Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year Special: Ginny's Recommendation List Part 2

Happy New Year and welcome back!
2011!! It's gonna rock!!
Here goes the second part of Ginny's Recommendation List based on books I have read in 2010!

Serious Issues

There are books that lighten the readers' mood. Then there are books which cause the readers to think about a problem he/she hasn't spent much of thought on it. Teenage pregnancy, drugs, bullying, death, illness, conflict of moral, suicide and much more. Because this list is about books I have read in 2010 so I souldn't be telling you to read Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (I read this book in 2009) if you haven't yet but now I have said it anyway.

Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen

Someone Like You is about two best friends Halley and Scarlett. When the usually strong, confident Scarlett gets unexpectedly pregnant, she needs Halley's help more than anything. With the father of the unborn child dead due to an accident before he even had the chance to find out about the baby, Halley is the only one Scarlett can count on.
This book is about true friendship although I hope the message the author is trying to deliever is clear. It was kind of funny and touchy to watch two teenage girls struggling to go through Scarlett's pregnancy.

Dreamland by Sarah Dessen

Well, I've been a Sarah Dessen fan since I have read This Lullaby by her. Dreamland deals with abusive relationship -why do people, mostly girls, stay in an abusive relationship?- and also the use of drugs. I think the title is really fitting because 'dreamland' is the state the main character, Caitlin, has been since her older sister Cass has run away from home.
The story is compelling and I couldn't put it down until I finished it. You can actually understand Caitlin - why she feels so helpless and what was going through her mind when decided for the wrong things.
Definitely recommended.

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

To save Kate, who's had leukemia since she was 2 or 3, Anna was conceived, a perfectly genetically matched donor to Kate. Since she can remember, Anna's been giving Kate her blood, bone-marrow and now she's supposed to donate one of her kidneys because Kate's has shut down due to many chemo sessions. Anna has't asked for any of this and now at age of 13, she wants to be the one who decides what happens to her body. But, of course, refusing to be the donor means Kate's certain death...
My Sister's Keeper was very emotional and by the end of the book, I was crying, a thing I rarely do while reading. It is written from many PoV's and it was interesting to watch the inner conflicts. Kate's -and Anna's- parents just want to keep Kate alive. Of course they love Anna as well but Kate is their priority. Anna is sick of this whole situation. Nobody can force her to be a donor after all, right?
I haven't watched the movie but I have heard the ending is different from the book's. Anyway, strongly recommended if you don't mind the emotional breakdown.
See also: my review of My Sister's Keeper.

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

This book features two serious problems: anorexia and the fact that people tend to held back the truth because they think nobody is gonna believe them or because they are afraid of the outcome.
Annabel's problem is the second, her sister Whitney's is the first.
It was really intresting to see how Sarah Dessen connects the two issues with one simple fact: They're family. And family stands up for each other.
I have to admit that Whitney was a more interesting character to me but that didn't mean I didn't care about Annabel or anything.
Sometimes, all you have to do is Just Listen.
Now, please do so and read this book if you haven't already!
Also: YA Contemporary Romance

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Before I Fall mostly deals about the 'butterfly effect', meaning the effect -and so the consequence- that even your tinest action can have is bigger than you can imagine.
Samantha "Sam" gets the chance to relive her last day on the earth 7 times. And each time, she tries to change the fate of a person she hadn't much given thought before when she was "alive". (this semi-thing isn't really being alive, right?)
Sam is quite a b**** when the book begins, and she literally learns the lesson the hardest way possible, but the book itself is very beautiful and touching.
Also: Paranormal, Original

