Here are some I've found:
| ||Fairest ||Levine, Gail Carson|
This may be blasphemy, but I wasn't super taken with Ella Enchanted. It wasn't a bad book, it just didn't make me go "Wow". Fairest was much more my speed. I love retold fairy tales and Gail Carson Levine manages to be both true to the original and totally unique in this spin on "Snow White". The pacing is good throughout, and it takes place in a kingdom where everyone sings all the time. What's not to love? 4 stars
| ||Dead Is the New Black ||Perez, Marlene|
This book restored my faith well-done, shorter YA. I read it in one sitting, but the characters and the world were fleshed out enough to make me want to read more. This isn't your typical vampire-high school book.
The pyschic Giordano sisters, especially Daisy (whose powers have yet to show) have sass and humor to spare. 4 stars
| ||Darkwood ||Breen, M.E.|
This would probably come more under the heading of middle grade fiction, but I'm throwing it in anyway. I can't tell you much about it without ruining the very well-done world building, but here is the first sentence: "Darkness falls so quickly in Howland that the people there have no word for evening."
This is not just any darkness: this is can't-see-your-hand-in-front-of-your-face darkness. The only creatures out at night are the mysterious and deadly kinderstalk. Oh, and a clever run-away named Annie. 3 stars
| ||Eternal (Tantalize, #2) ||Smith, Cynthia Leitich|
PJ Hoover was nice enough to throw this into a package of books I won on one of her blog contests, and I was delighted. Cynthia's blog, Cynsations, has been a fixture on my Google Reader for a long time and I've been wanting to read her books. Especially Eternal.
Did it live up to my expectations? Heck YES!
Forget forbidden romance between a plain-but-not-really human and a good-but-tormented vampire who wants to eat her. Try a romance between a vampire princess (who regularly drinks the blood of kidnapped humans) and her disgraced guardian angel.
THAT'S a relationship with issues. And both characters are completely believable: sympathetic enough so that we root for them, but flawed enough that you wonder how they're ever going to figure it out.
And speaking of vampires, tune in on Saturday for...
The Obligatory "Twilight" Post: Part 2!!!!!!!
(If you want to read Part 1, click here. But be warned, I liked some stuff about the books, but not everything. So there is some ranting.)