpt from the next book in the series at the end. Anyway, I liked this a lot. A-.

Monday, January 19, 2015

2015 book 19

Lisa Lutz's How to Start a Fire
Lutz's latest is a big departure from her earlier books--my beloved Spellman Files series (hilarious books about a family of PIs) and Heads You Lose--and has a bit more of a serious air. It focuses on three women who become friends in college--wild Anna, athletic and outdoorsy George, and quirky and quiet Kate--and their lives over the next twenty years, flashing back and forth in time to gradually reveal a couple of major secrets. I will say that the flashback structure is interesting and does a good job of building narrative tension, but I had a really hard time keeping the chronology straight. I also had some mixed feelings about how the various romances went--though certainly found most of them to be believable. And I did wish for a little more of Lutz's trademark humor (though she ends with a real zinger). Of course, that's not the sort of story Lutz is telling--I'd compare this much more to books by Courtney Sullivan than other books by Lutz. It's doing a similar thing, straddling the line between literary and women's fiction, to satisfying results. I really hope this is a breakout book for Lutz--I'd love to see her be a bigger name in the book world. A-/B+.

A review copy was provided by the publisher. This book will be released in May.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

2015 book 18

Kate Kae Myers' Inherit Midnight
I feel like this is a plot that's been done before--a bunch of spoiled, ungrateful relatives competing in a crazy world-wide contest to be the main heir of the family and get control of their diamond business--but it works pretty well here. I mean, the protagonist is way too much of a poor-little-rich-girl (she's the illegitimate daughter of one of the family sons and the nanny), and the dialogue is often awkward, but Myers keeps a fast pace going and the challenges are pretty intriguing. I will say that the inevitable romance totally gets in the way of the family drama and intriguing plot, and the story would have been MUCH stronger without it, but that seems to be the way of YA these days. I just kept wanting to shout, "stop making out and get your head in the game!" I think I need to reread The Westing Game as a palate cleanser. B/B+.

A review copy was provided by the publisher. This book will be released in February.

2015 book 17

Erika Johansen's The Invasion of the Tearling
The sequel to the very awesome Queen of the Tearling has arrived, and I really feel like Johansen is kind of stepping up her game with this one. I mean, the political stuff young queen Kelsea has to deal with is interesting enough (not to mention magic, dark creatures, various immortal people, and a few love interests), but what is REALLY compelling here is that Kelsea has started to have visions of a young woman who lived centuries ago--remember, this series is set in the future--in the waning days of a super-conservative America (in the 2080s, to be more precise). And I was really into Lily, struggling to deal with an abusive husband in a VERY anti-woman world, getting caught up in a bunch of stuff I won't reveal because spoilers, except to say we do find out more about William Tear,  the man who brought everyone over to . . . wherever they are, and created Kelsea's world. I really can't wait to have more of these questions answered, and it looks like the next book will be pretty action-packed. I LOVE THIS SERIES SO MUCH. Plus there are a couple of GREAT little girls, sisters--one is a psychic and one is super talented with a knife! Good stuff! A.

A review copy was provided by the publisher. This book will be released in June.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

2015 book 16

Tania James' The Tusk That Did the Damage
James' second novel--after the excellent Atlas of Unknowns--heads back to India, but this time her subject is elephant poaching (insert many sad-face emojis here). The story is told from the POVs of three narrators--a young woman, working on a documentary about an elephant rehab center; a young boy called "the poacher," who is . . . not actually a poacher; and AN EFFING ELEPHANT, an infamous one called "the Gravedigger," who has an EXTREMELY SAD history. Eventually these three stories converge, though not in the way you might think. I really liked each character's story and found this to be a sad, but touching, novel. Really strong writing and hopefully will get people up in arms to save the elephants! A-.

A review copy was provided by the publisher. This book will be released in March.