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Twenty Boy Summer is a beautiful yet poignant book.
About a year ago, Anna, Anna's best friend Frankie, and Frankie's brother -and also a friend of Anna's- Matt were involved in an accident. Anna and Frankie survived. Matt didn't.
Frankie's parents now have to deal with Matt's death and Frankie's sudden change of character; Frankie doesn't know how to express her grief over losing her brother and turns rebellious and reckless.
All the while, Anna stays with them to somehow help them get over the loss. But what nobody knows is that Anna is having a hard time as well - not just because of her secret crush on Matt, but because few weeks before his death, Matt has returned her feelings and they had decided to tell everybody about their relationship during the upcoming trip to the beach.
Now, almost a year later, Frankie's family invites Anna to the annual beach trip. Both Anna and Frankie try to get over Matt's death in their own way, and according to Frankie, dating a boy a day to meet their perfect match is the theraphy Anna and Frankie should try out. And when Anna meets a boy who makes her laugh again, she's afraid of erasing Matt out of her memory... But she has to go on with her life, doesn't she?
Also: YA Contemporary Romance


Set in our 'normal' world, there are people with certain ablities who may not qualify as 'normal'...

Fade by Lisa McMann

This is the second book of Lisa McMann's Wake series and if you don't know what it is, you can read my review of Wake here. (And you should seriously consider getting this book next time when you go to a book store.)
***possible spoiler for those who haven't read Wake yet!***

Now that she's working for Captain, Janie has been using her ability/curse of entering other people's dream to solve the case of possible sexual predator at her high school. Cabel's with her - and that's a great comfort for Janie. But then she learns some terrible truths about Dream Catchers...
I LOVE the paranormal aspect in this series - the 'Dream Catching'. I LOVE Janie, Cabel and 'Captain' and I L.O.V.E. the writing style. It's uniquely unique and makes it impossible to put down the book before finishing it.
This series is completed with 3 books, including Wake, Fade and Gone.
Also: Original

Echoes by Melinda Metz

Echoes is a bind-up book of the first three books in the Fingerprints series by Melinda Metz.
Rachelle "Rae" Voigt can hear other people's "thoughts" through the fingerprints they have left on objects. Or, to be more precise, she can hear the what people thought exactly at the moment they left their fingerprints on objects, like pen, door handles, notebooks, mirror, lockers, whatever you can touch.
Rae feels out of control, especially when she "hears" the words Rae must die...
This book is written with suspense, and although we know through prologues and epilogues that somebody wants Rae harm, we don't find out who it is. Unfortunately, it isn't clear at the moment if and when the rest of the series is going to be reissued. This series is completed with 7 books, including Gifted Touch, Haunted, Trust Me, Secrets, Betrayed, Revelations and Payback, all of which, I am afraid, are out of print.

Devilish by Maureen Johnson

I don't know if you can call this book 'paranormal', but since there are no devils in the normal world, I'm going to assume that Devilish fits the category.
If you want to know more about this book, read my review first.
Devilish is a cute book, with a heroine you can't refuse to love. The devils in this book are like humans - they eat, they sleep, they go to school. But they're also in a constant battle of possessing, or more likely consuming souls. And when Jane, the protagonist I love as much as I do Jessica Darling, learns that her best friend, Allison, has agreed on a contract with a "devil", she does everything in order to save Alli, with the help of a cute yet strangely wise freshman boy Owen.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Now, if you don't call reliving-the-last-day-on-the-earth-seven-times a paranormal story, I don't know what's normal anymore.
I have to confess, the first three days or four, I just wanted to shake Sam some sense into her. But she eventually learns the lesson and tries to change the fate of the girl who is planning on committing suicide in the same night Sam dies.
If you can get past the semi-same routine, it's actually quite interesting and fun to see how one tiny action can change so many things.
Ah, and the epilogue... well, I really grew fond of Sam.
This is a stand-alone book, but Lauren Oliver's new series, Delirium, comes out in February next year! Oh, I meant this year! Can't wait! (And Jen is posting a review about the first book in the series in a few days, so hang on!)
Also: Serious Issues

Urban Fantasy

A fantastic -as in, fictional- world set in our own world - who doesn't love that? Now, my first experience with Urban Fantasy was City of Bones, which I read in 2009 so I'm not allowed to post it here. But it's a fantastic book - and this time, as in so-good-you-have-to-love-it.

