Sunday, July 22, 2012

I hate cliff-hangers!

I just finished listening to Ashes.  I heard such great things about this dystopian read, and I can see why.  It has everything -- love, loss AND zombies.  But just as it was getting really interesting...


Do we really need another apocalyptic series??

Whatever happened to the arc and structure of a story?  Beginning, climax, resolution??

Ok, I'm done.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

3 decades, one cover

I like Pete Hautman. I've only read a couple of his books, but I like his writing. I can't muster enthusiasm for What Boys Really Want. No matter what it's about, the cover tells me it's something else. Every time I see the cover, I find it reminiscent--jarringly reminiscent--of Patricia Hermes' What If They Knew. Which I read something like four hundred times as a kid. (What can I say, it was a book and it was in my room; therefore it was a go-to when I was supposed to be sleeping.)

 It's bad enough when recently-published books have similar covers, but it's just weird to me when a book has such a throw-back sort of cover. But then I'm probably one of, like, six people on earth who knows the 1983 book, and of those six, I'm probably the only one aware of current teen books. But I can't bring myself to give this one a chance, because the only vibe I get from the cover is "it's the mid-80s and you're reading under the covers with a flashlight." Which is totally unfair to the book, but they're designed specifically to get our attention--for better or worse, I guess.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Anything But Typical

I read this book because it's on the middle school summer reading list.  I can see why it's recommended, but honestly I had a lot of problems with the voice.

The story is supposed to be told by a 12 year old who struggles with autism.  But the voice seems more like that of an adult... maybe even a therapist.  Jason not only understands the inner workings of his non-neurotypical mind, but how other people see and experience him.  I find this really frustrating.  Even the most advanced 12 year old would have trouble understanding how other people experience the world differently than they do.

The general story is creative and slightly cheesy.  He writes stories that parallel his experience as atypical.  The end is saccharine.

The biggest problem I have is that the kids who read this story are going to expect that children who are "different" understand themselves and how they affect other people.  Most adults struggle with this.  I think it sets kids up for a very difficult situation next time they meet someone who thinks differently than they do.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I Hunt Killers

A believable teen crime novel!!  You have to read this one.  Click here for my full review. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

As I Wake

This is by far the strangest book I've read ... well, in recent memory anyway.

I usually rate my books in LibraryThing as I read them but I just don't know what to make of this one.

It has the unsettling approach that Grace did -- dropping the reader into an unknown world. And I have to admire the author for trying to explain the world through experience.

But I'm just not sure I understand what happened. Maybe I need to read it again...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Books I read last year, from best to worst

