Having had a coast-to-coast flight during the past week, I decided to gift myself with no internet access, a fully-charged laptop, and a few TBR books from my ever-present pile. Including some great conversations and excellent people-watching, what I came away with was a rough outline for another WIP, a review of my current WIP, and a few great recommendations for upcoming reads that I couldn't wait to share with everyone I've ever met!
I've haven't had a lot of reviews yet, but those I have say that it's "weird" which makes me deliriously happy. Dreamland Social Club is another book which is delightfully weird and made me deliriously happy! A revisit to a childhood and a carny world the main character, Jane, never knew set on Coney Island, half-forgotten memories, and black and white reel-to-reel films. The flavor of this book was just too incredible to describe and I loved reading about the transformation of Jane as much as the slew of phenomenal secondary characters, from Little People to half-men, true geeks and tatooed hotties. This was One Great Book! (I'll admit I've been coveting this one as both Tara and I received cover kudos from the illustrious Betsy Bird on Fuse8 and this is also a sibling book as we share an editor at Dutton Books!)
I'm not really into contemporary YA, I'm a genre girl at heart, but I have to say that the latest Sarah Dessen book, What Happened To Goodbye was so lovely and heartfelt, there was blinking and tears that I tried to hide from the unsuspecting iPod users next to me. McLean's struggle with self-identity in the face of constant change and echoes of her past coming face-to-face with reality struck a chord with me and that wish to be someone else, somewhere else, growing up. Dessen blended the character McLean seamlessly into a world of restaurants, teen technology, wacky friends and new heartthrob genius, Dave Wade. There were so many times I wanted to put down the book and give each character a hug, all I could do was think who I could tell about this book so that they could love it too! (Hear about what the author has to say about the book here.)
Have I gabbed enough about my love of The Tale of Despereaux? Well, Kate DiCamillo's lyrical, storyteller voice comes through again in her latest book, The Magician's Elephant. Reminiscent of Les Misérables, (a personal favorite of mine), it has the incredible and impossible mixing with accidental meetings and twists of fate in a joyful and tragic tale of promises, truths, the opening of our hearts and the blessing of forgiveness. What I love most about DiCamillo's writing is that her stories feel like old fairy tales but with modern values I respect and admire. The Newberry Award winning tale of a mouse following his heart might still be my favorite, but this was a wonderful read I wanted to bring home to my daughter at once!
And, so, now I have shared them with you. Go! Now! Read!