Wednesday, February 27, 2013


I have a post full of goodness for you. I haven't updated recently (what else is new) but I have read several books that will intrigue you.

My favorite book that I've read so far this year is The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson.  I know it's not very far into the year, but this book is incredible.

It follows the story of Elisa, a princess in a fantasy world, who has been chosen to bear the "Godstone". This basically means she has a jewel in place of her belly button that holds great power.

She's a privileged girl and has been sheltered from society because she bears the Godstone - as its power is something everyone in the world wants. People would kill her simply to have it.

It starts off with Elisa being married off to a king (her father's idea) and Elisa being shipped off to the king's country, which is some distance away.

I don't want to say much more about the plot because I don't want to give a single thing away about this fabulous book.

This book has richly drawn characters with true personalities - those personalities are developed well. The characters are dynamic, especially Elisa. The other thing I enjoyed about the book was the portrayal of body image. Elisa is round - and she knows it. It's an obstacle that is dealt with on almost every page because as a princess, she is constantly judged by her people and the people of the king she marries. However, it doesn't mean that she isn't outspoken, tactical and exceptionally intelligent. She is and she grows with that, too.

This book is good for anyone who likes strong heroines, adventures, incredible stories of love, and intrigue. And did I mention it's going to be a trilogy? It made me pretty happy to hear that - and I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did, too.

The most recent audiobook I've listened to is Framed by Frank Cottrell Boyce.
If you haven't read/listened to Frank Cottrell Boyce's children's books yet, you simply must. His stories are fantastic, always from the child's point of view, and hilarious. Although it's classified as a children's book, people of any age will enjoy it.

This book focuses on Dylan, a young boy living in a village in Great Britain where the atmosphere is always "dishwater".  He helps his father, mother, little brother and his two sisters to run their failing gas station.
It's gray and quiet in the village and there's not much is going on - until one day a very shiny and expensive car goes up the mountain road right past the gas station. The entire town is immediately abuzz with gossip.

Dylan gets involved with the man driving the shiny car (who stops to get gas) due to a conversation misinterpretation involving the Ninja Turtle characters with famous Renaissance painters. (Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, etc. if you really don't know who the TMNT are).

That is all you need to know about this book. The characters are hilarious, the mixups and misinterpretations are gut-busting and you won't be able to put this book down. Though I highly recommend the audio - especially if you love listening to beautiful English accents.

Okay, so Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding was a guilty pleasure read - but it was SO hilarious. I know that it's not brand new (neither is the movie) but it was enjoyable to say the least.

I don't even like Pride and Prejudice (the plotline of which BJD is based on) but this book kept me laughing through every page.

Honestly, the reason I picked it up and read it was because I read this article at the Washington Post about how "chick-lit" is bad for self-image. They mention BJD and then I realized that I hadn't read it. So, your article about self-image didn't deter me, Washington Post! I ate bonbons the whole way through the book and laughed loudly in public places when I read it, so take that.

(Quick rant: I hate the word "chick-lit". What does that even mean? Anyone can read whatever they want - why do girls specifically get stuck with "chick-lit"? Can't we just read literature and novels like everyone else?)

My favorite part about BJD? The fact that it seems like a continuation of Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal-Snogging by Louise Rennison. (I've written reviews for these books in the past). If Georgia Nicholson grew up, she would be a very similar character to Bridget Jones, which makes me pretty happy.

Another YA book I read was every day by David Levithan. I do adore David Levithan - if you haven't read any of his books, familiarize yourself!
He's written a slew of wonderful YA books that inspire by creating comfortable space for teens. His books give the me hope for the world.

This one was no different.

A wakes up every morning in a new body. He/she/it inhabits the body of a different teen every morning and always has. There is no way to tell why this happens or how. One day A is the quarterback of a highschool football team. The next day A is a suicidal girl. The next day A inhabits the body of a social outcast. The next A is a lesbian girl, madly in love with her girlfriend.
All is "normal" until the one day that A falls in love.

That's all you need to know, really. It's a strange concept, but David Levithan worked it into an incredible story. It changes your perspective, which is important.

I read another YA novel, Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs. This book was not my favorite. It's heavy on mythology, which is interesting, but the characters weren't dynamic enough for me.

Basic plotline: High school student and gritty badass of the West Coast Gretchen is a descendant of Medusa and has to take out the monsters in her town with her martial arts training (that no one can see but her) so that they don't harm the innocent folk of California.

Gretchen finds out she has a twin, kidnaps her, doesn't want to tell her everything, but then has to as the streets are becoming more dangerous with more monsters every day.

This book is the beginning of a series, which made me much less interested as soon as I found that out.  Can't a girl read a book that completely tells a story in ONE BOOK anymore??? It drives me nuts, but that's my own thing.

I hope you read one of these and enjoy them! Let me know if you read any and as always, feel free to leave comments.