Books I Read (and loved) in April
The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta
Via GoodReads Thomas Mackee wants oblivion. Wants to forget parents who leave and friends he used to care about and a string of one-night stands, and favourite uncles being blown to smithereens on their way to work on the other side of the world.
But when his flatmates turn him out of the house, Tom moves in with his single, pregnant aunt, Georgie. And starts working at the Union pub with his former friends. And winds up living with his grieving father again. And remembers how he abandoned Tara Finke two years ago, after his uncle’s death.
And in a year when everything’s broken, Tom realises that his family and friends need him to help put the pieces back together as much as he needs them.
I – loved – this book. It is a companion novel to her book Saving Francesca (which I also loved) but way more serious and dark than the first. The first takes place in high school while The Piper’s Son takes place a few years later and features most of the same characters (although it is missing my FAVORITE from Saving Francesca, but no one can have it all I guess.) You don’t have to read Saving Francesca to love The Piper’s Son, they stand completely alone, but I highly recommend reading both. They are a perfect matched set. Last comment – it is one of the only books I can think of that portray young men in a very believable light. All of the young men stand on their own, and this is definitely a young man’s story.
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Via GoodReads In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race’s next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn’t make the cut—young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.
I’m actually a little embarrassed it took me so long to read this book. It is sort of one of those staples of young adult sci-fi. It sets the ground work for the rest of us by making science fiction accessible. I had a hard time in the beginning accepting how young the kids were (6 I think?) but their thoughts were as grown up as mine. True, they are genius kids, but still. As it rolled forward, the age clicked. I totally understood. His thoughts were grown up, but his emotions weren’t. The trick ending was surprising and awesome, and Ender’s brother scared the pants off me. These characters were so well developed. I can understand why this has become a quintessential sci-fi read of our generation.
Being Jamie Baker by Kelly Oram
Via GoodReads An accident that should end in tragedy instead gives seventeen-year-old Jamie Baker a slew of uncontrollable superhuman abilities.
To keep her secret safe Jamie socially exiles herself, earning the title of Rocklin High’s resident ice queen. But during a supercharged encounter with star quarterback Ryan Miller she literally kisses anonymity goodbye. Now the annoyingly irresistible Ryan will stop at nothing to melt the heart of the ice queen and find out what makes her so special.
Unfortunately, Ryan is not the only person on to her secret. Will Jamie learn to contain her unstable powers before being discovered by the media or turned into a government lab rat?
More importantly, can she throw Ryan Miller off her trail before falling in love with him?
I started reading this on a whim, though it has been on my TBR list for a while. It has one of the best book trailers I’ve ever seen (which I featured on my best 2010 book trailers round up at the end of last year.) It’s a superhero story, and I had superheroes on the brain when I started reading it. It’s a good, fast read. It lacks the depth I was looking for when I started reading it, but it is still a great story with excellent characters. There’s a lot less superhero to this story than I anticipated though and I have a pretty big gripe about how a certain criminal act was accepted by everyone in the story. I kind of wish it wouldn’t have been in the story at all because it distracted me sometimes from enjoying the super-story. I would still recommend this book, very enjoyable.
Red Glove by Holly Black
Via GoodReads: Curses and cons. Magic and the mob. In Cassel Sharpe’s world, they go together. Cassel always thought he was an ordinary guy, until he realized his memories were being manipulated by his brothers. Now he knows the truth—
Holly Black is a master storyteller, there’s just no way else to describe it. Reading one of her books guarantees you’ll get a fantastic journey from beginning to end. Red Glove is the sequel to White Cat, and as the middle child in a trilogy, it doesn’t disappoint. In a world where a lot of people are curse workers and bare hands are as risqué as if I stripped off my shirt and wandered around downtown, the world is incredibly well thought out. Criminal families take advantage of curse workers – from luck work to memory work to even death work – there is room for plenty of con artists. Cassel is a very special worker (spoiler-save!) and spends most of this book dodging and conning his way out of being taken advantage of by, oh, everyone. The ending plays out like Ocean’s Eleven. It could have ended the series right then and there and I’d been fine with it. I’m interested to see what will happen in the third book.
Liar Society by Lisa Roecker and Laura Roecker
via GoodReads: Kate Lowry didn’t think dead best friends could send e-mails. But when she gets an e-mail from Grace, she’s not so sure. Now Kate has no choice but to prove once and for all that Grace’s death was more than just a tragic accident. But secrets haunt the halls of her elite private school. Secrets people will do anything to protect. Even if it means getting rid of the girl trying to solve a murder…
My biggest gripe about this book actually leads into what I love about this book, so I’m going to go out of order for this one. Biggest gripe: the description of the book combined with the quirky book cover featuring the girl with attitude and pink hair, the bright colors, the quirky typography and backwards R, all led me to believe this was sort of a modern day Nancy Drew sort of story. A private school Veronica Mars.
NO. Big fat NO on that one. I spent the first like, nine chapters feeling completely discombobulated because the book didn’t feel like I expected it would feel, and it wasn’t until I chose to ignored the cover and started really listening to the book itself did I realize HOW FREAKING AMAZING THE BOOK IS. It is very dark, twisty, mysterious and tricky. It’s got Latin riddles and violent murders and secret societies and a threaded history you don’t dare trust. Every new clue brings us deeper into a world of powerful people keeping secrets and fear. It demonstrates just how controlled people can become because of their secrets. And everyone, everyone, everyone is in on it. Which means no one can be trusted. GOD I loved this book. For anyone else who has read this book, did think of My So Called Life’s Brian Krakow every time Seth showed up? I loved him And Liam!! More please. Now please.
Exciting May Releases!
Divergent by Veronica Roth
All I can say is, ABOUT DANG TIME. I feel like I’ve been waiting for this one for forever.
Deadline by Mira Grant
I lovedlovedloved FEED that came out last year. One of the best zombie stories I’ve ever read. 28 Days Later meets The West Wing meets Hackers.
Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
Time travel! Through historical 18th century London! Where do I sign up for this ticket to awesome?
Nightspell by Leah Cypress
Lovedlovedloved Leah’s previous book, Mistwood. I can’t wait for this one.
Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury
Love this cover! Also, we haven’t seen any mummy stories yet. I’m down to try it out.
Awaken by Katie Kacvinksy
I don’t know what it is about this book, but I’ve been captivated by it since it was announced.
Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott
If Elizabeth Scott wrote a grocery list I’d pay $9.99 to read it. Love her and her books! Can’t wait!
Girl Wonder by Alexa Martin
Another book I’m excited to read and I can’t quite put my finger on why. It sounds wonderful though.
Die for Me by Amy Plum
Love the cover of this one and the concept sounds original and wonderful. Can’t wait.