Too much reading lately, and not enough writing, but I'm not really complaining. Reading is the best procrastination tool I know!
Kiss & Blog - Alyson Noel: Most definitely a book for teen girls. The familiar story of two girls who want to make it into the "in" group; one does, and drops the other like a hot potato. Dropped friend gets revenge via a blog that reveals the other's embarrassing secrets. Once I got past the constant use of "like" and other current language hiccups, it was a nice read. I am definitely not the target readership for this book! But I can imagine thousands of 13-14 year olds who will love it.
The Third Victim - Lisa Gardner: I'm a recent fan of Lisa G's books, and love to go back and re-read bits to see what she's doing. This book involves a school shooting by a teenage boy, but all is not what it seems. Rainie, the small-town cop who investigates, is aided and annoyed by out-of-town FBI and state police, but she has her own dark past to confront. What I also like about Lisa G's books is the way in which she holds back information to increase tension. Not everything has to be laid out straight away, but the twists in the story are worked in at just the right places.
Twilight - Stephanie Meyer: OK, I'm going to get abuse hurled at me from around the world, but this just didn't grab me. (Meyer's vampire trilogy is famous right now because the third one scored a million-copy print run.) I tried very hard to overcome my dislike of vampire stories - caused by having a number of students a few years ago who were writing really, really bad vampire novels - but by page 90 I was totally over the main character's awe and astonishment at Edward's beauty. In fact, I started itching to grab a red pen and cross out every time she mentioned the words beauty, marble, astonishing, gorgeous, etc. And I thought if she lost her breath one more time (or her breath caught in her throat) at his beauty, she was probably going to keel over and die.
This is a romance. With a vampire. Meyer has rewritten a few of the traditional rules about vampires, which helps to make it a little less predictable. There was only one part where I really felt any sense of tension in the story, but I can't tell you where because it will ruin the book if you plan to read it. And I have the other two books to go yet... But they are still worth reading, if only so I can think about why they are so popular.
Promise Me - Harlan Coben: Coben has a main character who is a little different from most crime investigators. Myron is a rep for sports stars and celebrities, but you see little of this in Promise Me. Myron makes the mistake of giving a friend's daughter a ride home one night, but then the girl goes missing. Another missing girl comes into the equation, and Myron investigates both (he's a suspect for a while). Coben is a good writer, but not a favourite of mine. Somehow Myron never really comes alive for me. He always seems a bit "manufactured". Maybe it's the sports rep thing - I just want a PI or a policeman/woman. Too traditional of me.