Overall, if was a fairly productive and satisfying reading week. I attended a conference over the weekend, however, that amplified my TBR list to include a healthy selection of nonfiction titles especially. So here’s my report:
Books I Finished:
Graceling by Kristin Cashore. Of course I adored Katsa’s chutzpah, her super-survival abilities, and her yummy un-boyfriend, Po. Since I finished it, I’ve had the nagging desire to change my calico cat’s name to Po. But seeing as how she’s not a boy, and Po probably would turn his nose up at that, I guess we’ll stick to Bebe afterall.
3.5 stars for an overall enjoyable story with some twists and depth of character, especially in the secondary character department (Bitterblue and even Leke), but nothing in her prose pushed me over the top.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. You all told me I would love it, and I harbored some doubts half-way through the book, but then there was Amsterdam (sigh). I think it was quite serendipitous, by the way, that I finished the book on its release date anniversary and the same date that John and Hank sold out Carnegie Hall with A Night of Awesome!
A hearty 5 out of 5 stars to one of my favorite “literary” YA books for its splendid treatment of a heart-wrenching subject, awesome characters, and awesome writing….awesome.
Jepp Who Defied the Stars by Katherine Marsh. I really am digging this sweet little book. I don’t feel compelled to rush my way through it, and even if I wanted to, I leave it in my special spot at the circulation desk to enjoy during 7th and 8th period after the lunch bunch has left for the day. Like I predicted, Marsh broke my heart, but I’m seeing a new adventure on the horizon and excited to see what is in store next for our little dwarf.
(Anyone else notice a pattern from last week…stars, fate, destiny…last week’s stack inspired me to start working on a review of “stars” books…so stay tuned!)
This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel. This guy is a prime example of my tendency to withhold certain books as reward since a friend “loaned” it to me over a year ago, and I’m just now reading it. The sequel, Such Wicked Intent came out this past August, so I figured it was time I got serious about this one. A pre-quel to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, what literature-loving-English-teacher-turned-librarian could pass this up! Speaking of chutzpah, Oppel’s reimagined Elizabeth has loads; I love her little asides about women’s lib, an homage to the original author’s activist mother I’m assuming. The quest narrative allows our imaginations to run wild as we see the seeds of obsession planted in young Victor’s mind….okay, I better finish this post so I can see what happens next!
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver. Oliver’s first book in this series, Delirium, did take me some getting in to before I was invested. I felt there was a surplus of exposition in the first installment–a criticism I usually reserve for the sophomore in a series. Much like Ally Condie’s Matched and Veronica Roth’s Insurgent, this series takes us to a dystopian future where society has re-organized itself around the eradication of the root of all evil, only this time the culprit is Love. Deliria Nervosa, as it the illness is known, is “cured” by an invasive procedure to the frontal lobe when a person turns sixteen. After gut-wrenching revelation and a heart-breaking decision at the finale of Delirium, Lena’s complexity is said to really develop once she finds herself alone at the start of the second book. I’m early in, but already I see potential for some serious evolution in character.
My sources tell me that ALA will release their coveted book award honorees and winners lists soon! You know what that means–just like the pre-Oscar countdown, it’s time to read (or re-read) some of the hottest contenders:
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
And to keep in touch with my YA base, how about Gae Polisner’s Pull of Gravity.
…And to work on my book gap challenge, let’s throw in some nonfiction with The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.