outlineofash: Cartoon of a book with a happy face. Text reads, "Reading! Fuck you reality." (Reading - Reading!)
Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsey. Excellent. The type of story where a mystery is introduced not to be later solved, but to show the cast of characters grappling with it. I'll be reading this one again for the eerie, elegant atmosphere alone.

Red by Kait Nolan. Not so excellent. A YA paranormal romance involving werewolves that tries to mock Twilight even as it makes the same mistakes. The attempts to connect the story with the Red Riding Hood folk tale are cursory and disappointing. What can I say, I've spoiled myself with Angela Carter's exploration of the symbolism and themes to be mined from the original sources in her short story collection The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories.

Marked by Jennifer Snyder. Awful. Another YA paranormal with werewolves. The premise interested me--girl with jealous boyfriend falls in love with a werewolf even as she turns into one herself, but the writing is awful and there are certain sociocultural undercurrents that make my skin crawl.

Silver Moon by Rebecca A. Rogers. Shoddy. Yet another YA about werewolves (I have five more of these waiting to be read; research is a drag), this one lifts direct scenes from Twilight and stitches them to the premise of Romeo and Juliet (except for everyone dying at the end, but perhaps that happens in books 2 and 3). Which I don't find fault with in and of itself; it's the patchwork plot that ruins this one for me.
outlineofash: Close-up of an eye with a rainbow-colored iris and glittery eye shadow. (Speak of the Devil)
I have mixed feelings about this book. Reading some of the reviews on Amazon, plenty of readers felt it was uneven, which I agree with, and that the second half of the story dragged down a great first half, which I disagree with completely.

From here on out, there will be spoilers. )
outlineofash: Propaganda parody of a soldier carrying away books. Text reads "Books cause dangerous thoughts." (Reading - Watch out for Books)
My nose is presently buried in Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke & Bone. It came recommended as an antidote to Twilight and its spawn, as well as a "good" YA paranormal romance. I'm only 5% in, but already giving the side-eye to what appears to be a "Save your virginity for true love" element. Hopefully it'll turn out only to be the perspective of a character and not a theme supported by the text, because damn do I hate that trope.

Also re-reading Terry Pratchett's Hogfather, as I always do at this time of the year.

What are you currently reading?

2-1-12.

Feb. 1st, 2012 11:01 pm
outlineofash: Close-up of an eye with a rainbow-colored iris and glittery eye shadow. (Steampunk Cat)
Oh look, I've gone quiet again. Half the reason I'm even posting this is because I'm determined to blog on a date that could be construed as a palindrome. So... a list of what's on my mind.

- I'm working furiously on The Thirteenth Rib. Coming down with some type of flu knocked me back a week, but we'll see how quickly I can make it up.

- I recently finished Dracula's Guest: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Vampire Stories. I enjoyed it very much, to the extent that I'll probably buy my own copy. It was interesting to see the familiar patterns play out in each story, and the different lenses used with which to view vampirism. There were the tragic Byronic figures, the virulent plague types, the melancholy monsters, etc. And of course the fear of sex permeated nearly every page.

- I'm absurdly pleased with my new writing notebook. Since I carry one around wherever I go, I'm particular about what I like. This one is sturdy and sleek, yet plain enough that spilling coffee on it won't bother me. And seeing so many crisp, blank pages just makes me want to write more.

- Latest music discovery: Imogen Heap. iMegaphone is delicious. Some songs have this surreal carnival quality that reminds me of Arcturus' La Masquerade Infernale and The Sham Mirrors, even though the two bands are entirely different overall.

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A. J. Navarre

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