Sunday, September 12, 2010

September - 70ish books.

I've read quite a few new books since the last time I posted. I am up to about 71 for the year so far. I won't do a full rundown, because that would take forever, and I already write down all of my book reviews in a regular journal.
Some worth mentioning:

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers -- After reading this, her second book, I am definitely a fan. Both were stories of "popular' girls falling aside, but were each in very different ways. Regina was a deeply complex character, and at times I wanted to hate her and pity her all at once. I think I liked Parker better, from Cracked Up To Be, but both female leads are well developed and both of Summers' books are definitely worth reading.

The Key to the Golden Firebird by Maureen Johnson -- It took me years to find this book as well as Devilish by Maureen Johnson. I chose to put Key to the Golden Firebird on this list because it is similar to two of her other books, 13 Little Blue Envelopes and Girl at Sea. These three books are all about teenage girls coming into their own and learning who they are. I really liked the supporting characters in Firebird, especially May's sisters and her neighbor Pete. The sisterly bonding at the end was just awesome, too.

Forget You by Jennifer Echols -- I am a big Jennifer Echols fan now too. I really, really loved Going Too Far, which I read last year. And Forget You was just as well written and sucked me in just as much. It was fun and confusing to figure out all of the intricacies of the night that Zooey was in the car crash with Doug. One thing I didn't like was how quickly she was ready to give her life over to Brandon and be his little devotee. But Doug made up for it and their back and forth was great.

She's So Dead to Us by Kieran Scott -- When I read this, I didn't know it was going to be the beginning of a series (the rest haven't come out yet). So when I got to the end I was a little 'wtf' because it definitely left off in what is a cliff hanger to teenage girls. I was excited to find out that there will be more books to come, because I really enjoyed Ally's point of view. Her situation was different than most lead characters who experience a "fall from grace" because with Ally, it had nothing to do with her, and had everything to do with her father's shady investment practices. I am really looking forward to seeing what happens next.

Every Little Thing in the World by Nina deGramont -- This was one of two teenage pregnancy books that I read with not very much time in between. I almost wish I had read this one second instead of first, because it was so much better than the other one and it would have redeemed the topic for me. I tend not to like YA books that discuss pregnancy because it's a very touchy subject for everyone and I think people sometimes tiptoe around it too much in a story or come at it too harshly. This book handled it fantastically. Sydney was not ready to be a parent, and she needed to learn to stick up for herself, which was how she got pregnant in the first place, because she didn't insist on condoms. Her best friend Natalia tries to convince her to keep the baby, but eventually Sydney admits to herself that it is just not right for her to be a parent so young. Even while I was reading this book I kept hoping that Sydney would get an abortion, because if it had been a fairytale pregnancy book, I would have been pissed, which is why I really didn't like the other book that I read after this one. I was so relieved when she told the nurse at the hospital.

The Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard -- For some reason, I really love this series. The books are fun and mysterious and just take you away from wherever you are and pull you into this twisted world of Rosewood. I'm not usually a big series girl, but these books are just too fun. I haven't read the very last book, though I bought it the other day so I will get to it soon.

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins -- This was a really great way to end the series. At first, the writing seemed very different than the previous two Hunger Games books. But I think this was done on purpose, to give this book a different feel. This wasn't a book about the Games or about Katniss struggling to survive. This was a book about war, about what people lose and what people fight for. It was really well done in my opinion. There was a lot of Katniss "in recovery" though, which was at times a bit boring. But for the most part, I thought this book did what it set out to do and gave its readers a satisfying end, though maybe not a completely happy one.

There have also been a few books mixed into the last bunch that were just not for me. They get some mention too:

Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala -- This was the other pregnancy book, which took the route of "girl gets pregnant to keep boyfriend, learns this is wrong, keeps baby anyways, grows into a wonderful young woman whose parents start to love her." It was just... not for me. I didn't like the writing style, and I didn't like any of the characters, except for Rand's dead sister. And it really doesn't say much for your book if the only character I like is dead.

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater -- I was really looking forward to this sequel to Shiver. Shiver was fantastic and unexpected. Linger was not. Linger was basically the exact story just switched. Grace and Sam's relationship is all about whining that they can't see each other and whining about not being wolves. It was just kind of a boring mess. The only redeeming chapters were the ones from the new wolf Cole.

Stalker Girl by Rosemary Graham -- I am still not sure how I feel about this book or this story. I really think it could have been a lot... more. Just, there could have been more to the story, more to the writing, just more. I'm guessing the reason it was written in third person was to make the reader feel almost as if they were stalking Carly, while Carly was stalking Taylor. However, there was A LOT of back story, and the back story wasn't introduced as being back story, so I was really confused about the timeline of events for a while. Carly was an emotional mess, but the things that she did while "stalking" just didn't seem believable. I really wasn't convince while I was reading this book. I was really excited that there was a YA book that had the word Stalker in the title, but I was really disappointed.

Tangled by Carolyn Mackler -- I liked the intertwining stories in this book. But I didn't like that each person's story got cut short from their point of view, and then we heard all about the meaty stuff later from someone else. It was like the hard situations would have been too difficult to write or something, because a lot of the good situations were just told through the grapevine. I also didn't like that the book blurb made it sound like the whole book would take place on Paradise, when in fact, only the first story did, and the island itself really wasn't as big a part of the story as it was made out to be.

I'm currently finishing up The Thirteenth Child by Patricia C Wrede. It's about a different America, one where people use magic and the frontier is still being explored and expanded. Eff is an interesting lead character, since she has a lot of feelings of guilt that are basically based on nothing but her awful Uncle's warnings. I loved Wrede's Dealing With Dragons books, so I was excited to pick this one up. I think it's funny that I used to enjoy a fantasy series like the Dragons books because for a long time after that, until about the last year or so, I was very opposed to fantasy and sci-fi books. It seems that this is the first in a series, so I think it's mostly been laying the ground work, because there hasn't been much actual excitement in the story so far. But I have faith that it will change directions soon.

I make no promises, but I will try to post again soon.

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