Friday, January 16, 2015

2015 book 15

Lexie Dunne's Superheroes Anonymous
I LOOOOOOVE novels about superheroes, and this is a pretty strong entry in the genre. It centers on a young woman named Gail in Chicago, nicknamed "Hostage Girl" for the many times supervillains have targets her in the belief that her boyfriend is the superhero who always turns up to rescue you. I won't say anything else about the plot, which has a few nice twists and turns, and will just say that I enjoyed this quite a bit and very much look forward to the sequel (this straight up ends on a cliffhanger). It reminded me quite a bit of Carrie Vaughn's After the Golden Age, and god knows I loved that one. A-.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

2015 book 14

Kate Bernheimer's The Complete Tales of Ketzia Gold
Bernheimer--perhaps best known for her writing and editing of new fairy tales--has actually written a series of three connected novels about the Gold sisters. Ketzia is the middle sister, and is pretty much trapped in her own head (her sanity is at least a little bit in doubt), in the midst of a collapsing marriage. I really like the way Bernheimer integrates European/Jewish folktales into the story, but it's all so disjointed. I mean, it's not hard to follow, and it's a smart way to reflect Ketzia's mental state, but it's not really an /easy/ read, especially toward the end when things just become depressing. I really felt like I was drowning in Ketzia's sadness. So I recognize the strength of the writing here, but did not totally enjoy it. B.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

2015 book 13

Annika Thor's The Deep Sea
The third book in Thor's series about the Steiner sisters may be the strongest yet, as Stephie is almost sixteen and dealing with more complicated life issues--religion, trying to stay in school to become a doctor, pregnant friends, tragedies, etc. Not to mention her relationship with Nellie. I'm so bummed the fourth one isn't available yet, and I have to wait god knows how long to find out what happens at the end of the war (this one takes place in 1943, so things are coming to a close). A-.

2015 book 12

Holly Black's The Darkest Part of the Forest
Black's latest is in the same vein as her Coldest Girl in Coldtown, though set in a small town rife with fairies (the mean/tricky kind from stories, though, not cutesy ones). Our protagonists are a pair of siblings who both are infatuated with the local tourist attraction, a fairy boy who's been sleeping in a glass coffin for decades--until he's suddenly freed. Fairy bargains, swords, enchanted music, monsters, and high school drama all come into play. The protagonist is annoyingly clueless about stuff involving her love interest, but I actually didn't mind the romance stuff here--it's fitting for a fairy tale. I always like in fairy tales when humans use their wits to win, and there's plenty of that here, along with some cool magical action scenes. Entertaining stuff. B+.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

2015 book 11

Katie Coyle's Vivian Apple at the End of the World
I admit to reading this with a growing sense of joy as I realized it was set in PITTSBURGH, my hometown. But it's even better than that: it's about a typical irreverent teenage girl whose newly devout parents are (apparently) Raptured up in a big ol' Rapture type thing. Vivian eventually decides to find out the truth by going on a road trip with her best friend and a cute mysterious boy (there's always one of those around). But things are pretty . . . post-apocalyptic. I mostly liked this a lot, though was not super interested in the romance when so many other things are going on! Is it really hard for publishers to market books about teenage girls that DON'T have a romance, or something? Coyle doesn't seem super invested in it, either, b/c everything else going on is so much bigger! Don't get me wrong, it's all mildly silly. But I'd read the sequel. B/B+.

2015 book 10

Annika Thor's The Lily Pond
The second book in Thor's series about the Steiner sisters focuses primarily on Stephie, attending grammar school away from the island, boarding with a wealthy family (whose older teenage son she has a huge crush on). Thor handles the historical issues deftly while making the story feel really personal to Stephie and her experience. I mean, it's a middle grade book, so the stakes are low (or as low as a Holocaust story where the main character's parents are Jews trapped in Vienna can be--but there's a lot of like, Stephie lies about having a boyfriend! going on). This one actually did feel kind of Anne of Green Gables to me, to boot. A-.

