Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Farewell to Charms by Lindsey Leavitt

Today is the release day for Farewell to Charms.I'm not a series girl, but this is one of those exceptions to my strong anti-series opinions. Lindsey Leavitt's Princess for Hire books are just very funny and clean and flirty. If they were food, they would be pink frosted cupcakes. (I want my book to be pink frosted cupcakes, too, but right now it is still in the 4 quart Kitchen-Aid mixer bowl.) This is the third and last in the series, so if you start now you will be able to finish and not have to wait a year.

From Goodreads:

Desi Bascomb is a princess substitute prodigy--she's the fastest employee ever to advance to level three in the Facade Agency, and the youngest ever to be a full-time sub. But not with all eyes on Desi, the only thing she wants is a moment alone to talk to Reed, who's a Facade legacy and secretly a sub for princes. As Desi trains for her new role, she spies more than a few cracks in the Facade's perfect appearance. But uncovering the agency's dark past might require more than a princess sub can handle by herself. Desi is no damsel in distress, but sometimes a girl needs a knight in shining armor.

And by the way, Lindsey Leavitt has a YA book Sean Griswold's Head which is also very good, but not in a pink frosted cupcakes way. More of in a layered chocolate cake way.

Oh and I suppose I can't post today without mentioning that little bit of news that I HAD MY BABY. But I'm not going to compare her to dessert. More later...

Saturday, June 9, 2012

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

I first heard about this book from an interview of one of my choice agents. (Do you like how I make it sound like I choose them, instead of they choose me?) She said it was one of her all-time favorite books. I also  read a good blog review on it recently. THEN, while sitting in the children's section of the library with my kids sifting through discarded books on the reading table, I came across this book. I figured it must be a sign and I should not put off reading it any longer.

So, I did. I read most of it in one night. It was much better than I anticipated.

The writing and voice were amazing. The friendship issues the mc had felt very real. But what I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED about this book--there was a small touch of the supernatural. Now, it feels very not-supernatural (1970's historical actually). However, there is enough of the not-realistic that makes it sort of magical, yet not too much that it has to delve into a lot of explanation of the "hows" and the "whys." You have to suspend your belief a little and just enough. And in the end you still have questions, but the good kind. Does that make sense? Well, you'll have to read it to find out.

From Goodreads:

Four mysterious letters change Miranda's world forever.By sixth grade, Miranda and her best friend, Sal, know how to navigate their New York City neighborhood. They know where it's safe to go, like the local grocery store, and they know whom to avoid, like the crazy guy on the corner.

But things start to unravel. Sal gets punched by a new kid for what seems like no reason, and he shuts Miranda out of his life. The apartment key that Miranda's mom keeps hidden for emergencies is stolen. And then Miranda finds a mysterious note scrawled on a tiny slip of paper:

I am coming to save your friend’s life, and my own.
I must ask two favors. First, you must write me a letter.

The notes keep coming, and Miranda slowly realizes that whoever is leaving them knows all about her, including things that have not even happened yet. Each message brings her closer to believing that only she can prevent a tragic death. Until the final note makes her think she's too late.