Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Recommended Reading - May

Well, May was a very good month for books!

The three Standouts below are either Young Adult or Middle Grade novels. Now, before those of you who don't read YA or MG stop reading, please just don't! These three books have such wonderful crossover appeal that I bet you'll find something to like in at least one of them.     

*****

Books Read in May:  8

Total Books Read in 2013:  34

Standouts

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch - YA - This book is one of my favorite books of 2013. It is equal parts heartbreaking and hopeful, and its complex story of love is heartrending and joyous. You will root for sisters Carey and Jenessa, and also for the people who come to love them. Carey is a true heroine, a contemporary Katniss Everdeen. This story will stay with you long after you've finished reading.

*****

Doll Bones by Holly Black - MG - This was the first novel I'd read by this author but it won't be my last. On one level, this is a quest story with a creep factor kids will love. On another, it's about the bittersweet ache of growing up and believing you have to leave behind certain things, like playing and imagination. And, while to some degree, this is true, you don't have to abandon them totally. This is a sweet and spooky story with a cast of lovable and complex characters.

*****

In the After by Demitria Lunetta - YA - I was hooked right from the novel's creepy, suspenseful start. Nice twists keep the tension high throughout. It's got great characters, and the relationship between Amy and "Baby" add a deeper layer to this survival/dystopian story. It sort of reminds me of the TV show, The Walking Dead...but without the zombies. (You'll just have to read the book to understand that weird comparison!)

I received an ARC of this through a Harper Collins giveaway.
The novel will be available June 25, 2013.    

*****

Did you read anything this month that blew you away? Do you regularly read YA and/or MG? Have you read any of these or do you plan to?

31 comments:

  1. Ooh! They all sounds awesome! I FINALLY got to Susan K Quinn's Mindjacked series, and I quite enjoyed it. The first book was AMAZING. The next two? Pretty okay. Of the 7 books I finished in May, that's all I have to report. *shrugs* Not all books are created equal, eh?

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    1. I hear you! I read a bunch of books last month that were okay-good, but they didn't blow me away. If I really don't care for a book, I stop reading it and don't "review" it all.

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    2. Sucker that I am, I'll usually still finish it. *shrugs* It's so hard to leave something undone!

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  2. I LOVE If You Find Me. It really does stay with you.

    I haven't read that Holly Black novel, but I loved her White Cat/Red Glove/Black Heart series.

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    1. I know! :)

      I've already added some of Black's other books - a short story collection and her new one - to my TBR list.

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  3. I'm currently working on my own MG novel, so I've been reading a lot of MG. These sound great—I'll add them to the list!

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  4. They all sound wonderful I will have to check them out.

    I can't believe how much you read. I'm jealous.

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    1. I've always been a pretty fast reader and reading is usually my go-to activity of choice, but sometimes I still have to push myself a bit to shut off the TV, etc. :)

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  5. I usually only read YA because my daughter insists. I'll see if she's going to check these ones out.

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    1. Even if your daughter doesn't want to read IF YOU FIND ME, please check it out! It is definitely a crossover/cross genre book.

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  6. As an aspiring kidlit author, I read a lot of YA/MG, and PB too. Right now, I'm reading a book by Kirsten Hubbard called Like Mandarin.

    Doll Bones is a very catchy title for a book.

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    1. One of the things I liked about DOLL BONES was the creepy factor - and the title is a part of that. It's just enough "darkness" for that age group without crossing the line. I would've loved this book as a kid. :)

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  7. Why, yes, I read a LOT of YA and MG. ;-) But I read (adult) GODS IN ALABAMA by Joshilyn Jackson in May and it's stayed with me (in a good and disturbing way). Also read CODE NAME VERITY (YA)and couldn't put it down. Oh! And LOVE DOES. I feel like I should buy a ton of copies and pass that one out!

    (And I re-read THE WESTING GAME (MG). I love that book. *sigh*)

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    1. Now you have to read Joshilyn Jackson's BACKSEAT SAINTS - that's my favorite of hers! :) She has a new one coming out - SOMEONE ELSE'S LOVE STORY - and I cannot wait!

      I'm going to check out LOVE DOES now...

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  8. I read a bunch last year, but this year has been a disaster as far as reading (or lack there of). I really need to make time to read more. Thanks for the reviews, they all sound really good. (:

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    1. What's great, too, is that these are all fast reads. Even if there's a high page count, the pace carries you right along so you don't even notice. :)

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  9. I'm struggling to read anything at the moment. YA isn't my natural choice unless it's a friend's book.

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    1. I would still recommend IF YOU FIND ME - it's got definite crossover appeal. :)

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  10. I'm re-reading my old favourites at the minute, sometimes I forget how much I love them :)

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    1. I always say I'm going to do that...but I rarely ever do. Sigh. So many books, so little time. :)

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  11. I'm reading a variety at the moment, a non-fiction book, a MG story and a collection of fantasy/paranormal short stories.
    Writer In Transit

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    1. I hope there's something really good in that mix. :)

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  12. Nice reviews! I recently read Partials and really enjoyed it. It's a thought-provoking dystopian with a few unexpected twists and turns.

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    1. I'm going to check out PARTIALS - thanks! And thank you for Following us here at TSR. :)

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  13. Ooh, I think you got me with the unexpected Walking Dead comparison on the last book -- thanks for these recs. My teenaged kids are looking for summer reads.

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    1. It's a weird comparison, I know, but I think it works. :)

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  14. Thanks for the recommendations! And way to crank through the novels, that's seriously impressive.

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    1. You're welcome! Well, my goal is 100 books, but I'll be happy if I get even close. :) Thanks for stopping by TSR!

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  15. Aloha,

    Cheers for the reviews and I'm well impressed you've read 34 books this year already :)

    PS: Thanks Madeline, for stopping by and commenting on my recent D-Day post.

    CSM Ryan's story has received an incredible amount of support.

    *Thank you*, DL Hammons and all the Blitzers :)

    Bill said to let everyone know he really appreciates all the personal comments directed his way :)

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    1. I hope you enjoyed being "blitzed." It was nice visiting the other day. :)

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