After a few slow weeks I had some quick reads.

Ruby Red by Keirstin Gier

Gwyneth’s cousin Charlotte has been raised from birth with the expectation that she will start to time travel when she is 16.  She’s been training for it her entire life.  So when it is Gwyneth and not Charlotte who develops the ability it comes as a shock to the whole family.

This is the first book in a three part series.  I liked the premise but I had some problems with the story.  For the first half of the book it seemed like Gwyneth was going to try to keep her time travel a secret from her family because she couldn’t find a way to tell them.  I hate failure to communicate as a plot device. I was very happy when it moved past that part.

The other problem I had is that this book doesn’t have any closure.  I know it is a series but each book in a series should have some resolution.  This book read as an extended back story to whatever is coming up.

Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women’s Literary Society by Amy Hill Hearth

In Naples Florida in the early 1960s a newcomer to town (a Yankee!) starts a literary salon in the library.  It attracts the misfits of the town – a divorcee, an elderly woman just out of jail for murdering her husband, a Negro maid, a spinster, a librarian, and a homosexual.  None of them know anything about the lives of the others but their friendship starts to stir things up in town.

This was a cute story about accepting the differences in other people and getting past your preconceived ideas to find the real person underneath.  Naples in the Sixties as a segregated society is a character too.  Here’s an example of a discussion after the library trustees demand their reading list after getting complaints about the kind of people meeting there.

“I convinced the trustees that encouraging and providing a haven for a reading group is part of the library’s mission.   I told them that while they probably could ask to review our book list, that sort of oversight was heavy-handed and, well, un-American.  The only thing they said was no pornography, no books on Lincoln, and no books that encourage deviant behavior or glorify violence.”

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

In New Beijing cyborgs are not seen as human.  They are the property of their guardians and have no rights.  Linh Cinder lives with her stepmother and two step sisters.  She is a gifted mechanic who provides the money for the family to live on.  She knows nothing about her life prior to her adoption following the accident that injured her so severely that she was repaired with mechanical parts.  When the Prince secretly brings an outdated android to her to repair she accidentally hears part of an urgent message that may threaten the survival of Earth.

This is a retelling of Cinderella set in the distant future.  Even though you know how the story is going to progress the author does a good job of keeping you guessing how it will play out.  This is also the first book in a series but there is some resolution at the end of this story in addition to a cliffhanger ending.

Unadulterated Cat by Terry Pratchett

Real cats are not pampered fluffy princesses. Real cats have ears that look like they have been cut with pinking shears and they annoy the neighbors. This is a guide to real cats.

It is no secret that I’m a huge Pratchett fan. I got this from the husband (along with Cinder) for my birthday. The husband thinks that the presence of so many Terry Pratchett paperback books on our bookshelves shows a lack of character or seriousness or moral turpitude or something in me. He harrumphs when I read them. He is quite horrified to discover that he is enjoying this cat book. He is now very worried that it may be the case that he likes Terry Pratchett too. (We will not discuss if that was my motive in keeping this book in the bathroom for easy perusal.) He had his head on my shoulder this morning wailing, “What if I fall in love with his snarky smart-assedness too?” The horrors! I’ve tried to get him to read Monstrous Regiment before since it is partially about the superiority of sergeants to everyone else. He was a sergeant so he would take this as a given. Maybe I need to leave that book in the bathroom too…