Thursday, October 7, 2010

Book Love: The Lighter Side of Life and Death / It’s Raining Cupcakes / Raised By Wolves / Paranormalcy

Today’s post is all about Book Love.* In my post for banned books week, I said, “Just Read. And when you’re done, tell someone about what you’ve read. Books are great things to share.” I’m taking my own advice and sharing four books that I read recently and loved. I hope you’ll love them too.

LighterSideLifeDeath Why I loved The Lighter Side of Life and Death by C.K. Kelly Martin: Mason’s brief romantic encounter with his best friend Kat and his relationship with an older woman were both wonderfully written, especially with the respect that he shows for both of them. The emotions, confusion and inner dialog that Mason has throughout the book make the romances feel specific to the character and yet universal. It’s not a surprise that The Lighter Side of Life and Death made Booklist’s 2010 Top 10 Romance Fiction for Youth list. The book isn’t all romance though. Mason’s relationships with his friends and new step family aren’t all smooth sailing. The secondary characters are well drawn and their interactions with Mason add depth to the story and make it all seem like they’re people you could meet in real life.

RainingCupcakes Why I loved It’s Raining Cupcakes by Lisa Schroeder: I should have been prepared for the emotion and depth in this book after having read her YA novels, but I wasn’t. I was lured by the cover into thinking it was all about cupcakes. There are cupcakes, just like the cover promises, and they all sound delicious! However, the heart of the story is really about Isabel and her relationship with her mother. It’s about finding a way to succeed even if you aren’t number one and learning to reach for your dreams. It’s always nice to be surprised by a book. Like Lisa Schroeder’s YA novels, the emotion in It’s Raining Cupcakes is spot on and the story strikes just the right balance between serious subjects and an ode to cupcakes.

RaisedByWolves Why I loved Raised By Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes: It feels like you are an insider in a world humans don’t usually get to see. You find out what it means to be a werewolf and to be Pack, yet the main character, Bryn, has the power to resist some of the dominance of the pack because she’s human. When she meets a newly turned werewolf and lets the pack into her head, the book gives the reader another level of understanding about what it means to be Pack. Another great thing about this novel is that the story doesn’t go exactly where you think it will; there are twists and turns that can’t quite be anticipated. I never thought another werewolf book could live up to Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause. I can honestly say that Raised By Wolves lives up to it … I might even like it more. The next book in the series, Trial By Fire, comes out in Summer of 2011.

Paranormalcy Why I loved Paranormalcy by Kiersten White: Evie is an orphaned teen living in a government facility filled with paranormals, a best friend that’s a mermaid, and an ex-boyfriend that’s a faerie. She’s the only one able to see through the glamours of paranormal creatures, so the government put her to work helping to capture and contain paranormals. It’s a light-hearted, girl power look at government control and the question of whether what they are doing is a good thing or not, with serious undertones and a possible romance with a hot guy. Evie longs to be a regular girl, but it’s clear that it will be a hard goal to achieve. Then again, if anyone can do it, it will probably be Evie. This is the first book in a trilogy. The second book, Supernaturally, is scheduled to be published in Fall 2011.

Read any good books lately? Spill – I love to hear about good reads!
*Book Love = books that I loved reading and why. It’s not a review. There are many blogs online that review books way better than I could. 
*Note to the FTC: I don’t get paid for Book Love or receive anything for doing this. I just like to share what I enjoy reading. If I am lucky enough to win a book or an ARC, I’ll mention it (but winning a book doesn’t mean I’ll like it or talk about it). Otherwise, I purchased the book because I wanted to read it.