Thursday, September 10, 2009


First of all, if you have yet to, you absolutely need to visit YA Highway for our super entertaining Unlabor week.

And because apparently I don't have enough to do in life, yesterday I wrote a list of all the books I read this summer (or all the ones I read for the first time this summer) and wrote little mini-reviews of them. It was sort of fun, and good to force myself to really think why I did or didn't love something, so maybe I'll do this for more books in the future. We'll see. Yes, I read shockingly few new books this summer, but in my defense, I did do a fair bit of beta reading, and writing. Anyway, enjoy my mini-reviews!

+Wake and Fade by Lisa McMann: I liked these books enough that I’ll read the third, but I'm kind of lukewarm about them. The style was both a plus and a minus for me. I liked the feeling of whipping through it, but also felt sometimes like I was reading an outline. I did think the relationship between Cabel and Janey was well done, and the plot was interesting, although this isn’t the sort of plot I'd normally go for. I have to admit to feeling a little misled by the blurb on Wake. I thought it would be more dream oriented than it was. I don’t really know how to explain what I mean by that. I do think it’s worth reading, though, and I see why the series is popular. It’s just not on my favorites list.

+The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan: I enjoyed this book quite a bit. There were some things that I didn’t feel got explored enough, and I never fully understood why Mary was so obsessed with the ocean. But I thought it was, for the most part, well written, and the characters were very distinct from each other, and had flawed personalities. Mary was maybe a little too flawed, but I still wanted it to work out for her. And the zombies were completely creepy. I’m not really a zombie loving girl, so I didn’t expect this book to grab me, but it did. I guess I liked that she managed to do zombies without making it all about the zombies--it was new and different.

+The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins: I’m reviewing these next week on YA Highway, so all I’ll say is that anyone who hasn’t started this series needs to. Immediately.

+Evernight and Stargazer by Claudia Gray: My absolute favorite vampire book (or maybe tied with Dracula). I can say this with certainty. I read Evernight at a time when I was feeling pretty blah about vampires, but I like searching Amazon for books I see in people’s signatures at AW. It had gotten good customer reviews, and I always thought Claudia Gray’s posts on AW were so intelligent so I decided to give it a try. And I loved it. And loved Stargazer even more. If you’re looking for a different version of Twilight, this isn’t going to be what you want, but if you’re looking for a story that makes fantastic use of vampire mythology, is well written, and has a good plot, then pick it up. It also has plenty of romance (more than I’m usually a fan of, to be honest) so vampire romance fans should like it too. Alright, so, basically, if you enjoy vampires in any way, read these books.

+The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova: I couldn’t get into this book at all. I started reading it last September, and only just finished it this summer. I don’t want to review it harshly because it’s very well researched and it’s an interesting story, but it just didn’t hold me. The style was too academic for me, and everything was explained really slowly. It’s not that I don’t have an attention span, but it was pretty tough to get through.

+Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr: I liked this. I actually like it more than I thought I did right after I finished it. It gave me an interest in reading more books about faeries, so I’d say it did its job. I especially liked that she made her character sort of an off the beaten path kind of girl without making her be stereotypical and emo. Because not everyone with an interest in piercings and tattoos is off in a corner crying and wallowing in how much their life sucks. Aislinn makes her own choices and takes as much control of her future as she can, and I like that. There was actually not much I disliked about this, I can’t actually put my finger on what makes me say I ‘like’ it rather than ‘love’ it. I’d definitely recommend it to others, though, and will be reading more of the series.

+Break by Hannah Moscowitz: This was really good, and I don't read all that much contemporary. It was actually less edgy than I expected. Or maybe my edgy meter is off? Either way, none of the swearing was out of place; I wasn’t reading through and thinking ‘ok, she dropped that f-bomb just to be edgy’. I sometimes had a little trouble understanding characters’ motives (Naomi, in particular), but I thought the premise was intriguing, and the writing was great. And I liked the characters, Jesse in particular.
+The City of Ember by Jeanne DePrau: This book is MG, but just because something has twelve-year-old main characters doesn’t mean I can’t still enjoy it! I had a little bit of a hard time getting started with this, but once I got into it, I really liked it. One thing I loved was that in a weird way it reminded me of The Giver, which is one of the best books ever, in my opinion. The similarity was in the enclosed cities, not knowing what was out beyond, having jobs chosen for them when they were through school. But this was a different kind of dystopian. I completely recommend it, especially because I think pre-teen boys would enjoy it just as much as girls.


Chanelley said...

Nice reviews! I'm so moving onto Evernight next.

Amanda Hannah said...

We have very similar taste and opinions lol

Anonymous said...

I just finished the Hunger Games and I loved it. I am now starting on Catching Fire!