Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Recent Favorites: The Girl of Fire and Thorns & Partials

I was all ready to do another "Underappreciated Authors" post, but I read two books recently that I absolutely adored, so I have to let y'all know about them.

The first one is The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson.

I fell in love with this book from page one. It was on special for my Nook and I'd been hearing so many good things about it, but it was even better than the hype. Here's the review I wrote for GoodReads (because I don't think I can say it better than I already did :)

This book blew me away. The best word I can use to describe it is "unexpected" - not that I didn't expect this book to be good, mind you. I had heard a lot of good things about it. What I loved is that I had no idea what was going to happen. It didn't follow so many of the usual YA molds and I adored it for that. Elisa is everything I have looked for in a YA heroine and usually don't find. The twists and turns of the plot kept me holding my breath and I loved the direction Carson took it. There is humor, there is romance, there is terror, there is magic, there is love, there is adventure.

But I think the thing that intrigued me the most was Carson's inclusion of religion as an integral part of the story. It was brilliantly done and I only wish I had thought of this idea first! So many YA novels shy away from any mention of religion or it is part of an oppressive regime or a way to control people. Carson weaves it into the narrative naturally and beautifully and Elisa's doubts and confusion about her faith echo the doubts and confusions had by lots of teenagers that grow up in families of faith.

I loved so much about this book. It is well written and beautifully told and I am extremely excited to see that it is the first of a trilogy. Though the story can stand wonderfully on its own I don't want it to be over!

And the absolute best part? The second book came out yesterday! The Crown of Embers is on shelves. Right now. Pardon me while I go buy it.

The more recent book that I read, I also snagged as a Nook promo. (I adore hard copies of books. I probably own about 2,000 books myself. Totally not even joking. But I adore my Nook too, for many different things. I love having so many books with me on the go and I've discovered authors and books I might not have picked up otherwise.

ANYHOO

Partials by Dan Wells was another book that absolutely blew me away. It's a post-apocalyptic story that is completely believable and utterly enthralling. Kira was another YA heroine that was everything I want, but usually don't find. She is strong, intelligent, fiercely loyal, and willing to risk everything to stand up for what she believes in. She's most definitely not flawed, but those flaws only make her more real and keep you rooting for her to succeed. The world building was phenomenal and, since Kira is a researcher, the amount of science feels like it should have been off-putting. It was not. It may be that I've always been intrigued by genetics, but I think it's mainly that Wells works through the science brilliantly. He keeps it at a level that an average reader can follow what is happening, but doesn't dumb it down in the slightest. I don't know how he did it.

And even though I totally called the big twist at the end, it didn't make it any less satisfying. The characters are fun and varied and well created and the story was intriguing and, I keep coming back to this word, totally believable. Read it.

So have you read any great books lately? Ones you just want to shove in all your friends' (and random strangers') hands?

1 comment:

Naomi Ruth Thompson said...

Why are there so many good books to read? Why why why? Augggggh *flails around*