Last month I said I needed to read 9 books this month in order to stay on track for my annual reading goal. I so far surpassed that I have already reached the goal. December will simply be gravy. Possibly some actual gravy. Mmmm, gravy. Don’t judge me, I’ve been eating broth for a month.
Books Read: 22
Books Partially Read: 4
Books Bought: 8
Money Spent: $35.00 (8 copies of Book ‘Em for giveaways and editing)
Books Borrowed: 23
Books Given: 3
Books Re-read: 0
Money made (from selling books): $57. And you know what books I sold? MINE! 23 copies of my self-published novel, Book ‘Em.
Books on To-Be-Read Shelf: I’m not willing to count that box. We’ll call it 70.
The problem with this month is that I read a surprising amount of great books. I’ll keep it short. Or as short as possible. For me. You know what that means.
Favorite Books This Month: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson, The Medusa Plot by Gordon Korman, Dying to Meet You by Kate Klise, also by Kate Klise: Over My Dead Body, Regarding the Trees and Deliver Us From Normal; The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin, Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan, and Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.
Lola and Anna by Stephanie Perkins are both contemp YA novels. I read them out of order which didn’t REALLY matter, still I would rec reading Anna first. They were both fabulous–great dialogue and fast, smooth plots. Excellent secondary characters and super romantic adorableness. There’s a third book in the series (they are stand alones but loosely related) coming out and I am excited to read it too. Anna is set in Paris and Lola in San Francisco.
All the Kate Klise ones I read because my mom brought home Dying to Meet You from school where it is currently all the rave among the 4th graders. It’s told entirely in letters and newspaper articles and is about a haunted house, an 11 year old boy, and a grumpy old man. They’re cute and funny. I proceeded to read a ton of her books. I’d already read Regarding the Fountain (the first in that series) but I discovered there were more of them and read all of those–they’re about a class of kids and their friendship with a super eccentric inventor. And then I read Deliver Us From Normal which is an actual novel (not epistolary) and was great. I didn’t like the sequel as much (Far From Normal) but it was also interesting. They’re about a lower-middle class family with 5 kids and their problems with the town they live in (Normal, IL) and how they run away and buy a houseboat. On the whole I heartily recommend all of Kate Klise’s writing–great stuff especially for kids who don’t like to “read” since the letter format also incorporates a lot of pictures and they’re very easy to get into.
The Girl of Fire and Thorns is about a princess with a God-stone in her belly and is (obviously) a fantasy novel with quests and battles and romance. It was good. The princess starts off super chubby and becomes more and more likable as she discovers her purpose. Pretty sure it’s the first in a series. I will totally read the next one.
The Name of the Star is about a girl who is going to school in Paris, can see ghosts, and has a run in with a Jack the Ripper copycat. It was the first YA boarding school book set in Paris I read this month (Anna being the other one). I liked Anna better in terms of description and use of the city, but Star was also really good in terms of plot and interest factor.
This is not short at all. I’m sorry.
The Medusa Plot is the first book in the second series in the Cahill books started by Gordan Korman. It’s now the Cahills vs. Vespers series instead of The 39 Clues. I am still completely enthralled by this story and irritated by how long I will have to wait between books AGAIN. This actually is a common theme in November. I read WAY too many books which were the first in a series. Generally without knowing it was going to be a series until the end and then being pissed. I really want some stand alone novels in December now.
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is about a girl who survives a horrific accident, may or may not have PTSD and/or amnesia and/or powers. The title and cover art = superb. The story was excellent (though this is the third book I’ve read in as many months about a girl who wakes up in a hospital with no idea how she got there. This one was better than the others though. I don’t even remember their names.) Also a series, dammit.
Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan. Ugh. Tiernan wrote the horrid cursed Sweep series which I have read and own and is like 14 or 15 books long. They’re so terrible and yet SO ADDICTIVE. This one was just as bad and yet also just as compelling. And it’s also the first in a new series. It better not be 14 books long. I’m relatively sure it’s only a trilogy. Anyway it’s about people who are immortal and how they elect to spend their lives. The main character starts off as a party girl in Europe and then moves to a farm commune in America in order to be a better person. There’s a lot about sustainable agriculture which shouldn’t be so interesting BUT IT IS. My description is making this book sound terribly uninteresting, I get that. There’s also a lot of other characters and we learn details about their lives and since many of them are immortal they’ve had really long and fascinating lives. Also they have magic powers. And there’s a pretty hot love-story happening. Damn Cate Tiernan.
Honorable Mentions: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake and Goliath by Scott Westerfield.
This Anna–gorgeous title and cover. About a psychotic ghost dripping blood everywhere off her white party dress and super creepy black veins a la Willow is worth mentioning. The main male character I was bored with kind of quickly but I really liked the Anna parts. Also a stupid first in a series presumably based on that ending.
Goliath delightfully was the third and final in a series. Finally, an ending! Although it was kind of an open-ended nonsense of “And then they all went off to do this….” And you’re like, “Yeah? What was that like?!” and you turn the page and DON’T KNOW. Still this series was pretty great. Alterna steam-punk/Darwinist creation nonsense World War II historical revisionism. Fascinating. Also pretty art is included.
Least Favorites: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead, Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, If You Give A Girl A Viscount by Kieran Kramer and Snuff by Terry Pratchett.
I’ve given up on Richelle Mead. She started off so great with the Vamp Academy series and the Succubus series. But then they went downhill so fast. And this new series which is a spin-off of VA? I can’t do it. I just can’t.
Everyone has been raving about Game of Thrones but I just couldn’t deal with it. I’m sure they’re great but no character being sacred unnerves me and I was sick enough still this month that I wanted nice pleasant things to be happening, not 7 year olds being thrown out of high towers or sweet girls getting raped.
Kieran Kramer’s 4th in the Impossible Bachelor series actually wasn’t that bad but then the epilogue was so disjointed from the rest of the novel that I was thrown for a loop and vaguely nauseated by the abrupt transition. What happened? I don’t even care. I like When Harry Met Molly still and Cloudy with a Chance of Marriage all right but this one was a dud. I wonder what she will write next now that she’s done with the Impossible Bachelors. And yes, that is an indicator that I will continue to read her books so I must not dislike them that much.
Snuff….after the early Watch books, I started to dislike the Vimes centered ones. He’s SOOOOO repetitive and this entry into the cannon was a huge offender. I can only read so much about how he’s a cop before I want to scream, “Yes, you like the law, all right! Shut the fuck up already!” It’s really long and only marginally good in small doses.
I’ll try to like fewer books in December. I’m already loving The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern though, just a warning.