February 1, 2012

RTW: Best January Read

Road Trip Wednesday is a 'Blog Carnival' where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic: 

This week's topic:

What was the best book you read in January?

Well, January was an especially good month for reading around here, so I'm not sure how I can be expected to choose just one from the lot. Here's a sampling from the bunch:

Legend by Marie Lu
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
A Million Suns by Beth Revis
The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight* by Jennifer E. Smith

But...

I'm actually going to go with the one that didn't necessarily get my highest Goodreads rating of the group (I gave it 4 stars), but because it was the most surprising for a few reasons. My best January read was...

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

I received the ARC version of this book from Rebecca Behrens at the end of December and started reading it right away mainly so I could take advantage of the fact that I had it in my hands before it was due out on bookstore shelves (this was my first ever ARC!). I figured I'd enjoy it but I wasn't prepared for how much.

What I loved about this book:
  • Who knew that a retelling (more aptly termed 'reimagining') could feel so fresh and not just the same old Cinderella fairy tale again? I love me a good fairy tale retelling, don't get me wrong, but futuristic Cinderella where our cinder-covered heroine is actually a cyborg??? Nice! I didn't think I was going to love that little tidbit, but it really worked.
  • Even though it was sci fi, there were parts of the story that still felt like they were from the traditional versions of this fairy tale that we all grew up on -- a wicked witch, a handsome prince, an evil/mean stepmother and stepsister. And as is the case with most fairy tales, Cinder has a trusty sidekick, an android named Iko (more R2D2 than furry little singing Disney type critter).
  • I loved that it was set in 'New Beijing' and that the characters were Asian. There are not enough YA books set in this part of the world (even if it is a fictional futuristic Asia).
  • That cover is awesome with the bright red shoe and faint cyborg skeleton. Isn't it great?
  • This book is part of a series where we'll get to meet other familiar fairy tale characters in a completely re-envisioned (the author's word for it) sci fi fashion. Can't wait!
  • Think Cinderella meets Sailor Moon meets some sci fi reference that my brain can't come up with right now. Completely familiar and yet totally original at the same time.

So how about you? What was the best book you read in January?
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* I LVED The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight (if you follow this blog you know that I've raved about it already) and gave it 5 stars on Goodreads, but I went with Cinder here because it just felt like a breath of fresh air at exactly the right moment and I wanted to give it a little love.


43 comments:

  1. It is a fantastic cover--It makes me want to go splurge on some awesome red shoes.

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    1. Hmmm...me too, fellow red-lover :-) As if I needed prompting to buy more red shoes! Although, I don't have any dressy red shoes...

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  2. Cinder's on my TBR list! But Hunger Games first, just so I've read it in time for the film to come out. Cinder sounds fantastic in terms of originality. Must read faster so I can get to these book!

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    1. That's awesome that you just finished THE HUNGER GAMES, and like you say, right before the movie. I kind of want to re-read them before March, but I'm not sure that's going to happen. If I had read HG in January, that would definitely be my pick too! :-)

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  3. Great list! Shatter Me is on my to-read list, and I definitely have lots of reading to catch up on. =)

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    1. Tell me about it! My TBR list runneth over. Big time :-)

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  4. This book is sitting on my TBR pile, begging me to read it. I'll get to it soon! Sounds amazing.

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    1. It was really good and felt refreshing while being familiar :-)

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  5. I just finished reading Cinder yesterday and it came SO CLOSE to being my RTW book! This month has had some fabulous books published. READ ALL THE BOOKS!

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    1. It was SO hard to choose a favourite this month. Will be heading over to your blog to see your pick! :-)

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  6. I actually met Marissa Meyer last week and now have an autographed copy of Cinder just begging me to read it. I'm trying to finish a few other books I'm in the middle of before diving into Cinder, but it may end up topping my February list :)

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    1. A signed copy? Met the author? Lucky bum :-)

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  7. I have to admit the cyborg aspect turned me off a bit, but your comparison to Sailor Moon now has it on my TBR pile. Moon prism Power!

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    1. The author admitted to being a Sailor Moon fan (and Anime in general). I too was put off by the cyborg thing when I read the description, but it actually didn't bother me when I got reading. It was kind of cool in a way :-)

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  8. I've heard such great things about the book, and I must say, the cover art makes CINDER stand out! Must check it out! And after reading so much love in everyone's RTW for THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY, I just can't wait to read it.

