* 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.
The Mermaid's Mirror, by L.K. Madigan ****+ It amazes me how Lisa can suck me into a book which doesn't have a strong romantic element -- well, I should rephrase that. There is definitely a strong romantic element (a number of them) here, but it's not the focus. The focus is Lena and her unusual past colliding with her desire for a 'normal' present. I just really like Lena, which kept me hooked in the story throughout (even though the magical part seemed very dreamlike to me). The story: Lena wants to surf, but her dad won't teach her (even though he was an excellent surfer years before) -- he won't even go into the water. But when Lena begins 'sleep walking' to the beach and starts seeing strange people and creatures in the water (could they be mermaids?), she decides she must discover the truth about her biological mom and the secrets her dad holds in his heart. (YA contemporary fantasy?, released 10/10, publisher: Houghton Mifflin)
Flash Burnout, by L.K. Madigan ***** Wow! This is an excellent, excellent book! I loved so many things about it -- the photography woven throughout; Blake's humor; the beautiful awareness that often life isn't about 'right' choices versus 'wrong' choices, but simply choices which have consequences that aren't always foreseen; the subtle undertones of minor characters (and the gentle glimpse into their stories)...just, wow! This book reminds me of one of my favorite movies Love, Actually because of the many views of love (and what it means to love). I can't wait until my son is old enough to appreciate this! (YA, releases 10/09)
She's a beautiful writer, a beautiful person. If you haven't read them yet -- or even if you have but don't own them yourself, check out the contest!