Monday, January 12, 2015

2015 book 9

Annika Thor's A Faraway Island
Translated from the Swedish, this story centers on two sisters--Stephie and Nellie--Jewish refugee children sent to Sweden after Germany invades Austria. In theory their parents will soon have visas to America and the whole family will emigrate, but . . . yeah. The girls are housed separately, but the younger Nellie acclimates much more quickly than Stephie (who is plagued by bad memories and racist bullies). Comparisons have been made to Anne of Green Gables, which I don't really see, besides the fact that there's a Marilla-type character and a Matthew-type character, and that both girls have braided hair. That's not a complaint--it's really well done and doesn't need to be something it's not. There's a really touching author's note at the end explaining the historical context and Thor's related background. This is the first of four, though only three are out in America so far. I'll definitely be checking out the others. A-.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

2015 book 8

Colette McBeth's The Life I Left Behind
This one is a little hard to describe, so let me preface my efforts by saying that it's really good. Anyway. A young journalist has been murdered, and her death bears a lot of similarities to a case of a woman who was ALMOST killed seven years ago--but who was very emotionally damaged by the attack. The police arrest the same guy, but there are some indicators someone else was actually behind both attacks. The book is primarily narrated by the dead girl, though there are also 3rd-person sections for the previous victim and for the detective working the case. Now, there are not a TON of suspects, and I correctly guessed who it was pretty early on, but that didn't make things any less intense or creepy. Really strong--and scary--story. A-.

A review copy was provided by the publisher. The official release date is in February, but the Kindle version seems to be available now.

Friday, January 09, 2015

2015 book 7

Andrew Smith's Grasshopper Jungle
My book club has been calling this one "the semen book" based on vague things we had heard about it, so you can bet I was not super excited to read it--THANKS, FYA, for forcing me to read a book by a DUDE. Especially one where the most common line was "It made me horny."* I mean, it's interesting that it's about a boy who is confused about his sexuality, in that he wants to sleep with/loves both his girlfriend and his best (guy) friend, but his constant thoughts about sex are almost like a parody of how teenage boys supposedly think.  But anyway, it's all normal stuff--at least until some terrible bully teenagers accidentally start a plague and the book turns into a SUPER INSANE APOCALYPSE OF BUGS! (I think it's unfair that the official description blames the protagonist and his friend.) Anyway, I was way more into it after that. Smith has a deft touch with the foreshadowing--and it's nice to have a little bit of humor to go with your giant man-eating bug apocalypse. I mean, it's deliberately repetitive, and the matter of fact narration can be a bit dry, but in general, I liked this MUCH more than I expected to. There is definitely a lot of semen-related talk though. A LOT. B+.

* I did a search and the word "horny" only appears 65 times ("only"?) but it feels like a lot more. I did not search for associated words like "horniness."

Thursday, January 08, 2015

2015 book 6

Rebecca Levene's Smiler's Fair
The first of a planned four-book series, this book is amazingly epic in scale, with eight POV characters, multiple gods, spanning what seems to be the entire world (well, as big as a fantasy world can be--it FEELS big). The story starts with a frankly horrifying home c-section, intended to save the unborn child prophesied to kill his father--but really he's the long dead moon god, reborn (I find it interesting that the moon god is male and the sun female in this universe when it's often the reverse in mythology. There's also some matriarchal society vs patriarchal society stuff that may or may not be related). Anyway, the discovery of the god's existence, as the eight main characters--the young god himself; a young male prostitute; a man seeking revenge for the slaughter of his people; a serial killer; an unwilling political bride; a prophet; a mage; and the bastard son of a king--all start to encounter each other and the moon god begins his rise. Which all sounds overly complicated, but this was super readable and interesting. It reminded me a little bit of N.K. Jemisin's Hundred Thousand Kingdoms trilogy, both in scope/theme and in terms of diversity (there is a LOT of racial diversity here, which is great, but only two of the eight POV characters are women, which kind of sucks). Really an interesting story and I'm excited to see where it goes next. A-.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

2015 book 5

Ha Jin's A Map of Betrayal
So this is the story of a Chinese-American woman, the daughter of an infamous spy, who gets a Fulbright to teach abroad in China for a semester, where she attempts to find out more about her father's life (and his first wife!). All that is interspersed with her father's spy activities from 1949 onward. I was really into everything about the culture and politics in China--both historical and current--but the woman's sections were kind of a weak point for me. Her narrative voice is overly matter-of-fact, so it's pretty dry reading. The dialogue, too, is kind of stilted, and everyone is just super dumb all of the time. I also found the ending a bit disappointing. SIGH. B.

