Thursday, December 29, 2011

Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn

I tried this book because it was an inexpensive ebook and I had heard about it from a couple of people so I decided to just give it a try. It was interesting and I plan to continue with the series. Here's the summary:
Sixteen-year-old Kira Moore is a zero, someone who can’t read thoughts or be read by others. Zeros are outcasts who can’t be trusted, leaving her no chance with Raf, a regular mindreader and the best friend she secretly loves. When she accidentally controls Raf’s mind and nearly kills him, Kira tries to hide her frightening new ability from her family and an increasingly suspicious Raf. But lies tangle around her, and she’s dragged deep into a hidden world of mindjackers, where having to mind control everyone she loves is just the beginning of the deadly choices before her. 

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

This is book two of the Infernal Devices series. I loved this book!

Goodreads (long) Summary:
In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa's powers for his own dark ends.
With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister's war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move and that one of their own has betrayed them.
Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will; the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?
As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.

Red Glove by Holly Black

Book 2 - Red Glove
This is the second book of the Curse Worker Series. The first book is White Cat and the third book comes out in April and will be called Black Heart.

Here is the Goodreads summary for this book:
Curses and cons. Magic and the mob. In Cassel Sharpe's world, they go together. Cassel always thought he was an ordinary guy, until he realized his memories were being manipulated by his brothers. Now he knows the truth—he’s the most powerful curse worker around. A touch of his hand can transform anything—or anyone—into something else. 

Book 1 - White Cat
Book 3 - Black Heart

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Hey All! Nightlyreading is posting my review of Amy & Roger's Epic Detour on her blog today. Stop by and pay her a visit!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Crossed by Ally Condie

Goodreads Summary
The hotly awaited second book in the dystopian Matched trilogy: In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake. Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander - who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart - change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine

I just finished reading book #11 in this series Last Breath which is the latest release (I only included the image of #12, Black Dawn so that there wouldn't be a big blank space in the picture above! But I look forward to reading that one when it comes out)

I started this series based on the recommendation of a friend. I do love a good vampire story but I didn't have the highest of hopes. After reading the first book I thought that the story seemed interesting enough to continue the series, but I didn't know how far in I would follow. Well, I obviously have stuck with it all this far and am eager to read any more releases to come in this series! I heard that the author has signed on to write up to book 15 which would give us three more books than the ones pictured above.

What I love about this series, are the great characters on both the human and vampire side of things. I love the residents of the Glass House, and I really love Myrnin. I love the humor in the books and the moments where I am laughing. All of these books are fast, easy reads and I know the level at which I will be entertained every time I've decided that it was time to read the next Morganville Vampire book.

Last Breath was not a disappointment in any of what i have come to expect. I liked that this book took a few twists and turns in a direction from where the books usually go. There was a few different narratives used in the story, and tragedy hits even closer to home than in past books... and as per usual, this one ends in a bit of a cliffhanger, but not in a painful way. So I am grateful for that!

I could totally see this as a television series, and I would watch every episode!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Goodreads Summary:
It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die. 

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them. 

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

My Review:
I am a big fan of Maggie Stiefvater's "The Wolves of Mercy Falls" Series. I also really liked this book. But I would recommend that one not read this book in comparison to the other. Rather than reading this book as a Maggie Stiefvater fan, I would say to read this book as a fan of horse racing stories? Think Seabiscuit or The Black Stallion. This story does have a mythological twist to it, but it is not an overly present part of the story. This book takes place in our world, rather than a mythological one. The setting is an Island named Thisby which is off of of Ireland I am guessing, since the capaill uisce (water horse) is an Irish myth. This is the only place in the world where the deadly water horses come to shore each Fall. They are fierce creatures that can easily kill man and human alike. But at times are lured and captured by Humans to be raced every November at the Scorpio Races.

The story is a little slow to begin, I wasn't sure how much I liked it for a while as I was reading it. As I got further in and by the end I decided that I liked it a lot. The story is really good, I was probably just expecting something different when I had started reading the book, based on what I had previously read from the author. This story has a feel which is to me, much more classic than contemporary.

