* 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 -- definitely will be reread.
***** I read every word, and I loved it! A favorite.
My Most Excellent Year, by Steve Kluger ***** As I mentioned earlier this week, I really love this book! With multiple POVs (three -- two boys and a girl), I found the story intriguing and the pace strong. Two of the three are characters of color (Ale is Latina and Augie is Asian), and Augie is gay. I loved all of them (and want to meet them, hehe) -- Augie's passion for life is wonderful to read, and TC's compassion and determination touched me. The story: Three teens share the tale of their most excellent year, a year where they learned about love, friendship, family, and community. (YA, POC challenge, GLBT)
Dreaming Anastasia, by Joy Preble *** I liked the history in this, and I liked Ethan (who wouldn't?). Anne showed nice courage too...but the magic seemed to alternate between confusing and convenient (to me), and the ending didn't quite gel. It was definitely an intriguing book, and the tension of the mystery kept me reading. The story: Anne begins having strange dreams, but that's nothing next to a boy named Ethan, who claims Anne can save the girl in the dreams -- Anastasia, the supposedly long-dead Russian princess. (YA, paranormal?)
Blood Ties, by Kay Hooper **** This is the third in the 'blood trilogy'. Of course, many of the characters are in other books, all centered on Noah and/or Miranda and their special unit of paranormals at the FBI. Sometimes these can be a little too graphic for me (violence-wise), but I'm pretty good at skimming those sections and turning off my inner movie screen. I really like the premise of psychic agents, and other than the gory parts, I like the mysteries too. (adult paranormal suspense)
Voices of Dragons, by Carrie Vaughn ***** This was a very enjoyable book. I liked Kay, the MC. She's an interesting blend of innocence and determination. I thought the romance between her and her good friend Jon was sweet (and a nice change from some of the more angsty relationships). I really liked the friendship between Kay and Artegal, and I can't wait for the next one. The story: Kay lives right on the border between human lands and dragon lands -- and one day, when she accidentally crosses it, she's rescued by a dragon who talks to her of the future, the past, and how they can perhaps change things together. (YA fantasy, comes out 3/10)
Compromised, by Heidi Ayarbe ***+ This was a tough read for me. Maya reminds me too much of the older sister of a couple of boys I worked with at a camp for abused kids. I got to work with the boys two years in a row, but their sister was too old for the camp -- and by the second year, she'd run away from the foster home where she was placed, and neither boy knew if she was dead or alive. Maya's story ends with hope (for her, at least), but watching her go through the horror of homelessness is challenging. The story: When Maya's dad, a con artist, is arrested, Maya is taken to child services and put into the system. After struggling in an orphanage for a while, she runs away before she's placed with adults she doesn't like -- and one of the other girls from the orphanage joins her, forming an unlikely but strong friendship. (YA, comes out 5/10)