An absolutely terrific Regency romance for all ages. Such a wonderful blend of adventure, chemistry and sheer fun that I didn’t even miss the steamy bits. Lady Miranda is used to writing her thoughts in the form of a letter to her older brother’s best friends, whom she has never met. When one of the those letters is suddenly posted by her husband’s new valet, chaos ensues.
This was remarkably good, and the central love story is deeply satisfying. Miranda is an older, unwed sister to a beautiful younger sister, and her insecurities and frustrations about remaining ladylike make her wonderful to read. Highly recommended, for 16 and up.
This is another dark YA dystopia, this one set in a bleak world divided into the Reds and Silvers, where the reds (who bleed red blood) are the underlass to the Silvers, who bleed silver blood and have special powers. When Mare, our heroine, a teen girl slated for conscription into the ongoing war, is swept abruptly in the Silver world, she suddenly has the potential to make extraordinary change.
This has wonderful world building, but the unrelenting grimness becomes oppressive well before the end of the book. That said, it still kept me frantically turning pages as the plot drove forward with some truly terrifying political intrigue. For 16 and up for violence.
This was slow getting started for me, but the payoff was worth the persistence. Lirael is now working fulltime to banish the Dead and dispose of Free Magic creatures, and her story intertwines with that of Ferin, who has a critical message from her people for Lirael. Nix continues to create new challenges for his heroines, and it makes for a fascinating read. For 16 and up.
Ward is at the top of her game with this, the second in the Black Dagger Legacy series, and there wasn’t a single one of her many storylines that I wanted to skip over. So in this novel we have in play Axe, a tough but wounded guy, and one of the trainees in the Brotherhood’s training classes for new soldiers. We also have Rhage and Mary, adjusting to new life adorably with their adopted teen, Bitty. And finally we have Elise, and member of the aristocracy, who is struggling to get out of her father’s restrictive traditionalism by earning her PhD.
I enjoyed spending time with all these folks, and we still had fights and romance galore. Excellent installment in the series from Ward. For 18 and up.
This slight book of essays covers quite a bit of ground, from Wilson’s childhood movie acting and her neurotic childhood, to her teen dating and her increasing interest in storytelling as an adult. She writes most clearly of her growing understanding of who she is and how she becomes at peace with her life and her choices.
Overall a really lovely memoir both for those who remember Mara’s youthful fame and also for those who don’t. Her work is specific to her life, but it would be a jaded reader indeed who would not find resonances in his or her own life. For 18 and up.
I’ve liked some of Armstrong’s earlier books, but this YA didn’t work for me at all. Our protagonist is 16, but seems much younger, plot twists are signaled way ahead of time, and it feels too much like stronger books, including Shiver, the Mercy Thompson series, and Morganville Vampires. The book ends on a cliffhanger, but I won’t be continuing the series. Okay for 14 and up (though that’s not a guarantee that later books won’t skew older).
Cassandra Clare begins a new Shadowhunters series, and she is in top form. Without the burden of exposition that slowed her first series, and back in the present-day, unlike her second series, she introduces us to new characters and the plot takes off from there. Fighter Emma Carstairs nearly storms off the page, and her best friend and fellow fighter Julian is well-drawn also, as a young man who has shouldered too much responsibility for too long.
Y’all know I am not a fan of fictional teenagers meeting and falling for someone they will love forever, but Clare’s tales are compelling enough that I roll with it. Recommended for 16 and up for (non-graphic) teen sex and some rock-n-roll violence.