October 2010

I pretty much completely slacked again on my book reviews. Whoops. I don’t even have an excuse. I haven’t been that busy this November. I mean, writing 1,667 words a day, sure, but that doesn’t take very long. Well, better late than never anyway. And I’ve got a couple days before the end of November and I can take that time to prepare my entry for this month. Maybe. We’ll see.

Book Stats

Books Read: 44 (+7 unfinished)

Books Bought: 0

Books Borrowed (from Library): 50

Books Borrowed (from friends): 4

Books Given: 1

Money Spent: $0

There are a lot of books to discuss this month. Hopefully you find this interesting. Or at least beneficial in your own decisions on whether to read a book or not.

Books which were actually good and which I would recommend: Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken. I Will Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett. Gravitation (the series) by Maki Murakami. The Cardturner by Louis Sacher. The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade. Bone and Jewel Creatures by Elizabeth Bear.

Brightly Woven was interesting in that it was a semi-original plot of a wizard and a girl who can weave magic into cloth. Mostly the world was well-developed. The plot kind of jumped around a little (hello rapidly executed second opposition at the end); it could have used some more fine-tuning and the romance aspect could have been a little better set-up but I still liked it.

Pratchett’s latest in the Tiffany Aching series was good. I was glad to see lots of characters from previous books and the final nail in the coffin of her romance with the spineless boy was excellent.

Gravitation, which I started reading in like…2003?, I finally got all of them from the library and read them in the kitten room while they were still tiny and locked up for weeks. I’ve seen the anime so I know the plot but it was fun to see it further explored in comic form. I’m glad now to have finally read all of them.

Louis Sacher, of course, is an award winning author. We can all remember Holes, I’m sure, and The Beef, right? Cardturner is his latest and is ALL ABOUT Bridge. I am not even kidding around with the caps lock there. There are whole sections of the novel which outline bridge rules. They’re easy to skip or skim though since there’s notation surrounding them as a warning. I’m pretty sure I could kick ass at Bridge. It’s kind of like Pinochle and I dominate that game. The actual story was touching with the old man, teenage boy, and teenage girl. Plus, it’s Sacher so you know you can’t go far wrong there.

The Ghost and the Goth. Ha. Ok. I know it sounds ridiculous, and honestly: it kind of was. But it was cute and occasionally sweet. It’s about a girl who gets run over and comes back as a ghost and the goth boy who can see ghosts that she never paid attention to at the high school before. It’s typical high school ghost romance story line but I enjoyed the two main characters a lot and thought it was written well.

And Finally! Bone and Jewel Creatures: Gorgeous, lyrical writing, excellent plot, fabulously written. How have I never read anything by this author? This situation needs to be rectified immediately. I am actually mad at myself as I write these words that I have yet to get anything else by her from the library. My only defense is the insane amount of other books I’ve gotten from the library lately (and, sadly, almost universally hated. November has not been a good reading month). So I recommend this a lot. It’s super short, an easy read, and really good.

Books which I read which I vaguely enjoyed but would not bother recommending: The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff. Shade by Jeri Smith Ready. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White. Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey. Once A Witch by Carolyn MacCullough. Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin. Sleepless by Cyn Balog. Halo by Alexandra Adornetto. As You Wish by Jackson Pearce.

These are all YA novels (if you can’t tell from the titles and ridiculous author names. Seriously, those cannot be their real names.) These books ranged a gamut of currently popular YA themes with one exception. We had urban faeries, magical creatures, vampires, witches, more faeries (not really urban), sandmen/women (hello, that’s new), angels and djinn. None of them was BAD just none of them was good. Replacement, for example, started off strong but then it was like a switch flipped and she rushed through the resolution/plot about 2/3rds of the way through and it fell apart a little. Shade was, irritatingly, a first in the series which I didn’t realize right away and was then annoyed when I found out. Also many of the characters, in particular the female lead, were shallow. Hearts at Stake was just one more in the series of sub-par vampire YA novels you can find everywhere. Nothing special or new really. Once A Witch was the best out of this bunch, but again I was frequently bothered by the actions and opinions of the female lead. Extraordinary was a disappointment after Impossible, Werlin’s other (fabulous) faery book. Sleepless was actually not bad except for the whole creepy idea of teenage sand-boys watching girls sleep in their rooms. It had such promise, I thought. Sandmen/women! At last, something different. But then I was quickly reminded of how creepy stalkers are. And the opposition the main character faced was weak. Halo was just saccharine and the female lead was completely pathetic. Show some backbone! But I can see it being super popular with the Twilight fans. As You Wish was actually not bad. Djinn! I do love them. But it was pretty poorly written and unoriginal in the basic plot and structure.

Books which I don’t recommend at all: Gimme a Call by Sarah Mylonowski. One Dance With A Duke by Tessa Dare. Didn’t even finish these.

Ok. Seriously now, as mentioned up in there November has been a poor month. So the very very few I’ve read all the way through and then liked will be small. Currently out of the 20 books I’ve read so far, I’ve only actually finished 8. Pathetic, right? Yeah. Crappy, crappy books. Or possibly, and this is just speculation, they’re not actually all that bad, I’m just being super hard on them because I was writing a book myself and couldn’t help but notice everything in them that was poor and be editing in my head. My brain would not turn off this month, I admit it. Constantly I was comparing their writing to my own and finding theirs bad and mine either better or also bad but theirs still worse. Enough about that though! I need to save something to write about on December 1st. (Setting myself a goal there.)