Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Look Ma! I Can Read!

Jeesh, this year is spinning past me so quickly that I'm feeling a little dazed and confused. :) No worries, though. Now, before I present you all with this month's reading list, I'd like to take a moment or two to talk to you fine friends about romance. Yes peeps. Summer love is in the air and I am not immune. I, too, have caught the lovebug...well, in my writing that is.

So, any of you who have been following me for any length of time know that I am not huge on romance. Yes, I like to have a little love mixed in with my stories. Don't we all? But, I'm not a huge fan of romance for the sake of romance. I will read them and all the while think, "this is good, but when are the aliens going to invade? who's going to be viciously murdered, thus pushing the couple even closer together?" You see where I'm going? Romance is an essential part of any good story.

Then, I was assaulted by a shiny new idea that was (gasp!) all romance. Of course, being the writer that I am, I said to myself "Self, you must immerse yourself in romance if you are going to give these characters the story they deserve." And, so I did.

And, do you know what I learned? Every book you read can essentially be called a romance. But, the "romances" out there have really good stories behind the love story portion...as you will see by my list.

As always, I hope you find something on this list that you will enjoy!

THIRTEEN REASONS WHY by Jay Asher...Not only was this the first book I read this month, it was also my favorite! I already talked about this in an earlier post, so I will just say that if you haven't read it, you MUST!!

WILL GRAYSON WILL GRAYSON by John Green and David Levithan...Another awesome effort by Mr. Green, and although I've never read anything by Mr. Levithan, this book alone makes me want to go out and find all the other books he's written.

10 THINGS I LOVE ABOUT YOU by Julia Quinn...Historical romance at its finest. Smart, witty characters and a style of writing that had me comparing Ms. Quinn to Jane Austen (who I love, btw). I finished this in a handful of hours and am eager to read more by her

THE SHORT SECOND LIFE OF BREE TANNER by Stephenie Meyer...Eh. That about sums up my feelings on this novella. Maybe I'm a little sick of the whole vampire thing...at least the sparkly good-hearted vegetarian vamps because I really can't find anything I liked about this story. And, I feel a little let-down by the fight scene at the end. I guess I just expected more.

GO ASK ALICE by Anonymous...This is a very old book (published in the early 70s) that I found while rummaging though the bargain bin at B&N. And, let me tell you! Whew! I loved it. It's a very candid account of teenage drug abuse. Plus, it's completely in diary format.

NOT ON HER OWN by Cynthia Reese...This is the first time I've read anything pubbed by someone I "know". Yes, Cynthia and I banter back and forth on Twitter with a few other fun peeps, so when I decided to read romance, I thought of her first. I actually found this book of hers at the library, but you can purchase any of her books on Amazon. I finished this book in one sitting and by the end I was as in love with Deputy Brandon Wilkes as the heroine, Penelope. GO FIND HER BOOKS NOW!

WINTERGIRLS by Laurie Halse Anderson...Death, eating disorders, and the bonds of friendship. An achingly beautiful story. A must read for any YA-er

LOVE YOU HATE YOU MISS YOU by Elizabeth Scott...Ugh! This one just killed me. Hopping back and forth between letters to Julia (the dead girl in the book) and Amy's POV as she moves through life without her beautiful and fierce BFF. This one will send you on an emotional roller coaster that you will never want to get off.

THAT PERFECT SOMEONE by Johanna Lindsey...another historical romance with the beautiful lords and ladies of the ton and of course, a pirate thrown in for good measure. Plus, Ms. Lindsey uses characters from previous books, so the reader feels as though they are getting a peak into that elusive 'happily ever after moment'.

VAMPIRE MISTRESS by Joey W. Hill...Did I say I was over the whole vampire thing? Well, I must have lied a little bit ;) Anywho, this is a great story about a human vampire hunter who falls for a human who is in love with a vampire who happens to be a vampire hunter as well. Confused yet? Well, hold onto your panties cuz that's just the first little bit. Heads really fly when the human who is in love with the vampire-hunting vampire is brutally attacked and then turned into a vampire. Now, the vampire-hunting/vampire-hating human (Did I forget to tell you that his brother is a vampire as well?) must join forces with the vampire-hunting vampire to help the girl they both love through the rough transition of becoming a vampire. And, of course, this is only the first in the story of these three, so now, I am left wondering what is going to become of this vampire love triangle. WARNING for my fellow YA writing crowd: I found this in the romance section and it is labeled as "paranormal romance" but what they neglected to tell you is that it should also have the word erotic in that label. Very explicit sex scenes, but a pretty good story line.