This story is told in alternating points of view. Puck (Kate) Connolly and Sean Kendrick who are both participants in the race. Puck is a first time racer, and the first female to ever enter into the races. Sean is a four time champion of the races. In the story the two characters come to know and help each other both before and after the outcome of the winner. Because the races are on true monsters which are very unpredictable, I had no idea how this story would end and who might win the races. I was happy with the way things turned out. 

I heard that this story is going to be made into a movie. I can see that it would be a good movie. There are some good characters and I can see how a movie like this would appeal to a large audience of all ages. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ashbury/Brookfield Books by Jaclyn Moriarty


Book 1: Feeling Sorry for Celia
Book 2: The Year of Secret Assignments (Published in Australia as Finding Cassie Crazy)
Book 3: The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie (Published in Australia as Becoming Bindy Mackenzie)
Book 4: The Ghosts of Ashbury High (Published in Australia as Dreaming of Amelia)

(The author is Australian and that is why her books are first published there. I don't know why the names were changed for the Americans?)

I just finished reading The Year of Secret Assignments in this series and I just want to take a moment to express how much I love this series... I really love these books!

Actually I haven't read book 3 yet (I know once I read it then there are no more to look forward to, so I'm saving that one for later, so I have something to really look forward to. I don't know how long I'll hold out!)

I didn't read them in the right order, but that's ok because they are companion books rather than a chronological series. All of them take place at Ashbury High (a private high school) or Brookfield High (the closest public high school) Many of the characters are the same throughout the 4 books but book tells the story of someone different.

These stories are all told through letters, emails, meeting notes, bulletins, and other written correspondence. I love how they are different from your average novel in that way.

These stories are HILARIOUS! but always have a serious issue that is addressed and resolved in one way or another. The humor in these stories is perfect. I find myself holding in my laughter when I am reading in public, but sometimes I just can't help it... and my laughter escapes. When I am reading in the privacy of my own home I don't hold back and there are a lot of laughs.

I wish my life were as fun and funny as these books. I wish there were a never ending supply of books in this series for me to enjoy forever. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Goodreads Summary:
Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit -- more sparkly, more fun, more wild -- the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood. 

My Review:
I <3 this book! I really loved Anna and the French Kiss and was hoping that I would feel the same way about Stephanie Perkins' second book. This definitely lived up to my hopes and dreams. This book makes me smile. If you've read and loved Anna and the French Kiss you'll know what I mean. If you haven't read it. Go read it!!

Lola is quite the unique character. She lives in San Francisco and is raised by her two gay dads. Her birth mother (the sometimes drug addicted, sometimes homeless sister of one of her dads) is not a welcome visitor in her life. Lola is happy and fun and quirky and she dresses every day in a different costume. I don't want to go too much into the story of the book but just with keeping those facts in mind you can see how this is a unique girl. I really liked the characters -- even the less than perfect ones. I was excited to see ANNA and ETIENNE ST CLAIR make their appearances in the story as well. I just think the love story is so cute and fun to follow.  I can't wait to see what happens in the next book (Isla and the Happily Ever After) and I really hope that we will get to see a bit of Lola and Cricket and what is to come for them in the future.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Silence (Hush, Hush Book 3) by Becca Fitzpatrick

Here is the summary copied from
The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They've overcome the secrets riddled in Patch's dark past...bridged two irreconcilable worlds...faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust...and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for—and their love—forever.

My Review:
I have really enjoyed this series so far, I think I like each book more and more. So I was surprised and a little excited when I found out that this is not the last book of the series (as I had thought) but that there is still another one to follow. I look forward to that one, as this one ends with a lot of questions about what will happen next.

This story starts out with Nora being held prisoner, and while she is later released (thanks to Patch) her memory has been erased. She can not remember the last 5 months, and therefore, has forgotten her entire relationship with Patch. I was having a hard time remembering the details of the first two books, since it had been so long since I'd read them. But since Nora didn't remember any of those details either I didn't feel too behind. As Nora relearned her past, it helped me to remember too, so thanks for that review Becca Fitzpatrick.

