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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Books of January

Why hello February, you sneaky little groundhog. How did you manage to get here so fast??

Okay aside from it being unseasonably warm (hello? 30-40's for most of January IN MINNESOTA!!!), this month has been fairly average for me. I clocked in 11 books, and even though I said I was going to read less and write more, I still haven't quite gotten hold of my addiction yet. Though to be honest, I don't mind so much because it DOES give me something to talk about (if nothing else, I'll have at least 12 posts this year based on this blog meme alone). Read some really great stuff this month, only one super big dud and one so-so dud. The rest really knocked my socks off. Did you get any good books read this month? Would love to know!!

Also: please do not laugh at the mess that is my blog. I'm trying to clean house and I've got a few ghosts hanging around that don't seem to want to go away (ahem, like double titles). Will hopefully have things back to normal in a few days. :)

 1. Chime by Franny Billingsley** Wow, this is a book that I can honestly say I wish I had read sooner. I was so in love with the dark, creepy voice of the main character. She may be very depressing to some and well, negative, but I loved her. I knew that she didn't WANT to be that way and the way she cared for her sister was endearing. I loved how the friendship between Briony and Eldric grew over time and the funny lines that the sister had, but more than anything I loved the prose. Every line was perfection, and there were so so many lines that I had to just sit and digest. Awww, bliss...
2. Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan* Oh, RR you slay me! I love Percy Jackson and all I can really say about this one is that I wish there had been more of Percy and less of the other characters. I know, I know, what more can we really learn about Percy? But come on, the book is called Son of Neptune!! Not Son of Mars or Daughter of Pluto. At 513 pages it just felt too dragged down by all the complicated backstory of these other characters, and really I just didn't care about them as much. Though, I will say that I'm looking forward to the next adventure when I get Annabeth back. *covers son's ears* Yes, it's a MG book, but I need to see these two kiss a bit more.
3. You Are My Only by Beth Kephart* A story about a baby who's kidnapped told from the mother's POV and the kidnapped baby years later (as a teen).  It was a slow starter, but I did eventually get into the story and was really rooting for the perfect ending, which I got.
4. The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler First let me tell you that I loved 13 Reasons Why by JA and The Earth My Butt and Other Round Things by CM. I think they're both extremely talented writers, but this book just... fizzled out. The premise was very cool, but it was too darn predictable. I knew almost from the very first page what was going to happen, and so I had to slog through chapter after chapter of Emma (who was annoying) and Josh (who I wanted to whack upside the head) trying to figure it out themselves. This one goes to the library book recommendations.
5. You Against Me by Jenny Downham** Loved, loved, loved this!!!! Jenny Downham you now have a fan in this reader. I read almost the entire thing (400 pages) in one night - it was unputdownable. I loved all the Britishisms, the sparse writing, and the characters who were so raw and perfectly flawed. It is an issues book, but it's brilliantly done. Clearly one of my favorites so far this year.
6. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green** Overall, I really enjoyed JG's new book, though I can say that I the beginning dragged a little bit and the voice wasn't as perfect as it is in his other books. I did weep a little at the end. Oh, and Prufrock! I hadn't heard that poem in years. It gave me all these lovely feelings of nostalgia for my AP English Lit class.
7. What My Girlfriend Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones* A novel in verse told from a boy's POV. It was so honest and funny!! Imagine a 14 year old boy taking art classes at Harvard and discovering that he's painting nudes! It was too much fun. Will definitely be looking for the other books in this series - and sharing with my son when he's a little older. :)
8. Forever by Maggie Steifvater** I wish that I hadn't taken so long to read the third book in this trilogy, and my reason? Cole St. Clair. God, I love that boy. Never have I crushed so hard on a secondary character. I did still love Sam and Grace, but Cole, Cole, Cole. I shall dream of him next time I'm up at my parent's cabin. (Yes, they live not far from the fictional setting of Mercy Falls).

9. Wildefire by Karsten Knight So I go from several rocketing reads to one that I wanted to throw in the trashbin (don't worry, I didn't, but only because it was a library book). There is so much nastiness and snark I can say about this book, but I won't. Though I will say that if you pick it up, you have been warned.
10. Stopping the Presses, The Murder of Walter W. Liggett by Marda Liggett Woodbury** Historical non-fiction. Told by his daughter, Marda Woodbury, this is the life story of newspaper reporter Walter Liggett who was murdered in 1936 for attempting to report the truth about corruption and misdeeds in Minnesota government. I read this as research for a book that I'm writing, and it's inspired me to write an outline of yet another book based on Liggett's story. Even if you're not a big fan of the prohibition era, I highly recommend this book as it illustrates the importance of freedom of the press. And I promise you, while the beginning is a little slow, it's not boring!!
11. Winter Rose by Rachel A. Marks  Self-pubbed novella. 1. The writing is beautiful. 2. The beginning was a little depressing and bleak, for me. 3. The story does become more uplifting as it goes on, and as I said, the writing is just gorgeous. I think Ms. Marks has a special thing going on and I look forward to reading more from her! 


Karla Calalang said...

Oooh a lot of these sound really great!

I definitely want to read Chime, You Against Me, The Fault in Our stars, Forever (after I've read Linger), and Winter Rose.

I'd bought Wildefire, but now I dunno if I want to read it lol. Oh well. I'll figure out what to do with it, I guess.

But last month,I only finished reading I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder, and I thought it was really great. Definitely interested in verse novels now. Maybe I'll check out What My Girlfriend Doesn't Know too.



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