It's been a while since I've done a "currently reading" list. Time to plug a few authors and their scrumptious books. (Btw, I have a confession to make, and it's an embarrassing one. *deep breath* I'm not a fast reader. In fact, I'm really slow. I've always been a little ashamed of this, and now that I talk to more writers, I feel it much more acutely. I'm only capable of really absorbing ....I'd say, 20-25 novels a year. A paltry number compared to most people I know. I'm trying to improve this number, but so far it's been very gradual. I do feel the pain of any young teens or kids out there who feel like they have trouble with reading. You have to find the books that draw you in and read what you love. Once you find the right books, it becomes so much easier.)
I tell this mini-story because I'm trying to emphasize that when I do latch onto a book, it means a great deal to me. So the books in the following list (and ANY list I make of currently reading/have-read books) are books I genuinely loved or am loving. Because I'm a slow reader, I have to carefully pick what I'm reading because I'm going to be reading it for a while. So these recommendations are not given lightly.
Anyway, here we go...
Shipbreaker by Paolo Bacigalupi: I started this one recently and am loving it so far. It's a very original dystopian concept, about a boy named Nailer whose job is to strip copper wire from shipwrecked old oil tankers on the U.S. coast. Pretty eerie setting, mainly because it seems very plausible. Anyway, Nailer happens upon a really luxurious ship one day that can be worth a lot of money to scavenge (if they do it right). They also find a girl on this ship, though, who may or may not be trustworthy. Nailer is a completely endearing main character who I found myself rooting for from page 1. Love the details about scavenging the oil tankers, too!
Huntress by Malinda Lo: If you loved Lo's Ash, or authors like Patricia McKillip, you'll love this. I just started this one and it has all the beauty, lyricism, and magic of her first novel. In Huntress, the world is fading...failing crops, sunless skies. To save it, two girls are chosen to go on a journey to the city of the Fairy Queen, and in the process they come to rely on and love each other. I smile every time I read Lo's writing. It's SO beautiful. Check it out. :)
Fury of the Phoenix by Cindy Pon: Sequel to Silver Phoenix, which is about a girl named Ai Ling who sets off to find her father when he doesn't return from the Imperial Palace. Nothing like a book about a girl who can kick ass like Ai Ling, as well as a book full of fantasy, adventure, romance, and AMAZING descriptions of mouthwatering food.
City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare: Book 4 in her Mortal Instruments series. I've liked Cassie Clare's writing for a long time, and started TMI after reading book 1 in her other (related) trilogy, The Clockwork Angel (see below). :) You've probably heard of this series, unless you live under a rock.
The Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare: Recently finished this, then immediately bought it for a friend too. Few people can conjure up amazing male protagonists like Cassie can. And obviously, by the appearance of my own male protagonist (Day), you know I have a thing for white/silver-haired half-Asian boys like her character Jem. :) Dark, funny, steampunk-y, romantic, and full of goodness!
The Child Thief by Brom: I've always loved Peter Pan in every iteration he's ever been in. But man, Peter in THIS story is at his darkest. This is not for teens under 14. Very dark, violent, and with sexual references. But it is so good. Peter! I loved him for his conflicted nature and sense of duty. And, of course, his ever-present mischievous spirit.
Delirium by Lauren Oliver: My friend Julie had recommended Before I Fall (Oliver's first novel) to me a while back, and it was one of the best recs I've gotten. Now I'm a permanent fan of her breathtaking prose. Delirium is dystopian (so, obvious love points here) and a love story, but it takes place in a future U.S. that sees love as a disease that must be eradicated. 17-yr old Lena is going to get a procedure that "cures" her of love, but before she does, she falls in love with a free-spirited boy named Alex. Great read. First of a trilogy!