38, 39

Apr. 20th, 2009 09:18 am
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I'm a bit behind on posting (again) so, last books of March:

38. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson (643) A/Fan

I really like this book. I enjoy the unusual kind of magic in this fantasy world, the dynamics between the characters, and the mystery in the plot - they're fighting against something they don't really understand and don't know how to fight. It's also very well-written.

39. Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson (573) A/Fan

I really enjoy this book as well, for the most part. It is a good sequel to Mistborn, a complex plot with characters I care about and a world I believe. Also, I really like Sanderson's writing style.

But I really didn't like the end.

*possible spoilers*

This is book two of a trilogy, so the end of this book is clearly a setup for the next book, and I get that, but...there was this big huge build-up throughout the entire book and at the end, we discover it's all a lie. And something else big happened right at the end, too, and there was also this weird character throughout the book, who was involved in the stuff at the end...so there are at least three important things in this book that really weren't explained at all. Presumably they'll be explained in the third book, but I don't like that much just left hanging. I didn't have this feeling of being left hanging after the first book, and there was a big setup in that for this one. So, as much as I liked the rest of the book, the end left me dissatisfied.



39 / 150 books. 26% done!


22 / 75 *new books. 29% done!


0 / 10 ^non-fiction. 0% done!


11590 / 45000 pages. 26% done!

35-37

Mar. 31st, 2009 07:49 pm
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35. *Girl At Sea by Maureen Johnson (336) YA/Fic

A high school girl gets the summer job of her dreams, just in time to find out that she has to spend the vacation with her father in Italy. On a boat. Sounds great, right? Except her dad has a tendency for wild schemes that seem like a good idea at the time (to him) but never go quite right after all (especially for her). What type of crazy is he cooking up this time?

Girl At Sea was a stressful book to read; it never seemed to slow down. From the very beginning, and especially after she gets to Italy, it's just one thing after another - and often it's one near-disaster after another. On the other hand, it really reflects the feeling of the main character, who is resentful and angry at the situation she has been stuck in. It is well written and the plot kept me guessing, but it is not a book I'll read again.

36. *The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson (384) YA/Fic

It was a good book. I heard they tried to ban it in some school library because it has (the horror!) lesbians. Ridiculous. The issue seemed to me to be dealt with reasonably and fairly realistically (so far as I can imagine) and just like any other aspect of teenage life as opposed to something major. Well, of course it was major, because to teenagers everything is major, but it wasn't any more major than anything else.

37. The Shockwave Rider by John Brunner (246) A/SF



37 / 150 books. 25% done!


22 / 75 *new books. 29% done!


0 / 10 ^non-fiction. 0% done!


10374 / 45000 pages. 23% done!

33-34

Mar. 30th, 2009 12:36 am
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33. *I Am The Cheese by Robert Cormier (256) YA/Fic

There are two parallel storylines in this book. One is a boy talking to a therapist or psychologist - something always seems a little off about him - and the other is the same boy taking a frantic bike trip trying to reach his father. It's confusing and there is no real resolution at the end. I didn't dislike it, but I certainly won't be reading it again.

34. *The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson (272) YA/SF

A fascinating book about a girl who was in an accident and remembers very little about it or her existence before. She spends the book re-learning how to use her body, regaining old memories, discovering new things she doesn't know why she remembers at all, and learning things about herself that don't seem quite right.

This book has been compared to Skinned by Robin Wasserman and that is not an unjust comparison, but the two books are different enough that each can be judged on its own merit. In Skinned, Lia is in an accident and is uploaded into a biomechanical body that does not look like her. In this book, Jenna still looks and sounds like herself and some of her body is still her original. Both books are filled with questions about trust and friendship and family and humanity. They also look at a parent's relationship with their children, what they're willing to do - and how far they should or shouldn't go - to save their child's life.



34 / 150 books. 23% done!


20 / 75 *new books. 27% done!


0 / 10 ^non-fiction. 0% done!


9628 / 45000 pages. 21% done!

31-32

Mar. 30th, 2009 12:26 am
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31. *Unwind by Neal Shusterman (352) YA/SF

I found this book on Tamora Pierce's suggestion list at the end of '08. I read it in the bookstore.

Conner is not great at school and a bit of a troublemaker and his parents finally decide to have him unwound. That is, taken apart piece by piece in a sort of super-advanced version of organ donation that uses the entire body. Conner, not being fond of the idea himself, runs away. He accidentally ends up on the run with two other Unwinds - and that is just the beginning of the story.

Unwind is an amazing book, well-written with a very creepy premise. The society and the things that have become acceptable in it - not just unwinding but other things that are explained along the way - are so disturbing and yet, in a way, you can imagine today's society heading in a similar direction.

32. *Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan (192) YA/Fic

The title pretty much says it all, really - it's a classic boy meets boy, boy loses boy, boy goes to elaborate means to try and win boy back. Adorable, really.

Also, I would love to live in that town which can't possible exist yet in this day and age, the town where the high school quarterback is also a drag queen and (almost) nobody cares about anything that might cause prejudice anywhere else.

