I'm just tired of fighting with LJ all the time. It doesn't help that I finally made a Tumblr account, so I get an easy stream of effortless crack there. (mikhasunthistle.tumblr.com, but it's only FFXIV/MMO stuff, so.)
Child of a Hidden Sea by A. M. Dellamonica
Rating: Okay (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)
I started out loving this book. In it a woman was swept up in a storm, and landed in a different world. A world sort of like ours, but with big differences (magic, land masses were very different, the world was mostly ocean, and yet the languages were very much like Earth languages).
The first quarter of the book, when she was learning about the world and its people, was outstanding. I loved it. Then it became a murder mystery, and her genius brother (literally a genius) showed up in the world, and my interest went through the floor. I reached the 42% point but gave up on it.
We Were Wilder by Rebecca K. O'Connor
Rating: Liked (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)
The author usually writes nonfiction animal books, and that very much showed. There were two threads in this story, one about the main character's past, one about her in the current time. I quickly lost interest in the plotline about the past, and skimmed those sections, but enjoyed the current time one.
The story was set in a world where the vast majority of people were killed by a virus, a virus seemingly created by "re-wilding" America. Wild animals from all around the world were brought to this country and were set free on large plots of land. So America had elephants, lions, jaguars, cheetah, hyenas, giant turtles, basically any wild animal. This seemed to create the new virus that ended up killing off most people in their 20s or 30s (and some strains of it killed people much much younger).
There was a lot of logic you had to not question, but the story was interesting enough that this was a rare case where I was able to overlook plot holes. The main character was a young woman who needed to travel across the country on foot to reach the CDC and hopefully find a cure for the plague. She met and eventually befriended (or was befriended by) a wild dog, and near the end of the story she found a cheetah cub as well and raised her.
Unfortunately some of the plot/logic issues were harder to overlook. The story started 160 years after that virus killed off everyone. 160 years of not that many people around. Yet the girl named her cheetah Laura Croft and the dog McClane (after the main character of Die Hard). Even if the story's world hadn't been hit with the virus, I have a hard time believing those characters would be well known 160 years from now.
Anyway, even with its many issues, I really did enjoy reading about the girl and all the animals, wild and tame. The author clearly knew, loved, and respected the subject, and it came through in her writing.