Monday, January 05, 2015

2015 book 4

Elizabeth Wein's Black Dove, White Raven
I'm trying to work up a line about Elizabeth Wein's love of writing books about airplanes mixed with the old "boy, are my arms tired" joke, but just can't manage it. Feel free to submit your efforts in the comments below.

ANYWAY. Wein, author of one of my very very favorite books (Code Name Verity), has again written a book about a pair of lady pilot friends, though this one is very different. For one thing, the pilots are both American women, stunt fliers in the 1920s/1930s. For another, one is white, and one is black, and they are basically raising their children together as an adorable high-flying family unit--at least until Delia, the black woman, is killed in an accident. Her friend decides to fulfill Delia's dream of moving them all to Ethiopia (Delia's son Teo's father was Ethiopian) just as Haile Selassie is about to be coronated. Too bad Italy is also about to invade.

The first half moved a little bit slowly--it's all very INTERESTING, but it feels like educational YA fiction--and then, bam, a fact is revealed that will just BREAK YOUR HEART. The whole thing is framed as a letter to Selassie, begging him to help the children leave the country and go back to the US, interspersed with their flight logs/journals, school essays, and excerpts of the stories they wrote together as smaller children (the latter did not work for me, but the rest is fairly charming). And the descriptions of the war are very well done--Mussolini was even more of a jerk than I knew! Just a completely evil guy. Serious war crime alert. BUT there's also a bunch of stuff about the Ark of the Covenant that is pretttttty awesome and relevant to my interests. I really liked this AND learned a lot. I mean, it didn't get to Code Name Verity levels for me, but very few books ever do. B+.

A review copy was provided by the publisher. This book will be released in March.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

2015 book 3

E.K. Johnston's Prairie Fire
In the sequel to the VERY awesome Story of Owen, Owen and his bard join the military-like Oil Watch to get official training as dragon slayers, along with a bunch of new characters as compatriots. I really liked watching them learn and grow and make friends in this environment, especially considering the injuries bard Siobhan suffered in the previous book. And Johnston goes some places I REALLY didn't expect. I didn't love this one /quite/ as much as the first one, but it's a really solid follow-up. This book feels somewhat final, but I would love to see more stories set in this world--Siobhan's narrative voice is so engaging, and I feel like there's so much more to explore with the Oil Watch and her Youtube fame and whatnot. Just so much good stuff. A-.

A review copy was provided by the publisher. This book will be released in March.

Friday, January 02, 2015

2015 book 2

Aislinn Hunter's The World Before Us
OK, there's kind of a lot going on in this one, so I'll take it step by step:

Our main character is Jane, who:
--When she was 15, was babysitting a little girl who vanished in the woods, something that still haunts her;
--Has a Master's in archival processing and studies a long-closed mental institution and its records, particularly those involving a young woman who vanished in the same woods as the little girl;
--Currently works at a museum that is about to close due to lack of funding;
--Is having trouble dealing with the fact that the father of the aforementioned little girl is about to do a big speech at her museum;
--Has some minor family stuff going on.

The story is narrated by a pack of ghosts who have various ties to the above, and who follow Jane everywhere, hoping to glean clues about their identities. We also eventually get more information on the people studied by Jane and the girl's father, the enthusiast who founded the museum, his wife, and various scientist friends, as well as the inmates at the institution.  It's beautifully written and completely engaging. I did wish Jane picked up on one piece of information earlier, but in general, I really loved this. A/A-

A review copy was provided by the publisher. This book will be released in March.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

2015 book 1

Rebecca Stead's When You Reach Me
Picking a book to start the year with is a lot of pressure, but this one was on my mind because I just found out Stead has a new book coming out this summer. And, anyway, this is one of my very very very favorite books, so it feels like a great start to the year. This book has everything: friend issues, race/class issues, A Wrinkle in Time, game shows, time travel, sandwiches, great parental figures, and more. I still sob great wracking sobs every time I read it, in spite of knowing what's coming--or maybe because of it. Is there a more heartbreaking book than this? And yet, it's still so hopeful. My friend Keri tags her favorite books on Goodreads with "best beloved" and that is how I feel about When You Reach Me.