August 1, 2012

RTW: July 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 July?

For a variety of reasons I didn't read as many books in July as I did in June. I picked up and put down at least a couple because they didn't really grab me in the early pages. It was more a situation of "I don't feel like reading this right now " and less that the books weren't interesting. But there were a handful of books that were exactly what I was in the mood to read. Among these were Cassandra Clare's books from her paranormal/Steampunk/historical series The Infernal Devices.
Of the two, I definitely preferred Clockwork Prince, but then that might be because I'm sort of a Jem fan. (And by Jem I don't mean the mannish rocker and her Misfits. Though, she was truly outrageous.) Cassandra Clare is just one of those authors who is great at creating mood and writing compelling stories and characters. Not to mention, it was abundantly clear that she did her research for this particular series. I felt like I was actually in Victorian London which was fantastic.

What I loved:
1.  Setting - the Institute, Victorian London (the dreadful and the beautiful), York
2.  Steampunk - creepy, creepy automatons and Henry's only-sometimes-useful gadgets/weapons
3.  Paranormal - not usually a big fan, but Clare creates a world of paranormal beings that feels real
4.  Romance - as mentioned, I'm kind of a Jem gal, but Mr. Will Herondale is pretty special too
5.  Characters - they are all fully fleshed out and their backstories tie in well to their current stories
6.  Writing - Clare is a great storyteller and a great writer. She especially excels at setting and mood.

I should probably also mention that I love this series so much more than Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments series, though I do like those books a lot as well. And now I'll have to wait 20 million years for Book 3 in this series, which is kind of tantamount to torture at this point. What's going to happen? I suspect there are seriously difficult choices ahead.

Isn't this cover amazing? She has a bit of
a Catherine Zeta-Jones thing going on.
Due out: March 19, 2013 - too long to wait.

How about you? What was your favourite July read?

34 comments:

  1. Oooh Jaime great choices. I haven't read these yet but I loved the Mortal Instruments. Guess i'll have to give these a try! :)

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    1. There are definitely similarities between the two series, but I especially loved the Victorian steampunk aspect of this series.

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  2. I have "City of Bones" on my shelf right now. NEED to get to it.

    The cover for "Clockwork Princess" is BEAUTIFUL! I mean, my goodness!

    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. It's been so long since I started reading the MORTAL INSTRUMENTS series, and Clare's released two since that I think I need to start at the beginning again. That's a whole lot of reading, though!

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  3. I haven't read her Internal Devices series yet, but I am in the process of finishing City of Bones. I'm liking it so far. :D

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    1. I need to restart THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS series, since Clare has released two more books that I haven't yet read. I'm not sure that I remember enough from the first four.

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  4. I'm enjoying the clockwork books too, and I agree I liked the second book a little better, but it's probably because I'd become so involved with the characters. These books are a great example of how well a love triangle can be done -- feelings and attitudes are constantly changing as more is revealed on each character so that even my own TEAM WILL vs TEAM JEM is never the same for more than a few chapters!

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    1. I think you're spot on about the love triangle. Both are conceivable options for Tessa, and I know I'm going to be simultaneously heart-broken AND swooning when she makes her decision in the end. Love triangles can work, and I think Clare demonstrates this very well.

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  5. I always feel like a bit of a YA-writer failure when I admit that I haven't read anything by Cassandra Clare. Everyone seems to LOVE her books, but I've yet to be intrigued enough to pick one up. However, I think your review might have just changed that... Time to put in a Book Depository order, I think. :)

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    1. It's just such a time investment tackling Clare's series as awesome as they are. THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS series has six out already. I need to reread the first four before tackling the next two because I remember very little from them. And then of course THE INFERNAL DEVICES is waiting on a third book, but who knows how many will be in that series. That's a whole lot of reading! :)

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  6. I can't wait to read the third book in the Infernal Devices! I have to agree with you, I also preferred it a lot more than The Mortal Instruments - although I'm going to put a spanner in the works and say I'm rooting for Will ;)

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    1. Oh, I root for Will too. That's the major dilemma for me! :) Like I said to Steph above, I know I'm going to be simultaneously heart-broken AND swooning when Tessa finally makes a decision between these two awesome love interests. This is an example of a love triangle done right, in my opinion.

