Tuesday, September 7, 2010

August reads

Somehow, SOMEHOW, I managed to read 20 books in August! I did have a week's staycation and that helped a lot. All I did was sleep and read, it was great! I have spent a considerable amount of time, reading and listening both, on catching up on some young adult books. I've just run out of the store of good suggestions I built up during my grad school YA Lit class. Now I've just got to find some titles that aren't terribly popular since those are never on the shelf when anyone asks. I REALLY want to take a speed reading class!

Pretties by Scott Westerfeld
Second in the Uglies trilogy. Talley gave herself up so that David's mother could test the cure on her, but she remembers nothing until a shadowy figure confronts her at a party. If she can follow the clues, she may just find her way back to the memories the Pretty surgery has taken away.

Specials by Scott Westerfeld
The last in the Uglies trilogy and SO, SO good. Talley finds a place for herself in the world, but it is not a clean journey and hearts are broken, probably beyond repair, along the way.

Extras by Scott Westerfeld
The is a spin off tale from Westerfelds Uglies trilogy. Not as good as the trilogy, but entertaining and I was very glad to see Talley Youngblood again!

Beastly by Alex Flinn
Modern retelling of the Beauty and the Beast story...
movie coming out next year!

Vampirates: Demons of the Ocean by Justin Somper
Fourteen year old twins, Grace and Conner Tempest, are adrift, literally and figuratively, after their father dies. They are being pursued by the greedy bank owner and the equally greedy orphanage manager when they decide to take their father's boat and leave. They are separated when a violent storm sinks their boat. Conner is rescued by a pirate ship, The Diablo, while Grace gets picked up by a mysterious ship with black, tattered sails like wings. This ship, The Nocturne, is crewed by vampirates (vampire pirates). Conner mourns his sister but settles in to the pirate life while Grace knows her brother is alive but is fighting some unruly members of the Nocturne crew to stay that way herself. She has unexpected allies in the vampirate Captain and Midshipman Lorcan Furey.

Vampirates: Tide of Terror by Justin Somper
The continuing adventures of 14 year-old twins, Grace and Conner Tempest. In the first book, the twins were separated after a shipwreck in a violent storm. Conner was rescued by a pirate ship and Grace by the vampirate ship. They reunited, but Grace takes a dislike to the type of pirate lifestyle aboard The Diablo and tries to get Conner to go to the Pirate Academy to head off what she sees as a wasted, violent life. Meanwhile, the vampirate captain is suffering from horrifying problems of his own and one of Grace's friends aboard the ship desperately needs her help.

Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik
Lawrence and Temeraire race back to Africa in search of a possible cure for the awful sickness decimating Britain's dragons.

Victory of Eagles by Naomi Novik
Napoleon brings down all he has to bear on the British troops, including the other Celestial dragon. Lawrence is arrested for treasonous activity and Temeraire is shipped off to the breeding grounds.

Tongues of Serpents by Naomi Novik
For me, this was worth the wait! I love this series real hard. The Napoleonic Wars, with dragons! It might sound silly, but it isn't. This is historical fiction or alternate history, what ever you want to call it, at it's very, very best! Lawrence and Temeraire have been shipped off to Australia since they can't be killed or controlled.

Her Hero in Hiding by Rachael Lee
Harlequin paperback, light and entertaining. Bruised and battered woman jumps out of an abusive ex-boyfriend's car and takes off into the woods. Hunky man finds battered woman running down the isolated road to his home. Chaos insues.

Stay by Allie Larkin
I couldn't stand it, I bought this book because I wanted it to be at my fingertips WHEN i wanted to read it..no lines, no waiting. Van (Savannah) Leone is heartbroken when the love of her life falls in love with and marries her very best friend. After the wedding, and in a drunken haze, she sort of accidentally buys a "puppy" online...off of a foreign website...for an absurd amount of money. Enter the cute, available, hurt-before-therefore-gun shy veterinarian. There are no new characters here and it's predictable, but I laughed so hard I cried and I cried a bit too. Loved it!

