THE FREEDOM THIEF By Mikki Sadil. Mikki is one of my critique partners and her debut MG novel released last month from MuseItUp Publishing. I'm so excited for her! She completed this manuscript before I joined the group, so although I’ve read several of her works in progress, this was my first time reading The Freedom Thief. It’s the story of thirteen-year-old Ben, the son of a slave owner and the lengths he goes to save his friend and stand up for what he believes. Ben leads his best friend, a crippled slave, and his family through collapsing tunnels, foreboding swamps, a dangerous forest in a life or death adventure towards freedom. This is a book I would have enjoyed reading with my children when they were young. It's a story both boys and girls will enjoy.
Once I had commandeered my daughter’s Kindle, I decided to keep it long enough to read ELIXIR BOUND By Katie L. Carroll.(Am I the only one who forgets about books once they're loaded onto the Kindle?) I don’t usually (ever) read fantasy, but I’ve been visiting Katie’s blog and hearing about her book and, I just couldn’t help myself. I won’t say it made a fantasy convert out of me, but I did enjoy the family aspect to the story. The quest and the life-changing decision Katora had ahead of her kept me pressing that page turn button. The characters were likeable, there was a sweet romance, and I couldn’t help but root for Katora and hope she would make the right decision.
Another title that had been waiting on the Kindle was Rachele Alpine’s CANARY. Contemporary YA is where my heart is and I thoroughly enjoyed this one – even though I wanted to shake Kate sometimes. She, her brother and her father are all trying, in their own way, to hold what’s left of their family together after their mother’s death. When Kate and her brother transfer to the elite private school where their father has become the basketball coach, a whole new world opens up to them, and changes them both in very different ways.
I also read Gayle Forman’s JUST ONE YEAR, the sequel to Just One Day. I loved Forman’s If I Stay and Where She Went and how the second book was told from a different character’s point of view. I was excited to hear that Just One Day and Just One Year followed suit. But after reading the first book, I felt duped, slogging through a fluffy middle only to arrive at an end point that wasn't an ending at all. It felt as if one book had been split into two. I would have preferred one tighter book where the viewpoints alternated. Still, as disappointed as I was in the first book, I read the second one – because, let’s face it, I was invested. *SPOILER ALERT* Sadly, a lot was lost in the wait for the second book. The near misses the characters have while searching for each other go under appreciated because the finer details have been forgotten in the wait for the second book. And by the end of book two, Willem doesn’t seem like much of a prize anymore. You almost don’t care if they end up together. But the biggest disappointment was that book two ends exactly where book one ended. (With all of a paragraph or two more – which is all telling.) Yup, I got to the end feeling even more duped than I had with book one. At 368 and 323 pages, it was a big investment with little payoff.
What have you read lately? Tell me about a book I just have to bump to the top of my TBR pile ;)