The Girl in the Clockwork Collar (Steampunk Chronicles), by Kady Cross:
Seriously. What are the chances that six—no, seven—of the major players in any given group of people would even be capable of waggling one eyebrow? Just...no. So if all of the “perfect”s in Twilight—or "arghs" in Fifty Shades of Grey—drove you bananas, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that The Girl with the Clockwork Collar is not the book for you.
Keep Holding On, by Susane Colasanti:
Keep Holding On hit the Issue Novel Triumvirate:
- Do the messages overpower the story? Yes.
- Does the method of imparting said messages come off as preachy? Yes.
- Do the characters come off as less-than fully drawn—both in personality and action—due to the issues being front and center? Yes.
Changeling (Order of Darkness), by Philippa Gregory:
The writing is perfectly serviceable—no howlers that I noticed—but it feels passionless and rote. The characters were likable, sure, but they were also completely stock: the Good Guy Hero, the Determined Yet Resigned Heroine, the Hero's Comedic Sidekick, the Heroine's Plucky (not to mention "Exotic/Other") Companion, the Fish-Lipped Slimeball, the Money-Hungry Villain. None of them ever becomes more than a walking trope.
Dreamless (Starcrossed), by Josephine Angelini:
Twilight fans, what I said about the original book still stands: I’m wholeheartedly recommending this series to you. I’d have said that for the parallels in basic set-up alone—single father/only-child daughter; large family full of beautiful people with big personalities moves into a small town; star-crossed love connection between the two leads—but I think you’ll like it for more than that. Although the action moves the story right along, you’d probably keep reading for the impossible, unrequited love/desire (and hoo boy, considering the lack of...er, climax, it gets quite steamy at points) alone.
No Safety In Numbers, by Dayna Lorentz:
Enjoying No Safety in Numbers will require some suspension of disbelief and for readers to avoid thinking too hard about details. You’d think, for instance, that a mall large enough to house a rock-climbing gym and an ice rink would, A) have some showers somewhere, if not an actual gym, and B) have at least a bare-bones custodial staff on hand during the day. But, no. Not this one.
Wicked Sweet, by Mar'ce Merrell
The Year of the Beasts, by Cecil Castellucci and Nate Powell
37 Things I Love (in no particular order), by Kekla Magoon
Alice on Board, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
The Enchantress (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel), by Michael Scott
Fated (Soul Seekers), by Alyson Noel
The Lost Code: Book One of the Atlanteans, by Kevin Emerson
The Murder Notebooks: Dead Time, by Anne Cassidy
Of Poseidon, by Anna Banks
Shift, by Em Bailey
Taken by Storm: A Raised by Wolves Novel, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Unbreak My Heart, by Melissa Walker
New paperbacks (that I've written about):
Ten Miles Past Normal, by Frances O'Roark Dowell:
Easy-going, sweet story about a girl coming into her own.
This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein, by Kenneth Oppel:
Rather than anything remotely supernatural, it’s all action/adventure/horror with alchemy and weird science. It’s got secret passageways and secret laboratories, a love triangle, spelunking and, like so many other Cybils nominees this year, a few amputations. Like Anakin Skywalker, Victor Frankenstein is cocky, arrogant, impulsive, pushy, secretly insecure...and yet, Victor is somehow still (mostly) likable
The Girl Is Murder, by Kathryn Miller Haines:
There are moments in The Girl is Murder that really shine—Iris’ description of the Harlem nightclub is a standout—and the character development is easily as engrossing as the plotting. In terms of straight prose, though, Judy Blundell’s writing is more capable of smoothly transporting the reader to another place and time.
Bloodlines, by Richelle Mead:
Just because it isn’t perfect doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have some strengths, too: despite those problems with her voice, I genuinely liked Sydney as a character. She’s got some legitimate flaws—her upbringing instilled in her an almost pathological fear of magic and some borderline bigotry towards vampires—which is so unusual in a paranormal heroine. Boys don’t fall in lurrrve with her left and right, and she doesn’t swoon after every dude she meets, either.