YA Highway‘s blog prompt for the last Road Trip Wednesday of the month is always about the best book you’ve read for the month, in this case, What was the best book you read in June? When I took a peek on my iPod and saw the prompt, I thought, Hah! An easy one! because my mind immediately went to a fabulous book I read in June, the only one I read in paper form.
Then I took a peek at my Kindle list to see what else I’d read and realized, Dang! There’s a second one!
So I’m afraid I’m going to have two favorites again this month. First is Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld, the second book in his steampunk Leviathan series. As I mentioned, I read this one as a trade paperback rather than e-book. I had dropped into a fabulous indie bookstore in Davis CA, The Avid Reader, to ask if they would order in my YA science fiction book, Tankborn. I made a point of buying a book that day (a Jasper Fforde novel), then when I returned later to autograph the copy of Tankborn that they’d ordered, I again wanted to support the store by buying a book. I spotted Leviathan, a book I’d been wanting to read, and realized the trade paperback cost the same as the Kindle version, so why not buy it in paper?
It turned out to be a smart decision because the book is loaded with wonderful illustrations that I’m sure would not have been so beautiful on my Kindle screen. Once I finished Leviathan, I desperately wanted Behemoth, but I was determined to support the Avid Reader next time I was in Davis by buying the book there.
Finally I made it back to Davis, bought Behemoth and devoured it in just a few days. Both Leviathan and Behemoth are great on-the-edge-of-your-seat adventures, with a mondo cool steampunk world that meshes beautifully with actual history. I’ve been a Scott Westerfeld fan for a while, but these two books just up the fan gush.
You might think these are the two books I mentioned earlier. But no. I read Leviathan a couple months ago. The second fave book that I read in June is The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson. I follow Maureen on Twitter (is she a hoot, or what?), so I’ve known about the book for quite some time. But I avoided it because I’m pretty squeamish when it comes to gore and I feared this book would be full of it (the Jack the Ripper angle clued me in).
But although there are some pretty ick scenes that made me cringe, they don’t dominate the book. There’s such a great story here, I couldn’t stop turning pages. Plus, I loved the characters, the setting, and Maureen’s trademark humor (yes, many funny bits even in a book centered around Jack the Ripper).
So if you haven’t checked out the Leviathan series and The Name of the Star (also slated to be a series), I suggest you do, forthwith.