My partner and I recently took a vacation. We drove from our home in western North Carolina to the Florida panhandle for a week on the beach relaxing. We are both big readers, so on long car trips we borrow audiobooks from the library to listen to while we drive. On this last trip, we listened to The Cousins by Karen M. McManus.
This book is in the young adult (YA) genre. My partner and I both enjoy these books. Many popular and best-selling books are also YA, such as the Harry Potter series and the Hunger Games trilogy. This is a stand alone book about three cousins who are invited to work at their grandmother’s resort. Doesn’t sound like much of a story. The twist is that the grandmother disowned the cousins’ parents twenty years ago via a mysterious letter from her lawyer. None of the kids is much interested in going, but their parents make them hoping to get back in the good graces (and the will) of the grandmother.
As you would expect, there are many interesting turns in the story. The characters are well-developed and likeable. There is growth and change for the adults as well as the kids. Each of the cousins was read by a different actor in the audiobook, and the reading/acting was very well done. We really enjoyed listening to this book, and whether you read or listen I encourage you to give it a try.
I finished reading Archenemies, and I loved it! It reminded me of how I felt when I watched The Empire Strikes Back. The story was full of action and twists. I was at the edge of my seat in anticipation; I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. The end was a cliff hanger that left me wanting the next in the series right away. Fortunately, the next book has already been published so I don’t have to wait three year for the sequel like I did with Star Wars.
I am reading the second book of a young adult trilogy named after the first book of the series, Renegades. It is the story of a world where “prodigies” discover they have super powers. The world is very reminiscent of Marvel’s X-Men. The themes involved are very similar as well. What do we do about people who have powers? What does justice mean in such a world? Who gets to decide?
The story takes place in a city that ten years previous had suffered a great battle between the villains (known as the Anarchists) and superheroes (the Renegades). The Renegades won and now are trying to put the city back together and establish society and culture. The founding members form a council that runs the city and much of the world through a sort of police force of prodigies.
What makes this most interesting is that the story is very open about questioning what it means to be the good guy. The characters start to question why an unelected group of people get to make all the rules. It is clear through the characters that good and bad, hero and villain, are not two sides of the same coin but rather a spectrum. I haven’t yet finished the book, but I am thoroughly enjoying how the two main characters are starting to question who they are and what side they are on.