Archive | May, 2013

The Pleasures of Summer

31 May

Presented as a novel in the vein of 50 Shades, this story skips along the edge of an S&M world, rather than dwelling in it like 50 Shades. Which was fine with me – this story is more of a modern version of the bossy, self-absorbed little rich girl who can’t control the tough guy hired to be her bodyguard. A quick read and decently written, but lacking in any sense of real character – just character types who behave as expected.

Darcy Burke’s Latest

31 May

Never Love a Scoundrel delivers all the elements of a Regency romance – a misunderstood hero, a well-meaning heroine and society’s complications. Some interesting nuances to this – the back story with the hero and his half brother fleshes out both characters (with the half brother starring in the next book, no doubt); and the heroine initially is a destructive gossip who redeems herself through her relationship with Lord Jason Lockwood. While not a stunning read, it is a nice addition to the ongoing series of Secrets & Scandals.

The Paris Lawyer

31 May

A translation from the French book – this mystery novel wraps together the central figure’s personal mystery with the case where she is acting as the defense attorney for a woman accused of murder. The book toggles neatly between her point of view and that of other characters, twisting and turning til nearly the end. Written poetically and with great atmosphere, this book pulls you through – not only from a desire to discover the truth of the crime(s), but because the story delves into the meaning of love and delusion. Really interesting tone – good read!

Far Far Away

26 May

Loved this book by acclaimed author Tom McNeal – where Jeremy Johnson Johnson is the only one who can hear ghost Jacob Grimm – one of the Grimm’s Fairy Tales brothers. Lyrical, tense, funny, with beautifully drawn characters. The erudite ghostly presence of Jacob, juxtaposes with the modern teens, feisty & wise Ginger and determined Jeremy.  Even the ancillary characters come to life – this should be Lionsgate/Summit’s next teen blockbuster. Vivid, personal, tense and ultimately triumphant, with seductive language that reminds us why Grimm’s tales have lasted this long. Lovely. Highly recommend.

Ink – the Paper Gods

24 May

This fantasy YA novel is a really interesting combination – a teen American girl moves to Japan to live with her aunt after her mother dies. As she learns the language and begins training in kendo, she meets a fascinating boy who, she discovers, is one of the Kami. He has the power to transform drawings into life, and Katie discovers that she increases that power.  The Japanese yazuka get involved as well, when a paper dragon comes to life over the city.

This book brings together a lot of great elements – the real world of modern Japan and the fantasy world of their traditional gods. As I read, I kept thinking about all the kids who became addicted to anime & manga – my own daughter included. This book provides a related way into that world of fantasy. Recommend for teens interested in Japanese content.

The Battling Bluestocking

24 May

It won’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows me that a Regency romance featuring an opinionated feisty woman totally appeals to me! Amanda Scott creates characters that feel more real than some traditional Regency stock characters. The story moves nicely, has interesting A & B plots, but it is mostly about the interplay (primarily verbal) between these two strong willed people. A fun read, and because it doesn’t include any sex scenes – could be more or less to your liking…

W.A.R.P. The Reluctant Assassin – new book by author of Artemis Fowl

15 May

Eoin Colfer is the author of the acclaimed YA series Artemis Fowl. This new book (which I assume is the first in a series) combines Victorian England, time travel and mystery. Fans of Artemis Fowl will enjoy the smart sassy characters, Riley the Victorian era orphan, and Chevron, the modern 19 year old FBI agent, as they struggle to out-wit and escape the clutches of Garrick. High energy, engaging story line. Recommend!