July 10th, 2011

ellie bike

Book Reports (66-69)...

For those of you who happened to Google your title and ended up here, please know that one star is not a bad thing in Robin's world -- just the fact that I picked up your book and started it means that somewhere it's getting good buzz (or that your blurb was really cool). 'R' means it's a re-read. Different colored font means it's an ARC for 2011 (and I'll try to remember to put the month it's released, as well). I'm linking to Tattered Cover's pages for the ARCs.

If you'd like to see my year-to-date four-plus- and five-star recommendations, visit Robin ReadsnWrites.

* I didn't make it beyond the first 20 pages.
** I made it to the end, but I either skimmed or skipped large sections.
*** I might have skipped/skimmed, but I liked it and might read it again.
**** I read at least 95% of the book and it was good -- probably will be reread.
***** I read every word, and I loved it! A favorite and definite reread.

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The Demon's Surrender, by Sarah Rees Brennan sarahtales ***** I so enjoyed this final book in the trilogy. At first, I struggled to get into it because I'd been hoping it would be in Jamie's POV (um, even though I now recall reading that it wouldn't be) -- BUT once I got into it, I really liked it! Sara is so good with humor and tension and magical world building...it was a joy :) The story: Sin and Mae are competing with each other to lead the Goblin Market, and Sin discovers that she has deeper feelings than she realized before for Mae's friends Alan and Nick. At the same time, she fears Mae's younger brother Jamie, who has joined the Magicians and appears to be consumed with power (and greedy for it). Sin fears when she'll have to sacrifice, but it's not her sacrifices which matter in the end. (YA urban fantasy, released 6/11, publisher: Margaret K. McElderry)

Uncommon Criminals, by Ally Carter ***** I'm such a fan of Carter's books -- and this was no exception! I really enjoyed the second in her Heist Society series. It's not only Kat but the entire group which make this story sing! Of course, I can't help but root for Hale, and I also love Gabrielle and the twins -- and the return of an old 'friend' adds even more tension, in my opinion. The story: Kat has been stealing art to return to those who should own it, but now she's been asked to steal the Cleopatra Emerald -- and when things appear to go off without a hitch, Kat learns she's been had...and that's so not on. (YA adventure, released 6/11, publisher: Disney-Hyperion)

Forbidden, by Tabitha Suzuma ** This was certainly compelling, but the subject matter is rather squicky to me. I either felt overwhelmed with pity or mild disgust throughout the book, and although I read the last third pretty carefully, I skipped over the middle section where the two MCs 'fell in love' because I didn't want to read about it. I recall hearing that this subject is the new vampire, but I have to admit I don't get it -- nor do I really want to! If that's true, however, I'm sure this book will be well received. It's definitely well written. The story: Lochie and Maya have always felt (and acted) like more than siblings. It's no wonder with all they've had to do to keep their younger sibs safe when their mother (and absentee divorced dad) neglect them all. But when they begin to grow even closer and experiment with romance between the two of them, they set events into motion which will alter the direction of their family forever. (YA contemporary, released 7/11, publisher: Simon Pulse)

Human.4, by Mike A. Lancaster ****+ I enjoyed this very much! I love the creepy blend of sci fi and mild horror (not in a gross way, but more in the mood). It's a fast, easy read, and I liked the pacing, as well. I also enjoyed the mystery which unfolded throughout the book -- the main mystery as well as the relational mysteries. Even though the ending was a tad nebulous, I liked how the characterization hinted strongly at what had happened. The story: Kyle lets one of his friends hypnotize him at the local talent show, but when he wakes up, he discovers that the rest of the village (with the exception of the four who were being hynotized) have changed -- drastically. Kyle and the other three band together to find out what happened to them and to their now-estranged families...and what they learn changes their outlook on their past and their future. (YA science fiction, released 3/11, publisher: Egmont USA)

On Deck: Hourglass and a number of e-galleys.