She Made Me Do It: Round One
Today we are starting a new feature, where we will risk it all and make and receive recommendations to and from the pickiest people we know: ourselves. Using a round-robin approach, each one of us will give three selections to another Readventurer. That person must select and attempt to read one of the books within the next month. Glowing reviews may follow. Scathing rants may follow. Half-hearted DNF’s and awkward glares may follow. Our very reputations as reviewers are on the line!
This should be interesting.
The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
What it's about: The teenage clone of a drug kingpin analyzes what it means to be human and free.
Why I think she'd like it: I know how much Tatiana enjoyed Unwind by Neal Shusterman. House of the Scorpion brings up the same kinds of moral values discussions and questions that were prevalent in that work. Plus, seriously, look at all the awards it won. Psht, as if she wouldn't like it.
Grimspace (Sirantha Jax, #1) by Ann Aguirre
What it's about: Sirantha Jax has the ability to navigate and jump ships through space because of her genes. She joins up with a ragtag crew and adventures ensue à la Firefly.
Why I think she'd like it: Tatiana likes urban fantasy. She also likes space. Ergo she should like urban fantasy in space, right? Jax is a pretty badass heroine and she definitely isn't a cliché --I know Tatiana loves women with backbone.
Suicide Notes by Michael Thomas Ford
What it's about: A teenage boy wakes up in a juvenile psychiatric ward, doesn't think he truly belongs there, and snarks it up while he figures out if he does.
Why I think she'd like it: 1. It is funny; 2. It is a case where journal entries work as the format; 3. It is a male narrator done well; 4. I recommended Sisters in Sanity by Gayle Forman to Tatiana in the past and she enjoyed that. I think she and I both enjoy stories about mental illness and rehab/psych ward books. (though this one is definitely funnier than the Forman book)
Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
What it's about: Urban fantasy set in an alt universe Johannesburg where sinners carry their crimes on their backs in a form of animals. Zinzi, an ex-journalist, ex-druggie, ex-inmate is forced to pay off her drug debt by getting involved in a missing person investigation. It doesn't end well.
Why I think she'd like it: Catie loves urban fantasy and I am sure she will love this one. Not only is it a thrilling mix of mystery and paranormal, but it is a great social commentary, with Paolo Bacigalupi-like darkness and grit.
The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
What it's about: It is a story of a young woman, who after years of feeling invisible and insignificant, discovers her strength and sense of belonging in the land of her kidnapper - a mysterious Hill-king who possesses magic powers.
Why I think she'd like it: First, it is fantasy. Second, it is so beautifully written! This story is lush, vivid and oh so romantic. I am quite certain The Blue Sword will take its place among Catie's favorites fantasies, next to Megan Whalen Turner's, Melina Marchetta's and Kristin Cashore's books.
The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham
What it's about: When Walter discovers that his shallow and silly wife Kitty is cheating on him, he decides to punish her by moving them to an isolated cholera-stricken part of China. There Kitty finds new self-awareness.
Why I think she'd like it: Catie will appreciate Kitty's emotional growth in this book. Plus an exotic locale. She will also have to watch the movie adaptation and she will love it too (am I a bit too sure of my recommendation powers?)
Shadowland (The Mediator #1) by Meg Cabot
What it's about: A light, fun story about a hilariously sarcastic teenage girl who can see ghosts, and is tasked with helping them move on.
Why I think she'd like it: Meg Cabot. Snarky/silly jokes. Hot latino ghosts. Querida. Did I mention it's Meg Cabot? I don't think this one will blow her away, but I think she will have fun with it. This series is also quite fun to inhale all in one go (there are six books). Okay, yes - she did just post an entire review about her dislike of non-eighties ghosts in books only a week ago. But I have a loophole: I'm pretty sure that Jesse, the ghosty love-interest, is from the 1880's. Problem solved!
Okay For Now by Gary D. Schmidt
What it's about: A very uplifting story with a colorful cast of characters. From the author of The Wednesday Wars, this spin-off features Doug Swieteck (the younger brother of the noted bully) and his struggle to fit in and cope with major life changes.
Why I think she'd like it: I think this book will go right to her heart and squeeze. It's quirky and funny, but has a lot of sweet depth and a happy ending.
The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov
What it's about: Earth detective Elijah Bailey is reluctantly teamed up with a humanoid robot to solve a murder mystery on a faraway planet.
Why I think she'd like it: Murder mystery...IN SPACE! With a simple (like a fox) detective and the robot sidekick he loves to hate. Need I say more? I think Flannery is destined to be an Asimov fan.