What are you reading? October 2013

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What are you reading? October 2013

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oct. 3, 2013, 6:47am

I've just finished Skinned by Robin Wasserman (trying to get some of the older titles off my tbr pile). It was very good, raising questions about identity and what makes one human. The protagonist and narrator, Lia, awakes after a terrible accident to find that she has been "downloaded" into an artificial body to save her life. But is she still human? Most people, including her friends, boyfriend, sister and religious groups, don't seem so sure. Lia is an interesting character in that she was formerly the super-popular mean girl type who now has to deal with being a social pariah. She doesn't suddenly transform into a nice, likeable person because of her ordeal but remains scratchy and stubborn throughout. If you enjoyed The adoration of Jenna Fox this is worth checking out, although I thought that Jenna was a better book.

oct. 3, 2013, 8:38am

I just finished listening to Birthmarked on audiobook. Not my favorite, but good. I think reading would have been better, but I need something to listen to in the car. I've already downloaded the next in the series.

Editat: oct. 3, 2013, 7:55pm

This morning I started The 100 by Kass Morgan, which hasn't received great reviews, but I was intrigued enough to read anyway. It's very readable, but one of those books that I think would benefit from less teen drama and more info about the world, history, and politics (this is the same way I feel about Kiera Cass's series as well).

Edit: Finished The 100 and was pretty much right in my predictions. It's a great premise with a lot of potential that wasn't fulfilled. And while I like series, and appreciate that some questions must go unanswered from book to book, I still think the first book of a series should feel fairly self-contained. SOMETHING should feel resolved, even if questions are left. This book ends on all cliffhangers. Though it was readable, I was disappointed enough that I likely won't read on in the series. 2/5 stars I'd say.

oct. 3, 2013, 9:40am

I just finished Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, which was fantastic. I think I'm going to have to pick up her Eleanor & Park, because I've heard it's fantastic as well.

oct. 5, 2013, 1:52pm

I was on a roll yesterday on my day off and finished three books. The first one was Robin McKinley's Shadows, which was a bit slow in getting started, but I don't mind that so much, so long as I like the characters. I really enjoyed these characters, though the rather overabundance of slang was off-putting at first. Still hoping for a sequel to her Pegasus.

I'm not really a vampire fan, but Holly Black's The Coldest Girl in Cold Town was really quite unique (and not in a sparkly vampires sort of way). The characters were intriguing and the concept even more so.

Every once in a while I'm in the mood for a contemporary novel, though I'm rarely happy with the one's I pick up, because a lot of them have so much annoying high school drama. The Beginning of Everything did have some of that, but overall, it wasn't too bad, especially if you want a male narrator who doesn't focus too much on, err, bodily functions.

Currently, I'm rereading A Conspiracy of Kings, because one can never have too much Megan Whalen Turner in their lives.

oct. 7, 2013, 8:49am

I read The Raven Boys this weekend and am halfway through The Dream Thieves, the sequel. Both have been can't-put-them-down books that I'm enjoying a lot! The mythology is well done, but what really draws me in are the characters, a group of four boys and a girl. All of them are interesting and unique, and I find myself really wanting to know what happens to them.

I also read Brandon Sanderson's newest, Steelheart, about a world where people randomly acquire superpowers - but everyone with superpowers is quite evil. It was a quick, fun read. Sanderson is always a sure thing, with interesting worlds and engaging characters. Liked it a lot!

oct. 7, 2013, 12:32pm

Aerrin99: The Raven Cycle is pretty much my favorite literary thing at the moment. I love the inclusion of Welsh mythology and historical figures, but like you, it's the characters who make it all worthwhile.

oct. 7, 2013, 5:57pm

I'm another fan of the Rave Cycle. I read The Dream Thieves in one day!

oct. 8, 2013, 8:08am

Listening to Prized, the second book in the Birthmarked trilogy.

I still haven't finished reading The Scorpio Races, so I doubt I'll ever read Raven Boys.

oct. 8, 2013, 12:52pm

I'm not a huge fan of audiobooks, because I'm super picky about narrators, but I thought I'd give a few a try to listen to during my incredibly short commute to and from work. I picked up Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta and the narrator was not very good. It seemed wrong to hear an American accent coming out of these characters' mouths (even though it is fantasy) and the narrator's voice work left much to be desired (his voice for Sir Topher was laughable).

When that didn't work, I gave On the Jellicoe Road a try and that has been much better. Somehow, we managed to get the Australian edition, so the narrator has the proper accent for the characters. Though her voice is a bit nasally, it doesn't bother me enough to give up on the book.

I also picked up The Clockwork Scarab in print form and it is a ton of fun so far. It features steampunk London, the niece of Sherlock Holmes and the little sister of Bram Stoker as main characters, and the mystery of a slew of suspicious deaths of young ladies to solve by our intrepid heroines -- what's not to love?

oct. 8, 2013, 3:35pm

Right now I'm working on The Indigo Spell which is book 3 of the Bloodlines series (spin off of Vampire Academy). I've loved all these books and I'm really looking forward to number 4 which comes out next month.

