Monday, May 10, 2010

Graceling by Kristin Cashore
A 2011 Abraham Lincoln Book

The 2011 Abraham Lincoln Books are a kind of best books of the year for teen readers. I've discovered that there are a lot of great children and young adult books. They are usually quick reads, which is great for a busy Mom, plus they usually end with a happy ending or at least something not depressing. There is enough to be depressed about in the world. Books are my escape--I want it to be happy! The added bonus is that you know what your children are reading and can discuss your favorites with them. It's a great bonding time.

I enjoyed this book. I liked the charectors and the situations. I liked that the main character was a strong, independent women, but I have a few reservations. The heroine stated throughout the book that she wouldn't marry, but she never stated why. It seemed weird to me. The book left the main characters' situation unresolved and I found myself looking forward to the next book in the series, however, I discovered that the heroine and hero I was interested in weren’t going to be in the next book. Instead it was about an evil character I did NOT want to learn more about.

Succubus Shadows by Richelle Mead
Book 5 in the Georgina Kincaid, Succubus series.

This is definitely an adult book. It is an easy, quick read, though. I love Richelle Mead's lively, quirky characters and unique situations. The series is fantasy Romance, both genres I love. The tension between a soul-steeling, demonic temptress, who is really kind-hearted, and the human she loves, but can't ever even kiss is great. I always finish the books immediately wanting to know more.

A Promise of Hope by Amy Clipston
Book 2 in the Kauffman Amish Bakery Series

This is a Christian, fiction book. I like to read Amish, religious, fiction because it takes the reader to a simple, wholesome, kinder way of living. The Christian part is a good reminder of how to live your faith on a daily basis. That said, I found this book a bit boring. It was last summer when I read book 1, A Gift of Grace, and I found I couldn't remember the characters or the situations. Plus I kept confusing this series with another Amish series I read. In this book, the main character has just lost her husband and the book spends way too much time whining over that loss. Overall--It was okay, but not great.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
A 2011 Abraham Lincoln Book

I love this book. It takes the reader to a place not to many of us know much about--a modern day Indian reservation. The book is about a boy in high school's quest to get a good education and basically survive life on the reservation. It can be sad and depressing in parts, but is told with such skill that it leaves the reader engrossed and wanting to know more. It reminded me of Angela’s Ashes in that way.

Burned by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Book 7 in the House of the Night Series

This is a series marketed to teen readers. It is a vampire book, but I find it to be more about Earth Spirituality and Goddess worship than vampires. In the series, some kids, at about high school age, start transforming into vampires. They then have to leave regular school and attend classes at the house of the night. The women at the house of the night serve the high positions with the men as their devoted protectors/followers. I like the devotion the heroes in the story have to the heroine, the strong friendships between the main characters, and the fun exchanges. The story is basically good vs. evil. This book, while good, left me feeling a bit unfulfilled. It seems to be drawing the story out a bit too long. Just get on with the thrilling conclusion!

Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris
Book 10 in the Sookie Stackhouse Series

Sookie Stackhouse novels are adult, vampire, fantasy. They have spawned the HBO series, True Blood. I am completely obsessed with this series. I love the quirky, sparkly cover art, the characters, and mostly Sookie herself. The extraordinary situations she finds herself in are exciting and fun to read. Sookie just wants to be a regular person, get married, and have kids, but her mind reading talent/disability keeps her from that and draws her into the world of the supernatural. Sookie is strong and weak, ordinary and unusual, good and often not good and always entertaining. In this installment, vampire politics continue to be an issue along with the Fae and of course Sookie's life is endangered again. I'd like a bit more romance for Sookie, but overall VERY entertaining! When does Book 11 come out?

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