April Reads

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

This book about eating disorders is beautifully written, painful, and riveting. By the end of reading it, I was terribly upset and really, really angry. I’m not sure I’ll have the courage to write about why I was so angry, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth a read. It really is – but it also holds nothing back and requires a fair amount of courage from the reader, I think.

Jaran by Kate Elliott

I’ve discovered that in some ways, I’m sorrily under-read in the fiction department. Not my fault, really – after all, twenty years of my life were devoted to Mozart, Schubert, Monteverdi, Fauré, and Schumann, and I consider that my eduction in poetry. But, I’ve got some catching up to do. Fortunately, I have many helpful friends who are more than willing to point me towards great fiction. This book was recommended to me by Ms. Agent, and though I had a bit of trouble getting into it, I’m soooo glad I stuck with it. Great world building, great story telling, and memorable characters. Also, horses!

Stargazer by Claudia Gray

I openly admit that vampires aren’t my thing, but I really enjoyed the first novel in this series and I enjoyed this one even more. A couple of the scenes had me fanning myself a little (oo la la! Steamy!) and my only complaint is that the novel was too short. I’m pouting that I have to wait for the sequel.

The Way He Lived by Emily Wing Smith

Hmm. Shari Green passed this one on to me. The book has an interesting structure – six stories told from six different points of view, all sharing the common element of a boy the characters knew who died prior to the opening of the story. While I thought the concept was really interesting, I’m not sure it all came together. Some of the stories lacked a strong sense of voice and at the end, I was left feeling, “And….so?” However, the story has left me mulling structure and voice, so maybe it was more successful than I initially thought? Or, maybe not. I’m leaning towards the not option at the moment.

The Garden of Eve by K.L. Going

I have a fascination with stories that have dead people in them. This one has a dead mother, a dead little boy, a cemetery, dead apple trees – all the fixings for a suitably creepy story. I like creepy kids’ books, what can I say?

Unfortunately, the creep factor got lost along the way and instead, the story turned a bit fluffy-bunny at the end. That doesn’t mean I don’t like happy endings, because I do, but I felt the author intruded a little too much, and because of that, the story veered awfully close to that line where a story ceases to be a story and becomes a lecture, which is too bad.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Now, this one was high on the creep factor and never let up. The ending was freakin’ scary, I tell you – zombies! Zombies everywhere! And, what I really liked was that these zombies were horrible – not a bit of kitsch to be seen. While the opening half of the story seemed a little slow at times (that’s a really picky criticism though), the latter half was relentless and by the time I got to the end (I couldn’t put this one down), I felt as browbeaten and beleaguered as the main character. Plus, I though the author was gutsy in her treatment of the characters (I don’t want to say how because I don’t want to give away the ending) and the choices she made for them. Plus, did I mention how scared I was? I was! Very scared!

So, onto May. On deck, Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay and The Cleft by Doris Lessing and then, maybe something light. Dunno what, but I’m open to suggestions!

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