I'm slowly slugging through Legend which is pretty cool, very interesting concept, just not as angsty or smutty as Bloodlines which is primarily consuming my soul at the moment.

I'm also listening to Fallen which is weird and not super compelling so far.

I just finished listening to City of Bones which I didn't love (too many similies, metaphors, SAT words, and poetry and art references - I mean don't get me wrong, I love my YA with a side of intellectual stimulation but this was just too much - I also didn't care for the characters or plot). I think I'm going to stick with it though because everyone seems to like the series so much.

oct. 8, 2013, 4:53pm

#11 I didn't much care for City of Bones. It seemed a bit overstuffed with a melange of creatures and magics and things. It lacked the focus that would have really invested me in the story.

oct. 9, 2013, 8:51am

Yea, I agree. The story did seem disjointed - like it would have made a better television series with the story arcs split into episodes rather than a cohesive novel.

oct. 10, 2013, 7:37pm

Just finished Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. Wow! I absolutely loved it. She really brought the characters to life for me.

oct. 10, 2013, 10:59pm

I found such power in that story, Angela. It really felt real and painful and full of hope.

oct. 10, 2013, 11:46pm

About halfway through The House of Hades. Hazel's my second-favorite character in the Percy-verse (after Clarisse as number one), and from the title I'd been assuming/hoping this would be Hazel's quest. Although she's a major character, though, she's just one among several and Percy and Annabeth have very significant roles as well. Quite some interesting involvement with Nico as well.

oct. 15, 2013, 4:08am

The House of Hades -- 4½**** review. But listen here, Riordan, you loser, you'd better bring back Clarisse for more than just a couple of cameo paragraphs or we're gonna have to rearrange your dental work for ya! (Oh well, at least we've got Hazel shining even brighter than ever in this installment.)

Apologies to fans of Samatha Shannon, but . . . The Bone Season -- 2** review and ugh! but that's being generous.

oct. 15, 2013, 1:11pm

Finished up Fallen... Love that transcends time? Pretty cool concept, but I think this book ended up being a missed opportunity. I didn't care for the characters or the plot, the whole thing was a little creepy. I think some authors hamstring their writing but engaging in the teenage immortal paradox thoughtlessly. How can characters who are centuries old be so immature (more importantly, why do these immortals keep enrolling in highschool?) I mean, don't get me wrong, I know I need to suspend disbelief for fantasy books but I would like to see a writer tackle that conundrum in a thoughtful way or at least address it, amirite?

Also finished The Indigo Spell, looooooooove it. Can't wait for the next book coming out next month.

oct. 15, 2013, 6:38pm

How can characters who are centuries old be so immature (more importantly, why do these immortals keep enrolling in highschool?)

HA! So true. I couldn't finish the book, although I really wanted to like it because of the pretty cover. And then there were the sequels - getting my hopes up with pretty covers, only to have them dashed when I realized they were part of that series.

oct. 15, 2013, 11:34pm

Just read Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. Marvelous!

I have to thank the mean people of Anoka County, MN . . . who uninvited Rainbow Rowell to a reading during Banned Books Week when some parents complained about this book. (If I hadn't read about that incident, I might not have known about this book. As soon as I heard about it I ordered the book from the library.) Of course, Anoka County and the Anoka-Hennepin School district are well known for their totally lame and inadequate policies related to bullying . . . which is only one of the reasons why they really NEED to read this book.


Rowell's response was perfect: “Teenagers swear and are cruel to each other. Some kids have terrible parents. Some girls have terrible stepdads who shout profanity at them and call them sluts — and some of those girls still manage to rise above it.”

When I think about the depressing books I read as a teen, I really wish there had been more books like this one back then!

My only quibble with the book was setting it back in 1986 . . . mostly because I'm afraid kids today won't get many of the music references (not to mention all the talk about cassette tapes :) and life without computers and cell phones . . .

What do others of you who've read the book think?

oct. 16, 2013, 12:43am

Rainbow is a Nebraskan (as I am, I'm sure you know), and has written human interest columns for the Omaha World-Herald for a number of years. I've been a fan of her humor and compassion and matchless skill with words for a long time. I first read Attachments and giggled myself silly.

Then I read Eleanor & Park. I already knew she was a wonderful writer, and still I was blown away. It feels so raw, and so real. I know these people. I've gone to school with people like this; I've taught them. I need to buy another copy. My present copy has been lent and lent and I may never get it back.

oct. 16, 2013, 12:10pm

Haven't read Eleanor & Park, but I hope the banning helps sales, as so often happens.

Just started Lois Lowry's Number the Stars.

oct. 16, 2013, 12:36pm

I finished up Untold, the sequel to Sarah Rees Brennan's Unspoken, and I loved everything about it, especially the characters. Of course, given the ending, I'm going to need book three in my hands as soon as possible.