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    1. STATISTICAL PROBABILITY is a really quick, cute read. Well worth it! :D

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  9. Thanks for sharing! Cinder is definitely on my to-read list, especially now that you've brought Sailor Moon into it. I've been rewatching all of that series!

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    1. My brother was a Sailor Moon junkie, so I was a bit of a fan vicariously through him :-)

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    2. OMG Sailor Moon! I loved it! :D

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  10. I really enjoyed Cinder and it did take me by surprise as well. I did not expect to actually like it as much as I did.
    Maybe because I usually don´t read sci-fi or because my expectations of a retelling differ from a robot world :D
    But I really got into it and am looking forward to the sequel :-)

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    1. I'm weird in that I love girly things but I also really like geeky stuff like sci fi. CINDER does a great job of pairing the two :-)

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  11. My Asian-loving daughter would be totally impressed with the Sailor Moon reference. Intriguing book. But, Jaime, let's make February's pick of the month easier for you. Read LEVIATHAN. Okay? It's just there--right behind you. Waiting for you to reach back, take in your hands, and open to the first page. Go on. ;)

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    1. Follow-up: SecondBorn just showed me the trailer for this book and explained to me the story parallels with Sailor Moon! :) This intrigues me more...

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    2. Hahaha! Okay, I'm moving LEVIATHAN from the bookshelf to the TBR stack on my filing cabinet. That's one step closer to getting read :-)

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  12. I must admit the premise of CINDERS doesn't attract me much, but everyone is buzzing like crazy about it, I should check it out, right?
    Thanks!

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    1. It's sci fi, but it's not super hard to get into sci fi. I like sci fi, but I'm not as big of a fan of the really hardcore sci fi. CINDER is just really fun :-)

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  13. I'll have to put Cinder and The Statistical... on my TBR pile. Sigh. So many books to read, so little time.

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    1. Well, STATISTICAL PROBABILITY is a nice quick, light, and cute read. I read it in an afternoon/evening. You'll love it :-)

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  14. CINDER looks so so good. I have been eagerly anticipating its release :) I'm such a sucker for Cinderella stories--even the cheesy, awful ones.

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    1. Yeah, me too. I even watched that Cinderella: Once Upon a Song movie -- super cheesy lol :-)

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  15. Best book I read in January??? Hmm... probably Jessica Z by Shawn Klomparens. Awesome :D

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    1. Confession: I don't read many adult romance books. I kind of stick to the sweet light romances in YA. Maybe I'm a touch prudish lol :-)

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  16. Hmm, I've heard a little bit about Cinder, but obviously not enough to pick it up--you may have shoved me off the fence with your description!

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    1. It's a fun twist on the story. In fact, I wish I'd thought of it myself! This is me giving you a little extra push off the fence :-)

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  17. I've heard really great things about Cinder...mostly that it's just a fun read, which is always appreciated. Okay, this one is going on my list!

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    1. It's totally fun! I like when people mix things in a totally unexpected way and that's what this does fairy tale + sci fi = Awesome! :-)

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  18. Great description. This RTW is so hard on my TBR pile... it's already tottering and more keeps being added!

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    1. Yeah, no doubt. I've been clicking 'to read' on Goodreads far too many times today alone. Ah well. There are far worse problems to have, right :-)

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  19. You've convinced me to move Cinder up on my list! (If I feel like crying in the next few days, I'll probably have to read The Fault in Our Stars first, though. John Green got lots of love today!)

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    1. I pretty much never feel like crying :-) Maybe it's a little heartless, but I try to avoid books that I know will make me sad. Luckily, CINDER is not a sad book :-)

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  20. Awesome--I'll get to this one within the next few days, and your post got me really revved up for it :) I didn't realize other fairytales would get the awesome-treatment by Ms. Meyer!

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    1. It's cool that they'll all be interconnected too, or at least that's how I understand it. It's like SHREK, but with no ogres...or gingerbread men...or Donkey :-) Actually, it's nothing like SHREK.

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  21. I think it's really interesting that the book's set in a futuristic China. It seems like a number of sci fi/fantasy books/TV series have a similar setting. I'm thinking of Firefly, but there are other examples. I read the first 5 chapters via the Amazon Kindle sample, and I liked them, but not enough to buy the book. Would you say it gets better from there, or stays about the same?

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