Books of Awesomeness


*waves dramatically*

So...I am now in a lull. My life, both writing and non-writing, always goes like this. I have a massive pile of Things, Reports and Books and such, and I work frantically trying to juggle it all and get it all done and turned in and check things off, and I make or come close to making those deadlines, and then...

It all falls off, for a week or two. In both work and writing I've turned everything over to others, and I'm waiting for them to be able to read/proof/evaluate and hand it back to me.

*looks out window*
*taps pencil*
*clears throat*
*looks out window again*

Can I admit I'm much better at juggling lots of things than not having enough to do? The first couple days are all YEAH I'M FREE LET'S READ ALL THE BOOKS AND WATCH ALL THE TV and then about a week in I'm good with having free time and ready to work hard again.

However, let's pick up that "read all the books" part, because in the week and a half or so I've managed to read THREE amazing books, amazing in totally different ways, so I thought I should take the (vast quantities of) time I have at the moment and post about them! Yes! Let's go! In the order in which I read them:


I am listening to Pandora as I type this, and it's gone from COMPANY to ANYTHING GOES to SOUND OF MUSIC, which is just about perfect, I think. THE REECE MALCOLM LIST is a wonderful exploration of a girl's search for her place in life--through her relationship with her unknown mother, but also in school and with boys--but it also has great references to musicals and show people that my nerdy musical-loving teenager (and adult) self loved. The voice is spot-on, all at once funny and self-deprecating and yearning. I highly recommend.


I'm a Maureen Johnson fan. I honestly don't know how any YA author could NOT be a Maureen Johnson fan. She's such an advocate for teens, kidlit writers, and the industry, plus she's ridiculously funny. I've read most of Maureen's books, and I've enjoyed them. But these last two books, the Shades of London series, have hit an absolute sweet spot with me. The writing is impeccable, the voice clear and engaging, and the subject...private British school, ghost hunting, entwined with Jack the Ripper? Yeah. I've sucked them both up with passion. This book is the rare second book that is as good as the first one...and I will NOT spoil, but she killed me with the end. In a good way...mostly. Read THE NAME OF THE STAR first, but have this one handy for the second you're done.

THE ARCHIVED by Victoria Schwab You guys. Victoria's a longtime friend and all, so I was really hoping I'd love this, but OMG I LOVE THIS SO MUCH. The concept...I don't even want to spoil it for you! Let's say it involves a totally new concept of the afterlife, with new jobs and dangers and mythology, that I was completely entranced by. Victoria's writing is breathtaking, and the characters are still in my head several days later. I want more of them and the world, ASAP. There can't be a much stronger recommendation than that.

Here's where I'd usually give one of them away, but honestly I can't bear to part with any of these. I am SORRY. But please BUY THEM FOR YOURSELF AND LOVE THEM TOO.

Next on my to-read list: Laini Taylor's DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT. Hopefully I'll be able to add it to the books of awesome list too!