I've never written a book rec before. Actually, I'm not even sure I know how, so bear with me...
It started on Twitter.
@sistersurf was persistent.
Read it! You'll love it! Try it - you'll like it! she encouraged (because that worked out so well for Mikey when someone proffered PopRocks and Coca-Cola - RIP, sweet Mikey angel). So I didn't heed her advice, for a long time. You can lead a blogger to book recs, but you can't make them read. So I read other crappy stuff instead. And I mean, deplorably wretched.
Let me take a step back: I had read about - and then heard an interview in the radio with - a young author named Amanda Hocking. If you don't know her story, she started off self-publishing teen paranormal romances on Amazon after being turned down by all the publishing houses (or something similar). As a result of a lot of self-promotion and word of mouth, she eventually sold over a million copies of her books there (becoming a millionaire in the process, natch) before finally getting a "real" book deal. I read a lot of reviews before I committed - they ranged from "So much better than Twilight!" to "JMFHF THIS IS AAAAWWWWFUL!!!" Sadly, I think the latter is more accurate, if not something of an understatement. In fact, her writing is dreadful, and makes Stephenie Meyer's body of work read like contemporary adult literature by comparison.
Sorry, she seems like a lovely young woman and I don't begrudge her the success she's achieved (much... score one for the underdog!), but it does leave me scratching my head a little bit after reading "My Blood Approves" - it was just painfully bad. Let me put it this way: I would read "The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner" again - twice - followed by a re-read of just the Jacob part of Breaking Dawn - before I would read another one of Amanda Hocking's novels. I'd throw some examples of her egregious prose in here to illustrate my point, but that would mean I would have to go back into the book and scan the text, and I refuse to waste another moment of my own short life on it.
But after I got my iPad and downloaded the Kindle app, I had a burning need to find a good, fun, engrossing read to dig into and distract me from all that RL nonsense. Something engaging but simple enough that I wouldn't have to reread passages for comprehension as I tried to read myself to sleep at night. I found it in sistersurf's rec, the Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning.
I'm currently on the fifth and final book in the series - Shadowfever - and while there are some maddening parts (aren't there always?), I haven't felt compelled to throw it across the room - much - the way I did when reading Breaking Dawn. So there's that... It's a a fast read - the author has created an interesting world - or worlds - that stick in my brain long after I stop reading for the night. I probably would have been done with this entire series in a few days if not for the fact Mr. Snarky and I share one iPad so I don't always have it handy. I'm pretty much ripping it from his mitts the second we are both home again, and I feel a teeny bit guilty when I don't put it down for more than ten seconds a day for days on end.
This isn't high literature - I don't even know if it's considered y/a or not, to be honest, but regardless, it's got a page-turner, hfs-what-happens-next?! quality that I've missed since Stephenie Meyer's Edward and Bella skipped off into their small but perfect piece of forever and Myg's Edward and Bella sailed off to Maui.
Plus if you get REALLY into it (and I am enjoying it but haven't went ape-shit like I did over Twilight), there is apparently a lot of extra info to be had at the official website, as well as a familiar-sounding rabid online community with message boards filled with speculation about who should be cast as the lead characters in the movie, and of course, a gallery of fan tattoo. Because if you really like a book, you should ink a fitting tribute to it on your skin.
I know she has a chess piece on her somewhere, too. Probably.
Looking for something new to read? Give the Fever Series it a try! The books are pretty light on lemony goodness, although there is a good deal of sexual tension, and the author's other works are rumored to be more bodice-ripper-y and tawdry. Consider this series the February equivalent of a guilty-pleasure beach read. And if you hate it, don't blame me - you already knew I have questionable taste in books.
P.S. Who wants to head up the Very Unofficial Friends of Twitarded Kindle Lending Library? Because I spent forty bucks on this series (damn you, Amazon One-Click!) and would love to share or swap reads now that I am wrapping it up... My Blood Approves is just one request away from horrifying you, too!