Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Books you'll miss your bus stop for

Sunrise was at 7:54, sunset will be at 4:20. One more day 'til Solstice, tomorrow will be the long dark and then we start the upswing into the light, a few seconds a day until summer swings us back into the dark. I woke at 7:30 this morning, still dark, clouds glowing from city lights still on, the football field's arches streaking red and green, red and green, red and green.

I have read a few books recently that I have either missed my bus stop reading or started in bed and had to finish before sleeping. In the last post I wrote about The Last Princess, by Galaxy Craze (don't you just love her name?), a book I started when I went to bed and had to finish before I could go to sleep.

I missed my bus stop reading Embrace, by Jessica Shirvington, last week. I remember looking up while still in Seattle and the next thing I knew I was at a stop I didn't even recognize. I had to get off and walk back along the route to reach my destination. So funny to have that happen; you think you are jaded because you read so much, but, no. If someone writes a good story, it will take you out of your life enough to make you miss your stop. Embrace is a really good story about exiled angels and humans who are half-angel.

Violet is in heavy physical training for a number of sports, marathons, rock climbing, kickboxing, and may have more than simple feelings for her trainer, Lincoln. When Phoenix walks into Violet's life, all the secrets that Lincoln's been holding about himself and her literally lead her into hell. Violet's been training for something more than the local 5K, she is one of the Grigori, an angel/human mix, someone who is on earth to keep the exiled angels from taking over the world.

There are a lot of angel books out there but this one is, I think, the best I've read, yet! It's the first of a series and the next one (Enticed) will be out in September (Embrace won't be out until March, 2012) and the third 6 months after that! YAY for series written in other countries and then released in the U. S., and YAY for publishers who recognize that people who read series may outgrow or forget and then not care about the next ones if they have to wait a year for that book. It's really good and I can't wait for others to read it! (Sourcebooks, price TBA. Available March 2012.)

Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater, one long read, one long wish that it would never end. I read nothing else while I read Scorpio Races. I didn't want to sully the pictures in my head or to dilute the story with something else. That never happens - I almost always have 3 or 4 books going at the same time (until one book tugs my attention away from the others) - and I would have turned it over and started it again if it weren't for the shelves of unread things pulling at me. Best book of the year.

And now I'm reading The Storyteller, by Antonia Michaelis, and all I want to do is read. It's beautifully written and I'm only a few chapters in so I don't know what's going to happen, but the author's ability to convey emotion and to put together a storyline is entangling. I started the book last night and read until I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer. I woke up and still had the book in my hands, upright on my stomach, legs bent in a V behind it.

So far, we have Anna, a good girl, finding herself fascinated with bad boy Abel and his little sister, Micha, a sweet child who loves Abel. Abel tells amazing stories to Micha, and sells drugs on the school campus. Anna may actually be falling in love even though she has only just met him. She just followed him to school where he picks up Micha and then to the university cafeteria where she hides herself and listens into his conversations with his sister. I can understand her compulsion to follow him, to try and engage (she actually buys some drugs so she has a reason to talk to him). He is two different people in one body, the outside is tough, Nazi-like, and the inside is white noise and Leonard Cohen poetry and a big brother raising and caring for a little girl.

I tried to convince D. that I could take the bus today instead of driving (so I could keep reading) but it would get me home after 10 tonight and sometimes my neighborhood isn't the safest for walking in. I will be thinking about this book all day. (Amulet. $18.95. Available January, 2012.)

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