Blood Water Paint
This was an interesting novel in verse that told the story of Artemisia Gentileschi, an Italian painter. It gets very heavy, dealing with her rape and the trial that follows it, but in the end it’s a story of resilience. Throughout her story, the stories of Susanna and Judith from the Bible, the subjects of two of Artemisia’s most famous paintings, and spiritual guides who help her carry on through the trial and its aftermath. It’s a very strong read, but a good one, and I definitely recommend it, especially if you’re trying verse for the first time.
Finding Baba Yaga
This was another story told in verse, albeit much shorter than the one above. It’s about a modern girl who runs away from home only to find Baba Yaga in the forest. She makes her home with Baba Yaga, promising to become a Yaga after her. During this time, she meets another girl who eventually leaves off with a prince. It’s a very fast read, which was nice for me at the end of the year, but it was solid.
Go to My Grave
This was a wild ride. Though I figured out the mystery well before the end (not sure if it was meant to be that way, or I’m just really that attuned to mysteries; I do read a lot of them, so twists don’t usually surprise me), the writing was strong enough to keep me interested in the Why of the crime, even if I already knew the Who. The dialogue was very strong, very naturalistic, with people talking over and sideways around each other. It can be a little difficult to get used to, with the large cast (once again, I find I have trouble distinguishing white men apart, even in book form), but overall it’s a good effect. I really enjoyed this one and sped through it in two days, so I definitely recommend it.