Editat: oct. 21, 2013, 7:09pm

I'm actually in the middle of reading two booksright now. The Kings of Clonmel by John Flanagan and City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare . I'm having a hard time getting through City of Ashes . In my opinion, City of Bones was better.

oct. 19, 2013, 6:02pm

Love the Ranger's Apprentice series. New one, The Royal Ranger, is coming in November.

oct. 19, 2013, 11:39pm

I just finished 3 Days by Krista Madden. It was her first novel from what looks like a series. I liked it well enough to anticipate the next book.

oct. 21, 2013, 3:54pm

Allegiant arrives tomorrow. Looking forward to it!

oct. 21, 2013, 5:46pm

jnwelch: I was going to wait until the library copy came in, but I'm second on the hold list and the book is still on order, so I went ahead and ordered my own copy. Thank goodness for Amazon Prime free two-day shipping!

oct. 21, 2013, 6:00pm

#25: I know I'm so excited!
#27: I haven't read that series yet but it's TOTALLY on my 'to read' list!

oct. 21, 2013, 6:15pm

>28 Cailiosa: Ain't that the truth, Cailiosa!
>29 emerald_dragon: It's a standout, emerald_dragon. The first one is Divergent, and if you're like me, you'll get hooked quickly.

Editat: oct. 21, 2013, 7:10pm

That's what everyone is telling me! I really want to read it but I'm trying to finish The Mortal Instruments first. It's hard to read more than one book at a time and I haven't had time to read. Sadly :(

oct. 21, 2013, 8:56pm

31> So many books, so little time.

I read the first 3 books of The Mortal Instruments series and decided that was a good stopping place. I'll probably eventually go back and read the rest, but Divergent is much better, IMHO.

Editat: oct. 22, 2013, 7:46am

yeah, I'll probably finish City of Ashes and stop. I'll finish after Divergent.

oct. 22, 2013, 9:22am

33> If I remember correctly, you'll probably want to read one more - City of Glass - then stop. It's a good stopping place.

Editat: oct. 22, 2013, 5:18pm

ok I probably will then! I can't wait to read Divergent!

oct. 22, 2013, 6:26pm

emerald_dragon: I'm jealous of you being able to read all three books at once, though at the same time, I think playing the waiting game for the next book in a series is part of the fun. It gives me something to look forward to.

I just picked up Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff, Battle Magic by Tamora Pierce, and More Than This by Patrick Ness from the library and I'm not sure which one to dig into first. I don't want to get too attached to any book, because inevitably it's going to get pushed aside when Allegiant comes in the mail.

Editat: oct. 22, 2013, 8:15pm

#36: it's hard right now because i'm so busy :( but i usually read more than one book at a time. i'm actually going to try to read City of Ashes later tonight. i haven't had too much to do these past two days.

oct. 22, 2013, 9:22pm

Just started Allegiant.

oct. 22, 2013, 10:42pm

Trying to decide if I want to spend my lunch hour driving to a library the next city over to borrow Allegiant. About 15-20 minutes each way. Maybe I'll let the weather decide - if it's raining, the traffic will probably be so bad, I won't have time to go.

oct. 24, 2013, 9:31am

I just found The ocean at the end of the lane and The dream thieves at the library, hooray! So those two will be my next YA reads.

oct. 24, 2013, 9:49am

Love, love, love The Dream Thieves.

Still waiting for my copy of Allegiant to arrive. So much for two day shipping.

oct. 24, 2013, 5:18pm

#41: they're probably backed up because of how many people are buying them that want it right away.

oct. 24, 2013, 11:06pm

I have Allegiant - ended up going to that other library on my lunch hour Wednesday - but I haven't started it yet because I'm afraid once I start, I won't be able to stop! I know what I'll be doing all day Saturday.

oct. 25, 2013, 12:50pm

emerald_dragon: I'd say that would be the case, but I ordered a Willy Mason c.d. from them (which I'm sure was not in high demand) and the same thing happened. Both times they were shipped using Fed Ex instead of UPS like they have in the past.

BookLizard: That was very much the case with me last night. I had my parents over for dinner last night, so I couldn't start reading until about 9:00 p.m. and I didn't stop reading until I finished the book at almost four in the morning. I hope you all are quick readers, because I desperately need someone with whom I can discuss this book!

oct. 25, 2013, 3:16pm

I got Allegiant but I'm waiting to start it until I finish two other books. One is Gone which I just started, it's totally not doing it for me. Should I just give up on it? The other is Icons. I might just say to hell with it and spend all day Saturday on Allegiant. Ugh, so many books so little time.

Editat: oct. 25, 2013, 5:55pm

#44: oh that's disappointing especially since they say they have fast delivery.

#45: I TOTALLY agree with you when you say so many books so little time!

I'm still reading City of Ashes. I never got to read the other night. Ugh! :(

oct. 29, 2013, 10:47am

@# 46 - City of Ashes is on the TBR pile.

Without spoilers, what's everyone thinking about Allegiant? I only just started it but I have to say, I'm a little disappointed so far, I really am not a fan of alternating perspectives.

oct. 29, 2013, 12:17pm

This morning started Siege and Storm, second in the Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo.

oct. 29, 2013, 12:37pm

Allegiant was a good read. It has one plot twist that already is quite controversial, but IMO it fits the author's message.

oct. 29, 2013, 3:51pm

Hmm ok I'll hang on for the plot twist. *grumble*