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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Books of July - a few days late

How did August sneak up on me so fast? I really expected to get more reading done this month, being that it was LONGER and that I had VACATION days. But alas, I was bogged down with a little ol' thing called work. Grrr.... Don't you hate it when real life gets in the way of your play time??  I still managed quite a few reads, and half of them earned 5 stars!! I hope that you find something on this list to take a closer look at. Next month (this month) I'll have a whole week to myself to write and do more reading and hopefully get some reviews done, *cough badblogger cough* Let me know what you think if you've read any of these and leave me a note saying what your favorite read was for July!! At over 200 books, my TBR list really isn't long enough. What? I'm serious. :)

67. Honey, Baby, Sweetheart by Deb Caletti - I picked this one up because I thought the author sounded sort of Sarah Dessen-like. And the book is - slow start, lots of background but a good smooth read. BUT it lacked something that I find in SD's books that makes me want to keep at them. I liked the older characters in this story better than the teens, and that's not really good. Not sure if I want to try another one from this author.
68. Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly** Oh, I loved this one. It's kind of long, but well worth it. I loved all the history of the French Revolution and the added magical realism. And the LI - suh-woon! I've been reading a lot of books about loss lately (for research purposes), and I loved the way this one made me connect to the character's emotions. Lovely prose too.
69. Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork** I'd heard good things about this one, though I didn't really know too much about it when I dove in. I was pleasantly surprised. I love books about challenged characters who make me think it's the rest of us who are the challenged ones.
70. Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon Not as good as I had hoped, and I'm not sure why. I think part of it was just the stigma that goes along with an Asian female character and the author's attempt to thwart that with everything she had. The MC's kickass-ness actually makes Buffy look like meek. I was thinking to myself, um, too much?? I will say that I enjoyed all the descriptions of the food. I was so hungry by the time I finished this!
71. Every Little Thing in the World by Nina de Gramont** This is easily one of my favorite books of the year, so much so that I ran out and bought NdG's other book, Gossip of the Starlings (haven't read it yet though). :) The characters in this were so wonderfully flawed, and the minor characters stood out just as much, if not more. I will say that there were times when I didn't like the MC much, but I was very eager to hear how her story was going to turn out. It's an issue book, but not preachy. I felt more like the author was trying to get the reader to understand what goes on in someone's head in that situation (teen pregnancy). I WILL do a review of this soon.
72. On the Bright Side, I'm Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God by Louise Rennison ** Second book in the Georgia Nicholson series. So funny, light and breezy. La la la la. Good times. :)
73. Psych Major Syndrome by Alicia Thompson This is a good college-age book that hits at some of the issues teens face just as they're getting out on their own. I felt a strong connection with the characters, and it helped me recall my own dorm days. There were times when I felt that parts were a little over-written and the details unnecessary, but overall it was a nice read.
74. Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson The first half of this story really dragged, but then around midway it picked up and I ended up liking it. I was a little surprised by the MC's actions at the ending; wasn't expecting that based on her behavior beforehand. Curious if anyone else felt the same.
75. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta******* sob-fest! This was a re-read, and I can now say without a doubt that JR is my favorite YA book. I cry with frustration when I hear others say that they just can't get past the beginning. I know the feeling, believe me. But it is so so so worth it. Please give it another try!!! The second read-through was so nice because I could concentrate on the beautiful prose and very real cast of characters instead of trying to figure out what was going on. I think that's what bumped it up to my #1 fave. Wonderful, wonderful book about friendship and life and death. Please read it!
76. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand The beginning was a bit cliche as far as paranormal romances go. I did eventually get sucked into it, and I really enjoyed the dilemma at the ending. I'll probably check out the sequel.
77. Knocked out by my Nunga Nungas by Louise Rennison 3rd book. I was still laughing out loud many times. But I also think that I may be getting just a little bit tired of the voice now. I'll have to pace myself with the rest of this series.
78. Wither by Lauren DeStefano This was an okay one for me. There was a lot of world building that didn't make much sense with this one, so I tried to look beyond that or it would have driven me crazy. I enjoyed the relationship between the sister-brides, but the male MC was just kind of squicky. I shivered a bit during some of the bedroom scenes even though I consider myself well-versed with sex/erotica in literature. And it wasn't that this was that, detail-wise, it was just the "idea" of what was going on. Not sure that I'll bother continuing with this series.
79. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys** I have hereby declared this book as a must-read for everyone, regardless of whether they like historical or YA. In the vein of the Diary of Anne Frank, this book delivers a story and the history of a people that we cannot forget. I know I'm bordering on preachy now, but the book is also wonderful with its prose and storyline, not just the history behind it. It had me shaking by the end, and I thought about it for days afterward. I'm still in awe with this one.


Karla Nellenbach said...

I wasn't as enthralled by WITHER as others I know. Glad to know I'm not the only one.

I haven't read anything by Deb Calletti but I do have STAY on my TBR list for August.

Also: BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY!!!! oh my freaking god, there are no words for how much i love, love, LOVED this book. It was so heartbreaking and yet hopeful at the same time. one of the best books ever IMO.

for me this month, the best book was STORM OF SWORDS (third in the GAME OF THRONES series)...followed closely by RAW BLUE (thanks again for sending it to me!) and GONE GONE GONE by Hannah Moskowitz

man, i have a butt-load of reviews i still need to write. *sigh*

Angie said...

Karla - I had Stay on my TBR list too. Let me know if you get to it and if it's any good! And you're welcome!

Katrina L. Lantz said...

LOVED Wither! The plot wasn't what I expected, but the WRITING and the characterization were breathtaking. I've heard much buzz about Revolution and hope to read it soon. And Between Shades of Gray made me cry from the promotional video alone (on amazon). I definitely plan to read that one with a box of tissues. Great list!




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