Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater reviewed by Suzie at Confessions of a Wandering Heart
OK. So this book has been mentioned a lot on blogs I read recently, but Suzie's review is the first one that I read that made me think 'yes, one to read' mostly because her review is kind of gushy, and I like gushy reviews. And OK, I think the cover is gorgeous.
For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf--her wolf--is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human . . . until the cold makes him shift back again.
Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human--or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.
The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien reviewed by Arukiyomi
I started reading war books recently. I'm not sure how it came about, but now I feel myself being pulled to war books. Perhaps it's a way to come to understand the experiences that loved ones have gone through, a way to understand how war has changed them. Maybe it's some weird phase I can't explain, but there you have it. I am seeking out war books. Even through Arukiyomi's review says more about his own personal beliefs than what the story seems to be about, he did write this and it's what tipped me over the edge:
The Things They Carried is a poignant and evocative exploration of what it really means to be involved in a war. O’Brien very carefully describes the meaninglessness, the helplessness, the messy business at the sharp end. And, importantly, he shows the impact it makes on a person’s psyche better than any I’ve read.
The Amazon blurb:
A sequence of stories about the Vietnam War, this book also has the unity of a novel, with recurring characters and interwoven strands of plot and theme. It aims to summarize America's involvement in Vietnam, and her coming to terms with that experience in the years that followed.
My Swordhand Is Singing by Marcus Sedgwick reviewed by Mariel at Where Troubles Melt Like Lemon drops
For this book, I really, really loved how the cover and title completely fooled me (and others) into thinking this book is something that it's not. I'd seen this book around, but not until mariel's review did I learn that it is a vampire/zombie book. That pristine white cover did not make me think 'horror' at all, and it feels like a little surprise in some way. Horror is not normally my thing but I feel like I need to branch out everyone in awhile, it'll be fun. Here'd the blurb from Amazon:
In the bitter cold of an unrelenting winter Tomas and his son, Peter, arrive in Chust and despite the inhospitability of the villagers settle there as woodcutters. Tomas digs a channel of fast-flowing waters around their hut so they have their own little island kingdom. Peter doesn't understand why his father has done this, nor why his father carries a long battered box everywhere they go, and why he is forbidden to know its mysterious contents. But when a band of gypsies comes to the village Peter's drab existence is turned upside down. He is infatuated by the beautiful gypsy princess, Sofia, intoxicated by their love of life and drawn into their deadly quest. For these travellers are Vampire Slayers and Chust is a dying community - where the dead come back to wreak revenge on the living. Amidst the terrifying events that follow, Peter is stunned to see his father change from a disillusioned man to the warrior hero he once was. Marcus draws on his extensive research of the vampire legend which permeates traditions throughout the world and sets his story in the forbidding and remote landscapes of the 17th century. Written in his usual distinctive voice, this is also the story of a father and his son, of loss, redemption and resolution.
Twilight of Avalon by Anna Elliott reviewed by Nymeth at things mean a lot
This was a strange one for me. I'm not really into historical fiction at all. In fact, I'm not even sure who Tristan and Isolde are. Is that terrible? But I feel as though I'm attracted on weird level that I'm not fully aware of to Arthurian legends. And I've that feeling for some time, and just haven't acted on it yet. Here's the bit in Nymeth's review that sold me on the book:
The book deals with several topics I care about: the role of women in society, the effects of sexism, the consequences of war and of a culture of violence, and how all of the aforementioned things are affected by a limiting definition of masculinity that renders acts of aggression mandatory, and considers anyone who behaves otherwise, male or female, weak and inferior.
Sounds great, right? Here's the description from Amazon, which confuses me further:
Hardly a generation after King Arthur's court has had its downfall, Queen Isolde grieves for her slain husband, the High King Constantine, Arthur's heir. Only Isolde knows that Constantine was murdered, and that Marche, his murderer and the scheming frontrunner for the High King's throne, has betrayed his people to an alliance with the Saxon invaders. Isolde must fight for her very life as Marche plots to have her tried and executed for witchcraft in order to protect his secrets. One of her few allies is Trystan, a prisoner who is neither Saxon nor Briton, a young man with as lonely and troubled a past, and as strong a will to survive, as her own. Together they escape, and must find a way to prove what they know to be true - that Marche's deceptions will not only cost them their lives, but will jeopardize the future of British rule...
Friday Finds is hosted by MizB over at Should be Reading.