Boy Meets Boy is a sugar-shock sweet book, and a quick read. Really; it took me about two hours, tops. It's well-written, but without too much substance.



32 / 150 books. 21% done!


18 / 75 *new books. 24% done!


0 / 10 ^non-fiction. 0% done!


9100 / 45000 pages. 20% done!

26-30

Mar. 17th, 2009 11:19 am
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26. *Castle in the Air by Diana Wynne Jones (304) YA/Fan

I don't remember exactly when I read this, but I just realized that I did in fact read it but forgot to post it.

It was amusing. Not my favorite DWJ ever, but I still liked it quite a bit.

27. *An Abundance of Katherines by John Green (215) YA/Fic

I picked up this book for two reasons. The first is that someone linked me to this video, which got me interested in the Brotherhood 2.0 project that John and his brother Hank did a couple of years ago (it's a year-long project of vlogs every weekday. I think I'm into June or July.). Eventually I realized that John is an author of YA books (I like YA books) so I thought I should check them out (making him the fourth author whose books I picked up after I followed some kind of web activity, after John Scalzi, Wil Wheaton, and Cherie Priest).

The second reason I picked An Abundance of Katherines is because I like the title.

The writing is good and the story is cute and the characters were believable. I have am looking forward to reading Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns.

28. *Looking for Alaska by John Green (221) YA/Fic

Another excellent book. Green has a knack for creating characters that are interesting to read about even when they're not really doing anything. I did find the second half of the book predictable, but that didn't make it any less of a good read.

29. *13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson (320) YA/fic

I read this in the bookstore, picked it up because John Green has mentioned the author several times in his vlogs, so I recognized her name.

Ginny's slightly-crazy aunt has given her a combination treasure hunt and scavenger hunt in a series of 13 letters. Each letter contains instructions for places to go, people to meet, and things to do or see. A solo tour of Europe is not something shy and quiet Ginny would ever have done normally, but with her aunt's letters to guide her, she takes the chance and goes.

This is the sort of book that you could (assuming the author did her research properly) follow along with in real life. Take a plane to this city, find this address. Take the ferry here, take a bus there, go to this museum and that cafe. It was a lovely journey to see new places and meet new people and, in the end, help Ginny accept her aunt's death.

30. *Paper Towns by John Green (305) YA/Fic

Quentin's next-door neighbor Margo runs away from home not long before their high school graduation and Quentin follows clues to try and find her.

Another fantastic book by John Green. One thing I really like about Green's writing is that, unlike a lot of authors, his endings don't just stop the book. The major event happens, then it still takes a while for everything to wrap up. If there's more than one major event, they're spaced out instead of all at once.



30 / 150 books. 20% done!


16 / 75 *new books. 21% done!


0 / 10 ^non-fiction. (hmmm)


8556 / 45000 pages. 19% done!

20-23

Mar. 8th, 2009 10:32 pm
fiveforsilver: (Books [Alanna])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
And to make up for February, I seem to be on a roll in March, finishing three books this weekend alone.

20. Juniper by Monica Furlong (198) YA/Fan

Reread.

21. He, She, and It by Marge Piercy (429) A/SF

This is a reread, but it's been a while. Wonderful post-apocalyptic, pre-cyberpunk SF.

22. *The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (374) YA/SF

Recommended by my sister.

Every year, each sector has to randomly pick two teenagers - a boy and a girl - to play in a sadistic event called "The Hunger Games", a fight to the death where the winner gets extra food and gifts for the next year, not just for themself but for their entire sector.

It was wonderful. It was horrible. It was an amazing read, and I am looking forward to the next in the series, although I can already imagine some of the things that will be in it and I'm sure it will be another heartbreaking read.

23. *Graceling by Kristin Cashore (471) YA/Fan

Another book (strongly) recommended by my sister.

A Graceling is a person with a gift, an almost magical ability to do something (although it's never referred to as magic). Someone Graced with speed, say, or swimming, or juggling can perform feats in that area that no regular person could hope to achieve. In Middluns, Gracelings are feared no matter how benign their Grace may be, and that fear is multiplied with Katsa's killing Grace. Even her uncle the King fears her, though he uses his authority to force her to dole out punishment across his kingdom. But what if she decides she will no longer only be his pawn?

Katsa is a wonderful character who grows constantly and believably over the course of the book. I was so surprised by some of the plot developments that I exclaimed out loud several times. The only thing that bothered me was the climax of the book - with such an enormous build-up, the climax was shockingly brief and unsatisfying and I was concerned for most of the rest of the book that something was wrong and things were somehow not what they seemed.

I enjoyed Graceling from beginning to end, with that one exception, and I am looking forward to the upcoming books in the series.


Currently reading:
The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie (at work read)
Tithe by Holly Black (at home read, about to start it)



23 / 150 books. 15% done!


9 / 75 *new books. 12% done!


0 / 10 ^non-fiction. 0% done!


6364 / 45000 pages. 14% done!

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