This is a review I posted originally in September of last year on my livejournal, but I think it deserves a re-post because none of you fantastic blogger people got to read it, and I need to pimp this book out because it is THAT good.
So, this is my review of Clockwork Heart, by Dru Pagliassotti:
This book was so fantastic that I spent all day Saturday reading, and I left a party early so I could come home and finish the book (stayed up until 2:00 AM finishing even though my eyes were drooping and I was half-asleep already.) This book was the kind of book that was so fantastically crafted, it made me simultaneously despair for my own writing, and smile that I'd found something this good.
If you couldn't tell by that description, I absolutely loved this book. It's a steampunk on the science fiction side of things (rather than the fantasy side, which is what I write and what WICKED GENTLEMEN by Ginn Hale is) and the world building is gorgeously done and really clean. I loved reading about their world--and it was all set in a city, which makes me really happy, because I love urban settings.
And, I think the romantic elements made my heart leap more than it did when I was in middle school, and I realized for the first time in my life that my Big Crush liked me back. THAT'S how good it was. There are certainly a lot of good romantic sub-plots out there, but this one was one of the best I've read in a while, simply because the two main characters worked so well together. None of it was forced, neither of them were too flawed or too perfect, and I didn't feel like Pagliassotti was throwing situations at them simply because those situations would induce them to makeout. It's not hard to get a 4/5 romance rating out of me, but, ironically enough, it's near to impossible to make me take that next step up and give a romantic plot a 5/5. Well, this one gets a 5/5, hands down, no argument.
I think the only problem I had with it was certain somewhat manufactured descriptions of one of the main characters, and the way the book ended. The final chapter was more like an epilogue, and I think what happened in it was too abrupt. It would've been better in a sequel.
Anyway, this one comes highly recommended from me, and is definitely going on the special bookshelf in my room, rather than on the huge ones in my library, so that I can re-read scenes or read it again, or possibly just stare at it and remember how happy it made me.