Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Books By the Quarter: 1/4

I meant to start a monthly book review on the ol' blog, but before I knew it, it was halfway through January, then the end of February, and now it's April.  What in the world?  Where is my time going??  Despite having zero free time, I have still managed to keep up on my reading "for fun."  Usually it's just my hour lunch break (the ones that I'm not reading text books), but I figure it's time spent on my future, right?

I set a goal of reading 52 books yet again this year, and am currently at 23.  Um... oops.  Apparently I could've aimed a bit higher.  Part of this is due to some time spent listening to audiobooks.


I started The House of Night series (Marked: A House of Night Novel ) at the start of the year.  I've heard it reviewed as Harry Potter meets Twilight.  Well... not quite, but it's fairly entertaining, about a young vampire fledgling who attends vampire finishing school.  While I enjoy the series (so far) I would NOT recommend the audiobooks.  The horrible teen slang imitations and whiny tones are almost unbearable.  I'd imagine reading with your own voices in your head would be much more endurable.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian was such an amazing re-canting of a young Native American's tale of growing up, narrated by the author himself. Found myself laughing outloud many times.
Rating: *****

Still Alice is not necessary a book I would recommend on audiobook vs. reading, but it was a great book regardless.  The main character is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's, and it was truly a heart-wrenching tale.  I found myself not wanting to listen to it, because I was scared as to where it was going to progress.  I really really enjoyed it, despite the sad topic.

I've been meaning to read The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1) forever, and finally listened to it on audiobook. It was pretty entertaining and took me back to grade school learning Greek mythology. I'll likely listen to the rest on audiobook as well.
Rating: ****

Young Adult

Another of my beloved genres is young adult books.  I'd like to be a children's/young adult librarian so I suppose it makes sense that I read this (paying no attention to the fact that I'm a sucker for the dystopian/end of the world genre that is all the rage right now).

I vowed to finish all the series I was in the middle of before starting any new ones.  That... didn't last.  However, I did read Specials (#3 in the Uglies series).

 I enjoyed this series. I opted to not read the 4th book because it's technically a trilogy, and it almost seems like the 4th one is an afterthought to cash in on the series. Let me know if you've read it and loved it. Rating: ****

 Continuing on the Pretty Little Liars trend so far this year I've knocked out:
  Pretty Little Liars #7: Heartless Rating: ****

  Pretty Little Liars #8: Wanted Rating: ****

  Pretty Little Liars #9: Twisted Rating: ****

One of the top books I've read in 2012 (and to be honest, in my life) is John Green's The Fault in Our Stars

A truly amazing and heart-wrenching book, but just so beautifully written. Rating: *****

Delirium was one of my favorite YA reads for 2011, so I was thrilled for the follow-up novel in the series Pandemonium (Delirium) , however I felt pretty hohum about it. Wasn't an amazing page turner, but of course it ended on a crazy high note, and now I can't wait for the finale novel.  Rating: ***

I enjoyed the first book in this series on the way home from the Philadelphia Marathon, and I was excited to see where the second book took me Crossed I really enjoyed this book, and it was a great continuation of the first one. Again I'm excited to see where the series ends up. Rating: ****

Breaking my promise to not start any new series without completing my current ones, are Cinder: Book One in the Lunar Chronicles Cinder is essentially a tale of Cinderella set way in the future, only she's a cyborg. Very entertaining. Kinda predictable, but I'm excited to see where the rest of the series goes. Rating: ***

 I was really excited to read Under the Never Sky as it's another dystopian genre book, but it wasn't omg amazing. It was good, but I didn't put it down needing to pick up #2. Which is probably a good thing because this one just came out in January, I think. :) Rating: ***

This was another book that didn't quite live up to my expectations. Why We Broke Up is a novel by Daniel Handler who wrote the Series of Unfortunate Events books, with fun illustrations. I wanted to stop reading it.... multiple times. Ultimately, I'm glad I finished it, because it was good. I was just expecting greatness. Rating: ***

Children's Books

I'm not normally one to pick up a children's book unless I have a kid around who wants me to read to them, but these books by Brian Selznick came highly recommended.

Wonderstruck is the newest book by Selznick and the illustrations were just beautiful. The nice thing about kid's books is that you can read a couple over your lunch break.
Rating: *****

 I managed to pick up The Invention of Hugo Cabret on the same day that Hugo (the movie) came in for me at the library. Not realizing that the movie was based on the book. BAD future librarian! The movie was amazing, and the book was just as delightful. Again, the illustrations are just out of this world. Definitely flip through it next time you have a free moment. Rating: *****

Adult Novels

 The Lover's Dictionary: A Novel is a truly unique book, where the narrator goes through tales of his relationship using each letter of the alphabet as a word that describes a memory or story. I've never read a book like this and it was so good, and left so much of the story to your interpretation. Super quick read.
Rating: *****

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) had me rolling at times. Very entertaining. Mindy Kaling has such quick wit. I really loved learning more about her and her career. I've heard this is amazing on audiobook (I believe she narrates it!) Rating: ****

I think I'm the last runner in the world to read Once a Runner: A Novel but it was so good. After reading on my lunch break, I'd immediately want to take the rest of the day off from work and just run.
Rating: ****

I'm not normally one to pick up a love story (although I am a sucker for Nicholas Sparks books, sue me!) but I thought The Last Letter from Your Lover: A Novel had an interesting take on the typical love story. I don't want to give too much away, but it was two stories woven together and I couldn't get enough of either of them.
 Rating: ****

I tend to read all of Sophie Kinsella's books, and picked up I've Got Your Number: A Novel despite a less than stellar rating. It was entertaining and wholly predictable, but sometimes when your brain is fried from school, that's exactly what you need.
Rating: ***

There you have my book reviews for the first quarter of the year.  Feel free to follow me on goodreads (and send me a message that you read my blog, I tend to not follow those that I don't know on there, it gets overwhelming).  Let me know if you have any good book recs for me as well!  Also, if you click on the links in this post and purchase the book through amazon, I get a penny or two from the sale.  Or you could just support your local library instead.  ;)


LAPT said...

I LOVE seeing what other people read! I totally read Delirium on a work trip...finished it on a 3 flight. I didn't love it, but as a YA novel, it wasn't awful.

Kristin Miller said...

Thanks for posting I never even heard of once a runner!!! I tend to read an insane amount on vacation and summers but rarely during the school year bc all I do is read all day long! I'm leaving for a beach vaca Monday but va beach is looking chilly in the 60's so I need tons of books. Thanks!!!

Anonymous said...

Good to have some recommendations! I haven't been reading as much as I used to, but maybe this will inspire me.