Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Books of the Summer (Cont.)

Haven't been reading as much as I've wanted to. My goal was fifty, but I'd feel pretty accomplished if I got to thirty this summer. With an added to-do list from having to shift gears and switch law schools in the middle of the summer, some things have to come first. And another thing, which I didn't expect, was I started reading A TON of books that I never finished. I'm talking at least ten where I got a good halfway through before I gave up. But I've picked up some good stuff since last time too. I linked the ones I reviewed individually in the list below.

1. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
2. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
3. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
4. Clean by Amy Lynn Reed
5. Unbreak My Heart by Melissa Walker
6. Stir It Up! by Ramin Ganeshram
7. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
8. Dying to Know You by Aidan Chambers
9. Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough
10. Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
11. The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

Thoughts on the books:

Will Grayson, Will Grayson was good, even David Levithan not being my cup of tea. I thought the concept was creative despite the ending being over-the-top cheesy.

Best discovery was mystery/thriller! Long Lankin and The Name of the Star were both shivery and delicious. Makes me want to try out more in this genre, and that's a huge feat considering I hate scary things.

Pleasantly surprised by Clean and Unbreak My Heart. I wouldn't say they're books that stay with you, but they were fun to read and technically well written. Clean is written in several points of view from teenagers in rehab for various addictions and disorders. Unbreak My Heart is an ideal summer read about a girl on a boat trip. I usually don't like it when books are written in split-time (present tense with periodic flashbacks, Second Chance Summer being an example that worked poorly in this style) with some big secret that takes the entire book to be unraveled because usually the secret ends up being anticlimactic and stupid. It's sort of true still for Unbreak My Heart, but I didn't mind because the journey was so darn delightful. And who doesn't love a cute red-headed love interest?

Disappointed by Dying to Know You. I know that Aidan Chambers won a Printz Award for one of his books and so I had high expectations. I'm not saying the book was a failure. The writing was polished and what I expected out of a Printz author, and what's more, I read the book in the span of a few hours in one sitting. So it was obviously compelling. What fell flat for me was the plot. I love Big Issue type YA books. John Green loves to inject his novels with stuff about life, death, leaving legacies, the way we depict people in our minds, etc. and I adore that stuff. However, I don't like books that smack you in the face repeatedly with Big Issues. It's like themes. Themes should occur naturally with the plot, not be The Point of the Book. Whatever. Maybe it was just TOO literary for me. I would check it out if you're interested, though, because the MC is an old man instead of a teenager, so that was cool.

And the runaway favorite of this batch was Tiger Lily. Wow, that book just slapped me with awesome, and I totally didn't expect it AT ALL. I was wondering why the author sounded so familiar (I'm a reader who always remembers authors of books; maybe because I want to be one?) when I saw in the short jacket bio that she wrote the Peaches series. I read the first book in Peaches, which I liked, but didn't feel the need to finish the series because it wasn't zomg!awesome. So I cannot believe Anderson wrote Tiger Lily. It's such a departure from her usual stuff and so relentlessly excellent. It's a retelling of Peter Pan, and I have to tell you, it is absolutely one of the finest retellings I have ever read. Incredible. Riveting. I am floored. Pick it up, NOW. (I will probably do a review on it with a more in-depth reaction.)

EDIT: PS Almost forgot! Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived. 


  1. Awesome to hear about Tiger Lily. I was interested because I knew it was a retelling, but I wasn't sure what to expect. I picked it from the library a while ago, but now I can't wait to read it! Thanks for the rec!

    1. It's a bit slow, but if that doesn't bother you, you'll love it. Also, the ending is amazing. Worth getting to, for sure.