Mini Review Time. Here are some books that I devoured during my reading spree that I thought were fantastic. However, many of them have been all around the blogosphere already, so I thought I would just do some mini-reviews.
Everyone will always remember where they were on September 11, 2001. For three New York area teens, Claire, Jasper, and Peter, there will always be a before and after. But don’t let the 9/11 theme scare you away. This story is about how one event can change our lives and redefine how we connect to people during tragic times. It’s about discovering new friendships and bonds as lives intertwine in ways they wouldn’t have before. This has easily become one of my favorite solo Levithan books, second only to The Realm of Possibility. I felt connected to each character and thought their emotions were raw and honest. I thoroughly enjoyed the journey with these three teens and was a little sad to leave them as the story ended.
Say hello to the newest Cinderella retelling. Wait, wait, this isn’t your average Cinderella story. This is a world filled of old magic and fairies. Stories that Ash’s mother use to tell her as a child. It’s those stories that keep her going after her father dies and she is left in the care of her step-mother. Forced from her family home and to be a servant, Ash dreams of dancing and belonging to the fairies. That is until she meets Kaisa, the king’s huntress, and finds herself falling in love and having to decide which world she longs for more. Ash was slow-moving at times, but I really enjoyed the little twists that Lo added. It was refreshing to not have Cinderella chase after the prince. And while I will admit the lesbian aspect is what first drew me to Ash there is much more to it. It’s about self-discovery and finding love and where you belong. While I wish Lo would have explained the fairy world just a little more, I understand it was not what the book was really about. If you’re looking for a new look at Cinderella I would highly recommend trying this one out.
Fire is the last human monster left in the Dells. Fire, with her multi-colored hair, irresistible beauty, and mind control, is considered a huge threat. The danger of being hunted exists even the secluded land that she lives through. The danger only increases when her gift is needed by Young Nash at the capitol. Her powers may just be the thing that can help them win the war that is coming. It the midst of political struggle and power plays, Fire finds herself falling for Brigan, the one person she can’t control…if only she can get him to look past what to is to discover who she really is. While I think Graceling is still my favorite, I really enjoyed Fire. While there were some similarities between the two, the approach is very much different. Fire is more about strategy through political and mind games where as Graceling was all about the action and adventure. The political games is interesting to me, but it slow-moving and I can see how others can get bored. I really adored Brigan and wish he would have been in the book then he had been. (And so I’ll never repeat this, but I think I may even like him more than Po *gasp*) All in all, Fire was amazing and I can’t wait to see what Cashore has in store with Bitterblue!