The Darkest Powers series by Kelley Armstrong

Wow. I didn't know that this series would be so creepy. The first book, The Summoning, was so creepy I even regretted for a moment to have started the series. I mean, come on, we get acquainted with Chloe, the necromencer, who can raise the dead even without planning to, but the girl is pretty okay. Then there are Simon, Tori, Rae, Liz and Derek who are -opps, nope, I'm not gonna spoil it for you. But there are supernaturals. Like, witch/sorcerer and half-demon and stuff.
But is it just an odd coincidence that all of them ended up at Lyle House, the house for crazy kids? When Chloe gets sent to Lyle House the day she starts seeing ghosts, she feels that there is something wrong with the Lyle House...
And: The sequel, The Awakening, is even better!!
This series is completed with three books, including The Summoning, The Awakening and The Reckoning. There is a kind of sequel-ish series, Darkness Rising, whose first book, The Gathering, comes out in April this year.

Blue Bloods series by Melissa de la Cruz

Blue Bloods is an awesome series. It has a very interesting concept of vampirism and although the first book might appear a little bit boring and quite confusing, it's really worth. I have read all 5 books in this series and am anxiously waiting for the sixth!
In my review of Blue Bloods, I have explained the concept of Blue Bloods and if you don't know about this series, you should definitely check it out!
Ooh, and the love triangle -or is it love square? Heck, it might even be bigger than that.- is heart-breaking. But I just love, love, love the series.
There are currently 5 published books in this series, including Blue Bloods, Masquerade, Revelations, The Van Alen Legacy and Misguided Angel. The sixth book, Lost in Time, comes out in November 2011. There are also the companion book, The Keys to the Repository and the novella Bloody Valentine, which contains three love stories, including Sky & Jack and, from what I heard, Gabrielle & Michael.
Also: Original

The Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine

The Morganville Vampire books are now being reissued as bind-ups (thank goodness for my slim purse) and what you see left is the first two bind-ups which contain the first four books in the series.
The series is compelling, and while Rachel Caine's vampires are the standards, there is something about this series that makes it impossible to put down. Maybe it's because the four protagonists are all humans? Or because the town they live in -Morganville- was made for the vampires?
You can read my review of Glass Houses, the first book in the series.
The series is currently contracted for 12 books, of which 9 are already published. The first 8 are reissued/being reissued.

Stray by Rachel Vincent

Now, enough of vampires! Here comes my first-ever Shapeshifter-book which I enjoyed hugely. Stray is the first book in the Shifters series, and if you're looking for action, smart-ass and confident heroine, you're at the right place!
Right now I'm waiting anxiously for the second book to arrive, and I've got the feeling it's gonna be even better than the first book!!
Read my review of Stray here.

This series is completed with 6 books, including Stray, Rogue, Pride, Prey, Shift and Alpha.

Sweep series by Cate Tiernan

The cover you're looking at is the old version of Book of Shadows, the first book in the Sweep series. The entire series -which consists of 15 books- is being reissued and re-bound, meaning at the end, there will be 5 bind-up books instead of 15 separate volumes. I'm sure the new covers are pretty but it's the cover I fell in love with in the first place. It looked so... intriguing. Magickal. And after reading the first three books with 2 or 3 weeks between them, I decided to buy the whole series -yep, 12 books- so I don't have to stop reading.
The series is mostly about Wicca the religion, mixed with Cate Tiernan's fantastic -as in, fictional- aspects. At first I didn't even know that such a religion existed and thought that Cate Tiernan has created it all. But still, after finding it out, I love the series. And if you can't do much with the term "Wicca", another word for Witchcraft, let me tell you that it isn't about grumpy old ladies hexing people ;D

Mark of the Demon by Diana Rowland

For Kara Gillian, the Homicide detective, there is another realem, another world beside our own. She's a demon summoner - and can summon, yep, demons. But she didn't plan on summoning Rhyzkahl - and who the hell is he anyway? He doesn't look like any demon Kara has summoned before - he looks human and he's beautiful in a dangerous way. And after a... pleasurable encounter -quite literally, actually-, Kara's head is full with questions. And when she's assigned to a Homicide case which turns out to be a problem in every pain-in-the-ass way, Kara decides to find out more about this Rhyzkahl and learns that he's the Demon Lord.
Mark of the Demon is the kind of the book that would appeal to Mystery and Urban Fantasy fan.
The series is currently contracted through 5 books, and the first two books Mark of the Demon and Blood of the Demon are already out. The third book, Secrets of the Demon, comes out next Tuesday.


