Best Book Ever- Indies

Welcome to Best Book Ever!  Each week a group of authors, bloggers, and book lovers come together to give a shout out to their favorite books based on a specific theme.  This week our theme is:
Week 13: Indies and Small Publishers

I’m not usually a sci-fi fan, but this book was great. Thomas Carpenter did a fabulous job of pulling the reader into the world of “gamers.” The synopsis of Gamers does NOTHING for the book. Nothing. About 30 pages in to the book I realized I was reading something that reminded me of Scott Westerfield's Pretties series. I don't mean the story sounded familiar (because it didn't), but the creepy "Big-Brother-is-out-to-get-you" aspect felt similar-- which is a good thing. Gamers is 90% fast paced action that will keep you on the edge of your seat. That fast paced plot makes this book hard to put down.
Alanna @ The Flashlight Reader
There are some great Indie books out there right now, but my current favorite is AWAKE by Jessica Grey. Awake blends two of my favorite-of-all-favorite reading options: fairy tales and YA, when Alexandra Martin literally stumbles upon Sleeping Beauty. In modern-day Los Angeles. Oh yeah, it's good. As scientific-minded Alex, and her best friend Becca, come to terms with the reality that magic and fairy tale princesses do exist, they also discover truths about themselves, the world, and Love.
Rebecca @ A Word's Worth 
It's actually a really close call between 2. So close I can't even call it. The two are: LOVE IS DARKNESS by Caroline Hanson and BONE DRESSING by Michelle I Brooks.
They are both totally different books and they both sit very close to my heart for different reasons. I find it hard to sum either up in just a paragraph. All I can really say is, if you love Indie authors and you still love vampires (I know a few people who don't) then go and pick up LOVE IS DARKNESS. It swept me off my feet. With a sweet and feisty heroine and a bad-ass vampire, this is definitely one book you won't want to miss.
As for BONE DRESSING, that book broke my heart. In a good way. I was honestly so head over heels for it that I can't even describe it. From the sweet loving main couple to the gritty storyline. It will leave you dying for more. (which thankfully there is when The Dreaming is released)
Eddie's War (namelos, 2011) is a beautiful, undiscovered gem. It's the story of a boy, his family, and his small Illinois town in the years leading up to America's involvement in World War II. It's Eddie's story: he ripens like a summer peach before our eyes, from a preschooler clambering onto a chair in the public library to "read" newspapers, to a sensitive teen who grapples with the complexities of war, intensely personal family problems, and first love. It's one of those rare verse novels that should be in verse: the spare lines and plain language evoke small-town 1930s and 1940s middle America. Also, Eddie is inherently an observer, and the verse form mimics the way our minds work when we're observing events and processing them—bite-sized, vivid, with snatches of all our senses involved.

Kirkus gave this book a starred review, and Nikki Grimes brought it up with her committee when she was a judge for the National Book Award, but very few people have read it.
-Elizabeth Fama, author of Monstrous Beauty ( 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR))

I am going to go WAY back with my pick.  Back when I was in high school and college I was OBSESSED with a little manga and anime known as Sailor Moon.  I am sure you have heard of it.  Well, although I couldn't write worth a lick- I loved reading fan fiction that had to do with Sailor Moon.  One of my favorite Sailor Moon fics was reworked into a novel:  Midnight Moonlight Glory.  It was turned from a fan's love of Sailor Moon into a truly awesome fantasy story.  This is NOT YA, but it is beautifully written and holds up quite well.

My pick for Best Indie is Delia Sherman's wonderful, magical Freedom Maze, which was published by Small Beer Press last November. Small Beer has a reputation for publishing beautiful and beautifully written books and magazines--unusual or risky fiction that bigger publishers might not be willing to take a chance on. Freedom Maze is no exception to their impressive catalog, but I imagine there was little risk in publishing this one--it's a startling accomplishment which has received universal praise from critics and readers alike. One recent reviewer called it "perfect," and I wholeheartedly agree.
Freedom Maze is in many ways a callback to simpler times. It's a middle grade fantasy about a girl in 1960 who is magically whisked into 1860 Lousiana, where she discovers some unexpected things about her family and herself. By finding a place for herself as a slave in the past, she learns where she fits into her own life in the present, and starts on the path to the young woman she will become. As a fan of classic stories by E. Nesbit and Edward Eager, not to mention a time travel junkie, Freedom Maze feels like an overlooked favorite from my childhood, as though it were written just for me. Please look for it; it's a fun and important book, and it's currently one of many amazing books on the 2012 ballot for the Andre Norton Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy.
-E.C. Myers, debut author of Fair Coin (2012 Prometheus Books)
 So what do you think?  Have you read any of these Indie Books?  Is there one that we should have mentioned?  Please let us know in the comments below!

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