Thumbs up for Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder. Fantasy.
I had heard good things about this trilogy from various sources, so when a copy of the first one showed up at work I took it home with the thought of sampling a few pages. 71 pages later, I looked up and realized it was past bedtime. The main character is a woman convicted of murder who is offered, instead of execution, the chance to become the local dictator’s food taster.… >> Read more
Thumbs up (provisionally) for I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. Romance.
A Jane Austen “one of us had better marry for money, and damn soon, or we’re all going to starve” story set in the thirties, narrated in diary format by a young woman who wants to be a writer. I have a problematic relationship with this book. I first read it years ago – pre- or early teens.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Delirium by Lauren Oliver. Young adult science fiction.
This kept popping up on lists of “What to read in YA sci-fi/fantasy” so I read the first couple of chapters at Barnes & Noble. Then, of course, I was hooked. The plot is identical to about a hundred others (girl in repressive utopian society falls in love, decides to fight back) but Lauren Oliver is far and away the best prose stylist in the genre that I’ve read so far.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Matched by Ally Condie. Young adult science fiction.
There’s no real violence in this, so it’s not so much a Hunger Games knock-off as The Giver redone as a romance. And done fairly well. (And if you don’t know what I mean because you haven’t read The Giver, what’s wrong with you? Go read it. I’ll wait.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Science fiction/romance.
I’m not sure if it’s just my coworkers and I, or if other used-booksellers also have a visceral aversion to reading books that have been fads; suffice it to say when this book was at the height of its popularity you could not have made me read it if you’d held a gun to my head: I was tired to the point of fury about being asked for it every ten minutes.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Jewels of the Sun by Nora Roberts. Romance.
I like the idea of romance novels, but I can’t stomach any modern romance unless it is liberally mixed with something else (science fiction or humor). Nevertheless, as I said, I like the idea, so I sample them now and then. After spending two days organizing the gargantuan Nora Roberts section at the bookstore where I work, it seemed only fair I try one of hers, since she is after all supposed to be The Best.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery. Young adult.
All sorts of grim, melancholy and disfunctional Japanese literature have made my desires swing entirely in the opposite direction: in other words, romances. L. M. Montgomery is about as romantic as I can stand. I’d heard this one was particularly good, so I thought I’d give it a try.… >> Read more
Neither thumbs up nor thumbs down for The Phoenix Code by Catherine Asaro. Science fiction/romance.
Catherine Asaro is one of my favorite writers, but that said, I cannot recommend this book. While I enjoy her style enough that I never wanted to actually put it down, the beginning was very slow, and after the plot picked up, there were far, far too many times that I thought to myself: “Oh, no way.” The ending is especially unbelievable.… >> Read more