Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Me, too, Melanie

I loved reading Melanie's summer reading book list. She's given me a whole new crop of books to look into. It also got me thinking about this past summer and what I've read. And, you know, I'm not sure I can remember them all. Do you ever do that? I used to be so good at keeping a book log with my own private reviews - but no more. Sigh.

So, with the disclaimer that this is probably not all the books, here are some of the books I've read this summer (in no particular order, and no, I'm not as organized as Melanie that I have a 'To Read' list - I just grab what looks interesting). Ahem, here we go:

Ninth Grade Slays - The Chronicles of Vladmir Tod, by Heather Brewer. I just finished listening to this one on tape as I was cleaning my house (I'm becoming a big fan of this - it makes cleaning go much more quickly). It was a fun listen.Vlad might be a half-vampire with some very big problems, but he's also a ninth grade kid who's not sure how to approach the girl of his dreams. His best friend is becoming popular while he's not, and things are only going to get more complicated when he finds out a hit has been ordered on him and a vampire slayer is coming to town.

Divergent, by Veronica Roth. In this dystopian novel, each person, on their sixteenth birthday, must chose a faction to live in for the rest of their lives (mirroring such traits as Bravery, Selflessness, Honesty, etc.). if they choose a faction other than their family's, there's a good chance they'll never see them again. Beatrice knows her families expectations, she just doesn't know if she can live with them the rest of her life. This has been an extremely popular book. I liked it overall, it really held my attention. I think sometimes I find many dystopians (think this and Matched, etc.) to be a little unrealistic in their societal constructs. I just can't see anyone going along with this kind of forced segregation (okay, don't throw stones, I did like this book, it's just an overall observation of the genre).

Edenbrooke, by Julianna Donaldson. If you love Austen, you're in for a treat. I loved this regency romance. Marianne has been trapped in Bath, fending off suitors and reading her sister's letters from London about her schemes to catch the most eligible bachelor around. But Marianne's heart is in the country, so when an invitation arrives to visit a sprawling estate, she jumps at the chance. Of course things aren't all that they seem and intrigue, kidnappings, and hidden identities follow. Marianne is a strong, feminine lead that really brings this story to life.

Princess of Glass, by Jessica Day George. I'm a big fan of hers. This story follows Poppy, one of the twelve dancing princesses from Princess of the Midnight Ball. Even though Poppy and her sisters are free from the curse, animus still exists in the kingdoms surrounding her home because of all the princes who died tried to free them. A royal exchange program is instituted and Poppy, sent far from home, finds that hers is not the only kingdom dealing with dark curses.

White Cat, Red Glove, and Black Heart, by Holly Black. It was fun to see that Melanie started this series, too. I read White Cat a while ago, but was thrilled to find two other books in the series. No spoilers here, but I love this unique series. My only gripe is that I don't think she's done with the series yet, and I hate waiting!

Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer. Yes, while I was on vacation I snitched my niece's copy and reread it, trying to  figure out its appeal. It is such a confounding book to me. Part of me has a very visceral reaction to Bella and her relationship to Edward, but at the same time, it is compelling. Why? Aaargh.

Chicken in the Headlights, by Matthew Buckley. And now for something completely different. What happens in a family with seven boys under the age of eleven? What doesn't? From finding a puppy in a cosmetics box and convincing Mom to name it Farding (which means 'to apply make-up', but leads to Mom yelling, "Stop Farding!"), to getting a bazillion chickens to teach the boys responsibility, this book is quite a romp.

Okay, just writing these few books, I realized how many I'm leaving out. Sorry.
What books did you read this summer that you'd recommend?


  1. It's more exciting to have my name in the title of your post than you might expect it would be. :)

    I've just checked a chicken book out from the library too--surprisingly it's not the same one. This one is called Louise, the Adventures of a Chicken by Kate diCamillo. I checked it out on audio, because it has one several audio awards. I'll let you know how it goes.

    I also added another book to my To Be Read pile--Grave Mercy by R.L. LaFevers. I'm adding a couple of the books you suggested to my Fall list, which is officially long enough to be my Fall/Winter list now. :)

    1. One of the books I read this summer was the care and feeding of rubber chickens (the novel) by Scott William Carter, which had easily the best opening chapter I've read all summer. Brilliant book. Pg13ish.

      Fun posts ladies.

  2. *won, not one. I'm giving up and going back to bed now.

  3. Great list Susan. Some of them are definitely going on my fall reading list.

    I haven't read Divergent (I think I'm getting a little tired of dystopias) but I agree with you that some of them that I have read have societies that I find hard to believe. I think one of the most powerful elements of a great classic dystopian novels is the feeling that something like that could potentially happen. I'm not really feeling that in the recent YA dystopias.

    1. I think YA writers use the concept of dystopia as a setting rather than a theme. You're right, there should be some kind of bridge between where we are now in history and where the dystopia is--something that says, "Wake up guys, you are headed down this road!" Isn't that the point?

    2. You are so right Trisha. I never thought of it that way, but they are using it as a setting rather than theme.


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