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Monday, October 31, 2011

Booooooks of October

I read 12 books this month, a little less than in previous months. But hey, I managed to add 10K words to my book!!! Woot Woot!! I've moved up my reading goal to 135 books read total for 2011, so if I just manage 10 books in each of the next two months I should make it. This month had a lot of middle-road choices with a few outstanding reads. Let me know what your favorite read was for October. Anything s-s-s-scary????

105. A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young** I thought this was a very different take on angels. There's a constant tension in the story, and I often found myself trying to imagine what it would be like to live in Charlotte's shoes. The LI interest here is HOT. *fans self* Great debut for Suzanne!
106. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins The voice in this one is really fun, but I felt like it was more of the same in the paranormal genre. It would be very appealing for tweens though.
107. Blubber by Judy Blume I read this with the intention to do a review for bully prevention month, but alas, I never got around to it. It was so much fun to revisit these characters though. I hadn't seen them in over 25 years!
108. Feeling Sorry For Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty * I <3 Jaclyn Moriarty, and this one had been sitting on my shelf for way too long. I think this one has taken first place in my heart.
109. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins* Stephanie Perkins's sequel to Anna and the French Kiss has had mixed reviews, from those who loved it more than Anna to those who really didn't resonate with the characters. Myself, I think it was a solid sophomore novel. Maybe not quite as good as Anna, but still worthy of putting SP high on my list of favorite YA authors. I'll be looking forward to reading the third book in the spring.
110. A Job - From Hell by Jayde Scott (indie) Review on TYAC.

111. Before I Die by Jenny Downham** A truly heart wrenching book. I give it high marks because it had me emotionally pumped up, but I'm not sure if I'd want to experience anything so traumatic again.
112. Grace by Elizabeth Scott ES is hit or miss with me, and this one missed. The premise was intriguing, but if you don't read a blurb about it first it WILL confuse. The ending dragged about 2 chapters too long.
113. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern I mistakenly thought this was a YA novel, but it's actually an adult story that's been marketed as a YA crossover. The descriptions were just lovely, but I didn't feel very connected to the characters, and the story dragged a lot. It does have young people in it, but there is little character development and I don't believe the themes would resonate with younger readers. Overall, I think I would have enjoyed it more had I not gone into it thinking it was YA.
114. Bestest Ramadan Ever by Medeia Sharif  What I appreciated most about this book was getting a look into Muslim culture and learning a bit about Ramadan, which admittedly I'm not all that familiar with. The voice was good, but I didn't like the MC very much. I kept reading knowing she had to change at some point, and she does in the end, but getting there wasn't a fun ride.  At times I felt like I could "feel" the writer's presence (as in, it sounded like a middle age person who was pretending to talk like a teen).

115. Ash by Malinda Lo * This was a very interesting take on the Cinderella story, complete with fairies, huntswomen and a lesbian love interest. I liked the added elements while still getting enough of the traditional story to feel like I knew where it was going. The only thing I didn't like was the very abrupt climax that wasn't a climax at all.
116. Larkstorm by Dawn Rae Miller Available in December. Review coming soon!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Review at TYAC

I'm over at TYAC today with a review of Jayde Scott's A Job - From Hell. Boy do I feel like that somedays! Of course my job doesn't involve blood thirsty vamps, just very uncooperative little plants! Stakes are still involved, but my bad boys are much easier to kill. Hahaha...

In other news, my yahoo mail account was hijacked/phished a couple days ago. So if any of you got email from me, BIG APOLOGIES!! No, I am not in Spain, and no, my sister is not having a hysterectomy, and no, I do not need money. I kind of figure everyone already knows that I would never send such a goofy email, but if you were worried about me, I thank you.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Time for a little TYAC promotion

Should I read it? Should I not read it? Should I read it? Should I not read it?

What am I talking about? This book: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Bleh, that cover makes me squirm every time I see it, but the book itself is generating a lot of great discussion. TYAC guide, Erin Brambilla and special guest, Jamie Blair, are doing a Beautiful Disaster Grudge Match today. We'd love for you to stop by and see what all the fuss is about. And well, I'd love your opinion. After reading their opposing opinions, I'm still undecided!! I don't know if I should read it or not. Part of me says, yeah, you love smut and you loved Twilight even after you realized all its faults. The other part of me says, you're going to be like Erin and want to throw that baby against the wall. So I'm leaving it up to you guys: go read the discussion and give me your vote, yay or nay?

