Friday, June 27, 2014

City of Lost Souls and City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

image from LibraryThing
I love a good series almost as much as I love a
Image from Library Thing
big fat novel.  Cassandra Clare has met both of my requirements!  These are the last two books in the Mortal Instruments series.  In the midst of these books she also wrote the Infernal Devices series that is a prequel to these, and in an absolutely wonderful way is not completely a prequel!

These books tell the story of Clary Fray and Jace Herondale - both Shadowhunters. In this earth the world is defended from demons by Shadowhunters descended from angels.  And the world is threatened by Clary's evil brother Sebastian - I am not talking run of the mill evil - but demon spawn, everything is turned on it's head and life as we know it will end when he gets control evil!

As usually happens in YA lit - the teens save the day.  And there is a bit of romance - between a werewolf and a shadowhunter, between a shadowhunter and a warlock and between Clary and Jace! Sometimes that can be annoying - but in these I was ok with it.  It's mostly longing and wondering and hoping.  The cover art makes it look much hotter than it actually is!!!

This is a complicated story - one that takes hundreds of pages and multiple books to roll out...and I loved every minute of it! Watching these awkward mundanes (non-magical or not yet magical) teens grow up on the pages of the book. In that way it reminded me of Harry and Ron and Hermoine.  The hope of every teen to be something amazing and the horror of every teen to be something amazing all rolled up together.

I highly recommend these books!  and in typical series fashion - at the end of this one is a small tidbit of the next series.  The twist Clare makes is each series is intertwined and foreshadowed!  I LOVE THAT!! I would love to see her planning notes.  How does she keep it all straight??  I stand in awe of writers who are able to craft a story in the way she does!  Bravo!!

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Round House by Louise Erdrich

image from LibraryThing
Joe's life is about to end on a sunny, spring, Sunday afternoon as he quietly pulls sprouts out of the foundation of his family's home.  He is helping his judge father while him mother does a little work at the reservation office.  But, she doesn't come home.  And when she does nothing will ever be the same again.

His mother has been attacked and escaped with her life.  But, she slips into a deep, dark depression as Joe and his father struggle to figure out what happened, who the attacker could be and how to be a 13 year old boy whose very normal life has disappeared.

Erdrich weaves stories of reservation life and loyalties into this narrative - some through the nightime talk of Joe's very ancient grandfather or his reformed stripper aunt.  But mostly we learn the ins and outs of life from Joe and his three friends.  Riding bike, smoking stolen cigarettes, sharing stories and histories all come together to create a world where justice is not expected and history means more than current day.

This story spins and pulls the reader deeply inside the reservation world - deeply inside the psyche of a 13 year old in the summer of 1988.  Another one that I would recommend!

This is our book club book for June.

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

image from LibraryThing
This is one of the books that hooks you early and won't let go.  Moriarty creates a story woven between three families - each holding part of a life shattering event.

The story opens with Cecilia finding a letter from her husband asking her to open in the event of his death. What would you do?? Cecilia's life is neatly and tidily organized - she is a mega-multi-tasker - a tupperware phenom and the mother of daughters.  Every part of her life is carefully orchestrated.  And then she finds this letter.

Tess has a great job, a great marriage, a great child and a wonderful best friend. And then it all explodes via tearing betrayal.  She takes her son and escapes to her mom's house to get her bearings and help her mom recover from a broken leg.

And finally there is Rachel, the still grieving mother.  Her daughter was murdered 30 years ago and she has been frozen in time and grief ever since.

These women cross paths in a most unexpected way.  All that you think you know when you begin reading evaporates.  I cried and I laughed and I couldn't put it down!

This is a wonderful story of the strength and pain in a woman's life.
Read it!!