Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer Reading: Mlynowski & Pfeffer

Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have) - Sarah Mlynowksi
2011 - Harper Teen
Read: July 11, 2011
Review: This book was so much fun to read. I loved watching April stumble her way around living on her own (secretly) and interacting with her friends. It was a little far-fetched that no one knew April and Vi were on their own, but I think that was on purpose and it just added to the silly-factor of everything that happened. Even though it was very fun, there was also a lot of heart at the core of the novel. April felt like her parents should have both fought more for her to go with one of them, and so because they didn't push her, she pushed away from them. It was sweet seeing how she started learning to care more by taking care of Donut the kitten. I think a wide range of ages and audiences will really enjoy this book.

Life As We Knew It - Susan Beth Pfeffer
2006 - Harcourt
Read: July 18, 2011
Review: I read this book mostly because one of the blurbs on the back described it as being like a car crash. I don't tend to associate that type of comment with something that's good, and I was amazed that a publisher would include it on the back of a book as a "good thing," so I picked it up. It wasn't too bad, though there was just so much BAD happening all the time. Earthquakes, volcanoes, blizzards, flu epidemics, malaria... everything. There seemed to be a light at the end of the tunnel at the end of the book, but there are (at least) two more in the series, so I have no idea how much more terrible stuff can happen to Miranda (and the world). I kind of want to read the following books and find out though, because it is kind of amazing how many awful things can happen in one story.

To learn more or purchase these titles:
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Currently Reading: Emma by Jane Austen

Friday, July 1, 2011

Catching Up, Part Six: Harrington, Scott, Culbertson

Finally, we have reached the final installment of "Catching Up," where I review a few books at once to finally get caught up on my blog posts! Today we have Clarity by Kim Harrington, He's So Not Worth It by Kieran Scott, and Instructions for a Broken Heart by Kim Culbertson. These are three very different YA books, but all three were fun to read and two were by authors I hadn't read before.

Clarity - Kim Harrington
2011 - Scholastic Point
Read: May 30, 2011
Review: As I wrote in my hand-written journal, "I do love a good YA murder mystery. Like All Unquiet Things, but with psychics!" I really liked almost all of this book, it was fun, it kept me guessing and I genuinely liked the characters and their interactions felt fun, genuine, and not forced or contrived. I could have done without the term "psychometry," as in the Touch novels by Stolarz, but that is just me being overly critical. The dialog had me cracking up, particularly the conversations with Clarity, Perry and their mother. I am really excited to look for more of Harrington's books in the future.

He's So Not Worth It - Kieran Scott
2011 - Simon & Schuster
Read: June 11, 2011
Review: This is the sequel to She's So Dead to Us, and was very fun to read, like the first book. I was really intrigued with how Ally would deal with her father being back in town and the relationship with her parents, especially since her mother started getting serious with the doctor. There were some parts of this book, mostly the highly emotional and intense parts, that felt very really and were actually plausible. However, I'm not really sure how necessary the story is. I couldn't really find a main point to the book, and I know there are going to be more books in the series, and I just can't see if there is one main story line or if these are just going to be books about whiny rich kids. While they are fun to read, I don't feel like I get anything out of reading them, at least not yet.

Instructions for a Broken Heart - Kim Culbertson
2011 - Sourcebooks
Read: June 25, 2011
Review: The plot of this story was very sweet. Jessa walks in on her boyfriend cheating on her and the next day has to go on a school trip to Italy with him, the other girl, and some of their classmates. To cheer her up, Jessa's best friend sends her off with 20 envelopes (very Maureen Johnson) to help her get over the cheater. I really liked the story line, and a lot of the dialog was really fun, but Jessa was a bit whiny, and she kept making awkward scenes in Italy. Other than that, I liked most of the characters and there would be moments of comedic genius scattered throughout the story. I also really liked when Jessa finally understood that she sees the world differently as an artist/writer, and the description of how she feels more than other people really struck home with me.

To learn more or purchase these titles:
You can also check all of these books out on

Books Read in 2011: 58 (of 100)
Currently Reading: Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have) by Sarah Mlynowski