Yeah, I need something to read. (If you’re just here for the contest, skip all this crap and scroll to the bottom of the post.)
But the problem is, I’m pretty picky. I always cringe when people buy me a book as a gift, because … well, it’s just weird. It’s like getting lingerie from a casual acquaintance. A book is going to be intimate. I’m going to spend long hours of the night engrossed in it. It’s going to speak to something inside of me. I need to have a connection to read a book.
My husband learned this the hard way. He once bought me a book, before we were married. I still haven’t read it.
Someone gave me A Million Little Pieces or whatever it’s called, the James Frey book, for Christmas a few years ago, because they thought I would like an Oprah book. (I have never in my life watched one minute of the Oprah Winfrey show. I have nothing against it, at all. It’s just that my mother never watched, and I’ve been working full time since I was 18.)
Suffice it to say, Oprah’s stamp on a book means nothing to me. (Though I really did like The Deep End of the Ocean. Oh, and that other one, Where the Heart Is. But for both of them, I saw the movie, then read the book.)
Anyway, I need something to read. I do listen to book recommendations, and I do read reviews. So help me out here, guys.
Here’s what I like:
Right now I’m reading a lot of YA. I love YA books about boys — but if the author is a woman, the voice has to be right on. I read the book Beautiful Creatures, and though the writing was great (there’s a reason it’s a bestseller, and you should check it out), I just kept thinking that it was written the way a middle aged woman thought her son would think/speak, not the way he actually would.
(So, hi, I’m clearly addicted to italics in this blog post.)
Yeah, like I said, I love YA books about boys and how they interrelate with each other, with girls, with adults, with authority figures. I loved The Things a Brother Knows (a guy comes home from the military, and is nothing like the charismatic idol his younger brother remembers), and Right Behind You (an eight-year-old boy sets his next door neighbor on fire and spends seven years in a juvenile facility, only to be released into the real world in time to start high school), and Breathing Underwater (told in the first person POV of an abusive boyfriend).
I’m also a fan of paranormal YA, but I’ve gotten really picky here. I can’t think of the last truly amazing paranormal YA I’ve read, which is saying something. Wait, yes I can. Hex Hall. Here’s the funny thing about Hex Hall. I picked it up at the library. For me to check something out of the library, I basically have to be pretty sure I’m not going to like it — because I buy a metric ton of crap on my Kindle. I was kind of over the witch boarding school thing, but so many people kept liking this book that I was like, “OMFG, FINE. I will try it.”
And I loved it. Read it.
Wait, I keep recommending books. I need you guys to recommend some to me.
I love dark books, but it can’t be hopeless from the get-go. You know what worked about Living Dead Girl? (A book about a girl who was kidnapped by a pedophile when she was ten, and kept by him for years. The book opens when she’s 15.) The book starts when she sees a glimmer of hope at escape. The book doesn’t start with the kidnapping, when she’s got years of despair and hopelessness ahead of her. It opens when there’s the bare hope for escape. That’s what makes this deeply moving book so un-put-down-able. I read the entire thing in almost one sitting because I had to know if she was going to succeed in getting away from the most horrifying situation ever.
I’ve discovered I love romantic suspense, like Pamela Clare’s stuff. (I’ve loved every book of hers I’ve read.) I need more of that. Any recs?
I love adult urban fantasy, but seriously, if there’s a half naked girl with a weapon on the cover, I’m going to be hard pressed to pick it up. I need a little femininity. (This is not a bash to the genre. Like I said, I love it. I think I own every Laurell K Hamilton and Kim Harrison book ever written. This is just me explaining what I’m looking for now.)
Like Paranormalcy. You know what I love about the Paranormalcy cover? It’s perfectly feminine. You can tell she’s going to be a girl. But in the first chapter, she’s bagging a vampire with a taser. I mean, come on. That’s awesome.
I’m a little over dystopian. I have nothing against it in general, but I’ve read about four dystopian books back-to-back over the last few weeks, and I’m kind of done for a while.
Look, I said I was picky.
That’s what I’ve got. Any recommendations?
Hey, let’s make this a contest! If you can convincingly recommend a book to me and I choose to buy it, I’ll buy you one book I’ve mentioned in this blog post, or any other book of your choice, up to $15.
You have until midnight Friday, and I’ll pick two winners. You have to convince me to buy it from your comment — no cheating and giving me a link to the Amazon page. It doesn’t need to be a full review either. Something like, “Two hot brothers are in a fight for the crown. The dialogue is awesome. No girls say the F word.” And I’m likely sold.
Ready, set, recommend!