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Reading bingo: books 13-16

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Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (a book set in the future)

I completely forgot to write anything about this book.  My bad.  I did not really enjoy this book.  It was way too long and too dry and too ugh.  The main character went from being annoying to being tolerable to making bad choices and being annoying again.  I don’t like being significantly smarter than everyone in a book.  It just means I can predict every piece of the story and I just read a book about people making really bad choices.  I didn’t really learn anything or enjoy much of this book.  I had to push myself to finish it.  Unpleasant.  I won’t be finishing the series.

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (a book set in another world)

This book was on my mental to-read list for a while, probably since college.  Most of my friends had read in and spoke highly of it, and I really liked the movie.  I’d been putting it off for a while and then I saw it at the library (along with the next book on this list) and thought I’d take the plunge.  It was pretty good, overall, which I expected.  It dragged on a bit toward the end – got a bit mathy.  I’m a fan of sci-fi, but I am not a fan of actual science.  So I understand that is a personal issue and don’t hold it against Douglas Adams or this book.

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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews (a book with a break up)

Clearly I am running out of squares.  I’m going to have to be more selective about the books I read in order to try to fill this dang card up.  This was a stretch, considering the break up was tiny and irrelevant, but STILL A BREAK UP.  This book is written in such a fun way; Jesse Andrews has a really unique, self-deprecating style that I actually enjoyed.  He walks the fine line being so complain-y and self loathsome that he’s annoying, but manages to keep it readable and entertaining rather than obnoxious.  I can’t wait to see what else he ends up writing.
(sidenote: what a phenomenal book cover)

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Landline by Rainbow Rowell (a book that made you cry)

I’m lucky this book made me tear up, otherwise I would’ve had no where to put it on this card.  You all know how I’ve had mixed feelings about Rowell: first being completely smitten with her (Fangirl) and then being severely disappointed and bored (Eleanor & Park).  Landline brought me right back to where I was after Fangirl – sonce again I am quite a fan of Rowell and I would like her to write my life into a love story.  Her novels are clearly my outlet for my hopeless romanticism.  I hope she spits out another one soon so I can engulf myself in it (or I’ll probably just go read Attachments…).  Definitely A+ work, especially for the upper end of the YA age bracket (again, sort of a stretch, but I’m counting it as YA since it’s by Rowell who is clasically a YA writer); I don’t tend to enjoy books about older people (cough people my age cough) but I really liked this, despite some lack of relatability.

ALSO, I officially got BINGO upon finishing Hitchhiker’s Guide.  So congratulations to ME.


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Reading Bingo – books 9-12

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As time goes on, my lines are getting less and less straight.

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Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King (a book with an epic love story)
I chose this book because of how good I thought A.S. King’s other novel was (Everybody Sees The Ants).  Please Ignore Vera Dietz was more well known and won awards, so I figured it was worth a shot.  It was kind of hard to fall into, but once I got going I was actually really invested.  King writes these stories that have all of these twists and turns, with characters who think outside the box.  I love the way this book was presented.  I love that it didn’t just take place in Vera’s head.  I love that King keeps the world almost completely real but adds in a splash of the supernatural.  I really enjoyed this book.

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Burn by Suzanne Phillips (a book that takes place in a high school)
This was a book I chose because I couldn’t find any books I wanted at the library.  I wanted something to read, so I picked this based on the back cover.  It didn’t say much, but I liked how it was worded/presented (I killed someone today. The thought curls around his brain, picks at it like a piece of flint. His head hurts. Hurts worse than it ever did.  I killed someone.).  It was a good book; I really liked how she dug into the mind of someone being bullied.  It didn’t just scratch the surface; it didn’t say, “talk to your counselor and everything will be okay after that.”  Burn is a realistic approach to bullying and the aftermath of being bullied.  It deals with PTSD, abuse, assault, self-harm, and the anger that goes with being a teenaged boy.

ImageThe Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black (a book with an incredible fight scene)
Apparently I’m just going to end up reading everything Holly Black has ever written.  I’d seen this in the library a ton of times and thought, “What a stupid title.  I’m definitely not reading that.”  I picked it up when I picked up Burn – because I had nothing else to check out and I wanted my literary fix.  I was pleasantly surprised with this book.  At some points I got mad at the characters because they were stupid and melodramatic (this happens quite frequently in YA novels because…duh… but it doesn’t usually frustrate me as a reader).  It was an interesting read; the way Black wrote it was suspenseful and well detailed.  I don’t think I could write something this graphic (I kept finding myself audibly expressing my disgust by yelling “eewww”).  It was definitely very romance-y, so if you don’t like that this book is not for you.  I found myself being sucked into the whirlwind of it, and had a good time despite my distaste for the “vampire” genre.  Black is definitely nestling her way into my “favorites” category.

ImageEleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (a book with music)
After reading Fangirl, I was enamored with Rowell and wanted to read everything she’d ever written.  Fangirl made me happier than a book had ever made me; I think because it didn’t make me sad – just happy, the entire way through.  Eleanor & Park was not the same sort of ride, which is fine, but it did come out as being less enjoyable overall for me.  Eleanor annoyed me the whole way through the book.  Park was a solid character and Rowell certainly knows how to write a cute love story, but I was not as enthused or invested as I’d been in her other novel.  Especially reading this right after reading Coldtown; I feel like it lacked some spice.  Still a very good read.  Rowell is a great writer.


