Friday, December 6, 2013

The Latest Three

It's time for another Latest Three
And I suppose a bit of an update.
NaNoWriMo is over, and once again it has evaded me. Though I won't necessarily go so far as to say I lost, as I wasn't really doing NaNo in the first place. For those of you who don't know, I finished my first complete MS almost this time last year and have been in the process of editing it, which is what I tried to use NaNo for, but school and another project got in the way. I have, however, been having fun with some major world-building with a dual project I'm working on (AKA: Anastasia Romanov re-telling with Better Bookish Half) Hopefully that will be my very well-prepared but ultimately still shiny new Anastasia re-telling for NaNo 2014. It looks promising.

So right now my somewhat daunting goal is to have the current MS I'm working on fully edited by the start of spring semester so I can send it off to my two critique partners. Also, I have some enthusiastic family members who've been bugging me to read it, but I'm not sure if I wanna go there yet, especially when I know changes are likely going to be made in the next rounds of edits. Thoughts?

Christmas Holidays are almost here, and I've got a stack of books to fill it with. I also would like to fit in some fun Christmas crafts if I can. Any suggestions? 

I will be re-reading (FINALLY) the Harry Potter series, something I've been avoiding, yes, avoiding, I kid you not, for several years now. For a good reason, I assure you, but those details will come with your next installment of The Latest Three.
This past Latest Three was definitely something to be reckoned with. I honestly don't think I've read a better set of three books in a row before, though I kinda feel like I say that for every set of three I read. But I REALLY feel strongly about it for this one!!!
Here it is, what I thought of The Latest Three books I've read.

The Bitter Kingdom, Rae Carson
Let me just start this out by saying, "WHEW DOGGIE!"
That is all I can say, really. I mean, this is a finish to a trilogy. Better Bookish Half turned me onto Girl of Fire and Thorns about two years ago, and I was obsessed with Carson's ability to write such a rich in detail, culturally vivid, kick-ass heroine epic fantasy. Her plot development is exactly perfect for the kind of grand adventure the MC, Queen Elisa, experiences. Carson keeps this high standard of story telling throughout the rest of her series, no cutting corners, no kissy scenes simply for the sake of a kissy scene. You just need to read it to understand. And now that the entire series is out you can fly through them all...also there's enovellas you can get for a dollar on Amazon. 

Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro
I have a mental list of Beautiful Books and this book definitely made that list (examples would be The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, and Bel Canto by Anne Patchett, among many more). When I use the word 'beautiful,' I don't mean anything along the lines of 'pretty.' I mean beautiful in a way that's haunting, perhaps a bit painful to recall but wonderful as well, that sticks with you like a vivid memory long after you've read it. This book is one of those books. Surprise, surprise, Better Bookish Half also gave this one to me for my birthday (she knows me so well). If you like books that artfully skirt around the main point/secret until it punches you in the face with truth, making you literally go, "What?...Wait, what!" Then I definitely recommend this one. Also, I love the time line. It starts out with the narrator, Kathy H, talking about her time living with friends at Hailsham, a peculiar sort of British boarding school, as children, but as the students grow older and you get bits and pieces of Kathy's life in the present you start to get a better understanding of what's actually going on until BAM, it hits you in the face. No joke. Another aspect I liked about this one is how unpretentious the writing is. It literally sounds like an average 31 year old middle class woman who's writing it, while the story itself brings all the poetic substance to the table.
Definitely pick it up at your local used bookstore...and also check out the movie. I haven't yet, but I take forever with those things. Kiera Knightly, Carrie Mulligan, and Andrew Garfield are in it. Yeah, should be pretty good. I'd say.

The Dream Thieves, Maggie Stiefvater
Stiefvater is basically my favorite author of today. It all started with The Scorpio Races. Then The Raven Boys and now The Dream Thieves did not disappoint. For those of you who haven't read the first book a) read it and b) you should know that this book is primarily about the character, Ronan, and his ability to enter dreams and take whatever he wants out of them. This, of course, does tie into the ley line and the search for Glendower, but that aspect mostly takes the backseat. Blue, one of the five main character's, stories has about the same emphasis as in TRB, and you'll want to watch out for the development of her relationship with Noah--so cute! Gansey and Adam still have their angst-y relationship, and perhaps it's even more angst-y in this one. But the brotherhood between them, and the rest of the male gang for that matter, is still really endearing in the cutest, and oftentimes funniest, way possible. Basically, if you like having that atmosphere with prep-school boys who are like brothers and spend day in and day out with each other and drive shiny, obnoxious luxury cars and have eloquent, sexy vocabularies in both English and Latin and a plucky, feminist girl to tag along with them, all while searching for a long dead Welsh King in a magical forest in Virginia, then this series is for you!

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