This book brings the conflict between Archangels, Fallen Angels, Nephilim, and some Humans all together! Nora and Patch each have their own causes to support but above all, they support each other first. The love story part in this book is cute and sweet. It's hard to believe that as much as Patch (or Jev, as we might call him in this book) loves Nora, this all started out with him wanting to kill her... seriously... but oh well now it's a nice love story. (Between an immortal, therefore old fallen angel and a 16, or now 17 year old girl. I will only be creeped out by that for a little bit longer) Patch really comes through for Nora in this book, he sacrifices a lot for her, and goes through a lot of pain to benefit her.

I really do like this series and I think that Silence might be the best one so far. I am rooting for Nora and Patch and hope that in the end, there can be some kind of peaceful happy resolution for all human to angel, and anywhere in between.

Friday, October 14, 2011

How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford

Goodreads Summary:
New to town, Beatrice is expecting her new best friend to be one of the girls she meets on the first day. But instead, the alphabet conspires to seat her next to Jonah, aka Ghost Boy, a quiet loner who hasn't made a new friend since third grade. Something about him, though, gets to Bea, and soon they form an unexpected friendship. It's not romance, exactly - but it's definitely love. Still, Bea can't quite dispel Jonah's gloom and doom - and as she finds out his family history, she understands why. Can Bea help Jonah? Or is he destined to vanish?

My Review:
I will start with the end... crying! This book made me cry, and kind of a lot. 
This is a story about a boy and a girl, but they don't fall in love and they don't live happily ever after. Bea and Jonah are "just friends" but they are best friends and wouldn't want their relationship to be any other way despite what other feelings might be between them. The friendship they share is the most important relationship that both Bea and Jonah have. This is, in part, because Jonah hasn't really had a friend in such a long time, and Bea is such a loyal friend. When reading this book I found that I could relate a lot to the friendship between the two characters in small ways with many of my high school and post high school girl/guy friendships. I guess that's is why it really hit me in the not so happy ending. I guess I should have guessed somewhat by the title, that there would be some GOODBYE's to endure, but it was still rough for me!! I mean it!! But this book is so unique, and quirky, which are qualities that I personally appreciate, and therefore, I recommend this book. Just be warned. THIS DOES NOT END HAPPILY :). I know all of that doesn't tell you too much about what the story is actually about, so I will borrow a bit more of explanation from author Maggie Stiefvater (because it was based on her recommendation of this book that I read it in the first place, and I like her review)

The best favor I can do to everyone considering reading this book is to tell them that it's not a YA romance. Once you get that out of the way, you can enjoy this book for what it is: a quirky, intelligent YA novel about two lost teens finding their way back to normalcy -- or not. 
While the two main characters -- nicknamed "Ghost Boy" and "Robot Girl" -- in this book are earnestly 3D, the real star of this novel is the late night radio program that both of them listen to. The quirky and sincere and bizarre and fascinating callers enchant both the narrator and the reader, and ultimately, this book ended up on my five star list because the show and the ending remained in my head for longer than it took me to read the book. 
I think this one also goes on my top five YAs that ought to be movies list -- I can see it perfectly in my head. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Prized by Caragh M. O'Brien

My Review ~ I will try not to spoil much here:

This story starts out where Birthmarked leaves off, after Gaia has escaped the wall of the Enclave with her baby sister Maya, and has set off to find her grandmother's settlement in the wasteland. When she finally comes across a matriarchal community called Sylum, where women are far more scarce than men. 

Because the ruler of these people in Sylum has saved both her and her sister's life, she is indebted to them. They respect and honor her for being female, and value her skills as a midwife. In many ways they treat her well, and better than she had been treated both on the outside and inside of the walls of the Enclave. But, because of Gaia's unwillingness to respect and value all of the customs and laws of Sylum, she is also harshly punished at times. Gaia suffers from what I will call a strange version of Stockholm Syndrome where she has to fight her internal struggle to both value and help this new community to thrive, while also wanting to rebel against it's laws and government.

