What We’re Reading - April Edition
Jennifer L. Armentrout
I’m finally getting to read INTO THE STILL BLUE by Veronica Rossi. Totally in love with the series and it’s been so hard not to flip to the end to see how it all goes down. I’m a bad reader like that.
LIFE AFTER LIFE by Kate Atkinson is a fascinating novel about the power of choice and chance. Ursula Todd is born, lives, dies, then is born again to make slightly different choices, so that her life takes many different paths. Along the way we see how entire countries - like England during the Blitz and Germany under Hitler - also made choices that lead them down the path of history. As a writer, I’m really enjoying seeing how Kate Atkinson deals with such an intricate and tricky subject.
Right now I’m reading INTO THE STILL BLUE by Veronica Rossi. Gorgeous writing, a fascinating setting, with heart-pounding action and a swoon worthy romance—what more could you want?
I am reading DREAMS OF GODS AND MONSTERS, the final book of Laini Taylor’s gorgeous DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE trilogy about the forbidden love between a terrible seraphim and a beautiful monster in the last days of the war between their races. My thoughts so far? DoGaM is a Tootsie Pop. I’m trying to savor it a few pages at a time—I don’t want to come to the last exquisitely-crafted word of a series that has become my favorite among favorites. (Also I’m on deadline for the sequel to COMPULSION.) But my self-control keeps breaking. As always, Laini’s prose, mythology, characters, and story are hauntingly brain-bending and so, so perfect.
I consider myself a character-driven writer. There, I said it. Plot is a vital road map to get from A to B, but if you don’t care about the characters, then do you really want to go on a trip with them? The book I just finished reading is a beautiful love story at its core, and a richly colorful rendering of two very interesting, very unforgettable characters.
Even though my debut novel is a YA paranormal, I am a sucker for contemporary. There’s been a lot of hype lately about Rainbow Rowell’s novel, ELEANOR & PARK. It’s won numerous awards, most recently the 2014 Michael L. Printz Honor Book for Excellence in Young Adult Literature. I had to read it and I’m so glad I did!
Set in 1986 (which is awesome for the music references alone) it just happens to be set in the exact year when I was the age of Eleanor and Park. I related wholly to the all-consuming pull of love and the sting of not fitting in. The subtle details not only convince you that this is someone who can expertly craft a teen story, but who vividly recalls every bewildering, maddening, frustrating, unfair, and wildly beautiful moment of being a teen. It’s a great read.
S. E. Green
Colleen Hoover is my new favorite author. Her latest, MAYBE SOMEDAY, is perfect. It’ll make you laugh, cry, and re-think the lines long after you turn the page. Sydney and Ridge are so believable, not only together, but in their separate lives, too. The way Colleen weaves her words to illustrate emotion is absolutely amazing. If you haven’t read a Hoover novel, start with this one and work your way through her list. You won’t be disappointed!
Kimberley Griffiths Little
I’m reading IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS by Cat Winters. I *love* historical fiction and yet I’ve read so many set during WWI or during the 1918 flu era that I wasn’t sure what new things this book could bring to it, but OHMYGOSH, the story kept me flipping the pages and I didn’t get my own writing done one day because I couldn’t stand to wait any longer to see how all the pieces were going to come together so I read the last 200 pages all in one sitting. Spooky. Sinister. Chilling.
Add a touch of spiritualism, seances, trick photography, and an era where so many people were dying from the war and the Spanish Influenza epidemic, their families were desperate to know that their loved ones were okay on the “other side”. The little historical details of cars and clothing and downtown San Diego and food was superbly done, too. Really loved this book!