Thursday, January 20, 2011

2010 Squee!!mers

It's not often I go buck nutty over a book. And I think, having been doing this for long enough, that when I do go crazy ravey over the awesomeness of a book, my readers tend to listen. Now that 2010 is over, I thought it'd be nice to take a look back through the past 12 months at the five-biters that I've posted. The ones that made me go SQUEEEEEEEEEE!!!! and want to scream it's fantabulousness from a megaphone. So, my readers, I present you with the Squee!!mers.

A Field Guide to the Little People by Nancy Arrowsmith

Aside from the fact that it's been around since the 70s and its popularity has pushed it into a reprinting years after its discontinuation, it's an epic guide for all things faery. Useful for the faery nut or your fantasy writer, if you want a hint at a plethora of different Fey, this is an awesome book for you. The twinkling little glitter bugs aren't littered about in this
book. Oh no. It's straight and narrow direct from lore these nasties are.

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Language. It's all about the language with this one. In a voice so stunning Anderson takes you through an acid trip of a problem, making you feel every little inch of pain and suffering the main character does. It's fearless and harrowing at the same time. Anderson isn't afraid to go where the story needs to go in order to make a point. She doesn't hide behind fades to black but rubs your nose in the problems, daring you to solve them before the MC.

Albatross by Josie Bloss

Called the anti-Twilight by the very author, this book is everything that every teenage girl needs to read about that Edward-type. Having written it as a rebuttal to the likes of Twilight and its romanticizing of abusive relationships, Bloss rips off those rose-colored glasses and lets you see what the relationship really looks like from the outside. Guaranteed you will be screaming at the MC, and for good reason. And hopefully it'll get you to look at the rest of those YA "romance" books in a different light.

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

If you're a writer, a fantasy writer, and want to be reduced to a pile
of heinously jealous tears, then you'll want to read this one. I've yet to come across a more amazing world than Beddor's Wonderland. He took Alice to places I never thought she'd go, gave her a personality I never thought she'd have and put her through situations I never thought she'd be in. It's a world Carroll wishes he could have written but it was a children's book after all, right?

Draw the Dark by Ilsa J. Bick

A present-day historical fiction with maybe-not-so-much hints of fantasy, this book sucks you in slowly and before you know it, you're riding a bullet and praying to whatever god you believe in that you crash into something squishy. Between the writing, the imagery and the play on little-known historical facts, you won't want the book to end, and you'll be damn pissed when it does. Because while the pages end, the story doesn't and there's still more of the MC to share. But he's gone to his sideways place, hasn't he?

Wildthorn by Jane Eagland

Want your inner crazy feminist to start rearing her ugly protesting head? Then just pick this one up because, chances are, you'll be so engrossed by the injustices of women portrayed here that you won't want to stop reading. Not to mention there's an amazing MC and an unconventional love story for the time period that's glorious to get through. If you don't feel anything reading this book, then you must be dead on the inside.

Traitor by Gudrun Pausewang

You'll be hurtling through this book so fast you'll get to the end and blow
through a few empty pages before realizing it's over. And because of where it ends, when you do realize it's done, you'll want to stand in a rain storm, look up and scream nooooooooooooo! Told from a POV we Americans rarely get to see (I think), you'll latch onto the MC and ride the same tense, fearful ride she hangs on to for the duration.

The Demon King & The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima

With an expert balance of high fantasy imagination and real world relateability, Chima's created a series of novels that'll introduce you to a new world and make you fall in love with it and its people all at the same time. Between the two main characters battling their lives out on the pages and the expertly placed secondary characters making their worlds go round, you'll tear through these books like a savage, left weeping at the end because the third one doesn't come out until later this year.

The Clearing by Heather Davis

Another Twilight antithesis, this one doesn't come on as strong as the likes of Albatross but it flashes the same message. You can't help but cheer for the MC as she struggles to break free of her past and come to trust others again. And it'll tear your heart out to see her do this with someone so immensely unattainable, and not in the popular way. It's a book of hope that'll give it to you straight but let you know there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

This Gorgeous Game by Donna Freitas

As you may have guessed, I rally behind the books with empowering messages and this one is no different. Caught in a horribly disgusting situation, the MC tries to make it out of the precipice herself and unlike the friend-failing in The Clearing, here, just as likely, the friends are there for her, ready to lift her up and support her. Even just reading this you'll get squicked out by the power play going on and you'll be rooting for the MC all the while.


Elie said...

Great post Donna, I haven't read any of these, although Wildthorne is on my shelf.

Anonymous said...

Love love love Wintergirls! (The Looking Glass Wars is good, too, but Wintergirls has a place in my heart.)

Rhiannon Hart said...

Oh godDAMN I only had time to read one, ONE, of these books last year and I really wanted to read most. SUCKS. I read every chance I get and there's still not enough time!

That's it. They're going on the wishlist.

PS The one book was Wintergirls and I loved it.

Ilsa said...

Thank you, Donna, for giving me my own SQUEEEE moment this morning! By the way, even if my book wasn't there, this is a very nice list. I've read six of those and loved them all. Hmmm . . . guess I know which ones I got to read next! Just what I need to get me through sequel-hell . . . ;-)

Ilsa said...

Donna, may I steal your squeemer to put up when I shamelessly advertise your blog on my site?

HM said...

Great list! I've only read Wintergirls as well. Off to add some books to my reading list! :)

Donna said...

I like to read books that are a little off the beaten path, since that's where my tastes tend to lie so I probably deviate from a lot of others' "tops" lists for last year. But I don't mind!

Ilsa, of course!

La Coccinelle said...

The only one of these I've read is Draw the Dark, which I really enjoyed. As you pointed out, though, the ending is a little bit (or a lot) frustrating.

Marian said...

I really want to read Draw the Dark, but it's not sold here in my country - still have my fingers crossed it will here one day.

Wings said...

draw the dark, wildthorn, traitor and this gorgeous game are on my must buy soon list...i just have to wait for a couple of them to come out in paperback :(

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