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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Books of April (again a bit late)

But better late than never right? I have so many books on my TBR list now that I cry a little every time I see how much I actually read as opposed to how much I want to read. Why do we have 5 day work weeks instead of 4? Why can't we all retire at age 35? Mysteries of the universe, right? Or maybe the musings of a wanna be lottery winner (hey, I'm not nearly as bad as my husband). I did manage to read a bit more this month, but not nearly as much as I wanted. And I tried once again to expand into the middle grade and lower middle grade areas. Take what you will from this list...

 The Amazing Days of Abby Hayes #1 ** LMG This was a super cute book for girls age 7-8, told in alternating journal form and with a 3rd person narrator. I loved Abby's personality. She's a determined girl who doesn't realize just how special she is. And she's a writer! I've told my daughter she needs to read this one. 

22. Just One Day by Gayle Forman** I heard a lot of friends comment that this book just didn't do it for them, but I really loved it. It reminded me a lot of Wanderlove by Kirstin Hubbard, with the main character finding independence and confidence by going out and exploring the world. I did think the ending had an unexpected turn that wasn't particularly satisfying. Though I do love Gayle Forman's writing, and I found myself reminiscing about my college days and wishing I could experience some of that again. Looking forward to the sequel.

23. A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty** Intriguing! Unusual! Though just a bit all over the place. I found A Corner of White difficult to traverse in places because I kept asking myself, now why is this important? And isn't this a YA book, why am I being given such an in depth look at what's going on in the sheriff's office? And what's with this newspaper-style column written by the princesses? It does all come together in the end, and I felt satisfied overall. It's a unique premise, and I really enjoyed the creativity that went into describing the colors. I guess it would lean more toward 4.5 stars for me though because I felt a bit lost at times and all of the non-YA stuff didn't keep me engaged in the story. I will most likely read the sequel. Got to say that I do love that cover though!

24. Splintered by AG Howard** A very cool take on Alice In Wonderland that really shows it's YA flavor, unlike Frank Beddor's The Looking Glass Wars (where you really have to search for it). The author did a particularly good job making me like the bad guy because there was just the right amount of good in him. If you like Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you'll probably fall in love with Morpheus (even though  he's a fairy, not a vamp. Or maybe he's a caterpillar. Hmm....)

25. Quintana of Charyn  by Melina Marchetta** OMG DIES!!!!!! Review is here. READ IT!!!

26. The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan* Rick Riordan's books are beginning to be one of those where you feel like you want to read the next one by the time you get to the end, but then once you start the next one you feel like you've been fooled into reading something you've read before. I still love The Lightning Thief, and I find myself wishing that I would have thought of the idea of teenage demi-gods, but... I'm getting tired of them. I guess I'll wait to see if my son wants the next one in the series, or... well, dang it Percy and Annabeth are stuck in the underworld so maybe I will have to find out what happens to next. *sigh* See what I mean?

27. Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta** After finishing Quintana, I had to go back and re-acquaint myself with the first book. I marched through it in two days and plan to read Froi again too. I just love this series so much. The characters and humor give me that optimistic, "feel good" feeling, despite the darker moments that drive the story forward. I want everyone to read this series. Won't you, please?

28. The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch* My 5th grader bought this last year at the book fair and since he hadn't read it yet, I decided to pick it up (because you know how I hate to feel like my money has been wasted). I did enjoy the story, but the first half was a bit hard for me. I could understand the main character's motivations, but relating to him was difficult. If I hadn't know that this was a MG read and therefore that the character would have to undergo some major change, I probably would have put the book down. I did end up really loving the second half of the book. I even shed a few sprinkles of tears. Not sure how the author managed to do that in just 250 pages, but he did and so I give him a kudos for that.



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