ETA1 - Please, please do, I'm so indecisive.
ETA2 - you can leave your vote/comments on TYAC page so you don't have to navigate back here.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The power of the word "what".

Those of you with young children will appreciate this recent conversation with my 4 yr old.

Why do you keep saying Dylan?
Why do you keep saying Mama?
Because I want to ask you something.
Then ask me something.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Books of September

Yes, I completed my 100 books goal!!!  I'm planning to talk about that more in depth in the next post so I'm just going to do my regular summary for now.  I had a fruitful month, and as I think some of you know, I've started doing an occasional review for TYAC, the YA Curator, where we review Indie titles. It's a lot harder than I ever thought it would be, and I have a whole new respect for agents and all the work they do.  This month, I also managed to work a bit on my MG book. I'll post the first chapter on the blog here someday soon. Would love to hear what your favorite books were for the month, so please leave comments!

93. Dream Smashers by Angela Carlie (Indie) Reviewed for YA curator. Here.
94. Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz * Loved it!! This is a great sophomore novel by Hannah. I loved the relationship between the brothers. There were a few believability issues for me regarding the little sister, but I moved past that because I really loved the writing and style. Also the time line here was intriguing.
95. Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard** I'm crushing on everything about this book. The writing, the awesome subject, the LI. My review is here.
96. Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma This one was a disappointment for me. I didn't feel connected to the characters at all, and I really hated the older sister. I know that others have said they loved the premise, but for me I felt lost through most of the story. Guess that I just like to have some sense of what's going on before I get to the last chapter, but IG keeps all of its secrets until the very end. Just not for me.
97. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray** Sooo funny. I loved the characters and the whole idea in itself was just hilarious. I thought it went on a little too long, and I didn't care for the epilogue, but overall it's a very entertaining book and earns 5 stars for its humor.
98. The Night is for Hunting by John Marsden* Finally I've gotten back to this series and finished it! The 6th book was another favorite. It was definitely different and for me, far more emotional.
99. White Cat by Holly Black* The mafia, a sexy MC, magic. What's not to love here? The first half felt a little slow, but then around midway it really picks up and doesn't let go. LOVED the ending, so much that I was compelled to pick up the second book right away when I saw it at the library. Continued below...
100. The Other Side of Dawn by John Marsden* The conclusion of the Tomorrow series! It was a little less intense than I expected, but Marsden did a good enough job with the other books that I couldn't make any predictions as to who would come out of it alive. I wish that I could see the movie. *wipes at the tears of injustice*
101. Amelia O'Donohue Is So Not a Virgin by  Helen Fitzgerald* So despite the believability issues with this one, I really enjoyed it. There was a BIG, HUGE, GI-NORMOUS twist at the end that I was not at all prepared for. Well, I had one glimmer of an idea that it might be that, but then I quickly dismissed it as being impossible. But it wasn't, and it was a very intriguing indeed! After reading other reviews, I'm shocked that more people didn't like it. It's been on sale at Amazon for under 2$ in the past month, and though it's not right now, I've noticed their books tend to go on and off their bargain racks repeatedly. If it sounds interesting to you, I'd watch to see if it goes on sale again.
102. Anathema by Megg Jensen (Indie) I read this for the Curator, but decided not to review it because I couldn't recommend it in good faith. Basically for a fantasy, at 200 pages, it just wasn't long enough. The characters were quite predictable and there was a lot of telling rather than showing. This story could have been so much more because the beginning was quite gripping, but there was just no follow through. So hard to predict these things.
103. Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer** Awesome second book in the series. Team Shay ALL the way. :)

104. Red Glove by Holly Black* As said above, after I saw this on the library shelf I had to get it. The beginning starts out really good and I was caught up in all of it through about 90% of the story. Then there was a little disappointment in the ending. Still worth every minute reading it though. I do love how unique this series is,  and I LOVE, LOVE how the curse workers suffer immediate (and sometimes physical) consequences for using their magic. Not something you often get with paranormals. Also the male voice in this is just awesome. The main character is sort of how I picture Eric from my own WIP, so of course, I'm sort of enthralled here. :)



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