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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

May reading list -15 books!!!

Yes I was very prolific this month. I think I need to cut down a bit because I only wrote about 3000 words of my new WIP! That's bad writing form. :( I think I'm going to start writing reviews again as well as give my quick list. I feel really bad about not promoting these books more, especially those that I get from the library. I can't afford to buy this many books, but SOMEONE  should be buying them because many are oh so good!!! And lots of surprise endings this month! Anywho, hope you find something on this list that interests you, and as always, I love getting book recs so please let me know what book really stuck with you this month!

Double asterisks indicate highly recommended.
39. Nightshade by Andrea Cremer** I've read a lot of paranormals lately, but this is one that really stands out to me. The love triangle is tres sexy, and even though I knew who she'd end up with, I still enjoyed the ride. There was a bit of mystery and suspense in this and a scene with a giant spider! Can anyone say LOTR flashbacks? Only it was in a good way because if there's one thing that will creep me out, it's a giant spider. My skin was crawling and I loved it. I can't wait for the sequel, Wolfsbane to come out. AND Andrea Cremer just happens to be from MN, so I'll be going to her book signing at the end of July and will bring back swag for a contest! Stay tuned for it.

40.  Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver I have to say that the beginning of this didn't really stick with me that well. The main character is very unlikeable and although she changes through the course of the book, it was hard for me to stick with her to the end. I did like the premise a whole lot though, and it didn't end at all like I thought it was going to.

41. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky**This one was not what I thought it was going to be. AT ALL. The ending was very startling to me. Even though there were clues, I just didn't pick up on it quickly enough. It doesn't read like an issue book even though there is an issue, and throughout I kept thinking that the MC's weird social habits were abnormal-normal if that makes any sense. I loved the minor characters; everyone should have friends who are that supportive.

42. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
** Good God, I loved this one! So fast paced and sexy. I loved both characters and desperately wanted them to get it on. Looking forward to reading others by this author-duo.

43. Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler Not as good as I had expected given Ockler's success with 20 Boy Summer. The plot was a bit predictable, and I found some things in it to be unrealistic, as in, that's not what the typical person would do. SPOILER ALERT!!!!!: I'm referring to the diary here. If I had found a diary written by my dead aunt who no one will talk about, you can be certain that it wouldn't take me 3 weeks or more to read it!). The prose was very well written, but there were definite moments where the telling vs showing balance was totally off. Overall, a bit disappointed.

44. The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta** LOVED IT!! This is a stand alone that follows the same characters as Marchetta's other YA novel, Saving Francesca. I liked being reunited with these characters, and I'd recommend reading that one first only for that reason. It was very different from SF, sort of dark and gritty. Tom is a character who makes a lot of mistakes, and yet I found myself rooting for him from the very beginning.

45. This Gorgeous Game by Donna Freitas As the plot of TGG progressed, I felt my hair standing on end, my stomach turning sour. It's easy to get caught up in and delivers such a strong message. Even though it's about a priest turned stalker and that gave it a very definite turn of flavor, I think it could easily apply to any similar situation, thus making it a great book for teens. I was a bit turned off with the Mary Sue- type characters; they didn't feel all that realistic, but the message it delivers alone is worth the read.

46. What I Was by Meg Rosoff Very different. I enjoyed the writing style immensely, but the story (especially the ending) was not what I expected. Still, I'll look for more from this author.

47. Darkness Be My Friend by John Marsden #4 in the Tomorrow Series. I didn't feel like a whole lot happened in this one, but I enjoyed the conflict of emotions that Ellie continues to go through. Some of it was so unexpected given her tough exterior, and of course I like it that the subplot about her love interest is re-ignited. :)

48. The Secret Hour; The Midnighters #1 by Scott Westerfeld There were a lot of cool scenes in this one. I think it reads more as MG than YA, but I continued to cheer Westerfeld's ability to incorporate science efficiently and believably into his works. This one didn't have quite as much as some of his others (and oh no, it was about math- haha), but it worked well.

