Sunday, February 28, 2010

February Recap

In February, I either wasted a lot of time, or was very productive. Depending upon how you look at things. I wrote negative 40k words this month. I was almost 45k words into the rough draft of THE SECRETS OF SMITH HALL at the end of January. Then I realized that my story had zero plot and zero hope of finding a plot so I started over. Now I'm about 5k words into BROKEN. While I was pushing the delete button (not really, I saved my old work and just started a new blank file) I was also managed to read/listen to 25 books this month. 25 books in 28 days, that has got to be some kind of a record, even for me. The exact stats are that I read 1 paper book, I read 8 books on my kindle, and I listened to 14 audio books. Here is a quick account of each of the books I read this month. I didn't intend to go crazy into paranormal, but it sort of happened anyway.

13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher – Young Adult – This powerful emotional story involves a teenage boy recieving a set of audio tapes from one of his classmates just after she committed suicide explaining the series of events that lead to her own death. It’s a dark and gripping and tragic tale.

Vladimir Tod Series (books 1-4) by Heather Brewer – Young Adult/Paranormal – This is a fun vampire series. It has more of the traditional vampire lore and less of the sparkly love story. Vladimir Tod, the young vampire, is an intersting character. The story doesn’t get really gripping until the later novels.

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan – Young Adult – The book is even better than the movie. I does a great job of jumping back and foreth between Nick and Norah’s heads and showing how easy it is to misunderstand a person’s meanings when you are just beginning to meat and fall in love with them.

The Time Paradox by Eoln Colfer – Middle Grade/Fantacy – This is the sixth book in the Artemis Fowl series. All of which are fun to read. In this one 15 year old Artemis travels back in time and ends up coming face to face with 10 year old Artemis. In addition to being an exciting adventure, it illistrates how much Artemis has matured over the course of the series.

Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher – Young Adult – This is a great “boy book”, filled with sports and fighting and overcoming racism and other predudices. Chris Crutcher is a bit of a ledgend in the boy book genre. I’m not sure how many more of his books I’ll read, but I did find this story very captivating.

Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols – Young Adult – This is the ultimate bad girl/good boy love story. A seventeen year old child deliquent falls in love with a nineteen year old cop. Both characters had interesting complexities to their personalities which unfolded over the corse of the story. But I still found the whole thing hard to believe.

Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick – Young Adult/Paranormal – This book is very gripping. It will keep you guessing until the very last page. Unfortunately, I didn’t find any of the characters all that likable. The main character, Nora, was expecially exaperating. She is constantly lying to people when she finds herself in mortal danger, thinking the best option is to pretend everything is fine and sluth out the truth herself. Really, when unknown forces are trying to kill you, is that the best way to go. Can someone say to stupid to live?

The Princess Bride by William Goldman – Fairy Tale – This book is just as funny as the movie. All the great lines that people always quote from the movie come straight from the book. It’s also a pretty short book, only three CD. I now wish that my parents had read me this book as a bedtime story instead of just showing me the classic movie.

Looking for Alaska by John Green – Young Adult – I have luke warm feelings for this book. I like the characters, I felt like there was enough going on to keep the story moving. But when it’s all over, there is nothing that makes it stand out above the half a dozen other books I read that week. It’s just an interesting story about some high school kids at bording school.

Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison – Young Adult/Paranormal – This haunting adventure was a lot of fun. It reminded me of the showtime show Dead Like Me, which was cancled way to soon. I felt like I understood everything that was going on for the entire story, but then the end through me a huge twist. A twist that is going to make the second book in the series, which comes out this May, just as exciting.

Slam by Nick Hornby – Drama – In this story a 16 year old teen dad gets life advise from a live sized poster of stakeboarder Tony Hawk. It’s a funny story that tackles hard issues from an interesting perspective.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle – Middle Grade/Fantacy – This classic adventure didn’t captivate my imagination quite as much as its more recent competition. The story is interesting, but I found the character of Meg really whiney and kind of annoying, so I didn’t care as much about her quest.

Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston – Young Adult/Fantacy – This story involves the real life fairy folk of Puck and Oberon and others interacting with a seventeen year old actress playing Tatania in a production of Midsummer Night’s Dream. The modern adventure set within the peramiters of Shakespeare’s fantastical world worked really well. I found myself rooting for both the humans and fairfolk as they struggled for balance in the relms.

Dunk by David Lubar – Young Adult – This is a really fun story about a teenage boy mad at life who dreams of becoming a bozo at a dunk tank, so he can properly yell at the world. The story has several fun twists and turns along the way. David Lubar is starting to become one of my favorite YA writers.

Wings by Aprilynne Pike – Young Adult/Paranormal – In this story, Laurel is a fairy instead of a witch, vampire, or angel. It’s a very cute story that is super G rated. Laurel is in high school but elementry school girls in love with fairy tales could get just as much enjoyment out of this story as teens.

King Dork by Frank Portman – Young Adult – This book is about a total loser who refers to himself as King Dork, what’s not to love. It has a really great voice, and by the end of the story there were some exciting twists. Unfortunately, a book about a kid with zero friends can be a bit dull, and the story took a while to really get going.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith – Classic – An interesting protrat of imigrant life at the dawn of the twentieth century. See a longer review here.

Spanking Shakespeare by Jake Wizner – Young Adult – This is one of the funniest books I’ve read in a long time. The character of Skakespeare, his parents are freaks, is helarious. This story has one of the best voices around in YA fiction. To acsent the great comedy, several of the side characters deal with very serious and complicated issues that end up dragging Shakespeare into a meaningful story without destroying his wit.

Castration Celebration by Jake Wizner – Young Adult – Not quite as funny as Spanking Shakespeare, but close. I can’t wait for Jake Wizner to write a third book. He is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. I mean really, how can you go wrong with teens singing show tunes about castration?

Sweethearts by Sara Zarr – Young Adult – Sara Zarr is really good at writing stories about teenagers with horrifying pasts. The hidden nightmear of Jenna’s childhood is reveiled slowly as she deals with a ghost from her past transferring to her high school. I liked the character development, and Jenna’s growth, but actually found the horrifying nightmear much tamer than I’d expected given Jenna’s frayed emotions.

Joke of the Day
What's the difference between an accountant and a dectective solving the Case of the Stolen Book?
One's a bookkeeper and one's a bookcaper

No comments: