I finished City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare in a matter of a day (maybe two). I love her books. I love the world and the relationships. Sometimes certain things happen that are predictable, but that's not really a complaint since I myself am probably predictable in my writing, and she does have some plot twists that I don't see coming.
      After that, I vowed to myself- no paranormal. I needed a break. So I took one. About a month ago my kids school was having a "buy one get one free" book fair. Who can resist buy one get one free books?! It's amazing I only walked out with six! Anyway, while there, I picked up a book for myself. This book:

     I bought it because, first of all I'd heard of Laurie Halse Anderson and knew that she's a widely praised author. But what really sold me was the book takes place during 1776 and 1777- the American Revolution! A time I'm attempting to write about right now. And I need all the info on that time that I can get.
     The book didn't end up being what I thought it would be about. Maybe I should have paid more attention to the cover- dead giveaway. I think it was the first line that really threw me off though: "The best time to talk to ghosts is just before the sun comes up."
     It's probably because I'm used to everything being paranormal these days. I naturally assumed that the MC- Isabel- could actually talk to ghosts. Yeah, she can't. But the book was amazing. Isabel is a young slave who is sold with her sister to new, harsher masters in New York City. She has to deal with not only the brutality of her treatment, but the opposing sides (patriots and loyalists) that were both in NYC at the time.
     What really made the book good was that she did such an amazing job describing the time that I felt like I was there. I felt like I knew what it was like to be a slave, a patriot, a member of the continental army, a loyalist.
     And she does such great descriptions. Like this one: "Her baby belly was so big she could have loaded it in a wheelbarrow and pushed it in front of her." Ha- I've been there! And I loved this line: "Momma said we had to fight the evil inside us by overcoming it with goodness. She said it was a hard thing to do, but it made us worthy." 
     It was nice to step away from imaginary worlds for a moment and read about history and truth and real hardships. I can't wait to pick up the sequel "Forge".
     And now I'm back to paranormal. I'm in the middle of so many series that I feel the need to finish them (or at least the ones that are out) before I start anything new. They've got a lot to live up to though after reading Chains.