January 13th, 2013


Book Reports (10-11)...

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. Brackets mean it's an ARC (linked to Tattered Cover's book page) or e-galley.

If you'd like to see my recent four-plus- and five-star YA 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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Elemental, by Antony John **** This was an enjoyable read. I liked the MC, and I liked the growing mystery. I felt that some of the interpersonal relationships were a bit confusing, though, and I'm still confused (even by the end) about where Thomas's heart really lies. Plus, for those of us who are geographically challenged, the setting didn't gel for me...nor did I understand all the world-building. Still, I obviously liked it and felt compelled to stick with it. :) The story: Thomas and the others are some of the very few left after a huge plague wiped out most of the human population. They live on Hatteras Island, but during a storm, he and some of the other children are sent to Roanoake for safety. While there, pirates attack the adults, and soon Thomas and the others must find a way to not only keep themselves safe from the pirates (who appear to have a very specific agenda) but also to rescue their parents. Added to this is the growing mystery around Thomas and his lack of elemental abilities (all the others have special powers which allow them to light fires, catch food, forecast storms, etc). (YA dystopic/science fiction, released 11/12, publisher: Dial)

Courtship & Curses, by Marissa Doyle **** This was great fun! I enjoyed Marissa's other books too, so I was please to finally get my hands on this one. I love the historical setting (which is always quite accurate with Marissa), and the light yet intriguing plot is perfect for a winter day of reading. The MC, Sophie, is delightfully strong (emotionally and mentally) while still dealing with the after-effects of polio. I enjoyed her growing relationship with both Parthenope and Perrigrine (and aren't the names great?), and I thought the addition of magic was like a cherry on top. The story: Sophie is ready for her first Season in London, but she's unsure of her reception. Her family has good standing, but with her mother's and sister's death a few years before (from sickness, which the author's note reveals as polio), Sophie's crippled leg makes her very self-conscious. During her first ball, she gains attention from a number of people, and she also discovers a strange magical signature right after an accident almost seriously injures her father (who works with the War office). As Sophie's relationships grow with cousins Parthenope and Perrigrine, more 'accidents' cause Sophie's suspicions to grow, as well -- and soon, she's using her semi-reliable magic to try and solve the case. Will Perry be able to accept her abilities? And will she save the day? :) (YA paranormal historical, released 8/12, publisher: Henry Holt)

Currently Reading:...well, I'm still choosing between a nice group of books :)