Life before death.
Strength before weakness.
Journey before destination.
THE WAY OF KINGS, by Brandon Sanderson, gave me almost everything I wanted. The one other thing it could have given me was about 5,000 more pages to finish the story so I don't have to wait for Brandon Sanderson to write the rest of the series.
I'm not going to give a summary. You can find that anywhere else. I'm going to tell you that for a 1000 page novel the pacing was exquisite. I was never bored. I never wanted to skip chapters (though I often had the urge to look ahead to see what would happen because it was so intense--but I didn't do that). Sanderson kept me on the edge of my seat. There were moments while reading where I was biting my thumb I was so nervous for the characters. I gasped in shock at certain events, incredulous. Never a dull moment in the first volume of the Stormlight Archive.
It's impressive how well Sanderson writes characters. While I have his book Mistborn sitting on my shelf, I haven't actually read it yet (so many books to go through). Seeing how he wrote this book, I can't wait to tackle Mistborn (though, comparatively, it'll be more like a light tap--Mistborn is WAY smaller). It's really easy to care for the characters in this book. And to hate certain ones. If that's not a sign of good writing, I'm not sure what is. I wish Kaladin and Dalinar were real people. Or at least I hope that there are people in the world with honor like theirs. And Szeth...I can't lie. He's my next favorite. I feel for him.
And while certain things are slightly predictable--or at least I guessed at them and was correct--there are many, MANY moments in this book that will take you by surprise. Journey before Destination. The destination is predictable, but the journey will make your jaw drop.
Oh! Also. It's extremely impressive the thought he put into creating this world. There is a LOT going on in this book and Sanderson took the time to figure out HOW a lot of his world was possible and how things worked. That's a lot of backstory and world sketching to do before actually sitting down and writing.
I really hope I don't have to wait too long for the next book in this series, Mr. Sanderson. Please don't torture me.
I wasn't sure about EASY ON THE EYES when I first started reading it. Tiana Tomlinson is a 38 year old TV show host. Her career is centered around being young and beautiful and she finds herself in the position of being too old comparatively for her job. But she'll do whatever it takes to show her network and the people that she's more than just her face and that real news matters to viewers too. And in the process she finds her true self and a second chance at love.
I enjoyed this book. I would give it 3.5 stars if I could. There were moments when Tiana wallowed in sadness or got a bit preachy with her beliefs--and those moments turned me off. Also I don't consider 38 old, but who knows about the TV industry. As a whole, the story was heart-warming, entertaining, and sometimes educational. I really enjoyed the chemistry between Tiana and Michael, a plastic surgeon who Tiana really wants to hate. This book definitely picked up for me about halfway through. I recommend giving it a shot. It has heartache, passion, trauma. It's got life.
A few days ago, I got an ARC in the mail from Little, Brown. BLOODTHIRSTY by Flynn Meaney. And I love, love, LOVE the cover blurb: "Edward. Stefan. Bill. Finbar. Finbar?"
BLOODTHIRSTY is not your average vampire novel. Rather, it's about a geeky teenage boy who's allergic to the sun, thin, gaunt-looking... In fact, he kind of looks like the vampires on the covers of books. When he realizes that girls his age are hot for those same vampires, the ones that look like him, he develops a plan to make everyone believe he's a vampire too.
I had a lot of fun reading this book. You're really rooting for Finbar and at the same time wondering when it's all going to go wrong. It's a funny, clever story about how far a boy will go to get girls. And maybe how he'll find his real self in the end. I definitely recommend it.
In SOME LIKE IT WICKED by Tess Mallory, Catriona Kincaid was sent to her uncle when her parents died. Reading in a hayloft, she espied her cousin (kind of akin to an evil step-sister) about to be compromised by a dashing soldier, Simon Wescott. Luckily for her (and for us), Catriona fell atop Simon before Alice's utter ruination could take place. (I don't know about you, but I don't want to see the hero having sex with the heroine's cousin. That doesn't seem heroic to me. Luckily it didn't happen.)
Fast forward five years and Catriona is still in love with the handsome soldier who defended her against Alice's mean words. After learning that a despicable lord plans on asking her to marry (for her just doubled dowry), Cat hatches a plan to be compromised by Simon and go find her older brother who was still in Scotland.
This book was great fun! Catriona was a witty, strong character who talked back to the men in her life and they generally let her. She wasn't some helpless damsel, but instead seeked out dangerous situations and figured out ways to get herself out of them. Simon was the perfect balance to her, challenging her wit for wit. Both came from places of pain and both grew to confront the pain and become better people.
If you like historicals, if you like historicals about Scotland, or if you like tall, jaded men who have a quick wit (or strong female characters who fight for what they want), then this is the read for you.
Ellie Spencer is just an ordinary girl at a boarding school, hanging out with her best (and only) friend Kevin and pining after the mysterious Mark Nolan...until a power is awakened inside her and she realizes there's more to ancient myths than she thought. Now she has to save Kevin from a crazy woman trying to seduce him, find out what's going on with her, figure out just who Mark Nolan really is, and yeah...maybe save New Zealand from sure destruction.
GUARDIAN OF THE DEAD is steeped in Maori mythology, magic, power, romance, and action. I very much enjoyed this refreshing paranormal--you won't find any vampires or werewolves in here. Well...that you know of. Just a heroine who knows tae kwon do and can kick ass (and has an affinity for magical objects and maybe even making things magically), a few patupaiarehe (I had no idea what the heck that was before this book. I love learning something new!), an animavore, and a scattering of other magical beings. As with any debut, I had some very minor issues with it, but overall, this was a great read and I'm looking forward to seeing what Healey will come out with next!
Waiting on Wednesday is all about which book we're pining for that hasn't been released. It was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine.
The Spellmans Strike Again
Pub date: March 16, 2010
In Edgar-finalist Lutz's entertaining fourth and final novel about the eccentric Spellman PI clan (after Revenge of the Spellmans), Isabel Izzy Spellman juggles the usual family drama—her mother tries to sabotage Izzy's relationship with her Irish bartender boyfriend and younger sister Rae throws herself into freeing a wrongly convicted man—while helping to drum up business in a dreary economy. While Rae works on her Free Schmidt campaign, Izzy investigates the whereabouts of a missing valet with a checkered past and sifts through garbage for a screenwriter client. Older brother David, the only Spellman not involved in the family business, grows closer to his defense attorney girlfriend. On the sly, Izzy is also tailing Rick Harkey, a rival San Francisco PI, and discovers that Harkey left behind a trail of suspicious arrests and conveniently misplaced evidence in his career as a cop. Narrator Izzy's biting wit—mixed with a refreshing dose of humility and sadness—easily carries the story.
I'm RIDICULOUSLY excited to read the latest Spellman book. Lisa Lutz knows how to write characters and with each Spellman book that I read, I get more and more hooked on not only the hijinks but the intricacies and neuroses of each person in the story. Love it. So happy to read!!
Josie Gardner sometimes feels like she's the one who has to take care of her mom, instead of the other way around. All because her mom got pregnant by Paul Tucci in high school (with Josie) and has panic attacks when she's faced with someone from her hometown, even 16 years after the fact. And when Josie's mom sees Paul Tucci's parents in the supermarket, it's all she can do to get out of there as fast as possible.
With Josie's grandparents back in town (and with no knowledge of another granddaughter), the high school hottie pining for Josie, her mom's new boyfriend, and her mom's ever-present panic attacks, Josie has a lot to figure out.
FOR KEEPS is a charming and well-written story. Full of twists and turns, Josie finds family, love, and the ability to relax and be the kid. Natasha Friend has filled this book with some down-to-earth characters and great relationships.