Books I Read In January

1. Imaginary Girls.  Huh.  I read this because I saw it recommended on some YAF blog somewhere, and I have to say I thought it was one of the worst things I’ve read in a long time.  The main character was unfathomably awful, and I think it was supposed to have this weird fantasy ghost story element that was just…not for me.

2. Townie.  I really thought this was going to be interesting, but man, it was just so long. No book on earth could sustain my interest for this amount of time. I kept waiting for things to get going and they just never really did.  I don’t know if any book about a bad childhood can ever really stand up to The Glass Castle for me, so maybe that was part of my problem.

3. Wonderstruck.  I don’t know. It was ok.  I wouldn’t describe myself as struck by wonder over it, let’s put it that way.

4. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight.  Man, what a great title.  Interestingly, after I read this, I noticed that it got a (rave) review in the New York Times. I thought it was so stupid as to be unreadable.  It was basically that dumb movie with Amanda Bynes and Colin Firth, but in book form, and also worse.

5. The Fault in Our Stars.  Here’s my review. It is also possible that I loved what Elizalou had to say about this book more than I liked the book, so you should read that too.

6. Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter.  Supposedly the “literary mystery” is the hot new thing.  I liked the first half of this better than the second half, which I find happens a lot for me in these types of books.  Somehow the reveal of the  mystery often reduces the quality of the book for me.  It was good, but not as great as the first half led me to believe that it would be overall.

7. Where Things Come Back.  I read this about five minutes before it won the Printz award.  So basically I am about two steps away from practically being on the Printz Commitee, right?  Anyway, this was ok. It was very Printzy.  It was one of those books that starts out sort jokey and goofy in tone and then these plot twists start happening where you’re all “Oh. This is not the type of book I thought it was AT ALL.”  I know there was YAF i liked better than this last year, although off the top of my head I couldn’t tell you what.

8. Legend.  Very entertaining.  I liked it almost as much as I liked Divergent. It had its dippy moments, as these things do, but overall I liked it.

9. The Pleasure of My Company.  My least favorite Steve Martin book, but I always like his work.

10. Blood Red Road.  I read this after I read Legend and Girl of Fire and Thorns, so I was sort of “adventure girled out” but it was entertaining. It lacks quotation marks and has some really annoying made up language things going on, but I usually didn’t notice them past the first few pages when I’d start back in reading this.

11.  Girl of Fire and Thorns.  Ok, so can I lay this minor plot spoiler on you?  I liked this book, or I wanted to like it, but the thing is that a major plot point of this book is that the  main character, Elisa, has this…great big blue gemstone in her belly button.  Like, stuck there. BY GOD.  And man, I somehow…couldn’t get past the gemstone in the belly button stuck there by god situation.  If some editor had just…made it a necklace or a birthmark or SOMETHING I could have worked with it, but not a PULSING BLUE STONE STUCK IN THE BELLY BUTTON.

12. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks.  I will never stop loving this book with my whole whole heart.

13. The Future of Us. As soon as I read the fly leaf and saw that this book was about Facebook, I knew it was going to be epically stupid. I was not wrong.

14. Shelter.  Meh.  This is the YAF novel spun off from Harlen Coben’s adult Myron Bolitar detective series.  It was ok.  I liked the characters, but the plot was sort of on the dippy side.

15. The Starboard Sea.  I read this as an ARC on my Kindle.  It was totally overwrought.  Some of the dialogue was really terrible, and the plot was pretty contrived.  And I totally loved it.  Totally totally loved it.  It was one of the first things I’ve ever read on my Kindle that I wanted to get back to reading ALL THE TIME, and all the insiderey East Coast prep school stuff and the “we have so much money it’s boring” kind of stuff and all the descriptions of sailing and the houses and the clothes, I just LOVED IT. I would read books about East Coast prep schools every minute of every day, so keep that in mind, but if that’s your thing and you don’t mind some talk of boys, uh, “wrestling around with other boys”, then I’d totally recommend this book.

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12 Responses

  1. Is Legend by Marie Lu? I clicked through to my library and there are a surprising number of books with the same title.

  2. Will any memoir ever live up to the Glass Castle?!!

  3. I am *crushed* about number 4. It looks so cute! Awww. (And Frankie is perhaps one of my favorite books ever ever ever.)

  4. I really loved The Fault in Our Stars. John Green is amazing.

  5. I love your book lists. One of my resolutions this year is to read more and with a library blocks away and an iPad with the Kindle app there is NO reason not to. Thanks for the reviews!

  6. Yes to the dumbness of The Future of Us! Yes to Frankie! We agree! I’m writing this down as a red letter day.

  7. Wait- it’s an actual stone, in her actual belly button? I was very excited to read that book but that sounds like the sort of thing that would bug me too. I thought “godstone” meant it was something spiritual, and it’s not usual for fantasy to be so literal…

  8. Wasn’t The Future of Us just so revoltingly annoying?

    Also, I’m so glad to see that someone else though The Statistical Probability had a great title and nothing else.

  9. So I gotta know, E. When you realize the book is epically stupid, do you KEEP READING IT? So you can put it on your list? Or do you toss it aside in search of the next Frankie? And still put it on your list? I HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE LIST.

    • generally I try to read at least half of it. Usually books i can’t get past the first bit because they are so bad, I don’t count, but IF a book is so bad I think other people need to know about it, I put it on the list. As like a public service announcement.

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