1 Ready Player One Cline, Ernest 5
2 Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key Gantos, Jack 5
3 When Zachary Beaver Came to Town KimberlyWillisHolt 5
4 Bad Boy: A Memoir Myers, Walter Dean 5
5 Clementine Pennypacker, Sara 5
6 The Things a Brother Knows Reinhardt, Dana 5
7 One Crazy Summer Williams-garcia, Rita 5
8 Ivy Bean, Book 1 Barrows, Annie 4.5
9 Close to Famous Bauer, Joan 4.5
10 The Penderwicks Birdsall, Jeanne 4.5
11 The Penderwicks on Gardam Street Birdsall, Jeanne 4.5
12 Strings Attached Blundell, Judy 4.5
13 Plain Kate Bow, Erin 4.5
14 Frindle Clements, Andrew 4.5
15 Matched Condie, Ally 4.5
16 Blindsided Cummings, Priscilla 4.5
17 The Running Dream Draanen, Wendelin Van 4.5
18 Dead End in Norvelt Gantos, Jack 4.5
19 Small as an Elephant Jacobson, Jennifer Richard 4.5
20 The White Giraffe John, Lauren St. 4.5
21 Rose in a Storm: A Novel Katz, Jon 4.5
22 Schooled Korman, Gordon 4.5
23 Touch Blue Lord, Cynthia 4.5
24 Seth Baumgartner's Love Manifesto Luper, Eric 4.5
25 Rot & Ruin Maberry, Jonathan 4.5
26 Amy & Roger's Epic Detour Matson, Morgan 4.5
27 Black Radishes Meyer, Susan Lynn 4.5
28 Project Mulberry Park, Linda Sue 4.5
29 The Higher Power of Lucky Patron, Susan 4.5
30 Without Tess Pixley, Marcella 4.5
31 Ninth Ward Rhodes, Jewell Parker 4.5
32 Between Here and Forever Scott, Elizabeth 4.5
33 Between Shades of Gray Sepetys, Ruta 4.5
34 The Marbury Lens Smith, Andrew 4.5
35 The Other Side of Dark Smith, Sarah 4.5
36 The Scorpio Races Stiefvater, Maggie 4.5
37 Borderline Stratton, Allan 4.5
38 Daughter of Smoke and Bone Taylor, Laini 4.5
39 How to Save a Life Zarr, Sara 4.5
40 The Future of Us Asher, Jay 4
41 The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin Berk, Josh 4
42 The Penderwicks at Point Mouette Birdsall, Jeanne 4
43 The World According to Humphrey Birney, Betty G. 4
44 Zombies vs. Unicorns Black, Holly 4
45 The Gardener Bodeen, S.A. 4
46 Kendra Booth, Coe 4
47 All The Broken Pieces Burg, Ann E. 4
48 Stay Caletti, Deb 4
49 Thirteen Days to Midnight Carman, Patrick 4
50 Dark Eden Carman, Patrick 4
51 The Death Cure Dashner, James 4
52 What Happened to Goodbye Dessen, Sarah 4
53 Wither DeStefano, Lauren 4
54 Ten Miles Past Normal Dowell, Frances O'Roark 4
55 Enchanted Ivy Durst, Sarah Beth 4
56 Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 Evans, Richard Paul 4
57 Bunheads Flack, Sophie 4
58 The Skin I'm in Flake, Sharon G. 4
59 Where She Went Forman, Gayle 4
60 Turtle in Paradise Holm, Jennifer L. 4
61 The Secret Year Hubbard, Jennifer 4
62 Tales of the Madman Underground John, Barnes 4
63 Hunger Kessler, Jackie Morse 4
64 Liar Larbalestier, Justine 4
65 Savvy Law, Ingrid 4
66 Where the Mountain Meets the Moon Lin, Grace 4
67 Rules Lord, Cynthia 4
68 Jeremy Bender vs. the Cupcake Cadets Luper, Eric 4
69 The Light (Morpheus Road) MacHale, D.J. 4
70 The Mermaid's Mirror Madigan, L. K. 4
71 The Rock and the River Magoon, Kekla 4
72 Judy Moody, Girl Detective (Book #9) McDonald, Megan 4
73 Cryer's Cross McMann, Lisa 4
74 Luminous Metcalf, Dawn 4
75 Recovery Road Nelson, Blake 4
76 Throat Nelson, R.A. 4
77 Delirium Oliver, Lauren 4
78 This Dark Endeavor Oppel, Kenneth 4
79 Rickshaw Girl Perkins, Mitali 4
80 The Not-So-Star-Spangled Life of Sunita Sen Perkins, Mitali 4
81 Anna and the French Kiss Perkins, Stephanie 4
82 She Loves You, She Loves You Not... Peters, Julie Anne 4
83 The Summer I Learned to Fly Reinhardt, Dana 4
84 The True Meaning of Smekday Rex, Adam 4
85 Boyfriends with Girlfriends Sanchez, Alex 4
86 Okay for Now Schmidt, Gary D. 4
87 Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines Sheff, Nic 4
88 The Last Summer Of The Death Warriors Stork, Francisco 4
89 Pie Weeks, Sarah 4
90 Dust City Weston, Robert Paul 4
91 See What I See Whelan, Gloria 4
92 Miles from Ordinary: A Novel Williams, Carol Lynch 4
93 Beatle Meets Destiny Williams, Gabrielle 4
94 After Tupac and D Foster Woodson, Jacqueline 4
95 All These Things I've Done Zevin, Gabrielle 4
96 Dream Factory Barkley, Brad 3.5
97 The Compound Bodeen, S.A. 3.5
98 First Day on Earth Castellucci, Cecil 3.5
99 Crossed Condie, Ally 3.5
100 Low Red Moon. Ivy Devlin Devlin, Ivy 3.5
101 The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane DiCamillo, Kate 3.5
102 You Against Me Downham, Jenny 3.5
103 Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief Draanen, Wendelin Van 3.5
104 The Absolute Value of Mike Erskine, Kathryn 3.5
105 The Lonely Hearts Club Eulberg, Elizabeth 3.5
106 We'll Always Have Summer Han, Jenny 3.5
107 The Big Crunch Hautman, Pete 3.5
108 Everything on a Waffle Horvath, Polly 3.5
109 All Unquiet Things Jarzab, Anna 3.5
110 Framed Korman, Gordon 3.5
111 Dust & Decay Maberry, Jonathan 3.5
112 The Black (Morpheus Road) MacHale, D.J. 3.5
113 Hold Me Closer, Necromancer McBride, Lish 3.5
114 The Anti-Prom McDonald, Abby 3.5
115 You Don't Know About Me Meehl, Brian 3.5
116 Cruisers Book 1 Myers, Walter Dean 3.5
117 The Knife of Never Letting Go Ness, Patrick 3.5
118 Trapped Northrop, Michael 3.5
119 family Ostow, Micol 3.5
120 The Fox Inheritance Pearson, Mary E. 3.5
121 Keeper Peet, Mal 3.5
122 Blood Wounds Pfeffer, Susan Beth 3.5
123 Following Christopher Creed Plum-Ucci, Carol 3.5
124 Sorta Like a Rock Star Quick, Matthew 3.5
125 Bleeding Violet Reeves, Dia 3.5
126 Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick Schreiber, Joe 3.5
127 I,Q Smith, Roland 3.5
128 Empty Weyn, Suzanne 3.5
129 The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place Wood, Maryrose 3.5
130 Feathers Woodson, Jacqueline 3.5
131 The Replacement. by Brenna Yovanoff Yovanoff, Brenna 3.5
132 Chime Billingsley, Franny 3
133 Bitter End Brown, Jennifer 3
134 Rose Sees Red Castellucci, Cecil 3
135 Dark Song Giles, Gail 3
136 Just Grace Harper, Charise Mericle 3
137 Darwen Arkwright and the Peregrine Pact Hartley, A. J. 3
138 Eight Keys LaFleur, Suzanne 3
139 Saving Francesca Marchetta, Melina 3
140 Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have) Mlynowski, Sarah 3
141 Peter and the Starcatchers Pearson, Ridley 3
142 Virals Reichs, Kathy 3
143 The Prince of Mist Zafon, Carlos Ruiz 3
144 You Killed Wesley Payne Beaudoin, Sean 2.5
145 Violence 101 Wright, Denis 2.5

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I almost peed my pants

This is the best audio book I've listened to in a long time. Jack Gantos has brilliantly written the experience of the awkward 11-year- old boy. Every character is meticulously flawed and charming. It's an obviously personal story.

The wide-eyed look at the quirky town of Norvelt will have you laughing out loud.