What I’m Reading: October

This post is overdue, but things have been a little crazy on account of The Move. But the Engineer and I are finally in our new place, mostly unpacked (although it did look like a packaging store exploded in the house for a few days), and we are absolutely loving it. Best of all? I finally have a local indie within comfortable driving distance of me. Hooray, books!

2013 goodreads choice awardsSpeaking of books, and before I jump into my mini-reviews, I woke up this morning to some truly awesome news. Unexpected, but awesome:

I’ve been nominated for Best Debut Goodreads Author in the 2013 Goodreads Choice Awards!

This is such an honor. In part because it is humbling to see my book surrounded by the works of so many other authors I admire, but also because I consider myself an active member of the goodreads community. I post status updates as I read. Anything I review here gets cross-posted there. I try to answer all comments and stay engaged with readers. So this nomination is extra special from that front.

If you want to show your support for Taken (and me!), I would be so very grateful for your vote. Head here to cast your vote in the preliminary round (Nov 4-9). There’s also a bunch of other categories to check out, and so many fantastic books to choose between. (Seriously. Voting in some of these categories is an act of torture.)

Ahem. But on to the true point of this post! Here’s what I read in October:

HOUSE OF IVY & SORROW by Natalie Whipple
I was lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC of this last month, and it follows Josephine Hemlock, a young witch who has spent years avoiding the curse that killed her mother. When a visitor in town makes it clear that the killer is back to eliminate the Hemlock bloodline, Jo’s ivy-covered, magic-fortified home may no longer be enough to keep her safe. Layering magic into a contemporary setting, this novel gives the reader modern witches with a somewhat timeless feel—especially where the family’s magical history is concerned. Above all, the story has strong roots in friendship and family. Jo is surround by loving relatives and fiercely loyal girl friends. I feel I don’t read about friendship often enough in YA, and it was a refreshing treat.

 

DESTROY ME by Tahereh Mafi
This novella is set in the Shatter Me world, taking place between books one and two, and I kind of wish I read it in the same order. (I read Unravel Me about a year ago). That said, I have to admit: I get it now. I understand all the love for Warner. This little novella provides so much insight to his character, past, and motives. Mafi writes him effortlessly—the style is quite a contrast to Juliette’s voice in the novels—and even secondary characters seem to spring to life. Usually, novella’s are fun but not critical to the trilogy reading experience. That might not be the case here. Interested to see where things go in Ignite Me. I fear Warner is going to meet a tragic, tragic end.

 

IN TIME by Alexandra Bracken
Another novella, this time in Bracken’s world of The Darkest Minds. Set between books one and two, the narrator is Gabe, a boy readers will not know from the first installment. He’s not immediately likeable—he’s trying to break into the business of working as a skip tracer—but he has So Much Growth in this tiny story. Zu makes an appearance as well, tying together threads from TDM, and like always, she’s awesome. Above all, this tale gives readers a look at the other side—why certain parents might have handed their kids in, how people fell into work as skip tracers, the stakes a “non-freak” faces on a daily basis. And the ending: a powerful, emotional punch. I’m starting to think this is a Bracken standard.

Not much to report for me this month, but as I said, it’s been a crazy few weeks. What about you? Any awesome discoveries in your October reading pile?

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