♥ CINDER by Marissa Meyer (debuts January 3, 2012): I love adaptations and retellings of classic works, so I was intrigued from the moment I read the hook: cyborg Cinderella. The worldbuilding here is fascinating: a futuristic Eastern Commonwealth layered with Chinese and Japanese influences, ruled by an emperor dying of the plague and a handsome prince, and a dangerous Lunar kingdom that relies heavily on mind-magic, ruled by a ruthless glamoured queen. The queen is genuinely spooky, one of the best villains I’ve read lately—and Cinder’s heartless stepmother is pretty awful too. Cinder herself is an ingenious, sympathetic Cinderella—a badly wounded girl who survived after being fitted with cyborg parts, she feels her second-class status constantly, mocked for not being able to shed tears or blush, constantly hiding her robotic hand with gloves, working as a mechanic to make ends meet for her ungrateful stepfamily. I can’t wait to see where book 2 picks up!
♥ HOW TO SAVE A LIFE by Sara Zarr (releases Oct 18): This book is just plain gorgeous. Zarr describes things in this exact, perfect way—not the easy clichés we writers can rely on too often. She lets both of her protagonists make mistakes, do and say ugly hurtful stupid things, and she trusts the reader to understand, and we do. Both girls—Mandy, who’s pregnant, and Jill, whose father has just died and whose mother is adopting Mandy’s baby—are broken and growing into new, adult selves. Both of them want families and, more than that, the sort of safe childhood haven that a parent’s love can provide. I wanted to hug both of them. It all feels piercingly truthful, with lovely characterization, but it was also a total page-turner as I wondered what Mandy would ultimately decide to do with her baby.
♥ I hit 25K on book2! According to my Trusty Outline, I’m about 1/3 of the way finished. Yay!
♥ The new Florence + the Machine single, “Shake It Out.” Her music is so elegant and haunting. I am done with my graceless heart/so tonight I’m going to cut it out and then restart.
♥ On a completely different musical note…Brittany’s dance “Run the World (Girls)” from this week’s GLEE.
♥ Caroline Forbes. I love Damon, but I also loved seeing her kick his ass. Really, I am terribly fond of this whole show. Tonight’s episode was so good!
What are you hearting today?