8. Captivate - Carrie Jones (3/22/10): In a word - cliffhanger! This is the second book in a series. This is the anti-Bella series in which the female lead isn't a wimpy, pathetic female who has to rely on the males in her life to shine. She shines on her own, dammit. There are pixies and shape-shifters and maybe some elves. There is romance and action and big choices to make and really they're all too young for it, but hey, this is a young adult book. I rec'd it, but start with the first book, Need, the ending of which I really didn't like but gets resolved (sorta) in Captivate.
9. Ash - Malinda Lo (3/26/10): In a word - refreshing! In the world of YA literature, the most popular books lean towards the Bella Swan's of female leads and creepy-stalker male leads. That isn't what I want young women to read. Ash is a spin on the Cinderella story, but no worries, there won't be any magical prince who "saves the day". This is about Ash's personal transformation, coming of age on her own terms. Ash saves herself. After losing her mother and father, Ash becomes the servant of her, yes, evil stepmother. She finds comfort in a fairy, Sidhean, who promises her peace and salvation if only she would come with him to the fairy world. But then she meets Kaisa, the King's Huntress, and a strong friendship forms, possibly something more. Who will she choose? I enjoyed this book immensely.
10. The Everafter - Amy Huntley (3/27/10): In a word - predictable. The story follows a girl who has died. She is in a place she calls the Is, which contains all the items she's lost in her life. Each item holds a memory. She has to piece together her memories, find herself, and figure out how she ended up dead. I thought the writing style was repetitive (she'd use the same adjective, for example, twice in two sentences - "I propelled myself forward" and a sentence later "the air propelled me forward"). It was a quick, easy read.
11. The Dead Tossed Waves - Carrie Ryan (4/24/10): In a word - disappointing. I really liked The Forest of Hands and Teeth. It was a disturbing look into how small communities might react to devastating events. It's definitely a dystopic, post-apocalyptic (in some ways) novel. This is its companion book. It did not go the way I wanted it to go. I like Ryan's writing and character development but, well, I wanted a conclusion to the first book that wrapped up the unanswered questions. Instead, it skipped several years and ended with me asking more questions. I can only assume a third book is in order.
12. The Third Angel - Alice Hoffman (5/2/10): In a word - circle. I love Alice Hoffman. A lot. She's one of my favorite authors. I can never describe her novels. They are beautiful and lyrical. They speak of love and loss. They always come full circle. I love that. It's always about your past, present, future and the unknown. I wish I was better at describing her and her books. But I suck. That is all.
13. The Ice Queen - Alice Hoffman (5/3/10): In a word - hopeful. Be careful what you wish for. That's how it opens. A girl, then woman, wishes things. They come true. She never wishes again. Lightning strikes and a new world opens up for her. There is fiery love, the kind that literally burns. There is the glacial love, the kind that runs cold and long. Her prose is beautiful.