I split this into 2 posts, because I had so much tagging to do, Blogger couldn't handle it. Ah well.
River Secrets by Shannon Hale
In this sequel to The Goose Girl and Enna Burning, we return to Bayern. Just because the war is over, doesn't mean there is peace between Bayern and Tira. Isi's going to the Tiran capital on a peace mission and Enna is as well.
But really, this is Razo's book. He's always considered himself rather useless because of his small size, so he's more than surprised when he's asked to be part of the elite band of soldiers accompanying them. He's going to be a spy.
Once in Tira, someone is burning people and Enna is being blamed. It's up to Razo to figure out who's framing his friend and trying to restart the war.
I am always surprised by Hale's amazing skill to paint an entire landscape, people and culture perfectly in a mere few sentences. Her lyrical language and voice is back and this latest installment, while shorter, is just as strong as her earlier works.
Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood Ann Brashares
The girls are apart this summer, each spread to her far corner of the globe. The plot is less compelling than the previous volumes, but Brashares really hits some truths right on the head. The girls changed in college. I have big problem with books that follow their characters to college and they stay exactly the same. College changes you. You lose yourself and find yourself and that's a big part of it! Also, the way Tibby reacts to her pregnancy scare was more true and real than anything I've seen in print. I think she's milked all she can out of this series, but this final volume, where it won't be the favorite of younger fans, just might be the favorite of the grown-ups who like the series, for it's unflinching realism.
Adrian Mole And the Weapons of Mass Destruction by Sue Townsend
(full disclosure: I just found out this existed.)
Adrian is a poxy, neurotic, and hilarious as ever. Glenn's in the army. William's in Nigeria with JoJo and Adrian's back living with his parents and working at a used book store. He buys a loft apartment with a convenience check from his credit card that sends him into a debt spiral that only Adrian could ignore. Somehow (this is Adrian) he's been talked into marrying a manipulative hypochondriac, even though he's in love with her sister.
Oh, and there's a war going on! Could Blair be mistaken about the weapons? And if so, how will Adrian get his Cypriot holiday deposit back.
Oh Adrian, we missed you. Glad to have you back.