I'll blame it on her inner confusion, but I found that at at times  she would make sacrifices for one cause or another (even when she was not sure if it was the right thing to do) that had potentially catastrophic consequences. Other times where it seemed obvious what she should do to help someone that needed her, she would do nothing and leave someone she was really indebted to, without her help. I really didn't agree with a lot of her decisions in this book. This is something that really bothered me when I was reading this book. But I understand that not every character in every story is going to do what I want them to do. While I'm talking about things that I personally don't like, I will also say that I get queasy with the talk of the pregnancy exams and uterus issues, and blood and things of the like. This was in the first book and is here again because of course Gaia is a midwife. I know it's necessary but it makes me queasy! There I've said it. 

On to brighter things! Given the male-to-female ration here, Gaia has no shortage for love interests. And because the love triangle is a very common theme in many stories, Gaia is unique in having more than just two options to choose from!

I really enjoyed Birthmarked and I also really enjoyed the story told in Prized as well (aside from my already mentioned issues) I look forward to continuing this series and seeing where it goes. Because this story and even the culture and setting of Prized was so different from Birthmarked, I would really like to see the two 'worlds' of the two books collide and see how that plays out. I am hoping that is where book number three will be headed.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Forgotten by Cat Patrick

Goodreads Summary:
Each night when 16 year-old London Lane goes to sleep, her whole world disappears. In the morning, all that's left is a note telling her about a day she can't remember. The whole scenario doesn't exactly make high school or dating that hot guy whose name she can't seem to recall any easier. But when London starts experiencing disturbing visions she can't make sense of, she realizes it's time to learn a little more about the past she keeps forgetting-before it destroys her future.

Part psychological drama, part romance, and part mystery, this thought-provoking novel will inspire readers to consider the what-if's in their own lives and recognize the power they have to control their destinies.

My Review:
This was a really entertaining read for me. It was kind of fun to consider the concept of "remembering" only the future and having no memories of the past. It's tough to believe London and Luke's relationship would be able to progress as far as it did when her memory hit a reset button every morning at 4:33am. Her knowledge of him and their relationship was based only on her notes to herself from the days before and her attraction to him each time she saw him... but this is a work of fiction so I'm not complaining too much... I liked how in the end she was able to remember something very important which gave a purpose to the story. But even without the purpose, I liked the characters, and like I said, it was an entertaining story and a fun concept.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

My summary of this book:
This is a story of a girl named Amy who is dealing with the recent and tragic death of her father. Each member of her family dealt with her fathers loss differently. Her twin brother was sent away to rehab, while her mother moved to Connecticut for a fresh start. Amy was left all alone in California for three months to finish out the year of school.

During the summer (before her senior year, no less) when it is time for her to move to the new Connecticut home with her mother, Amy has to do all of the traveling in the family car. Amy no longer drives since her father's accident, so the driver of the car will be Roger. Roger is a college sophomore who needs to get to Philadelphia and  who needs to deal with some problems of his own. Although the two character's mothers are old friends, Amy & Roger hardly know each other... but they are about to spend a lot of time together!

On their journey across country and into a new phases of their own lives, the two learn a lot about each other, and about themselves. 

My review:
This was such a great book! I'm confident that any YA book lover will love Amy & Roger.

I liked that there was a multimedia feel to this book. Each chapter title was the title of a song that related somehow to the physical or emotional place of the characters in their journey. There were maps, scrapbook photos, road trip itinerary, gas station receipts, emails, iPod play-lists, souvenirs, and fun facts sprinkled throughout the book. This was done in a way that helped to really bring out the emotions and experiences of any good road trip, while not taking away from the story itself. 

I think that both of the main characters were very likable and I like how their friendship developed naturally with each new experience on the detour. I especially felt for Amy with all of the problems she was dealing with in her family, the worst of all being the death of her father. She felt like she was not the same person anymore and she felt that there were things she would or could never do after he died. She learned along the way that she can still be whoever she wants to be. 

Roger is very fun and adorable. He has an ex-girlfriend that weighs heavy on his mind throughout the trip. A big reason for him taking this trip is an opportunity to fix the situation with her. I do not want to spoil the book for anyone who has not read it, but I will say that both Amy and Roger have brighter and happier futures ahead of them once the detour comes to an end. 

