Yes, yes, I know: I badly neglected my blog last week. But the sun and the 90 degrees were calling my name, so I'm sure you understand.
I did have a chance to catch up on my reading, and here's what I covered (for the most part, as you'll understand in a minute). And let me observe again how eclectic my reading tastes are, when it gets right down to it...
The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen - This one's a YA novel that's been stolen from my bookshelf at school not once but TWICE. I'd get angry except that I just can't, when it's kids stealing BOOKS to presumably READ. Anyway, I finally borrowed a friend's, and I was happily surprised that I really enjoyed it. The writing is strong and appealing, the characters are real, and the plotlines weave together well. In a nutshell, it's about a teen who spends a summer trying to deal with her father's death AND her mother's controlling nature AND her "perfect" boyfriend who wants to take a "break" AND her new job with a catering company working with people who are messy and not perfect and far from anything she's ever dealt with before. Beautifully written, really.
Much More Than Blood by Kate Hill - An erotic romance, I read this one for a review site I help out occasionally. It's a paranormal story about a female vampire who wants to turn a mortal into a vampire mate for herself. While I thought it had too much narrative and backstory, the characters themselves are strong and really likable. It's available from Ellora's Cave, if paranormal romance is your thing, and it's a novella, so it's a quick & easy read.
Velocity by Dean Koontz - A few of my students read this thriller and enjoyed it, so I thought I'd give it a try. And I do like a good murder mystery, but this one was too much for me to stomach. Killing is fine, but when the whole book is about murder after murder and how creative the killer can be (and when it's 9:00 at night), I couldn't find enough to keep me going with it. Put it down halfway through and have no intention of finishing it. Oh, well.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett - I know a lot of you have probably already read this one, as it's been getting a lot of buzz for a while now, but I finally got around to it - AND I LOVE IT! It's a terrific piece of fiction written by a debut Southern writer (OK, I admit to feeling more than a little jealous, but hey, good for her) about the black maids serving the white families in the South in the 1960s. The voices of all the characters are really what grabbed me, along with a setting I know very little about. It's captivating, really. I'm about halfway through and hate having to put it down.
So there you have it! Happy reading all, and if you have any other "must reads," let me know!