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random library adventures

Intermittent reviews & commentary. Preferred genres: YA; contemporary lit; sci-fi/fantasy; comic books

Currently reading

One Hundred and Forty Five Stories in a Small Box: Hard to Admit and Harder to Escape, How the Water Feels to the Fishes, and Minor Robberies
Dave Eggers, Deb Olin Unferth
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Ransom Riggs
The Best American Short Stories 2009
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Susanna Clarke
The Graveyard Book
Neil Gaiman
Cornelia Funke, Anthea Bell
Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls
David Sedaris
The Quick-Change Artist
Cary Holladay

Once Dead, Twice Shy (Madison Avery, Book 1)

Once Dead, Twice Shy - Kim Harrison I burned through this book like lightning (though it's also pretty short--less than 300 pgs) and actually really enjoyed it; it's my favorite so far of the mountain of teen girl meets the paranormal that I've been sifting through lately. Which is sad, because I LOVE teen girls meeting the paranormal, but most of them just take too many pages from Twilight, unfortunately, whereas this one does not. The protagonist actually has a personality: she's fun and flawed, her actions have consequences, and her love interest is atypical, too. Sure, he's handsome (I'm not going to begrudge handsomeness in fantasy, ever), but he's not a prop and he's not creepy. Understand, I don't even mind creepy love interests--all about them, actually--I just prefer them to be acknowledged AS creepy. And the antagonist in this story, whom Madison did kiss at one point, is absolutely acknowledged as such. Enjoyable stuff and a book I would recommend to teen girls looking for YA fantasy that doesn't insult their intelligence.

It's not without its flaws, though, mostly in that it was a little bit insubstantial: I liked the mythology, but I liked the passages where Madison was interacting with her community and taking photographs just as much. The end is definitely a bit of a convoluted info-dump as well, but ... I don't know, man. It's a fun read and if there's more, I'm on board.