⬳ June 2, 2008 I went to Melissa Marr’s book signing for Ink Exchange at Vroman’s in Pasadena. I was crazy excited about it and wrote about it on my online VOX journal (VOX was sold to typepad and my journal was then moved there), so I have proof of my fangirl brain explosion. But here are some photos from the Vroman’s event as well as my Wicked Lovely collection. The books have survived numerous moves despite the occasional wholesale obliteration of our book collection to avoid hauling them between apartments. Fear not–we donate them to the library, we do not actually obliterate novels.
Blame it on severe depression. I spent three weeks in bed and a week after that getting out of bed but not wanting to do anything at all. This is my up and down world. While I was trying to sleep away the world, I was still reading some great stuff. I picked up some books that I didn’t think I would read and I’m liking them a lot.
Unintentionally, I read a good deal of books that were about angels and demons. Some were great, others good and some started out great and then later in the series they made me bug-eyed, grunting by how convoluted the story had become and how much I wanted to kill the protagonist. Sometimes it is painful reading about their weaksauce bullshit any further. A few recommendations I want to make are the Mad World Series by Christine Zolendz, The Premonition Series by Amy A. Bartol, The first book and then alternate POVs for the Sweet Trilogy and The Providence Series by Jamie McGuire.
I have to say the Mad World books, Fall From Grace and Saving Grace are pretty great. The premise is about an angel and a human woman who fell in love when the Grigori Angels (watchers) were sent to Earth from Heaven way back when them angels were just kids. If you know your Bible stories, in specific the Book of Enoch, you know that when these watcher angels mated with the human women, Nephilim were created. These children who were giant sized and compelled to destroy the world as we know it, they are redressed up with some writer’s license quite often. The hero and heroine never sinned but had shared a kiss, when the other sons of god were sent to sheol to repent, Shamsiel is sent with them. Then he and the woman he loves are cursed through time to travel from one soul to the next looking for one another again.
The things I truly love about this book is the complete humanization of these immortal souls. There is no feeling of divinity because they have lived thousands of lifetimes without any hope for relief. Not only were there fruitless searches for one other but the constant and draining effects of losing those they care for over and over again. You can literally feel the anguish, fear and attempts to recapture a fading faith.
I ask myself why it is that authors so often make heroines overburdened with pride. A great deal of both of Zolendz’s books weigh heavily on this struggle with assumptions. Even when one of them is telling the truth no trust is there to help them through. It’s disappointing when writers can’t do anything more than make their characters reckless and stubborn to further along a story.
Despite all reservations and grumblings I had with the books I would have to say that it is one of the better angel books that I have read in a long time.
Speaking of Angel/Demon books that are better than others I would have to say that Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins was phenomenal! She turned the entire genre of angel books on it’s head and made truly amazing characters that you can’t help but be intrigued and fascinated by. The book is about a sixteen year old girl named Anna who has always known that she was very different than everyone else. One night she goes out with her best friend and meets Kaiden, someone who is a lot like her. Along the way she finds that she is trapped in a world where she is pulled back and forth by her inner nature. Kaidan is incredible. My favorite kind of bad boy.
I must confess Kaidan Rowe would have to be right up there with Jace Wayland/Lightwood or Will Herondale on my the hotness scale of bad boy book boyfriends. One of the sexiest guys to be drawn up in a YA novel to date. His confusion and compulsions are just wonderful to read and how his philosophy and job meet with those things make him pop of the paper.
I can’t wait to read the next book, Sweet Peril, which is due out 30 April 2013. I would say that these books are some of the best novels since the Shadowhunter books. I could see me grabbing paperback versions of these books for my bookshelves.
Jamie McGuire is the author of the ridiculously good and indecently delicious book, Beautiful Disaster. She created the ultimate alpha male character in that book, Travis Maddox. I’m awaiting the alternate POV book of that story called Walking Disaster which is due out 2 April 2013. However before those books became so popular she had penned The Providence Trilogy, a tale about a girl who finds out about what her life actually is after the death of her father.
Nina meets Jared at a bus stop the night of her father’s death and soon he always seems to be around. She becomes more obsessed with him, right around the time I might have started thinking that I needed a restraining order, and then they are baring their souls in a I-can’t-live-without-you-moment. No longer able to deny his feelings he tells her all the things she is forbidden to know. The knowledge alone cracks open her world.
I liked seeing that Jamie McGuire could be so diverse. By far, I love Beautiful Disaster it is just one of those books that blew me away. However I kept the Providence books on my Kindle afterward in case I wanted to give them another read. Jared Ryel would lose in a battle with Travis Maddox.
Finally there is The Premonition Series by Amy A. Bartol. When I started this series I could not put it down. Every new character that was introduced I really loved. I was big on Freddy. Reed was best during the first half of the book when he was the enigmatic asshole. I loved it. All of it. The summary is that there is this newly scrubbed, fresh-faced, college Freshman, Evie. When she arrives on campus she finds she is embarrassingly effected by this guy who seems to hate her. He goes so far as to demand that she leave the campus completely. When he sees she won’t leave he tries to get to know her as well as he can. There is a few angels, a soul-mate and strong forces who want her dead.
The first book, Inescapable, is really great and the first few chapters of book two, Intuition, are good and then Bartol removes Evie from the little crowd of friends and that is where I start to dislike the book. Evie has left Reed and her friends, stranding her with her soulmate, Russell, at which time she pines almost to the point of needing a good fifth of tequila and a blow up Reed doll. This is when Bartol takes the fateful step that launches her to introduce a character I plain ol’ hate. About midway through Intuition Brennus and Finn and there Fellas are introduced. They are basically undead faeries and they drink blood and want to make Evie their undead queen. Chapter after chapter it is all about breaking her spirit and then driving her insane so that she will bend to Brennus’s will and take her place with the Gancanagh.
If it had only ended when she is saved in book two that would have been great but all too soon in book three Brennus is reintroduced and my tolerance for him and an Evie, now so ridiculously ruined, I could actually spoon my innards out with a melon spoon. In this those angels/people, better at strategic thinking and more capable of handling situations of general warfare are thwarted time and time again by Evie. Impulsive and irrational she is incapable of listening and the throttling she deserves never comes.Just when I was getting my Reed fix at the start of the book, in comes Brennus and the story is hi-jacked for at least 80% of the book by the Gancanagh.
The thing I think that really rips my panties is that with the direction the first book was going and what happens in the second and third. I really feel like Bartol was headed one way and then vered off in another because she found she loved the bad guy more so much than the hero. Going so far as to make him a main character rather than a secondary in the third book. All the people you loved in the beginning–Buns, Brownie, Zypher and Russell are sort of meh to her and it is a Brennus fest. I truly loathe this character.
There are also a few more books I would like to talk about sometime before I leave next week. I hope someone may be interested in some of these books. Reading does the body good.