Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
This is a dark novel about two extremely eating-disordered girls, one of whom launches off the deep end after the other dies. I know that a book about mental illness is well written if it makes me start feeling mentally ill. :\ I'm not sure why I read it, other than it's mentioned sometimes on book blogs.
Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
This second book in the Caster series was packed full of surprises and revelations! It built up and delivered on the mythology while still leaving plenty to be explored. Although Ethan and Lena are still the focus, there's a lot more weight on the supporting characters, which I liked. I'm not sure how long the series is expected to be, but THIS is how you write a sequel! I have to say, some key plot elements reminded me of New Moon, but it seemed appropriate since this is the "Southern Twilight." :) And they were far less annoying than in New Moon.
The Summer I Turned Pretty and It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han
I never expected to be so taken in by these books. In the first, Belly has spent every summer of her life with her mom, her mom's best friend Susannah, and Susannah's two sons at a New England beach house. But this summer, everything is changing. This book is refreshing and somehow comforting, and the characters are realistic and likable. I related to Belly in some ways, even though I'm twice her age. :\ The second book is set a year later, after tragedy strikes, and Belly tries to help the boys pick up the pieces while dealing with her own confused feelings. I finally gave in and ordered the last book, because I can't wait any longer to find out how it ends!
13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
I enjoyed this so much! It's a YA novel about Ginny, who is sent on a wild goose chase around Europe guided only by letters from her free-spirited aunt, who has recently, unexpectedly died. It was unfortunate that I read this so soon after seeing Taken, because every time Ginny befriended a stranger, I was worried for her safety. :) But it's a fun, touching, relatable story. It would make a great movie - Kate Hudson would be a perfect Aunt Peg, in flashback.
Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart by Beth Pattillo
A novel about a woman with a martyrdom complex who goes to Oxford to present her sister's paper at a Pride and Prejudice conference. It was okay, but I think there was too much backstory. The payoff moments were mostly based on past events that the reader never saw, some of which weren't fully explained. It made me feel disconnected, and I generally had trouble warming up to the main character.
The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman
When I saw this in the library, I was just thrilled that Polly Shulman wrote another book. The subject was beside the point - I would read an electronics manual if Polly Shulman wrote it. Thankfully, this novel is much more exciting. It involves fairy tales and a magical library, but has the same fresh and current feeling as Enthusiasm (one of my favorite books). Her characters are always lovably quirky and diverse, and you can totally see yourself hanging out with them. I loved it!!!
Books for May: 7
2011 year to date: 35
PS: I was forced to return Beth Moore's amazing So Long, Insecurity to the library before finishing it, but a copy of my own is on the way, and you WILL be hearing more about it.
PPS: As someone who laughed and cried her way through four Traveling Pants books, HOW am I so late in hearing about this? It comes out in two weeks!
It's an adult novel that picks up ten years after the last book. I'm hopeful for a better where-are-they-now than Sweet Valley Confidential (which I haven't hurried to read because I heard it was awful).