Friday, October 15, 2010

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

My 18-year-old voracious reader of a daughter read this one first. She didn't just read it, she devoured it and went on to read the Mortal Instruments trilogy also written by Cassandra Clare. Since she loves to read but is particular about what she reads (she has no problem stopping if she is reading a book she doesn't love whereas I tend to plod on through it), this is high praise for this book and author.
Tessa has come from America to London after being invited by her brother who is her only living relative. She is immediately kidnapped by a couple of older women who imprison her and teach her how to use some special skills she didn't know she had. She is rescued by a shadowhunter. Shadowhunters protect humans from demons and downworlders (creatures who are not human such as werewolves, vampires, etc.). It is 1878 and the Victorians aren't aware that such things even exist. Tessa is taken in by the Shadowhunters who help her to find her brother while fighting the evil in London.
I am finding that I enjoy young adult literature more and more. Is it getting better or am I just discovering it? Not sure. Anyway, this was an enjoyable read and my biggest beef with it was that it didn't end at the end! Nope, there are two more books. Unless you are patient, you may want to wait a couple of years and then you can read them one after the other instead of waiting impatiently for the next one to come out like I am having to do. There were definitely dark elements to this book and some violence that make it PG-13.

Juliet by Anne Fortier

Most of us have seen or read some version of Romeo and Juliet at some point (right?) and have a basic understanding of the story. At first glance at the title I thought, "Ho hum, it's another one." Ah, but then I read the blurb and my interest picked up considerably. Anne Fortier doesn't do a remake of Shakespeare's play but she goes further back to Siena, Italy in the 14th century. She intersperses the story of Giulietta Tolomei and Romeo Marscotti in the 1300's with the story of Julie Jacobs in the present day. Julie discovers that she is the descendent of Giulietta when she goes to Italy to learn more about her family. What follows is part historical fiction, part romance, part action and suspense, and all of it was well done and quite fun to read! Very little language issues, some violence, and a little sex make this a PG-16. The sex was the main problem for me. There was a discussion about inspecting the sheets after a wedding night that would make me feel squeamish about a younger teen reading it. All in all, however, it was quite clean. I highly recommend it!