As you know, (Bob? Dear Reader?), I usually start books with great suspicion and a little bit of fear... and I was particularly nervous coming into some recent reads by friends.... so it is with great delight that I announce that I absolutely LOVED these two books:
Sarah Beth Durst's debut, Into the Wild. This is a sweet, fun book that turns everything you thought you knew about fairy tales on its ear. Join Rapunzel's daughter Julie on a quest to save the world from the Wild--the dark and dangerous woods-with-a-life-of-its-own that feeds off of fairy tales... and has escaped into Julie's hometown, turning mundane objects, buildings, and people into fairy tale versions of themselves. Brilliantly conceived and perfectly executed. Durst knows her landscape well. Brava!!
Heather Brewer's debut, Eighth Grade Bites. I can forgive Heather for making me type the word eighth (twice, now), because EGB is hilarious. I don't read a lot of "boy" books, but if they're all like this... I'm really missing out. Sharp, funny, loaded with boy humor and inside jokes for vampire fans, EGB can best be summed up in two words: "Dude. Sweet." Can't wait for 9th grade.