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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's book I want to read is:


Chloe’s older sister, Ruby, is the girl everyone looks to and longs for, who can’t be captured or caged. When a night with Ruby’s friends goes horribly wrong and Chloe discovers the dead body of her classmate London Hayes floating in the reservoir, Chloe is sent away from town and away from Ruby.

But Ruby will do anything to get her sister back, and when Chloe returns home two years later, a precarious and deadly balance waits. As Chloe flirts with the truth that Ruby has hidden deeply away, the fragile line between life and death is redrawn by the complex bonds of sisterhood.

Imaginary Girls is a masterfully distorted vision of family reminiscent of Shirley Jackson, laced with twists that beg for their secrets to be kept.

DOES NOT THAT SOUND AWESOME! Seriously. I love it love it love it. I've been excited about this one for . . . nearly a month. Yeah, that sounds underwhelming, but it doesn't come out until June 2011 so it's not like it's been knowaboutable (not a word!) for a while. Anyways, there are so many things awesome about this one. Plus the cover is totally freaking epic and the awesome Julie Strauss-Gabel is the editor! WHAT MORE COULD YOU WANT?!

Publishes with Dutton Children's Books on 14 June 2011.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I need to review more/Beautiful Creatures

I need to review more.

I haven't had time this month, due to NaNoWriMo (I still have about 1500 words to write today!), and the month prior . . . well, other than school I really haven't much of an excuse. There's been a lot going on, is all I can say.

Some caveats before I start the review:

(1) I can't think of a title for this review or the blog. So for now it's titleless. I hate all the old titles, so . . . yeah.

(2) Um, my Beautiful Creatures review has some cursing in it. I don't usually curse on this blog, but I was pissed while writing this one, so . . . yeah. If you don't like it, I'll sum the book up for you at the bottom of it, swearing-free. Same with spoilers -- again, at the bottom.

(3) Said review was posted on Goodreads as well, so it may have some references to this that are weird. Disregard them.

Beautiful Creatures (mild spoilers!)


(from flap)

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate [NOTE FROM REVIEWER: Though you might not be able to tell from the summary, Ethan is actually the main character. Go figure.], who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.


Ethan. Now, I know not everyone did. Some people--many on Goodreads, as a matter of fact--are all "He's not like a real teenage boy, he likes girly stuff and sounds like a woman, blah blah etcetera" and to them, I want to say: Fuck you. Stereotype much? Because honestly. The people who are saying this are generally not teenage boys, and being one, I have to say, your attempt to distance yourself from "paranormal trash" is annoying. Because that's what many detractors of this book are all about. Not all--some people honestly don't like it/hate it/think it's bad, and I respect that, everyone should have their own opinion, freedom of speech, rah, rah, rah, people who know me know that's one of my biggest things--but many of them. They don't want to be associated with anything 'Twilighty,' so when something comes along that the Media At Large considers 'Twilighty,' they scurry over to Goodreads to post scathing reviews about how THE GUYS ARE ALL PUSSY WHIPPED AND GAY and THE PLOT IS NONEXTANT and GO READ and GRAAH GIANT SQUID OF ANGER. I call this the Schema Effect, and will in all honesty refer to it as such tons of times throughout this review so remember that.

Okay, end rant. But honestly, I think just because Ethan liked stuff that the status quo said was off-limits and had a tendency to sound rather mature doesn't mean he's 'unrealistic.' And anyone who believes that, in my opinion, is bullshitting themselves.

Okay, maybe end rant now.

But really. He was an awesome character and I liked him. On with the show.

The writing style. If you'd given me the book w/o telling me it was written by 2 authors I would never have suspected a thing. It really melded together, which was good because I LOVED IT. The writing was just . . . good. At times a bit choppy, but that was tied in with the pacing (see below). The authors, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, have a real gift for detail, and they only go into over-detail about clothes once or twice (the only part of the book I found a bit unrealistic, though that's just my opinion and you can obviously have your own). In summation, the writing just made it that much easier for me to practically inhale huge chunks of the book at a time. (And I mean huge. Like, 75 pages in one sitting. Usually I don't favor reading TONS AT ONCE but it was impossible because this book is ADDICTIVE!)

The mythology, for lack of a better word. And you know I'm lacking one because that's a really bad word to use. : ) I liked how the authors kind of did a spin on existing supernatural creatures--with Macon, for instance, and all the Sybils and Thurmaturges and whatever Aunt Del was and the Naturals and the Cataclysts. I liked it. (running out of words)


The LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT thing. I mean, I'm not sure that I disliked it, but it kind of irritated me. I admit, I'm a bit guilty of the Schema Effect--HYPOCRITE, I know, but hear me out. What I mean is that this happens in many paranormal books. Twilight counts even if it's not exactly first sight, because damn, if you believe that was a realistically formed relationship, see a therapist, please, or an analyst. (But not both -- Arrested Development references FTW!) Shiver counts too, because hey, IT DIDN'T COUNT WHEN YOU WERE DIFFERENT SPECIES. And on and on and on. I really wish someone would present a realistically formed relationship in paranormal YA, one that takes time to form, with or without a Sarah Dessen Plot Arc (Boy and Girl Meet, Grow Into Relationship, Get Into Argument, 'Split Up,' Girl Learns Very Important Life Lesson, Boy and Girl Have Touching Reunion Scene, Boy and Girl are Together. I love you, SD, but don't think we haven't noticed this in--like--six of your books. Maybe more).

The length, kind of. Because in some ways it was too long. I think this was more of an issue of pacing, though. January and November were COMPLETELY skipped over, which in some ways I didn't have a problem with, but the first week takes up maybe 200 pages, and they're already IN LOVE by then. I think if the authors had taken time to set up the relationship, weaving that into the plot, it would've seemed less choppy at times.

The ending. This ALMOST ruined it for me, made it a 3.5 or 4 star instead of a 4.5 star. But I loved it too much. Still, I kind of hated it in a way. ***SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS***

Basically, I really loved this book, and for a first novel it was really really really really good. (Morris Award finalist FTW!) Some problems with pacing, true, but overall--

Just read it already!!!

Read Beautiful Darkness, out now from Little Brown BYR.

Writing: 8/10
MC(s): 10/10
Other Characters: 8/10
Plot: 9/10
Ending: 5/10
Cover: 10/10

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

Cover? 5 out of 5 - It's brilliant.

Little, Brown BYR
December 1, 2009
576 pages

Bought in person at Barnes and Noble, but read the first 150ish pages in a book from my school library.