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By Singing Light

Pretty much everything here originally appeared at my actual blog: By Singing Light. I particularly focus on upper middle-grade and young adult books. I also enjoy adult genre books, especially speculative fiction.

Currently reading

The Lost Tools of Learning and the Mind of the Maker
Dorothy L. Sayers
The Seventh Bride
T. Kingfisher
Hope in the Dark
Rebecca Solnit
Outrun the Moon
Stacey Lee
Midnight Thief
Livia Blackburne
The White Hart
Nancy Springer
The Great Wall Of Lucy Wu
Wendy Wan-Long Shang
Jim C. Hines
Elizabeth & Leicester: Power, Passion, Politics
Sarah Gristwood
On the Jellicoe Road - Melina Marchetta by Melina Marchetta

I couldn't figure out how to start this, because honestly there's nothing to say. Either you've already read this and therefore know how brilliant it is, or you haven't in which case the only words I have are: Read it. Buy, borrow it from the library, steal it from a friend. I don't care. Just read it.

I think the thing that stands out to me the most, still on that just-finished high, having read the last page thirty minutes ago, is that by the end of the book I loved every single character. Okay, maybe not the *self-edited* Les, but considering he never makes a physical appearance in the novel, I'll ignore him. And I think that's largely due to Marchetta. I think she loves them too. Even though they're majorly messed up, some of them in ways beyond belief.

It never feels like a Hallmark card, which is to say fake. I don't know how that works. It could so easily have drifted into sentimental eye rolling territory, but it never did. There are pain and forgiveness and eyes-wide-open love and second chances, and somehow I ended up believing it all.

I don't like doing plot summaries, and here I refuse to do one. I will say this: the first bit is confusing as all get out. Accept that going in and keep reading. I promise you, it is worth it.

And there's a fair bit of swearing and several characters who have sex, but to be honest, if you don't read this book because of that, you're robbing yourself of something. Also, there is sex, but it's not described at all, which I like.

Book source: Lewis and Clark College


This is the book which I read three times in five months and then banned myself from reading for the rest of the year. It’s an amazingly powerful emotional read: I can only describe it as having your heart broken into a million pieces and then having it put back together again. Also, I have a rather large literary crush on a certain character. [2010 in books]


I read this one accidentally. No, really. My sister read Saving Francesca in May and loved it and wanted to know if there was anything else by the same author. So I got out Jellicoe Road, because it was only logical. But I wasn’t going to read it because I’d already read it twice since January. And then I got towards the end of the library stack, when there are those few books that you glanced over when you got home and realized weren’t all that interesting. So I read Jellicoe Road instead. It was just as wonderful and heartbreaking as usual. BUT I am not going to read it for the rest of the year! You all are my witnesses! [June 2010]