October 8th, 2011

pine snow

Book Reports (90-92)...

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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Awaken, by Katie Kacvinsky ***** Well, after all my ranting about not finding a book which could really suck me in, this one did! First off, I really like Madeliene, the MC. She's spunky and stubborn and fiercely loyal (even to those who don't quite deserve it). Second, I thought the premise was unique enough (in a world filled with dystopic books) to stick with throughout the book. In fact, it got more interesting to me as it went on (I sometimes find that dystopics have a great hook but it's built on a shaky foundation). Third, Justin (the rebel leader) was portrayed through Madeliene's eyes so well -- he was confident and passionate and vulnerable and dedicated...their experiences together were intense and lovely and pretty realistic (imo). I loved that Madeliene was challenged in her ways of thinking and that she grew and matured -- but she also remained true to intrinsic ideas she held dear. And I especially loved how she challenged Justin in his ways of thinking. I think it's neat that I could see the truth in both their eyes, even though it seems contradictory some of the time. I'm hoping there will be a sequel, even though (for me), I could see this ending right where it did...I'm a sap for a happy ending, and I think the two of them finding a way through the muddle in their world and through their own opposing ideals for individual humans would be fantastic! The story: Madeliene is trapped in her father's world of digital control. After rebelling a few years earlier, she's now on 'probation' until she turns 18. But now, with less than a year left, she's growing impatient with his leash -- and when an online acquaintance asks her to meet him in a face-to-face study group (unheard-of these days), Madeliene agrees to go...and everything changes. She quickly learns to crave experiencing things in person, rather than online. And the rebellion she once knew makes its way to the surface again...though everything is complicated by her growing feelings for Justin, his insistence that he needs to go along his path alone, and her father's growing power in the digital world. (YA Science Fiction, released 5/11, publisher: Houghton Mifflin)

Veil of Night, by Linda Howard ***** (R) I loved this just as much the second time through. I'm so glad I have some of these books which are simply escapes! (Adult Romantic Suspense, released 8/10, publisher: Ballantine Books)

Legacy, by Molly Cochran **+ I was very intrigued when I started this, but as the world-building began, it became more confusing than interesting. Katy was an interesting character, but I was frustrated with how the others in the book treated her (with no explanation), and it also frustrated me that she let them get away with it. Plus, although her love interest was obviously good looking, I couldn't understand why she'd continue to be attracted to him when he treated her rudely. When things finally changed between them, it was too sudden (for my personal taste), and like someone had flipped a switch, Peter suddenly found her amazing (and yes, she did do something to show her real character, but still...). Anyway, I kind of lost interest about halfway through, flipped to the end to see how it all turned out (that part sounded pretty sweet), and put it aside. The story: Katy is sent off to a boarding school by her dad (and his girlfriend, whom Katy hates). Once there, she realizes that not only does everyone seem to know her, they also hate her. However, during the Halloween celebration when she protects the mentally challenged younger brother of the ringleader of those who hate her, her enemies assume she actually caused the harm...except for Peter (the ringleader). (I stopped soon after this, when Peter suddenly decides she's okay -- and yeah, she protected his brother but...well, it was still too sudden for my taste.) *If you like magical stories, especially those with Old Magic (and a society built of magical families), this would probably interest you. Those who find voodoo interesting would probably also be intrigued. (YA paranormal, releases 12/11, publisher: Simon & Schuster)

On Deck: I got a couple of e-galleys that sound pretty interesting, so I think I'll give those a try next. I'm definitely going with whatever holds my interest, however (and that might mean some more rereading).