* 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.
Impact, by Douglas Preston ****+ This was very entertaining -- perfect for a long, hot drive (in a car with no air conditioning). I like many of Preston's books, and this was no exception. I enjoyed the plot and the interactions between the characters. The story: When a meteroid hits near Maine, it sets off a chain of events which reveal something frightening about the universe. (adult, suspense/adventure, came out in January, publisher: Forge)
Palace Beautiful, by Sarah deFord, Williams pixiechick_sw ****+ It was really fun to read this as a book, after reading a few drafts along the way :) I like how Sadie seems a little more tween-ish in this version, while still keeping all the lovely prose and insights it's always had. The story: Sadie and her family move to Utah where Sadie discovers a journal in their house -- all the while learning to deal with her fears about her stepmom's pregnancy, her new friend from next door, and life. (upper MG, 80s historical, released this spring, publisher: Putnam)
13 to Life, by Shannon Delany ****+ I really enjoyed most things about this books, but there were a few minor 'glitches' which pulled me out of the story here and there. For me, having a MC set up a friend with a guy the MC likes out of guilt or some other emotion doesn't work. So that was a bit distracting, but overall, it's a very entertaining story with a cool twist on the usual werewolf ideas (even though many things are left unresolved). I'll definitely be picking up the next one in this series! The story: Jessie's still reeling from witnessing her mom's death during the summer as a new kid starts school in the fall (and she's assigned to be his guide). Before long, Jessie begins to suspect that Pietr might have something to do with the mysteries she's been researching for a while now -- and falling for him wasn't part of the plan. (YA urbanfantasy/mystery, just released this month, publisher: St. Martin's)
Linger, by Maggie Stiefvater m_stiefvater ***** I found this sequel to Shiver very compelling. I love the multi-POV (even though I wouldn't have been able to tell a couple of them apart without the chapter headings -- but since they had those, I had no problems knowing who was speaking), and one of my favorite parts is how the characters know how they feel about others (reserving the angst for things outside the initial 'I-like-you-and-you-like-me' stuff). I really liked the revelation at the end, as well (and I didn't see it coming -- the reasons behind it, at least). The story: Grace and Sam continue to get to know one another now that he's human even in the winter; but something strange is going on, and when Grace finds a dead wolf, they (along with Olivia and a new wolf, Cole) have to dig deeper into the causes of the changes. (YA urbanfantasy, just released, publisher: Scholastic)
The Healing Spell, by Kimberley Little kimberleylittle ***+ I thought the voice in this was excellent (even though Livie seemed younger than almost-twelve, at times). I'm not a MG person (as most of you know), but I'd say it's a poignant and magical story for kids that age -- and the use of setting (Louisiana bayou) is fantastic. I loved the hope clearly given at the end. The story: Livie's mom is in a coma, and her dad insists on bringing her home for the family to care for. Livie struggles with longing for her mom to get better (accounting for the title as she attempts a 'healing spell') while dealing with her own guilt over the accident (which put her mom in this place) and trying to be the best daughter she can be for her beloved daddy. (MG contemporary, just released, publisher: Scholastic)