Thursday, July 19, 2012


Hi, this is your cabin girl. And here I am, posting out of turn, but I have direct orders from the captain, so there.

Here's my random rant for the day: So I went to the library and checked out some books, one because I liked the author, one because it looked epic, and one because it's been recommended to me-I think. And I started reading the recommended one because it's big and shiny and not the kind of book I would normally touch with a ten-foot pole. I didn't expect to get past the first few pages.

But I did, and now I'm halfway through the book. Its acceptable prose and intensity surprised and pleased me. The world unfolded naturally, full of magic and delicious darkness. The characters were instantly likeable and mysterious at the same time. Stuff I'd already figured out started to reveal itself and I was pleased to have figured it out before the characters. This book is CANDY to my teenage soul. The guys are cute, the girls are pretty. The characters are magical sarcastic teenagers with lots of weapons and other cool stuff. I sat in my room this early afternoon, reading, feeling guilty for liking a book that seems most unhealthily YA. By less early afternoon, I needed a break, so I wrote something and then went back to the candy. By dinner, I was starting to feel sick to my stomach.

YA will be YA. There hasn't really been kissing...yet, but I guess that's not my only issue with the genre. The characters are stereotypical. And it does *sigh* have vampires and werewolves, though we haven't seen any werewolves yet. I feel like I've read this story before. Thinking back, I realize that I have. At least three times, this being the fourth. I feel like I've met these characters before. I have. THE EXACT SAME NUMBER OF TIMES. The main character girl and the incredibly-hot-and-charming-but-also-secretive-reserved-powerful-and-with-an-angsty-past-full-of-death-and-despair guy who lets her follow him around and seems to like her maybe, go and save the world, usually by finding some sort of magical item that's been stolen or hidden, going to exotic places full of booby-traps and/or working out riddles and occasionally stabbing monsters. But before they do that, they have to figure out all this crazy family stuff like 'who are my parents really?' and 'wait a second, how come they never told me there was magic' because your parents would NEVER tell you if there was magic, right? If they're even your parents...

And by the end, we've figured out all the angsty family stuff, and solved the 'end of the world' problem, at least partly, and killed lots of monsters and survived lots of booby-traps and stuff. But you NEVER work out the relationship problems, love triangles or otherwise, especially if it's the first book in a series. So I'm not sure I want to finish this book, even though it's good compared to most YA. But I think I will. Because I need to read twenty books over the summer and I spent most of the time reading 'Wheel of Time' books, which take about two weeks to a month each, even for an avid reader.


  1. I feel like I've read this story before.

    And this is the problem, I think. Honestly, it's one reason I stopped reading SF back in the 90's - it had that same feel to it (not so much now, but I haven't read a lot of ADULT SF, so I can't speak authoritatively on that). Readers crave something fresh, but writers/publishers often want to deliver something "safe" - which usually gets translated to "same but slightly tweaked, different monsters, same plot."

    Twenty books is a LOT!

    If you want different, my teen son recommends "Enders Game." I recommend Uglies or Leviathan or White Cat or Dark Life ... and those are just the ones you'll find in your library. :) I truly believe that indie books are where you'll find a lot of "different" and "fresh" these days, because they don't go through the system that tries to make sure they will "sell." There's a ton of top-indie-book-recs here.

    I hope you find many lovely stories!

  2. Thanks for the post, cabin girl! You made me laugh.

  3. Woohoo for twenty books! You'll have a wonderful summer, Amber. By the way, I completely agree. The right kind of book is candy. I'd love for you to follow up with the titles of your favorites!


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