Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Seven Reasons

I'm catching up on my reading for pleasure this summer, and I just finished Shadow Walkers by Brent Hartinger, an excellent YA paranormal romance that was not at all the usual thing. I originally purchased it due to the author's promotional video (which you can view here) and to riff of his theme, I thought I'd share the seven reasons I truly enjoyed this book:

1. Being gay is normal. Which it is, except in romance fiction. In romance fiction gay characters are treated as perky protagonist sidekicks, perky protagonist shopping partners, perky gossipy co-workers and perky next door neighbor gourmet chefs who do nothing but cook more food than they can eat and so must deliver the overage to the protagonist while nattering on about their current crush (who is, alas, inevitably, tragically straight; this so the gay character will not have any real chance of having sex during the course of the story.)

2. It is indeed a page turner. The author kept me turning them until I finished it at 1:43 am. Which makes him the primary reason I reached for the evil caffeinated tea the next morning, and why I had to take a nap that afternoon.

3. The cat scene was cute. I tried to convince my cat Jeri to play fetch with me this morning. He yawned in my face and went back to dozing in the sun while he considered a new plan to get rid of the dogs.

4. The villain was way cool. I haven't had one make me cringe like that since my daughter made me watch Alien, which I did up until the face lobster thing, at which point I decided I could get the rest of the story from the TV guide synopsis.

5. Not romance-typical at all. On this I speak from experience, having written almost fifty romance and romance-friendly novels, and having read several thousand of the typical variety. I'm also physically handicapped, and I can assure you that despite our myriad attractions we're usually not considered by the general public as romantic material.

6. It does have something to say about these other-than-real-world realms where our teens spend so much time.

7. The promotional video was not cheesy. It actually got me to buy the book -- only the second book video to accomplish that -- and it inspired this list.

My only complaint is that the novel was too short, but any novel I enjoy this much usually is.

As always, you don't have to take my word for it. In comments to this post, list the title of the last book you read that you enjoyed, and why (or if you're in a reading slump, just toss your name in the hat) by midnight EST on Friday, July 8, 2011. I will draw seven names at random from everyone who participates and send the winners an unsigned copy of Shadow Walkers by Brent Hartinger as well as a signed copy of After Midnight by Yours Truly. This giveaway is open to everyone on the planet, even if you've won something here at PBW in the past.

56 comments:

  1. For Chrysalis one week, my co-host Winter wrote a great story featuring homosexuality...but I only realised really late in the story it DID feature that. As was her intention! Anyway, the story is found here:

    http://chrysalisexperiment.blogspot.com/2011/01/repression.html

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  2. Wow. That sounds like an intriguing book.

    The last book I read that I enjoyed was A Little Bit of Passion by Beate Boeker. It was the first 'emails format' story I've ever read, and it was quite easy to follow. The romance was fairly typical, but I didn't expect the twist toward the end that kept me turning pages. Quite fun.

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  3. The last book I enjoyed was MAGIC SLAYS by Ilona Andrews. Very fun installment. I can't wait for #6!

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  4. My most recently read book was White Cat by Holly Black. It's a young adult novel and very predictable, but the story is so well written that its predictability didn't bother me. I recommend the book to anyone interested in YA books.

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  5. Welcome to Bordertown. I was so happy to be back with those fools.

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  6. Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews. The series is building to the final confrontation like a volcano about to erupt.

    I like that it's inevitable, no matter how much protagonist, Kate Daniels, resists. Mwahaha!

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  7. Wow, definitely want to read that.

    Most recent two: Steinbeck's Ghost and The Haunting of Charles Dickens, both YA and much different then typical YA fare.

    And surprisingly enough, I'm now wanting to read Steinbeck, which has never appealed to me, and devour Dickens, which I've avoided since AP English over-saturation.

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  8. Wow. That sounds really good.

    The last book I read that I enjoyed . . . that's a low bar. I guess that would be Things Not Seen by Andrew Clements, a MG science fiction novel. Being a YA/MG writer is my excuse to read all the fun sounding YA and MG books! On the one hand, I enjoyed this book because it has a fun premise and a sweet little proto-romance. On the other hand, its premise strays dangerously close to that of my own YA novel that my agent is getting ready to send on submission. I actually read it to get a feel for just *how* close.

    If I don't win this, I'll definitely be looking for it on my own, because I've been looking for examples of YA books that treat gay characters with respect *without* being coming out dramas.

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  9. last read: well, 5 pages into "harry potter en de steen de wijzen ( that's harry potter and the philosophers stone, in dutch!)

    And currently slowly getting through "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, which is a YA paranormal adventure and quite good so far.

    Could use a book to read on some upcoming flights....:D

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  10. The last book I really enjoyed was Sweet as Sin by Inez Kelley... Such an intense book. Not an easy read, but unforgettable nevertheless.

