The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkins
The basic premise to this realistic/paranormal/fantasy/mixed genre is that Mara Dyer wakes up from an accident that killed at her friends with no recollection as to what happened. The family decides that moving will help Mara get a new start—but strange accidents seem to follow Mara wherever she goes. As I read more and more of this novel I couldn’t stop thinking about it as I was at work, in the shower, reading other manuscripts. The question of whether what Mara is experiencing is real or her imagination is so compelling—is she a psychopath or are impossible things occurring? The truth is reveled about two thirds of the way through the novel and I lost interest a little bit…but then the cliffhanger at the very end caught me again. I can’t wait to read the sequel. A highly recommended read.
Wings of the Wicked (ARC 2/14) by Courtney Allison Moulton
The second in the Angelfire trilogy, the stakes are even higher for Reaper killer Ellie and her guardian, Will. All Hell has broken lose and Ellie has to step up—while trying to balance family, prom, and her eternal love for Will. I’m just about to start working on the third and final book in the series and I can promise this—and the next book—have plenty of action and sultry romance!
Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu
This middle-grade fantasy/fairytale retelling has made a lot of “Best of 2011” lists and as soon as I picked it up I could understand why. Hazel is such a compelling character, full of insecurities and flaws as she tries to understand and overcome the impossible when her best friend, Jack, is kidnapped by the White Witch (just like Narnia…). The fairytale rich world is beautifully incorporated and I loved the references to modern fantasy classics like His Dark Materials and Harry Potter. On top of all that, the writing is so lyrical and compelling. A highly recommended read.
Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski
This classic early reader was my Harper-award-winning-backlist for the month. I really love Lois Lenski; not only was her novel Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison a favorite growing up, but she also wrote from my tiny hometown! I had never read Strawberry Girl before but I can’t believe it because it definitely appeals to readers of Little House on the Prairie except set in Florida. From the foreword it’s clear that educating young readers about homesteading and different cultural practices throughout the United States was the goal of the series. I definitely learned a lot about early Florida settlers!
Full Manuscripts: 5