Thursday, May 31, 2012
May Book List
Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter
After the events and revelations of Heist Society, teenager Katarina Bishop has become a vigilante thief, only stealing to recover what crooks have taken from the innocent. She's also determined to work alone, shunning the help of her family and her best friend/dreamy love interest, Hale. But when Kat gets conned into stealing the Cleopatra Emerald by another powerful female thief, the fallout is more than she can handle on her own. There is something about the pacing, exotic settings, and visual quality of these books that makes them obviously ready-made for movies. But that doesn't bother me. Bring them on!
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Katsa is a supernaturally gifted (Graced) killer. Her unpleasant uncle, the king, has forced her to bully the populace on his behalf for most of her life. To counteract those deeds, the good-hearted Katsa leads a secret Council that rights wrongs in the kingdom and beyond. After they rescue an imprisoned grandfather/king from a faraway country, Katsa meets his Graced grandson, and together they discover that the mystery of the kidnapping is only hiding a much greater danger. This novel is really solid and balanced on every level. The adventure, the romance, the danger, the family ties and family dysfunction - everything had just the right tone. I loved it, and loved Katsa and Po, and am looking forward to the rest of the series!
The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle
In one night, high school junior Laurel loses her parents and brother in a tragic car accident. The only person who can truly understand her grief is the son of the man behind the wheel - David, her childhood friend who's been aloof toward her for years. His mother also died in the accident. This is a slow, quiet, character-driven novel, but I didn't mind walking through Laurel's recovery with her. Anyone who's experienced a Before and After can relate to and appreciate the realness of this story and its characters (who are as flawed as real people but still very likable). Although nothing is sugarcoated, it still ends on a hopeful, encouraging note.
City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
I continue to enjoy the characters and the witty repartee of this series. The plot is action packed and kept me up way too late finishing the book. COLS presents even darker stuff than the previous Mortal Instruments books, but it didn't seem gratuitous and was dealt with in a thoughtful way. Still, I give this 4 stars almost despite myself. I prefer the more genteel world of the Infernal Devices (and got excited about the increasing number of ID cross-references - can't wait to find out who Brother Zachariah REALLY is!).
We Have Confidence! by Cheryl Cory
This sequel to Must've Done Something Good finds Sylvie happily married to her former co-teacher/frenemy, and still getting into plenty of hijinks with her sisters, Kate and Meg. In need of a new purpose in life, Sylvie and Meg launch Miss Meg's Common Sense Academy, but face opposition from a similar business in the area. The B-plot revolves around Kate's pregnancy and Sylvie's subsequent soul-searching about whether or not to have kids. This book could have used more editing and structure, but it's still enjoyable and relatable!
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? And Other Concerns by Mindy Kaling
I laughed out loud a lot at this collection of funny essays. I didn't know much about Mindy Kaling before, but now I feel a kinship with her. Partly because her general "voice" reminds me so much of Jessica that I feel like I know her. :) This is a fun, fast read.
Scary Hope: Courage and a kick to hug hope, face fear, and get going by Gary Morland
As a student of hope, I was all over this e-book when I read about it on Emily Freeman's blog (Gary Morland is her father). It's a collection of thoughts, quotes, and stories about hope. It's God-centered without being preachy, and has a rambly, stream-of-consciousness style that fans of Donald Miller will love. Don't be fooled by its humble appearance - this little book is inspiring and insightful. It was what I needed at this moment in my life. In fact, it's probably already time to re-read it.
Books for May: 7
2012 year to date: 28
My Kindle is earning its keep! I read most of these books on the Kindle, and some were from my library's new e-book program, which is almost TOO convenient - you don't have to go anywhere to pick up your holds. I've been stacking up $2.99 bargain e-books too. I really hesitated to get a Kindle, but it's one of the best investments I've made in a long time!