Thursday, February 10, 2011

How Romantic

Firelight, by Sophie Jordan.
The latest Twilight-esque book.

Jacinda is a "draki"---a dragon descendant with the ability to shift into human form. Her kind are hunted and endangered, and with her rare fire-breathing abilities, Jacinda is particularly important to her tribe. She's destined to marry and "breed" with the clan leader's son, but Jacinda's mom has other ideas. She sneaks both of her daughters away in the night and moves them to a desert town in hopes that Jacinda's inner draki will die, leaving her a normal girl, and keeping her safe from the grasping claws and horrifying future the clan has planned for her.

But Jacinda doesn't want to let go of her draki identity. She fights its withering decline, torn between a desire to please her mother and twin sister and a love for her kind. The only thing she's found in the moistureless desert that keeps her draki alive is Will.

Will is all broad-shouldered, rippling-muscled, sultry-voiced, romantic-ness incarnate. He also happens to be a Hunter---a member of the very family that killed Jacinda's father and nearly captured Jacinda herself.

They are destined to be together, yet so wrong for each other. Star-crossed lovers. *sigh*

There was something about this book that kept me reading. It was fast-paced. It was interesting. But ... it was kinda corny. So if that's your thang, by all means, read Firelight. It'll have a sequel too, to carry on where we left off with a cliffhanger ending, natch.

Matched, by Ally Condie.
And then there's Matched. Apparently the movie-production rights for both of these books have been optioned (is that the right word?), which is unsurprising and potentially fun.

Matched is so deep and lovely where Firelight feels (at times) kind of canned and two-dimensional. Set in a dystopian world, this book tells the story of Cassia, a model citizen who has been matched for marriage to her best friend and next-door neighbor Xander. But when, after the matching ceremony, another boy's face appears on her information card, her tidy life begins to crack, and Cassia has to navigate the treacherous waters of inner rebellion in a society of merciless perfection.

This book pretty much screamed The Giver, but I was okay with that. The writing---the writing! I've read an awful lot of YA books, and it's kind of rare to find a book that puts so much effort into the art, instead of focusing only on a gripping storyline. This book's got both---the grip, and the art. Highly recommended.

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