I've been reading like a mad woman lately- I think because I'm trying really hard NOT to write. Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month, http://www.nanowrimo.org/) starts November 1, and I'm trying to save my writing for then.
SO. Since I'm planning to basically write around the clock, I thought I'd squeeze in some reading. I'm a pretty fast reader, so I've read a LOT. Here are my favorites from this month:
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (Young Adult)
Oh. My. I love this book. So much. So so much. So much that I really wanted to loan it out because I want everyone I know to read it, but I can't stand to be apart from it so I'm not loaning it out. I've actually considered buying a second copy so I'll have a spare. I even linked the title to Amazon for you so all you have to do is buy it. Buy it. Please buy it. And after you read it, comment here so we can gush to each other about how wonderful this book is.
Anna is sent to a boarding school in Paris where she meets Etienne St. Clair. Etienne is very nice, seems to be friends with everyone, funny, etc. Basically perfect. Except he has a girlfriend.
If I had read this book in high school, it would've ruined me for all guys. No one could've lived up to Etienne. I'm 31 years old and totally in love with a teenage fictional character.
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins (Young Adult)
So since I loved Anna, I immediately got on Amazon and ordered Lola. It's a companion novel, which means Anna and Etienne show up in it as secondary characters, but the story is about Lola and the complicated relationship she has with Cricket, the boy next door.
First off, how fabulous is the name Cricket?? And Lola. Lola may very well be my most favorite fictional character right now. (Aside from my aforementioned love for Etienne.) She's a true individual. She takes great care in choosing her "look" from day to day. I think the line in the book is something like- she doesn't believe in fasion, she believes in costume. Or something like that. Fantastic. And Perkins does a beautiful job of describing Lola's looks from day to day.
I tried really hard to just pick one of these books for this list, but I couldn't decide which I liked more. I loved Anna and the French Kiss because of Etienne, and Lola and the Boy Next Door because of Lola. Amazing characters.
And of course, I now have a total author crush on Stephanie Perkins. Her next book (also a companion to Anna and Lola) is Isla and the Happily Ever After. It comes out in 2012. That is a LONG TIME. In the mean time, I plan to read every bit of Stephanie's blog.
How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper (Paranormal Romance, not YA)
Molly Harper is from Kentucky, so of course I had to read her stuff. I also had the pleasure of attending a session that she led at the Kentucky Writers Conference where she talked about various ways to add humor to writing. She's one of the best to lead such a session, because this chick is HILARIOUS.
I read three of her books this month. This was my favorite. There's a whole "naked werewolf" series. This is the first of that series, and it focuses on Mo, a young woman who moves to Grundy, Alaska where she encounters a superbly sexy young man named Cooper. I have no idea what else to say without spoiling the book, except that I could go on for hours and hours about how hot Cooper is. I even tweeted Molly after I read it just to let her know how much I loved Cooper. (And, unlike Etienne, my crush on Cooper is way more age appropriate.)
Ok, go forth and read!!