Tired of the same, ol' routine? Want something refreshing? Here you go!

The Midnight Twins by Jacquelyn Mitchard

The Midnight Twins is about the mirror twins Meredith and Mallory. Meredith was born on December 31st at 11:59pm and Mallory two minutes later, on January 1st at 0:01 am. (Hey! Today would be Mallory's birthday!) Even inside the womb of their mother, they have this twins connection - they can "hear" each other's thoughts, they feel what the other twin feels. They even dream the same dream.
But their world cracks when they find out -after the accident in which they both almost died- that Meredith has the ability to see the past and Mallory to see the future.
I found the concept really interesting, and I've always been curious about twins. The idea was really great, and the book itself is interesting, too, but it's hard to concentrate on the book. It felt a little bit like just streching on and on. Mostly, it's about exploring the bond between the twins and the new abilities they have - of course, at first nobody, not even themselves, would believe what that could.
The series is completed with 3 books, including The Midnight Twins, Look Both Ways and Watch for Me by Moonlight.

Echoes by Melinda Metz

Now this is an interesting idea. There are plenty of books in which people can hear non-stop other people's thoughts just like that. But hear their thoughts through their fingerprints? And fingerprints get smudged, and when they do, so do the thoughts. After reading this book, I was kinda paranoid for a day or two to think nothing while touching things, which turned out to be -surprise!- impossible.
Also: Paranormal

Dream Catcher series by Lisa McMann

Being able to enter other people's dreams - no, make that getting sucked into other people's dreams is another unique thought.
The idea itself is quite brilliant, but I have to say I love the way the author puts the ability in two views: It's a gift, but it's also a curse. Especially since the ability comes with physical handicaps.
We get to accompany Janie as she goes through troubles to find out about her gift/curse and how she deals with it.

Also: Paranormal

Blue Bloods series by Melissa de la Cruz

There are vampire books in which the vamps are the fallen angels, cast out of the heaven. But have you ever heard of vampires whose bloods live forever? No, I'm not talking about immortal vamps. In Blue Bloods series, the vampires' bloods -which are blue, by the way- live forever. The physical shells expire after 80 years or so, then the bloods are put to rest until the next cycle. The "newborn" Blue Bloods don't know about their past, their heritage and history until they hit the age of 15. They get memory flash backs, their blue bloods are beginning to show under their skin, and they start to crave for raw meat. It's a whole new, fascinating world!
I literally fell in love with the concept - it was so different from other vampire books although I love them, too.
Also: Urban Fantasy

Thanks for sticking with me! I know it hadn't been easy, I talk too much ;) AND I mostly talk about nonsense but maybe you understood what I was talking about? I hope so.

Everybody, HAPPY HAPPY NEW YEAR again and don't forget, 2011's gonna rock!!

Ginny :D


Stray said...

I love this list too Gin! Even awesomer (does this exist?) that the last one (it has my favorite subjects - yay!!) and you SO don't talk too much!
I can't wait to read Fade (wake was so damn good) and Blue Bloods and Morgnville Vampires....
If you liked 20 boy summer, you'll also enjoy fixing Delilah, Ocklers new novel

And a great 2011 for you too!

Zakiya LadyWings said...

Great list, Ginny!!! Leo, yes that's a word :).

Happy New Year ladies!


I Eat Words said...

I LOVE this list!! I'm reading the Morganville Vampire series right now and am loving it. And I love all the Sarah Dessen books too. And I cried when I read My Sister's Keeper. I'm writing the rest of these books to check out, as well.

Ginny said...

@ Leo: Thank you, thank you :D
Yay! You've read Wake! Fade is an awesome sequel!! Blue Bloods & The Morganville Vampires are great, too!

@Zakiya: Thanks, Z!!

@I Eat Words: Yay! I've read all of Sarah Dessen except Along for the Ride and LOVE them all! Thanks for dropping by, I Eat Words!

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