Wednesday, May 01, 2013

April 2013 Books

The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (library book) - For some reason, I thought this was the first book in the trilogy, but it was really the second. I didn't really need to read the first book to figure out what was going on, though, so it was fine.  But I feel like this book set up a false dichotomy - you either have to be crazy OR you can be stalked and the truth is that this character is both.  It was over-simplistic and silly.  I will not be reading anymore of this trilogy, but the four and a half stars on amazon for this book indicate I am in a minority.

Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip by Jordan Sonnenblick (library book) - I love, love, love anything Sonnenblick writes and this was no exception.  He's like Sarah Dessen for boys only he writes more consistently well. I loved this.

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi (library book) - I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was about this book that I didn't like until it hit me that I still just didn't understand the basics of setting.  If you're going to build a world, a new world, you have to be much more clear than Rossi is.  I don't understand the basics of the geography of this world and, even more I didn't understand any of the history that got us there.  I get the whole "dropped into the world and seeing it through a character's eyes" but if you're going to do that, you need some expository character somewhere early on so that the readers have at least a freaking clue what's going on. It was perfectly readable even though I don't know exactly why the storms are so bad, what all the Scires can do, and what the Unity was, but when I put the book down I was mildly confused and perplexed and blah.  Don't feel like you have to read this book.

The Unwanted by John Saul (library ebook) - Saul can make a tense, spooky setting.  Unfortunately, he can't really develop characters, so there's that. I don't know. It was creepy, but not all that compelling in the end.

The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis (library ebook) -  I usually abhor both historical fiction and books that include time travel as a plot device.  This book, though, sold me on both of those things. I loved, loved, loved this book.  I want to own this book and reread it all the time. I want to memorize passages and read them out loud. I want Dunworthy to be my grandpa.  You should read this book. And then you should think about it for a couple of days and then pick it up and read it all over again. 

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (library ebook) - This book took me every single day of my 21-day ebook lending period to read.  It was so so so long.  I didn't love this book, but I found it oddly compelling.  But there are so many unanswered questions that I could answer with explanations based on magical realism (waves hands and explains everything with MAGIC), but I think it's poor writing if a smart reader ends the book still wondering who the NHK collector was and how exactly human conception without intercourse happens because nothing about the magic is explained or even hypothesized about in the book.  Regardless, the book was compelling and I really wanted to know what happened, so I kept plodding along, interested in our characters.  Mixed review on this one.

Paper Towns by John Green (library book) - Sometimes I feel like Green's main characters are a tad too precocious for me. I was a smart teenager, but these teenagers seem to be just over the top in their brilliance, but I can overlook that because the books are so witty, the relationships are so real, and the dialogue almost always makes me laugh.  I enjoyed this book a lot.

The Art Forger by B. A. Shapiro (library ebook) -  I learned a lot about how forgeries are made and how rampant forgery is in the art world. But the overarching plot was predictable, although there were occasional side plots that I found somewhat surprising, and the writing was a bit flat.  So, it was a good, fun read but it's not going to change your life.

The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo (library ebook) - This is a good book, but I really liked The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane better. I find the narrator speaking to the reader in Despereaux a bit too precious for my tastes.

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