Saturday, October 01, 2011

Underwhelmed at the SATs

Remember that time last year when I came home from the SATs all upset because I loved every book I started? Well today, not so much...

Now I adore Bookshelves of Doom and that is where I heard about CHOKER by Elizabeth Woods and WONDERLAND by Joanna Nadin but Ms Doom felt that WONDERLAND was the better book and I got hooked on CHOKER. Maybe it is just a matter of which of these incredibly similar stories you start with, but I tell you - I was so sick of dead mothers that I far preferred the benignly neglectful one in CHOKER. I read the end of WONDERLAND (after giving it 20 pages or so...) and it was just as I expected. But I did NOT read the end of CHOKER because I liked it enough to want to actually see how it plays out! There was only one other book (out of nine) that I didn't skip ahead to read the last couple pages. So sad, really.

Actually, I didn't skip ahead in THE THEIF by Megan Whalen Turner, because I really like it. And someday I may read it to my grandchildren. I will have forgotten the story by that point, of course. But I don't have time to read it now.

How beautiful is the cover for ENTWINED by Heather Dixon? Soooo beautiful. But I have had it with dead mother books. (SPOILER!) And the father is such a jerk. And there were just so many pages... I think if I were in a better mood, or had more free time, I would have stuck this out. And when I flipped to the back I found that the character that was introduced in the beginning as the potential love interest was right there at the end being inevitable. The writing is good, and I liked our heroine, Azalea. I just knew I wasn't going to stick this one out.

I have tried to read FLASH by Michael Cadnum several times. It just isn't going to happen for us. I like the idea - a bank robbery that is going to go horribly wrong thanks to a blind witness. But I can't even work up the enthusiasm to skip to the end to see what happens.  Worst librarian ever...

I loved THE BOOK THIEF and when I saw that Markus Zusak's early series of YA novels about two brothers in Australia were all published together, I quickly ILLed it. And after I read the charming forward, I quickly quit reading it. I think my attention span needs work.

So many people are reading BLOOD RED ROAD by Moira Young and recommending it to me. I started reading it with high hopes. Then I saw it was written in dialect. Good night and good luck Moira Young, I wish you well, you have created what everyone tells me is an amazing character in Saba but I just can't get invested. Of course if I felt this way all the time I would have missed BLOODY JACK and THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO, so I may revisit this one.

Okay, so I actually kind of liked SHUT OUT by Kody Keplinger, but it was a little naughty for a summer reading book. Please author, put any shenanigans you like in your teen books, but not in the first 5 pages. Parents might read the first 5 pages and get all concerned. Once you get into chapter 2, they will never notice and if a book is awesome in every other way, I can not worry too much about a little content. Yes, I am talking to you A CERTAIN SLANT OF LIGHT... But SHUT OUT started out funny and way too naughty for the summer reading list. I may just read it for fun at some point and will buy it for the library if I ever get any fiction money. It is a retelling of Lysistrata but the war is between a high school football team and the soccer team at the same school. Cute and funny and worth a read, but I still checked out the end to find out that it would have been a surprise, had I let it unfold normally.  Ah, me...

The last book, and one that I have high hopes for is FIVE FLAVORS OF DUMB by Antony John. The parents are awful, which is sometimes, but not always, a deal breaker for me. But the conflict is interesting enough between Piper and her loser parents that I am willing to reserve judgement. And it is a high school band book, and I am a sucker for a high school band book. AND the protagonist is tough, funny, self aware and clever. And she is deaf. Yes, it is a plot point, but so far (page 26) it is not a PLOT POINT - just an aspect of Piper's character. And she lies to protect her kind of dirt-baggy little brother. You have to appreciate a big sister who will take a risk for the wretch who probably makes her life miserable. Yay, Piper - I will be finishing this one!

I have a ton of reserves in transit for the PSATs in two weeks - I'll keep you posted!

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