Friday, December 9, 2016

Tina Steed lets us know what she loved in 2016

I pulled out my winter clothes and duvets this week, which means it's time to look back and decide what books were my favourite titles of 2016.  This is especially difficult since I read a little bit of everything!  The Divas and Dude asked me to write about my two favourite books, but I couldn't get it down that small, so here are my favourite three!

Bedmates by Nichole Chase by William Morrow Paperbacks
When the soft-hearted Maddie McGuire is arrested, it's international news; her father is President of the United States, after all.  Her official punishment is to fulfill community service, but the real pain comes from having to work with Jake Simmon, the son of the vice-president, to complete her sentence.  Growing up these two were constantly at each other and that doesn't seem to change now that Jake is back from Afghanistan.
On the surface Bedmates looks like your typical romance, but there is more depth here.  Jake suffers from PTSD but is hiding it from those who love him, one of their parents is actively working to keep these two apart, and it all comes to a spectacular head in a way that kept me flipping pages as fast as I could to find out how it all got resolved. 

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro by Katherine Tegen Books
My favourite YA book of the year was definitely A Study in Charlotte.  Here we have (yet another) twist on Sherlock Holmes, but one that is done so well that I quickly forgave it.  Jamie Watson is sent across the ocean to study at a school in Connecticut close to his estranged father.  Also studying there is Charlotte Holmes, a mysteriously quirky girl who doesn't seem to have any close friends, definitely has a drug problem, and screams trouble.  Since their families have been pushed together for generations, avoiding Charlotte isn't possible,  especially once they are both framed for murder.
Seeing how Cavallaro managed to work in all of the classic Holmes things we know into a teenaged character was a joy.  The mystery kept me guessing and like Jamie, by the end of the novel I couldn't keep from falling for Charlotte and wanting to know more of their story.  Luckily, it's the first in a trilogy so there will be many more adventures to follow!

Echo Echo by Marilyn Singer 
Run, don't walk, to get your hands on a copy of this picture book.  Singer creates magic here, and the book's illustrator Josee Masse adds the sparkle to make it perfect.  Echo Echo is a book of poetry, but like the art on the cover, it can be read in multiple ways.  Each poem tells a story when read traditionally, however when read in reverse present another point of view on the story.  All the poems are based on classic Greek myths including Pandora, Medusa, and Pygmalion, but they can be appreciated without any knowledge of their roots as well.  Singer is a true artist and I marvel at her accomplishments in this book.

Tina Steed is a Librarian.  When she isn't buying books at work or reading them at home, she can be found behind a sewing machine or discovering a new restaurant with friends.

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