Overall I give this book a big happy smile! I look forward to reading future books written by Morgan Matson. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

3 Month YA Reading Challenge

I finished my 2011 YA reading challenge a bit early so I looked online for another one to participate in just until the end of the year. I decided to go with this one (I have slightly modified the challenge) I am adding in the book covers as I complete them.
Duration: September 1, 2011 - November 30, 2011.
You have 3 months to read 10 YA books that satisfy following requirements:
All finished as of 10/18/2011

I've heard that people either LOVE or HATE this book. I guess I love it, because I definitely didn't hate it. It made me laugh. I don't know that I was able to fully appreciate it for it's literary brilliance or whatever. I don't love all of the content either. But for some reason the Holden's voice of narration was just funny and entertaining to me. 
After finishing the Vladimir Tod series, I was interested in finding out the other side. This book starts out around the same time as The Chronicles of Tod (8th Grade, I believe) and it was interesting to see where Joss got his passion for slaying vampires. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but there were some characters that I didn't expect to see in this series and it kind of intrigues me, makes me wonder where things will go...
Reviewed 10/4/11**
** Full review posted 10/1/11**
** Full review posted 10/17/11**
Jaclyn Moriarty is brilliant and I loved this book! I hope she writes many more!

What can I say? I love everything Rachel Vincent writes! This book did not disappoint! I was definitely surprised by where she took the story... it was a direction I would never have predicted. I am excited to see where it goes from here. I'm a little sad that each book takes me 2 days to read and then I'm left waiting another 11 months or so for the next one, but I am definitely eager to continue in the torture.
This one might be a stretch -- but Michael Glass is one of the main characters, and he is also a musician. :)
This was a really good collection of stories. I found myself bored by a few of the stories written by authors who are new to me. I'm sure if I read those authors' works first and then go back to the short stories it would be a different experience. Maybe that's what I'll do. There were a few, however, that were entertaining and great read's whether or not they go along with a series unfamiliar to me. But as far as the authors I already know and love, I really enjoyed those entries. It is always nice to get a little more insight to a back story or to a character's character. It always makes me wonder if the short stories work themselves in so perfectly because that's the way the author always imagined things to be or if they have to make up a story and make it fit in with what's already been written. Hmmm.. I'm no author myself so maybe I'll never understand.
Ok so I'm not only reading this for the cover, this is the 3rd book in a series and I've read the first two before this. But I do think the cover is great, and also I might have only started this series based on the cover of the first book, so I think it still counts.  ** Full review posted 10/16/11**

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Series Review: The Confessions of Georgia Nicholson

This series was so fun and entertaining to read. The books aren't very long, so it didn't take too long to finish all 10 of them. Each book had me laughing out loud even when I was trying to read quietly. Some of the imagery that Louise Rennison created with in her stories was so hilarious and absurd that I can't be blamed. I loved Georgia and her insane sense of humor and drama.... some of my favorite highlights to follow...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

This is my review from when I read this book for my book club so it is a bit different from my other reviews and very long:

This was such a good book and I really enjoyed reading it! It has some different perspectives and styles from other stories that take place in Nazi Germany. I feel like writing this review with the use of many references and quotes :) I read the following online and thought I would share.

First, about how/why the author chose his perspective:

“Zusak wrote The Book Thief in response to a series of stories his mother told him of growing up in Munich during the Second World War, including that of a teenage boy giving a piece of bread to a marching Jew. In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald he said: ‘We have these images of the straight-marching lines of boys and the ‘Heil Hitlers’ and this idea that everyone in Germany was in it together. But there still were rebellious children and people who didn’t follow the rules and people who hid Jews and other people in their houses. So there’s another side to Nazi Germany.’”

