Thursday, September 2, 2010

book butterfly reviews

I read the following 10 books this past month. A couple were pretty challenging, and I did give up on one, but I started some new series in August which should keep me plenty busy throughout the rest of 2010.

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Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli didn't like itdidn't like it

** spoiler alert ** Umm, for the most part, the thought most prevalent in my head as I read this was, "...huh?" I really didn't get it. I thought the characters were kinda flat, the plot basically non-existant, and the resolution weak. However, I suppose when it comes down to it, the moral of the story is, Be yourself, don't change yourself to fit in with the masses, it's OK to be different. (though I really kept expecting Stargirl to be a ghost or angel or have some magical powers...I was disappointed that she wasn't/didn't)

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A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle it was ok (my current rating)it was ok (my current rating)

I'm sorry to say I wasn't all that crazy about this one. My mom says I read it as a kid, but I don't recall that--perhaps I liked it more then? The plot seems to be full of holes that don't really get answered or explained, and the ending is so cheesy, I literally rolled my eyes as the resolution was played out. In the end, I think it was a bit too science-fiction for my taste (as opposed to fantasy) and I'd also say it was more appropriate for the tween audience than even YA. There was an interesting spiritual and religious tie-in, and I could tell reading it that the author was a Christian. But all in all, it was just OK.

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The Grim Grotto (A Series of Unfortunate Events #11) by Lemony Snicket it was ok (my current rating)it was ok (my current rating)

Ugh...I don't NOT like these books, but one has to admit, 13 of any series is a bit much. I think I'll wait a few more months before I read the last two.

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Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar it was ok (my current rating)it was ok (my current rating)it was ok (my current rating)it was ok (my current rating)

You know you've found a good author when you just can't wait to pick up anything else by him, no matter what it's about. David Lubar has a great style in this book. It's written in the first person, yet also at times written in the form of diary entries, top ten lists, and other funny and clever sidenotes--the humor reminded me of Shannon Hale's writing, the storyline vaguely reminded me of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, and the main character with all his made up stories, lists, and endless journal accounts reminded me of myself circa 1990.


This story is about a new freshman boy whose life is being turned upside down at home by the surprise announcement of a new baby sibling about to make his way into the world. He decides to write a journal to the unborn baby, teaching him what to do and not do to survive girls, high school, and life in general. Along the way he attempts to woo a girl who he has known all his life, yet somehow suddenly grew up over the summer. But his life gets a little too hectic when he tries to join every club that she expresses an interest in (theatre, the school paper, student council, etc).


I breezed through this in a couple of days and will definitely look up more of David Lubar's work. I can't help it, I do love YA fiction. :)

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The Writing on the Wall (Hearts of the Children Vol 1) by Dean Hughes it was ok (my current rating)it was ok (my current rating)it was ok (my current rating)

This is the second series regarding the (LDS) Thomas family, the 2nd generation so-to-speak, and because of that, I'll admit it took some time to get into. It was a little hard at first to keep everyone straight, the new cousins, who they belonged to, etc. But once I did, I enjoyed this story.


The first series was set during WWII; this is set in the 60s and discusses the Vietnam War, Civil Rights marches, Dr. Martin Luther King, the Berlin Wall, etc. It's actually been good for me because I've never been good with history, and I needed the reminder. I'll continue on with this series.

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The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #2) by Rick Riordan it was ok (my current rating)it was ok (my current rating)it was ok (my current rating)

Percy's one year older and one year wiser (13 now maybe?) and his character is being developed as well as Annabeth's and Grover's. I liked the addition of Tyson, Cyclops half-brother. :) I liked this second book in the series, but it wasn't as interesting, funny, or grabbing as the first book. I'll certainly keep on with the series though.

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Troubled Waters (Hearts of the Children Vol 2) by Dean Hughes it was ok (my current rating)it was ok (my current rating)it was ok (my current rating)

I don't think this series is as good as the first, but it'll keep me coming back for more. At this point in time, the book is following 4 cousins in all different situations, all around 18-22 years old. I'm appreciating the mini history lesson while at it--I never really knew much about the Vietnam War or the protesters before this book.

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Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner it was ok (my current rating)

I really wanted to like and finish this book--it is meant for an adult audience, not due to mature content or anything, but because of the difficulty level. I did have a very hard time getting into it and caring about the characters. I give myself the 100-page-rule, and this passed that, but then it got too boring for me. And by the time I was half-way through the book, I no longer even cared to finish it.

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Fablehaven (Fablehaven #1) by Brandon Mull it was ok (my current rating)it was ok (my current rating)it was ok (my current rating)it was ok (my current rating)

I read this from cover to cover within a 24 hour period and really enjoyed it. It's a little bit Percy Jackson combined with a little bit Narnia with just a touch of Harry Potter. Good start to a fantasy series and I'll definitely read the next one. I look forward to future character development now that this base has been set.

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The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #3) by Rick Riordan it was ok (my current rating)it was ok (my current rating)it was ok (my current rating)

At first I found this third book a bit hard to get into because of the addition of many new characters. I had a hard time placing who was who, and what role they played. But by about half-way things cleared up pretty well as the plot further developed and I ended up reading the majority of this in one afternoon.

And there you have it. "Sleeping Freshmen." and "Fablehaven" were my favorites of the month and I look forward to seeing where the rest of the latter series goes. Couple of duds in the bunch, but that's just my opinion. :)

What have you been reading?

6 comments:

Jenna said...

I just wish all books could be great!

laurie b said...

wow! again, i am so impressed with the number of books that you read. i just read The Rapture of Canaan (not great lit but it was captivating) and am reading a professional book for a book club i'm in. i read three whole books while i was on my 8 day cruise this summer - if only that were my real life. :-)

jinxi~ aka angi said...

You rock!
I love your reviews!

jinxi~ aka angi said...

Can you email me your address? I have something to send to you!!! Please.. ??? I promise I am not a stalker and its all good!!! :)

Anonymous said...

I loved the Percy Jackson series AND Fablehaven series. I started the Leven Thumps series, but I'm two books in and don't care for the author's writing style. So I'm not sure I'll continue it. Of course the Hunger Games Trilogy was good, I'll wait until I know your done with Mockingjay before commenting on it.

B

wittygal said...

Thanks again for the reviews. I can always count on you for a good book.