Three weeks, four books
It's the beginning of week three. Week one was a pure adrenaline blur, week two suffered under a cloud of exaustion, I'm thinking week three might begin to suggest shades of a normal rhythm. Unfortunately, I still haven't figured out where writing/blogging fits into the new schedule. So in an attempt to stall for time, instead of a post or two with thoughts on the new job, my plans to raise a ruckus on ALA Council, and details of the agony of apartment hunting in San Francisco, I'll just share a few books that I've read during my lovely train commute:
Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve. Despite the awful title (you know it's bad when you can't remember the title even though you're a hundred pages into the darn thing), I really enjoyed this one. Two parts sci-fi, one part fantasy. Futuristic yet technologically backwards cities on wheels roam around gobbling up suburbs in acts of "municipal darwinism." Add a dash of the usual: an evil plot, a dastardly villain, and a couple of clever kids who must save the day. Adventure ensues. The ending impressed me by not doing what I expected. Evidently, it's a series and there are more books on the way. (Thanks for the suggestion, Steve.)
Lulu Dark Can See Through Walls by Bennett Madison. Sassy girl detective who makes fun of Nancy Drew at every opportunity. A little bit of romance, but not the sappy kind. More of a carrot that's dangled in front of your nose, always maddeningly just out of reach (but in a good way). The characters are all over the top in that hyper-real, beautiful rich kid way...just let the parallel universe wash over you and don't dwell on the fact that most high schoolers don't get chauffeured around in white strech limos. This book impressed me by having gay characters and not making it a BIG DEAL. I found this book by stumbling onto the author's blog.
Geography Club by Brent Hartinger. Okay, so the gay thing is a BIG DEAL in this one, but that's kinda the whole point. A small group of gay teens start a club to talk about what it's like to feel alone. The characters aren't perfect, they make bad choices and eventually learn from their mistakes, but not in a preachy annoying way. The style is conversational, like you're listening in on a really good gossip session. Like most good books, it's not a one trick pony. There's more here than just the gay stuff, there's a whole lot of life stuff, too...friendships, love, bullying, peer pressure.
Luna by Julie Anne Peters. Luna's a boy who's really a girl, and up until now she's mostly hidden it from the rest of the world. Her sister Reagan acts as confidant, shrink, and narrator, which makes for an interesting look at the ripple effect of Luna's struggle to live as her true self. There's a nice girl-boy romance here, too. I cried a little at the end.