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  11. My most recent "best book" was Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead. It's the last of a teenage-vampire series that I didn't intend to enjoy when I started reading them, but ended up liking rather a lot.

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  12. Margaret S6:01 AM

    Paperback - Virgin by Cheryl Brookes
    I have all of that series.
    Ebook - Finding Foriveness(Poconos Pack 1) by Dana Marie Bell. It's an offshoot of her Halle books.
    I really enjoyed them both.

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  13. Feed, by Mira Grant. Broke my cardinal rule of zombie narratives and I still got all choked up at the end. Also, to a lesser extent, the sequel Deadline.

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  14. I was on a Shakespeare kick a few weeks ago and I have to say that I love "The Taming of the Shrew". I am currently reading "Vanity, Vitality, and Virality", a book about how chemistry in the products we use daily is not a bad thing. It is excellent:

    ‎"In fact, although it may claim to be 'natural' ingredients, what this often means is that the ingredients can be found in Nature, not that they come from that source. Most come from chemical companies." -John Emsley speaking of lotions and cosmetics in "Vanity, Vitality, and Virality"

    PS: My birthday is July 8.

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  15. I've just finished Sword of the Land/Blood of the Land, by Noel-Anne Brennan (I had to finish the second one fast, my daughter was racing through the first one behind me). I've been reading fantasy for decades, and am always delighted to find a new plot premise (what if the rightful heir and the usurper are friends?). Nothing deep or heavy here, just fine summer reading.

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  16. I have been reading a ton of books lately and have enjoyed every one! I am currently reading I Spy a Wicked Sin by Joey Hill. It is perfect for the beach!

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  17. I really enjoyed Heartless, the latest entry in Gail Cairrger's Parasol Protectorate series, it's as funny as the previous books and did a good job of advancing the series without leaving too many plot threads from the story hanging.
    I also liked Loretta Chase's Silk is For Seduction, it has wonderfully complex characters and Chase's dukes don't the title just as historical wallpapering.

    On a non-fiction note, I am completely in love with Distant Mirror: America as a Foreign Culture. This is one of only three books I've ever been assigned as textbooks that I would absolutely recommend outside of school.

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  18. I've been doing a lot of beta reading and editing for others lately... not even sure what's new in the bookstores as I haven't had time to go.

    Of the published work I've read lately, I'd have to go with The Seventh Veil by Heidi Cullinan. Heidi's usual genre is m/m romance of various flavors but TSV is different. The m/m is still there but it's more focused on the epic fantasy side and is the start to a full on series.

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  19. I've read so many enjoyable books this year, it's hard to single one out. I guess the last one I read that I got a kick out of was a light, sweet YA paranormal called Fairy Bad Day by Amanda Ashby. =o)

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  20. Nico, I've heard a lot about Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. I really need to look into that.

    I'm currently first drafting, so I've been torn in lots of directions reading-wise. I'm listening to Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente while I run, and it is great so far. Highly recommend it. Also, Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. A book I think every high school girl should read.

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  21. Infected by Scott Sigler. Because it scared me and I am really hard to scare.


    Cheers,
    Erin K.

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  22. Anne V.9:20 AM

    Shakespeare Undead by Lori Handeland. I love Shakespeare and she wove so much of his work into the story. It also had a very interesting heroine who could kick major butt all by herself. I also enjoyed Working for the Devil by Lillith St. Crow. She built a neurotic set of characters and a very concrete world.

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  23. clairecherven9:26 AM

    The last couple "summer reads" that were recommended by book critics and reviewers were disappointments. I'm looking for a quick read that I can enjoy while waiting for the kids at the pool, sitting in the doctors office, or having one eye on the groups at the beach. Please put my name in your hat. Thanks.

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  24. Haven't read anything fabulous lately, so here's my hat!

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  25. Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison. Great world and interesting characters.
    Thank you for chance to win!

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  26. Plague by Michael Grant. Part 4 of a young adult series.

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  27. Currently reading The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths, which was the book club book this month for our local mystery bookstore. I didn't expect to enjoy it, since it's told in present tense, but it's got a fascinating subject (forensic archaeology) and a very different locale (a saltmarsh in England), and it's just all around good.
    So I am enjoying it in spite of my bias against present-tense story-writing.

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  28. Anonymous11:56 AM

    Throwing my name into the hat. Thanks!

    Sari from MI

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  29. Right now I'm reading The Gods of Dream by Daniel Arenson- it's a high fantasy/adventure indie novel and I'm really enjoying it so far. Thanks for offering the giveaway!

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  30. Last book that I enjoyed...mmm...I can't rightly remember. I've read a whole string of books lately that didn't really stick in my mind. I'm currently reading "Shaman's Crossing" by Robin Hobb. It's been a while since last I sank my fangs into an epic fantasy. It looks promissing so far...

    This one looks interesting too! I'll definitely take a look at it.

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  31. I've been too busy with work to read recently but i'd love a copy. it sounds like my kind of YA!