Antiques Roadkill by Barbara Allen
Divorced and bitter, the daughter returns home to her manic depressive mother after a shady antiques dealer takes advantage of her mother's fragile condition to clean out the house of its priceless family heirlooms for a steal, literally. After a very public showdown between the daughter and the dealer, her mother runs over him in his yard. Thankfully, he was already dead, but if her mother didn't do it, who did? Funny and fast moving, though the authors' use of parenthetical asides is a bit overdone.

Dragon America by Mike Resnick
I found this in my search for something to fill the Temeraire gap after my quick devouring of the latest in the series...alas, vastly inferior effort. Horribly characters, worse dialogue, and awful, flat, useless dragons. Boo...hiss! Davy Crockett is searching for a legendary breed of giant, fire breathing dragons to help George Washington during the American Revolution. None of the local dragons are big or dangerous enough to be of use, so he must venture out into the uncharted territory of the American West in search of crappy dialogue and fruitless attempts at arousing tension.

Weddings Can Be Murder by Christie Craig
Romantic suspense...ex-cop PI gets a call from a wedding planner who says her brides are being killed. Bride-to-be meets ex-cop PI at the wedding planner's house when he arrives just as the wedding planner is shot and the bride-to-be is fleeing through a conveniently enormous old mansion. Again, light and entertaining.

Divorced, Desperate, and Delicious by Christie Craig
Romantic suspense...falsely accused detective on the run from his renegade partner meets sexy, single (and divorced!) greeting card photographer who lives, conveniently, alone and isolated except for her house full of quirky animals. It was light and entertaining.

Swords and Dark Magic: The New Sword and Sorcery edited by Lou Anders and Jonathan Strahan
EXCELLENT fantasy short story anthology...read it for the library story (naturally!) if for nothing else!

All Tied Up by Cathryn Fox
Short novella, light on plot, heavy on naughtiness.

Cry Sanctuary by Moira Rogers
Short, sexy werewolf story. Entertaining if not terribly compelling.

Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell
OMG! This books is so good it'll make you hurt. This author describes cold that makes your joints ache, poverty that you can hardly imagine, and a brutal, vindictive world outside any boundaries my own personal reality could come up with. Ree's father, a meth cook, has skipped bail but if he doesn't show up for his court date, the county will take everything they own leaving Ree, her two young brothers, and their mentally unstable mother homeless in the coming winter.
The movie is out in limited release here in Birmingham Sept 10th, supposedly at the Vestavia Rave though showtimes are not available online yet.

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Last in the Hunger Games trilogy and I loved it! Reviews are decidedly mixed on this one, but mine is resoundingly positive! The Hunger Games universe is a post apocalyptic United States where there exists 12 districts and a Capitol. Every year, to remind the districts of their place, the Capitol requires 2 Tributes from each district, a boy and a girl between the ages (I believe) of 12 and 16, to battle to the death in an artificially created arena. The winner lives a life of luxury and their entire district gets extra food and supplies. Sixteen year old Katniss's story begins when her 12 year old sister Prim is selected from District 12 and Katniss volunteers to take her place. Get 'em, read 'em: Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay.


nat @book, line, and sinker said...

the YA lit class sounds so interesting!! congrats on reading 20 books--i don't think i read 20 all summer long. :( i also read mockingjay but wasn't as enamored as you were.

Holley T said...

Most people I talk to didn't like it at all and I have no explanations for why I do. It was bleak, unhappy, and almost totally lacking in hope and still I loved it. At some point, I'll be going back through the trilogy at a more leisurely pace to pick up on things I missed the frantic first time around.

The YA lit class was one of my favorites in grad school, right behind bibliotherapy, and I'd really love to go to a YA lit seminar every year if I could. I primarily serve adult library users and my knowledge of YA lit tends to get pushed to the back burner but I decided this year that is not fair so I'm stepping up my game. Alex Flinn's Beastly was another of my favorite reads of the is year. Excellent narrator on the audio version. Now I have his A Kiss In Time (re-telling of Sleeping Beauty) on deck for when I emerge from the vampirate vortex.