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Growing Bookworms Newsletter: May 6, 2008

Reviews that Made Me Want the Book: May 6

Welcome to the latest installment of my Reviews that Made Me Want to Read the Book feature, in which I highlight the books that catch my eye and the review writers who have the talent and/or turn of phrase to capture my attention.

Clockwork HeartCheryl Rainfield made me want to read Dru Pagliassotti's Clockwork Heart by saying that it "has everything you might want in a book–a strong girl hero, romance, intrigue, mystery, suspense, great humor, believable characters, strong writing, all in a fantasy setting." She also said "Clockwork Heart is the best YA fantasy–the best book–I have read in a long time. Pagliassotti is now one of my new favorite authors, and I’ll look for any other book she comes out with." Sounds like a book worth picking up, doesn't it?

I learned via Chasing Ray that a sequel to Ellen Klage's wonderful Green Glass Sea will be released in October. Colleen says "White Sands, Red Menace follows the adventures of Dewey and her best friend Suze Gordon who are now living near the White Sands Missile Range as "Phil. Gordon is now working on rockets that will someday go the moon; Terry Gordon is working on stopping the Bomb"." I agree with Colleen that "this one should be great."

Anthem of a Reluctant ProphetSomething about a recent review of Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet by Joanne Proulx at Reading Rants! Out of the Ordinary Teen Booklists caught my eye. I think it was this sentence: "This outrageous, day-in-the-life chronicle of a basement-dwelling, pot-smoking burn-out turned modern day mystic manages to be philosophical, sad, and uplifting all at once." Plus the cool cover.

Magic BitesAngieville wrote an intriguing review of Magic Bites, by Ilona Andrews. She said: "I have to say what I liked best about this first book is the crazy, psychedelic Atlanta it takes place in. This alternate city is saturated in daily waves of magic that doggedly eat away at any signs of civilization and/or technology. The city's skyscrapers are no more than dwindling piles of granite and steel. Magic and technology are basically anathema in this world and the inhabitants of Atlanta live a sort of refugee-type half life." Sounds like a book that will satisfy my incessant need for dark, post-apocalyptic stories, doesn't it? And it's the first book of a series.

Little BrotherA more realistic novel that looks like it might feed my yen for dystopian stories is Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow. Swarm of Beasts says: "This is not a far-future dystopia. It is about the world now. (Based on Marcus having a Sega Dreamcast when he was seven, and discussions of the upcoming midterm elections, I’d put the date at 2010. I’m not sure if the technology is there yet, but certainly Doctorow would know more about that than I would!) It is, specifically, about the situation in the U.S. in the present day, not some handwavy analogy of a dystopia." She also says that it's "made of awesome." Sounds like a good companion to an adult novel that I just read, Nelson DeMille's Wild Fire.

Steel TrappMs. Yingling is a regular source for reviews that make me want to read the book. This week, she reviews Steel Trapp: The Challenge, by Ridley Pearson. Honestly, she had me at her introduction: "Bravo, Mr. Pearson! I've waited for this author (The Kingdom Keepers, Peter and the Starcatchers) to turn his talents to young adult spy novels, and he has with Steel Trapp: The Challenge." But the rest of her review helped, too. She thinks it's better than Pearson's two other YA novels. And as a fan of Pearson's adult writing, and a fan of young adult spy novels in general, I won't be able to resist this one.

And that's all for this week. But I really look forward to, one of these days, reading these books. Right  now I'm reading The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart.