Weekly Recap 11/28/10

I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving!

Books Read:

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff – This was really good.  I really liked the world it was set in – very creepy and interesting.  There were times when the book confused me a bit, but overall I found it really enjoyable.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – I can’t believe I let this sit on my shelf for 18 months without reading it!  It was soooo good!  It sucked me in right from the beginning.  I think I drove my family crazy on Thanksgiving/the day after because I was constantly walking around with the book because I just couldn’t put it down!  I definitely recommend this to anyone, though I seem to be one of the last people on the planet to read it. :)

Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle – This was cute.  I really liked John Green’s story.  Maureen Johnson’s story was cute and really funny.  I didn’t love Lauren Myracle’s story, but I am not a huge fan of hers, so that wasn’t unexpected.  Overall it was a quick fun wintry read.

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox was created by Kristi over at The Story Siren. Click here to learn more about it.

Books Received:

  • NONE!

Books Mailed:

  • The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

Weekly Recap 11/21/10

So I missed a week again!  I have a good excuse again – I was in Nashville for my sister’s birthday!  Also, I am still in my reading funk, so I haven’t been thinking about books all that much.  Barely reading for a month is definitely making finishing my 2010 Challenges difficult, but I am still pretty confident in several categories.  It at least got me to read things I might not have read on my own this year.

My “books read” is kind of depressing right now…

Books Read:

Queen Geek Social Club by Laura Preble – I didn’t really like this.  The main character was annoying and it just felt like the book was random and a bit pointless.  I finished it because I needed a ‘q’ for my alphabet challenge. :)

Vampire Diaries: The Awakening by L.J. Smith – I recently started watching the TV show The Vampire Diaries and like it a lot!  It is interesting and a lot of fun.  I bought the first season DVDs, which came with the audiobook of the first book in the original series.  I had a 4 hour car ride each way to Nashville, so I decided to listen to this.  It was awful!  Elena in the book was so unlikable.  I have issues with audiobooks anyway, so that could have been part of the problem, but the book just didn’t have the same charm the show has for me.

Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts – This was fun.  I really liked the 3rd book in this series and this one didn’t live up to that one, but it was still a good read.

Sapphique by Catherine Fisher – I didn’t like this nearly as much as I liked Incarceron.  I felt like I had to force myself to stay engaged with this and I was pretty bored through a lot of the book.  After loving this world in Incarceron, I really thought I would like this more.  I also was disappointed by the lack of answers in this book.  Some of them I kind of understand why they weren’t answered, but it was still a bit frustrating.

Paper Towns by John Green – Finally one I really liked!  I always seem to really like John Green’s books.  This one wasn’t quite as amazing as An Abundance of Katherines, but it was still really good – thought provoking, moving, and funny.  It makes me a little sad that I am pretty close to be caught up on John Green’s work. (though that was my challenge for the year…)

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox was created by Kristi over at The Story Siren. Click here to learn more about it.

Books Received:

  • Ruined by Simone Elkeles (PBS Game)
  • Vampire Diaries: Stefan’s Diaries: Origins (PBS Friend)
  • Monster High by Lisi Harrison (Borders)
  • Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts (Borders)
  • Moloka’i by Alan Brennert (PBS FIFO)
  • Keep Sweet by Michele Dominguez Greene (PBS FIFO)
  • The Miracle Stealer by Neil Connelly (PBS FIFO)
  • Plain Kate by Erin Bow (PBS Game)

Books Mailed:

  • Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts (PBS Friend)
  • Twelfth Grade Kills by Heather Brewer (PBS Game)

Books Read in May

Continuing catching up on my thoughts on books I’ve read recently.  This is going to take forever!

Deadly Little Lies (Touch, Bk 2) by Laurie Faria Stolarz – Again, I liked this series.  I didn’t like the second book quite as much as the first book in the series, but I’ll definitely pick up the third book when it comes out.

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld – Really interesting idea and fun adventure.  The characters really came across as younger than the ages they were supposed to be, but they were both likable, especially Deryn.

Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles – I loved Perfect Chemistry when I read it last year.  This book focused on Carlos, Alex’s younger brother.  I liked Carlos’ bad attitude, but overall I felt the book was a bit too predictable and too much like Perfect Chemistry.

How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford – Kind of strange at times, but I liked it a lot.  I really liked Beatrice and Jonah and all the people on the radio.  The ending was not what I was expecting, but oddly satisfying.

Everything Beautiful by Simmone Howell – I was a little iffy on this while I was reading it at times, but I ended up really liking it.  The characters were not cliche and I really liked the story.

The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles, Bk 1) by Rick Riordan – Loved this!  It was pretty similar to Percy Jackson, but in a good way.  Two kids find out that the Egyptian gods are real.  They have to fight a god.  They encounter a bunch of other parts of Egyptian mythology.  I liked Carter and Sadie and am definitely looking forward to the next book in the series.

Going Bovine by Libba Bray – Another kind of weird book and another bad attitude that I liked.  Heh.  But this book was really interesting and funny.  It was really long though and took me forever to get through.  It’s another book that I was a bit surprised by the ending.

Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu – Such a emotional book!  It was very well written.  I’ve watched enough of Hoarders on TLC to understand the situation and Lucy’s story just broke my heart.  I really liked Lucy and wanted to make everything better for her.  The book did leave me kind of sad at the end because I wanted to know what happens next.

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green – OMG I loved this book!  I am so glad I picked John Green for my “Pick an Author” challenge this year.  I’d heard mixed reviews about this book, but I loved it.  I loved Colin and thought he was a fantastic character.  Hassan and Lindsey were great too.  I loved the way the book was written, especially when they were in the cave.

Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, Bk 5) by Richelle Mead – Another great book in this series!  I am kind of sad that it is almost over.  I am not going to spoil anything, so I will just say this book is really good and I can’t wait for the last one to come out!

Heist Society by Ally Carter – Ocean’s 11 with teenagers.  The book was pretty fun.  I liked Kat a lot.  I really wanted the book to be longer so that we could get to know the rest of the characters better.  I hope there are more books to follow!

The View from Saturday by E. L. Konigsburg – Ergh – here’s one I didn’t like.  I read it because it won the Newbery award and I can kind of see why it did, but I didn’t really like the story.  The kids weren’t believable and the book was just strange.

Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantasky – This one was just okay in my opinion.  I liked it more in the end than I did in the middle.  Jessica occasionally annoyed me.

Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols – The sequel to The Boys Next Door.  I love Jennifer Echols’ writing and TBND is fantastic.  Part of me was excited for this to come out and part of me was a little resistant because sometimes Happy Ever After should just go on Forever After. :)  I really liked it, though.  I still love Lori’s brother and all the Vader boys.  I was kind of sad that there was less wakeboarding in this book.

The Pace by Shelena Shorts – Another kind of weird book.  I was on board with the first twist, but kind of annoyed with the second reveal.  It just seemed like too much.

How to Steal a Car by Pete Hautman – Really short book that I liked but didn’t love.  It would be a little better if it was longer, I think.  I’m not sure exactly why I think that.

Ostrich Boys by Keith Gray – Really great!  I will admit – the book is British and I am kind of an Anglophile, so I was probably predisposed to like this book, but I really did like it!  The boys were all great characters.  I was cheering for them on their trip.  Parts were really funny and parts were heartwrenching.

Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood by Eileen Cook – I was a little wary of this book as Mean Girls stories sometimes annoy me, but I ended up really liking it.  I occasionally thought Helen went too far, but I generally found myself cheering her on.

The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty – This book was written mostly in letters, plus sometimes in signs and “trial” transcripts.  I liked getting to know all of the characters so well.  There were times when the girls were kind of annoying and I liked the boys more, but I liked all of them in the end.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.

Hilarious, poignant, and deeply insightful, John Green and David Levithan’s collaborative novel is brimming with a double helping of the heart and humor that have won both them legions of faithful fans.

This book was fantastic!  I liked it so much.  All of the characters were really interesting and real.  I liked John Green’s Will Grayson a little more than David Levithan’s Will Grayson.  I related to JGWG more.  It took me a little while to warm up to DLWG.  He was a little too emo for me at times.  At first, Tiny felt a little too cliche, but I ended up loving him by the end.  I really liked Jane as I got to know her, too.

The alternating chapters were really cool – I liked getting both WGs perspective on things.  While the lack of capitalization did help distinguish the two characters’ sections, that and the weird formatting in DLWG’s chapters were kind of annoying and distracting at first.  I got used to it after a while.

But overall it was pretty great!

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words – and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the “Great Perhaps.” Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps.

Looking for Alaska brilliantly chronicles the indelible impact one life can have on another. A stunning debut, it marks John Green’s arrival as an important new voice in contemporary fiction.

To be honest, I had a hard time getting into this book.  That’s really my fault – I’ve been distracted and not in a “reading mood” – but I had a hard time connecting with the characters at first, especially Alaska.  It took me a while, but I did eventually fall under her spell and the rest of the book was very captivating.  I read because I wanted to figure out what happened (which I figured out long before the characters did), but also because I was really interested.  The entire After section was extremely intriguing.  I wanted to know how Miles and his friends handled the event that changes their lives.  I really liked Dr. Hyde’s class and how thought provoking those sections made the book.

I liked Miles’ fascination with famous people’s last words and I loved the two quotes that were so important to this book – “How will I ever get out of this labyrinth!” ~ Simon Bolivar and “I go to seek a Great Perhaps.” ~Francois Rabelais