Thursday, May 10, 2007

What I'm Reading Meme

The meme-of-the-week seems to be focusing on what people are currently reading. This is a hard question, since most of the time I'm not "currently" reading anything. I typically finish my books in one sitting. Or two. Maybe three. So I'll just be discussing what I've read this past week

Over the weekend, I began reading EVIL GENIUS by Catherine Jinks. I'll admit it right now. It was a slow read for me. I took two days to get to page 150. For someone who usually reads books in one sitting, this is really saying something. I just could not connect to the characters, for the most part. But by about 250, I was beginning to enjoy the story. It is over 400 pages long, and I'm not sure what other readers will think of it. Is it slow to me or everyone??? But I will say this, by the time I was into it 300 pages...I was beginning to be hooked. Beginning to care. I think the 'problem' with the novel--in my opinion--is that the main character is so uninvolved with the human race--so separated, so isolated--that it's hard to care. He is an observer. He looks at things coldly, objectively. He's essentially emotionless. He's so very un-human for most of the novel. But as he begins to grow as a character--begins to become more human--then the book begins to improve.

I also read REALITY LEAK by Joni Sensel. It was good. Much better than EVIL GENIUS. The characters are really unique. The plot just one imaginative element after another.

Yesterday, I read FAHRENHEIT 451 by Ray Bradbury. I chose this one for the Dystopian Challenge I'm participating in...although I did not list it as one of choices. I wanted to make sure it was available to check out at my local library. While many copies were checked out, I was able to find it. This was my first time reading it--and I am quite impressed. In fact, I think I'll probably reread or skim it again before I post my review of it.

Last night, I read STEALING ADDA by Tamara Leigh. Since I probably won't review it for this site--since it's an adult book--I'll take a little more time here. I won this book at Callapidderdays. It is about a (fictional) NYT best-selling historical romance author whose own love life has taken a long break. Since her husband cheated on her with "Stick Woman" (a fellow up-and-coming romance author), she feels her life has been a little out of control. With a deadline approaching, she is beginning to feel that her career, her love life, and her life in general are all spiraling downwards. Is there hope for a middle-aged romance writer? The book is entertaining. It has its funny moments. Its charming moments. It works for me. I have reviewed it for my site, Becky's Christian Reviews.

And the book I am currently in the middle of...STORY OF A GIRL by Sara Zarr. So far, I am loving it.

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

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