The highlights of my reading this month were to very different YA novels.
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater – This was one of the best written YA novels I’ve read in some time. It is set somewhere in the British Isles, and explores the traditional Celtic myth of water horses. In this book, the water horses are terrifying carnivores, but the island culture is built around a dangerous race every year where the islanders capture and ride the horses. Puck is the young female protagonist who decides to enter the traditional races on her normal island pony. Sean is a horse trainer with an almost unearthly bond with his chosen horse, and as the teenagers prepare for the deadly event, they also get to know each other better. There’s romance in this book of course, but one of the nice things about it was that Puck and Sean are initially wary and suspicious of each other. Also, their lives are totally shaped by the economic depression on the island, and the setting plays just as important a role with the novel as the characters. The book is written in alternating points of view between Puck and Sean, which is a narrative device that I always enjoy when it is executed as well as it is here.
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
This was a fun contemporary romance about a girl who is sent away to Paris for her senior year of high school against her will. Anna is crazy for cinema and spends most of her time moping in her room until she falls in with a group of new friends and meets St. Clair, the impossibly handsome and unavailable object of her affections. Perkins creates an engaging first person narration for Anna, and as the friendship between Anna and St. Clair develops it was nice to see the romance presented as developing despite some very visible character flaws for Anna and St. Clair. Also, seeing Paris through teenage eyes gave this book a bit of a breezy vacation feel while reading it even though it made me want to seek out a French Bakery.
I think this is going to be my last paranormal romance binge for some time, as I am now feeling an urge to read murder mysteries.
I tore through most of Thea Harrison’s Elder Races series: Dragon Bound, Storm’s Heart, Oracle’s Moon, True Colors, Natural Evil, Devil’s Gate
Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost
The Darkest Kiss by Gena Showalter
Manga and Graphic Novels
Daredevil volume 2 by Mark Waid
Jiu Jiu #1
Slam Dunk #23
Alice in the Country of Hearts #3
Kaze Hikaru #20
Legal Drug #1-3
A bunch of romance manga online from jmanga.com