I just recently "met" Sarah online and she seems to be a total bookaholic, so of course I like her! Sarah decided to talk about two books/series at length and then give some random recommendations at the end of her post. I hope you will enjoy Sarah's post as much as I did. And make sure to visit her blog.
Info: The links lead to Sarah's blog, Goodreads, the author's websites and Book Depository.
Well, let’s start with „Hey there, I’m Sarah and I’d like to recommend some books I really enjoyed to you.”. That can’t be wrong, can it? Ok, I’m pretty much new to the ‘book blogging world’ (so please be nice ) and some snooping around brought me to Sabrina’s blog. I instantly loved her idea to start ‘recommend it’ because I wouldn’t have even looked at some of my now favorite books without reading or getting some kind of recommendation first (for example the ‘Hunger Games’ books by S. Collins). Though, to be honest, I sometimes don’t like the books my friends tell me to read, I honestly think that a recommendation doesn’t hurt.
Ok, short introduction: I’m Sarah, a twenty-something, coincidentally also from Germany, and have just started blogging over at http://weareslowdancinginaburningroom.blogspot.de/. It’s not really a book-blog, but I looooove all the bookish blogs out there!!! What I read? Almost everything, really. This includes adult and YA, fantasy and contemporary. I sometimes tend to get annoyed by one genre if I read too many of the same kind of books and switch to another, only to come back to it after a month or so… Even though I read books of all genres, I seem to focus on paranormal romance, urban fantasy, fantasy and funny female detective novels. As many others, I love a strong, funny, witty female heroine. You know, who doesn’t want to be the cool chick that kicks some demon-butt and is able to fire off cool sarcastic comments at her nemesis in her secret other life?
To cut to the chase, I want to recommend two totally different book(s) to you. One is the Kate Daniels Series by Ilona Andrews and the second is Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman.
The Kate Daniels Series by Ilona Andrews is mainly Urban Fantasy and yes, it’s about Kate, the kick-ass heroine trying to save her friends, city and thus also her life from demons, vampires (not the sparkling kind) and all other forms of creatures while she falls in love, has to deal with her past and wanders through a magical, scary and cool Atlanta.
So far it consists of 5 books: Magic Bites, Magic Burns, Magic Strikes, Magic Bleeds and Magic Slays.
What I like about it
- Kate: she is the heroine you look for; sassy and funny-but not too outrageous to make her sound like an idiot, strong- but able to receive and overcome wounds of the mental and physical kind and, unlike some heroines, the reader is able to understand where she comes from and why she makes certain decisions. I also like her dedication to help her friends, she’s comfortable with herself and does not take any crap from others. Plus, she’s got a sword named ‘Slayer’, what’s not to love?!
- the other protagonists: Curran, her love interest is everything you’d ask for in terms of paranormal romance (though the book is UF, don’t get me wrong) without being over-the-top. Her other friends and acquaintances are not just (not only) secondary characters, but really well-written. I love Doolittle, a honey badger-shifter-doctor with a penchant for extremely sweet tea, the cool boudas (hyena shape shifters) and the young Derek, her sometimes sidekick. I have even come to like and fear for one of the ‘bad guy’ characters (Ghastek) by the end of the last book, which just underlines how great the characters are.
- the setting: The Atlanta in a destroyed, post-magic word is amazing, an own character. It supplies to dark atmosphere and explains her world of magic and despair in a good way. In this series, the phrase ‘the setting is a character’ really fits. I even like the obvious “ my father is the evil lord who abandoned me and is the ultimate enemy“ plot, because of the writing which is so good that it stops this storyline from being too cliché. Nice stories and a fast-paced plot with twists and turns, magic, love and mystery.
My favorite book of the series so far is the third, Magic Strikes, in which Kate and her friends infiltrate an underground fighting ring to save one of their own.
“I gave him a smile. I was aiming for sweet, but he turned a shade paler and scooted a bit farther from me. Note to self: work more on sweet and less on psycho-killer.” Magic Strikes“The vampire stared at me, his mouth slack as Ghastek assessed his options. I took a couple of forms from my desk, put them into the vamp's mouth, and pulled them up by their edges. "What are you doing?" Ghastek asked. "My hole puncher broke." "You have no respect for the undead.” Magic Burns
All in all: It’s damn good paranormal with an amazing heroine and a great setting!
Looking forward to: Gunmetal Magic, which is a book set in Kate’s world but written from the point of view of her friend Andrea. I can’t wait!
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman
This is fiction (I’d say for adults and teens), set in the summer of 1967 in Savannah. The main character is a young girl, CeeCee who didn’t have a nice start to her life: with a crazy mother who still thinks she’s a pageant queen, and her not very caring dad. After her mothers’ death, she moves to Savannah, Georgia, to live with a distant relative, Aunt Tootie. Yes, the novel is about Southern life in the 60ies and yes, it concerns African American problems and the topics of class, racism and all the ‘prejudices’ about The South in general. Concerning these ‘themes’ you can always find points to criticize, I guess.
Why I still recommend the book? I loved the different forms of friendship between all the female characters whether they are young or old, black or white and poor or wealthy. CeeCee, who’s come to know little about the simple pleasures of life, about friendship, trust and being able to laugh, learns how to have a carefree childhood and being a strong and confident girl/ female by talking to and living with these different women.
It’s a novel that makes you cry and laugh on the same page. The characters are funny, cool and also grave. There’s her rich and generous aunt Tootie, the caring servant Oletta and her new neighbor, the naked-bathing, tree-saving Thelma Rae. CeeCee meets various women and learns valuable lessons from them. This ‘saves’ her and simultaneously teaches the reader about the beauty of differences and individuality in life. Though the story might feel a little depressing sometimes, it still makes you smile. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of things to laugh about, like CeeCee taking pictures of the bra of one of her not-so-nice neighbors all over town and sending them to her.
“Don't grow up to fast, darling. Age is inevitable, but if you nurture a childlike heart, you'll never ever grow old.”
“Don't go wasting all them bright tomorrows you ain't even seen by hanging on to what happened yesterday. Let go, child. Just breathe out and let go.”
Why read it? It’s about love, understanding, friendship and growing up. It’s heartbreaking and sweet at the same time.
Finally, I want to finish this with a thing called “RRs” (random recommendations). This is a list of other books I enjoyed, for various reasons, including totally different topics or themes.
In no particular order, my ‘RRs’:
- The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris (the first ones are the best! Paranormal)
- Game of Thrones by George RR Martin (Fantasy)
- Blue Moon and the whole Nightcreatures Series by Lori Handeland (Paranormal Romance, Mystery)
- One for the Money and the first books in the Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich (detective, fun)
- Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer (Drama, Family),
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- The Alchemyst by Michael Scott
- The Complete Stories and Poems by Edgar Allan Poe
- The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien (Fantasy)
- Triffles by Susan Glaspell
There are many others, a thing almost every reader knows….
What’s left to say: Enjoy!
Thanks Sarah for these wonderful recommendations, I have to check some of them out. I love how passionate Sarah is about the books she likes, that's something I love about readers in general. Why don't you check out some of the recommendations, leave a comment for Sarah and check out her blog?