I don’t have a lot of time and there’s no internet at this beach house so I’m in a bar with free wifi. My life is sooooo hard, beer by my side.

Books Read: 13

Books Unfinished: 8

Books Re-read: 3

Books Bought: 2 ($25)

Books Borrowed: 15

Books Given: 7

Money made from selling books: 0

Favorites Books: Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn, Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente, The Thief and The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner, …. and Book ‘Em by me. I’m sneaking it in at the end there. Yes. I read my own book again and I still like it.

Just Like Heaven is the newest Julia Quinn. I love her. It was about a Smythe-Smith (they play instruments very badly and have been recurring characters in some of her other books). It’s a romance novel, obviously. It was cute, sweet, funny etc. I enjoyed it.

Deathless by Valente was kind of amazing. It’s an actual adult fiction novel and I don’t read many of those so if one actually drew me enough to finish, I feel it counts as a good recommendation. It was set in Russia and is all magical realism, historical, Russian folklore/myths. Basically it’s about a girl who is taken to the sort of underworld by a handsome man who rules it and enters in the battle between death and life and makes friends with mythical creatures. Overtones of Hades/Persephone obviously. Except her mother is not trying to get her back. She is very real and conflicted in her love/hate/love of the guy and her desire to live a normal life back in the real world. I thought she was a fool. Their relationship was super intense, yes, but they defined the rules and all that mattered was honesty. Everything else goes. And there was a lot of everything else. Next I shall read her The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making, which I am very excited about.

Megan Whalen Turner was recommended to me by Jocelyn who was reading the 4 book Queen’s Thief series. I got the first one from the library and devoured it. They’re a quartet from the 1990s that are YA fantasy. They’re fabulous. It took me a while to realize what I loved most about them (and it’s very much a writer/reader thing). So, in most books the narrator is either omniscient or transparent. Generally, all information is presented to you–the reader–and surprises are rare (maybe I’m reading the wrong books, but I read a lot of them and I am seldom surprised by plots). These books surprised me because she wrote them withholding information. Her characters might know something but they didn’t share it. They didn’t even hint at it most of the time. The reader would find out the truth only when it was revealed to other characters. There wasn’t internal monologuing or a lot of wishy-washy debate happening in these books. They were straightforward, action moving forward, and then surprise! You weren’t expecting that! The main character–Gen–was also fantastic. Super smart, tricky, secretive, snarky, Some of my favorite character traits in a fictional world. I highly recommend at least the first two in the quartet to anyone who likes great story-telling and interesting surprises. I didn’t love the third and fourth ones as much. The third one adds an additional perspective which I wasn’t fond of. And the fourth one is mostly about a side character from the first one which I was less interested in. But the first two I really really loved.

Least Favorite Books: A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford (started out good, switched writing style halfway through and became just terrible), Voices of Dragons by Carrie Vaughn (also started out good–I read almost the whole thing but then skimmed the end–but it was kind of….boring, I guess is the best word.), I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore (the movie is based on this and I was curious. I shouldn’t have been. Horribly written), Die For Me by Amy Plum (another in a string of recent angel/human tortured love tripe. Bad), and Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck (was all excited. Indian myth, tigers, circus, but soooo boring).

Favorite Quotes:

“A marriage is a private thing. It has its own wild laws and secret histories and savage acts, and what passes between married people is incomprehensible to outsiders. We look terrible to you, and severe, and you see our blood flying, but what we carry between us is hard won and we made it just as we wished it to be, just the color, just the shape.”

–from Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente.