Weekly Recap 11/7/10

I missed two weeks in a row!  Oops. :)  In my defense, it’s been a busy couple weeks with the end of baseball season, a couple football games, Halloween, and my grandmother’s birthday thrown in.  I haven’t been in front of the computer much recently!

I am excited that I have been mailing out a lot more books than I am getting in!  I’m trying to not buy books right now because I have so many to read that I really want to read.  It’s hard because there’s always good stuff coming out, but I am learning to be more patient.  Now I just need to get out of my reading semi-funk and read more!

Books Read:

The Kid Table by Andrea Seigel – This didn’t really work for me.  I have a big family and am still stuck at the Kid Table despite being close to 30 so I thought I would relate, but I didn’t.  The family wasn’t very likable and didn’t seem to like each other all that much.  The sections of the book were weird, like an issue comes up, then it’s resolved… the next issue comes up, then it is resolved.

The Lost Hero (Heroes of Olympus, Bk 1) by Rick Riordan – I LOVED this!  I really enjoyed the Percy Jackson series and I liked that this was back in that world with new characters.  I really liked all three of the main characters.  I am sad that we have to wait another year for the next installment!

Eleventh Grade Burns (Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, Bk 4) by Heather Brewer – Still loving this series.  I really like Vlad and his friends and family.  This book was really good!  I’m a little sad that I am so close to the end of the series!

Jane by April Lindner – This was really good!  It wasn’t as good as Jane Eyre, but it was a good modernization.  There were times I really liked Jane, but I was really frustrated with her for the 3rd 4th of the book.

Feed by M.T. Anderson – This was good.  Weird, but good.  The language took a bit to get in to.  The concept was really really interesting and it made me keep reading because I just wanted to find out what would happen next.

Twelfth Grade Kills (Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, Bk 5) by Heather Brewer – I am kind of sad that this series is over!  I really liked Vlad.  The last book was really good – lots of action and twists.

In My Mailbox

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

Books Received:

  • My Invisible Boyfriend by Susie Day (PBS Game)
  • Jane by April Lindner (PBS Game)
  • Annexed by Sharon Dogar (Borders)
  • The Compound by S.A. Bodeen (Borders)
  • Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball by Risa Green (PBS FIFO)

Books Mailed:

  • Intertwined by Gena Showalter (PBS FIFO)
  • Hemingway in Love and War by Agnes Von Kurowsky (PBS FIFO)
  • The Red Umbrella by Christina Gonzalez (PBS FIFO)
  • Saving Maddie by Varian Johnson (PBS FIFO)
  • Eleventh Grade Burns by Heather Brewer (PBS FIFO)
  • Wicked Girls by Stephanie Hemphill (PBS FIFO)
  • Betrayal in Death by J.D. Robb (PBS FIFO)
  • Reunion in Death by J.D. Robb (PBS FIFO)
  • Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi (PBS FIFO)
  • Six Rules of Maybe by Deb Caletti (PBS FIFO)
  • Tenth Grade Bleeds by Heather Brewer (PBS FIFO)
  • Jane by April Lindner (PBS Game)
  • Swim the Fly by Don Calame (PBS FIFO)
  • Halo by Alexandra Adornetto (PBS FIFO)
  • The Kid Table by Andrea Seigel (PBS FIFO)
  • Feed by M.T. Anderson (PBS Game)
  • Shadowland by Alyson Noel (PBS FIFO)
  • Switch by Carol Snow (PBS FIFO)
  • Close Quarters by Emma Harrison (PBS FIFO)

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.

Favorite Books of 2009

I read a lot of books this year – the most I’ve ever read in a year – and these are some of my favorites.  I had a hard time whittling the list down to just a few, but I didn’t want to spend all day working on this, so I had to stop somewhere.  You can check out my GoodReads profile for my ratings of other books not listed here.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – This isn’t just one of my favorite books of the year – it’s one of my favorite books of all time!  The Hunger Games is simply amazing.  Katniss is a fantastic main character.  She’s smart and resourceful, but at the same time a little vulnerable.  The rest of the characters are so well written – Peeta, Rue, Haymitch, Cinna, Effie – they’re all so fabulous.  The story is action packed and full of surprises.  I also read Catching Fire, the sequel to the Hunger Games this year and thought it was fantastic as well.  I can’t wait for the third book to come out in 2010!

Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols – Just thinking “John After” makes me swoon.  Meg is wild and doesn’t want to stay in the little town she grew up in.  John is the complete opposite – he doesn’t want to leave the town.  They’re forced to spend the week together because Meg got in trouble on a bridge one night.  Throughout the novel, we learn more and more about both of them.  It’s a romantic journey with a few twists and turns along the way.  I love Meg and John – who they are, who they become after spending the week together.  I really liked everything I read by Jennifer Echols this year.

Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater – This was the third Maggie Stiefvater book I read this year, but it was my favorite.  They’re all so good.  Maggie’s writing is very lyrical and enjoyable to read.  Ballad focuses on James, a secondary character from Lament, and his time at Thornking-Ash.  Nuala is a faerie muse that can give James amazing talent at a price.  James and Nuala are fantastic – they’re both sarcastic and multi-layered.  This book kind of continues Dee’s story in a way and introduces fantastic new characters like Sullivan and Paul.  I started reading Maggie’s books because she was at the Decatur Book Festival, where I got to meet her and be a dork.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner – Another edge of your seat, action packed book.  The world that Thomas is dropped into is confusing to him and to us and I loved learning about it with him.  Everything about the book is interesting – the things that go bump in the night, the dynamics in the boys’ society, the maze, the boys themselves.  It was just all fantastic.  The ending was crazy and I can’t wait for the next book in the trilogy to come out this year.

Percy Jackson and The Olympians Series by Rick Riordan – This is a fun series about an ordinary boy that finds out his father is a Greek god.  He goes to a camp for the sons and daughters of the Greek gods and goddesses, Camp Half-Blood.  From there, he has several quests that he completes with his friends.  The stories are so well thought out and weave Greek mythology into modern culture so well.  I loved Percy, Annabeth, and Grover.  They’re all great characters.  The first book, The Lightning Thief, is coming out as a movie in February, and I hope it lives up to the book!

Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead – Richelle Mead is another author that I started reading because of the Decatur Book Festival.  I am glad I did.  The Vampire Academy books are about a group of vampires (obviously), but the story is different than any other vampire book I’ve read.  The Moroi are more good vampires with special powers, while the Dhamphir are their helpers/bodyguards, and the Strigoi are the bad vampires.  Rose, a dhamphir and the narrator of the stories, is strong, sarcastic, and fantastic.  All of the characters are really great – Dimitri, Lissa, Christian, Adrian – all of them!  The books are part high school drama, part romance, and part action.  It’s a great combination!

The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner’s Semester at America’s Holiest University by Kevin Roose – I thought I should round this out with a non fiction book.  Going into this book, I was a little unsure of if I would like it.  I was really afraid he would spend the book making fun of Christians and the students at Liberty.  But he really didn’t.  Roose wrote about this experiences in a very straight forward manner.  He was honest about his feelings about the things going on around him.  He also presented the reasons that the school or other students acted in a certain way in a non-judgemental way.  Overall it was a very interesting and insightful book.

I may have one more review for 2009 if I finish the book I’m reading now, but if I don’t, have a happy new year!  See you in 2010!