Sticks & Stones is the 2nd (second) book in the Cut & run series by Madeline Urban and Abigail Roux.
Welcome back to Special Agents Ty Grady and Zane Garrett. 6 months after the events of “Cut & Run”, Ty and Zane, having failed their psych(iatric) eval(uation)s, are forced onto a vacation. Ty goes home to the mountains of West Virginia, and takes Zane, his partner is every sense of the word, with him. Ty and Zane─being Ty and Zane─stumble upon trouble within days. Hiding their sex life from Ty’s parents is now the least of their worries. Finding missing hikers, a rumored treasure stash, and taking out a group of people willing to kill for the mystery money have become their new mission. Entertaining, but a bit formulaic. It wasn’t a long book; took me 5 days (numerous distractions) to finish. Probably won’t read the rest of the series unless I have time to kill.
Then I picked up this gem:
American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
“American Born Chinese” begins with the ancient Chinese tale of The Monkey King and swoops into modern (minus about 20 years) times. Meet Jin Wang, a first-generation American-born Chinese. His family moves from San Francisco’s Chinatown to a (almost certainly lily white) suburb when he is in the 3rd grade. And thus, his troubles at fitting in begin. His first friend is a Taiwanese transfer student named Wei Chin, who has special issues of his own. Then, meet Danny, who, by all appearances, is your average (white) American teen. His cousin, Chin-Kee, written and drawn as a Chinese caricature, arrives for his yearly visit. Suddenly, Danny’s popularity drops, and he’s looking at changing schools AGAIN. “American Born Chinese” is a tale of 3 interconnecting stories about identity, racial, ethnic, and cultural pride, and the lengths people go to to avoid being different. A simple enough read for younger readers (middle school), and a quick read with lots of colorful pictures for busy adults. It’s a graphic novel/comic book; I read it in less than an hour on afternoon, while sitting in the car.
To date, I’m in the middle of finishing Kyoko M.’s “The Black Parade” (available at the time of this writing─21 January 2015─for FREE via Kindle). A review will be coming as soon as I reach that magical 100% mark (I’m reading the e-book version), but so far, so very good. Seers, and angels, and demons, and a biracial (Spanish and unknown-origin Black) heroine. Urban fantasy/paranormal lovers, this may be one for you. Relies on Christian/biblical mythology, but don’t let that deter you. Grab this one while you can…because Sumayyah Said So.