Next, about chosing death as a narrator he said:

“The identity of Death was there from the beginning, and there were two turning points when it came to tone and style. The first was nine months into writing, when I went back to the beginning and wrote the first aside: ‘Here is a small fact: You are going to die.’ That gave me the tone I wanted, and by default, I had the unusual trait of cordoning off small sections for Death to whisper in the reader’s ear.
The second turning point was when I realised that Death should be afraid of humans, because he is on hand to see all of the incomprehensible things we do. It gave me the idea that he tells this story to prove to himself that humans are actually worth it. Also, the irony that Death is afraid of humans really appealed to me.”

And last about the writing style (that I called quirky in my earlier post) he explains:

“I wanted Death to view the world slightly differently to the way we do, and I liked the thought that this book would be unlike any other. I didn’t go out of my way to make it different, but again, I just recognized the ideas, asked if they fit the story, and left them in.”

Of course the subject matter of the Holocaust is very very sad. But I liked how even though Liesel was not immune to many of the horrible effects of war, her life was not completely ruined by it either. I felt sooo sad for her when she lost everyone she loved and had so little to hold on to in the end, but at least she was taken in by the Mayor’s wife, who shared her books with her and she lived a long life afterward.
One thing I liked was how the narrator “spoiled” the ending. I think I might have cried a little when death told us that Rudy was going to die young, before the book was even halfway through (on page 242) but I think it would have been a lot worse for me when Rudy died if I hadn’t already known it was coming.

Overall this book was great, and super sad. But, I didn’t feel depressed at having read it, so that’s a plus. There was enough sunlight mixed in with all the darkness that it don’t have the urge to erase the whole thing from my memory (like with some other Holocaust stories) Even though almost all of the characters had a lot of fear and sadness in their lives, and lived during a very difficult time, we got to see humor and happiness in their stories too.

I think after I read “The Standover Man” I knew for sure that I loved this book. I also really liked “The Word Shaker” They were both cute and touching.

I liked the character development of all of the main characters, and how their relationship with Liesel were expressed. I especially loved:

“A snowball in the face is surely the perfect beginning to a lasting friendship.”
“The only thing worse than a boy who hates you: a boy that loves you.”
“He was the crazy one who had painted himself black and defeated the world.”
“How about a kiss, Saumensch?”
“he was a giver of bread and teddy bears. He was a triple Hitler Youth athletics champion. He was her best friend. And he was a month from his death.”

“It was a Monday and they walked on a tightrope to the sun.”
“The best standover man I’ve ever known is not a man at all.”
“Often I wish this would all be over, Liesel, but then somehow you do something like walk down the basement steps with a snowman in your hands.”

“Possibly the only good to come out of these nightmares was that it brought Hans Hubermann, her new papa, into the room, to soothe her, to love her.”
“Goodbye, Papa, you saved me. You taught me to read. No one can play like you. I’ll never drink champagne. No one can play like you.”

even Mama….
“Make no mistake, the woman had a heart. She had a bigger one than people would think. There was a lot in it, stored up, high in miles of hidden shelving. Remember that she was the woman with the instrument strapped to her body in the long, moon-slit night. She was a Jew feeder without a question in the world on a man’s first night in Molching. And she was an arm reacher, deep into a mattress, to deliver a sketchbook to a teenage girl.”

and even Death….
“I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn’t already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race-that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant.”

This concludes my book report… The End.

Some Books I've Read - February 2011

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Found in Translation by Roger Bruner

I don't mean any disrespect to the author, but I'm not sure that this guy (on the right) should be writing a novel from the perspective of a teenage girl. For me it didn't really work. I could have finished the book, I'm sure, but I ran out of desire, so I didn't. It was not a realistic perspective of a teenage girl. I felt like a lot of the ways that the author tried to incorporate people of non-white races was sometimes awkward and uncomfortable. There were things that were super exaggerated that in real life would not have been a big deal, and other things that should have been given more attention that were barely mentioned. I only read the first half, hopefully the last half was better.

