Jeri Smith-Ready – Shine
The third and final volume in the Shade trilogy. Aura has finally said goodbye to Logan, but there’s still trouble and heartache again – especially when something terrible happens to Zachary, and the anti-ghost anti-Post-Shifter measures are amped up by the government. As with the previous volumes, this is a compulsive page-turner – a terrific blend of romance and mystery. The reasons for the Shift are further delved into, alongside what the Shift means for big business and government. The world of this trilogy is really appealing and so well done – with characters that feel real even in that alternate-world – and it’s a shame to say goodbye to them. Really looking forward to seeing whether JSR writes any more YA fiction.
Laura Jane Cassidy – Eighteen Kisses
The second story about Jacki King sees this girl detective with paranormal abilities haunted by another missing woman. This time Jacki has the support of the police (well, mostly) and some definite leads – yet it seems like someone involved in the case, about a girl who went missing on her eighteenth birthday, is lying. As part of her cover story, Jacki’s back in Dublin, doing an internship at a music magazine and reconnecting with her old friends – and making one or two new ones. As with the first book, the balance between the paranormal stuff and the real-life emotions is expertly handled – the world here is completely believable. Fast-paced, with some marvellously funny bits alongside the creepier and angsty ones.
Deb Caletti – The Story of Us
I generally adore Deb Caletti’s books, but this one felt a little ‘meh’ – which I even feel vaguely guilty about saying. I love the quieter feel of Deb Caletti’s books, and the rich cast of quirky supporting characters, and the reflective parts, but in this case it felt a little too understated at the quiet parts, a little too reflective, a little too quirky. The story is centred around a wedding, and the focus is on high school graduate Cricket, who’s worried that her mother will run off before the wedding (as she’s done before) and also concerned about her own relationship with her long-term boyfriend. There’s also a lot about dogs. Maybe that was it, for me. There’s a lot to like, and I really did enjoy Cricket’s insecurities and uncertainties about moving away from home, but I felt the show/tell balance was off a little, I guess. YMMV – I’ve come across reviews naming this as Caletti’s best book yet.
Meg Rosoff – Vamoose
Short yoke from a while back. A teenage mother gives birth to a moose. Just the right level of zany and snarky you’d expect. Nice quick read.
Leigh Stein – The Fallback Plan
Ah, 20something post-college angst! My second-favourite kind (after, of course, teen). Esther has just graduated with a degree in theatre and is back living with her parents, hoping she develops some kind of chronic illness so she can stay cocooned forever. Instead she finds herself with a job – nanny to a family still recovering from the loss of their first child a few years before. This moves along nicely and there are some gorgeous observations in here – looking forward to reading her next book.
Sarah Rees Brennan – Unspoken (via Net Galley)
I mostly want there to be a whole book about Holly and Angela. There is lots of other good stuff in here, but mostly that’s what I picked up. Basically, this is the tale of a young intrepid reporter, Kami, and what happens in a small village when the creepy gothic family, the Lynburns, return. There are lots of gothic-y tropes and secrets and intrigues, blended with realistic contemporary heroines and heroes. The tone is very very Sarah-ish, especially in the dialogue. Worth checking out – on shelves in September.