Tuesday, April 21, 2015

March's Best Books

Image result for graceling

I re-read this old favorite since I was in the mood for escape.  This world!  It is so creative and full of visual details.  The premise in this fantasy is that certain people are graced with a gift--for fighting, for reading minds, for sleeping well, for sniffing out fresh fish--and different kings take advantage of these Gracelings in various ways.  The Graceling Katsa has the gift for survival, and she frees herself from the service of a wicked king, falls in love, and uses her gifts to save a princess.

I enjoy the unfolding of the friendship between Po and Katsa that blossoms into a romance.  Katsa has a huge chip on her shoulder, but this book is a case study in making a fairly unlikable character shine and grow and win our hearts.  Po is such a sympathetic character that his friendship with Katsa softens her.  I did keep waiting for a reason why Katsa was so set against having children--that seemed odd to me, but then I'm a baby person (I never wonder why when someone says they don't want a pet, cause I get that!).

Not in the Script is a fun and delightful story about a famous teenage actress who is cast in a new TV series with two guys: her long-time crush and her best friend's crush.  And she falls in love with the wrong guy.

This book is a page-turned: it's funny, the dialogue is snappy, the pacing is tight, and it offers an interesting peek into the shooting of a TV sitcom.  I chuckled over the director's casting theory and other tidbits about the industry.

I especially admired how the author made these celebrities more than caricatures.  The sexy underwear model, the hot mean girl, and even the bad-boy famous actor all had depth to them.  I expected the main character to have dimension and to be sympathetic, but I was impressed with how the other characters met the same standard.  They felt well-rounded and human.

We know two families who have moved to LA so their girls could act (and they've done well!  Modern Family!  Selfie!  Girl Meets World!), so I kept thinking of those friends while I read this book.

Bonus:  It's squeaky clean--I handed it off to my daughter without a second thought.

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