Books, Books, Books – March Edition

Here we are, three months in and I’m still recording and loving this whole “keeping track” business. For those of you who were worried about the overwhelming numbers the first two months, don’t worry, I slowed down in March.

With my birthday, Kelly’s new baby, my newest nephew, Arionna’s birthday, Easter, and two jobs, I didn’t read that much. Let’s take a look.

March (5 books)

1. The Goddess Inheritance – Aimee Carter

2. Speechless – Hannah Harrington

3. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer – Michelle Hodkin

4. The One and Only Ivan – Katherine Applegate

5. Prodigy – Marie Lu

I did say at the end of February’s post that I figured I read less in March. I do. It’s not like 5 books is insignificant, I am aware that most people read 5 books in a year, not a month, but as it is only half as much as the previous month (s) I am feeling a little adrift. I will say it was technically 5.5 books because I did start the sequel to #3 and I am over halfway through it, but I didn’t finish it yesterday, so it wasn’t counted.

However, my overall total for 2013 is now up to 28, with nine months to go. I am on pace to read 112 books for the year. We will see how it ends…

The best of the 5? Number 2, (Speechless – Harrington). I did not expect to like this book this much. I spend so much of my time reading angsty teen dystopian fiction that just a straight up novel was a refreshing change of pace. The story is well written, the characters likable and it seemed like a realistic representation of  high school, or at least high school as I remember it. I was impressed by it and tore through it.

The worst? None of them. The first I read was the last in a trilogy (see previous months) and I really liked the whole series. I was least impressed by this third one, but it was still good from start to finish. The 3rd is interesting. I wish I liked it more. It was a little too vague for my tastes. I’m all about setting up a mystery to draw in the reader, but if I’m 2/3 of the way through the SECOND book and I still don’t know what is going on…it’s too much. I was annoyed when it ended, abruptly and left me with no idea what was happening to Mara Dyer. But, even through that complaint, the story is so compelling you can’t help but keep reading it. And I found Mara to be a good character. I would recommend this – especially to you, Sara. I think you’ll like it.

Book 5 is also a sequel. I read the first, Legend, in February. I liked it fine, but I really liked this one. Much more. However, I hated how it ended, but that is not unusual for me, so I am willing to let it pass.

The final book I read, number 4, is a children’s book. It was the 2013 winner of the Newbery Medal, which is awarded annually to the best written children’s book. Strangely, the writing was annoying to me. But only for the first 30 pages, then I grew used to it and became engrossed in the story, it was good. However, I’ve read all of Kate DiCamillo’s novels and think they are similar in style, but much stronger stories. It was fine, certainly worth the read, but not a favorite I’ll keep coming back to. It is a very quick read. I did like it more when I learned it was based on a true story. And, Kel, I think this would be a terrific read-aloud when you’re back in the 2nd grade.

There we go, a little something for everyone. I will be diving back in here in April. I am so excited for the night I can leave work and go read on my patio in the warm evening sunshine. Soon enough, I hope.

Books, Books, Books – February Edition

Well, it is a month later, and I am happy to report that I am still doggedly recording every book I read. This month, I found an interesting side effect of this project. I came across two books on my list that I started and didn’t care for. Normally, I would just stop reading them. However, in this case, I didn’t want the hours I spent reading the first half to be wasted time. I wouldn’t have counted them unless I finished them, so I had to finish them so I could count them. Weird, right?

I know, but I did finish them. One, I’m glad I finished. The other, I-well, let’s just say it was a disappointment. Here’s the list.

February (13 books)

1. Witch & Wizard – James Patterson

2. Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight – Jennifer E. Smith

3. The Real Real – Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus

4. Legend – Marie Lu

5. Someone to Watch Over Me – Judith McNaught* (denotes a previously read title)

6. Whitney, My Love – Judith McNaught*

7. Goddess Interrupted – Aimee Carter

8. Awaken – Katie Kacvinsky

9. Middle Ground – Katie Kacvinsky

10. Crossed – Ally Condie

11. Warm Bodies – Isaac Marion

12. Perfect Scoundrels – Ally Carter

13. Reached – Ally Condie

Best book I read in February was #8(Awaken – Kacvinsky) followed closely by #9 (Middle Ground – Kacvinsky) which are part of a series. Amazing dystopian fiction, but the closest thing I’ve seen to where our society might actually be headed. It was eye-opening and chilling and very compelling all at once. I devoured those books. Both done in two days, back to back. Thank goodness it was a weekend.

Worst thing I read in February was #11 (Warm Bodies – Marion). This is actually a movie right now and was a recommendation from my friend Lisa, who has never steered me wrong, until this time. This book was terrible. That’s it. Just terrible.

The other book I struggled with was #10 (Crossed – Condie) This was the second in the Matched trilogy. I really enjoyed Matched, I thought it was well written and the story was gripping. The second, Crossed, was such an utter disappointment. It took such a strange turn from the first book that you wouldn’t have guessed they were in the same series. My biggest complaint is that the entire second book felt like a setup for the third book. Like this whole story could have been a duo. The third was ok, better than the second, but still not great. It was also about 150 pages too long. Way too much medical jargon and focus on the illness. Get to the people. the point of the story. Then, the whole thing wraps up in about 10 pages, of a 520 page book. It was a let down to be sure. However, regardless, I would still recommend that you read the first. Even the third if you want to know how it ends. Skip the second, I can’t think of one reason you’d need to read that book.

Okay, so I’m up to 23 total books on the year, with 10 months to go. I’ll be back at the end of March, which is my birthday month and I would assume I read less during this month because I’m busy. We shall see…