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  32. I love these posts because I get all sorts of interesting book recs out of them! Just finished The Last Olympian and really enjoyed it.

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  33. Anonymous2:01 PM

    Lynn,
    The last book I enjoyed is one I just finished. Wither by Lauren DeStefano. It is part of her "Chemical Garden Trilogy." The only downside to this book is that it is the first and according to her website, the second book will not be released until February 2012. I hate that. So, by the time the second book comes out, I will have to re-read (or at least glance through) the first book to remember names, places, plotline. I usually try to steer clear of trilogies with long release dates between the books. This was an impulse purchase from Wal-mart because I liked the cover. Now I have to wait for the rest of the books.
    Tami
    Jacksonville

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  34. I am on deadline, but I want to pretend I will eventually get to read. Please sign me up. C.T. Adams/Cie/1/2 of Cat Adams/aka HEY YOU

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  35. The last book I read (which I enjoyed) was Interwoven Wild by Don Gayton - I liked his sense of humour and learned some interesting tidbits about gardens and a few about places I've been.

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  36. Absolutely loved Bitter Angels by C. L. Anderson. She did a great job on creating characters who contrasted with each other and who were compelling. Also? Any SF book where one of the main characters is essentially a middle-aged woman, complete with normal middle-aged spread (waist & hips!) is a WIN.

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  37. Currently in a slump but a few weeks ago I finished Vicki Pettersson's The Taste of Night (I can't seem to make myself finish book 3 b/c of the ending which I cheated and peeked at.)

    But I really enjoyed TToN b/c it features superheroes and nasty villains, but COMIC BOOKS. Aside from The Big Bang Theory, Pettersson's Zodiac series is making comic books cool again.

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  38. Thank you for a link to the author's video, Shadow Walkers looks very interesting.

    I'm now reading the Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance and it has many short stories and is a fun book.

    :) Abby

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  39. SHADOW WALKERS sounds like a book I would love!

    The last book I really enjoyed is TSUNAMI BLUE by Gayle Ann Williams.

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  40. Love the series by Janet Evanovich...just now reading Smokin' Seventeen and can't wait on number 18.

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  42. I recently finished MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN by Ransom Riggs. It has a fantastic book trailer and uses antique photographs to enhance the story.

    SHADOW WALKERS sounds really good. Thanks for all the writing you do (books and blog).

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  43. Anonymous10:29 PM

    This book sounds wonderful!

    I loved Guy Gavriel Kay's book, Under Heaven.

    Thanks,
    Julia

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  44. Laura D.11:45 PM

    I like how this book sounds, I'm going to check it out.

    Most recent book I read that I enjoyed was Robert Asprin's "Phule's Company". I'm waiting on the 2nd one to come in the mail.

    Laura D.

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  45. Anne V2:04 AM

    I just finished Clash of Kings by George Martin-nice to read a well crafted epic series. The number of characters was overwhelming at first, but as I got to know them the threads of the story really fanned out and wove together in interesting ways.

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  46. The Ruby Key, by Holly Lisle: YA epic fantasy. I liked it so much that I ordered the second book before I was even finished!

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  47. bluebamboo7:49 AM

    I'm in a fiction-reading slump, unfortunately. Plenty of non-fic reading caused by unwelcome life circumstances, thus I'm not enjoying my reading lately. I could really use a good page-turner, and this one sounds awesome.

    I think if I don't win it here, I'll go buy myself a copy. Thanks for posting about this title and hosting a giveaway.

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  48. On a reading binge despite being in summer school. Tempest's Legacy. Loving this book. I had been avoiding it because I didn't think it was for adults. See cover art. But I am crazy for the character because they are convincingly blind to their own positive characteristics. I mean, really, I don't believe that heroine can't see how hot, genious, ambitious assertive she it. Tempest speaks first from the heart without thinking first. She's great by accident and awkward just as much.

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  49. GerryDL4:37 PM

    Just finished Warcry by Elizabeth Vaughn - great book!

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  50. Susanne6:18 PM

    I´ve been re-reading Agatha Christie´s "The Moving Finger"....so relaxing to read!
    Susanne

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  51. The last bk I read n enjoyed was Alissa Johnson's Historical Romance "As Luck Would Have It". It was light, humorous & I liked both the hero & heroine's character. Just want I needed to relax at the end of the day when I'm pretty much brain dead.

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  52. A Lover's dictionary by David Leviathan - loved the dissection of the relationship alphabetically, interesting structure. But now I'm reading The Unidentified, a YA.

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  53. The last book I read that I really enjoyed was Beth Kery's Addicted to You. Thanks for the great giveaway.

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  54. I just finished reading Julia Quinn's Just Like Heaven, which I thought was really cute and funny.

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  55. Atropa Rainwater11:58 PM

    Tossing my name in at the last minute! Been too busy to check in daily!

    I know. . . shame on me. :(

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