It’s mini-review time!

What I’ve been reading – March/April

It’s time for more mini-reviews!

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices Book 1) by Cassandra Clare

A few years ago, I told myself I would not get sucked into another series. I was in Harry Potter/Georgia Nicolson/Princess Diaries withdrawal and did not want to go down again. Of course, I couldn’t stick to that plan. I did, however, decide to wait on TID until the final book was published, and now that it has, I’m all OMFG!!!! Victorian shadowhunters! I love it! While it took some time for me to really connect with Clary, Jace, & Co., Tessa, Will, and Jem drew me in from the get-go. There’s something about this series that is darker and deeper than TMI. Characters seem more fully developed and motives are more clearly drawn. It’s a great series starter and it only gets better in Clockwork Prince (reading now!).

Austensibly Ordinary by Alysa Goodnight

I really wanted to enjoy this book. Austenesque romantic comedy? Yes, please. But it was the Austen-inspired, ghost-writing diary that actually turned me off in the reading. Go fig. It would’ve worked better for me as a straight-up romcom chick lit without the Austen elements. Too much was happening in this novel between the diary, alter-egos, and secret agent stuff. It was an okay read, but I found myself plodding along just to know how it would end.

Are you my mother?: A Comic Drama by Alison Bechdel

I selected this graphic memoir as part of my frenzied graphic novel collection project. I had no real notion what it was about when I ordered it, but it was on one of Booklist’s best of lists and they’re generally a great selection tool for libraries. I’m so glad I did order it. Bechdel’s graphic memoir of her relationship with her mother is a finely woven blend of meta-fiction that explores deep themes on queer experience, childhood psychology, and mother/daughterhood. And it channels Virginia Woolf, which just made me want to read more Woolf.

Forgot to snap pictures of the other two before returning them to the library, but I’m trying to stick to my picture idea.


Summer of YA, Part 1 – reviews and reactions

And so my summer of YA reading continues…

Matched by Ally Condie

While I enjoyed the character development, I felt that the motivation behind Cassia’s sudden awakening was somewhat lacking. It seemed like a drastic change in a character that was content to be part of the status quo. Though choice is a major element in the story, I found that Cassia’s choice in choosing not to toe the Society’s line was not as believable as Ky’s choice. Overall, I enjoyed the second half of the novel, but not enough to want to read the rest of the series.


The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare

I read City of Bones when it was first published, mostly because I used to love Cassandra Clare’s HP fanfiction (oh, how I miss the amount of free time I had before college/work/life got in the way). My first reading was a disappointment. The similarities between the novel and CC’s Draco series were too similar and left me feeling cheated.

However, while buying books for a young someone, I kept coming across the series and my curiosity was sparked. Time (and lots of books in between) did plenty to clear my mind and help me overcome the feeling that I was reading something I had read before. City of Bones still felt somewhat familiar, but I found myself engaged in the story and liking the characters. I also found that the plot of the series improved in the sequels, as did the character development, so the story no longer felt like a modified version of an HP fanfic. The urban fantasy elements were integrated in a way that made Clare’s magical version of New York seem almost believable. Folklore, aspects of angel and demonology, myth, and fantasy come together to produce something that could be the lovechild of Buffy, Charmed, and Being Human (the BBC one, not the copycat Syfy one).

I am currently finishing up City of Fallen Angels, which presents a new arc in the series and brings many of the supporting characters to the fore. Because Clare’s supporting characters are often more memorable than her main characters, this has become one of my favorites in the series.

Now, to wait for my library to acquire a copy of City of Lost Souls.