So, this afternoon, I’ve been working on a big project–adding tags to my blog posts. I had not been doing this before as I’d been writing my blog and that’s silly. Tags help people find you! So, I decided I would make sure I do this from now on. As the true librarian that I am, I also decided that I needed to go back and retroactively tag all my posts. So, I’ll be working on that for a bit.
The best part of this project: I was trying to think of a good way to tag books that are so awesome that you can’t put them down and I had a really inspired idea. Can’t Put It Down. CPID. Kinda looks like CUPID. So, that’s what I’m gonna call them Cupids–books that you can’t put down. Now, you’re like, “Sarah, anybody can make an acronym, why is this so awesome?” Welll, there’s more to the name than just an awesome acronym. Think about it…people who are shot by Cupid’s arrow become totally single-minded. So in love that they just can’t do anything else, but yearn for the one they love. Sound familiar? Book is so awesome…must keep reading…must not eat or sleep…must finish book. Total Cupid Syndrome.
So, in the future, if you see something tagged Cupid or Cupid Syndrome, you know it was a total page-turner that I was totally hooked on. I hope to have some of these to share with you soon!
So, I went on a little bender….a v-bender that is. To be more specific, I dropped out of the realm of the living to read all the Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris. I will admit that they got to me. I am definitely hooked. I will also admit that I am one of those foul people who watched True Blood long before she ever picked up one of the books that it’s based on. Better late than never though, right? Anyways, I won’t get into them too much here because they aren’t a YA series, which is mostly what I write this blog about. Don’t get me wrong….everyone who knows me can tell you that I will not stand for any kind of censoring of any sort. Truthfully, I very well could have read these books in high school, but I grew up in a pretty liberal household. I just want it to be clear, for those young adults who prefer literature of a higher moral code, that these books were not written for a YA audience. As such, objectionable language and sexual content abound. But, for those of you who don’t mind such things or who relish this kind of literature, I say DIG IN!
So, if I’m not gonna write about the SoVampMysteries, what am I gonna write about? Something that is NOT, I repeat NOT about vampires.
I just want to make sure we’re clear about this, the following book is NOT about vampires.
Why am being so adamant about this, you may ask? Let me explain.
Earlier this year, I heard a lot of talk about Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Everytime I heard someone talk about this book, it was in the context of a discussion about vampire books. Add that to someone telling me that this is like Twilight, but the girl is the vampire–and I built up this whole notion of what I thought this book was. Finally, this weekend I sat down and read it. Guess what? It’s not about vampires, at all! What were all those people smoking?
What is it about, then? Well, I don’t want to tell you because it’ll ruin the fun of discovering it for yourself. I will concede that is about something supernatural…but not vampires. LOL
Ethan Wate grew up in the small town of Gatlin, South Carolina, just like his father before him and all the Wates before him. They live in the same house, surrounded by the same people, living the same life. Nothing ever changed, until now. After Ethan’s mom dies in an accident, Ethan’s dad locks himself away in his office writing and Ethan succumbs to terrible nightmares. Every night he dreams the same thing. A girl is falling, leaving him, and he can’t save her. When his dream girl shows up in Gatlin, Ethan thinks that maybe his life is gonna turn around. But when unexplainable things start to happen and Ethan’s housekeeper Amma, the one person he feels like he can always trust, tells Ethan to stay away from the new Lena, Ethan knows that change might not always be good. Still, Ethan knows that he has to look deeper, that everything must be happening for a reason. Can Ethan and Lena learn to trust each other so that they can figure why they are so powerfully connected? Will change mean a new future or no future?
Watching Ethan and Lena learn to trust each other and fall for each other is breathtakingly beautiful. The connection between them, with its supernatural appearance, also seems to resemble the nature of true love–powerful beyond all things, even when it might mean danger or heartbreak. At times, it was slightly frustrating watching Lena continue to distrust Ethan and push him away. But, while this is painful, it lends a nice touch of a real relationship.
While many powerful and heartbreaking things ensue, this book also provides its share of lightness and humor. I think it’s mostly due to the badass female quotient. Amma, the Wates’ housekeeper, is tough as nails. It is amusing to watch her as she lays into Ethan with the tenacity only true caring and love can create. You know in an instant that no one crosses Amma because she does what she does for your own good. Ethan’s three eldery aunts, the Sisters, are just as endearing. At times slightly off-kilter and at other times just plain stupid, the reader knows the Sisters’ way and word are law–even it means there are only 11 true states (the Confederate ones) and itching is spelled ichin’. There’s just something you have to love about women who think that being buried with your recipes so as not to share them is a sin of the highest order.
There’s also a badass supernatural quotient in this book. I told you before, I’m not gonna give too many details here. Let’s suffice it to say that Garcia and Stohl have built a pretty enchanting world here. You are gonna love unraveling it. Wrap up all that supernatural goodness and put it in a nice package with a southern drawl and you are gonna be instantly charmed.
I am looking forward to reading the sequel, Beautiful Darkness. I’ve got an advance reading copy from ALA sitting right next to me. I think I’m gonna take a night off and enjoy a chick flick though. I could do with a little light to balance out the dark.
As always, happy reading! And if you’ve read Beautiful Creatures already, I wanna hear from you. Did I miss something? Did you think it was about vampires? Cause, I’m still mulling that one over. 🙂
I am so super EXCITED!!!!!!!
Today, my beautiful copy of the newly released Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins arrived. This is the third book in the highly popular Hunger Games trilogy. I cannot wait to begin reading it. Too bad I have to go to class tonight. 😦 I have a feeling I won’t get much sleep tonight. Look forward to a review coming very shortly because this is gonna be a can’t put it down kind of read. I just know it!
Also on my currently reading list is Star Island by Carl Hiaasen. Although, I’m gonna take a break from this until I finish Mockingjay.
I just wanted to share my excitement with you. Stay tuned for my review coming soon!
I am totally reeling after reading Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James. This fast-paced psychological thriller is intense, but I loved every moment of it.
17-year old Katherine Patterson has suffered a terrible tragedy. (I won’t share it here because, although I had some idea of what happened prior to reading this novel and some reviews give it away, unraveling all the details of Katherine’s past is one of the most suspenseful aspects of this novel.) But, Katherine has moved to the city to start a new life. Her many attempts at remaining alone and aloof are easily squashed by the beautiful, exciting Alice, who wants to be her friend. Katherine, who has spent a long time being sad and avoiding any traces of her old party-girl lifestyle, is easily persuaded to take up Alice’s fun and relaxed ways. But is Alice really as carefree as she seems, or does her beautiful exterior only hide terrible secrets?
This book is so many things at once–thrilling, seductive, touching, intriguing, scary. Told in alternating settings of past present and future, readers of this novel won’t be able to help but wonder if Katherine will ever overcome the tragedies of her past or if she is destined to end up far worse off. This novel will hook you from the opening page and keep you guessing throughout. I couldn’t put it down.
This book was published for adults by Random House, under the Bantam imprint. When it was promoted at the Random House Fall Preview for adult titles, it was mentioned that it would also appeal to young adults. Upon reading it, I found that it would definitely be appropriate and appealing to the young adult reader. The underlying path of the story finds the 17-year old protagonist coming to terms with what it means to grow up. I would recommend this to a certain type of young adult reader. However, I will warn those of you reading this review that the novel is quite dark.
I was prepared to tell you to look for it on August 31st , as that’s what my advance copy claims it’s release date to be. However, upon doing a little further research, it turns out that this book was actually released last week. Lucky you! You should really go out and get yourself a copy.