I love Sarah Dessen. How is it that I've only really ever gotten into her books in the past year or so? Very shameful on my part, I know. Spare me the lectures, because I am fully a Dessen fangirl now. I just finished up Just Listen, which I loved, loved, loved. I've got my eye out for Someone Like You and This Lullaby, but unfortunately the down side of Dessen being so popular is that I practically have to start a cat fight in the YA section of my library if I even want to put my hands on one of her books. (I got away this week with Dreamland, which looks dark and fascinating, and I even managed to avoid violence in getting it!)
Despite all of the books that I encounter that I fall in love with, I am confronted with disappointment now and then. I've been waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting to get my hands on The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood (ahem, based on a concept by the Duchess of Northumberland), but once I finally did...meh. I have loved Wood's style in the past--she's downright hilarious in Why I Let My Hair Grow Out and How I Found the Perfect Dress, and her new MG series, The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, is delightful and mysterious and made of perfection.
But...I just couldn't get into The Poison Diaries. I usually love a historical setting, and the idea of a poison garden is very, very intriguing, but the characters weren't cutting it. I had to set it down. I still have the ARC lurking around, so maybe I'll pick it up and attempt to finish it, because I did really love the historical fiction feel.
Historical fiction. I know this isn't news to most of you, but historical fiction, oh historical fiction! I love it. I read Faithful, which turned out to be set in 1904 (score!) and that was fabulous, because let's be honest, how many books about historical Yellowstone Park are there? Yeah, not many. Any time I can find a historical book that takes me to a completely new time and place, I'm ecstatic, and Faithful did just that. I am so glad I bought it! Now, the rest of you must go and do the same!
And then I read Clockwork Angel, which is set in Victorian London, and that was a lot of fun! As with all of Cassandra Clare's books, it took me a couple of chapters to get into, but once I did...wow! Very inventive, and very meticulously researched! I'm impressed!
I'm going to now veer from gushing to ranting and discuss my intense displeasure for the new covers for Cindy Pon's Silver Phoenix and its sequel. Race aside, the covers are okay, but bland and drab. But, since race will inevitably be dragged into this issue, the models on the covers look a bit white to me. What's wrong with Asians on the covers? Absolutely nothing, but yet Borders won't carry Silver Phoenix's beautiful original cover, and that's a shame. Borders is usually my top pick for bookstores, but that makes me lose a bit of respect for them.
If you want to know more about the issue, you should really check out this blog post here. Reading in Color is an awesome blog, and really speaks the truth. Which leads me to...
Books with people of color in them! I'm a white reader, and I am not put off by people who are different than me on books covers. I picked up Girl Overboard earlier this year not because of its cover (which features a race-less figure), but because of the description--an Asian snowboarder who is injured and has to now figure out what she wants to do with her life, and her own place in her intimidating family. That's different, it's intriguing, and I wanted to learn more. (You can read my review here.)
There are some days when I feel as if I know almost all there is to know about my country and its history and its culture. It gets old. I want to pour over something different, learn something new, discover something I haven't heard about before. I got a little bit of that in Girl Overboard, and that was a book I enjoyed immensely. Consequently, I bought Justina Chen Headley's first book, Nothing But the Truth (and a few white lies) as soon as I found a copy. (And that is a cover that features an Asian--and I love it!)
And now I'm getting off my little soapbox and am going to continue reading Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters, written by Natalie Standiford (whose first book, How to Say Goodbye in Robot, was most excellent!) because it's pretty good!