books and cleverness

I read books of all sorts, but mostly kids' lit and young adult literature and speculative fiction for all ages—usually from a feminist perspective. 


I've adopted a personalized version of the CHOICE reviews approach to recommendations/star ratings:

***** = Essential, a.k.a. truly love, absolute must-read, buy it now
**** = Highly Recommended, a.k.a. this is a really good book; I would buy it as a gift
*** = Recommended, a.k.a. pretty good; worth reading
** = Optional, a.k.a. meh
* = Not Recommended; a.k.a. this is not a good book


Graceling - Kristin Cashore

I wanted to like this one more, I really did. The narrator is a great, strong feminist role model, which I think is great and absolutely needed in YA lit ('sup, Twihards?). I like A LOT the openness that the two main characters have about their relationship in particular and what it means to be in a committed relationship in general. And one thing that I like all the more because I was surprised by it: I usually flip through sexy scenes when they crop up in YA books, because usually they feel completely gratuitous (see: last book I read,

The Replacement)but I love that Cashore integrated her characters' physical intimacy and awareness with their growing emotional intimacy, AND that she wrote about it in a way that was believable because it was consistent with her protagonist's unfamiliarity with affection....But I feel like I only objectively like those things. I didn't actually feel anything while I was reading the book, the way I want to.


All that said, Fire will be among my next batch of requests from the library.