Score: I didn't like it

Books I've Read - January 2011

1. Delirium by Lauren Oliver (I liked it a lot)
Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn't understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy. But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

2. Stolen by Lucy Christopher (I liked it, was pretty good)
Sixteen year old Gemma is kidnapped from Bangkok airport and taken to the Australian Outback. This wild and desolate landscape becomes almost a character in the book, so vividly is it described. Ty, her captor, is no stereotype. He is young, fit and completely gorgeous. This new life in the wilderness has been years in the planning. He loves only her, wants only her. Under the hot glare of the Australian sun, cut off from the world outside, can the force of his love make Gemma love him back? The story takes the form of a letter, written by Gemma to Ty, reflecting on those strange and disturbing months in the outback. Months when the lines between love and obsession, and love and dependency, blur until they don't exist - almost.

3. My Soul to Steal by Rachel Vincent (I really liked this one)
Trying to work things out with Nash—her maybe boyfriend—is hard enough for Kaylee Cavanaugh. She can't just pretend nothing happened. But "complicated" doesn't even begin to describe their relationship when his ex-girlfriend transfers to their school, determined to take Nash back. See, Sabine isn't just an ordinary girl. She's a mara, the living personification of a nightmare. She can read people's fears—and craft them into nightmares while her victims sleep. Feeding from human fear is how she survives. And Sabine isn't above scaring Kaylee and the entire school to death to get whatever—and whoever—she wants.

4. Birthmarked by Caragh M O'Brein (I liked it a lot)
After climate change, on the north shore of Unlake Superior, a dystopian world is divided between those who live inside the wall, and those, like sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone, who live outside. It’s Gaia’s job to “advance” a quota of infants from poverty into the walled Enclave, until the night one agonized mother objects, and Gaia’s parents are arrested. Badly scarred since childhood, Gaia is a strong, resourceful loner who begins to question her society. As Gaia’s efforts to save her parents take her within the wall, she herself is arrested and imprisoned. Fraught with difficult moral choices and rich with intricate layers of codes, Birthmarked explores a colorful, cruel, eerily familiar world where one girl can make all the difference, and a real hero makes her own moral code.

5. The Spell Book of Listen Taylor (I like everything by this author)
The Zing family lives in a world of misguided spell books, singular poetry, and state-of-the-art surveillance equipment. They use these things to protect the Zing Family Secret one so huge it draws the family to the garden shed for meetings every Friday night. Into their world comes socially isolated middle grader Listen Taylor, whose father is dating a Zing. Enter Cath Murphy, a young teacher at the elementary school that Cassie Zing attends, suffering from a broken heart. How will the worlds of these two young woman connect? Only the reader can know!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Dirty Little Secrets by C.J Omololu

I really enjoyed this book. I think it is fascinating and crazy to enter the mind of a hoarder. I am not the tidiest person myself, but I can not understand the desire to hold on to garbage, especially where mold and growth and disgusting smells are involved. Anyway, this book looks into the home of a hoarder from the perspective of her teenage daughter, Lucy, who is forced to live in an environment she can not escape or control. She lives her life with the shame and embarrassment of her mother's disorder and all she can do is try to make sure that none of her friends find out what the inside of her house looks like. It's sad because she really feels like this is something that defines her and that if other's knew, they would see that she is unlikable or unlovable. The only thing that keeps her going is that she is able to count down the time she has left in high school before she will be able to leave and live on her own. She, like her older siblings, will have "served her time" living with her mother and be free to move out once she turns 18, and never look back. The problem is, there are parts of her life she wants to start living NOW and not after she is finished with high school. Her crush has started paying attention to her and she can no longer bear to tip-toe around her mother's mental condition much longer. One day Lucy comes home and discovers that her mother has died in her crowded home, buried under piles of magazines. Lucy needs to deal with all of this without letting anyone see the state of her home, her dirty secret.
This book does a good job of showing the sad way that Lucy internalized her mother's disorder as something wrong with her and how much of her life and self-worth revolved around keeping this a secret from the rest of the world. It is sad that before she even has time to process the loss of her mother, she is overwhelmed with fear about calling for help. Once public officials see the state of her home, she is sure it will be broadcast on the news, and she can kiss all of her friendships goodbye. I like the way the book ended. It was shocking in some ways, but it also helped to lighten the load that I felt along with Lucy as I read her story.

Score: I really liked it