Tuesday, February 16, 2010

2010 Book Challenge #3 & 4

I am so on a roll. Got two books read last week, too (yippie!)

First up was The Trouble With Magic
by Madelyn Alt.
Ages: Adult

Maggie is a gal who isn't happy with her life in a boring desk job, and when she gets fired, she ends up working for self-proclaimed witch, Felicity, at her antiques shop. When someone close to Felicity is murdered and she becomes the main suspect, Maggie is determined to prove her innocence. Maggie doesn't buy into the whole witch nonsense, except as things progress, she realizes she has more in common with the witches than she first thought.

This was a really cute cozy mystery that mixes witches and the occult with the real world in a more traditional way, which I thought was a nice twist. I know that sounds odd, but magic is often treated like an everyday thing in books, and there's often that "magical world" co-existing with the real world and the two don't really meet except for the protag. Alt approached it in a more realistic fashion, and that added to the mystery and helped the plot along. Maybe I'm just too used to fantasy since cozies is a genre I don't read much of, but I thought it was handled well and really added to the book.

Next up was Going Bovine
by Libba Bray
Ages: 14+

I've heard lots of good stuff about this book, so I was looking forward to this one. The voice is just fantastic and I loved her characters. This is an odd book to describe (those who read it know why) but I'll do my best.

Cameron is a high school student who discovers he has mad cow disease. He winds up in the hospital, and ends up on a road trip to find the cure with a dwarf, a punk rock angel and a garden gnome. The story branches off into a surreal trip and Bray masterfully mixes things from Cameron's life into it, so at first, you just don't know if this trip is for real or if it's just a hallucination in Cameron's Swiss-cheesed brain.

I've never read the Gemma Doyle series because I'm not a historical reader, but after seeing Bray's writing I'll have to give them a try. And it turns out there's a supernatural element to them, so they weren't what I thought anyway!

This week's books:

The Name of This Book is Secret, Pseudonymous Bosch
Inner Circle, Kate Brian

Future books:
Legacy, Kate Brian
Ambition, Kate Brian
Revelation, Kate Brian
Paradise Lost, Kate Brian
Privilege, Kate Brian
Jhegaala, Steven Brust
The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
Princess in the Spotlight, Meg Cabot
Princess in Love, Meg Cabot
Heist Society, Ally Carter
Empire, Orson Scott Card
A War of Gifts, Orson Scott Card
Deep Dark and Dangerous, Mary Downing Hahn
Deadtown, Nancy Holzner
Crank, Ellen Hopkins
Mainspring, Jay Lake
How to Ditch Your Fairy, Justine Larbalestier
Gods of Manhattan, Scott Mebus
Hellgate London - Exodus, Mel Odom
The Adoration of Jenna Fox, Mary E. Pearson
The Scent of Shadows, Vicki Pettersson
Holes, Louis Sachar
Wicked, Sara Shepherd
Games of Command, Linnea Sinclair
The Harrowing, Alexandra Sokoloff
It's Kind of a Funny Story, Ned Vizzini
Uglies, Scott Westerfield
Spin, Robert Charles Wilson


  1. You did a good job of describing Going Bovine. I haven't read her other books either but am thinking of reading them now. The Trouble with Magic sounds good. Thanks for the review.

  2. Do you think that Going Bovine would be a good book for middle-grade school children or more for YA?

    It does sound very interesting.

  3. Going Bovine is probably more YA. It deals with some serious issues and situation that are more for the older crowd. Might be fine for the eighth grades, as I think it's 14+. B&N.com lists it as appropriate for 15+.

  4. I'm late to this post, but the Gemma Doyle trilogy was much better/different than I had expected. I am a historical fiction reader, but the supernatural was definitely prevalent. Lots of twists and turns! I hope you get a chance to look them over.

  5. Cool! It's going on my list. I may not get to it until next year, but I will, LOL.