Friday, December 21, 2007

The Best of the Best - NUMBER THREE(s)

I cannot believe another year has passed, but alas, time moves on whether we want it to or not. The good thing about that is, we have another year ahead filled with great books. Before dee and I announce our # 3 book in our Best of the Best 2007, let me just point you to the new mini-contest I posted today. In order to keep entries on that separate from comments on the books, I just made a different post. The contest is super easy to enter, and the prize is amazing. So, scroll down one, or click here , check it out and enter!

dee forgot to add - in the spirit of Christmas and all, we're also going to extend our Big Contest, found here. You can keep posting entries until Monday, 12/24. With all of the free books included in the prize, you really can't afford to not enter!

Chari-Dee's # 3 Pick:

Dancing Shoes and Honky Tonk Blues by LuAnn McLane

(Chari-Dee's Original Dish can be found here.)

I'm gonna quote a sentence from my original dish, "I have to say, I loved this book." This sentence still holds true. I've read DS-HTB three times since I dished it, and it just gets better.

I'm from a small town, and we're a town filled with Rednecks. The jokes about Rednecks fly through the town e-mail faster than fast, and most of the time we laugh, because they're true. We really can be simple people. We work hard, love fiercely, laugh loud, and know how to have a good time. We Rednecks pitch in when our neighbors need help (and just this summer we unfortunately had cause to do just that on a grand scale) and do with a smile. McLane captured the best of us Rednecks in DS-HTB, and penned an amazingly funny and heartwarming story.

I could not ignore this book for my Top 3 because I laughed, I panted, and I reached "The End" with a big ole smile in my heart that matched the one I was wearing on my face. This is a feel good read, that takes the reader away from any and all problems. I also chose this one, because it's a Romance written in First and written very well, at that. Not many authors can pull off a book with such a diverse cast, and make them so real in First, but McLane does it with flying colors. With a sharp sense of humor and tons of heart, Dancing Shoes and Honky Tonk Blues will stay on my keeper shelf for always. I'll bet once you've read it, it'll be on yours too.

The winner of our Best of the Best Contest will receive a signed copy of this book plus some fun goodies, straight from LuAnn herself. So, THANK YOU LuAnn for writing such a wonderful book and being so generous to our readers!

Take Care


dee's #3 Pick:

Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos, by R. L. LaFevers

You can see Chari-dee's original dish here, and you can see the interview my daughter Maggie did with Theodosia here.

Yeah, I know it's a kids book. And I know that I both write and review adult fiction, generally for women. Yet - here it is, on my list. You know why? Well, it's a darn good book!

It's filled with action, adventure, mystery, suspense, curses, secret societies, unexpected friendship, history, family ties, and OH, so much more. Plus, the heroine Theo totally rocks. She's just the right blend of sass and spunk, but she didn't cross the line into disrespectful of her parents.

So many kid or YA books make it seem cool that the protags diss their parents, lie, steal, cheat, or any other number of things. Even some of the blockbuster books make me cringe when it comes to the way that the typical adult, especially parental figure, is portrayed. Theo loved her parents, and it showed. She wasn't prissy about it, and it wasn't overdone. She still disobeyed (in a big way at one point), but it's in a way that my daughter understood. The book didn't leave Maggie feeling that it was cool to be disrespectful to your parents, and I really appreciated that.

On another note, any book that gets you free snuggle time with your seven year old daughter is worth its weight in gold. But not only did my 7yo want to hear Theo, so did the 6yo. And the 11yo. And the 15yo. And did I mention that the 10 and 12 yo boys liked listening to it as well?

My Maggie didn't just sit and listen to the story though. The book was actually her motivation to become a better reader. I had tears in my eyes just the other day, as she reached up onto my bookshelf and took it down, turned to me and said,"Momma, I'm gonna take Theo into my room and read for a while, ok?" And she did. By herself. She couldn't have done that in March. But after hours of reading Theo together, she has the confidence to read it herself.

Of course, you already know that Robin LaFevers has a magical way with words. The words she wrote in her LOWTHAR'S BLADE trilogy turned my youngest son into a Reader. The words she wrote in her WEREWOLF RISING story turned my oldest son into a Reader. Now that she's moved on to books geared towards girls, I can hardly wait to see what happens with my youngest!

So yeah - this book written for young adults has more than earned a place on my BEST OF THE BEST list... because it's already earned a perma-spot on my Keeper Shelf, and a place in my heart. Thanks Robin, for your amazing talent. I can't wait to read the next installment of Theo!

Keep Turning Those Pages!!


T.C. said...

Great choices! I'm going to have to look these up!

Marg said...

I haven't read either of these!

Wendy said...

Ooh, they look good - I'll definitely check them out! :)