I read a decent number of A- or higher graded books in July so this is going to be a tough call for me. At first I thought I would pick Friday Night Bites by Chloe Neill, an urban fantasy series that is so great it's a total kick in the ass :) Twice Bitten, the third book in Neill's vampire series, is sitting on my coffee table waiting to be read. (Um, yeah. Started this post about a week ago. Oops.) You can read my review HERE.
Then I thought I might pick Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher. This astonishing book is YA at its best; Crutcher manages to attack just about every social issue there is and not be preachy or too heavy (no pun intended). It shocked me and made me laugh out loud at the same time. We could all learn quite a bit from Eric, the one who stayed fat for a friend. You can read my review for this one HERE.
Heck, I even thought about Scandal by Carolyn Jewel. This was probably the best romance I have read in some time, definitely the best historical. I didn't write a review because I knew I wouldn't do it justice when I read this one by Jessica at ReadReactReview.com. Jessica is one of the smartest book bloggers out there today. (Read her adult-themed review of Passion by Lisa Valdez HERE if you want a good laugh but I warn you, either wear some Depends or take care of your business beforehand.) Anyway, having read other romances by Carolyn Jewel led me to think she'd be going in a different direction with Scandal but I was way wrong (anyone who has read her PNR series may understand). Scandal is full of flashbacks, which usually I find irritating, but here I can't imagine the story unfolding any other way. I will definitely be looking for Jewel's other historicals.
So what did I come up with? A reread, actually. Fables by Bill Willingham, is a comic book series about fairy tales with a twist. Willingham is a genius, people. He has taken public domain characters like Snow White, the Big Bad Wolf, Prince Charming, and Goldilocks, and turned them on their ear.
See, the Fables have all been exiled from their homes by a Fable they call The Adversary, a wholly unknown foe (at least to the readers until much later in the series), and now live in Fabletown, a secret community living in plain sight in New York City. Snow White is the deputy of Fabletown and the leader is Old King Cole. The Big Bad Wolf, aka Bigby Wolf, is its detective. Snow White and company have been brought into the 21st century and so have their problems: Snow White and Prince Charming are now divorced. Prince Charming, an unrepentant cheater and mooch, has also married and divorced Sleeping Beauty and whored himself to countless other women, fairy tales or not. We are also introduced to Jack of Jack and the Beanstalk, who is dating Snow White's sister, Rose Red, who may or may not be dead and/or engaged to marry Bluebeard. That's just in the first book.
I've only gotten through the first three volumes of Fables so far and I've been so impressed. Willingham has taken old characters and made them new and relevant again. This series is fresh and funny but most importantly, doesn't read like a comic book. And there's cursing! Lots of cursing and even a little nudity too. In one word: fun! If you've never tried a comic book series before or just want to read something a little bit different, try Fables. It was started in 2003 and is still a monthly comic though it's most popular form is in graphic novel. The newest volume, no. 14, will be out this coming December. To find out more, go HERE to see the wikipedia page or go HERE to Vertigo Comics, where you can download the first issue for FREE.