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  7. This is going on my Goodreads list! Thank God for the Kindle.

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    1. They are definitely good reads, and there's a reason why so many people love Clare's books! :)

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  8. Still haven't read any Clare, but I have CITY OF BONES on my shelf right now. I'll admit that I'm a bit intimidated by how prolific she is! I'm afraid I'll really love her work and be forced to plow through all of them, taking up a significant chunk of my reading life... guess that wouldn't be so terrible, really.

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    1. I know exactly what you mean! I've read four books in the MORTAL INSTRUMENTS series and now I feel like I need to reread them before Book 5 and 6 since it's been so long. Such a time investment! At least I know she's a good author, so it makes it more appealing. :)

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  9. I'm so glad you finally read these! Cassandra Clare is just such an amazing writer. She's also a heart-breaker (Jem!).

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    1. She is a great writer! I think she's done a fantastic job of creating a love triangle that works, and I find that I waffle back and forth continually between Jem and Will, which is exactly what Tessa does.

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  10. I have CLOCKWORK PRINCE sitting on my nightstand right now! And I'll admit, I read the first few pages, then traded it for another read in my TBR pile. But...I do enjoy this series, so I'll pick it up again! And all issues aside, I'm a Will fan, myself. :)

    Great picks for July, Jaime!

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    1. I'm a Will fan too...and therein lies the problem. :) I'll be happy with whoever Tessa ends up with, but a little sad about the one she doesn't end up with. To me, that's a love triangle done right. I kind of want CLOCKWORK PRINCESS right now before I forget how much I liked these two.

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  11. They all sound really interesting! Might have to give them a go! Just getting into the Steampunk genre!

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    1. Me too (with the Steampunk thing). It's actually making me want to read more Steampunk. :)

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  12. I love Cassandra Clare's books...they're addicting! The Mortal Instruments used to be my favorite, but lately I've started preferring the Infernal Devices. I love both Will and Jem, my favorite depends on my mood! :) And the Clockwork Princess cover is STUNNING; I can't wait to have it on my bookshelf!

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  13. I haven´t read any Cassandra Clare yet, but I need to, don´t I? :D Great review Jaime!

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  14. I've been wanting to read Cassandra Clare's books for ages. I never found the time. Maybe one day. Great post.

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  15. Oooh favorite in July?! Favorite read was probably A Discovery of Witches (just bought the sequel!) Favorite reread was Audrey Wait! By Robin Benway whom I'm now kinda obsessed with...

    -Mary
    Http://mysistersbookshelf.com

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  16. Hmm, I think I'll wait until book 3 comes out, and read them all in one go. Saves me some torture!

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  17. Don't you HATE it when you have to wait for the next installment. I'm on pins and needles until Monday when the new Max Ride comes out. Same for Requiem (Delirium series)

    I've read only one Cassandra Clare and was kind of turned off to her. Maybe I need to rethink...hmmm

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  18. I haven't started her The Infernal Devices series yet ... I really should. TMI is awesome, so I bet TID is going to be too. Thanks for the reminder ;)

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  19. I will have to check this out!

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  20. I am in the middle of reading the first book in this series and I really like it so far. Great choice!

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  21. Did I comment already? I read your post first thing this morning before even writing my own so I don't even remember.

    Anywayyyy.... I LOVE these books. And I was a lukewarm Jem fan in the first book, but wow the chemistry between them in the 2nd is fiery! I can't wait to see where she takes the final book. Too long a wait FOR SURE.

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  22. I haven't read any of Cassandra's books yet... But I will soon! This series looks good, especially the mix of Steampunk, paranormal, and everything else. Speaking of Steampunk... *cough* LEVIATHAN *cough*... :)

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  23. Haven't read any Cassandra Clare yet, but this sounds good. I read a bunch of adult historical fiction and some light nonfiction in July--so I'm itching for more MG/YA now!

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