Gemma Malley – The Legacy
The final book in a terrific YA dystopian trilogy… no, not that one. Anna, Peter, Jude and Sheila live in a world where eternal life is possible and children have become Surplus to requirement. As members of the Underground as well as young themselves, they’re trying to make small differences where they can – until the Underground is blamed for a batch of contaminated Longevity by the Authorities, and things heat up. This volume is tense and gripping, keeping the action moving while also managing to incorporate all of the characters introduced over the course of the trilogy. And the ending, oh the ending. I can’t recommend these books enough – teenage rebellion has never been quite so vindicated.
Meg Cabot – Airhead: Runaway
Another third-in-a-trilogy novel! The Airhead trilogy involves evil corporations, feminism, modelling, romance, and brain transplants. Runaway ties everything together neatly, and it’s fun and fast-paced without feeling rushed. The world needs more chick-lit/science-fiction YA.
Sarah Webb – Ask Amy Green: Bridesmaid Blitz
Another third book… in a series, though, so not quite the same. Amy’s mum’s best friend is whisking Mum, Amy and Clover away to the magical city of lights, because where else but Paris should one buy bridesmaid dresses? Another one nicely balancing a bit of extraordinary excitement with everyday concerns.
Ally Condie – Matched
Had heard a lot of great things about Matched (Janice posted about it here) and got a chance to read it over the bank holiday weekend. Enjoyed it tremendously. The basic premise is that Cassia lives in a world where people are Matched according to genetics et al, and where the Society and its Officials make sure that everyone is kept in line. Some of the details regarding the Farmlands and Outer Provinces could be a little more developed (though I suspect a sequel will be forthcoming), but there are some nifty things in here – there are a select Hundred Poems that have been saved, there are certain pills that everyone has to carry around, writing is an arcane skill – and the conflict Cassia feels between her longstanding friendship-turned-romance with Xander (her designated Match) and her attraction to Ky (classified as an Aberration) is skilfully handled. If dystopian romance is the new paranormal romance, and I really hope it is, bring it on.
Marie Corelli – The Sorrows of Satan
Probably the most fun Victorian novel I’ve ever read. Needs to be taken far less seriously than the author intended it, but basically: the devil and the fin-de-siecle publishing/literary world. Very fun indeed.
William Gibson – Neuromancer
One of these ‘I’ve always meant to read…’ books. I liked it but wasn’t wildly impressed – I can see why it’s been so influential, though, and it is a compelling read. This is the book that gave us the term ‘cyberspace’, and every so often there are observations/predictions about technology and people’s attitudes to it that just really work. (A lot more that’s out-of-date, mind you, but still worth reading.)
I am currently reading about a bajillion different things, including Paul Murray’s Skippy Dies, Olga Broumas’s collected poems, and David Nicholls’s Starter for Ten. You’d think the exponentially-increasing to-be-read piles would keep me out of the bookshops, wouldn’t you? Alas, not so much. (… at least it’s good for the economy, right?)