Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Welcome to Road Trip Wednesday!

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. This Week's Topic:

What was the best book you read in January?

I read several great books in January. A few of my favorites were:

But my top book for January has to be The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin.

This book had been on my to-be-read list for a while. When it kept showing up on bloggers' lists of best books of 2011, I finally picked it up.

Instead of summarizing, which would give too much away, I'll just sing its praises. Mara is equal parts spooky and suspenseful. Hodkin's prose is spot on, clean and lyrical, with snappy dialogue and the magical quality to give you goosebumps. I was really fascinated by the way she let the reader experience Mara's madness. I felt Mara losing it, in a very different way from Juliette's state of mind at the beginning of Shatter Me. (Another good book, with amazing voice.)

Shifting gears, but on a related note, I've been reminded recently that I sometimes forget the audience for my blog. I expect most of my readers to come from the YA world, since I mostly read and review YA books, and because I am writing a YA novel. But I don't usually talk to people in the 'real' world about that. When I run into someone locally and they mention my blog, or that they bought a book based on my recommendation, I am floored. (Thanks for reading, by the way!)

How does this relate to Mara Dyer? This book is dark and violent. Some reviewers compare it to early Stephen King. (I wouldn't go quite that far.) Not out of the ordinary for the books I read, but I thought it deserved a mention.

How about you? What was your favorite book in January?

Music for today: Sweet Sour by Band of Skulls


  1. Well it seems my to read list is going to grow and grow. Dark and violent sounds intriguing. A change every once and a while is good.

    Oh congrats, whenever someone reads a book because I recommended it and they enjoy it I feel so amazed.

  2. I loved CHIME! It sucks that Billingsley got sucked up in all that stuff with Lauren Myracle in the National Book Awards crap. It really must have ruined her moment in the sun :(

    Anyway, I haven't read UNBECOMING yet, but I keep hearing good stuff about it. I'm not a scary book person, though, so I have to wait until it stays light out until late in order to read it ;)

  3. @Eve - you keep adding to my list, too!

    @Crystal - Yes, that was such a mess. I felt terrible for both of them. And I highly recommend Unbecoming. Truly an awesome debut.

  4. I enjoyed MARA DYER and was just on Goodreads yesterday looking for when the sequel comes out. It's a long while off, sadly.

  5. Yes, and I didn't even realize it was a series until the end! I would have liked a "Book 1 in the trilogy" on the cover. I thought of your post about how Daughter of Smoke and Bone made you feel insecure as a writer. This book made me feel that way, in the sense of creating suspense.