49. Divergent by Veronica Roth ** RUN, DID YOU HEAR ME RUN!!! TO YOUR BOOKSELLER AND GET THIS BOOK!!!! Divergent deserves all the hype it's been getting. Some say it's like HG, and I can definitely see the similarities, yet the story is holy unique and doesn't need that selling strategy to boost its appeal. I will warn you that the take off is a little slow, if not confusing, but once you get past that around oh page 25 or so, then you will love it! I dare you to prove me wrong. :)

50. Hold Still by Nina LaCour** Clearly deserves to be on my top ten contemporary YA list for 2011. It's heartwrenching and hopeful and sad and uplifting all at once. The supporting characters surpass many that I've read in recent history. I wish I could write a book like this. Looking forward to seeing more from this author. Wait - I'd better go see if she has anything else out...

51. Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty This might be personal preference, but SF didn't live up to the hype for me. I found the voice to be a bit too much, and it was hard to find a plot until about halfway through. The ending was very abrupt, and makes you want to read the next one just to see what happens, and yet... I don't think I could suffer 200 more pages of Jessica Darling.

52. Intertwined by Gina Showalter This book had a bit more than I expected it to - as in a few more vampires, werewolves, fairies, witches, and every other paranormal creature out there. I typically don't like books that stick everything into them, and though this one did keep me interested, I wouldn't have gotten it if I had known that was the case. Not so sure if I'll bother reading the next one in the series.

53. Double Helix by Nancy Werner I'm debating whether to do a  more lengthy review of this one being that it's right up my professional alley. It's about transgenics and what can go wrong when scientists try to play God. I read it for the sole purpose of research, as I have an idea that I'm playing with. The thing with this one, is that while I enjoyed certain parts of it, I felt like the author was more interested in educating and making a point than they were in presenting in-depth characters with a story. I didn't really feel connected to the MC until about halfway through, and even then I think it was just the mystery of wanting to know how far she was going to take it that kept me going. Would I recommend it to someone who was planning to write sci-fi that deals with genetic manipulation? Yes, it's a good model to go by. Would I recommend it to someone who's just looking for a good story? Probably not. The tale just wasn't that gripping, the characters not that interesting.

5 comments:

Jolene Perry said...

These are ALL on my TBR list. I feel so behind!! I've read reviews on these all over the place!!

Bee said...

Wow, Angie. What a great list of books! And you read them all in May?! That is so cool.
I hardly got to read anything in May cos I had my finals, but I managed to sneak in a few inbetween. Good thing now they are over, and I have a giant tbr pile to tackle.

Nomes said...

<3 this post Angie and I so miss your thoughts on books...

glad you liked NIGHTSHADE ~ i couldn't get into it (made it to page 115) but i know it is just b/c paranormal is not my genre

I struggled with before i fall as well. gave it three stars.

I like your thoughts on Fixing Delilah and agree about the diary thing. I have seen similar things played out like that in other books to match the narrative/plot rather than be realistic. Patrick is hot though, isn't he? :D

I don;t know anyone who has not loved The Piper's Son! <3

And I love HOLD STILL i have re-read it already and agree i would love to write somethign like that!

I didn;t really like SLOPPY FIRSTS either. it had it's moments but it is not foe me (I know I am in the minority...)

and I need to read DIVERGENT ~ it is on my shelf but for some reason i ma scared to crack it open!

as for me? I have a book rec for you:

EVERY LITTLE THING IN THE WORLD

oh my gosh ~ I loved this one so much (and need to review it) it's a quiet contemp read but pretty much just perfect in voice :)

talk soon!

and sorry for my long rambly comment!

Angie said...

Oh, awesome Nomes! I checked and our library has it!

Being scared of Divergent - yeah, I get that way when people hype books, and I fear that I'll be disappointed.

And I love your long rambly comments. :)

Karla Nellenbach said...

VERY impressive list! Yes! to DIVERGENT. BEST BOOK of May, hands down :)

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