Thursday, April 15, 2010

Recently Finished (and Recommended)

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

I finished Dracula relatively quickly (it was longer than I'd initially thought), so when pressed to read something else, my mother suggested Garden Spells, as she remembered I'd been meaning to read it for quite some time. Since it came out, in fact. Everyone kept talking about it, not to mention it became a B&N Recommended Book.

Now I know why. It is a really good book. Simple. Fun. Intriguing. Full of love and hurt, and even some magic - including a tree that throws apples. I often go into literary books wary because I admit, I often find them slow, full of characters whose pain knows no bounds, and generally not my style. But this book worked perfectly. In fact, I read it in a single day. Couldn't put it down. I loved all the fun magic things involved, all the herbs and food, how the whole town had a little something special even though the focus was on the Waverleys. Even though the magic was never explained, it actually worked here and you didn't need - or want - it to be. And of course it had what I like: a happy and satisfying ending.

Notes from the playlist: "The Bioluminescence of the Night" by James Horner


Anonymous said...

This definitely sounds like a fun, easygoing read! And thumbs up on the Avatar soundtrack ;)

Would you describe Allen's style overall as magical realism?

I'll be following your blog, especially for children's/YA recommendations. I'm an aspiring writer as well, and most of my story ideas so far seem to fit in that age group.

Speaking of which, one YA graphic novel I recommend is Rapunzel's Revenge, by Shannon and Dean Hale, with illustrations by Nathan Hale (not related). It's a fun twist on the Rapunzel story, set in a wild-west-style land ruled by Rapunzel's sort-of mother, the evil Gothel. The book is actually a mix of several fairy/folk-tales, including "Jack and the Beanstalk" and "Annie Oakley."

Best of luck with your work!

Nicole said...

Glad you're enjoying the blog!

Yes, I guess you could put the term magic realism with Allen's works. The magic is just sort of...there and you pretty much go with it. It's fun. :)

And yes, expect plenty of children's books, haha. Though I do need to read some more YA (which reminds me - Sleepless is coming out soon!)

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Whoops! I completely forgot to mention this. Last month I reviewed Stephanie Garber's amazing book Caraval for the web blog I curre...