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Reading Bingo – Books 6-8

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Red Glove by Holly Black (a book with magic)
I am obsessed with this series.  The other day I was trying to explain why I’ve fallen in love with it, and I think it is mostly because the ideas she presents haven’t crossed my mind.  It’s an entirely new world with entirely new secrets.  I always wished I’d loved Harry Potter when I was younger so I could discover the secrets as I read along, but I jumped in too late and it was sort of all blown for me already.  In the world Holly Black created, everything is new but not too new that it’s confusing.  I love the main character, and I can’t wait to finish this series.

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Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (a book based on a myth)
The thing that suckered me into this series was the chapter titles.  I could tell it was written in a way that wouldn’t be dull or cliche.  As I approached the idea that Riordan ran with, I was skeptical.  Honestly, I thought it was a pretty stupid concept.  The fact that Riordan could hold my attention and keep me wanting more when I thought the whole world he was going with was dumb says so much about him as an author, I think.  I look forward to continuing this series as well, much to my own surprise.

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Everybody Sees The Ants by A.S. King (a book set in the summer)
As many of you know, I don’t read the descriptions of books.  I go off of recommendations, preferred authors, genres, and sometimes (no judging) the covers of the books.  I don’t remember why I heard about Everybody Sees The Ants, but when I started reading it, I had no idea what to expect.  This book got the raw end of the deal because it came after The Lightning Thief which came after Red Glove.  The only reason I haven’t continued on with either series is because my library currently does not have the next books.  So, I started Everybody Sees The Ants, not knowing what to expect and starting it pretty begrudgingly.  Needless to say, this book won me over.  A.S. King wrote excellently, and wove together a story with a typical teenage boy that was not infuriating or angsty.  Her characters were well developed, and she had enough surprises throughout the book to keep me guessing.  She threw in certain aspects that were unbelievable, which I totally loved.  I very much enjoyed this book, although I don’t think it’s for closed minded people who don’t understand the aspects of bullying.


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Reading Bingo Update – Books 4&5

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Since we last spoke, I have indeed picked up the pace and continue to speed read my way past my problems! Huzzah!
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White Cat (The Curse Workers Book #1) by Holly Black (the first book in a series)
Despite the fact that I found two typos and two things that are not consistent with the framework of the story, I loved this book.  It’s not typical.  It took me to a world I have never imagined, and surprised me happily.  I was shouting things at the main character with my mind, and reading through it with rage, frustration, and anxiousness.  I thoroughly enjoyed book #1 of The Curse Workers, and I’ve already started book #2.  If you like fantasy, you should give this series a shot.

ImageBoy Proof by Cecil Castellucci (a book you heard about online)
Boy Proof was my book that I heard about online.  I saw a vlogbrothers video in which John Green discussed 18 of his favorite non-best-sellers, and Boy Proof was one of them.  The book was a lot different than I’d anticipated based on John Green’s brief description, which was good and bad.  I do think that Cecil Castellucci managed to completely capture how it is to be an irrational, immature, emotional teenage girl who doesn’t quite understand why she does the things she does.  If you’re trying to get into the frustration that is the teenaged-female mind, definitely pick this book up.  It was written very well, and I really enjoyed the second half.

Side note: if anyone has any great YA books that are set in Paris, give me a heads up.


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A jumble of things

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As you can see, I’m two books strong into the new year (two books both started AND finished in the new year.  gosh.).  [If you would like more information on the rules (made up by Meghan – if you want to freestyle it, live your life! do what you want!) click here!] Mockingjay tore me to pieces.  Someone asked for a post about that and LET ME TELL YOU, you will regret requesting that.

My absence from this blog isn’t even excusable, really, other than I wrote so much here last year that I felt we both needed some time to ourselves.

In order to (hopefully) satiate you lovely, wonderful, loyal readers for a while, please enjoy an excerpt from something I’ve been working on lately.

I noticed she was nursing her right arm, and she went on to try to eat her breakfast with the spoon in her left hand.
“What happened to your arm?”
My words broke into the silence enveloping the table since Nalan had sat down.  Ahna shot me a look – shocked? Confused? I didn’t know why.  Nalan wasn’t responding to me; I assumed she didn’t hear me.  Then I realized the silence that engulfed us was there because everyone had willed it to be there.  No one was saying anything.  No one wanted to say anything.  And presumably Nalan didn’t want to hear anything, either.  This sick feeling crept into my stomach as I realized Nalan had been pulling her hair out again.  My words choked in my throat; I didn’t know what I was sorry for, I just knew I was sorry.  Mik mouthed the words, “Shut up,” at me, as if she knew I would keep talking, even though I couldn’t figure out how to make my tongue small enough in my mouth for the words to skate by.  Silence.  Ten minutes of silence.  No one told me what was wrong with Nalan.  Not even after she left.  Not when she came back reeking of vomit, her eyes puffy and red, scalp just the slightest bit barer.