Hello November! Here are a few mini-reviews to usher in the new month:
2011. Bantam. Hardcover. 273 pages.
From: the public library
I read the entirety of The Peach Keeper during a three to four hour car ride this summer from Maine to Logan airport in Boston. Sarah Addison Allen’s books may be quite similar to each other (Main character Willa Jackson reminded me strongly of Julia Winterson friom The Girl Who Chased the Moon) but I never fail to be entertained by them. Like her other three published books, The Peach Keeper is romantic, lightly magical and threaded with humor. A new book by Allen – Lost Lake – will be released in the early part of next year. According to her website, in 2011, Allen was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer. She has been cancer-free for about a year now, which is great news.
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
2008. HarperCollins. Paperback. 328 pages.
From: the public library
Recommended by: Eva’s Compendium for me
This book was everywhere when it came out years ago. Look elsewhere for a long synopsis, but basically main character Aislinn has the ability to see faeries (runs in the family). When the Summer King faery picks her out as his new candidate for queen, Aislinn must figure out a way to save herself from the evil Winter Queen.
The best way to describe my reaction to this book is approval. I wasn’t thoroughly entertained by the book myself, but if a teenager of my acquaintance loved this book, I would approve. Aislinn is a smart character and I admired how she figured out a way to claim her own life path in the face of circumstances beyond her control. I loved how the book calls out The Summer King (whose name is Keenan) for his stalker ways. For me, the book felt somewhat flat – not disagreeable, but not engrossing either.
2010. Berkley. Mass Market Paperback. 307 pages.
Recommended by: Linda Holmes, of NPR’s Monkey See pop culture blog
I enjoy listening to the Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast and have picked up a whole host of recommendations (mostly film and TV) from Linda Holmes and the podcast’s other contributors. In one podcast, Holmes recommended romance author Julie James, and I decided to give her a shot. I don’t read romance novels often, but from my small experience I have realized that I tend to like contemporary romance novels that have a sense of humor. I guess Something About You is in a way romantic thriller: attorney Cameron Lynde is a witness to a high-profile murder and FBI agent Jack Pallas is assigned to the case. They have a contentious history but are obviously attracted to each other, etc. But the attraction of the book isn’t really the suspense, but the fact that it is genuinely funny, sexy and very light on angst. (Saying that randomly makes me think of a scene from Firefly where Inara teases Jayne by saying that she has funny stories from being a Companion: “funny and sexy too. You have no idea. And you never will . . . A Companion doesn’t kiss and tell.”)
Anyway, three short reviews of three fairly light reads. Coming down the pike, I’ve got some reviews of nonfiction reads (science, history and travel) as well as some classic fiction (H. Rider Haggard, Shirley Jackson).