Friday, May 24, 2013

What's on my hold list?

Hey guys. It's been a whole month since my last review! Sorry about that, job applications and reading some more adult stuff again has cut into my teen reading and blogging time. Speaking of, I highly recommend the following!

Saga by Brian K. Vaughan

Vaughan, author of Y: The Last Man, Pride of Baghdad, Runaways, and many more is one of my very favorite graphic novel authors of all time. His characters are full of life, his dialogue is right up there with Whedon and Palladino, and his stories are all about real people (or, you know, lions) caught up in sweeping stories. Saga does not disappoint, and if anything the intergalactic scale just ups his game. The art, done by illustrator Fiona Staples, is gorgeous and enhances both the characterization and the action. It reminded me at different times of The Compleat Moonshadow, Firefly, and Vaughan's other stories. And this is only the first volume!

(Apparently, Saga is currently topping several user-voted list on Goodreads of best graphic novels, beating out classics such as Watchmen, The Sandman, and Maus. I'm not saying that Saga is better or more important than those, but it does suggest that this is a series to watch out for!)

Anyway. I thought I'd list some of the books on my To Read list for the summer. Some are sequels to books I've already reviewed, others are brand shiny new. You may notice a certain color trend...

The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar
Out now

Fluffy paranormal romance with a boy genie? Sure, sounds interesting, and there are good murmurings on Goodreads about this one. Cute cover, too!

Unnatural Creatures: Stories Selected by Neil Gaiman
Out now

All stories in this collection have been previously published, and the authors range from E. Nesbitt to Diana Wynne Jones. Some creatures you've heard of (griffins, werewolves, manticores), while others are likely new (sun-birds, cockatucans, and more). Hurray!

PODs by Michelle K. Pickett
June 4th

What time is it? Apocalypse time! A virus has savaged the earth, with a few survivors huddled in goverment-built underground shelters. When they finally emerge, it is to the horrifying discovery that the virus has mutated the remaining human population, creating a race of monsters. Honestly, I think I've read one apocalypse/dystopian story too many, but this has an interesting premise and the chance for some good Fallout vibes and action.

Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross
June 11th

Plain Maude is hired to be a "friend" to beautiful and aristocratic Isabelle- really, she's there to make her look better in comparison, which sounds exactly like something that could have happened in the bizarre 19th century. It's also set in Paris, which doesn't really matter except that it's a nice change from another historical fiction book set in London. This book promises social intrigue, romance, and ballgowns. Sign me up!

Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood
June 18th

A corner of my brain has been in a quiet frenzy for this ever since I read the first book, Born Wicked, last summer. Alternate 19th century New England! Secret witches! A creepy Puritanical government! A bookish love interest! *swoons*

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
June 18th

The first Neil Gaiman novel for adults since Anansi Boys. 'nuff said.

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by

.... for the book. Not trying to survive in a dehydrated terrorscape. I would not do well there.

So there you have it! These are some of the books I'm really looking forward to reading this summer. Don't even get me started on the fall, when we get books like The Dream Thieves (the sequel to Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys), Across a Star-Swept Sea (book 2 in Diana Peterfreund's For Darkness Shows the Stars series), Kinslayer (the follow-up to Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff), AND The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two by Catherynne M. Valente (book 3 of September's adventures in Fairyland!). Eee!

What's on your hold list?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The 5th Wave

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.
-Plot summary borrowed from Goodreads

There's been a LOT of buzz about this one (the phrase "the next Hunger Games" has been tossed around, and for good reason), so by rights I should have posted this weeks ago. Ah well.  

This was an intense read, and since so much of the tension relies on knowing as little as the characters, I'll try not to give anything away. Cassie is a fierce and believable heroine- I've seen some critiques of her character, but honestly I think given how quickly and brutally she was forced to grow up, I think it makes sense. The alien invasion aspects are pretty damn scary, as is much of the human response to it. I didn't love the romance, but what are you going to do? For the most part, this is a gripping thriller that may help ease the pangs of waiting for Catching Fire and the new season of The Walking Dead.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd

Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci

Acclaimed authors Holly Black (Ironside) and Cecil Castellucci (Boy Proof) have united in geekdom to edit short stories from some of the best selling and most promising geeks in young adult literature: M.T. Anderson, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, John Green, Tracy Lynn, Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Barry Lyga, Wendy Mass, Garth Nix, Scott Westerfield, Lisa Yee, and Sara Zarr.

With illustrated interstitials from comic book artists Hope Larson and Bryan Lee O'Malley, Geektastic covers all things geeky, from Klingons and Jedi Knights to fan fiction, theater geeks, and cosplayers. Whether you're a former, current, or future geek, or if you just want to get in touch with your inner geek, Geektastic will help you get your geek on!
-Plot summary borrowed from Goodreads

This was a fun, fairly quick read that did touch on most aspects of fandom (cosplaying, cons, fic, online communities, bonding with people over weirdly specific things, etc), as well as mentioning most of the big geek touchstones (Star Trek, Buffy, Doctor Who, Star Wars, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and so forth).  None of the stories were AMAZING, but they were mostly at least entertaining, and some stood out. I really enjoyed the Klingon/Jedi love story, and the one about a Buffy fan defending Dawn (no she's not my favorite either, but is she really deserving of so much hate, especially after Season Seven? I think not.) If you want to enjoy some geek nostalgia, or learn what some of your favorite writers fangirl about, this is the place to do it.