Demon Princess: Reign or Shine by Michelle Rowen
This book really reminded me of Meg Cabot’s work, also Debbie’s writing, and to a lesser extent, my own. For that reason I insist that Debbie tracks it down and reads it.
Story: an ordinary, slightly geeky girl discovers when she turns 16 that her absentee father is actually a king of a demon dimension and she is coming into insanely powerful magical half-demon powers. There’s a neat relationship with her best friend at school, a fake-out popular boy and a darkly mysterious hottie who it turns out, is only stalking her because he’s working for her father.
Pretty light weight, but great fun. Great first love, fluttering kind of relationship stuff plus neat alternate universe stuff and a very promising cameo from a rather sexy Faerie King. First in a series, can’t wait for the next one.
Handcuffs by Bethany Griffin
Parker broke up with her boyfriend because she wasn’t ready to have sex with him. Except she keeps going to his house and making out with him. Then one day he comes by her house with a pair of handcuffs. Naturally her parents come home early and she gets in massive trouble.
This book is an awesome examination of the powerful pull of lust and first love, power imbalances in relationships and continuing to return to someone who you know is bad for you because you love the way he makes you feel. There’s also some really strong minor plot stuff dealing with Parker’s relationship with her older sister and her younger brother who has ADHD. This book is compellingly written, a bit sexy and funny and I really recommend it.
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
I haven’t finished reading this one, because I had to return it to the library but I want to finish it. Set in the American South it’s the story of a boy who’s lived all his life in a small town, dreaming of getting out. A new girl comes to town who dresses differently to the others, she’s lived in all these different countries and she plays beautiful music.
And the real kicker? Ethan has been having these really vivid dreams about her where they are drowning, he wakes up with bruises on his arm from where she’s been holding onto him. Or his bed full of dirt from the mud they fell through…he didn’t think she was real until she appeared in school.
Thornspell by Helen Lowe
I finally got around to reading this book, after buying it on the night I saw Helen and Tim talk about spec fic last year. It’s a twist on the sleeping beauty story, in that it follows the path of the prince. Sigismund is coming of age and coming into some magic powers as well, he walks the sleeping castle in dreams, for example. A paladdin-ish hero knight called Balisan is sent to him to be a mentor. I liked Balisan, he reminded me of the best male characters in Tamora Pierce books.
I enjoyed it immensely. Helen easily creates a world you want to stay in and explore. It feels comforting, familiar while somehow being new to explore as well. The story was strong all the way through and there were some very nice and neat twists I didn’t see coming.