Here at the Cabinet, we have been having late night email conversations about the future of this group blog and have concluded that, as difficult as we each find it to get here, we aren't ready to give up on something we love so much. There are behind-the-scenes maneuverings taking place, but we want to set off the new year with a bang and have Four Mondays in a Row of Book Giveaways!
Since I (Laura) was a December slacker and didn't share my favorite 2013 reads, I'm going first.
(True confession time: I sometimes feel like the odd writer out on this blog, since I am the only one not writing for some range of the children's/young adult market. Which makes me all nervous and twitchy when it comes to things like recommending and/or giving away books.)
Despite those nerves, I did want to let you know about a few of my favorite 2013 reads. In no particular order:
ELEANOR AND PARK & FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell--since Pat already gushed about these two, I'll simply add that I am a smitten kitten fangirl of Rainbow Rowell now. When not writing, you might find me stalking her online or deciphering her books to see just how she weaves her magic.
KING HEREAFTER by Dorothy Dunnett--this is a dense, rich, addictive historical fiction standalone about Thorfinn, Earl of the Orkney Islands in the half-barbaric world of the mid-11th century. Thorfinn must navigate his way between the competing powers of Norway and an England growingly increasingly consolidated. Chance and his own skills bring Thorfinn to a tipping point in history, welding Scotland into a single nation. Oh, and because Thorfinn must deal with English and continental Christians, he is sometimes known to history by his Christian baptismal name . . . Macbeth. Trust me, this is not Shakespeare's Macbeth. When you read this novel, I defy you not to root for Thorfinn and his lady wife, Groa.
UNSPOKEN by Sarah Rees Brennan & THE NAME OF THE STAR by Maureen Johnson--two writers I discovered on Twitter and promptly decided that if their books were half as funny as they themselves were, I wanted to read them. UNSPOKEN is an updated Gothic about Kami Glass, who has lived all her life with a voice in her head known as Jared. But Kami is no moonstruck girl--she's an intrepid high school reporter who wants to know why the Lynburn family have returned to their enormous mansion overlooking the town. And when she discovers that Jared is more than just a voice, Kami has to deal with the physical realities of a boy who doesn't seem too thrilled that she exists. THE NAME OF THE STAR is the story of American teen Rory who comes to boarding school in London and promptly gets caught up in a Jack the Ripper copycat killing spree. But there's more to these murders than Rory thinks, especially when she finds out that not everyone she's talking to at her new school is still alive. Both writers deliver suspenseful, romantic, unexpected, and often laugh-out-loud funny books that I highly recommend.
Must. Stop. Now. Before I get completely carried away. (I'm a fairly easy-to-please reader. I open every book WANTING to fall in love with it.)
For the first giveaway of January, I'm going to offer KING HEREAFTER, even though it's nowhere near YA, because it was simply my favorite book of the year. But I'll throw in UNSPOKEN as well, if only because I want more people to read lines like the following: "Some people, Kami knew, had bedroom eyes. Jared, she was sad to have to admit, had filthy-alleway eyes . . . 'For killing people in!'"
To win these two books, simply leave a comment with your favorite read of the year . . . or the book you're most looking forward to reading in 2014 . . . or your favorite color . . . or simply say hello. Did I mention I'm easy? ;)
ETA: This giveaway will run all week, until midnight Sunday, January 12th!