The name's Luna.
24/Los Angeles/wannabe blogger & researcher
Just another freak in the Freak Kingdom.
A place for me to ramble about books I love... also probably the only blog I'll ever have that will keep its theme. I don't want my page to be a mess so I'm only going to shelve books starting with what I've read in the past year.
I'm not always eloquent, and I'm certainly not pretentious. I am just a huge nerd who lurks in used bookstores and likes to read and do research for fun.
Sally Lockheart has just lost her father to the perils of the sea, but the mystery surrounding his death is far more tempestuous. Left with nothing but a note in unfamiliar handwriting instructing her to ask a Mr. Marchbanks about something called "The Seven Blessings", Sally begins the quest to find out what really happened to her father and to find a new place to call home. On the way she finds a scruffy office boy whose fondness for Penny Dreadfuls saves his ass (and hers) more than once and a lighthearted young photographer who is happy to help Sally explore the dangerous docks of London to solve the mystery of The Seven Blessings.
The Ruby in the Smoke is an almost perfect YA novel. Philip Pullman never steers away from interesting or dramatic subjects just because his characters are young, and that's what I love most about his books. Though Sally tries to act as a young lady should during this time period, she knows she doesn't fit in. She's logical and businesslike and knows a good deal about guns thanks to her ex-military father. Victorian London was a dirty and dangerous place, and Sally's search for the truth leads her through back alleys to opium dens and dirty docks where murders are so common that kids working on the river gleefully pull out the bodies to search them. What I liked most about Sally was that she wasn't this totally confident, sassy badass. It would have been unrealistic for her to have started out that way during this time period. Instead she second-guesses what she says out loud and scolds herself for not being the badass that she wants to be, until she naturally comes into her own as a young woman.
The Ruby in the Smoke is a fantastic mystery, a rollicking adventure, and has a unique female protagonist. It's a YA historical fiction novel, but I think this one even more than The Golden Compass is for everyone- Sally is 16 and her adventure is an adult's adventure through a real period in history, as opposed to Lyra who is younger and lives in a fantastical alternate world. I read it straight through in two sittings in airports- I think it took me maybe 4 hours all together- I got lost in the story immediately. I know the cover Booklikes uses makes it look terrible but you know the saying- go find a copy with a cuter cover so your bookshelf isn't ugly. :]
[I still haven't cemented my rating system, so I have a really hard time with the stars... Whatever, it was a good book, you guys get it.]