Monday, January 31, 2011

Winter reading recommendations

Recommended Reading List

This time, I’m limiting the list to young adult books. Over the course of the last year or so, I’ve been reading everything I can get my hands on… is it just me, or do YA and middle grade books have more inventive, memorable and inviting cover art than adult fiction typically does? It is so entertaining to visit this section of the bookstore, and hard to leave without dropping some serious dough.

Here’s a few I’ve really fallen in love with:

Book of Dead Days
by Marcus Sedgwick

This book follows a young boy in a late 1700s, unnamed European city, who is servant to a magician who seems to have more than sleight-of-hand abilities. The also-unnamed Boy and a orphan girl who comes into his life try to help his master subvert a long-ago deal with the devil. Time is running out to save the magician’s soul…and the journey is magnificent.

The Agency
series by Y.S. Lee

I jumped into this series with #2, because the cover art was just so inviting to me. A strong, young Victorian-era heroine? I’m IN! Mary Quinn works undercover for a women-run spy agency (could this be any better?) and has a half-Chinese heritage (yup, it just got better!). In this installment, she works (literally—she joins a construction crew, and the details of how big-scale construction worked in those days is fascinating) to figure out who pushed a body off the top of the in-progress British Parliament building. Loved it. Number 1 in the series is top of my TBR pile.

A Great and Terrible Beauty
by Libba Bray

Not a new book, and several have followed in the series to complete a trilogy, but what can I say—I sometimes come to things late! As I did with the book above, I grabbed this one based on the incredible cover art. It’s set at a girls boarding school (I always love these stories, and wanted so badly when I was young to be sent away, or given a governess, or something literary), and the main character Gemma suffers visions and learns she is somehow linked to a former student at the school. That student was a member of a supernatural society and stakes get quickly dangerous, and Gemma learns disturbing information about her own mother. It’s a page-turner.

Enjoy the winter reading!

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