Monday, February 1, 2010

Listening Log

Since I was in Spain at the time, I didn't do a month end reading review at the end of December. You didn't miss out on much. Thanks to my OCD writing habits, I only read/listened to seven books in December. I picked things up a little in January and read/listened to fourteen more books. So here is a quick review of the twenty-one books I've consumed in the past two months. If you care about the stats, I read one of these books in paper form, I read four on my kindle, and I listened to sixteen.

PS, I Love You by Cecelia Ahern - Chick-Lit - Why watch the movie, when you could read the book? I haven't seen the movie, but got about as much out of the book as I expected from watching previews. It was touching, and sentimental, and sappy. I liked it, but I didn't leave any kind of a lasting impression. It's just a cute love story with a sad beginning and a hopeful ending.

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood - Sci Fiction - I'm normally not a big SciFi fan, but after reading this book, I feel like I should become one. It was one of the best books I've heard in a long time. The post apocolitic future reality was artfully depicted, and the backstory was revield in a way that made it easy to suspend my disbelief. I honestly hope that high school kids are forced to read this book in fifty years. 'Cause it deserves to join the great SciFi classics like Ferinhight 451, 1984, and Brave New World. Even if you don't normally like SciFi, I recomned this futuristic tale of deseat and inspiration.

Doing It by Melvin Burgess - Young Adult - The British tend to be a lot more vulgar about a lot of things. I've read enough YA books to know they often push boundrys and tackle edgy subjects. But this books felt like reading porn. OMG, it was really graphic. I did find all the crazy British kids snogging entertaining, but if I was the parent of a teenager, I wouldn't want my kids to read this novel.

One Two Buckle My Shoe by Agatha Christie - Mystery - I like Agatha Christie. Did you know she's dyslexic. Well you do now. I was so sure I'd guessed the killer half way though, but the ending totally threw me. I was way off. But still very well entertained.

Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan - Young Adult - I really liked this book. It's funny and honest and raw. The characters in this book are freshman in college, so it makes it a natural comp title for my WIP. I would love to one day write with as much wit as Cohn & Levithan.

Artemis Fowl (books 1-5) by Eoln Colfer - Middle Grade/Fanticy - I haven't gotten to book six yet, and book seven is due out this summer, but so far I'm loving this series. It's similar in genre to Harry Potter, but takes a very different approach. Artemis is a tween criminal mastermind on a mission to take over the world. He discovers the existance of faries and then regularly exploits them in his diabolical plans. Eventually he befriends the faries and joins forces with them to save the world several times. It's a fun series, and I like having a bad guy human surrounded by lots of good guy dwarfs, sprites, and evles.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman - Young Adult - This book is very touching. It's about a teenage girl who's family gets in a car accedent. Her body is in a coma in the hospital, but her spirit is able to move around and observe her concerned friends and loved ones. Her entire family dies in the car crash, and she has to decide if she wants to stay and live her life as an orphan, or let go and follow her family. I may have cried while listening to this, but that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it.

Capt. Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth - Young Adult - This book is all about the young James (not yet Hook) in prep school with the young Darlin. In it James is the hero/victim and Darlin is the villian/bully. At the end of the story James finds the curage to stand up for himself and steels a ship before sailing away to Neverland.

Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan - Young Adult - This homosexual teen romance takes place in an unrealistic utopian high school were the football quarterback is a drag queen that gets elected homecoming queen. Oddly, the story read exactly like all the other YA romances out there, with a love quadralatera between the MC, their ex-boyfriend, their new crush, and their BFF. The only difference was that all four characters were male. Maybe that was the point. That teen angst exists everywhere, even in a town where the cheerleaders drive motorcyclels.

Sleeping Freshman Never Lie by David Lubar - Young Adult - This is a really cute book about a geeky kid who flounders through his freshman year of high school feeling completely lost only to discover he has everything he needs. I like stories that glorify the geeks and probably would have loved Sleeping Freshman Never Lie when I was fourteen. Heck, I even enjoyed it at thirty.

The Astonishing Adventures of Fan Boy and Goth Girl by Barry Lyga - Young Adult - This book was funny, but the ending left we wanting more. It didn't really seem to have much of a point. It just ended. But I loved the voice of the MC, and I always enjoy stories of the terrors of high school told through the eyes of a dork. So I enjoyed this read despite it's ending.

Shadowland by Alyson Noel - Young Adult/Paranormal - This is the third book in the Immortals series. I really liked the first book in the series, but found both the second and third book left something to be desired. The MC keeps on making dumb choices that cause problems with the story. I know that everything can't be perfect in a story, there need to be complications. But do they all have to stem from the MC's stupidity. It's hard to care about a character when everything that goes wrong is her fault. But I'll probably end up reading book four when it comes out anyway.

Manhattan Heat by Alice Orr - Romance - This is a Harlequin Romance novel that I got at a white elephant gift exchange at X-mas. The plot was simple and predictable, but I don't really think many people read romance novels hoping for complex storylines. The thing that surprized me about this book was how tame it was. There is more sex in most of the YA books I read then there was in this. Most of the story was just sexual tension, and then there was one graphic scene towards the end.

Sleeping Beauty by Arthur Quiller - Fairy Tale - After rereading this tale, I'm convinced that my WIP wont be a modern adaptation of this classic. But the story itself is still fun to read.

All's Well That Ends Well by William Shakespeare - Classic - Another great comedy filled with mistaken idenities and chastity of maidens.

The Guy Not Taken by Jennifer Weiner - Chick-lit - This is actually an accompilation of short stories, all about girls with crackpot dads that lead to a general mistrust of men. Some of the stories had good characters, but as soon as I got into one, I'd be thrust into the hands of another. I've never been a fan of short stories and would have enjoyed this book better if it had focussed on just one of the character sets.

How to Not Be Popular by Jennifer Ziegler - Young Adult - This book is hellarious. It's about a girl who's family moves all the time. She hates always having to say goodbuy to her friends, so she makes a plan to not make any friends at her new school. She does everything she can think of to act buzzar and scare everyone away. Not suprizingly, this encourages the shallow bitches to leave her alone and the interesting nice kids to befriend her instead. I stayed up all night reading this book on my flight to Spain. I laughed so hard in some spots that I woke up the other passengers on the plane.

Joke of the Day

I’m reading an interesting book about anti-gravity. I just can’t put it down.

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