I've finished a few more books:
School's Out - Forever: A Maximum Ride Novel by James Patterson was good, but I'm not too keen on the novel's teen-speak. I found Max a difficult character to love, but I know I missed a lot of backstory by starting with book two.
Ordinarily, I'm not a fan of animal fiction. I'm not a cat person either. Despite my affinity for dogs, I enjoyed Into the Wild (Warriors, Book 1) by Erin Hunter. I don't know if I could read the entire series, or the Seekers and Survivors offshoots, but Hunter is a talented storyteller. I understand her popularity and can appreciate her fanbase.
Shiver is a great read and offers a new take on werewolves. I really like Maggie Stiefvater's writing style and how poetry plays an integral role in her storytelling. Linger, her follow-on novel, is also well-written, but for me, its story is less captivating. Even so, I'm invested enough in the characters to read the third book, Forever.
Tunnels by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams is a fantastic ride. At moments it reminds me of Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth, but its story is unique. (I sure am glad to be a Topsoiler). There are several more books in the series, but my local library only has the first and fifth books.
I still want to read Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments Series, but I'm waiting for my turn to read the first book. I am currently reading Wildwood by Colin Meloy.