I seriously struggled with what to review tonight, because I tried a new recipe that was both easy and better than I thought it would be, BUT I finished a book last week that’s been kicking around, and reviewing it would make it possible for it to LEAVE MY HOUSE. Which, when it comes right down to it, trumps the soup recipe for today. (Something leaving my house is hard to beat.) Before I start that, though, I did listen to the ALA Youth Media Awards broadcast yesterday–yay for it being in my time zone this year!–and I have to say, I didn’t see a few of those titles coming. The definite theme to the awards wasn’t shocking, because there’s always a level of awareness of the most visible social/cultural issues reflected in the winners, but at least one of the Newbery Honor books looked awfully young-adulty to me. I have them all (the Newberys) on hold at the library, of course, so I’ll know for myself eventually. In the meantime, if you want to see the winners’ list in full, here’s your link:
ALA Youth Media Award Winners
And now, for the book review! I’m sure Goodreads will tell me when I started Bewitched & Betrayed on the treadmill, but the fact of the matter is, I’m probably better off not knowing. I have to be in the mood for whatever I read on the treadmill, and I’m not often in the mood for urban fantasy. On the other hand, when I AM in the mood for a hit-the-ground-running-and-never-stop sort of fantasy with a contemporary feel (although not a contemporary setting), Lisa Shearin’s Raine Benares series is tough to beat. It sucks you in immediately and keeps you reading to the bitter end. (Okay, yes, I did put it down for quite a while, but I’d only gotten through the first scene or so before I lost the mood and wasn’t ready to fall into the action. Once I was back in the mood and got past the–brief–initial scenes, I wasn’t about to stop again.) The writing isn’t perfect–Raine’s invocation of her last name to explain various sorts of things starts to get awfully frequent in this 4th book in the series–but it’s tight and funny and entertaining as heck. (On the other hand, I’ve officially reached the age when I find myself wishing that the font were a bit bigger, but that’s something else entirely.)
B&B sees Raine going after the escaped evil goblin who’s going after her; it gives us a few new characters to root for and takes a big step towards resolving the series’ love triangle, which is always a plus for me. I certainly wouldn’t jump into the series at the fourth book, but if my description sounds at all like your thing, grab Magic Lost, Trouble Found, fasten your seat belt, and prepare to enjoy a six book ride.