Great 2012 read*:
See You At Harry’s by Jo Knowles
I blubbered and balled my way through Fern’s story. And it isn’t because it was 270 pages of darkness and misery – although there is a big event that is quite sad – I cried even in the sweet happy moments. It was just one of those books. I have spent an inordinate amount of time wishing myself in to Jo Knowles brain so that I may nudge her in to making Harry’s a series. A never ending series. Christmas is a time for miracles, so who knows.
I’m always impressed by Knowles depth of characterisation; there are no cheap lines or trite words. Every pause, every word adds fullness to the character and means something to the reader.
Pleasantly surprised by:
On face value it’s a New Adult romance novel with a male protagonist. At it’s heart it is so much more. I was most impressed with SLN’s depiction of a family dynamic. Writers can often fall in to the category of making parents evil or neglectful to justify the teenage protagonist being at odds with them. Doller doesn’t fall on such tropes. She invests time in to fleshing out the complicated, and often contradictory, relationships children have with their parents.
I know I know, I’m only allowed one choice… but I’m a book rebel. Shadows was being gifted with tags such as Paranormal Romance and New Adult. I’m highly suspicious of both categories. Paranormal Romance is the IT category to write in over the last few Twi-years and as such found itself swimming in a books-gone-bad feel. New Adult is a category that is extremely new and I don’t feel anyone has really got a handle on yet. Is it about the protagonist’s age? Is it about college? What is New Adult. I’m not too sure I still know.
Regardless what Shadows finds itself labelled under, it distinguished itself with great writing, intriguing characters and an action-packed plot. I was engaged in every moment of the text, and I venture that your teenage audience will be too.
Most anticipated for 2013:
Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made by Stephan Pastis
I was pretty much a goner when I found the blurb description:
Take eleven-year-old Timmy Failure – the clueless, comically self-confident CEO of the best detective agency in town, perhaps even the nation. Add his impressively lazy business partner, a very large polar bear named Total. Throw in the Failuremobile – Timmy s mom s Segway – and what you have is Total Failure, Inc., a global enterprise destined to make Timmy so rich his mother won t have to stress out about the bills anymore. Of course, Timmy’s plan does not include the four-foot-tall female whose name shall not be uttered. And it doesn’t include Rollo Tookus, who is so obsessed with getting into “Stanfurd” that he can t carry out a no-brain spy mission. From the offbeat creator of Pearls Before Swine comes an endearingly bumbling hero in a caper whose peerless hilarity is accompanied by a whodunit twist.